Lyalius (Colisa lalia) from the labyrinth family, Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822
At home – in the north of India – these fish inhabit small, densely overgrown grass reservoirs. Their permanent refuge are all sorts of canals, ponds, lakes, small streams and rivers with a weak current.
When the squall of heavy monsoon rains falls on the local plains, lalyusi rapidly expand their area, actively exploring the numerous puddles formed. These temporary shallow reservoirs, filled with turbid, quickly warmed by the sun water, serve as fish as spawning fish.
The abundance of light, heat and nutrients washed away from the soil surface make these waters ideal for phyto and zooplankton development, so that the young fish that spawn out of the eggs do not lack feed, grow quickly and have time to return to the “permanent dislocation” places before how the rain puddles and the ducts connecting them dry up. Waters that warmed up during the daytime and quickly cooled with the setting of the sun taught the lake to be fairly tolerant to fairly significant temperature fluctuations, and the inevitable abundance of dissolved organics and mechanical suspension in these conditions determine fish loyalty to relatively low water quality.
All this, of course, does not mean at all that an aquarium with liliusi can be turned into a bog with uncontrollable temperature differences, but still taking care of these labyrinths does not require scrupulous adherence to the regime and completely admits certain liberties that a newbie can make due to oversight or ignorance.
Data on when the aquarists met with these Asian beauties, vary. According to some sources, this event dates from the second half of the XIX century, according to others – the beginning of the XX. Thus, M. Zierling in the article “The Magnificent Lyalius and His Relatives” (Aquarium, No. 2/1993) writes that these fish first came to Europe in 1869 thanks to Francis Dey, who, while in India, sent a batch of Liliusi to London.
In American literature, this event is often dated to 1874 and is associated with Paris and the name of one of the greatest popularizers of aquarism of the time, P. Carbonier. But Gunter Sterba, Rudolf Zukal and many other authorities in the field of decorated fish farming believe that these labyrinths made European naturalists happy only in 1903 with their appearance. To some extent, reconciles this discord with the opinion of N. Zolotnitsky (“Amateur Aquarium”, Moscow, 1916): “This pretty fish, bearing the name of the rainbow in French (Arc-en-ciel), was imported to Europe by the late Carbonne, and then disappeared and did not appear for more than 35 years.
But in 1903 she was brought back to Europe and now multiplied everywhere in large numbers. “
Anyway Lyalius (Colisa Lalia) has the full right to be considered a veteran of ornamental fish farming, and its continued popularity only underlines this status. Bright colors (especially during the spawning period), peaceful disposition, small size (the length of males does not exceed 6.0 – 6.5 cm), graceful manner of movement, unpretentiousness, omnivorousness provide this labyrinth with unabated interest on the part of aquarists.
Okay, newbies: the desire they have to tinker with striped dandy is understandable and understandable. But after all, the masters, no, no, yes, and condescend to decorate their indoor pond with liliusami. It would seem that the fish has long been adapted, divorced, no wisdom, no secrets, no room for the inquisitive mind of a true lover of nature, and yet …
An additional impetus to maintaining interest in laliusi was the appearance in 1979 of a color mutation, which received the commercial name “red lalius”. The roots of the pedigree of this unusually colored fish are drawn to Singaporean fish farmers. According to rumors, it was there that, as a result of many years of experiments, it was possible to consolidate spontaneous color casting and derive a selection form with consistently inherited color characteristics.
Further – more: “SanSet”, “Rainbow”, “Sky Blue”, “Red Neon” – this is not a complete list of color shapes obtained as a result of selection, many of which look just fantastically attractive and quite radically different in color from their prototype . Thanks to this, a modern aquarist can fill his water reservoir with almost all the colors of the rainbow, using only lalyusi of various forms.
As already mentioned, the maintenance of these fish is not a problem.
For a pair of enough capacity with a capacity of 20 – 30 liters. True, it is better that there are 2 – 3 females per one male, but this decision is less aesthetic, since the females’ outfit is much more modest even in the mating season. Crucial is the surface area of the aquarium – the bigger it is, the better.
This is due to the fact that almost all life liliusy spend directly at the mirror of water. Here they search for food, fill their labyrinth organ with atmospheric air, build their unique foam nests, and take care of offspring for some time.
Theoretically, the ground for them does not play any role. In principle, it can even be abandoned, but the mirror reflection of light from the bottom of a room pond disorients the fish, introduces an element of nervousness in their behavior.
Therefore, it is better to cover the bottom with at least a thin layer of coarse sand or fine gravel of dark shades.
Biologically, lyalius are tied only to floating plants with finely dissected leaves. In their thickets, they like to relax, and some fragments are used as a skeleton when building a nest.
But limiting your choice to only such representatives of the aquatic flora is not entirely justified, because in this case, the lower horizons of even a low aquarium will look empty. In addition, dense thickets of vallisneria, elodea, peristolistnika, Thai fern can provide an invaluable service to the female, tired of the claims of too annoying partner.
The background is preferable dark. On such a “substrate” fish look more contrast and feel calmer.
By the way, despite the fact that in natural conditions lyalius they usually live in water bodies completely open to the sun; they do not like bright light, trying to hide from it under clumps of floating plants that play the role of a kind of light filter. Branches can be used as decorations.
Various designs of stones in the aquarium with these fish are not needed.
As already mentioned, the chemical composition of water is not decisive for liliius. They equally feel comfortable in both soft and relatively hard (up to 15 – 20 dGH), slightly acidic or neutral water.
With the content of these fish, the temperature in the aquarium can be within 22 – 28 degrees C, but it is better that it does not fall below the 26 degree mark.
As for the neighbors, if necessary, these can be any peaceful fish with similar environmental requirements. It is desirable that the sphere of their habitat were the middle and lower horizons of the aquarium. Firstly, they will revive these layers, secondly, they will not interfere with the measured near-surface lifestyles of Lalius, thirdly, they will encroach less on the integrity of the nests built by the males and, finally, fourthly, increase the chances of survival of the offspring of Lilius if spawning happens in the general aquarium.
I recommend avoiding nimble active fish, such as barbs, who always have time to get to the trough before the labyrinths and grab the tidbits for themselves, or even leave their slow-moving competitors without a share of provisions due to them.
These fish have a good appetite, but no tendency to gluttony. In nature, the basis of their diet are flying insects that have fallen on the surface of the water.
It is not difficult to feed lyalius in the aquarium conditions, since they are equally eager to pounce on any food of the appropriate size. The main thing is that the food objects as long as possible do not sink to the bottom, where the fish go with great reluctance. Daphnia, Cyclops, Coretre – all this is eaten by Lelius with great pleasure.
They will not refuse a small moth. Feed base Lyalius (Colisa Lalia) can be supplemented with high-quality artificial food; mineral flakes are most suitable for their mineral-biochemical composition.
Liliyusam will not interfere with periodic feeding with plant-based products such as wolfia or spirulina-based dry food.
Sexual maturity of fish reaches somewhere by half a year. Since that time, the leisure of the most developed males is dedicated to the construction of nests.
Certain changes in the relationship between members of a strong half of the llyusin population are also planned – formerly males completely loyal to each other, symptoms of territoriality begin to appear. In a spacious aquarium, fish quickly solve their local problems and return to peaceful life.
In a container with a small surface area, an abundance of males and a deficiency of females, the procedure for clarifying relations may be delayed for a long time.
If you do not want or do not have the opportunity to allocate for spawning spawners, it is quite possible to follow their spawning and in the general aquarium. True, the numerous offspring in such conditions can not speak.
Despite the male’s jealous attitude towards the nest and the eggs resting in it, he is unable to provide them with reliable protection, and the fry that have left their refuge become completely defenseless both before other inhabitants of the aquarium and before their own parents.
In order to get numerous offspring (liliusis are very fertile), manufacturers need to be resettled in a separate aquarium. Having noticed the specific vanity of the male, who is interested in trying to gather in a handful of particles of plants, take care of the preparation of the spawning of the appropriate volume. In this capacity, even a small tank can act – a couple of troughs with a capacity of 5 to 10 liters are enough for a couple (preferably 20 to 25.
In general, spawning is settled in the same way as the general aquarium. The only difference is that it is desirable to raise the temperature of the water to 28 – 30 degrees C (the remaining parameters are within the standard for the species), and filtering should not be used at all.
A foam nest is essentially the same air lock: a fragile structure that is very sensitive to any external influence, including the flow of water.
It is desirable that the spawn should have the shape of a trough with a height of 15-20 cm with the maximum possible surface area. The water layer is 10 – 15 cm.
It is better that the bottom was made of opaque matte material, otherwise it should be covered with at least a thin layer of any soil. It is necessary to have floating plants, as well as a dense bunch of perististichina type aquatic flora (it is not necessary to drop them in), in the wilds of which the female could shelter.
If in the general aquarium a pair has already formed, the producers are put in spawning at the same time. In the case when the selection of fish for spawning is carried out by an aquarist, it is better to start the female first.
After letting her settle into the new room for 3-4 days, the male is hooked.
Spawning begins after completion of the nest. The female lays several eggs, which the male immediately vmurovivaet in foam and covers an additional layer of bubbles.
After spawning is completed, the female is removed from the spawning farm: it only prevents the male from monitoring the integrity of the nest and the preservation of the roe. The participation of an aquarist is also reduced only to maintaining a stable temperature regime in the spawning ground.
Any intervention in the incubation of eggs (for example, an attempt to help the male get rid of the dead eggs) can lead to the caring parent to destroy both the eggs and the nest.
As a rule, after 24 to 30 hours the larvae appear. Approximately another 2 – 3 days, sometimes longer, they rest in the nest. Their attempts to push the boundaries of the world around prematurely are instantly stopped by the male.
As soon as the desire of newborns to leave their native lands becomes widespread, it is better for the male to return to the general aquarium, giving the fry full freedom of action.
Fry are relatively small, but have an excellent appetite. Feed must always be present in spawning.
The ideal food at this stage for them is a pure culture of ciliates-shoes. Rotifers go a little worse.
Despite the gluttony, in the early days, the development of the fry goes at a snail’s pace. Only by the second week, with the transition to more substantial fodder in size (sifting out of the Cyclops nauplius, the newly-hatched artemia nauplius, etc.), the growth rates become more or less noticeable.
Growing fry is not difficult. The most important thing is to maintain a reasonable parity between the abundance of the specified feed and the purity of the water. Two-three-week-old fry (even with a large waste of them by this time usually remains a few hundred) must be transferred from the spawning to a more spacious nursery aquarium with an air-lift sponge filter.
Fry grow unevenly, while large juveniles do not hesitate to enrich the menu with smaller relatives, therefore, weekly separation is necessary. By the age of one month for young Lyaliusov (Colisa Lalia) development of the labyrinth organ ends.
To provide them with warm atmospheric air, a rearing aquarium is supplied with a tight lid.
It is worth mentioning that it is only necessary to observe these subtleties if you want to save the maximum of young fish lives. An ordinary fan of such tasks usually does not set himself, therefore, he can almost let everything go on its own – even with the most modest care on his part, at least a dozen adolescents can live to the stage when their body length is 1.5-2 cm and can be safely released into the general aquarium.