We have purchased 7 mature Robineaes about 3 months ago. We think they are around 2-2 1/2 yrs old. None are fat so are a bit hard for us to sex but looks like 2 females and 5 males. We live in Queensland Australia.
The man we bought them from tried to breed them for a few months then gave up and put them in a community tank
We are finding information is quite hard to get about these guys and finding anyone with experience in breeding Robineae has proven impossible.
We Keep the Robineae in a 2ft tank at 22 celcius (71.6 faren), Ph sits at about 7.2-7.5. we have them in a bare bottom tank ( we have read that they prefer sand substrate but are worried that if they do lay eggs, we won't be able to find them and tend them etc). we have some floating plants in there with them and plenty of air flow ( a sponge filter and air stone as well). no logs or furniture. All nitrates, ammonia and nitrites sit at nil. I have just started testing for GH but find the tests hard to interpret, so dont have that info to give at the moment.
We have waited until a storm front is coming and given them a cooler water change - no eggs. We have conditioned them up with live black worm for weeks at a time - no eggs During all of this time our Bronze Corys wouldn't stop laying eggs!!
As they are at least 2 years of age, we thought we had better try to get on board and try to breed them before their productive time comes to an end.
If Anyone has any tips, tricks or advice we would greatly appreciate it.
Do you have any other Cory's breeding? One trick that works on finicky breeders is to do a water change, using water from a tank that another species had just bred in. With all pheromones in the water from an actively spawning group, it helps encourage others to start to spawn.
I was speaking to Ian (Coryman) yesterday who stated that C. robineae hide their eggs in the substrate, so trying to breed them in a bare bottom tank could be pretty fruitless.
They are also avid egg-eaters, who after laying their eggs, spend time sifting through the sand trying to eat them again. You may need to obeserve them in the act and then remove the parents to try and save some of the eggs.
A tough challenge.
Mark Walters Editor of Catchat - The Journal of the Catfish Study Group
An even tougher situation than previously mentioned. I have never spawned them, but have been told by two different individuals the eggs are laid at night. Given they're expert egg hunters, you'll have to pay very close attention at all hours. One of them did state they had only been successful because of placing long spawning mops scattered around the tank to cover half of the tank bottom. Both used a fine sand substrate.
Impossible only means that somebody hasn't done it correctly yet.
Thank you for your replies, its great to know help is available. I like the idea of the water change using water from other corys that are breeding - I will definately do that.
It sounds as though I need the sand substrate - which is easy enough to fix ( I will put in spawning mops too).
Very Challenging!! Sounds like I will basically have to be lucky enough to catch them laying so I can remove them before they eat the eggs. The other corys we have all lay conveniently on the glass so we can see whats going on so I assumed these guys would be the same
So not only do they lay their clear eggs in the white sand, but they do so in the dead of night? lol
I will get all of your advice going - if anyone thinks of anything else I need to know I would love to hear it.
A beautiful fish! I was told for my Corey's to use a half inch of smooth sand. My dwarf coreys all breed consistently at 6.4 PH. The internet says 6.0-7.7 for PH for robinae leading me to suspect that a bit lower could be better. Some people use Indian Almond leaf to lower PH or those little cones you can buy on EBay. I've also heard spaghnum moss is good but I haven't tried that. We had great spaghnum moss where I grew up near the Pine Barrens in NJ..but not so much here in California! My friend swears by playing Barry White for his! Conditioning on live foods seems to help like little worms. Good luck!
I don't class C robineae as a a particular difficult species to breed, the difficult bit is being there when they do. Like a number of Corys, they spawn in the early hours of the morning and the other main factor of depositing their eggs in the substrate makes it a challenge.
Going by the fattening and sudden slimming of the females, I know my group have spawned several time, but I have not been around to witness it and harvest the eggs.
My next plan is to install a red night light and literally do a night shift, not only to observe the C. robineae, but to see what other species get up to at night.
I will write this up as and when there are developments.
Unfortunately I can't help with advice on how to spawn or save eggs of this species.
If they breed in the substrate though, it might be worthwhile to gravel vac the substrate regularly to see if you collect any eggs. As Ian mentioned watch for females getting noticeably thinner to be certain that they have spawned. Though since they seen to be avid egg eaters, I'd gravel vac the substrate even when the females stay round. Never know they might have just started spawning!
The reason I am suggesting this is, when I (and many other people) breed some of the Fundulopanchax sp. of killifish that prefer to spawn over the gravel substrate, quite often you can collect more eggs off the gravel than off the mops when you gravel vac.
This method might also work, you never know.
If you ever breed this species, make sure to send some down to Canberra