You may have noticed in the Currently Keeping page that I have some Altolamprologus sp. 'compressiceps shell' Mpulungu fry. These are photos of them. They were born in December, just a few short months after I purchased the parents at a Greater Chicago Cichlid Association rare fish auction.
These are Leporacanthicus joselimai "L264" Rio Tapajos, known as the sultan pleco. They reportedly get around six inches long. I bought these wild caught individuals from Freshwater Exotics out of the Milwaukee area. They are a joy to watch. For the first couple of weeks they were very shy, rarely coming out of the caves and crevices in the driftwood/clay pot landscape I created in their tank. I originally had them housed in a forty gallon breeder aquarium. They slowly began to creep out during feedings. I initially fed them a diet of french cut string beans, veggie flakes, sinking cichlid pellets, and zucchini with ample doses of frozen bloodworms. I wanted to make sure they were healthy and fat after enduring shipping from South America. I cut the bloodworms way back once they were acclimated.
These plecos are primarily herbivorous, so too much protein in their diet could be problematic. I still toss them some meaty stuff once in a while, but less than once a week. So far a diet heavy with courgette and green beans has served them well. I have had them since October 1st of last year and they are much more active now. They are always out during feeding time and often at other times as well. Their fear of me has all but vanished.
I moved them to a seventy-five gallon aquarium with a group of nine Cyathopharynx furcifer Ruziba, a reverse trio of Altolamprologus sp. 'compressiceps shell' Mpulungu who are actively breeding, and a small number of juvenile Fossorochromis rostratus, maybe around ten or so. I would now like to induce some spawning activity in them. I am no pleco expert, but I believe I have three males and two females. I suspect upping the temperature a tad and increasing the current in the tank might help trigger breeding. One issue I have to solve first is to find some suitable caves for them. I have one that sort of works, but looks a little tight and several that are much too large for the fish.
More to come in time. Also, check out the updated Currently Keeping list.
Here are a couple of shots I took recently of some of the fish.
Altolamprologus sp. 'compressiceps shell' Mpulungu male peacocking for his lady friend.
A Paracyprichromis nigripinnis male.
A glowing exLamprologus ocellatus "Gold". I believe this is a male, though I am not 100% certain.
The Black Ghost has returned to form. He is once again a rich velvety black color. He and one of the female Neolamprologus nigriventris spawned recently. You can see a young one in the video below.
Here is a shot of one of the albino green dragon bristlenose plecos I recently purchased. They are supposed to be of the long-finned variety, but I have yet to see any sign of extended finnage. I am a little concerned that I may have been duped in that regard. I have seen photos of long-finned bristlenose that are smaller in overall body size than mine and they have noticeably long fins. Either way, I like these fellas.
I also picked up a group of five wild caught L264 plecos (Leporacanthicus joselimai), know as the sultan pleco. Unfortunately I have yet to get any pictures of them, but I will post some in the future. The fish are already around five inches long and my intention is to breed them. Outside of bristlenose plecos, which I would consider very easy to breed, I have never spawned any other pleco species.
In addition to those two, I picked up an another L128 blue phantom pleco, giving me four total. Three of them are too young yet for breeding, but maybe eventually I can breed them too. I also got five calico bristlenose and seven blue eyed albino bristlenose.
Do you recognize these guys? A friend of mine from the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association was kind enough to bring me a bag of ten Thorychthys meeki, aka the firemouth. He gave them to me at the most recent swap meet, October 1st. Take a good look. I didn't. At least not when he gave them to me.
If you are familiar with them, you will know that these are in fact red devils (Amphilophus labiatus). As much as I admire the beauty of this species, I loathe the idea of raising ten of them to adulthood or anything near it. I had one red devil years ago. He, or she, was quite the terror in the mixed tank I kept it in. These youngsters are not long for my aquariums.
I added a few Cyprichromis photos to the Photo Gallery. Take a moment to check them out.
Updated 09-08-17: I apologize to anyone who searched for the photos mentioned above, but didn't find them. I assure you all, they are there now.
I understand that this will come as bad news for some of you, but I am no longer attempting to fulfill the waiting list for Neolamprologus nigriventris fry. I still have the adult fish, but they have been extremely fickle spawners. Those few of you who managed to get some of the fry, rejoice. The last four or five spawns have had very minimal hatch out rates - and that for what are already small batches of eggs. Several of the spawns disappeared days after the eggs appeared. I suspect the adults ate them, though I cannot say why.
To make matters worse, one of the males gave his female partner a terrible beating following a water change in the tank. She nearly bit it, but managed to revive in a solo tank. She is now with the Black Ghost (pictured above) in a 75 gallon aquarium. Hopefully I will get some more activity out of them, but I can't say. If I do manage to raise some additional fry, I will post them when available. My apologies to those of you waiting patiently on fry. Sometimes things just don't work out. Unfortunately, this is one of those times.
I have had very little luck raising Altolamprologus calvus fry, but I seem to have a lot of luck getting them to spawn. Here are a few shots of my yellow calvus spawning. The female is enticing the male to the cave (shell). This is the second pair of yellow calvus I have. The first pair has been spawning on and off for a few months. I have not done well raising their offspring. I do, however, have about thirty or so fry nearing .75". I think my problem is in not feeding them frequently enough with live food. They, like most fish, are more inclined to eat food that is wriggling about in front of their faces than flakes that are resting on the sand.