NANFA-- Elassoma Update

Michael Wolfe (
Sat, 15 May 2004 09:55:05 -0400

This may not be thrilling to some of you, but I am thrilled, so bear with

I collected Elassoma okefenokee last year (March 2003) with Steven Ellis,
Geoff Kimber and Philip Kukulski during the Okefenokee II - Return to the
Swamp outing. Five of these (3 males 2 females) have been in a ten gallon
tank since that time with five L. ommata. The tank is usually full of Java
moss (sometimes some hair algae as well) and I see most of the fish only
when I feed them. The male Elassoma, have for the entire year, been black
with their neon blue highlights flashing. They seem to protect certain
territories more or less, and usually, but not always come out to eat.
There is some competition for food, but nothing more than just "hey get a
way that's my piece." Feedings have been frozen brine, mysis, daphnia, and
mosquito larva. The tanks have been in my basement unheated (but I live in
Georgia, so even the winter is pretty mild in the basement), and whenever I
add make-up water I use straight tap (no declorinator... read that
recommendation a book somewhere about Elassoma).

Yesterday, I was looking-in-these fish (just spending some down time in the
basement) and noticed that there is a juvenile Elassoma in there! All the
other fish are big (well for E. okefenokee)-in-between 1.25 - 1.5 inches...
the females seem bigger. But this little one is about 0.5 inches... looks
a little like a female, but is a little more gray whereas the females are
more brownish... and already has a few light blue highlights.

OK so here is my question... How old is this fish? How long would it take
him to get to his 0.5 inches? This is my first ever non-guppy fry and I am
wondering exactly when all of this happened (since I can never see very far
into the tank).

Also, this is another example of Elassoma well over a year old (all of the
adults) still alive and swimmin'... and doin' their thing!

Michael Wolfe
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