L244 Sexing: Now with a spawn and fry

All posts regarding the care and breeding of these catfishes from South America.
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

Hi Paul,

Glad to learn you found another. Good luck with them. Pictures please to see how they're growing. :-)

Cheers, Eric
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Thanks Eric.
I bought a fifth fish yesterday as well. The two new ones are one of each sex as far as I can tell, and they're adults about 90mm to 100mm SL.
At the moment I'm leaving them undisturbed to settle in to the tank. At some stage I ought to get them all out for some new photos, but not just yet.
Cheers,
Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Back in August I was able to add two more Pseudolithoxus dumus fish to this tank, so there are a total of 5, from 4 different suppliers at different times. Recently the biggest fish (one of the new ones) had been spending a lot of time at the front of the tank, often visible and quite bold, but I hadn't seen the others for ages. I thought it was about time to check they were OK.

About once a year I take all the decor out of my L244 tank and reassemble with a new layout. It's an opportunity to give the substrate a good clean, and perhaps shake up the territories and encourage the males and females to find each other in the network of crevices and caves. Or perhaps it just stresses them out and sets back any chance of breeding - who knows? Anyway, while they were out of the tank I took the chance to take a few quick photos of the fish. Now that they're all settled and well fed, perhaps we can be more confident with identifying the sexes? Maybe I have no babies because they're all boys, or perhaps I just need more patience?

Here are similar photos of all 5 fish, annotated with their sizes in SL. Size varies from 75mm SL to 115mm SL.

The diagnostic features I'm aware of (head shape, fin size, body shape, odontodes) are a bit confusing. Fish 5 is the biggest one and has a very rounded head, tapered body and plenty of whiskers, so I guess it's a male. 3 and 4 might be females (though 4 is relatively smaller so may be immature)?

Any thoughts welcome.

Best Regards,
Paul
Attachments
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 5, 115mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 5, 115mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 4, 75mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 4, 75mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 3, 90mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 3, 90mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 2, 90mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 2, 90mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 1, 100mmSL
Pseudolithoxus dumus L244, Fish 1, 100mmSL
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

I'm inclined to 3 M, 2 F (possibly 4:1, see below). You've got two specimens both 90 mm. One is hairy as can be on its pectoral spines, the other not so. I think that's your difference. The smallest fish at 75mm also isn't very hairy. Could be a female, or maybe males at that age don't have many odontodes.

Looking great Paul. Good luck with them.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Hi Eric,

Many thanks for your thoughts; I agree.

In the tank rescape I have tried to provide a variety of caves and crevices of different sizes and shapes so hopefully there will be something to suit each fish.

They feed almost entirely on Repashy, a cocktail of Morning Wood, Soilent Green, Bottom Scratcher, Spawn&Grow, with added Chlorella and Spirulina. They seem to love that and tend to ignore most other foods, though they occasionally nibble on courgette or red pepper.

Perhaps I just need more patience!

I’m not sure whether there are any particular spawning triggers for this genus? Perhaps I need to play with water temperatures, powerhead flow and TDS.

Regards,
Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Something interesting is happening. After having all my Pseudolithoxus dumus out of the tank last week for photos and a clean-up and rescape, the five fish have settled back in, with the big male preferring the front corner of the tank where he was before, even though the decor has changed somewhat.

This morning I found he had been doing some scaping of his own. The layer of substrate outside his preferred crevice and cave was swept clean, and piled up in a wall around. I've seen one of my Pseudacanthicus do this (in a different tank) with big sweeps of the tail.

I've seen him in this area many times today, but on at least 4 separate occasions I've also seen another fish very nearby, one of the medium-sized ones. Often in the adjacent cave, or in a crevice beside it. I think I once saw the two fish interacting in the same cave, though only briefly.

I've not observed this type of behaviour from my L244s before. Fingers crossed they're up to something! The Corydoras burgessi in the tank above them spawned 2 days ago, and my Corydoras oiapoquensis spawned last night and are having another go right now as I write this, so maybe love is in the water...
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Area of substrate swept clean by the big male L244, forming a 'wall'.
Area of substrate swept clean by the big male L244, forming a 'wall'.
The big male L244 in his cave. He also has a preferred crevice in the wood tangle to the right.
The big male L244 in his cave. He also has a preferred crevice in the wood tangle to the right.
Another smaller fish in an adjacent crevice. I've seen two fish in this area of the tank several times today.
Another smaller fish in an adjacent crevice. I've seen two fish in this area of the tank several times today.
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

Oh, eggs would be a great Christmas present!

