Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species • The Cichlids of India - The Etroplines

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The Cichlids of India - The Etroplines

Postby notho2000 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:37 pm

There are only three cichlid species endemic to India and they are all of the genus Etroplus - Etroplus suratensis / canarensis / maculatus. Their closest living relatives are the Paretroplus from Madagascar. These two ancient lineages split when Madagascar and the Indian Plate finished drifting apart by the end of the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago. Etroplus suratensis (Green Chromide) is native to India and Sri Lanka, and is primarily found in brackish water but tolerates fresh or marine waters for short periods. It is found in large rivers, reservoirs, lagoons and estuaries where it feeds on filamentous algae, plant material and insects. Etroplus canarensis (Canara Pearlspot) is endemic to South Karnataka in India. Unlike other members of the genus, it does not occur in brackish waters, being found in freshwater only. It is a much sought after cichlid, and somewhat rare in the aquarium hobby. The Orange Chromide (Etroplus maculatus) is endemic to freshwater and brackish streams, lagoons and estuaries and co-occurs throughout its range with the Green Chromide. In their natural setting, Orange Chromides prey on the eggs and young of E. suratensis and also act as a "cleaner fish" removing parasites from the much larger Green Chromides in a cleaning symbiosis. Here is a brief video of these species in my fish room. These are all sub-adult.

http://youtu.be/QfN-cWfqJWU
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Re: The Cichlids of India - The Etroplines

Postby Darkskies » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:52 pm

Hi,

About the Orange Chromide, I've been hearing conflicting information. Some say that they are strictly brackish while others have been only able to breed them in freshwater. I read somewhere that the natural color morph(wild) of etroplus maculatus prefers freshwater/breeds in freshwater while the yellow/orange selected morph requires brackish water for good health and breeding. Why would the morphs require different salinities for their well-being if they're the same species of fish especially since the yellow line bred form was selected for by breeders? Beautiful fish by the way. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: The Cichlids of India - The Etroplines

Postby notho2000 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:28 pm

Well, from my experience with WC Orange Chromides and their F1 offspring, they can withstand fresh water for a time but sooner or later (sooner for me - I tried them in fresh for a while and it didn't work out. I started to lose some)) tend to 'break down'. It shows itself in the form of clamped fins, skin irritations/flashing, and white fungus-like growths on the body and fins. I know that salt in the water tends to stimulate the production of their slimecoat, and in doing so, gives them additional external protection. Also, the fry will feed off the bodies of the parents. I have never had the yellow/orange morphs so I can't really comment, but I would suspect that they too, would do best in brackish water. I think the salinity requirements would be the same for both. I know mine definitely do the best in brackish, clean water, and have spawned for me on countless occasions in this water (SG ~1.005-1.010)
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Re: The Cichlids of India - The Etroplines

Postby sumertiw » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:45 pm

I think this thread can use some closure :)
E. suratensis is also found in freshwater. Earlier this year when I was on a collection trip in India, We found a very large batch of E. suratensis in Netravati river. In fact it was the only fish except some golden panchax that was found there. It was 100% freshwater and there were countless pairs that were breeding constantly. Many generations could be seen.
I am writing an article on my trip and while researching, I found this thread. I will make sure I post the link to my article here, once it is complete.
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