Great news, guys! WE STILL HAVE EGGS!!!
I'm so very happy that they made it through the night! Mom and Dad (mostly Mom, lol) are still standing guard. Liz hasn't moved from her spot, unless it's to shoo another fish away, since the eggs were laid yesterday. Very excited, and if all goes as I've read it should, and the eggs have been properly fertilized (looked like C.Cat was on it!) I should be able to see eyes in there this evening some time!
Here's a shot of Momma Liz with her little clutch. . . only took one, and with no flash - I didn't want to disturb her, happy it came out. . .
She's so intense! In the times in between shooing off everything that moves and fanning eggs, very intent on digging up all of the sand where my Crypt is rooted for her nursery!
Isssokay - my Little Earth Eater can melt or move any plant she wants to! It IS her home, after-all!
C.Cat is patrolling the outer parameter, and stops in to check on his lady every few minutes. It's so neat to watch Cichlids being good little parents. . . to their eggs. I really hope we get WIGGLERS, at least! Trying to figure out exactly what I'm gonna do if/when they make it to free swimming stage. What to feed them, should I move them - all that fun stuff.
I've been wondering for a long time now how things would go with The Livvies -vs- everyone else in the tank should they ever breed, since so many of my fish are bottom dwellers, and I keep a shoal of Rams, as opposed to the single bonded pair, or lone singleton, that many people recommend. Glad to report that so far - all is well!
Obviously they're being very territorial right now, definitely more so than I've ever seen from them, but they're NOT being mean. They've thus far stuck to the gentle aggression that I've always seen in these little fish. They're most wary toward the other Rams, though for the most part this is still chasing off - not so much biting. Though I'm QUITE SURE that if the chasee didn't leave, he/she WOULD get bitten - the parents have their mouths set to bite if it's necessary, but so far all fins and scales remain intact. The loaches, I'm feeling a bit sorry for, they really don't seem to have any idea what's going on, but they're allowed closer than the other rams are before being shooed off. And again, while the parent's mouths are POISED to bite, if the loach doesn't scare off after a rush, Momma's been HEAD-BUTTING them out of the way, rather than biting them. So far, they've been fairly quick to get out of the way. The same applies to the frog, I actually saw Liz shove him three times in a row - she pretty much pushed him out of her territory on top of her head - but didn't bite him. I'll keep watching, of course. It could be that they become more aggressive once the eggs have hatched - and that the other creatures will be more intent to eat them at that point. So far so good, though!
The parents picked a pretty good spot - unfortunately, it's directly in the middle of the tank, lol! But their territory is defined by four rocks that create a sort of semi circle, and an arch of driftwood seems to be the upper limit to the territory. As long as the fish stay ABOVE the wood, and BEYOND the rocks - and don't hang out for too long in the middle of the tank, they're pretty much left alone. The next-most dominant ram has a bit less leeway, they're watching poor Hattie closely, but nobody seems stressed out about it, so I'm happy! Hope it continues to go so well!
One last note. . . I looked it up, yesterday at pretty much the exact time that the eggs were laid, was my 1-year anniversary in fish-keeping. . . what a wonderful anniversary present - and hopefully a nice gift of wigglers on Valentine's day, too! Goodness I've learned a LOT this year. . .
I did take a video for you guys, but I picked the wrong song, and YouTube blocked it, lol! I'll give it another try later :)