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Papiliochromis/Microgeophagus altispinosa

Contents:

  1. Bolivian Ram Pseudo FAQ/ Article
    by dxf6-at-po.CWRU.Edu (Dean Fear) (1 Sep 1994)
  2. microgeophagus altispinosa
    by JLWiegert-at-aol.com ()
  3. P. altispinosa
    by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com> (Thu, 30 Oct 1997)
  4. P. altispinosa
    by Mark Westling <westling/concept5.com> (Thu, 30 Oct 1997)
  5. Altaspinosa Fry
    by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com> (Fri, 6 Mar 1998)
  6. M. altispinosa
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Thu, 06 Aug 1998)
  7. RE: ramirezi and altispinosa
    by "Mark Westling" <westling/perceptech.com> (Wed, 4 Nov 1998)
  8. Papiliochromis spp. (was P. Matadi)
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Mon, 01 Mar 1999)
  9. Bolivian rams
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Sat, 03 Apr 1999)
  10. (No Title)
    by djhanson/calweb.com (Fri, 26 Feb 1999)
  11. (No Title)
    by Randy & Deb Carey <carey/spacestar.net> (Fri, 26 Feb 1999)
  12. Re:
    by BigJohnW/webtv.net (John Wubbolt) (Sat, 27 Feb 1999)
  13. RE: Bolivian rams
    by "Mark Westling" <westling/perceptech.com> (Fri, 2 Apr 1999)
  14. Bolivian rams
    by dharnden/mindspring.com (Fri, 2 Apr 1999)
  15. My Bolivian rams spawned!!!
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Tue, 14 Sep 1999)
  16. Sexing of Mikrogeophagus Altispinosa (Breeding F0s)
    by "David A. Youngker" <nestor10/mindspring.com> (Sat, 6 May 2000)
  17. Bolivian Ram
    by "jason/norac.ca" <noracjason/www.norac.ca> (Wed, 09 Feb 2000)



spawning pair


spawning pair


female with fry

Photos by Helen Burns

Bolivian Ram Pseudo FAQ/ Article

by dxf6-at-po.CWRU.Edu (Dean Fear)
Date: 1 Sep 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria


Again here is another article that I have written for my local fish 
club (Great Lakes Cichlid Society).  (We had so much fun with the Ram
FAQ!)   This article describes my experinces with this fish and thankfully 
it has been a postive one.  Your experinces may have differed.  I 
guess that's why fish keeping is as a much an art as a science! I 
appreciate all your feed back.

                     Microgeophagus Altispinosa  

By Dean E. Fear                            Great Lakes Cichlid Society 

Although I probably have more fish than I know what to do with, and
have repeatedly promised my wife "No new fish", I always keep my
eye out for "something interesting."  (Unfortunately, I tend to
find something interesting on a weekly basis.)  While wondering
around Wal-Mart, ostensibly looking for materials for some home
improvement project that will be indefinitely delayed by the need
to set up more tanks, I came across a tank of fish labeled "ruby
top apistogram".  Well these fish looked like some variety of "Ram"
to me, and not a "true" apistogram, but hey I wasn't really sure
what they were i.e. they must be rare!  In a show of great self
discipline, I decided that I better "think about it" and did not
immediately purchase them.  This being said I returned in a week
and a half and to my delight they were still there.  I guess fish
that cost more than a dollar or two aren't real fast sellers at
Wal-Mart.  (I am still not real sure why these fish were there in
the first place?) I was also pleased to see that they appeared to
still be in excellent health.  I must admit at this particular Wal-
Mart, although the selection is not great, the tanks are well
maintained.  

After searching through reference materials I was finally able to
identify my new charges as the Bolivian Butterfly Ram
(Microgeophagus altispinosa).  A rather new fish to the hobby, they
were first imported to Germany in 1985.  They were originally found
in the scrub country of Bolivia in the residual of a shallow pond. 
Parameters at the collection site were 7.6 PH, 4 degrees dH, a
conductivity of 123 microSiemens, and a noon time water temperature
of 81o F (recorded by Horst Linke).  Being a rare fish in the wild,
only a few specimens have been imported.  Fish available today are
most likely domestically breed stock imported from the Far East. 

