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[Done] Keeping and breeding Heterandria formosa
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nonamethefish
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PostPosted: 2004.03.04(Thu)23:32    Post subject: [Done] Keeping and breeding Heterandria formosa Reply with quote

According to your reply on the other "article"...this would be better as a gallery item?


This male is a little small. Is it still good, or do you guys want a pic of a mature male?

This was done a long time ago by me, but nevertheless...

Since seeing a Picture of this fish in the beginning of my hobby, I was fascinated. Imagine, a fish in which the males are half the size of females, around 1.5 cm max! The females are about 2-3 cm. Of course, I knew these guys were not available to me at that time at the price I could afford. However, around May, I noticed a website offering them at about 1 dollar each. The ten gallon received a makeover, and in July the fish had arrived. They spent about 2 days in the mail, but looked just fine when I pulled them from the bag. The 10 fish were netted out and placed in a ten gallon tank. The tank was planted with some little java ferns which waved loosely in the current, not yet attached to the lava rock. A couple dwarf lily plants had begun producing submerged leaves. Previously, this tank contained ten golden wonder killifish juvies to keep the bacteria and me occupied. It also contained ghost shrimp and some MTS (I seem to be the only person who can't get these things to multiply!) This tank was rather bare, and once they were in the tank, they dissapeared. The largest male dissapeared about a week later. He probably died because of swimbladder disorder which he showed after 2 days in the tank(sinking to the bottom). The remaining 2 males immediately set to work courting the 4 bulky females. It was amusing to watch as they stalked them, turning and twisting to remind directly behind the females waiting for the right moment. The other four were juveniles. This tank weathered a BGA outbreak a few weeks after the new fish were added. It gradually backed off as the plants began to do better, along with frequent waterchanges. The ghost shrimp were removed because one was spotted grabbing a juvenile in its pincers. The little fish wriggled free. On the 2nd day in the tank, I spotted a baby about the size of a large baby guppy attempting to get air at the surface. After several tries, the swimbladder filled with air, and the little fish swam to the java ferns to feed. Over the next month, we counted 6. This number stayed stable for a long time, despite new babies. I decided that the babies were dying. So the next feedings were finely crushed flakes sprinked on the surface and swirled into the water to distribute them throughout the tank. This seemed to work well, as the babies, when young, hid in the plants. Only when they grew a bit did they venture out into the open. The largest one, eventually turned out to be a male. Females developed, and as more babies began to survive the number rose. Today, the tank looks like this.

The tank is densely planted and lit with a 15 watt flourescent bulb. The plants are 2 apognetons(probably crispus), 2 dwarf lilys(not doing well, almost dissapeared), java ferns, and the newest addition, 2 windelov java ferns. The ferns had conquered the rock, but I pulled them off and put the windelov java fern in their place. Most will be moved to another tank soon. The number of fish right now looks like about 30 or so fish. The fishy receive finely ground flakes swirled into the water and occasional feedings of frozen baby brine shrimp. During the summer, I raised daphnia, and they relished that, along with the cyclops mixed in. Currently there are 3 functioning males, 2 immatures, 7-9 breeder females, and about 20 or so juvies. Needless to say, things are starting to get crowded. Since these fish are small, they take up very little bioload, so this tank is still low maintenance. A couple red ramshorns, limpet snails, and scuds have found their way into the tank. Looking into this tank, you see mainly the juveniles and the males. The females are shyer, hiding around the back and seldom appearing until feeding time.



