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Okay, I will be getting 8 black ruby barbs after Christmas. A week or two later I will be getting 8 tetras, and a week or two later 4 yo-yo loaches. (I may have to switch the order, since I'm seeing a small algae bloom the snails can't handle.) When I purchase the fishes I want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for a lot of in-tank fighting, love triangles, etc. Do I have to have exact pair matches for these species (i.e. mates for life) or should I have one freaky male for several females (i.e. harems or promiscuous mating habits)? I've noticed more female barbs than males at the LFS and may run into a problem if I have to have exact matching pairs. By the same token I don't want the only male to exhaust himself trying to mate with every thing that moves. I haven't figured out the difference in the sexes for the tetras or yo-yos yet. (I've got time.)
How can I tell them apart? I don't want to know for breeding purposes, quite the contrary. I don't want a tank full of fry or to have to provide additional homes. But I do want a ~harmonious~ environment. (they can have mini squabbles as long as there's no regular casualties.)
If I happen to get fry, I will most likely let the nature of the tank prevail. Since I don't have a clue about separating & raising fry. At this point, no money or inclination to learn.
|Posted 16-Dec-2008 03:17|
Kelly, You won't need to worry about getting fry or anything. for most barbs and tetras they might spwn but they both are avid egg eaters so you most likely wont have any survive long enough to hit the gravel. if you do the eggs/fry will likely be eaten. in the odd chance you do have one or two surviving fry, then consider yourself lucky enough to have raised a few to sell to the LFS or to keep your schools populated well.
But emphasis on the MAYBE in that situation... you will see one egg survive one out of a million in the tank! so dont fret over sex ratios or the pairing, tetras and barbs shoal/school and you shouldn't have problems with fry/egg patrol with that stocking!
\\\\\\\"an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure\\\\\\\"
|Posted 16-Dec-2008 05:08|
Thanks for the info. I'm relieved to know I don't have to worry about eggs/fry. But what about the male exhaustion? I'm afraid of just getting one and having his poor heart explode from chasing the females about. I wouldn't want to have to replace him on a regular basis. Also I don't want the females harassing each other with no male or not enough male attention. Hey do any of these females switch sexes when there is no male? I've read in some species it happens!
Would there be a backlash if there are more males than females? In the black rubies, the males are alot more bright and vivid than the females. (when in mating show)
|Posted 16-Dec-2008 16:02|
I'm curious. The barbs are listed as herbivores. Why would they eat eggs or fry? Also, I asked the LFS about feedings. I may have misunderstood, but I thought she said they feed all of the fish the frozen krill, brine shrimp or bloodworms.
|Posted 16-Dec-2008 16:15|
Even herbivores do not pass up the high protein found in eggs and fry. They also try to increase the chances for their own young by eating competing eggs and fry, but the problem is in a tank where they're the only parents in a confined area they often end up eating their own young.
Barbs and tetras are not monogamous and many of them can breed as entire schools; by flooding a habitat with new eggs, they reduce the amount of predation that can occur on any one parent's young. If you want to breed fishes, you usually want more females than males. A healthy male will ALWAYS be up to pestering at least two females at a time, while this stress can often harm the female if it gets too much attention. You don't have to worry about a male overworking himself. If he is not in top breeding condition then he won't be up to chasing females around and he won't force himself to. But, if he IS in breeding condition you'll want at least two females for him to chase around. The females also won't pester each other for not getting enough male attention; females don't really take the initiative and generally don't care much about breeding.
Generally you want more females than males. Barbs and tetras do not switch genders; in fact, none of the common freshwater fish do this so don't worry about it. Sequential hermaphroditism occurs in some of the marine fish groups such as wrasses, parrotfishes, anthias, and clownfish.
On the other hand, with some species its very hard to tell between males and females, such as most schooling species. I don't think that the gender ratios will matter all that much. I've never bought a schooling fish and actually differentiate between the males and females and I've never had any squabbling problems.
