Fast facts on Fundulopanchax nigerianum gardneri
Biotope: Western Africa: Nigeria, Western Cameroon. Lot of local strains are reported; so take care to avoid, as much as possible, any sort of hybridization.
Tank: Actual size doesn’t reallly matter. I’m currently keeping a quartet (1M/3F) in a 30 lt tank (about 8 US gals). The tank is aquascaped with small sized (grains) gravel, bogwood and some plants: Anubia barteri (dwarf), Microsorium pteropus (should be java fern) and Ceratophyllum sp.
Water chemistry: Temp: 22 to 25° C; pH 6.7; GH 5 –8. May be my actual values are NOT that radical.
Spawning: I’ve spotted a lot of courting (and likely spawning) activity in my tank with no “results” since I couldn’t find any eggs. However, it is important to note that eggs are 1mm in size and amber in colour; this says it all... I’ve been advised to put a pair in a small (!) tank (about 5 lt) with soft water and peat “flakes” at the bottom, leave the two fellows there for a week or so and then remove them. Eggs (if actually laid) should hatch in a couple of weeks or so. Must give this hint a try, sooner or later.
Food: It’s a carnivore. He will – eagerly - accept frozen food (artemia, daphnia, bloodworms) plus pellets, and flakes (stay on the “beefy” side of the matter).
Tank Mates: Aggressive and intolerant toward other males (mine has killed two similars!). It should do well with fishes of similar size, thriving in the same water (I refer to water chemistry)
Further remarks: Because of the political situation in that area of Africa and the high probability of habitat destruction each given fish should be considered as an asset; and not only for the hobby. Wild specimens are - for the reasons mentioned earlier, EXTREMELY rare to find in the trade.
ADDENDUM (SAD): I regret having to inform you that I have lost the male and two females during a horrible “heat-wave” that hit Italy in middle July 2001. Such things happen, as you can see, also in the so called best of families …