Last Friday (16th) I was carrying out some maintenance on the River Tank whilst Steve was engrossed in yet another world cup football match. I decided it was time for me to replace some of the filter material in the Eheim external, so I opened it up. I took out the top tray (which houses the fine sponge, phosphate remover, carbon, and almond leaves) and then did a double-take. I saw something moving in the next tray, which was full of ceramic media . I told Steve and he didn't seem to pay much attention - probably thought it was my wild imagination. But then I moved the tray again very slightly, and I saw something move once again! So I said to Steve 'there is definitely something living in here!!!' and he prised himself away from the TV and came to see what I was harping on about. To our amazement, we had several little fish living in that tray, and the tray below (which was also full of ceramic media). They couldn't have been more than about 6mm long. Steve then rushed to the shop to grab my little 12" photo tank, plus an air driven sponge filter, whilst I took a few quick photos of the fish in the trays. We filled the tank with water from the River Tank and added one of the mature sponges from the manifold to the sponge filter. We then carefully transferred some of the ceramic media and babies (not an easy task!) to the little tank. Five days later and they are still doing fine, we think we found 8 in total. We're really not sure what they are, so here are some of the photographs I managed to take:
Inhabitants of this tank are:
A pair of Schistura balteata....
A pair of Annamia sp.....
A group of Sewellia lineolata....
And some Hikari danios (sorry, do not have a picture of these).
They are behaving like loaches, hiding in and amongst the ceramic media in the tank, and under the filter sponge.
What do you all think they are?
East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
I would have to go with these being Annamias, too. That must be a first!!
Its fortunate that the little guys ended up in the filter rather than the bellies of the balteatas. Although I had chenis and disparis spawning in a tank with S. scaturgina without noticeable predation.
Hopefully, you will be able to observe some future spawning activities so we can learn how its done.
Keep us posted and keep the pics coming!!!
Where did you get the Sewilleia? I am in the U.S. and I cant find them.
I have lost count of how many tanks I have
- Martin Thoene
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I would logically have to guess they're Annamia . In the second pic I can see small barbels. They look uncannily like Zipper Loaches in a way.
They're superficially like Pseudogastromyzon cheni fry at that size. The nearest fry I have experience of in similar fish to Annamia is Liniparhomaloptera disparis. At 6mm the shape is similar.
The tails look huge, but cheni are too at that size.
What do you think Jim?
What's interesting is that these little guys look more like adult disparis than do the barred disparis fry.
I used to find disparis fry inside my Emperor hang on tank filter all the time, too. I never found chenis inside though.
I can't wait to see them mature.
My first reaction was that they look a lot like my SpA (alleged H. Zollengiri), particularly like the smaller ones (I have a couple of at 1"-1.5"). The markings are the same and not at all like the checkerboard pattern of the Annamia parent. The differences in body shape is obvious, but the Disparis/Zollengiri pattern seems to be present in several unrelated species, and it is quite interesting if it is also present in the youth only of yet another species.Jim Powers wrote:What's interesting is that these little guys look more like adult disparis than do the barred disparis fry.
It would be very interesting to see a picture of the 2nd Annamia and a closeup of any of the babies.
BTW, slightly off-topic: while it is quite obvious that these are not schistura babies, this would have been the most interesting outcome. It appears that many/most true hillstreams can be bred, but does anyone know if one can breed schistura?---or is it subject to the same problems as botias?
As we have not seen Schistura young (to my knowledge), I am not prepared to write these fry off as being obvious anything. I agree that they look like Annamia, and that makes sense. But the early form and camouflage pattern could develop into anything.
At the end of the day, I'd prefer to watch the outcome through Emma's camera than to make predictions based on something for which we are all ill-equipped.
Probably Annamia. Certainly a surprise and delight.
I know that feeling of 'something moved, now what was it?' all too well, its always a thrill to get that first glimpse of a small fry zipping around the tank :-)
The one observation I'll throw in about identification is eye position, the eyes seem very low on the head, definitely lower than eyes on my cheni fry. I doubt that will be of any use when working out what they really are, I have seen our cheni fry go through quite a dramatic change in body shape as they mature and take on the adult form. If they were cheni fry at 6mm I would estimate that they were between 3-4 weeks old from hatching.
Fantastic find, I'm sure I'm not the only one expecting a full photo diary of their development!
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