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Etroplus maculatus

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General

Etroplus maculatus (Bloch, 1795) is a substrate-spawning cichlid native to India and Sri Lanka. Common names for this fish are the Red Chromide or Orange Chromide.  

Line-bred specimens ;are solid yellow to solid orange and are not at all uncommon in the hobby. Generally, these line-bred fish are pond-raised in Asia. Recently, however, we have seen a good number of imports of the wild-type fish from India. Females in breeding color are a bright yellow-orange with black spots on the flanks. The lower portion of the flank has a large black blotch. Paired fins are either clear or black. Males sport a similar pattern, but have a gray-white background color. During breeding, the large side splotch is maroon to dark black.  Many hobbyists assume that brackish water is required to keep this fish. This is not true! I've read many aquarium accounts of successful breeding in fresh water. 


Habitat

Etroplus maculatus is found primarily in lagoons and small streams in both freshwater and brackish environments, typically associated with plants and cover.

Care

Etroplus maculatus is generally hardy and easy to keep. It does best in neutral to hard water. This fish can be a bit aggressive when spawning. If you have kept small Central American cichlids like Convicts, then you can manage this fish, too. I kept mine at 78F in Chicago tap water at pH 7.4, 300 ppm hardness. I performed regular partial water changes of 25% weekly. I kept a group of six fish in a 4-foot 90 gallon tank along with six Chromidotilapia kingsleyae. No losses occurred.

Feeding

Etroplus maculatus is easy to feed. I fed  Dainichi Veggie Deluxe pellets, New Life Spectrum pellets, spirulina flakes and various other flakes.


Etroplus maculatus
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