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|The Spawning and Raising of the Pygmy Cat, Synodontis petricola|
by Graham Burnside
home to Scotland and after a period of quarantine,
I then housed them in my 48" x 18" x 15"
Rift Valley tank that had been set up in my fish
house for a few years, with an assortment of Cichlids
coming and going over a period of this time.
started videoing the ritual that involved the male
laying his body across the females head in
a quivering motion not unlike the T-position encountered
in the Corydoras species. The female was
very rounded between the pectoral and ventral fins
and the male would move his mouth up and down
her flanks in this area and use his mouth in a rasping
motion. He would also follow/chase her around the
tank using his mouth to stimulate her then they
would take up the spawning position where he would
grasp her head firmly and they would both shake
violently until a cloud of eggs were released. He
would also lie alongside the female quivering his
body wherein the female would release her eggs and
the male would fertilise them with his sperm. The
eggs were honey coloured and were between 1.25-1.50mm
in size, they were difficult to see as they blended
into the sand as they were similar in colour. The
spawning sequel lasted about 2 hours so I took the
parents out and the other petricola, (most likely
a younger female as it was less plump, and
the male was making half hearted advances to it)
who took no part in the proceedings. The male had
a very prominent pointed genital papilla in front
of the anal fins and pointing back towards the caudal,
the papilla was white the same as the underbelly.
In the female it is a rounded, swollen enlargement
from which the eggs are expelled. The parents (and
the gooseberry) ignored the eggs while they were
spawning and were removed when they stopped.
of young on heater
The grand total
of eggs reached 800 and out of this number I managed
a 65% hatch rate, the rest of the eggs turned white
and were non viable. The fry hatched out after 24
hrs and were like thin slivers of glass and very
small.Fry were free swimming after three days,
their bodies and fins were white all over including
the large yolk sac.
The young are happier in larger groups and more likely to come out into the open to feed, the tanks with more young in them grew faster no matter the size of tank or filter. Provide plenty of hiding places to make them feel more confident. I then fed Brine Shrimp Naupli for the first couple of months as their mouths are very small, and after this fed Tetra tabimin tablets and my own recipe of a homemade mix of flake and spinach bound together with gelatine.
Young petricola around plant pot
At 6 months
they were 1½ins standarlength (from snout
to caudal peduncle). I found them to be very slow
growing but I now have about 500 carbon copies
of the parents which are relatively easy
to raise on the afore mentioned food Tank Information:
24 x 12 x 12 with tufa rock,
sand and a large sponge filter. P.h.
Wright, JJ and LM
Page (2006) Taxonomic revision
of Lake Taganyikan Synodontis (Siluriformes: Mochokidae).
Florida Mus. Nat. Hist. Bull. 46(4):99-154.
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