Common Name- The Dwarf Petricola
Water Conditions- Not Critical. Temp
74-82, Some water movement,
Behavior- An active fish that will
patrol the tank to feed, but prefers the security of caves and
Breeding- Pairs grow slowly and breed
at 3.5 - 4 inches. See below-
Size- 4-5 inches
This has always
been a popular fish because of their appearance and non
aggressive nature, but they
are also very hardy, and in our experience, have been very resistent to disease. They will eat most
aquarium foods, and we feed them 2-3xs per day, a
mix of carnivorous and vegetable based foods.
Their preferences here for live or frozen
foods, in roughly the order they are taken most readily are:
White worms, mysis shrimp (Frozen), bloodworms
(Frozen), Adult Brine Shrimp (Frozen), and
chopped Red Worms.
Lake Tangyanika, they are kept with some crushed coral or Oyster
shell to bring up the
the hardness and pH. The water here is moderately soft
at 90ppm, and 7.4 pH.
Though they seem to handle slightly less than
ideal conditions, they are provided with a fairly clean
environment, some water movement and adequate or
above filtration. Small pots, caves, rockwork
without sharp edges (as they have a thin,
scaleless skin that can injure easily), is provided. They
are very social, but while always in close
proximity to one another, fish of wide size differences
can be tough on one another, so you want to keep
them well fed with plenty of places to hide.
As a rule adults live peacefully together. When
aggression was seen, it was older males chasing off
a younger male when a female was around, which
did result in the loss of the young male. Through
counting fry here, I am trying to determine if
cannibalism between young fry is a problem, as is widely
When they come into sexual maturity, they can be
sexed fairly early by body shape. Females have a
wider abdomen, and when full of eggs their
abdomen is quite round. They appear to be slightly higher
bodied in comparison to the males, which is
likely, because they are certainly more heavily bodied.
The males appear to be longer and thinner with a
body that is straight back along its sides - it's
abdomen does not bulge as the females do. They
can also be sexed by examining the genital papillae,
but have not found that to be necessary.
When sexually mature, they will breed most often
during the week previous to the full moon. A local
university would simply siphon through the gravel
every week or so, pick out the eggs and raise the
The eggs are about the size of the period at the
end of these sentences, and are a light amber color.
The young can be started on 24 hr. baby brine
shrimp or microworms (NOT vinegar eels, as the acidity
will kill the batch) and I have found they can be
sensitive to water quality changes during their first
1-2 weeks. For example, use only water from their
birthing tank to do water changes into the container
where the eggs are being maintained.
Young are slow growing and can be scooped up with
a net at about 1 month. Good luck!
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