Lamp Eye – Aplocheilichthys macrophthalmus (Family: Cyprinodontidae)
As this fish rarely grows to more than 3 cms you need to assess your community aquarium to see if there are any of the others that lean towards the aggressive and might harm them. These fish have large eyes for their mass, which reflect as greeny gold in dim light; hence the common names, Lamp or Lantern eye.
As an active fish with a good leap, you must have a cover on the tank to stop them jumping out and the use of floating plants will help. They thrive well in an already established environment with a water temperature of 23 to 26 degrees centigrade.
Shape wise, the fish has a long body, thinner at the front with a mouth that points upwards slightly. It has attractive fins on a gray green body which may have a dark line along the back with a spotted shiny thin band along the flank. The male’s ventral and dorsal fins are more pointed than the female.
Breeding wise, eggs are either laid individually or in bunches that end up amongst the plants. Once laid it is best practice to remove the parents. After about ten days the fry will hatch and will need a lot of looking after as they are quite delicate.
Madagascar Rainbow Fish – Bedotia geayi (Family: Atherinidae)
Keeping this fish in a shoal (not large) with water between 25 and 18 degrees centigrade will see them at their best in your community tank. It is an active swimmer and sturdy little fish that grows up to about 8 cms and likes to dwell in the top part of the aquarium. It is very popular choice despite being a recent newcomer to aquarists.
Body wise, it has a somewhat unique feature in that it has two dorsal fins, a short one and a long one. Color wise, the main color is olive green and there is a stripe along the sides of the fish from eye to tail. Food wise, it is not a fussy eater but a mixed diet is best.
Breeding is easy for this species so you need to have thickly planted tank with hard water at a temperature of at least 26 degrees centigrade. Not many eggs are produced each day during spawning, which can last for a few days, but they are fairly large and are attached to the plants. Bear in mind that due to the extended spawning period, fry will hatch and be at various stages of their development.
Medaka – Oryzias latipes (Family: Oryziatidae)
This fish is ideal for your tropical aquarium. It grows to about 5 cms, will consume most foods and can survive in a wide range of temperatures, although 20 to 24 degrees centigrade is the best for it. There are three other species of Oryzias that you may also come across under the name medaka but the Oryzias latipes is the main one.
Their main color is gold without any particular marks. The body is slightly longer than normal and the head is thinner than usual. It is interesting to know that before breeding took place the original color was; well there wasn’t one. It was transparent!
Males are somewhat smaller than females and have bigger fins. Breeding is relatively easy and the tank should be at the same temperature as the main tank, have floating plants and be thickly planted underwater with fine leaved plants. Until they have been fertilized, the eggs will stay attached to the end of the female.
It is best practice to take out all the plants with attached eggs from the tank to another one and after about two weeks the fry will emerge. Remove and feed on infusoria then fine dry food, then micro worms and other food for the more grown up fish.
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