Breeding Jewel Cichlids

red jewel cichlidJewel Cichlids are relatively hardy and relatively easy to breed, but they can be quite aggressive to other fish. This problems compounds itself during breeding time when they can kill other fish.
To guarantee your breeding jewel cichlids, you will need a 60 gallon tank with tank and lighting. 6-8 young jewel cichlids. Heater thermostat. 2xSponge filters. Thermometer. Graveled tank. Several flattened rounded stones. Partition separator. Several tough plants.

7ph and temperature of 78F is ideal for jewels. They are quite tolerant of water conditions. They are carnivorous so feed with high protein pellets, live food, chopped earth worms and beef heart scrapings. Change 10% of the water twice a week.

When the fish are mature and start to pair off they will soon breed. To prepare for breeding increase the amount of live food and increase the temperature to 80F. Also try changing 10% of the water every day.

When the pair start to engage in mating behaviour such as mouth wrestling, chasing each other and cleaning a stone and brighter redder colour, then place the other jewels in the separated side of the aquarium.
The pair will clean off the stone they will breed on with their mouths. When they are satisfied with the rock they will breed on it. The female passes over the rock laying eggs. The male will follow fertilising the eggs. This happens several times until between 100 and 400 eggs are laid.
jewel cichlid with fryThe pair then go into protective mode and become very aggressive against other fish. They will take turns guarding the eggs. After two days the eggs will hatch. However, the fry will not be free swimming for another three days. During this time the adults may move the fry several times.

At this point feeding baby brine shrimp when the fry become free swimming is the best food as well as microworms. This should be done three times a day. At two weeks of age you can alternate with feeding crush high protein pellets to the fry. Keep changing 10% of the water every other day.

After a month the fry are ready to be moved on and separated from the parents. At this point they can be fed with high protein pellets micro size with occasional live foods or scraped beef hearts.

Culturing microworms

Culturing Brine Shrimp

At about six weeks with good feeding and care they are large enough to be sold on to your local pet fish store. Obviously keep the best few for yourself.

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