As a rule, fish from the genus Notobranchius are considered problematic and difficult to maintain. Of course, part of the hydrobionts are such, but those species that have been adapted for our aquariums are not difficult to breed and maintain.
Best of all fish look in densely overgrown aquariums, the volume of more than 400 liters at a water temperature of 21 – 24 degrees. Under such conditions, the males of notobranchuses reach the largest sizes and brightly paint their attire.
Despite the fact that fish from the notobranchus family live in natural conditions for no more than a year (until a muddy puddle dries out), fish can live in aquariums for about three years.
Quite often, males arrange fights in aquariums, but do not reach deaths, and fights end only with damaged fins, which grow back again in a few days. Yes, and fight them really can not be called, so they showed what they can.
The pack begins as follows: the males swell their gills and begin to slowly approach each other. After that, they become sideways, dissolve the fins and bend sharply, as if they are beating each other with their fins. Here at this moment the fight ends.
Approximately in the same way males attract the attention of females.
Notobranchuses feed on any live food, but they belong to the dry one exactly and do not pick it up until you teach it to them. Fish can easily endure long-term lack of food (up to two weeks of fasting, notobranchuses are tolerated calmly), and during this time the aquarium will be cleansed of small snails and occasional leeches.
Despite the fact that the optimum water temperature for fish from the genus Notobranchius is 22 to 24 degrees, but it has been established by experiment that the fish feel great at a temperature of 15 to 35 degrees. However, at lower temperatures, the color of the males fades, and at high temperatures, the lifetime is significantly reduced.
Of the most common diseases of notobranchians, one can distinguish oodinia. On the body and on the fins of the fish appear gray nodules, which contain golden or gray dust.
As a result, the fins are glued together and sag. In the initial stages of the disease can be cured with bitsillina-5 or 3 in the proportion of 500 000 IU per 100 liters of water.
Due to the fact that the antibiotic dissolves quickly in the light, it is better to bring it into the water in the evening. In addition, in the aquarium during the medical procedures should not be food, because it is fraught with food poisoning.
Treat fish for three days.
Another common disease of the notobranchuses is ichthyophenthiosis, or semolina. The fish begins to scratch against the stones and show anxiety. On the body and on the fins appear small bumps of white color, like semolina.
To cure fish, you can use table salt based on the proportion of a spoonful of salt per 10 liters of water at an aquarium water temperature of 30 to 33 degrees Celsius for 7 days. In order to prevent, notobranchuses should be kept in lightly salted water (a tablespoon of salt per 20 liters of water).
A third disease, mycobacteriosis, can appear in polluted and overcrowded aquariums. As a result, the fish becomes apathetic and lethargic, lowers the tail and climbs into a secluded corner and completely refuses to feed.
As a result, in Notobranchius, body color fades, scales fall and open ulcers appear on the body. Also in the fish the abdomen swells, a bug-eyed forms and the cornea of the eyes becomes cloudy.
Unfortunately, they did not come up with an effective cure for this disease, and the whole story ends with the death of a fish.
At cultivation of notobranchuses suitable both hard and soft water at a pH of at least 6.5. There were cases when notobranchuses multiplied in hard water (KH 22, dGH 20) and alkaline medium at a pH of around 8. Water in the aquarium should be clean and free of excess organic matter (remnants of under-fed food and waste products of the inhabitants), otherwise caviar can die.
Reproduction of notobranchuses in an aquarium is not a problem. From one and a half to two months of life, fish can spawn every day, even in the general aquarium.
It is much harder to get fry and save caviar. To date, there are several ways to plant fish to spawn:
Method number 1. Fish must be kept in pairs in small aquariums (up to 10 liters), in which there must be a large number of floating plants (Thai fern, Riccia), which will serve as a shelter for females from excessive grooming of the male. In addition, floating plants will act as a cleaner from organic matter.
At the corner of the aquarium and at the bottom of the peat is placed, where the actual fish eggs and lay.
Of course, this method of breeding does not guarantee a large offspring, but it can allow you to collect a good collection, which will include several types of Notobranchus.
Method number 2. Fish contain nests (several females and one male) in 15-20 liter aquariums. At the bottom of the aquarium, you must install a plastic box, with a height of 3 to 5 centimeters with a layer of peat about 1 centimeter.
