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How are you with hatching killifish eggs? If you are willing to wait after the holidays and are up to rearing your own school from a batch of eggs, I can help! I Actually do not keep P. normani or macropthalmus anymore, but I do have the recently described Poropanchax stigmatopygus (don't quote me on the spelling, I'm taking it off the top of my head!) These fish are considered the sister species of P. scheeli. While scheeli is found on the coast and inhabit brackish waters, stigmatopygus is found on the interior in stearms and rivers. There has been collections from Dehane, Mouanko, and Fifinda and the fish are very very close in form and coloration. They are almost impossible to photograph their true colors as the flash obliterates their electric blue bodies. Just think the color of Melanotaenia praecox on a little minnow like fish... Pretty spectacular! I got them from Toyin at Rehoboth Aquatics (An excellent source for rare, wild West African fish AND plants. He is "sb" on aquabid) over a year ago and just set them up again for breeding. I also have P. myersi (gold form) too and can probably get some of them to you too. Now only if I can get P. brichardi

Email me later and we can discuss the details.
 

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Hey guys, I've been breeding these for about two years now, got my original fish from John Wheeler (they came from the Aquarium Center). I basically follow cookbook gardneri breeding procedures (floating yarn mop) altho the eggs need to water incubate in shallower water than usual to keep oxygen levels high, some folks even keep them in an actively aerated beer bottle...otherwise they seem to fungus, two week water incubation.

I keep my high tech tanks CO2 injected and open-top so they wouldn't do too good as they are good jumpers like most killiefish... One of the killie guys claims this fish has been renamed Poropanchex normanii but I havent seen that anywhere else.

Jeff
 

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JLudwig,
Poropanchax is indeed their new name. It was changed a few years back, only spilauchen remains under the genus Aplocheilicthys. Congopanchax was also changed and is now under Poropanchax.
If I am not mistaken, macropthalmus is now luxopthalmus, so that name is no longer valid too! I say these scientists need to go out and collect new fish so they can leave the ones with established names alone.

I currently keep 7 species of Lampeyes and all the tanks are open top and have no problems of them jumping. If you give esch fish enough space, you'll get less aggression resulting in happy animals that do not make the leap of death. These are a great group of fish that need more attention in regards to planted tanks and the hobby in general.
 

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Aaron said:
I currently keep 7 species of Lampeyes and all the tanks are open top and have no problems of them jumping. If you give esch fish enough space, you'll get less aggression resulting in happy animals that do not make the leap of death. These are a great group of fish that need more attention in regards to planted tanks and the hobby in general.
Totally agree they should used a more often... photos absolutely butcher these fish, you must see them acclimated and in person. I sent Bailin home with some after the AGA, Jay has some of the fry altho I'm not sure if they made it thru shipping... when the weather lets up a bit (April?) maybe I'll try sending some more out if anyone is interested.... or if you're anywhere near me (Newark, DE) I'd be more than happy to give some out if you want to pickup.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys,
I am so glad that I brought my question out here.
Now I know there are quite a few plant people here who love this group of fish as well. Thanks a lot for those very useful site information.
I started my planted aquarium hobby 9 years ago(back in Taiwan), and P. normani has been one of my favorite fish since that. Really small/simple but quite interesting/charming fish.
(my other favorite fish are pencil fish, south America dwarf cichlid and Corydoras..well...and some small rainbow fish).

Aaron,
Thanks for the great offer of eggs. I will PM you for details, need to learn some knowledge from you about hatching killifish eggs as well.


Jeff,
I wish I lived close to Delaware, so I could get fish from you and check out how you breed your fish.
You mentioned about your lampeye don't do too good in your CO2 injected, open-top tank. Have you experienced any other problem besides of the jumping-out issue?

P. normani likes neutral water according to my past experience, they don't live long if the PH drops due to the CO2. For that reason, I had always kept lampeye and small rainbow fish in low-tech tank with little amount of CO2 provided. However, I might need to try them in high tech tank this time. I think I will try to raise the KH to keep the PH, instead of lower CO2 amount. Not sure if this will work out for these killifish though.


