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okay lets just say i had a colony of somehting and my cuckoo catfish did there thing and i had my female holding with catfish eggs .when she spits them would there spines cut up the females mouth or anything?

and are they vemonous?

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I've never bred cuckoos myself but a while back I watched an excellent documentary called 'Jewel of the Rift' which was all about the wildlife of the african rift lakes. In this doco they said that female cichlids holding cuckoo fry often got the fry stuck in thier mouths (because of the cuckoos spines) resulting in thier death.

Off topic... I really recommend that doco for people interested in african cichlids... very informative & narrated by James Earl Jones! :D It made me want Emporer Cichlids though :(

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The problem with leaving the cuckoos in the mouth is that if they run out of cichlid fry to eat they can start eating each other. It was recommended to me that you strip the girls after 7 days, by then the catfish are eating and free swimming, and the cichlids are heads and tails.

I then place the catfish and cichld eggs in a strainer. If there are no catfish I either feed the eggs to previous batch of cuckoos (if any) or bubble the host eggs.

Once all host eggs are eaten I then feed froozen blood worms and brine shrimp to the cuckoos.

Matt

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Matt is exactly right. I bred cuckoo catfish for years and Matts explanation is spot on. Alot of people use peacocks as the host female but I found red check Macrathalmus to be great as they got quite big (for big mouthfuls) and slow allowing the cuckoos to do there bit easily.

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