extract from the article Three Unusual Livebearers by Howard Norfolk. Original publication :
Vancouver Aquatic Hobbyist Club Newsletter.
splendens is a Goodeid. Goodeids all come from Mexico, from a variety of
niche habitats in the highland catchment area of the Rio Lema in Western
Mexico, and Ameca splendens comes from the Rio Ameca basin (hence the name).
Ameca splendens is endangered in the
grow to be two or three inches long. The male is particularly attractive,
with iridescent blue-green spotted flanks and a pale orange underside. His
tail has a strong vertical black band and a bright yellow one. The female
is more plain, but with her spotted silver body and squarish (rounded)
tail reminds me of nothing less than a miniature big fat Spring Salmon!
will live in a wide range of water conditions and temperatures (13°C/55°F
to 28°C/82°F) and are good community fish. They are very active and are
voracious feeders, supposedly typically vegetarian, so I feed mine regular
flakes and spirulina flakes, but find that they love frozen bloodworms or
any other food for that matter. They will also eat filamentous green algae
off plants and aquarium equipment.
are livebearers. Their young are few but are born large: up to ˝"
long (11cm.), fully developed and able to eat their adults' food right
away. Gestation period is about sixty days, and in the womb the developing
embryos have an umbilical cord (the trophotaniae) through which they
obtain nutrients from the mother. During pregnancy the mother needs lots
of food or she might abort. Fertilisation is required for each pregnancy (unlike
Poecilidae). They breed readily when kept in a shoal, and once a few
youngsters are present, the newcomers are left alone. The young like to
hide near the surface amongst floating plants (in the wild they live
amongst floating water hyacinths).
adults are fast, smart, and difficult to catch in a landscaped aquarium.
But the young ones have a curious habit of “fainting” – floating on
their side apparently dead - the instant they are caught in a net, or even
chased by a net. They "come back to life" as soon as they are
released. This is a defensive mechanism which makes them unattractive to
predators that only eat "live" food. I wonder how many have been
released for this reason when netted in the wild!
have them spread around various tanks now, but mostly in a 15 gallon
species tank and in my indoor pond. (October 2002: Putting them in my
indoor pond turned out to be a problem - they bred so successfully that
they virtually took over the pond! I couldn't catch them, so I had to
completely drain the pond and remove every single one).
reproduce readily in a flock setting without being given any special
treatment. I find that I get far more females than males.