Xenotoca variata – Jeweled splitfin

21. September 2009

Only few species of splitfin (Goodeidae) have become established aquarium fish, despite the fact that they are perfectly suited for keeping and breeding in tanks. Many species are in danger of extinction in the wild, for they inhabit only very small areas and habitat destruction can easily wipe out complete species. Species conservation via breeding programs in aquaria have been successful in some species, nevertheless these breeding programs would be much easier to do if more people would keep the fish.

However, Xenotoca variata is not one of the endagered species of splitfin. Nevertheless it is only rarely seen in aquaria. In this special case it is very likely that this is due the fact that males get their full colour only relatively late. This phenomenon is also well known from many species of rainbow fishes.

Xenotoca variata are kept best in groups. Here the fish establish a hierarchy that enables exiting studies of behaviour. It is important to feed a lot of plant material to the fish beside their normal food. These fishes are livebearers. Sadly they hunt their own offspring quite violently. So it is best to seperate the female some days before it gives birth in an extra tank.

In nature these fish are exposed to heavy temperature changes. It is recommended to shift the heater along with the light in the aquarium. So the fish get slight temperature changes during the day and night rhythm. This makes the fish healthy and gives them longevity. Hard and slighly alcalic water is best, but the fish are very tolerant to different water contitions. Temperature tolance is between 16 and somewhat above 30°C. During summer the fish can be kept in the garden pond in central Europe. The fish that come out of such a gardenpond in autumn are extremely colorful and strong.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Nachzucht / bred
Verfügbare Größe in cm 4-6