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Tiny fish bred by aquarium experts

by Tony McConville. Published Fri 27 Feb 2009 12:46
Danionella translucida
Danionella translucida

One of the smallest fish species in the world has given birth at Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks.

The fish, a type of near-transparent danio, measures just 10 mm when fully grown – that's approximately the same size as a grain of rice.

It's the first time the fish, which comes from Myanmar (formerly Burma) has bred successfully at the award-winning aquarium and staff say the three-millimetre-long babies are doing well.

Due to its size and limited distribution the species, Danionella translucida, was only discovered in 1986. No one is certain about their numbers in the wild and there is concern for the species' long term survival.

Blue Planet Aquarium’s Freshwater Specialist, Jenny Bird, said:"As well as being tiny the fish are virtually transparent and lack the usual scales and lateral line found on most fish species.

"The four fry are very small - only a couple millimetres in length - and extremely difficult to spot so we cannot be absolutely certain exactly how old they are. We are feeding them on a variety of things including rotifers, liquifry and gel diet.

"We have currently only counted the four individuals within the tank but we hope that there might be more and the females will carry on laying eggs so we can continue the success we are having with breeding this extraordinary fish.

"Obviously with species this small it’s hard to monitor how they are doing in the wild. Their size and the fact they live in such a relatively small area means they are particularly vulnerable to any changes in their environment.

"Establishing viable breeding populations around the world will help secure their continued survival," she added.

The fish are part of a group that was donated to the aquarium by Bolton Museum. The museum was the first place in the world to have successfully bred the fish.


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