How to Succeed with Your New Chameleon Fish

Aqualand's inside scoop on Badis badis

 
Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Lance Fern
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

Badis badis Factoids

Origin

India

Temperature

Tropical -- 75 to 80 F
Size 2 inches, 3 theoretically
Sexing  Males skinnier, larger, more colorful, with taller dorsal

Security

Lots of caves, wood, rocks, plants

Foods

90% live foods at first

Breeding

Breeds in cave.  Male cares for eggs and fry.

Threats

Wrong foods.  Poor water.

 

 

LA
1-inch male chameleon fish.  Unprepossessing, like most young fish.

Name:  Adult male chameleon fish change colors at will -- when angry, hungry, or horny, also when threatened or protecting their eggs, fry, or territory.  Female chameleon fish rate somewhere between drab and plain most of the time.  When young, both sexes of the Badis badis tribe pretty much look the same.

LA
One-inch probable male Badis badis.  We'll give you a sexing clue later.

Origin:  Chameleon fish come from India -- another pretty big place.  Namistay.  Chameleon fish are a type of nandid similar to a dwarf cichlid but not eligible to enroll in the ACA or other cichlid club.  Some people call them “blue perch.”  Others call them Indian nandids (with good reason).  Chameleon fish are neither rare nor expensive, just hard to find.  And when you do find them, the little dudes are hard to see, because they are small and plain.  You’re more likely to find Badis badis as the result of a fish club’s Breeder Award Program.

LA
One-inch male left?  Female right?  Females have a plumper belly.  Males a six-pack.

Size:  If you believe everything you read, chameleon fish grow to three inches.  Maybe so.  We just haven’t seen any Badis badis over two inches.  However, we’ve never seined any waters in India, either.  You usually see them for sale at less than one inch long.

LA
Young Chameleon fish compared to an adult male guarding fry.  He's under two inches.

 

Colors:  We haven’t taken one of these apart, but chameleon fish appear to have black, blue, orange, yellow, and drab iridocytes they can change the size of at will.  Since blue’s a reflective color, you’ll see their best colors if you keep your light at the front of their tank.  We’ve checked them with a flashlight at night.  Their colors darken at night.  Badis badis also seem to prefer non-bright lights.

LA
Any kind of decor improves your Chameleon fish's colors. 

Plants, Rocks, Wood:  Add plenty of live plants, plastic plants, knick knacks, paddy whacks, rocks, terraces, niches, notches, castles, caves, crevices and chunks of wood.  Chameleon fish color better and display better in tanks with lots of decor.  Oh yes, you are treating Badis badis like dwarf cichlids. Namistay.

  LA
Some chameleon fish will actually eat flakes foods.  Many will not.

Foods and Feeding:  But you are not feeding them like dwarf cichlids.  When you buy rams off the shelf, most will accept flakes and pellets from day one.  Not so your new chameleon fish.  You better at least be ready with frozen brine shrimp.  They are not enthusiastic eaters -- which may account for the male’s concave abs.  The food they like best is live California black worms.  Badis badis accept other live and frozen foods but not quite as eagerly.

  LA
If you look real close, you can see the same "pattern" in both these female Chameleon fish.

Flake Foods:  You’ll save probably less than half your colony if you feed your chameleon fish nothing but flake foods.  The picky beggars die.  The less particular survivors are tough little rascals.  Rather than depend on luck, ask your dealer what his or her Badis badis are eating.  ASK to see them eat it.

LA
Four chameleon fish under one inch.
  Interesting but not striking when small.  

Good Community Fish:  Chameleon fish mix well with other smaller fishes -- like moons, dwarf gouramis, etc.  The best thing about mixing in other fishes is it encourages your Badis badis to compete for their food.  They see the other fish eagerly eating and want their share -- just like our siblings when we were growing up.

LA
Same 1-inch fish as above in a 2-inch flower pot two weeks later.  Chameleon fish change.

LA
Few more pix of the same Chameleon fish another week later.

LA
Male chameleon fish take over these small flower pots almost immediately.

 

Kimberly, Des Moines, IA, June 15, 2009
Here is a picture of the male Badis badis in full color as he is courting a female in his tank near his cave.  They do put off some intense colors! Thought I'd share it.
Also, the fish you have listed as 'Scarlet Badis' is no longer classified as a Badis at all.  It is now Dario dario.  They lay their eggs among plants, and the Badis badis uses a cave.

KB

LA
1-inch Badis badis.

LA
Ditto -- probable male.

A:  I'll add your info to my Badis page.  The scarlets are showing up more these days.  LA

Breeding:  Add some small caves.  Two-inch flower pots work fine.  Chameleon fish breed like dwarf cichlids.  You’ll see a little lip-locking and tail-slapping, but you probably won’t see the nuptials or the consummation.  Badis badis enjoy their privacy.  You’ll notice your male becomes more brightly colored.  Your male chameleon fish will care for the eggs and fry.

LA
Called a blue badis.  New to us.  1.5 inches.

LA
More blue badis.

LA
Badis assamensis.

LA Pix
Scarlet Badis at 0.5 inches.  They get prettier.  They also need live food.

LA
Nov 2007.  Better pic.  He's 0.5 inches long.  Seldom seen.

LA
Another half-inch guy in the same tank.

LA
One-inch red badis -- no particular color yet.

LA
Half a year later, she's still one-inch long, well-rounded, and an obvious female>

LA
0.5-inch scarlet badis, January 9, 2011.

LA.
Ditto.

Other Badis:  You can also find blue badis and red badis on rare occasions.  Both cost more and are less seldom seen.  Good luck finding any Badis.  

LA
Tribe of the little guys getting along together.  One of the larger "first four" in middle.

LA
Female on left with rounded belly.  More colorful male on right with tighter abs.

LA
Total time in tank:  26 days.  Cute guy.  Picky eater.  Same guy as very first pic.

LA
Three days later he's caring for 30 to 40 hard-to-see eggs on the bottom left.

LA
Looks like lots more now that they hatched two days later.

LA
And here's a whole new crop of young chameleon fish getting started.

Last Word:  Except for the picture of the members of the tribe and the other species of Badis, all these pictures were of the same “first four.” As we said earlier, “Badis vary a lot.”  And as we also said earlier:  “Chameleon fish are neither rare nor expensive, just hard to find.”   LA

© 2005, © 2006, © 2009  LA Productions
aqualandpetsplus.com

  

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

 

Home

Fish

Other Stuff

 

Anabantids
Betta Leaf 
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Info
Betta  Housing
Betta Pla Kat
Choc Gourami
Climbing Perch
Gourami Pix
Kiss. Gourami
Osphronemus
Pearl Gourami
More Pearls
Paradise Fish  
Snakehead
Spawn Gourami
T. trichopterus

Catfish  
Banjo
Bullheads
Bull Sharks
Channel  
Corydoras
Cory Pics
Electric
Glass
Hoplos
Otocinclus
Pangassius
Pictus
Plecostomus
Pleco Bristle
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly V
Pleco Costly VI

Pleco Costly VII
Raphael
Red-Tail
Shovelnose
Sun
Synodontis
Synodontis petricola
Turushuki Catfish
Upside-down
USD Gold Flake
Misc Catfish
Misc Catfish II
Misc Catfish III

Misc Catfish IV
Misc Catfish V

Cichlids
African I
African II
African III
African IV

Af. Furniture
Amer. Small
Amer.  Med 
Amer. Large
Angelfish I
Angelfish II
Angelfish III
Angelfish IV
More Angels
Buttikoferi

Chocolate
Chocolate Spawning
Cichlid Decor
Cichlid Food
Convicts
Convicts 2
Convicts 3
Convicts 4
Dempseys
More Dempseys
Jack Dempsey Spawn
Discus
Dither Fish
Flower Horn
Green Terror
Jaguar
More Jaguars
Jaguar Spawning

Jaguar Spawning II
Jewel Fish
Keo's Flowerhorns
Keo's Flowerhorns II
Kribensis

Odd Couple Spawn
Oscars 1
Oscars 2
Oscars 3
Oscars 4
Oscars 5
More Oscar
More Oscar II
More Oscars III
More Oscars 2007
More Oscars 2007.5
Oscar Spawn
Peacock Bass
Red Devils
More Red Devil

Red Parrots

Red Parrots Spawn
Red Parrot Spawn II
Pikes
Pink Tilapia
Rams
Red Bay Snooks
Red Bay Snook Spawn
Roger Stephen's Cichlids
Severums
More Severums
Severums III

Tanganyikans
Texas Cichlid
Texas Spawning

Texas Spawn II
Uarus
Misc Cichlids I
Misc Cichlids II
Misc Cichlids III
Misc Cichlids IV
Misc Cichlids V
Misc Cichlids VI
Misc Cichlids VII
Misc Cichlids VIII
Misc Cichlids IX

Livebearer  
Guppies
Half-Beak
Mollies
Moons/Platys
Swordtails

Minnows/Tetra 
Barbs
Barbs, Black
Barbs, Gold

Barbs, Rosy
Barbs, Tiger
Barbs, Tinfoil

Danios

Danio Egg Saver
Distochodus
Fathead Minnows
Headstanders
Killies, Econ.
Killies, Golden
Killies, Peat
Killies, Plant
Misc Mini-Fish
Pacús 

Piranha, Black
Piranha, Red
Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon
Rainbowfish, Irian

Silver Dollar
Tetras, Larger
Tetras, Smaller
Tetras, Spawn
Tetra, Vampire
White Clouds

Pond Fish
Carp
Channel Cat
Gold. Comets
Gold. Fantails
More Fantails
Gold. Oriental  
Gold Oriental II 
Gold. Spawn
Kloubec Koi Farm
Koi
Koi II

Koi III
Oranda Spawn
Plecostomus
Shubunkins

Oddballs  
Af. Butterfly
Af. Lungfish
Af. Mudskippr
American Eel
Archer Fish

Arowana
Bichirs
Borneo Suckers
Brackish I
Brackish II
Brackish III
Brackish IV
Brackish V
Michael Troung's Pix
Butterfly/Wasp
Chameleon Fish
Chromides

Chin Alg Eater
Crazy Fish
Crocodile Fish

Datnioides

Dojo
Dwarf Puffers
Electric Cat
Electric Eels

Elephant Nose
Exodon paradoxus
Flounder
Gars
 
Glassfish
Goby Bumble
Goby Butterfly
Goby Dragon
Goby Misc.
Half-Beak
Knife African
Knife Clown
Knife Ghost
Loach Botias
Loach Clown
Loach Kuhli
Loach Weather

Longear Sunfish
Moray Eel  
Peacock Gudgeons
Polypterids
Puffers

Ropefish
Scats
Siam Algae Eater
 
Spiny Eels 
Snakehead
Stingray
Stonefish
Wasp Fish
Wolffish
Wrest Half-Beak
Misc Mini-Fishes
Misc Odd
Misc Odd II
Misc Odd III
Misc Odd  IV

Misc Odd V
Misc Odd VI

Sharks  
Bala
Black
Bull
Chinese Hi-Fin Banded
Iridescent
Red-Tail
Siam Algae Eater

Pond Info 
Blank Park Zoo
Bob Humphrey's Ponds
Cattails
Maffett Reservoir
DMACC's Pond
D.M. Botanical Center
D.M. Water Works
Dr. Ervanian's Garden
Duckweed

Dwarf Lily
Ewing Park "Pond"
Jan & Chris's Water Garden
John McDonald's Pond
Hall's Four Acres
Klines' Water Garden
Landscaper Effects
Mini-Pond Pics
Pioneer Corn's Pond
Pond Fish Predators
Pond on 38th Street 
Pond Pics
Pond Plants
More Pond Plants
Pond Plants III
Reiman Ponds
River Scenes
Riverview Island
Selin's Water Gardens
Selin's Japanese Garden
Tom's Used Cars Pond
Urbandale Duck Pond
Water Hyacinth
Water Lettuce
Wild Ponds