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Macropod (Macropodus opercularis) – content, breeding

Articles from Korifeyev domestic aquarism

Md Makhlin “Journey to the aquarium”

Once Carbonier noticed a thick foam of small bubbles in the corners of an aquarium with macropods.

“Strange,” he thought, “the aquarium is clean, the water is clear, where does foam come from?”

Foam scooped out. But the next day she appeared all over the water’s edge.

The flakes floated in the middle, stood chained along the edges.

Carbonier planted macropods in another aquarium. But less than two weeks later, as there was a foam.

“Something is not right here,” the researcher decided, and began to observe the macropods. He saw a fish swim out of the thickets of plants (judging by the long fins and color of it was a male), went to one of the piles of foam floating on the surface of the water, stood under it, carefully looked at it and then touched the surface of the water with its muzzle.

It was evident that the macropod several times took a deep breath of atmospheric air.

“Well, so far everything is pretty normal,” thought Karbone. But he did not have time to say so, how the unusual began.

Macropod sank down a little and stood up so that his nose buried in the bottom of the cap of foam. His jaws moved, he seemed to be chewing something vigorously, a thin trickle of white bubbles flew up from his mouth.

They climbed to the surface of the water and joined the foam floating there.

Enchanted, sat Carbonier at the aquarium.

And in the meantime, the foam became more and more, it no longer just floated on the surface, but rose up above the water. Now the little builder seemed to level and round his building.
From the corner of the aquarium, where other macropods were located, fish often approached froth. But our macropod fiercely rushed at them and drove away. And yet Carbonier noticed that he drove away one fish in a completely different way than the others.

He was chasing her as if he did not want to catch up – neither fierce swiftness, nor an angry swoop. And she swam away, as if playing with him in tag, and then again and again appeared near the foam.

“It is clear that this is a female,” argued Karbone. – Maybe the couple is going to spawn? But where does foam come from? ”

Carbonier received the answer the next day. Early in the morning he took his place near the aquarium.

And at the first rays of the rising sun I saw an amazing picture. The female again swam up to the foam, again the male standing under the head of the foam turned to her, but this time she did not rush away, and he did not rush after her.

Both fishes converged close to the foam, and suddenly the male stood across the path of the female, right in front of her nose, his body slightly arched, the fins stretched out magnificently, and he began to play in the rays of the morning sun with all the colors of the rainbow.

“What a beauty,” whispered the startled scientist.

And the macropod, as if realizing how beautiful it is, was spinning around like a shining rainbow near a modest gray girlfriend, straightening its plumage more and more, and shaking all the fins from time to time.

“Marital dances in fish ?! But after all, they’ll laugh at me, just try to give a hint about this, ”thought Carbonier, without taking his eyes off the wonderful scene in the aquarium.

Who does not know the expression “as cold as a fish”, “fish blood”? And then such a temperament!

Meanwhile, the events in the aquarium took place as usual. The male gradually moved under the cap of the foam, the female, as if enchanted by its beauty, obediently followed him. And suddenly the most incredible thing happened under foam.

The male stood vertically upside down so that his body was across the body of the female, the fish suddenly bent by a ring and. squeezed each other in their arms.

This was repeated again and again. At one of those moments, small yellow eggs fell down.

The milk was not visible, they are transparent, but the caviar was visible very well. Part of the eggs popped up and stopped under the cap of the foam, the rest went to the bottom.

Both fish rushed to grab their eggs.

“Do they eat caviar?” – thought flashed at Karbone.

No, so they swim to the froth and spit their eggs in the very middle. So this is why this cap of foam is a nest in which caviar will develop!

And the fish came together again in their arms, and the yellow eggs fell again. After only four to five hours, the calf of the female dried up, and the relationship of the fish immediately changed.

There is no trace of the graceful courting of the male. He angrily rushed in pursuit of the female, striking her hard. And the expelled female in the corner was waiting for the male to swim away from the nest.

Then she quickly rushed to the nest, trying to take a place under it. She fidgeted clumsily, spinning, now and then destroying the nest with fins and scattering eggs to the sides.

Noticing what is happening, the male rushed to save offspring and again drove the female into a corner.

Carbonier carefully removed the other fish from the aquarium as well. He rightly decided that her role was over.

A macropod father did not depart from the nest. He corrected something in him, released a trickle of air, took the eggs in his mouth and spat out again in the middle.

