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Arnoldichthys spilopterus, (Boulenger), 1909
Red eyed characin

Origin: West-Africa; From Lagos to Nigeria(Niger river delta)

Etymology: Arnoldichthys(L): Arnold, named after an American breeder, ichthys: fish. spilopterus: Unknown.

Synonyms: Petersius spilopterus, Boulenger, 1909

First European import: Germany, 1907, by C. Siggelkow.

Description: See picture(s). The most striking feature of these fish are the huge scales.

Care: Suitable for the larger community tank, Arnoldichthys spilopterus is a hardy and active fish. When juvenile the Red eyed characin likes to form shoals, but fully grown specimens usually stand inactive in a corner of the tank, waiting for food. Arnoldichthys spilopterus inhabits the upper and middle water layers, and should be fed accordingly. Altough they can be kept in hard, slightly alkaline water, soft peat filtered water mimics the natural surroundings of the fish. Well filtered water with some current is preferred, as well as a dark soil and well planted aquaria.

Temperature: 23-28 degrees.

Feeding: Omnivorous, prefers larger chunks of food.

Size: 8.0 cm

pH: 6.0-7.5 Hardness up to 20 dGH.

Breeding: Not too difficult. An 80 cm tank with soft, slightly acidic water, lots of plants, and a lowered waterlevel complete the setup for a breeding pair. Frequent waterchanges, and lots of stong live food will induce spawning. More than 100 eggs can be laid by a single female, which hatch after 1.5 days, and will be free swimming after a week. When well fed, and kept in clean water, the fry can grow extremely fast, and reach 4 cm after 1.5 months.

Sexual dimorphism: Male more brightly coloured than female.

Prices: Around 5€.

Additional: The fish can reach a respectible age, 7 years has been reported, but probably the fish can get even older.

Picture references: All pictures E. Naus

References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.

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