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I'm almost ready to begin my spawn, been conditioning my pair for a couple weeks, set the tank up a couple days ago. My only remaining questions are:

1: What amount of lighting to use. Right now i have a pretty intense (very hot) light on the tank.

I can switch to a more normal house light, i have a red bulb, i have blacklight, i could just let it have room light.

I thought i heard somewhere to keep it relatively dark for the courtship and spawn, but i have no idea where i read that and can't find anything the mentions light now.

So
A. How much light for courtship?
B. how much for mating?
C. how much for after and fry development?

2: I plan on throwing an Oak leaf in there, but i also have some water i crushed some leaves in that has been seeping for a few days if i would actually need to tint the water.

What level of tannin should i use?
 

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Lots of different opinions and experiences on lighting....years ago I would keep the lights on 24/7 before, during and after breeding and have successful spawns.....
Now that I spawn using a natural setup-I don't change my lighting for the breeding-I stay on my regular schedule photoperiod and lights for the plants and still have successful spawns....

We have always read/heard that you have to keep lights on at night once the eggs are in the nest and I followed that rule for years.....but now....I don't....I turn my lights off at night just like I normally do and still have successful spawns and have not had any issues with the male eating eggs/fry due to lights off at night.

Fish have what is called the Lateral line-this sense organ functions kinda like echo location to assist them in the dark to find food, avoid being eating, running into the walls-objects...etc...and tend to eggs/fry...etc.....

While leaving the lights on is okay-turning out the lights is okay too...both work.....just like really dark tanned water or lots of things in the tank-the fish can find each other with their sense organ "Lateral Line"

Depending on how your spawning tank is setup and if you have live plants-lighting is going to be important for the plants-improper lighting for plants can cause the plants to decline and then they can become problematic in regards to water quality.....

I have noticed over the years of spawning this species-that they tend to spawn at first light when given the choice-before the lights ever come on-often they will be done spawning before I ever turn the lights on at 8am...but this can vary too....
 
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