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Twospot livebearer - Heterandria bimaculata

Twospot livebearer - Heterandria bimaculata

Scientific name: Heterandria bimaculata

Common name: Twospot livebearer

Family: Poeciliidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 12 - 15 cm (4.72 - 5.91 inch)

014

Recommended pH range for the species: 6.5 - 7

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 10 - 15°N (178.57 - 267.86ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 28 °C (71.6 - 82.4°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Pseudo-Livebearer

Where the species comes from: Central America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels

Origin

The two spot livebearer originate from Central America where they can be found in the waterways of Mexico.

Short description

This species of fish is not one of the most popular species to be kept in the aquarium hobby but a lot of this is mainly due to their difficulty in obtaining from aquatic suppliers. They do grow quite large for live bearing species, adult specimens can reach an average length of up to just under 6 inches which means that a group of these will require a larger aquarium. They belong to the family of Poeciliidae and are classed as a very peaceful species. If you can get hold of some specimens they can make for a great breeding project if you have the aquarium space available. They get their common name from the distinctive spots that they display on their bodies which is complemented with a silver background colour and slight speckling on the finnage.

Lifespan

If cared for correctly the two spot livebearer should have an average lifespan of at least 5-8 years.

General care

The two spot livebearer is quite a hardy species but like all other species they do demand high water quality in the aquarium and should never be added to an uncycled set up. The minimum sized aquarium that should be used will need to be at least 3 feet (90 cm ) in length and 1 foot wide (30cm). They are a very active species so will require open swimming spaces. Use a filtration system that is rated for the water volume of the aquarium and it is best to use a tight fitting lid as they can occasionally jump. In the aquarium they tend to occupy the middle levels so the choice of substrate is personal but if using gravel make sure that the edges are well rounded. You can add live plants but expect them to get nibbled at times and the lighting levels should be moderate to high.

The water temperature should range between 22-28°C (72-83°F) and the pH should range between 6.5-7.0. Keep the water quality high by performing regular water changes and remove any uneaten food after feeding times to prevent it from decaying and fouling the water.

Feeding

Not a difficult species to feed. The two spot livebearer will accept a quality flake food or small pellets. Vary the diet of the fish with treats of live or frozen foods such as blood worms or brine shrimp.

Sexing

When mature the females will grow larger than the males. Mature males will develop a modified anal fin referred to as the gonopodium.

Breeding

Not difficult to breed if given the correct conditions. It is best to add plenty of plants or spawning mops to the breeding tank as the parent fish will eat their young if given the chance. The plants or mops will give some refuge area for the young to hide in. Condition the parent fish with plenty of live or frozen foods and add one male with 2-3 females into the tank. The male will swim frantically around the females to encourage spawning. After a few days the bellies of the females should start to swell as their young develop, some breeders may separate the females at this stage to save as many fry as possible. Once she releases the young it is best to remove the female as quickly as possible and once done the fry can be given the same diet as the parent fish but make sure any flake is slightly crumbed down as they do have extremely small mouths.

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