The fish is more geophagine in appearance than its cousin M.
ramirezi.  It's body has a olive green/silver hue to it with bright
red outlining on its dorsal and caudal fins.  Sexing is not as easy
as with M. ramirezi.  Males appear more slender in the body than
females and at adult size may be a little larger.  Based on
personal observation of my stock, the snout of females appears to
be more blunt.  Fish reach an adult size of 4 inches but are
sexually mature at 2.5 inches.     

I currently keep my group in a bare bottom 30 gallon tank with
several eight inch long pieces of 1.5 inch PVC pipe.  Water
parameters are 7.5 PH, conductivity of 200 microSiemens and a water
temperature of 86o F.  The fish eagerly accept flake food, but have
thus far shown little interest in my frozen beef heart mix. 
Although a bare tank may not be their ideal environment, my fish
have successfully spawned twice on the interior lip of the piping. 
As with M. ramirezi, I artificially reared the fry adding 2 drops
of methyl-blue per gallon to the hatching container. (Artificial
rearing is not necessary, just my preference.)  The fry hatch in
about three days and are free swimming in another couple of days. 
Initially the fry are too small to accept baby brine shrimp and
must be feed "micro" foods.  After about three days they will
accept brine shrimp nauplii.   Water quality is extremely important
to the fry and partial water changes are a must.  The fry can be
very sensitive to nitrite levels. 

Based on my readings a more appropriate environment would be a well
planted tank with gravel which includes an open swimming place in
the foreground.  The fish prefer a smooth stone to spawn on and the
female will cover the spawn with gravel.  The water should be soft
with a hardness of less than 10o dH.  However, based on the my 
aforementioned experiences domestic breeding has produce fish more
tolerant to captive conditions as correspondingly observed with M.
ramirezi. 

Good Luck!

~References:

Liebel, W. 1994. The Seven (other) Dwarfs. Aquarium Fish Magazine
5/94:50-52,54
Richter, H.J. 1989. The Complete Book of Dwarf Cichlids. TFH Publications
(U.S.A.) 

This article is Copyright (c)1994 by Dean E. Fear.  It may be freely
distributed in its entirety provided that this copyright notice is not
removed.  It may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in commercial
documents without the author's written permission.  This article is
provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.
  


microgeophagus altispinosa

by JLWiegert-at-aol.com
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 1996 17:48:30 -0400

Papilochromis - which I can't spell - altispinosa as it is now known likes
mildy acidic to neutral water, 6.8-7.0.  Driftwood if it is not sealed will
release tannins which will stain the water and gradualy acidifiy it.  Your
going to need a lot of unsealed driftwood to do that though.  A much better
way is to get a nylon stocking and fill it with organic peat moss.  Put this
in the filter and your all done.  Some smaller peices of peat will come out,
and if you want to avoid this, move the discharge of the filter to anothe
tank for a day or so (If you can).  Or run it on another tank for a day or
so.  The second option is probably much better as you won't have to be
constantly adding water to the tank :).  As for hardness, P. altispinosa can
take much harder water than its Venezualan (I can't spell Didly skwat!)
brother, the common Ram, P. ramirezi.  Hardness can range from 8-10°H with a
value has high as 14 being acceptable.  As to sexing the fish, the more
brightly coloured fish who seems to be the most aggressive is most likely the
male - or the one that is not laying eggs!  :p
<><
J. L. Wiegert

P. altispinosa

by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

At 03:45 PM 10/30/97 -0200, Carlos Eduardo Alves Ribeiro wrote:
>Hi, I have some experience with dwarf cichlids and would like to try
>something new. I`ve bought six one-inch Pap. altispinosa and would like to
>breed them in the future. Could anybody give me some advice about this fish
>? Thank you.

