Ok, here are some observations on spawning behavior. The male chooses a site and starts to hang out around it and in it, (in my case a 3/4 inch pvc
Tee). There is no prep of the site the way clown fish clean the area. The male will then try to entice the female into the pipe. He approaches her and swims in a slight up and down hopping fashion then turns around and races towards the pipe. It reminds me of when Lassie would try to get someone to follow her in order to save the day. (That's for those of you who are old enough to remember TV's Lassie). Anyway, the female doesn't seem interested but the male keeps trying. I saw this happen off and on for about a month and never saw the female participate and then I saw the eggs. It could be that my observations are not that keen
and they had spawned previously but I'm counting that as the first spawn. That was Aug. last year and the Temp was about 28C
. The eggs were in a very tight circle about an inch in diameter laid on the inside of the pipe. They spawned again ten days later and as I was now more observant I saw that the female became quite round with eggs the day before the spawn. That is the only difference I have been able to see between male and female. On day three after the spawn I didn't think the eggs were ready to hatch yet but they hatched that night and I missed them.
Then in the following week the female had an injured mouth and was hiding in the corner. I removed her and treated her with antibiotics but she died.
There is also another behavior I have seen and I'm not sure if it's spawning related or just the fish being territorial but the fish will flick against the bottom just the way a fish with gill parasites will scratch on the gravel. When I first saw this I was pulling the fish and treating with formalin baths but soon realized it was a behavior and not a parasite problem. It is not only the dominant fish that does this, but any of them.
I feed the adults flakes, small pellets, frozen mysis, krill and live Artemia if I have left overs.
Hope that helps.