My expe­ri­ences with breed­ing Parosphromenus ornat­i­cauda — Bernd Bus­sler

A very per­sonal expe­ri­ence with the dif­fi­cult breed­ing of P. ornat­i­cauda — by Bernd Bus­sler

My expe­ri­ences with breed­ing Parosphromenus


For 15 years I have been engaged with breed­ing Ornaticauda.

The prob­lems are many and appar­ently these prob­lems are sim­i­lar to all ornat­i­cauda keep­ers and breeders.

First of all, they are hard to come by, — sec­ondly, once aquired, they seem to dis­ap­pear grad­u­ally, until there even­tu­ally are no more left in the aquarium.

They usu­ally spawn will­ingly and have reg­u­lar clutches, but either the eggs dis­ap­pear, — are prob­a­bly eaten, — or only few lar­vae hatch. These are then also either eaten and just dis­ap­pear. I too have usu­ally been able to raise only a few juve­niles, which made it impos­si­ble to breed with the only a few offspring.

It could not stay that way, I thought.

In 2017 I got the oppor­tu­nity to acquire a larger amount of ornaticauda.

I got 20 pairs, which I divided into three aquariums.

It started with the same story as always and I was fed up and won­dered what I could do dif­fer­ently this time.

I nor­mally have the ornat­i­cauda in groups, in 25 liter aquar­i­ums. The ground is made of peat gran­ules with­out plants.

As equip­ment I only use dried oak leaves of var­i­ous oak trees, prefer­ably the bog oak. The leaves are large and have pointed ends. More­over, they do not decom­pose so quickly and need only be exchanged every 46 months.

The state­ment “no plants in the aquar­ium” I would like to explain:

It is of course nice if an aquar­ium is planted and plants pro­vide good water qual­ity and hid­ing places, and I am always amazed at how beau­ti­ful other aquar­i­ums look with plants.

But since my aquar­i­ums are exclu­sively for breed­ing, I have to think in a prac­ti­cal ways. With me, every­thing has to be easy to check and above all, I have to see at a glance what’s going on in the tank.

Fur­ther­more, the Ph value in my setup will go down to the value of 3, in which a plant will not sur­vive for a long time. So I renounce from the out­set on plants, dead plants not only look ugly, they also bur­den the water considerably.

I have the so-​called Ham­burger Fil­ter, a foam wall at the back of the aquar­ium behind which an air lift lifts the water back into the aquarium.

As a spawn­ing aid, I take about 10 cm long plas­tic pipes with a diam­e­ter of 1 to 1.8 cm.

They are closed on the back with a foam piece. The open side is placed near the front screen of the aquar­ium. This way I can always see with a flash­light whether and what is in the tube.

I have always been annoyed that my ornat­i­cauda always spawn but the result was mis­er­able, either the clutch dis­ap­peared or only one or three juve­niles. This way you can not save a species.

I looked at it for a few weeks and decided on a dif­fer­ent route than usual.

First of all, I com­pletely sep­a­rated males and females. Then I cleaned and set up two aquariums.

After that I social­ized two females and one male, and then it was time to wait. I knew from my own expe­rience, from friends and reports, that it prob­a­bly was depend­ing on the male whether the clutch will be some­thing or not.

Now I waited until they pro­duced eggs and watched what hap­pens. I let the males spawn three times, but if they did not work it out, they were caught and replaced by another male.

The males who did not care prop­erly came into an extra aquar­ium, so I could not swap them with the males who have not yet spawned.

And behold, after sev­eral attempts, I had a male who per­fectly cared. Finally I have been able to take out a whole clutch of juve­nile fish, usu­ally between 10 to 30, and to raise them sep­a­rately. The whole action has been going on for about half a year now and I had more juve­nile fish than I thought possible.

Now many F1 Ornat­i­cauda swim in my aquar­ium. And I hope that the F1 gen­er­a­tion is hope­fully a lit­tle eas­ier in the offspring.

How­ever, I have not tried breed­ing with the F1 gen­er­a­tion yet. So there is no guar­an­tee that it will be eas­ier, but I am in good spir­its that I can con­tinue this way.

My “super­man” is still doing very well and I want to try to breed as many juve­niles as pos­si­ble, because at some point the male is too old to continue.

But until then I hope to have a lot of Ornat­i­cauda to be able to con­tinue with the offspring.

Greet­ings Bernd Bussler


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