was given my first whiptails from a friend in the
aquatic club, six young which he had brought along
for his breeders team. They were initially housed
in a small tank in my fish house but later on I transferred
them into one of the tanks in my house, 36x18x18 which
housed three juvenile Discus, dwarf cichlids, neon
tetras, honey gouramis and Corydoras sterbai.
This tank was heavily planted with Amazon Swords and
giant Vaillisneria. The parva's stayed hidden
most of the time but quite often they would stay motionless
on the pieces of bogwood.
Approximately one year had passed and theywere definitely
large enough to spawn. At this point I did not know
the sex ratio of them but I placed a few PVC pipes
in the tank "just in case".Unfortunately
the only inhabitants in the pipes were the dwarf cichlids.
During a re-organisation of tanks I moved the parva's
back into the fish house beside some young Apistogramma
macmasteri, ever hopeful the pipes went along
with them. Within a fortnight there was a pair inside
the pipe spawning.
Water changes 20% weekly, pH 6.0-6.5.
Temperature 26c (79f).
Filtration, air-driven sponges (this depends
on tank size) Décor: sand substrate, bogwood and spawning
sites i.e. small PVC or clay pipe (6" long x
1.5" diameter). Feeding: Lettuce, cucumber
catfish sinking pellets and my beef heart mix, which
contains peas, spinach and flake.
Sexual difference.The method I use to
sex my adult Whiptails. Placed in a glass container,
I use a show tank, as it is essential to be able to
view the fish closely from above and also below, the
use of a magnifying glass is a great advantage. Examine
the pectoral fins and the cheek area. Males have tiny
saw-like edging in both these areas, females dont.
I house my breeding parva's in a community
tank and at present they are sharing it with Ilyodenxantusi livebeares and various corydoras
species. When I notice that the whiptails have
spawned this is what I do:
What I Do When They Spawn.
Spawning pair can remain in the pipe for as long as
12 hours. When the female is spent of eggs she leaves
the male to care for the eggs alone. From the main tank
I take the water and transfer this to a 12 x 8 x 8 tank
and I install a small mature sponge filter. I carefully
remove the pipe containing the male and spawn, and place
into the small tank and then hope for the best, during
this maneuver I have never known the male to exit the
pipe. The eggs are dark green in colour changing to
dark brown as they start to develop and during the brood
care, the male continually "mouths" the eggs,
I presume that he is turning them and obviously keeping
them clean. Remaining in the pipe for the next 6 days
he does not eat any food at all. The eggs begin to hatch
on days 4 and 5 and they have an enormous egg sac, which
over the next couple of days disappears, and then they
are free swimming. Average fry per spawning 60.
The fathers job is finished and he leaves the
pipe. It is essential to ensure that the male has feeding
for several days before being returned to the main tank,
so I normally remove him into one of my other peaceful
community tanks as soon as the fry are free swimming,
then at a later date return him back with the females. The
tiny scaled down miniature parvas like
to attach themselves onto the glass and hang like little
For their first feeding I place a scalded lettuce leaf
or a small slice of cucumber in the tank, always ensure
that this is replaced daily with a fresh piece. An additional
sponge filter is added to cope with the sudden population
explosion and small water changes are carried out daily,
I also place a suitable sized piece of bogwood in their
tank for them to browse on. After about a week or so
I then move them into a larger tank 24"x12"x12".
Growth rate seems very slow in the beginning but with
a ready supply of food and maintaining the water quality,
their growth rate soon increases. From past experience
if I do not remove the male plus eggs into a maternity
tank when the fry become free swimming they are devoured
by the other tankmates.