Florida Jewels Make Babies

June 28th, 2007

I recently spent a long weekend at the beach, and when I returned home, two of the Jewel Cichlids that I had collected while in Florida had paired up, spawned, and were now rearing a some cloud of fry. Before I left, two of the four fish were obviously pairing up. They started showing magnificent coloration, guarded a cave under a large manzanita root, and were making life hell for the other two Jewels in the 20G high that they were in.

Jewel Cichlid Male with Fry

I spent the better part of 3 evenings before I left attempting to fish out the two other Jewel cichlids. I successfully netted one of them, and he now occupies a tank by himself. The other one was far too quick for me, but unfortunately, not quick enough for the pair, as when I returned, they had sealed the loner’s fate. Having the tank to themselves, the male and female take turns guarding their fry. But they still have no qualms leaving their babies when I feed them black worms, as they nearly jump from the water to snatch the worms.

Jewel Cichlid Female with Fry

It’s nearly impossible to count how many fry are present, but extrapolating from what I was able to count, I’d estimate that I have 100-150. If even half of that number survive, I’m going to be flooding the market with some very pretty Jewel Cichlids at CCA meetings later this year. So far, I’ve been relatively satisfied with their interactions with plants in the tank. A few sprigs of Blyxa japonica have been uprooted, but those were right next to their spawning site. Otherwise, they haven’t caused too much damage.

Jewel Cichlid Male with Fry

10 Responses to “Florida Jewels Make Babies”

  1. L Says:

    It’s too bad about that one fish – he didn’t know you were trying to save him. These pictures are quite stunning. I love the 2nd one in particular.

  2. Holy G Says:

    This fish is amazing (the red one) could you please remember where you caught it?

  3. guitarfish Says:

    I wish I could, Holy G, but they’re so prolific, that I bet if you ran a net through the vegetation at the edges of most of the canals in and around Miami, you’ll likely find some.

  4. Holy G Says:

    Alright I will get my fishing license; I learn this week that I need it even if I am netfishing in a canal, and go for the hunt, If I find a jewel you would be the first one to know.

  5. guitarfish Says:

    Yes, you definitely need a license to net around for fish. Good luck!

  6. Grashenka_NZ Says:

    hi nice fish, what water temp were the waters when you caught them and what size can they grow to?

  7. guitarfish Says:

    Grashenka_NZ, I didn’t take a temperature reading, but the weather outside was quite warm. We did do a pH reading, and it was ridiculously hard. I seem to remember 8.9pH. I believe my male is full grown as about 4-5″.

  8. Oliver Says:

    could you keep these Jewel Cichlid with Anutrus & Johhnis???

  9. guitarfish Says:

    Hi Oliver, I’m not familiar with either of those. Jewels are pretty aggressive, particularly when spawning, so use your best judgement there.

  10. Oliver Says:

    ok where???