L128 Spawn!

All posts regarding the care and breeding of these catfishes from South America.
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MarcW
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L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:14 pm

I recently setup a tank with the aim of breeding my L128, I have kept a couple of these for 5-6 years now and added three more to the group in April.

I have 4 which have turned out to be 2 definite males, one definite female, and one likely male, together, with 16 Red Lizard Tetras and 9 Corydoras loxozonus, more details of the tank can be found in this post: http://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/view ... =2&t=43681

On Sunday after returning from a week long business trip I noticed a lack of sand in front of one of my home made slate caves, shone a torch in and there are maybe 30-40 eggs being guarded by one of the males.

I guess the triggers to spawn were, no disturbance for a week, accompanied by some hot weather we had while I was away. The water is currently at 27c but would have been about 30c while I was away (based on water temperature in similar spells of hot weather earlier in the summer). EDIT: Also we had a large thunderstorm while I was away, maybe that also had some influence.
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The first picture was taken yesterday afternoon, the second two this morning. Apologies for the poor pictures, the cave is about 10 inches deep and the male kept trying to block my view!

I would like to keep the eggs in the cave with the male if possible, as I don't have any small tanks/breeding traps or methylene blue to use. I wanted to ask, assuming I leave the eggs with the male, what would your advice be relating to water changes and feeding. I last performed a 50% water change on 7th September (as I've been away), I'm planning to carry out the next one on Wednesday, could that disturb the male and cause him to eat/reject the eggs?

Should I carry on feeding the rest of the tank as usual with courgette/various pellets/Tetra prima?

Thanks for your help, I'll post any updates as they happen.
Last edited by MarcW on Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by Jobro » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:39 pm

Wow, Congrats! This is just wonderfull! Would be great if you could share other parameters like hardness and PH as well. Don't think these have been bred a lot before. :-)

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:05 pm

Thanks! I wasn't expecting to have any success with these, not for some time anyway. I mix RO with my local tap water to get a TDS reading of between 80 and 100 ppm this varies at each water change as I just fill my containers by eye then measure the TDS after they have mixed. This gives a pH of around 6.4 to 6.6 according to a test I have just done using water direct from the tank.

That surprises me a bit as my local tap water is around 300ppm TDS and pH 7.8 ish, I have recently (past 4-5 months) been using more RO, and just assumed that as the tap water was so hard it would keep the pH high. I now use about 80-90% RO to 10-20% tap water, previously I used 50-60% RO to 40-50% tap water. As I had been using the softer water for 4 months or more, I didn't think it could be a trigger, maybe that played a part.

I have a hardness test kit somewhere, I'll dig it out later and share the results.

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MarcW
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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:49 pm

Just found my hardness kit, a few years old so may not be completely accurate, its a Nutrafin liquid dropper kit.

GH: 4 drops = 80 ppm/mg/L CaCO3
KH: after the first drop there was no noticeable colour change, adding a second made the water very faintly yellow giving a reading of 10-20 ppm/mg/L CaCO3

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by flatfish » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:24 pm

great result. congratualtions

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:50 am

I went ahead with a 50% water change this morning, trying not to disturb the area around the cave with eggs. Shortly after the male left the cave and I managed to get another bad picture of the eggs, it appears one is dead/not fertilised it has turned a white colour. The clutch of eggs is larger than I thought I would now estimate 60-80 eggs based on the attached picture.

The male returned to the cave after 30 seconds and has stayed there ever since.

When the male was out of the cave I noticed he is the smallest of the males I have 100-120 mm SL, is it unusual that a smaller male would be able to spawn when there are much larger males, up to about 140-150mm SL in the same group? Maybe the small male just had the best cave?
DSC_5517.jpg

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MrRRunner » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:29 pm

Well done, nice to hear. :)
CHRIS

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:45 pm

Thanks everyone, the eggs are still there, with the male in the cave. I'm hopeful a few may hatch over the weekend.

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by krazyGeoff » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:06 pm

Congratulations
I look forward to updates.
Cheers

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by jac » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:24 am

Excellent! Keep us updated :-BD
Every great achievement begins with a dream ;-)

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:52 am

Thanks again everyone. Everything is still going well as far as I can see, eggs still look good and the male appears to be doing a good job.

