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Re: MEP observations
- To: KillieTalk at aka_org
- Subject: Re: MEP observations
- From: Brian Watters <Brian.Watters at uregina_ca>
- Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 14:23:58 -0600
- In-Reply-To: <200009291928.PAA19247 at actwin_com>
- References: <200009291928.PAA19247 at actwin_com>
Tyrone Genade wrote:
> This is one for Dr. Watters and Co to work one but I think every
> one can chew on it for a while.
> Otto Schmidt gave Dirk and I a group of MEP (diff strains) from the
> stuff he brought back from TAN.
> I have just learnt that Dirk's has burnt out. Interestinly mine are
> going that way too. Int he space of a week I have lost 2 of my 3
> females and the 3rd is loosing weight rapidly in spite of my best
> I can't speculate on their age.
> Any ideas/comments?
> Is the body clock of wild fish more fine tuned that captive stock?
> Was it the stress of the trip?
> Barry, Brian: are you MEP also dying?
All of the N. melanospilus that we brought back from Tanzania this year
were relatively young, especially the Mvumi population where many of
the specimens were barely sexually mature.
Wild-caught Nothos, unless they are very old and "on their last legs"
when caught, are capable of surviving in captivity for remarkably long
times. For example, I had numerous populations of N. ugandensis still
alive and spawning in my tanks more than a year after we collected them
in 1999. In fact, I still have a spawning group of N. ugandensis (UG
99-5) collected from the wild about 16 months ago. And these were all
quite mature fish at the time of collection.
Many of the populations of wild Nothos that we collected in Tanzania in
1997 lived for well over a year and I had wild specimens of N.
fuscotaeniatus and N. albimarginatus that lived for more than 2 years
after we collected them ! I have also had relatively "short-lived"
Nothos such as N. orthonotus live for more than a year after capture in
I don't believe that the body clock of wild Nothos is any more
fine-tuned than that of captive bred specimens. In fact, in my
fish-room, on average, wild specimens seem to outlive captive raised
ones by quite a bit.
Getting back to the TAN '00 N. melanospilus, I have not experienced the
deterioration that you have. I have lost a few specimens as a result of
aggressive behaviour but those that have survived that are still doing
well. Wild N. melanospilus can be among the most aggressive of Nothos
and some are very difficult to keep. Even the females will shred
and kill each other.
I don't think I can really shed any light on the problem you are
experiencing (at least, not "from a distance"). However, some key
factors to consider might be:
1. Keep an eye open for overly-aggressive behaviour and separate the
fish when necessary. Once a fish gets beaten up/harrassed beyond a
certain point they may simply continue to go downhill regardless of
what you do. You may have to be satisfied with a limited number of eggs
from the wild fish as a consequence of putting the sexes together over
peat for short periods of time only. This is commonly necessary when
handling the more aggressive species of wild Nothos.
2. Keeping large wild Nothos (especially the females) sufficiently
well-fed can also be a problem. If they are on their own and not
subject to the attention of the male(s) or having to compete with other
females, then this is not really a problem. However, in general, we do
not feed our fish as well, nor as often, as they do in the wild. One
only has to see the plump nature and healthy sheen on a freshly caught
wild Notho female to realise that. Are you still feeding your wild
Nothos flake food ?!?
3. Also, wild fish will live much longer (and still spawn well) at
relatively low temperatures - many of my tanks are at about 24 C which
is quite a bit cooler than the temperatures of pools in the wild.
Brian R. Watters
Professor and Head
Department of Geology
University of Regina
Regina, Sask. S4S 0A2, Canada
Tel: (306) 585-4663
Fax: (306) 585-5433
E-mail: Brian.Watters at uregina_ca
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