Showing posts with label Breeding Cichlides. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breeding Cichlides. Show all posts


Breeding AFRICAN CICHLIDS - A 9 Step Guide

Convict Cichlids. Female on the left, Male on ...
Convict Cichlids. Female on the left, Male on the right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is the vivid colors and peculiar mannerisms that make African Cichlids the most popular fish in captivity and it usually does not take long before the owner becomes interested in breeding them. But what that you ask? How do I do this?

1. With tropical fish generally, you can just pair them up and the breeding process takes place but its a little different when breeding African cichlids. With African cichlids, the best method is to have a largish group with a much higher female to male ratio. If you keep only couples the female most often is bullied by the male even sometimes to the point of death.

2. African cichlids have to be healthy for breeding as the female will go without food for weeks when in the spawning cycle. This means they need to be fed well prior on a varied diet of spirulina flakes, earthworm, brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larva.

3. In order for your breeding colony to flourish, they will need a comfortable environment. Make caves, rocks, crevices, and tunnels to provide protection when needed from bully fish. The ideal breeding tank setup is to use no gravel. This will focus the male on the task at hand. The males soon turn their attention to the females and the mating will soon follow.

4. If you want to use plants then I recommend plastic only and make sure they are firmly attached to the bottom. If u use real plants they will get destroyed.

5. Usually, the mating game will start with the male showing off and dancing until he attracts one of the females. Then they may appear to wrestle a bit to test strength, this sometimes includes the locking of the mouths. Eventually, this behavior leads to the female laying her eggs. Then they will be scooped up into her mouth for protection. It is believed that the egg patterns around the males anal area trick the female into thinking she left eggs in the open, so when she tries to scoop them the male fertilizes the brood.

6. After the eggs have been fertilized it will take up to two months for them to hatch at which point they will continue to reside in the mother's mouth. It is a good idea to try and feed her now as she will eat a little so the fry can get to it.

7. So the small fry does not get eaten it is important to separate the female to a separate tank until shes had her young.

8. Once the small fry is swimming freely the best way to get food to them is by putting crumbled flakes into the end of a straw and then placing the end near the small fry for them to eat.

9. The female will need to regain her strength so its best to keep her separated for a few weeks. And also keep the fry separated until large enough to fend for themselves.

Follow my guidelines and you will be breeding big beautiful healthy African cichlids in no time.