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This website is dedicated to Ol'Conrad.  He passed away shortly after Christmas, 2013.  He had made stupendous contributions to our hobby through his dedicated and careful breeding of aquatic animals.  He was a good friend and best buddy of Pete's and will not only be missed greatly by Pete, the hobby will forever have lost a valuable friend and asset. But his progeny will live on forever in his memory.


For you who do not know what Furcata are, this page will open a whole new world of fishdom.  For those who do know please enjoy.  Those who do know are probably already somewhat knowledgeable about an individual, Mr. Gary Lange, AKA  as Rainbowfish.   Furcata are Rainbowfish  and Gary is the topmost collector and knowledgeable person of Rainbowfish.  I hope he will contact me, and offer us an article that he wrote about breeding this beautiful remarkable fish.

Meanwhile, until we hear from Gary ( who might be on an expedition searching for unknown varieties as I write this ) I will give you the pleasure of what Rainbowfish are all about and whet your appetite. The majority of the information is from Gary from information I was able to goggle. While you read thru the information and gaze at his photos please have clicked on the video and listen to the music. It so is fitting for Furcata! AND if you like me, love this version go to the artist website, http://www.izhawaii.com/store/ (Heard from Gary, he said he has written one but just where it is at the moment?? So meanwhile, I search the net for it too.  If anyone happens to know - let us know. I would love to get much of his knowledge all in one swell place. )
 
CHILATHERINA ALLENI WAPOGA RIVER While we were sloshing 
through the tiny mud creeks to collect our prized 
“Wapoga Red Laser” Melanotaenia rainbowfish we were also 
collecting this beautiful yellow with red finned 
Chilatherina alleni. 

This fish also appeared on the front cover of the Rainbowfish Aqualog and has been lusted after by rainbowfish enthusiasts for almost 10 years. Our wild caught fish are just getting big enough to start showing some of the amazing colors that we saw on the too large to keep adult fish. 

The larger adults in addition to a brilliant yellow body and red tipped fins also had a sort of “red-dyed” look on portions of their body, like they had been red-stained just below their dorsal.

I look at this fish and remember the pain it took to bring it
 back but it's beauty makes it worth doing all over again. 

Easy to keep and breed like most other rainbowfish. 
Give them plenty of quality water changes and this fish 
will shine. G.W. Lange
Melanotaenia maccullochi – location “Eubenangee Swamp”. 

This is one of the smaller rainbowfish, getting only to a little over 2 inches in length. Like all rainbowfish easy to keep and breed, just change the water and feed them quality foods.  G.W. Lange
The “Wapoga Red Laser” is a brilliant neon blue on the top portion of it’s body with a hint of electric violet near the head. But what truly makes this fish remarkable are the three bold red laser stripes that rip through the blue field showing that it is indeed a very unique rainbowfish. 

You might recognize it as a fish that appeared on the front cover of the Rainbowfish Aqualog as M. praecox. However DNA results have shown that it is a different species. To obtain these 
fish we went by outrigger along the coast for six hours and then almost another 7 hours up the rivers until they became too narrow to go any further. 

At daybreak we started our walk to the collecting area while our boat captain broke camp. 
Little did we know that the river at camp had rapidly dropped and captain made the decision to move the boat before it would become hopelessly stuck. He moved it many miles downstream! 

After we got back to our abandoned camp we had to walk 5 hours through a jungle with no paths to rejoin the boat, arriving just minutes before sunset. I think when you see this fish for 
yourself swimming in your aquarium you will know that the effort was worth it. G.W. Lange
PSEUDOMUGIL GERTRUDAE I brought this fish over to the US several 
years ago. It was one of the wonderful rainbowfishes that Heiko 
collected on the Aru islands. 

This is a gertrudae from the Aru Islands so they are considered “New Guinea” fish instead of the normal Australian gertrudaes that we normally see. 

They differ from other varieties of gertrudae as they have a very long, and some of the time, yellow, in the extended first ray of their anal fin. On some of the fish it’s white. 