I spawned a pair back in 1994. I put them in a 20 gallon tank with just 2"
fine sand, 3" ceramic flower pot and they had only the light from the
window. Their tank overgrew with algae on the glass so it was difficult to
see in the tank without a flashlight. One day when I went to do a water
change (soft water, 5.0 hardness and 7.0 pH.) I thought I might check to see
if the pair was even still there. Indeed they were. They didn't use the
flower pot for spawning. Instead they made a bare spot in a circular pattern
in the sand and that's where they spawned. They hatched their eggs and
raised their own fry. I still have the original pair in a 100 gallon
community tank with several of their offspring. (They don't seem to be of
much interest here in Sacramento, CA.) I fed them flakes and baby brine.
Other than that, I just left them alone. I didn't do a water change for 3
weeks prior to this one.

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P. altispinosa

by Mark Westling <westling/concept5.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

I bought a half-dozen back in February and put them into a heavily
planted 55-gallon tank with about four inches of sand, a few large
pieces of driftwood, and a few flat rocks.  Water was kept about
80-degrees F., slightly acidic (via "Black Water Tonic").  I also
included a school of about a dozen cardinal tetras and a pair of A.
commbrae.  I've been feeding them a combination of live black worms,
frozen brine shrimp, and flake food.

Not long after I put them in the tank, they began spawning.  I believe
they used a piece of wood once, but they typically lay eggs on a rock,
and then after hatching move the fry to a depression in the sand. 
Actually, they seem to move the fry a lot, from depression to
depression.  After the fry become mobile, I siphon them out and feed
them baby brine shrimp.

The original fish are now about 3-3.5 inches in body length. For some
reason, I've only had one spawn in the last few months, but it's been a
blessing: my tanks have been overflowing with the young.  I don't know
how many spawns I've gotten out of them so far, but it's been a lot. 
I'm getting rid of them slowly, trying not to saturate the local
market...

Mark Westling

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Altaspinosa Fry

by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

At 12:05 PM 3/6/98 -0600, Tim Ellis wrote:
>Hello out there in cyber world,
>
>I was wondering if anyone out there has bred and raised these rams. This
>is my first try.  How long can you leave them with the parents or does
>it matter? Would a couple of small Blue rams eat them? How long before
>the are large enough to be safe? What do you feed them and how often and
>how long? How old should they be before I offer them to the pet shops?
>
>Tim
Hi Tim

I have been breeding the Bolivian Rams for 4 years now. I breed them in
straight RO water. Right now my pair is in a 20 gallon by themselves with a
Hydro-Sponge #5, a 3" flower pot on it's side and a log that is about 8"
long and approx. 3" wide. It is only about 1" thick at most. I feed the
parents flakes, live worms, newly hatched brine shrimp.

I left my last spawn with them till they seemed to be ignoring the fry, at
about 3 weeks. I have been feeding them newly hatched brine shrimp,
deencapsulated shrimp cysts, and have started adding ground flakes 3 - 4
times per day. If you want to actually breed and raise the fry, don't put
any other fish in the tank with them. At an inch and a half they should be
large enough to sell to the stores.

Kaycy


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M. altispinosa

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Mikrogeophagus altispinosus (yes, that's the correct spelling according to
Kullander) is found over a fairly broad area of the Bolivian Amazon and
neighboring Mato Grosso of Brazil.  There are at least two different forms in the
hobby.  The One-spot Altispinosus is the typical form with one (sometimes two)
spots on the flanks.  The Two-spot Altispinosus has the same pattern but also has
a caudal spot.  Aqualog shows a form called M. altispinosus "MATO GROSSO" that
has a broad patch running from the gill cover to the flank spot.  Whether or not
these are all the same species is still up in the air.  I'd suggest keeping the
different forms separate until this is all sorted out.

Mike Wise

Tsuh Yang Chen wrote:

> i have a pair for sure of these guys.  however, are they the same
> species?  i have read somewhere that there is a suspicion that
> "altispinosa" is a complex of different species, just like the Mesonauta
> festivum-complex.  does anyone know hwo to distinguish the different
> "species" apart?
>
> tsuh yang chen, new york city
>
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RE: ramirezi and altispinosa

by "Mark Westling" <westling/perceptech.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

I have some two-year old altispinosas that are about that long (3" body
length + 1" tail).  If you're really intent on breeding them, you might wait
until you can find smaller ones: mine stopped spawing not too many months
after reaching that size.  It might be due to changing tank conditions but
I'm guessing they're just past their prime.

