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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > Miscellaneous species > Badis Badis
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This profile was written by Chris an active contributor to the site.  



Badis badis
Badis badis in dark blue courting colors. His name was Syd
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Keller

Badis badis


    Badis are a peaceful species, though best kept in a species only tank due to being territorial after spawning. Badis are particularly helpful at reducing snail populations should they pose an issue in a tank. They are a shy, tiny, tropical freshwater fish considered one of the more underrated species in the hobby, neglected despite their brilliant coloration, stripes, and unique personality reminiscent of dwarf cichlids that make them quite an interesting species to keep and watch.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 3 inches (8cm)
    Tank: 10 gallon or larger.
    Strata: Middle top level dwellers.
    PH: 5.5 - 7.5
    Hardness: Soft to medium-hard (6 - 18° N)
    Temperature: 65°F to 78°F (18°-26° C)


    Order: Perciformes
    Family: Badidae
    Genera: Badis
    Species: Badis


Common name:

    Badis Badis, Chameleon Fish.
Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Asia: Ganges River drainage in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, from Himachal Pradesh (Yamuna River) to the estuary. The Mahanadi River drainage. Assam lowlands close to Brahmaputra.

General Body Form:
    Male Badis look a bit slimmer than females, and their pelvic fins also extend out further as they develop and mature than those of the female.

Sexing & Coloration:
    Males are also more colorful than females (which are without the red or blue colors on their flanks), making them the more popular sex for importation. The Badis come with seven bold stripes along their body.

    Badis prefer the best of both worlds: well-planted tanks offering lots of hiding places and dark “secure” areas between rocks and wood, as well as open swimming areas to move around in. Using the water conditions above should render very healthy and vibrant Badis.
Umbrella Cichlid

    Badis accept all varieties of food from the staple quality flakes, to blood worms and white worms as treats.

    Badis prefer to spawn in caves or other secure, hidden-away areas. Their mating ritual consists of swimming around one another in circles, periodically locking their mouths together, after this they will enter the cave to spawn (Sound familiar?). Their eggs hatch in 2-3 days however the fry do not hatch “free swimming.” Brine shrimp are a recommended food for the new fry. Either a single pair or a group of adults can be used for spawning, but if using multiple males be sure to provide each with space to form a territory of at least 12" x 12" per male. Females leave the area post-spawning and the male Badis defends the territory against intruders, tirelessly patrolling the area. All in all the Badis can be expected to live 3 to five years in a healthy tank.
Umbrella Cichlid
Photo courtesy of Aqualand pets plus

    Occurs solitarily in rivers, ponds, ditches and swamps.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Kimberly Keller
Not sure where you got the info that they accept flake foods. It has not been my experience, nor those I've sold them to over the years. In raising them, I was able to get 4th generation captive bred fish to strike at man-made foods. But they are stubborn in their desire for live worms or worm-like foods. Never saw them mess with snails (although I have seen other sites claim they are good snail hunters - I raised snails to feed puffers and offer them to Badis badis from time to time, but they were always ignored). Same with shrimp and shrimplets. 4 cherry shrimp dropped into a 10 gallon tank with a male Badis badis (to be food), and there were 80+ shrimp a few months later!






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