I have a few questions, hopefully some of you may be able to provide some insight.

1. I am going away for 2 days at the end of next week. I'm hoping the fry (if they successfully hatch) will have enough of their yolk sac left so I don't have to worry about feeding them until I am back. But what if they don't, will there likely be enough food for them in the sand or on the rocks, or should I try to add something for them?

2. I have read that the eggs will take around a week, 5-7 days to hatch, does anyone have any idea what factors may increase or reduce that time, water temperature, or chemistry maybe? The water is currently 27c. I first saw the eggs on Sunday 18th September around 4pm (BST), they looked recently laid, but could have been there for a day or two already. They are still orange/yellow with a growing clear area.

3. The female seems to have recovered very quickly, and looks gravid again. Is that possible in such a short time? If so, will she only want to lay eggs with the male she did last time? Could that cause issues with the current batch of eggs?

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by Jobro » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:36 am

1. It will be tough to feed such small plecos in a large tank anyways. I don't know what to feed them, sorry. Hopefully somebody else can tell you.

2. Mostly it's influenced by water temperature. The warmer the faster.

3. Maybe she didn't lay all the eggs at once or is just relly well fed and in the mood to go again. The male will usually not let her enter before the first batch is ready to leave the cave. But sometimes they will breed with wigglers in there and it should not be a problem.

I have seen your other thread, but only 1 picture that shows a part of the tank. I would like to see the whole tank if possible, thank you!

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:30 am

Thanks Jobro, I've added a picture of the whole tank, the cave with eggs is circled in red. The male is still in there, its just a deep cave!
tank-2.jpg

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by Jobro » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:04 pm

Wow, looks like you got a lot of circulation in there? Is the outlet on the right from an external canister?

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MarcW
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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:26 pm

Yeah the outlet on the right is from a Fluval fx5, I also have two Tunze 6015 power heads at a low level, one in each back corner pointing over the rocks the L128 live in between. Then I have an Eheim Aquaball power head, with a home made tube/sponge filter attachment, and venturi attachment.

Total circulation as advertised by the manufacturers would be around 6550 lph, so around 30 times tank volume per hour. However the power heads are only on for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, I'm concerned that the cory's don't like it on all the time!

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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:33 am

The eggs have hatched!

Most are still in the cave with the male, wriggling away happily. However some, I think around 4-6 have been kicked out of the cave, but have ended up between two caves and out of reach. The only way I can think of getting them into a breeding trap is by using a hose to syphon them out. I'm concerned that this will break the yolk sac and kill them.

Should I leave them where they are, or attempt to move them? Any suggestions on how to safely catch them? The gap they are in is about an inch wide and 8 inches deep with several kg of slate over the top of it!

Now I am starting to see the benefits of the less pretty breeding tank setups!

I've added a picture which if you squint shows one of the wrigglers outside of the cave! hopefully I will be able to get some better pictures soon!

Thanks for your help.
DSC_5525.jpg

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MarcW
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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:00 pm

The few wrigglers which were kicked out of the cave seem to have disappeared overnight. I'm not sure what happened to them, I guess they have settled in an even more inaccessible spot.

The remaining wrigglers in the cave appear to be doing well, the yolk sacs are getting smaller every day, I've attached some pictures where you can just about make out something sitting on top of the yolk!
DSC_5535.jpg
The male guarding the cave with another nearby.
DSC_5527.jpg

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MarcW
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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:47 pm

Just been clearing out some dead eggs which were between caves, when checking the bucket after there was a live fry who is now in a floating breeding trap in the parents tank. Thought I'd share the pictures.
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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by Koi-fantast » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:57 pm

I like a turkey baster to suck up singel eggs. Cheers

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MarcW
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Re: L128 Spawn!

Post by MarcW » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:47 am

Good idea, I'll pick one up, I used to have one for that purpose, but I think it went missing when we last moved house.

Everything seems to be progressing as expected, the male is still doing a good job guarding the cave, and hasn't kicked any more out, the yolk sacs are still a good size, I would guess it could be up to another week at this rate before they will start to need food.

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