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|Breeding and Development of Brochis splendens (Castelnau, 1855)|
by Brian Walsh
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
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
day: approximately 23mm; dorsal
at full height, orange and black mottled with a
few white patches remaining; body deep, metalic
green with black speckles.
30th day: approximately 27mm; dorsal losing colour; body colour deepening and losing black speckles.
43rd 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 no.66, 1990.
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