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New Killi-News and arnoldi
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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