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[Killietalk] Aphanius mento
For several years I kept Aphanius mento and was able to distribute them
widely. These are a fairly aggressive species and require a lot of space
and cover for the females and non-dominant male(s). I was successful by
removing the eggs from the mops and incubating and rearing the fry
A few years ago, something ran through my Aphanius mento tank and wiped them
out. Last year, when visiting one of our "occasional" Arizona members, I
discovered that she was maintaining my old strain - in a 10-gallon tank
(that was planted) with the fry growing up in the tank. I was surprised,
but accepted her offer of some fry.
The fry matured into several males and females and were placed in a
20-gallon Long with a Hydro sponge filter and a Penn Plax Cascade 300
Internal Filter, lots of mops and some live plants (water sprite, later
hornwort). I continued my former practice of harvesting eggs - until I
noticed fry growing up in the adult tank. Surprisingly to me, the dominant
male ignored the fry even when they swam quite close to him. Not so
surprising, the fry in the tank grew faster than their peers in separate
Thinking back, I don't remember ever seeing fry in tanks with mops only.
I'm guessing that the "fry friendly" plants help the fry grow large enough
and quickly enough to avoid becoming adult food. My 20 Long has turned out
to be too small for more than one male so it looks like I'll need to remove
the fry before they mature. But, as you might guess, I'm breeding Aphanius
mento differently now.
What sort of experiences have you had with Aphanius mento? How much
territory do you need for more than one male? Does overpopulating reduce
As a final note, do not judge all Aphanius species based upon Aphanius
mento's behavior. Other Aphanius species that I have kept (i.e. - Aphanius
sirhani and baeticus) can be far less aggressive toward one another.
Allan from Arizona
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