Moenkhausia pittieri, Eigenmann, 1920
Origin:Venezuela, Lake Valencia and vicinity, Rio Tiquirito and Rio Bue.
Moenkhausia (L.): Named after the zoölogist
William J. Moenkhaus, 1871-1947
First European import: Germany, 1933, O. Winkelmann.
Description: See pictures.
Care: Wildcaught fish are not suited for the normal community tank, the fish have a need for soft acidic water. Commercially bred fish are more adaptible and can even be kept in hard, slightly alkaline water. Moenkhausia pittieri prefers tanks that have zones with tempered light, a dark soil, and some planted regions in the back, in between which the fish will swim and rest. Mostly the fish will inhabit the free swimming space in the middle of the tank, and the males will frequently display towards eachother, although fighting does not occur. Moenkhausia pittieri can be kept with other fish that have similar requirements, although the tank shouldn't be overcrowded. If fully grown and kept under the right circumstances the fish are very pretty.
Feeding: Omnivorous, all food is taken. Live insects are a special treat for the fish.
Size:Up to 6.5 cm.
Breeding: If a suitable pair is placed in a small breeding tank with little light, soft acidic water, and a substrate(plants, green or blue cotton) spawning will take place. The parents should be removed or else they will eat the eggs. At a temperature of 26 degrees the eggs will hatch after 1-1.5 days, and be free swimming after another 3-4 days. Moenkhausia pittieri fry are small, and can only be fed with infusoria in the first week. If fed well, and combined with frequent waterchanges, the fry can grow quite fast.
Sexual dimorphism:Best seen in the elongated dorsal fin of males.
Prices: Netherlands: 2 €
Picture references: Pictures by E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.
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Thanks go out to Jan Bukkems for explaining the etymology of the fish.
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