Select Aquatics
 

       Customer Feedback on Care of These Fish:

 

            Poecilia velifera

 
 

                          Customer Care Page for:   Xiphophorus Montezumae       Customer Care Page for:  Zoogoneticus tequila

 

      Select Aquatics was begun in 2008 as a resource for fish that were no longer being sold at shows and conventions. These were
     generally available until roughly 2009. During those years I obtained many species that were the most highly desired, and
     Select Aquatics has been shipping many hundreds of fish out to the hobby over the last 11 years.

     Much information on the care and husbandry of each of these species is available on the species page and care guides for each
     species at this website, as well as Select Aquatics Presents YouTube videos to assist the successful care and breeding of each
     of these fish. Of course, every fish room needs quality texts on aquarium maintenance, particularly with many of these more
     difficult to maintain, recently collected from the wild fish. These specialty livebearers often require slightly higher water quality, that 
     is more consistent than the pet store fish we may have experience with.

     To help provide the kind of information that used to be available over a beer in a hotel room, from someone that has actually kept
     these fish, I have contacted every customer that bought this fish from me over a three-year period when they were at greatest availability.
     I have asked each customer to share their thoughts on their experience with this fish. The questionnaire was sent to 52 customers
     accounting for 416 fish. All the responses I received, in their entirety are posted below.

     This comes at a time when despite many hundreds of these fish being shipped out to the hobby, I am being told that they have nearly
     disappeared, and selectaquatics may be the only resource left for some of these species.

     In an effort to keep these in the hobby, and encourage others to breed and sell these fish, if you have maintained this population of
     this species - even if you did not purchase them from me- I will be happy to post any information you wish to share on this page with
     the other submissions. Thank you!

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                                

                                     How They are Maintained at Select Aquatics

          At selectaquatics, the Poecilia velifera adults are maintained in 55 and 100 gallon tanks with daily water changes
          of 15%, or the equivalent of 100% weekly. The same effect can be achieved with 2-3 water changes per week of
          either 30% - 50%. They can and do well with less substantial water changes, when filtration and overall tank
          cleanliness is good, but do require water changes of at least 75% per week, as they are somewhat intolerant
          of declining water conditions.

          Due to a slowdown and reproduction of the colony here over the past six months, the equivalent of a half medicinal
          dose of salt is now maintained in the water, to help boost their productivity. They are doing well, and will be taken 
          down from the website until their numbers build back out. Use of salt is always recommended for mollies, but this 
          line does not come from a brackish environment, and can generally be maintained only using salt for occasional
          minor health issues.

          I have found that dosing with a half medicinal dose of salt when first being introduced to their aquarium after
          acclimation will ease their adjustment.

          Filtration is provided with 250 canister filters, and four 4" Box filters in each 55 gallon aquarium. Live plants and
          minimal substrate to provide nitrifying bacteria area is provided. Temperature is maintained at 76-79, at lower
          end during winter, and higher end during summer.

          Young and grow out are maintained in 29 gallon talls with two 4" box filters in each tank, and a similar water change
          schedule.
  
          All velifera are fed multiple feedings per day of the vegetable flake (3-5x), and once per day of a 50/50 mix
          containing a meat flake. They also seem to do well on occasional frozen Mysis shrimp, and are also fed frozen
          adult Brine Shrimp 1-2x per week. . The flakes used here for the 50/50 mix are Graze Premium Vegetable Flake,
          and Seafood Lovers Meat flake. Both are obtained from Jehmco.com.

          Though relatively large fish, males can 5.5 inches, their spawns are smaller with rarely more than 20-25 fry.

          They will take 7-8 months to sex out, and males will begin to develop the sail fin at this time, but it will not be at
          its full size until about 18 months. The fish will generally live into its fourth year.

 

          Greg Sage

          Selectaquatics@gmail.com
 

 

 

 

 

   

 

                                                 The Poecilia velifera Questionnaire:

        The questionnaire was sent out to 52 customers the week of Oct. 7 2019, to all those that had purchased the
           velifera from September, 2014 to April, 2018. Those customers were shipped 416 velifera, all 2-4 Month Old
           Unsexed fish with fewer than 5 losses in shipping. All of the responses that I received are posted below, and
          they were not edited in any way.
 

 

     #1

     A number of years ago, I bought 6 unsexed juveniles from Select Aquatics. I live near Houston, TX and these fish thrived in the water here.

     The males developed a gorgeous gold coloring with copper and turquoise highlights in the scales and tail fin. Most fun to watch was the
     mating dance when a male would try to wrap its body around a female.

     Putting their beauty aside they were also easy to care for in the sense that their sensitivity to water conditions gave me a quick barometer
     for when there was something in the tank I needed to address. In other words, they were as responsive to intervention as they were
     susceptible to drops in water quality.

