Austrolebius nigripinnis


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Sep 10, 2008
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Hi, I've just won a pair (plus a spare male who will be separated) of these beautiful fish at auction so whilst I await their delivery I thought I'd pick brains on breeding as I've never done peat divers. Either the pair or the single male will be going into my paludarium (probably the single male) and the other into a normal lidded planted tank. I use rainwater which has a pH of 7 and is obviously soft My questions are:
When to introduce the spawning substrate - can it just go in any time?
Do the eggs absolutely need to be dried and rewetted (I know some do, but I can't find this info on A. nigripinnis) or will they ever just hatch in situ?
Any other tips? Cheers!
A. nigripinnis is a fish I have wanted to keep for years, but haven't gotten yet. I have bred related species though.
I have not heard of in situ success. If it were to happen, it would be low yield, and I believe with weak fish as a possibility. I've tried it with east African annual Nothobranchius, and had no luck.
I would take a lidded plastic container, and fill it with enough boiled peat for them to dive in. I would carefully cut a hole in the lid so they could get in, and I would replace the peat weekly. Squeeze it dryish (but very damp), seal it and store it at around 10 weeks at 20c, or 6 or so at 25.
The fish are beautiful, but the tank will look like some salad eating barbarian threw his dishes into the lake. The reason you have the cover with the hole is to keep (most of) the peat in. Otherwise, it will be all over your tank.
Thanks, I suspected that might be the case with in situ! Love your description of the tank, do they tend to tear up plants or something or ref to the plastic container!? I won't worry too much about coir/peat in the tank, as you can see - it's quite mulmy!
It only has shrimp in at the moment, but there is the same space hidden behind what is visible that the fish can access too which is a network of hydroponic roots and is roughly 660cm x 40cm which is why I planned to pair to be in here. Thinking about it, I wonder if they would enjoy being outdoors come the summer? Catching them in here to move them outside might be a bit of a pain!
They throw peat around, but harm nothing. They may choose mulm for their eggs though. That would give you a very low yield.

They have been caught by breaking very thin ice to get to them. Tough little creatures, though short lived. Don't design that tank!
Perhaps I'll stick with the medaka in there then! Or plant spawners...
I'll have to make their tank look half reasonable though, so some scaping will be happening!

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