January 27, 2010
Encouraging Jack Dempsey cichlids to lay eggs
USE A MIRROR TO GET YOUR CICHLIDS TO SPAWN
One method to induce your pair of Jack Dempsey fish to spawn is quite simple. Tape a small mirror (4”x4” square or round) to the outside of the glass in an area that is free of rocks or other obstructions. Now watch your male try to attack his image, thinking it’s another fish threatening his territory. If he is accompanied by a female in this aquarium, she will often be stimulated by his physical aggression towards his reflection. I often have done this with my breeders and in almost every case, the male would attack and the female would be stirred. You’ll see her nudge and poke the male as his mouth is almost glued to the mirrored reflection of himself. Annoyed by the female’s reaction, the male will turn on her for a few seconds, pushing her away. This continues for several days but you’ll soon see that the male becomes more accepting of the females nudging and poking after awhile. He often leaves the mirror now and begins the matting dance with her. He will return to the mirror but sooner or later he will begin to help the female clean off a flat rock for egg laying.
Sometimes this process takes only a day or two and other times it’s a week maybe before they start laying eggs. It has worked for me with many breeding pairs and it will probably work for you also. Don’t use a very large mirror for that would be too distracting. When the male begins spending a lot of time with the female, cleaning the rock and doing the mating dance, it’s time to REMOVE THE MIRROR. If you don’t remove it, the male will constantly be distracted by it as she is laying eggs and he is fertilizing them. He will often rush over to the mirror and the female chases after him. She is trying to get him back to the nest and do his job. So often, if the mirror is left in place at this time, many eggs don’t get fertilized and they die.
This is a fun activity to watch. Check out the video below, (Jack Dempsey Lip-Lock). I placed this on “YouTube” awhile back and to date have about 35,000 viewers. Watch it and see what this article is all about. The pair in the video had their eggs the next day after this video was shot. Have fun! — Jack Lamountain
Created by: Jack Lamountain
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