Poeciliidae Fish Family
Poeciliidae is a fresh water fish family that originally lived only in America but because they are mosquito larvae eaters were acclimated around the world to control the mosquito population. They are surface fish and will inhabit ponds or slow moving waters, will eat small insects, mosquito larvae but also plant based food. All the species of this family will give birth to live young, the male’s anal fin developed into a sexual organ named gonopodium with which he will impregnate the females. This specific organ will develop when the males reach sexual maturity. Females have the ability to store the male’s sperm therefore they can give birth for five to seven times before fecundation needs to happen again. On most species the eggs have a large yolk sac and the embryos will develop inside the egg coating feeding of the yolk sac, some species like Heterandria formosa doesn’t have a substantial yolk sac, therefore the female will supplement the young with nutrients.
The Poeciliidae family contains very popular aquarium fish species like: guppy, xipho, molly and platy. All of them are well known be aquarists and people around the world for their beauty and simplicity. They all give birth to live young and are easy to reproduce and above this species are easy to maintain in aquariums, basic equipment will do just fine. They don’t bigger then 10 centimeters therefore are perfect for community tanks but as a side note it’s indicated to keep them with fish similar in size. Will eat every kind of fish food but they are crazy about live food. The optimal temperature is around 24 to 26 degrees Celsius with neutral water pH (7).
Unfortunately most Poeciliidae species are not good parents, eating their newborn young as soon as they start swimming, that’s why the reproduction tanks need to have plenty of plants and also some surface plants (ex: ricia, ceratopteris, thalictroides) in which the young fry can hide from their parents or other members of this species. But in general most species of the Poeciliidae family will eventually breed like wildfire if given the opportunity, so get ready to house more and more inhabitants over time and be careful not to over populate you aquariums. Because of their easy to reproduce qualities many aquarist developed a real passion for this species, “playing” with different breeds and develop new ones for show and organized competitions. The females are usually all larger then males, with wider bellies and are usually less attractive as aquarium fish compared with males.
So here you have it, some basic knowledge regarding the Poeciliidae fresh water fish family, hope it helps and if you have any other questions please ask.