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  L# Banjo catfish spawning
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SubscribeBanjo catfish spawning
Taking life on an angle
Posts: 176
Kudos: 46
Votes: 4
Registered: 05-Jan-2007
male costarica
On April 3rd, I went to try out an LFS recommended to me, about 20 minutes from my home. I came across a couple of Bunocephalus coracoideus almost unnoticeable in one of the lower corners of what looked like an empty tank.

Almost fell on my back when I noticed what they were, although not an uncommon fish in the trade, most stores will not stock them since they are not so highly appreciated in the country. Due to their shy nature, they spend most of their time burrowing under soft substrate or in a hidden corner of the tank, so most local aquarists don't really care much for fish that stay out of sight.

Nonetheless being the softie that I am for catfish I just had to take them home. After paying $6US for both of them and getting some info on the fish feeding habits and stores water parameters I was on my way with my prized catch.

I acclimatissed them for about 2 hours into a ten gallon quarantine tank I had previously set up. Dimensions: 50cm L x 25 cm W x 30cm H. The QT hardware comprises of 10 gallon Penn-Plax Cascade Internal filter with spreader bar and a Penn-Plax Guardian 110W heater. Substrate on half of the tank was done with smaller aquarium gravel and other half with natural white aquarium sand. Also added a piece of wood in the middle of the two substrates and a couple of Ambulia plants.

Water had a Ph of 8 and temperature was kept at 25 Celsius.

The larger banjo is 3 inches long and the smaller one 2.5 inches. After releasing them in the tank they explored their surroundings a little and then settled under the driftwood, one on top of the other tucked in between wood and substrate.

Also into the same quarantine tank were introduced 11 otocinclus, that had been at the LFS for over 3 weeks and were looking very healthy.

They were fed an array of bottom feeder food: Tetramin tablets, Nutrafin Spirulina tablets, Tetra Algae waffers, Nutrafin Brine shrimp , Tetra Microcrab/Cyclopeeze granules and the ocassional Frozen Bloodworms.

The first week in quarantine the banjos spawned on top of the driftwood and once noticed, the eggs looked white either with fungal like growth on them or perhaps infertile? The second week the eggs went unnoticed for a while since they spawned under the driftwood and the overgrown fungal formation was the indicator that eggs had been laid.

Obviously I've had no previous experience with reproduction of egg laying fish, so procedures to follow and suggestions to improve conditions are greatly welcome.

The otos will be done with quarantine next week and moving out of that tank and into other tanks that are waiting for the hard little workers. Leaving the ten gallon QT solely for the two lovecats.

Perhaps this tank can become a breeding tank for the banjos? It seems a little small for a mature pair, but will they be ok to leave in there to breed given their current size? I do not want to upset the conditions by transfering them into larger environment and not be able to replicate the parameters, thus turning them off spawning.

Tips and help greatly appreciatted.

Thanks in advance,

James "The catfish keeper"
Post InfoPosted 23-Apr-2007 03:33Profile PM Edit Report 
Fish Guru
Lord of the Beasts
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Registered: 21-Aug-2005
male uk
EditedEdited by longhairedgit
Your very lucky to get breeding banjos just out of the blue, generally they only spawn if you lower tank temps to the low 70's f. I have 8 of them, and ive never seen any sign of breeding so far. Egg fungus is a common problem though, and lots of folks use low doses of antifungal meds or triple sulfa to keep the fungus off.

The young are reputedly tricky to raise and will probably have to be segregated from the parents. They are fed on tiny worms and baby brineshrimp.They are basically carnivorous as babies, and it helps to bring them on as soon as possible.Must be quite something to see a thousand to three thousand eggs or so from a single spawn. Im completely envious!

Get pics!

Post InfoPosted 23-Apr-2007 04:44Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Big Fish
Posts: 343
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Registered: 16-Jun-2006
male pakistan
Congrats! Just keep your water clean and dont allow any uneaten food in the tank. And do get some pics if possible.
Post InfoPosted 23-Apr-2007 07:57Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Taking life on an angle
Posts: 176
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Registered: 05-Jan-2007
male costarica
Thinking about past events and variables in the tank, I would conclude that the spawning happened after a Nitrate spike of around 50mg/l. I did a WC of 50% that dropped the temperature 1.5-2 degress Celsius, getting it closer to the 70 degrees Farenheit that is the temperature posted by Longhairedgit.

This seems to explain why after doing a 25% WC this week, the banjos did not spawn, since the temp did not drop that much.

I wonder how much influence would lunar phases have as a trigger on spawning fish?

Would Pimafix/Melafix combo work as a gentle way to prevent fungus on the eggs or is a stronger antifungal medication needed?

Thanks for all your help! And I'll be sure to get pics if they do spawn again...

Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2007 00:27Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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