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Poecilocharax weitzmani



Poecilocharax weitzmani or black morph tetra are naturally found in water bodies in Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. The fish keep to a shallow current in channels running through the rainforest. The bottom is a mixture of mud, sand, fallen leaves and snags. Such places are usually in the shade of trees. The water usually contains dissolved minerals and is tea-coloured, thanks to the gradual release of tannins and organic acids by the decomposing plant materials at the bottom.

The Poecilocharax weitzmani was first described by the German aquarist Michael Schlüter in 1997. Generally an interesting fish, but very rarely found in aquarists' collections.

Poecilocharax weitzmani

Poecilocharax weitzmani has a grey-red body colouration. A broad black stripe runs along the central part of the body. The fins are translucent with slight dark mottling. Males are significantly more colorful than females, a little larger, and as they mature, they strongly develop anal and dorsal plumage. The size of the fish is 4-5 cm.

Poecilocharax weitzmani are predators by nature. The males are very territorial and aggressive towards each other. Therefore, if you want peace of mind in your aquarium, keep one pair of these fish. On the other hand, keeping the fish in a small group with two or more males makes watching them very interesting, especially when the males begin to compete with each other, fanning out all their fins - the spectacle is actually impressive. If possible, purchase more females than males, in this case, the attention of the males will be evenly distributed between them and they will not be overly obtrusive.

It is possible to keep Poecilocharax weitzmani in a common aquarium with commensurate and non-territorial fish. Smaller fish may become prey for the Peciloharax. Keeping one pair of fish requires an aquarium with a capacity of at least 50 liters.

Coarse-grained river sand should be used as substrate. Several snags and tree branches, placed in such a way that they form numerous shady areas, will bring the aquarium conditions as close to natural as possible. Pre-dried beech or oak leaves, which do not only look good, but also provide additional shelter for the fish, should preferably be placed in the bottom area. Pieces of plastic tubes of suitable diameter can be placed at the bottom, which also serve as shelter and potential spawning area.

Water parameters: temperature 21 - 28° C, hardness dH 0-5°, pH 3,5-6,5. Requires filtration, aeration and a weekly change of ¼ of the aquarium water with fresh. Do not introduce fish into biologically immature tanks that have not yet established biological equilibrium.

Poecilocharax weitzmani

Low lighting is preferable. Floating plants may be placed on the water surface as a natural light filter if it is difficult to reduce the lighting intensity. Please note that if you want to plant aquarium plants at the bottom, select species that can grow in these conditions.

The Poecilocharax weitzmani feeds on aquatic insect larvae, crustaceans and worms as well as juvenile fish. In aquariums, feed live and frozen daphnia, nauplii and bloodworms. Try not to overfeed the fish by feeding them in small portions 2 times per day.

Reproduction

Achieving spawning Poecilocharax weitzmani is quite difficult, but possible.

To stimulate spawning the water in the aquarium is made as soft as possible (dH 0-1°). The fish begin to intensively feed a variety of food several times a day. During the spawning period, each of the males select a shelter and protect it from rivals. During this period, the males become brightly coloured, while the females become darker, with a deep red anal fin. Females begin to show interest in the males' shelter and eventually swim into it.

The female usually lays her eggs on the ceiling of the chosen cave. The male guards the clutch and removes the unfertilized eggs.

Larvae hatch after 4-5 days and leave the shelter after about 2 days. It should be noted that male quite often, during egg incubation, mate with another female, but he does not forget about the first clutch.

Poecilocharax weitzmani

The fry are capable of eating Artemia nauplii practically from the first days of life. As soon as the fry swim away, the male or fry should be transferred to another aquarium.

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