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Re: spawning?

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 Jacobs
Center for Advanced Technologies
Lakewood H.S.
St Pete, Fl  33705

----- Original Message -----
From: alex pastor <alexp@idirect.com>
To: <apisto@admin.listbox.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
> litter.  Various people who have participated in fish collecting
> unanimously express the difficulties involved in actually netting these
> for obvious reasons.  For these same reasons field studies of these fish
> virtually impossible.  It is neither feasable nor possible for anyone to
> a facemask and snorkel or goggles in order to watch the action, so to
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> is that he is  putting pressure on her to spawn again, and/or she also
> 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.
> is lots of leaf litter, plenty of places to hide, other potential mates,
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> it appears that people keeping these fish do so in relatively small
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> really doing.  Some of us, whether succeeding at having fish spawn,
> 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
> the Amazon.  And if they would, I'm sure we'd know far more about the
> 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
> of adding or subtracting from what I've written.  However, I do believe
> some of the exchange going on has veered off course.
> Dr. G. Kadar
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