Large, with an interesting history, unusual appearance and habits of the representatives of the freshwater aquarium … Perhaps they are not as well known as other fish, but no less interesting. In this article we will tell about the representatives of a unique family of fish, which are called the revived dinosaurs, dragons, polypherses.
Kingdom Animals Type Chordate Class Ray-finned fishes Order Multipered Family Multipered Genus Multipere
It is believed that these creatures appeared in ancient Africa during the Cretaceous period, and this is more than 60 million years ago. As evidence of such a distant origin, primitive anatomy of polypteruses is given: the cartilaginous skeleton, which is similar in construction to the shark or slope, the location of the cranial plates, and some others.
The genus has two subspecies:
- Erpetoichthys with a single representative of the calamoiht Calabar (snake fish),
- Polypterus with numerous species and subspecies.
Polyperus Senegalese is a native of densely overgrown with vegetation, slow-flowing reservoirs of Africa and India. It is very common in this region, so much so that it is even found in roadside ditches.
These are pronounced predators, they lie and wait in the midst of dense aquatic vegetation and in muddy water, until the heedless prey itself arrives.
Polypteruses Senegalese grow up to 30 cm in length (in nature up to 50), while they are aquarium long-livers, life expectancy can be up to 30 years. They hunt, focusing on the smell, and for this they have long, pronounced nostrils to catch the slightest smell of the victim.
For protection, they are covered with thick scales (unlike eels, which have no scales at all). Such strong armor serves to protect polypteruses from other, larger predators, which are abundant in Africa.
In addition, the Senegalese swim bladder turned into a lung. This allows it to breathe directly with atmospheric oxygen, and in nature it can often be seen rising to the surface after another sip.
Thus, Senegalese can live in very harsh conditions, and provided that it will remain wet, then even out of the water for a long period of time.
Now in aquariums, albino is still common, but it is no different in content from an ordinary polypterus.
The content of multi-cops is not as burdensome as it may seem. The main condition – a large aquarium. For one individual, you need a strand of 200 liters.
Such a fish can be placed in a narrow and tall aquarium, as it has underdeveloped lungs, allowing the use of atmospheric oxygen for breathing. In this regard, it will be necessary to take into account the fact that the polypter will have to rise to the surface from time to time, otherwise it will simply suffocate.
The aquarium will need to close the top, as these fish love to get out of the tank. Also, do not forget to seal all the holes through which the tubes and wires pass – they can even crawl into holes that seem too small for them.
- Temperature – from 15 to 30 degrees.
- Acidity – from 6 to 8.
- Stiffness – from 4 to 17.
It is also necessary to install a powerful filter and provide aeration. The water in the aquarium needs to be changed daily.
It is necessary to pick up a soil that is easy to clean, since these predators do not pick up the remnants of food from the bottom. Therefore, a lot of waste remains.
Plants can pick up any. But shelters need as much as possible.
Mnogopёrov can feed almost any food, even flakes and granules. However, they prefer live food: earthworms, squid, shrimp, small fish, will not give up beef, cut into pieces.
Food for an adult polypterus is given twice a week. That will be quite enough.
If the fish is constantly fed only with dry mixtures, then the hunting instinct may be dulled. But for sure it can not be argued – it all depends on the nature of the individual.
Despite the fact that the polyterus is a Senegalese predator, it can get along with other fish. But neighbors in the aquarium should be at least half as large as multipera.
For sharing content suitable: synodontis, apteronotus, butterfly fish, gourami giant, shark barb, astronotus, akara, cichlids.
But everything will depend on the nature of a particular individual, which may change with age. In their youth, polipterus lead a gregarious way of life, but when they grow older, they prefer loneliness and protect their territory even from their fellows.
Therefore, it is impossible to guarantee that the multi-fingered will get along with other fish.
To breed dragons at home is almost impossible. Individuals that are sold in pet stores, caught in their natural habitat, so before settling in the aquarium, it is important to subject the fish to quarantine. In nature, heterosexual individuals themselves choose a pair.
A few days are preparing for spawning. After that, the female spawn.
At home for this you can lay the appropriate material (for example, Javanese moss).
After the male fertilizes the spawn, the litter with caviar (moss) must be removed. Adults eat their eggs, so breeding these fish is difficult.
In addition, the fry themselves are aggressive: they can eat their smaller brothers. To avoid this, the capacity with young stock should be divided into several sections and sorted fry by size.
Polypterus juveniles require pure, oxygenated water. Therefore, it is often necessary to replace it (10–15%) and set the aerator to full capacity.
One week after hatching, the fry can begin to feed. At first they are given nauplii artemia.
They are transferred to an adult diet when the body length reaches 5-6 cm.
Senegalese predator has strong health and rarely gets sick. His immunity can weaken only due to the violation of conditions of detention. For example, a polyterus may become ill due to improper feeding.
Since he eats protein foods, he cannot be overfeed (fish may be obese). Symptoms of this disease are apathy and lethargy.
The dragon may simply lie and not react to what is happening around. The abdomen of the obese multipere is rounded. Due to obesity, the metabolism is disturbed, some internal organs can refuse (for example, the kidneys).
If untreated fish can die. Patient polypherus need to put on a diet – feed once every 3-4 days.
A low-fat bloodworm is suitable as feed.
If a mnogoper breathes heavily and often rises behind the air, it means that he has got parasites. These are parasites-flukes monogenes.
A weakened fish can refuse to eat, becomes “lazy” and moves a little. We need to look at the dragon’s head (worms can be seen). For the removal of parasites, you can use a number of tools:
- malachite green;
- methylene blue;
The fish can not expel, and run the drug in the usual water. If the water temperature is slightly raised (by 1–2 ° C), then the worm will leave the dragon’s body and fall into the water already treated with the medicine.
If the gills have darkened in the polypterus, it is possible that he has poisoned himself Often this happens due to incorrect operation of the filter or its pollution.
The dragon, poisoned by ammonia, tries to get out of the water and eats poorly. His fins may turn red. The secondary symptom is ruffled scales.
First you need to make sure that it is poisoning. The test for high ammonia can be purchased at any zoo pharma. A contaminated aquarium should be carefully cleaned, all dirt should be removed from the bottom, and the filter should be removed and the sponge should be rinsed with running water.
In addition, you need to replace part of the water (at least – a third of the total).
It is better to transplant the fish during the general cleaning into a separate tank with pre-prepared water. Some aquarists in the treatment process include vitamins.
Water day 4, change every day at 20 percent – this will bring ammonia and medicine.
When the redness disappears, we will solve the second problem, we need to raise his immunity: you can drip fishtamine (these are vitamins), the scales may fall by itself, but it may not.
Mnogopёr from Africa – a frequent inhabitant of demonstration aquariums. Relic appearance makes it very attractive and mysterious.
Where the Senegalese polyterus lives, the video is shot frequently. After all, the active and businesslike behavior of dragon fish is a very entertaining sight.
The predator quickly becomes attached to its owner and swims out of the shelter to meet him. If the integument of the trunk is kept moist, the dragon can live without water for a very long time.
At the beginning of the 20th century, photos of the Senegalese polypterus were sold for big money.
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