Breeding badis badis

Breeding badis badis (the indian blue perch)

What you will need

  • 2 foot tank or more with a hood and diffused lighting
  • floating plants
  • heater – thermostat
  • 2 sponge filters with powerful air pump

Water conditions

Blue badis badis male
Badis badis male with blue in fins and vertical body stripes

The general water conditions should be 76F temperature, ph6.5 dh 5-10. But a little variation is acceptable. However, if the water is hard and alkaline then consider the use of rainwater from a water butt or reverse osmosis filter for the tap water and employ some peat or sphagnum moss to acidify the water to 6.5ph.

They are also known as the chameleon fish because of the male’s ability to instantly change colour on mood and according to surroundings. They can camouflage themselves quite well in between roots and stones.

They can grow to about 2.5 inches in the aquarium perhaps 3inch in the wild. They are generally a peaceful fish and won’t attack other fish unless guarding their own little den or when breeding.

Dwarf cichlids can make ideal tank mates because they have similar water requirements and habitat.

In the wild they are to be found in stagnant or slow moving water. So it is best to provide gentle filtration. A sponge filter is ideal.

blue badis badis
blue badis badis swimming in aquarium

While generally a shy fish when first introduced to an aquarium they settle down and are generally a peaceful fish. In a community tank other peaceful inhabitants can encourage badis to feed by watching other fish feed. It also takes a bit of experimentation to find the right food for these fish. Tubifex, blood worms, brineshrimp and chopped earth worms will be the first foods to try. Try also a good quality protein micropellet. They may take to it, especially if they have been tank raised for a few generations.

General aquarium care

In a large breeding aquarium you can house 2 males and between 4 to 6 females.
Keep in a 2 foot tank or bigger if you have more than one male. Use a fine gravel or sand which must be darkish in colour. They need lots of hiding places such as stone caves, coconut shells, clay plant pots, etc. Feed with live food and a very good quality protein micropellet if they are eating dried food.

The males have all the colour with the fins generally being blue while the females will be drab grey. Males have a concave underbelly while the females will have a convex underbelly and will generally be plumper.
The badis is mature at 1.5 inches. They breed by way of a clinch in much the same way as gouramis do. They share a common ancestor. When in breeding mood the male will have the most magnificent blue that will spread from his fins into his body.


To entice breeding slowly raise the temperature from 76F to 83F by a couple of degrees a day. At the same time feed plenty of their favourite live food and do daily 10% water changes with aged water of the same ph and hardness. They are not a difficult fish to breed as`long as they are feeding well and are healthy.
Although not a cichlid, the male and female will lock mouths and the male will entice the female to his breeding cave. They will breed inside the cave with a lot of body and tail waving at each other.
After the male and female have bred, (which you might not see) take out the female unless they are in a 3 foot tank or bigger. In that case she will hide if there are enough hiding places. The male will, similar to a cichlid, care for and guard the eggs and the hatchlings. He does this until they become free swimming.
Normally the adults will not eat the young especially if they are well fed and mostly undisturbed.

Raising the young

When fry become freeswimming, usually when they first leave the nest, feed with newly hatched brine shrimp and infusoria. After 5 days or so start feeding them on sifted daphnia and microworms as well as the brineshrimp. Discontinue the infusoria. When they start feeding it may be best to remove the male and female if she is stll there.


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