Giant Danio – Danio Balabaricus

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

Danio Balabaricus –  Giant Danio

By:  Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD


General Information on Giant Danio

The Giant Danio or Danio Balabaricus belongs to the family Cyprinidae and was first imported in 1909. breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. ReichAs its name   suggests, this is the largest of the Danios; it used to be known under the scientific name of Danio Malabaricus. The Giant Danios originates from southwestern parts of India and Sri Lanka.  It is pale blue in color with three or four pale yellow stripes or blotches   running down the sides of its body. The dominant individuals in a group of these fish will be the dominate male, and this fish should be selected for breeding.

Further, the body is slim, elongated, strongly compressed at the sides, and up to 4 inches   long. The back is steel-blue, the flanks greenish, behind the gills there are two to three   transverse golden bars, and the sides are decorated with blue and goldfish longitudinal   stripes. The male is usually smaller and has more distinctive coloring.  In the spawning   season he has orange pectoral fin.

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

In its natural surroundings in India, it is quite common and lives in clear, stagnant and running waters along the Malabar Coast, and grows up to 8 inches in length, but that would be an exceptional specimen even in a large stream. Tank raised specimens will rarely grow larger than 4 inches. The mouth has two sets of barbells, although captive specimens are usually missing the barbells on the upper jaw.

In spite of its large measurements, this fish can be kept with other, smaller species. An extremely peaceful fellow, it is very tolerant of other fishes in its environment. It very  much appreciates a little morning sunlight in its tank!


Sexing a Breeding Pair of Giant Danio

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

The sexes are easy to tell apart by the slimmer, more attractive appearance of the male, and the “stuffed” belly of the female. This Danio is known for its incredible speed,   noticeably faster than that of other species. It is practically impossible to remove this fish from a well planted community tank without creating a great deal of disorder, unless you take its flight direction into account and capture it between the net and the receiving jar or second net.


The Breeding Process of the Giant Danio

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

The breeders, 1 female and 2 females should be conditioned on live food and kept   separately for 7 to 10 days. Set up the breeding tank (at least 10 gallons, though 15 or 20   long is ideal) the same as with Zebra Danios, with the marble bottom, however, the water   depth needs to be 8 inches, and you must add several nice clumps of fine leaved plants.   The manner of fertilizing the eggs is characteristic of other Danios, and a steady   temperature of 75F t0 79F is great. However, during mating, the male pushes himself   against the female and brings his anal fin, which he has rolled up into a kink of a bag,   under the female’s anus.

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

The eggs are caught in this “bag” and are fertilized at once.   The male then scatters the fertilized eggs among the plants. The number of eggs per   meeting is small – only 5 to 20, but this process is repeated many times over about a 2   hour period and a total of 200 to as many as 400 eggs are produced fertilized and laid.

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

The eggs are clear as glass, not adhesive, so most will fall through the plants into the   marble base and be fully protected from the breeders. The eggs measure about 1mm in   diameter, much larger than the Zebra and its other close relatives. Once the breeders   activities have stopped remove the breeders at once.

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

After two days after the eggs have been laid, the first young fish appear. Depending on   various factors, however, it can take as long as a week before the last egg has hatched   out. Temperature is not the least of these factors.


Just How Hardy are the Giant Danio Fry

I once had an interesting experience with a group of Danio’s I was breeding (a trio of   Long fin Blue Leopard Danios). I set up the breeding tank in the usual way, and after a   day or so, I was convinced the fish had not bred. I thought, since they were a very fancy   strain, something had gone wrong and that they had failed to breed. I returned the   breeders to the conditioning tanks, and dumped the water in the tank, setting outside in   the cold, about 41F at night for a day, then brought the tank back in to prepare it for   breeding again, this time Fire Neons.

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

I decieded not to sterilize the marbles on the   bottom and to just fill the tank with fresh aged water. On the evening of the second day,   the tank was filled with the aged water, and readied for breeding. The temperature was   raised to 75F for breeding the Fire Neons and the breeders introduced the evening of the   fourth day. The next morning, when I was observing the behavior of the pair of Fire   Neons, I observed hundreds of slivers hanging from the glass sides of the tank. Not knowing what was actually going on I removed the Fire Neons. I did not know if the fry   were fast hatching Neons or what? I decided to raise the fry and as the days passed other fry appeared.

