Marcel Wuethrich’s Fish Room

My friend Marcel is a gifted aquarist with a true talent for planted aquariums, aquascaping and breeding rainbow fish.  He maintains two large planted tanks (180 gallon and 72 gallon) as displays, and a small nano aquarium that is his ‘experiment’… natural light, no filtration, no heat and only snails and shrimp for fauna.  You will get a good look at all of them in the video.  Marcel also applies the basic principles from his planted displays to his rainbow fish breeding and rearing tanks in the basement.  One of the keys to his success with planted aquariums is layered substrates, which he also makes us of in his breeding tanks by planting on pots.  Thank you Marcel for letting us in for a glimpse of your fish room!

Blue Eye Rainbows

This video shows all four of the Pseudomugil species I am currently keeping.  This fish in this genus are also known as ‘blue eye rainbow fish’.  They are all relatively small and make good community aquarium residents.  Some like hard water and others need soft water, so research any species you want to get; however, I have never had any problems keeping them for long periods of time in treated tap water.

Pseudomugil are mop-spawning egg layers.  The males work hard to attract females into the yarn mops where she will lay an egg or two at a time as he fertilizes them.  Healthy blue eyes will spawn a few eggs every day.  The eggs, depending upon species and water temperature, take 8 – 15 days to hatch.  They are not too hard to raise starting with very small foods such as paramecium or powdered fry food (I like Sera micron).  Once they are large enough to eat baby brine shrimp they will grow very fast.  I put the juveniles in with the parents once they are half an inch long.  I think that large colonies of blue eyes produce more offspring than single pairs or trios, and the interactions between the fish in the colony are a lot of fun to watch.

Xystichromis sp. ‘Dayglow’ & Melanotaenia sexlineata

Most of my aquariums are not perfect examples of biotope communities.  Too many species and not enough tanks.  This aquarium was set up to be the home of a colony of Xystichromis sp. ‘Dayglow’, one of the Lake Victoria basin species I want to maintain.  I have one male and four females that I have grown up from 1/2″ fry.  I started them in a 15-gallon tank until they were showing adult colors, then moved them to this 40-breeder.  They have turned out to be very shy fish, and when they were in this tank alone I almost never saw them.

I like to use rainbow fish as dithers in peaceful to moderately aggressive cichlid tanks, especially when the water is harder and higher in pH.  Since these Victorians are not too large or mean I chose to move my colony of Melanotaenia sexlineata ‘Tabibul’ in with them.  This is a beautiful medium-size rainbow that is becoming more common.  The work perfectly as dithers adn now the cichlids stay out front all the time.  Hopefully they will spawn soon so I can grow this colony (five fish is too few!).