Three freshwater fish tank fish to consider are described here; the Penguin fish, the Merry Widow and the Madagascar rainbow fish. Scientific names, preferred conditions, colors description, sex differences and breeding advice given.
Madagascar Rainbow Fish – Bedotia geayi (Family: Atherinidae)
Behavior: The Madagascar rainbow, also know as the Madagascar minnow, is happy in a community tank but prefers to be in a small shoal of its own kind. It is an active swimmer. It is a hardy and peaceful fish that tends to dwell in the top half of the aquarium and has become very popular.
Water and tank conditions: The water temperature should be increased from the norm to about twenty five to twenty eight degrees Celsius.
Features and colors: A somewhat peculiar aspect of the Bedotia genus is the fact that the fish have two dorsal fins with the second one being much longer. It has a horizontal dark line running form its eye to the caudal peduncal. The main body color is olive green. It may grow to around eight cms.
You will see that the vertical fins are yellow and have dark edging. The male is more darkly colored than the female and its caudal fin is colored red.
Feeding: It is not a fussy eater and will eat a wide range of food but it won’t leave the top half of the tank to get it!
Breeding Conditions: Pretty easy to breed you will need a well planted tank with hard water at a temperature of 26 degrees centigrade. It will take several days for spawning to take place and eggs are attached each day by threads to the plants.
Normally the eggs will not be eaten by the parents. Because of the lengthy spawning time fry will hatch at different times and you will end up with fry at various stages of development. They can be fed freshly hatched brine shrimp and fine dried food.
Merry Widow – Phallichthys amates (Family: Poeciliidae)
Behavior: This freshwater fish tank fish is ideal for the community environment. It is very active, sturdy and well-behaved.
Water and Tank Conditions: An average planted aquarium with a water temperature range of between 21 and 25 degrees centigrade will be fine.
Features and Colors: An unusual feature is the presence of a gonopodium (which is seen in the Family Poeciliidae) in the male. This gonopodium is like a rod positioned under the belly and becomes active in the mating process.
The male, which can be up to 3 cms, is half the size of the female.The main color is olive green and the male has dark bars on its flanks and blue gills. The fish also has a splendid dorsal fin with black bordering but the female lacks this element.
Feeding: The merry widow prefers vegetable matter and green algae and will accept dried foods.
Breeding Conditions: Be warned that this fish will be likely to eat its young! You do not need a separate breeding tank but use a breeding trap and you should be alright. The fish will produce live babies as it is viviparous. Although up to a hundred fry may be produced not too many will pull through.
Penguin – Thayeria boehlkei (Family: Characidae)
Behavior: The reason its is called the penguin is because of its coloring and when it is still, its tails hangs down and it appears to look like a tiny penguin. Another name it is often called is the hockey stick tetra. If this fish is by itself then it may shelter in amongst the plants due to its timid nature.
Better if it is in a small shoal. This freshwater fish tank fish is ideal for the community aquarium as it is a good swimmer, not aggressive and hardy. You will need a cover for your aquarium as it is a good leaper.
Water and Tank Conditions: Because this fish likes to swim around a lot make sure you give it plenty of room whilst also having a thickly planted zone. The water temperature should be about 22 to 26 degrees centigrade.
Features and Colors: They can grow up to 10 cms. The bottom part of the forked tail is longer than the other.It has an olive green coloration on its back with a silver body. A black strip runs along the sides of the fish.
Feeding: Will eat anything really. Not fussy.
Breeding Conditions: For breeding the tank water should be at twenty nine degrees Celsius and you need tall plants. Follow the well known route of keeping the male and female separate and conditioning them before breeding.
Remove the fish from the breeding tank after spawning. Fry will appear from the eggs in three to four days and can be fed on micro live foods such as green water (suspended algae). So there we have it. Three more freshwater fish tank fish suitable for a community environment for you to choose from.
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