Breeding Log - Pajama Cardinal

Breeding Log - Pajama Cardinal

Postby William » Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:48 pm

On 3/11, I acquired 2 large(~3") Pajama Cardinals. They were an impulse buy, they were trade ins and I could the price was too good to pass up.

I put them in a 20H by themselves. From here on I am going to call the slightly larger fish PJ1 and the smaller of the two, PJ2.

They definitely did not like each other. After two nights of beatings, PJ2 had tattered fins, and a large red fleshy wound on it's jaw.

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So assuming that I had gotten unlucky and had two fish of the same sex, on 3/13, I added 3 more large (again ~3") Cardinals to the tank.

I'm going to call these fish PJ3, PJ4, and PJ5. Again going from largest to smallest, though in reality, all of these fish are about the same size. Though PJ2 and PJ5 are clearly a bit smaller than the others and PJ2. So in order of size (largest first) it goes like this. PJ3, PJ1, PJ4, PJ2, PJ5.


Interestingly, PJ1 continued to spend most of time harassing PJ2. And when PJ1.
gets tired of chasing PJ2, PJ3 takes over the job of harassing PJ2.

PJ5 is also the target of aggression from PJ1 and PJ3, though to a much lesser extent than PJ2.

PJ4, seems to be neutral. Nobody harasses him, and he does not harass anybody.

PJ1, PJ3, and PJ4 got along fairly well, they occasionally will make faces at each other (Pushing their chin down to make their face look taller, very much like dottybacks do when they are mad) but physical contact was very rare.

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On 4/5, the aggression toward PJ2 finally pushed him over the deep end. It is now missing half of it's lower jaw.

I removed PJ2 to a tank by himself. I'm doubtful that it will survive. It still eats, though with much less gusto than before. And even if it does survive, it is still worthless from a breeding perspective, as it could never compete for food with only half of a mouth.


____________________________________________________

After removing PJ2, the dynamics changed.

Now, PJ3 does most of the chasing. And he is chasing of PJ5.

PJ1 also joins in on chasing PJ5 as well, but it is no longer the most aggressive fish.

And then PJ4 who was more or less left alone before, is now getting beat up by both PJ1 and PJ3. But the attacks on PJ4 are very different from the attacks to PJ5 PJ2. When they attack PJ4 they are very quick strikes at his side or tail. While aggression toward color=green]PJ5[/color] and PJ2 are much slower targeted at it's belly.

_____________________________________

All of this has left me a bit undecided how to proceed.

I suspect that PJ1 , PJ5, and PJ5 are one sex, and PJ2 and PJ5 are the other.

So right now I am at a 3:1 sex ratio, which is probably not ideal.

I am tempted to pick up a few more and hope to even out the ratio. But I am also concerned about overcrowding as this is only a 20 gallon aquarium.
Last edited by William on Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ozadars » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:43 pm

I dont think that pajama cardinals are peaceful grouping fish. I kept two before in a nano tank and as they grow bigger, the bigger one started to chase the smaller one more.
I think they need to be kept as pairs but even in small tanks the pairs might fight too. They need some place for each individual.
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Postby William » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:22 pm

ozadars, I came to the same conclusion.


Here's an update after another week.
After removing PJ2, the group began attacking PJ4. After a day or two, PJ4 was looking very beat up. So I moved it into the other tank with PJ2. A few days later, PJ5 (who became the target of the aggression) was looking like it could not take any more either. So I moved it to the other tank as well.

The two remaining fish, PJ1 and PJ3, who were the largest 2 in the group. Are now getting along very well and show very little aggression. The smaller(PJ1). Before I though that these two fish were the same sex since they seemed to be the most aggressive. But perhaps they decided that they were a pair, and were defending the territory.

Occasionally PJ1 has seizures like a male clownish. Do you think this is a courting behavior?

Now that the fish in the first tank seemed to be getting along, I turned my attention to the other tank with the 3 fish that were disbanded. Again, there was 1 fish(PJ5) that was getting bullied. So I moved it to yet another tank. After removing the third fish, the remaining two fish in this tank also seem to be getting along with little to no aggression.

So out of 5 fish, right now I have 2 sets of 2 fish that seem to get along. I am hopeful that I now have two pairs. But I am somewhat skeptical. The two largest fish ended up claiming the first tank and then the the largest 2 of the remaining 2 claimed the second tank. Seems like it could just be that there is room for 2 fish in a 20-gallon and the largest two each claimed half of the tank for themselves, with no consideration of the sex of the other fish.
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Pajama Cardinal Social Dynamics

Postby charlie » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:28 pm

Hello,
I have a kaudernii in a tank with 500G, very shalow and wide.
He is about 5cm long. A while ago i introduced another pair slightly shorter. they were not the center of my attention at thet time because i have 4 pairs of clowns also in that tank, three of them spawning, so i only noticed well when one of them commited suicide.
The remaining pair tolerate each other and started to spend more time together.

