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Update on Tapajos Orange Heads

3962 Views 19 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  edburress
They've been growing like weeds, I have them in a 60 gallon simplistic grow out tank now rather than the community tanks in hopes of upping their growth rate.

They've gone from 1"-1.5" to roughly 3.5"-4.5" in just under 2 months of power feeding.

As a comparison, the clown loach in this tank are 5"-6" tl.

Tank mates are one ottocinclus, 4 medium clown loach and 8 veil tail black skirt tetra.

I've noticed a significant decline in their growth rates over the last month or so - which I suspect is normal, their appetites seem to be leveling out from what they were when I first got them as well.

I'll try to get better pictures later on, but here's a video: ... ids002.flv
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Wow. I've always heard that these grow very slowly, but you must be doing something right! What are you feeding them?

I have about a dozen at 1-2" in a 72x18x18 tank with a handful of Limia tridens and nothing else. A couple of them are a pretty good size but most of them are just inching along.
I fed them generous amounts of NLS Growth formula daily, there wasn't a single time that they didn't have food available to them, and I'd perform an 80% water change in the morning and another before lights out.

They had an amazing growth spurt and then seemed to level out at around 2.5-3"
Gee. With food constantly available and two water changes a day it's no wonder they've grown so quickly.
That is amazing!

Sounds like you've worked pretty hard at this! 2 water changes a day???

They look great!

Unfortunately two of my clown loach decided to go at it and managed to barb eachother in the eyes last night, both dead. :x

Moved the remaining two into my planted 75 gallon community tank, hopefully they don't tear everything up before I figure out what to do with them.
looks good, sad to hear about the loaches though

is that biomedia there to be seeded?
What kind of sand is that?
#0 white silica, think it was from SeaChem...not's really fine stuff - almost feels like mud when it's wet.
:lol: I think you got a bit sidetracked in your video. I saw a lot of loaches :lol:

I am interested to hear when you get your first spawn. Size-wise the large ones are mature, but age-wise they won't be for another year :lol: so I am not sure what to expect.

Mine grew from 3" to 6" TL in a little less than a year for the males, and from 3" to 4.5" for the females. I wonder if you have a male heavy group? Even so they've grow three times as fast as mine.

Try and get some good pictures of them. They should be be showing their full adult coloration at 4" but I figure they may just be too young.

Keep us updated

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I'm in the middle of finals week but I'll get some better shots up when I get time - none of them are showing much coloration yet, a lot of orange in the dorsal fins and a bit on the forehead but nothing as striking as what we see in your pictures so I'm fairly certain they're not sexually mature, their pecotral fins are starting to show a lot of orange, though.

I honestly think there are only one or two males in the group as a pair of them has exceeded the rest in growth by a long shot, I'm hoping these aren't Tapajos II with their coloring not completely coming in yet - though when they were over a black substrate I saw a lot more coloring in the forehead and that was at a smaller size.
DirtyBlackSocks said:
though when they were over a black substrate I saw a lot more coloring in the forehead and that was at a smaller size.
they change their color based on their surroundings right? mine do (not eartheaters), darker gravel to lighter sand changed some of my fish's "just swimming around" color. most notably my pleco.
Most fish mimic what's under them - some mimic their background for some reason, but yes the color of your substrate, especially in South American's definitely affects your fishes coloring.

When I had mine over black tahitian moon sand they were a very dark green and you could see the red/orange in their foreheads and dorsal fins.

Now that they're over white substrate they're a light green and you can see a lot more red in their dorsal fins and pectoral fins, but not on their foreheads.

I'm not familiar with this variant of geophagus at all, but I think some of it might be related to their immaturity and stress - so we'll see.

The pictures Ed posted of his sub dominate male were over white sand and it was a beauty, so maybe they just need a bit more time.
I started feeding them color enhancing foods as I was worried about them being something other than Tapajos with their growth rates - they're all starting to show color improvment in their foreheads and fins as well as the right coloration stripes in the fins - so I'm confident in what they are.

Not sure how I got them to grow so fast - either I'm lucky, they were stunted, or nobody's put the time I did into trying to power grow em'.
Hey DirtyBlackSocks what do you mean buy colour enhancements?
New video and some pictures focusing more on them - like I said my camera skills are ****, and I'll say it every time until I get a new camera that can take a decent picture - but this at least gives you an idea of how well the alpha male is starting to color in: ... I_0340.flv

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pretty fish, your camera skills are no better than mine i see though
yeah, really wish I had a better camera and a bit more technique to document how fast these fish have really grown.

When I got them they were 1"-1.5" and I was told it would take at least a year for them to get to where they're at now - which I accomplished in roughly 3 months.
Hope this is the active thread but I just have a couple of questions
After egg laying stage how long before free swimming
how soon after free swimming did you feed them and was it BBS
Hi skwestle,

Here is a rough timeline based off my experiences

0 days - lay eggs
32-45 hours - pick up (usually more successful when they wait closer to 45)
5 days - begin releasing wigglers for short periods
6 days - -fry can move about but are not fully mobile
usually about the 8th day fry are fully free swimming
8+ days - parents release the fry for longer periods of time, usually the male is the primary holder by this time.

About feeding, as soon as the fry can swim you can try to feed them but IME there are a few additional days that the parents will collect them before they can feed. So how effective feeding is at the early stages is largely up to the parents being comfortable and leaving them out.

I've never lost many fry until they stop holding them over night (after 15-16 days or so, and depends on how large parents are) at which time the other Geos snack on the fry over night.

Hope that Helps,

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