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Picture time :-)

This is a discussion on Picture time :-) within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Angel079 These pictures were taken maybe ~1-1.5hrs after arrival (carfully adjusting them temp & water wise in the bag etc etc) ...

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Old 11-23-2009, 01:45 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
These pictures were taken maybe ~1-1.5hrs after arrival (carfully adjusting them temp & water wise in the bag etc etc)


How are the 2 differentiated, by length of the stripe?

I'm trying to work my way there, will take some time (and apparently a LOT time on the Interstate down to GA to get all I want in the end) but it'll get there eventually
The cardinals from Brazil (the Rio Negro system) are slimmer than those from Columbia (Rio Orinoco basin). The neon line on the Columbian stops at the adipose fin, but on the Brazilian it extends to include the adipose fin, and is a bit straighter whereas it has a slight bend on the Columbian. The red on the Columbian is not quite so extensive on the underside, allowing for slightly more silver/white than on the Brazilian. The combination of the slimmer body, straighter neon stripe and slightly more red down the sides makes the Brazilian fish seem longer, more torpedo shaped, and less chunky. These are all external characteristics.

Back in the late 1990's Dr. Jaques Gery, who was the unparalleled authority on characins, stated that the two forms were definitely morphologically different, but further study (internal) would be needed to ascertain if they are separate species, one is a sub-species, or just local "variants" of the same species, a trait that is common with many characins such as the Carnegiella hatchets and the Nannostomus pencilfish; interestingly, all species in these two genera occur in two forms according to geographic area. Sadly, Dr. Gery did not get to this research by the time he died in 2006. Matt Clarke, an English authority on fish and editor of Practical Fishkeeping, has told me in a personal communication that he believes they may be two distinct species; I believe a Spanish ichthyologist is looking into this issue.

Byron.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:18 PM   #12
 
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I was reading about the difference of the lines as well, that's why I asked. From the details I found and what you're saying here vs what I can observe in my tank, I strongly believe I deal with the Brazilian version, which is also what you suspected by the pictures.
The only "down side" IMO about this is that I REALLY REALLY have to ensure now which 'Cardinal" version I will get to stock up, much like in the shrimp world I don't believe in cross breeding. Given my water and tank set up I have good chances they will feel home soon enough for a family, however for this very case I'd then rather follow the findings now and ensure that stocking them up to a nice large school over time, they will get Brazilian mates. So I hope I read up enough details now to distinguish the 2 at the store and bring home the correct ones.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #13
 
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I was reading about the difference of the lines as well, that's why I asked. From the details I found and what you're saying here vs what I can observe in my tank, I strongly believe I deal with the Brazilian version, which is also what you suspected by the pictures.
The only "down side" IMO about this is that I REALLY REALLY have to ensure now which 'Cardinal" version I will get to stock up, much like in the shrimp world I don't believe in cross breeding. Given my water and tank set up I have good chances they will feel home soon enough for a family, however for this very case I'd then rather follow the findings now and ensure that stocking them up to a nice large school over time, they will get Brazilian mates. So I hope I read up enough details now to distinguish the 2 at the store and bring home the correct ones.
I have both forms in my 115g, although I do prefer the Brazilian and intend to only acquire those in future. Most cardinals are still wild caught fish, although tank raised cardinals are now becoming more common. Heiko Bleher told me that they have been tank raising cardinals in Czechoslovakia for some time now. Here in Vancouver I can buy tank-raised cardinals in a couple of stores, and they are the Columbian form; I haven't bothered to enquire as to who is doing this or where. The Brazilian I get from direct importers. Wild-caught Columbian form also turn up, as collecting in Columbia/Venezuela is quite common now. One of the major local stores has wild cardinals in stock now, and I was surmising to the owner that they appear to be Brazilian. He thought it unlikely because these came from his collector in Peru, but I suggested that fish species in the Brazilian Amazon (Rio Negro) are often found right up into the Peruvian Amazon according to the authorities, so it makes more sense than the Columbian form somehow crossing the mountains into another basin. B.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #14
 
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they look great............maybe try the macro setting for closeups....
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:01 PM   #15
 
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I have both forms in my 115g, although I do prefer the Brazilian and intend to only acquire those in future. Most cardinals are still wild caught fish, although tank raised cardinals are now becoming more common. Heiko Bleher told me that they have been tank raising cardinals in Czechoslovakia for some time now. Here in Vancouver I can buy tank-raised cardinals in a couple of stores, and they are the Columbian form; I haven't bothered to enquire as to who is doing this or where. The Brazilian I get from direct importers. Wild-caught Columbian form also turn up, as collecting in Columbia/Venezuela is quite common now. One of the major local stores has wild cardinals in stock now, and I was surmising to the owner that they appear to be Brazilian. He thought it unlikely because these came from his collector in Peru, but I suggested that fish species in the Brazilian Amazon (Rio Negro) are often found right up into the Peruvian Amazon according to the authorities, so it makes more sense than the Columbian form somehow crossing the mountains into another basin. B.
So how come you don't attempt breeding? Are you not worried crossing both having both in the tank?
Actually tank raised one's were also VERY common while we were stationed overseas, I was fortunate enough to get in touch with many 'specialty' breeds if that's what you'd wanna call them, I could spent weekends on ends talking to these guys, its sad to not have this environment around me no longer. The knowledge you can gain from these people is incredible, some of them were breeding species in their homes in special 'fish rooms' that some of us darn to keep alive in our tanks, let alone breed - Always was amazing!
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:02 PM   #16
 
