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post #61 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 10:52 PM
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@NotCousteau yes this is an "Alien" and I believe he's from Frank's. That's what the vendor said. I picked him up at the expo The Aquatic Experiencnce in Meadowlands NJ a few weeks ago. Couldn't resist.

One thing you should know in advance is that these fish are quite shy and will never be "interactive" like the typical domestic Betta Splendens - the ornamental type.

The wild types are just that - their disposition is like that of a Coy Dog. They may be domestically bred but they're rather feral in nature

They need a *heavily* planted tank to feel secure, otherwise they'll just hide all the time. .

Frank feeds nothing but live daphnia and fortunately I have some but that's all the fish would eat for the first month.

Now he's been weaned to Dr.Bassleer's Bio Fish food and he loves it. They're the only pellets that are small enough.

Bear in mind these are very small fish - *much* smaller than your typical Betta Plakatt for example. Small and shy.

My fish is just starting to come around but it took a month.

Just wanted to let you know if you don't have experience with wild fish it will be a learning curve, but he's a beautiful fish. He also liked frozen brine shrimp from the beginning if you don't have live food. But teaching him that pellets are food was a process for sure.

I wouldn't pay the fee to import one. There's a place in CA that gets them in regularly. They're called Coast Gem I think? I would call them and ask when the next shipment is coming in. I think it's a rip off to pay the transshipper and all of that. If I've got the name wrong let me know I'll find it.

There's another local guy on eBay I can get you that info too.

A note about the color - my fish Rigel is technically Turquoise I think, but sometimes he looks bluer and sometimes he looks green depending on the light. If you get a steel colored fish it won't have this effect. I'll see if I can attach pics of his color changes It's very cool.

And with all wild types they're prone to jumping so keep the lid on.

Hope this info helps and feel free to ask me anything.

I think Frank takes nice pics and the "Aliens" metallic sheen is beautiful but I don't think Frank paints a realistic picture of what it's like to keep them. So if you're looking for your typical social and interactive betta these guys may not be for you.

Apologies for the crappy cell phone pics. I need a real camera. But these are the same fish lol.

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Thank you for all of the great information and additional photos! That betta is beautiful. I was looking for a blue one like yours, too.

I've kept wild-caught native fish (minnows, dace, darters) before, but surprisingly, they adapted to aquarium life like champs and were always out and about and ate flake and pellet food like machines even though there were no non-native, non-wild-caught fish to teach them. They also had no fear of fishnets and would swim right into them. I'm guessing that was because they were wild-caught and didn't go through captive breeding and care with nets or weren't wild-caught across the world and didn't encounter nets through transportation, etc.?

Good go know about the tank setup and feeding for these guys. I culture daphnia outside, which won't help me much if I do get this betta this time of year. The transhipper fee for me is only $5 through the local guy here, because I believe he's already importing Thai bettas for his shop.

How big is your betta and do you keep it with anything?

Thanks.
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post #62 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 11:15 PM
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If your transshipper fee is only $5.00 that's great!

Funny about your wilds Lol.

I've got my daphnia in a big tote outside in the garden it's still warm enough here in NYC but in a month I may have to switch to grindle worms.

Check out the Dr. Bassleer BioFood you have to email them for the US distributor. I've got "size medium" but they're perfect for the Alien.

Bassleer is a German fish pathologist and this stuff is 59% protein and even the Alien loves it. I really wanted him to graduate to pellets so I can go on vacation!

I'm attaching the ingredient list and the email and no I don't work for Bassleer. The price is similar to NLS.

Pic I just took he looks blue - but again half the time he looks green. If you don't care for all the color changes I'd let Frank know exactly what you want.

Keep me posted we can compare Alien notes and sorry for the temp hijack @minorhero !

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post #63 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 11:32 PM
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Thank you, @nature Freak!
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post #64 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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No worries about the hijack, I always thought hijacks were kinda fun personally

I really like the aliens and seriously considered getting one for my Spec V but the koi type bettas hit all the right betta buttons for me

I am definitely hoping my eastern blacknose dace end up being super docile when it comes to tank companions. I would like to eventually keep them with ghost shrimp. Right now they are such voracious eaters I worry if I could get the ghost shrimp past the surface before they were all completely eaten.

