Hello, dear colleagues. In the middle of the last century rather interesting aquarium fish from South America began to appear in the aquarium of domestic lovers, which belong to the family of toothed ones.
Of all the fish brought in, only three types of tsilolebias were able to take root: zinolebias star-shaped, zinolebias white and Constantia. Gritting his teeth in this small list, you can add more and zinolebias Myers, who came to our aquariums in 1993 from the Czech Republic.
Zinolebias is not difficult to maintain aquarium fish, and it gets along excellently with other peaceful aquarium fish. It was noted that the aquatic animal perfectly feels both soft and hard water. In general, the fish withstand stiffness from 18 to 32 degrees without visible problems.
But, despite the simplicity, these attractive pets almost never see in home aquariums.
Most likely, the reason for such a low popularity is that the method of breeding zinolebias strongly differs from the standard one, which is inherent in other species. In addition, the domestic aquarium literature can not boast of comprehensive information on zinolebias.
Moreover, quite often one can come across conflicting information, which many authors pererazhuyut from each other. To open the veil of secrecy, I am writing this article for you.
The species of zinolebias includes 21 species. These fish live in a fairly impressive area of the South American continent – from the rivers of Argentina and to the plateau of Uruguay. As a result of the first acquaintance with the fish, ichthyologists began to wrestle with their heads about the sex difference of individuals.
The fact is that during the first importation to Europe, the males and females of C. Belonti were described as completely different species. But when the fish fell into the hands of aquarists, the systematics was streamlined.
The color of the body in zinolebias is not as bright as the notobranchus and afiosemionov. I doubt that someone will not like the coal-black fish, the body of which has a scattering of green-blue dots. Conventionally, the cynolebias genus is subdivided into 2 groups: circular fins, which prefer the temperate climate of Argentina and the Uruguayan plateau, and the long flippers, which prefer the tropical and subtropical regions of Brazil.
Accordingly, each group of fish has its own temperature range. For example, circular flipper species are difficult to tolerate prolonged rises in water temperature above 25 degrees, which must be taken into account by an aquarist during the maintenance of zinolebias in a home aquarium.
Zinolebias, however, as well as tooth-teeth are bright representatives of seasonal (one-year) hydro-bionts. In nature, fish live in places where there are sharp climatic fluctuations, during which the dry winter period gives way to a rainy summer.
These changes are so serious that at night in summer the reservoir can become covered with a thin crust of ice, and in the winter season they can dry up altogether.
As with kartozubyh, the life cycle of zinolebias directly related to the alternation of rainy and dry seasons. From about the middle of the rainy season to the beginning of the rainy season, the fish spawn, putting their eggs to the ground to a great depth.
The substrate for spawning should consist of a mixture of silt, sand and residues of decomposed aquatic plants. In the end, the reservoir will dry up, the fish will all die, and the roe will continue to develop in dry soil.
During the rainy season, a new generation of zinolebias will appear.
Similarly to tooth-toothed, the development of caviar in zinolebias is accompanied by prolonged diapauses. The first diapause occurs after the fertilization of eggs, which is caused by a lack of oxygen in the soil and can last up to 3 months.
At this time, the eggs are transparent in appearance and there are no embryos in them. After the reservoir dries out, large cracks appear on the ground, which allow oxygen to pass through and caviar will begin to actively develop.
The second diapause comes after the embryo is fully formed, and ends with the onset of the rainy season. The reason for oxygen starvation lies in the ongoing processes of decay.
In the process of decay of organic compounds in the soil increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decreases the oxygen content. This, in turn, can trigger the onset of the third diapause.
I would like to note one interesting feature: after the first rain, not all eggs are born. This is a kind of protective mechanism against “false” rain, after which the reservoirs often dry up again.
Young tsinolebias grows very quickly, because literally in 2-3 months they must grow and leave their offspring to continue the life cycle. Accordingly, the young need a large amount of nutritious food. By the structure of the oral apparatus, the body and the high dorsal fin, it can be concluded that zinolebias are inhabitants of the lower layer of water.
Accordingly, the diet of these fish will be different from other relatives, who prefer to eat insects falling on the water.
In order to successfully maintain zinolebias at home, small 10-liter aquariums will do, but much larger volumes are possible. As noted, the fish feel excellent in both low and high aquariums. Fish hydrochemical parameters of water are undemanding.
It was noted that hydrobionts calmly transfer settled tap water without any harm. Water temperature can vary from 18 to 25 degrees. The amount of dissolved oxygen does not play a special role, but it is better to organize weak aeration so that other inhabitants of the aquarium do not suffer.
You can also lightly salt the water (a teaspoon of salt per ten liters of water).
Zinolebias feed on any live food, the main thing that it was large. It was noted that the hydrobionts eat up the pipe-maker, the bloodworm, the cortex and the earthworms. But Daphnia and Cyclops eat much worse, and with these feeds you can bring some infection into the aquarium.
But to teach the fish to eat dry food until now no one really could.
