"Heros" ornatus

Discussion about cichlids from South America

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Alex Odesit
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Alex Odesit » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:10 pm

Hi Jeff and welcome back.
Question:
In another thread Mark ask about water chemistry parameters for ex C.Ornatus natural habitat.
I have 0 experience with this fish and I would be too, very interesting to hear if you can add anything in this respect.
Alex

Mark Smith
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Mark Smith » Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:32 pm

I met up with Dr. Paul Loiselle today, visiting out in Southern California this past week, and he informed me that Conkel has large adult ornatum in his ponds on the verge of spawning.

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bigguapote
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by bigguapote » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:21 pm

Thanks for your questions MW.
I have no first hand water parameter information provided by the fisherman who collected these fish, I will brag that their fishing skills must be very well honed. These are agile and fast fish - great jumpers when spooked.

Thankfully, they are not behaving in a shy manner. The juveniles were begging for food within hours of import (and they were collected from the river only a few days prior!)
The large ones are now associating my presence with feeding and really do love to eat.

Addressing the question regarding coloration, I've found that the mature females have few to no spangled on cheeks (operculum), while males sport many more spangles. Think 'C.' grammodes coloration and you've got a clear picture of what is going on with the ornatus.

Below is a quote from intrepid collector, Alf Stalsberg, addressing the water parameters in the Rio San Juan. Hope this helps.
By the way, I have well water of pH 7 running in my facility. I do not alter the water from this condition for any fish I maintain.

"I will give you the measurments of the water samples taken in 1991 and 1993. The first was taken at the beginning of March and in middle of February, 1993. Water temperature 1991 - 28.5°C, in 1993 it was 24.2°C. Air temperature in the morning was 29°C and at 3 pm it was 37°C.

pH 7 in '91 and pH 6 in '93.
dH 1 in '91 and dH 0 in '93
kH 2 in '91 and kH 0 in '93
Nitrite in 1991 was 0 and was not taken in 1993.

Even when there are slight differences in the measurements taken from 1991 till 1993, I don't think the differences are big if you take the measurement through a whole year. Choco has heavy rain the year round and if my information is right, Choco comes in second place after Hawaii for rainfall."

dwarfpike
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by dwarfpike » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:36 pm

I like that you are calling them .cf ornatus. I might be wrong, but I believe the Rio San Juan is on the wrong side of the continental divide from the traditional Pacific range of exHeros ornatus. I thought they were an Pacific coast southwestern Colombia and Ecuador species. I could be off though, I read that a long time ago. If that's the case, I don't see them swiming the Panama canal to reach the San Juan!! :lol:

Did you collectors find any Andinoacara biseriatus?? I know they are found in the Rio Atrato with the pellegrini. They would be an awesome fish to reinduce as well.
Chris Morris

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bigguapote
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by bigguapote » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:10 pm

Yes Chris. I recall reading the same of the Rio San Juan race of ornatus somewhere as well.
Perhaps one day my Ecuador contact will provide ornatus from local rivers.

Anyhow, you better believe I have a long list (but getting shorter, thankfully) of Colombian & Venezuelan species that I've asked for my suppliers to try and locate.
I supply names, photos, and collection locations to all my suppliers. Brazil, Peru, Suriname, you name it - I've thoroughly researched and supplied data to aid in collection of fish we don't often/never see in the trade.
Once in a while, it actually works out.
I'm sure that I am on their PITA list, but they each receive fair payment for their efforts in return. Keeps both parties in business and helps keep things interesting as well.

So A. biseriatus & sapayensis, Heroina, C. intermedia, Chaeto. flavescens, etc... still all on the 'wanted list' from that greater area.

blackghost
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by blackghost » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:31 pm

My map of the rivers of Colombia shows 2 Rio San Juans - one literally right in the middle of Colombia's Pacific coast, and the other following the border with Ecuador, again flowing into the Pacific. It doesnt show a Rio San Juan that isnt on the Pacific side.

Jeff do you know which Rio San Juan they are from?

Very interesting water stats btw, thanks.
Mark Wright

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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by fevelasco » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:25 pm

I just received a shipment of wild juveniles (approximately 1.5") from Jeff Rapps. All arrived in excellent condition and are now acclimating. The coloration is washed out from the stress of being shipped, but the fish appear to be transitioning from the interesting juvenile coloration at this size. Thanks to Jeff's persistence, we will hopefully see this magnificent species become established in the hobby.
Juveniles 1.5 in 090110.jpg
Juveniles 1.5 in 090110.jpg (41.89 KiB) Viewed 18076 times
exCichlasoma cf. ornatum YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKT7XpyklkQ&hd=1

fevelasco
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by fevelasco » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:13 pm

