Breeding Alfaro huberi, the ďotherĒ knife livebearer

BAP report by Regina Spotti

 

Since I had purchased the Alfaro cultratus at the 2007 Livebearer Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, when these guys came up for auction, I had to have them too.I had originally seen these fish on Aquabid months before and was tempted to buy them.Iím kind of glad I didnít.Iíd rather support the local clubs and see what Iím buying.

 

Alfaro huberi are somewhat smaller than the cultratus.They are more colorful, with sort of a golden hue to them.Once again, the female is larger and bulkier than the male, but not by much.Once she is gravid, she seems to avoid him and his amorous advances and will sometimes chase him around the tank.

 

These fish went right into a 15 gallon bare bottom tank with plenty of Java fern and Java moss.The tank is dimly lit with a sponge filter, no heater and artificial light. The pH is 7.2, gH is 125ppm, kh is 35.8.They were fed a variety of live, frozen and flake foods. They are certainly not finicky eaters, although seemed particularly fond of live blackworms.

 

About 2 weeks after the pair was brought home, there were a few fry hiding in the Java moss near the surface of the tank.I really donít know how many fry there were, I was only able to net out 2 fry.The parents do not exhibit any fry care. Right then and there I vowed to keep a close eye on the female.

 

Usually every 4 weeks the female delivers about 10-14 fry.Just like the A.cultratus fry, these guys are a lot larger than guppy fry.I donít run around the fish room with a ruler, so I donít know exactly how large they are.As soon as I noticed them, they were netted out of the parentsí tank and into a 5 gallon tank that had nothing in it.They grew rapidly and ate anything that was thrown at them.After about 3 weeks, I moved them to a 20 gallon tank.These seemed to sex out earlier than the A. cultratus, I am uncertain as to why.The water temperature is 72 degrees and the parameters are the same as above.

 

Overall, these fish are not aggressive and fun to have.I have added a group of Corydoras pygmaeus and Apisotgramma borelli to the tank and they could care less.Since they are a little less active than my A. cultratus, perhaps they would make decent tank mates.If you get the chance, give these fish a go.Youíll be pleased.