Breeding and Keeping Alfaro cultratus


BAP report by Regina Spotti


Alfaro is a live bearer that I have wanted for quite some timeI was not able to find a source for them until we went to the (2007) Livebearer Convention. Luckily, it was in Cleveland Ohio so off we went. And there they were! A pair in the auction and I had to have them. It turns out that they were a pair that Wayne from the Akron club had spawned and brought in to the auction. I knew that they were coming from a good home and would do well in our water. Waynealways takes great care of his fish. These fish are not particularly flashy. There are no spectacular colors or flamboyant fins, unless you count the area between the anal fin and the caudal fin.This area is flattened and is where the fish got it's common name. Also known as the Knife livebearer or Knife-edged livebearer, they are not very often found. They hail from the Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras country-region The female is larger and bulkier than the male, probably around 3 inches give or take. The pair that I bought went into a 15 gallon tank with some plants and a sponge filter. The pH was 7.2 and water changes were carried out regularly every three days. Water temperature was around 75, no heater in the tank. They settled in nicely and ate anything, live, dried or frozen. The female became gravid about 3 weeks after adapting to her new home. She would develop a belly and hang out in the back of the tank under some Java fern until her fry were all delivered. She dropped between 25-30 fry approximately every 4-5 weeks. Fry are a little larger than guppy fry. I did not separate the pair, and they did not appear to eat their fry. However, the first spawn was removed immediately. Any fry left in the tank made it without being eaten by the parents. The fry were able to eat finely crushed flake and BBS as soon as they swam away from 'mom'. The fry grew rapidly with regular water changes and a varied diet. Sexual differences were noticeable at about 2 months. First there was one male and then all of a sudden there were more. The fry are in a 15 gallon tank and the pH is 7.2. They seem to grow quickly and do not bother other fish in the tank. I don't know why these fish aren't more popular. I would not recommend placing them in a tank with any aggressive fish. They appear to be peaceful and easy to care for. There are many of them on the internet. Please check them out, you won't be sorry you did.(2007)