--Mark

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-apisto@listbox.com [mailto:owner-apisto@listbox.com]On
> Behalf Of Reza Alamsyah
> Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 1998 12:09 AM
> To: apisto@majordomo.pobox.com
> Subject: ramirezi and altispinosa
>
>
> Hi, I've been lurking for a while and this is my first post.
> In Indonesia I've seen three types of rams, the wild type ( blue ), the
> xanthic ( gold ) type, and the sunset ( sunrise? )type ( possibly a
> cross between the two common types with the yellow part in the front
> half ). Anybody has experience with this third type ? Please share.
> A few days ago a visit to a local fish market I found some altispinosa (
> at least I think they were ) but the size is wrong ( perhaps ) since
> they were about 4 inches long end to end and an inch deep body. I
> postponed obtaining them
> since I'm not sure they really are altispinosa due to the size. Is it
> possible that they can be that big ? Has anybody kept them long enough
> for them to reach that size ? Hope it's not just some altispinosa on
> steroid :(.
> TIA
> Reza
> Jakarta, Indonesia
>
>
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Papiliochromis spp. (was P. Matadi)

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com

djhanson@calweb.com wrote:

> > i believe the bolivian ram (P. altispinosa) comes from bolivian rainforest.
> > there is another sp. that comes from southwestern brazil, it is sometimes
> > labeled as Papiliochromis (or Microgeophagus, depneding on who you believe)
> > "two spots."
> As far as I know the Papiliochromis altispinosa has been recently
> changed to Microgeophagus. That is the info I get from out local Cichlid
> club and other 'experts'.
>
> Kaycy

Or should it be in the genus "Mikrogeophagus Meulengracht-Madsen, 1968"? (How's
that for muddying the water!) Either way it would be spelled "M. altispinosus",
with a masculine suffix.

There are several different populations of the Bolivian Ram, just look in the
Aqualog book. Whether they are one or more species has yet to be determined.

Mike Wise



>
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Bolivian rams

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Sat, 03 Apr 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com



Mark Westling wrote:

> By the way, I have about a hundred of them right now and the number's not
> going down.  I really, really hate to see a spawn wasted but these guys are
> so prolific they're reproducing faster than I can unload them at shops and
> auctions.  I wish they were as "unloadable" as angelfish..

I have the same problem with several species that are fairly rare, but rarely
salable. One example is my pair of Anomalochromis sp. Guinea. They are very
prolific; 200 fry per spawn isn't unusual. These aren't highly valued by LFS but
I would hate to see them lost to the hobby. So what I do is allow the pair to
raise a spawn until one or both adults lose interest (about 4 - 6 weeks). Then I
simply separate the pair until I feel I need to spawn them again. For biparental
species like these & Laetacara,  it may take a couple of weeks to reacquaint the
pair, but spawning usually occurs within a month. To me this is much better than
filling tanks full of fish I can't move and then watching them become stunted
because they don't have enough room to grow. I also find that the fish seem to
live longer when given a vacation from breeding & raising broods. My A. sp.
Guinea pair, for example, are at least 3 years old now. They look as vigorous as
when they first spawned 2 years ago, only larger. They just presented me with 200
fry last month that are healthy & growing fast.

Mike Wise

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(No Title)

by djhanson/calweb.com
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com

> Does anyone know know if it is normal for M. altispinosa to excavate
> two inch deep nests- I have a pair that finally spawned after about
> two years-I had given up on  them and started buying  Apistos about a
> year ago(the reason why I am on the list now)- These fish are quite
> the diggers- my plant tank looks like it went through a miniature
> Blitzkrieg.
Cory, this is very normal for the M. altispinosa. They are not cave
spawners but open pit spawners. Mine also took 2 years before ready for
spawning. I no longer have any since I sold the last of the 4th
generation a couple months ago. The biggest thing I found out about
spawning them is they do not like bright light over their tank. At least
this has been my experience with keeping and breeding them.

