maintenance, care, compatibility
If we have an aquarium, then most often we watch the fish when we are awake: in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. And we don’t always think about what our pets are doing at night. But after all, all living creatures need rest and sleep, which means that it is also necessary for fish.
But how do you know that a fish is sleeping, because its eyes are constantly open? Let’s try to understand this question.
Getting into the embrace of morpheus, the fish do not close their eyes. After all, they have no eyelids, and water constantly cleans their eye surface.
However, the absence of eyelids does not interfere at all, since at night it is quite dark, and those fish that sleep during the day, specially swim to cover or shade the plants.
Fish that sleep can simply lie on the water, during which their gills will wash. Some can cling to the branches and leaves of plants. Other belly or side lay on the bottom.
Still others hang in the water column. In an aquarium, the sleeping fish most often drift at the bottom of the aquarium, making almost no movements, sometimes they can barely see the swaying tail.
But with any, even the smallest effects of external factors (be it a danger or potential prey), they instantly revive and return to their normal state.
One can understand that the fish has fallen asleep by the following signs: it froze in the thickets or other secluded place, hung in the water column. Some may even lie down, and some species prefer to relax on their side.
Most species of fish prefer to sleep in the dark, so if you come to the aquarium and turn on the light, you will be able to notice how its inhabitants return to their awake state, waking up. But there are those who rest during the day.
These are predator fish, for example, catfish.
However, fish dream is not the condition that is meant by this word in humans. How do fish sleep?
For them, this is not a state of complete relaxation and unconsciousness, as we do with you, but rather a process of slowing down the functions of vital activity. This allows the fish to quickly become active, if something dangerous or edible has arisen nearby.
The phase of deep sleep, in which there is almost complete loss of contact with reality, is absent in fish. However, during sleep, there is a recovery in the work of the nervous system and other body functions.
Hang in the water column and drift during sleep can only fish that are of the type of bone. They manage to do this due to the presence of a swim bladder filled with air. The volume of air in this particular organ determines at what height the fish will be in the tank.
The smaller it is, the deeper it will sink into the water column. Most residents of home aquariums refers to the bone.
Ramps and sharks are cartilaginous fish, they have no swim bladder. How do fish sleep if they can’t hang in the water? They are laid on the bottom or rest while driving.
Antsistrusy and fights are considered cartilage fish suitable for keeping in an aquarium.
There are some underwater inhabitants who need to hide in a cave for sleeping. Parrot-fishes are sleeping very unusually – practically under a blanket. Only as it they use mucus, which is released by the fish through the mouth.
The mucus envelops the carcass, creating a protective cocoon in which you can safely rest and not be afraid of anything. In the morning, the fish leaves their “blanket”.
Fish sleep or not :: how aquarium fish sleep :: Natural sciences
All animals need rest, but in appearance of some of them it is impossible to say whether they are sleeping or not. Similar difficulties are observed, for example, with fish.
Even during sleep, their eyes remain open, which often confuses people and prevents them from correctly interpreting the condition.
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Fish, like other representatives of the fauna, sleep. Only they do not close their eyes. This is because the fish simply do not have a century.
This difference from humans and terrestrial fauna is due to the environment in which they live. People have to constantly moisten the outer shell of the eye, blinking.
In a dream, this is very difficult to do, so the eyelids tightly cover the cornea, saving it from drying out. Fish live in water, which already does not allow their eyes to dry up.
Additional protection is not required.
Only some sharks have eyelids. During the attack, the predator closes his eyes, thereby protecting the eye from damage.
Sharks that have no eyelids roll their eyes.
At times, aquarists can observe how their pets lie on the ground or algae, freeze belly up or perpendicular to the bottom. However, it is necessary to make a sharp movement or turn on the light, as the pets begin to swim again, as if nothing had happened.
The sleep of all fish is very sensitive. Most species choose a quiet, secluded place to sleep, but everyone has their own habits. For example, cod can lie sideways on the bottom, herring – hang in the water column head down, flounder – bury in the sand.
Bright tropical parrot fish – great original. In preparation for sleep, she builds a cocoon of mucus around her, which, apparently, does not allow predators to detect it by smell.
