In 2005 I received eggs of A. elongatus “Ezeiza” incubated in Sphagnum magellanicum and eggs of A. vandenbergi “Talon Cansado” in the same material last year. I decided to give this spawning material some extra attention and offered it to fish as spawning material. For one of the samples collected like this and currently seven months old, I tried to determine the state the embryos were in. To my surprise, that was very easy! After some drying, eggs started rolling out of the moss. For example, the one on the photograph, which is A. cheradophilus “La Paloma”. Will definitely experiment with this spawning substrate further!
Some peats are just so packed with eggs you can’t miss them. This one we’re drying out a bit for an experiment at Foljuif. It’s has been filled with eggs by a group of Austrolebias gymnoventris “Castillos”. If you zoom in, you can see eggs that are still clear, in at least one other you can see the embryo’s eye. We take care that these don’t die while drying the peat.
During winter, I keep a few groups of fish in the house, to make sure they go on breeding and to collect eggs often. The room is heated to some 15 degrees, and receives sun in the winter afternoons. In spring, by the end of April, the fish go into the garden again, or they are replaced by a bunch of more exotic ones. Here a male A. gymnoventris “Castillos” which lives in a group of some six adults. They eat well and produce eggs well. This male is some eight months old.
A picture of a pair received as A. vandenbergi (Talon Cansado), hatched end of January 2015 from eggs received from Ricardo Rojas. They look great, although I expected a more protruding snout, but it might be masked by the bulgy head older Austrolebias can get. The male does get some wear on the edges of his fins now, so I might lose him in a while. November is very warm this year and they continue to lay eggs well. The eggs are quite large for the size of these fish.
I know, the water is turbid and it’s all not very sharp but among my photos taken yesterday, this one does most justice to the stunning colours of mature A. alexandri. This population is “La Guarderia”. which I keep as of this year The fish are outdoors still in a 80 liter basin and they are some six months old. In a few weeks they will move indoors.
I didn’t check in detail yet how old they are exactly, but these two nigripinnis “Maschwitz” are over a year old. They spent a full summer outside in a shaded tunnel, a winter in the greenhouse and now into their next summer and doing well. Don’t worry about the “thing” looking like a hole in the dorsal fin. It isn’t – it’s a strange reflection. Nigripinnis, the first Austrolebias I ever had. They’re cute, vivid and easy, with deep colours.
Spring season has started. The first juveniles have already been transferred to the garden. In the garden house many fish are still there since summer 2014. They have overwintered without heating. I will read out the datalogger measuring the temperature time series soon. Among the survivors: A. juanlangi Parque Rivera (photo), A. alexandri San Javier, A. nigripinnis Franquia, Villa Soriano, A. elongatus Vivorata, A. prognathus Salamanca, A. bellottii Estacion Sol, Maschwitz, A. affinis R5km399, A. charrua Canal Andreoni, A. viarius Valisas, A. cheradophilus Castillos, Ruta1316.
It’s almost February, time to start raising this year’s new breeders. I’ve started at home, with bags from Uruguay and Argentina that I stored for four months (Thanks Heber Salvia, thanks Ricardo Rojas, thanks Rafael Mitre Muñoz!). The photo is the moment where I put the peat+eggs in small containers with some extra peat. I add half a cm or one cm of 15C rain water. All containers then go inside a small incubator at about 22 degrees C. Result: 23 cheradophilus “la Paloma”, some 15 vandenbergi Talon Cansado, melanoorus Tranqueras, arachan Bañado del Chuy, duraznensis Paso de san Borja, alexandri San Javier, El Bulin and El Pingo. Not bad to start the year with! Some other fish here at home will have to move soon!
Here a picture of fish caught at the km 331 site on road Ruta 26. These large Austrolebias were first described as nioni but Costa classifies them as vazferreirai now. I have bred them since 2009, the last few years with difficulties. Biased sex ratios for a while, last year juveniles killed each other. So it’s down to a few eggs now. Fortunately I am still recovering some eggs from my first peat ever, from 2009.