I hope this helps.

Kaycy

http://www.calweb.com/users/d/djhanson/index.htm


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(No Title)

by Randy & Deb Carey <carey/spacestar.net>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com


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In the multiple spawns of my altispinosa, they layed their eggs on some
small,  hard surface like a small rock.  Each time, as soon as the eggs
hatched, they would move the wrigglers to their excavated pit.

--Randy

Cory and Susanne Williamson wrote:

>  Does anyone know know if it is normal for M. altispinosa to excavate
> two inch deep nests- I have a pair that finally spawned after about
> two years-I had given up on  them and started buying  Apistos about a
> year ago(the reason why I am on the list now)- These fish are quite
> the diggers- my plant tank looks like it went through a miniature
> Blitzkrieg. Cory Williamson

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<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">
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<body bgcolor="#FFFFF0">
In the multiple spawns of my altispinosa, they layed their eggs on some
small,&nbsp; hard surface like a small rock.&nbsp; Each time, as soon as
the eggs hatched, they would move the wrigglers to their excavated pit.
<p>--Randy
<p>Cory and Susanne Williamson wrote:
<blockquote TYPE=CITE>&nbsp;<font size=-1>Does anyone know know if it is
normal for M. altispinosa to excavate two inch deep nests- I have a pair
that finally spawned after about two years-I had given up on&nbsp; them
and started buying&nbsp; Apistos about a year ago(the reason why I am on
the list now)- These fish are quite the diggers- my plant tank looks like
it went through a miniature Blitzkrieg.</font>&nbsp;<font size=-1>Cory
Williamson</font></blockquote>

</body>
</html>

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Re:

by BigJohnW/webtv.net (John Wubbolt)
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com

Hello All
I guess I've broken the mold with my fish.
The first time I had my pair of Altispinosa spawn for me it was in a
bare bottom tank with 2 large clay saucers in the tank.   Knowing the
fish weren't a cave spawner but open spawner the laid their eggs right
inside the clay saucer and fanned them there until the fry hatched and
left them there until they were free swimming.   They were great
parents.   The second spawn out of this pair was done in a tank with
about  1 inch layer of small gravel and a clay saucer.   When the pair
spawned inside the saucer the fanned the eggs until they hatched and
then moved the fry out into a pit they dug in the gravel.    I have
since traded the pair to friend but have a nice tank full of about 50 +
fry that are alittle over 1 inch long now.   I'm going to raise them all
up to a sexable size before moving them off.   Local pet shops won't
give me anything of value unless they are at least 2.5 inches long and
have nice color to them.
I really enjoyed watching the pair take care of their brood.   
John Wubbolt




RE: Bolivian rams

by "Mark Westling" <westling/perceptech.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999
To: <apisto/admin.listbox.com>

I've had them start spawning at about 6cm TL so you're not far away.  At
that size you should be able to sex them by looking for filaments beginning
to form on the fins of the males.  Regarding the water conditions, mine have
spawned regularly in water between pH 6.5 and 7.5 and around 80F.  For a
while I thought that spawning frequency decreased in older individuals, but
it seems that lowering the pH to about 6.0 was what was stopping my 2.5 yr
olds.  After raising it back to 7.0, they started up again.

The one thing mine insist on for spawning is a flat rock.  I've never seen
them spawn in sand, on wood, or on plant leaves--it has to be a horizontal
rock, even if it's only an inch long.

I use them as dithers all the time.  Like you said, they only squabble among
themselves and they're very active.  They also seem too tough to get beaten
up by their tankmates.

By the way, I have about a hundred of them right now and the number's not
going down.  I really, really hate to see a spawn wasted but these guys are
so prolific they're reproducing faster than I can unload them at shops and
auctions.  I wish they were as "unloadable" as angelfish...

