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Egg Color, Fungusing, etc


  1. Egg color
    by Lilia Stepanova <ls691035/> (Tue, 14 Jul 1998)
  2. Egg color
    by <IDMiamiBob/> (Tue, 14 Jul 1998)
  3. spawning?
    by "Ed Pon" <edpon/> (Sun, 15 Aug 1999)
  4. spawning?
    by "alex pastor" <alexp/> (Sun, 15 Aug 1999)
  5. spawning?
    by zeco <zeco/> (Mon, 16 Aug 1999)
  6. RE: Aggies unfertilised spawn.
    by Ken Laidlaw <kl/> (Mon, 31 Jan 2000)

Egg color

by Lilia Stepanova <ls691035/>
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998
To: apisto/

Hi all,
My A.cruzi have spawned many times in the past and I have a lot of fry. 
Today it was another spawn, but unlike all previous ones the color of the 
eggs is cherry red. It was plain white before. I thought the color of the 
eggs is something species-specific? Does the change indicate something 
bad/good? A.cruzi are all by themselves in 10g for pretty long time and 
the only difference is that female spawned has also some fry to care for. 
I feed fry BBS, very small quantities (only few fry is left), can they 
affect the color of the eggs (if mother eats BBS..)? The color is not 
exactly the same, more like A.nijsseni's. 
Trio of nijssenis in 20g spawned, bigger female stole the eggs, made her 
own spawn in another cave a day later, ate stolen eggs, and another day 
later ate her own's. Sad story. May be female cruzi become jealous to the 
red colored eggs of her neighbour (she saw it) and painted her own the 



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Egg color

by <IDMiamiBob/>
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998
To: apisto/

Egg color is influenced by diet.  Generally foods like brine shrimp,
bloodworms and tubifex are rich in some carotinid-type pigment, which somehow
transfers itself through the female's system and winds up in the egg-casing.
The only color I know of that is bad news is milk-white, followed by fuzzy-
white.  Red id good.

Bob Dixon

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by "Ed Pon" <edpon/>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999
To: apisto/ wrote:
>What if their are a series of genes?  like eye color.  What if being a good
>parent was dominant and bad parening was the recessive.  Then we could get 
>great parent, a good parent, a so-so parent, and terrible parent in the 
>brood.  But if we pulled the eggs, then someone might get the good egg and
>someone might get the bad.  But down the line, the dominants could again 
>up and take over.
I don't believe in the bad parenting gene because I believe that the
bad gene should have been bred out by evolution.  Bad parents wouldn't pass 
on their genes so most parents should be fish should be naturally good 
parents having their good parenting characteristics "fixed".

Dr Ron Coleman at UC Berkeley in California conducted some experiments and 
gave a talk at the Pacific Coast Cichlid Associaton a couple of years ago 
about his findings on the cichlid proclivity for eating their eggs.  From 
what little I recall, his study was done on some riverine cichlid.  Dr 
Coleman's research seemed to indicate that when conditions were better for 
raising fry to adulthood, the parents were more likely to expend the energy 
to raise the fry.  When conditons make the expenditure energy to raise fry 
to adulthood less likely to "pay off", then the eggs (energy) was consumed 
by the parents.  Larger quantities of eggs increases the likelihood of the 
parents passing on their genes to the future generations, and as such, the 
research figures indicated the the likelihood that the parents will raise 
the fry increased.

I believe that dwarf cichlids are less likely to eat their eggs if they feel 
they are more able to hide the fry from predators--this translates into 
tanks that have heavy plant growth, lots of hiding places, and not very many 
disturbances--as in understocked tanks.  The tendency to raise small 
cichlids in small, very clean (bare) tanks may actually contribute to the 
egg-eating behavior that's often seen in dwarf cichlids and discus.  Just my 
two cents worth.

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by "alex pastor" <alexp/>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999
To: <apisto/>

Instead of assuming that fry, in the wild, get dispersed and thereby avoid
parental predation, let's try a different paradigm.  (I'm sounding like
Richard Covey here:  The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Fish Breeders. ;)
(tongue in cheek folks))

Fact:  The habitat of apistos consists of shallow water with plenty of leaf
litter.  Various people who have participated in fish collecting expeditions
unanimously express the difficulties involved in actually netting these fish
for obvious reasons.  For these same reasons field studies of these fish are
virtually impossible.  It is neither feasable nor possible for anyone to don
a facemask and snorkel or goggles in order to watch the action, so to speak,
in such shallow waters. (This is very different from African Rift Lakes.)

Fact:  In the aquarium it is generally the rule that the female of the
species indicates to the male with various body movements that she wants him
away from the eggs and/or fry.  We interpret this in various ways, all of
which are just that, our interpretations.  Does she want him gone?  Does she
want him to keep his distance and do his job guarding the perimeter?

Fact:  When the male is removed from a tank, females, generally, will guard
their young for a much longer period of time than if the male is present.
When we leave the male with the female,  our interpretation of the situation
is that he is  putting pressure on her to spawn again, and/or she also wants
to do so. In order to facilitate the subsequent spawn,  they both view the
present brood as a threat to the viability of the next brood.  Hence fry

Now let's go back to the environment from which these fish originate.  There
is lots of leaf litter, plenty of places to hide, other potential mates, and
a large substrate surface area.  If we go along a new paradigm, let's see
where it gets us.

