The Dario Derring-Do

Discussion in 'Member's Blogs' started by Sean S, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    The Dario Derring-do
    The genus Dario is small in all respects, there are 5 recognized and 1 undescribed species and the largest reaches the stupendous size of 28mm SL. I think these little gems are fascinating little fish that would be great for anyone wanting to keep a small tank with something colorful and interesting.
    I am challenging myself, and welcome anyone who wants to take on the same challenge.
    • The challenge- To breed every member of the genus.
    I did breed Dario dario (the scarlet badis) many years ago (kinda by accident). I had 2 extra fish appear in the tank almost as big as the adults. I am not counting that for this challenge- all have to by BAP-able. At this point I am not setting a time frame for completion because not all species are readily available at this time but I will put a loose timeline of 1 year from the time the last species is obtained.
    Right now I have two species- Dario dario (easy to find males, hard to find females, not sure I have any females yet) and Dario kajal “Jaintia Hills.” Jaintia Hills is the type locality for D. kajal so I am confident that this species designation will stay intact. Recent publication hint that there may be many fish in this genus yet to be discovered so this challenge might get more challenging as time goes on.
    As an added incentive, if anyone wants to join me, if they succeed in breeding all the species of Dario before I do, I will buy them dinner.
    For the record currently recognized species are-
    • Dario dario
    • Dario kajal
    • Dario hysginon
    • Dario dayingensis
    • Dario urops
    • Undescribed species in the hobby labeled –Dario sp. “Myanmar” Black Tiger
    If new species appear in the hobby or are described by science I will update as I find out. If anyone hears of something before I do please let me know and post here.
    I will try to post updates to this blog as my efforts progress (or regress) and add some informational posts as well.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
    Elise and SteveS like this.
  2. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Ok, I just found a paper describing another species- Dario huli. So the challenge just got more challenging!
    SteveS likes this.
  3. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I got a chance to observe my D. kajal for awhile last night. I am seeing definite displays by the males. I have at least 2 males and 3 females, I was unable to find more than five at once so I don't know if the 6th one is male or female but either way its a good ratio. I have seen the two males displaying to each other with the ladies watching at a distance and observed at least one of the males trying to interest a female in something more amorous ;).
    All the fish look well fed but due to the tannins in the water its hard to tell if the females are plump enough to have eggs ready yet, since I have only had them less than a week I would be surprised if the females were ready to spawn.
  4. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Current tank parameters for the D. kajal- 15 gallon tank with a HOB, temp 75 degrees F. It has a black sand substrate with laterite underneath with some plants, a piece of driftwood and a bunch of oak leaves. It is fairly tannin stained at the moment from the oak leaves. I have a single spotlight lighting the tank for about 12 hours a day.
  5. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Today's observation- I think the D. Kajal females may be territorial as well as the males. They seem to have different territories that may overlap with one or more males but I observed the females chasing each other today. The males seem to have relatively small territories. It might be the way I set the tank up but both of the males have territories right next to each other in about a quarter of the tank. The majority of the tank seems to be of no interest to the males
    One of the females seemed somewhat interested the males today. She looked relatively plump so may be ready for spawning.

    As far as the Dario Dario goes I might have a female in my group. Time will tell but it is hanging out in the dominant male's territory and the colors are reduced. Here's hoping I have at least one lady!
  6. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I noticed that my older male Dario dario that's the largest and clearly dominant has made himself a sort of cave or tunnel through the java moss. About have of the tank has java moss from the bottom up about 3 to 4 inches but he has this tunnel through it, not sure if he made it or he just maintained the space as the moss grew around it but it is definitely interesting. I have seen reports that the Dario sp. like caves and may spawn in them but I haven't seen anything reporting that they make there own. I'll try to get some pictures but it may not work depending on the angle of the cave/ tunnel.
    Mike F likes this.
  7. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I got some good pics of my Dario kajal today after throwing in some white worms from the white worm culture I got at today's auction. They really went after the worms! IMG_0708.JPG


    IMG_0707.JPG IMG_0704.JPG
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  8. Mike F

    Mike F Executive Board

    Woa, cool!
  9. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Several posts ago I mentioned a "cave" that the biggest Dario dario occupied. Don't know if he made it, maintained it, or if it was an odd coincidence but I got a halfway decent picture of it. Ironically, a different D. dario is near the entrance.

