Over the past few days, I’ve encountered a scenario that I’m not prepared to address. As you know if you’re a regular reader, I have a breeding pair of Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell” in one of my 75g tanks, and they are prolific breeders. The female has long since outgrown the shells in the tank, so she no longer uses them to spawn. Instead, she sets up shop pretty much wherever she wants in the tank. She has plenty of alternatives for egg laying and, a couple of weeks ago, she chose a closed, ceramic tube to lay them. The problem is that the tube lies right in the center of the tank.
So what’s the big deal? If you’ve ever kept breeding Telmats, then you know both parents are vicious defenders of both their spawn site and offspring. The result for me is that every other inhabitant in the tank is getting chased relentlessly, including the three adult calvus, which are nearly 6″ long. My Telmat parents defend a nearly 18″ radius around their spawning site. My male is a beast (size-wise), and his belligerence matches his size (~4.5″). The female is just as tenacious even though she’s only a quarter of his size. She’s like an ocellatus shellie….fearless.
I have two empty 20g longs set up and running, but both contain aragonite substrates. This is problematic for moving the breeding Telmats. The light colored substrate makes seeing the fry difficult, which makes my vacuuming perilous. Normally, I wouldn’t care (note: read my previous post). However, my LFS needs some juveniles, so I need to protect and raise some fry. Thus I need to move the Telmats for their next spawn. Yes, I could remove the aragonite, but that’s too much trouble.
My solution? Buy another 20g long. Did I really need it? Nope. Was it an impulse? Hmmm, maybe. But I’m going to justify it because using one of the running 20g tanks would leave me with only a single tank as a hospital or segregation tank. That’s too risky, and I’m a just in case type of guy anyway. Welcome to the fold, new 20g long!