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Ameca splendens availability/info

Hello all,
    To those who have been struggling to find Ameca splendens (an
algae-eating livebearer) at your local fish shops only to fail...  If you're
willing to mail-order fish, Julio Melgar occasionally has these Goodeids
(meaning they give birth to a small amount of fry, but the fry are quite
large I believe) in stock. His web page can be found at:


    A little info... Ameca splendens are smallish, platy-sized livebearers
that are rather plain-jane in color. They are silvery all over with only a
few yellowish marks on the fins, usually. They can grow to around 3" in
large tanks in my experience. These fish eat almost any kinds of hair algae
they can find, and that's a fact. They eat it like spaghetti! However, they
favor flake and "normal" fish foods over algae, so it may be necessary to
"starve" the fish briefly in order to get it to take a liking to your local
varieties of alga. It has also been rumored that Ameca splendens, also known
as the Butterfly Goodeid, will eat cyanobacteria... although I cannot
confirm this.
    As for temperment, they can be nippy like Tiger Barbs when larger, and
they can be aggressive when feeding. It is probable that having a school of
these fish would minimize aggressive behavior.
    Breeding can be done according to my resources. Provide slightly acidic
pH and a temp around 78 F, which can be raised gradually to promote
spawning. The female gives birth to only a handful of fry, but on average
they can be up to 1/2" long at birth!
    In short, give Ameca splendens a try, they seem to be great hair algae

Hope this helps.

-- Derek Wingert