I've got 7 Pteronotropis signipinnises in a 30 gallon long tank, 2 males
& 5 fat females.
The males are chasing one particular female all over the tank, stopping
periodically to display to her, but not quite as often as they stop to
display to each other. This cute little shimmy-dance they're doing is
fun to watch. The female is quite gravid, and it seems the males can
tell that she's "riper" than the rest of the females, since they're
ignoring all the others. These fish normally stay near the bottom of the
tank, but these three are hugging the bottom abnormally closely. Every
so often a few eggs get dropped, and the males just about trip over each
other trying to be the one to fertilize them. Then the chase resumes.
I've had these fish in the tank for about, what, two weeks now? The pH
is around 7.0, and the temperature is 73. Under those conditions, I
wouldn't have expected spawning, but it gets even stranger: this is
still a new tank, which is still cycling, and it has a slight, yet
measurable amount of ammonia! I have zeolite in the filter to remove
some ammonia, and the tank is planted about 1/3 of the way with fast
growing Anacharis plants to absorb even more.
The pH WAS 6.5 when I first set it up, but I put some Stress-Zyme in it
to get things going, and it shot the pH up to about 7.5. GRRRR!! I've
been working to bring it back down all week by water changes and pH
reducer, and it hasn't been easy.
Anyway, I think what finally set them off was the addition of a big
piece of driftwood. I had been soaking a driftwood log for about five
months, trying to get the tannins & such leached out enough to prevent
that wood from turning the water brown. It STILL turns the water brown
after all this time. Anyway, it occurred to me that it might help with
the pH and other water conditions, so I put it in a few days ago. Now
the water is stained yellowish/brownish, and the fish are finally
I'm not exactly sure what I should do now...does this species spawn a
little bit over a period of days, or is it a one-day affair? Does anyone
know? Should I remove the other fish? The gravel is pea-sized, and the
eggs are falling through the cracks.
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