Monday, September 27, 2010

Cichlids..... Part 2

Ok, I've covered the jag and devil, next I decided I needed a guy who could survive these 2 as they were battling each other too much. I did some research and decided on a tilapia buttikoferi or butti for short. I found one at a local fish store that was just slightly larger than my devil. Took him home and when I finally let him loose he went straight after the devil and the battle was on! They did not like each other at all, I suppose it was their similar size and shape, although the butti is actually an african river cichlid. Finally I had to seperacte them, I put the butti in an old 55gallon tank I had as a temporary home until I could figure something out.
   Well the butti was kind of boring alone so I got 2 salvini on sale at the pet store. Salvini are mid sized fish but mean as hornets and can hang with the big guys. It turns out due to my ignorance at the time that I got a male and female and they paired off withing a few weeks. It was fascinating to watch their courtship. They start with some posturing and tail slapping and then they lip lock and play a pushing game to prove their strength.
     Well one day I went to turn on the lights and every dither fish in the tank was dead and the butti was cowering behind a rock. Then I saw the 2 salvini fanning eggs on a piece of slate in the tank. Most cichlids are ferociously overprotective of their children and these were no exception. The butti would have died if he had stayed with them much longer so I gave him to a friend. As I netted him out of the tank the salvini attacked both the net and my hand, they do have sharp teeth.
     They got to live alone with their babies and it was fun to watch them herding the little ones all day. If they got too close to the filter, the parents would suck them into their mouth and spit them back into the nest. After you grow the babies out you can usually make a deal at your local fish store and either sell them or trade them for supplies. I opted for fish food and some new canister filters.
Well, keep an eye out for part 3 very soon.
butti staredown
salvini staredown

14" butti 12" jag and not sure how big that devil was

another butti

butti after food

salvini are very colorful

unusual amount of red on this salvini

butti teeth

buttis have a lot of attitude

check out this fight between a red devil and a butti starts slow but the butti bit off more than he could chew.