     With the exception of just a few cases which I will explain below, any time the fish were acting abnormally--i.e. hanging out at top or bottom
     of tank and/or hiding--they quickly reverted to their active, playful behavior with a water change.

     Three times a simple water change didn't do the trick:
     My water heater went out and I didn't have a backup and I figured they'd be fine since the difference was only about 5 degrees. Well, they
     got stressed and became susceptible to illness. In most cases, illness looked like the behavior changes I listed previously, but when it
     manifested itself physically, it was always by a white cap or patch at the top of the head. The whiteness may have been a bacteria or may
     have been missing scales--I never determined for sure--but to was always the same. So with a quick drop in temperature, some of the fish
     developed a white cap on the top of their head. Fortunately putting them in a hospital tank of salt water set at 84 healed them up right away.
     Lesson Learned: KEEP THEIR WATER TEMERATURE STABLE

     Velifera are abundantly curious fish and one day, some how, one of them got caught in a faulty intake for a hang on back filter in the tank.
     She was there for a few hours before I discovered her at which point she had done so much damage to herself trying to get out (torn fins,
     missing scales, skin abrasions) that even though she hung on in a heated, salted hospital tank for about a week, she never recovered.
     Lesson Learned: LIMIT DECOR/EQUIPMENT WHERE THEY MIGHT FIND THEMSELVES TRAPPED/SCRATCHED ETC.

     I got very sick last year. So sick I was bed ridden for a few weeks and had physical therapy for 2 months. During that time, I could not
     even walk to my tank to check on my fish, let alone change the water. Fortunately I had a good friend who promised to change the water
     for me 2x week. Unfortunately, he made a promise he didn't keep; I found out later that the water changes were inconsistent, happening
     only 1x/week at most . When I finally recovered, I had lost all my velifera but a single female, and she died a week later.
     Lesson Learned: WATER CHANGES MUST BE FREQUENT AND CONSISTENT.

     Lastly, poecilia velifera are not community tank fish. If you want your fish to breed for you, give them their own tank.


     Jay G. Houston, TX

 

     #2    

     Did the fish do well for you?

     I cannot recall how many fish I started with I would estimate 12-ish.
     Lost the only male out of that group(leaper) and bought a small one from you with another order.
     2017-2018 major struggle with the disease in the email below but was probably around 20 fish when
     I moved 9/2018. My only adult male died right after the move. Luckily one grew from a few fry I had and
     I bred him back to the adult females I had. Anyway, they have done steadily better since the move (60 miles).
     I now have two tanks of breeders. I counted today and have approx. 30 adults and am growing out 40 or
     so fry. I visited you in October 2018 and have seen yours and yours are superior. They are still a work in
     progress for me but are doing fairly well. I am hoping they continue to progress as I turn the generations.
     I have struggled mightily with my male to female ratio. I still have only 2 adult males in inventory. Plenty of
     females. Due to this I have 1 male and numerous females in a 75 and 120 gallon tank.

     I especially want to hear from you if the fish did not do well! What would you do differently?

     I wish I could do wet-dry with sterilizer and could feed more live-type foods.

     If yes, how would you recommend keeping this fish?

     I believe the information provided on your website is a good roadmap to success with this fish.

     - Food and feeding frequency?

     (auto feeder 4-5 times daily) supplemented with live/frozen food 3x weekly.

     - Tank Size?

     I use a 75 and 120 for breeders

     - Tank Setup (substrate, filtration, plants, temperature)?

     I use the green box filters with floss. I also started doing better when I added a sponge filter cleaned often
     in addition to the box filters. I believe optimal would be a wet dry with a UV sterilizer. I have settled at 78
     degrees. I have used salt only about twice in the past year. I treated with Levamisole once in the past
     year as a preventative measure. My schedule has impaired the water change frequency in the fish room
     but I would estimate 30-40% weekly. Plenty of surface water sprite with java fern and java moss. Large
     pieces of crushed coral (30% of bottom surface) for substrate.


     And lastly, would you recommend this fish to others? It is a regal fish and I would recommend for those
     that want something different and potentially challenging.

 

     Brian W.
 

 

     #3

     I have purchased Poecilia velifera from you last year. From 8 I have received, None of them are alive right now.
     2 of them developed shimmies right away and never recovered, they lived 4 months but didn't grow at all. I had
     to cull them. Out of rest 6, 1 became a runt and i had to cull it. one big female died for no apparent reason.
     Other one jumped out.

     I was left with 3 of them at this point and i had to move. Lost one a week after i moved probably due to new
    environment. Lost many swordtails as well, trying to get them back by breeding.

     I don't raise them in a separate tank. I have community tanks where i am working on Angelfish, Red swordtails
     and Mollies.

