Pterolebiasa are considered one of the most beautiful aquarium fish that inhabit small seasonal reservoirs in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela. As a rule, fish appear in tiny reservoirs in which water stands only a few months a year. But this does not prevent them from growing, reaching sexual maturity and putting off caviar.
In December, a dry period begins, during which the adult fish die, and the caviar remains intact and safe under wet soil protection in anticipation of the next rainy season.
No matter how surprising it may sound, females of pterolebias are able to postpone up to 2 thousand eggs for each of their short rich lives. Under natural habitat, pterolebias grow to 12 centimeters, but in an aquarium their size is a bit more modest. The males have elongated fins, the color is bright golden-reddish, and the body has a scattering of brilliant points.
In females, the fins are not as long as in males and the color is much paler.
As a rule, the fish carry life well in small aquariums with a depth of no more than 15 centimeters. For each adult fish should be from 4 to 5 liters of water.
One male and several females take part in the construction of the spawning nest. As an option, it is possible to divide in the aquarium different-sex fish with glass and once a week to connect them all for a couple of days for spawning.
In the corner of aqua it is necessary to put a layer of peat in a couple of centimeters, which will serve as a spawning substrate.
When breeding pterolebias you may face one significant problem: some fish show insufficient activity and productivity. In addition, pteribias caviar often suffers from fungal diseases.
The incubation period for caviar should be at least six months in wet peat at an ambient temperature of 22 to 25 degrees. Around this range, the temperature is kept in the natural habitat of these fish.
It is very important to ensure that peat has a certain degree of moisture. This is determined by the eye: when kneading peat, you should have residual moisture on your fingers. Peat should be predominantly fresh in non-dried tobacco.
If the peat is yellow, this is a signal that it is dry and the fry may never be born. Wet black substrate is not very good, as it will be too wet and mold may soon form.
Peat with caviar should be placed in a closed container, such as a plastic box or glass jar. You can also use for this purpose durable and not torn plastic bag.
During the incubation of eggs, make sure that it does not get a bright light. The humidity of the environment in the container with caviar must be at least 80%.
The first check can be carried out after a month and a half, the second – after 3 – 4 months. To do this, open the box or package for a couple of minutes and air.
Approximately 6 months after the start of incubation, the eggs will need to be filled with water with a temperature of 20 to 22 degrees. Larvae will turn out after a couple of days.
If not all the fry were turned out or they were born trailing in development, then the eggs should be kept in wet peat for another month or two.
The peak of spawning activity in pterolebias occurs at 3–4 months of life and lasts about 4 months. There are cases when the fish begin to age at the age of 6 months.
If you want to extend the life of your pets, do not overfeed, and spawning should be limited to one week per month. The hydrochemical composition of water has no effect on the vital activity of hydrobionts, since it has been noted more than once that pterole bias live well in conditions from weakly acid to weakly alkaline and soft water.
Experienced aquarists are familiar with Peruvian pterolebias, who live well in ordinary tap water at a temperature of 20 to 24 degrees. There have been cases when the fish maintained without harm the short-term lowering of the temperature to 18 degrees.
Live, dry and frozen foods can be used as feed. The light in the aquarium should be dim, as the fish keeps near the surface of the water in the thickets of floating aquatic plants (pistia, riccia).
To prevent your pets from leaving your home, cover the aquarium with a cover glass. In view of the excessive aggressiveness of males, it is better to keep them separate and periodically for a couple of days to share with the females.
Aquarium plants should swim without fail on the water surface, in which the fish will seek shelter. A similar purpose are shelters made of pieces of peat and large stones.
As a spawning substrate, if there is no peat, you can use a bunch of Javanese moss. In addition, attempts to pterolebias spawning directly in the fine sand.
If all is well, then the larvae hatching occurs after 6 months.
Immediately after hatching, the fry are able to feed on the nauplii of Artemia, “living dust” and micro-feed. As the fish grows up, they need to be taught to eat meat and artificial food.
Be prepared for the fact that a certain percentage of fry will lag behind in development. The first sexual signs appear between the ages of one and a half and two months and with a fish length of 2 centimeters.
Upon reaching 4 months of age, pterolebias become sexually mature and able to spawn.
Approximately with reaching puberty, males show aggressive inclinations towards each other – this is manifested in fights, during which the males tear off the elongated ends of the fins. This period is very difficult for fish, as they are more susceptible to various diseases.
For preventive purposes, it is better to keep the water temperature at the level of 24 – 26 degrees and feed your pets with various animal feeds (small daphnia, cyclops, bloodworms, corret). A little later, the temperature of the water in the aquarium can be reduced gradually to 20 degrees.
In view of its high activity, the fish do not breed for long, and by 10 months of life they simply begin to die from old age. When breeding pterolebias be prepared for the fact that they will meet and fruitless producers.
In an aquarium with fish, it is necessary to maintain cleanliness and order, and fish should be fed only clean and proven food. Most often, aquarists have pteroleias longipinnis.
Unlike other representatives of the species, this fish lives much more to the south: Uruguay and northeastern Argentina, as well as in southwestern Brazil. The climate in those latitudes is slightly cooler and there are fewer dry months a year.
However, like the other members of the P.longipinnis family, the incubation period for eggs is the same – half a year.
In the conditions of the aquarium, this type of pterolebias feels great in the temperature range from 17 to 23 degrees. That is, in the presence of this type you do not need to heat the water in the aquarium. The main thing in the winter is not to forget to warm up your pets a little.
Filtration and aeration in an aquarium is not a requirement. Your task is to replace often the water during the siphon of the soil.
The main condition is that the water has the same hydrochemical parameters and temperature as in the main aquarium. Do not allow sudden changes in temperature in the aquarium.
Pterolebias longipinnis needs a clean and medium hardness will with a neutral or slightly acidic active reaction environment. Water changes in an aquarium with adult fish are carried out no more than 1 – 2 times a month, in the case of fry – every week.
Caviar is desirable to fill with water with a hardness of not more than 8 degrees, where you gradually need to add tap and aquarium water.
Pterolebasic fry large initially and immediately after birth actively begin to eat “live dust”, Nauplii Artemia and Cyclops. Adult fish eat fine and artificial food, but fish refuse from monotonous food very quickly.
To prevent this from happening, it is better to feed your pets alternately with bloodworms and large daphnia.
In large aquariums, pterolebias of this species develop quite quickly, but there are cases when they slow down their growth. By the age of 4 months, males become unusually beautiful and spread their tails.
This is especially true of the leading males. But soon, because of the numerous fights, all this beauty is quickly lost.
Fortunately for the fish, they do not have serious hassles with bloody injuries and severe injuries, as a result of which the fish die. As a rule, during these skirmishes tails and fins suffer.
It was also not observed that P.Longipinnis males showed aggression towards females. It is preferable to keep fish in small groups: there should be 2 to 3 females per male.
About 5 of these nests you can painlessly settle in a 100 liter aquarium. If the aquarium has a large number of aquarium plants and other various shelters, the fights between males will be an order of magnitude less.
Unfortunately, this type of pterolebias lives in the aquarium for no more than a year. As a rule, males die first.
Some females in old water, which have not been replaced for a long time, are able to live in rare cases up to 16 months at temperatures from 17 to 20 degrees.