Synonyms: Aplocheilus affinis, A. vittatus, Haplochilus lineatus, Panchax lineatus, P. lineatum
Physical description: The body is elongated and the snout is up-turned. The back is slightly arched and the fins are rounded. The back is olive brown to bronze-brown, and the flanks are bronze to dark forest green in color. Alternating scales are yellow-gold in color giving the fish an attractive appearance. These yellow scales continues ant the anal, caudal, and dorsal fins, which are bronze in color. The jaw and frontal belly regions are yellowish white and the iris of the eye may be green. Nine dark, transverse stripes mark the body of juveniles and mature females. At least two variants are common to the hobby: one with a fully red tail, and the other with the majority of the caudal fin is red, and the outer lobes are white. The anal and dorsal fins are yellow.
Size/Length: To 4.7" (12 cm)
Similar species: Other Aplocheilus species.
Habitat: In still and slow moving water with heavy vegetation in coastal regions of Southern India.
Aquarium: A tank measuring 30" (76 cm) with a capacity of 20-25 gallons (75-98 L) is recommended. Use a cover of floating plants to diffuse the lighting. Use a tight-fitting cover as this species is a jumper. Provide hiding places with roots, rocks, and wood.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (6.9), dH 5-20 (8), 75-81°F (24-27°C)
Social behavior: A predatory species that can be combined with medium to large sized fishes. Males are aggressive towards one another, as are females, and should not be kept together in tanks less than 36" (91 cm) in length. It is possible to keep several pairs in one tank, as the aggression tends to be evenly spread. Rosler states in Tropical Fish Hobbyist (#460 on p. 110-14) that in his experiences with A. lineatus , he has combined small fish such as tetras in the same tank. He suggests that Panchax only attack sick or weak fish in the aquarium, and healthy fish are safe.
Suggested companions: Aplocheilus species, small catfishes, peaceful cichlids
FOOD: Live; fish fry, crustaceans, insect larvae, flying and aquatic insects, Tubifex; flakes, pellets, tablets.
Sexual differences: Males are larger and more colorful, with elongated fins and slimmer, fainter transverse bands. In females, these bands are more distinct and broader.
Breeding techniques: A small 5.5 gallon (21 L) tank is sufficient. The pair should be conditioned separately for a period of two to three weeks. Use acidic water with a pH from 6-6.7 and a temperature from 77-82°F (25-28°C). Furnish the tank with dense bunches of fine-leafed plants or Java Moss, and a cover of floating plants. The large eggs are deposited among surface and bunches of plants. Remove the eggs and place them into a shallow tank. The eggs should hatch after 11-14 days, and the young can be fed on powdered dry foods and Artemia nauplii. The fry develop at different rates, so they must be frequently sorted according to size.
Breeding potential: 6. This Panchax is fairly easy to breed.
Remarks: This species, like all Panchax, belongs to the sub-family Rivulinae. Several different color forms are reported to exist.
Difficulty of care: 4. A robust Panchax that can be combined with larger fish.
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