The fish have acclimated well since being shipped. So far, no signs of any problems. They are relatively outgoing. Housed with Hyphessobrycon columbianus as target fish. I've posted another video on YouTube showing their coloration at the current size (about 1.5").
Wild juvenile exCichlasoma cf. ornatum "Rio San Juan"
Wild juvenile exCichlasoma cf. ornatum "Rio San Juan"
exCichlasoma cf. ornatum "Rio San Juan" YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M2vwZjQRNQ&hd=1

As an aside, the fish kept by "GuapoteMel" in Seattle referenced earlier in this thread appear to be doing quite well. He just posted a 13 minute video tour of his fishroom earlier this evening. The video is both informative and entertaining, with Mel providing commentary as he showcases his impressive collection of primarily Central American cichlids. About 5 minutes into the video, we get a glimpse of some young "wild-caught" ornatum. At 9:07, the adult ornatum from the initial batch he obtained 2 years ago are seen in a 270g community tank containing exCichlasoma festae and other species.
YouTube video by GuapoteMel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crRtpZFZQrE

Decker504
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Decker504 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:52 pm

I recently acquired 2 Ornatus from at local pet store in New Orleans. Contact Jeff Rapps at Tangled Up In Cichlids and he might be ble to ship you some, if he has any left. That is where my specimens derived from.

Decker504
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Decker504 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:43 pm

I just acquired 2 myself! I'm very excited, but the larger, which I acquired first was bought sick. Gladly it is responding well to treatment and hopefully will make a full recovery. I got lucky on the 2nd specimen and potentially might get a pair going!

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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Mark Smith » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:37 pm

If anyone is still looking for this cichlid, Americancichlid.net has juveniles for sale at 3 for $100. Seems to be the best pricing on the market presently.

fevelasco
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by fevelasco » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:42 pm

The juveniles are now about 2.5" and have been moved to a 40 gallon tank, where I'll house them for the next several months. I'm keeping them with an adult pair of Cryptoheros nanoluteus. (The female nano in the video is fully grown. If you're familiar with that species, you can get an idea of the size of the ornatum juvies for reference.)
ExC ornatum in 40.jpg
ExC ornatum in 40.jpg (15.44 KiB) Viewed 17926 times
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csrv3uiYmQo

Bas Pels
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Bas Pels » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:29 am

Even if I would assume H ornatus is only 10 % as agressive as H featae, the Cr nanoluteum will be dead in a few months

Cr nanoluteum are far too good, too rare to be beaten up by some growing out fish. I understand why you want to keep the ornatum with other fish, but Cr nanoluteum is just not suited for this role.

Please use convicts intead - these are much more hardy, and, frankly, much more intelligent - they will manage

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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Mark Smith » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:59 pm

The C. ornatum and C. nanoluteus will get along fine, as both are not very aggressive. The tank should be larger, though. Also, both species come from radically different water chemistry parameters.

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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Mark Smith » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:38 am

Looks like the price of C. cf. gephyrum (sold as C. ornatum) continues to fall. I noticed that Americancichlids.net now has them from around $14 to $16 each, depending on the quantity purchased. This is factoring in their 15% discount that recently appeared on their website. Not bad for a fish that was, up until recently, considered virtually unavailable.

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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Cichlidfever » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:25 pm

wow!! That is a beautiful picture of Ornatum :)
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(4) Andinocara Stalsbergi
(1) Ornatum & (3) Atromaculatum
(1) Escondidos
(2) Festae
(2) Pseudomystus Slamensis Catfish
(2) Pseudopimelodus bufonius

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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Mark Smith » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:27 pm

I've asked a couple of folks why they say C. ornatum and not C. gephyrum, and so far, no answers. Are you going to be one of them also? :D

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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Cichlidfever » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:14 am

Lol... I don't know, I guess I say Ornatum, because I was told that they were Ornatums when I got mines, and I have just got use to saying it? If they are called gephyrum then what does and Ornatum look like?
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(4) Andinocara Stalsbergi
(1) Ornatum & (3) Atromaculatum
(1) Escondidos
(2) Festae
(2) Pseudomystus Slamensis Catfish
(2) Pseudopimelodus bufonius

Mark Smith
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Mark Smith » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:17 am

Oh, I see. I really thought you may have had something to say, or have some piece of information to share, that could shed more light on this topic.

Norcal_Cichlid
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Re: "Heros" ornatus

Post by Norcal_Cichlid » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:43 pm

So where is this going? No one really seems to have an answer with solid evidence. Until one of the big dogs speaks up I'm sticking with Ornatum. Rapps has the most experience with this fish so I'm going with him on this. For all we know this is probably the same fish.
Current stock-2 F1 Breeding pairs of Chuco Micropthalmus, F1 Theraps Lentiginosum (2 breeding pairs), Theraps Coeruleus (1 breeding pair), 7 5-8" F0 Ornatum "Rio Choco", 2 Beani "White" and about 400 Micropthalmus fry!

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