Aphyosemion (Diapteron) cyanostictum
"GBG 92/10 BLUE"
by Eric Bodrock

     Most of what you read and hear about any of the Diapterons is they are a little bit of a difficult fish to breed and raise. They are a small fish, only reaching the total length of about one inch and their colors will knock your socks off if you were to shine a light on them! The idea of spawning of any of the Diapterons, abacinum, cyanostictum, fulgens or georgiae, has drifted in and out of my mind for many years. I have, on several occasions, been lucky enough to find them at a Killifish event at a somewhat affordable price and bring a pair or two home with the intentions of spawning them. Those attempts never ended with favorable results! Here is the most important thing I learned from those past experiences; do some research on the species that you want to work with and more importantly remember what you've researched! A good example of this; is that it's recommended, in almost every article about Diapterons, to keep them in cold, clean, soft water. Sort of knowing this in the past, I always tried to keep them in a cooler part of my fishroom, bottom shelf, no heater etc. The problem here is that I was trying to keep them cooler when they needed to be COLD! I wasn't able to get them cold enough until this past winter when I moved my fishroom from the third floor into the basement. On the floor, on an outside wall, I was able to get water temperatures down into the mid sixty degree Fahrenheit range. The new trio I acquired this past summer liked that!

     In past attempts I used sponge filters as I do with just about every aquarium I have set-up. I found that they seem to do rather well when I used a box filter filled with a high grade of carbon and jammed full of filter floss so that the fish couldn't fit thru the slots on the filter's lid. This filter helps to provide the excellent quality that they need. In addition to good filtration, I used straight R/O (reverse osmosis) water with a pinch or two of commercial R/O water conditioners. These conditioners are additives that provide some trace elements that are essential for the health of the fish. They must have liked this idea too!

     All of this was going on in a three quarter full, bare ten-gallon aquarium that housed a trio of adult D. cyanostictum that I received months earlier. The tank was fitted with a full glass cover and a sunken yarn mop lay on the aquarium bottom that acted as both cover and spawning substrate. Their diet consisted mainly of live black worms, daphnia, baby brine and frozen cyclops that were rotated in feedings twice a day. During the first several months I had the fish there were no signs of spawning activity. Once the outside temperatures dropped, as did the water temperatures as mentioned above, they began throwing eggs like no tomorrow.  About once a week I'd take the mop from the tank and place it in a two-gallon tank or plastic shoebox and throw a new, clean mop in its place. Eggs are easy to see in the mop cause of their large, two-millimeter size. Spawning continued like this throughout the winter until the water temperature rose above seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Tiny fry could be seen in about a week from the time the mop was pulled from the breeders. Euglena is an excellent choice for a first food. Microworms can be fed at about ten days old. Baby brine can be added to their diet at three weeks. The fry are very, very slow growing. With a light beam on them, males will show faint colors in their fins at about four months old and half inch in size.

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