Archive for the 'Livebearers aquarium fish' Category

Endler’s livebearer

Poecilia wingei is a species of fish in the genus Poecilia, native to the Paria Peninsula, Venezuela. It is a colorful fish, similar to (and closely related to) the guppy. It has been collected by a small handful of people over the years, including John Endler, whose stock was the first to make it to the aquarium trade. Though it is rare in pet shops, it is still seen from time to time today in the aquaria of enthusiasts. They are prolific breeders like their guppy relatives. They can be crossed with guppies, but the hybrid offspring are sterile and considered to dilute the gene pool and so this is avoided by fish breeders. Many fish sold in pet stores as Endler’s livebearers are actually these hybrids.

Endler’s livebearers give birth to live young approximately every 28 days. They are hardy and undemanding in the aquarium though they prefer hard, warm water. The warmer the water, the faster they will grow; however this also seems to wear them out faster and they do not live as long. They can be kept at 18–29 °C (66–82 °F), but their optimum temperature seems to be 24–27 °C. This is slightly higher than their guppy cousins which prefer 23–25 °C. They do best if kept in tanks with plants (preferably live, but fake will do) to give them hiding places and (although unlike guppies they tend not to eat their own young) give the fry a better chance at survival.

Although not on the IUCN Red List of endangered species they are in danger of extinction as humans take over their natural habitat, polluting and destroying it.

Platy - Xiphophorus maculata breeding

In aquaria Xiphophorus maculata is known as platy. Their natural environment is in Mexico and Guatemala. The body is relative prolonged, with prolonged back and abdomen. There also are someXiphophorus maculata, platy fish varieties with high back and stumpy body. The dorsal fin has 9-10 rays, being relative small. There are some veil forms with a very prolonged dorsal fin. The male can reach 4 cm length and the female 6 cm. Even in nature, there are lots of coloration varieties, and in aquariums, due to selections, they are even more.

At the main platy variety, the scruff and the back area are dark olive, it has blue flanks. The laterals have dark colored transversal lines, the abdomen is white and the fins are transparent. On the base of the tail black spots can appear with different brown, red, blue drawings. As coloration varieties there are: golden platy, red platy, wagteil (red body with black tail and fins), tuxeto platy (black and shining scalds on a red or green background). In USA, Gordon obtained a variety called blooding heart which has the neck and the pectoral area colored in a bloody red and the rest of the body is white. The optimal temperature for breeding is 20-25° C. They are viviparous fish; females give birth to up to 100 living fry depending on the size of the female.

Xipho - Xiphophorus helleri breeding

Xiphophorus helleri is spread in Central America, from Guatemala to north of Mexico. The main varietyxiphophorus helleri, xipho is colored in green, the so called green xipho, but due to repeated selections there are plenty of color varieties: red with black tail xipho, read with red eyes xipho, albino xipho, simpson xipho (with a prolonged dorsal fin), tuxeto (with a black longitudinal line), black xipho (from the tuxeto variety, which line coveres the entire lateral part of the body except the fins which remain transparent), berliner xipho (with plenty of black spots on the red background of the body), veiled xipho (with very prolonged paired and unpaired fins).

The female can reach 12 cm length, and the male is a little smaller. The sexual difference is obvious. The male has a modified anal fin, which is transformed into a sexual organ called gonopodium. At veil forms, the gonopodium is very large and the males are `sexual useless`. Another sexual difference is at the caudal fin. The base rays of the male`s anal fin are transformed in a sward;xiphophorus helleri, xipho this gives the name of sword fish. There is a very interesting aspect related to sexual differences and sexes proportions. It`s about the reversibility of sexe and the sexe proportions at spawning. At a certain moment, a strong and well developed female changes the conformation of her body. The gonopodium and the sward appear and she becomes a male. This phenomenon can also take place at other viviparous species, like Xiphophorus maculata. Because of some external factors (pH etc) fisiological changes take place and the female transforms into a male. It is a reversible change, a false male like this can change back to female being able to give birth to fry.

Guppy - Poecilia reticulata breeding

Poecilia reticulata is the famous guppy, the most popular aquarium fish. In the natural environment, there are lots of guppy varieties as both body shape and coloration. In aquariums, duepoecilia reticulata, guppy fish to repeated selections we gave even more than in nature. For guppy fish, there are international standards because a lot of contests are organized having this fish as a subject. The male has a more prolonged body, while the female`s is more compact, but the peduncle is more oblate on the flanks. It is very hard to describe a guppy male from the coloration point of view. Typically it has large spots, dark colored, on both body and fins which edges are shining. The female is less colored, she`s yellow-green, right before the anal area we can see the genital spot. The edges of the scalds are dark colored, giving the impression that they are coated by a netting; that`s the origin of the `reticulata` name.

