breeding Gymnogeophagus labiatus


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Hypo Zebra
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:10 am

breeding Gymnogeophagus labiatus

Post by Hypo Zebra »

Hi Pam how are you? I have some gymno labiatus, the females are laying the eggs but after a day there are no more eggs, so I do not know what is happening to them, if the male is feterlising or not. I was wondering could it be because of water temperature or hardness? The fish are well fed and water is changed at least 50% percent weekly they are in a 4 foot tank. HELP what am I doing wrong or is it bad males.

Pam Chin
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 9:11 am
Location: California, USA

Re: breeding Gymnogeophagus labiatus

Post by Pam Chin »

Hi Hypo,

That is a really nice cichlid! There could be many reasons why they are not spawning, I hope yours are young and just learning the ropes and hopefully they will get it all figured out. Step back and make sure you have your bases covered; they don't need soft water, neutral is going to be best. These geophagus types in the Gymnogeophagus group need a cool period, if they aren't doing anything, maybe you need to give them a cool period. The book says to take them down into the low 50's F. They need this period for at least a couple months, three would probably be best, and then of course raise them back up slowly to 76 - 78 F. This cooling period seems to be necessary to be successful.

This is all compounded because labiatus is a delayed mouthbrooder. The eggs are layed on the substrate where the female usually tends them, 2 - 3 days later when the eggs hatch out, the female picks them up and broods them for another 7 - 10 days in her mouth. After this, the parents will still offer some protection and fry will even retreat to her mouth, but as they get larger the care becomes less and less.

Anytime you have cichlids that lay their eggs on an open substrate, there is always the issue of someone eating the eggs, whether it is the parents, or tankmates. If the parents are not able to protect the eggs, or if there are just too many other fish in the tank the eggs are easily eaten. Sometimes the parents realize that there is no way they can protect the spawn so they will eat them. Anything is possible. So look at your tank mates... Is your goal libiatus? Then that is probably all you want in that tank. This is not the time to have pleco's in your tank, or any catfish for that matter, they are all excellent egg stealers.

When you are taking these fish out of the cool down period I think you want to feed them lots of live foods, this will really help get them in good condition. Black worms, freshly hatch baby brine, mosquito larvae, daphnia etc.

So hang in there, don't give up!

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