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Dario dario
March 18, 2014
7:08 pm
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JK91
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Hi,

 

I have frequently visited the site to increase my knowledge of the freshwater life and I love the set-ups and the rare fish I've seen here. Love what you guys are able to create with sometimes so little. So I figured I'd become part of the SF family and register myself. I also have a question for you guys, right away.

 

I currently own a 160ish liter aquarium, or a 40ish gallon aquarium (100x40x40 or 39"x16"x16"). Before, I've mainly kept Apistogramma's as main fish. I originally wanted to keep a smaller dwarf cichlid, but eventually, I fell in love with the Dario family. After some research I quickly found out they're fairly timid but hardy fish, can be kept in an unheated tank and almost only take live food. 

 

What I didn't find, was what I could ideally keep with Dario dario. Well, I did find plenty of aquarium in which they did well, but I'd still like to know what the ideal tankmates would be. Since they are so timid and slow eaters, I figured quick and rapid fish would cause trouble for the Dario to consume enough food. Bigger fish are out of the question, of course. There are so many fish I would like to try, but they require warmer temperatures than I can offer them. Temperatures currently fluctuate between 20 to 22 degrees (69F to 72F). Currently in spring (although I haven't seen the sun in a few days, heh), so I guess temperatures could rise to approximately 25 degrees (77F) and could drop to approximately 17 degrees (63F). I think most fish wouldn't like these kind of low temperatures.

 

While writing down and scraping plenty of species, I'm currently wondering whether these would be good tankmates:

- Celestichthys margaritatus

- Danio tinwini

- Pethia gelius/canius

- Parasphaerichthys lineatus

 

If you have positive experiences keeping Dario sp. with a certain species, I'd love to hear that aswell. In fact, I'd love to hear anyone's opinion about this. Please, feel free to provide any kind of information you have. 

 

Not to forget, I'll definitely be keeping Neocaridina denticulata sinensis red or an other shrimp that reproduces fairly quickly with it, to provide some kind of food for the Dario's, should I run out of live food or anything. 

 

Thanks in advance,

Jeffrey

March 19, 2014
12:01 am
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oaken
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I think it really depends on how you feed them. I have kept Dario dario with Poecilia wingei (Endler's guppy) without any problems. If you feed a lot of newly hatched brine shrimp and the like it's not really that difficult to spread the food around so that the Dario can get their fair share even if the guppies are pretty lively. 

 

I think the fish you mentioned would work, but keeping the Dario well fed together with a bunch of Danio tinwini might be tough. 

March 19, 2014
12:42 pm
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JK91
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So you'd say the Danio tinwini would be too lively for the Dario dario to be a good combination? Wouldn't they be less active than the Endler's you've kept? I've always had the impression they were much calmer than their Danio nephews, although I did read that the Danio micagemmae should be a fairly calm fish, compared to their look-a-likes Tanichthys albonubes. 

 

Never thought it would be this hard to find suitable tankmates for Dario dario, but thanks for confirming that the ones I mentioned, aside from the Danio tinwini, should work in theory.

 

 

March 19, 2014
1:07 pm
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BigTom
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How about Dario, Parasphaerichthys and Indostomus? That would make an ace tank with three really fascinating species all of which are quite retiring micropredators.

March 19, 2014
5:04 pm
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Rüdiger
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Yeah Tom, that would actually be a dream of a tank! :-D

I have not kept the species you mention yet, just as another option, my best experience so far was with D. dario and Elassoma evergladei.

So if distribution is not a problem it certainly is worth a try.

 

Regards,

R.

If you must insist on living in a box ...... at least do your thinking outside.
March 19, 2014
7:27 pm
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JK91
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Hi Tom,

 

That'd certainly be something! Lovely and rare species. I don't know my water parameters other than that my pH should be around 7.5 and my DH should be between 4 and 12, according to my water supplier's website. I should give them a call or mail them tomorrow, so I can perhaps figure out what exactly ends up in my tank.

 

Being fairly rare species, what do you reckon would be the best water conditions for these fish (Indostomus and Parasphaerichthys)? And would the Indostomus adapt to a life in an unheated tank with temperatures a little below what the site recommends for the I. paradoxus?

