Rio Mixteco

Discussion about cichlids from Central America
Gwendly
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Rio Mixteco

Post by Gwendly » Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:47 am

I was wondering if anyone knows the habitat of the Rio Mextico. I just recently accuired some Thorichthys and would like to set up my tank to resemble it's biotope as much as possible. So is there leaves,rocks,gravel, sand or big pieces of bogwood there? Which other fiosh (I guess mainly livebearers are of interest but still) co exist with the Thorichthys etc..

Another question I have is how many Thorichthys from Rio Mixteco are there? I've heard of a blue,green,gold and albino version but mine were sold to me as just Thorichthys sp 'Rio Mixteco' , so I'm wondering if there's a fifth version (ie a 'plain' one too?)

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Juan Artigas
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Post by Juan Artigas » Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:17 pm

There is no such Rio Mixteco. Those Thorichthys come from Rio Coatzacoalcos in the Tehuantepec isthmus in Mexico and are dubbed Thorichthys sp. "Mixteco" (A Mexican Indian people from Oaxaca). Thorichthys exhibit quite a bit of Geographical variation and so some sligthly different forms like the "Blue", "Green" and "Gold", all coming from different rivers in the Rio Coatzacoalcos drainage are set appart. There is just those three. Geographical forms should not be mixed or we will end up understanding nothing about those fish.

Enjoy your Mixtecos!
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Lisachromis
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Post by Lisachromis » Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:03 pm

It's unfortunate that someone called them T. sp. mixteco since I believe they were going to be described as T. mixteco at some point, and it may be that they can't be called that anymore. I received the ones I had from Juan as T. sp. 'coatzacoalcos'. Juan, do you remember which variety I had? I'd like to pass that on to the person who now has the fish so no crosses with other 'mixtecos' are done.

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Post by Juan Artigas » Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:30 pm

Lisa,

That is exactly the problem. You do have the "Blue" Mixteco from Rio Grande. Coatzacoalcos system. I hope they can be distributed and keep going in the aquarium hobby, they are really a wonderful fish.
Last edited by Juan Artigas on Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Gwendly
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Post by Gwendly » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:46 pm

so are all blue ones from Rio Grande or are there several rivers with the blue version in it?

How hard is it to distunguish between the different varities of them? I belive I have the blue one but they are only 3/4" - 1" fry right now so it's kind of hard to tell :/

Do you know which livebearers there are in the same drainage as these Juan? I was quite inspired by your goodeid talk that you gave in Winnipeg not too long ago :) haven't kept liveberarers in 15 some years and I think it's well over due :)

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Grummie2
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Post by Grummie2 » Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:22 am

Here are pics of the 3 varieties as adults. I think it would be difficult to tell them apart at the size you have them, but give them time and it will be easy.

'Mixteco gold'
Image

'Mixteco green'
Image

'Mixteco blue'
Image

Gwendly
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Post by Gwendly » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:06 am

very nice pictures Grummie2 :)

What do you keep yours with and @ which tank size?

Hopefully mine are the blue ones *drools*

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Juan Artigas
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Post by Juan Artigas » Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:43 am

"Blues" are from rivers in the Tehuatepec isthmus, at least found in Rio Grande, Malatengo, Sarabia, Tortuguero and Juñiapan, all in the Coatzacoalcos river system. There are several nice livebearers sharing the habitat, like a Poecilia sp,. (aff. mexicana) Poeciliopsis gracilis, Xiphophorus clemenciae, Xiphophorus helleri and Priapella intermedia. All those would do well with the Thorichthys in my opinion. I would however restrict the P. intermedia to the larger tanks though (So they are not eaten).

You can clearly see the differences of the different color morphs (and why I called them so) in Grummie2´s great pictures. The brick red on the cheeks of the "blue" and the many blue dots are characteristic of this morph. The green dots on the side of "Green" morph, aligned in rows, and the very intense gold on the cheeks of the "Gold" morph. Thanks Grummie2.

Gwen thanks for your kind words about my talk, I quite enjoyed talking for the Winnipeg club and meet all of you.
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Grummie2
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Post by Grummie2 » Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:46 pm

I've found the 'blues' to be the most aggressive of the 3, I have them in a 4'x2'x15" tank with a pair of 'Rotkeil' sevs and an old pair of albino kribs (I know it's a weird combo), they all ignore each other. The 'greens' and 'golds' have been raised from juvenile in a group of 6 each. They all got on well and paired up in tanks 2'x2'x15", no problems, no deaths. They will be housed in 4'x2'x15" tanks shortly. The pairs were put in 2'x16"x18" tanks for spawning, the female MUST be removed when the male decides he wants to take control of the fry or he will kill her. The fry grow quickly, just be careful at about 1.5" as I lost quite a few to bloat at this size, excellent water conditions and low protein veggie food is a must.

Gwendly
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Post by Gwendly » Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:21 pm

interesting that the you've found the blue ones to be more agressive than the greens and gold ones Grummie2. I'm planning to house mine in a 48"x24"x18 (LWH) together with some liveberers. After Juan's post I'm thinking that Poecilia mexicana would look good with them :-) I feed mine primarly a spirulina/kelp based flake mix and also a low protein shrimp mix. My main reason for doing so wasn't really fear of bloat but the fact that all my other fish (cyathopharynx etc.) are fed a mainly veggie diet, so it just made sense to keep truckin' with that. I know what you mean about fry's growing quick though! They are growing probably twice or three times as fast as anything else I keep in my fishroom! Mind you, everything I keep is super slow growers :/ I guess it's a fetish of mine!

juanmi:
So I'm guessing that the rivers they live in would be more slow moving rivers, with a good amount of driftwood and rocks? I'm also guessing that spawning takes place in typical Thorichthys fashion? So what would the 'correct' way be to call these species? Thorichthys sp. "coatzacoalcos" 'blue mixteco' ?

