by AB Bloggin member Brandon Olson
It was time to make room for new additions to my fish family, so I moved some tetras into a 2.5 gallon tank and freed up my main planted 10 gallon for a Honey Gourami and a few Pygmy Corydoras. Four small Corries made for a pitiful looking, inactive school-o-cats, so I went and picked up four more and a bag of Hikari sinking wafers. Increased numbers revealed the true personality of this little fish and now they never stay still and school incredibly tight.
I had seen eggs before: usually after a water-change, but the adults had always eaten them. Also I started to notice them acting like they were getting ready to spawn- rubbing each other and cleaning plants- just before a snow storm outdoors. That’s when it hit me- RAIN triggers catfish to eat and spawn. I’m always fearful of power outages, so I try to do water changes before there’s a chance of an outage. This January was very snowy, so I started doing large water changes before a storm was to hit and fed tons of wafers.
banded stage fry
It worked almost every time with the eggs being deposited mostly on the front glass and foreground plants. I used my headlamp late at night and soon found a few tiny white wigglers that would follow the dirty water worms up the glass and appeared to be feeding. This was the hard part: feeding micro fry and trying to keep them from being eaten. I’m very lucky my tanks aren’t all sterile and clean because I had no special fry foods prepared and the fry would just have to eat what was in there.
To give the babies a good place to hide during the day and trap food muck for them, I lined up some lava rocks intended for the barbecue along the front glass. Now they had only to flee a matter of inches to safety and all the micro worms also retreated down the front glass to the Cory caves. I stirred up some muck from the filter and soon the white wriggles took on their banded brown & black color. At this point the adults were still eating plenty of eggs which I somewhat curbed by feeding piles of wafers. Within a month I had about four mini-adults ready to join the pygmy school. Not very impressive hatch survival numbers but now that I understand what needs to be met to get them spawning I’m sure it will be easier in the future. This 10g is now solely dedicated to C. pygmeaus and plants leaving space for when I upgrade my filter and dive into INVERTs!
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