The same holds for their elongated pelvic fins. Most of the time they have the top and bottom of their caudal fin tipped in gold. This characteristic hasn’t been fixed yet and the wild populations exhibit double tipped, single tipped and no tipped fins. All have a nice golden sheen in their body color. 

These fish do well on live baby brine shrimp and as they grow larger 
appreciate an occasional feeding of small live black worms or white worms.  G.W. Lange

CHILATHERINA AXELRODI These fish are quite rare. They grow really slow so you must be patient! They get to about 4 inches in size. 

Perhaps a little bit touchier than other rainbowfish, not sure why they haven’t stayed around because they are quite nice. 

I haven’t captured any images of the bigger fish in spawning colors but they were pretty nice almost 2 years ago as you can see by these photos and even nicer now when the boys are chasing the girls. 

These guys do quite nicely in a planted 
tank and will really show off their true colors that way. G.W. Lange

well crapsinfraps --  Our web host is giving me fits today,  I have lots more to do - but I am sick of it for now.  Keep checking back.  Karen
G.W.Lange
It is now many days later, Turkey Day was here and is still in my belly. Nice day with family and friends. Hope it was for you too this year, 2013.  Anyhow, here I am and my goal is to get up for you an article Mr. Rainbow put together.  The koolest thing about Rainbowfish is a person can buy the fish, breed 'em if ya want, or hey how about this - just buy some eggs.  So, here ya go what to do with the eggs once ya get em.
Hatching Rainbowfish Eggs - By Gary Lange

I really didn't want to put this under the "General Discussion" heading because this is a technique that I've perfected over many years. It enables members of the various clubs from all over the country to be able to hatch and raise my rainbowfish from the egg kits that I bring them. I tease that I can even get a "cichlid person" to successfully raise rainbowfish eggs to adult fish if they take the time to read and follow my instructions. It's not rocket science but like raising a lot of fish it is a little bit different. If you follow these instructions you'll get maximum hatch and optimal growth from your "bows". Unfortunately so many of the rainbowfish that are offered at the local pet store don't look anything like the originals. If you want the "good stuff" you have to seek out someone who keeps their rainbowfish uncrossed and pure like the original fish.


Typical Egg Kit – Contains Vial of eggs 40-60, 1 vial of micro-food, detailed instructions



















Rainbowfish eggs are easy to hatch and the fry aren't too very difficult if you know the right tricks. Buying a mop or a vial of eggs at an auction is an easy way to obtain a whole aquarium full of these amazing fish. There's nothing more beautiful than a tank full of lacustris or boesemani rainbows. Before you get started… If you have obtained multiple vials of eggs. Hatch them separately and raise the fry separately. Different species grow at different rates and the big ones will eat the small ones! Make sure you write down the name of the species on the tank AND in your log somewhere in case you lose the label. There are lots of blue rainbows and yellow rainbows so asking me to ID by memory that yellow rainbow that you bought two years ago will not get you anywhere!

This is a method for hatching small amounts of eggs in shallow trays. You'll need a small shallow tray that holds about two to three cups of water. If your water is soft (< ~ 70 ppm GH) you'll need a little bit of crushed shell or coral to add to the hatching tray and perhaps a pinch of aquarium salt. Do not use acriflavine in the water. Add 1-2 cups of warm (80-82 degrees F) freshly dechlorinated water. Don't use aged tank water as it contains lots of bacteria and fungi, which can destroy your eggs. A higher hatching temperature promotes fungus & lower temperatures end up losing eggs. Too low of a temperature and the fungus might end up getting them again. It’s definitely a Goldilocks situation but with a heater in the tank it’s easy to get it “just right”. Carefully add the eggs to the tray, taking a few minutes to acclimate them, especially if the temperatures or water conditions are very different. Our St. Louis County water is 125 ppm GH and 2 degrees KH. I have removed all of the infertile eggs by soaking them overnight in a light solution of Methylene Blue. If the eggs are infertile they turn blue. Fertile eggs exclude the blue.

Eggs of Pseudomugil furcata – eggs that are blue are infertile.
http://www.aka.org/wako/Schedule.html

Gary has been keeping fish since he was 10 and has been associated with the organized hobby 
for the last 27 years. He is an active member of the Missouri Aquarium Society (MASI). 

