Someone posted on one of the Facebook groups today about having one of those bad days that leaves you questioning why you keep fish. I know how he feels. I’ve had a lot of those days lately. Too many other distractions in my life making it a struggle to find time to care for the fish properly, let alone to have time to sit back and enjoy them. A couple of equipment failures leading to the loss of important fish. A couple of experiences with hobbyists and industry that have left me wondering why the hell I bother . . . . . .
But then you have one of those good days, and it reaffirms why you keep plodding on. I’ve had one of those days today.
I’ve kept a lot of species over the years, but there are a couple which are particularly close to my heart. Lichnochromis acuticeps is one of those. If really pushed, I’d probably admit this is the species dearest to me.
Four years ago, they were a fish that I’d admired from photographs but never thought likely I’d keep. At that point, they had only been bred successfully a handful of times in this country. But in March 2013, some juvis became available and I grabbed 10. My “Holy Grail” then became to breed them myself.
A couple of disasters early on, and I lost half of the ten. I ended up with only two females from the remaining fish. Not a great start. They eventually bred in early 2015, and I kept the fry from that first brood. The adults have bred on a couple of occasions since, and gradually we have been getting juvis out so others can enjoy what I consider to be the ultimate Malawi hap.
So I’d reached my “Holy Grail”. But you know what I find even more rewarding than breeding a species for the first time? I get a HUGE buzz out of raising home-bred fish, watching them mature, and then breeding the next generation from them.
Today I stood in the fishroom in front of the tank containing the youngsters from my first Lichno brood. They are now 22 months of age. To my surprise and delight, I stood and watched a pair spawning for the very first time. The little male looks gorgeous in his newly acquired colours. The little female is plump and a picture of health. In the tank I spied another couple of girls which look ready to spawn as well. My heart sang.
Yep – as I said to this guy on Facebook earlier today, if this was all easy, and you never had those bad days, then days like today wouldn’t feel half as sweet.
Edited by humbug, 15 January 2017 - 10:30 PM.