Norman Lampeye Tetra (Aplocheilichthys Normani)

Norman Lampeye

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Care of Norman Lampeye Tetra

Norman’s Lampeye is a savannah dwelling species known from the heavily vegetated margins of small rivers, brooks, and streams. These diminutive fish are shoaling by nature and are often observed congregating in their thousands. The home aquarium should be biologically mature with high standards of water quality maintained at all times; Norman’s Lampeyes are a relatively delicate fish and require stable water conditions with plenty of cover in the form of driftwood and plants. Water movement must be kept as gentle as possible, and dark substrate and décor choices will help to bring out the vibrant blue colour in the upper irises of these tiny fish (which, interestingly, is even visible on fry that are just a few days old). Despite the small adult size of these fish, the tank itself should be fairly spacious, as they are an active species, especially when breeding. Lighting should be fairly dim, although brighter lighting can be employed if there is plenty of surface cover in the form of floating plants such as Azolla, Ceratopteris, or Pistia species. Always maintain this peaceful, timid species in good sized groups of at least 10 specimens. Many aquarists like to keep them in a dedicated species-only set-up that is tailored specifically to their needs, but they can be kept alongside other tiny peaceable species such as African Jellybean Tetras (Ladigesia roloffi), Ember Tetras (Hyphessobrycon amandae), pencilfish, Pygmy Corydoras, Boraras spp., and some of the smaller anabantoids. However, they are not suitable as general community fish as they are easily intimidated and will be predated upon by larger fish. P. normani was formally described by Ahl in 1928 from fish first caught in northern Nigeria, and the species was named in honour of British ichthyologist J. R. Norman.

Feeding of Norman Lampeye Tetra

Prefers small, meaty frozen foods such as cyclops, baby brineshrimp (Artemia nauplii), Daphnia, mini-bloodworm, and white mosquito larvae. Some specimens will also take crushed flake and micropellets. Try to offer a variety of foods, with frozen fare included several times per week.

Breeding of Norman Lampeye Tetra

Norman’s Lampeyes are relatively easy to breed, and in densely planted aquaria, small numbers of fry are likely appear from time to time. However, if you wish to raise a larger number of young, a separate breeding aquarium should be set up for this purpose. A small tank filled with water from the main tank, filtered by a simple air-driven sponge filter, and fitted with a small sized heater to keep the temperature stable, along with several large clumps of Java Moss or spawning mops is all that is required. Acclimatise well-conditioned fish (ideally one male with 2 or 3 females) to the breeding aquarium, and spawning should occur quite readily and without too much intervention (sometimes a small water change is required to get them started). The eggs, which are relatively large for such a small fish, are moderately adhesive and will be scattered over the spawning medium, with incubation typically taking around 12-14 days depending on the water temperature. The young are able to take infusoria and finely powdered fry foods immediately upon hatching, moving on to Artemia nauplii as they grow. Some aquarists like to move the adults back to the main aquarium after a good number of eggs have been deposited to ensure that there is no predation, yet others leave them in situ because the adults rarely predate on their own eggs or fry. However, it is possible that larger fry may predate on much smaller fry, so larger youngsters should be acclimatised to the main aquarium as soon as they are big enough. In general, growth is usually rather slow, and the young can be expected to reach sexual maturity within 6 months. The fry are very sensitive to the build up of nitrogenous wastes, so partial water changes must be carried out frequently to ensure excellent water quality at all times.

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Video of Norman Lampeye Tetra (Aplocheilichthys Normani)

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