The Blue Badis (Badis badis), also commonly known as the Chameleon Fish, is a nano-sized member of the perch family indigenous to the Ganges River system of India. The “chameleon fish” name refers to the unique ability of this fish, particularly adult males, to dramatically change colors during breeding and territorial behavior. The initial color in juveniles is mottled brown, tan, and red vertical striping. As the Blue Badis reaches maturity, males will often display more intense red and iridescent blue coloration on its fins.
The Blue Badis is a micropredator requiring a diet of meaty foods. Many specimens will not accept dry flake and pellet foods, so live and frozen foods should be regularly offered. In nature, this fish eats various small worms, small crustaceans, insects and insect larvae. In the aquarium, glassworms, enriched Artemia, and Daphnia will make an excellent staple diet. Bloodworms and Tubifex worms can be fed on occasion, but should not be fed as a regular diet since they can lead to obesity problems with this species.
The aquarium of the Blue Badis should include plenty of rockwork and driftwood. This fish is a cave spawner, so it is also a good idea to shape some décor into cave-like structures. During spawning, the male will guard the eggs and newly-hatched fry, but any adults should be removed thereafter if you want to avoid cannibalism of the fry by the parents.
The Blue Badis will thrive in a planted aquarium with relatively mild to moderate water flow and is generally peaceful with other species of fish. Though it is a predator, its small size makes it safe with all but the very tiniest fish. It can be housed with some invertebrates such as snails and larger shrimp, but it may eat most Caridina and Neocaridina shrimp. It may hybridize with other Badis species, although it is unlikely to do so with the Scarlet Badis (Dario dario) due to the size difference.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Iridescent blue and red coloration in males during courtship and territorial behavior
- Peaceful disposition with most fish
- Hardy and adaptable
- Very active in middle and lower levels of the aquarium
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 59° - 77° F (15° - 25° C)
pH: 6.0 - 7.5
KH: 10 - 15 dKH
Minimum tank size: 20 gallons
Diet: Meaty foods, especially frozen foods such as Daphnia and Artemia, Bloodworms and Tubifex worms on occasion only. Dry foods will often be ignored.
Social behavior: Mostly peaceful, loosely schooling/shoaling in small groups. Adult males can be territorial with other males.