Comments on posts that I generated a few weeks ago, about my a. viejita spawning failure--thanks, Bob and Gary, for the comments. I kept an eye on the eggs that I had pulled and left to remain, isolated, in the tank. They did fungus. So I checked water conditions. Although I sporadically check water conditions on different tanks at various times, and all were running at about 60 ppm hardness (my water becomes quite soft in the winter on its own), this particular tank was at a whopping 120 ppm, for some inexplicable reason. I couldn't figure out why, (decomposing snail shells?) and rather than dig out the old r.o., I changed water using distilled. It made little difference. I ordered an AP TWP, and in the meantime, scrounged up a water softener pillow I had laying around. It took less than 12 hours to drop the tank to about 20 ppm (this was not intentional). I placed a terra cotta pot which they'd ignored earlier, back closer to where they had been spawning of their own choice. She laid the eggs on the outside of the pot, I noticed maybe 20 eggs. Dad was on good behavior, and both appeared to be attempting to do their job. I kept a nightlight (about 7-1/2 watts, just enough to dimly light the area) at night. Today I awoke to find all eggs gone again. I have a few choices. Do I move the happy couple to a fishless & snailless tank? They were basically raised in this tank and feel quite comfortable here. I don't know how they react after being moved. Would I do better to attempt to catch the killies and snails and leave the viejita's in place? I'm down to my last couple, so it's do or die. My options are a 10 gallon tank, currently empty and virtually snail-less, with a sand substrate and lots of plants, or a 20 gallon which sits under the 29 gal they are currently in, with snails & plants, and a few slow-moving fish which can be removed. Any suggestions on this? TIA, Sylvia Bob wrote: > The conditions necessary to get fish to spawn are not as stringent as the > conditions necessary to get them to brood-care. Also, the cardinals and > killies are bullet-shaped for a reason. The cardinals especially are > willing > to take a hit or two in exchange for a tasty egg snack or free-ranging fry. > > I get proper care from my cacatuoides that have probably been captive-bread > for at least twelve or more generations, including a couple consecutive > generations that I hatched out separate from the parents. > and Gary wrote: > I think there are a couple of issues operating here, and it is hard to > comment > without more information. I'll give a couple of examples. > With veijita in tapwater of 140ppm, clutches ran at about 10 to 20 fry at my > place. Once I softened that to 50-60ppm, I got up to about 50 fry. I've seen > the > same general pattern with other species, whatever their origin. Veijita is a > softwater apisto. > In tanks that are too small, a charged up fighting male often won't calm > down > without harming the female. I've always seen a "reverse trio" as a recipe > for > disaster in anything smaller than a four foot tank. You can keep a big group > together, or a group with one male. In between usually goes wrong for me. > Water quality can affect things too, even beyond pH and hardness. If your > female > were eating the eggs from hunger, then feeding close to the eggs might be a > plan. > However, the reason for eating the eggs isn't old-fashioned recreational > cannibalism. > They eat eggs from generalized stress, if the eggs are decaying or > unfertilized, > or if they can't hold their territory. Putting food close to the eggs would > create conditions two and three. > Causes for egg loss you might want to investigate before looking at the wild > vs > tank-raised debate are polluted tankwater-overfeeding, snails, no light at > night > (I increase viable clutches radically with a cheap little night-light on the > shelf beside the tank - cichlids defend visually), water hardness, > temperature or > fish-predators. > In my experience, the key to apisto breeding is to keep your fish alive > until you > figure out how to stop making mistakes in your set up. There are few things > easier to do than to mess up a perfectly functional breeding pair of apistos. > ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the apistogramma mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org. For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help, email email@example.com. Search http://altavista.digital.com for "Apistogramma Mailing List Archives"!