Fish and other aquatic creatures

Labeo two-tone or bicolor - large and pugnacious


Labo - a small fish with a slim, elongated and slightly flattened laterally torso. The profile of the back is curved more significantly than the abdomen. One of the features of this species are large fins, which resemble sharks in their shape.

Horny villi and pair of antennae are clearly visible near the mouth. Labo has lips, resembling a suction scraper, which help to collect from the bottom, from stones, drifts, algae plant and animal fouling.

Active and mobile creation - Labo. The fish, as a rule, occupies a certain territory, which it bravely protects. It should be noted that the labo aggressive is not to everyone, but only to fish with a bright color and their relatives. It is for this reason that it is important to choose the aquarium of the required size, to equip it, to zone it, in order to prevent fights of aggressive relatives.

Types of labo

To date, well studied twenty species of these cute fish. In the aquarium, you can contain only some of them:

  • a two-colored labo is a fish with a magnificent color: a velvety completely black body and a luxurious red tail,
  • green (labo Thai) - this fish has a dark-brown, green body, and red fins,
  • albino - reddish-brown fins stand out against a white body,
  • Congolese - leopard, spotted color,
  • silver - the whole body of the fish is painted with silver,
  • harlequin (multicolored) - at a young age, the body of this variety is labo colored beige-brown with spots and orange-red patches on the fins, with time the color changes to gray.

Aquarium fish Labe two-color: description

Sometimes they are called labo bicolor. These are inhabitants of small rivers, streams and lakes of Thailand. In Europe, this species appeared in 1952, and was introduced to Russia in 1959. The two-colored Labeo has a slender, slightly elongated body with a curved back and flattened sides. Her head is small, and her eyes are red and disproportionately large.

The mouth is surrounded by two pairs of whiskers and horny hairs. It is located at the bottom and looks like a scraper-sucker. The fish is famous for its spectacular color - it seems that its body is covered with black velvet. The dorsal fin is black, high and sharp. Pectoral fins, as well as anal and abdominal well developed, but not painted - they are transparent.

The main decoration of these fish are red tails. These fins are rather long, bifurcated at the end, of fiery red color. Females of two-color labo are much larger than males, but slightly paler in color. Under natural conditions, they grow up to thirty centimeters in length, and aquarium labo rarely exceed fifteen.

Green labo

The shape of the body, this fish is almost no different from its two-color relative. Despite the name, the color of these fish is dark olive, with a bronze sheen, and the belly is silver-bronze. Along the stigma, through the eye, a dark stripe stretched to the posterior tip of the gill cover. Almost at the very base of the tail is a black speck. These fish also have red tails, and all of their fins are colored scarlet.

Green Labe - a fish, in which sex differences are clearly visible. The body of the female has the shape of a torpedo, it is plump, and the male is more slender. Its dorsal fin is noticeably higher and sharper than that of the female, and during spawning the anal fin acquires a black border. Under natural conditions, these fish grow to 18 cm in length, and in captivity - no more than 8 cm.

Labo fish: maintenance and care

We have already said that these inhabitants of the aquarium need their own territory, which no one will claim. On this basis, it is necessary to choose a container with a volume of at least 100 liters per one “tenant”. A small volume can fit only one pet, for example, labo bicolor.

Owners of the aquarium should definitely consider the decor of the home. Labeo needed shelter places. For this, stones, caves, grottoes, snags, pots or their fragments, other decorative elements can be used. You should know that the labo can jump out of the aquarium, so it must be covered.

Another important point - Labo are very fond of lush vegetation. It should be with powerful roots. Algae are necessary for these fish, not only as an additional feed, but also as an excellent natural shelter. They will also help the owner to divide the reservoir into separate zones where single fish will feel quite comfortable.

Water requirements

Labeo have rather high water requirements. It must be clean, so you can not do without aeration system and filtration. Ideal water should have the following characteristics:

  • acidity - pH 6.5-7.5,
  • stiffness - 4-20,
  • temperature - 23-27 ° С.

At least once a week, the water must be partially renewed to 20% water. Filling the tank is allowed and tap water. But for this, it should stand for 3-4 days. For the substrate suitable sand and pebbles fines.

Food labo is not very demanding. They are happy to consume live food. This is a bloodworm, daphnia, tubule. Do not refuse vegetable food and special dry feed. If you want to diversify the diet of your pets, scald the lettuce leaves and give them small pieces, use frozen spinach, zucchini pieces and cucumber, oatmeal.

These fish, according to the owners, are very happy when a sheet of glass overgrown with algae appears in their house. They are happy to eat them. Feed labo recommended twice a day. With good care, proper feeding, this type of fish lives up to 12 years.


These beautiful fish puberty comes at the age of about one and a half years. Labo breeding is, quite frankly, a difficult process. First you need to get a large aquarium, a volume of at least 500 liters. It should have dim lighting and various shelters of stones and plants.

