It is easy to tell when a fish is brooding.
* The fish becomes reclusive.
* The fish does not eat even though it swims up to the food.
* The throat is extended.
brooding.jpg 273.35KB 2 downloads
With the first few spawnings, the fish would not eat for the first few days and then resumed eating after the fourth day.
To me this indicates that the eggs have died.
As the fish continued to spawn every four weeks with the same result, I paid more attention to the water quality and also lowered the pH to below 5. Then brooding extended past the fourth day mark.
Two possible reasons for the failures come to mind.
Firstly, The presence of carbonate hardness. With some Parosphromenus species it has been found that eggs do not hatch in the presence of carbonate hardness. (Source: The Parosphromenus Project website.) This could be the same with chocolates.
Secondly, the bacterial count in the water was perhaps too high. Possibly because the pH was allowed to rise towards 6.
So water was changed more often to keep pH below 5, and the cleaning of debris from the aquarium floor was done more often. Then the chocolates began to brood past the fourth day.
My presumption is that the first four days while the eggs are developing is the critical period when you have to pay attention to water quality.
Next: What to do when the fourteen day brooding period draws towards a close and fry are expected.
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