Keeping macropods in the aquarium is a very fascinating activity. Macropods are very beautiful and unpretentious. Therefore, they can be recommended even to novice aquarists.
The common macropod (Macropodus opercularis) is a well-known inhabitant of aquariums. It belongs to the suborder of labyrinths. It deserves its popularity due to the ease of maintenance, bright coloration.
A brief description of macropods
Habitat: Southeast Asia. Thanks to an additional respiratory organ, the labyrinth, it can live in shallow water bodies not rich in oxygen. At home, it usually lives in puddles in rice paddies.
In natural conditions, females reach a size of about 8 cm, and males up to 12 cm in captivity fish are usually smaller.
Sexual maturity occurs at 5-7 months of age. Duration of life in captivity is about 8 years.
On the background of the olive-brown body, vertically arranged alternating blue-green and red stripes. The dorsal and anal fins are bluish in color, and the caudal fin is red. The brightness of the coloration depends on many factors.
Water temperature, lighting and keeping conditions play an important role. During the spawning period, the coloration becomes brighter and more intense. In contrast to males, the female coloration is somewhat paler.
Keeping macropods in the aquarium
Keeping macropods in an aquarium is not difficult. Macropods are sufficiently omnivorous, but prefer food of animal origin: bloodworms, proboscis, daphnia. They are absolutely unpretentious about the composition of water. They can live even in water subject to putrefactive processes. It is recommended to keep the temperature at 24-26 ° C. But they can survive at lower or higher temperatures.Lighting is preferably bright. To contain a pair of fish enough to use a 3-liter bowl, but it is important that the top of it was covered with a lid, because the fish are very bouncy. The lid should have holes for ventilation. To make them feel more comfortable and spawn, it is preferable to choose a container of at least 20 liters.
Several pairs can be kept together. As a rule, individuals placed in an aquarium in their teens do not behave aggressively against other fish species. But it should be noted that the voile fins of slower neighbors may be affected.
Macropods are often referred to as “aquarium cleaners”. They can almost completely exterminate the aquarium mollusks, as well as planaria, which often get into the aquarium with the live food. Planaria multiply very quickly in aquarium substrates that are rich in organic matter, and they can be extremely difficult to remove. Therefore, the keeping macropods in the aquarium is also the prevention of parasitic diseases.
Spawning Macropodus opercularis
The spawning period is very interesting. On the water surface, the male builds a nest of numerous saliva and air bubbles. It rises 1-2 cm above the surface and is usually located near floating plants. Spawning occurs on the first or second day. Eggs are reddish in color, have good buoyancy, and fecundity may reach 1000 pieces. After spawning, it is better to remove the female.
The male begins to collect the eggs and places them in the nest. After that, it is extremely interesting to observe the male’s care of his future offspring. He guards the nest from the other inhabitants of the aquarium and periodically “waves” the eggs with his fins, creating water circulation. During the incubation period is better to increase the water temperature by a couple of degrees. The incubation period lasts 30-40 hours, fry begin to swim on the third or fourth day. At first, the male is trying to return the fry in the nest, but over time it falls apart. At this stage, the “father’s” care for the offspring ends.