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Fish-moth, or pantodon: how to keep a fish

Good day, dear colleagues. Pantodon, or mothfish, originating from the Congo and Niger river basins, is rarely found in our aquariums.

Usually, this exotic guest give birth to our foreign colleagues. Domestic aquarists are different standard set of fish, which include haratsinovye, popular types of cichlids, barbs, and so on.

Today we will talk about the pantodon.

The fish has a large triangular head, which gradually turns into a short body with a pronounced abdominal keel. The tail fin is rounded, the pectoral fins are rather large and have a fan-shaped form. The ventral fins end in long “antennas”.

Males and females have anal fins of various shapes: females have a smooth fin, while males have a notch in the middle and the first rays are slightly elongated.

The body color of the pantodon is not remarkable: brown stains and spots are scattered on the light body. An additional attribute of the decoration are numerous sparkles with a golden sheen.

Under natural conditions, the hydrobiont grows up to 12 centimeters in length. In aquariums, fish rarely grows more than 10 cm in length.

Pantodons are specific fish that are best kept separately. The aquarium is preferable to a small height (no more than 30 cm) and according to your abilities of maximum width and length. This requirement is explained by the following factors.

The peak of activity occurs at night and the fish begin to quickly move around the aquarium in search of food. Thanks to its strong pectoral fins, the fish is gaining great speed.

The mouth of the pantodon is quite large and it easily allows you to swallow even a small cockroach. Cockroaches and worms are the favorite food for this fish. But the bloodworm and the pipe worker refuse to take the fish.

Therefore, in order to diversify the diet, the fish need once or twice a month to release into the aquarium fry of viviparous fish (guppies, platies, mollies or swordtails). But the fry of mollies is better, since they keep near the surface and the pantodon eat with pleasure.

Aquarium water should have average hardness parameters with an active response of the environment close to the neutral value. It is not recommended to allow sharp and strong changes in pH in the acidic side, as this can lead to the death of fish.

But about the temperature is simple. Since the pantodons live in the surface layers of the reservoir, and they warm up most of all, the temperature can vary between 24 and 32 degrees.

But only you should take into account that temperature changes should occur smoothly and without sudden fluctuations.

A moth fish can spawn in the general aquarium, using floating aquarium plants as a substrate for spawning (Guadalupe naiad, Javanese moss, Riccia, ceratotopteris). During the spawning period, you must ensure the following conditions:

  • Water hardness 5 – 7 degrees;
  • Active medium reaction pH 7.0;
  • Water temperature 28 – 30 degrees;
  • Regular changes in the amount of ¼ of the volume.

Spawning begins with the active pursuit of the female. The process of fertilization takes place with the help of a special organ, which is formed from the rays of the anal fin and has common features with the reproduction of viviparous fish.

Spawning occurs in small portions. In view of its density, the eggs quickly rise to the surface and their size directly depends on the pH value.

Spawning, as a rule, is quite long and can be delayed until the night of the following day. Therefore, if you want to save offspring, it is better to carefully collect the eggs after the first tag and move them to another aquarium, where the water has similar chemical parameters. The eggs themselves develop extremely slowly.

The first larvae appear after 2-3 days and turn into fully formed fry with a resorbed yolk sac.

Here comes the most crucial moment in breeding pantodon. The fry are simply obliged to take the first feed, because if this does not happen, they will die in a day. Unfortunately, it is impossible to feed the fry of the pantodon with standard feeds, because they need small insects on the surface of the water that are in constant motion.

At first, the fry do not show any interest in food. After a week of life, the largest fry are able to eat the small flies of fruit flies and they will still wait until the feed swims right under their noses.

As the young grow up, the fish must be transferred to larger feeds and relocated to larger aquariums. The maximum fecundity of a moth fish is not more than 200 eggs.

Fish become mature at the age of year.

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