Folks...did Alex Pastor or Dr. G. Kadar write the below note...or are they the same...what did I miss??? What food for thought, and didn't most all of us arrive at about the same conclusion even though we might have wandered a bit? We don't know all there is to know about apistos, we have a lot of work to do.....and a lot of listening to do. I don't mean to be sloppy goofy, but thanks again to all! Mike Mike Jacobs Center for Advanced Technologies Lakewood H.S. St Pete, Fl 33705 email@example.com ----- Original Message ----- From: alex pastor <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> Sent: Sunday, August 15, 1999 10:39 PM Subject: Re: spawning? > Instead of assuming that fry, in the wild, get dispersed and thereby avoid > parental predation, let's try a different paradigm. (I'm sounding like > Richard Covey here: The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Fish Breeders. ;) > (tongue in cheek folks)) > > Fact: The habitat of apistos consists of shallow water with plenty of leaf > litter. Various people who have participated in fish collecting expeditions > unanimously express the difficulties involved in actually netting these fish > for obvious reasons. For these same reasons field studies of these fish are > virtually impossible. It is neither feasable nor possible for anyone to don > a facemask and snorkel or goggles in order to watch the action, so to speak, > in such shallow waters. (This is very different from African Rift Lakes.) > > Fact: In the aquarium it is generally the rule that the female of the > species indicates to the male with various body movements that she wants him > away from the eggs and/or fry. We interpret this in various ways, all of > which are just that, our interpretations. Does she want him gone? Does she > want him to keep his distance and do his job guarding the perimeter? > > Fact: When the male is removed from a tank, females, generally, will guard > their young for a much longer period of time than if the male is present. > When we leave the male with the female, our interpretation of the situation > is that he is putting pressure on her to spawn again, and/or she also wants > to do so. In order to facilitate the subsequent spawn, they both view the > present brood as a threat to the viability of the next brood. Hence fry > predation. > > Now let's go back to the environment from which these fish originate. There > is lots of leaf litter, plenty of places to hide, other potential mates, and > a large substrate surface area. If we go along a new paradigm, let's see > where it gets us. > > After the spawning and once the wrigglers are begining to swim, the female > indicates through her body movements that she doesn't want the male around > her anymore. He has lots and lots of space and chooses to search for a more > receptive mate. The female then guides her young under leaves and ensures > that there is sufficient distance between herself, members of her own > species and others. Given that the male can leave and choose another female > with which to spawn, a female with a brood may in all likelihood be left > alone when she gives the 'get lost' signal to any male approaching her and > her brood. Apisto fry are extremely tiny, grow relatively slowly and do > best when cared for by a parent who defends them and provides them with > signals in order to avoid predation. Is it not then quite conceivable that > in the wild, females spend much more time guarding and rearing their fry > than in the artificial environment of an aquarium where a male is present > and has no place else to go? Is it not conceivable, given the fact that > many fishkeepers have on occasion found the dead and mutilated corpses of > male fish, that in their natural environment these males would have made > themselves scarce in order to avoid the violence? > > I think that looking at the situation from a different perspective may be > what is needed in order to breed these fish successfully. Yes, there are > some parent fish who do raise broods together and do not eat their fry. > However, this appears to be the exception and not the rule. In most cases, > it appears that people keeping these fish do so in relatively small aquaria. > Whether it's 10, 15, 30 or even 60 gallons, the footprint of the tanks > provide the fish with nowhere near the substrate area available to them in > the wild. Hence, normal behaviour cannot possibly be observed in our > aquaria. Recreating a natural biotope may require a tank that is 6 feet by > 6 feet and only 6 inches deep filled with leaf litter and several apistos - > and ideally minus their usual predators including birds. Not feasable in > most homes. > > So ladies and gentlemen, let's please stop kidding ourselves that we are > doing anything more than what we are, which is providing grossly artificial > environments for these fish and observing variously abnormal behaviours > whether they result in viable fry which grow to adulthood or not. Whether > for better or worse, we are all just 'playing house' with live fish instead > of dolls. As long as we realize this and don't try to promote what we are > doing as maintenance of potentially extinct species, or scientific studies, > then fine. If we have the audacity and arrogance to believe that we are > doing something noble, then we are all fooling ourselves. Human beings > universally enjoy keeping pets. The bottom line is that this is all we are > really doing. Some of us, whether succeeding at having fish spawn, having > fry survive or keeping generations of fish alive, are better at it than > others. But it all boils down to the same thing. > > Whether fry or egg predation and fry rearing are genetically programmed in > whole or in part, or learned or not, is a moot point. No one has spent > months and months with snorkel and mask peering into 4 inch deep puddles in > the Amazon. And if they would, I'm sure we'd know far more about the number > of mosquito and spider bites that fit on the rear end of a human than much > else. > > I've read the postings so far and have given the topic a great deal of > thought. I haven't participated in this thread so far and have no intention > of adding or subtracting from what I've written. However, I do believe that > some of the exchange going on has veered off course. > > Dr. G. Kadar > > > > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------- > This is the apistogramma mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org. > For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help, > email email@example.com. > Search http://altavista.digital.com for "Apistogramma Mailing List Archives"! > ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the apistogramma mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org. For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help, email email@example.com. Search http://altavista.digital.com for "Apistogramma Mailing List Archives"!