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Belonesox belizanus belizanus
, Kner, 1860
Topminnow, Pike killifish, Pike livebearer, Pike top livebearer, Pike topminnow


Origin: Southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Here the fish occur in shallow, densley grown dirty water.

Etymology: Unk.

Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) Order: Cyprinodontiformes Family: Poeciliidae (poeciliids) Subfamily: Poeciliinae

Synonyms: None.

First European import: Germany, 1909, by Carl Siggelkow.

Description: See picture.

Care: Definitely not suited for the average community tank! Large tanks(1m or larger)with plants in between the fish will hide. Giant vallisneria and floating plants are a possiblity. Belonesox belizanus occupies the higher regions of the tank, where it will stand between plants waiting for prey to swim by. The fish require hard basic water, with some salt added to it, and good filtration. In this type of tank the fish will breed as well. Up to a 100 fry of 2-3 cm are born every 4-6 weeks, which can grow really fast. Remove the parents or the fry if you plan on raising some fry. In this type of tank it's possible to keep the fish together with guppies, and create a kind of equilibrium(As long as the large females are protected a bit). The fish can also be kept together with larger cichlids.

Temperature: 25-30 degrees.fry at 6 cm

Feeding: Predator, lot's of large live food and fish.

Size:Males 12 cm, females up to 20cm.

pH: 6.5-8.5 Hardness: 9-19 DH

Breeding:See care.

Sexual dimorphism:Females are larger, the spot at the tail base is clearer in males. At the base of the anal fin females display some red.

Prices: Netherlands: 8€

Additional: The fish is a nice example of Darwin's evolution theory, that a niche if available will be occupied. The fish have been introduced in Southern florida. A subspecies exists, Belonesox belizanus maxillosus Hubbs, 1936.

Picture references:Picture 1: E. Naus

References:

Frey, H.(Unk): Het grote aquariumboek. Edition III, revised by A. van den Nieuwenhuizen. Neumann Verlag, Radebeul, Germany.

Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.Sterba, G.(1979): Aquariumvissen. Elsevier Nederland B. V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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