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This is a daily journal detailing the adventures of four convict cichlids.
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Archocentrus (Cichlasoma) Nigrofasciatus
Convict Cichlid Breeding
 
30-Sep-2000
Mom and Dad are kept very busy with this bunch as they can get around fast. I love the way they dash for the gravel when I switch the lights on or off. So instinctive. It's fantastic. Last day of journal.
29-Sep-2000
The fry are feeding nicely on all foods that I feed them, they still munch algae too.
28-Sep-2000
The parents have to keep reinforcing their territorial boundaries.
27-Sep-2000
Quite a few have decided that parking off under the floating plants if quite the thing to do and you have the added advantage of getting to the food first. The new fry are getting bolder and as I expected the parents have become more territorial again. 
26-Sep-2000
About 4 babies somehow swam up the filter tube to investigate and got stuck. They are just far to inquisitive for their own good now. I put a piece of stocking (hosiery) over the inlet tube to prevent them doing it again.
25-Sep-2000
Actually quite an arty mix having the vertically striped convicts with the horizontally striped zebra danios.
24-Sep-2000
More and more of them (the older fry) are swimming in the middle to upper levels of the tank. The newborns were taken out to the flat rock for lunch today. All of them were on the rock munching away at the algae. The second lot of newborns were still kept hidden in their pot. Still rated as the cutest babies on earth.
23-Sep-2000
They are growing at an alarming rate. It must be the frozen bloodworms and frozen daphnia. I'm sure they'll be ready for sale in a months time.
22-Sep-2000
The first pair's fry have hatched too !!!!!!!...we have a nursery full of fry. The fry in the angelfish tank all swim right up to the glass when they see me, wanting food. 
21-Sep-2000
So both pairs have now laid eggs. The second pair who laid eggs first this time moved the fry into a hollow made in the gravel just in front of the pot. They have become very defensive again. Really interesting to see how their behaviour changes. Noted how the two males had a nose to nose earlier. Just a warning. "watch it, we've got babies again." "so, so have we...na na na na na naaa"
20-Sep-2000
The mom, as expected is guarding the fry viciously. I feed her flakes as well as bloodworms which are voraciously gobbled up in one slurp of a worm. They have also made a hollow by moving gravel away from the front of the pot. Last time, this is where I first spotted their fry as they sneaked them on me. The first pair haven't laid eggs yet but keep moving the gravel around too. It will be soon though, I'm positive of that. Oh and I caught more of the fry which I found hiding in the tank and moved them. There are now about 5 fry still lurking in the tank.
Later the same night
The first pair have laid eggs too. I shone a torch light into their upturned pot and saw stacks of eggs. Mom is on guard.
19-Sep-2000
BIRTH DAY
The first pair are moving gravel about but no eggs yet. The second pair's eggs hatched today. Yippieeeeeee !!!!...Cute little wrigglers. Mom is guarding them for all she's worth. Dad seems to hide under the rock (probably thinking "oh noooo, more children") There are about 8 fry left in this tank who are difficult to catch so I'm leaving them. The fry that I moved into the 'future Angel Fish tank' are doing well. Now that it is easier to see them, some of them are really biggish already. Nice little stripes and mini-mom/dad replicas. They don't look so helpless anymore. I think their rapid growth is due to the frozen bloodworms which they love.
18-Sep-2000
The babies in the other tank are doing fine, they have cute little black stripes too. The parents seem happy and the first pair were seen moving bits of gravel today, so I suppose they're going to lay eggs again soon too. I have had such fun and enjoyment by watching these little fish. I can't bear to give the parents away after all they've done and besides that, they're famous now too. 
17-Sep-2000
Newsflash
It all becomes clear to me now. The second pair have laid eggs again in the upturned pot, so that's why they started eating their fry, to make room for the new spawning. I moved as many of the fry as I could to a different tank, so I've saved most of them (the uneaten anyway) The first pair were not impressed and tried to bite the net while I was scooping up the babies.
Wow, the cycle of life makes a complete turn.