Does anyone have experience on keeping lampeye in high tech, CO2 injected tanks? Any potential issue? What GH/KH/PH of water do you keep these tiny fish in?


Thanks again for all information you guys provided, it's a pleasure to meet other lampeye 'fans'.

Max (A.K.A Ping)
 

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I found this article on my computer. I do not recall from whence it originated. It is written by Andrew Broome. I copied the photo from www.vectrapoint.com to provide flavor for the eyes.

[img=left:5f2f32d1ee]http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=1049[/img:5f2f32d1ee]POROPANCHAX NORMANI
ANDREW BROOME

Lampeyes have traditionally been under-represented both in our tanks and in the hobby literature. The current species in New Zealand is the first I've seen here although in the past (10 years ago) there were rumours of other lampeyes being occasionally imported. They're quite a different fish to most killies and certainly wont appeal to everyone. I like them though and think they make a welcome addition to the fish species available here.

I first saw P. normani in a fish shop in Napier in February of 1996 labelled as "Normans Tetra." Never having seen a lampeye before I didn't really know what these so-called tetras were but since they looked like killies to me, I bought them. Since then I've bred a few and learnt quite a bit along the way.

THE FISH

P. normani was described by Ahl in 1928 from fish caught in Northern Nigeria (Kiyawe River, close to Katagum). It was named after the British ichthyologist J. R. Norman. It's a rather widespread fish being found from coastal West Africa and through Central Africa to southern Sudan. They're a relatively deep bodied Poropanchax species with fairly long unpaired fins especially on the males. Males get up to about 45mm, have a greyish-blue body sometimes with dark edgings to the scales. Variable at the population level is the colour of the unpaired fins, which may vary between shades of yellow, red, orange and violet. The fish we have in New Zealand seem to show some yellow in the fins typically. The female is a few mm smaller and lacks the extended finnage and most of the colour.

Both sexes have a striking light blue reflective spot on the upper part of the iris and it's from this that the group of fish, as a whole, get their common names. It is possible to literally see the eyes of these fish from across the room and it makes the fish quite an interesting addition to a suitable community tank. The blue eyes are visible on fry that are only a few days old.

MAINTENANCE AND BREEDING

R. Wildekamp says: "This species can be regarded as an easy aquarium fish which is best kept in schools in a medium to large aquarium with good filtration, aeration and sufficient plant cover. In such an environment it will reproduce and, if sufficient plant cover is present, some of the young will survive. Development time of the eggs is 12-14 days and the young are able to consume newly hatched Artemia nauplii immediately on hatching. Growth is slow and sexual maturity will be reached at an age of six or seven months."

From a personal point of view I've found this fish to be fairly easy to keep alive and it seems eager to spawn. I do a 30% water change every week and feed mostly live foods such as daphnia, whiteworms and brineshrimp. I'd advise people to keep them in groups of 4 or more since they really are a schooling fish, lampeyes fill a similar niche to tetras or rasboras where they're found naturally.

I've bred them in a 16 x 8 x 8 inch tank, bare except for a sponge filter and a bottom mop. I paint the back, bottom and sides of all my tanks black since it shows the fish up well and allows me to not use gravel. The eggs of P. normani are big for such a small fish (comparable to Aplocheilus lineatus eggs) and are moderately adhesive. I remove the eggs and water incubate them in a plastic container. This is where I have run into problems and it was quite some time before I could get any viable fry from the many eggs the fish were giving me. It would seem that the eggs are very intolerant of organic matter in the incubation water. Initially I was able to get a few fry by changing the water in the incubation containers every day. This system worked well enough until I moved house at the beginning of 1997. When I set up my lampeyes to breed in the new tanks I used a school of one male and several females, these gave me an average of 10 eggs per day but for several weeks I would lose the eggs just as they were ready to hatch. I knew that they were fertile as the embryos could be clearly seen. I tried the "daily changing water in the incubation container" technique and that didn't seem to help this time.