At the same time it was painted bright and beautiful.

“Why such a coloration?” Thought Karbone. But he never managed to explain why, during the breeding season, many fish not only do not have a protective, masking, color, but, on the contrary, they acquire a multi-colored, as scientists say, spawning outfit.

After all, the bright fish standing at the nest is much more noticeable. Since then, about a hundred years have passed, and the mystery of the spawning color of fish has not been fully explained to this day.

But back to our macropod.

A day passed, and Carbonier noticed that some black dots had visible black spots – two eyes of a future fish. And the other eggs were pale yellow and more and more white.

“Probably, these are unfertilized eggs,” the researcher thought. – They will spoil and infect neighboring living.

How to remove them from the nest? ”

But soon, Carbonier saw that this problem was not only of his interest. Macropod-father carefully examined the entire nest.

Here he swam to the dead eggs, carefully, so as not to hurt the living, took them in his mouth, and sailed out, spat out.

On the second morning tails appeared from the eggs, and by the end of the day the heads of the larvae appeared. They were tiny and very transparent. Clumsily tugging at their tails, they held out among the foam with the help of special sticky outgrowths.

In these first hours of their life, the little ones could neither swim nor eat. They breathed not only through the gills, but through the entire surface of the body, especially through the tail rich in blood vessels.

Instead of a graceful tummy, they had a large yolk sac in comparison with the whole body. Its contents served as food at first.

Of course, the existence of a small fish in the first hours is very different from its future life. The fact is that not formed, normally breathing, feeding, swimming fish, and so far only the larvae hatch out of caviar.

They cannot yet flee, camouflage, search for the most oxygen-rich water, and many of them die.

How can fish save their offspring, if it is so helpless, and there are so many neighbors next to it, who want to feast on caviar and larvae?

Nature has provided several ways out of this situation. Here is one of them: in fish over the course of many generations a gigantic fecundity has been developed – some of them spat out several million eggs.

Involuntarily you will think: how many these fishes in reservoirs should be! However, few survive to adulthood.

All the others die at different stages of development.

Another way out is to protect offspring at the first, most difficult stages of development. This is done either by the father or by both parents.

It can be assumed that in the fish guarding the offspring, the young disappear significantly less and, therefore, it remains to live in large numbers. But this is not true. Nature is very economical.

In fish that protect the offspring, the number of eggs is much smaller – it rarely exceeds 1500–2000, usually in the hundreds and even tens.

. Three days passed, during which the macropod-father tirelessly courted sedentary crumbs. The yolk sac has resolved in many of them, the parts of the body have become more proportional.

Now the young entered the second phase of their development. She could already freely stay in the water column – the swim bladder began to function.

Taking a horizontal position, the fish began to move.

At first, the male did not allow them to swim away from the nest. He caught them in his mouth and put them in the thick of the foam. But gradually the fry wandered farther and farther from the nest, and the nest itself from a cap of thick foam began to turn into separate flakes from bubbles.

Foam from the air and salivary macropod discharge lasted exactly as long as it took for spawning of fish, development of caviar and transition from the larva to free-floating fry. Now the nest was not necessary, the bubble shell began to decompose, and they burst and disappeared.

In one day, there was no trace of the nest.

“Truly the nest was made of nothing,” concluded Karbone. It was then that he said that the macropod makes a nest out of the air.

– Out of the air? – the scientists were amazed. – But why? What do these bubbles give?

A dispute has arisen that is still ongoing. Some claim that the bubbles improve the gas regime, that is, they enrich the water around the fry with oxygen. Others believe that the purpose of the bubbles is to refract and scatter the direct rays of the tropical sun, which, in their opinion, are dangerous to fry.

But we will not take part in the dispute. Better see what the fry of the macropod do.

And the fry meanwhile scattered throughout the aquarium. They popped their tiny heads everywhere, looked for something, and some of them even “pecked.”

But a day passed, and there were fewer of them, and on the third – very little.

“Damn it,” exclaimed Karbone in annoyance. “How could I not have thought of crumbs?”

And indeed, it was the greatest omission. When the yolk sac completely dissolves and the larva turns into fry, one of the most crucial moments in the life of the fish comes, perhaps no less responsible than getting out of the egg, the transition to active feeding.

A tiny body develops by leaps and bounds. It consumes a lot of energy, and it must be constantly scooped in food.

