Dwarf Chameleon Fish

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Badis badis - (Hamilton, 1822)
Dwarf Chameleon Fish



This is a classic aquarium species, kept by generations of hobbyists and well-liked for its temperament, intelligence, and readiness to pair up and breed in small aquariums.

Family: Badidae

Other common name(s):

  • Badis
  • Badis Badis

Native range:

Habitat: In the wild, Badis badis is found in swamps, ponds, streams, drainage ditches, and rivers.

Maximum length: 10 cm (4 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 38 L (10 gal)

Water: Freshwater 23 °C (73 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: MIdwater, near substrate.


Carnivore. Offer meaty foods of all types.

Aquarium Compatibility

Generally peaceful. Best kept with smaller, non-aggressive species.


If isolated from a busy community and kept in their own aquarium with a conditioning diet, they will usually breed in the fashion of dwarf cichlids. Eggs are deposited on a smooth, hard surface. Fry hatch in 2–3 days and will take powdered fry food and infusoria before graduating to baby brine shrimp.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Text credit: KW