Epiplatys grahami

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EPIPLATYS GRAHAMI (Lagos) Boulenger 1911 B.K.A. Information Pamphlet No.102 April, 1976

Habitat: This valid species comes from Lagos, but other strains from the Niger Delta and the Mboumboula River are known.

Description of the male: The body colour is light brown with a yellow - greenish shine. The back is a darker brown without any shine. The eye is greenish reflecting. On the body are numerous carmen-red spots forming six horizontal lines. There are also 7-9 vertical dark brown lines, which are not always visible. All fins are transparent. On the caudal and dorsal the carmen-red spots again form lines.

Size of male: To 35mm.

Description of the female: The body colour is light brown while the back again is dark brown. There is no shine on the body but all the scales are edged dark brown. The eye has no reflection. On the body are 7-9 brown vertical bars which are nearly always visible. All the fins are transparent and rounded. There are practically no spots.

Size of female: 40-45mm.

Requirements: This peaceful and quite species is quite easily kept in all sorts of tanks. The fish prefer water with a DH from about 7 degrees German, a pH from about 6.8 and a temperature at about 23C. They accept all sorts of foods and are really fond of dry foods. A well planted tank with dimmed light is appreciated.

Breeding: Breeding this species is very easy. A small tank is advisable with a bottom cover of peat and some floating Ceratopterus thalictroides. When the choice is given in substrate between a perlon mop or floating peat fibre, the latter is usually chosen.

Eggs can be stored according to the dry method. The development of the eggs is rather quick (about three days) but the results usually are not too good. It is better to kept the eggs in water in which they hatch after about one week. Eggs can also be kept in the spawning tank. The eggs are completely transparent and measure about 1mm.

After hatching fry can easily be collected because during the first few weeks they live at the water surface. The parent fish do not seem to be interested in them. Fry can take newly hatched brine shrimp immediately, but grow slowly at first. After about two months they start colouring and about one month later they are ready to breed.

Summary: A very attractive fish which is very good for beginners because of its easy breeding and resistance to all sorts of illnesses. The gentle character makes it very suitable for show tanks in which it certainly is attractive.