Select Aquatics
 

          Customer Feedback on Care of These Fish:

 

     Xiphophorus montezumae

 
 

                                     Customer Care Page for:   Poecilia velifera       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. 63 customers were contacted, accounting for
     approximately 450 fish. All of 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 Xiphophorus Montezumas adults are maintained in 55 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 50% per week.

     Filtration is provided with 250 gph canister filters, and three 4" Box filters in each 55 gallon aquarium. Live plants and
     minimal substrate to provide nitrifying bacteria area is provided. Temperature is maintained at 74į-77į, 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 similar water change
     schedule.

     All Montezuma's are fed frozen baby brine shrimp once per day, and two times per day dry food feedings of a
     50-50 flake food mix. Graze premium vegetable Flake is mixed with Seafood Lovers Meat flake, and both are
     obtained from Jehmco.com.

     As young begin to sex out, early maturing males are removed so they do not breed and potentially diminish
     the line.

     Montezuma fry do not do well in a net breeder, and gravid females must be moved to a moderately planted
     five or 10 gallon tank to drop their fry. Montezumas generally do not bother their fry, but females should be removed
     after giving birth and either allowed to recover for 2-3 days away from the other adults, or reintroduced to the adult
     community.

 

 

     Greg Sage 
     selectaquatics@gmail.com
 

 

                          About The Xiphophorus montezumae Questionnaire:

        The questionnaire was sent out to 63 customers the week of Oct. 7 2019, to all those that had purchased the
           montezumaes from September, 2014 to April, 2018. Because they were sold as both groups of 2-4 Month Old Unsexed
           and young pairs, approximately 450 fish were shipped. All of the responses I received are posted below, and they were
           not edited.
 

 

     This individual writes from a research facility where these fish are maintained:

     Did the fish do well for you?

     YES THEY DID. I LOST JUST ONE (WITHIN 2 WEEKS POST DELIVERY). I WAS ABLE TOO KEEP AND BREED THIS FISH, BECAUSE
     I PAID ATTENTION THEIR PARTICULAR NEEDS (UNDER Mr. GREG SAGEíS TUTORING)

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

     WITHOUT LEAVING ASIDE THE USUAL CAVEAT (WHAT WORKS FOR MY FISH WITH MY WATER AND MY WAY OF DOING THINGS
     MAY NOT WORK FOR OTHERS), WHAT I DID DIFFERENTLY WOULD BE:

     KEPT THE ORIGINAL STOCK IN SALTED WATER, WITH AN HYDROMETER READING OF 1.003, TEMPERATURE OF 80ļF AND
     A PH ABOVE 7 BUT NEVER PAST 7.5.

     F2S WERE RAISED AND KEPT IN MY UNTREATED WATER, WHICH IS RATHER SOFT AND SLIGHTLY ACIDIC. BY F3 THESE
     FISH WERE A LOT EASIER TO KEEP AND CONSIDERABLY MORE VIGOROUS AND LESS PRONE TO WASTING DISEASE.
     FEEDING IS SUPPLEMENTED BY:

     FOODS WITH A HIGH CONTENT OF GARLIC;
     SIMMERED SPINACH (SMALL CUT);
     HIGH VEGETABLE CONTENT GEL FOOD (HOME-MADE)
     FROZEN BLOODWORMS; FROZEN TUBIFEX.ONLY PEOPLE WILLING TO CARRY OUT THE EXTRA WORK SHOULD KEEP
     THESE FISH, AND TO THAT END, I WOULD SUGGEST PEOPLE FOLLOW SELECT AQUATICS GUIDELINES, AND PERHAPS
     CONSIDER MY EXPERIENCE AS A COMPLEMENTARY ALTERNATIVE. -

     Tank Size?

     AS LARGE AS POSSIBLE. THIS SPECIES SEEM TO HAVE NO TOLERANCE FOR LOW WATER QUALITY AND THE ORIGINAL
     BROOD STOCK WILL DO BETTER WITH AT LEAST 5 GALLONS OF WATER PER FISH. HOWEVER, FOLLOWING GENERATIONS
     CAN BE KEPT AT LOWER WATER QUALITY AND LESS GENEROUS GALLON-PER-FISH RATIO. NEVERTHELESS, THIS SPECIES
     WILL NEVER BE AT ITS BEST IN OVERCROWDED QUARTERS, BUT YOU CAN OVERSTOCK A LITTLE IF YOU HAVE A LARGE
     TANK WITH EXTREMELY EFFICIENT FILTRATION.

     BASICALLY A CLINICAL TANK (THEREFORE, NO SUBSTRATE), EXCEPT FOR SOME FLOATING PLANTS (USUALLY WATER
     SPRITE). MYSTERY SNAILS ARE USED AS A CLEAN-UP CREW, AND IN OUR CASE, THEY DO A WONDERFUL JOB.WATER
     PARAMETERS AS INDICATED ABOVE.

     FILTRATION: A POWER FILTER RATED FOR A TANK OF GREATER WATER CAPACITY THAN THAT OF THE AQUARIUM
     WHERE IT WILL BE USED (FOR INSTANCE, I USE A MARINELAND PENGUIN 350 ON A 29 GALLON TANK OR THE LARGEST
     AQUA CLEAR FILTER ON THE SAME SIZE TANK) COMBINED WITH A VERY LARGE SPONGE FILTER (HYDRO-SPONGE V)
     WITH A SMALL POWERHEAD OR STRONG AIR PUMP.

