Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Moliwe


Pelvicachromis taeniatus ' Moliwe '

During 'fishing' scouting around in Cheshire a pair was bought. Sadly the male lasted about a week (it seemed to die from lack of oxygen).
Up to 17/04/06 the female lived in a tank by itself quite happily. On 19/04/06 I purchased another Male.
On arriving back home I found the female in dire states…lying on its side almost dead. I transferred it immediately to another tank then introduced the male still in its plastic bag. The female appeared to recover, so I released the male. At first the male had nothing to do with the female, but since then the female has recovered completely and has coloured up ready for spawning! Both fish charge the glass partition as P. taeniatus ' Lobe ' are in the adjacent tank.
On 22/04/06, I did a water change and re-arranged the tank's décor,

At the beginning of June (3rd) I walked into the fish-house only to see the 'male' up side down in the inverted ceramic igloo gasping for air. Oh no I'm going to lose it as well! I waited and a minute or two he came out swam around and made for his cave where he lived apart from the female. I then realised what he was doing…so with fingers crossed and with a help of a small torch I shone the light into the igloo and saw a large cluster of eggs stuck to the roof of the igloo. He was fertilising the eggs!

His colour had changed from pale yellow/ light greyish flanks to 5 faint black blotches along his lateral line and he has rarely left the entrance to the female's igloo. The female began to be secretive as she just hung in the entrance, blocking my view of the sequence in the development of the eggs.
About June 5th wrigglers appeared within and 6 days later, I could see free-swimming fry. On June 12 the brood appears to be split into two, one lot being looked after by the male in 'his' cave whilst the other were within the female's cave. The fry number about 20-30 and are a light sandy colour.
The male is 3inches: female about 1½ -2 inches her colour is now very bright purplish/silver sheen on her body with yellow lips. PH: 7.02, Conductivity 259-310, KH 4, Temp 79-81°F. The tank is decorated with fine sand, ceramic pots & broken pieces, Java Moss and a box filter. No heater is in the tank. (As the fish house is heated by a pipe heater). The water changes have not been done for over 14 days. The parents are fed frozen Bloodworm and flake, whilst the fry are fed Tetra Baby Powder™.

The male shoals his share of the fry around the tank, whilst the female is reluctant to come out with her charges if at all. (Has the female in the past been removed and doesn't know what to do?)<15/06/2006> when the female ventures out the male tries in vain to stop her from getting into her 'cave' (igloo). Later that day I observed the female now herding all the fry around the tank, but mainly she seems to hide them behind the box filter. The male sometimes accompanies the female + fry or stays within the vicinity.18/06/2006. During the next week or two the number of fry appears to have diminished in number.

On 04/07/2006 since the tank looked a bit grubby so I did a water change. The fry number 8-12 and are ¼-½inch long. They tend to hide out of sight a great deal, at times when I look into the tank I don't see them at all, then the next day they are there somewhere near the female foraging in the sand.

06/07/2006 since it appears the female is showing signs of I hope re-breeding again, the sand has been removed away from around her cave, the fry have been left to mooch around the tank by their selves, so I've started to catch them (if I can find them) and transfer them to another tank. To date I've found 6 & put them into another tank.

I would be extremely interested to hear from any fellow Aquarists' who may have experienced difficulties with the keeping and breeding of our subject specie. You can contact me by e-mailing a message, via the Otley Aquarist Society e-mail contact address, which Arthur will then pass onto me.

Ian Fairweather © July 2006


Thanks to John without
his help I could not have made this site