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Geophagus sveni

South and Central American cichlids.

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Post Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:37 am
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Location: apple valley, mn
Today I received a fish order from Oliver Lucanus, Below Water. Oliver sold his breeding pair in this order. Not sure which two fish are the breeders but Oliver wrote that they are the pair in his You Tube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-8ZZFeNNA8
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Post Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:50 pm
RedDevilKing User avatar
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Dibs on any fry! :-)

Post Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:26 am
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Location: apple valley, mn
Oliver has a great deal more skill in caring for fish than I do. Perhaps luck will strike.
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Post Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:12 pm
Dicsus34 Level 5 Member
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Location: Prior Lake, MN
Very nice. Tried getting some sveni from oliver a little while back too but said he couldn't ship them to me so got some fry from rapps that I'm now growing out. Got a group of 6 so hopefully will get some fry in the future

Post Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:07 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Had to go through NECA.
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Post Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:11 am
Dicsus34 Level 5 Member
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Location: Prior Lake, MN
Ya I'm part of that and they still wouldn't ship them to me. Pretty bummed but oh well. It's probably because I couldn't order a large amount of fish

Post Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:54 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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My group of G. sveni were obtained as adults and had bred for the previous owner. The fish were sold as wild-caught fish; however, as far as behavior the group is totally acclimated to tank living. While behavior may have adapted to a tank, it is unlikely other biologic processes would have adapted. Specifical behavior associated with breeding may adapt but the biologic chemistry would be unlikely to change.

Placed group of G. sveni in 180 with straight RO water and sphagnum in the wet-dry filter. pH readings were 6.5 and G. sveni bred successfully. Stripped fry from one parent, probably female. Fry were just wigglers. Then left town for 8 days. Fry tanks are cold, low 70s. When I returned, wigglers were barely free swimming. Growth has been slow.

The 180 gal tank was removed from my fish rooms. I gave the G. sveni a 300 gal tank. Unfortunately, I did not have enough RO water on hand to completely fill 300 and sump. Therefore, at least 10% of the water contained carbonate at 350 ppm with pH of 8.3 I have changed the water about 50% of water in 300 gal tank twice. TDS is now about 80 ppm and pH is 7.3 As of last night, G. sveni appear to have successfully spawned again. Eggs were laid 4-5 days ago. When eggs hatch either or both parents pick up wigglers to mouth brood to free swimming. Today, flake food was added to the tank and two of G. sveni would not take flake, thus I believe both are mouthbrooding wigglers.

The reason for posting this event is that in their natural habitat G. sveni live in soft acidic water. The current tank water is soft but remains a bit alkaline at pH of 7.3, the meter was recently calibrated. If the two presumptive parents are holding wigglers, then an acidic environment is not necessary for sperm to penetrate an egg in this species.

A successful breeding in alkaline water could apply to other Geophagus species and possibly to sister genera as well. Perhaps future breeding projects will reveal the answer.
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Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:33 am
Dicsus34 Level 5 Member
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Location: Prior Lake, MN
Thanks for posting this bob! I am as well raising my Geophagus Sveni in RO water with just a little bit of well water mixed in since I have live plants in the tank. My RO filters also don’t fully strip everything out of the water so I get around a 6.3 ph with 0-3 degrees kh and low gh as well so it’s pretty ideal coming straight from my RO unit. Fish are still in juvenile stage but hope to develop some pairs. They are growing super well with a few water changes of 25 percent per water change. I’m raising Altums angels with them as well. Do you think I should even add any tap water or should I just keep with using the straight RO water my filter produces since it provides good water parameters. Only reason I add some well water is for the benefits of the plants. Do you find it necessary ?

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:45 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Location: apple valley, mn
Hi Andrew,

Growing fish need calcium for their bones. Food has some calcium in it and I have heard that fish do not ingest water to "drink". I have also heard discus keepers claim to raise their discus in water that has calcium and pH above 7 (due to carbonate dissociating from calcium). Then when discus reaches breeding age and display desire to mate, they switch to pure RO water and drop pH (maybe with wood??).

RO water stripped of all carbonate will become acidic easily as you have found. My first guess is well water, even a little would push pH above 7 but that is just a guess. If you have hardness kits for GH and KH, it would be best to check the well water. If no GH and KH kits and you have TDS meter, check well water TDS. RO water TDS should be 10 ppm or less if the membrane is good. If using a cation/anion resin filter after RO membrane, RO water TDS should be 0-2 ppm.

Yes, CO2, carbonic acid, and carbonate will be in equilibrium but if the pH is kept acidic, carbonate begins to change to carbonic acid and CO2. Plants need dissolved CO2 to grow. At pH 4.2 or close to it, no carbonate will be present. There are black water fish that breed in water with pH between 4 to 5. However, I think most blackwater fish live and breed in water with pH of 5.5 to 6.5 My memory may not be so good on that last issue.

Set aside all new testing and going with what you have now, I think water is ready for most black water fish to spawn.
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