Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Christiansburg, Va
java fern aphrodisiac?
Maybe the joke's on me!
Yesterday I got in a wonderful, huge (like a softball and 1/2) portion of needle leaf java fern for my rather sparse 125g tank. I tucked it here & there, and I had a small cut in my foam Mattenfilter so I tucked some in there, right next to the outflow of current from a Koralia.
As usual, the fish were upset by my messing with the plants. I even disturbed the dirted substrate a bit and stirred up a light cloud of dirt by mistake. An hour later when I went to bed the haze was still visible in the tank. However, my Buenos Aires Tetras were even more disturbed than usual during the planting and I felt bad that I'd upset them so much. All they did as a group (of ten) was crowd into the large clump of fern by the outflow, twining through it over & over, staying in the corner of the tank.
This morning the tank haze is settled and gone, but the tetras are still acting frantic - really spastic, worse than last night. I sat and watched them at length, and it dawned on me they may be acting as if they might spawn. I have two females I know of, and one is being driven hard by 3 - 4 smaller (males) fish. Other fish I think are males are dog-fighting in tight spirals throughout the tank. All of them are doing this through the java fern clumps. Also my water level is down about 2" - 3" due to evaporation (level with some of the java fern) and I was going to do a water change today. Then I read this online while researching Buenos Aires breeding;
Typical of most tetras, the females have larger and broader bodies. For breeding, an area of bushy plants should be provided in a separate tank where the water level has been greatly reduced.
To top it off the Harlequins are at it again, the two largest males facing off side-by-side, fins straight up in the air. I don't know what I'll do if anything else spawns, I still have 60-ish Columbian fry to deal with! lol It's such interesting behavior to watch though...