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Breeding Rainbows


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Any suggestions how how to get my Glossolepis incisis (Red Rainbows) to spawn, I am feeding them on Flake, Pellets and Bloodworms, I have 3 females and 1 male in a bare bottom tank with 4 mops in the tank

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated



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I have not bred them myself but my trusty book says they need a tank of 200 litre capacity with compact bunches of plants. It suggests a labyrinth of wavy nylon mesh (although leaving a free swimming area) to stop the parents eating most of the eggs (the eggs float for a time in open water before they find a firm object they can attach to).

The fish breed in a shoal with a few more males than females.

Water temp: 24C

pH: 7.0 - 7.5

1 Tbs salt for every 50 litres of water.

Good luck :D

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Bruce said...

> Any suggestions how how to get my Glossolepis incisis

> (Red Rainbows) to spawn...

I bred them back in the early '90s, when they were relatively

new to the country. Mel. lacustris too. I had them in a 30 x 15 x 15

inch bare tank with numerous mops and some spawning moss.

The eggs are small and the never seemed to lay many at any one

time. I basically just left them in the tank for a few days, did a

water change, left them a couple more days and then moved the

adults to another tank. The fry appeared a week or so later.

I never got that many (maybe 20 or 30) but it was enough to

replace the adults and to have a few spares. I always had

problems moving the adults (one or more would usually die

whenever I shifted them, they'd just go rigid and fall to the

bottom of the tank almost as if frightened to death..).

The fry require small food and are slow growing.

The ones I've seen lately are not as brightly coloured as the

ones we used to see, IMHO. I reckon people haven't been

breeding from the best coloured males...


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I have never bred Rainbows myself, but I have read that placing the tank in a position that receives morning sun helps to induce spawning. Obviously I don't know how well this works, but I used to have the Rainbows in my shop in a tank that recieved quite a bit of sun and since I moved them out of that postion there has been a lot less colour or flirting.

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My general method for spawning rainbows is have the female by herself conditioning on tasty treats for about a week, then add the male and let them do their thing for about a week and then remove both of them and then the fry should hatch over the next week to 10 days.

Rainbows are continuous spawners, so lay a small amount of eggs each day for a number of days, also the eggs take a while hatch (so that if eggs are laid on the first day the adults are together they about ready to hatch on the day you're taking the adults out of the tank). I was using a couple of large indian ferns as my spawing mops (finely divided leaves and lots of roots)

I found with the Madagascan rainbows that when I was conditioning a couple of females together that they were spawning with each other (obviously no fertile eggs though).

The fry a small and need green water/infusoria as a first food (the fry of many rainbows are too small to take baby brineshrimp). One way of providing a sort of continuous supply of green water to the fry is to have a container of green water with syphon tied off to provide only a small continuous trip to the fry tank.

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While we're talking about rainbows...

Some of the Australian ones are quite tolerant of cooler

temperatures. I used to have several M. splendida in an

outside 4 x 2 x 2 foot tank back in the late 80s. They

survived out there all summer and the top of the tank was

often thick with fry.

I'd be interested in trying that again at some stage.

I expect the New Guinea species to be less keen on cooler

water though.


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you may also like to set up a 1 foot tank with the same water and temp etc, and do as i do literally pick the eggs out of the mops every 2nd or 3rd days and drop in the 1 footer. or alternately remove the mops to the 1 footer after a week and then add new mops for anywhere upto 3-4 weeks. If the mops are natural or you are using java moss there will be infusoria that the fry can eat off. i use liqifry after 7-1o days and brineshrimp after 2 weeks freeswimming, be careful with Green Water as there may be HYDRA and they will nail your fry very quickly.

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