 

 

Hi R.,

 

Distribution is not a major issue, as long as the fish get along and water condition recommendations are the same or within eachother's reach. Wouldn't the Elassoma evergladei be too competitive towards the Dario dario, given they're often found near the bottom of the tank? What was the size of the tank? Did the Dario dario or Elassoma evergladei reproduce or did you never see any offspring in the tank?

 

 

Thanks for the replies! You've been of major help already.

 

In fact, I was wondering. Given these are fairly timid and retiring species, how do you properly feed them? I wish I could just start by putting live food in the tank already, but since I have a filter installed (an intern one, might I add), I can safely assume they'd all get sucked up within a few hours after release, right? 

If I feed them, would the fish be able to get to the food before it gets into the filter? I've looked at the Indostomus before and they don't seem like the kind of fish that sits infront of the tank waiting for the food to arrive. Might prove to be a little bit difficult. I'm a little uncertain about leaving the filter out, although it would make things a lot easier regarding the feeding of the fish.

March 19, 2014
7:58 pm
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BigTom
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I found I. paradoxus to be fairly adaptable. They were breeding for me at one point in water that was 21 celsius, pH 5.5, 45ppm. I can't attest to how they'd do below that temperature but my hunch is they'd be OK. Any particular reason you can't heat the tank to say 20 degrees to be on the safe side?

As for feeding, they spend much of their time lurking in crevices with their head poking out to catch anything that wafts past. They will also slowly patrol the tank when lights are off. A slow current is probably fine for distributing small prey such as bbs, microworms etc around the tank such that all the fish can find some.

I'd go for a setup with a good tangle of fine branches, dead leaves, plant roots etc for the fish to hunt in and to offer hiding places for fry and microorganisms that can act as a secondary food source.

March 20, 2014
12:50 am
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Rüdiger
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They were in a 57 litre (60x30x30 cm) tank. The Darios did spawn regularly but were quick to eat their own eggs. From the Elassomas I had about 20 fry within one year, which did grow up in that tank without any intervention.

I never saw any "real" competition between the two spacies. The males would show off every once in a blue moon but no physical contact ever. As far as feeding is concerned, the Darios were always the first at the food. The advantage is, that (in my experience) both species do not have the tendecy to stuff themselves to the point of bursting, so there was always enough for all of them. The only downfall is, that with both of them you needn't bother trying anything else but live food.

Regards,

R.

 

If you must insist on living in a box ...... at least do your thinking outside.
March 20, 2014
10:09 am
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JK91
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Hi Tom. I forgot to mention what the temperatures would be. At the moment they are around 20 to 22 degrees. As we are in spring at the moment and summer coming up, I don't think they'll drop below that. I can heat it up 20 degrees without a problem if winter's causing any trouble.

I think I'm best off starting with the Dario dario, because I'd consider them as easiest of the trio. If that's working out for me, I guess I can start with looking at other species. I hope I'm not taking too much of a jump here from relatively easy fish (Apistogramma iniridae would be the most demanding fish I've kept so far) to such rare and fairly demanding fish as Indostomus and Parasphaerichthys. Time will tell.

 

Hi Rüdiger. That's pretty awesome. The two species are very colourful and keeping them all safe and sound in one tank should be a great sight. Thanks for the heads up on the food part, it's good to know the Dario dario don't overfeed themselves so there's plenty left for the rest of the tank. I know about the live food and I'm not really sure what the easiest way of continuesly having life food in the house without harrassing my parents too much (especially my mom, hah). I know that just feeding off little shrimps and micro-food isn't going to cut it, so I'll need some kind of live stock, still figuring out what would be the best and easiest choice.

 

March 20, 2014
4:54 pm
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JK91
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I'm delighted to announce that in approximately two weeks I'm (hopefully) going to be the happy owner of *drum roll* Dario sp. Myanmar. I was surprised to find them at my LFS, colourless, but lively and seemingly well fed. At first sight they looked like D. hysginon with the black stripe and the start of their dorsal fin, although they were labeled as Dario sp. Pyjamas. After some observation, two challenged eachother, spreading their fins and showing their true colours. I was astonished. Red body with black stripes. They looked absolutely stunning, although it was only for a few seconds. I kept looking for about ten minutes after that, but they decided to leave me in doubt. Nonetheless I decided to ask the owner to keep 8 to 10 specimen reserved for me. 

