Chaenobryttus gulosus, Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1829
Synonyms:Pomotis gulosus, Centrarchus viridis, Calliurus floridensis, Calliurus melanopsChaenobryttus antistius, Chaenobryttus coronarius, Lepomis charybdis, Lepomis gillii.
First European import:1896?
Description: See picture. Juveniles have a more spotted appearance, and have a less high body.
Care: The fish can be kept in larger tanks, especially to survive winters since they are usually sold as pond fish. Especially in the Northern areas with harsher winters the fish won't survive outdoors. On the other hand there are some populations of this fish present in Southern Europe, which have been int5roduced there. To keep them as aquriumfish, they require larger tanks of 100*50*50 at lower temperatures, best below 20 degrees(no heater is necessary), which are well filtered. In such a tank several pairs can be kept, since the fish are very peaceful, and show no aggression whatsoever outside the breeding season. When the temperatures start to rise in spring the fish will become territorial, and more aggressiv, and are best moved to an outside pond.
Feeding: Omnivorous, all food is taken, also small fish.
Size: Up to 20 cm
Breeding: Chaenobryttus gulosus can only be bred if the fish have been kept cool enough during the winter. In ponds the fish will usually spawn, and every year a number of juveniles will survive. If you want to observe spawning in aquaria, add a single pair to a meter tank, with lots of plants and other stuff for the fish, especially the female to hide in. The male will establish a territorium, and will build a nest there, that isn't much more than a ditch in the sand(It's best to use a sandy soil to prevent the male from hurting himself). To breed the fish the temperature should be kept at 20 degrees, soft or medium hard neutral water, with only a little or no current. The fish will breed and after a few trial attempts the female will start to lay her eggs in the nest build by the male, who will immediately afterwards fertilize the eggs. Up to a 1000 eggs are laid in total, and the female should be removed after spawning since the male will become extremely aggressiv and may even kill her. The male will care for the eggs and the fry until they are free swimming, after which he loses interest, and may consider the fry as food. The fry can immediately be fed artemia nauplii, and grow quite fast.
Sexual dimorphism: Males are a bit thinner, and more colorful.
Picture references:Picture 1: E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)Pinter, H.(1966): Handbuch der Aquarienfischzucht. Alfred Kernen Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.
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