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Re: Evolutionary advantages


> Your friend's technique of eliminating exteranal stimuli from influencing
>  his breeders is one that I tried with my Bolivian rams.  A single pair
>  inhabited a 30 gallon heavily planted tank which also contained all sorts 
>  rocks etc.  They ate several broods at the two week free-swimming stage.  
>  next brood I removed the male, hoping that the female would consider that
>  the 'chips are down' and what she's got is all she's ever going to get.  No
>  go.  She ate her fry at the 2 week free-swimming stage.
>  Next spawning I left in the male and covered the front of the tank with the
>  comics section of the newspaper....hoping a little entertainment on the 
>  (literally) and no stimulus from outside the tank would help.  Nope.  They
>  ate them anyway.  I didn't even peek for over a week.
>  Last spawning, I removed the male as soon as spawning was completed because
>  he turned into an abusive spouse.  This time I covered the front of the 
>  with the 'Employment Opportunities' section of the paper........hint,
>  hint.......again to no avail.  I guess she didn't get the message. :)  
>  now on Unemployment Insurance benefits (clean water, good food and sharing
>  space with Golden Firemouth youngsters who are now a bit bigger than she
>  is.....mind you, they've had a major influence on her behaviour.  They are
>  so outgoing that she is no longer shy.  Cichlid dithers for other 
>  It wasn't as if they ate the broods because they were ready to spawn again
>  because their cycle seems to be at least 8 weeks.  Just ornery fish is all.
>  The real pity of it is that the parents, except for the last time when he
>  beat her up badly, were a model of cooperation.  They took turns fanning
>  eggs, picking up straggling fry, digging pits and moving wrigglers around.
>  It was wonderful to discretely watch them at their well coordinated tasks.

In the wild, it may be difficult for the fry to be kept with the parents that 
long.  All the leaves for them to hide under, plants for them to swim among, 
whatever.  I've always considered two weeks to be pretty good, though that's 
based strictly on a SWAG.  Most cichlids I've worked with are ready to spawn 
again in this timeframe, and in the wild have probably invested all the 
energy they care to in the previous brood.

Bob Dixon

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