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Paratilapia polleni setting up to spawn

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:10 pm
by Jim Cumming
A three years old pair of Paratilapia polleni have staked out a small territory beside a rock and backed by a chunk of driftwood. They are keeping other tank inhabitants away from the area, and are looking like they "mean business".

Re: Paratilapia polleni setting up to spawn

Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:03 am
by DannyC
Hi Notho2000. I'm new to this forum and can't private message. I've just aquired 6 juvenile Paratilapia Pollenis, small spot. I'm interested in knowing your water parameters for these fish. Also what additives you use and why. Everything I can find on them seems to vary wildly and there is little about the natural habitat. Currently I have all six, 1" juveniles in a 30 gallon tank set up similarly to the bigger tank they will move to. I'm hoping two will pair up. From there I have a more permanent home in a 90 gallon. The 90 is filled with mopani wood, pool filter sand and a few plants. The current inhabitants are Madagascar Rainbows to keep the tank cycled. My source water is 4-5 kH and gH. Once water is in the tank they both drop to 3-4. Source pH is 7.0 but it will drop and stabilize at 6.5. I have used baking soda to help kH and pH come up and stabilize at 4-5 and 7.2 respectively. My biggest concern is with the gH being low. What I may start using is Seachem Equilibrium to maintain a higher gH. I have not used it before so I'm usure if it will acheive the desired results. Another option suggested is cichlid salt. Is it true that Polleni natural habitats do not contain these salts in those concentrations? I'm a little confused on a lot of things as there are so many different opinions on forums and LFS are of little help. So, I'm hoping someone such as yourself that has raised these particular fish could set me straight on what is best for them. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


Re: Paratilapia polleni setting up to spawn

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:59 am
by Jim Cumming
Hi Danny,
Actually, polleni are very close to CA cichlids in behavior and requirements... good water conditions, good quality food are key to successful maintenance. Frankly, I don't do anything 'special' for them in terms of their maintenance or water conditions. My local water ranges from pH 7.4 - 7.8 from the tap, and does not have chloramine in it. So I do water changes (30-40% every two weeks, give or take ...) with straight tap water and don't use a dechlorinator. Sometimes I add some pickling (coarse) salt when I do a water change. I don't tamper with additives for my water. The carbonate hardness is naturally between 80 and 100 ppm. I use a fair amount of structure in the form of driftwood, plastic plants and rock work. My tanks are generally large for housing adults (150- 180G) and for the most part I have them in community set ups, with a mix of Madagascan genus's and species. For example, in a 180G, I have 8 adult P. polleni 'Fony' in with a pair of P. menarambo, and some P. grandidieri. In a 150G, I have about 20- 4-5" 'menarambo' grow outs in with a couple of P. kieneri and a quartet of Paratilapia sp. Andapa. I've raised 'polleni' in quite crowded conditions up to 2 to 3" in size in smaller tanks with no issues.
When they start to become mature, then give more room and structure. But they do best in groups, raised up from a young age together. In small numbers and with little structure, they can be quite skittish and withdrawn. I feed them a variety of pellet foods. The Paratilapia have good sized mouths and can take a larger pellet, although they'll take anything. I give blood worms as a treat now and then. I keep the temperature up around 78-80F, and am always watching out for ich which can be devastating to Madagascans if not caught and treated right away. In terms of compatibility, it is best to grow out groups (6 - 10) of young fish with one another in as large a tank as possible. The pecking order is established over time and they become much more accepting of one another raised that way. BTW, Jose Gonzales (ciclasoman on the forums) is one of the most renowned and successful Madagascan breeders in the US. Being from San Antonio, Texas, he gives his fish hard, alkaline water and has good success in breeding them in ponds. If I can be of any further help, please feel free to contact me. Good luck witrh your 'polleni'. I'm sure you will enjoy them.

Re: Paratilapia polleni setting up to spawn

Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:45 pm
by zenins
Beautiful pair ... thanks for sharing :)