Chromis-handsome (Hemichromis bimaculatus) Gill, 1862
Two closely related species of fish, Chromis-handsome and # Chromis red (Hemichromis lifalili), are often called the same.
Widely distributed along the coast of West Africa, from southern Guinea to Central Liberia.
It inhabits small and shallow streams and canals, in places with overhanging and above-water vegetation.
From the name of the fish it is already clear that the African chromic chromis-handsome is one of the most prominent representatives.
The body is red in color, which changes to bright purple when the fish are in the wedding dress. There are turquoise dots scattered throughout the body of the fish with a black spot in the middle.
Maximum standard length is 15 cm.
The size of the aquarium from 100 * 30 * 30 cm – 100 liters.
Provide a spacious aquarium with as many hiding places / shelters as possible to help dispel aggression and provide shelter. This can be achieved through the use of clay flower pots, various grottoes – forming caves, snags and areas with dense planting.
However, the handsome Chromis are diggers, so all plants must be with very strong roots or in pots.
Temperature: 22-28 ° C
Stiffness: 4-18 ° DH
It is very important that the water is clean and well saturated with oxygen. Regular water changes.
Taking into account the diet of the fish and its habit of digging the bottom, it is better to use an external filter.
A territorial species that becomes incredibly aggressive when the spawning period comes. It can be contained with larger tetras of the Alest Family (Alestidae) *, such as Congo-tetras, Somodonys catfish, and Loricariaceae, and in a large enough tank with other African cichlids, such as the Steatocranus casuarius.
It is best to keep in pairs, although simply buying a pair usually results in the fact that weak fish are killed. You need to acquire a group of adolescent fish to enable the pair to form from them on their own.
* African tetras – The family of ray-finned fish of the order is characteristic. Endemics of Africa.
The family includes about 18 genus s and 119 species. The most famous representatives are: Phenacogrammus interruptus and the genus Hydrocynus.
There will be almost everything you don’t offer, although live food will help enhance the coloring of the fish. It is necessary to provide dry food with additives of plant origin in the form of granules / flakes or blanched spinach / lettuce.
To distinguish is not easy. Look at the fish’s tail fin. The males have a blue net pattern in the middle of the fin.
Also adult males develop sharp dorsal fins. It is believed that the female is smaller in size and has a more rounded belly.
Relatively easy. The basis of the manufacturers.
It is difficult to choose a pair of adult Chromis, so it is recommended to acquire 5 or 6 young fish, allowing the pair to form naturally. However, even this may take some time.
Fish should be kept in a species aquarium, where conditions are created, as suggested above, with the addition of several large stones acting as spawning grounds, as well as a good, varied diet. An aquarium of about 100 cm will be a suitable spawn. Water should be slightly soft and acidic with a pH of about 6.5-7.0 and a temperature of 25-28 ° C.
Once a pair has been identified, other fish must be removed, as they may be killed. This couple will now stay together for life.
When the pair is ready, the intensity in color is enhanced, achieving an amazing effect. If there are other fish in the tank, remove them now or they will probably be killed.
At this point, the fish will even attack your hand! They will choose a spawning area on a flat stone (usually an area located at a slight angle), a wall of the pot, or even the glass of the aquarium and thoroughly clean it.
The male is very active and aggressive in his pursuit of the female and can drive her to death if she is not ready.
Spawning occurs in the same way as many other cichlids, the female lays a line of eggs, before moving away, allowing the male to take its place and fertilize them. Up to 600 eggs can be fertilized in this way.
The larvae hatch in about 48 hours, and during this period the male will protect the clutch. Sometimes parents change places.
Also at this time, the couple pulls out a series of shallow pits / grooves in the ground around the spawning ground.
As soon as the larvae hatch (about 72 hours), the whole brood moves by the female to one of these holes. They will usually be moved a few more times before they float freely, usually after 24 hours or so.
At this point, they can be fed with a microcorm and / or nauplii of artemia. Parents usually take care of offspring for about a month or until they become about 1 cm long, after which the fry should be removed, since parents can start spawning again.
The life span of a handsome Chromis (Hemichromis bimaculatus) is about 5 years.
Not recommended for beginners or for a mixed community aquarium, despite being often sold as such. Chromis-handsome (Hemichromis bimaculatus) appears regularly in the trade.
Two closely related species of fish are often called the same – the more famous Chromis red (Hemichromis lifalili) and the handsome Chromis (Hemichromis bimaculatus). These species can be easily distinguished – the Red Chromis has only 2 black spots on the sides, while Chromis the Handsome has 3 of them, it has an additional spot on the tail stem.
H.lifalili spots are round and located above the lateral line. In H.bimaculatus, the spots are oval and some of them pass below the lateral line.
Chromis red (Hemichromis lifalili) Loiselle, 1979
Conditions of detention, nutrition and breeding are similar in both species.
Is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It lives in streams and tributaries with a slow current. Despite this, they are usually rich in oxygen.
Maximum standard length 10 cm.
Territorial view, which becomes incredibly aggressive during spawning, but rather calm usually.
The volume of the aquarium of 70 liters.
Temperature: 23-26 ° С
Stiffness: 4-15 ° DH