--Mark




Bolivian rams

by dharnden/mindspring.com
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999
To: <apisto/admin.listbox.com>

> The one thing mine insist on for spawning is a flat rock.  I've never seen
> them spawn in sand, on wood, or on plant leaves--it has to be a horizontal
> rock, even if it's only an inch long.

The altispinosa I had a few years ago would dig pits and lay eggs in there.
I had them in a 55 gal. with Discus and other fish. The biggest male would
breed with a female one end, then a week later breed with another female on
the other end. Most fry got eaten by their tankmates, but enough survived
that it became a population problem.






My Bolivian rams spawned!!!

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com

Leah,

I don't want to get into a lengthy discussion here on the generic (genus) name of
the Rams. Right now Microgeophagus Axelrod, 1971 is the name accepted by most
taxonomists. Mayland & Bork agree with Géry and use Microgeophagus Frey, 1957 in
their book. There is a question on whether this name is a "nomen nudem" or not.
Römer's new book goes along with Kullander's contention that the name
Mikrogeophagus (with a "k") Meulengracht-Madsen, 1968 is the oldest valid name
and should be used for the genus. Time (maybe) will tell.

Your Bolivian Rams were originally called Crenicara altispinosa Haseman, 1911.
They then were moved to the genus Papiliochromis by Kullander in 1981 and called
Papiliochromis altispinosa (Haseman, 1911). This paper was published in the
German Cichlid Association's journal, DCG-Informationen, in Kullander's original
English text next to a German translation. The German translation got some key
phrases mixed up and this led to a lot of people in the mid-1980's thinking that
(domestic developed) German Rams were actually Bolivian Rams. This was before the
true Bolivian Ram was introduced into the hobby. Now the Bolivian Ram is called
Microgeophagus altispinosus (Haseman, 1911) (note the masculine suffix) by most
taxonomists, but it could turn out to be Mikrogeophagus altispinosus (Haseman,
1911). To misquote Shakespeare, Ah, what's in a name! A Ram is a Ram.

Mike Wise

Mike Wise

Leah Neuhauser wrote:

>       I had one question though, about the species name. . .is it
> Microgeophagus or Papiliochromis altispinosa?  I'm thinking its
> Microgeophagus now, but maybe not. . .
> Thanks,
> Leah
> Leah1818@hotmail.com
>
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Sexing of Mikrogeophagus Altispinosa (Breeding F0s)

by "David A. Youngker" <nestor10/mindspring.com>
Date: Sat, 6 May 2000
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

From: " Gary Elson"
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2000 5:01 PM


> While we're on the subject, is there anyone on the list who has
> kept and bred wild-caught altispinosa?

Well, I'd be one of those...

> My only experience is with tank-bred altis, and now with an
> extraordinarily frustrating group of wild-caught 2 spot altis. I'd love
> to hear from anyone who kept the 'original' fish when it first came
> in, just to see if it was as challenging as the 2 spot at first.
> The 2 spots show more geophagus-like behavior, covering the
> eggs with sand, but I haven't gotten them past wrigglers, and that
> was in close to pure rainwater. I'd like to compare notes as my fish
> are getting old, and I'd like to keep them going.

If you're getting as far as wrigglers, then your breeding environment sounds
OK as a simple shot-in-the-dark. Perhaps the "ambiance" isn't quite right -
I must confess to usually glossing over (if anything) the oft-occurring
chatter on set-ups, and haven't familiarized myself with individual list
members' habits, so I can't make any presumptions here. Perhaps you could
describe your general hatch-/grow-out environment?

My most productive set-up was described in a letter to the list almost two
years ago. It was a 20-long that was described as, if I remember correctly,
"crowded as all (insert favorite expletive)" - or similar words. There were
four pair of M. altis, three pair of Blue Rams, a school of 17 Cardinal
Tetras and an Upside-Down Catfish! The point of the experiment was that both
wild types (Bolivian and Blue) seemed to thrive better in a competeive
environment. (The Blues weren't as successful as the larger Bolivians,
obviously, but they learned to be good parents for use in their own private
settings ;-) ) Even in a tank as over-stocked as that, each pair of
Bolivians was able to raise broods of 10 - 15 fry to "release stage" (don't
worry - the fry were removed at that stage - there's a limit to *any*
crowding situation).

The tank was filtered with a single Penguin 125 running Bio-Wheel and
standard pad inserts, replaced bi-weekly but rinsed in tank water with every
water change. Three gallons of water, sometimes four, were changed every two
days. Water was a combination of peat-filtered RO and tap to achieve 20 ppm
GH, <1 deg Total Alkalinity (didn't have a conductivity meter at the time)
and a pH of around 6. Temperature was held a constant 80 F then, but, as
with Blue Rams, I shoot for 78 now (and please - that's not meant to be an
opening for a temperature debate - "just the facts, ma'am").

The substrate was simple, dark sand. The tank was heavily planted: a single,
small Amazon, some dense patches of E. tenellus and a heavy mass of Java
Moss that covered most of a large piece of bogwood and the surrounding tank
area. Lighting was a standard single-lamp Perfecto hood (when the plants are
that close, you don't need a lot).

There were quite a few flat stones scattered throughout the bottom. Although
the Blues were fond of them for initial breeding sites, the Bolivians, as
with yours, preferred pits all the way from start to finish. With emphasis
on the plural "pits". One pair moved everything twice a day on average,
occasionally doing it thrice.

Preferred nesting sites seemed more openly situated than I would have
initially imagined. They appeared to have an easier time guarding the nest
when they had clearer fields-of-view. Once the fry were free-swimming,
though, they invariably moved to the corner of the tank behind the Java
Moss. This seemed to effectively "funnel" any potential threat to more
easily-defined and guarded paths of approach. And although I ran the Penguin
with just its standard strainer the parents never took the fry to that side
of the tank anyway, so the problem of containing the fry never reared its
head.

Feeding was easy. Nothing for the first two days - I let the Java Moss
handle that part. Then, once a day I'd drop a half-tablet of what used to be
called Tabi-Min (forgotten Tetra's new moniker) in the middle of the cloud
of fry. Nice thing about those catfish tabs - they're already crushed, just
compressed into pills from there. So it doesn't take long for the tab to
fall completely apart, and even the fry of wild-caughts picked up on this
really quick.

If I were to narrow factors down, I'd probably pick two as guiding concerns
when breeding F0s. The first is that they appear to adjust better to a
competitive environment. Please understand, the above scenario is not by any
means the recommended one (at the time, the crowding was initially caused by
using the tank as a "holding tank" during a move, but the results were so
surprising that the situation was continued as a learning experience). But
they should have some form of "company", be it at least another pair, some
dithers or even a "community" environment.

The second is that they seem to almost "require" a tank designed with *lots*
of hiding places, but not in what I'd call the usual sense of the word. They
never made any sort of move to hide the fry "up in" the plants, or under
leaves or any of the usually-thought-of type behaviors. They are perfectly
content to let the fry spend their entire existence "in the open" (their
form of "hiding" consists chiefly of simply dropping to the substrate when
alerted) **as long as the layout of the tank will allow them to choose spots
that limit approaches**. Later, as the "family" begins to break up, the fry
quickly learn the value of hiding in the plants rather than lying out in the
open - especially as they get large enough to be more easily seen.

That's all off the top of my head. If you'd like anything in greater detail,
say the word and I'll dig out my notes...

-Y-

David A. Youngker
nestor10@mindspring.com




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Bolivian Ram

by "jason/norac.ca" <noracjason/www.norac.ca>
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Cory,

	I have kept Bolivian Rams before and they lived up to four years for me,
but they were in a 180 gal. tank.  They might ahve lived longer but I took
down the tank to move and their temp. living quaters were less than ideal,
or they might have lived longer.  Hope this helps.

Talk to you later.




At 04:10 PM 02/08/00 -0800, you wrote:
>Does anyone have an idea of what the longevity of M. altispinosa typically
>is.
>
>Cheers,
>
>Cory Williamson
>
>
>
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>
>
Jason Clark

Good things come to those that wait, but only the things that are leftover
by those who hustle.


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This page was last updated 02 July 2000