Against the background of the diversity of aquarium living creatures, silverfish may look inconspicuous, but upon detailed study it becomes clear why these tetras were so popular in the past. The style combines style, simplicity, enthusiasm and pickyness – the very qualities necessary for a common aquarium.
Philomena, or red-eyed moenkauzia (Latin: Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae, Eng.
Red-eye Tetra) is one of the numerous representatives of the family of haracin from the pure rivers of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.
In aquarium philomena, it has been known for quite some time, and in the past has been a very popular fish. However, due to the appearance of other diverse bright types of aquarium dwellers, it gradually lost its relevance, and it can be encountered infrequently in pet stores.
Compared with other members of the family, philomena grows quite large – up to 7 cm. Her body is tall, strongly flattened from the sides and has a silvery color, dark at the back and light in the abdomen.
Scales large, has a thin black border, creating a mesh pattern on the body of the fish. At the base of the caudal stem and to the middle of the tail there is a wide vertical black stripe. The eyes are large, and their iris above is colored red-orange.
This bright spot is the most noticeable feature of the philomena, for which she received another name – the red-eyed tetra.
Young fish in the aquarium flock hold tight, especially if there are large neighbors. With age, these fish grow, arrogant and knit in a heap only during stress.
Like many tetras, they occupy the water column and have a peculiar manner of swimming in jerks.
With the help of selection, the phylomena balloon was bred. Her body is much shorter, and her belly seems to be swollen, which is why the fish acquires a discoid shape.
The content does not differ from the usual, but has a shorter lifespan.
It is very easy to care for the phylomena, as well as for other tetras – they are hardy and able to forgive the aquarist for many mistakes. This quality makes the red-eyed moenkauziyu an excellent candidate for the role of the first aquarium fish.
The pledge of long life and health of pets – the content in the conditions most similar to their natural habitat, which are very easily recreated:
- First of all, when purchasing a red-eyed tetra, it is necessary to remember that this is a schooling fish and preferably its content is a group of 7 or more. In such a flock, the fish demonstrates the most attractive features of its behavior, stumbling into a beautiful silver frame.
- For the group filomen you will need an average aquarium in size – from 60-70 liters.
- Capacity must be equipped with a lid, as moving fish are characteristic of jumping out of the water.
- The biotope of the red-eyed moenkauzia has a large number of floating, submerged and coastal plants. To create this effect, you can use the islands of floating plants: riccia, salvinia and hornpole. The same vegetation will dim the lighting, since it is noticed that the philomen loves dim light and looks most attractive in it.
River sand can be used as a primer, and the bottom can be decorated with dried leaves of beech, birch and almond. They will help to recreate the “old water”, painting it in tea color and making the landscape more natural. Foliage must be replaced as it is destroyed, not allowing it to rot.
- To create a soft, slightly acidic water, you can use filtering through peat.
- Although the red-eyed tetra is hardy, it does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature. For this reason, the water for substitution should be approximately the same temperature as the water in the aquarium.
Optimum water parameters:
- temperature: 22-26 ° C;
- acidity: pH 6.0-8.0;
- hardness: 3-20 ° dH;
- weekly changes of a quarter of water;
- filtration and aeration is mandatory.
In nature, the basis of the diet of phylomenes are insects, small invertebrates and their larvae floating near the surface of the water. It does not bypass the side and tender shoots of plants.
In the aquarium, it is a pleasure to eat any kind of dry, live and frozen feed: moth, artemia, strawberry, shredded meat of sea fish and shrimp. It feeds mainly at the surface, due to the physiological structure of the stigma can not pick up food from the bottom.
A special place in the diet of tetra is food of plant origin. It is advisable to use food containing spirulina, otherwise the fish will eat the shoots of aquarium plants, spoiling the type of herbalist.
In breeding, philomena is very easy, and it is on this tetra that you can train in breeding fawns.
Sexual maturity comes at the age of about a year. There is no pronounced sexual dimorphism: females are larger than males, and their belly is full of caviar.
Before spawning, producers are divided by gender and are placed in different containers. This measure is necessary in order to prevent premature spawning in the general aquarium.
At this time, fish are given high-protein foods of animal origin and they increase the rate of water changes in order to encourage producers to breed.
As soon as the fishes form the genital products, they can be planted to spawn. A sparsely lit aquarium, the bottom of which is covered with small-leaved plants (alia or Javanese moss) and covered with a separator net, which prevents the parents from eating the eggs, is chosen as a spawner.
Water should be soft and sour: 1-10 ° dH and 6.0-7.0 pH, temperature 26-28 ° C. It is better to choose an aerlift filter, since it creates a soft current and does not suck in the fry.
Spawning is carried out both in a flock and in pairs. Planted in spawning producers in the evening, and in the early morning they begin to spawn. Males pursue females, and after a short courtship, females spawn many small eggs.
After spawning, the producers are removed, as they represent a danger to the offspring, eating caviar and fry in any case that turned up.
Caviar is incubated for 24-36 hours, after which the larvae hatch. The first 3-4 days they spend at the bottom, sometimes creeping from place to place. As soon as their yolk sac resolves, tiny fish begin to swim in search of food.
At this time, you need to organize frequent feeding of cultivated infusoria, and as soon as the fry grow up, you can give them grated egg yolk, nauplii of artemia and a microworm.
In general, the red-eyed tetra is a peace-loving fish. But in her behavior with her neighbors there are a couple of nuances. When they are small sizes, they are shy and very shy, often afraid of their neighbors in the aquarium.
But as soon as they grow, there is no trace of their timidity. They may begin to terrorize their smaller aquarium neighbors and rip off the veil fins of sluggish fish. For this reason, it is recommended to settle them with proportionate, mobile fish, at the same time peaceful, but able to repel the impudent tetras:
- A good neighbor for the philomena will be other commensurate, mobile tetras: glass, ternets, and congo.
- You can practice content with peaceful cichlids: apistograms, flamingo tsikhlazoy and Meek tsikhlazoy.
- Organically look red-eyed tetra brisk swordtails.
- The flock filomen does not dare to attack large iris.
- Antsistrus not only will not pay any attention to the red-eyed tetras, but will eat up the remnants of food.
- Prawn tetras are not interested.
It is not recommended to settle the red-eyed moenkauzia to slow-moving fish with veil fins, for example, to scoops or scalars. With large cichlids, too, should be careful – they easily eat small tetras.
Small fish, on the contrary, are at risk of being bitten by impudent phylomena.
But mostly compatibility issues are individual and often depend on the living conditions. Over aggression leads to overpopulation of the aquarium and small flocks.
The larger the group, the stricter the hierarchy that captures the attention of the fish. By the way, this approach is applicable to the Sumatran barbs – the famous bullies.