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Unusual Breeding Behavior in Wild Caught Archocentrus Sajica


I would like to write a few words about my experiences breeding wild caught Archocentrus sajica and a surprise that these fish gave me - a surprise that shows the fascinating and diverse behavior of these animals.

I got a pair of wild-caught sajicas from a friend who had collected them on a trip. Since I had kept this species before (in fact it was the third cichlid I ever bred), I didn't expect any surprises. Well, I was wrong.

For want of better accommodations I put the 6 cm/ 2½ inches long cichlids into a 540 litre/145 gallon aquarium that was already overly crowded. In the aquarium already swam four 20 cm/8 inch Texas cichlids, a pair of N. festae (25 and 20 cm/ 10 and 8 inches), a pair of N. managuense (about the same size as the N. festae) and four Natal cichlids, Mossanbicus mossanbicus, (20 cm/ 8 inches). The tank was also inhabited by two convict cichlids (about 4 cm/ 1½ inches) that had originally been put there as feeders, and finally loads of Ancistrus that just wouldn't stop breeding. All of the species were breeding regularly in the aquarium. As I said, the aquarium was already very crowded. I knew I was taking a chance putting the small sajicas in with these predators, but I didn't have any choice.

To my great relief the sajicas found themselves loving their company and were left alone by their larger predatory cousins. The aquarium was decorated with two very large roots that reached all the way to the surface of the aquarium and which created three natural territories for the fish in the aquarium. There were small gaps under the roots that the ancistrus utilised for breeding. The larger cichlids couldn't get into these spaces. These large roots made the water in the tank very dark and made it look like a black-water river aquarium. However the water was harder and the pH level higher than what you might expect to find in a black-water river.

When the sajicas had been in this aquarium for a week, on a diet consisting mainly of Hikari pellets and shrimps, they spawned for the first time. Anyone that has kept A. sajica wouldn't be surprised about this, the surprise would be if they didn't breed during the first month. However the surprise was how they bred. My experience is that sajicas are dedicated parents that watch furiously over eggs and fry. But under these conditions this pair chose a different approach. The female laid her eggs on a root halfway to the surface. Her eggs had a much darker tone then A. sajica eggs usually have, and matched the color of the root almost perfectly. This was something the parents seemed to be aware of, since they didn't care about protecting their young. They both swam all over the aquarium just as before the egg laying, and it wasn't unusual that the two fishes furthest from the eggs in the entire aquarium were the sajicas. Occasionally they did chase away some ancistrus. You would think that this strange parental behavior would mean the end of the eggs in an aquarium where several fishes could eat all eggs in one gulp. But this was not the case and almost all the eggs survived and hatched, at which time the parents moved them (spat them) under a root where not even they could get in. They then continued acting as if nothing had happened. When the fry were free-swimming the parents took their young out for expeditions about 1-2 hours each day. The rest of the time they left them under the root, where they apparently found food because they grew nicely.

The parents continued to take them on these little expeditions for about a month, after which the fry had grown to approximately 1.5 cm / ¾ inch. The impressive thing is that almost all of the fry had survived to this age. After the parents had stopped caring for their fry, the young quickly became bolder and started swimming around, which led to all but two of the fry being eaten one week later. (There had been 50-60 fry before that). These two however did manage to grow up in this aquarium.

The wild caught A. sajica couple spawned many times in this aquarium, once every 2-3 months, and they always had great success using this method. At one point I moved them to another aquarium about half as big as the other and with clear water. They shared this tank with a number of other cichlids, mostly fry from the larger aquarium. In this aquarium they spawned in the way one is used to seeing A. sajica spawn, i.e. standing guard over their eggs and fry. A little later the couple was moved back to the 540 L /145 gallon aquarium and they then started to "hide" their eggs and fry again.

Out of curiosity I also tried keeping them in an aquarium with clear water and a large pair of N. managuense as company, and the sajica couple spawned standing guard over their eggs and fry. It seemed like they simply chose another strategy in darker waters. I have kept other pairs of breeding A. sajica in the 540 litre/ 145 gallon aquarium since then, but none of them have shown this behavior. I'm hoping that others get to experience this unique behavior that just goes to show that cichlids never stop being surprising.