Malku has to take care of his own food, whereas earlier he received it from the yolk sac. And every day more and more food is required.

This is where the saddest events for an aquarist take place. If you did not manage to provide the young with rotifers or infusoria in sufficient quantity, only few will survive from the offspring, or even the whole brood will die.

They gave an excess of live food – again it is bad: the fry these days require especially a lot of oxygen, and the infusoria and rotifers absorb it themselves.

There are other troubles. The aquarist was too lazy to go to the pond, catch rotifers containing all the nutrients the fry needed, and decided to give them a home-made ciliate-slipper.

But at the same time he didn’t look through a microscope what is being done in his can of banana peels, where he spreads his shoe. And she was there “the cat cried”; everything else is also an infusoria, but different.

He began to feed her fry. Those grow, develop, and the fan looks at his pets and does not believe his eyes.

What is: who is hunchbacked, who is snub-nosed, and for some the spine is an accordion complex? From what?

And all of the wrong food in the early days, from lack of food and vitamin deficiencies.

This is how complex the transition from the larval stage to active feeding is. Not immediately scientists have discovered this sharp turn in the life of fish. It is not surprising, therefore, that the first brood of macropods in Carbonne died.

But the second was a success: the feed was given on time, and the male was removed as soon as the fry spread: anyway, he was no longer needed and could only destroy it with sharp movements. From this second brood those macropods grew, which then spread among aquarium lovers throughout Europe.


M.N. Ilyin “Aquarium fish farming”

Macropod (Macropodus opercularis). Macropods are found in shallow water bodies, in particular, in the rice fields of Korea, China, and South Vietnam. Macropods – one of the first aquarium fish in Europe, brought to Paris in 1869 from the canals of the rice fields of South China.

Soon they were multiplied in large numbers. The first mentions of macropods in Russia are found in N. F. Zolotnitsky in 1904. Fish reach 9 cm in length, in aquariums usually 5-6 cm.

Like most labyrinth fishes, the body of macropods is strongly compressed from the sides. The dorsal, anal and caudal fins are highly developed, and in the male they are elongated and end with filaments.

Along the brownish or greenish-brownish background of the body are alternating wide bands of red and green. The dorsal and anal fins are bluish in color with red filamentous outgrowths, the caudal fin is red.

The color intensity increases dramatically with increasing temperature, as well as during the mating season. Judging by the description, the color of the fish brought from their homeland, as well as their first generations, was significantly brighter than it is now. Apparently, this is due to the lack of breeding work and closely related reproduction over many generations.

Deterioration in color may be a result of content at too low a temperature and a small amount of light. At present, there are macrobods albino.

Macropods are distinguished by exceptional simplicity in terms of the volume of the aquarium (it can even be kept in a 2-3 liter jar), as well as temperature, feeding, and chemical composition of the water. The most suitable water temperature is 20-22 °, however, it can be reduced to 15 °, and for a short period to 8 °.

Rising temperatures to 26–28 ° and even 30 ° are useful.

It is better to feed the fish with live food, predominantly with bloodworms, but possibly also with dried daphnia. Macropods easily tolerate very significant water pollution.

Separately raised fish in the general aquarium behave aggressively. After co-cultivation, they can be kept with any other fish, as well as several pairs together.

It is extremely easy to breed macropods. Breeding is carried out under the conditions described for all labyrinth. Aquariums with a volume of at least 8-12 liters are used as a breeding ground.

The water temperature is 22-24 “, but it can also be 28 °. Plants should be placed in the breeding ground in the amount necessary to shelter the female from the pursuing male. Before breeding, 2-3 weeks old, the producers should be separated.

The male builds a nest of air bubbles with a diameter of 5-6 cm and a height of 1-2 cm. 1-2 days after the start of the nest building, spawning occurs.

Red caviar is lightweight and therefore rises to the surface of the water. The male puts the eggs in the nest. Spawning lasts several hours.

During this time, the female sweeps up to 1000 eggs, after spawning it must be removed.

After approximately one and a half days (faster or slower depending on temperature), the larvae hatch, after 3-4 days the young begin to swim freely. At this time, the male must be removed and start feeding the fry with infusoria, rotifers or “dust”, in extreme cases, with egg yolk. The fry grow quickly, 10-12 days after their birth, they can already eat small cyclops.

Due to the uneven growth of the fry, it is necessary to sort them, selecting the most suitable ones by size.

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