They are spread in a large area, in South America, northern than Amazon, as well as in Trinidad and Barbados islands. The optimal temperature is about 22-24° C. Guppies eat almost anything, both living and dry food. They are viviparous fish, the females give birth to 20-100 fry at every 4 weeks.

Poecilia molinesia velifera breeding

It is a specie similar to Poecilia latipinna. These fish are spread in Yucatan peninsula (Mexico), where it lives in freshwaters.poecilia velifera, molly fish This specie also needs a salt add in the water of the aquarium, same one spoon with salt at every 4 liters of water. The dorsal fin of the male is very large. The male can reach 15 cm length and the female is larger, but in aquariums they remain smaller.The flanks of the mail are blue-green or olive, with lots of small spots silvery green to dark blue, between these spots they have longitudinal lines colored in blue-green. These lines can reach the base of the tail. In the abdominal fins area they have 3-4 transversal lines, short and dark colored. The abdominal area is colored in blue or orange. On the tail and dorsal fin, it has small pearly spots, with a dorsal fin hem colored in brown-orange or black. The female has the flanks colored in bleu-green, with small dark colored spots. The fins are transparent or they may have a dark colored drawing. This specie also has lots of color varieties. Some of them are: black or spotted with the dorsal fin hem-stitched in brown-red or orange. Rarely, there are some albino varieties. It`s recommended to cover the aquarium with a lid because they are likely to jump out of the water.

Molly - Poecilia molinesia sphenops

Poecilia molinesia sphenops is a very popular fish, known as molly. It is spread in Central America from Mexico to Columbia, where it lives fresh waters.poecilia sphenops, molly fish In the aquarium water you`ll have to add one spoon with salt at every 4 liters of water, without this salt the fish are very sensitive to diseases, especially `shakings`. This disease manifests with shakings around a vertical axe which goes through the middle of the body. The male has a slender prolonged body while the female`s is stronger and stumpy. The dorsal fin has 8-11 rays. The tail is convex. The males can reach 8 cm length and the females can get larger, about 12 cm length. In general, the fish is colored in olive-brown with silvery flanks. On the flanks it has 4-6 lines made from spots colored in orange or brown. There also are transversal lines, which are marked, colored in black. The dorsal fin is speckled with black and has a yellow hem. The base of the tail is colored in ultramarine blue; in the upper part it is orange-yellow with a black hem. There are other color varieties; one of them is the black molly. Beside the normal tail variety, there is a lyre tail variety. The optimal temperature is 24-28° C. They are viviparous fish; the female gives birth to living fry.

Poeciliidae family - Livebearers

At the beginning, the Livebearers family fish used to live only in America, but because they are mosquito larva eaters they were introduced in other countries too in order to eradicate the population of mosquito. They live near the surface of calm waters or lakes and feed with insects, larva and vegetal supplement. There are differences at reproduction level, males and females differ as both body size and caudal and anal fins aspect. They are viviparous fish, because the females give birth to living fry. The male`s anal fin, transformed into a gonopodium (reproduction organ). The 3rd, 4th and 5th rays of the anal fin are prolonged into a tube through which the spermatozoids will get into the female genital system. This change takes place during the sexual grow. The fry don`t have a gonopodium and while they grow their entire anal fin, genital area, anus and abdominal fins move forward to abdominal or pectoral area. Using specialized muscles, the gonopodium can be rotated with 220°. The spermatozoids are kept into packs delimitated by a specialized membrane. While the reproduction act, the male introduces the gonopodium apex into the female`s genital area and releases a pack of spermatozoids. For a period of time it was thought that the male releases the spermatozoids in the water, near the female`s genital area, but due to research it was discovered that the fecundation is internal not external. The membrane of the spermatozoids pack dissolves releasing the spermatozoids into the female`s ovaries. The eggs are fertilized internal, but a part of the spermatozoids is kept for further fecundations. That`s why a female can give 5-7 births without another mating. The eggs have a big vitally sack permitting the evolution of the embryo inside the egg. For the species with small vitally sack, the embryo receives supplements from the female. A pregnant female is easy to be recognized because she has a big black spot in the anal area, it`s the genital spot. There is a Poeciliidae specie which has only females, Poecilia formosa, the males are unknown. These females mate with other species males, their spermatozoids fecundate the eggs and die, the characters of the species don`t get mixed. After birth, the fry is big enough to swim free and start feeding. Their first act after birth is to reach the surface of the water in order to full their swimming vesicle. The gestation period is between 4 and 6 weeks depending on the specie, and the female can be stimulated with fresh water adds. The pH has to be over 7. In soft andht acid water these species of fish are sensitive to diseases. In an aquarium with more than 1 male, they fight and one of them becomes the dominant male. In the aquarium water we have to add from 1 to 4 spoons of salt, depending on the specie. Some of the Poeciliidae species also need vegetal food.