About The Author

Article by William Berg writer for Aquatic Community with more then 20 years of aquarium experience. Find more of Williams articles about other Breeding freshwater fish or maybe a completely different pet like Dogs

Article may be reproduce as long as it is not edited and this resource box is included "as is with live links" on the bottom of the page. (Java links and PHP links are not allowed, I.e. SE friendly links only)


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Mon. June / 01 / 2020

Humane Society helps pets affected by pandemic - The Mercury News
Humane Society helps pets affected by pandemic  The Mercury News

Dakin Humane Society: Pets offer companionship during pandemic - MassLive.com
Dakin Humane Society: Pets offer companionship during pandemic  MassLive.com

East Bay pets of the week for June 5 - East Bay Times
East Bay pets of the week for June 5  East Bay Times

Drive-up microchipping for pets - KFYR-TV
Drive-up microchipping for pets  KFYR-TV

Rufty-Holmes Senior Center hands out Companion Pets - Salisbury Post - Salisbury Post
Rufty-Holmes Senior Center hands out Companion Pets - Salisbury Post  Salisbury Post

6 tips to keep pets safe during storm season - Quad City Times
6 tips to keep pets safe during storm season  Quad City Times

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 31, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 31, 2020  Summit Daily News

Speaking of Pets: Using playtime to train your dog - Vail Daily News
Speaking of Pets: Using playtime to train your dog  Vail Daily News

How to ease your pet's separation anxiety if you're going back to work - Business Insider - Business Insider
How to ease your pet's separation anxiety if you're going back to work - Business Insider  Business Insider

Pets of the Week: May 30, 2020 - Washington Daily News - thewashingtondailynews.com
Pets of the Week: May 30, 2020 - Washington Daily News  thewashingtondailynews.com

Pets and People: Meet Sabrina - Frederick News Post
Pets and People: Meet Sabrina  Frederick News Post

Pets for Life helps Madison pet owners get through pandemic - Longview News-Journal
Pets for Life helps Madison pet owners get through pandemic  Longview News-Journal

Robin's Nest: Adapting for your home and pet - Montclair Local
Robin's Nest: Adapting for your home and pet  Montclair Local

House pets offer lots of memories, lessons | News, Sports, Jobs - Youngstown Vindicator
House pets offer lots of memories, lessons | News, Sports, Jobs  Youngstown Vindicator

Survey shows benefits of pet ownership during pandemic - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Survey shows benefits of pet ownership during pandemic  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Animal services providers make adjustments to keep pets cared for amid pandemic - Charleston Gazette-Mail
Animal services providers make adjustments to keep pets cared for amid pandemic  Charleston Gazette-Mail

Veterinarian, a COVID-19 survivor, on trying to care for pets, her staff and herself - KPQ
Veterinarian, a COVID-19 survivor, on trying to care for pets, her staff and herself  KPQ

Keep your pets cool! Tips to keep them safe during the heatwave - KUTV 2News
Keep your pets cool! Tips to keep them safe during the heatwave  KUTV 2News

Pets of the Week: A kissing dog and a cat with a boopable nose - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the Week: A kissing dog and a cat with a boopable nose  Duluth News Tribune

Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Kenny - nwitimes.com
Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Kenny  nwitimes.com

Got questions about corneal disease? - Jill Lopez
Got questions about corneal disease?  Jill Lopez

5 ways pets support mental health while social distancing - The Southern Maryland Chronicle
5 ways pets support mental health while social distancing  The Southern Maryland Chronicle

Southern Utah Adoptable Pets Guide - The Independent | News Events Opinion More - The Independent | SUindependent.com
Southern Utah Adoptable Pets Guide - The Independent | News Events Opinion More  The Independent | SUindependent.com

Shelter's Biggest Event Of The Year Goes Virtual, More Than 1480 Pets Found A Home In 2020 So Far - The Suburban Times
Shelter's Biggest Event Of The Year Goes Virtual, More Than 1480 Pets Found A Home In 2020 So Far  The Suburban Times

Your pets are stressed out, too - Purdue News Service
Your pets are stressed out, too  Purdue News Service

Betty Kwan Chinn Homeless Foundation Receives $200k Grant for Pet Assistance Program - Redheaded Blackbelt
Betty Kwan Chinn Homeless Foundation Receives $200k Grant for Pet Assistance Program  Redheaded Blackbelt

Pet Of The Week And Free Food For Pets - The Transylvania Times
Pet Of The Week And Free Food For Pets  The Transylvania Times

Woman dies in fire at Midland pet kennel - CBS7 News
Woman dies in fire at Midland pet kennel  CBS7 News

Free Veterinary Care Provided to LA Pets in Need - Spectrum News 1
Free Veterinary Care Provided to LA Pets in Need  Spectrum News 1

Owners are the ones jumping through hoops to get pets back to US - Stars and Stripes
Owners are the ones jumping through hoops to get pets back to US  Stars and Stripes

How safe are pets from COVID-19? - The Japan Times
How safe are pets from COVID-19?  The Japan Times

Firefighters battle fire at Princeton pet shop - MyWebTimes.com
Firefighters battle fire at Princeton pet shop  MyWebTimes.com

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Hope And Auggie Are Warrens Pets Of The Week - Warren, NJ Patch
Hope And Auggie Are Warrens Pets Of The Week  Warren, NJ Patch

10 things to do with pets in L.A. this coronavirus summer - Los Angeles Times
10 things to do with pets in L.A. this coronavirus summer  Los Angeles Times

