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Sandelia capensis

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:43 pm
by Mark Smith
An unusual labyrinth fish from southern Africa.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:04 am
by Lisachromis
What a cool looking fish!

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:46 am
by Mark Smith
Thanks Lisa. It so happens to prefer cooler water than most labyrinthfish and also spawns in a manner similar to many substrate spawning cichlids, with the unusual exception where the male guards the eggs.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:34 am
by Bas Pels
Southern as in Republic of South Africa?

That would mean the fish requires temperatures comparable to the for us more familiar Gymnogeophagus Australoheros species.

Intersting find

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:38 am
by Mark Smith
Yes, they are from a small area at the Cape, and seem to thrive on temps from 55 to 82 F.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:15 pm
by Alex Odesit
agreed, unusual fish, nice looking and big mouth too!
Are they in the hobby currently?
Alex

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:13 am
by Mark Smith
Somewhat, I think. My captive raised young came out of Germany, via Aquarium Glaser a few months ago. I heard of a fellow in England who spawned his at 2 1/2 inches a few months ago. Mine have spawned twice, but was not able to raise the progeny due to moving recently. They seemed to lay approx. 200 eggs scattered onto the sand. Eggs are small, approx. 1.2 mm in diameter.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:10 am
by Youenn
Hi

Endemic from South Africa. Cold.
But they are protected no?
Two species.
Red: S.bainsii
Bleu: S. capensis

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:30 pm
by Mark Smith
Well, here are some juveniles from my first successful spawning. They are approx. 2 months old and range in size from 2 cm to 3 cm. They really are fascinating fish, and easy to keep.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:49 pm
by Alex Odesit
Congrats on spawn Mark!
BTW, what is the size of adult fish and how is their disposition towards each other and other species if you have/had chance to keep it together?

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:08 pm
by Mark Smith
Thanks Alex

My adults began spawning at about 8.5 cm for the males and about 6.5 for the females last year. Now, the largest male is about 14 cm and the females are about 9.5 cm. The bigger they become, the more aggressive the males have become towards the females. This, however, may be due to putting them together in a 240 liter aquarium to spawn. Presently, I have the males separated from the females. When the females become enlarged with eggs, I will place the males with the females, and within 24 to 28 hours later, they typically spawn. They all seem to ignore heterospecifics. I have the males in a 450 liter aquarium with C. frontosa, Ctenopoma kingsleyae, and Sarotherodon melanotheron. They all seem to get along well.

I am passing most of this first spawn to local hobbyists that are serious about working with this uncommon species. It really is a delightful species to work with, seemingly becoming hardier with age. They are supposed to reach a total length of
23 cm, and this size most assuredly is in reference to males. Even at a small size, it appears that the females always seem to be half the body mass of the males.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:42 pm
by Alex Odesit
Mark Smith wrote:Thanks Alex

My adults began spawning at about 8.5 cm for the males and about 6.5 for the females last year. Now, the largest male is about 14 cm and the females are about 9.5 cm. The bigger they become, the more aggressive the males have become towards the females. This, however, may be due to putting them together in a 240 liter aquarium to spawn. Presently, I have the males separated from the females. When the females become enlarged with eggs, I will place the males with the females, and within 24 to 28 hours later, they typically spawn. They all seem to ignore heterospecifics. I have the males in a 450 liter aquarium with C. frontosa, Ctenopoma kingsleyae, and Sarotherodon melanotheron. They all seem to get along well.

I am passing most of this first spawn to local hobbyists that are serious about working with this uncommon species. It really is a delightful species to work with, seemingly becoming hardier with age. They are supposed to reach a total length of
23 cm, and this size most assuredly is in reference to males. Even at a small size, it appears that the females always seem to be half the body mass of the males.
Thanks for the very interesting info Mark, hope your fish will travel all the way to New Jersey:)

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:04 pm
by Mark Smith
It would be great to get this fish spread around the country in the months to come.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 4:00 am
by Bas Pels
Too bad yours is not mine

I would be very interested, but then, there is the pond....

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:36 am
by Mark Smith
I hear you on that on Bas Pels! I wonder if the hobbyists in England who got in this species when I did, are still spawning theirs. There must be someone doing it, as I find it hard to believe that I would be the only one in the world spawning this fish. An easy fish to keep and spawn for sure.

Mine originally came from Aquarium Glaser. Perhaps someone in Germany is still working with it?

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Fri May 21, 2010 10:45 am
by Mark Smith
An update - the fry whose images I posted awhile back are now about 6.5 cm for the males and about 5.5 for the females. out of 16 individuals I have set aside, one male has taken over a territory in anticipation of spawning soon.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:20 am
by Bas Pels
Today I received a very welcome E mail: There are 8 of them in Gouda (100 km from my house) witrh my name on them :)

Mark, if there is anything I should know, please inform me

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:14 am
by Mark Smith
Great to hear Bas Pels!! I really thought this unique species had died away from the hobby. Mine are all gone now, due to a move a year ago and not having the space to spawn them. What I have said before about them still remains. My largest male never grew beyond 15 cm total length. I really think there are several race, possibly even sibling species, in South Africa. Some are chunkier than others, while some are smaller, like mine, and likely yours. Mine initially came from a breeder in Germany.

The fry are very small, and I did succeed in feeding them the smallest of powdered food designed for small juvenile fishes. Essentially any high quality powdered food for fry should work well. Of course, if you can offer them infusoria, that would be ideal. Care should be taken that the temperature of the spawning tank does no go beyond 75 degrees F. I noticed that the babies did not survive long if the water temp went beyond 75 degrees, and having the temp a little lower would probably be better for them. I just had a sponge filter in the juvenile tank.

Also, when they spawn, you may not be able to see the eggs. I had a shallow layer of silica sand, and the sand stuck to the eggs. It is only when they hatch that their blackish color is more readily seen. The male will gaurd the eggs and fry and will even bite your hand if you put your hand in the tank. After the fry were freeswimming, I would siphon them into another smaller aquarium with airline tubing.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Post photos of your when you have the opportunity.

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:34 am
by Bas Pels
Thanks, Mark

@ temperature, the 75 F - roughly 25 C - you mentioned, is that the average temp or is a peak of 75 F for an hour already too much?

I'm asking, as the majority of my fishes will enjoy changing temperatures, but I probably will be able to keep some fishes relatively cool.

@ Water - Will they require certain water parameters? Soft / hard, low/high pH? I can't say I'm familiar wwith any part of their territory

Re: Sandelia capensis

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:12 pm
by Mark Smith
75 would be the highest. Normally, mine where kept at a temp of approx. 70 to 72, unless it was the winter, at which point the temp lowered to 65. This species can tolerate temps down into the low 50s, I've read. I think what will trigger spawning, in addition to the temp rising to the 75 range, is a nice, fat egg laden female that has been fed a lot of high protein foods. When the male sees such a female, spawning should commence within a couple of days. Watch out, though, as when they are finished spawning, the male will chase the female away. It may be better to remove the female at that point.

Mine spawned in very hard water, and I have a feeling that water chemistry is not too important for this species. Neutral may be the best, but my water was approx. 400 ppm total carbonate hardness, and the pH was approx. 7.8. The sex ratio of my juveniles appeared pretty balanced.