Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)
Southern Harlequin Halfbeak
Origin: Southeast Asia, Sulawesi Island (Celebes), Indonesia
Very easy, the female being much larger than the male. The male's jaw is elongated and curved downwards. His dorsal, pectoral and anal fins are edged in black.
150 L / 33 imp gal / 40 US gal
T°: 25 to 26°C or 77 to 79°F
pH: 7 to 7.5
Hardness: 5 to 12°dGH
Male: 7cm (2.8")/Female: 10cm (4")
3 to 5 years
How to feed the Nomorhamphus liemi?
In its natural environment, Nomorhamphus liemi feeds on insects and larvae (insectivore). In aquariums, it is rather close to an omnivorous diet. However, it is preferable for its well-being to stick as close as possible to its natural diet, even in captivity. Thus, live prey such as mosquito larvae, mud worms or artemia are the preferred food.
Be aware, however, that this fish accepts commercially available flakes after acclimatization (sometimes difficult). Ideally, this should remain occasional, just for the convenience of the aquarist.
Note: the Half-beak feeds exclusively on the surface. He will therefore pay no attention to the food that has fallen to the bottom of the aquarium. Offer him floating food!
What kind of behavior does the Nomorhamphus liemi have?
Its gregarious temperament makes it necessary to keep this fish in groups for proper maintenance. The minimum will be a harem of 5 specimens: 1 male and 4 females. The males can fight each other, most of the time without damaging each other too much. However, it sometimes happens that the fight is a little more vigorous, and that the protagonists inflict ugly wounds on each other, especially in the beak.
This Half-Bec is lively and likes to swim in the current. Moreover, he will appreciate a good stirring. To do so, place the discharge rod of your filter horizontally, just below the surface of the water. He also likes to hide among floating plants.
It sometimes happens that the Half-Bec bumps against the walls of the aquarium. This behaviour is a symptom of severe stress. It is imperative that you look for the cause of this stress so that you do not leave your flipper friend in this state. This can happen if there is not enough room or if the decor is unsuitable.
Like many insectivorous species, this fish is a very good jumper. Remember to always cover your aquarium and protect your lighting system. This will prevent you from finding your fish dried or grilled.
Who can live with the Bloodfin tetra?
It does not pose any particular cohabitation problems. It is a perfectly peaceful fish that has good relations with other species of the same size and behaviour. The only exception to the picture are the small fish that can sometimes be taken as the next meal. Knowing this, avoid adding roommates of less than 5 cm (2") to them! Also avoid other surface species.
How to breed the Nomorhamphus liemi?
Reproduction of this species is not very difficult. It can be spontaneous in the main aquarium but the chances of survival of the fry are low considering the predation of the adults. Recommended water parameters to trigger spawning are a temperature of 25/26°C (77/79°F) and a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.5.
An additional aquarium is required to successfully rear Half-bacs. A volume of 100 litres (22 Imp Gal or 26 Us Gal) is sufficient if the aquarium is elongated. Make islands of floating plants that will serve both as a refuge and a pantry for future fry (Riccia fluitans is very good for this).
At this stage, you have two strategies: either you remove the fry from the main tank and put them in the rearing aquarium, or you isolate a harem (1 male and 2 females) and remove the parents after the births.
Either way, it is a viviparous species, meaning that the fry grow in the female's belly and are born already formed. A female can give birth to an average of 2 to 10 fry (very rarely more than 12) every 30 to 60 days. The gestating female is easily identifiable with her well rounded belly. Gestation can last several weeks (usually 28 days).
At birth, the fry are already formed and very large: between 2 and 2.5 cm (0.8" and 1")! All they lack is their characteristic beak, which will only be formed as they grow. Their growth is fast and easy. Interestingly enough, you can recognize the sexes of the fry as soon as they are born!
Fry food: artemia nauplia, artemia, drosophila, then other fairly large food.
Which aquarium for the Nomorhamphus liemi?
The ideal aquarium is not difficult to set up. Above all, it requires a bit of power and plants!
For the current, provide filtration with a flow rate of at least twice the volume of the tank per hour. Place the discharge rod horizontally, just below the surface.
For plants, you can use a variety of species. Ceratophyllum demersun and Vallisneria seem to be particularly appreciated. Floating plants are also indispensable (dim the lighting, allow fish to hide, lower the stress level...), without covering the whole surface: instead, make islands of greenery. Leave enough space so as not to hinder swimming.
As for the other elements of the decor, choose fine sand for the soil and add a root (be careful, no peat bog so as not to lower the pH level) and/or a few stones to complete your decor.
This fish is quite sensitive to nitrates, you will however be able to keep a good quality water by changing 20% of the volume each week.
Good To know
Good To know
Find all additional information!
The name "half-bec" of this fish comes from the fleshy growth on its lower jaw. According to some specialists, the black colour of this species' outgrowth imitates a twig that encourages insects to land on it. Hunting Nomorhamphus liemi is then made easier since it is the insect that literally throws itself into its mouth!
There are two subspecies that are distinguished by their colouring: Nomorhamphus liemi liemi is redder than Nomorhamphus liemi snijdersi.
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