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How to Breed Jewel Fish (Jewel Cichlids
How to Breed Jewel Fish (Jewel Cichlids) Jewel fish (Hemichromis bimaculatus) are part of the cichlid family. As such, they have a somewhat aggressive personality. Most people keep them in a species only tank, or judiciously mix them with fish of a similar temperament like convict fish. Jewel fish are originally from Africa. They can be found in the Niger, Nile and Zaire rivers in the wild.The EnvironmentJewel fish like an environment which offers them lots of rocky surfaces and caves. Hardy plants should be included. While the fish may dig up the plants, it is an important feature in their environment. Java fern and anubias are plants that both do well even when their roots are disturbed. Amazon sword plants will do well if you protect their roots by covering them with rocks so the fish cannot dig them out. The water temperature should range between 70 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the pH should be kept around 7.5. The tank should be large enough to give them plenty of swimming space; 40 gallons are a good size to start with. While jewel fish will eat almost any prepared fish food, if you feed them meaty foods, it helps them prepare for breeding.Selecting your FishSexing jewel fish is difficult at best. It works best to buy a small group of jewel fish and let them pick their own mates. Watch for pairing behavior. When a pair of jewel fish start being aggressive to the other fish, it is time to move either the breeding pair or the rest of the fish in the tank to another similar aquarium.BreedingWhen the fish are ready to breed, they will select a flat or sloping stone in the tank to receive their eggs. The female will lay several hundred eggs at one time. The male fertilizes the eggs once they are laid. Eggs that turn white are not fertilized. If the pair eat the eggs at first, don't despair. Let them repeat the breeding cycle a few times until they figure out their roles. The parents will take turns fanning the eggs for a few days.Hatching and ParentingIt won't take long for the eggs to hatch and you will see a cloud of tiny fry. Be sure to feed the parents well so they are not tempted to eat the fry when they hatch. The parents will take turns guarding the babies, going so far as to catch stragglers in their mouths and spitting them back into the group. In a few days, the fry will be swimming around the tank in a school, guarded by their parents. The parent fish will continue to watch over their fry until they are about 1 centimeter (half an inch) in length.Raising the FryWatch the parents' behavior. Once they have stopped guarding their young, remove them from the tank. The first few days of life, the fry get their nutrition from the yolk sac attached on their bellies. You should see it grow smaller each day. Once the yolk sac is gone, the fry can eat newly hatched brine shrimp or a powdered or liquid food made for fish fry. They can later graduate to daphnia or mashed pellets or flake food until they are large enough for pellet food.Take care breeding your jewel cichlids.
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Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 -
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