The maiting ritual consist in staying together side by side with the mail going up and down the female. i presume thats when he fertilizes and grab the clutch.

That time the male only carried the eggs for 8 days and start to eat there.


20 days later he was "pregnant" again, and by day 20 i placed a floatting aquarium there with 2 airstones and 2 balls of plastic floss.

I grabbed him with a net and even before i've placed him in the floatting aquarium he released 45 free swimming little fish, most of them still with big reserves resting in the bottom of the tank.

I am now at day 10 with only one lost at day 1.


Try to had some pictures soon.
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Postby danch » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:48 pm

I've had 6 PJs in a 75G tank with a lot of live rock 'caves' for about a year now. There's a lot of chasing and considerable fin-flicking, but not a lot of violence. There are times, especially at feeding time or when only the actinics are on, that they'll group up for a hunt, but the generally keep to their own individual hiding spots during the day.

Two separate (I'm pretty sure...) individuals have shown up with a mouthful of eggs in the last month. The first decided he'd rather eat, but the second is making a better effort. If they keep at it, I'll build a snagger and see what I can get to happen...
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Postby Zaita » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:39 pm

An experienced friend hobbyist has about 10-12 PJ's in his 200g tank. He has had them for a few years with no aggression problems. They will quite happily shoal together giving a tank of adequate size.
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Postby William » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:03 pm

Well I finally have an update. The one with only half a mouth has a mouthful (or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it half a mouthful) of eggs. Just before the lights out I noticed something hanging out of his mouth. At first I assumed that it was another piece of his mouth falling off, but then he sucked it back up. Only to start drooling out again. This time I got a better look and they look like eggs.

He was the odd man out until (I moved and during the move the pairs that I set up before got all mixed together and I repaired them off in the same manner as before - this time the half-faced fish was the odd man out). But then one of the other fish died in a oodinium outbreak. So I tossed him back in with the widow.

Things seemed to be going fine-ish - the female is almost constantly harassing the male - the male always has tattered fins - but the aggression was not so bad that he was being killed.

I'll try to get a better look (and maybe even a picture) tomorrow but from what I saw the eggs were tiny and white.
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Postby driftin » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:29 pm

My pair has been breeding for at least a year, and I can't say I've ever seen the male without tattered fins. She rarely does not harass him, or at least swim up in his face; she even nips at him when he has a mouthful of eggs. I think that's just their natural interaction. I have also noticed the spasming behavior in the male, as well as turning his side and flicking his fins.

I've also noticed these fish like their space. It's pretty rare to see them near (within a foot of) eachother in the tank unless she's harassing him. And yet they've been consistently breeding.

Interesting that the one you originally gave up on is the one who wound up carrying eggs!
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Postby William » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:21 pm

The eggs I reported seeing just before lights out in the last post were gone the following morning. I was very confident that I saw eggs, but I started to wonder if they were cardinal fish eggs. They could have been dottyback eggs that the cardinal stole and ate. (though as far as I know the dottybacks in their tank have never spawned so either way it is exciting and good news.)

After that both fish seemed to have an increased appetite. And they both started to put on a lot of weight. After a while both looked very bloated even in the morning before their first feeding. The female was more bloated though. And even more interestingly I started observing courtship. Normally the female harasses the male and chases him away. They normally hang out on opposite ends of the tank. But they started hanging out together a lot, and the male showed interest in the female. Bumping against her belly. Several times I ran to get the camera hoping to catch the actual spawning event of film.

I did not catch the actual event, but on Wednesday (11/19) Morning I noticed the male was holding eggs. Last time his mouth looked normal and he was struggling to keep them in his mouth - they keep drooling out. This time he has learned a new trick – he has made his mouth huge and has no difficulties holding all the eggs – even with part of his jaw missing.

It is now 3 days later and he is still holding the eggs. :) Looks like this time he might hold them full term. YEA…. :D

Male - Holding Eggs
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Female
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Postby William » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:05 pm

Well tonight would be the 7th night since the eggs were layed. Witt's book says hatching should occur on the 7th or 8th night, so I transferred the male to the hatching tank just before the lights went off.

I need to come up with a better strategy to for catching the male. In his attempt to avoid capture he lost some of the eggs. And then once placed in the hatching tank, he immediately spit the whole ball. So I returned the male back to the broodstock tank (I was worried he would eat them now that he spit them).

Since I am expecting them to hatch tonight, I am not employing any sort of artificial incubation. I just left the egg-ball setting on the bottom of the hatching tank.

