Ameca spendens the Butterfly Goodeid- which according to several sources actually
likes cool water and ought to do well in my 300 gal liner pond which I'm guessing
hangs around the ambient air temperature of about 50 to 55 in the winter. I hear
they are occassionally availible at swap meets and thru fish clubs despite their
staus in the wild which I hear is not too good.
Some other species from that bioregion that might do well- how about the Mexican
Tetra- the sighted form of the blind cave fish in the trade. I hear they can
handle temps down to near freezing and are very common in Texas. Probably never
caught on because they are not as colorful as their more tropical relatives but I
saw a photo on the web and they don't look so bad. Wonder if anyone on the list
can get them?
And of course there is good old Heros/Heiricthes cyanoguttaum- the "Rio Grande
Perch" or Texas Cichlid that I had for a while when I was stationed in California.
And a similar species from a little farther down in Mexico related to cyanoguttaum
but even more splended looking!- provided they can get along with the livebearers.
That I've given thought to because when I had cyanoguttatum they were hard on the
gambusia that shared their tank. Maybe a more spacious pond with vegetation and
other cover the livebearers and other small fishes have a better chance of staying
out of their way. Or I could always go with more docile Kansas Longears which are
probably more beautiful!
A cyprinid from south of the border might be nice too- there is a "Notropis" sic
Cyprinella rutilis which is the Mexican version of the Red Shiner- but I can't
even find illustrations so getting a starter colony of the actual species looks
dubious. Maybe I'll just have to settle for the Red Shiner as a sub- heck they
probably look alot alike anyway- and I can get the latter as "Rainbow Dace" at one
local LFS I know of.
I'm thinking of a dream combination of the Goodids, a cichlid /and or Sunfish and
maybe the tetras and a tough cyprinid plus the Rivulus tenuis and maybe some wild
blue platies (do they still live in the vicinity of UF-Gainsville?) or possibly
some other obscure Mexican livebearer that can handle cool water in the winter.
The final outcome will be determined by species compatibility and chill
tollerance. With fishes like plants- I've found that it's more economical to fit
the species to the environment than to fit the environment to the species. I could
heat the greenhouse to tropical warmth but it would cost a fortune to heat it.
Better to putter along with the thermostat at 50 and just give up on the plants
that wilt at anything under 60 degrees or start rotting in the low light / high
moisture of winter.
The endeavor to establish Sailfin Shiners does not seem to be going well , so I've
decided to shift over to Mexican Fishes- which BTW still qualify for NANFA
membership since Mexico is still North America!
For some reason I've always had a fascination with Mexico and it's flora and
fauna. It probably started with Steinbeck's "The Pearl" which I read in school and
later by Dick Bartlett's "In Search of Reptiles & Amphibians" which has some
really dreamy chapters of herping in Colima and other places down there. They've
got some awesome stuff - if only I could get Gurerreo Wood Turtles again!
Them again I never imagined I'd even see a batch of rogerbarbori at PetsMart
either- let alone find hatchlings of Conant's Milksnake in the trade!
"Don't allow men to be happy. Happiness is self-contained and
self sufficient. Happy men have no time and no use for you.
Happy men are free men. So kill their joy in living. Take away
from them whatever is dear or important to them. Never let them
have what they want. Make them feel that the mere fact of a
personal desire is evil. Bring them to a state where saying 'I want'
is no longer a natural right but a shameful admission. Altruism is
of great help in this. Unhappy men will come to you. They'll need
you. They'll come for consolation, for support, for escape. Nature
allows no vaccum.
Empty Man's soul- and the space is yours to fill".
Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead
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