By Marty & Anita Meyer
We kept our rainbow cichlids in a 55 gallon tank with an undergravel filter with (2) 660 powerheads and a Penguin 300 filter. We kept the temperature at about 80 degrees. The ph was around 6.8. These fish are South American egg layers and they lay lots of eggs. Once the female has laid her eggs the male came behind her and fertilized them. The eggs that did not get fertilized turned white and where eaten by the expecting couple. We lost several batches of fry until we figured out to take the eggs out while they were on the driftwood and not when they were free swimming. Once the fry become free swimming the female did protect them as best she could but the male ate whatever she let get past her. The female did however abandon the small fry when she was ready to lay eggs again and they both ate them if they could not fend for themselves. We found after several successful spawns that if we allowed the parents to eat a batch or two of fry between spawns it kept the male from beating up on the female. When other males were introduced into the tank they would be kept at the other end of the tank while the egg laying and fertilizing processes where in progress. We have had trouble keeping the fry alive in a less acidic environment.