The presence of plants in spawning is not required. This method of selecting producers for spawning makes it possible to obtain a greater amount of caviar.
Method number 3. In a 50- to 70-liter aquarium it is necessary to plant a pack of fish in spawning, in which males should be twice or even three times smaller than females.
Several boxes with peat are installed on the bottom or simply peat is poured into one of the corners of the aquarium. Here the presence of floating vegetation is mandatory.
This method also allows you to get the maximum amount of caviar, but if you suddenly bring an infection into the aquarium, then the probability of losing the whole flock is great.
Feeding the producers is not difficult, but it is better to give the fish a live feed (bloodworm, daphnia, Cyclops). Feed the fish need once a day and its Notobranchus should be sentenced in two hours.
It is better to remove all uneaten food from the aquarium, as it pollutes the water during decomposition. This, in turn, can lead to the death of all caviar.
In the summer, it is better to feed the fish with mosquito larvae (devils), which the fish eat with pleasure.
Under natural conditions, the reservoirs in which the notobranchus live, dry up in hot weather. Delayed eggs in an aquarium for its normal development need some time to better hold out of the water, but in a humid environment.
Despite the fact that in nature, the fish throw their eggs in silt, sand or on a bare bottom, peat is the best substrate for spawning and incubation due to the fact that it holds moisture well. In addition, the peat substrate has high bactericidal properties. It is desirable that the peat in the spawning aquarium has a neutral reaction so that the water in the aquarium is not acidified.
So that peat has a neutral reaction, it is prepared as follows: peat is boiled for 20 minutes, and then washed well in a kapron net until the water is clear, and then boiled again for 40 minutes and washed again.
Once or twice a week, the peat with caviar is taken from the aquarium, squeezed and dried a little until it starts to crumble. When the peat is dried, it must be placed in a plastic bag or glass jar, where the incubation of the caviar will take place.
In its development, notobranchius caviar has 2 diapauses. The first is accompanied by a low concentration of oxygen in the soil of natural reservoirs.
It lasts right up to the end of the dry season, until the water body is completely dry, and the substrate does not crack and opens the access of oxygen to the eggs. Then begins the formation of embryos, at the end of which you can see it in the egg.
Then comes the second diapause, which will end after the onset of the rainy season and the eggs will not be completely flooded with water.
In the aquarium literature, you can find different dates of incubation of caviar – from 1.5 to 9 months. This is due to the different duration of the first diapause.
It was noted that in the summer season, as well as from April to September, the incubation proceeds faster, but from September to April, it can last throughout this period.
Unfortunately, in an aquarium it is very problematic to imitate the natural conditions of maintenance, therefore, I would like to emphasize the attention of dear readers on the most important points, which were based on numerous experiences of professional tooth-tooth lovers:
- The temperature of the water in the general aquarium, during drying and the first week of incubation of eggs, should be the same;
- At a water temperature of 28 to 32 degrees, caviar develops significantly faster;
- Daily temperature fluctuations of up to 7 degrees reduce the incubation period;
If the incubation period is over, then the eggs can be safely placed for a week in the lower drawer of the refrigerator, where the temperature of the medium will be 2 to 4 degrees, and then sustain it for 7 days at a temperature of 30 to 32 degrees. But the lighting does not have any influence on the development of caviar, as it is beautifully stored both in a dark place and in the light.
When in the eggs will be visible formed embryos, it is time to fill it with water. To do this, it is better to use melt water with a temperature of 15 to 18 degrees or boiled.
At the same time, the layer of water should not exceed several centimeters, because the young that are hatched must rise to the surface and take the first breath of air so that the fry will fill the swim bladder.
The larvae hatch from caviar at a temperature of about 20 degrees. After 12 hours, lightly salted water should be added to the aquarium (a tablespoon per 20 liters of water) and the temperature should be raised to 24 degrees, and then feed the fry with live dust. If there is none, you can use different substitutes for about the same fraction, but it is better that you have rotifers and infusoria in stock.
As the fry grow, they are transferred to daphnia, artemia, cyclops, or chopped strawberry.
A week later, the fry can be safely transferred to the nursery aquarium. Peat from spawning should be collected and dried, and after a few weeks to pour again with water, since the first time it is unlikely that all fry will hatch.
