Finally the regular convicts paired up. Last week 14th Aug, I observed the convict couple clearing a rock and excavating the gravel beneath to form a cichlid mount kind of structure. I had to go to office and I knew I was going to miss the action, since I saw the breeding tube of the female out.
When I came back there were eggs on the flat stone. I was delighted but not sure if there are fertile or they will also become white like all the previous spawns. Anyways the next 3 days will tell me, I spent Aug 15 the Friday and weekend observing the eggs and taking a few pictures.
However on Sunday Aug 17 I saw a couple of eggs shivering and the parents all excited. But I had to be out of home and when I cam back in the evening I saw that all the eggs were gone and the female was under the stone into the cave guarding fiercely. The male was doing a sentry duty at the perimeter. Also the pair took up half the tank and cornered the other fishes to the other side. I knew that I had a successful hatch. But no sign of the wrigglers yet.
It was another five days to the fry to be free swimming and this happened on Friday 22nd August. I worked from home to catch all the action and the excitement. I came to realize how miserable I am in taking pictures and the only one that came out manageable was this one
There was hundreds of babies and this has got me all pumped up, I have my microworm cultures in the ready and started feeding the fry from the next day. Few more pictures of the fry.
Pradeep made a observation that if it is his male in the pair then it is better to separate the fry since the male has eaten the fry previously. I have separated half the fry in a grow out tub and trying to suck out the rest, but the parents are proving to be real aggressive. They bite my hand.