     I am planning purchase next time when they are available and try to maintain the line. i have raised few molly fish
     colonies before with my own projects. I feel like these fish are very slow growers. It took them almost a year to
     show their sex. That's my update from the last purchase. I hope this information helps you.

 

     Sohan C.


 

 

      #4

     Hi Greg,

     I certainly don't mind giving you feedback on these fish!

     Did the fish do well for you? -

     Yes - they did extremely well!

     If yes, how would you recommend keeping this fish? -

     I kept them in bare 20 gallon high tanks, with no gravel and a sponge filter in each. I wondered if 20 gallons was enough
     for the adult fish, but they never seemed to mind. Each tank also had a heater. I should mention here that I did large water
     changes (50 percentish) almost daily, using local water straight from the tap. The tanks were kept at 80 degrees F, but
     the tap water I did not preheat. I just put it in cold. The fish almost seemed to like it. When the parent fish had young,
     I pulled the parents out and put them into another matured tank. As soon as the young could be sexed, I separated
     the males from the females. As I recall, females outnumbered males by quite a large margin, although sometimes
     it took quite a while for the males to become evident.

     - Food and feeding frequency? - A variety of high quality flake food was the staple, supplemented by frozen brine
     shrimp. At first I occasionally gave them live brine shrimp, but ultimately thought it unnecessary. For the young, I'm
     sure that newly hatched brine shrimp would have had them grow faster, but again, not necessary. I fed them twice a
     day. Algae was always present for grazing.

     - Tank Size? - 20 high aquariums are what I would recommend, as described above. I did put 2 adult males and a
     few females into a well planted 50 gallon breeder tank, but that tank was soon overwhelmed by mollies!

     - Tank Setup (substrate, filtration, plants, temperature)?

     - As described above. The 50 breeder tank was fully decked out with live plants, black gravel, driftwood, a couple
     of powerheads and a heater. I didn't use any mechanical filters, but I used a gravel washer when I did water
     changes in that tank, and also used a cup to skim organic slime off the surface of the water when doing the water
     changes. I tried to change 5 gallons a day in that tank, but in reality I probably only did it 5 days a week. 80 degrees
     was the temperature.

     And lastly, would you recommend this fish to others? -

     My interest was in keeping the largest of the wild type mollies. Also, I was attracted by the fact that I could never
     see these fish at the pet shops near me, and I couldn't understand why. If you have these interests, then yes, by all
     means give these fish a go! I tried to keep them in very high quality water, and I found them to be very prolific.
     I wouldn't recommend them to anyone who who is unwilling to do regular aquarium maintenance. I'm of the
     opinion that water changes are the single most important type of filtration at our disposal.

     I should mention that I gave these fish away because I have injured shoulders, and the maintenance of so
     many aquariums simply became too much for me. I'd say that the largest adult fishes that I had were about
     4 inches long. It is possible that these fish, though adult, weren't yet fully grown. I've heard that they can get
     to be about 6 inches long. If that is the case, larger aquariums than 20 gallons might be required.

     I hope that helps, Greg!

     Have a great weekend!

     Regards,

 

     Dave C.
 

    

 

      #5

     They all died due to my lack of commitment !
     I will try setup another tank which will be big! Hopefully 100g minimum! I will then order a new batch from you!

 

     Juan M.
 

 

     #6

     My Yucatan Sailfin Mollies are doing great! I sold about 30 fry which I am not regretting due to how rare
     this fish is. I am trying to rebuild a good colony from the original 6 I had and their fry.

     My water is hard, but not extreme. Ph is about 7.6 and they seem to do great with my water. I do change
     50% water weekly to keep them healthy. If there are any issues, a little salt for these fish seems to fix
     any problems that happen from infection or sickness.

     All and all a great, large and rare molly that continues to impress me every time I see the big males
     displaying! Thanks, Greg!

 

     Matthew C.

 

     #7

     Hello Greg hope all is well. My fry production has finally begun. Ive netted 68 fry in the past 4 days, with many
     more in the tank. The Adults are not eating the fry.

     1. Tank size = 125 gal 72 x 18 x 23

     2. Feeding
     Flake = earthworm, vegetable and spriulina
     Pellets = Hikari marine seaweed (67% seaweed), Fluval tropical bug bites and Omega One small sinking
     marine pellets with garlic.
     Frozen = Mysis shrimp, reef plankton, brine shrimp, fish eggs and blood worms.

     Omega One sinking veggie rounds are made for Plecos, however my P. Velifera receive these in the
     morning prior to me going to work.

     3. The water is hard in here, I only treat with Prime. I have never tested the water.

     4. tank temperature is 80-81 degrees. I have thee fluval submersible 300 watt heaters in the tank to
     maintain the heat temperature.

