16 February, 2011

02.17.11 - Fishing around

Having fun with indian ink and photoshop.
The Cobalt Blue Zebra originated in deep rocky waters of Lake Malawi in Africa.

A male Zebra Cichlid should be kept with several females. The Zebra is a mouth brooder and the spawning process is intriguing. The male will establish a territory and its colors will become enhanced when it is ready to breed. A female that is ready to spawn will then enter the territory and the two will interact aggressively. The female then releases a couple of eggs into a gravel pit. She then picks these up in her mouth. Meanwhile the male displays the “egg spots” on his anal fin. These spots are the same size and color as the real eggs. The female nips at these eggs spots and the male releases his sperm, which then reaches the females mouth and fertilizes the real eggs that she has previously picked up. The process is then repeated until the female has a brood of between 10 and 50 eggs in her mouth. After spawning, the female keeps the eggs in her mouth for about a week until they hatch. After that, the fry will seek safety by retreating into the female’s mouth for up to a month. During this period, the female rarely eats. Once the fry are able to fend for themselves, the female stops allowing them in her mouth. The entire process is quite stressful for the female, so a separate tank for her during this period is recommended.

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