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they look great............maybe try the macro setting for closeups....
I have this high tech machine my hubby got me for my b-day (cause I love photography) but you have about 1 gazillion special setting you can use, I figured the perfect outdoor ones out, just not the fish yet (not having had fish any more in 1 yrs now) now I can test-shoot every day
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:20 PM   #17
 
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So how come you don't attempt breeding? Are you not worried crossing both having both in the tank?
Actually tank raised one's were also VERY common while we were stationed overseas, I was fortunate enough to get in touch with many 'specialty' breeds if that's what you'd wanna call them, I could spent weekends on ends talking to these guys, its sad to not have this environment around me no longer. The knowledge you can gain from these people is incredible, some of them were breeding species in their homes in special 'fish rooms' that some of us darn to keep alive in our tanks, let alone breed - Always was amazing!
I did some breeding years ago, dwarf cichlids. It's takes work getting live food for the fry (and to condition adults with some of these difficult characins). I have spawnings in my aquaria fairly often, but of course the other fish know what's going on and gobble up the eggs pronto. Now and then one will survive. Last week I spotted a "stick" floating in my 90g, and when it flexed a bit I took a closer look. Turned out to be a small Nannobrycon eques (diptail pencilfish). I knew the pencils had spawned, the females and males are noticeable and I saw the motions, but never noticed eggs on the underside of plants, but obviously there were and one survived predation. The fry is still there, up among the floating plants so it's fairly safe. B.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:40 PM   #18
 
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Beautiful fish!
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:09 PM   #19
 
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@Byron;278782 Wow, congratulations!!!!
I actually considered Pencialfish for one of the larger tanks too (45+55g) but I am unclear as to their behavior vs Tetra behavior so I didn't follow this idea any further atm. What is your thoughts on this? Who is with them in your tank?

@Calmwaters Thank you
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:58 PM   #20
 
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@Byron;278782 Wow, congratulations!!!!
I actually considered Pencialfish for one of the larger tanks too (45+55g) but I am unclear as to their behavior vs Tetra behavior so I didn't follow this idea any further atm. What is your thoughts on this? Who is with them in your tank?

@Calmwaters Thank you
Generally speaking, pencilfish are fine with tetras (and hatchetfish). All these are characins. The family Lebiasinidae holds two sub-families, Lebiasininae and Pyrrhulininae; the distinction is the patch of teeth on the palates of the former making them a predatory tetra-like fish. The latter sub-family contains some lovely aquarium fish in its two tribes; Pyrrhulinini have upturned mouths and lack the lateral line, and include the Splash Tetras and similar small fish. The other tribe, Nannostomini, contain the pencilfish. More sensitive to water parameters and quality that the common tetras, so one has to pay attention to that. They all occur in very quiet calm waters thick with plants. There are two genera recognized now, after Gery (1977), Nannostomus [from the Greek for small mouth] and Nannobrycon [from Greek for small biter]. The names are a clue to feeding; these fish need fine foods and can be fussy, although some are as adept as tetras at eating anything offered.

The genus Nannobrycon contains but two species, N. eques (common name diptail pencilfish) and N. unifasciatus [meaning single line or stripe, a reference to the one blackish lateral line on a buff-coloured background]. I have both in my 90g, and it is the former that has spawned probably several times in the past few months. Gery set out the internal biological differences between the fish species in this genus and those in Nannostomus, but the easy way to tell tham apart is that the two Nannobrycon species always swim at an oblique angle, head up about 45 degrees. All species in Nannostomus swim horizontal.

I also have a pair of Nannostomus mortenthaleri in the same tank. A recent species discovered in 2000 and named after the exporter who discovered them in the Rio Nanay (their only known habitat); I had a small group imported direct from Peru, but they refused to eat or stopped eating one by one right from the start, until only the pair were left and they have been in there for several months now. Interestingly, FishinPole mentioned he had a similar experience with his group. I have Hyphessobrycon metae, Paracheirodon simulans (the false or green neon), hatchets (Carnegiella marthae and C. myersi), Poecilocharax weitzmanni, Farlowella acus--all of these are wild caught; and Corydoras pygmaeus, C. panda, C. similis and Aspidoras in this tank.

I have a group of Nannostomus beckfordi in the 115g; this species is the most robust, the males can be a little rough at times, driving other fish away from their "space" but not in my experience leading to any injury. Still, they need room to keep the stress down for the co-inhabitants. These fish regularly spawn. Haven't had fry lately, but I did back in the late 1990's. This species does very well with dwarf cichlids; the males are not easily bullied.

All pencilfish males drive the females hard; I try to get a ratio of 2 males to 3 females or multiples of this; I started with 8 beckfordi, 4/4 because that's all they had, and lost 3 females within 4 months through the males behaviour; I've added more females as I have found them. This trait is noticeable even with the Nannobrycon eques.

For the most part, pencils behave like tetras, only more sensitive and demanding at times.

B.
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