Hello dear colleagues! Last time we talked about the family of kartozubykh, where we learned how these fish live in natural conditions, how they multiply, and what features of the structure of their body allow them to survive the dry periods of the African continent.
Today we will touch on the subject of labyrinth fish, and in particular we will talk about Lalius and his close relatives.
When it comes to labyrinths, we immediately mean bright fighting fish, popular gourami or macropods. In order to thoroughly familiarize yourself with this interesting family, I advise you to add to your collection of knowledge and other types of fish that are also interesting in content.
Unfortunately, modern aquarists very rarely stop at keeping fish from the genus Colisa.
Lilius aquarium fish – appearance and sexual dimorphism
The first descriptions of Lyalius were published back in 1822. The homeland of its habitat are the basins of the most famous rivers of Asia: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Indus.
Particular attention should be paid to the districts of Assam and Bengal. However, after the first description of this representative of the labyrinth, many years passed before this fish appeared in our aquariums. For the first time in Europe, Lyalius was introduced in 1869 by Fraensis Day, who sent the fish in the usual package from India for the London Zoo.
The scientist claimed that this is the most beautiful fish he has ever seen.
And indeed, the lalius males are painted extremely beautifully. On the sides you can see alternating oblique green-blue and red stripes.
The number of these strips can vary from 13 to 18 pieces. Exactly the same stripes are on the fins, which also have red dots and a border.
The ventral fins are also painted red.
Lyalius females, like most fish species, have a less motley appearance. The combination of pale blue and pink stripes creates the feeling that the body of the fish is painted gray.
The main color of the ventral fins is yellow. But this is not all the differences between females and males.
In the male, the dorsal fin has a more pointed shape, while in the female it is rounded. Males grow to 6.5 centimeters in length, and the size of females does not exceed 5 centimeter mark.
Due to their qualities and appearance, they are ideal for keeping in a common aquarium, as they have a peace-loving character. However, these fish are rather shy, and in case of danger, they quickly hide in shelters in the form of thickets of plants or a tangle of tangle. In order not to injure the fish, it is better to choose the same peace-loving neighbors.
Some nimble aquarium fish, can nibble abdominal fins. This applies in particular to Sumatran barbs, which I would not recommend keeping in one container with the hero of today’s article. And belly fins for fish are very important, therefore, if they suffer, it can lead to bad consequences.
Of course, they will further grow, but in that place a thickening or curvature may form.
The composition of the aquarium water fish is not demanding, but it is better that it was soft with a slightly acidic or neutral active reaction. The water temperature should be within 22-27 degrees Celsius.
But since the lalius comes from the tropical regions of Asia, it is better that the water temperature in the aquarium is 24 degrees or more.
The size of the aquarium with liliusami does not have to be large. Several adult couples can easily live in a 30-liter aquarium with a can length of 40 centimeters. In the bank it is desirable to plant a lot of vegetation, mainly it should be long-stemmed, having small split leaves (limnofila aquatic and limnofila Indian).
On the surface, the presence of floating plants, such as reachy or pistes, is also desirable. But do not forget to leave enough space for swimming fish.
Lyalius love when direct sunlight falls on aku, especially in the morning. Aquarium lighting should be intense and bright. The color of the aquarium substrate is predominantly dark.
But about the direct sunlight on the aquarium, I would like to immediately warn you. Since the sun rays falling on the aquarium cause a rapid flowering of water, I would have refused this option of lighting the aquarium.
It’s just that you don’t end up with algae problems, let’s rather use artificial lighting than constantly struggle with algae.
When the content of lalius is desirable, the aquarium should be tightly covered with a cover glass. But not so that the fish do not jump out of the aquarium. The fact is that labyrinths breathe atmospheric air with the help of a special organ.
If the air above the surface is cool, the fish can get sick and die from temperature changes.
