Hi all! Ah, the freedom of summer break! Fish room update that I actually filmed in February but just now got to edit. Enjoy!
I made a "Keeping and Breeding Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma spp.)" video because I was getting a lot of questions on how to care for these little gems at the San Francisco Bay Area Killifish Association meeting last Saturday (PS YOU GUYS ROCK!) The species I keep hasn't been described yet - it is Elassoma sp. affinis evergladei Three Mile Creek, Elberta, Alabama.
For such a little fish, they have a couple of big challenges you must address:
1) They will only eat live food. I've had this particular species for over 6 generations from wild-caught and they still won't take anything that isn't moving. I feed primarily grindal/white worms to adults/sub-adults, and BBS and walter/banana/micro worms for the babies.
2) They are shy. Set the tank up so that the feel secure - LOTS of live plants, mops, pots, dark gravel, etc. No sudden movements near the tank. Mine come right out when they see me, but that trust was built over time.
3) The fry are TINY. You need to provide them with lots of microscopic food. I stuff their tanks/jars with lots of fine-leaved live plants. Having a timer or putting the tanks in natural light helps a lot too.
Unfortunately, cutting fins (also known as "grooming") is a practice used to achieve perfect form without dealing with rigorous selection for many generations. Below is a video detailing the process. Warning: it is uncomfortable to watch.
The IBC and Bettas4All DO NOT condone fin cutting or artificial alteration in any form. It is considered a cruel practice and is not tolerated in any show fish. The only time cutting fins is considered acceptable is if the fish is suffering from fin rot and cutting off the damaged and diseased tissue would help it heal (think surgical removal of gangrenous parts) or if the fish is so overburdened with finnage that cutting it to relieve weight bearing would improve their quality of life.
On the subject of my favorite YouTube channels to listen to while de-stressing from the day and working with my fish, I love love love watching fish room tours! You can get so many amazing ideas!
This fish room is a study in how to maximize in a truly small space and yet raise amazing numbers of high quality fish. I can only aspire to have such an amazing set-up one day!
Second half of the lovely interview with Cory from Aquarium Co-op! We talk about salt and tannins in the water, minimum tank size, sexing young Bettas, keeping groups of Bettas, etc, etc. :) I highly recommend subscribing to Cory's YouTube Channel - I love putting it on autoplay while doing water changes or tinkering around with my fish. I've learned so much and always get new ideas! My other favorite channel is Rachel O'Leary's YouTube Channel, which focuses on nano fish :)