Subject: Re: Feeding tips for Blue Gularis by scottdavis on 2010/1/7 7:43:28
Intestine length is a useful indicator as to whether killies and other creatures need and can digest veggie materials. Unfortunately that info is not alweays included in the literature.
I was surprised when re-reading Loiselle's description of the new Pachypanchax. Their intestinal tracts are pretty short. They take parts of pea halves but I'm not convinced that they can digest and use them. Once dropped a set of pea halves in with a pair on lineatus on a Monday. While they were being adjusted to a show tank the following Saturday, they each spit up a half of pea, still whole. There didn't seem to be any digestion taking place on the peas halves! Never bothered Aplocheilus with veggies again.
By the way, a quick Googling for "human intestinal length" variously suggests a length of 5.2 to 10.7 meters or several times out body length. I love my hamburgers, but we prolly devour a lot more animal protein than we need. :)
I'm reminded of cleaning a walleye at a fishing camp. The stomach was filled with a large perch. There simply wasn't much digestive equipment after that point. A sign of a pretty exclusive carnivore.
One can read of young fishes of other species relishing vegetable material and switching to more animal protein in their diet later in life. One of the more notorious examples of course are the "Chinese" algae eaters that shift to becoming the large, territorial "Siamese slime suckers" later on.
Young Riv. hartii love peas. Their parents take then too. But there seems to be a lot of green poop in the adult hartii tanks later. Maybe an example of the maxim that "all things must pass."
Since algae grows best in mineral rich water, it probably isn't a surprise that so many Poeciliids nibble on algae and devour crushed peas. Pupfish and hard water/ brackish water Fundulus seem to line up there too.
Can't imagine that pupfish encounter many cultivated, cooked peas in their habitats. But they sure learn to home in on them fast in the aquarium!