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Cichlids / Asia / Green Chromide

Green Chromide, Banded Chromide
Etroplus suratensis

Synonyms: Chaetodon suratensis, Etroplus meleagris
Physical description: An oval-shaped fish with a pointed head. The coloration is olive green to greenish brown. The body is marked with six to eight transverse bars which may at times, be indistinct. Each scale has a golden spot and the fins are body-colored. The anal fins may have some blue iridescence. At spawning times, all the colors are enhanced, making the normal dull-coloring look more impressive.
Size/Length: To 18" (46 cm) in nature, although not larger than 12" (30 cm) in aquaria.
Similar species: None
Habitat: Southeastern Asia; lives in brackish water river estuaries and moves in schools between pure freshwater and sea water at different times during the year. India and Sri Lanka.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A 45-55 gallon (170-209 L) or 40 (101 cm) is sufficient for fish under 8" (20 cm) in length. Adult fish need at tank of at least 56" (142 cm) or 75 gallons (285 L) to prosper. Use a substrate of coral sand or less ideally, fine gravel. The tank can be well-planted with large, robust plants, although this species is a known plant eater. Provide hiding places and retreats with large caves and wood. Leave open swimming areas.
Water chemistry: pH 7-9 (8.0), 12-30 dH (20), 73-81°F (23-27°C). A 1 to 1.5% addition of sea salt is necessary. To obtain this dilution rate see suggestions under E. maculatus.
Social behavior: A shoaling fish that should be kept in groups of at least 6 fish. In smaller schools, quarrels may break out. This fish may be more suitable to salt water community tanks than freshwater tanks. This fish can be kept with other brackish water species including E. maculatus . Pairs form monogamous bonds and later nuclear families.
Suggested companions: Monos, Archerfish, Scats, Anableps, Rainbowfish, Gobies.
FOOD: Live; Tubifex , crustaceans, insects; chopped meat; pellets; large flakes; oatmeal; plant matter; vegetables; spinach, peas, lettuce.
SEX: The only definite difference is the shape of the genital papilla which is visible at spawning times.
Breeding techniques: An open water spawner that lays up to 1000 eggs on a previously cleaned rock or in a cave. They hatch in 36 to 50 hours and are carefully guarded by the parents. The young are free-swimming after 7-8 more days. Start feeding with Artemia nauplii, roftiers, and dry foods. The young are susceptible to fungal infections if kept in freshwater, and are difficult to raise even in brackish water. Their coloring is different from that of the adults. They have a single transverse band around the mid-section. This band disappears, and for several weeks the fry are just silver. Eventually they develop the adult coloring.
Breeding potential: 8. Breeding is difficult.
Remarks: Sexually mature from 6" (15 cm). This fish's colors are enhanced when they are kept in pure sea water.
Difficulty of care: 6. A large fish that needs to be kept in brackish water.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com