After the spawning and once the wrigglers are begining to swim, the female
indicates through her body movements that she doesn't want the male around
her anymore.  He has lots and lots of space and chooses to search for a more
receptive mate.  The female then guides her young under leaves and ensures
that there is sufficient distance between herself, members of her own
species and others.  Given that the male can leave and choose another female
with which to spawn, a female with a brood may in all likelihood be left
alone when she gives the 'get lost' signal to any male approaching her and
her brood.  Apisto fry are extremely tiny, grow relatively slowly and do
best when cared for by a parent who defends them and provides them with
signals in order to avoid predation.  Is it not then quite conceivable that
in the wild, females spend much more time guarding and rearing their fry
than in the artificial environment of an aquarium where a male is present
and has no place else to go?  Is it not conceivable, given the fact that
many fishkeepers have on occasion found the dead and mutilated corpses of
male fish, that in their natural environment these males would have made
themselves scarce in order to avoid the violence?

I think that looking at the situation from a different perspective may be
what is needed in order to breed these fish successfully.  Yes, there are
some parent fish who do raise broods together and do not eat their fry.
However, this appears to be the exception and not the rule.  In most cases,
it appears that people keeping these fish do so in relatively small aquaria.
Whether it's 10, 15, 30 or even 60 gallons, the footprint of the tanks
provide the fish with nowhere near the substrate area available to them in
the wild.  Hence, normal behaviour cannot possibly be observed in our
aquaria.  Recreating a natural biotope may require a tank that is 6 feet by
6 feet and only 6 inches deep filled with leaf litter and several apistos -
and ideally minus their usual predators including birds.  Not feasable in
most homes.

So ladies and gentlemen, let's please stop kidding ourselves that we are
doing anything more than what we are, which is providing grossly artificial
environments for these fish and observing variously abnormal behaviours
whether they result in viable fry which grow to adulthood or not.  Whether
for better or worse, we are all just 'playing house' with live fish instead
of dolls.  As long as we realize this and don't try to promote what we are
doing as maintenance of potentially extinct species, or scientific studies,
then fine.  If we have the audacity and arrogance to believe that we are
doing something noble, then we are all fooling ourselves.  Human beings
universally enjoy keeping pets.  The bottom line is that this is all we are
really doing.  Some of us, whether succeeding at having fish spawn,  having
fry survive or keeping generations of fish alive, are better at it than
others.  But it all boils down to the same thing.

Whether fry or egg predation and fry rearing are genetically programmed in
whole or in part, or learned or not, is a moot point.  No one has spent
months and months with snorkel and mask peering into 4 inch deep puddles in
the Amazon.  And if they would, I'm sure we'd know far more about the number
of mosquito and spider bites that fit on the rear end of a human than much

I've read the postings so far and have given the topic a great deal of
thought.  I haven't participated in this thread so far and have no intention
of adding or subtracting from what I've written.  However, I do believe that
some of the exchange going on has veered off course.

Dr. G. Kadar

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by zeco <zeco/>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999
To: apisto/

Dr. Kadar touches the point, in my opinion.
I maintain a pond (2000 gal, 10-25 inches deep, heavily planted) with
nigrofasciatus, rams, black and serpae tetras, corys, and guppies.
They all live and breed well in the pond. In summer days I spend hours
observing the rams caring their nests and fry. The same with the nigros
late summer/autum.
The female ram guard the fry while the male is ever a little apart from
family, attacking any other fish that approaches (even the much bigger
With both cichlids, only the dominants pairs will ever attempt to breed,
others can guard a small space as their territory but if this isn't
enough, will seem satisfyied with it.
In relation to predation, it seem that bird predation (bem-te-vi,
sulphuratus) is more a trait to the rams than the nigros. These appeared
get enough from the guppies and insects that fall in the water.
Zeco (Brazil)

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RE: Aggies unfertilised spawn.

by Ken Laidlaw <kl/>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000
To: "'apisto/'" <apisto/>

Eggs initially being white does not definately indicate that they are
unfertilised.  Eggs can be produced in different colours from whitish to
bright red.  They should start to change colour as the embryos develop.  If
they are unfertilised they will remain white, fungus and be eaten by the

-----Original Message-----
From: Steph & Dave []
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 10:34
To: Apisto Mailing List
Subject: Aggies unfertilised spawn.

I have just had a 'weird' occurance happen.  I have a pair of A.
agassizi in a breeding tank spawn (yeah finally !) however when I look
at the eggs tonight they are all white, which to me indicates that they
have not been fertilised.

The male is definately fertile, as he has successfully spawned with a
different female and I currently have 15 of his offspring in a growout
tank.  No chance of a mix up either as he is the only male I have.

Why would a female spawn and not let the male in to fertilise the eggs? 
Is there some other factor I havent considered?

Tank is a long and shallow 18 gallons (roughly) with a sponge filter,
some plants, pH 6.0, nitrates nil, carbonate hardness 35-40 ppm.



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