Best Source of Threadfin Rainbows? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Best Source of Threadfin Rainbows?

I have seen threadfins at a few LFS. They all of entirely different coloration. One exhibited almost no coloration. Another was hot pink. Yet another shipment was more yellow-orange. In our tank, the threadfins will be the "large" centerpiece fish, with clown killies and CPD as the only other fish. Does anyone know where to find a good and colorful line of threadfins? I have read that the colors vary considerably based on collection point. Here are a few examples from Google showing how much the color can vary. It is somewhat more complicated by the stress and diet of the fish at the LFS, but I would rather buy from a known source and reduce the risk of possible duds. Ideally we would like a line with good blacks and tones in the reds/pinks instead of yellows/oranges. I also want a source that will sell pairs or females. Many LFS around me will only sell males. I understand the females are not as attractive, but I would like to try my hand at breeding in the future. Thinking 3 pair.



Red/pink, even going into the body.



Little coloration:
Yellow/orange:




Here is a current sale showing nearly clear tail:

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 12:43 AM
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I would inquire for breeders at your local aquarium society- or the nearest large town within driving distance.
You can buy fish directly from these breeders. These fish will be healthy and robust and comparable/less in price than local fish store. .

I just recently picked up some Gary Lange stock unexpectedly at a local aquatic society meeting from another member.
In your area, if there are not people breeding this reputable line of rainbows directly, Im sure they will know someone that is. It really worth it to put the extra time into sourcing strong, well-bred stock of any fish.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 01:24 AM
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I only wish I'd worked with these with a little dedication now, same with chili rasboras. I put a hundred of each in a 125 display and watched them breed/spray eggs every water change. Did manage to grow up chilies but don't recall if the threadfins didn't breed in my 20 gallon breeders or if I screwed up with the fry. AFAIK any you get from a shop are coming in as WC imports. I never saw batches that were dramatically different from each other, but my eyesight is poor at best close up. Yeah I know, and now I'm into micro shrimp.

Threadins are the only species in the genus Iriatherina, but we all know taxonomy is as the French say, "crappe," and there might well be 8 distinct species when all is said and done. But little attention is given as far as non important food fish and minnows go. My gut feeling is that any you can get your hands on will color up and look amazing when settled in and fed properly. I don't know if it exists any longer but Piscine Energetics PE myiasis were THE BOMB for mine -and when of any species fry went from wrigglers to free swimming. Nothing compared and then it went unavailable. I let my contract with them lapse years ago but think I'd have heard if they had it again.

But this is an adult fish small enough to relish live baby brine shrimp, and feeding them pods and these may not be needed but I doubt my own would have stayed in breeding condition without. I just happened to culture it for other things at the time. If you can get CBB fishes (captive born/bred) that's nothing but a bonus. I hope someone at your closest club has them, but if not, talk to rainbow breeders -they WILL know someone. And just an aside but........ just pay what breeders at your auctions/meetings are asking. If you want a group that's one thing, obviously. "What would you take for the lot ?" is fine. Few things ever irked me more and made me remember a person more than them looking at my homebred and now sexable Apistos and saying... "$40 a pair... would you take $25?" But something tells me you would never be that guy and I'm a jerk for even saying it.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 01:30 AM
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If the stock for these fish at LFS are primarily wild-caught, why do people speak of the low genetics of the stock and warn not to buy this type of Rainbow?
That doesn't make sense.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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But this is an adult fish small enough to relish live baby brine shrimp, and feeding them pods and these may not be needed but I doubt my own would have stayed in breeding condition without. I just happened to culture it for other things at the time. If you can get CBB fishes (captive born/bred) that's nothing but a bonus. I hope someone at your closest club has them, but if not, talk to rainbow breeders -they WILL know someone. And just an aside but........ just pay what breeders at your auctions/meetings are asking. If you want a group that's one thing, obviously. "What would you take for the lot ?" is fine. Few things ever irked me more and made me remember a person more than them looking at my homebred and now sexable Apistos and saying... "$40 a pair... would you take $25?" But something tells me you would never be that guy and I'm a jerk for even saying it.

Yeah, the reason we are getting these are to go with our shrimp tank. I understand almost any fish can eat baby shrimp, but I want to minimize the adults being eaten. We already cultivate paramecium, vinegar eels, baby brine, and springtails for our other fish as live food, so the rainbows will get a mix of those plus crushed flake. I try to feed one live meal and one dry each day.



I will plan to reach out to my local aquarium society to see who is breeding them locally. Sounds like Gary Lange's line is one of the most desirable.
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Last edited by ohaple; 08-20-2019 at 11:03 PM. Reason: ...
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 05:06 PM
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I think you're on the right track and they should do great for you especially with an abundance of live food. And yeah, no threat at all to even sub-adult shrimp.

I haven't checked in on the Charlotte Area Aquarium Society in a while and tried to earlier today to see if I could find anyone who knew folks breeding them. Unfortunately the last post on their forum was in 2015.

And @Discusluv, agree. Unless these are being pond bred in SE Asia at numbers larger than I am aware of, most on lists back in my day were WC. And weak genetics should be no concern with anything wild caught.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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I think you're on the right track and they should do great for you especially with an abundance of live food. And yeah, no threat at all to even sub-adult shrimp.

I haven't checked in on the Charlotte Area Aquarium Society in a while and tried to earlier today to see if I could find anyone who knew folks breeding them. Unfortunately the last post on their forum was in 2015.

And @Discusluv, agree. Unless these are being pond bred in SE Asia at numbers larger than I am aware of, most on lists back in my day were WC. And weak genetics should be no concern with anything wild caught.

I am not so much concerned with weak genetics as I am with a less attractive phenotype. The yellow/orange individuals are considerably less attractive to me. I do not have any experience with the species to determine whether the coloration is due to poor nutrition and stress, or is the actual color. Ideally I would like them to have bold reds and blacks. Maybe I just need to keep looking at local specimens to see what matches my criteria.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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I finally caved and got some locally from Aqua Imports. They have an online store as well. They import theirs and the group I bought are rather young. The males are about 1" and the females are maybe 3/4". Even being young they displayed good blacks and some pink/red, so I hope they will color up nicely. I also like that Aqua Imports sells by the pair. Many places import and sell only males.

Here are a couple of mediocre photos from when they were still in-bag. I have been feeding bug bites, baby brine, and vinegar eels to hopefully give them a good start while they are in quarantine.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 07:25 PM
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Did they color up nicely?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 11:45 PM
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Did they color up nicely?
I'd also like to know.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 03:12 AM
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I finally caved and got some locally from Aqua Imports. They have an online store as well. They import theirs and the group I bought are rather young. The males are about 1" and the females are maybe 3/4". Even being young they displayed good blacks and some pink/red, so I hope they will color up nicely. I also like that Aqua Imports sells by the pair. Many places import and sell only males.

Here are a couple of mediocre photos from when they were still in-bag. I have been feeding bug bites, baby brine, and vinegar eels to hopefully give them a good start while they are in quarantine.


You have this store locally?



Ive ordered from them a couple times online: some wild juvenile discus and some tetras. Excellent fish.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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You have this store locally?



Ive ordered from them a couple times online: some wild juvenile discus and some tetras. Excellent fish.
Yeah it's local to me. I frequently visit their shop over lunch. I think they have a store and a warehouse that are somewhat separate. It isn't as flashy as a couple of stores in the area, but they have the best selection of nano fish and larger exotic fish in our area. They seem not to carry as many "normal" fish to keep room for the unique ones. We got all of our nano fish from there as well as some shrimp and snails. I don't care for their plants though. They also have the best driftwood in the area.

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