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August 25, 2011

This week The Wet Spot Tropical Fish travels to the great land of China…

Today we will be adventuring through the land of one of the world’s oldest civilizations – China.   China is a huge country -- it has a diverse terrain and a greatly varying climate. The Mekong River originates in China amongst its mountains and plateaus and travels down through the lowlands and out to where it meets the ocean. The river is rich in biodiversity and estimated to contain 850 fish species. No other river is known to contain so many large fish, including the Mekong Freshwater Stingray (Himantura chaophraya), the Siamese Giant Carp (Catlocarpio siamensis), and the Mekong Giant Catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) - all of which can grow nearly 10 feet in length. This week The Wet Spot offers you a giant…

Elopichthys bambusa “Giant Chinese Freshwater Barracuda” can grow to nearly 6 feet long and weigh as much as 90 pounds. It is the only known carp species to have teeth. These massive fish are also known as “Yellowcheek”, and can be found as far north as Russia. Yellowcheek are considered a sport fish to most, and are very popular among fly fishermen in Eastern Asia. We don’t know much about keeping the fish in an aquarium, but a pH of 7-7.5 should be ideal. Amazingly these small fry are accepting live black worms. This Barracuda will certainly not be a fish for everyone, and caution is advised when keeping this rare import. Large tanks with slow moving large fish are highly recommended. Here’s your chance to own a very unique predator.

Elopichthys bambusa

Moving on to something a little easier to keep in a five gallon, the Oryzias mekongensis “Mekong Red Fin Lampeye” spends its life living in standing waters of ditches, canals, and ponds. Unlike the gigantic Barracuda, the Red Fin Lampeye is a Ricefish that grows to just over an inch and spends its time swimming through the leaves in densely planted aquariums. This fish prefers small foods such as frozen daphnia or live baby brine. Water quality is important to the well-being of these fish, so frequent water changes are advised. Try a group of these in your nano tank today!

Oryzias mekongensis

A rarely seen loach in the hobby, Traccatichthys pulcher “Rainbow Loach” grows to 4.5” and will accept a variety of food. Hailing from the Guangdong Province and the Hainan Island drainage this loach prefers fast flowing waters with sand or gravel bottoms. Therefore, the aquarium should be well filtered and contain the proper substrate to allow the fish to dig. T. pulcher will make a great companion to any barb or tetra tank.

Traccatichthys pulcher

One of the larger species of loaches, Leptobotia elongata “Giant Chinese Royal Loach” comes from the middle and upper regions of the Yangtze River. There’s a reason why they call it the Giant Royal Loach - it reaches up to 20 inches! They live in subtropical fast flowing streams, and the tank should be set up to mimic this. Be careful with this fish, as its mouth is large enough to suck in feeder goldfish with ease, and it has been known to eat small tankmates. L. elongata happily feeds on frozen foods and even sliced fish when big enough. A pH between 7 and 8 and temperatures in the low 70’s will keep this monster extremely happy. We have just a few on hand, so you’d better net them up quickly!

Leptobotia elongata

The best is always kept for last. But why only talk about one fish? This week we’re proud to offer you not one, but two Rhinogobius species! Rhinogobius duospilus “Chinese Flame Faced Goby” (which may also be known as Rhinogobius wui or White Cheek/Flame Cheek Goby) is a very interesting mountain fish that have fused pelvic fins that allow it to form a “suction cup”. This comes in very handy for allowing the fish to cling to rocks in the turbulent water that they spend their lives in. As this is a mountain fish they prefer cooler waters and a heater may not be needed.

Rhinogobius duospilus

The same is true for Rhinogobius leavelii “Chinese Yellow Fin Goby”. R. duospilus and R. leavelii both reach a max length of 2”, and both like to feed on foods such as frozen bloodworms. Setting up a small ten gallon for either of these fish would make a great addition to any home or office!

Rhinogobius leavelii

That wraps up this week’s newsletter. As always be sure to check out the products link for our new list. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We always want to know if there is any item you are looking for in particular. Well, until next week!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager