Simpsonichthys picturatus, Costa, 2000
Origin: South America,East part of Brasil, state Bahia, Rio Sao Franscisco bassin.
Etymology: painted (from latin: pictus), agent (from latin: ura). In reference to the colors and pattern of the males.
First European import: unknown
Description: See pictures.
Care: Keep the fish as a trio or in small groups. Best in a species tank on their own. Water should be alkaline to neutral. The tank doesn't have to be very large, 20 liters for a trio will do. There should be some plants or javamoss in the tank for the females so they can hide if nessecary. If you have a dark bottom in the tank the fish will show their beautiful colors.
Temperature: 24-30 degrees.
Feeding: All kinds of live food. Not too many bloodworms or tubifex.
Size: Up to 5 cm.
Breeding: Egglayers, in a species tank as described above, the fish will spawn. These fish dive into mulm to breed. Put in the tank a big jar or pot with a layer of 5 cm peat. The fish will discover the pot and will put their eggs in the peat. Change every 2 weeks the peat. Dry the peat with eggs until it's moist, like tobacco. Store the peat/eggs at 25 degrees celcius and you can wet it after 2/3 months with slightly cooler water. The fry will start to hatch within 24 hours. After 48 hours redry the peat and wet it again 1 month later. Not all the eggs will hatch the first time as they can be in different stages of development. The fry can take immediatly newly hatched artemia and their growth is rapid. They are sexable in 4/6 weeks and will start to spawn when they are 8 weeks old.
Sexual dimorphism: Males are very colorful, females are brown with one or 2 black dots on their body.
Prices: around 5 €
Additional: There is one species that looks simular, Simpsonichthys magnificus. The S. magnificus are more green and purple in their colors. They are also more shy and the incubation time from their eggs ranges from 3 up to 9 months.
Picture references: All pictures E. Naus
Page written and contributed by: Maikel Meijer
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