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Badis badis badis, Hamilton, 1822

Origin:India, in standing water.

Etymology: Bleeker(1853) described the genus Badis for this fish, and named it Badis buchanani. When this was discovered to be a synonym for Labrus badis(Hamilton, 1822), the fish received the name Badis badis.

Synonyms:Badis badis, Labrus badis, Badis buchanani

First European import:Germany, 1904, by H. Stüve.

Description:See pictures

Care: Can be kept in pairs in small tanks, or in community tanks, since they are small and very peaceful. Tanks should be planted and have some shady areas, and at least one hole for each male to hide in. The fish have a strong dislike towards current, and will usually inhabit the quieter regions of the tank The fish are hardy, and more or less indifferent to waterchemistry, as long as the water is changed occasionally.

Temperature:15-30 degrees, to keep the fish a temperature of around 20-22 degrees is recommended.

Feeding: ONLY live food is taken. If Badis badis badis are kept in community tanks it's very important to make sure the animals get some food, since they are slow feeders. They may take more than 2 minutes to eat a single bloodworm.

Badis badis badisSize:Up to 8 cm, in aquariums up to 6 cm.

pH: 6.0-8.0

Breeding:Very easy, although not very productiv. The fish will spawn in very small tanks, preferably in caves, although they will also spawn in the soil or in plants if no caves are available. Temperature in the breeding tank should slowly be raised to 25 degrees or higher(up to 30), and the fish should be fed well. If a small tank is used, the female should be able to hide outside of the males territory. If she's willing to breed she will aproach the male, and the mating ritual will start. In Badis badis badis the fish will swim in circles around eachother, bite eachothers mouth, and try to swim backwards. Amazing colorchanges can be observed in the male during this behaviour. Soon afterwards both animals will swim into the hole, and mate. Approximately 100 eggs are laid, which will hatch in 2-3 days. The fry take a long time to become completely free swimming, around 2 weeks, during which time the male will care for the fry. It's often advised to remove the parents, although this isn't necessary when they are fed well.

Sexual dimorphism:Males a bit more colorful, females have a convex(full) belly.

Prices:Netherlands: 3€

Additional: Both other subspecies, Badis badis burmanicus and Badis badis siamensis are very similar to Badis badis badis, and can be cared for and bred in exactly the same way as described above.

Recently another subspecies has been described as Badis badis sp.bengalensis, but since this is a firy red dwarf species it's likely to be described as a species in the near future.

Update: Badis badis badis is now named Badis badis, B.b. burmanicus is now called Badis ruber, and B. b. siamensis is now called Badis siamensis.
The small red badidae are now a new genus, Dario. B.b. bengalensis is now named Dario dario.

Picture references: E. Naus

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