Sonntag, 30. Mai 2010
Chromaphyosemion bivittatum "Funge"
Its time to introduce one of the most beautiful kind of killifish living at my place: Chromaphyosemion bivittatum - this is quite a big Chromaphyosemion species - don't think about keeping them in a tank smaller tan 60cm - my group lives in the tank in my living-room (200 litres) and if you give them lots of space, you will reach two goals: get big and beautiful fish and see lots of their action.
This fish don't care much about housing together with other species. Corys or other Catfish are a nice possibility, and - of course other Killifish - Epiplatys dageti monroviae or Aplocheilus lineatus where kept together with them at my place without any problems. Don't give them another Chromaphyosemion species as companion - I was told, that almost all Chromaphyosemion are hybridizing - so don't take this risk.
The females of Chromaphyosemion bivittatum are unique within the Chromaphyosemion-family: There are no others who show such coloration - so - if necessary, you can keep females of bivittatum together in one tank with other Chromy-females - I do this sometimes to feed them about one week before breeding to raise the amount of eggs.
The feeding is easy - most important thing is: never feed too much. They will go for almost every kind of food - even flakes. It's always better to feed them less, than much - and if you forget the bivittatum tank one or two days a week - it's not bad at all. They like insecs - try Drosophila, baby-crickets or any kind of flys - they go crazy for insects on the surface.
After feeding them with live food - you will see the males dancing - and this displays are just amazing. Here we talk about an old theme: never keep only a pair of them - this will be a sad sight. Keep at least three or four males and enjoy the sight of the spreaded fins.
The fights are harmless, sometimes the dorsal fin gets damaged - and interesting: the alpha-male won't spread his fins at all - he appears and all the others will accept his leadership - the displays are done between the low-ranked males.
Another interesting thing: the females too compete for the best place to lay their eggs - the strongest female is the queen of the mopp - I'll try to get pictures of this behaviour - it's similar to the males display - spreading the fins, showing off the operculum - so watch out to see this at your place too.
Breeding is fairly easy - the water has to be soft, the egg production is much better during the summer months - from may till september, but one can harvest enough eggs in wintertime too. Sometimes they make a break in laying eggs. An adult and good fed pair will bring about 25 eggs a day - sometimes more, sometimes only 8-10, sometimes only two or even no eggs at all. Especially in wintertime it's not easy to collect big amounts of eggs.
The key to lots of eggs is not too much food and food of good quality. Drosophila is excellent food to raise the amount of eggs.
I pick the eggs out of the mopp and store them on wetted peat for about a week - than I put them in a small box with water to hatch - after hatching I use a 30cm-tank to raise them - raising is no problem, baby-brine-shrimp is a good starter-food. The sex-ratio is almost equal - at the age of about three month they need more space - don't keep too much young fish in small tanks.
Young fish need live food or frozen food to get big and beautiful - you will never get a show-pair by using flakes as the only food.
In a well planted tank there is always a possibility for survival for some fry - its almost impossible to loose this species, if you have a hand for them. The most common cause of death is jumping out through a gap of the cover of the tank - so keep the cover closed and put some filter-foam in every gap, this are expert jumpers. Another dangerous thing are red mosquito larvaes - the frozen ones. Ths food caused sudden death at my place among Chromaphyosemions - and this food kills always the most beautiful fish. I removed red mosquito-larvaes from my food list for Chromaphyosemion - and put sometimes some green flakes on it - TetraPhyll or some other green Flakes seem to be a good choice to give the food some variation.