Fish are extremely rarely ill, due to their high adaptability to difficult living conditions in nature. But on sharp changes in water temperature and chemical characteristics of the fish react quite sharply, even painfully. Therefore, if you replant fish from one aquarium to another, or for major water changes, keep in mind this feature.
Quite often, ignorance of this peculiarity leads to sad consequences.
The most frequent disease to which zinolebias are exposed is oodiniosis. It is quite simple to treat fish – the salt concentration increases at the initial stage of the disease, and if it does not help, use the classic antibiotic treatment option bicillin-5.
Spawning zinolebiasy rather peculiar. As a spawning substrate, well-boiled and washed peat chips are used.
Substrate processing is necessary until the changeable water in the container is transparent.
Peat substrate must be laid on the bottom of the tank with a layer of at least 5 centimeters. And it is better to put it in a plastic box with a lid, in which you need to make one hole with a diameter of 4 to 5 centimeters.
This design spawning substrate allows to solve several problems.
Firstly, you significantly save peat, which in large quantities will strongly acidify the water in the aquarium; secondly, the fish do not scatter it throughout the spawning ground, and thirdly, you can get a full-fledged offspring even in the general decorative aquarium, in which not only fish from the family of zinolebias live. The marriage period is also quite interesting. Males begin to actively swim around females with straightened pectoral fins until the lady expresses a desire to follow the male.
When the producers choose a suitable bottom area for spawning, the male adopts a vertical position with its head down. Next to the male, the female is attached in a similar position, only the head is located next to the pectoral fins.
After that, the fish dive into the peat substrate and lay eggs. Fish swim out of peat not simultaneously at some distance from the place of immersion.
Once a few weeks, the peat, along with the caviar, must be removed from the aquarium, squeezed in a net and put in a plastic bag. Peat drying is not allowed during the incubation process. On the Internet you can find many ways to preserve peat in a wet state.
In addition, a bag of peat and caviar should be ventilated once a week to prevent mold. The most optimal ambient temperature for storing masonry ranges from 20 to 24 degrees.
Different types of zinolebias have a different period of ripening of caviar, therefore, in order to get full-fledged offspring, the aquarist himself should control the maturation process, and not let him go. Look for a couple of eggs in the peat and watch them throughout the ripening period.
Eggs in which an embryo has formed become dark brown and an embryo can be easily seen in them.
Peat with caviar must be filled with fresh soft water, a temperature of 20 – 21 degrees. The space between the peat substrate and the surface should not exceed 4 to 5 centimeters.
A hatching can take a few hours, but the first faces can appear already after 30 minutes. If the hatching has not occurred, then the water is drained to you after a day, the peat is dried and the manipulations are repeated again, only after a few weeks.
The largest larvae can lie for several hours at the bottom, occasionally trying to surface. In the future, the young will begin to actively swim in the aquarium in search of food. A key factor in the rearing of young zinolebias is the timely start of feeding the fry.
The most optimal starter feed for young animals is “live dust” and rotifers, the next day, the fish can already be given artemia and small cyclop. The young growth is growing extremely fast and after a week and a half the fry can eat finely chopped tubule, and at monthly age the fish show signs of sexual differences.
The length of the fish during this period can reach several centimeters.
If you do not set yourself the task of breeding fish, then you do not need to create special living conditions for aquatic organisms in your home aquarium. Tsinolebiasy perfectly maintain temperature ranges from 18 to 25 degrees and the active response of the medium in the range of 6 – 8 pH. Due to the high adaptability to difficult living conditions, fish become welcome guests in almost any decorative aquarium.
This is especially true for Dutch aquariums, where there are frequent fluctuations in pH, which many fish do not tolerate well. One of the most serious shortcomings of zinolebias is a short lifespan.
Therefore, if you do not have the opportunity to constantly buy new fish after the death of pets, then it is better to learn how to breed them yourself.
Here immediately comes to mind a proven classic way. One male and several females are taken for spawning, which are deposited in a separate container (possible in a 10-liter aquarium) with easy aeration. Peat substrate is fenced off with a partition made of organic glass, which is installed between the bottom and side walls.
The main thing is not to forget to get the peat from the aquarium in time, as this is fraught with souring and an increase in the incubation period. It is necessary to feed fry abundantly, the light in the aquarium is moderately bright.
In addition, every day you need to remove the remnants of undernourished feed from the aquarium and add fresh water to the aquarium.
If the above conditions are met, zinolebias will start spawning from the age of two months to the very end of their short life. Every day, each female will throw up to 10 eggs. Unfortunately, fish fertility will decrease with time.
When buying manufacturers it is necessary to pay attention not to the size of the fish, but to the brightness of the color and the correctness of the shape of the body. In this case, females should have a full belly and pronounced dots on the sides, if this is characteristic of this type of fish.
If an aquarist will strictly comply with all of these requirements, then your pets will not have the prerequisites for rebirth. Unlike some species of kartozubyh, zinolebiasy do not have similar tendencies.
And now let’s take a closer look at every single species that may appear in the aquariums of our readers.
