Rams spawning (cont.)

So, the ram pair which I separated off have spawned again, only 11 days after the previous spawn and 9 days since the eggs disappeared (I don’t think they appreciated being moved). I was actually planning on giving them a cool water change with blackwater on day 14, to see if that would trigger them.

I have been feeding the pair on a little bit of high-protein live food diet, once every other day. They also have plenty of vegetation to nibble on, if they get peckish. The aquarium itself has lots of muml on the bottom a quite a few species of tiny crustaceans in all the plants. I’m running it filter free (using the pump of one as a powerhead) as the plants use up any ammonia (and provide a home for the bacteria) which the two fish can produce… not something beginners should consider, but works well for low-stock, plant-heavy aquaria.

Oh, and I’m getting a delivery of new plants tomorrow! It’s an odd job mix from another hobbyist, but I hope I can get some Asian species which I want for the new 60 litre.

Rams spawn and keyholes are ready to

The “second” pair (as in, the second strongest and the second pair to pair up) spawned on the Amazon sword today, I was planning to move them to a breeding aquarium because the snails give the fry no chance of survival in the display. Since they beat me to it, I ended up moving the pair and tearing off the sword leaf to move with them. They are now in a 60 litre quarantine/breeder, on their won and still guarding the eggs.

Keyholes and the “first” ram pair both look ready to spawn, the two are competing for the same area of the tank to spawn in, which means that the rams will get it and the keyholes will have to find somewhere else.

Layout update and tidy

420 litre: Hygrophila spreading

As the other two pairs of rams are still looking to spawn, I have tidied the plants, probably disrupting the process, while I was at it.

The tank is still on a 4-5% daily water change. I have not been using dechlorinator because anything in the tap water would instantly be diluted by 20 times.

I have also added some Indian almond leaves to add a black water effect and a couple new pieces of oak. The plecos have made a good job of munching through it, especially the rusty pleco (Hypostomus cochliodon), who are one of the “true” wood eaters.

The Amazon sword (Echinodorus bleheri) has moved forward, so it is now more visible. I am also trying to grow a few cuttings, towards the front of the tank.

The layout:

420 litre: Hygrophila spreading

Rams spawn (pair 1 of 3)

The first pair has spawned! They have, as before, chosen the Anubias barteri leaves as their spawning site, one which is out of the way so the other fish will not find it by accident.

The other two females are still full of eggs and with their papilla (tubes through which the eggs are laid) down, but not spawning yet.

Water parameters are 25° C, pH 7.6, GH 20°, KH 3° and nitrate 20 ppm.

Rams ready to spawn

All 6 rams are ready for spawning, including the two unpaired ones which have probably decided to try anyway, given that there are no other mates available for them. This reinforces my opinion that if two fish do not have a suitable mate, they will still try to mate with an unsuitable one because it is better than not mating at all.

The incompatible pair is not defending their territory as much as the other two pairs, and do bicker between themselves.

Trimming the Hygrophila

Leaf of mine

Trimmed the plants and collected some dead leaves, alongside a tiny, 2% water change. I often do single bucket water changes because they don’t hurt the aquarium and I use it to water the plants. The water either contains more nitrates than tap water or the nitrates in the aquarium need replenishing so there is a benefit either to my potted plants or the aquarium plants.

The main reason for this prune was to get the Hygrophila polysperma to grow bushier at the back because without encouragement, it will generally grow tall and lanky. So at the back, I cut it about 6 inches from the surface, in the front rows to about half way up from the bottom of the aquarium.

I found that some of the plants which had come out and were floating on the surface had a spot of hair algae in them…

Current lighting period is 12-13 hours per day, which is on the high side. Water parameters are nitrate 15 ppm, pH 7.4, 15-21 °GH, 6 °KH.