The water in the aquarium should be partially replaced regularly. This should be done once a week, replacing 1/5 of the total for fresh. If the substitution is rare, then in the old water a large amount of organic compounds begins to accumulate, which leads to frequent diseases of the fish.
Due to the old water, the fish’s resistance to various diseases decreases.
To feed adult fish is not difficult, as they eat almost everything that they are served. It can be various types of dry feed, live food (insect larvae, small branchling crustaceans and small worms). Lyalius can also hunt small flying insects, which they have learned to shoot down with a stream of water, like a sprinkler fish.
However, a trickle of water can only fly a couple of centimeters, so the potential victims of the fish are insects flying directly above the surface of the water. This behavior can be seen only with a tightly covered aquarium.
As the fish matures, they can be deposited in a special container to spawn. Lyalius reach sexual maturity at the age of 5-6 months.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to select a pair of producers for spawning, so some experienced aquarists do this: put a few adult fish in a spacious spawning house, so that most of them are females. Then the fish themselves will be divided into pairs, and all individuals remaining without a pair will return back to the general aquarium.
Lyalius can spawn both in the general aquarium and in a separate spawning ground. During spawning, the males become aggressive towards their neighbors and they chase all those who will come close to the nest. If you want to get offspring, then the producers should be deposited in a separate container.
For a pair of fish will be quite enough 10-liter aquarium, the water level in which should be within 10-12 centimeters. There you also need to place a couple of bushes of thick aquarium plants (you can use Javanese moss or Guadalupe naiad). The horny fern also performed well.
Its tender leaves can serve as a refuge for the female, if in the process of grooming the male will show aggression.
The chemical composition of aquarium water in a spawning aquarium does not have a cardinal value, but the water in it should be soft with a hardness not higher than 2 degrees. The water temperature should be a couple of degrees higher than in which the fish were kept. This will stimulate reproduction.
Under good and suitable conditions, the male will proceed to the arrangement of the nest. He begins to draw air into his mouth and releases it in the form of bubbles glued by his sticky saliva.
A foam cap will appear on the surface of the water, which will be strengthened by small-leaved plants floating on the surface (Riccia). The nest will be quite strong and high.
During the preparation of the nest, all responsibility and work lies with the male, the female does not take any part in this procedure.
And now the construction is completed, marriage courtship begins and the male pushes the female under the nest. There are cases when females are not yet ready to spawn, and in this case, the male can start chasing the female through the aquarium and beat her in the side. If the female has nowhere to hide from such flirting of the male, she may simply die.
But if the spawning proceeds as usual, the male will collect the eggs by mouth and carry them to the nest.
Upon completion of spawning, a caring dad will carefully guard his offspring, not allowing anyone, not even a female, to the nest. While caring for the offspring of the male, there may be flashes of aggression, and if you don’t set a female in time, then the father can easily score her.
The incubation period of eggs takes from days to two. After the incubation period, larvae appear from the eggs, which have not left the nest for five more days. And the male is alert at this time and is at his post.
If the larva leaves the nest, the male carefully picks it up with the mouth and carries it back to the nest.
And then, finally, the youngsters began to swim independently. This crucial moment cannot be overlooked, since the spawn will need to be removed from the spawn and start feeding the fry. The fry at alius is rather small and normally it is extremely problematic for an aquarist to feed it.
Many literary sources advise feeding fry infusoria, as they are the smallest food for aquarium fish. But the fry with enormous difficulties eats this ciliates.
And besides, this kind of food is not very nutritious. This leads to the fact that the young grows slowly and there is a high probability of the appearance of fry with developmental defects.
The most ideal food for the fry lyalius is live dust, but rotifers have the best effect on the development and growth of fry. When the young begin to feed, it is better to carefully examine it through a magnifying glass. If after a couple of minutes the bellies of the small things are rounded, it means that you picked up the food correctly.
If not, then you need to find another reservoir and pick up food for them, at this time be sure to use the home culture of ciliates as a temporary remedy.