Comes from Brazil. Males can reach up to 10 centimeters in length, but, as a rule, their sizes are more modest and rarely exceed 8 centimeters. Females are slightly smaller than males and the maximum length of their body is up to 6 centimeters.
In Brazil, the fish is quite difficult to find, even there were prerequisites for entering it into the Red Book. But, despite the difficulties of detecting a hydrobiont under natural conditions, zinolebias White is quite common in aquariums of foreign colleagues.
The body shape of this zinolebias resembles an ordinary cockerel, but more dense and muscular in appearance. Males have a rather attractive body color: the general background of chocolate tones, and along the tail fin there is a scattering of glowing blue dots that turn into large spots on the gills.
There is a bright orange stripe on the lower part of the anal fin. Anal and dorsal fin in fish grow throughout life, respectively, adult individuals look especially beautiful.
Females have a light brown color with a few black spots on the sides. Conditions of breeding and maintenance are no different from other representatives of this genus.
In small capacities, males can behave extremely aggressively towards other males. The duration of the incubation period is from one and a half to two months.
Like the previous fish, this aquatic species lives near Rio de Janeiro. The fish has long been listed in the Red Book and the Washington Agreement for the Protection of the Endangered Dwellers of our Planet. Aquarists do not exclude the option that only reproduction and maintenance in aquarium conditions is the only way to keep this species from extinction.
Body shape is similar to C. whitei, only it is more flattened laterally.
The males are painted in olive-golden tones with a number of spots that resemble a chess pattern. The anal and dorsal fin has elongated outer rays that resemble red braids.
Females in marble zinolebias gray with several dark spots on the sides.
Constantia’s zinolebias first appeared in our aquariums back in 1977 and are held in the collection of aquarists only at the expense of enthusiasm. And the reason is not the difficulty of breeding fish, but the fact that the color of the body of fish during stress is not as beautiful as that of other relatives.
The conditions of reproduction and maintenance are similar to other representatives of this genus, but the caviar of this species develops an order of magnitude slower (from 2 to 4 months). Growing fry also does not present difficulties, only fry can develop unevenly. As a rule, females are lagging behind.
As soon as the fish have the first sexual characteristics, it is better to deposit the males from the females in another aquarium. Otherwise, the females would not reach the required size.
The fish is very unpretentious and sick very rarely.
This is perhaps the most colorful and interesting representative of this genus. The fish was repeatedly imported into the territory of the post-Soviet space, and it is possible that they are still being imported.
In nature, this fish is found in temporary reservoirs of Uruguay and Argentina, in the rivers Paraná and La Plata.
Males are simply gorgeous color: on a black and blue background there are small light blue dots. The anal and dorsal fins are rounded, and the caudal fin is round. Okra females in gray-brown tones with dark blurred spots that resemble marble pattern.
The maximum body length of fish in aquarium conditions does not exceed 5 – 6 centimeters.
Of all the known representatives of the zinolebias family, the “star” representative is the most flexible in terms of temperature fluctuations. Of course, the reason lies in the impact of natural conditions.
However, if the water temperature rises above 25 degrees, then the fish begin to feel bad.
Fish breed in the same way as other members of the genus. But, if you set yourself the task of providing yourself with a large number of young stock, it is better to use the group method.
Several boxes with peat are placed in an aquarium with a volume of up to 40 liters, and a group of fish in which females will prevail is placed for spawning.
The incubation period for stellate zolebias is about 5 – 6 months. However, in optimum conditions of the maintenance the incubation period lasts no more than one and a half or two months.
And finally, the last known type of zinolebias – Myers. The shape of the body resembles the relative C. Constanciae, only more elongated. The males are painted olive green with a blue tint, and on the sides there are a half dozen vertical brown stripes that smoothly change to the elongated anal and dorsal fins decorated with kosits.
Sharp fin tail. The body color of the females is gray-brown with a scattering of points near the caudal fin.
The maximum body length of fish does not exceed 6 centimeters.
Zinolebias Myers is found in the waters of Brazil. Unfortunately, in modern aquarium literature there is no information on the maintenance and breeding of this type of zinolebias. At the end of today’s article, I would like to cite the most common mistakes that novice aquarists make when keeping and breeding zinolebias:
- The peat substrate, which is used for spawning, is poorly processed. The water in the aquarium becomes the color of the tea and the pH can drop to 4;
- Careless transfer of fish from one tank to another after their acquisition. Fish should be smooth adaptation. Water from the aquarium, where relocation is planned, must be added in portions within an hour so that the fish do not experience shock;
- In small spawners, water is rarely replaced by fresh water, which ultimately leads to excessive saturation with organic compounds;
- Monotonous feeding is usually a pipe worker, which can provoke toxicosis, intoxication and intestinal disorders.
As a rule, the above errors become causes of failures, and beginning aquarists, fearing possible difficulties, refuse to keep zinolebias in their home aquariums. If you carefully treat these fish, you can learn a lot of new things for yourself.