05-07-2013, 10:23 PM
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Some mature faster than others, one way to tell though is the females belly will have a red color on it as she becomes mature and is in spawning mode.
The love plants and caves, caves are a kind of retreat for them if they feel threatened. I had flower pots as there "cave" when I had mine.
They will eat almost anything but what you are feeding them now is fine, add a few deshelled peas, carrot and lettuce and they will be even more happier.
They will spawn in a cave they feel comfortable in, the eggs are usually layed towards the top, female will stay with the eggs and the male will be guard. PLEASE NOTE - they are extremely aggressive and not easily pushed over when guarding a nest with eggs. They will not hesitate to go after fish 3-4 times their size to drive them away from the nest.
They make excellent parents and stay with the fry for weeks until they are old enough to defend themselves, if the female feels threatened she will herd the fry into the cave and stay there with the male on guard. Fry are usually seen free swimming with the parents in the morning hours, the female will check out the tank and make sure it is safe, she and the male will then go on a sightseeing trip with the little ones in tow. Any sign of aggression from other fish and its back to the cave and male in guard mode.
Hope this helps.
P.S to get them to breed if they havent done on their own, live worms (small amounts) and brine or mysis shrimp.