My Pet World: In Tucson desert, grow pet grass inside - Arizona Daily Star
My Pet World: In Tucson desert, grow pet grass inside  Arizona Daily Star

Answer Bank: Can I get COVID-19 from my pets? - CGTN
Answer Bank: Can I get COVID-19 from my pets?  CGTN

Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County - The Register-Guard
Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County  The Register-Guard

Pet of the Week 5-31-2020: Chandler | News - Tyler Morning Telegraph
Pet of the Week 5-31-2020: Chandler | News  Tyler Morning Telegraph

Is it safe to take your pet to groomers as states reopen? Here’s what experts say - Miami Herald
Is it safe to take your pet to groomers as states reopen? Here’s what experts say  Miami Herald

Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic - WTOP
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic  WTOP

Should you be quarantining with your pets? - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Should you be quarantining with your pets?  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows - USA TODAY
Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows  USA TODAY

Pets of the Week - Morganton News Herald
Pets of the Week  Morganton News Herald

Limelight Pet Project: Meet Cyrus! - Q13 News Seattle
Limelight Pet Project: Meet Cyrus!  Q13 News Seattle

Pet of the Week: Miriam - South Bend Tribune
Pet of the Week: Miriam  South Bend Tribune

How the pet adoption boom is reducing Covid-19 stress - Inverse
How the pet adoption boom is reducing Covid-19 stress  Inverse

Give Back Thursday: H.O.P.E. For Animals – low cost vet for pets - WANE
Give Back Thursday: H.O.P.E. For Animals – low cost vet for pets  WANE

CBS3 Pet Project: How To Get Your Pet Ready To See The Vet - CBS Philly
CBS3 Pet Project: How To Get Your Pet Ready To See The Vet  CBS Philly

Titusville Police Officials Encourage Launch Viewers to Leave Pets at Home for Their Own Safety - SpaceCoastDaily.com
Titusville Police Officials Encourage Launch Viewers to Leave Pets at Home for Their Own Safety  SpaceCoastDaily.com

Pets perish in fire | News, Sports, Jobs - Fort Dodge Messenger
Pets perish in fire | News, Sports, Jobs  Fort Dodge Messenger

Local pet kennel comes to aid of victims of abuse and their pets - Steamboat Pilot & Today
Local pet kennel comes to aid of victims of abuse and their pets  Steamboat Pilot & Today

Animal Humane Society hoping families adopt pocket pets who still need a home - KSTP
Animal Humane Society hoping families adopt pocket pets who still need a home  KSTP

This is what happens to the pets left behind when their owners die from coronavirus - CNN
This is what happens to the pets left behind when their owners die from coronavirus  CNN

Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown - NPR
Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown  NPR

10,000 Pounds of Free Pet Food to Give Away on Monday - Times of San Diego
10,000 Pounds of Free Pet Food to Give Away on Monday  Times of San Diego

Thief makes off with dozens of puppies and birds from Bronx pet store - New York Post
Thief makes off with dozens of puppies and birds from Bronx pet store  New York Post

Resources for Pet Owners During the Pandemic - The Zebra
Resources for Pet Owners During the Pandemic  The Zebra

Rio animal shelter delivers pets to Brazilians in lockdown – in pictures - The Guardian
Rio animal shelter delivers pets to Brazilians in lockdown – in pictures  The Guardian

New Survey Reveals Effects Stay-at-Home Order May Have on Pets and their Owners - PRNewswire
New Survey Reveals Effects Stay-at-Home Order May Have on Pets and their Owners  PRNewswire

Mass. Pets Getting Seriously Hurt in Grooming Mishaps, Veterinarians Say - nbcboston.com
Mass. Pets Getting Seriously Hurt in Grooming Mishaps, Veterinarians Say  nbcboston.com

Veterinarian Addresses Concerns About Pets & COVID-19 - WHMI
Veterinarian Addresses Concerns About Pets & COVID-19  WHMI

Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Hazel, Abby, & Hot Rod - SweetwaterNOW.com
Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Hazel, Abby, & Hot Rod  SweetwaterNOW.com

Helen Woodward Animal Center Adopt a Pet: Dany - - KUSI
Helen Woodward Animal Center Adopt a Pet: Dany -  KUSI

Coronavirus and pets: Scams exploit animal lovers in crisis - Los Angeles Times
Coronavirus and pets: Scams exploit animal lovers in crisis  Los Angeles Times

Your quarantined pet may be acting odd. Here’s how to help. - The Washington Post
Your quarantined pet may be acting odd. Here’s how to help.  The Washington Post

Pets strange behavior amid COVID-19 - 11Alive.com WXIA
Pets strange behavior amid COVID-19  11Alive.com WXIA

Pet Talk: Grains or no grains - addressing pet owner concerns - Marshall News Messenger
Pet Talk: Grains or no grains - addressing pet owner concerns  Marshall News Messenger

