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Breeding A. Diapterons

Breeding A. Diapterons
by Monty Lehmann


Refer to the BNL's in 1993-1994 (I dont remember the exact month) you will find that I listed A. Diapteron Georgiae for sale in 10 pair lots. I had some where between 200 and 300 georgiae in various stages of growth.

How did I do this? I had two trios that I was keeping at 76F. They were getting BBS & chopped black worms. Weekly water changes, tender care, but I never got more than 5 eggs total from them, with the daily average more like one to three eggs total. Not good. My pairs were about 12 months old at the time. My good friend Kit in San Diego was having good success with his, but he was keeping them very cool and he usually did not get any egg production until they were two years old or more! His success rate was about 20 fry per month.

I did not want to wait, so I started observing the fish more. The eggs were orangish colored, from the BBS I assumed. I read everything I could find on diapterons, especially collecting information. In one article it said that the main food items found in wild caught Diapteron stomach contents were copepod type water crustacheans, similiar to Daphnia. Ergo I thought! Just feed them some daphnia!. BBS is much higher in protein than daphnia, maybe we were giving them stomach aches when we fed the usual foods that were much richer in food value. Maybe they needed the bulk represented by the lower protein daphnia!?

I quickly switched them to daphnia only feedings. Their egg production went up, but only slightly. Bah-Humbug! Their eggs started appearing almost clear, not orange anymore. H'mm, I thought. What now? More observation of the fish while feeding revealed that their tiny mouths could not eat many of the larger daphnia contained in my usual baster squirt of daphnia. My old brain finally got in gear. If they liked the lower protein, higher bulk daphnia, but still needed the total amount of protein, maybe they were'nt getting enough of the right sized daphnia to eat?

I started feeding them only small sifted daphnia in large amounts. The second day on this diet ( still at 76 deg.F mind you) I collected eight almost clear eggs. The daily number of eggs continued to climb until around the tenth day I collected 31 eggs from the two trios in a single day. Within a month I stopped collecting eggs because I had so many fry on their way up and I had to leave room for some of the other 65 species/locations that I had on hand at the time.
If you can, try the above diet on your diapterons at your present temp. I never kept them that cool. It would be interesting to see what happens. By the way, at the higher temps my georgiae were old and on their way out by the time Kits georgiae were just starting to lay eggs at the 24 month age. This applies gene rally to many killies. But mine had produced hundreds of fry before his ever came on line, and more fry than I believe his ever did.