Currently we can offer six different species of Indian Badids. These extremely colorful dwarf perches – no species becomes larger than 6-8 cm, most of them are much smaller – are ideal aquarium inhabitants.
All species of Badis take broodcare. The males are the broodcaring part of the family. In breeding condition they occupy a cave (a flower pot, the half of a coconut etc., in their natural habitat they build a cave with their body in masses of filamentous algae). Displaying males are wonderful to look at and show brilliant colours. By the way: the ability to change colours in Badis is amazing, laymen often think that they belong to different species. That is why Badis are also called chameleon fish.
Once the male has impressed a female and the female follows the male in the cave, spawning appears, which is quite similar to that of the labyrinth fishes, eg the male twins around the female in an U-kind manner. The eggs attach at the walls of the cave. The male guards them until the fry swims free.
Regarding water chemistry Badis are undemanding. The Indian species can be kept at room temperature, an additional heater is not necessary. The temperature range can be between 18 and 30°C, the fish will adapt. However, specimens kept in the lower temperature level will live much longer. Fluctuating temperatures are also very healthy for the fish.
Plants and tankmates will be ignored by Badis. Only very small other fish may be taken for food.
A close relative of Badis is the Scarlet, Dario dario. In contrast to Badis species, members of the genus Dario do not spawn in caves but between fine plant material.
All Badidae refuse dried food, but can be easily fed with frozen or live food. Now let´s have a look on the different species:
Badis assamensis: this is the largest of all species of Badis known so far and attains a maximum length of about 8 cm. This makes the fish a small predator. The species originates from northern India (Assam).
Badis badis: this species is a classic among aquarium fish for more than 100 years. Maximum length of the peaceful animal is about 5 cm. The picture shows a male in breeding condition. Otherwise the species looks reddish-brown with vertical black bars. A real chameleon fish!
Badis blosyrus: this species is very similar to B. assamensis and even specialists have sometimes problems in telling the species apart. However, B. blosyrus stays a bit smaller (6 cm) and the basic colour is an orange (compared to the deep red in B. assamensis).
Badis singenensis: this is the smallest species of Badis and becomes only 4 cm in length. The species has adapted to the natural habitat (small, fast running brooks) by the reduction of the swimming bladder. So the fish often prefers to jump instead of regular swimming.
Badis tuivaiei: for the first time we can offer this beautiful, only recently discovered species. The elongate fish has a red spot on each scale. Maximum length is about 6 cm. This species also originates from the north of India.
Dario dario: the scarlet is a real gem among the ornamental fish! We can offer always females, too. Females have no colours at all. Maximum size of the scarlet is 2 cm.
For our customers: the fish have code 368003 (Badis badis), 368123 (Badis blosyrus), 368142 (Badis singenensis), 368312 (Badis assamensis), 368323 (Badis tuivaiei), and 413763 (Dario dario) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Badis: after the vernacular name in Bengal. blosyrus: ancient Greek, means “grim facial expression”, due to the large jaws of the species. singenensis: after the type locality, the Singen river. assamensis: named after the type locality, Assam. tuivaiei: named after the type locality, the Tuivai river. Dario: after the vernacular name of the species in Bengal.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer