Chromis-handsome man: description, content, reproduction
If you've ever seen this fish in a store, you will never forget it and probably want to launch the same in your aquarium. Large, spectacular, with an attractive coloring, the beautiful chrome is a real peacock of the underwater kingdom. In order for your acquaintance to be mutually agreeable, before buying, study the peculiarities of caring for him.
Belongs to the family of cichlids, another name is Hemichromis bimaculatus. This pet has come to us from African rivers. Large enough fish, in the aquarium grows to 15 centimeters (usually 10-12). A massive, large body is painted in bright red color and strewn with shiny dots of green or blue hue than the beautiful chromis and draws attention.
Two dark blurred spots serve simultaneously for decoration and for intimidating opponents. The head is pointed, with a large mouth, like a perch, with whom they are relatives.
Externally, the fish are very similar to each other. Usually the male is somewhat larger than the female, although there are exceptions. Attire females - it's almost completely red and orange shades, with a small amount of sparkles. Males, on the contrary, are decorated like a New Year tree, they are cast with blue-green flowers. Fins in the stronger sex are longer and brighter.
Habitat and conditions for life
If you decide to buy such an interesting fish, as a beautiful chrome, the content can surprise you with its ease. The aquarium should be quite spacious, preferably more than 60 liters (for one pair). Pay attention to the equipment, for normal livelihoods chromis requires good filtration and aeration of water, maintaining a constant temperature. The optimum temperature is 21-25 ° C, the stiffness is up to 20 ° F, PH is 7.0.
When purchasing soil, remember that these fish actively dig in it, especially during spawning. Therefore, sand and other small fractions will not work. It is best to take a large rubble, and plants are well fortified with large stones.
In the aquarium, there is always a lot of organic material (remains of the feed, biological waste), which forms turbidity on the ground. Due to the activity of fish it will constantly rise, so regular ground blowing and weekly substitution (25-30% of the volume) of water are required.
Delicate algae with a fragile root system do not get along well with these fish, being several times carelessly excavated, they perish. Anubius, which will withstand any tests, will work well. Or, alternatively, plant plants in a flower pot, which you dig into the ground.
Fish chromis-handsome is far from being quiet and pretty, as it may seem. As in every species, there are individual individuals quite calm, and others attacking everything that stirs. In any case, the neighborhood with them can be expensive for fish of a different species.
These fish are monogamous, a stable married couple is formed, which divides all the burdens of caring for the offspring. Therefore, it makes sense to buy an aquarium with a volume of 120 liters and make two pairs. It will be very interesting to observe the redistribution of the territory between them, you can also help them to solve the problem by dividing the bottom with a high snag. The main habitat of chromis is the bottom area, so you have to set a clear boundary.
Underwater structures made of stones, handicrafts in the form of sunken ships will serve as shelters, where the formed pair can retire. This helps to avoid territorial skirmishes when several individuals live in an aquarium.
Livable with neighbors
As already mentioned, the character of the fish is complex, therefore it is initially necessary to take care of the safety of all underwater inhabitants. Definitely not suitable chromis-handsome for a hostel with small popular fish: guppies, neons and others. Ripped fins and broken eyes are the least that can happen.
Unsafe neighborhoods represent chromis and snails. Large, like an ampulary, easily bite off the mustache, and small will be eaten, shaken out of the shell. According to the experience of many experienced aquarists, we can say that they coexist peacefully with large soms and barbs.
It must be remembered that prolonged feeding with unsuitable or unbalanced food can lead to illness or death of the pet. The basis of nutrition of these fish is protein. It is easiest for a novice aquarist to buy specialized, balanced mixtures for cichlids. It should be noted a serious plus of this approach.
Such bright representatives of the species, as the chromis-handsome, need food with a high content of pigment. It is he, accumulating in the tissues, maintains the juiciness of color. Living in artificial conditions, fish have one opportunity to obtain a sufficient amount of pigment - from special mixtures.
Based on some experience, it is possible to combine different feeds, providing optimal feeding. It should contain:
- live food: tubule, bloodworm, fish fry and earthworms;
- meat feed: shredded meat of beef, shrimp;
- dry food, including small additives of vegetable feed, for example spirulina.
Cichlids can be fed 2 times a day a little, or 1 time. The amount of food is determined by experiment, depending on the number of individuals and the type of food (dry mixtures are much less nutritious than meat). Portion should be eaten in 20 seconds, from this, repel the next time you feed.
Another important factor is age. Males and young individuals need 3-4 meals a day. With good nutrition, they will reach maturity by about 6 months.
One of the most exciting and long-awaited moments for every aquarist is the creation of a pair of fish and the breeding of offspring, especially if you live a beautiful chrome. Reproduction begins with the fact that the individuals change color, the female becomes crimson-red, the blue-green spots begin to shine in the male.
For the first time, offspring of fish are about 9 months old.
The couple chooses a place for spawning, driving away all the guests from him. Children usually become a flat stone, the walls of the aquarium or the layout of a sunken ship. Catching the eggs, the parents alternately guard it, with the movements of the fins providing the water current.
One masonry consists of 300 to 500 eggs. Development is rapid, after only 4 days hatchlings will hatch. Another week the kids stay in place, during this time they will finally develop and begin to try themselves in independent swimming. Parents continue to accompany their offspring here.
It will be another 10 days and the fry will be about 1 centimeter in length. Now it is already possible to separate children from their parents, planting them in a vigorous aquarium, where in six months adult chromis will swim. Reproduction, as you see, does not carry in itself special difficulties.
Care for the young
The speed of development depends, for the most part, on good feeding. Conditions of detention do not differ from those in which parents live. Feeding begins with zooplankton, gradually turning to daphnia and finely chopped tubule.
Even when they are very young, the chrome-females fry are already showing their aggressive temper. As you grow up, you must constantly separate the weakest individuals, otherwise they will be slaughtered by brothers and sisters. By the age of 6-7 months, it is necessary to prepare a future shelter for all fish, so that, after becoming sexually mature, they do not fight for the redistribution of the territory.
Observance of such simple rules will give you the opportunity to watch the life of the brightest representative of the family of cichlids day after day. Having become acquainted with them, many amateurs translate their aquariums into a monopolistic regime, where one or several pairs of beautiful chromis live.