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Gardner’s Afiosemion: content and reproduction in an aquarium

The first acquaintance of domestic aquatourists with Gandner’s afiosemion happened more than 40 years ago, the inhabitants of Europe learned this aquarium fish much earlier. However, despite the long-term maintenance of hydrobiont in domestic aquariums, interest in it still continues unabated among foreign colleagues.

This is evidenced by the quite obvious fact – many other representatives of the family of tooth-carrion regularly disappear from sight and reappear, but Gardner’s afiosemion has always remained popular.

There are several reasons for such unrelenting popularity: ease of reproduction and keeping at home, an attractive color, calm and peaceful nature, which allows you to get along with small peaceful fish (neon, rhodostomusy, and other representatives of the family haratsinovyh).

Under natural conditions, Gardner’s Afiosemion lives in shallow reservoirs overgrown with vegetation in Cameroon and Nigeria. Most of these shallow reservoirs are a temporary haven for fish, since during dry periods they dry out completely and some simply become shallow.

The ambient temperature in these regions almost never goes beyond 24 – 27 degrees. The total annual rainfall can reach 1000 millimeters of water column, although these precipitations are extremely uneven, because dry periods always alternate with rainy.

Today, more than ten color variations of these afiosemions are known, but the most characteristic color of the male Gardner is widely known to experienced aquarists: there is a scattering of large red spots on the blue background, which have brighter tones in the middle and front parts of the fish. Unpaired fins at the base are also painted a bluish-green tone. The dorsal and anal fin at the ends has a pronounced red-yellow edging.

The tail fin in the central part is colorless with small red dots. The abdominal and pectoral fins are almost transparent and have a light red speck, which stands out if the fish is in an excited state.

Females of Gardner’s Afiosemionov have a not so expressive color, unlike males: a body with a brownish tint and a scanty scattering of red dots that are present on the dorsal and anal fins. In general, the color of Gardner’s afiosemionov has one nice feature – it is great in any light.

But some of the nuances of coloring will be evident only in the case of direct sunlight on the fish. By the way, fish prefer bright lighting, and this is despite the fact that they live in nature in shaded reservoirs.

The maximum body length of the male does not exceed the mark of 7 centimeters. In females, the length of the body is a couple of centimeters shorter and they are slightly fuller than the males. In some aquarium sources it is indicated that the Gardner colloquially an aggressive aquarium dweller.

But, as shown by the long practice of keeping these kartozubyh, hydrobiont perfectly gets on with peaceful neighbors of the same size and habits. It is interesting to watch the fish, as it actively swims throughout the aquarium.

Yes, of course, hydrobiont does not hesitate to have a snack on the “go on the go” fry, but swordtails, mollies, terntions and the same guramka can do this, therefore, it is somehow wrong to talk about excessive aggressiveness of phiosemii in this case. An offensive inclination can manifest itself only in cases where the males inside the flock will figure out which of them is steeper and who takes what step of the hierarchy.

However, all these collisions create only a demonstration effect than a real bloody scuffle and all this action ends without any injury to the fish.

Relationships in the toothfish consist of taking into account that the oldest and strongest males will occupy a dominant role. But the females in every possible way avoid the struggle for power, respectively, they do not have clashes.

Therefore, for keeping in a home aquarium, you can purchase a flock of fish in the amount of 10 to 15 fish, which is a rare occurrence among the representatives of the kartozubyh family.

The optimal volume of the aquarium for keeping Gardner’s Afiosemion is not any constant, since these fish can be safely kept in a 30-liter aquarium, or in a 300-liter jar. When settling an aquarium, you must adhere to the old principles of aquarism: one fish should have up to 7 – 8 liters of water.

Although this moment is conditional, since the optimal volume will be calculated based on the size of the fish.

The type of aquarium soil fish is not picky. In addition, the fish do not need any “special” rare aquarium plants.

Although predators prefer small-leaved grass (Javanese moss, Guadalupe naiad, Riccia, etc.). In addition, with the arrangement of the aquarium, it is desirable to alternate between dense thickets with spacious glades where the fish could frolic.

Also, aquatic plants, such as pistols, should float on the surface of the water.

Afiosemiony live quietly in hard (up to 17 degrees), and in soft aquarium water with a slightly acidic or neutral active reaction environment. The optimum temperature range for most toothy 22 – 24 degrees.

A hydrobiont can live in warmer water, only in this case your pets have a significantly reduced life cycle and it’s not worth expecting fish to live longer than 2 years.

