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Thorichthys Maculipinnis Aka Ellioti
June 4, 2008
12:23 pm
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ulster exile
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OK, since Mike posted his pics of the ellioti, I have been a little bit in awe of this fish (which is rare for me since I'm not much into cichlids)

Somebody is selling some in Leeds (75p btw in case anybody is interested) so I was wondering if somebody could tell me if my tank was suitable for a pair. Also, wondering if these can be sexed at 15mm to 25mm (sizes per the seller).

The tank is about 215l, water is fairly soft, 5dGH, 4dKH, 7.6ph, runs at 24dC. Inhabitants are corys, botia striata, 2 small plecs, 3 SAE's 11 golden pencils. It is also heavily planted and I run pressurised CO2, and add dry ferts (in case this ino makes a difference!).

I have looked on t'internet and *think* it may be a possibilty, but never having had a cichlid in my life, would like a more experienced opinion!

TIA /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

June 4, 2008
2:33 pm
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Matt
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Hi UE. Looking at your water parameters/volume etc. I think your tank would be just about big enough for a pair. I've never kept them personally but bred T. meeki (firemouth) years ago and if I remember right the fish are probably not sexable at the size you mention. You might be better off get getting a group of half a dozen or so and waiting for a pair to form. The only drawback with that method of course is rehoming the other fish later. Let's hope Mike spots this as it'd be useful to get his input as to how aggressive they are. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Also for the record Heros maculipinnis is currently considered a junior synonym of T. ellioti ie. ellioti is the valid name at the moment. Thorichthys maculipinnis isn't even considered an official synonym but the name is all over the internet so I presume some folk believe that it should be changed.

Here's a pic of some adults....beautiful fish! /cool.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="B)" border="0" alt="cool.gif" />

Attached files

[Image Can Not Be Found]

Cake or death?
June 4, 2008
5:14 pm
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ulster exile
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Thanks for you response Matt.

Do you think, honestly, that a pair would be a squeeze in my tank? I have just read an article on the cichild room companion which stated that they wouldn't recommend these being kept in tanks under 300 litres for natural behaviour to be observed. I have also read that the min tank size in terms of length, is 120cm (mine is 100cm - it is deeper than usual hence the larger than average volume for its length).

Now I appreciate that a lot of fish may act more naturally in larger aquariums hence the 300l reference, but I really wouldn't want to be 'squeezing' these in at all or even putting them in uncomfortable surroundings (if you ignore the fact that they're in a glass viewing box dependant on me for survival)...

Like you, I would be interested to hear Mike's comments on their behaviour - I'd gathered that they were a more good-natured companion than their better known family member, the firemouth. In addition to their level of agression, it would be also interesting to hear if they are predatory as I hadn't considered that tbh (wondering if the pencils would become dinner).

Lastly, I'm not overly familiar with the scientific side of the hobby (arts student and for a reason /blush.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blush:" border="0" alt="blush.gif" /> ) but could you confirm if my understanding of your reference to the 'junior synonym' is correct. Is this a new name which hasn't been officially adopted? As to the Maculipinnis reference, I originally started looking under the ellotti name, but found more under the former than the latter so presumed it was the correct/current name.

June 4, 2008
7:17 pm
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Matt
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Ok well a junior synonym is a name that refers to a species but that is not the currently recognised name. This often happens when a species is described more than once by mistake although this is not the only way that one can be raised. You might find this useful /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

I had a little read myself on the maculipinnis vs. ellioti issue and I'll try to break it down as best I can. The fish itself was first discovered in 1864 and described by Steindachner as Heros maculipinnis. In 1904 Meek placed the same fish into his new genus Thorichthys, describing it as Thorichthys ellioti. However when doing so he did not make the connection to Steindachner's fish and used new type specimens, which is where the confusion begins.

The description of Steindachner's Heros maculipinnis apparently matches Meek's Thorichthys ellioti in almost every way, and the type localities of the two are very close geographically. If both descriptions are found to represent the same species then maculipinnis would normally become the recognised name (as it was the first one assigned to the fish) with ellioti becoming a junior synonym of it. Evidently this hasn't been sorted out officially as ellioti is still the recognised name but some cichlid enthusiasts must have made the connection and are now calling it maculipinnis, which doesn't help anyone in my view. /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />

Ok brief taxonomy lesson over, back to the fish! UE what are the other dimensions of your tank?

Cake or death?
June 5, 2008
5:42 pm
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ulster exile
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Hi Matt, I really appreciate you taking the time to explain that, thank you /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

The tank is L100cm x W41cm x H56cm (water height - it's taller than that, but I've only measure from the bottom to the water level). Volume calculator makes it more like 230L but I knock off a bit to allow for substrate etc. The amusing thing is that this was advertised as a 185l tank, and I never questioned it until I knew someone who bought a similar tank and came up with the much greater volume so we had a measuring contest lol.

