• A Baffling Surprise!

    From Jeff Snyder@1:345/3777 to All on Tue Jun 16 08:51:00 2009
    Well, I must admit that I am totally baffled . . . and surprised. As I mentioned in a previous post, yesterday, June 15th, I exercised some
    compassion and removed the two persecuted male Melanochromis Cyaneorhabdos
    from the main tank. This now leaves two Melanochromis Cyaneorhabdos in the
    four foot tank, and each fish has established its territory on opposite ends
    of the tank. Whenever the dominant male tries to invade the territory of the other, he is immediately shooed away.

    Based on this aggressive behavior between these two fish, plus the fact that during the past few weeks, the second fish has been building a sand pit
    right outside of its lair beneath the rocks -- to attract a female, I
    imagine -- I had assumed that it was a male -- that is, until yesterday.

    Well, surprise of surprises! After putting all of the rocks back into the aquarium -- taking about half of them out was necessary in order to remove
    the other two males -- I noticed something which left me dumbfounded -- the other "male" now appears to be incubating eggs in its mouth! Just like my
    other young female, its throat is bulging, and it is making the typical
    chewing motion as it rotates the eggs. In typical female fashion, it has withdrawn into its lair, and occasionally pokes its head out of one of the entrances.

    Yesterday evening, after making my discovery, I wondered if perhaps the fish was just chewing on some sand, sifting out any food particles in it, and not really holding eggs; so, I dropped in an algae pellet to see how it would react. Well, this morning, the pellet is still there, uneaten, and it is
    still munching on something -- most likely eggs.

    As I said, this development really caught me by surprise, and I am now wondering if the dominant male fertilized the eggs while I wasn't watching,
    or if the assumed "female" is trying to incubate unfertilized eggs. I
    suppose that I will find out soon enough.

    If this is indeed a "female", then it would be another clear confirmation
    that these are indeed Melanochromis Cyaneorhabdos, and not Melanochromis Johanni, as I had earlier assumed. At the first opportunity, I am going to closely compare the colors and body markings of these two fish in order to determine any significant differences between them. The one obvious
    difference is that this new-found "female" is a lighter blue than the
    dominant male.

    The smaller female that is currently incubating its eggs in another tank is also a much lighter color than the dominant male. The fact that neither of these two fish is yellow, is also an indication that they are Melanochromis Cyaneorhabdos, and not Melanochromis Johanni.

    Speaking of the other female, today marks sixteen days since she spawned.
    She is getting awfully thin, and it really generates admiration to see a creature that is willing to go so long without eating for the sake of her young. I imagine that within a week, or less, I will get my first glimpse of her fry. I plan on removing her just as soon as she spits them out, as I
    hope to save as many of the little guys as possible.

    Jeff Snyder, SysOp - Armageddon BBS Visit us at endtimeprophecy.org port 23 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your Download Center 4 Mac BBS Software & Christian Files. We Use Hermes II

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