A complete surprise for me. I was planning on adding shrimps in about two to three weeks and only about a month after that I was planning on adding fish. The D. sp. Myanmar are closely related to the D. hygsinon which seem to take frozen and dry food more easily than the D. dario, or so I read? That'd definitely help so I have no trouble feeding them while the shrimp start to have off-spring.

I'm a little afraid it might be a bit too soon, though. I've only set-up the tank a week ago, but man, how often do you find Dario sp. Myanmar at your LFS for only 4 euros ($5.50) per specimen. I figured I'd take the gamble. May I add, about half of the aquarium water came from my old tank, but I did replace the substrate and filter. Do you guys think it's possible that adding the 'old water' speeds up the process? 

March 20, 2014
6:04 pm
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oaken
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Wow nice find! Would like to keep that species myself. I recently bought some Dario kajal so it seems the more rare Dario species are becoming available pretty regularly. Interestingly enough Dario har always cheap no matter what species it is.

 

It is possible to get Dario to eat frozen and dried foods but I don't think you should count on it. Either way I think it is best to always be able to give them livefood and use frozen and dried foods as supplements.

As for the old tank water, I don't think it will help much. What you want to do (if you can) is to suck up some of the dirt from another aquarium, or squeeze out an old filter in your new aquarium. This will provide your new tank with much needed bacteria. 

 

As for live foods, look into hatching brine shrimp eggs. It is very easy and doesn't cost you much. Different types of worms are also great and relatively easy to culture, such as microworms and grindal worms. Although worms shouldn't be fed too often as they contain a lot of fat. I'm not sure where you live but I'm going to assume it's either in the UK or US. If you're in the UK there are people on Ebay and the like that sell live foods. For example this seller: http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/hyps.....038;_from=

 

 

March 20, 2014
6:48 pm
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JK91
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Definitely! I feel very lucky. Those D. kajal's are beautiful too! Are these the only Dario's you keep?

I'm from The Netherlands btw. But yeah, I guess I'll have to find out how to keep live food now. Everyone says it's pretty easy and straightforward, but for me it looks like such a hassle. I better get started on it though, so I get the hang of it when I get the fish. Do you reckon brine shrimp and microworms are easiest to culture? 

I'm afraid I don't have another tank running. I did use the same tank in another set-up. I sold my fish, replaced the substrate and (silly me) cleaned the sponges from the filter with my normal tap water, because I wanted a fresh start, so I'm afraid I've killed pretty much every bacteria alive in there. 

 

March 20, 2014
7:37 pm
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oaken
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Ah okay. I think live food should be readily available in the Netherlands as well. Maybe Stefan @Stefan (I wonder if this works) could give you some tips on where to get some. There are quite a few suppliers of live foods these days in Europe.  

At the moment I only keep Dario kajal, yes, but I have kept Dario dario and Dario hysginon before.

Anyway, brine shrimp are very easy to hatch. It's not so much culturing them but actually just hatching the eggs and harvesting the newly hatched nauplii as soon as possible to feed to your fish. I use a small plastic container with 2 litres of tap water with 2 tablespoons (15ml) of salt added to the water. Mix the water well so the salt is dissolved and then add about 1 ml of brine shrimp eggs. They hatch after about 24 hours, depending on temperature. To harvest them it's good if you can place the container close to a strong source of light, such as a spotlight, as the brine shrimp will move towards the light and are then easier to remove.

Microworms are also very simple to culture. Again you need a small plastic container, but with a lid this time. Make a couple of small holes in the lid, then mix oatmeal with water until it has a porridge-like consistency. It shouldn't be watery but still moist. Then sprinkle some dry yeast on top of it. Now you're ready to add your starter culture, which you will have to get from some other fishkeeper. You can also add spirulina or astaxanthin to the mix to make it more nutritious.

March 21, 2014
11:12 am
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JK91
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Cheers man. Stefan contacted me and I know a lot more now. I'm very excited to have these beautiful fish in my tank. Thank you so much!

March 21, 2014
4:56 pm
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oaken
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Good to hear that Stefan helped you out :) Would be interesting to see pictures of your tank/new Dario if possible!