16-Sep-2000
I have the strangest feeling that some of the fry have been eaten. Also noticed that most of the fry have congregated together with the first pair. Definitely time to move them now. Tomorrow will be moving day. Perhaps better to move the parents than to move the fry, I'll have to see which tank I can spare to move them into. 
15-Sep-2000
I am having serious thoughts of separating the fry from the parents.
14-Sep-2000
They've grown so much since they  were born. They have become quite independent too.
13-Sep-2000
The babies are braver and more bold every day. they swim to the surface for food and swim freely about the tank although they tend to stay on one side mostly.
12-Sep-2000
It's official....they are the cutest babies on earth. Every time I look at them, I can't believe the miracle that happened. Boring looking eggs and now beautiful cute Hungry baby fish. It's just so incredible. They are growing nicely now. I am definitely convinced that they are all mixed up, the fry swim across to the other pair's territory without so much as a flinch from the other parents. Now big and small fry swim in groups anywhere they like. The parents 'seem' to have no idea which babies are theirs. But it isn't detrimental to anyone so I guess it works for them.
11-Sep-2000
I'm sure the fry have got themselves mixed up because I see large fry mixed with the second pair and small fry mixed in with the first pair but no one seems to care too much...fry are fry are fry.... I suppose they're all happy, fry are not a threat to anyone. I'm surprised that the parents aren't too concerned about it. I'm not sure if they even noticed. Life goes on regardless.
10-Sep-2000
The fry are still happy and healthy, no fights or wounds.
9-Sep-2000
The fry from the first pair swam to the surface to feed today and some were seen hanging onto the green algae left to grow on the rear glass panel. It's been a while since they did that. I'm wondering how soon I should move them, I keep checking to see that the parents are still in the protective mode and not the predatory mode.
8-Sep-2000
I saw the fry from the second pair swimming close to the gravel and under the plant towards the first pair's fry. No fuss was made and it was almost as though they didn't notice or care too much. I suppose they don't pose too much of a threat, after all they're still so tiny. 
7-Sep-2000
The babies are really coming into their own now. Becoming more and more adventurous every day too. They are getting closer and closer to crossing the territorial border too
6-Sep-2000
What a bunch of ravenous flake-ripping-fish you've ever seen, I don't know what happened today but they seem starving hungry.  No sign of any eggs or possibility of eggs, which is great news for me. The parents are still viciously protecting their fry.
5-Sep-2000
These baby fish have lost that tadpole look. As I put the lights on, I caught them still sleeping, they are so cute. They all sleep huddled close together under the female in the upturned pot. The male has another cave that he sleeps in. I'm surprised that after a month, they still snuggle up with their mom. 
4-Sep-2000
HAPPY FIRST MONTH BIRTHDAY to the first spawning of fry.
I noticed that the parents had a bit of a stand-off today, between the two females mainly but no injuries. The babies are growing very well. They don't share food as much anymore because they can fit a lot more larger sized pieces into their mouths lately. I am SO excited about my angel fish project which is starting up. 
3-Sep-2000
I tried the new foods today...wow, did they enjoy that ! The little terrors ate every bit of it, the parents really loved the frozen daphnia. 
The babies hide away under rocks and on the gravel, perfectly camouflaged, then rush out to grab the food as though in ambush.  
From my experiences, I've learned just how intelligent these fish species are.
2-Sep-2000
I bought some new food types today. Dried Tubifex, frozen Daphnia and more frozen bloodworms and a little 'worm-holding-cage-thing' which floats on the surface to allow the worms to escape slowly. I've looked for a long time for one, so that I don't have to put my fingers into the tank each time and wiggle the worms about until they disperse. The baby fish look so grown up now, I'm sure they could easily survive without mom and dad's care. They can rip up the food, as well as any ragged tooth shark can and with vigour and determination too.
1-Sep-2000
Today is the first day of Spring - A time of new birth. I not hoping for new birth just yet. I had a good look at the convict babies today, wow, they've grown since they first emerged from the eggs. 


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