Pseudosphromenus cupanus, Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1831
Origin:India, Sri Lanka. Here the fish occur in small rivers in the vicinity of the coast, usually in densely grown parts.
Etymology: cupanus, after the place where they were found; d'Arian-Coupang.
Synonyms: Polyacanthus cupanus, Macropodus cupanus, Macropodus cupanus cupanus.
First European import: Germany, 1903, by H. Stüve.
First bred by: H. Stüve, 1904, Germany.
Care: Can be kept in pairs in small tanks, but will also do fine in community tanks. Not particular to waterconditions, nor susceptible to waterquality. Densely planted regions and some hideouts should be present in the tank. A dark soil and an occasional bit of sunlight will bring out the colors. Some floating plants are highly appreciated.
Temperature: 18-25 degrees.
Feeding: All food is accepted.
Size: Up to 6 cm.
Breeding: Bubblenester, will breed at lower temperatures(22 degrees), but if the temperature is raised breeding is usually more succesfull. The fish will build a bubblenest below a piece of driftwood, or a plantleaf, but if no suitable place is found also at the watersurface. It's best to keep a pair in a 40 cm tank, densely planted, with only a little current and a lowered waterlevel. Some sunlight should enter the tank daily, and waterchanges should not be conducted to frequently. Prior to mating the males color will change, the body becomes beige, and the red in the ventral, anal and caudal fins will become intense. Usually a tiny bubblenest is made at first. If the female is ready to mate she will change her color to dark brown-black, and swim towards the male below the nest. Here the fish will mate, up to 300 sinking eggs are produced, and both parents will collect the eggs. The female however is not allowed by the male to place the eggs in the bubblenest, and she will spit the eggs out in front of him. There's no need to remove the female, since the parents do not fight. Shortly after mating the male will start building a new bubblenest at another location, and transfer the eggs to that nest. The second nest is usually large and high. Here he will guard the fry until they hatch(1-2 days) and become free swimming(another 2-3 days). If a large offspring is wanted, it's better to remove the parents at this stage, but in a 40 cm tank usually 10-20 fry will survive an grow up to adulthood without any special care.
Sexual dimorphism: Males are more colorfull than females, especially the red in the caudal tail is more developed in males.
Additional: That the female is not allowed near the nest is probably because in many labyrithfish species the males mate with multiple females. As personally observed in B. splendens, if the female has a chance to get to the nest where eggs from previous spawns are present, she'll try to eat as many eggs and fry as possible, probably to ensure that her eggs receive better care.
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)Richter, H. J. (1979): Das Buch der Labyrinthfische. Verlag Neumann-Neudamm, Melsungen, Germany.
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