Firemouth Cichlids are a freshwater Central American Cichlid native to the Atlantic slope river drainage systems in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. They are wonderful parents, and readily raise up their fry with very little help. In the end, ours raised up well over a hundred fry at the point of this report.
PVAS BAP SPAWNING REPORT
07 May 2020
Method of Reproduction: Egg Layer
Number and Gender Distribution of Parents: Single Pair (from reverse trio)
Origin of Parents: Tank Raised (Purchased from LFS)
Approximate number of fry: ca. 150-175
Date of Birth: Eggs hatched (04/07/2020)
Approx. Number of Fry at 30 Days: ca. 100-125
pH — ca. 7.8
GH — 134.25 ppm
Temperature: 80-degrees Fahrenheit
Average Nitrate: 0-5 ppm (weekly water changes)
Aquarium Size: in inches, 36" long x 18” fron-to-back x 16" tall— 40 gal. breeder
Water Source: town / city water
Water Changes: 25-35% 1x per week
Filtration System: Two medium sponge filters
DECOR & ENVIRONMENT
Live Plants: Wisteria, Java Fern, Bolbitis, Pothos (roots in tank)
Caves or Similar Hiding Places: Wood, large conch-like shells
Substrate: Eco-complete, black diamon blasting sand, and several cups of crushed coral
Lighting Type and Timing: 5,000-K shop light LED filtered through cabinet liner grid for diffusion
Food Fed to Parents and How Often: 2x / day. Parents fed on a variety throughout each week, including Xtreme Krill flakes, Fluval Bug Bites, Omega One Veggie Pellets, Frozen Blood Worms, Frozen Daphnia, Live Baby brine shrimp, Northfin Community formula.
Food Fed to Fry and How Often: 2x / day. Fry fed on live and frozen baby brine shrimp and crished Xtreme Krill flakes. By 30-day mark, they will eat anything that they can fit in their mouths.
Firemouth Cichlid Adult pair before spawning
Female guarding eggs laid on ceiling of upright shell
07 April 2020 - Fall free swimming. Smaller fry than guppies, but larger than Rams.
19 April 2020 - Fry will eat finely crushed dried foods. We found Xtreme Krill flakes to be excellent.
06 May 2020 - Fry are independent of parents, and freely explore the entire tank.
06 May 2020 - Too many fry to accurately number. They sure can eat a lot!
COMMENTS & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Because our home aquariums are all relatively small, we normally look to breed small freshwater species. But as one of our LFS keeps a variety of medium-sized Central and South American species regularly, we kept noticing the Firemouth Cichlids. They have a striking appearance - especially when healthy, dominant and in breeding dress. We decided to make a project of breeding a pair in our 40 gal. breeder, since several other projects were not working out in it.
The most difficult challenge was determining a breeding pair. The best way to “Sex” them seems to be comparing the length of the anal fins. When a pari is roughly the same size and age, the anal fins on males are a bit longer than on females. To be safe, we bought three which ended up being a reverse trio (2x males / 1x female).
A pair formed, and quickly began to dispatch with the other male. We caught him out, and returned him to our LFS before he was damaged too badly. The 40 gal. breeder aquarium also was home to a small school of black Neon Tetras. These hardy tetras proved to be an excellent sort of “dither fish” for the Firemouth Cichldis. The tetras are aggressive enough to invade the space of the cichlids, but fast enough to escape when attacked for trespassing!
Once the pair was the only Cichlids remaining in the tank, they got right down to spawning. We had been feeding them blood worms and other varieties of dried foods. From the moment of laying eggs right on through raising their young, these fish are excellent parents.
In a community, they tend to either express compelete dominance, or find their place in the “pecking order.” If they are the tank bosses, they can sometimes be quite aggressive - particularly to one another. If not the dominant fish in an aquarium, they are cagey and easily startled into hiding.
In full adult coloration, they are a stunning fish to display in any aquarium at least 40 gallons or larger. They move around the water column a bit, but favor the lower half of a tank, and appreciate cover. They will uproot plants and sometimes move substrate around.