Finally, after exchanging ideas with Vitee Tao (an Australian hobbyist with an interest in lampeyes) and several other overseas hobbyists I decided to try just using straight tap water, directly from the tap. I mixed the water to the correct temperature using hot and cold water and then put the newly picked eggs in it. I kept a close eye on the eggs and they all seemed to be doing fine, even getting past the eyed up stage so that after a further two weeks I had actual fry swimming around. The fry, as before, are proving easy to raise and I look forward to having a decent school of these fish in the future.

COMMUNITY TANKS

As I mentioned above, I feel that P. normani would make a good addition to a suitable community tank. You could have either a killi-only community or a more general community involving other types of fish. For a killi-only community you could use perhaps a school of 6 - 10 P. normani as mid-water schooling fish, with some of the other small African killies like A. australe or A. striatum providing some colour in the upper parts of the tank with a male Nothobranchius or two to live down near the bottom. I would use only males in such a set up since the chances of getting fry would be quite minimal.

A few African plants are available so it might be worth trying to obtain some of these to add some authenticity to the tank (even though the fish themselves would never all mix in nature). Try some Anubias planted in the gravel and perhaps some Bolbitis attached to some driftwood. Both are dark green plants and would show up the colours of the fish well. Some sort of floating plant would give the fish a sense of security. For a non-killi community I'd probably use some Rasbora heteromorpha as another schooling fish to contrast with the lampeyes. Maybe it would be worth trying some of the lampeye tetras since their red eyes and silver bodies could cause an interesting effect.

There are plenty of other fish to choose from to use in the other sections of the tank but it'd pay to restrict yourself to small peaceful fish that wouldn't consider the other occupants of the tank as part of their diet. With this style of tank you also have a good selection of plants available to you. Some crypts, swords and Cabomba or Limnophila would look good. Regular water changes and good food would see the fish in either set up prosper and would make an interesting display.
 

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cpc1007 said:
Have you experienced any other problem besides of the jumping-out issue?
Not really... the fish are at least two years old now, I have about 8 (5 adult/3 juv) housed in a 10 gallon, quartz gravel, sponge filters, kept on the colder side, around 23C. Surface is absolutely covered in frogbit they seem to like this.

BTW: I saw a lampeye at the Aquarium Center that looked exactly like this but with orange eyes, no idea if its a mutant or related species...

Jeff
 

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There is/was a forum just for Lampeyes that seems to be all but dead. It is a Yahoo group and if the archives are still there, I recommend anyone who is interested in these fish to check it out.
Here is one of my futile attempts in photographing one of my lampeyes

This is a young F1 male, Poropanchax sp. Mouanko (stigmatogypus) The entire body is blue in person. These fish will grow a little larger than normani and seem to be a little more shy. The filaments on the unpaired fins will grow past the tail granted other males don't get jealous and bite them off!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Aaron said:
Here is one of my futile attempts in photographing one of my lampeyes
This is a young F1 male, Poropanchax sp. Mouanko (stigmatogypus) The entire body is blue in person. These fish will grow a little larger than normani and seem to be a little more shy. The filaments on the unpaired fins will grow past the tail granted other males don't get jealous and bite them off!
Nice fish, Aaron. Does this group of fish(lampeyes) always swim in group very well like P. normani does?

I accidently found P. normani in a trip to SF, brought some back and will try to breed them again(I did breed them before when I was in Taiwan).
Am going to use floating plant this time instead of floating yarn mop. Maybe floating plants can help to keep water cleaner? I am in southern CA and the tap water is liquid rock, won't be able to do a lot of water change as I did before.
 

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I never did think normani schooled very tight, only when spooked. The whole group is that way. (lampeyes) Males need their personal space and when another fish enters that space, they go into either "get outta here" or "check me out" mode depending on the sex of the intruder. The larger the lampeye, the larger the personal space. I notice my Lampricthys need a 1 foot diameter of buffer zone.

You will get a better yield of eggs with a deposit site on the bottom of the tank. Moss will be fine. leave the floaters in the tank though, you'll probably be able to raise the fry in the spawning tank too.

FYI, there is even an albino strain of normani out there. I personally think it is ugly but when available here, it goes pretty fast.
 
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