Synonyms: Aphyosemion occidentale, A. occidentalis
Physical description: An elongated species with and up-turned mouth. The back of males is dark orange-red. The lips and cheeks are blue, as are the lower parts of the flanks. The upper parts of the flanks a golden yellow and magenta. The fins are multicolored with a sky blue outline. This description is only fit for one color morph, although several variations exist. Females of this morph has an orange-red back, and pinkish lower parts.
Size/Length: To 3.5" (9 cm)
Similar species: Aphyosemion species
Habitat: Inhabits shallow areas of seasonal creeks, pools, and streams of the savannas and forests of West Africa; Sierra Leone and Liberia
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A tank measuring 24" (61 cm) with a capacity of 10-15 gallons (38-57 L) is suggested. Provide hiding places among wood, rocks, and dense planting. The tank should be dark and arranged in dark colors. A cover of floating plants is desirable, as is a substrate of peat moss. Use a tight-fitting cover as this species is a jumper. The Red Aphyosemion prefers shallow tanks.
Water chemistry: pH 6.2-7.0 (6.5), 3-12 dH (5), 68-75°F (20-24°C)
Social behavior: Males are territorial and aggressive towards one another, and may harass females. Therefore, it is recommended to keep one male and several females to a tank.
Suggested companions: This species is best kept in a species tank, although it can be kept in a tank with robust Killifish, tetras, dwarf cichlids, and small catfish.
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, crustaceans, insects,Tubifex; flakes.
Sexual differences: Males are more colorful.
Breeding techniques: This species can be bred in a 5 gallon (20 L) tank with a substrate of peat moss. The water values should be as followS: a pH from 6-6.5, a water hardness from 1-5 dH, and a temperature from 73-77°F (23-25°F). The eggs are buried in the peat. Remove the peat and store it in a moist area for two to four months. After this period of time, place the peat in a tank containing soft water. The eggs should hatch after several days, and the fry can be raised on micro-foods and powdered foods.
Breeding potential: 7. Breeding is fairly difficult.
Remarks: This species is an annual, thus is short-lived. To prolong the life of R. occidentalis , keep the water temperature cooler than that of other tropicals (68-72°F). R. occidentalis is sometimes known as the Golden Pheasant. Some suggest that the name Fundulopanchax occidentalis is the correct name for this species.
Difficulty of care: 6. This temperamental species is susceptible to disease.
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