His passion for fish photography started when he realized that there weren’t any pictures of 
the fish that interested him the most, rainbowfish. He has had photos published in FAMA, TFH 
and AFI. In 2006, he published an article on digital fish photography in AFI. He recently 
provided most of the photos for a new book by Mike Hellweg, published by TFH on live foods.  
Gary’s presentation Digital Fish Photography - for fun and profit, will also take you through 
some hands on “how to do this” computer part of digital photography. A lot of people have questions on how to cut down that great 12 million pixel photo to something I can mail to someone or use in a PowerPoint presentation.

On the rainbowfish side of the equation he has been keeping rainbows since 1984. In 2002 he was 
the first to import eight new rainbowfish from the world explorer, Heiko Bleher, including the 
Millennium rainbow, the Zigzag and the dwarf parva rainbowfish. In 2003 he made his second trip to 
Australia and did some more collecting while there. In 2005 he took the rainbowfish collectors 
dream trip – collecting in Irian Jaya (New Guinea). He made another trip back in 2008. He is currently 
running almost 100 tanks and keeping about 40 varieties of rainbows and blue-aeyes.


for tons of picts http://www.rainbow-fish.org/forums/index.php





CHILATHERINA FASCIATA This fasciata has a lot more yellow in it than any other of the fasciatas that I’ve seen to date.

 These get four plus inches in size
 and look fantastic in a planted tank. 

Make sure you include a lot of vegetable matter in their diet. 

I loved collecting this fish as the water was cool and clear. G.W. Lange
Eggs of Melanotaenia trifasciata location “Wonga Creek” with measurements
.Eggs from Glossolepis wanamensis – they are much smaller than Pseudomugil eggs and the fry and much smaller. The light blue eggs are infertile.


Separate them as much as possible with an eyedropper, toothpicks or fine point tweezers if they are clumped together. If one egg funguses, remove it before it spreads to another. Protect the tray from strong light. Make sure you keep it warm though, 80-82 F. You can float the tray in the aquarium that you are going to use for the hatched fry or place it in a warm spot in your fish room. A freshly prepared bare 5 or 10 gallon tank makes for a good raising tank. Just add a seasoned sponge filter and you’re set. Change the water in the tray at least once every other day. Large rainbowfish eggs take from 7-11 days to hatch from when they were laid. Pseudomugils (Blue-eyes) can take as long as 19-22 days. As soon as the fry hatch use an eyedropper or cup to transfer them. Then acclimate them to the fry-raising tank.

This is the type of sandwich tray that works quite nice. Float it in the tank that the fry are going to be in or incubate where the temperature will be 80-82 F. 

Closeup of some more rainbowfish eggs. Eyed up ones ready to hatch, some in earlier development and some just laid and starting to develop.
Image
Start feeding the fry small amounts of their first food immediately, they don’t have much of an egg yolk sac so if you wait, they will die! I like to use 2.5-5 gallon tanks for 12-50 fry. Be careful with the 2.5 gallon tank it is easy to lose water quality in a tank this small. If you have a lot of fry go to the 5-gallon size or even a 10-gallon. A ten is what I most often use if I'm hatching a large mop of eggs. 

It is important that the temperature of this fry-raising tank be at least 80 degrees F, preferably 82 degrees F. Water cooler than 78 degrees will result in a loss of most of the fry in a few days. I have raised fry in temperatures as high as 88 degrees F without any problems. Higher temperatures actually help them grow faster. 

Add a few snails and an established sponge filter to the fry tank. Bubble the sponge filter VERY SLOWLY! Rainbowfish fry live at the top 1/8-inch of the water for their first few days and they will soon drown in "the surf" that you produce by heavy aeration. 

For a first food you can use green water (say some), vinegar eels (great, but time consuming) or use what I use. There is a fry food by Ocean Star called APR (Artificial Plankton Rotifer) that is perfect for rainbows. Sprinkle a little on the surface; don't mix it in the water. Feed twice a day, if possible more often. Golden Pearls, 5-50 micron size is just as good too. You can get it at Brine Shrimp Direct & Ken’s Fish. 

