Macropodus erythropterus, , 2002
Origin: Vicinity of "Dong Hoi", Thailand
Etymology: Named after the reddish dorsal region.
Synonyms: Macropodus sp. "rotrucken"
First European import: Germany, 2000, by Herder & Freyhof.
Description: See pictures, Macropodus erythropterus has a more pointy head, a reddish region in the back, and if fully colored an irridescent bluecolor below the lateral line. Another species, Macropodus hongkongensis, has a more greyish brown appearance and white ventral fins.
Care: Keep the fish in large enough tanks, with lots of plants and some floating plants. Temperature in the lower and middle regions, best not above 25 degrees since then the fish age fast. Soft, slightly acidic water mimics the natural circumstances, but the fish can be kept in neutral, medium hard water(15 dGH). Frequent waterchanges are required, otherwise the fish develop sores. Some current is highly appreciated. To prevent the female from being constantly harassed, it's best to create a number of suitable hideouts out of sight, for example by placing a large piece of driftwood in the middle of the tank. Macropodus erythropterus is much more aggresiv than it's cousin M. concolor, and this aggression can also be observed towards other similar fish(Trichogaster, Pseudosphromenus,Betta).
Feeding: Omnivorous, all food is accepted.
Size: Up to 12 cm
Breeding: Easy, the fish will breed in community tanks, even if strong currents are present. The male will build a bubblenest in a quiet region of the tank, which can be as large as 15 cm in diameter, and reach 2 cm above waterlevel. If the female is ready to mate, she will become white, and will start to try to reach the nest. For a while she wil be attacked vigorously by the male, until she succeeds. The fish will mate below the nest, and the eggs will float into the nest. The male rearranges the up to 300 eggs, and cares for them until they are free swimming. The eggs will hatch in little over a day(at 24 degrees), and be free swimming three days later.
Sexual dimorphism: Males are larger, have more elongated fins, and are more colorful.
Prices:Unknown, pairs are between 15 and 30€(2002)
Additional: A large number of the fry will turn out to be males(90/10).
Picture references: All pictures E, Naus.
References: Töpfer, J.(2001): Das Rätsel der Schwarzen Makropoden. Aquarium live, 2001/Nr. 6, pp 18-25.
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