co-house bangaii and firefish?

co-house bangaii and firefish?

Postby jadeguppy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:45 pm

Since the bangaii are mouth brooders and the firefish lay eggs in pipes, would it be okay to keep a pair of bangaii and 5 firefish (magn.) together in a 15g cube?
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Re: co-house bangaii and firefish?

Postby Anthony Calfo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:22 pm

Though the temperament of these species is likely a safe mix, the tank size is too small here, my friend. Experts on Banggai such as Dr. Marini have cited 15 or 20 gall as a minimum tank size for just one pair of Banggai. But even without the Banggai, I am sure the microdesmids will not fare well in that number in such a small tank. A Bangaii pair is fairly predictable. Put two together and if they are sexually mature and don't kill each other, you likely have a sexed pair. But firefish are not that predictable.

So IMO you have two issues, my friend... the tank is too small for both species, and the tank is too small for five of the firefishes.

From the nature of your question, I understand that breeding is a strong interest for you. May I suggest you keep the Banggai (gathered as a young pair emerging from a group of juveniles) and look at another species?

We could talk at considerable length about your options and much of it will be subject to personal interests, but here goes my vote: dwarf golden morays.

http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=7284

This lovely eel is seasonally priced wildly (ranging from under $100 to ridiculously well over). But they will likely be acquired at a size at or near sexual maturity and that is helpful right there (versus so many other Gymnothorax that just take too long to mature in aquaria). They are extremely well behaved and like most eels require remarkably little space for their inactivity.

It would be tremendous if you could share observations on their courtship and spawning habits.
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Re: co-house bangaii and firefish?

Postby jadeguppy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:39 pm

Thanks for the help. I haven't heard of dwaf golden morays. Interesting suggestion.

I'll leave the banggai alone. What is a good size for the firefish? Once they pair up I plan to move the odd ball(s) to my 125g display. I have some other tanks sizes, but was leaning towards the 15s because they are cubes, drilled, and fit nicely in the space. I already have the firefish, so I need to figure out a suitable home for them. From what I read, the magn. are more peaceful than other firefish and can be kept in groups. Not to mention beautiful. ;)
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Re: co-house bangaii and firefish?

Postby Anthony Calfo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:28 pm

To re-emphasize, all bets are off with firefish behavior in aquaria. You really can't put much stock in common wisdom about them. They are simply unpredictable, and I have kept and sold many, many through the years. Here's a cursory article from some years back:

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_1/ ... fishes.htm

But really, we just can't say if two will try to kill each other in a huge tank or 5 will get along fine in a tiny tank. You should screen behavior in a large quarantine tank first that you can throw quick partitions in as needed. You may get lucky and observe a pair favoring each other there. Better so if you do a strong 8 week QT for more observation time (pairing and disease screening of course).

To be clear too... when you say you are looking for "magn" firefishes... are you referring to the decora species (AKA magnificent firefish) or the shallow species, magnifica? I presume the former and if so... yes, they so tend to be somewhat more tolerant of their own kind.

I think a 36 in 30 gall tank (meter/~120 liter) would be a fair size to evaluate a half dozen or so youngsters with hope of getting a pair or two.

Kindly, Anth-
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Re: co-house bangaii and firefish?

Postby jadeguppy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:46 pm

I have Nemateleotris magnifica. The white and red firefish. Thanks for the article. I'll try adding some enriched brine. Right now all five are together, but in too small of quarters. I do have a 30g that I can set up for them. I didn't realize they needed such a big tank for their little selves. I'll keep a close eye on their behavior and cross my fingers that they stay peaceful. How much success did you have in getting them to breed? Would it be a good idea to put a ball of cheato in the tank with them?
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Re: co-house bangaii and firefish?

Postby Anthony Calfo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:56 pm

They are funny birds indeed. Merchants will often say the same. Its especially odd from their perspective when they typically reorder and keep the same number per given sales tank - often with the same tankmates that also get reordered as needed with sales - and the success varies from week to week. Sometime they ignore each other, sometimes they try to kill each other :p Its not a size issue, they are slight indeed, but rather territorial by specimen at times.

I think the 30 gall is reasonable. I've had success spawning magnifica and decora but never saw a single fertile egg. I guess it wasn't rocket science to feed them like a holiday hog and then watch them spawn :) I even had a pair of Helfrich's that were inseparable for years... but I never did see any indication of spawning or even being gravid.

Just focus now on maintain superb water quality and power feeding them. IMO that means have adequate bolt holes but keep clutter otherwise to a minimum. Avoid the Chaeto for now too. A bit of a detritus trap when feeding fishes heavily... and also a small burden if you need to medicate, etc.

Bury some capped (one end) PVC pipe lengths in the rockscape and lets start with that ;)
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Re: co-house bangaii and firefish?

Postby jadeguppy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:07 pm

So rock is fine to have in the tank? Good to hear. The article suggested sand, but everyone here seems to prefer barebottom. Which will be better for them? 1" pipe the best size? You never got a fertile batch? That is very bad news for me. Any other suggestions on food? I am thinking about trying to culture mysids and copepods, but haven't started. I can shake a bunch out of the cheato in my reef's fuge if that will help them. I just turned off the powerhead and dosed the tank with some brine shrimp. I can't tell if they ate them, but they did come out of hiding and start moving around. I would have thought the younger brine are too small for them. Live and learn. The curve here is very steep. Thansk again for the help!
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Re: co-house bangaii and firefish?

Postby Anthony Calfo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:43 pm

You probably have mostly (or only) amphipods in your Chaeto. regardless, it would be great for you to get a clean culture of copepods to grow and feed from.

And yes, I am very much in the bare bottomed tank camp for most all species when possible. 1" PVC is fine as well.

For other foods, offer a wide variety. Fine roe is great (you can get many varieties including grouper roe at the pet shop and other species at the grocery store (sushi cuisine item)).

Mysis is usually a good staple, Be sure to soak it in Selcon or the like (and keep that Selcon in the refrigerator). Cyclopeeze is fairly easy to find. Frozen and dry would be helpful here. And really... a number of meats of marine origin will be good, just shave the frozen matter for proper size. Cocktail shrimp, krill, fish fillets in small quantities to compliment the above will be helpful as well.

But let gut-loaded copepods be a staple above all.
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