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Badis sp. 'Buxar'

Classification

Order: Perciformes Family: Badidae

Distribution

While the trade name has sometimes been misinterpreted to refer to the city of Buxar in Bihar state, India it actually refers to the Buxa (often spelled ‘Buxar’) National Park in West Bengal state, close to the border with Bhutan.

Habitat

Unknown but expected to occupy habitats typical of Badis species in northeastern India i.e. shallow, slow-moving streams with dense marginal and/or submerged vegetation.

Maximum Standard Length

Around 45 – 50 mm for males, with females a little smaller.

Aquarium SizeTop ↑

A single pair or small group can be housed in a tank with a base measuring 60 ∗ 30 cm or more.

Maintenance

B. sp. ‘Buxar’ will thrive in a well-structured set-up with a sand or gravel substrate plus plenty of water-worn rocks and pebbles to provide cover. Plant species that can be grown attached to the decor such as Microsorum, Taxiphyllum or Anubias species can be added if you wish but aren’t essential.

Driftwood twigs, branches, floating plants and leaf litter can also be used to lend a more natural feel while filtration and lighting need not be too strong. Some cave-like structures should be included to act as potential spawning sites; many breeders use half-coconut shells or up-turned clay plant pots with drilled holes or parts of the rim removed to allow the fish access.

Water Conditions

Temperature: This species is subject to seasonal temperature fluctuations in nature and is comfortable between 15 – 25 °C with even greater extremes being tolerated for short periods. In many countries/well-insulated homes it can be therefore maintained without artificial heating year-round. Temperatures towards the upper end of this range are known to stimulate spawning activity meaning a heater will be required if you want to breed the fish outside of spring and summer months though. Set it to around 68 – 75?

Diet

Badis species are micropredators feeding on small aquatic crustaceans, worms, insect larvae and other zooplankton. They can be a little picky in the aquarium and may not accept dried foods although in some cases they will learn to take them over time. At any rate they should always be offered regular meals of small live or frozen fare such as Artemia, Daphnia or bloodworm in order to develop ideal colour and conditioning.

They’re somewhat shy, deliberate feeders (see ‘compatibility’) and it’s also important to note that all species develop issues with obesity and become more susceptible to disease when fed chironomid larvae (bloodworm) and/or Tubifex so these should be omitted from the diet.

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

Given its rarity in the hobby the emphasis should be on captive reproduction and we strongly recommend maintaining it alone. It is not a gregarious fish as such and rival males can be very aggressive towards one another, especially in smaller tanks. In these cases only a single pair or one male and several females should be purchased but in roomier surroundings a group can coexist provided there is space for each male to establish a territory and plenty of broken lines of sight. The clever placement of caves can help enormously in this respect; do not be tempted to cluster all the available spawning sites in one area of the tank, for example.

If you do intend to house it in a community tankmates must be chosen with care. It is slow-moving with a retiring nature and may be intimidated or outcompeted for food by larger/more boisterous tankmates. Peaceful cyprinids such as Trigonostigma or Rasbora species are likely to make good choices as are gouramis and other surface-dwelling species. Accommodating it in a biotope-style community of West Bengalese fish is more tricky although suitable species from the region include Pethia gelius, Parambassis ranga, Colisa lalia and C. chuna.

Certainly do not combine it with similar-looking, territorial bottom dwellers such as dwarf cichlids unless the tank is very large and never house it with other Badis species as hybridisation might occur. Also note that freshwater shrimp of the popular genera Caridina and Neocaridina, and certainly their young, may be preyed upon.

Sexual Dimorphism

Females are smaller, have duller patterning and a noticeably shorter, rounder-looking body profile then males. Males also develop slightly extended finnage as they mature.

Reproduction

Has been successfully bred in aquaria on several occasions. Members of this genus are cave spawners that form temporary pair bonds and are not usually too difficult to breed provided the tank is arranged correctly (see ‘tank set-up’). Other species are best omitted if you want to raise good numbers of fry although in a mature, well-furnished community a few may survive to adulthood. Either a single pair or a group of adults can be used but if using multiple males be sure to provide each with a cave to defend. Water parameters should be within the values suggested above. Feed the fish with plenty of live and frozen foods and spawning should not present too many problems.

As they come into breeding condition rival males will become increasingly combative and begin to display courtship behaviour towards females entering their chosen territory. During this process they display some wonderful changes in patterning with the body darkening to almost black and the blue fins intensifying in colour. The locking of mouths is also common; the male literally attempting to drag his partner into the cave. A receptive female will enter and spawning takes place with usually 30-100 eggs being laid.

Post-spawning the female is ejected and the male takes sole responsibility for the eggs and fry, defending the territory against intruders and fanning the brood with his fins. If you wish the other adult fish can be removed at this point although it is not absolutely necessary yet. The eggs usually hatch in 2-3 days but the fry do not become free swimming until they are 6-8 days old and may not leave the vicinity of the cave for another week or so after that.

From then the adults (parent male included) may begin to regard them as food and are best transferred to a separate tank. The young fish are quite sedentary for the first few days meaning microworm is the ideal initial food but once they are visibly swimming in the water column Artemia nauplii can be introduced to the diet.

NotesTop ↑

This undescribed species?

References

  1. Geetakumari, K.H. and W. Vishwanath. 2010 - Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(1): 644-647
    Badis dilbruensis, a new species (Teleostei: Badidaae) from northeastern India.
  2. Kullander, S.O. and R. Britz. 2002 - Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 13(4): 295-372
    Revision of the family Badidae (Teleostei: Perciformes), with description of a new genus and ten new species.
  3. RĂ¼ber, L., R. Britz, S. O. Kullander and R. Zardoya. 2004 - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32(3): 1010-1022
    Evolutionary and biogeographic patterns of the Badidae (Teleostei: Perciformes) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data.
  4. Schindler, I. and H. Linke. 2010 - Vertebrate Zoology 60(3): 209-216
    Badis juergenschmidti - a new species of the Indo-Burmese fish family Badidae (Teleostei: Perciformes) from Myanmar.
  5. van der Voort, S. 2009 - Der Makropode 31: 141-147
    Badis ferrarisi, Badis kyar, Badis sp. 'Wahumiam River' & Badis sp. 'Buxar'.
  6. Vishwanath, W. and K. Shanta. 2004 - Zoos' Print Journal 19(9): 1619-1621
    A new fish species of the Indo-Burmese genus Badis Bleeker (Teleostei: Perciformes) from Manipur, India.

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