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich

I raised the young and both the Blue Longfined Leopard Danios and Fire Neons grew up   happy and healthy together! This shows that the fry of the Bracydanio and Danios   species are much heartier than anyone could have expected, left with nothing but the   slightest amount of moisture for over 24 hours and exposed to temperatures as low as   41F, the eggs survived and hatched with no ill effects. Further, that the fry learn to   survive in adversity, even when combined at birth with other species!

breeding the giant danil with Dr Thomas R. Reich


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Marimo balls

Marimo BallsMarimo Balls; the Myths and Facts

We were asked a question that needs to be answered in more than one line.  When we have such a question I like to make it into a blog, and let everyone share in the answer.


From: Lynda Pohlmann How are Marimo Balls, are they effective in a fish tank? Marimo Balls
Subject: moss balls (marimo balls)
Message Body:
How are they effective in a fish tank?




Marimo BallsMario Balls are composed of an algae belonging to the genus Cladophora that is commonly found in aquatic systems growing on rocks or in aggregate form.
In certain environments where centrifugal forces are strong, the algae is rolled into balls, which is where we get Marimo balls.
They provide a surface for biofilm grazing as well as limited denitrification.

Common myths regarding Marimo balls include:
They clean the water
As an algae, Marimo Balls utilize Nitrates and other nutrients from the water column, but since they are relatively slow growers, they do not provide substantial denitrification. They will not prevent water changes- Nothing does. They do accumulate debris, so remove occasionally and rinse by squeezing repeatedly in clean water until the sediment is removed. 

They prevent algae
Marimo Balls are an algae! They can provide competition for other algae, but that’s as far as that myth can be stretched

-Marimo Balls reproduce by popping off smaller, baby Marimos. 
Marimo Balls do not. They are simply a ball of algae that only reproduces by growing more strands within the ball. If you want to make new Marimo, you must split the parent ball and roll Marimo Ballsindividual balls. A powerhead in a bucket helps build the ball shape by providing that centrifugal force.

Retail workers come up with some pretty inventive ideas regarding Marimo Balls, but the truth is simple. They are neat little things that have substantial meaning in Asian culture.





Marimo Balls

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White Cloud Mountain Minnow; The Guppy of Egg layers!

Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explainsWhite Cloud Mountain Minnow

Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explainsWhite Cloud Mountain Minnow


By Thomas R. Reich PhD

The White Cloud Mountain minnow is the answer to the beginning breeders dreams. It is a fish that has everything: great Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explains White Cloud Mountain Minnow color with distinct and unique markings and accents, hardy disposition.  The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is able to withstand a large range of temperatures and water conditions, graceful swimmer and has no aggressive tendencies.  However it stands up for itself, breeds easily yet does not usually eat either its eggs or its young, happily eats almost anything, it seems to have utterly no fault for the beginning breeder!

Somewhat like the Neon Tetra, this fish has a fascinating history. It was discovered in 1932 by a Chinese boy scout named Tan, in the White Cloud Mountains near Canton, China.  It is from this Scout that the species takes its generic name of Tanichthys.  Similar to the spotted Danio in size and shape, it was originally classified as a Brachydanio species. Lin Shu-Yen, head of the Fisheries Experiment Station, at Canton,   named the fish Tanichthys aalbonubes. Lin, gave it a name that was self-explanatory;   Tan, discoverer; ichthys, Tan’s fish; Albonubes, meaning White Cloud.

Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explains White Cloud Mountain Minnow The Chinese aquarists were so enthustic about the beauty of the fish that they fished out the streams where it had been found to the extent that the species was in danger of extinction. Happily it bred in captivity like flies, and interested persons were enabled to restock the White Cloud Mountain streams with domestically bred fish! Dr. William T. Innes was justified in writing that this fish is “the Guppy among the egg-layers.”

