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Pantodon, or mothfish: reproduction under aquatic conditions

In the 90s, moth fish was considered one of the most popular in the domestic aquaristics. Now this fish is familiar to us only from the pictures on the Internet, as it is rarely brought to our country.

In the distant 90s, aquarists were able to successfully breed this fish, and in today’s article I want to tell you about this successful experience.

Pantodon, or mothfish, comes from West Africa (from the waters of Gabon and Cameroon to the Congo River). He tries to stay near the shore, where the shadow of coastal vegetation lies on the water.

Fish loves calm backwaters, marshy thickets and coves. As a rule, the pantodon tries to avoid any flow.

This implies the first aquarium myth: in the old literature it is recommended to contain a pantodon with strong currents and aeration. Of course, aeration aeration is needed, as well as clean water, but a strong current, which create modern filters, will be a hindrance when breeding fish.

Ichthyologists have always been confused by the pectoral fins of these fish, for some time it was even believed that thanks to them “moths” could fly over the water like flying fish living in the sea. But for flying with mothfish, an extremely heavy body.

But jumping out of an aquarium from a hydrobiont does not pose any difficulties. During their pirouettes, the fish grab flying insects.

The pantodon begins to hunt at dusk, when the heat subsides and bugs and midges begin to fly above the water. Due to its spotty color, pantodons can quietly hide in the thickets of coastal vegetation before making a jump.

The habit of jumping fish kept in aquariums. They can safely jump out even into a small gap, so the aquarium will have to be tightly covered with a cover glass with a lid.

And here another myth comes to mind: the pantodons jump forward. In fact, the mothfish just jumps up and has nothing to do with fluttering.

Unfortunately, so far aquarists have not figured out why the fish have such long belly fins. For some time, it was believed that with their rays males clasp the female during mating games.

But the females have such “umbrellas”. Probably, such fins act as shock absorbers when landing a rather heavy fish on the water.

But the sexual differences in the pantodon are expressed quite clearly: in males, a scarp is visible and on the anal fin there are longer rays, which are the sexual organ, like gonopodium in the petiliaceae family.

Males have half the size, unlike females. Wizards can be worn in circles around their partners, imitating a specific mating dance programmed at the genetic level, according to which the male evaluates his boyfriend. The fish do not have any long hugs in the fertilization process, everything happens pretty quickly.

The female turns on its side and the male at this time turns the anal fin to the female’s anus. To capture this moment is extremely difficult, as it lasts a split second.

For successful spawning, it is better to purchase a school of fish in the store, which will allow you to receive regularly fertilized females. The first imported fish had a seasonal spawning pattern.

Over time, the fish lost these seasonal features and began to multiply in aquariums year-round.

Almost all aquarium sources dedicated to fish claim that pantodon caviar is brown in color. And this is another myth, as the color of the eggs is constantly changing. Initially, it is transparent in appearance, then greenish, and after a while it completely darkens.

Immediately before hatching young, it generally turns black. After spawning, caviar is better to collect in a container with a low water level.

There is another myth that pantodon eat their eggs, but during successful breeding, there was not a single case of eating caviar by parents. Since the fish prefers moving live food, they do not react to the eggs at all.

Larvae hatching occurs a week after spawning. Initially, the larvae of the pantodon are dark and only a few millimeters long. After hatching the fry hang immobile in the aquarium for another week.

After this period, rather large fry begin to swim independently around the surface of the aquarium and go on to active eating of food. Hence another myth about feeding the fry.

According to G. Frey, fry feed only on those feeds that are brought to them by the flow of water from the filter. Pinter argues that after starter feeds, it is better to convert the fish to slightly dried daphnia.

There is no need to look for any aphids or fruit flies, since large youngsters take a small Cyclops perfectly (it must move).

About 10 days fry is better to hold on the Cyclops, and then gradually translate into a small bloodworm. But you can’t just throw it into the aqua, since the pantodons will never pick it up from the bottom in view of the upper structure of the mouth. Accordingly, these fish can collect food only from or near the surface of the water.

To feed in vain did not disappear and do not spoil the water, the moth is better to lower into the aquarium smoothly. As for me, it is better to do without such extravagant types of food, such as: cockroaches, grasshoppers and other animals. On sale you can find a lot of feed that will suit your pets.

See you soon!

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