Aphyosemion celiae

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(Scheel, 1971) B.K.A. Information Pamphlet No.73 August, 1971

Biotope: Forest brooks, near Kumba, Western Cameroons. Water conditions pH 6.6 to 7.0. DH from nil to 4 degrees German. Brook in full spate at the time of capture by Blair (1970).

Description of male: There would appear to be several slight colour variations of this species, the following is for the specimens collected by David Blair BKA. Dorsally brownish. Flanks purple/brown with some blue patches and having large red spotting. Eye bold, the iris being golden. Throat buff to flesh coloured, two vermiform streaks behind the gills. Caudal peduncle light brown to flesh. Ventrals pale brown to orange. Pelvics rust red and having a sub marginal red band with a final outer band of yellow. Anal purplish with a crimson sub marginal band and a final outer band of canary yellow. Caudal inner zone of a brown/purple to blue, a sub marginal band of crimson with a final outer band of canary yellow meeting in mature adults to form a crescent. Dorsal brownish, inner margin of crimson, final outer edge of canary yellow. Size of male: Said to reach some 3" plus in the wild but have not seen an aquarium raised specimen of this size.

Description of female: Very nondescript being of a uniform muddy brown and having a black spot close to the caudal peduncle. Fins almost colourless. Size of female: To about 2.75".

Maintenance: Quite tolerant of water conditions. That of a peaty nature with a pH of 6.8 and a DH of from 4 to 7 German apparently suiting. Rather timid and should have some cover provided to give a sense of security and to cut down the incidence of jumping. A really great jumper taking off from a still position, vertically into the air. Keep well covered at all times. Any foods taken, naturally live foods being preferred but some dry foods will be accepted.

Breeding: Quite easily bred with water conditions as above with a temperature of 74F. Depth of water about six inches with a layer of peat on the bottom of the tank. Both floating and submerged mops should be used. Eggs are large, a few being laid each day, probably about 10 to 15. Eggs hatch in from 14 to 16 days at a temperature of 74F. Fry are large on hatching and are able to cope with the normal fry foods such as brine shrimp and micro worms; progressing to grindal worms after about two weeks. Fry easily raised but growth slows down for a while after reaching the 1/2" stage. A number of eggs laid are of the "resting" type (Diapause) and probably accounts for about 1/3rd. of the eggs laid. Sexing of fry is not possible till about the 1.25" stage when the males start to·show colouration in the anal fin. At the 1.5" stage the fish resemble young Aphyosemion ahli with which species they could easily become confused. The fish are almost adult before full colouration is reached and it may take some time before the outer edges unite and form the crescent pattern as in Aphyosemion cinnamomeum which this species also resembles.

Summary: Perhaps not one of the most colourful of the Aphyosemion genus but none the more quite a desirable and interesting fish. Fry prone to bacterial infection if frequent changes of water are not practised. A species requiring patience in waiting for the fry to mature. Subdued light appreciated. As pointed out there are slight colour variations with this species mainly the difference is in the outer edges of the fins, this can be from white to yellow to light red. Formerly known as A.K1 and 2.