     THIS SPECIES SEEMS TO LIKE SOME WATER MOVEMENT, BUT NOT TOO MUCH. A SECTION OF HARD GRATE IS PLACE
     ON THE FILTERíS WATER RETURN AS TO DIFFUSE THE FLOW TO A SOFTER OUTPUT.THIS SPECIES HAS EVERYTHING
     GOING FOR IT. HOBBYISTS LUCKY ENOUGH TO PROCURE SOME X. MONTEZUMAES SHOULD FEEL NOT JUST PROUD
     BUT ALSO PRIVILEGED TO KEEP THESE IN THEIR AQUARIA. X. MONTEZUMAE IS TO SWORDTAIL KEEPERS WHAT
     THE ORINOCO ALTUM IS TO ANGELFISH AFICIONADOS. A DREAM FISH WORTH EVERY EFFORT.


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

     IN MY OPINION, THESE FISH NEED SMALL BUT FREQUENT MEALS AND IF THE FISH TAKE LONGER THAN 90
     SECONDS TO FINISH THEIR FOOD, YOU ARE FEEDING TOO MUCH. I TRY AND FEED MY FISH AT LEAST 4 TIMES A DAY.
     MORE IF I CAN.

     BESIDES AND IN ADDITION TO THE PREVIOUSLY INDICATED FOODS, I FEED THESE FISH GOLDFISH FLAKES;
     JEHMCOíS MICRO PELLETS AND DECAPSULATED BRINE SHRIMP EGGS.


     James M.



 

 

     Did the fish do well for you?

     I started out with 8 fish of which two were adult females and ended up with 3 males and five females maturing. Shortly after
     maturity though two of the later maturing males disappeared with no bodies found. The remaining male, the first to mature,
     often pulls food from the surface and nibbles a bit before spitting it out deliberately and lets it sink for other fish to consume.
     Two fry were found after a few months of purchase and they are still growing and are presently about half grown. One female
     was in the process of changing to male (I knew that some species of fish such as damsels can do this didnít realize that
     these fish could). This individual has also disappeared with no trace. They are healthy eaters and are fed daily but very slow to
     reproduce and apparently I canít keep more than one male in my 35 gallon tank. Vegetation does help in allowing individuals a
     place to hide from male aggression but as a species it seems especially aggressive toward other males of its kind.

     If yes, how would you recommend keeping this fish?

     A larger tank with ample vegetation should allow for more male survival but I am puzzled as to why this species doesnít seem
     to allow more than one male to survive.

     - Food and feeding frequency?

     I feed them Tetramin tropical flakes with color enhancement. Once a week they also get frozen brine shrimp or blood worms.

     - Tank Size?

     35 gallon hex tank

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

     Substrate of pebbles with some gravel. Filtration is an outside filter tank. A few fake plants and some live hornwort are
     anchored down for habitat enhancement. The water temperature is ambient room temperature in the lab and usually
     is around 76-80F.


     And lastly, would you recommend this fish to others?

     A beautiful fish but certainly needs more studies on behavior and population density requirements. I do not consider
    this species recommended for the general hobbyist but more for professional aqua-culturists due to its slow
     reproductive potential and male-male aggressive behavior.


     John W.
 

 

 

     Hi Greg, the fish didn't do well, pay more attention to the water conditions, I fed them once to twice a day,
     55 gallon, I have fake plants, I have a Aqueon filter and decorations , the tempature I keep between
     70 & 80, yes I would recommend this fish, I love large swordtails I wish I could find some.


     John M.

 

     Hi Greg,
     I absolutely love this fish unfortunately, it didnít do well for me. If memory serves, I acquired 2 pairs and the set up
     I had them in was a bare bottom 29 gallon with a sponge filter, heater, java fern and java moss. The fish arrived very
     healthy and vibrant and with a couple weeks I had fry.

     Thatís when I noticed things were a miss. Within a day or 2, the fry seemed to be developing abnormally where their
     spines would bend into a ďCĒ shape causing them to swim wildly in circles. The parents seemed fine but the fry
     eventually succumbed. This repeated itself each time a female dropped fry.

     I canít say for sure what the issue was but speculate is was due to water with too little dissolved solids. I run a fish
     room with mostly South Americans and filter replacement water through reverse osmosis. Therefore, Iím quite certain
     my efforts to re-mineralize (mostly buffer to avoid pH crash) werenít adequate resulting in water that was too soft.
     Again, if memory serves, TDS was 120-150 with pH around 6.8. All other parameters were normal.

     Incidentally, Iíve since been keeping many other Poecilia and Xiphophorus species using my tap water which has
     a TDS in the 300s and pH in the high 7s without any issues. I hope this is helpful. Thanks!

 

     Dave M.

 

     Hi Greg. My attempts to keep X Montezumae was not a successful one.
     I think the tank water was a little bit on to lower side at low 70.
     The fish was not growing normally and and infected with worm, 2/3 die out with
     a few left and I end up hybrids with X mayae.

     Sorry to say that.

     Tank 40 gallons
     GH 15
     KH 8
     PH 7.5

 

     Chong H.

 

 

     Hi, Greg,

     Went completely out of the hobby several years ago when downsizing to a new,
     much smaller home. Canít say I remember the purchase, but do know I never had
     success with the fish regardless of from whom I got them.



     Tom C.

 

 

 

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