All the pets and a newer yet aquarium

All the pets and a newer yet aquarium

This is Lola and the fish. I had a low tank made for the space where I'd had two five gallon tanks. It will be for plants and gouramis or local killies if I find any. The ten is full of guppies and the big tank has three female convicts on eggs.

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the more u look at them green walls..the nicer it looks..have fun

Yes, nice

And with fish tanks that size, you must be planning to stay for awhile.

I moved three when I left the other place

Not planning on going anywhere, though, as I like the neighborhood and the floor is leveler than at the other place. The big tank was cheaper with the homebrew filter and a chinese water pump than a tank would have been in the US (120/125 US gallon tanks don't appear to be that uncommon and are stock in some markets, especially where people keep salt water fish). Sebastian is designing an LED light fixture for it which won't be higher than the counter behind the tank.

If anyone wants to keep local cichlids, 6 ft (the big one is a bit over at 80 inches) is a good length. Also good structure inside the tank -- breaking up line of sight, leaving places to hide that have rear exits, etc. I've got three pairs of convicts breeding in the big tank and so far no real damage. One of the males may have bred with two females and one of the females may have bred with more than one male.

The low tank is 15 gallons and is designed for plants that grown out of the water or which will have roots in the water and honey gouramis. It wouldn't be a good tank for jumpers but it might work well as a tank for small turtles.

I've heard from various people that the fish populations both here and in parts of Honduras haven't been explored fully. Can't get fish out of Nicaragua except for scientific purposes, but it's possible to keep fish from here and some of them are quite attractive. This is why the whole tilapia introduction is so genuinely awful, risking destroying species before they're discovered. Worse has happened in some places with pleco introductions.

Rebecca Brown

Tilapia are just bad

Brown trout have been introduced in many places too. I don't know about Nicaragua but the highlands of Costa Rica have them. I can't say how well they do with other species but I wouldn't complain about them nearly as much as Tilapia. :-)

The LED lighting is a good idea. I suppose you don't need any kind of tank heating there.

I need heating for the honey gouramis

Probably for any dwarf SA cichlids, and I'd need it for discus. Heating the 15 gal US broad tank isn't a big deal. Heating the 135 gal. US (mas o menos -- it was bigger by an inch and a half than I ordered) would be less fun for the electric bill). People do keep and possibly breed discus here, but I like the idea of working with the national fish, even with the restrictions on selling them or their fry commercially. Discus would work in Leon.

Someone decided to stock dovii (really big predatory cichlid that shows up all over Nicaragua from the crater lakes to the highlands) in Guatemala, I think, where there is another really big predatory cichlid that's native, just not as famous as a game fish.

Brown trout wouldn't be as bad as tilapia or plecos -- and convicts are an invasive species in Australia and Florida. We're waiting for someone to do something stupid with jewel cichlids here as they have shown up as invasives in India already. The cichlids are particularly successful as invasive species, as are the plecos, because these fish do egg and fry defense and some of the species are extremely prolific, often non-seasonal, spawners: tilapia, convicts, plecos, etc. Carp don't do egg protection but are very prolific and tend to beat up on the substrate. Brown trout tend to be seasonal spawners and don't do egg production. Keeping trout going under heavy fishing pressure requires stocking. I suspect the fishing pressure for trout here would be intense. Browns can take some more heat than the others and don't seem to wander as much. The warm water analogue to trout are the various large characins -- some of which get some size and teeth on them.

LEDs are a good way to go in general -- the color temperature can be tuned with different color LEDs. The small tank has mini-fluourescents to start and as I get emergent plants going, I'll probably switch that one to LEDs, too, and put them where the drawer is now. The ten is the general guppy tank for now, no lights, no heater, and a small sponge power filter.

Fishbase is good for what has been reliably reported of described species in various countries. Various taxonomic quagmires exists for the various tetras, which Sebastian wasn't sampling since they jump seines, as do most killiefish. Grubs as bait and dipnets seems to be how fishermen on Apanas catch "sardinas" to use as bait. Ideal place for some of these would be inlet spring and creeks off the rivers.

Northern Honduras has some species that don't show up here -- and Panama is the northern range for a number of SA species and genuses. I'm curious about what licenses would be needed to collect in Honduras or Panama and then bring the fish in to Nicaragua, but there's plenty to work with here, including two species of knife fish, one rather interesting looking livebearer, and possibly other tetras. The river out of Ojos de Agua has a lot of very interesting fish in it.

My suspicion is that Nicaragua has some undiscovered killies and small cichlids somewhere here -- possibly on the Atlantic coast, though (one cichlid specialist caught one in a tributary of the Rio Coco but didn't bother with it, just mentioned to me that he caught a killie that wasn't the one that is known to be here).