Cheers, Eric
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

There has certainly been a lot of activity in the front corner of the tank recently, involving the big male Pseudolithoxus dumus and possibly two other fish. The male is spending a lot of time in a particular cave, and this afternoon he kept adjusting his position in the cave, like tossing and turning in bed, before settling a bit. I can't decide whether I could definitely see another fish in there with him, or whether I was just seeing various bits of the same fish! Those pectorals are so big that they can look like another tail at times. There was certainly another fish watching from outside.

Apologies for the photo quality, the tank is usually fairly gloomy and we're looking at an angle through the glasss, so I'm pushing my DSLR to the limit.

In the nearly 5 years I've been keeping examples of this species, I've never seen so much activity. In fact it's been pretty rare to see even one tail at a time.

I'm celebrating a couple of hatchlings in the Corydoras nurseries today - burgessi and oiapoquensis. Probably I'm being too hopeful that there might be some Pseudolithoxus eggs in that cave.
Attachments
Is there just one [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] in the cave, or two? I think I can only see one in the photo, but there was a lot of action. There is definitely another fish in the crevice at the front.
Is there just one [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] in the cave, or two? I think I can only see one in the photo, but there was a lot of action. There is definitely another fish in the crevice at the front.
The big male [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] out and about last night.
The big male [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] out and about last night.
The big male [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] out and about this morning.
The big male [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] out and about this morning.
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

A spawn would be a great present. Good luck, Paul!

Cheers, Eric
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by racoll »

Looks promising ... fingers crossed!
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Thanks guys! For now I’ll keep an eye on them with minimal disturbance and update this thread with any more news.
Cheers,
Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Jools »

Great stuff. Totally off topic, sorry, but if you wish to email me some pics of your Copella, I will add them to the database so the link in your sig shows a species pic.

Cheers,

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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

Hi Paul,

There is a report today on Facebook of dumus spawning in a shelf cave:

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?stor ... 9792105029

You may find some tips there.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Many thanks, Eric.
Sorry for not replying sooner, I've been away from home quite a bit and there has been nothing much interesting to report. Several times I have seen two fish near that same cave where there was activity before, but that was about it.
Just before writing this I went to glance at the tank, to be amazed to see two tails in that same cave. It looks like the big male and one of the smaller fish.
I'll leave them to it and see what transpires.
Meanwhile the Corydoras burgessi fry in the tank above the L244s are growing nicely, there are only 4 of them but they're about half an inch long now, eating grindalworms and starting to get some colour.
Regards,
Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

I have been away for a few days, and have just come home to spot this while doing a water change on the L244 tank! Happy times :-)
L244 [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] fry
L244 [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] fry
L244 [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] fry
L244 [clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] fry
Sorry about the poor quality photos, I was in the middle of siphoning the tank and it scarpered pretty quick.

Hopefully there are some more in there too

Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

Whaat? Wonderful! Congratulations, Paul! :-BD

Cheers, Eric

P.S., as a precautionary question, are there any other plecos in this tank?
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Thanks Eric!
There are only adults of the same species, no other fish.
Also snails and blackworms.
Cheers,
Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

I didn't expect there were other pleco species in there, but I thought it was worth asking. ;-) Again, I'm super happy for you!

Good luck and I hope you find more babies.

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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

I have seen one baby fish several times now, always in the same area of the tank (so I think it's the same fish). It's very active, grazing over the hard surfaces and occasionally a brief dash across from one to another. I have put a chunk of Repashy near it in the hope that it realises that it's food.
Here's a better photo (though still pretty rubbish!)
L244 fry, about 10mm SL
L244 fry, about 10mm SL
I have not seen any other babies yet, but I hope there are some more. The lights are going down now, so I'll keep a close look out for them tomorrow.
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

Not sure if this helps, but here's your same photo auto-corrected for color. If nothing else, it's a little brighter and easier to see the baby. Cheers, Eric
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dumus fry 1.jpg
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