Lyalius (lat. Colisa lalia) – This is a labyrinth fish that belongs to the family of macropods, the historical homeland of these inhabitants of aquariums are reservoirs of India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Bengal.
Lyalius is unpretentious to the quality of water, because under natural conditions they live in shallow, well-warmed rivers and streams, sometimes quite polluted. Like other members of this family, they can breathe not only by the gills, but also by a special labyrinth organ with which they capture oxygen from the surface.
Lyalius has a very bright color, there are several varieties: blue lilius, red, green, iridescent, cobalt, coral. Males are somewhat larger than females, lyalius grow up to 5-6 centimeters and live in an aquarium for 2-3 years.
The body of the lilius is flat, the upper fin reaches almost to the tail, in males it has a more acute shape, and in females it is rounded. The tail is rounded, the lateral fins are threadlike and transparent, they play the role of the organs of touch, since the vision of the Lilius is not very good.
With the help of these “whiskers” they feel the bottom and can avoid obstacles – such changes are caused by the fact that their natural habitat is muddy water. The body of the lyalius is covered with a number of bands, all fins, except for the lateral, are also spotty.
In the female, the antennae are often yellower, and in the male red.
photo: Lyalius (female) – yellow mustache on belly
Sexual dimorphism is very pronounced: first of all, the males have a brighter coloration and a pointed upper fin. It is worth remembering that these are peaceful and rather shy fish, males fight among themselves rarely and only during the spawning period.
Lyalius is widespread: for the first time this species was discovered and described in 1822 by the zoologist from Scotland, Francis Buchanan-Hamilton. In 1874, the fish was brought to Europe, but it was not until 1903 that German companies began to supply Lelius for sale in large quantities.
Thanks to the selection, it was possible to obtain several new colors, which are the decoration of aquariums.
- This fish grows no more than 2 inches, therefore it is considered the smallest type of labyrinth fish;
- Lyalius must be kept in an aquarium with the lid closed, but the water level should be a few centimeters below the maximum mark. Lyalius grabs the missing oxygen from the surface, without it they can die;
- During spawning, the male builds the nest: he collects pieces of algae and plants, and then, having collected air, swims under the nest and releases myriads of bubbles. As a result, the nest gradually rises above the surface;
- Lyalius are peaceful, they can be kept only with calm and non-predatory fish – small catfish, danios or charichenides;
- In Western Europe and America, lyalius is sometimes called dwarf gourami.
Lyalius is not too demanding to the volume of the aquarium: you can quite comfortably place a pair of these fish in a 10-15 liter aquarium, this is explained by the habit of living in stagnant or polluted water under natural conditions. It is not advisable to keep several males in a small aquarium – they can begin to compete for their territory, so the reservoir should also be large, from 60 liters. Provide a sufficient number of shelters, plant the plants, then the males themselves will divide the reservoir into plots and each will have their own territory.
The number of females must exceed the number of males.
Lyalius get along well with other aquarium inhabitants of the same size and with similar conditions of detention. Maintain a temperature regime of 24-28 degrees, the hardness of the water is not so significant. The soil should be dark in color – on its background the color of the fish will appear more saturated and bright.
Cover the aquarium with a lid or glass, but leave access to free air. If the aquarium is open, the fish will breathe in dry, cold air and may become ill. Lyalius is unpretentious to food: they can eat dry, live, ice cream or industrial food.
It is necessary to take into account the structure of their digestive system – it does not allow swallowing too large particles of food, therefore, the feed must be chopped.
photo: Cobalt lyalius
Change the water in the aquarium in a timely manner, change the third of the water once a week, the aquarium should be equipped with aeration and filtration, these fish also like bright light, so the day should be long enough – install an aquarium near the window or lamp. Lalius has no specific diseases, but if you purchase a new inhabitant for your aquarium, he must quarantine – put him in a separate container, because an infected specimen may become a peddler of the infection.
Breeding representatives of this species is not particularly difficult. If spawning will occur in a large aquarium, the offspring will not survive, because the fish simply eat or destroy it. Therefore, the couple is put in a separate container, the volume of which is 10-20 liters.
A layer of water can reach 10-15 centimeters – this is quite enough. The temperature in the spawning area is raised by 2-3 degrees above normal, such a change will become a stimulation to spawn. Water should be fresh, defended, cover the reservoir with glass.
Be sure to place in the aquarium floating plants from which the male will build a nest. A week before spawning, the male and female are seated and fed abundantly with live and vegetable food.
The water in the spawning area should be soft, 4-6 ° dH, some aquarists boil it for about 10 minutes, and then defend it for three days and oxygenate it with a compressor. First in the aquarium run the female, so she had time to get started there, and then you can let the male.
He takes up the construction of the nest. When the nest is ready, the female begins to spawn – the eggs are rich in lipids, so they do not fall to the bottom, but rise to the surface. The male lilius takes eggs and lays them in the nest.
The female lays 200-400 eggs, which her partner fertilizes.
When spawning is over, the female is deposited, and the male begins to care for the offspring. During this period, he is jealous of his duties and pounces on everything that approaches his nest.
It removes spoiled eggs, adds air bubbles. The incubation period is approximately 48 hours, after which the larvae appear. After 3-4 days they turn into fry and begin to feed on their own – now is the time to remove the male from the nest.
Fry are fed with small crustaceans, infusoria, yolk.
Lyalius grow unevenly, so that from time to time they need to be sorted and transplanted in different bodies of water. Gradually, they are transferred to a larger feed. At 2 months, males appear characteristic bands for adults, females mature somewhat later.
They reach puberty in 5-6 months.