Hemirhamphodon tengah

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Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by Vale! »

These (Borneo Redline Halfbeak) were on my original stocking list when I reset my tank that I call 'Guilt', six years ago. I couldn't find a supplier for them then or since ... until about three weeks ago. I was/am so excited!

During the 'lockdown' thing I'd fallen into a bit of a torpor as regards fishkeeping matters. Suddenly I was back! Recently I decided to resist putting further stock into Guilt, with the goal of eventually replacing the tank itself. I'd like to play with its planting a bit, which I'm going to do very soon, but other than that I'm trying not to fiddle with it!

Instead I thought I could put some in Hoy 2. I ordered half-a-dozen to see how they'd get on before perhaps increasing their number. The water was already OK for them but according to sources there might have been insufficient surface cover and too great a current.

I had Salvinia (floating plant) corralled in two floating pond rings, so I removed those and added some more Salvinia. I created a patch of still surface water at one end of the tank for them to mooch around in but kept the surface agitation going at the other end. The upwardly-pointing outflow from a small internal filter there creates an area free of Salvinia. It's at the far end in this pic :

Image


The fish arrived and were installed a few days ago. Following the first day settling down, of course they have all determinedly congregated in the patch of Salvinia-less and relatively turbulent water! So I've renamed them : Hemirhamphodon tengah var. perversus !

Image

I'm feeding springtails, Daphnia and crunched up flake or granules, all of which they take readily. Very funny to see them identify a bit of food, swim underneath it and keep swimming. Just when you think the food has been missed or ignored, suddenly it disappears.

These fish, unlike other halfbeaks, lay eggs. They also have quite an involved mating dance which I hope to be able to see sometime. Anyway, crossing fingers that they'll be happy at Vale! Towers.

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by Ruth »

Halfbeaks are amazing looking fish. I was sold some once with the assurance that they would be a peaceful community fish. @plankton rightly told me keep an eye on them and it was only a matter of minutes before they started trying to eat anything they could fit in their half beaks!! They lasted one sleepless night and went back!

That tank is amazing - more of a canal really! Enjoy your halfbeaks 😁

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by plankton »

Very nice V!. :)
I wonder if you could take them down the pub and play darts with them? ;) :D
(Only joking, honest!!!) ROFL

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by Vale! »

I hope I will, thanks R.

These ones are (reportedly) far less aggressive than other halfbeaks. In fact I'm going to remove some Pearl Gourami juveniles because they're a bit too manic for the tengah. I have some in another tank too, and they don't really fit in with my stocking plan for that either ; so I think I'll donate all of them to the local Maidenhead Aquatics from which their parents came.

In fact I'll try to do that today.

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by Vale! »

I can report a new game!

I've lost a couple of halfbeaks over the past six months (I don't know why) but one in particular of those remaining has taken possession of one of the worm feeders. It worked out long ago that this was where favourite food was likely to appear and could usually be found hovering next to it in hope or expectation. It then reasoned further that if it stationed itself inside the worm feeder it would get first dibs ; so that's what it's been doing of late!

The game involves trying to get worms to sink to the bottom of the feeder without being wolfed beforehand. Of course it would be unfair if I were to dump a load of worms in at once, so I've been doing it a worm at a time. This post is to remind me to try to get some sort of vid of the gameplay - I'll try tonight but I haven't yet worked out the logistics of handling camera, tweezers and worm at the same time.

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by Vale! »

Typical! Of course there were no fish minded to play the worm-feeder game last night! I did my best to take some contingency video (pending another go tonight probably) but it was neither easy nor particularly successful!

Meantime here are a couple of screenshots from it of doubtful quality or usefulness. I'm still disconcerted slightly when I see food disappearing into the (apparent) middle of a fish's head rather than into its front end!


From above (mouth open)

Image


From the side (mouth open)

Image



And a (very) fuzzy screenshot showing the last bit of a worm about to disappear

Image

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by fr499y »

what a strange looking fish.

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by plankton »

They're a bit like the equivalent of a small elephant in the fish world, fascinating.
Have yours ever bred?

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by Feather_Borb »

I hadn't realised how weird/cool looking halfbeaks are from above. Fingers crossed you can get that video soon.

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Re: Hemirhamphodon tengah

Post by Vale! »

Yes, F_B, I think I was more successful last evening.

Unfortunately, Mrs.V! is still surgically integrated with my PC and so I'm unable to edit it down at the moment. She claims that she slept at some point overnight but I'm not seeing any evidence to back that up.

I started the video session with whiteworms but hadn't thought to dump some in the opposite end of the tank to distract the Rasbora. As it was, they swarmed around the Halfbeaks - and at one point there was even an attempt to nick a worm from one of the Hb's mouths - but I'm sure I managed to get the vid I was aiming to get. We'll see later when I may be able to access my PC ; I wonder if there's a hacker's way to massacre a population of The Sims characters?

I had previously cleared a load of Salvinia ftom the right-hand side of the tank, so now there is a patch of clear surface which is churned by the filter output. After feeding worms I added some Bugbites to the cleared area ; they swirl around until they sink and are then blown toward the expectant group of Sundadanios. I took some video of the Halfbeaks through the front of the tank (rather than from above) and this was when it dawned on me that their normal modus operandi is to hover just under the surface with their mouths open, hoovering up anything that floats by, breaking off briefly to chase any particularly succulent morsel that presents itself. I'm vaguely hopeful that the vid will show that, too.

The 'hydroplanes' on either side of their heads must help them keep parallel to the water surface in a strong current? And, despite pre-purchase research suggesting that they prefer relatively still water, the fact that mine shun those areas (that I carefully provided for them) probably means that they actually prefer moving water where there's a greater chance of surface hoovering being fruitful.

Anyway, I'll return with some video when I can. Incidentally, I've discovered that their non-compliance with the Worm Feeder Game is because they're petrified of the tablet that's taking the video (which moves around unpredictably as I'm trying not to include reflections from the tank lighting, and probably generating dancing reflections of its own from the fishes' points of view!).

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