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Lepidocephalichthys guntea



Lepidocephalichthys guntea, pepper loach, Lepidocephalichthys balgara, is naturally common in the river systems of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh. These fish are most commonly found in shallow, slow-flowing rivers, as well as calm pools, marshes and rice paddies. These areas are densely overgrown with aquatic vegetation, with plenty of snags, branches and tree leaves on the bottom. The substrate is heavily silted.

Water transparency and depth varies significantly from season to season. During droughts, the water level decreases considerably, as well as its oxygen saturation. Under these conditions, the fish use their intestines as an additional breathing organ and often float to the water surface for a breath of atmospheric air. Some specimens of fish survive the dry period by burrowing into wet sand or silt.

Lepidocephalichthys guntea

In some countries Lepidocephalichthys guntea is used as a food, being eaten both fresh and dried.

The body of Lepidocephalichthys guntea is cylindrical in shape. There are four pairs of small whiskers near the mouth. The body is grey-yellow in colour. Abdomen is paler. Throughout the body there is a light longitudinal stripe bordered by rows of dark spots above and below. In mature males, the pectoral fins are enlarged by the fused, thickened inner (seventh and eighth) rays, which form peculiar plates. Females are slightly larger than males and have a spotted pattern on their flanks instead of the darker stripe seen in males. The maximum size of the fish is 8 cm.

Lepidocephalichthys guntea coexist peacefully with each other and with other peaceful fish, although they may prey on fry and fish spawn. They feel most comfortable in a species aquarium in the presence of their relatives, and should ideally be kept in a group of 4 or more individuals. The main activity is manifested with the onset of dusk.

Pisces is not difficult to contain. The aquarium must be a sandy soil, poured a layer of 5 cm, as the fish burrow into the sand and over its surface are only their eyes. If sharp-edged gravel is used, the fish may be injured when trying to burrow into it, the only exception is fine sanded gravel. Large snags and boulders, which form large shaded areas, should be placed at the bottom.

Water parameters: temperature 20-25° C, hardness dH 2-10°, pH 6.0-8.0. Requires filtration and a weekly change of 1/5 of the aquarium water with fresh water. Lepidocephalichthus guntheus use the intestines as an additional organ of respiration, and periodically float to the surface of the water to swallow some atmospheric air.

The lighting is dim. This should be considered if you intend to keep live plants in an aquarium, selecting their species that can develop normally in these conditions. Plants should be planted only in pots or strengthen their roots with large stones, as fish digging in the soil will rip them out together with the roots.

Lepidocephalichthys guntea

The aquarium should be covered with an aquarium cover, as the fish often jump out of the water when startled.

In nature, the pepper loach sifts the substrate through its gills, extracting small insects and crustaceans. In aquariums, fish are fed with sinking dry food, as well as live and frozen artemia, daphnia, bloodworms, etc. feed before lighting in the aquarium is turned off.

Reproduction

Under aquarium conditions Lepidocephalichthys guntea does not breed, all fish occasionally appear on the domestic market, imported from their natural habitat.

In the wild, spawning occurs with the onset of the rainy season.

Lepidocephalichthys guntea

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