Particular attention should be paid to water parameters:

  • acidity - pH 6.0-7.0,
  • temperature - 24-27 ° C,
  • stiffness - up to 4.

To this should be added a good aeration and provision of duct. For spawning it is necessary to take two males and one female. For about two weeks they should be kept separately and fed with daphnia, scalded lettuce, strawberry, spinach ice cream.

Before spawning, the fish are hormonally injected into the back muscles. Six hours after this procedure, spawning begins. During this period, the flow of water should be significantly weakened. Caviar, which turned out to be at the bottom, the producers eat, not touching the one that swims in the water. After completion of spawning, the producers are transplanted.

Next, the caviar sorted. Dead white eggs, which become visible after two hours, must be removed, and the remaining eggs should be transferred to a twenty-liter incubator with water, which has the same characteristics and light aeration.

Caviar ripens within 14 hours. After two days, the eggs turn into fry and begin an independent life. They swim and feed freely. During this period, they need living dust, rotifers, ciliates. As a rule, up to half of the fry die within the first fifteen days. The rest are well developed and grow pretty quickly.

Labo compatibility

In adults, the dominant and belligerent character appears. This is especially true of males. These aquarium fish are distinguished by a strict hierarchy - the strongest male allows himself to swim into foreign territories, while not allowing anyone to his.

Labo - fish, compatibility with other inhabitants of the aquarium must be considered in order to avoid conflicts. They are not recommended to settle with fish that have a similar color, and with large cichlids. They prefer to meet with their relatives only during spawning, and they cannot live in the same territory all the time.

However, if your aquarium is spacious enough, non-predatory and non-aggressive fish can become ideal neighbors for labeos - fighting, sklyaria, tetra, barbus, danios, gourami. Unlike Labo, they prefer the upper and middle layers of water, so they rarely intersect with their neighbors. In addition, these fish - fast and small, labo they often simply can not catch up.

Labo - a wonderful fish, which is suitable for an experienced aquarist, and for the novice lover of the underwater kingdom. It is interesting to watch her, she does not require very complex care and, under proper conditions of detention, will long delight with her beautiful appearance and interesting behavior.

Habitat in nature

The two-colored Labeo fish lives in the basin of the Chao Phraya River in Thailand, where it was discovered in 1936. However, after the rapid catch and industrial pollution of the area, it was classified as extinct in 1966. However, a small natural population has recently been discovered, and the species is classified as endangered.

According to unconfirmed reports, it lives in rivers and streams, and during the rainy season it migrates to flooded fields and forests. It is believed precisely because of the violation of the possibility of migration, the labo was on the verge of extinction.

But despite this, bicolor is common in captivity, and is massively divorced throughout the world.

For everyone who once had a labo, it is clear why he is so popular.

It has a velvety black body, with a bright red tail. The body is shaped like a shark, in English it is even called red tail shark (red tail shark). This combination, plus the large activity of the fish make it very noticeable even in large aquariums. There is a Labean albino, a fish that has no pigment and has a white body, but red fins and eyes. It differs from its color brother only in color, behavior and content are identical.

At the same time, it is a rather large fish, reaching an average size of 15 cm in length, but it can also be 18-20 cm. The life span of a two-color Labe is about 5-6 years, although there are reports of a much longer lifespan, about 10 years old.

In nature, it predominantly feeds on plant food, but there are also worms, larvae and other insects. Aquarium labo eat food containing fiber - flakes, pellets, tablets. The benefit now is not a problem, it is possible to give widespread tablets for antsistrusov or feed with a high content of fiber.

Additionally, you can give slices of zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce and other vegetables. As for animal feed, the Labe two-color eats them with pleasure, and any. But still, the basis of his diet should be vegetable feed. But he eats algae reluctantly, especially when an adult and certainly does not eat a black beard.

Compatible with other fish

This is where the problems that we talked about at the beginning of the article begin. Despite the fact that the two-color labo is widespread and is often sold as a fish suitable for a common aquarium - this is not so ... This does not mean that it should be kept one, but the fact that it is necessary to select the neighbors with care is for sure. While he is small, he will avoid conflicts, but sexually mature becomes aggressive and territorial, especially to fish of similar color. Labeo chases other fish and many get very much.

It is worth noting that in many respects it still depends on the nature of a particular individual and the size of the aquarium, some quite live peacefully in common aquariums, while others arrange terror in them.

What kind of fish should be avoided? First of all, you can not keep a couple of labo, even if there is a lot of space, they will fight when they meet. You can not keep similar in color or shape of the body, they have even attacked the Sword. Fish living on the bottom will also suffer, as the labo feeds mainly in the bottom layers. Ancistrus more or less live because of its solid armor, and small and defenseless speckled catfish will have a hard time.