This is a kind of defensive reaction due to survival in nature: during periods of drought, occasional rains may fall, after which the reservoirs dry up quickly, and the fish do not have time to really grow and sweep caviar.
The young growth is growing extremely fast and, based on this, the feed should always be present in the aquarium. The remnants of food not eaten will pick ampulyarii, which I recommend you start.
The first signs of the appearance of color in males fall on the age of one and a half months. By this point, the fish reach sexual maturity.
And now let’s look at the most common types of Notobranchus.
Günter’s notobranchius is considered the easiest to use in caring and breeding. The birthplace of the fish is Zanzibar.
As a rule, in natural conditions, the length of adult fish does not exceed 6 centimeters, but there were cases when the one-and-a-half males reached 10 centimeters in length. Females are usually smaller than males.
This type of Notobranchium calmly transfers short-term drops in water temperature to 10 degrees. The incubation period at a temperature of 24 degrees is one and a half months. The shortest incubation period in the summer was 10 days.
In peat, caviar can last more than a year, however, the number of healthy young stock is significantly reduced.
Notobranhius Gunter is famous for its productivity and activity. Not less than 3 females should fall on one male. Such a family of fish, which is contained in a 20-liter aquarium at a temperature of 24 degrees, is capable of bringing up to five hundred young fish per week with an incubation period of up to one and a half months.
The maximum productivity of females falls on the age from 2.5 to 4.5 months, after which her productivity significantly decreases. Juveniles grow rapidly and at four weeks of age males appear as adults.
Homeland of this notobranchius is north of Tanzania. The maximum body length is 5 centimeters.
Body color of males and iris eyes is bright blue. On anal and dorsal fin there is a red stripe with a white edging.
The tail of the fish is painted in light red tones. A red grid appears on the body of adult males.
Females gray-white tones with a greenish sheen.
Notobranchius Palmquist is considered a viable member of the genus. He is able to survive in such conditions in which guppies and swordtails are unlikely to survive.
However, you may encounter some difficulties with breeding. Quite often, females grow fat and throw already dead eggs.
In addition, at the slightest signs of starvation, manufacturers can begin to actively feed on their own caviar. In the first days of the life of fry, a lot of young fish die.
The incubation period lasts about one and a half months, however, diapause may occur, which can last up to six months.
The fish is painted in brown-yellow tones, and there are spots and stripes of black color on the body. Maximum body length – 7 centimeters.
Courthouse is a weaker species, unlike N. Günther and more often exposed to various diseases. The fish can spawn both in the peat substrate and on small-leaved plants.
Eggs are larger than those of N. Günther and can calmly develop in the aquatic environment. The duration of the incubation period in the peat substrate is one and a half months, but there are also delays of up to 6 months.
N. Courthouse has a red form, about which in the literature they write that it is a natural variety, but I tend to think that this is the result of gene experiments. The body length of the fish is 8 centimeters. Males of steel color in a red grid, head crimson.
The tail and the remaining fins are also crimson in color with a white edging. The color of the females does not differ from the main form.
The duration of the incubation period is 2 months. Peat with caviar can completely dry and turn into dust, but after pouring the substrate with water, healthy fry can be pecked from the eggs. The first few weeks the young grows extremely slowly, and then the growth rate increases and the young grows the color of adult fish.
By the age of four months, females reach a length of 4 centimeters and can safely spawn. Males are inactive and no more than two females should fall on one male.
These are the most beautiful and brightest representatives of the entire Notobranchus family. You can find fish in South Mozambique and South Africa. The body length is 8 centimeters.
Body color in males consists of orange and blue tones, the lower part of the head is crimson. An orange vertical stripe runs along the tail.
The color of the females is gray-pink.
Males of this species are active enough, and in order for females to have the opportunity to escape from annoying pursuits, floating vegetation must be placed in the aquarium. In various aquarium literature data are given that the incubation period can last up to 9 months, but, as a rule, caviar develops within a month and a half.
The key condition for the successful cultivation and maintenance of Rakhov’s notobranchius is high-quality animal food and clean water. Dead food in an aquarium with producers and young animals can lead to the death of all fish.
The fish is thermophilic and prefers a water temperature of at least 20 degrees.