Archive | January, 2012

Green Swordtails

16 Jan

The Green Swordtail is the original wild Swordtail from Mexico and Central America.  Breeders have created many types of Swordtails from that original species, and some of that was done by cross-breeding them with Platies.

When I look at a Green Swordtail  I picture them swimming in the backwaters of Central America, wild and untouched by Man. Unfortunately, they are considered an invasive species now. There are  areas of the Southern United States where they are doing just fine.

I put him in a plastic container to slow him down for this photo.

For mostly nostalgic reasons, I bought a fat female in the Spring of 2011, and when she had babies I raised them in an outdoor 30 gallon pond. A Swordtail can have over 50 babies but I saved only 15 of them. I have them indoors now, and for a long time just one developed a Sword. He is a beautiful fish! The rest appeared to be females. They stayed that way for many months and now several of them are growing a Swordtail. So what you have with Swordtails are early-developing males and later-developing males. If you read my second post about Red Velvet Swordtails I mention that topic.

Veggies for the fishies

15 Jan

Other bloggers on WordPress have posted about feeding their fish fresh vegetables. I rarely do it, though it sounds easy and sensible. I always feed a variety of foods, but they are prepared foods like flake food and shrimp pellets, etc.

I am going to try to feed my fish more fresh food, like cucumber slices, corn and peas. Now I have a zip-lock bag in the freezer with peas in it, just for my fish. I will feed them some at least twice a week.

If you buy the smallest container of flake food it can cost over 70 dollars per pound! ($4.50 for an ounce) Compare that to a bag of frozen peas.

Here is a post about feeding cucumber:

and this post mentions peas and corn (this Aquarist also feeds cucumber to his Plecos):

Yesterday I noticed my largest Albino Corydoras was having trouble staying on the bottom of the tank.  She could get there but it took some effort. This is likely a Swim Bladder problem and there are several possible causes for it. The solution might be to raise the tank temperature, feed fresh vegetables, and make water changes.  I have been behind on the water changes so I changed 20% of the water this morning, then fed them some frozen peas. After thawing I popped the shell off, then squished the pea so all the fish could eat some.

Al Green?

15 Jan

I found a blog yesterday that is mainly about Soul Music, but also talks about Aquariums.

Here is the blog address:

Since I am a big Al Green fan I want to shout out to Mr. Funkysoulvinyls that I love your blog.

Al Green.  Aquariums. Perfect! Now if Al would come out with a song about Tropical Fish.

Here is my Al Green collection:

It is a well-known fact that putting on an Al Green CD and giving your fish some privacy will induce them to spawn. Marvin Gaye and Barry White records also work.

Female Swordtail is a male

14 Jan

Swordtails do some interesting things regarding what sex they are. In a group of young Swordtails some will develop their male traits (Sword and gonopodium) very early, and look very streamlined and fast. Some develop months later, and are bigger and stockier.

Also, in older Swordtails, some females will turn into males, usually if there are no other males around.

Weeks ago I bought two Red Velvet Swords and hoped to be telling you about the babies they were making. Well, guess what, the “female” I bought started showing male traits. “She” has faintest hint of a Sword, plus the anal fin now looks like a gonopodium. Darn it, there won’t be any babies from these two. I’ll have to keep an eye out for a real female Red Velvet Swordtail.

Note the gonopodium is becoming pointed, and the sword is just barely there.

It’s flippin’ cold…

13 Jan

No excuses about taking care of the fish tanks. It’s too damn cold to do anything else.

My tanks are always better maintained in the Winter. I am writing this at 11:30am, Friday, and it is 17F outside or  -8C.

Here’s my dog. Is she saying “Come out and play!”, or “Let me in!” ?

Old Central American Forest Turtle lays eggs

13 Jan

Maybe I should have called this A Practical Turtle-keeping Blog.

I have a female Central American Forest turtle, also called a Central American Wood Turtle.  ALSO called the Ornate Wood Turtle. The species name is  Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima. She laid eggs twice this summer, and just in the past 2 weeks laid eggs again. She lays two at a time.

There is no male so these eggs can’t be fertile. The funny thing is, I got this turtle in 1990 and I have not been aware of her laying any eggs at all until 2011.  Her shell has a big “scar” on it, and her back left foot is missing. Sad huh? Just gone, and we’ll never know how that happened.

When I got her in 1990 I had never seen this species before. I asked the petshop owner in Missouri Valley, Iowa, what she was. He called her a Peruvian Wood Turtle. I guess the further away they supposedly come from , the more they can charge!

But when I asked the price, he shrugged and said, “No one will want this turtle, she is missing her back leg.”, and he gave her to me. He also said she had laid one egg at his shop.

She may be 40 years old or more now. My wife named her Peggy.

Corydoras julii, the real deal

12 Jan

So many times you see Julii Cory’s for sale but they are not julii, they are trilineatus. I love them both but I did find some REAL julii at our Local Fish Shop.

I bought two at $5.19 each. I hope to get a few more and get a little colony going.

A little credit to the young lady who bagged the fish. She double-bagged them so that there were no corners to get stuck in and also the fish’s spines couldn’t puncture two thicknesses of plastic. I didn’t even ask her to do that!