Fish May 2000

Tim Addis

The Manchester Group’s first auction of the year is now history. Prices at last seem to be starting to top the £2 threshold. Could this be that members have had enough & are putting them in as a reserve of £2. It works. It proves you have the power to influence the price. If everyone put £2 reserve on their bags no one could buy the fish for a quid.

A.rectogoense was there in force. I picked up 2 pairs for a very low price. I had them in the ‘80’s as GHP 80/30 but must admit to failing with them. They are now laying well.

Another old favourite I picked up was E. roloffi. I failed with this one on the first attempt many years ago but succeeded with a later pair by putting them on the top row of the fish house where they were in bright sunlight. I did the same with my new fish & am, getting plenty of eggs. They are one of the most colourful Epiplatys sp. Those who bought them keep them in rainwater at higher temperatures.

A. escherichi made an appearance, which I picked up. Think this one used to be called A. micropthalmum & before that I had them as A. simulans. In any case I found they bred well in cool water with the airline turned up a bit to give a bit more water movement. Watch out though, these things are very good at jumping out of the tiniest of cracks in your cover.

Simpsonichthys boitonei, stellata & zonatus were available in good number.

Having been pushed to the heights of £14 for a pair of A. sp. OYO I decided the gentleman (?) north of the border wanted them more than I wanted a back up pair. It’s enough to make your sporran curl.

I’ve recently made a good contact in Brazil who has collected C. luteoflammulatus from the wild. His E-mails on this biotope came as a surprise. Would you believe me if I told you he caught Scatophagus with them? This is a marine/brackish fish endemic to the Indian Ocean. How did it get to a lagoon in South America? Apparently, these C. luteoflammulatus are found in very smelly water. They lay well for a few days in captivity & then lay nothing. The tanks are kept clean. OK you lot, it’s a mystery, let’s have your opinions. There are some great killie breeders out there sitting on loads of information which would benefit us all.

A certain member is struggling with A. australe. A simple solution…? Increase the temperature to 85’F, increase the salt content, increase your acidity level to pH 5-6 (gradually). It works for us. The secret of breeding this fish is finally out! It’s a simple solution to a common sp. Try it out. Does it work for you?

I have just got back from the Midlands auction. It started off very slow with only a few members appearing & rose to about 30 members. Probably our fault in not getting details out in time, as this was a last minute arrangement.

What a great 30 you were not only in coming to support us in our first attempt but also by buying fish at realistic prices. As we stated previously, we did not want to sell fish for less than £2 & this we did, apart from the few non-sold items at the end. Nobody complained at the price & I think now the days of £1 fish are gone (at last).

Looking at the sales sheets now I don’t think anyone went home with less than the value of what they brought. OK, as in all auctions some fish went for £2 which should have gone for £10 & some went for £10 which should have only got £2.

As a snapshot of what went for what I have put together a small list (see also the auction review): -

  • N. eggersi Red £14.00
  • N. rachovii Moz 99/9 £7.50
  • Fp. walkeri Kutunse £6.00
  • A. bivittatum Funge £7.00
  • A. schmitti Juarzon £6.50
  • A. rectogoense BBA 90/27 £10.00
  • Fp. mirabilis intermittens Etuku (a new one on the auction circuit) £8.00 (we bought a pair & what a gem they are) Look out for them!
  • A. ogoense BWSG 97/3 £12.00
  • A. punctatum LEC 93/8 £7.50
  • Fp. marmoratum £13.00

The list goes on. As a personal view of the day I had a great time in many ways: -

Alan bought the first beer!

A member dropped off some old Newsletters from the 1970’s to pass around, which contained the one Newsletter I was missing. This will be put on the archive disc, which will probably be sorted next year now.

A southern member brought Riccia a floating plant of great usefulness.

I bought A. decorsei for the princely sum of £8.00 (who said I was a cheapskate?).

One of the best fish to appear was Aplocheilus panchax EXAME. Yes, you heard me. This one came in from Indonesia not commercial sources. The commercial fish are a washed out grey with the caudal showing top & bottom margins of pale blue/white. A boring fish really. Alan bought a pair of these fish more by accident than anything else, let’s face it, who would buy Apl. panchax at auction? What a great buy. I let them out in my fish house & within a couple of minutes they showed fantastic colouration with a solid blue/white edged in black band all round the outer margins of the caudal fin. This is a special fish so look out for it. I hope to photograph it when they settle in so you can see for yourselves.

