Astronotus ocellatus, Cuvier, 1929
Origin: Brazil, Amazon river, Rio Parana, Rio Paraguay, Rio Negro.
Etymology: ocellatus means spotted.
Synonyms:Acara ocellatus, Acara crassipinnis, Cychla rubroocellata, Hygrogonus ocellatus, Lobotes ocellatus.
First European import: Germany, 1929, by Scholze and Pötschke.
Description: See picture(s).
Care: Large tank! The fish dig a lot during breeding, a thick layer of gravel, some well ankered plants and stones. Keep the fish in pairs. Not very particular towards watervalues. The fish inhabit the lower and middle regions of a tank, and cannot be kept together with small fish. The tank should be well filtered since the fish eat large amounts of food, and pollute a lot. They can be combined with angelfish or larger catfish.
Feeding: Large live food, fish, worms, clamps, crickets.
Size: Up to 33 cm.
Breeding: If kept as described in the care section, the pair will usually start to breed if they are 12 cm large. The pair swill spawn on a large stone, which is carefully cleaned by both p[arents. Up to 2000 eggs can be laid by a single(fully grown) female, which will hatch in in 3-4 days. The fry can immediately be fed on cyclops and small artemia nauplii.
Prices: Juveniles are frequently for sale for 3-4€.
Additional: A very popular aquariumfish, which is strange since it's completely unsuitable for a normal community tank. Many fish get flushed through the toilet or dumped in local streams. Because of this a population exists in the USA in Florida.
Several colorforms have been bred, including an albino form.
Picture references: Pictures: E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)
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