And who will get along with labo? Character and carp, fast and small fish. For example: Sumatran and mossy barbs, congo, ternii, fire barbus, zebrafish and zebrafish Malabar. All these fish have too much speed to be able to catch them, and they live in the upper and middle layers.

Apparently in nature, Labo lives alone, meeting with relatives only during spawning. His character only deteriorates over time, and it is highly recommended not to keep even a pair of fish in one aquarium. In most cases, it is better to keep one.

Fight with a black knife:

Content in an aquarium

Since bicolor is a fairly large fish, and even territorial, for its maintenance you need a spacious and spacious aquarium with a capacity of 200 liters or more. The smaller the space and the more neighbors, the more aggressive it will be.

The aquarium should be covered, as the labo aquarium fish jumps well and can die. The content of the two-color is simple, it is important space and a large number of plants on which it feeds. Plants with a full-fledged diet, it does not hurt, except perhaps from hunger.

Like all the inhabitants of the rivers, loves fresh and clean water, so that filtration and replacement are required. As parameters, it adapts well, but the optimum will be: temperature 22-26C, PH 6.8-7.5, average water hardness.

Problem one: stimulating injections

There are many different stimulation schemes, here are two of them:

  1. the first injection is chorionic gonadotropin (the pharmaceutical drug Pregnil can be used) for females, 5–10 IU per 1 g of fish mass, after a day a suspension of the carp fishes dehydrated in acetone in the carp fish to the females and males in 10 and g mass
  2. prior injection of the carp fish pituitary suspension to the female at the rate of 0.03 mg of substance per 10 g of body weight; then after a day, injection of the pituitary suspension to the female and male at 0.3 mg per 10 g of weight.

The injection is made in the back muscles above the lateral line, between the scales, using an insulin syringe. After spawning, an antibiotic is added to water for manufacturers to prevent infections, since the pituitary suspension is non-sterile.

Instead of stimulation with hormones, non-hormonal drugs are sometimes used, for example, Nerestin. It can be used as an injection (but without an antibiotic, since the drug is sterile), or without injection, feeding the fish along with live food twice a time with an interval of 24 hours - in this case the spawning state comes later, but injury is completely excluded fish.

Problem two: males deficiency

In Labo two-color breeding is further hampered by the small number of males in the litters. To obtain a sufficient number of males, fish must be grown in large quantities. In addition, since females are fuller and heavier than males, in battles for territory, the latter, as a rule, suffer defeat, and not all of them survive.

Lighting and temperature

Labeo two-color, the photo of which you can see in our article, does not like bright lighting. For him, much more pleasant is a weak, diffused light. The soil must be dark. Labeo is picky about water quality. It requires rigidity - 5-15 °, pH - 6.5-7.5 at a temperature of + 23-27 ° C. It is necessary to organize filtration, aeration, 20% water change at least once a week.

Behavior and Compatibility

Although Epalzeorhynchos bicolor is sold as a species for a mixed aquarium, in reality it is not. This does not mean that it should be kept separately, but rather it is necessary to carefully select neighbors. Juveniles of these fish are very shy, always trying to hide in dark places, whereas adult individuals are territorial and behave aggressively in relation to other species similar to them. Some individuals are more warlike than others. There is evidence of establishing peaceful relations with a number of species, for example, Chromobotia macracanthus. It is doubtful that this behavioral feature is related to gender.

However, the loachworm genera Chromobotia, Botia, Syncrossus and Yasuhikotakia almost always peacefully coexist with the two-color epalceorinus, while representatives of the genera Crossocheilus, Garra and Gyrinocheilus are certainly under attack. It should be taken into account that not all loachworms can live in the same aquarium, therefore a more detailed study of the possibility of their coexistence is required. It is better to exclude other bottom dwellers, including cichlids and most catfish, from the list of neighbors, because they can be attacked.

For settling the upper layers of the aquarium choose small schooling active haratsinovyh. Ideally, it is better to bring the Epalzeorhynchos last into the container in order to avoid asserting rights to the entire space of the container. Probably, in the natural environment these fish lead a solitary lifestyle and combine only with the beginning of the breeding season. In captivity, this instinct is preserved and strengthened with maturation, so it’s better to keep old fish alone. В очень крупном аквариуме, с большим количеством укрытий, можно содержать несколько Epalzeorhynchos bicolor, однако на каждую особь, вероятно, потребуется не менее 1 метра длины емкости.


Тело удлиненной формы, самец стройнее. Самки у обоих видов бледнее самцов. Рот нижний, присоска-скребок, около него пара усиков.

Лабео двухцветный в аквариуме вырастает до 12–16 см, он бархатисто-чёрный, с хвостовым плавником кирпичного или рубиново-красного цвета.

