Breeding Rare Badis Assamensis of India

Badis assamensis of IndiaBadis Assamensis was originally thought to be only endemic to the river Brahmaputra in Assam, India from its 1937 discovery. Later it was found in another location in the northern region of West Bengal.

This species of aquarium fish comes from slow-moving stained water with sand substrate. Water lilies and trees often line the swamp-like water’s edge of their habitat. Many times the smaller species Badis badis can be found in the same areas as these giants, which can reach 65 to 75mm in length.

In nature Badis assamensis feeds on insects, worms, and some plankton. In the aquarium, they will do well on frozen or live brine shrimp, daphnia, and small cultured worms as supplements to good quality dried pellet or flake food.  Mysis, Chironomus, chopped earthworms and enchitreidae also to round out feeding.

“I think that the preservation and keeping of fishes generations after generations is a very important thing in the Aquarium hobby. It was a long time ago I saw a picture of this Badis in an old German magazine, maybe “Aquarium Heute”. I remember that this beautiful big Badis was collected in a National Park in Assam, India. I saw that sometimes it is in stock here in Europe, usually imported by Glaser, so I thought to try to buy some and to try to breed them. I have some experience with Badis badis. So, I wanted to try. Now I have one hundred of them.” – Marco Vaccari

Some suitable biotope plants for these setups would be Microsorum, Ludwigia adscendens, and Hygrophylla polysperma.  For riparian plants

Starting to “work” with my second generation of Badis assamensis today. I isolated two pairs in two 60 liters tanks from the big tank with the group (tank raised fishes).
These are rare Badis, endangered in nature, i hope to keep them generation after generation. – Marco Vaccari

Driftwood and leaf litter will also benefit the look of the aquarium and the health of the fish. Indian almond leaf, jackfruit leaf, and guava leaf can help and are readily available.

Badis assamensis can be bred rather easily in a 20 gallon or larger with a mature mating pair. Mating can occur at around one year of age. Hiding places of stones, plant pots, or coconut shells will encourage a stronger feeling of security which can help with initiating breeding.

Overall they are an easy species to breed but the length of time that maturity takes is often a setback for breeding programs.

Water conditions in captivity are pretty easy to provide for these fish too. 60F to 75F water temperatures are tolerable but you will have better results breeding when kept at the 72 to 74F range. In some warmer areas, these fish could be kept without heaters because of their tolerance for cooler water.

Ludvigia adscendens Fazal
Ludwigia adscendens Photo: Fazal Baboo

Deforestation and over-collection are the two biggest threats to Badis assamensis. Riverbank area where these fish are found are heavily forested. Farming and logging are main threats creating habitat destruction and changing habitat conditions. Collection for food as well as for the aquarium hobby in the Brahmaputra is also detrimental to the future of these fish.

Badis assamensis photos courtesy Marco Vaccari.

Plant photos courtesy Fazal Baboo


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