All types of fish, depending on the time of their activity, can be divided into day and night.
The structure of bone and cartilaginous fish is different. Cartilaginous fish, which include sharks and rays, do not have lids on their gills, and water enters them only during movement.
Because of this, they could not sleep peacefully. However, in the course of evolution, they managed to adapt and snatch their leisure hours.
Some species have acquired sprinklers – special organs behind the eyes, with the help of which fish draw water in and direct it to the gills. Others prefer to choose places to sleep with a strong bottom flow or they sleep, constantly opening and closing their mouths, thereby allowing water to saturate the blood with oxygen.
The katran shark that lives in the Black Sea sleeps on the move. The spinal cord is responsible for its movement, but the head can rest at this time.
Also, scientists believe that some representatives of cartilage fish can sleep in the manner of dolphins, alternately “turning off” the right and left hemisphere.
The sexual dimorphism of the scalar is not pronounced, that is, the males and females are almost the same in appearance. Before the onset of puberty, sex cannot be determined, and even then it is rather difficult. Aquarists joke about this: “Swam – it means the male, swam – the female.”
However, in adults, it is possible to establish the scalar sex in most cases, although only those who are well aware of the anatomy of fish can usually do this. Let’s try to figure out the grounds for determining the gender of this type of fish:
- Mature males have a fat tubercle-hump on their foreheads;
- Males have a more prominent chest carina;
- If you look at the fish from the front, the lower part of her body resembles a wedge, and this wedge is sharp in the male, and blunt in the female;
- The diagnostic sign is the genital papilla (in females, it is called the ovipositor) – an outgrowth with a hole located between the anus and the anal fin, through which the genital products come out. In females, it is larger and thicker, and in the male, respectively, thinner, sharper and directed backwards. These differences are particularly clearly seen during spawning, as well as before and immediately after it;
- The distance from the genital papilla to the anal fin in males is much less than in females. In fact, in males the fin fin grows directly from the genital papilla, and since the striped scalar usually has the papilla located at the base of the central band, it can be said that in the male the anal fin starts from the base of the central band and in the female behind it;
The male scalar differs from the females in a more elongated long dorsal fin. In its back there are dark transverse stripes alternating with gaps.
The number of these strips in females is not more than 6, and in males there are at least 7.However, sometimes it is impossible to reliably establish the sex of the fish by these attributes, especially in artificially bred forms with marble, golden, albino color. In such cases, the sex of the fish is attempted to be determined by their behavior, when they form pairs and start spawning in the general aquarium.
But this does not always work: in some cases, in the absence of males, females play their role in mating games and spawning, and same-sex couples even lay eggs (which naturally remains unfertilized).
Here you can advise the following: if you want to purchase an adult fish-producer, choose an individual with characteristic signs and behavior, or a fish that has already given offspring. Even better, it will immediately be a formed pair.
If you are going to grow the producers yourself, get 8–10 fry with wide and long fins, among them there will definitely be individuals of both sexes, and in the future they will break up into pairs, and you will be able to decide which one to use for further breeding.
To form a pair of scalar prefer independently, choosing a partner of several individuals of the opposite sex. But an aquarist may well pick up a pair of available young individuals. Caught alone in the aquarium, the male and female scalaries of close age and size, as a rule, begin to “build love”.
It is not recommended to separate already prepared pairs and pick up other partners – for fish this is the strongest stress, and they do not always form new alliances. It is easy to determine a formed pair: the fish stick together, swim in a single file, the male begins to drive the female into the corners of the aquarium.
Fish that are planned for further breeding should be kept in optimal conditions. For scalar water temperature is of particular importance, which should not be below 27 ° C. The second most important factor is the quality of the feed, future producers should eat during the whole life with live food (moth, tubule, daphnia, etc.), or in their frozen form.
Angelfish, grown exclusively on dry food, are usually smaller in size, their color is paler, and they are often incapable of reproduction.
In good conditions, scalars can spawn every two weeks, provided that the eggs are immediately removed.