The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian.
|Posted 16-Dec-2008 18:30|
Most fish are more opportunistic. If there's a tasty food that they can eat, they will. Even "herbivorous" fish won't pass up a bloodworm that will fit in its mouth.
|Posted 16-Dec-2008 19:06|
there are very few tetras that are easily sexed - maybe the long-finned species such as black phantoms etc, and a few dimorphic species... as all species age/grow, one gender tends to get larger depending on the species (cardinals, big females, diamonds, big males for example) but most tetras breed on a group basis, sometimes dozens of males chasing and milting each egg-bearing female. your tetras are very unlikely to even attempt breeding in a school of eight. remember also, these are milters, using non-penetrative sex.
barbs i have never kept, but i know they are also milters and also unlikely to breed successfully in aquaria.
i can just imagine you standing in front of a tank with a frustrated fishshop owner saying "not that one, the boy!! over there!!"
if you were keeping livebearers/penetrative sex fish, you may have more of a case for looking at gender ratios, but if you're not planning on breeding, don't even worry.
|Posted 18-Dec-2008 07:36|
That's funny, because that's exactly what I planned on doing anyway! I love the look of the male black rubies. So, I will be saying no, no, the boys, get the boys.... look for all black top fins... no, no that's not it. Heh, Heh, my fish store is going to love me after that visit! It is good to know I don't have to get specific ratios without jeparodizing the happiness of the fish.
|Posted 18-Dec-2008 17:12|
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
Likewise, if you can try and arrange a similar sex ratio for your tetras, the behaviour that will result will be a lot more fun to watch. Back in the days when I had Lemon Tetras, the males were active virtually non-stop, either 'jousting' with each other to establish who was the number one male and had first chasing rights with the females, or else signalling with their fins to the females in such a dramatically obvious 'come on' fashion that I couldn't help but mentally insert speech balloons over them with appropriately cheesy dialogue! If you've never heard the term 'Medallion Man' before, look it up - my male Lemon Tetras fitted this mould perfectly with their antics!
If you can find yourself a tetra species that is sexually dimorphic, this will make your life a lot easier. In the case of Black Phantoms, apart from the fact that the males develop flag-like dorsal and anal fins that are considerably larger than those of their female counterparts, look at the pelvic fins. Males have black pelvic fins matching the rest of the finnage and the body colouration. Females, while they have shorter dorsal and anal fins, compensate by having bright red pelvic fins (making them easy to spot) and a red adipose fin.
For comparison, here's two images:
Although you'll have more difficulty telling male from female than in the case of the Black Phantom Tetra, another good choice is the Rosy Tetra. However, since you'll be having Black Ruby Babs, chances are you'll want a colour contrast, in which case I can highly recommend the perky Lemon Tetras. Exuberant without being a danger to the other tank inmates, with even males confining their "combat" to ritual jousting (which I've described in detail in old threads somewhere on here), they tend to look insipid and uninspiring in a bare dealer aquarium. Get them home, give them a planted aquarium to live in, and condition them up with a mixture of Daphnia and colour foods, and they'll start to colour up nicely. By the time they're adults, they'll really live up to their name. Mine were a superb bright yellow colour. Oh, and you can expect Lemon Tetras to live for 8 years if looked after properly too! This photo shows what Lemon Tetras can look like in the right setting.
If you're looking for something with a difference, you could always run with Head & Tail Lights (which again live up to their name once you condition them up in a decently planted aquarium), or the similar looking Pretty Tetras (that IS their actual common name - they're known to science as Hemigrammus pulcher). You could also run with Silver Tip Tetras, which display similar "jousting" antics to the Lemons in a planted aquarium, and provide a nice contrast with fishes that have big blocks of solid colour, or if you want an even greater contrast in the same vein, try the Paraguayan species Aphyocharax paraguayensis, which in a planted set-up with a mixture of light and dark green foliage will provide you with an amazing display, courtesy of their unusual combination of black and white fin tip markings, which of course show up differently against light and dark backgrounds. This photo should show you why Aphyocharax paraguayensis is a popular new addition to the hobby.
However, if you're prepared to hunt them down, go out on a limb and be experimental with your tetra choice, one that I've been on the lookout for and still wish would turn up where I live is Neolebias ansorgei, which has the distinction of being genuinely rainbow-coloured when in breeding dress, and this photo should give you an idea why I'm looking out for these beauties!
Mind you, if you want a fish with a difference, and one that again has distinct, noticeable differences between male and female, you could always run with Copella arnoldi, the Splashing Tetra, which apart from being a lovely fish, has the distinction of being the only fish knwon to science that lays its eggs out of water! Which, moreover, it will do in the aquarium if you set things up appropriately ...
|Posted 26-Dec-2008 09:04|
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