27 May, 2010

Dario Dario, the most colorful native fish for planted tank

Scarlet badis/ Dario dario:
Dario dario or the Scarlet badis, this beautiful red colored fish is native to India, in particular the northern part of West Bengal, usually found in the streams of the North Bengal's hillstream area. This fishes have many characteristics of cichlids group, and for many days they are seemed to be a cichlid. I have kept a dozen of them in my planted tank, and found them dig for live worms those hide in the sandy bottom.

Size of the Dario dario:
The male Dario Dario raches the size upto 2cm and the female can be at most 1.3cm. They are ideal for planted nano tanks.

Tank for Dario dario:
A pair or single male dario dario with a group of females can be kept in a 10gallon tank, planted tank is the best for them. In fact a heavily planted tank will help keep them healthy and most active. It also require a lowlight tank to thrive and show their natural behaviour. a sandy bottom is ideal to mimic their natural habitat, water flow is important.
Tank parameters fo dario dario:
Temperature should be in 18-26C, pH can range from 6.5-8.
Feeding the dario dario:This fishes are micropredators in their natural habitat. And you can notice this behavior in home aquarium as well. They usually feed on small aquatic crustaceans, worms, insect larvae and other zooplankton. They are little picky in the home aquariums and may not accept dried foods, even mine do not agree on high quality dried blood worms. So live worm is the best option for them apart from smallest pieces of fresh shrimps. You can also try to starve them for one or two days and check if they accept dry foods.

Compatibility of dario dario:
This fishes are not too much aggressive, and can be kept in a community tank if the tankmates are chosen suitably. It is a slow moving fish and it may so happen that their tankmates finish the food before they can even start. Peaceful fishes like smaller Rasbora species make good choices with Otocinclus and similar small pygmy Corydoras catfish.
Housing one male with a small group of females is the best because rival males can be aggressive towards one another, especially in smaller tanks.

Breeding dario dario:
This fishes are not usually too difficult to breed. If you are keeping multiple males in the same tank then provide each with space to form a territory, also plants in the breeding tank is helpful, feeding the fish with plenty of live and frozen protein enriched foods increase the possibility of successful spawning. High temperature may also help.

Sexing dario dario:
This fishes are sexually dimorphic. That means you can identify the male female of the fishes seeing outer body patterns. The males are brighter, more reddish than the female. The females usually are paler and have bluish patterns on their body color. Usually there are a male gang leader in the group.
As they come into breeding condition males will form territories and show excellent bright colors. The female lay 70-100 eggs at one time. The eggs are hatched within 26-28 hours, and the fries are free swimming in 4-5days. During this period, the male dario dario takes up all the responsibility to protect the babies. The dario dario fry should be fed on artemia/daphnia or pellet dust.

1 comment:

  1. wow, really good article on Dario dario, you've just about covered it all there


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