Long Term Livebearer Colony?

  1. BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    What's longest anyone here has kept a breeding colony of any livebearers?
  2. NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    I have a 55 with Zoogoneticus tequila that I ran from 2002 to 2005, and then from 2006 to now. I got new fish to add for diversity in 2015. So with a six month gap (after which I got my own grown fry back) that's 15 years.

    tequmale1 (800x534).jpg
    Many have run colonies for much longer, and I have an elderly friend who has had a killie group since 1977. My longest running colony is a killie I've kept since since 1992. I'm sure some of the serious livebearer people have really long running colonies.
    The Xiphophorus Stock Centre in Texas, which supplies sword and platy species and lines for cancer research (they are very important in the study of skin cancer) apparently has tank bred lineages that go back to the 1920s.

  3. BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    I asked because on ALA I read that livebearer colonies cannot be kept long term because they get weaker. That didn't seem true. Thank you. I ask because I really wan my two Livebearers long term.
  4. OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    When possible, move a few nice quality young fish to a separate tank. Because stuff just happens and you can recover the strain. As they have young, you can put them back in the colony if you don't want two large colony tanks.

  5. BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    I set up a back up tank, thank you.
  6. chromedome52 Fishlore VIP Member

    I've never kept a single long running colony tank, I tend to move fish around. However, I have maintained populations for several years at a time. right now I have a population of Humpback Limias (Limia nigrofasciata) that started from a single female dropping 7 fry back in 2011. I had to sell a number of them, with young there were well over 100 in a long 30 gallon tank. Last move I put them in one of the wading pools, where I accidentally reduced the population to only a few fish, and they haven't built back up yet. But they are there and they are still breeding.

    Edit: I should add that I know several individuals who have maintained a single colony tank of one species for decades without adding new stock.
  7. BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    Thank you so much. I have OCD and losing my fish is one of the biggest fears with it.

  8. NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    I have seen the debate on inbreeding. There is a wild card, and that is wild fish. They don't seem to decline the way linebreds do. If you like fancy livebearers, you have to do a lot more eliminating fish for unwanted traits. It's an unfortunate necessity sometimes with wilds too.
    I had Xiphophorus nezahualcoyotl from 2003 to 2016, and lost them due to a stupid mistake. Genetically, they seemed fine - it was on me (tankmates...). But after 6 years, my Xiphophorus xiphidium started dropping dead fry, and that was that - a well liked species done for.
    Come to think of it, I have had a 10 gallon full of guppy grass and Trinidad guppies for many years. I would say 10. They look identical to the photos I took when they arrived, and are doing fine - always fry. A colleague from Trinidad caught them in her back yard and gave them to me way back when.
    I just got two trios of a recently caught X nezahualcoyotl that should be giving fry soon from the look of them, and I plan a new longterm colony. nezaboy1 (640x263).jpg

    nezzies above, xiphidium below.
    xiphid2a (640x547).jpg
  9. BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    Thank you, Guppies are one of the species I am worried about. I am also worried about Least killifish. I set up a backup for the Guppies. I small storing some Least Killifish in a net.
  10. NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    Least killifish (which are not killifish - love the English names) are ideal for long term. They would need a one species tank with lots of plants, and you would have to beware of overpopulation - I pulled the plants out of a 10 gallon once and sold 85 adults - I had put half a dozen in. That is a bioload, and would have caused a crash. But they are tough and will "run" forever.
    They compete poorly though - single species tanks are the way to go.

  11. BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    I keep them in species tanks. I am not a fan of community tanks.
  12. chromedome52 Fishlore VIP Member

    Not so sure about Hets being poor competitors. They are excellent hiders, and very sneaky. I put about 8 in a 10 gallon tank with a dozen Pygmy Rasbora that I had raised, they had been there for a couple of months. I started losing Rasboras, and finally one day saw a big female Het sneaking up behind a Rasbora and tearing into its tail. Didn't stop until the Rasbora was kaput.

    So don't count the little buggers out so easily!
  13. BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    I never realized they were so vicious. I hear they kill shrimp too.
  14. Piaelliott Well Known Member Member

    Ouch, they were on my want to have list, I may have to reconsider :(

    What is a dwarf rasboras, R. maculata?
  15. chromedome52 Fishlore VIP Member

    Yes, the original Pygmy Rasbora is Boraras maculatus. I had a half dozen in a 5 gallon tank with a big pile of Java Moss, got sick and wasn't feeding fish for more than two weeks. The tank developed a colony of Cyclops, which apparently is a favorite food for the species. They spawned and produced over 20 fry over that period, which probably fed on the baby Cyclops. This is NOT the recommended spawning method, and I seriously doubt that it could be repeated. The phrase "dumb luck" seems to be appropriate.

    The dozen I had kept for future breeding efforts had been in the tank for a couple of months, and were nearly full grown (which isn't all that big). I moved some young Heterandria to the tank, as they were about the same size. In a tank full of Guppy Grass they felt more at home, and proved that they could not be trusted. Cost me several Boraras before I caught them in the act. I was quite surprised, as I had also thought the Heterandria were peaceful.
  16. Piaelliott Well Known Member Member

    I got R. merah and brigittae (was supposed to be brigittae only), guess they are the same size - tiny!!! Who would have known that young Hets have such a big appetite.

    Interesting spawning method! :)
  17. BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    I never realized they could stand their own on a fight. I defiantly don't want to test it.
  18. chromedome52 Fishlore VIP Member

    Bear in mind that one sex of Boraras merah can look an awful lot like B. brigittae. You may simply have one species. It is a very confusing fish. I was told this by someone I consider an expert in these small fish, who had actually bred both species. I have yet to find the information anywhere online, as these fish are not popular enough to have a dedicated website.
  19. Piaelliott Well Known Member Member

    I looked at seriouslyfish and here Boraras - marvels in miniature

    Whatever they are, they are really fun. I did a water change yesterday which was very stressful because they all thought the vacuum was the most exciting thing they had ever seen and wanted to explore the opening. They also seem to like some current which is opposed to what I read. One part of the tank has almost no current and lots of guppy grass, hornwort and floating plants.
    The other side has more current, almost no cover and is 'sunny'. They spend a lot of time in the open part.
    P.S. just watched a brigittae trying to woo a merah by 'dancing the boogie' :) Unless they interbreed or can't tell the difference, the merah is a female brigittae :))) So you are right - like always ;)