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Darrell Ullisch

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Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    I have kept two males and three females of T. chuna in a 4 foot long tank, and both males built nests in the Water Sprite growth at the surface. They did not pursue other tankmates, and their territories were relatively small circles around the nests. Due to the thick plant growth, I frequently saw newly hatched fry at the surface. I did not have any grow to maturity in the tank.

    I would recommend that you be sure the “Sunset” variant is chuna, and not just small labiosa. I have frequently seen the latter at sizes that looked similar to the former, but then they grow out when given adequate space.

    Interesting information: The wild type Honey Gourami used to also be known as the Sunset Gourami due to the color pattern of the male. The black on the lower part of the abdomen looked like a horizon, and the body color above that was very orange. It was most intense when the fish were breeding. What is now called “Sunset” is a burnt orange over the entire body, and, IMO, nowhere near as beautiful as a wild type male chuna in breeding color.

    in reply to: Trichopsis species #355151

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    They all appear to be T. vittata, though the Lundu might be worthy of some evaluation as a possible new species with that large blue spot and the lowest stripe being continuous across the gill cover. It would be interesting to do a more detailed examination to see if there are other differences. I have seen photos labeled as vittata with that blue spot before – they are the more colorful fish I mentioned before – but I have never actually seen any fish that possess it. Your pictures suggest that it is specific to this location, which could also suggest a reason to consider a new description.

    Thanks for posting these, some interesting information about what some think of as a “common” fish!!

    in reply to: Trichopsis species #355142

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    I’ve had a bunch of them for some time, I had a pair living in a community tank for several months, no problems from them or for them. Male built bubblenests in the Water Sprite regularly, I didn’t pull the spawns because I had a large number of fry growing out already. Found out that stores really don’t like them much, they don’t sell easily. Other fish in the tank were various Tetras, Nanochromis transvestitus, and young Angelfish.

    I have had as many as a dozen adults in a 40 gallon breeder tank together, and they generally don’t interact with one another much. I did have a lot of Water Sprite on the surface, though. I currently have a group of them in a 5 foot diameter wading pool, but no idea what they’re doing as the surface is usually covered with duckweed. They all come to the same area when I feed, and I see several large males at this time.

    in reply to: Questions on Retroculus #355007

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    Just a note: My pair spawned for (I think) the fourth time late last week. I pulled a large percentage of the eggs, leaving a few in case they might manage to care for them. They didn’t. However, today (about 4-5 days after) the eggs I pulled had about 2 dozen larvae in the container! I have moved those, sorted good remaining eggs from fungused, and will see if I can manage to actually raise some of these fish. According to Weidner, this is the hard part. We shall see.

    Matt, when/if I get any photos of the larvae, I will send you a couple.

    in reply to: Questions on Retroculus #354944

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    Certainly, I would be glad to contribute to the website. I tried to find a profile on lapidifer, there doesn’t seem to be one. I have a number of images of these, younger and current, though mine are not yet displaying the flowing finnage of a fully mature fish. They are, however, showing adult coloration.

    in reply to: Questions on Retroculus #354939

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    So far the male seems to be too young, as all the eggs were infertile. The eggs left in the tank disappeared within 24 hours.

    This is not an unexpected situation, as males mature later than females in many species of fish. I suspect this is a mechanism to reduce natural inbreeding. In Laimosemion agilae, for example, females can produce eggs at 6-8 months, but males don’t appear to be able to fertilize them until at least 12 months. This forces young fertile females to find older, territory holding males in the wild.

    in reply to: Questions on Retroculus #354928

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    I currently have 7 Retroculus lapidifer in a 125 gallon aquarium. There is a 900 GPH circulation pump in one end, and the dominant male has a nest at the far end. I would say sand is essential, but it should also have a large number of small pebbles mixed with it. The male builds a considerable pile of pebbles, but when they actually start to spawn they dig a pit in the sand for laying eggs. After spawning, the eggs are then covered with the pebbles. My fish are apparently not quite mature, as two spawnings have only resulted in infertile eggs.

    When I first got the young, they were temporarily placed in a 36″ long tank with a smaller circulation pump, and they would sit on some driftwood facing into the current. As soon as food was added they would move up into the current to feed. The substrate was #30 red flint, which I have seen used for many Geophagus species by a friend, Tom Wojtech. Those fish sifted this gravel readily, even when small. The Retroculus young never dug into this substrate. The 125 was prepared with sand; for some reason, I’ve never used sand before in almost 50 years of keeping fish. Within minutes of going into the large tank they were diving nose first into the sand and blowing it out the back of their gills.

    I started with 10 young about 2 inches, as I had heard that some losses were to be expected. However, these young are F1 from wild and apparently very hardy, as I lost none. I had to sell off 3 fish because they were getting crowded. In early June I noticed the largest male, about 6.5 inches, was not chasing away a rather chubby tankmate. Sexual dimorphism is minimal in this species. The two together chased the other 5 out of the area that they were digging in. I never saw the eggs on the first spawn, but I know that she had laid some because her girth was drastically reduced overnight. The eggs disappeared within 24 hours. Second spawn I was able to document part of it, and I have a vid posted on youtube. I also put up a thread over at cichlidae.com. I managed to pull some eggs, there are a couple of still shots at the end of the vid. The eggs tend to have sand particles stuck all over them, excellent camo. Otherwise they are opaque and look like mouthbrooder eggs.