For me the absolute prize of the day goes to a member I have known of for many years & rarely see who still has Pronothobranchius kiyawensis going from the original David Blair collection in the early 1970’s. 30 years of steady conservation, fantastic. It should be a benchmark to us all. Not only did he spring this on me but he also has early Scheel & Fred Wright papers not seen before. I am hoping to arrange material in the future to put into the Newsletter or website for all to see. I don’t like one person having this sort of information. If anything happened the information could be lost forever.

We had members from Manchester, London, East Anglia, South Wales, Somerset/west country etc.

Interestingly the northerners took control of the south end of the room & the southerners took control of the northern end of the room. I’m sure Freud could come up with an explanation.

The dry goods table did really well with plants, dry food, cultures, live food etc on offer. Loads of plants from African imports primarily Zaire. Pat did a great job quietly in the corner showing BKA services/books. Personally, I buy all these books as they are in limited print runs and disappear very fast. We managed to donate £50 to the cancer & Children’s disability funds. One new member signed up. We are planning another auction which is pencilled in for around the middle of December.

One tip to pass on from the day. A member feeds grindal worm on flake food (Sera), which is rapidly eaten.

My dear old mother has passed on a tip to get rid of ants & rodents in the fish house. Put peppermint oil on cotton wool and place it near the nests or areas they frequent. They apparently hate it with a passion.

Aphyosemion sp. Oyo

A week before all this Alan & I spent a frustrating Sunday taking pictures of our recent acquisitions on the patio.I have always tried to photograph all fish passing through my fish house and can look through 20+ years of what I have kept. The amount of pictures will soon be available through my website. I’m not a great photographer but at least you can see what the fish looked like all those years ago. The palest ink outlives the longest memory or so it goes.

These are some of our results: -

Aphyosemion sp. Oyo
We now have this one safe with about 60+ young fish growing on. Don’t let them go more than 4 weeks without a good water change or they will not give you any eggs.

Ps.annulatus New Form!

Ps. annulatus
We think it’s new. Can’t see any pictures with dorsal and anal this yellow colour. Anybody seen this before? The caudal shows a vivid orange centre extending out to the extremities. Probably the first photo of this variety? I have not seen this population in print before.

N. ugandensis Dokolo UGR 99/7

On the same theme of taking photograph’s I put these pics on the end of a film forgetting where I started it (come on, we all do it).

At the beginning I found I changed films at last years convention and remembered a little experiment with flash photography (something I don’t normally use).

How do you take photos with extension tubes and a bog standard top mounted flash in a convention show tank? Simple…you improvise! This is just what we did (by we, I mean my trusty assistant Alan who was roped into this experiment between pints and chats with other members). The main problem was in reflecting the flash onto the fish without a white blob obliterating the subject. Diffused lighting would seem to hold the answer, and with this in mind I had Alan hold a show guide angled in front of the flash to bounce the light at the fish. It was really dark in those tanks and I didn’t expect to see anything for our troubles.

This is what we took on the day.. I have a few other pics, which I may put in later.

Simpsonichthys magnificus

Quite a bit of info this month. I would like to see more from members though. My apologies to not putting a column in every month at the moment. I am working hard on website articles and my own website project.

Members have pushed me to upload the site and get it online but it’s not just a few pages linked to other sites. This is a multi file site with loads of pics. I would envisage about 50+MB on this thing and I’m not rushing it. I can promise a really interesting lasting site, which will be continually updated as a conservation/reference site.

My personal goal is to collect and breed the A. elegans group. I’ve always liked them and photographed most I have kept over the years. Why is this group not popular either here or in the USA? They are really colourful and rarely seen at auctions. I have been heartened by overseas contacts and think we can establish a good collection in the UK.

Is anyone keeping A. cognatum, A. christyi, A. elegans, A. schioetzi, A. lamberti, A. lefiniense, A. chauchei, A. rectogoense, A. decorsei, A. congicum or even the once fairly common A. sp. Gilima in the UK? Many of these sp. were fairly common a few years ago. Perhaps if members let me know what you are keeping I could put together a list in the column to see what numbers we have in captivity. No names would be put in.

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