The monotypical, Malpulutta was
described in 1937 by the Sinhalese ichthyologist, Deriniyagala. The
naturalist, Rodney, Jonklaas was probably the first to report on the
breeding of this 4-6 cm long labyrinthfish in TFH March 1969. It occurs
only on the island of Sri Lanka where it was reported to live in small
shallow pools which are shaded by trees by Linke (1990). Here in
habitats such as the Kottawa forest, the pH was 6.6., 4DGH, 2KH and 35
mu S/cc at 27.5°C.
first came across this fish in a pet shop in Bayreuth which gets its
stock from Mimbon in Cologne. Unfortunately, as I was only a schoolboy,
I couldn't afford any as the price was pretty high. I had to swap 20Cynolebius for
a pair of these dwarf paradisefish. At home, I put the rather
frightened, wild-caught fish (so the shop said and at that time, as far
as I know, export was not forbidden) in a 40x25x25 cm aquarium. The
furnishings consisted of the obligatory bundle of Java moss on the base
and 3 small film boxes which I stick to some small pieces of slate. The
water was cleaned through and air lift filter containing peat which
made the pH 5.5. at 24°C.
I put them into the aquarium, the male disappeared straight away into
the Java moss and was not seen again for some time. After I had already
given up hope that the animal was still alive, it appeared again after
6 weeks. I fed my M.kretseri with only live food such as Daphnia and mosquito larvae (except red), Cyclops and Artemianaupilii.
After a good feed of mosquito larvae, the male started to build a
bubble nest in one of the film boxes which seemed bigger and sturdier
than those of mostParosphromenus. Unfortunately, I was not able
to observe the courtship and spawning because every time that I tried
to look at them with my flashlight, they interrupted their loveplay.
Juergen Schmidt reported that their seemed to be something special
during the pairing process, some 'kissing' rather like one sees with
kissing gouramis (Helostoma teminckii). I hope Juergen will say
more about that in a future article. After my pair had spawned, their
appeared to be about 100 eggs and after about 5 days, the 2mm larvae
further raising of the brood, 2 methods seem to have been useful. In
the first, I leave the young ones with their parents for about 3 days
after they hatch. Then I catch them, one by one, with a spoon with an
L-shaped handle and place them in a 35 l rearing aquarium with the same
water as the breeding tank.
the second method, I suck out the larvae from the nest, using a small
hose or pipette. This method has been particularly successful when the
male has finished his nursing of the brood for a short time and one can
raise more fish more purposefully by this method. The eggs should
always stay in the nest with the male. I had a lot of fungi with
artificial raising, in spite of adding 'Cilex'. The eggs and larvae
which are sucked out are put in a plastic box of 14x7x5.5cm which is
hung in the breeding aquarium for better control. This way it is also
easier to change half the water from the 'parent' aquarium.
the young fish swim free, I put them in a raising aquarium with 15l
water and some snails on the bottom as scavengers (4-5 days after
hatching at 24°C). The young fish start to feed immediately on
freshly-hatched Artemia. As a precaution, one can also feed 'Protgen'
or small vinegar eels. Only by very close inspection, can one discover
the young fish. Usually you can only count them after they have been
fed on Artemia, because they then have bright red stomachs. After 3
months, they are big enough to sex.
kretseri is an interesting and rewarding fish because of the fine
colours of the male which appear even outside the breeding season. As a
last word, I want to mention a query of an aquarist friend of mine who
asked me if my fish were as 'jump happy' as his. I have never noticed
this characteristic with my fish so maybe it would be interesting to
hear other aquarists' experiences. (I
have heard of them disappearing from their tank only to appear in the
tank below, after many months. They are also capable of vanishing in
the tank because of their supreme ability to hide. Maybe this is why
they are so difficult to catch in the wild! - Ed.)
REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION FROM 'DER MAKROPODE AND TRANSLATED BY MRS R.ARMITAGE (WYNEKEN)