The Indian cichlid, Etroplus maculatus, is a very popular aquarium fish and never disappeared after its first importation again. Recent research suggests that Etroplus is not a close relative of the cichlid family, but rather of the damselfishes (Pomacentridae). However that does not mean anything for the hobby.
Etroplus maculatus can be kept and bred in pure fresh or brackish water. The sexes are equal regarding colour and finnage, but males are always bigger than females, at least after maturity. Males become mature with about 5 cm, females with 4 cm total length. Maximum length is around 9 cm for males. When specimens offered are of equal age or were imported together one should take the largest and the smallest specimen in the tank. They will almost ever form a pair. Etroplus take biparental care. They are open brooders. They attach the eggs on stones, roots etc.. The eggs have small stalks and move when they are fanned. Both parents lead and guard the offspring. The young feed inter alia on skin mucus, similar as young discus do.
For our customers: the fish have code 415803 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale market.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer