We have successfully spawned and raised up past 30 days one of our favorite "pop-hits" in the Local Fish Store: Electric Blue Acara. They are gorgeous small-medium sized cichlid with a very nice personality. FOUR VIDEOS  "Pulling Eggs" 06 August 2020  "Free-swimming Fry" 20 August 2020  "Fry Update" 30 August 2020  "Fry to Growout" 12 September 2020 PVAS BAP SPAWNING REPORT 22 September 2020 SPECIES Andinoacara Pulcher Electric Blue Acara REPRODUCTION Method of Reproduction: Egg Layer Number and Gender Distribution of Parents: Four Adults, Single Pair formed Origin of Parents: Tank Raised - Bought from LFS Approximate number of fry: ca. 35-45 Date of Birth: Free-swimming on 08-12-2020 Approx. Number of Fry at 30 Days: ca. 40 AQUARUM CONDITIONS - Breeding Aquarium - pH — 7.6-8.0 Temperature: 78-82-degrees Fahrenheit Average Nitrate: 10-15 ppm Aquarium Size: 40 Gal. Breeder Water Source: town / city water Water Changes: 25% 1x per week Filtration System: Two medium sponge filters plus large hang-on-back filter - Hatching / Fry Container - pH — ca. 6.5-7.0 Temperature: (same as 40 gal breeder) 78-82-degrees Fahrenheit Average Nitrate: ca. 25-40 ppm Container Size: 1/2 Gal. Specimen Container (Lee’s Large) Water Source: R. O. Bottled Water Water Changes: 40% every other day (3-4 days each week) Filtration System: No filtration until the final week (small bacto-surge sponge filter added) - Growout Tank - pH — 7.6-8.0 Temperature: 80-degrees Fahrenheit Average Nitrate: 20 ppm Aquarium Size: 20 Gal. long Water Source: town / city water Water Changes: 25% 1x per week Filtration System: Two sponge filters, one large and one small
DECOR & ENVIRONMENT Live Plants: Wisteria, Java Fern, Pothos, Riccia, Java Moss Caves or Similar Hiding Places: large shells from Outer Banks, N.C., Wood, Coconut hut in grow-out Substrate: Eco Complete, Black Diamond Blasting Sand, and Crushed Coral Blend Lighting Type and Timing: 5,000-K shop light LED filtered through cabinet liner grid for diffusion FEEDING Food Fed to Parents and How Often: 2x / day. Parents fed assortment including Aqueon Pro Carnivore Formula, Frozen Blood worms, Frozen Krill, and Bug bites flakes Food Fed to Fry and How Often: 2x / day. Freshly hatched baby brine shrimp (Artemia), some Sera Micron, and New Life Spectrum Fry Growth Starter, near the end crushed up Bug Bites color-enhancing flakes
COMMENTS & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION We’ve had a “crush” on these medium-sized Cichlids ever since we ran into them in our Local Fish Store a few years ago. We tried keeping them awhile ago, but unfortunately came home with very sick stock that did not survive quarantine. Finally, another Local Fish Store got them in quite healthy and gave us a very nice deal on four. They settled into their moderately planted 40 gallon breeder, along with a school of Black Neon tetras that had already served as dither fish for our Firemouth Cichlid Breeding project. For awhile, they were difficult to sex, so we just tried keeping the tank up on water changes, and fed on a variety of quality foods.
Finally, one of the smaller of the four began to express unique discoloration on the head and sides, the blue turning much more platinum, and the head changing from dark gray to a lighter shade. We learned quickly that this was a female going into spawning colors. The largest male took an interest, and the two of them put on quite a pre-spawning display. There was a bit of aggression towards each other, but much more aggression towards the aquarium decor. They would rip up plants, tear into algae covering certain rocks, etc. We turned off the light timer, and left the light on late one night when the pair was displaying the most. But no eggs were found by around midnight, we so turned the timer back on. In the morning, there she was, guarding a medium clutch of eggs laid on a stone. We weren’t sure if they’d been properly fertilized, but decided to pull them and treat them like we have Rams’ eggs. They really fungused over — despite our use of light doses of H2O2 — such that we thought we had lost them all. But after drawing out the worst, there were a few remaining. With a bubbler remaining on in the 1/2 gallon hatching container, the eggs hatched within a few days. Compared to Rams, the fry were quite hardy. They took to food quickly, and never really “crashed” (major loss in numbers). We may not have lost any of the fry at all. By the 30 day point, we were able to estimate about 35-40 fry were moved to a 20 gallon grow-out tank where they are thriving.