Males and females must always be kept together before spawning, since the preparation of males for spawning and the maturation of their genital products takes place only when females are present.
Stimulate the spawning by increasing the water temperature by 2 ° C, frequent changes (3-4 times a week at 10%), while it is better to add distilled or boiled water to reduce its hardness in the aquarium. Large-leaved plants should be present in the aquarium, you can also put a piece of plastic or ceramic tile on which the scalar can spawn.
Usually, fish of this genus are not deposited in a separate spawning farm, allowing them to spawn in a common aquarium.
A pair that is ready for breeding can be recognized by the female’s abdomen and its changed behavior — future parents begin to jealously guard their territory and clean the surface on which they will spawn.
Angelfish, like other cichlids, take care of their offspring, but their parental instinct is not so strong, and this care usually lasts only 2-3 days. After spawning, the producers begin to protect the eggs from other fish in the aquarium, fan the eggs with the pectoral and dorsal fins, lift the eggs that fell from the substrate, and eat the whitened ones. In some cases, they take care of the offspring until the moment when they start feeding on their own.
I must say that this care is very useful for the fry. But, unfortunately, such an exemplary behavior is more likely an exception to the rules, and usually producers just ate eggs for a few hours after spawning or after dark.
Therefore, if you do not want to take the risk, figuring out how caring your angelfish are, it is better to transfer the eggs to a separate aquarium 2-3 hours after spawning.
The caviar incubator is prepared as follows: a small aquarium with a capacity of 5–10 liters is half filled with water from the aquarium where the producers are kept. The second half is filled with distilled water.
A heater set at a temperature of 30 ° C and an air dispenser are placed in the incubator, and after an hour the substrate with caviar is lowered there so that the caviar is washed by the current from the dispenser, but air bubbles do not fall on it.
For the prevention of fungal caviar damage, methylene blue is added to the water to an intensely blue color or the drug Sera mycopur at the rate of 1 drop per liter. It is useful to place small plants in the incubator, for example, a duckweed or riccia, they will work as a biofilter, preventing a jump in the level of nitrogen compounds in the aquarium when the fry begin to grow rapidly. In addition, ciliates and rotifers breed in the thickets, which will then become food for the fry.
Lighting should be around the clock. Even if there are no plants in the incubator, it is necessary to leave the night light on at night.
The next day, the whitened eggs are removed.
After two days, the shell of the eggs breaks and turns into sticky cords, on which the larvae hang, moving with the help of a tail-like flagellum. Approximately on the fourth day in the larvae, heads and yolk sacs can be distinguished, due to the stocks of which they feed.
The larva is constantly moving, trying to break free from the cord attaching it.
After 7–12 days, the cord breaks, the fry begin to swim. By this time, the yolk sac is almost empty, and it is time to start feeding the fry.
Fully feed them with egg yolk and dry food is impossible, so live food is prepared in advance: they breed ciliates, daphnia, and on day 5 after spawning they start to incubate Artemia. Feed the fry 5-6 times a day. It is now necessary to place a small filter in the aquarium, and in order for the fry not to go there, the lower part of it is covered, for example, with a nylon stocking.
If there are a lot of fry, some of them will need to be planted from the aquarium, now their density should be no more than two per liter of water, otherwise the level of ammonia and nitrite can rise sharply. The water change is carried out once a day by a third, before feeding, previously removing the remains of food from the bottom of the siphon.
In about a month or one and a half, the fry will acquire the shape typical for the scalar, after which they will again need to be seated in a container at the rate of 4–5 liters of water per fry. At this age, they are fed with a cut pipe maker, small moth, you can begin gradual training to live food, and after a short time settle them in a common “adult” aquarium.
As you can see, breeding an angelfish is troublesome, painstaking, but very interesting. Even if not everything comes out from the first, there will be a chance to try again, because a pair of healthy fish in good conditions often spawn. And sooner or later, a stubborn aquarist will be able to boast a flock of bright young angelfish, which he raised from eggs.
Now it remains only to find them a new home, thereby increasing the number of fans of these amazing fish.
Read about the content of the angelfish in the following article, and now a short video about the spawning of these fish: