this started at the beginning of the year. We were to meet a friend,
to buy some fish from him. Prior to the meeting, he informed me
he had some fish I might be interested in. He told me they were
called Channa orientalis, snakeheads. The only snakeheads
we had ever heard of were the "tank busters". He then
informed me they were dwarfs! I had to investigate. So onto the
Internet I went. Every picture I saw was of these fish that to
me were so ugly they were cute! So after investigating and talking
to my friend we decided to buy a few.
with his recommen-dation we decided to buy 12! We got them home
and placed them all in a 20-gallon long tank. He had told us that
they would grow fast. He was not lying!! They had to be split
up within 4 weeks of us having them. So we then had 6 in each
have found out since the arrival of these cute little guys that
in fact they are not C. orientalis. They are C. gachua.
The difference you ask? Well, we had some miss information and
have now found out that the difference is that C. orientalis
have no ventrals! Our first information was that some of them
do and some don't, which is incorrect. The C. gachua does
have them. Also, we are finding, according to pics we have seen,
that they C. gachua stay more gray with orange fin trim
in full spawn color and the C. orientalis look more blue.
The coloring, we are still not sure about though! Guess we need
to find some to buy!
little info on Channa gachua
are a dwarf snakehead and only reach a length of about 8."
When you purchase any, buy several. Because when they get ready
to mate, they pick there mate and they spawn with that mate for
life. So unless you know that the pair you are purchasing is a
proven pair, buy several. They are hard to sex. The female is
a little more robust than the male. They are aggressive and will
eat anything they can get in there mouth! They have beautiful
coloring! They are not real aggressive to there species unless
they are spawning. Then you want to make sure the pair has a tank
to themselves. They are mouthbrooders and the male will hold for
about 5-7 days. They are also good jumpers! When you keep them
together there are a couple of things you will want to do. Have
plenty of hiding places. But when you do the water changes, move
the items around. We do this so that they won't get to territorial
and as aggressive.
to the story!
we split them onto groups of 6, we then moved them to 30-gallon
breeder tanks. One day I noticed that a male was holding eggs!!
So we kept an eye on him. We knew he would only spawn with that
particular female, because they pair for life. The problem
out of the other 5 in the tank, we did not know which was the
female!! So we waited. About day 3 or 4, we noticed another fish
hanging around and acting like a guard. The other clue that she
was the one
. all the others were coward in the other corner
of the tank. So out of a plastic storage container we built a
make shift divider for the tank. With everyone in their corners
it made it kind of simple to remove the other fish and leave the
pair. Other attempts to do this procedure when other pairs mated
were not as successful! It was almost funny. But that is another
couple of days later we noticed the fry!! There was about 50-60
(normal spawn 150+) of them. What was so neat was that they were
all hanging around the base of dad's tail! They were there like
glue. The female was over in here corner relaxing. But if you
walked up to the tank or got close, the parents went into immediate
defense mode! I had to put some fry food in the tank and opened
the lid about 1 inch and the male came after me and actually came
out of the tank!
We found out that during the next week the parents did not eat
too much. When anyone ate it was usually the female. Another thing
we found out is that as long as the fry are in the tank, the pair
will not hurt them. But they also will not spawn again!
of our tanks and feeding them
tanks are usually about 80 degrees and the ph is usually about
7.0. We do regular water changes once a week. In the tank we have
some floating plants, a piece of driftwood for them to swim and
hide in, and some broken clay pots for them. Feeding is a wild
endeavor. The fry get baby brine shrimp and grindals for about
4 days. Then they go to mysis shrimp, bloodworms and flake. I
am in the process of training them. I tap on the glass lid before
I put food in. That way they know to start looking and I think
it makes feeding easier for them when they get to their new homes.
When the fry get bigger and on up to adults, they get bloodworms,
plankton, mysis shrimp, some pellets, cut up silversides, live
fish that we cull, and red wiggler worms.
still have the 12 we started with. Out of those 12, we have 3
pairs and each pair has had a successful spawn. We enjoy watching
the parents. But we really enjoy watching the fry grow and how
they interact with the parents. We have enjoyed watching these
so much that we now have 2 other species of dwarfs.