A little overview about this livebearer: The males are, as stated before are very small. Both sexes sport the same "colors". The fish is brown with a horizontal brown black stripe going from the mouth to the tail base. The stripe is intersected by vertical brown black stripes. Te amount of striping varies between the fish. Some also have blotches in place of stripes on their backs. The small and rounded dorsal fin shows a black spot. On some fish(most of mine) this black spot has a red ring around it, the only bit of color in the fish. The anal fin(females only) also has this spot. The belly to the gill plates is white. The males are slender, with very long gonopodiums. Just for fun, the gonopodium is 2x the size of that on a guppy! It usually spans one third the length of the fish.The females are much bulkier. Both sexes are beautifully done creations. This fish is quite shy at first, but later comes out to accept food. They never beg for food, and still dash behind the lava rock when my hand goes over the tank. After I sit back, they come out and begin feasting on the flakes. The babies swim through the cloud, snatching morsels. The adults are quicker at this, but seldom fight over food, other than snatching pieces from each other should both want the same one. However, should lots of food end up in one place, the largest female will sometimes stake a claim and defend it. Fights between males, females, and even juveniles arise occasionally. The stripes and patterns lighten, the gill plates appear to puff out slighty(making the fish look like its swallowed a mighty mouthful). The fish circle, and sometimes "charge" each other until one retreats. These skirmishes seldom last over a minute, and the longest I've seen is about 10(interrupted by feeding and losing sight of each other). The male to male fights seem to show who's dominate, but the female ones are pretty odd. The most revved up fish wins, even if it is considerably smaller. Fry are produced by superfoetation, which means that their are eggs of many different stages in the female at one time.This results in babies produced in sets of two or three randomly (rather than batches).

Overall, this fish is an excellent fish to keep. These cute little fish are great for small planted tanks. Try them; you'll like them

Cyradia. you can go ahead and edit this post if you wish. if I like how you've done, it will be the final(?) draft. Of course, we need more input first


Last edited by nonamethefish on 2004.05.01(Sat)14:40; edited 4 times in total
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Cyradia
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PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)7:44    Post subject: Re: [Draft] Keeping and breeding Heterandria formosa Reply with quote

nonamethefish wrote:
This was done a long time ago by me, but nevertheless...

Since seeing a Picture of this fish in the beginning of my hobby, I was fascinated. Imagine, a fish in which the males are half the size of females, around 1.5 cm max! The females are about 2-3 cm. Of course, I knew these guys were not available to me at a price I could afford. This allowed me to research the species. Then, about may(don't use a month since we don't know the time line...instead say a few months or 6 months or whatever it is) or so, I noticed a website offering them at about 1 dollar each. The ten gallon received a makeover, and in July the fish had arrived. They spent about 2 days in the mail, but looked just fine when I pulled them from the bag. The 10 fish were netted out and placed in a ten gallon tank. The tank was planted with some little java ferns which waved loosely in the current, not yet attached to the lava rock. A couple dwarf lily plants had begun producing submerged leaves. Previously, this tank contained ten golden wonder killifish juvies to keep the bacteria and me occupied. It also contained ghost shrimp and some MTS (I seem to be the only person who can't get these things to multiply!) This tank was rather bare, and once they were in the tank, they dissapeared. The largest male implied sent...just take it out dissapeared about a week later. He probably died because of swimbladder disorder which he showed after 2 days in the tank(sinking to the bottom). The remaining 2 males immediately set to work courting the 4 bulky females. It was amusing to watch as they stalked them, turning and twisting to remind directly behind the females waiting for the right moment. The other four were juveniles. This tank weathered a BGA outbreak a few weeks after the new fish were added. I added some apognetons and a few vals(which did not prosper.) The BGA slowly backed off after the plants began to do better and waterchanges increased. Later, the ghost shrimp were caught eating MTS, and were removed. One was also spotted grabbing a juvenile in its pincers. The little fish wriggled free. On the 2nd day in the tank, I spotted a baby about the size of a large baby guppy attempting to get air at the surface. After several tries, the swimbladder filled with air, and the little fish swam to the java ferns to feed. Over the next month, we counted 6. This number stayed stable for a long time, despite new babies. I decided that the babies were dying. So the next feedings were finely crushed flakes sprinked on the surface and swirled into the water to distribute them throughout the tank. This seemed to work well, as the babies, when young, hid in the plants. Only when they grew a bit did they venture out into the open. The largest one, eventually turned out to be a male. Females developed, and as more babies began to survive the number rose. Today, the tank looks like this.

The tank is densely planted and lit with a 15 watt flourescent bulb. The plants are 2 apognetons(probably crispus), 2 dwarf lilys(not doing well, almost dissapeared), java ferns, and the newest addition, 2 windelov java ferns. The ferns had conquered the rock, but I pulled them off and put the windelov java fern in their place. Most will be moved to another tank soon. The number of fish right now looks like about 30 or so fish. The fishy receive finely ground flakes swirled into the water and occasional feedings of frozen baby brine shrimp. During the summer, I raised daphnia, and they relished that, along with the cyclops mixed in. Currently there are 3 functioning males, 2 immatures, 7-9 breeder females, and about 20 or so juvies. Needless to say, things are starting to get crowded. Since these fish are small, they take up very little bioload, so this tank is still low maintenance. A couple red ramshorns, limpet snails, and scuds have found their way into the tank. Looking into this tank, you see mainly the juveniles and the males. The females are shyer, hiding around the back and seldom appearing until feeding time.

