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Pseudosphromenus dayi, Köhler, 1909

Origin:India; Malabar coast near Aleppey. Burma, South-Vietnam. Linke reports that it also used to be found at the Malayan west coast, although Pseudosphromenus dayi nowadays cannot be found there anymore. However, Hoedeman reports that the fish found at that location is P. cupanus(described as M. cupanus cupanus).

Etymology: Dayi, named in honour of Francis Day.

Synonyms:Polyacanthus cupanus var. dayi, Köhler, 1909, Macropodus cupanus dayi, Myers, 1925, Polyacanthus dayi, Pseudosphromenus cupanus dayi.

First European import:Germany, 1908, Scholze & Pötzschke, Berlin.

Description:See pictures.

Care: Pseudosphromenus dayi is an easy to keep fish. It's not very particular about waterquality and environment, although a well planted tank with many hideouts tributes to the animals well being. Temperature should be in the higher regions, and the tank shouldn't be too small, minimum 60 cm. Well suited for the average community tank, although seldom available. The fish will inhabit all regions in a tank, and can usually be found in the quieter parts of the tank where current is low. If the fish are kept together with other fish, usually the filaments in the caudal tail will be bitten off by it's coinhabitants.

Temperature: 24-28 degrees.

Feeding:All given food is taken, also flake food.

Size: Body 4.5-5, tail including filaments 2.5-3 cm.

pH: 6.0-7.5


Pseudosphromenus dayi Juvenile 2cmBreeding:Bubblenester, Pseudosphromenus dayi will build a nest at the surface under a plantleaf, or in a cave. If the water is clean, the fish will also spawn in a community tank. The parents usually do not eat the fry, although for a large spawn it's still better to remove the parents.. After 24 - 36 hours(depending on the temperature) the eggs will hatch. The fry are protected by the male for another 2-3 days after which they wil be free swimming. Pseudosphromenus dayi fry can grow quite fast, after 2 months they can be 2 cm large, and will start to display the iridescent blue margins at the fins. At the free swimming stage the fry are dark, almost black, then turn completely white after a week, and later on will start to display the parents colors.

Sexual dimorphism:Impossible to see in shops and in juveniles, but when kept in proper conditions the male has much brighter colors, especially the orange around the throat. The pictures show males, in the right bottom a female picture is available. Filaments in the males caudal fin are longer.

Prices:Netherlands: 3-5€.

Additional:Czech breeders have created a strain with more intense colors, especially more red.

Picture references: All 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)

Hoedeman, J. J.(1969): Aquariumvissen encyclopedie 5. Elsevier Nederland B. V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Linke, H.(1980): Labyrinthfische - Farbe im Aquarium. Tetra Verlag, Melle, Germany.

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