June 5, 2008
7:09 pm
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Mike
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Just seen this topic and i'd say go for it, the Ellioti are not very aggressive and
should be fine with your other fish, not sure how they are on plants though
I don't keep plants. Like Matt said, get half a dozen and let them pair off,
you'll have no probs selling/trading any extra fish. BTW 75P is a awesome price. /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />
Best of luck with them....

elliottia_783x600.jpgImage Enlarger

June 5, 2008
7:50 pm
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ulster exile
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Thanks for the encouragement Mike.

I'm waiting on the seller to come back to me to let me know how long he can hold on to these for as I can't get up to Leeds until weekend after next as I'm in Somerset this weekend and I don't fancy a 4 hour round trip after work during the week...

June 5, 2008
7:56 pm
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Matt
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I had my firemouths in a 3' tank and they were just about ok so I reckon go for it too! /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Cake or death?
June 5, 2008
8:18 pm
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Mike
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QUOTE(ulster exile @ Jun 5 2008, 08:33 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the encouragement Mike.

I'm waiting on the seller to come back to me to let me know how long he can hold on to these for

Ask him if he'll post them? it can't be very much to post small fish like that,
and nows the ideal time of year for shipping fish.

June 5, 2008
8:32 pm
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ulster exile
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He's adamant that he won't post, although I think other people are asking too. Not fancying the drive, but I do believe that these would be worth it /wacko.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wacko:" border="0" alt="wacko.gif" />

June 5, 2008
8:38 pm
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Mike
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Pity he won't ship, still you can make a day out of it and get a bit of shopping in. /blush.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blush:" border="0" alt="blush.gif" />
and like you say, the fish are well worth it. /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

June 5, 2008
9:12 pm
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ulster exile
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Yeah, the only slight issue is that my in-laws are mostly Leeds based and there's 5 ill-disciplined ankle-biters up there that I need to avoid (me no good with kiddies /wacko.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wacko:" border="0" alt="wacko.gif" /> ).

Cheers /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

June 5, 2008
11:08 pm
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Matt
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Just don't tell them you're going! /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" />

Cake or death?
June 18, 2008
7:56 pm
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ulster exile
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QUOTE(Matt @ Jun 5 2008, 11:51 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just don't tell them you're going! /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" />

Tried that, but OH wants to see his family (he's so unreasonable sometimes /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" /> ). We're going on Saturday to pick these up and I'm really excited now - you know, I don't think that I've ever had fish where I've been scared that there may be any compatibility or agression issues, so this is a totally new kettle of fish (groan /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" /> ) for me.

Will keep you updated!

June 18, 2008
9:55 pm
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Eyrie
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We'll want pics (and not of the ankle biters!)

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June 19, 2008
11:45 am
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ulster exile
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QUOTE(Eyrie @ Jun 18 2008, 10:38 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
We'll want pics (and not of the ankle biters!)

Sir, yessir!

June 22, 2008
12:57 am
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Matt
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And? /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" />

Cake or death?
June 22, 2008
3:42 am
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Reva
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Very pretty !! Good luck... If they act anything like Kribs, they will ignore anyone who isnt "into caves". sounds like Leeds is the European version of the infamous Petsmart /blush.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blush:" border="0" alt="blush.gif" />

I am watching to see what happens with bated breath. Your pencil school must be really beautiful!

June 22, 2008
9:31 am
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ulster exile
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/laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" /> I got them alright. Got 7 in the end as a very ickle one got lost in the bag when we were counting, but it turned up when I was acclimitising. So 7 for a fiver wasn't bad (although it did cost 2/3rds of a £55 tank of petrol to get us there and back /mad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":mad:" border="0" alt="mad.gif" /> )

The parents were a lovely colour which was obvious even without the tank lights on and the fry were of various sizes from 15-25mm as described. I did get one of the largest fry available and it is certainly bolder than the others - the others have taken residence up with the corys under some plants.

No pics yet as I'm letting them get used to their surroundings, but they are so cute /wub.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wub:" border="0" alt="wub.gif" /> and don't worry I'm as anxious to get some snaps myself, so it won't be too long a wait, I hope!

Reva, the pencilfish are indeed lovely in themselves, but they only tend to scholl at feeding time - for fish that are supposed to be top dwellers, a lot of the time they will spend their time exploring all levels of the tank. Great character, especially when they mature as the males spend most of their time chasing each other and sparring (which is fascinating in itself to watch). They are incredibly colourful, with the males being mostly red and black and the females having a gold stripe.

IMG_0755.jpgImage Enlarger

And the final bonus of the day? Well the ankle-biters were visiting their dad (for once) so they weren't around for our visit (shame) /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" /> .

June 22, 2008
10:26 am
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Eyrie
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Nice pencil fish /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> Something I've thought about but never got round to keeping.

Reva - Leeds is a city in England. The equivalent of Petsmart over here would be Pets at Home. A few branches do have knowledgeable staff, and the forum's lawyers have asked me not to comment on the others /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

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