Keen convicts

I finally sold the six smallest convicts I had & was left with just the two largest that appeared to have paired off a while ago. They were always together & constantly chasing the smaller ones away, so I decided to give them some space.
With the others gone I didn’t think it would be long before the two left would start looking for somewhere nice to lay a few eggs. I had no idea it would be so soon. After the rest of them had been removed from the tank, within 5 hours I noticed the female hanging around the same area a lot. I watched her for a while and then spotted some eggs on the surface of a broad leaf. I don’t know how I didn’t notice them before.

I grabbed the camera and took a few photo’s. You can see the eggs most clearly in this one. (Click image for full size)

Female convict cichlid with eggs.

What this means, of course, is that I will have to get myself in gear and sort out another tank. I just hope it doesn’t take so long to sell these babies on as the last ones did.

Fast forward

I’m going to bring everything up to date in this post & hopefully not miss anything out.

Well the plants did quite well for a while, particularly the elodea & cabomba. Unfortunately they were irresistible to many of the fish & quickly became tatty & nasty looking.  I stuck with it a while & tried all kinds of plant foods, but it was a losing battle. I just don’t seem to be able to keep aquatic plants alive. The only way I could keep nice plants was if I kept buying new ones to feed the fish, but this wasn’t great for a couple of reasons (one of them being that I was getting all kinds of snails & bugs hatching in my tank), so I went back to fake plants.

It was around this time that I bought a Fishbox. The idea there was that I fancied getting some shrimps & didn’t want a tank that was too big.
I set the fishbox up and let it cycle & added 13 cherry shrimp and 2 Singapore wood shrimp/bamboo shrimp. About a month or two later I turned the heat up a fraction & the cherry shrimp started breeding. I never tried to count them, or even guess the amount, but before long I had loads of them.
I wondered if it was going to get out of control, so I came up with this plan. I’d try to create a semi, sort of, natural-ish environment by adding a few small fish and a few elodea & cabomba. The small fish (neons & harlequin rasboras), while calm & non-aggressive, would still eat some of the baby shrimp. The elodea & cabomba (along with wood cave & coconut shell) would help some of the baby shrimp to hide and survive. Also, the small fish shouldn’t eat the plants, so it will all run smoothly and there will be balance and the fish will eat naturally and all will be well. You know it didn’t go that smoothly, right? I still have the fishbox and small fish, I’m back to fake plants in there too, but I still have loads of shrimps, so it is sort of working.. unfortunately I have an infestation of snails. An infestation I tell you. They hide all day & you wouldn’t think there were any snails in there, but wait until night… that’s when they come out and strategically place themselves all over the front glass so in the morning I can’t see in the tank. I’m thinking I have 2 options. Either try to get rid of the snails (or keep them down to an acceptable level), or totally clean the tank out. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Along the way I gradually gave away & sold most of the community fish from the Rio with the intention of setting up a cichlid tank. That is still the situation with that tank. Firemouths, Kribensis, platinum angel (waiting to go), gold severum & a couple of blue rams. I know they will outgrow that tank & will have to go, but I’m enjoying them until that time.
I also got hold of another long 90 that I needed to hold 9 baby convict cichlids. Again, I know they can’t all live in there, but they came as a job lot and I wanted to pick a pair. I’ll pass the rest on. It’s strange that they are not commonly stocked (in this area at least) considering how easy they are to breed.

The most recent addition is  square 90, in which I hope to try to breed either kribensis or firemouth. I’ve been reading that firemouth & convict cichlids will crossbreed. I haven’t read enough about whether that’s a good thing or not, but it’s something I’m interested in.

So that’s it. To date:

Rio – Mainly cichlids & cleanup. Sand, Fake plants, Mopani wood & a few moss balls.

Long 90 – baby convict cichlids. Sand, Fake plants, plant pot, jug ornament, Mopani wood, coconut shell & a few moss balls.

Square 90 – Pair of firemouth cichlids. Medium/fine gravel, Fake plants, plant pot, Easter island head ornament.

Fishbox – Neon tetra, harlequin rasbora, flying fox, cherry shrimp, wood shrimp, 50 million snails (Including a couple of assassins that I forgot to mention. They didn’t do much… I need an army of them), sand, fake plants, wood & a few moss balls.

Was it obvious that I wanted to get that out of the way? 🙂

(Click image for full size)

Nikon 111_50pc