A little overview about the pygmy livebearer: The males are, as stated before very small. Both sexes sport the same "colors". The fish is brown with a horizontal brown black stripe going from the mouth to the tail base. The stripe is intersected by vertical brown black stripes. Some fish have none, on others, they are quite distinct. Some also have patterns on their backs. The small and rounded dorsal fin shows a black spot. On some fish(most of mine) this black spot has a red ring around it, the only bit of color in the fish. The anal fin(females only) also has this spot. The belly to the gill plates is white. The males are slender, with very long gonopodiums. Just for fun, the gonopodium is 2x the size of that on a guppy! It usually spans one third the length of the fish.The females are much bulkier. Both sexes are beautifully done creations. This fish is quite shy at first, but later comes out to accept food. They never beg for food, and still dash behind the lava rock when my hand goes over the tank. After I sit back, they come out and begin feasting on the flakes. The babies swim through the cloud, snatching morsels. The adults are quicker at this, but seldom fight over food, other than snatching pieces from each other should both want the same one. However, should lots of food end up in one place, the largest female will sometimes stake a claim and defend it. Fights between males, females, and even juveniles arise occasionally. The stripes and patterns lighten, the gill plates appear to puff out slighty(making the fish look like its swallowed a mighty mouthful). The fish circle, and sometimes "charge" each other until one retreats. These skirmishes seldom last over a minute, and the longest I've seen is about 10(interrupted by feeding and losing sight of each other). The male to male fights seem to show who's dominate, but the female ones are pretty odd. The most revved up fish wins, even if it is considerably smaller. Fry are produced by superfoetation, which means that their are eggs of many different stages in the female at one time.This results in babies produced in sets of two or three randomly (rather than batches).

Overall, this fish is an excellent fish to keep. A planted tank starring a colony of these beauties is likely to attract quite, admiring, observation.(reword this? not sure what you're trying to say Try them; you'll like them.

Authors Note: Okay, this would be a good species article. Lots of typos, I went through to edit them out. Tell me what you think!

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Cyradia
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PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)7:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting read. Above is a first pass at the corrections needed. Personally, (and this is just my opinion, I'm curious as to the others) I think it would be better without the personal tank details. If it's to serve as information about your experience with the species, the information about MTS and that a lily isn't doing well, etc, has little to do with the fish. I think it could be trimmed down to a much more concise piece that people are more likely to read. There are some really interesting points, but I'm afraid they get lost in the bulk. The superfoetation was very interesting.
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nonamethefish
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PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)18:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was done a long time ago by me, but nevertheless...

Since seeing a Picture of this fish in the beginning of my hobby, I was fascinated. Imagine, a fish in which the males are half the size of females, around 1.5 cm max! The females are about 2-3 cm. Of course, I knew these guys were not available to me at that time at the price I could afford. However, around May, I noticed a website offering them at about 1 dollar each. The ten gallon received a makeover, and in July the fish had arrived. They spent about 2 days in the mail, but looked just fine when I pulled them from the bag. The 10 fish were netted out and placed in a ten gallon tank. The tank was planted with some little java ferns which waved loosely in the current, not yet attached to the lava rock. A couple dwarf lily plants had begun producing submerged leaves. Previously, this tank contained ten golden wonder killifish juvies to keep the bacteria and me occupied. It also contained ghost shrimp and some MTS (I seem to be the only person who can't get these things to multiply!) This tank was rather bare, and once they were in the tank, they dissapeared. The largest male dissapeared about a week later. He probably died because of swimbladder disorder which he showed after 2 days in the tank(sinking to the bottom). The remaining 2 males immediately set to work courting the 4 bulky females. It was amusing to watch as they stalked them, turning and twisting to remind directly behind the females waiting for the right moment. The other four were juveniles. This tank weathered a BGA outbreak a few weeks after the new fish were added. It gradually backed off as the plants began to do better, along with frequent waterchanges. The ghost shrimp were removed because one was spotted grabbing a juvenile in its pincers. The little fish wriggled free. On the 2nd day in the tank, I spotted a baby about the size of a large baby guppy attempting to get air at the surface. After several tries, the swimbladder filled with air, and the little fish swam to the java ferns to feed. Over the next month, we counted 6. This number stayed stable for a long time, despite new babies. I decided that the babies were dying. So the next feedings were finely crushed flakes sprinked on the surface and swirled into the water to distribute them throughout the tank. This seemed to work well, as the babies, when young, hid in the plants. Only when they grew a bit did they venture out into the open. The largest one, eventually turned out to be a male. Females developed, and as more babies began to survive the number rose. Today, the tank looks like this.