Rebecca Brown


Nic has a lot of shared species, many of which are not listed as such because Nic. hasn`t been researched and published much. For example, I read somewhere than Nic and CR have 85% overlap on reptile species and I have found 4 species of cactus that were not listed for Nic but were listed for nearby countries. It works pretty much like this: species from dry forest and oak forest listed for points north have a high chance of also being native to northern/western Nic. Species listed for eastern CR lowlands and points south have a high chance of also being native to the Atlantic coast and reaching up a little into the eastern parts of norcentro.

It`s a little hard to visualize because of the mountains, but everything east of Cerro Tisey, Esteli, is actually on the Atlantic slope. Rio Esteli and Rio Grande de Matagalpa both drain to the Atlantic. The northwest border with Honduras passes the frontier with no real obstructions to the ecosystems so Nic is a meeting ground between wildlife from north and south, justed as it was a meeting ground for Indians from Mexico and South America.

I think you will find a similar situation with fresh water fish. It would be much easier to find good stuff locally than to try to import it legally from neighboring countries.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

Fish don't travel much out of watersheds

Rio San Juan watershed (the Great Lakes) has stuff in it that we don't have up here. Also, endemic or very localized fish can be in springs, crater lakes (endemics in some of these here), water above water falls. Northern Honduras has swordtails; Nicaragua has never reported any swordtails (and at this point, any that showed up around urban areas could be introduced as they've been introduced other places). Some cichlid species can live in brackish water and so tend to have wide distributions up and down the Atlantic coast (more swamps than the Pacific side). Relatively few rivers with Pacific drainage compared to Atlantic. Also water temps play a part -- the convicts seem to take lower heat than some of the other cichlid species. Very vivid color seems to evolve/develop in murkier water -- black water Amazonian species like neon and cardinal tetras come from low Ph high tannin waters. Most fish are just LBJs like birds.

Some fish here are sand sifters -- and they do appear to show up on Rio Coco tributaries and in local waters. Nicaragua seems to have more Poeciliidae (livebears) and cichlids than characin species and so far, only one killiefish has been found and documented here (about five species were discovered in highland Costa Rica circa 2007 or so). Knifefish seem to live under waterfalls, even if the waterfall is dams made of trash.

Yeah, when the range is Honduras and Costa Rica, the fish will be here, too, but where can be problematic. It's like talking about Virginia, which is the same size. Southeastern VA was the northern end of some fish ranges and the Potomac basin has its own endemics. New River drainage was Mississippian. (US state with the most fish species is Tennessee for whatever reason, off the Mississippi drainage for the most part).

Rio Copan seems to have been well collected, probably for the obvious reason is that it's near a major tourist site that is well protected. Southeast Honduras, not so much. At least one of the cichlid collectors assumed there wouldn't be anything in the Nicaraguan mountains, but one researcher is currently working on a highland tributary of the Rio Coco -- he's found known cichlids, but his new finds seem to be two new livebearers (again, a family that has a large number of brackish and sea water species). Killies ( are another group of fish that should be here but don't seem to be. One of Bruce Turner's graduate students from VA Tech caught more Panamanian killies in a pasture during rain than she could find in creeks -- they're very good at hiding, rotinone-resistant and can leap seines. If it's wet, they go overland chasing insects and are a little less deft at escaping capture then. Commonly found in three inches of water, more or less. I've watched YouTube videos of collecting those and have a proper large dipnet.

The river and creek in town are also hard to get down to as they're down steep concrete channels, but there is a ford at the south end of town that gives access. I've seen fish jumping in a pool that looked accessible at the north end of town.

At this point, I want to thin the Convict horde to maybe six or seven fish and get something robust that lives in the top water as the second species in the tank. The local mollies would work, or one of the local tetras.

With birds, the overlap is something like 90%, with CR having some highland endemics that Nicaragua doesn't have, but birds fly. The birds that don't show up in CR and do show up here apparently also show up in Texas.

Basically, the big tank is going to be set up for some breeding group or another of local cichlids (if I decide to change species, a friend has a snapping turtle -- fish can't be re-released back to the wild for a range of reason, mostly the chance of spreading exotic diseases). If I find the killies, the low tank will be repurposed for those, otherwise, some small shallow water exotic fish and plants that grow out of the water. Guppies will stay in the ten and provide occasional snacks for everyone else.

Debating adding a second cichlid species -- probably won't with this lot. The Lake Apanas Ten three senior females seem to be guarding wigglers -- will see if they start leading fry soon. I've now had them a week and need to do a partial water change. If I keep this species as a permanent breeding group, I can swap out males for other wild caught Apanas males every other generation or so. Life span for this species is about five years.

Rebecca Brown