Badis sp. Buxar

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Stefan van der Voort looks at the rarely seen Badis sp. Buxar.

Common name: Badis sp. "Buxar"

Synonyms: None

Origin: Buxar; India

Size: Expected to reach 60 mm (2.3 inch) in males, 50 mm (1.9 inch) in females

Water: Tap water will be fine as long as the pH isn't too high (7-8 will do) and that goes for the dGH as well. No experiments have been conducted yet regarding the temperature though 21-24 degrees Celsius re appreciated. Advised is not to set it beyond 25 degrees Celsius. Weekly water changes of ca 10-30 liters are very important to their wellbeing.

Aquarium: Not too small a tank; when adult the minimum should be 60 x 30 x 30 cm (54 liters) for two pairs. They are under no circumstance a community fish and need to be kept alone in a species tank or at the most with another species of the same genus that is not too aggressive.

Their tank should be densely planted and decorated with for example wood and rocks. One coconut shell per male-or a similar form of shelter and nest site-is intrinsic.

Diet: Not picky eaters. Both frozen and live foods are readily accepted; bloodworm, glassworm, Artemia etc., dried foods have not been experimented with but are probably not eaten.

Breeding: I've had the opportunity and luck to spawn them first. They are sexually mature at a small size of around 35 mm TL (goes for both sexes), though they might produce larger nests when fully grown. They are cave breeders which perform an embrace we know from labyrinth fish during which eggs and sperm are released. The eggs are deposited onto the shell walls, ceiling and gravel or other substrate and, in my case, counted about 25 of them. The eggs hang from so called cement threads and will hatch-depending on the water temperature-after ca three days. The fry will still hang on the above mentioned threads that come from cement glands on top of their head. All this time the male has guarded the lot and will continue to do so until the fry leave the cave ca another three days later. The female is peculiarly allowed in the vicinity and will be chased from the site rarely. From the moment the fry leave their nest they are on their own and considered food by their parents. It's best to remove the parents and other fish or, two days after the eggs hatched, remove the entire shell carefully and still full of water (upside down) into another tank, a method that worked wonders for me personally. A few days after the fry are free swimming they can take freshly hatched Artemia, later on one can switch to larger foods. The young Badis will grow rapidly and will start to look like their parents in a small number of months (two or three).

Notes: Badis sp. Buxar are not very aggressive when sized ca 30 mm; the occasional chasing and flaring are the worst so far. It's expected both males and females can fight ferociously and viscously for hours when adult. Even then there is no need to worry; a hierarchy needs to be established and it's not very likely they will fish so violently again once it's settled-though an exception in one species so far has been observed by me.

The most interesting about the new, undescribed badid species makes them unique to their genus as they are the only known species so far showing this behaviour; they are most of the time restricted to the bottom as in bottom dwellers. They are very poor swimmers that only stay in mid-water for a short period of time before looking up the bottom, a plant leaf or rock again to sit on. This makes them a not very active species but instead a rather static one.

Adult colouration: Body pale brownish with a darker brown back. Almost every scale possesses a fire red spot that almost appears to be neon qua intensity. The flanks may show 10-11 black vertical bars that may disappear depending on the fish its mood. Also only the posterior 5 bars may be distinct with the rest being hardly to not visible. The cheeks are orange, the iris reddish-orange. The unpaired and pelvic fins are orange with the latter having a wide blackish margin and an outer, thinner white one. Pectoral fins are hyaline. There are three black blotches in the fins: one anteriorly (more of a streak) and posteriorly in the dorsal fin and one posteriorly in the anal fin. Indistinct black stripes are present in the dorsal and anal fin. When flaring the fins become a dusky black colour. Females should look the same only less intensely coloured than the here above described males.

Availability: Not yet available to the public.

Price: Unknown.