While on that note, I was really happy with eastern blacknose dace until today when I saw a picture of mountain redbelly dace. Now I am wondering how far away the nearest population of those guys is to me, because they looked amazing.

Here is a picture I found online for reference:

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post #65 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 12:39 AM
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I know it's kind of generic to suggest... but... what about a nice group of male Endlers? Or even male Guppies of some sort?

Or if you decide to go colorless, there's always Heterandria formosa. They'd do well in a vase like that.


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post #66 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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I know it's kind of generic to suggest... but... what about a nice group of male Endlers? Or even male Guppies of some sort?

Or if you decide to go colorless, there's always Heterandria formosa. They'd do well in a vase like that.
I actually have some endlers in my spec v. I like them but I have also done them at this point. I really enjoy having different fish species and getting to see how they behave in the aquascapes I create. I kind of became somewhat fascinated with the ricefish when watching videos on youtube of folks that have them. That they have been kept as pets for the last 300 years is pretty amazing. Plus they breed easily and are hard to get in this country which means there might be some breeding for profit options for me to help offset the cost of the hobby.

And anyway... UPDATE:

UPS guy dropped off a box almost immediately after I made my last post. Here is what was inside it:



They are fry! Heh, I thought I was getting juveniles that were much further along in their development but looking back at my email communication with the seller I see that he did indeed tell me they were fry. The picture he sent me that I previously posted must have been of the parents.

Here is the breeder box I put them till the bowl is ready for them:



They are essentially impossible to photograph at this point, so it will be a little while before I can get a clear image of them. When I put them in that breeder box I discovered that one of my dace had previously jumped into that box and I didn't know it. Getting him fished out before he could eat my crazy hard to get ricefish was an interesting moment.

Anyway they are all in place and at least some of them are eating so there is that.

And now that they finally came, a word about my search for ricefish.

I started my ricefish search when I first ordered my bowl from the glass blower. So its been about 3.5 months now. There are some websites that have sold them in the past but are currently out of stock. I contacted them anyway. No luck.

I then started daily searches of aquabid and e bay No luck.

This went on for a few months. I would search different terms such as ricefish, rice fish, medaka (japanese for ricefish), oryzias, and oryzias latipes. No luck.

I saw a video from SerpaDesign where he got some ricefish from Lucas Bretz so I reached out to him. No Luck.

I found a japanese facebook page called Medaka and Miniature Garden that claimed to sell eggs and ship internationally. But their last post was from 2017. I contacted them. No luck.

Nature Freak went to Aquatic Experience on a mission for me and provided contact information for a fish farm that might have them. But around this time I also got really desperate and started emailing everyone that had even a loose association with ricefish.

It paid off. One of my inquiries was to a facebook group in the UK. They were unable to ship me any eggs or fish but one member mentioned that there should be someone in Hawaii that sells medaka through aquabid. I had been searching aquabid daily and there were no orange or tri-color medaka for sale but there was someone from Hawaii selling blue ricefish. I sent a direct email to him and to my great relief he had the ricefish I purchased. He had purchased his fish as fry direct from japan and was willing to send me the fry I now have.

I am absolutely thrilled that the whole thing came through. Now I just need to not kill these little fellas and I will be good to go!
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post #67 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 02:40 AM
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That betta is really nice. Gonna have to search for similar after the one Ive got passes (not anytime soon, he is a tough ol fish thats been thru alot but older now and slowing down).


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post #68 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 02:43 AM
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Ricefish were relatively popular in the hobby in 2012/2013. I had a 20gal tank of them that I documented for a while here on the forum. I'll try to dig that thread up to share. Still occasionally see them in Louisville stores and have seen them recently when checking out shops in DC/MD/VA. Were pretty cheap. So they've gotta be coming in via common suppliers.

May be worth asking the shops you frequent if their suppliers can provide them.

Their popularity ebbs and flows but you should have no problem selling them if yours end up breeding well.
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post #69 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 03:21 AM
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Hey great news about the fry congratulations! Awesome score

What are you feeding them?

I have a soft spot for Koi as well - my favorite betta was a big Koi

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post #70 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 03:26 AM
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@Quint thanks but I hope your guy has many days ahead of him.

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post #71 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 03:35 AM
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Im sure he will, the inlaws bought him for the kiddos. He then had a major attack of fin rot/fungus which took out most of his flowing fins. Got him over that and they grew back. Then he got a 10G to live in. The daughter then brought home a female koi. She beat him to within inches of not making it. Didnt realize she was going to be so aggressive. Had to rehome her and he recovered. He was never quiet the same after that. Has all his fins back and is a fat little trooper though.

Those koi bettas are pretty cool looking fish. The female we had was very nice looking and wish I could have kept her but didnt have the ability to setup another tank and she was so aggressive toward other fish, primarily other bettas but others also.


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post #72 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Hey great news about the fry congratulations! Awesome score

What are you feeding them?

I have a soft spot for Koi as well - my favorite betta was a big Koi

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Right now I am feeding them tetra color flakes ground very fine. I really wasn't prepared for fry so I will need to go buy some first bites today.

As to the market for ricefish. Well I honestly have no idea, most people have never heard of them. Its in my favor that I got a reasonably desirable breed assuming they color up as nicely as I am expecting them to. Right now only the two largest fry have any color on them. I am guessing my fish range in the 2 - 3 week age right now. They can apparently start breeding as early as 3 months of age so it won't be too long before I have an idea as to the quality of their coloring.
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post #73 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Update!

Its fill day. With the fish here and them being so darn small I really wanted to get the process started for moving them to their new home. I am leary of my dace jumping into my breeding box... again. Here is the bowl before filling:



I have dirt and sts in this bowl and both cloud the water something awful when disturbed so I knew I wanted to fill the bowl very very slowly. I therefore set up a siphon using airline tube.

That did work.... but dang it was slow. I got impatient and setup a siphon using airline tube and a rubber tube with 3/8" inner diameter. That worked perfectly. Here is how that looked:



After the first bucket was in the bowl it was time to plant my Rotala. My local fish store labeled it Rotala Bossii but its been getting pinkish/red at the top which made me think it was not bossii. If anyone can confirm what it is I would appreciate it. I had been growing this stuff in my quarantine tank and already had trimmed the tops once and replanted. I pulled the best looking tops and boy howdy were the roots long. I almost as long as the plants were tall. I pinched off most of those roots and set them aside:



Then I planted. It was pretty easy because the bowl actually spins reasonably well on its base so I could turn it around and plant the back without issue.

5 juvenile blue ramshorn snails are the first inhabitants:



Some random debris floated up and I used a cup to skim the surface. And now here is how it looks:



The distortion at the widest point is pretty awful, something I did not really experience when the bowl was dry. But its possible to move your head around to see above and below it. Other then that its looking pretty good. As things settle in I will get better pictures.

I will do my water changes over the next few weeks. By tomorrow I should be able to get an idea what is leeching and what is not. One fear I had was that my wood would float. That wonderfully was not an issue. The base of the wood has been sitting in a pool of water for the last several weeks and I have been spraying the rest with water several times a day. Plus I boiled it first which is where I truly give the credit, but its still nice to see it was not a problem.

Once I can confirm my bowl is cycled, which I expect it is, I will add some shrimp. Going to go with yellow neos because I hear they breed reasonably true. Plus one adult amano. Once the shrimp are in and healthy for at least a week I will add the fry.
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post #74 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 06:17 PM
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Wow looks great! Good job

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post #75 of 128 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 06:22 PM
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@Quint yes the female Splendins can be just as aggressive as the males definitely can't be kept with males unless breeding.

Here's a pic of our Koi his name is "Maki" short for Uramaki.

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