Orange chromide

Aquarium fish: Orange chromide (Etroplus maculatus)
Size: 7 – 8 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 20-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 112 l

Orange chromide (Etroplus maculatus ) – a characteristic yellow-colored aquarium fish from the cichlid family. 

Occurrence

Asia . The species inhabits fresh and brackish waters in India and Sri Lanka.

Characteristics and disposition

Reaches about 7 cm in length. The body is laterally flattened, orange in color. In adult fish, black dots appear in the dorsal part.

The anal and dorsal fins are about the same length and height, ending just at the base of the tail. Anal and pectoral fins black-edged. The sex of the fish is difficult to distinguish . The male is usually slightly larger and more intensely colored during breeding. Orange chromide is rather free swimming.

During the breeding season, they stay in a group, especially when threatened, they exhibit interesting social behavior. It is recommended to keep a group of at least 8 pieces in which you will be able to observe complex hierarchies after reaching the sexual maturity of the fish.

Nutrition and feeding

In the wild, they tend to eat algae which they scrape off the rocks. Interestingly, they also play the role of “doctors” for a larger species – Ceylon jaundice . They cleanse their bodies of parasites and molds, the nutritional value of which is, of course, debatable.

Aquarium

For a group of these fish, an aquarium of at least 120 cm in length is recommended, with a sandy substrate and a large number of hiding places in the form of caves and rock caves. However, remember to leave space for swimming. They can live in both fresh and salt water. On the other hand, they do not tolerate acidic water. They are also sensitive to pollution, so they require weekly water changes (20-25%).

Avoid combining them with aggressive and territorial fish. However, they are perfect for a larger group of smaller fish living in the middle parts of the water. In fresh water they can be kept with carp, such as Danio, Devario, Razobra. In brackish water with Mollynesia macula.

Breeding

Orange chromide forms temporary bonds during the reproductive period.

Observation of wild individuals in their natural environment indicates two such periods during the year. The first is the dry season from December to April and the second is from June to August. During these periods, salinity increases and thus the turbidity of the water decreases, which means that adult individuals have better contact with the fry. These fish pair up and choose the places where the fry have the best chance of survival. Most often these are areas covered with dense vegetation.

In an aquarium, reproduction is not difficult . If we want to breed these fish, it is best to buy a larger group so that they pair up naturally. During courtship, fish choose a place to spawn, most often it is a stone, sometimes the glass of the aquarium. Both parents look after the roe and the fry. The female lays up to 300 eggs.

Incubation takes about 2 days at 27 ° C. The fry begin to swim freely after another 2-3 days. From the moment of hatching, the larvae are transferred by their parents between the previously prepared wells in the medium until they use up their yolk sacs. Shortly after starting a swim, young jaundice often attach to the body of adults and possibly take up nutrients from the mucus. Caring for offspring is quite long, parents can protect the young even until they reach their full size.

Adult eggs are often eaten, so breeders recommend moving the eggs to a separate tank. The water in it should be well filtered and oxygenated, and any mold foci should be removed immediately. The fry can eat the Artemia larvae and other similar-sized food right away. The fish grow very quickly after two weeks and are about 1 cm long.

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