Endler's Liverbearer Advice (inbreeding)
Background on tank
I have been keeping a 29 freshwater tank for 3 years now (wow) and for the last 2 my tank has been primarily populated by Endler's Livebearers. I currently would estimate I have 30-40 that range from juvenile to full adulthood and another 20-25 that are fry or slightly larger. I also have a bristlenose pleco and a peppered corydora. I use freshwater salt and actually probably keep the tank a bit hot for the cory at around 74-78. My water is pretty hard and I tend to have alkalinity problems as well although nothing extreme, I believe both are resultant from the tap water I get. Overall, I'd say that things could be kept better as I tend to have 1-2 endlers die between water changes. I used to do water changes every 2 weeks like clockwork but I have tended to hold off on them lately as it seems that death tend to occur directly after I do them despite my use of ample amounts of water conditioner and filter changes. I tend to go more off of water tests for nitrates when determining when to change to water.
I love my Endler's and would like to continue raising them as long as possible. However, like so many enthusiasts before me, I began way too early and without enough knowledge of what I was getting myself into. I had been keeping fish for a solid year before I happened across a tank of Endler's at a high end store in my college town. I immediately snatched up 2 males and 2 females (you can see my mistakes already) and by happenstance I accidentally was given a 5th fry that later turned out to be male. Those 5 fish are the genesis of what is likely 20+ generations by this point (a bit under 2 years). I have always been very hands off and only briefly in the beginning separated males and females and never engaged in culling the weak from the population. I figured I'd let nature take its course and to an extent it has been successful as I have a solid population of beautiful fish.
My males look almost identical to this with more vibrant oranges:
Is my hands-off approach a recipe for disaster or cruel in any way?
Have I put my fish on a crash course with disaster due to inbreeding? If so, what is the best way to rectify?
Do you have any critiques or advice in general?
lots of fish
if you are using tap water be sure to use a neutral regulator to remove any chlorine,choramine and ammonia. also allow the waterthat you are putting in the tank to get to room temp before adding to the tank.
65fish in a 29 gal? :shock:
Also I use water conditioner to remove chlorine and ammonia. Perhaps I could leave the water out longer so that it comes to room temp first
My central question concerns inbreeding though. After 2 years they still appear to be fine. I'd prefer that I keep the color strain that has developed but would it be advisable to add some new bloodlines? Perhaps even separating the fish again by males and females and mating off the biggest and most colorful?
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