Well, they're back at it, and as promised I'm taking more pictures.
It all began with a water change and the disturbing of the driftwood they like to hide out under when they're not feeding.
I'm uncertain whether this is the same male, as I believe I have two, but I'm fairly sure the female is the same one as the previous time
. I first noticed her bloated as well as being constantly out in the open several days ago and thought, "oh boy. here we go again." Sure enough, today I noticed them attempting to embrace. I don't believe she's quite ready, as no eggs are resulting from the encounters. This happened last time. They "practiced" for several days before beginning to actually lay and fertilize.
Here she is. Her belly is much larger than usual.
Their preferred spot. Last time they congregated on the swords, as they are now, but eventually moved to the underside of an anubias. Now the anubias is under strong current. It'll be interesting to see if they move there this time as well.
Something I noticed this time. Her "ovipositor" as the betta people would call it, is very protruded. Its unlike the button type one on the German Ram I've watched. Hers is very pointy, and there appears to be a trough running down the back of it from where it attaches at her body, creating an appendage whose cross section is rather v shaped. Sorry for this horrid pic of it, they don't remain on the glass very long, as it is merely a waypoint in their game of follow the leader.
She is always the leader by the way, and appears to pick the spots. He follows her around. I saw her attempt to lead him from the glass to a sword plant on another side of the tank. However, he returned to their previous area of the sword plant pictured above. He seemed lost for about 45 seconds, trying the areas where they'd already been, He finally must have smelled her out, as she was lying in an area which he couldn't see. He made a Bee line over there and they started right back up
I don't know why they try so many different places. Perhaps they are looking for the current to be correct, or less lighting. Perhaps they are selecting many suitably places and waiting until egg time to decide if conditions have changed.
Perhaps this time I'll remove the predators without otherwise disturbing the tank, and see if any fry survive. However, I think they'll need a healthy supply of infusoria to really thrive.
As with last time, its a little cold outside to be coming up with green water on such short notice. My hope is that someday they'll do this during the summer when I can adequately feed the resulting fry with the appropriate food.