    I have been observing the fish carefully for over a year and a half, I was surprised that they tried to spawn so soon. The dominant male occasionally chases the other fish with minimal damage, and I am fairly certain I have only one female. They are also much more active swimmers than I expected.

    Hopefully this image will come through. Can’t seem to upload attachments, I’m guessing I need more posts.
    http://www.cichlidforums.com/gallery/data/559/medium/courting_pair06192015.JPG

    in reply to: Celestichthys vs Boraras Stocking Question #354484

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    I’ve kept and bred three of the four species mentioned in 5 gallon tanks. Boraras brigittae I spawned in a long 20.

    Celestichthys are shy hiders unless in very large numbers. I put a half dozen of each of those species in separate 5’s, and while I did get fry, I hardly ever saw the adults. In very large numbers at the Shedd Aquarium, I saw C. margaritatus were out and about. The Boraras prefer to school, even in a 5 gallon tank. I put six B. maculatus in with a clump of java moss, but a few weeks after I got them I had some health problems that kept me from getting to the fishroom for more than two weeks. Somehow, a culture of Cyclops self-started in the tank, and apparently this is a favorite food; when I finally got back downstairs there were almost two dozen fry in the tank with the adults! I do NOT recommend this method of breeding.

    I would not put them in that size tank with Trichopsis pumilus, however. My experience is that male pumilus can be slightly aggressive with smaller fish.

    in reply to: Breeding Dianema Longibarbis #354112

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    The species was occasionally bred back in the late 70s/early 80s; there was less interest in breeding catfish in those days. They were common in fish stores in those days, which made more opportunities for someone to breed them. They are not seen very often any more. There was also a reported spawning of Dianema urostriata, the Flagtail Porthole, by Dr. Sally Boggs of Pittsburgh. She was known to breed many difficult species of fish in those days.

    in reply to: Carnegiella id #354057

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    Certainly not strigata. Mostly resembles Carnegiella marthae, but I’m thinking the Tapajos is a long way from the range of either subspecies.

    in reply to: Jenynsia lineata #354056

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    Not exactly. They are one sided, but it does not matter in breeding, as they can mate regardless of whether right or left handed. For those who are unfamiliar with the species, it used to be thought that only right handed males could breed with left handed females and vice versa, but it has since been learned that a left handed male can simply go head to tail with the female and still fertilize her. The same is true with right handed males and right handed females.

    in reply to: Jenynsia lineata #354049

    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    It should be noted that Jenynsia are livebearers, often called the One-Sided Livebearer because the male can only swing his gonopodium to one side, and the female has a scale so that she can only be fertilized from one side. They are found in the southern part of Brazil. I’ve never kept them myself, but several friends have bred them, and they have fairly large fry, I’m told.


    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    @plaamoo said:
    Thanks Matt. This is something I struggle with regularly. I like this approach.

    ” aquarium hobbyists are generally harmful to species conservation”

    No doubt about it.

     

    Actually, I take exception to this statement. It is not the hobbyist that causes problems, it is the people who are trying to make money off the hobbyists who give little consideration to conservation. They are often motivated solely by the potential for profit, not the desire to keep fish. And as far as invasive species, government fisheries organizations have done ten times as much harm as the aquarium hobby.  Best known example of the worst would be the Nile Perch, but it is only a small sample of their actions.

     

    I believe a great deal of the blame that is placed on hobbyists is a matter of bad press. When Snakeheads were first found in US waters, it was blamed on an aquarium release; however, when they found that the real reason was a ceremonial release by certain Asian cultures, that was barely mentioned. Why? Because it is less politically correct to blame a specific culture than to blame a bunch of weird fishkeepers. I find that “conservationists and academics” who have never been involved with the hobby get their opinions from the negative attitude of journalism toward the hobby. Those who actually know the hobby and hobbyists tend to have very positive opinions, and often work with us. My own dealings with Dr. Stan Weitzman are a prime example of this cooperation.

     

    I find that most current hobbyists are more knowledgeable about conservation because of their hobby, and some of the effort to breed fish is in recognition that we need to do less collecting of wild fish. I agree that the hobby was not that worried about conservation 30-40 years ago, but in the 21st century, it is of great concern to the vast majority. From reading that abstract, it appears that the author is hoping to educate these insulated academics with a touch of reality. I wish them luck in their efforts.


    Darrell Ullisch
    Participant

    I recently (January) spawned N. transvestitus, and the pH in the tank was 7.8, TDS about 150ppm. The claims of low pH being a necessity seem to be overstated in most information I’ve seen on this species if one has aquarium bred stock. However, the pair has not spawned again since, though some of their offspring are setting up house right now in a pH of 7.8, TDS 80-100 (goes up slowly due to red flint gravel). Incidentally, while they are the smallest Nanochromis, they are far from the “smallest of Cichlids”. Some of the shell-dwelling species from Lake Tanganyika are much smaller, and there are some Apistos that can be surprisingly tiny!

     

    However, if you still want to lower pH, I have used cider vinegar occasionally. It is organic, but the small amounts I add do not seem to cause any problems. I add it slowly, over several days. It also seems to help in holding a low pH steady in moderately soft water, as well. I started to do a statitistical experiment to see exactly what effect specific ratios would produce, but got sidetracked when I needed the tank for another spawn of Apistogramma trifasciata.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)