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Orange and Green Chromides: 'Chromide House'

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:08 pm
by Jim Cumming
I've set up a 55G tank (48"x12"x21") to house two of my three Etroplus species, the Orange and Green Chromides. It was time to move them from their individual 25G tanks and I wanted to see these two species together since they live sympatrically in nature. The brackish water has a of 1.005 although they can withstand up to 1.010 with no problem. My plan is to do a 50% water change every two weeks. The water is slightly stained amber from the larger piece of driftwood root in there. The two species ignore one another but several pairs of Etroplus maculatus are forming and they're always scrapping. These are adult fish (F1s from my WC) at about 2" TL. The Etroplus suratensis are just babies yet at about 2" and should max out in a year or so at 7-10". At some point they will obviously need a much larger tank. There are 10 suratensis and 12 maculatus in there. I'm hoping to see evidence of a documented symbiotic behaviour of the Orange chromides "grooming" the Greens. The return, at least in nature is the Green chromides provide food for the Oranges in the form of their fry. That second part won't happen in my tanks if I can help it. They seem happy in their new environment, and I expect to see some pairs of Orange Chromides herding their fry around within the next while

Orange Chromides: Well that didn't take long!

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:48 am
by Jim Cumming
In this newly set up 55G devoted to my two brackish water Etroplus species, maculatus and suratensis, a pair of Orange chromides has spawned on an air stone. The sexual dimorphism of the male and female is very apparent when in their breeding dress. The male assumes a greyish background color and shows a darkening on the sides below the lateral line, and many horizontal rows of orange dots. The female turns a yellow color and takes on dark, 'sooty' colored flanks. She is also smaller than the male of the same age. When out of breeding coloration , they look very similar, except the female has very faint white tips on the top and bottom lobes of the caudal fin. Notice that the eggs are on tiny threads or stocks and wave about in the current. Here's a pic of the happy couple.