Hemigrammus ocellifer, Steindachner, 1882
Origin: Guyana countries, Amazonas. The fish inhabits a wide range of different circumstances, in all kinds of water.
Etymology: ocellifer= eye bearing, refers to the spot on the base of the caudal fin.
Synonyms: Tetragonopterus ocellifer, Steindachner, 1882, Holopristis ocellifer.
First European import: Germany, 1910, by H. Blumental.
Description: See pictures, 2 subspecies have been described, Hemigammus ocellifer ocellifer, and Hemigrammus ocellifer falsus, Meinken, 1958. Hemigrammus ocellifer falsus doesn't have the black spot on the side.
Care:Easy to keep fish, well suited for the community tank, although strong light is not appreciated. The fish require some planted zones in the back of the tank, preferably some shaded areas as well, created by floating plants or plants that form surface leaves(Tiger lotus). This schoolfish is very peacefull, and inhabits the middle region of the tank. Hemigrammus ocellifer is at it's most beautiful in a tank with tempered light, a dark soil(boiled peat), and covered sides and back of the tank. The eyes and the golden red region at the base of the tail will now start to reflect the light, creating a really nice view. You may want to look at the fish as described in a book by Lodewijks;"A dark room. Silence, except for really soft Spanish-American music".
Temperature:24-26 degrees, falsus can be kept at lower temperatures.
Feeding: All food is taken, omnivorous. Plants aren't touched by the fish.
pH: 5.5-8.0 Hardness: up to 25 dGH.
Breeding: Easy to breed, very productiv. The fry grow slow. Add a female to a breeding tank, and after a few hours add a male as well. If the female is ready to breed, usually the fish will spawn the next morning.
Sexual dimorphism: Males thinner, and a smaller more pointy swim bladder.
Additional: The fish are sensitive to sudden temperature changes.
Picture references:Picture 1+ 2+3 E. Naus.
References:Lodewijks, J. M.(1957?): Stille pracht in het tropische aquarium, N. V. Koek- en Beschuitfabriek v/h G. Hille & Zn, Zaandam, The Netherlands.Werner, K.(1939): Kamer-Aquaria. N. V. Kosmos, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.
Frey, H.(Unk): Het grote aquariumboek. Edition III, revised by A. van den Nieuwenhuizen. Neumann Verlag, Radebeul, Germany.
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