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    possible firemouth x convict hybrids

    Discussion in 'Breeding' started by wizzin, Jun 5, 2008.

    1. wizzin

      wizzin MFK Members

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      So I had a pair of cons that had a habit of eating their eggs and fry. I got these guys with the intentions of using the fry as feeders, but not for the parents :nilly: So, I moved them from their 20gal to a 50gal breeder which they are forced to share with 2 firemouths. From day one (about 3 weeks ago) there was a lot of poking at each other on behalf of the big female firemouth and the male convict. I had expected this and hoped it would strengthen the bod between the cons.

      I've been busy the last few days and haven't spent much time observing these guys other than to pop in and feed everyone, so I hadn't noticed any breeding going on. A few days ago I had done a big water change w/ R/O water (it's a big rack system). This morning, I got up and grabbed a cup of coffee and went into the fish room to tend to the other fry I have growing out and there in the 50gal breeder was the female firemouth and the male con protecting a brood of around 200 free swimming fry from the cons prior love and the firemouth's prior love.

      So, either the female firemouth and the male con hooked up or the cons bred and the female firemouth is just being motherly. I guess time will tell. I'm going to try to get some pics tonight. Didn't have time this morning.

      I hadn't even noticed the firemouth looking gravid or plump. This all surprised me. I know cons and firemouths can breed, but I never expected it from this group. I'm slightly concerned as if a large amount of fry survive, I don't know if anyone would be interested in them or not. I guess they'll work as feeders.
       
    2. klmt

      klmt MFK Members

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      wow awesome that is what im trying to do. how big is your FMs and your Cons. What were and are some of the pairing/courting/breeding behaviors that they show this would be helpful. Also where did they breed.
       
    3. Jory

      Jory MFK Members

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      thats hilarious. i swear cons have to be busy at all times. they breed with like anything they can.
       
    4. wizzin

      wizzin MFK Members

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      alright. Here's a little background and some pics. Like I said, I've been busy, so I unfortunately missed the courting/breeding behavior, though it must have been short lived since they've only been together for a few weeks. So I can't even say where the eggs were laid, though the flowerpot in the pic with the con is where he "keeps" them at night and could be where the eggs were laid.

      They're in a 50 gal breeder now, but it's part of a system of over 300 gallons and I treat the water like the system is full of discus, although I don't have any yet. This whole rack and system was designed/setup with discus in mind, and I've just been practicing in perfecting the operations of breeding with firemouths and convicts and keeping the water perfect just like I'm keeping discus. I'm actually ready to offload all these fish and move to discus.

      So, water params are: pH-6.5, GH-30ppm, NO3-10-20ppm (I'm growing water hyacinth in 4 of the tanks on the rack and they eat Nitrates like MAD! :headbang2 ) temp-84F but is lowered to induce spawning to around 80. I've got around 1lb of peat in the filter sump and I'm doing 2-3 water changes per week with 60% R/O and 40% tap which runs with a pH of 6.5 but is only around 45 degrees F. Each W/C is around 20% of the total volume of the system. System has been running for about a year and a half.

      WAY more than is necessary for getting cons and fm to breed, but like I said, I'm practicing for discus. All of this water quality madness may have had something to do with getting two different species to interbreed. LOL. Disclaimer is that since I didn't actually see the spawn, I can't say for sure that these are hybrids, BUT, this FM is one MEAN mama! Won't let anyone except this con near her and is side by side w/ the con during daylight protecting the fry from the other con/fm, which is what makes me think they ARE hybrids. Time will tell. I'll try to keep the thread updated w/ pics etc. I'm actually going to try to get them to survive because I want to know what the heck they are.

      I'm running an auto feeder on the tank which is feeding crushed flakes of 2 different varieties and a mix of first bites powder and crushed spurlina and I saw the fry eating tonight.

      OK, enough of my banter. The lights had all been off for about an hour prior to me turning them back on to take these pics and when the lights went on I found the con had horded all the fry into a pot. I know for a fact that the FM is a female, but I swear I thought this con was a female too. Now that the con is guarding the fry at night, I'm wondering if it is a female. I have a few cons and I may have gotten mixed up. What would be weird is if they are both females and they're both actively guarding fry. Not good for pics, but good in that the con is really watching after the fry. I'll take pics of them in daylight tomorrow.


      hmmm. pics no worky... lemme fix... I'm on linux, so the images got named funny... holy crap they're big. I'll fix tomorrow. going to sleep now.
      Fry....
      [​IMG]

      Con (male)
      [​IMG]

      FM (female)
      [​IMG]
       
    5. pitbullfish

      pitbullfish MFK Members

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      i had the same exact thing happen to me lol it was a female fm and male con. at first i thought they were flowerhorn fry that just had a stunt growth untill they grew. the only males in the tank at the time were convicts and the firemouth was the only female. i thought they were my flowerhorn fry that i threw in there to grow out but instead the firemouth/convict fry ate them.
       
    6. wizzin

      wizzin MFK Members

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      I still can't get clear pics of the young. They're growing like mad though! At a little over a 1/4 inch long now and eating like crazy! Both the con and FM are still protecting them. Every time I go near the tank, the con gets all fired up and charges the glass. The FM just hangs back. They went through a spell of chasing the fry and picking them up in their mouths, taking them to the pit and spitting them out.

      I've actually never had such a high survival rate! I'd guess theres well over 200 fry in there. I"m going to try to video them and leave the room so they'll all come out of hiding.

      They're interesting looking. Their heads look like a con, but they're longer like a FM. They've got a lot of blue on them already, and I can see they have a black spot on their gill cover. Should be interesting. I don't know now if I should cull them off or try to raise them. I'm starting to get concerned about getting rid of them if they get too big. Anyone want feeders?
       
    7. klmt

      klmt MFK Members

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      that is what im tryign to do. keep us updated. mine are now a pair, and have layed once but i think they were infertile son now it is a week later so maybe in another week. I want their fry to sell.
       
    8. klmt

      klmt MFK Members

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      how big are they, con looks like 4 inches and FM looks about 4.5" but tell us for sure.
       
    9. wizzin

      wizzin MFK Members

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      yeah, that's about right. They're definitely mature adults. The firemouth has spawned with another firemouth a few times in the past, and the con has spawned with another con in the past. I was moving fish around and needed to consolidate these guys into one tank. I thought there would be a lot of aggression, and I thought maybe the cons would spawn again, but I never imagined the FM and con would.

      The fry look pretty cool actually. Their head looks like a con, but they've got blue on their sides and have some patterning on their sides too. Too early to tell really, but it looks like they may look cool. I already see aggression in the fry. Little buggers chasing each other around. I know I've said it before, but this is the most successful spawn i've ever had! I can't believe how many fry have made it. I think they're in the clear now as they're pretty much too big to be eaten by the parents or other cons/FMs. I haven't done anything except feed them and continue the WC since they hatched.

      I'm still going to try to get a video. It's just tough because I watch my 3 year old in the evenings while my wife is in school, so there isn't a lot of time to do it. I might set the lights to stay on past my daughter's bed time tonight and try to video them. I really want people to see how many there are. It's a 50 gallon breeder, and about 80 percent of the bottom of the tank is covered in fry. There may be close to 300 in there. Way too many to count.

      I hope I can get rid of them. I doubt any LFS will want them. If anyone wants any let me know. I'll ship a bunch to you once they hit the one inch mark.
       
    10. klmt

      klmt MFK Members

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      ya sounds awesome, pics and or video would be great. im leaving on saturday for a week, so i wouldnt be surprised to come home to some fry.
       

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