You can also use artificial foods such as omelettes, egg yolks, and milk formulas, but do this in extremely rare cases. With regular feeding of such food you will be able to raise only 15% of the fry.
You can also find advice on the forums that fry lyalius can be fed with grindal, but such cases were rare and professionals never use this method.
When you feed the young, remember that the first two weeks of feed in the aquarium should be constant. After two weeks, the fry can already be fed with small cyclops, artemia and micro food. When choosing food, remember that the fry will grow unevenly, so be guided by the smallest fry.
But it is better to sort them regularly, because they can manifest cases of cannibalism.
The first descriptions of honey gouras appeared at the beginning of the 19th century, but the first attempts to get acquainted with this fish in Europe began in 1963, and after a couple more years, this fish got into the USSR. The color of the body of the fish varies greatly, but the main colors are orange-red and yellow-brown. Hence the fish and nicknamed honey gourami.
During the spawning period, the body color of the male becomes bright red.
A wide bluish-black stripe runs from the end of the anal fin to the lower jaw. On the dorsal fin you can see a lemon yellow strip that runs along the top edge. The filiform abdominal fins are red or bright orange.
The color of females and males is similar, but the first are not so bright. The dorsal fin in the male has a pointed shape, and in the female it is rounded.
Under aquarium conditions, the size of fish rarely exceeds 4 centimeters in length, but there have been cases when honey grams grew to 6.5 cm in length.
Aqua for the content of honey gourami should not necessarily be a large volume, 20 liter jars are enough. An obligatory condition of an aquarium with guramks is the presence of dense vegetation from long-stemmed plants (cabomba, perististis ambulia, hornolistnik). Also welcome the presence on the surface of floating small-leaved plants (Riccia).
Since the fish are rather shy, they need plants as shelters. Also do not forget to leave enough space for fish to swim freely.
For honey guramok, the chemical composition of aquarium water does not play a significant role, but fish prefer soft and slightly acidic water. The temperature of the water can vary between 22-27 degrees, but it is better that it keeps around the mark of 24-25 degrees, as the heat-loving fish.
This representative of the labyrinth is ideal for keeping in a general aquarium together with red neons, mollies, antsistrus, gyrinoheyluses, minors and other representatives of haracin ones.
But be prepared for the fact that before the spawning period, the males of honey gourami may begin to show aggression towards their neighbors in the aquarium, driving everyone away from the nest. So that other aquarium inhabitants do not suffer, the producers should be transplanted from the general aquarium into a separate spawning tank.
To get offspring from these attractive labyrinths, either a pair of fish or a small flock is selected for spawning, where the number of males will be the same as the females. It is also possible to squander a flock of fish in which females predominate. In this case, you can achieve the formation of more productive couples.
Fish themselves will find a pair without the knowledge of the aquarist. When the pairs are formed, the remaining females should be removed from the spawning back to the general aquarium.
A tank with a floor area of 100 to 120 square centimeters will be suitable as a spawning aquarium. If a school of fish sits on spawning, then each pair of fish should have at least 40–50 cm square in the bottom area.
The water level in spawning aqua should be no more than 10 centimeters. There is also prone to long-stem grass with feathery and delicate leaves, and on the surface should float. The temperature of the water must be raised to 27-29 degrees.
The hardness of the water should be from 4 to 7 degrees, and the active reaction 6.5 – 7.0 pH.
If the conditions are suitable, the male will soon begin to equip the nest of air bubbles near the surface. The only difference in the nest of honey goulyra from lalius is that the gummerki use fewer foreign “building materials”.
Often in the nest fish adds some long-stemmed plant that will add strength to it.
When the nest is built, marriage courtship begins. During this action, the male guramki is more courteous and less aggressive than its sibling lyalyus.
Females not ready to spawn are not attacked by the male and in their case there are no deaths. During one spawning, a normal pair can produce about 300 eggs, despite the fact that the normal amount is from 100 to 150.
