Astyanax: The name of Astyanax, Hector´s son in the Greek mithology.
Blind cave fish are well able to
compete for food and look after
themselves in a community aquarium with
sighted fish. Although they would
probably look far more stunning in a
biotope aquarium which replicated the
natural habitat as far as is possible.
Blind cave fish have eyes when they
hatch from their egg and although their
eyes are still present they are covered
with skin long before the fish reach
adulthood. There are many theories about
this but the most popular theory is that
having eyes in total darkness is a
liability rather than advantageous, eyes
are delicate and in darkness in a rocky
habitat they may be prone to injury and
so through natural selection the eyes
have been lost.
Wild Astyanax jordani have to rely on food items which drift in to the cave systems where they live which for the most part is various insects and their larva. In captivity they are completely unfussy and will accept flake food, pelleted food, freeze dried food, Along with live or frozen food. In a community aquarium they behave as though they have eyes and seem to be at no disadvantage at feeding time.
Females tend to be larger and more plump when adult than the males.
Blind cave fish are one of the easier Characins to breed. A well cared for pair will spawn regularly without any special care although if you want to raise some fry a separate breeding tank will be needed. Their eggs are white and look like they are infertile but most will hatch. The parent fish have to be removed from the breeding tank immediately after spawning or they will eat their own eggs. The fry once free swimming can be fed using a commercial liquid fry food for the first few days before moving on to newly hatched baby brine shrimps and then finely powdered flake food.
Wild populations of Astyanax jordani are vulnerable which means they are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.
pH: 6 - 7.8
dGH: 4 - 30
Temperature: 20 - 25°C (68 - 77°F)
Size: 10cm (4in)
Min tank size: 60 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels
Origin: North America and Mexico.
Habitat: Subterranean water ways
Species: A. jordani (Hubbs & Innes, 1936)
Common name: Blind cave fish
Synonyms: Anoptichthys antrobius, Anoptichthys hubbsi, Anoptichthys jordani, Astyanax mexicanus jordani