A box full of 19 juvie saulosi came in the mail during lunch today! No DOAs, either, which is great. I’ve never before had enough of these fish to see their schooling behavior – but with the sale of the large fish (goodbye banner fishie, you’re too big and mean to live with dwarf cichlids!) even the young fry are getting brave!
Not that I know how many of my fry survived me pulling out the rocks to catch the larger fish, although I put extra pebble piles in the tank and tried to shoo them towards cover and shoo the adults away while I moved things. I know two made it, because I’ve seen them both; I’m fairly certain there’s a third in another pile that’s just hiding too deep in there to be seen easily. There were six known ones, and 50% survival rate would be really good considering I destroyed the places most of them were hiding in the process of catching the large cichlids!
So, all told, there are 23 known saulosi in this tank, and two more in the inch-grown fry tank with the three juvie acei – I will toss those five fish into the main tank, perhaps next week or so. I also bought three juvie rusties from a LFS yesterday, and since I suspect the two I have from a previous shipment are both males (although they were sold as female – I’m now convinced that you can’t trust the “experts” for sexing the fish) I think I’ll pick up a few more. That seems like a lot – but these are tiny fish, all combined about the same mass as a single 6″ fish (out of nine, more than half of which were that large!) that left this tank on Wednesday, so I’m not worried about bioload or cycling. I am a bit concerned about anything the LFS fish could be carrying, so right now the main tank is in “quarantine” mode, which is why the fish in grow-out will be waiting there for a while. I’m not terribly concerned about any potential diseases, though – this tank has been well-maintained and I’ve successfully treated several common fish diseases before. So long as I keep an eye on things and catch anything that happens early, I think we’ll be good.
And as for the numbers, as these fish mature, I’m going to have to start selling off extra males to keep the harem ratios and aggression in line. It’s going to be a while before I need to do that, though. Hopefully by then the older fish will have forgotten what the fish trap looks like!
Pics forthcoming later; the tank is by a bank of windows, so daytime photography doesn’t really work. I might be too busy tonight but I’ll definitely be taking some pictures soon!