My Greatest Challenge
By Jane Bell
There are only three species in the genus Girardinichthys and they have some problems associated with them. Because of this they are rare even among the rare livebearers. Tthis articles highlight difficulties in husbandry of these fishes.
Girardinichthys multiradiatus is a beautiful species with both males and females , although different in appearance, showing lovely coloration. Jane Bell has kept and bred many Goodeids, the family to which this species belongs, and tells you of her experiences with this species.
My Greatest Challenge
I was extremely pleased and not a little flattered when I was offered some Girardinichthys multiradiatus.The fish arrived one to a bag- three males and two females. The largest and most beautiful male was almost dead on arrival and died soon afterwards,. The others I put in a small tank 15"x9"x9". This may seem a little small but it is easier to acclimatise fish in a tank where the quantity of new water required is much less and the change in water value can be made slowly over several days.The tank had a box filter, so much Java moss that you could hardly see the fish, and no heater. Our fishroom is so warm that the unheated tank stays at 74 degrees F , which seems to suit our Goodeids quite well.The pH was 7.4 with 3GH.
I fed the fish entirely on live food- bloodworm and Daphnia twice daily, and changed 10% of the water every second day. The smaller of the two males died, due mostly to the aggression of the other male, one of the females grew very bent and mis-shapen and had to be taken out. But, much to my delight, the other female started to look gravid. She really became huge for such a small fish- about 4cm- and I removed her to a separate small tank. Some days later I found 6 very small fry in the tank. The female totally ignored them and continued to look gravid. After two days, when nothing else had happened, I decided she must just be fat and returned her to the male. Next morning there were sixteen more fry swimming around happily with neither of the fish bothering them. I reared all the fry together in a small tank giving them four feeds of Brine shrimp a day and 10% water changes every other day. I prefer to raise fry in small tanks to begin so that their food is readily available, moving them on to larger tanks as they grow.
20 fry survived and were moved into 2 24x12x12 tanks. They fry initially grew quickly and sexed out as 6 females and 14 males.
My female started to look gravid again, though not so heavily as before. Later on I went to a fish show and returned home to discover 10 dead fry. This was a gestation period of 47 days. I was so disappointed and continued to wonder if I could have saved them if I'd been at home.I passed 4 males and 2 females on.
Of the rest I have two females about 4cm and 3 males, neither of the females look gravid though I did find 2 live fry in the tank which died after two weeks.