Virus delays flooding solutions at Austin Pets Alive! building - KXAN.com
Virus delays flooding solutions at Austin Pets Alive! building  KXAN.com

Expert Tips on How to Keep Pets Happy and Safe at Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic - PEOPLE
Expert Tips on How to Keep Pets Happy and Safe at Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic  PEOPLE

Local veterinarians seeing an increase of pets with snake bites - WBRC
Local veterinarians seeing an increase of pets with snake bites  WBRC

Pet owners flock as groomers reopen with new precautions - HollandSentinel.com
Pet owners flock as groomers reopen with new precautions  HollandSentinel.com

Adopting a Pet From a Shelter in California: What You Need to Know - The New York Times
Adopting a Pet From a Shelter in California: What You Need to Know  The New York Times

Veterinarians reveal the biggest mistakes you're making when buying toys for your pets - Insider - INSIDER
Veterinarians reveal the biggest mistakes you're making when buying toys for your pets - Insider  INSIDER

Claws, Paws & Scales Gallery for May 31 - Reading Eagle
Claws, Paws & Scales Gallery for May 31  Reading Eagle

A Guide for First-Time Pet Owners During the Pandemic - The New York Times
A Guide for First-Time Pet Owners During the Pandemic  The New York Times

Nightmare scenarios as travelers attempt to fly with pets amid coronavirus - ABC News
Nightmare scenarios as travelers attempt to fly with pets amid coronavirus  ABC News

Coronavirus: The power of pets in the pandemic | Watch News Videos Online - Globalnews.ca
Coronavirus: The power of pets in the pandemic | Watch News Videos Online  Globalnews.ca

Greeley cop log: ‘Cracked out’ women fight on yard; upstairs pets relieve themselves on porch, leaking to lower level - Greeley Tribune
Greeley cop log: ‘Cracked out’ women fight on yard; upstairs pets relieve themselves on porch, leaking to lower level  Greeley Tribune

We have 19 special pets ready to be adopted: May 23-24 - SILive.com
We have 19 special pets ready to be adopted: May 23-24  SILive.com

DIGGING DEEPER: Pandemic pet problem - KVOA Tucson News
DIGGING DEEPER: Pandemic pet problem  KVOA Tucson News

First-ever national virtual pet super adoption hopes to place thousands of pets - KUTV 2News
First-ever national virtual pet super adoption hopes to place thousands of pets  KUTV 2News

How to adopt your next pet safely and virtually - The Verge
How to adopt your next pet safely and virtually  The Verge

Man’s grooming routine for ‘pets’ will make you ROFL. Watch - Hindustan Times
Man’s grooming routine for ‘pets’ will make you ROFL. Watch  Hindustan Times

Pet of the Week: Pan | News | dailyindependent.com - The Independent
Pet of the Week: Pan | News | dailyindependent.com  The Independent

How's your pet's life in quarantine? - Herald-Mail Media
How's your pet's life in quarantine?  Herald-Mail Media

N.J. pets in need: May 25, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: May 25, 2020  nj.com

How Safe Are Pets from Coronavirus? - Bloomberg
How Safe Are Pets from Coronavirus?  Bloomberg

Pet of the Week: Chaz - County 17
Pet of the Week: Chaz  County 17

SHUGREM Grooming Partners with the CBD Health Club for it's Pet CBD Products - Benzinga
SHUGREM Grooming Partners with the CBD Health Club for it's Pet CBD Products  Benzinga

'Office' star Rainn Wilson hosts Zoom call with 900 pets - Insider - INSIDER
'Office' star Rainn Wilson hosts Zoom call with 900 pets - Insider  INSIDER

'People are looking for love': Adoptions of dogs, cats skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
'People are looking for love': Adoptions of dogs, cats skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Can you pass coronavirus to pets? UW and WSU researchers want your help to find out - KING5.com
Can you pass coronavirus to pets? UW and WSU researchers want your help to find out  KING5.com

KPRC Pet Project - KPRC Click2Houston
KPRC Pet Project  KPRC Click2Houston

Can it be a ‘family’ vacation without the family pet? - OCRegister
Can it be a ‘family’ vacation without the family pet?  OCRegister

Pets and the Humans Who Loved Them - The Wall Street Journal
Pets and the Humans Who Loved Them  The Wall Street Journal

Dublin Pet Fair canceled for this year - NBC4 WCMH-TV
Dublin Pet Fair canceled for this year  NBC4 WCMH-TV

Pets of the Week: May 31, 2020 | Lifestyle - Longview News-Journal
Pets of the Week: May 31, 2020 | Lifestyle  Longview News-Journal

The best virtual veterinary services for your pets - Insider - INSIDER
The best virtual veterinary services for your pets - Insider  INSIDER

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