Re: NANFA-- Mexican Yard Fish

Scott Davis (
Fri, 29 Mar 2002 15:04:31 -0600

Leo and Klaus have already put in a good word for the pupfishes and
goodieds - my favorites.

However there are also some really neat poecillids (sp?) from Mexico too. A
few have the gift of plain-ness. There are actually some pretty attractive
Gambusia species.

Some of the Xiphophorus exist surprisingly far north. A number of the platys
(other than the wild
maculatus). are intriguing (especially evelynae). There are a couple of
dwarf "swordtails" which are in the hobby such as the two color forms of
pygmaeus. There are a whole bunch of middle sized wild swords. Also on my
own "someday" list are a couple of very impressive large swords, X.
clemenciae, the Nessies - nezahualcoyotl and the "real" montezumae.

They are remarkably accomplished jumpers. There may be no genus known to
aquarists more notorious for hybridizing. So keep the tubs well separated
from them. (I imagine that like Rivulus, they could jump from tank to tank
or tub to tub.)

There are a number of sources for some of these creatures in addition to the
people already mentioned. The ALA convention convenes within a month in
Ohio. The Bay Area Killifish Association (San Francisco) now includes a
livebearer strand in their West Coast Weekend - coming up the third weekend
in April. Several general clubs, especially in Michigan and Ohio, are rich
in livebearers. If you can't attend any of those, recruit a deputy. is expensive but offers some surprises. Jim Atchison's High
Prairie farms has a few . Also there is a guy,
Dominick Isla, of the New World Livebearer Conservation Group, who raises
and sells lots of wild livebearers - out of Colorado I believe. His e-mail
address is .

Naturally I have no financial interest in any of the selling sources,
yada-yada ...

Pictures are available in the Baensch Foto Atlas. Good info is available in
the John Dawes book on livebearers. TFH has a good book out on swordtails
and platys and one of those coffee table atlases by Lothar Wischnath. Your
public library system (through interlibrary loans) or a general club could
probably make those and others available to you. Browse the livebearer sites
for more shots.

One could mention another little cichlid so prolific it puts the convict
cichlids to shame. And you would have as much trouble getting rid of them as
the Texas cichlids. However the rainbow cichlid, Herotilapia multispinosa is
a beautiful little omnivour and, although an adult may edge up on six
inches, begins spawning at very little over an inch.

Their teeth indicate an appreciation of veggie material - including duckweed
(hense their genus name). Loiselle describes one of their habitats in
stranded overflow pools as so warm and - ah - minerally and organically rich
that they have a reproductive advantage there over the larger (and probably
deceased) cichlids who would prey on them. No wonder they can take the abuse
of aquarists!

One set of questions begat others:

What kind of tubs are you using for fish outdoors? How do you keep local
varmints (skunks, possums, raccoons and kids) out and the fish in?

Also, what exactly is a freshwater clingfish ?

Thanks and all the best!

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