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Butterfly fish

maintenance, care, compatibility

The chromis butterfly (Venezuelan butterfly, remisisi apistogram) is a dwarf cichlid whose origin was America. The extent to which a fish grows up depends largely on the conditions that are created for it.

In a small aquarium, chromis will grow only 3.5 cm in length. If for each individual you provide a volume of water of at least 20 liters, in six months it will reach 6-7 centimeters.

The body of chromis has a yellow-brown color, with a red and orange tint in its front.

Venezuelan butterflies are distinguished by sex. When spawning time begins, the color of the male becomes bright red.

Females have a crimson color of the abdomen. They also differ from males by shorter dorsal and ventral fins.

Like other cichlid species, butterfly chromis creates stable pairs. For the normal functioning of each such pair, it is necessary to provide them with 60 liters of water.

You need to choose live plants for the aquarium, since the fish have an increased sensitivity to ammonia and nitrates. In addition, they need to prepare a shallow soil.

Unlike many relatives, Venezuelan butterflies do not bully in aquariums, do not damage plants.

During spawning, they can make small holes in the ground, but they are not as radical as in many representatives of cichlids.

Chromis butterfly is also sensitive to the water, which must be clean, so without a good aquarium filter is simply not enough.

In order for the fish to be seen in more detail and to see their beauty, it is necessary to provide the aquarium with good lighting.

It is important to ensure that Venezuelan butterflies have a weakly acidic, soft water with a temperature of 24 to 32 ° C. If the chemistry of the water does not fit the fish, it can get sick and die.

To control all indicators of water, you can purchase a special aquarium test. It takes place very quickly, and you can be sure that your pets are completely safe.

The diet of the butterfly apistogram must be varied. You can not give her one type of food for a long time, even if it is expensive and firm.

Chromis butterfly prefers live food. You can also give frozen bloodworms or tubers.

If you like to cook food yourself, use recipes that are specially developed for ornamental fish farming.

Chromis butterfly overfeeding can not be. In addition, a lot of food residue will cause the water in the aquarium to become dirty. This, in turn, will lead to fish disease.

But if the amount of feed is low, let it sink to the bottom.

The butterflies life is near-bottom, so they will look for something tasty on the bottom of the aquarium while searching every pebble or plant. In view of this, do not worry that some of the feed will rot.

But there is no need to pour a lot of food into the aquarium.

Giving dry food to fish should be very careful. It can only be used from time to time, besides, it is worth choosing only a trusted manufacturer.

Before we proceed to the questions of the content of these tsikhlovyh, we must necessarily say about the confusion in their names and systematics.

Scientists have debated a great many times on the topic of determining the correct scientific designation, and also have changed the classification of small South American cichlids. The current name in Latin sounds like Apistogramma ramirezi.

The most common household name is apistogramma butterfly. Even in the literature, these fish can meet you under the name

  • Microgeophagus ramirezi,
  • Papiliochromis ramirezi,
  • apistogram ramirezi or ramirez,
  • microgeophagus ramiresi,
  • butterfly apistograms,
  • Venezuelan butterfly
  • chromis butterflies.

The natural habitat of these representatives of the cichlid family are the Amazon and Orinoco river basins (in the western part) in South America. Also these fish were acclimatized in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

You can meet them in lakes, ponds and rivers with very slow or completely absent flow. The bottom of these reservoirs lines the mud, and the plants form whole thickets.

“Wild” apistograms find food both in the ground and on the surface of the water and in its thickness. They eat small insects and vegetation.

This species was first described by Manuel Vincent Ramirez, a collector and importer of species for the aquarium trade, after whom the fish were named. And George Meyers published a description in the magazine “Aquarium”, published in Philadelphia in 1948.

The size. These are relatively small fish.

In the sale of the most common 1.5-2 centimeter butterflies. The final size of an adult individual depends on the size of the capacity in which it will live (3 cm in small and 5-7 cm in large), the quality of the conditions and nutrition, heredity.

These apistograms live for about 2-4 years.

Body they have an oval. The tail does not have a notch. Fins are high.

In males, those that are located on the back and abdomen are longer than in females. The second and third rays of the dorsal fin are longer than the others, black.

Anal – rounded.

Colors bright and elegant.

  • The tan body has a reddish orange tint. In males who are ready to spawn, it “flashes” fiery red.
  • The head, back of the body and fins cover the greenish-blue spangles. On the sides there are spots of black.
  • The fins on the chest are transparent, while the others are orange with a red border and blue specks.
  • Eyes with red irises crossed by a vertical black stripe.

