Pet World Visit
Stunt Doubles. Ever
heard of "jelly beans?" The pink breeders below came in as
painted jelly beans -- supposedly a type of parrot cichlid. They're crossed with another species to get this
strange shape. They still spawn like convicts -- even at 1.5 inches.
The Nuptials. The pair starts by displaying their fins at one another. They sidle up and “rub” together head to tail. If it’s true love (and it usually is with convicts), they start locking lips and tugging each other around the tank. This oft-repeated ritual reduces the breedable females in the population by half. If she survives this rasslin’ match, the pair will very likely breed -- not necessarily while you blatant auteurs watch. We’ll throw in another flower pot.
Both prospective parents clean the future spawning site.
Their lips can get frayed and injured in the process.
They often spawn inside a cave where you can’t see the eggs.
If your female convict starts hanging out in a certain hiding spot, shine a
flashlight in there. You can
easily see the eggs once you know what you’re looking for.
Or you may see little wigglers.
When cichlid eggs hatch, they’re still not much more than eggs with
tails and sticky heads. All you
notice is their tail sticking out and wiggling to beat the band.
These larvae need no food. They
have no mouths, eyes, or other parts. They
feed off their yolk sac as they develop into real baby fishes.
They eat no food until they become free swimming.
Some species of cichlids make terrible parents.
They eat their fry to protect them from you.
These more fragile species need great care to keep them alive during
their tenderest days. You can pull
convict eggs at any stage. You can
also siphon the fry. They need no
slow airstone to aerate them during the hatching process.
They will hatch and survive, period.
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