t all started some 5 years ago when I acquired 7 wild caught Brochis splendens, varying in size from 4cm to 6.5cm. After being quarantined, these fish were placed in a 6 foot long by 14 inch wide by 12 inch deep tank. Sand was used as a substrate and it was filtered by an outside power filter. The tank also contained many small characins and Corydoras plus a few pairs of dwarf cichlids. The whole tank was fed a very varied diet which included Tubifex, Daphnia, bloodworm, flake food and catfood, all of which were readily taken by the Brochis. All the Brochis continued to thrive but showed no signs of any spawning activity. A new discovery?
Six months later a supposedly
new high-fin Cory appeared in the dealers. They
had green and black speckled bodies with orange, white
and black blotched dorsals. All were very small, about
2cm. On examination of the dorsal rays they were found
to be a Brochis species. 1 bought 10 of these
very young Brochis and placed them in quarantine.
Three weeks later they were placed in the 6 foot tank
alongside the other Brochis. By this time their
colours had changed quite dramatically. They had lost
all the orange, white and black and had become metallic
green, just like my original stock of Brochis.
All the fish continued to grow well and lived together
with no problems. None of the Brochis showed
any signs of spawning activity even though many of
the Corydoras species 1 had in that tank spawned
frequently. Over the next few years the fish continued
to grow. I had lost 5 of the original 7 wild caught
fish. The remaining 2 had been the smallest of the
batch but had now grown on to just under 7cm and were
obviously mature fish. Of the hi-fin types, 1 had
lost 5 and the remaining 5 fish had grown to about
5cm and then stopped growing.
4th day: approximately 11mm; dorsal beginning to extend and get a white tip: adipose, caudal and anal fins beginning to be formed; body markings reduced.
day: approximately 14mm; dorsal still
growing, getting a white edge; body markings reduced.
day: approximately 15mm; dorsal still
growing, black and white stripes very prominent; fins
fully formed; body beginning
day: approximately 16mm; dorsal still
growing, black stripe beginning to break up, white
edge showing an orange cast to it; body still deepening.
16th day: approximately 17mm; dorsal still growing, black stripe becoming mottled with orange, white beginning to diminish with orange spreading into it; body starting to show a green sheen.
day: approximately 23mm; dorsal at
full height, orange and black mottled with a few white
patches remaining; body deep, metalic green with black
30th day: approximately 27mm; dorsal losing colour; body colour deepening and losing black speckles.
day: approximately 32mm; dorsal almost
clear; body colour metalic green with no black present.
Plants, rocks and wood allow Brochis to choose its preferred spawning site.
This article was originally
in the Catfish Association of Great Britain's magazine