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Procatopus nototaenia "Yabassi"  by Eric Bodrock

Procatopus nototaenia, commonly referred to as a "lampeye", are Killifish that are found in Africa.  "Yabassi" is the location of my strain.  The males, at the breeding size of two inches, are brightly colored with a pearly blue/aqua shimmer, which cover their bodies.  An orange trim shines bright over the top of their body and highlights their fins.  Their anal fin also has faint horizontal markings.  The females, at an inch and a half, are plainer, with more of a silver body. In both sexes, their eyes seem to glow as if they have a light in them.  When seen in the sunlight, their beauty is breathtaking!

I had two pair set up in a twenty-gallon high aquarium for breeding.  The tank was void of gravel, but had a few smooth seashells scattered about to act as a slight buffer.  Filtering was done with a single sponge filter.  Tank was covered tight with a glass lid.  Anyone who has had Killies of any type, know that they are excellent jumpers and these are no exception!  Temperature was approximately 76F and the pH ranged 7.2-7.6 between water changes, which were done at a rate of twenty percent every ten days.  I used a mix of about sixty percent R/O water, twenty percent aged tank water with a lower pH and twenty percent aged tank water with a higher pH, a TDS reading of 76 was measured.

Diet consisted of live black worms, live baby brine shrimp and frozen bloodworms that were offered a couple of times a day. The tank they were housed in was located on the bottom shelf of a tank rack.  Light level was low with a little natural sunlight hitting their tank during the day and a little light from the overhead fluorescent fixtures.

These Killies are sometimes called "crevice spawners".  They deposit their eggs daily, into small cracks in wood, rocks or plants.  By doing this, the eggs are protected from being eaten by predators.  I used a regular Killifish, mop made of acrylic yarn, with rubber bands wrapped tight about every two inches along the length of the mop.  This provided them with the tight crevices that they needed to deposit their eggs.  Every couple of days I pulled the mop from the tank, gave a slight squeeze to remove some water, and gently pulled the yarn apart to remove the eggs.  Eggs are placed into a separate container to hatch.  Hatch time ranges around ten to twelve days, depending on the temperature. 

When fry were seen swimming in the hatch tank, I added a small clump of Java Moss to provide some small organisms as a starter food.  A small amount of Euglena was also added at this time.  Live baby brine shrimp and microworms were added to their diet in a few days. 

All the fry, when swimming in the tank, appear as if they have trouble maintaining their balance.  They actively swim near the surface but with their heads high and their tails low.  It really looks as if they have a swim bladder problem, but all the fry at eight weeks of age look as if they are out growing the appearance.  Rate of growth is slow, at eight weeks of age, the fry range from quarter of an inch to a half-inch.

These fish aren�t commonly seen in the hobby, if you get a chance to get hold of some, do it!  They are beautiful, active and peaceful fish with an interesting spawning ritual.  You won't be disappointed in them.

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