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Cyathopharynx furcifer


Cyathopharynx furcifer
Feather Fin Cichlid
羽毛翅蓝波
Certainly the most enticing and conspicuous species from Lake Tanganyika, C. furcifer is famous for its dyanmic, neon colors, and at 8-inches, it is a sight to behold! Females on the other hand are silver-bodied and a bit more elongated than males. The species was recently divided in two, creating the species Cyathopharynx foai. I will address both of these species in this single profile page because their differences are minor and in the aquarium their husbandry requirements and behavior are identical. In fact, many aquarists still refer to both species as the furcifer.
C. furcifer and C. foai are both featherfins from Lake Tanganyika. Their only real differences are that C. furcifer occurs in the shallower habitats of the lake and has lighter colors, while C. foai is found in deeper waters, possessing dark, neon colors. Some foai are nearly all black (e.g., Ndole Bay). Despite these minor differences, they were classfied as distinct species due to the fact that the two variations are often found in a single location, with overlapping habitats. The pictures to the left and immediately below are of C. foai while those further down the page are of C. furcifer from Ruziba.
These two species occur in the intermediate zone between rocks and sandy floors, at depths ranging from 3 - 20 m (9 - 60 feet). Females school together in the rocky regions while males stay close to their nests along the sandfloor, which are fiercely defended. Perhaps just as impressive as the colors of the furcifer are the goliath-sized crater-nests constructed by sexually active males. In the lake, these nests are found in great clusters (numbering from 50 to 100), separated from one another by only a couple of meters. These nests are quite elaborate, being 2 feet in diameter. The variety from Rutunga actually builds their nests on top of horizontal slabs in the lower region of the habitat.
Males are both boisterous and aggressive in defending their territories; therefore, these species need lots of room. The aquarium should to be at least 5 feet long, and preferrably 6 feet or longer. It's necessary that it be decorated with some large rocks so that females can get away from the male if need be. The substrate should be sand, and a darker shade is recommended to really bring out the colors of the male. The bottom area should be wide and open, with approximately 30 - 50% of the bottom being just sand. You'll find that harmony is best achieved by housing one dominant male, a sub-adult male, and five or more females. The younger male will encourage the dominant male to show off his colors more often than otherwise. Keeping several females will reduce the level of aggression any particular one will receive. If growing your furcifer up, three or four juvenile males may tolerate each other.
Even though this featherfin is boisterous, it should not be kept with other high-energy or aggressive fishes, otherwise males will lose their color and stop breeding. This fish needs to be the king of the tank in order to thrive. Tank mates should be no larger than 3-inches.
This fish readily takes to just about any type of food. Males can be kept in top condition with flake food alone, but if you want your females to spawn, they'll need something more than just flakes. Artemia, Cyclops, and Mysis are all recommended as supplementary foods that will help bring the females into breeding condition. In the wild, females feed on plankton or other fine material found floating in the water column. Males, however, feed on the algal diatoms found in the upper layer of the sand, which is scooped up and ingested almost completely. As a result, they pass copious amounts of fecal matter in a very short period of time.
Both C. furcifer and C. foai turn their colors on and off like a lamp Chased males, for example, quickly turn off their color and blend in with either females or the background. When this fish's color is on, it's hot, but getting your male to light up is no easy task. This requires patience if you've purchaased an adult. Adult featherfins in general don't handle the stress of shipment very well and require a considerable amount of time before they feel comfortable in their new settings. This can even take up to a full year - but hold on to your seat when they do light up! It's well worth the wait. Specimens that are raised in the aquarium, however, show their coloration at an early age.
Spawning occurs in typical fashion for a featherfin. The male will lead the female down to his nest by shaking. The female will deposit several eggs in the nest, with the male staying close to her side. As she turns around to pick them up, the male will pass over the nest, hovering about four inches above the eggs. As he passes, his elongated ventral fins drag over the sand. Their curious yellow tips catch the female's attention and she follows them, attempting to snatch them up (perhaps thinking they're eggs) and then scoops the eggs up in her mouth. The male fertilizes the eggs at the very moment that she picks them up.
Clutch sizes range from 15-40 eggs, and incubation lasts approximately four weeks. Brooding females should be separated from the male by removing them from the tank and placed in a nursery tank. Do this at night after she has fallen asleep, otherwise the onerous task of chasing her down with a net will be too stressful for both you and her. Brooding females should be isolated to eliminate the stress imposed by the boisterous male. This will help reduce the likelihood of her spitting or swallowing the eggs


蓝波可说是坦湖中最具有魅力的鱼种之一,成熟雄鱼的多变光彩、大型沙丘的窝巢,都是此鱼最具吸引力的特色,虽然野生蓝波是一只难以捕获、不易显色、不易豢养的纤弱鱼种,但他还是最受欢迎的坦湖慈鲷,他也是我个人最欣赏的坦鱼。
  C. furcifer首次被描述是在1898年,由Boulenger命名为Paratilapia furcifer,直至今日则分成两种:C.furcifer和C.foai,C.furcifer似乎较具适应性,能在各种不同环境筑巢繁殖后代,或许是他分布广泛而没有明显的地域种差别的原因;C.foai则多被限定在特定栖地(有岩石的清澈水域),故其地域种众多、彼此的差异性也较大,但一般都偏向较深的体色故称为"Dark furcifer″。
  一般来说这种鱼的个性温和,适合群养,一方面是增加他们适应的速度,一方面是可以从中找到配对的个体,不过这需要从2、3公分的子鱼养起才行,初期的适应是存活关键期,摄食情形是健康指针,因为蓝波是不挑食的鱼种,但必须控制喂食量以免消化不良而导致毙死,经验中须以养过一阵子鱼的水饲养,可能是他对水质的要求较高,需要成熟的硝化系统之故,不当的水质会使鱼显现不出色泽,经常换水是必要的操作:一方面避免水质老化引起元素缺乏,一方面移除硝酸盐以避免健康危害,个人经验中还发现换水会影响此鱼的食欲。
  蓝波的成长似乎也需要2年以上才能完全成熟,群体中成长最快的个体有提早成熟的倾向,这可能会影响他的成长,故建议在群养时要有其它种的优势鱼种压制以避免这类情形出现,发情的蓝波雄鱼性情会改变,往往会驱赶缸中所有鱼只,此时可能要隔离饲养繁殖,4尺缸是标准缸但5尺以上更好,常见问题是肠炎、腹水及六鞭毛虫引起的头洞,早期治疗有一定效果。
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