The male takes over an area, which it defends against other males. A female moves in, signaling her receptivity by tilting toward the substrate. The male joins the female, and they move side by side with their heads together. The pair spawns directly on the substrate or, conditions permitting, by diving into it. In an aquarium with more than one male, a dominant male, obvious by his black body and fins, defends a spawning area of his choice; the color of the other males fades to light gray, with some black or brownish blotching. If the aquarium is heavily planted so that the males cannot see each other, more than one dominant male may appear.

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