When the female sweeps away all the eggs, the male will carefully transfer her mouth to the prepared nest.
At the end of spawning, the female is necessarily removed from the spawning, giving the male the opportunity to independently care for the eggs. The incubation period depends on the temperature of the water in the aquarium, but on average, it lasts 24-48 hours. When the eggs turn into larvae, the male continues to take care of them, picking them from the bottom if they accidentally fell out of the nest.
After 5 days, the fry can already swim in the aquarium. Do not overlook this moment, since you will immediately need to remove the male from the jar and start feeding the young.
Often the starting food is the ciliates and tiny rotifers. After two weeks, the fry can already be fed with a microcatch and nauplii of artemia.
It is necessary to feed the fry with gourams in the same way as the fry of lyalius. The first month of life of fry in the aquarium should work around the clock aeration. Only bubbles should be small so that they do not cause a violent “boiling” of water.
Water should be aerated until the organ labyrinth is fully formed in the fry. This happens, as a rule, in the second month.
Unfortunately, I have not met in the aquariums lovers of such an interesting fish as a lyabiosis. Despite its interesting color, unfortunately, this fish has not gained wide popularity among aquarists. The first records of Lyabiosis appeared in 1878.
On the territory of the European continent, they fell back in 1904, but since that time there are no records left and it is not known how firmly these fish entrenched in amateur aquariums. But the more mass content of these labyrinths in Europe began in 1911.
Homeland Lyabiosis – Lower and Upper Burma, as well as India. Lyabiozy are considered one of the largest representatives of the genus.
In nature, they grow to 10 centimeters in length, but in aquarium conditions, the maximum size is 7-8 centimeters.
The lyabioza has a flattened laterally and tall body painted in blue. On the sides of the fish passes from 8 to 10 vertical stripes of red-brown color.
The abdomen and lower part of the head is blue-green. In rare cases, there is also a blue blurred strip on the body.
Through the eye above the upper lip stretches a dark stripe, which creates the appearance of a thickened lip. Based on this feature, the first name of the fish in Europe is thick-lipped gourami.
The threadlike fins are red in the male and blue in the females. All other fins are painted in olive shade.
The content is not difficult, since the composition of the aquarium water does not matter. The only thing that needs to be controlled is the temperature of the water, which should be at least 26 degrees. In the aquarium with lyabiozami must be present dense green plantings and a lot of space for swimming.
Lighting fish prefers bright.
Despite the decent size of the body, the fish are very peaceful and shy. It is for these purposes that you will plant a large amount of grass so that the small fish can hide in it at the slightest fright.
Neighbors should also be peaceful and non-aggressive. I do not recommend to contain a lyabiosis along with nimble barbs, as they often bitten their lower fins later.
They will certainly grow back, but they are likely to lose their appearance.
Spawning fish in the spring season. During spawning, the lyabiosis acquires a brighter color, and the males become quite aggressive.
They also build a nest of foam at the surface, using plant leaves and other floating debris as an additional building material. On this basis, their nests are not very durable.
Marital courtship is not as hard as, for example, in Lalius.
For the time, the female lubose can sweep away up to one and a half thousand eggs, which most carefully place the males in the nest. If the spawning proceeded in a separate container, then at the end of the spawning the female is removed from the spawning ground, since the male will take care of the offspring.
Unfortunately, the labiosis has a rather tender caviar and it often dies in large quantities. There are cases that more than half of caviar in people disappeared.
The incubation period is about the same as that of Lyalua and honey goura – up to 40 hours. After another four days, the fry will have to make the first attempts to swim.
At this time, you must remove the male from the spawn. Despite the fact that the fish is quite large, its fry are extremely small. You can feed small things only with living dust and rotifers.
As in all fish, young animals develop unevenly, therefore, regularly sort the fry so that cases of cannibalism do not manifest themselves.