    IMG_0717.JPG
  10. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    So I moved my D. kajal to a different tank last night as part of my fish room redesign. At least 2 females look like they are ready to burst with eggs. I am going to see if I can find a spare tank to set up for spawning, if I do it right I could get spawning in two tanks since I have 2 trios that I can split the fish into. Not sure where the adults would go after spawning if both tanks spawn though:eek:

    I did get some good close ups of the ladies last night so I will try to post those later.
  11. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    IMG_0804.JPG IMG_0810.JPG IMG_0811.JPG

    Pictures of the female D. kajal. you can see three of them in the last pic. For scale pics 2 and 3 have portion of a heater in them (yeah those fish are small!)
  12. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Setbacks

    I found one of my D. kajal dead last night. I am unsure of the status of 3 others because I could only find 2. The upside is I think those 2 are a male and female. I am not sure what went wrong, I saw nothing unusual, the tank water is very clear and I am feeding nothing but live or frozen foods which they seem to eat each time.
    Hopefully I can parse out the deficiency in my fish keeping and keep the 2 alive. I may have to make a search for the rest, maybe there are more in there. Its only a 10 gallon so even though they are small they shouldn't be able to hide for long.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  13. Elise

    Elise Active Member

    I know you probably feel like you're talking to yourself, but when I've been searching for information on breeding a certain species I loved coming across threads like this. Thanks for recording all this information!!! :)
  14. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    No problem, I wish I had more info to share! I completely agree, the forum threads often have the best info. I also know from my own searches that outside of Dario dario there is very little out there on this genus, I have found a few species pages and a few scientific papers but thats about it. Hopefully my success or failure will help others succeed, or at least fail a different way.
    Mike F likes this.
  15. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I have some more positive news this time. My Dario dario are doing well, all seven are males but they are coexisting in the 10 gallon tank. There are definitely dominant and submissive individuals and the dominant ones are getting more food. Previously they have only taken live or frozen food but I was feeding a fine powdered fry food to the paradise fish fry in the adjacent tank and I tried rubbing the last bits stuck to my fingers into the D. dario tank to see if they would eat it. Surprisingly they nibbled at it. I noticed the submissive ones tried it first and after a few small feedings they do seem to be eating it. They are not vigorous feeders but they are eating some of it.

    These fish are very sight oriented and I noticed that the powder food quickly spreads across the tank surface and all the fish look at that. I think motion is very crucial to their feeding response. Hopefully this feeding will continue and identifying the visual cue may help transition these fish to other prepared foods.

    Now I just need to find some ladies for my bachelors!;);)
  16. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I have some disappointing news to report- all of my Dario kajal have died. I only ever found one dead body so they must have died under cover and being small deteriorated quickly. I will try again at some point but my focus will be on some other projects for awhile. If anyone is placing an order with Wetspot let me know they still have some available.

    I have lost one Dario dario but the rest are doing well, I will continue to look for ladies.
  17. Mike F

    Mike F Executive Board

    Aw, that's a bummer
  18. Natives2WI

    Natives2WI Well-Known Member

    Sean, if you decide to order, LMK, i would like to get a group of one of the dario's they have.
  19. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I spoke too soon. I went to tear down my Dario kajal tank and something Sean through my fingers when removing the plants and leaves. Glad I didn't drain first! So I have at least 1 left, did a water change instead. Removed a lot of the plants and the driftwood so I can tell what's left.
  20. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    So that has a weird autocorrect, it should read "something swam through my fingers" not Sean, that would be weird if I went through my own fingers.:oops:

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