Females can be distinguished by pink or raspberry belly. In males who have reached puberty, the nose becomes saturated red.

Additionally, artificial forms such as gold, albino with red eyes, voiley, neon, balloon, blue neon, electric blue, etc. are bred by breeding. However, these brighter species also have a downside – a very weak immunity and tendency to diseases.

Ramires apistograms do not spoil the appearance of the aquarium, as they do not tinker the soil and do not pluck the plants. They are peaceful, not grumpy and very tolerant.

Their attacks on other fishes (more often on males of their own species), if they happen, occur rather with the purpose of frightening, not attacking, and only in the event of an invasion of their personal territory.

They contain butterflies one by one, in pairs or in several pairs (only in a spacious container with shelters). You can lodge them in common aquariums.

For the neighborhood are suitable small peace fish:

  • viviparous (guppy, swordtail, petilia, mollies),
  • haracin (neon, rassom, erythrosonus, rhodostomus),
  • There are also cases of successful content with barbs, cockerels, angelfish and iris.

Undesirable is the neighborhood with shrimp. The apistogram may not touch large individuals, and small ones will easily eat. And it’s absolutely impossible to keep the Venezuelan butterflies together with large, aggressive and fish that prefer cold water.

Best of all, these fish feel in an aquarium stylized as a pond of rainforest. Let us examine in more detail:

Capacity need at least 20 liters (this is only for a couple). If neighbors are planned, then the minimum volume is 70 l.

Water parameters:

  • temperature 24-32,
  • acidity 6.5-7.5,
  • stiffness not more than 12.

Butterfly apistograms are very sensitive to water quality. With its deterioration, these fish often catch ichthyophthiriosis and bacterial infections.

If it is not possible to provide running water, then its daily 10% or weekly 30% replacements on settled water are necessary (chlorine is harmful for fish). Be sure to install a good filter (better external) and to ensure constant aeration.

Shine preferably dim. Shade the aquarium can be floating plants.

Priming. It is better to put sand or fine gravel on the bottom.

In the future, it is recommended to monitor the cleanliness of the soil, siphon it regularly and measure the amount of ammonia in the water every week.

Of plants should be a lot. Do not interfere as snags, shelters of pots, a pair of flat stones.

Experts recommend using also fallen woody almond leaves, alder cones, peat.

These fish are omnivorous and prone to overeating. For them, it is better to choose foods enriched with proteins.

Live and frozen food can be given enough, and dry (especially flakes) should not get carried away.

You can feed the bloodworm, the pipe worker, the worm, Artemia, Daphnia, Cyclops. Herbal supplements also will not be superfluous.

The diet should be varied, meals two or three times, and small portions.

It is not so easy. Ramicese apistograms are considered reproducible at the age of 4-7 months.

Forced pair to form will not work. You need to first grow together 6-10 fish. Inside this flock, they will choose a partner for themselves.

Such pairs are very stable.

These cichlids are considered diligent and caring parents. However, sometimes in their “program” fails, and they eat or throw their eggs.

Scientists explain this by the fact that for many years in captivity, the fish simply lost their parental instinct.

For breeding is better to use spawning. This will reduce the anxiety and aggressiveness of the fish in this period.

Its recommended volume is at least 15 liters. The water temperature in it should be a couple of degrees higher than in the general aquarium. Spawning can be stimulated by daily addition of a small amount of fresh soft water.

It does not need to be aerated.

Fish eggs can be laid on a flat stone, a wide leaf of a plant, the inner surface of a pot, or even the wall of an aquarium. It is oval and light, and the number can be from 100 to 400.

Both parents care for her, but the male is more – he removes the dead calf, guards, carries the eggs to the best place.

After 2-4 days fry appear. After that, the temperature of the water begins to gradually decrease.

The male digs holes in the ground and carries fry there. After another 3-5 days, they will sail. The female is better to remove.

Feed the young you can nauplii Cyclops, Artemia, ciliates. Sometimes after the fry swam, you can observe how the male “cleans” them: takes it in the mouth, rinses, and then spits it back out.

The main difficulty in breeding butterflies is to keep the water clean and with stable parameters.

These are quite tender and painful fishes. Adaptation to a new place is quite slow and difficult for them.

In no case can not often carry them from place to place.

Butterfly chromises are very dependent on water temperature. Lowering it to 26 degrees and less leads to lethargy and weakness of fish.