     5. Fry are born in the tank and then moved to a 40 gallon breeder for growing out.

     6. I dont how many fry per spawn.

     7. Substrate = thin layer of brown gravel mixed with crushed coral.

     Aeration = 6 air stones

     Filters = 3 emperor 400 filters with bio wheels One sponge filter rated for 80 gallons
     (1200 gallons cycling per hour).

     Water change is 1/4 of tank water. Which is completed every 7-10 days.

     I also add pimafix, melafix and plain salt after water changes.

     As a preventive I treat my tank every 4 months with Jungle fungus fizz tablets, melafix
     and salt.

 

     Mavian N.
 

 

      #8

   Did the fish do well for you?
     The fish I received grew up well for sure.

     I especially want to hear from you if the fish did not do well! What would you do differently?
     I believe They would have done even better if I had more minerals in my water and fed more often.

     If yes, how would you recommend keeping this fish?
     I recommend a 75 gallon aquarium with an auto feeder to fill in feedings between human feedings.

     - Food and feeding frequency?
     I was feeding 1 to 2 times a day, and missing feedings when traveling for the weekend.

     - Tank Size?
     40 Gallons

     - Tank Setup (substrate, filtration, plants, temperature)?
     Coarse sand, sponge filter, lots of moss. Temp was 74-75 as I heat the room.

     And lastly, would you recommend this fish to others?
     I would absolutely. I only wish I had an auto feeder and a bit higher temp with more minerals
     to create the monster sized mollies I've seen first hand in Greg's Fish Room. I believe my
     "I still need to do that" attitude is what failed me. I eventually sold them in my retail store as
     I moved on after not having success of monster sized mollies due to my own fault.


     Cory M.

 

 

    #9    

     We first met at a Killfish gathering in Phoenix, AZ. I just saw your post concerning the Giant Salfin Molly.
     I purchased a dozen from you in September, 2016. I have successfully bred them but only in very limited
     quantities. I am on my third generation and have about 16 fry that are about a month old.
     I feed them frozen brine shrimp in the morning and then throughout the day I feed a vegetable based flake
     food. They readily take the shrimp and flake food. I have had success in both a 40 gal tank and a 65 gallon
     tank; however, I am often unsuccessful . I usually try to keep one male with two females.

     Early on I did not realize that a number of the males did not develop until I separated them from each other.
     What I thought was a female turned out to be a male. I plan to continue to breed them.
     My fish room is relatively small but I do have enough tank capacity to raise more if I had greater success at
     breeding them. I am certainly open to any suggestions you may have. I have tried to following your advice
     posted on your website.



     Mitch M.

 

     #10

     Hi there,

     The fish did well for me. A little too well! I only have one 55 gallon show tank and ended up having way
     too many fish in the tank with no outlet for the fry. I think that's the biggest concern since they are large,
     heavy bodied fish. They are truly beautiful fish though and was glad to be able to purchase them from you!

     I've changed my setup and only keep sterbai cories and cardinal tetras in a heavily planted tank.

     Steve E.

 

     #11

     I have had a chance to watch the all the videos with your Velifera many times, I thoroughly enjoy them.
     I am glad to hear that the Velifera are more skittish than most of the fish you have, I was becoming
     worried about their behavior. I have a feeling that an increase in number could help them feel less skittish.

     With regards to my tank, that is crushed coral at the bottom. I keep my tank at 78-79 although during the
     winter months it does drop a bit (around 76-77). As for water changes, I usually change 25-50% of the
     water weekly. Despite their heavy feedings, I do not experience high nitrate levels as there are only 6 in a
     150-gallon tank. I also have quite a bit of filtration on the tank with a Fluval FX6. My Velifera are fed Brine
     shrimp and occasionally blood worms for protein.

     I'm glad to hear my male's breeding behavior is a sign of good health. Unfortunately, I believe my Velifera
     have been eating their fry as my largest female has become gravid and noticeably lost weight multiple times.
     I believe this is a direct result of the clumped feedings in the afternoon after I return from school. Hopefully,
     the automatic feeder can correct this issue.

     As for any information that results in the Velifera doing well, I can certainly say high levels of surface agitation
     and oxygen are vital. Earlier on when I first received my Velifera from Karl, I would fill the tank to the very top
     and there would be only a bit of surface agitation. I quickly noticed that the Velifera would gulp air and move
     slowly throughout the aquarium. As a result, I lowered the water level so that the output from the FX6 would
     create a significant amount of surface agitation. When there is less surface agitation, I notice my male does
     not display as frequently. The Velifera have also greatly appreciated the crushed coral that I've added to the
     tank. Apart from that, there is not much that I can add, your videos and website are very helpful and descriptive.

 

     Suresh B.

 

 

 

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