Breeding Chuco micropthalmus
It behooves aquarists who come by hard-to-get cichlids to continue their lineage in aquaria for the benefit of the fishes, aquarists and the future of the hobby.
My interest in the Central American cichlid Chuco micropthalmus was born a number of years ago after seeing a picture at a friend's house. After hearing about its habitat and rarity, I decided I would one day keep this fish. I began to research the fish, finding out that a few fishkeepers from the United States had collected them ¾ only about 30 had been collected during a four-year period ¾ and had some success breeding them. With very few fish floating around the U.S. in the early to mid 1990s, and because of my limited tank space, my chances of obtaining breeding stock were low.
In 2005 my patience paid off, nearly 10 years after seeing that first photograph. I was offered a spot on a collecting trip to Honduras, home of Chuco micropthalmus. I hesitated about a second before accepting the slot. Since I visited Honduras in 2004 without success, I worried about failing twice. In 2004, we hired a fisherman to help catch Chuco micropthalmus, but our efforts produced only one female of breeding size and this only after an entire day of bargaining with locals and fishing. I was disappointed but not surprised since my research and personal conversations with others prior to that 2004 trip revealed C. micropthalmus was very difficult to catch, and our experience had proven exactly that! I hoped our luck would be better in 2005.
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