The   White Cloud Mountain minnows were once known as the “poor mans Neon” because the young specimens are so brightly colored, though this Neon-like color fades with age and maturity. The fish got this nickname at a time when Neons were not yet commercially bred and when the price of a Neon could approach the price of the tank itself. The easy to breed White Cloud was a mere fraction of the price, and much less demanding to keep, since it needed no heater, and was so forgiving with water conditions. This unique fish can even be kept, and will sometimes reproduce, in a goldfish bowl!Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explains White Cloud Mountain Minnow

The genus of this fish includes no other species. The White Cloud is about one and one quarter inches in length, though it can grow to 2 inches in nature or a large backyard pond, has a near-silver body with bright horizontal stripes of blue and gold from eye to tail, at the set-on of which is a distinct dark spot. The dorsal fin of the male is vivid red, margined first with gold and above that with blue. The female is somewhat less colorful.

Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explains White Cloud Mountain Minnow In recent years a gold version with much fins of a very rich red and a body that glistens completely gold has been made available, breeds true and is similarly easy to keep and breed. Bare in mind that this fish is a jumper, you should always, especially when   breeding this fish, keep the tank covered at all times. In its natural habitat, this little fish traverses waterfalls, rapids and jumps from pool to pool as a natural course, it is not unusual at all to introduce 10 fine specimens into an uncovered tank, observe how happy   and healthy they are, only to come in the room the next morning to find 7 or 8 of them have jumped out to the floor! It is probably not your fault, they prone to jump out of a pool; to them the new tank is a pool. Cover their quarters or you will lose these highly active little fish!

It has never been conclusively determined just how wide a range of temperature the   White Cloud Mountain carp (for it is a Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explains White Cloud Mountain Minnow carp, not a minnow) can endure.  It flourishes   equally well at 40F and 90F, and breeds freely from 70F to 80F. It has vast numbers of   young which hatch about 24 hours after the spawn is dropped. Stranger still for carp,   neither parent eats eggs or fry! Young and old complacently eat anything fine enough for   them to get in their small mouths and swallow. It seems to thrive equally well in a bare   tank or a planted one. The young develop the bright colors of the mature fish when they   are only a month old and reach a breeding age at six months or less. The fish is lively,   never shy, and never attacks or injures members of its own kind or other species, is even   an ideal tank mate for guppies and their fry!   If there are other virtues not mentioned   here, the White Cloud probably displays them. Quite simply, this is an ideal species of   fish!

Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explains White Cloud Mountain Minnow As if this were not enough, the White Cloud is a prolific breeder in the Danio fashion, yet they do even better with a well planted tank. To determine sex, mature fish must be used.   The males have larger more colorful fins, while the female is paler and full round around the body. Myriophyllum is suggested as the ideal plant, and you should place 2 or 3 clumps in the breeding tank.

A 5 or 10 gallon tank may be used with newly aged water which is slightly alkaline, and heated to about 78F-80F. Marbles are un-necessary but ok   as a substrate; as is sand, gravel, pebbles or a completely bare bottom, as the White Cloud does not actively eat their eggs or fry.   It is best to use 2 males and 1 female or 3 males and 2 females. The breeders should be condition separately on live and frozen foods for 7 to 10 days, and here is the difference from other species, in water about 68F-72F.   When the female or females are fully plump, introduce them into the warmer breeding tank about 1 hour before the males in the evening. Breeding will take place starting the next morning, and continue for 3 to 5 days!

The courtship is not nearly as active as most species. The males do not chase after the females, but appear calm about the Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explains White Cloud Mountain Minnow whole affair. After trembling heavily, the female distributes a few extremely tiny eggs at a time and these remain hanging on the fine   leaved plants. The male swims close to the female, but there is no embrace or hook attachment, he just fertilizes the eggs as they come out of the female, and then moves on. This will continue off and on for days.

If you chose to have the breeding in a fully set up tank, you can leave the breeders in the tank, and the whole process will repeat in about 2 weeks, by this time fry from the first batch will be free swimming and well along, soon you will have 2 or 3 distinct sizes of thriving fry, and the breeders just keep on breeding!

Dr. Thomas R. Reich PhD explains White Cloud Mountain Minnow If all are well fed, the tank may well soon become over crowded. Commercial breeders often favor spawning these fish communally. This is best done using a thickly planted large tank or an old tub or sink, the surface of the water being covered with a 1 inch thick layer of Riccia. Then with an enamel soup-ladle the Riccia is pressed down each morning, and the tiny fry scooped up by the hundreds and transferred to small tanks to   growing out.

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Posted in breading Aquarium Fish, Egg Laying Aquarium Fish, Fresh Water Tropical Fish, Uncategorized