Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Etroplus maculatus- India and Sri Lanka, Asian Cichlid

Etroplus maculatus,Orange Chromide
Etroplus maculatus

These species live in the brackish water estuaries and lagoons of India and Sri Lanka.
Two or three species, belonging to the genus Etroplus, are found on the Asian Continent.

SYN: Chaetodon maculatus, Etroplus coruchi
PD:  Slightly elongated, oval-shaped fish and the body is yellow to bright orange in color with several rows of small red-orange spots that mark the body; there are three, short transverse bars are located near the mid-section of the body and the lower sections of the body could be marked with a large black areas.

The belly is usually light orange while the fins are transparent with an orange tint and the fins are held close to the body and the tail is slightly forked; further their eye is dark and large and the pelvic and anal fin is usually black.

SIZE: To 3.5" (9 cm)
SS: None

HAB: Southwestern Asia; inhabits shallow areas of coastal, brackish rivers and lagoons in India and Sri Lanka.

S: bottom, middle

TANK: A 24" (50 cm) tank with a capacity of 15 gallons (57 L) can be used. Use a fine gravel or preferably coral sand bottom with scattered rocks. Supply shelter and retreats with rocks, wood, and roots. Plants that can tolerate brackish water can be used. The tank should be in a position to receive morning sunlight.

WATER: pH 7-9 (8.0), 5-30 DH (18), 68-84°F (20-29°C). A 1 to 1.5% addition of salt is recommended. This can be accomplished by adding 7.5 to 11 TSP. of salt to 10 gallons of water (10-15 g of salt/10 L).

SB: A peaceful, non-destructive cichlid that can be kept in a brackish water community tank. The Orange Chromide can also be kept in a freshwater community tank, although salt must be added. Orange Chromide is best kept in pairs and let pairs select themselves and from a selection of 6-8 juveniles; they pair form monogamous bonds and later nuclear families.

SC: Livebearers, Danios, Celebes Rainbow fish, other Rainbow fish, Chanda, Halfbeaks, Brachygobius.

FOOD: Algae; live; brine shrimp, other crustaceans; whit worms; tablets; flakes; pellets. Feeding Orange Chromide this species should be feed color-enhancing foods fortified with beta-carotene this will bring out its reddish hues.

SEX: Males have a red edge to their anal dorsal and caudal fins, and generally have brighter colors and these differences are somewhat unreliable.

BREEDING: An addition of a small amount of sea water and a slight increase in temperature will help initiate the spawning. 200-300 eggs are laid on previously cleaned rocks, wood, and roots.

EGGS: The black eggs adhere to the surface in short little stems and both parents guard the eggs with hatch in 3-6 days.

FRY:  The fry are taken to pits where the parents continue their care and the fry attach themselves to the flanks of the parents where they appear to receive some sort of nourishment perhaps similar to Discus. The fry are free-swimming a few days after and can be raised on Artesia nuclei and rotifers. Be sure to keep an adequate amount of salt in the water so the eggs or the fry are not to suffer from fungal infections. The fry are slow-growing and very sensitive to changes in water conditions. Parental care may continue for up to four months.

BP: 7. Breeding is moderately difficult.

R: If the Orange Chromide is keep in fresh water without any salt, their colors will fade, as will their appetites and they will be subject to fungal infections. The Orange Chromide serves as a cleaner fish for the Banded Chromide. This fish is very sensitive to changes in water chemistry, thus try to perform very frequent, small water changes instead of occasional large ones. This timid fish needs retreats and hiding places in order to develop its attractive colors. There are two common color variations, the original orange strain, and a golden strain.

DC: 5. an attractive, but delicate species that is a good candidate for a peaceful, brackish-water community tank.
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