Orizias thief (lat.Oryzias woworae) or rice fish is a small, bright and unpretentious fish that lives on the island of Sulawesi and is endemic. Despite the fact that it is found in nature in only one place, the oryzias of the thief perfectly adapts to different conditions in the aquarium.
Living in nature
At the moment, only one habitat of the oryzias of a thief in nature is known. This is Mata air Fotuno creek in the area of Paris, Muna Island, Southeast Sulawesi province.
Perhaps the range is wider, as some areas are not yet sufficiently explored. Sulawesi is the habitat of 17 endemic species.
Neon oryzias live in freshwater streams, 80% of which flows under a thick hat of tropical trees, and the bottom is covered with silt, sand and fallen leaves.
O. woworae was also caught in ponds, 3-4 meters deep, where they live with Nomorhamphus. Water in natural waters has an acidity of the order of pH 6.0 - 7.0.
The body length is 25-30 mm, which makes rice fish one of the smallest representatives of oryzias, however, there are even smaller species found in Sulawesi.
The body of the fish is silver-blue, the pectoral fins are red, the tail is transparent.
The dorsal fin is small and located very close to the caudal.
Since rice fish are widespread throughout the world, live in both fresh and brackish water, they have a very high adaptability.
For example, medaka or Japanese rice fish, lives in Japan, Korea, China, and Javanese all over the island of Java, right up to Thailand.
But what about the thief, because it is endemic, and lives only on the island of Sulawesi? It is so unpretentious that it usually adapts well in local water, it is enough just to defend it and remove chlorine and other impurities.
They mainly contain it in small aquariums, nano-aquariums, with plants, for example, herbalists with mosses. Often in such aquariums there is not even an internal filter. And this is not a problem, it is enough to regularly replace part of the water in the aquarium and remove nitrates and ammonia.
They are also undemanding to water temperature, 23 - 27 ° C rather wide range. Ideal parameters for keeping rice fish are: pH: 6.0 - 7.5, hardness 90 - 268 ppm.
It’s important to remember one thing, the thief’s oryzias jump superbly! The aquarium must be covered, otherwise they may die.
This fish seems to have been born for small aquariums; they look very organic there. Leave a free space in the middle, and plant the edges with plants. Most of the time they stay in places where the flow is minimal or absent, so it is better to avoid powerful filtration in the aquarium, or distribute it evenly, through a flute.
In such an aquarium, the flock spends most of the day in the middle layers, near the front glass, waiting for the next portion of food.
In nature, rice fish are omnivorous, and they eat everything from biofilms on the surface of the water to insects and caviar. In the aquarium, they eat all kinds of feed: live, frozen, artificial.
The only thing needed is that the feed be proportionate to the size of the fish, as they have a small mouth.
Absolutely harmless, ideal for general aquariums and small aquariums. Males can arrange fights because of females, but they pass without injuries.
It is ideal to keep in a pack, from 8 fish, with other peaceful species, for example, with a cherry barbus, neon, parsing and small tetra.
It is advisable not to combine with other types of rice fish, since hybridization is possible.
Simply bred even in a common aquarium, the female lays 10-20 eggs for several days, sometimes daily.
Spawning usually begins early in the morning, the male is brightly colored and begins to protect a small area from other males, while inviting the female there.
Spawning can last several months, with interruptions of several days.
The caviar is sticky, and usually looks like a lump that has stuck to the female and she swims with it for several hours.
After the male fertilizes it, the female swims in the aquarium with eggs until the eggs stick to plants or other objects in the aquarium.
Plants with small leaves, such as Javanese moss or kabomba spawning from a thief, will be ideal, but a synthetic thread is also good.
The incubation period depends on the temperature of the water and can last 1-3 weeks.
Although parents ignore caviar, they can eat their fry, and if it happens in a common aquarium, many small-leaved plants are needed to provide them with shelter. You can also transplant fry into a separate aquarium filled with water from a common aquarium.
Starter food for fry is a microworm and egg yolk, and they can eat Artemia nauplii about a week after birth, as they grow very quickly.
To avoid cannibalism, fry of different sizes are best sorted.