Boesman's melanothenia or Boesman's iris appeared on sale not so long ago, but has already managed to get the love of many aquarists who know a lot about beautiful fish. In stores, this species does not attract attention due to its nondescript, gray color. But experienced aquarists know that the fish will acquire color later and it will be beautiful. What do you need to feel comfortable in the aquarium Boesman's iris? Keeping and breeding are described in detail in our article.
Description of the fish
Boesman's Melanothenia is a fairly large species. Males grow up to fourteen centimeters in length, females up to ten. Their physique is standard for all irises - the body is long, laterally compressed, the back is high, the head is narrow. The dorsal fin and tail are forked.
A fish takes on a full rainbow color when it grows from eight to ten centimeters. Usually the back of the body of the fish is orange-red, and the front is purple. Black stripes appear where the color changes.
Distinguishing a male from a female is very simple: females have more silver in color and are completelydevoid of red pigment. They are smaller and have more rounded fins than the males.
With proper care, Boesman's iris will live up to eight years. This is a very active and unpretentious fish, but still not recommended for beginner aquarists, as the conditions in new aquariums are not suitable for this species.
Boesman's melanothenia in nature
The fish was first described in 1980 by Kroes and Allen. Boesman's iris lives in the Western part of Guinea, in Asia. The only places where the fish is common are lakes Hain, Aumaru, Aitinzho, as well as in some of their tributaries. The described fish keep only in marshy places, densely overgrown with vegetation. There they get their food in the form of insects and plants.
At the moment, Boesman's iris is listed on the pages of the Red Book as an endangered species. The fact is that the fish are caught in incredible quantities, and its habitat is under threat. Now the capture and export of boesman melanotania is strictly prohibited, and the species is protected by the state.
The most valuable individuals are exactly those brought from the natural environment, as their color is the purest and brightest. When kept at home, fish can interbreed with other types of iris, so the offspring is "defective".
The color of the iris, its activity, he alth and life cycle depend on the nutrition and quality of the feed. It is to her diet that you need to take it with allresponsibility. These fish are omnivorous, so you can easily diversify their menu. All kinds of dry food for aquarium fish are suitable, which are sold in a huge assortment in specialized stores. Their composition is balanced and has ingredients that contribute to the brightness of the color.
But on dry food alone, Boesman's iris will not be able to fully develop and multiply. It is necessary from time to time to pamper the fish with live food or, in extreme cases, frozen. The favorite delicacy of the species is bloodworm, brine shrimp and daphnia.
Among other things, do not forget about plant foods. Wolffia and duckweed will be ideal herbs for feeding the iris. These components will complement and diversify the diet.
Boesman's Rainbow: keeping in the aquarium
This question requires a detailed explanation. Boesman's iris (melanothenia) is quite large in size and belongs to schooling species, so when buying one, think about the size of the aquarium. There should be a lot of space, so an aquarium with a capacity of less than two hundred liters will not work. More - you can, even you need, less - in no case!
So, when there is an aquarium of the required volume, you need to ennoble it, create conditions close to natural. To do this, we will not plant a swamp, but will make a beautiful and aesthetic "room". Get more plants for the aquarium and build a garden from them along the back wall and along the sides, plant a little greenery in the center. Find a beautiful natural driftwood and put it in too.in the center of an improved aquarium. Enough space should be left along the front wall for active fish to swim.
For the iris, a slight current is acceptable, which is easily created. Without the necessary filtration, the aquarium will quickly overgrow and the fish will feel bad. As we already wrote, you should not make a swamp, so do a water change every week.
Where to install the aquarium?
Decorate and equip the "fish house" is not as difficult as it seems. The main thing is to choose the optimal place for installation. And take this matter seriously.
Install the aquarium in a place where its inhabitants are in the sun every day, but no more than two hours. Light is not as important to them as it is to people, because when the sun's rays are directed, the water begins to sparkle, and the color of the fish looks simply amazing! If the rays remain in the water for more than two hours, this will cause flowering, an unpleasant, musty smell. Yes, and the fish in such an aquarium will not live comfortably.
If you are an experienced aquarist, then you have all the necessary tools to monitor the condition of the water. If not, then get a thermometer and instruments that will be able to determine acidity, hardness. The ideal water for the life of the boesman iris has the following meanings:
- temperature should not fall below 21 degrees and rise above 26 degrees;
- pH (acidity) is a very important factor: it should be no lower than 6.5 and no higher than 8.0;
- dH(hardness) is much easier to track since the data can vary from 8 to 25.
If you decide to buy Boesman's iris, don't buy one. These are schooling fish and need to communicate, respectively, the number of individuals should not be less than six. It is desirable that both females and males have the same number, but there may be more females. The main thing is that there are more than two males, otherwise one will be constantly oppressed. In nature, fish fight for power and dominance, they just need it. If there are more than three males, then over time the dominant one will not be so aggressive and will reconcile all the other inhabitants, and the fights will not have noticeable negative consequences.
Boesman's iris gets along well with other types of fish. Neighbors should be no less active and similar in size.
Boesman's Rainbow: Breeding
To start breeding iris, you need to try. The process can be tiring for the first time, especially raising fry. For spawning, you need to choose an active and strong pair, put it away from the rest of the individuals in a separate aquarium, which will have a lot of plants. Spawning will last for several days, and eggs will be laid in portions. At this time, the couple should receive a lot of food, including live food.
Caviar should immediately be removed for incubation, and this will require another aquarium. The fry hatch very small and will grow slowly at first. You need to feed the offspring with small live food, ide althere will be "flowered" water, which contains many microorganisms and unicellular algae, as well as ciliates.
Feedback on Boesman's melanothenia
Aquarists involved in the maintenance and breeding of the iris write that the fish are unpretentious, you just need to create good conditions for them and support them. The comments say that Boesman's iris is very beautiful. It is advised not to worry if her color fades - it means she is restless. When her condition returns to normal, the fish will again be bright.
We wish all aquarists success in keeping and breeding. We hope this article will help you at first!