Gardner’s Afiosemion is unpretentious and in feeding. Of course, that the fish were healthy and get the maximum of useful nutrients and vitamins, it is better to give preference to high-quality animal food.

However, if you feed high-quality dry and frozen food to fish within reasonable limits, this does not adversely affect the health of your pets. Since this type of karzubyh excellent feels in all layers of the water column, the fish feed will be picked up in a convenient place, or where you caught them at the time of feeding.

A. Gardner has another rather pleasant moment: the fish almost never jump out of the aquarium, even if it is not covered with a cover glass or a cover. Although this moment is peculiar to some konzubyh who love to fly to the floor.

Accordingly, if you only keep this fish in your aquarium, there is no need to tightly cover the jar with a lid or glass.

Breeding A. Gardner does not present any difficulties. This fish can be planted to spawn all year round and without any specific preparation.

A hydrobiont spawns perfectly in a three-liter container with water from a common aquarium. To stimulate the fish to spawn and to assess the situation in more detail, the male or female should be placed in a special 20-liter spawning, in which the water level should not exceed 15 centimeters, and the water temperature should be a couple of degrees higher than in the main aquarium.

In some aquarium sources, one can find a statement that immediately before spawning, it is better to plant producers in different containers, since this contributes to a more dynamic spawning not stretched in time. However, if you have nowhere to hurry, then this procedure can and not be performed.

Moreover, if you do not care, it will spawn for 5 days or three. This measure has no impact on the total fertility of producers.

Yes, and a few words about the fecundity of the Gardner’s Afiosemion … This fish is considered one of the record breakers in performance among tooth-toothed ones. If in the majority of relatives the fecundity of the female does not exceed 200 eggs, then in A. Gardner she can go off scale for 300 pieces in one week.

As I said a little earlier, A. Gardner successfully dwells both in drying up water bodies and permanent ones. Due to evolution, fish have learned to breed in two radically different ways.

In the first case, the fish spawn on the leaves of aquatic plants, where it will develop continuously, and in the second case, spawning occurs in the substrate, which will dry out.

In terms of the aquarium and depending on the conditions of the fish, you can use both ways. If a bunch of small-leaved plants (Riccia, Javanese moss, moss crystalmass), or a line of fishing line is used as a substrate, the presence of aquarium soil in the spawning grounds is not necessary. Caviar will be constantly in the water, and the development process can last about two weeks.

This is the duration of the incubation period affected by the temperature of the water in the aquarium.

The second option, which is more interesting – the spawn producers will bury in the peat substrate. In this case, the eggs must be removed from the peat and placed in a special incubator together with the spawning substrate. In such incubators a more humid environment, due to which caviar can survive long-term drying.

If you keep the eggs with the help of the “dry” method, the eggs will develop in the order of 7 to 8 weeks.

Most aquarists who specialized in breeding afiosemionov preferred the first method more, although the second method allows us to get stronger young. The intensity of spawning during the day may fluctuate, but, as a rule, the greatest activity of the producers was observed in the morning and evening.

For the first two or three days, producers set aside no more than 70% of the total number of caviar.

The producers do not eat their own and other people’s caviar, they even show some genuine interest: they try to poke it with a snout and try to check with all sorts of ways that everything is all right. However, further banal contemplation of their future offspring from the parents does not go, and interest quickly diminishes, and bad unfertilized eggs remain with normal eggs in the clutch.

Unfertilised eggs may remain transparent for a long time. It is possible to distinguish a healthy caviar from a dead one by the presence of yellowish-white inclusions inside the egg.

The first symptom of the early hatching of the larvae, and it occurs a couple of weeks after spawning, is the complete filling of the inner part of the egg to the developing embryos. This stage for aquarists is known as the “eye stage”.

The length of newborn larvae ranges from 4.5 to 5.5 millimeters. Stronger fry immediately leave the shell, and the weaker for some time can lie in it, putting out part of the torso and tail.

On the first day after spawning, the larvae are extremely inactive and over time they become more and more active, and they show the first signs of hunting for the cyclops nauplii and artemia. With a good and balanced feeding in the first week of life, the fry can double in size.

Since the hatching of the larvae is greatly extended in time, the age difference is striking. Youngsters A. Gardner is not hiding in the aquarium nooks, is distinguished by good health, active growth and unpretentious feeding. Agree, real happiness for an aquarist?)

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