Breeding the Peacock Gudgeon

Hi there!

I have been in love with a new fish for a few months already, a very small one, roughly 2-2.5 inches long. I got this T. Ocellicauda from a LFS at a whooping 15$. I knew what I was going to buy when I walked in that store that day, I knew what this fish ate, I knew what it looked like and knew how to sex them. Therefore, I got one male and one female.

It didn’t take long until they became my favorite fish. They are very curious and colorful.

T. Ocellicauda

Two weeks later, I saw that my male Gudgeon started showing breeding colors, and displayed at the female, chasing her around. I knew I had to get him another female because they tend to harrass them  A LOT. Some people are reporting that their females die from this.

Another 15$ later, I come home with another female. I didn’t pay attention to breeding and didn’t really care, thinking that if they wanted to do it, they could. That’s until the day I had to get rid of my very aggressive Pearl Gourami and replaced it with a bunch of Class N endlers (directly linked to wild collected ones).

People are often saying the Peacock Gudgeon is really peacefull and shy, but I found that it’s not at all true.

My male gudgeon will often nip the tail fin of other fish, and is VERY VERY curious. Every time I come near the aquarium, they come to the front glass and stare at me.

The females will dispaly at each other and often bump into each other. Sometimes, males and females will “flash” on the plant leaves or objects but it is not due to any disease; I think it’s just play.

My male decided to tear the fins of my newly arrived endlers to the point that one gravid female died because she had no more tail. Unfortunately for her, I did not spot this sooner. At least, she died in a very peaceful place.

I decided to move the 3 fish rather than move a whole Endler colony. I put them in my 20 gallon Neon Tetra and Shrimp tank. This is when things started to get even more interesting.

After a few days, not even a week, the male Gudgeon disapeared with one of the females.

At first, I was very worried they had died or jumped or something. They probably didn’t like it in there I told myself..

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

The next day, I spotted the two females and no male..

This is when I realized the male might be hidding somewhere, fanning some eggs.

Two days later, I couldn’t wait anymore, still worried, and looked everywhere for an hour or so.

The male was indeed hiding in a very small crevice in a driftwood. He was tending to the eggs!

I was very excited and managed to get a 5 gallon tank and mature air driven sponge filter.

Getting the driftwood out of there proved to be very hard, the dad didn’t want to move out of the cave. I knew I had to remove him as he was going to eat the babies as soon as they hatch!

I eventually removed the wood and put it in the 5 gallon tank, next day, the male was out, I removed him from the tank waiting to see fry popping up. That never happened.

I decided to leave the wood there and set up 3 PVC tube caves of 1/4 and 1/2 inch diameter.

Two days later, the male chose one of the caves and in went the female. They are very fun to watch during courtship.

The fishes stayed in the tube for a day and half and the female went out.

After 5 days I decided to remove the tube and put it in the 5 gallon tank.

While doing that, I realized that my tank water was much colder in the 5 gallon tank than the 20, so I aborted and put him back in the 20 waiting for the temperature to set.

A few hours later, the male was out of his cave, temperature was correct in the 5 gallon tank but unfortunately, the cave was empty!

My guess is the male ate all of them because he got too scared.

A few days and bloodworms later, the male was at it again.

The same courtship dance and cave seclusion happened.

2 days later, I was feeding the fish and the male came out of it’s hiding place.

I immediately reached for the PVC cave and grabbed it by putting my fingers on top of the two holes, and stuck it under the driftwood to make sure it didn’t float. I then stuck an airline in the tube to allow one bubble every 3 seconds to mimmic the male fanning its eggs.

 

This is day 3, we can already see some wigglers.

Day 6:

First fry spotted at the bottom of the tank. It is very very very tiny.

Day 7:

I spot at least 12 other fry, swimming at the bottom and sinking slowly. I start feeding golden pearl (Krill Fines)

Day 8:

I can’t count how many fry there is. I estimate at least 30. I still feed golden pearls about 4-5 times a day.

Day 9:

The fry all seem bigger now, they congregate in one corner of the tank at the top of it.

Day 10:

Up till day 10 I had tried the following foods: Krill Fines (I have two different varieties), NLS Small fry starter, Decapsulated brine shrimp (they haven’t taken them yet), live brine shrimp (haven’t been able to eat them as well)

They seem to prefer the Krill Fines I got as a sample pack from a place I order my natural ferts from.

 

Day 11:

they have noticeably grown bigger, I’m not sure if I’m crazy but I think I can see their eyes coloring up, or at least having reflection. They also all started eating brine shrimp I’ve hatched.

Day 13:

They now can eat Newly hatched Brine Shrimp daily, I’m still waiting on a micro worm culture I’ve order, yesterday, I’ve tried feeding them some newborn grindal worms and they had a lot of trouble eating them but seemed to be interested in them..

Day 16:

Everyone is doing fine, almost all of my cherry shrimp are pregnant, which is pretty nice as soon enough their babies will be food for the fry.

My microworm culture has yet to arrive and I’m starting to worry that they’ll die in transit!

Day 17:

I received my culture today! It smells really bad.

I received a small ziploc bag and I put it in the quick oat+yeast mix.

my fish eat very well, I’m still trying to get them to eat decapsulated brine shrimp but they don’t look interested, some will try to eat them, then immediately spit it out.

This is pretty frustrating!

Day 18:

think that the culture survived! This morning I looked in the tub and there were tiny things on the sides of the container. I’ll wait another day or two and hopefully I got it sorted!

3 week old peacock gudgeon fry:

Day 23:

Yesterday I found some frozen BBS at my lfs and was pretty happy.

I bought a pack and some of the fish ate it, some others didn’t.. Hopefully it’s just a matter of time until they don’t mind if it’s moving or not.

Other good news: Some of them also started to catch on eating decapsulated brine shrimp. I had it soak for an hour prior feeding.. Some of them spit it out immediately, but hey, it’s still a progress..

I have noticed that some of my fishes also stopped being interested in microworms. Maybe they are too small now?

Day 25:

This morning I was able to see the black spot on some of the fry’s tails!

Day 27:

Today they almost all show the black spot, I’ve fed them very small grindal worms and they seemed to devour them!

For the microworms.. Some of them don’t care, some of them do. Still alterning between frozen/non frozen/ ground up flakes, hopefully one day all of them will catch on.

I’m also working on getting another 5 gallon tank in, but that is going to have to wait until we move out of this appartment.

Day 28:

Right now they have ate:

Krill Fines, Micro Worms, Live & Frozen Baby Brine Shrimp, Decapsulated BBS, Some Crushed Flakes, Some Crushed NLS Pellets, Grindal Worms.

The grindal worms still are a bit big tho, so I wouldn’t feed that every day or include them in my routine, just testing out if they like it or not, and they like it a lot. But still, they are a bit long so when they eat it, it just hangs out of their mouth until they swallow it completely.

Next on the feeding schedule: Daphnia. Last time I’ve tried tho, it was about half the size of the fry haha.

Day 29:

Today I’ve noticed that some of my fry are growing their second top fin! Yayyyy!!

1 Month and 1 week: Yesterday I’ve noticed that the pevlic fins have developed over the last few days and the black spot is starting to be even more opaque than before.

I’ve fed the grindal worms this morning and they all ate it pretty well!

40 days:

2 Months old:

Looks like I have 3 peacock gudgeons that are far bigger than the others and are coloring up!

They have a little bit of pink and their top fins is very pale yellow! Yay!!

3 Months:

4 Months:

They are about ready to go at that point! 🙂

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