I suppose one positive thing to come out of him spitting the eggs was that I got a chance to photograph the egg ball.

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Postby William » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:02 am

The eggs did not hatch last night. And I suspect they are dead. :cry:

I will have to come up with a better way to catch the male that does not cause him to spit the eggs.
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Postby driftin » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:52 pm

I got some advice from a source who was involved in commercial breeding. I'll look through my notes at home and post them up after this holiday weekend, I don't remember all the details off-hand. If I don't post anything by Tues please bump this thread to remind me. His success in breeding them actually included chasing the male to get him to release the egg ball.
-Jim
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Postby William » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:38 am

The male is holding eggs again this morning.
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Postby William » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:59 pm

Well, tonight was the 7th night so I chased down the male. Again he spit the eggs before I caught him. Hopefully this time they will hatch.
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Postby danch » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:05 am

Can you rig up any sort of a tumbler for the eggs?
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Postby William » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:43 am

Well, it is too late for this batch, but yes I can build something. Right now the egg ball is setting in the bottom of a 7 gallon BRT, about 1-2mm from an air stone.
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Postby William » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:00 am

Well this batch has still not hatched yet. Now at 36 hours post stripping, they do not look nearly as rotten as the first batch did after 12 hours, but still I think they are now dead.

I see 2 potential problems.

1. Hatching conditions are not permitting them to free themselves from the egg ball.
2. I am just pulling the eggs too soon. I know that my post-striping care is insufficient for long term incubation. Assuming I never figure out how to move the male while he is carrying, I want to pull the eggs just moments before they would hatch and therefore not need a complicated incubator. If I am pulling the eggs a day to early, of course they would not hatch that night, and then they die over the next 24 hours do to inadequate incubation.

For now I am going to assume the problem is #2 (because that one is easier to fix), and next time I will wait another day before chasing down the male. If they hatch on night 7 when still in the males care, I will know that the problem is the hatching conditions and I will get to work on some kind of egg tumbler.
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Postby William » Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:55 pm

Last night they spawned again.
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Postby suphew » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:19 pm

Assuming I never figure out how to move the male while he is carrying


Why not move him after he has released? Either put him in the breeding tank as soon as he is carrying or put him and the female(s) in the breeding tank then remove once the deed is done.
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Re: Breeding Log - Pajama Cardinal

Postby William » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:05 am

Well, a lot has happened since I the last update.

- The spawning pair died. When a mystery disease that seemed to only effect fish that were spawning killed all of my spawning pairs.
- I added 4 new PJ's to the remaining 2.
- This group behaves completely differently than the last group. They all get along just fine. No aggression what-so-ever. So I left all 6 together in the same 20G tank.
- I am not sure which one(s) are females, but I am back in business. A few weeks ago the smaller of the two from the original group was holding eggs.
- I was unable to harvest the first batch because I was out of town when it hatched.
- Tonight the second spawn hatched: I let my rotifers die out when I lost my last spawing pair a few months ago. So this batch has no chance of survival, but can still be good practice. (Hey John, do you have an rotifers to spare )

So, for this batch I built a hatching cone. I shaped some ~1mm mesh into a cone and placed it over an air stone. In stark contrast to the last pair. I had the hardest time getting the Male to give up the eggs. Eventually I was able to coax him into spitting half of the ball, which I placed in the cone mesh. After another 10 minutes of harassing the male, I gave up on getting the other half, and returned him to the broodstock tank.

Almost instantly after placing the eggball in the cone I noticed larvae swimming about the tub.

I took a small sample of the eggball and placed in on a piece of tile with a few drops of water for observation. Almost immediately the sample started hatching.

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Re:

Postby Degec » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:07 am



how many offspring there is a couple?
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Re: Breeding Log - Pajama Cardinal

Postby William » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:56 am

Tonight I pulled the male and moved it to the larvae tank. In the process he spit out a handful(7-10) of eggs which I collected to photograph. The eggs I collected immediately started hatching. I'll post an update about what happened to the rest of the eggs in the morning.....

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Re: Breeding Log - Pajama Cardinal

Postby lance » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:20 am

congrat's on the babies good luck raising them

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Re: Breeding Log - Pajama Cardinal

Postby William » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:38 am

This morning the male was no longer chewing on the egg mass so I returned him to the broodstock tank. Lots of dead larvae on the bottom of the tank, but there were a few survivors.

I siphoned out most of the dead larvae and un-hatched eggs. Then I added Iso and Rotifers. Wish me luck.....

Ohh, and I forgot to mention. The eggs hatched on the 7th night - I noticed the male carrying eggs on Tuesday morning, and they hatched on next Monday Night.
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Re: Breeding Log - Pajama Cardinal

Postby William » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:58 pm

So, 18 hours in and there has been significant changes in the gut region.


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