Astronotus is a large fish. It is difficult to recommend it for keeping in a room aquarium. Rather it is suitable for an office aquarium or for a large aquarium in the lobby of a hotel or business. But nevertheless, there are some aquarists who prefer astronotusov to any other type of fish. And agree to give an aquarium with them even half of their room.
This is probably due to the fact that, like other cichlids astronotus in aquarium conditions very quickly become tame. Recognize their owner, take food from his hands, can even allow themselves to be stroked. A fish with this behavior may well replace a favorite pet, such as a cat. And what you can not do for a pet.
Description of astronotus
And you will have to do a lot. As already mentioned Astronotus ocellatus creature is large, some individuals in good conditions reach 35 -37 centimeters in length. In the aquarium, the length of their body rarely exceeds 25 centimeters, but this size is not small. Hence it is clear that such a large fish needs a large aquarium. The volume of dwelling for astronotus is desirable not less than 300 liters. Although young individuals up to twenty-five centimeters in size can be satisfied with a two-hundred-liter aquarium for a couple.
In addition to large size fish has, like most cichlids pathological tendency to landscape transformation. And they are not limited only to digging the soil. Their attention is often attracted and aquarium equipment. Therefore, heaters, air sprayers, filters and feeders should be very firmly reinforced. To everything else astronotus has a squabbling character. He defending his favorite corner of the aquarium can cause serious damage even to fish commensurate with its size. Neighbors smaller he can simply swallow. Despite all these shortcomings fish has some special attraction. Perhaps due to the large expressive eyes.
Representatives of the species are not demanding to water parameters. The temperature range is from 24 to 30 degrees. For maintenance, the optimal temperature is 25 degrees Celsius. For spawning, its value should be raised to 30 degrees. pH from 6 to 8. Water hardness up to 25 degrees.
Recommendations for aquarium decoration
From decorations it is better to limit yourself to a few large boulders and snags. Plants are suitable floating on the surface and in the water column (Thai fern, Bolbitis). If you still want to place on the bottom rooting plants, it is better to plant them in a clay pot camouflaging it with a hill of large stones. Stones should be of such size that your pets could not move them out of place. Lighting is better to organize the upper any convenient for you way. Extremely desirable filtration and aeration. The best option would be, perhaps, the installation of a pump with a filter with the function of aeration capacity of at least 300 liters per hour. Once a week you should replace one body of water with fresh water of the same temperature.
Feeding Astronotus ocellatus
These fish are omnivorous. Of live food can safely be called large moths, earthworms, small live fish, tadpoles and small frogs. Of non-living feed can be given fish fillets, lean beef, cut into small cubes. Beef heart should not be given more than once a month otherwise the fish will become obese, stop reproducing and live a short time.
If you want to breed astronotus. That first of all should take into account the number of aquariums and their volumes, which will be needed to keep the growing fish. One aquarium at three hundred liters in a standard urban apartment is not a small volume, but with a strong love for this type of fish can still find a place for it. And more it is already for a country house or fish breeding. Although everything happens in life.
So, for breeding astronotus in the first place you need a formed pair of producers. It can either buy it from aquarists or, which in my opinion is better although a little more troublesome, grow your own. With the first option is all clear. Let’s dwell a little more on the second.
To raise a pair you need to buy a flock of thirty-day-old fry. In this case, you should take both large and medium and small individuals to increase the likelihood of an even sex ratio. As all cichlids Astronotus ocellatus very picky when choosing a pair. Slip an adult fish pair that you like you can not get. It is still necessary that the pair liked your pet. Otherwise, fights will be inevitable.
Pairs of astronotus form around one year of age. As a rule, such a pair is easy to recognize. Two fish have taken over a part of the aquarium. They chase away any uninvited guests from the area. The one of the pair that you like best can be kept. The others should either be sold or given away for free to good hands.
The stimulus for spawning is to replace part of the water with fresh water and increase the temperature to thirty degrees Celsius. First, the fish will take a place and begin to clean it thoroughly. A few hours before spawning, the female has a large ovipositor, and the male has a semen guide.
After some time, cream-colored eggs appear on the cleaned area of the bottom or stone. Usually laid from 400 to 1500 eggs. Spawn astronotus can spawn up to 10 times with an interval of 3 – 4 weeks. Then a break from 3 to 8 months after which the fish are again ready for a series of spawning.
Once the eggs are produced, there are two options. You can leave the eggs in the care of the parents. Or you can remove the substrate with eggs in a sump filled with water from the spawning tank. Above the clutch should be placed sprayer so that it creates a current of water. But the air from it should not touch the eggs. At a temperature of 30 ° C fry appear in about 50 h. At first, they gather in small groups on the bottom near the clutch. After a while, the fry will swim. At this point they should be fed.
Starter food – Artemia nauplii, rotifers. After a week, they can be given finely chopped truncheon. Fry grow quickly and by one month of age can reach a size of one and a half to three centimeters. For a year, the fish can reach a length of twenty-five to twenty-seven centimeters.