Tank: 32 x 15 x 18 inches.
Furniture: Pea sized gravel, cobbles piled up into caves.
Food (Parents): Flakes, Frozen bloodworm, frozen daphnia, live bloodworm, live daphnia, live brine shrimp.
Food (Fry): Crushed up flakes, micro worm, frozen Cyclops, frozen baby brine shrimp, frozen daphnia.
Cleaning: I was water changing about 25% of the tank once a week but nothing was happening so I decided to just neglect the tank for a couple of weeks to see what effect that would have.
Location of Fish: Lake Tanganyika
As I said in the "Cleaning" it took me a while to realise that the water was too clean and wasn't getting enough time to settle and mature, so I neglected the tanks and just put food about twice a day sometimes more and to my delight on 25/11/03 I saw about 5 fry swimming around the tank. On 10/12/03 I came home from work and noticed that one of my Brichardis had laid their eggs on the outer surface of a rock at the front of the tank, there was about 20 creamy coloured eggs. After 3 days, they seemed to have disappeared. I thought that they had been eaten by the parents or one of the plecs that share the tank. About a week later I was looking in one of that cave to the back of the tank and noticed that the female was protecting the entrance to the cave. Thinking that she was protecting more eggs I thought I would take a closer look to see if I could see the eggs, but instead I found some more fry, swimming around the floor of the cave. It took about another 2-3 days after that to see them outside the cave swimming with their brothers/sisters from the first brood.
When it came to feeding these fry I wasn't sure what would be best for them. So for about a day or two, I added some Liquifry but the fry seemed to be spitting this out. But, when I was feeding the parents the fry were eating the small bits of flakes. I also asked advice from someone who had bred these fish before, which gave them a nice varied diet with all nutrients that they needed.
Signs that I now notice when my Brichardis are about to lay eggs are: -
* Constant cleaning which includes moving of all snails and gravel to create a nice deep hole.
* The female enticing the male into the rocks (in my case the female will have her head sticking out and she will start to shake he whole body and sometime, if he doesn't notice her she will also give him a nip)
* Protecting the cave, from snails and anyone being nosey.
© Shelley Murphy 2004. This article may not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.