Spawning the Peacock Gudgeon turned out to be a very small challenge.
I recieved 4 pairs from an auction win at aquabid.com and placed them in an empty but cycled 10 gallon tank.
The tank had fine “play” sand from a home building supply type store, was well planted with najas and duckweed and shared a light with the Heterandria formosa in the 10 gallon next door. I added several 3 inch long pieces of 3/4 PVC tubing for spawning “caves”.
Once the fish got settled in well the males took up residence in the caves, coming out only to eat and attempting to mate with the females. After a week or so of plentiful feeding of blackworms, daphnia, baby brine shrimp and grindal worms the Gudgeons were ready to begin spawning. Once it started it almost never stopped, at least one male would be brooding eggs all the time.
I don’t believe water parameters are all that important in spawning these fish. But for those who want to know the tank had a pH of around 8, about medium hardness and was maintained without a heater, so the the temperature fluctuated between 74 to 80F (22-26.5C) It was early Summer. Since then I have maintained them through-out the seasons without any problems, with temps from 70 to 84F.
The males will guard the eggs until they hatch in about 4 days or so. I never raised any fry in the main tank of gudgeons, but I had very good luck moving the male and eggs into another tank by themselves. This is easily accomplished by placing your thumb on one side of the tube, and forefinger on the other, then just lift it out and move it. I removed the males after the fry became free swimming. The last spawn I had I left the male with the fry and surprisingly the fry are doing fine now at about 3 months of age, the papa is still in there with them.
The fry are very easy to raise, they will eat baby brine shrimp and microworms, they can be weaned over to frozen and flake foods eventually but it is not easy. They really prefer live foods. The trick I used was to put several always hungry heterandria (little piglets) in the tank with the fry and let them “teach” the gudgeons to eat flakes. As long as the fry get plenty to eat and lots of partial water changes they are very easy to raise. They are slow growing, but the mortality rate is almost zero. I have 3 different broods going now and I would estimate the average brood size at about 50.
Here are some spawning pictures:
The female follows the male into the cave. Notice the female is heavy with eggs.
now your talkin
The spawning begins, male facing forward.
A few days later, hungry fry.