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by M. J. Parry
Newport Aquarists Society, England
The Nandidae group of fishes, native to South America, the West Indies, Africa and India, comprises several species, few of which are known to the majority of aquarists. Probably the most common of the species is Badis badis, a fish indigenous to India, which attains a maximum length of 2+ inches.
It is not an easy fish to describe as it has the ability, characteristic of a chameleon, to change colour, although its usual body colouration varies from a dull red to a bluish-black, usually crossed with wavy vertical lines. It is an extremely temperamental fish, certainly not to be trusted with fishes smaller than itself, or with fish having long flowing finnage, examples being the Angel Fish (Pterophyllum scalare), the Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leeri) and the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens). It is, almost exclusively, a carnivorous species - tubifex, white worm, shredded earthworm and other meaty foods being accepted with great relish.
It is quite a simple fish to breed, this being done in a manner similar to the cichlids. The male is distinguished by his slimmer appearance, and his more intense colouration. For best results both fish should be separated and conditioned for a period of 7-10 days on the foods mentioned above, the breeding tank being set up to include slightly acid to neutral water, pH 6.8. A flower pot with the bottom knocked out should be placed in one of the rear corners, in which the fish will probably spawn.
After the usual preliminary courtship, which coincides with vigorous chasing by the male, the female will eventually be drawn into the flower pot to lay her eggs upon they will be fertilised by the male. Upon termination of spawning both parents should be removed, and a few drops of a 5 per cent. aqueous solution of methylene blue added to the water in order to assist the fight against bacterial growth.
Hatching occurs within 72-8O hours, and after absorption of their yolk sacs the fry should be fed the normal foods - infusoria, brine shrimp, sifted daphnia, and finally small white worms or chopped tubifex. The ultimate result should prove to be a good number of saleable fish which, in turn, will further serve to popularise the species amongst a greater number of aquarists.
The article has been reprinted with the kind permission of www.aquarticles.com .
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