March 21, 2014
6:46 pm
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JK91
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I'll certainly add some when everything starts growing and the fish arrive. I have no camera though, so I'm afraid my mobile phone will have to suffice. Little buggers will make it hard, but I'll try my best. :)

April 8, 2014
1:47 pm
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JK91
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So I got the fish yesterday. All except for one male were grey with some dark spots or stripes here and there. Hard to notice if there was any difference in male or female, so I got ten of them. It looks like I have at least three females, possibly four or even five. Quite lucky I guess. The owner said he got them from a breeder from Germany, if anyone else is interested. They aren't showing their best colours yet. They're young specimens and when the pictures were taken they were in the tank for an hour or two. I was rather pleasantly surprised the males already showed some red colours. They do not show the characteristic darker head stripes or the red body stripes, yet, though. There is some red on their body, especially when they're trying to impress a female, but it's hard to get them on camera, but I managed to get some shots, though. 

Male and female:

 photo c8466652-de15-470f-b109-a2c00dc3b967_zpsf3d3a3d2.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 photo 900ce4e2-fef0-4092-b497-943569217247_zps9a5f61f7.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 photo 00cda460-0262-4309-a196-e70bafb9f053_zps24c21509.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Male in normal colours?

 photo ee473fd9-8c15-4a96-adf8-feb19c85f0b4_zpse1dc2450.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 photo 1e4001a3-6440-4dfe-9199-a3c40b0daa63_zpsc21960e8.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Female in normal colours? Notice how small. The snail isn't even a large one.

 photo da8cc6c2-7176-4dfd-9df9-7906d7d55c8f_zps4cf401d6.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Male

 photo 499ed910-8100-44e3-a397-99026fbf9373_zps6955607e.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 photo f137f44a-50a6-4af8-a260-a19a7194dda4_zps2b3c6ceb.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 photo ffa9bd14-709c-45e1-87a8-eb596b79a415_zps2f6b5023.jpgImage Enlarger

 

This is the tank they're in. Currently all for themselves, except for one shrimp that was caught by the owner too (I didn't mind).

 photo a329e0fa-87b1-4a36-ac69-cd7ea10ad0db_zps85b88158.jpgImage Enlarger

April 8, 2014
2:52 pm
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JK91
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Could they perhaps be "just" Dario hysginon, though? I thought D. hysginon were prominently orange coloured, but I guess they could also turn out to be more reddish? Do they have random dark spots on their body too?

I wouldn't mind if they were D. hysginon, though. I absolutely love them.

Edit:

Or Dario dayingensis? I don't think they're D. sp. Myanmar, since they don't have the dark spots and stripes on their heads, although they were sold as "Dario sp. Pyjamas". You would think a decent breeder wouldn't sell his fish as D. sp. Pyjamas if they were D. hysginon.

"It can be told apart from D. hysginon by possession of 24-25 scales in the lateral row (vs. 23, rarely 22 or 24), usually 9½ scales in the transverse row (vs. 8½), usually 26 vertebrae (vs. 25), and by the upper jaw containing palatine teeth (vs. absence of palatine teeth)." (D. dayingensis vs D. hysginon). Not sure how I'm going to figure this out.

Edit 2:

What I can garther is that the females certainly do have the vertical darker stripes, not black, just a little darker than their body colour. Males are all in the back of the tank. From what I can gather, they do have darkish (might be red) stripes on their body, but no black spots/markings on their heads (yet). Almost all specimen have a few black spots on the body, though. 

April 8, 2014
4:43 pm
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oaken
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Sure looks a lot like D. hysginon to me. I think Dario sp. Myanmar should have more obvious stripes like you mentioned. Even Dario hysginon has very faint stripes on the body if I remember correctly but they're barely visible. To say whether it's hysginon or dayingensis is of course very difficult, but it's probably more likely that it's hysginon since it is imported more often (not actually sure if dayingensis has ever been commercially imported?). 

 

Nice fish though! And nice pictures :)

April 8, 2014
4:44 pm
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oaken
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I did see someone else post a video Facebook of fish that he bought as D. sp. Myanmar. Those looked like hysginon to me as well, so I would guess you're not alone with getting the wrong fish. I would assume that they're wild caught and not bred, by the way.

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