In three to seven days they will be ready to eat newly hatched brine shrimp. Your goal is to get them to eat LIVE baby brine shrimp as soon as possible so they will thrive. Make sure all of the fish have orange bellies before you stop feeding the micro-food. Also remember that the eggs might have been produced on different days so some of the fry might be several days older than their siblings.

I also alternate other first foods with APR or feed a powder mix including Chlorella powder, (health food store) spirulina, (not as good as Chlorella though) and Astaxanthin powder (NatuRose, BS direct), which really brings out the reds early in red colored fish. Can't find APR. Call Wet Thumb Aquatics (586) 725-0960. Buy the three-ounce size, it will last a long time. Keep it in a tightly sealed container in your freezer, just a bit in the fish room as it does go bad, same advice for all of the mentioned powdered foods. 

Go easy on the feedings but the snails should clean up the excess. If you feed too much siphon off the bottom debris. I usually like to wait about two weeks before I do the first water change (about 20%), which is then performed every 4-5 days. *** Make sure the water your add back is the same temperature as the fry are very temperature sensitive. 

Once they get about 6 weeks old I increase the percentage of water changed to 30%/week especially with a large hatch. For non-rainbows I would most likely be performing weekly 50% water changes. If you can remember to do smaller frequent water changes your bows will reward you with good growth. Rainbows certainly grow slower than most tropical fish but if you keep doing your water changes and keep them warm they will be producing their own eggs in 6-8 months. 

For hatching eggs in a mop I do basically the same thing except I add the mop directly to the rearing tank with fresh dechlorinated water. A slight amount of bubbling to avoid surface scum is all that is needed until they are hatched, and then you can add a sponge filter. 

Once the young juveniles reach about 1 to 1.25 inches in length I start backing off of the temperature, especially if I have raised them in the high eighties. Somewhere between 74 and 78 is fairly ideal for juveniles and most adults. Many of your adult rainbows will actually do better at even lower temperatures but most can thrive in temperatures anywhere between 70 and 80 degrees.

In Review:
1) Put the eggs in a tray, change the water at least every other day with fresh dechlorinated water.
2) As soon as a rainbowfish hatches move it to the raising tank (82-84 degrees)
3) Feed Golden Pearls 5-50 u or APR immediately. Up to 10 days, depending on the species before they eat live BBS.
4) Change 20% of the water after 2 weeks, SAME TEMP or you will kill them!
5) More changes the better but keep them small with young fish.
6) Lower the temps and move to a bigger tank when they are ~1.5 inches.

With just a little work up front you can have an aquarium full of constantly moving color. There are still SO many new species of rainbowfish that haven’t even been discovered yet! So by all means do a little practicing so you can have a whole school of these magnificent creatures. There's always a new one just around the corner that will tickle your fancy.
Gary
Three of Pete's spawning mops. 
Meanwhile until Gary finds the article, time permitting or until you or I get it Googled here is
a nice site to visit with tons of info.  I am not recommending this site just letting you know it is available          http://www.perthaquarium.com.au/popups/regenbogenfische.phtml
There is tons of information on the web on how and why to use spawning or breeding mops for fish.  I was originally going to put the instructions here but, geesh I am so lazy today so here is a good place to look.  I rather enjoy the humor.   http://fish-etc.com/knowledge/1174-2

Most pictures you see of these mops are green and believe me, there is not an unwritten law about these mops must be made out of green.  Use purple if that is your color.  The fish could care less.  Some say green works ( not the fish, people ) because the eggs are easier to spot.  I think any dark color would work.  But, who am I?

Yarn comes in various materials.  I believe a acrylic would be best as it does not rot in the water.

Here are some photos from world famed aquariest and their mops.  Some times Pete's hair looks like a mop but, that is not what I am talking about.
You do not need to use a book, you can use a sturdy piece of cardboard cut to the size you want.  Gary just wants you to notice the book.
I wonder if Gary got his yarn on sale after Christmas?