Brachyrhaphis terrabensis

Common Name: Olomina
Latin Name: Brachyrhaphis terrabensis
Origin: Central America
Temperature: 74-80º F
Ease Of Keeping: Easy
Aggressivness: Somewhat Aggressive
Lighting: Any
Adult Size: Females get to over 2″, with males maybe getting to 1.5″
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallon
Feeding: They will readily take commercial foods, but really like small live insects.
Spawning Method: A hard livebearer, easy to breed. They will eat their fry though.

© Neil Hinckley Brachyrhaphis terrabensis is one of the largest and boldest of the fish in the genus Brachyrhaphis.
A spanish nome for many of the small livebearers. It means much the same thing as the word “minnow” in english.
Like much, if not all of the genus, they also go by the common name Olomina in their native Central America.

Terrabensis (I call them Bter for short) can get quite large, with the females getting to a bulky 2.5″, and the males staying quite a bit smaller, getting to maybe 1.5″. They are not the most colorful fish, with a fairly drab body color and limited fin coloration. They do have a red stripe along the top of their exceptionally long (as in, it runs significantly longer along their bodies than most livebearer’s) dorsal fin. They also have a bit of black on their main fins, and a little bit of blue around their eye. They can also get a good netting pattern on their scales.

Probably the most attractive attribute of Bter is that they love to eat. They seem to be huge fans of anything that you throw in their tank, all the way from baby brine shrimp to the cheapest flake foods. More than any other fish that I have come across. While most of the other fish in our lab would take flake food within a day of being put in their holding tanks, Bter seemed to relish it.

These fish are quite healthy, and I have only seen an occasional problem with them. In particular I have found one female who seems to be chronically obese. I have separated her from the population, thinking that she was pregnant perhaps, but after a couple weeks she is still just as fat. I am trying to cut back a bit on her food, as well as add some other foods to her diet to try and get her back to a more normal body shape. She doesn’t seem to be in discomfort however. Other than that the majority of the deaths have been fish jumping out of their forty gallon tub. The water is about six inches below the rim of the tub, so it is no small feat that they are able to do that. The F1 fish jump much less than the wild caught.

Despite their large size and enthusiasm for food they are not particularly aggressive. They get along just fine with all the rest of the Brachys, and they don’t even seem to bother those that ore as much as almost two inches smaller than themselves. They will eat young fry, but other than that they are quite mellow.