In this case, they rise to the surface, gasp for air, the body swells under the gills.

The most frequent diseases:

  • Hexamitosis and ichthyothirius. Their cause is parasites.
  • Lymphocystic or cellular hypertrophy. Their cause is viruses. Gray nodules and black specks appear on the body of the fish. The disease is not treated.
  • Tuberculosis or dropsy. The main symptom is bulging eyes.
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation caused by overeating.
  • Stress.

Accurately identified diseases are treated with drugs (the addition of special preparations) or surgical (removal of the affected parts) by. Diseases from overeating are treated by fasting for several days.

Poor health for no apparent reason, in most cases, can be corrected by simply increasing the temperature of the water in the aquarium.

In conclusion, it remains to say that the butterfly apistogram is probably the best cichlid for those who decided to tackle them for the first time. It is small, very bright and spectacular, it has a peaceful nature and interesting behavior.

There are, of course, some difficulties in its maintenance and reproduction, but they are completely surmountable. “A fly in the ointment” is the fact that many weakened fish are now being sold, dying in the first year of life.

Video: butterfly apistogram behavior in an aquarium:

The butterfly fish does not like to live with individuals of a different species. Small fish can be perceived by the butterfly fish as food, and with large fish it can fight for the territory.

Do not addicted to those fish that bite off other people’s fins, since in this case nothing will be left of the wing-fins. As neighbors for the butterfly, species inhabiting the bottom will do (for example, catfish).

Aquarium fish-butterflies are demanding to the volume of the aquarium. Usually it is an 80-100 liter aquarium for several individuals. Ideally, if one fish lives in a 40-liter volume.

The tank should be tightly closed with a glass lid without cuts, so that the fish could not jump out of the water and cut.

Butterfly fish love warm water, the temperature in the aquarium should reach + 25-30 C. As for plants, small-leaved species are necessary for fish. The water level should be low, then the fish will feel calm and spend most of their time between thickets of plants.

Water should be changed every week to 15-20%, while ensuring good filtration of the aquarium. The soil for butterfly fish is not critical, since it practically does not sink to the bottom.

Feeding is an important process in keeping the butterfly fish. In nature, she prefers to pick up insects from the surface of the water, so she does not pay attention to food at the bottom. Too small food is also not suitable for feeding.

You can use large feed flakes, as well as add to the diet of grasshoppers, flies, cockroaches.

In saltwater aquariums, they also contain pennant butterflies. These species have a brighter color.

For example, a bright yellow butterfly butterfly fish can live in a marine aquarium.

The butterfly fish (Latin Pantodon buchholzi) or the fresh-water pantodon butterfly is a unique and fascinating fish from Africa. For the first time, European aquarists found out about a butterfly fish in 1905, and since then it has been successfully kept in aquariums.

The pantodon is a predatory fish that lives in nature in still and slow-flowing water. Usually they stand at the surface of the water, almost immovable, waiting for the carefree victim to come to them herself.

The freshwater fish butterfly of the pantodon can be called a fossil species, since scientists believe that it has lived unchanged for more than 100 million years! She did not adapt to changes in the environment and is still alive.

Her whole body is adapted to jumping out of the water, her eyes are arranged so that she can see everything above the water, and her skin has special receptors that sense micro-oscillations of the surface of the water when an insect falls on her. This is an ideal insect hunter, whose effectiveness has been tested in a huge amount of time.

But, it is better to keep a butterfly fish only to experienced aquarists, as it is somewhat demanding of conditions and care. Shaded, calm aquarium, with a depth of no more than 15-20 cm and with virtually no plants.

For her, the length and width of the aquarium is important, but not the depth. A large mirror of the surface of the water, that’s why you need a wide, long, but shallow aquarium.

And, of course, the aquarium should be covered, as this is a great jumper.

The fish is called the butterfly of the pantodon because, when viewed from above, its widely spaced fins resemble butterfly wings. They are silver-brown with dark dots.

With the help of these beautiful and large fins, the butterfly fish can jump out of the water to catch insects that fly above the surface.

In nature, they grow up to 13 cm, but in an aquarium it is usually less, about 10 cm. Life expectancy is about 5 years.

Wide pectoral fins are adapted to sharp throws on short distances. A large mouth is created to feed from the surface of the water, and to grab insects. The behavior normal for fish of a butterfly is an ambush and waiting at a surface of water.

She also has a swim bladder not only to maintain body balance, but also to breathe air, which is a unique feature.

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