The tank is densely planted and lit with a 15 watt flourescent bulb. The plants are 2 apognetons(probably crispus), 2 dwarf lilys(not doing well, almost dissapeared), java ferns, and the newest addition, 2 windelov java ferns. The ferns had conquered the rock, but I pulled them off and put the windelov java fern in their place. Most will be moved to another tank soon. The number of fish right now looks like about 30 or so fish. The fishy receive finely ground flakes swirled into the water and occasional feedings of frozen baby brine shrimp. During the summer, I raised daphnia, and they relished that, along with the cyclops mixed in. Currently there are 3 functioning males, 2 immatures, 7-9 breeder females, and about 20 or so juvies. Needless to say, things are starting to get crowded. Since these fish are small, they take up very little bioload, so this tank is still low maintenance. A couple red ramshorns, limpet snails, and scuds have found their way into the tank. Looking into this tank, you see mainly the juveniles and the males. The females are shyer, hiding around the back and seldom appearing until feeding time.



A little overview about this livebearer: The males are, as stated before are very small. Both sexes sport the same "colors". The fish is brown with a horizontal brown black stripe going from the mouth to the tail base. The stripe is intersected by vertical brown black stripes. Te amount of striping varies between the fish. Some also have blotches in place of stripes on their backs. The small and rounded dorsal fin shows a black spot. On some fish(most of mine) this black spot has a red ring around it, the only bit of color in the fish. The anal fin(females only) also has this spot. The belly to the gill plates is white. The males are slender, with very long gonopodiums. Just for fun, the gonopodium is 2x the size of that on a guppy! It usually spans one third the length of the fish.The females are much bulkier. Both sexes are beautifully done creations. This fish is quite shy at first, but later comes out to accept food. They never beg for food, and still dash behind the lava rock when my hand goes over the tank. After I sit back, they come out and begin feasting on the flakes. The babies swim through the cloud, snatching morsels. The adults are quicker at this, but seldom fight over food, other than snatching pieces from each other should both want the same one. However, should lots of food end up in one place, the largest female will sometimes stake a claim and defend it. Fights between males, females, and even juveniles arise occasionally. The stripes and patterns lighten, the gill plates appear to puff out slighty(making the fish look like its swallowed a mighty mouthful). The fish circle, and sometimes "charge" each other until one retreats. These skirmishes seldom last over a minute, and the longest I've seen is about 10(interrupted by feeding and losing sight of each other). The male to male fights seem to show who's dominate, but the female ones are pretty odd. The most revved up fish wins, even if it is considerably smaller. Fry are produced by superfoetation, which means that their are eggs of many different stages in the female at one time.This results in babies produced in sets of two or three randomly (rather than batches).

Overall, this fish is an excellent fish to keep. These cute little fish are great for small planted tanks. Try them; you'll like them

Cyradia. you can go ahead and edit this post if you wish. if I like how you've done, it will be the final(?) draft. Of course, we need more input first.
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Marcos Avila
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PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)18:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't get it noname, why post it again? Why not just edit your first post in the topic?
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nonamethefish
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PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)19:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case we wish to take anything back. Thats the way it looks in my mind. That way, Cyradia can do all she wishes to this post. If it looks good, then we could go on from there. If we wish to check back to the original, then its still there!

Thoughts from my very shortsighted mind. If you've got a suggestion on that, then I'd be happy to hear it.
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Marcos Avila
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PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)19:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just don't see why keep an original/backup copy here on the board, why not just keep it in your hard drive?
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nonamethefish
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PostPosted: 2004.05.01(Sat)18:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would this be too long for a Gallery entry?

Thanks!
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