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New Killi-News and arnoldi

Hi Tim,

    I enjoyed your piece on arnoldi a good deal. I have been meaning to write 
something on my experience with the Ughelli TR 01 population. To date, I have 
raised over 300 fish -- easily! I have found them to be extremely hardy and 
extremely easy to breed. They breed continously over peat with the males 
sparring for control of the peat bowls. I have bred them in colonies as large 
as 20 pairs. The fry hatch in soft acid water after 6 to 8 weeks in storage 
at 74-75F in damp, fluffed peat. The fry are very small and I do feed green 
water AND baby brine from day one, going to baby brine alone by day 2 or 3. 
One thing that does seem strange about the species is that the fry hatch best 
after 24 to 48 hours. Scheel and LaCorte (who had Scheel's population) both 
mentioned that water incubated eggs were difficult to induce to hatch. Maybe 
they are just slow. My largest hatch I initially thought was a dud when 
nothing appeared after a day. The next day fry were everywhere.
      The fry are very hardy and disease resistance. I breed in very soft 
slightly acid water in large tanks filled with plants and driftwood as the 
species is extremely shy and needs to hide to be happy. They find their way 
to the peat bowls quite easily. I think they are happiest at temperatures 
between 72 and 75F and seem prone to bloat and dropsey at higher 
temperatures. I feed a rich live food diet which is always a risk with fat 
prone Fundulopanchax. I have lost arnoldi by overing feeding worms of all 
kinds. The fish get fat and bloat and die. This is the only experience I have 
had to support Scheel's claim that they are sensitive. They certainly are 
easy to breed.
      I have wondered for 30 years why this fish was not established in the 
hobby. It comes from where other popular killies are collected -- gardneri, 
sjoestedti, etc... It was imported many times over the years. It's not hard 
to breed. Why did it always disappear? I think I know now. It's not as pretty 
as its legend. The majority of my males are plain. A handful are attractive, 
especially when young and when the tail has its full wide angle. But most 
males are poorly colored and the caudals can be wedged shaped rather than 
held at a wide angle. I had noticed this in Scheel's 2 old photos in ROTOW 
but had never paid much attention to it. It now seems that arnoldi does throw 
(or conditions produce) males with lovely wide caudals and with caudals 
shaped like a typical gardneri caudal.
     The new importation you picture as CI 02 Ijebu Waterside is a lovely 
blue and seems to support Arnold's old claim of a red and blue form. The 
Ughelli is much more "red."
     Sterba's information and photos are of the Aquarium Hamburg 1950's 
strain of filamentosum that was mistakenly called "arnoldi." Most of his 
information comes from the Hans Tusche(?) 1952 or 53 DATZ article on breeding 
this false "arnoldi." Axelrod translated all of Tusch's article in his first 
book: Handbook of Tropical Fish (1955). It is an interesting piece to read as 
it captures the old breeding methods for long term water incubated eggs ( 
sjoestedti, occidentalis, filamentosum, etc ...) the Germans use to use from 
the 20's to the 50's.

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