Badis Badis Care: The Dwarf Chameleon Fish

Scientific NameBadis badis
Common Name(s)Badis, Dwarf Chameleon Fish
OriginPerciformes order, Badidae family, India, Nepal
Temperature Range68-75°F
Water Parameters<15 dGH, pH 6-7.5
Adult Size50-60mm
DietLive food such as annelid worms, insect larvae, zooplankton, daphnia, artemia

Badis Badis Facts:

  • Did you know that male Badis Badis fish are regularly traded for breeding purposes, due to the high intensity of the colors they can potentially emit? Many breeders try and use this for their own breeding to create vibrant fish from other species.
  • The diversity in the amount of eggs planted by the mother is incredible – there can be anything from 30-100 eggs in any one spawning session.
  • Before the year 2002, we only knew of five different forms of the Badis Badis fish. However, today we know of more than fifteen different parts of the family.
Badis Badis

Badis Badis Care

Badis Badis is a small predatory fish that feeds on a variety of tiny invertebrates such as worms and insect larvae. The coloration of these fish can intend entirely on the mood of the fish – when comfortable, it can be extremely rich and vibrantly colored. They hold a lot of value for some people as not only are they strong aquatic pets to have, but they make brilliant breeding partners due to their immense colorization abilities.

Otherwise known as a chameleon fish because of its ability to change color, they have long been wrongly classed as part of the Nandidae fish family. It wasn’t until 1968 that they were actually separated into a new family altogether, such was the variety found within the ranks of the Badis Badis.

They tend to stick to wider, shallow streams – and are especially fond of those that run through rice fields. They tend to prefer turbid water that has low flow and submersed vegetation to feast upon. Therefore, you will find quite a large portion of these fish running up and down the Dibru River. They can get to as much as 60mm in size, so if you are really looking in the right places you should be able to spot a few.

They have been found all across the East in countries like Nepal and India, with similar fish found in countries like Bhutan, Thailand and Pakistan. It’s estimated that around 19 million years ago, these fish would have been part of the Ayeyarwardy River populace of fishes, and eventually made their way down here to prevent their species from being wiped out.

Their innate ability to change color makes them stand out in the world of fish, and if you are looking to find a species that really does separate itself from many of the more common fish readily available, then this might be the one for you. Its rare abilities mixed with the fact that we don’t know everything about this family of fish lends a certain air of mystery to them, creating a unique attraction for fish owners who want something a little bit more unique than the usual selection of fish most aquarists settle for.


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