I'm glad that you enjoyed coming to Winnipeg to speak for us Juan :) It's always great when you can have someone as nice and with as much knowledge as you to speak :)

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Post by Gwendly » Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:41 pm

well, I got some pics form the guy who spawned the fish:

Image

Image

gold ones?

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Juan Artigas
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Post by Juan Artigas » Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:52 pm

Well no, in fact they are Thorichthys aureus!!! They distribute in Southern Belize, northern Guatemala and northern Honduras. There are two (at least) recognized geographical variants of T. aureus, a gold and a blue one. Your´s are the blue aureus.

In commenting about the diet, although it is certainly true that a diet rich in proteins can cause bloat in Thorichthys, being this genus very prone to it. In my experience this just relates to animal protein of terrestrial origin, I mean beef heart or earthworms in excess. Thorichthys are most likely 100% carnivorous in the wild, eating mainly aquatic invertebrates that dwell in the upper layers of the sediment.

For many years I have kept my Thorichthys colonies mainly on a carnivorus diet comprised mostly by shrimp (shell and all), oysters and fish meat, without any problem at all. I also offer them krill flakes regularly, which they seem to enjoy. Colors are maintained bright with this diet, and they readily reproduce.

Enjoy your Thorichthys aureus, they are certainly a beautiful fish!!!
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Grummie2
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Post by Grummie2 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:51 am

Here's a couple of pics of my Aureus 'blue'. They were from Jeff Rapps last year. They have just been placed in this new tank so colours not settled, also they are not in 'brood care' patterns like the one in the pic from the breeder.

Image

Image

Gwendly
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Post by Gwendly » Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:58 am

Intersting....

Well I managed to get another picture from the breeder, this time in non-spawning coloration.

Image

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Grummie2
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Post by Grummie2 » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:55 am

Yes Gwendly, it is interesting ! There are some very interesting threads on Mojo's site about the variations in both Vieja and Herichthys species. I'm sure as more and more fish are collected from different locations the subtle differences within 'species' will throw out more questions than answers. Although our 2 fish are 'Aureus' they could be from different extremes of their range. This is why now more than ever it is important to gather collection site info and refrain from breeding outside the population. Gone are the days when a 'convict' was just a 'convict', soon there will be a marked difference between 'hobby fish'(of unknown genetic origin) and 'aquarists' fish (of known genetic history).

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Post by bermudasky » Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:39 pm

ok, now i'm totally confused. Like many others here I purchased my thorichthys from Rusty Wessel a couple of months ago. They were bagged as Mixteco Gold but from what I've seen lately they look like Blues. I got five which I kept in a 30G cube tank with some driftwood and plants. As they were small (~1") i thought it best to move my Jack Dempseys out so they have their own tank. About two weeks after settling in i noticed that a couple had paired up and were chasing away the other three who took to hiding behind the filter and in corners. Three days later, sure enough, lots of little fry swimming about and mama and papa showing dark vertical bands (protective) and bright colors. I removed the other three into a 20G with 5 red tail Goodeidae (separated by divider for now until i figure out if they're compatible.

Is it ok to keep the fry with the parents or will they eat them eventually?

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Post by Juan Artigas » Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:59 am

They should not eat their babies. Make sure the babies get enough food. I am a little concerned by the size of your tank as it is a cube, so the longer distance should be reduced. So be careful with the stability of your pair. Blue mixtecos are a wonderful fish!
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bermudasky
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Post by bermudasky » Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:10 pm

Thx Juan,

What do you mean by reducing the longer distance and stability of the pair? The cube is an Oceanic 30G (roughly 20" each way) and they are the only fish in there. Should I look to move them into something with more length than height, like a 15G long? or a smaller tank to make sure the fry find the food? Also am just using crushed flake for now. Do you suggest anything else?

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Post by Juan Artigas » Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:06 pm

I mean, being a cube, the distance that the female (or any fish other fish) has to get away from an aggressive male is reduced as in comparisson to a rectangular aquarium, I personally believe your tank is too small for this species. Pairs at one point or other may break, and smaller mates (female in this case) may suffer from mate attacks. Constant environmental conditions and a certain degree of threat by other fish may help in keep the pair stable through all the breeding effort.
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bermudasky
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Post by bermudasky » Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:20 am

Thx JM,

Sure enough you were right. I woke up this morning to find the female hiding up in one corner with her tail badly nipped... :evil: pair bond broken!!! I removed the female and a handful of fry to a separate (healing) tank and left the male guarding the rest of the brood.

Some questions:

1) Is it ok to leave the male in with the brood or will he eventually turn agressive with them? Does he need a threat to remain vigilant?
2) Is it ok to put the female back (without the fry) with the original outsiders or will they turn on her?
3) What is your recommended setup for maximizing the fry longevity?
4) If I need to move them, what is the best way to extract fry without damage? The syphon seems to cause them mortal stress.
5) I have a 90G community tank that i'm thinking of putting them into. It's not really a cichlid tank as it contains gouramis (2 Blue, 2 Moonlight), Loaches (3 Clown, 4 Skunks), Barbs (2 Rosy, 2 Gold), Danios (2 Giant, 2 Zebra), 2 Plecos, 2 Rainbow Sharks (I know, sounds like Noah's Ark) - and (the closest natural) 1 Rainbow Cichlid (H. multispinosa). Think that would be suitable?
6) I finally got some pics up (quality could be better but they didn't want to sit still)...can u tell if they are blue or gold?

Outsiders
Image

Protective Pair
Image

Thanks Again,

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