Have you ever had this happen:
You're working with a fish that you really wanted to breed, and you tried seemingly every way possible to induce it to do so, with no success?
You tried environmental manipulation, water changes, switching up pairs, playing with the day/night cycle, switching out foods, etc., etc., etc.
Then, one day, sometime after you've thrown up your arms in defeat...you look into the tank they reside in, and...you have fry!
Ever had that happen?
It's one of the great mysteries of aquarium keeping...And it's not a bad thing of course. The main bummer is that you often don't know what- if anything-that you did was the "catalyst" for the spawning event! It's like you're just scratching your head...
I think it just goes to show you that animals often defy our human-rationalized "processes" and do whatever they damn well please! I mean, you can do what "the books" say to get a fish to spawn, but unless the fish are up to it, you're just dreaming...
So, where does this leave us, the aquarists who dream of breeding "that" fish?
It leaves us doing exactly what we've done for decades- giving our fish the best food and environment possible, and hoping against hope that our husbandry decisions result i na spawn. And if they don't, we just have to either "stand down" on trying new stuff, or just keep on going.
There is no right or wrong answer here..The reality is, what makes the tropical fish hobby so enjoyable is that eternal quest for knowledge- the pursuit of a goal...
Frustrating though it may be at times, I don't think I know a hobbyist who would take up some other pursuit in its place, do you?
Didn't think so.
Keep striving. Keep trying.
And Stay Wet.