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Killifish / Aplocheilinae / Blue Panchax

Red-chinned Panchax, Black-lipped Panchax
Epiplatys dageti

Synonyms: Aplocheilus dageti
Physical description: An elongated species with a pointed, upturned snout characteristic to surface-feeding Panchax species.  The eyes are large.  The back is dark to light brown, and the flanks are lighter brown in color.  The flanks may have a dark green to violet iridescence.   The under-parts are yellowish brown.   The body is marked with five black transverse bars.  Four are located on the rear half of the body, while the final is located near the base of the pectoral fin.  A black marking runs along the mouth, while another runs through the eye.  The fins are dark green-yellow.  On one variation the edges of the dorsal and caudal fins are white, while the anal fin is marked with a broad black edging.  On other variants, all the fins are rimmed with black.   Several different color races are known.
Size/Length: To 2.8" (7 cm)
Similar species: Graham's Panchax ( E. grahami)
Habitat: Small creeks and streams in Western Africa; Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana
S: top
Aquarium: A tank measuring 24" (61 cm) with a volume of 10-20 gallons (38-75 L) is sufficient.   Arrange the tank in dark colors with plants along the sides and rear.   Leave open swimming areas in the center of the tank and scatter wood, roots, and rocks for hiding places.   A cover of floating plants along with a tight-fitting cover is recommended.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7 (6.5), dH 2-10 dH (6), 70-75°F (21-24°C)
Social behavior: This active predator is peaceful towards similarly- and larger-sized fish.   Males are territorial and aggressive especially around spawning times.  
Suggested companions: Similarly-sized fishes of the lower swimming levels including dwarf cichlids, catfish, large tetras, barbs, gouramis, and other Killifish.
FOOD: Live; flying insects, fish fry, insect larvae, small crustaceans; flakes.
Sexual differences: Males are more variable in color, have longer fins, and are distinctly larger.   Mature females may lose their stripping pattern.
Breeding techniques: A 5.5 gallon (21 L) tank is sufficient for spawning purposes.   Furnish the tank with an abundance of fine-leafed plants including surface types.  Raise the water temperature to 75-79°F (24-26°C).   One or more males can be combined with one female.  The eggs (as many as 300) are laid among plants or on the substrate.   The parents will eat the eggs, so the plants should be removed and replaced immediately following the spawning.   The fish will continue to spawn for a period of three to five weeks.   The eggs should be transferred to a tank containing soft water.  They will hatch after 8-11 days at a temperature of 77°F (25°C).   Start feeding with paramecia, powdered foods, and micro foods after the eggs sacs have been depleted.   The fry are sensitive to infusoria.  
Breeding potential: 4.  An easily bred, prolific species.
Remarks: This species is often labeled " E. chevalieri," which is a separate and distinct species.  Two sub-species have been described; E. dageti dageti, and the more common, E. dageti monroviae
Difficulty of care: 4.  A fairly robust species that prefers "old" water.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com