Labeo green is smaller (10–12 cm), its body is olive-green, with a black line along its head and a black spot near the tail, all fins are reddish-orange.

Both species have artificially derived albino forms with a light body and reddish fins.

In the aquarium, Labo feed on algal fouling, plankton, vegetable food (scalded lettuce leaves, oatmeal), and dry combined food for herbivorous fish.

You can feed fish paste, egg yolk.

Conditions of detention

A wide aquarium with a volume of at least 150 liters, with a group content of 50 liters for each individual.

  • temperature 24–27 o,
  • stiffness - for Labe two-color not more than 10 o, for Labe green 4–20 o,
  • pH - for Labe two-color 7.2–7.4, for Labe green 6.5–7.8.

Lighting is preferably moderate, so algal fouling, which is the main food of these fish, is better to grow in a separate brightly lit aquarium or on a sunny window sill on glass plates or underwater objects, and then place it in a laboratories aquarium. Another option is to make a powerful light in the aquarium with labo, allowing the algae to grow. At the same time it is necessary to shade the bottom with the help of grottoes and large-leaf plants.


Prefer bottom and middle layers of water. Very quick and nimble. They can move at any position of the body: crawling along the bottom on pectoral fins, and when it is necessary to get close to fouling on the lower surfaces of leaves or aquarium objects, swim up belly and vertically. Active at dusk.

Labeos, mostly two-colored, show pronounced territoriality, that is, they aggressively treat individuals of their own species or fish that have a similar color, especially a bright tail — in this way they are trying to protect their “pasture land” from strangers.

In order to avoid such a situation, an aquarium containing more than one labo should be zoned using plants and underwater objects so that the fish in different parts of the aquarium do not see each other. In addition, shelters should be equipped - when the “enemy” is hidden from view, the fish lose to his interest.

For fish of unlike labo species, as a rule, are indifferent, therefore, as neighbors, it is better to choose fish without black and red tones in color, active, but peaceful. You shouldn’t keep a couple of labo - one will definitely be stronger and will oppress the weaker to those until he wins a complete victory over him. If there are three or more fish, their attention is scattered at each other, and the damage inflicted on each of them will be less - of course, provided that there is at least one safe shelter for everyone.

Diseases labo

Adults Labo - sufficiently strong fish, which endure moderate temporary changes in water parameters, and are not prone to disease. The most common problems are ichthyophthiriosis, dropsy (aeromonosis, or rubella carp) and mucous membrane of the skin, which, however, is not a disease, but a symptom of a bacterial infection or exoparasitis. It is noted that the color of the labo can fade under conditions of constant stress.

Preparation for spawning and spawning

If the two main problems are solved, then everything is relatively simple. Before spawning, males and females are settled in different aquariums, where they are kept for 1-2 weeks, fed abundantly (including live food), and frequent water changes are carried out. After stimulating injections, they are placed in a spawning tank at the rate of 2–3 males per female. Spawning should be oval or round, not less than 150 liters, 40–50 cm high.

The water is fresh, settled, slightly peat. Temperature below 26–27 ° C (after hormonal injections, cooler water is contraindicated for fish!), It’s better to lower the hardness to 1.5–2.5 °. The aquarium should have good aeration and be sure to have a pump that creates a strong flow of water (up to 40 cm per second), and ideally a duct - fresh water from the sump.

Spawning takes place in three stages and lasts 20-30 minutes, after which the producers are planted. Strong current of water in spawning should be kept for about half an hour, until the caviar swells, having increased by 2-3 times. Whitened eggs clean. After that, the pump or duct can be turned off, in the future a small flow of water created by aeration is sufficient.

The development of fry labo

Larvae hatch at normal temperatures in 14–15 hours. First they lie on the bottom, or passively hover in the water, after a day they begin to rise vertically to the surface, and on the fourth day they take food.

They are fed by "living dust" - sifted through the smallest sieve with ciliates and rotifers, and a suspension of algae scraped off the walls of the aquarium. From the moment they begin to float horizontally, add egg yolk, from the age of 7–10 days - zooplankton (daphnia, nauplii of crustaceans) and shredded tubule.

Let's sum up

In conclusion, I would like to note that Labo is an amazing and interesting fish, but for a beginner who is going to equip his first aquarium, this is not exactly the right option. If, however, a novice aquarist is serious and confident in his abilities - you can wish him good luck and briefly recall the principles of Labo content:

  • large, spacious aquarium, running according to all the rules, with shelters and always with live plants,
  • compliance with the parameters of water, especially hardness and acidity - for their control should be purchased aquarium tests,
  • vegetable food,
  • Labo breeding is best left to professionals.

Following these and other recommendations outlined above will make labo feel comfortable, and will give the aquarist the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this wonderful fish for a long time.

Labo fish are very sociable and tame, look at the video for proof: