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November 03, 2011

  Greetings and welcome to another addition of The Wet Spot Tropical Fish newsletter!  

This week we go the Indonesian Islands. The Greater Sunda Islands are located inside the Malay Archipelago. This large group of islands makes up most of the Indonesian island groups known as Java and Sumatra. Part of this group also includes the islands of Borneo, Malaysia, Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), and Papua. These last two make up the larger portions of the area.


Sumatra, or Sumatera, is the sixth largest island in the world and has a massive population of over 50,000,000 people in a 170,000-mile radius! That’s an astonishing number for such a small island! I, for one, cannot function without this very important product and it also happens to be my favorite choice of beans. Sumatra is the largest producer of Indonesian coffee. You’ll find Arabica beans (Coffee Arabica) in the highlands and Robusta beans (Coffee canephora) in the low lands of the 1,100-mile long island. The island is home to 10 National Parks including Berbak National Park that has one of the largest untouched swamp forests in Southeast Asia.


This week I’ll discuss one of my favorite Cyprinids, the Eirmotus octozona “False Eight Banded Barb”. It was originally thought to come from a lake in Thailand called Bueng Boraphet but after extensive collecting there it could not be found. The actual location of its origin are unclear. Today, it is believed they are found near a town in the Johor state in Malaysia. These adorable little creatures grow to just about 1.5” and are best fed live foods like daphnia or baby brine shrimp. I’ve often found the False Eight Banded Barb does best in a planted aquarium where it can be found grazing among the leaf litter and can seek refuge when needed. These delicate fish are extremely peaceful and are best kept in larger groups of themselves!

Eirmotus octozona


Inhabiting the black water streams of the Greater Sunda Islands is the elegant Trigonopoma pauciperforatum “Red Line Rasbora” (Formerly Rasbora pauciperforata).   In my experience, the “red” line can range from more of a dark orange to a gold color. They are a completely peaceful and schooling fish and quite enjoyable to watch given their small stature of around 3”. The Red line Rasbora will eagerly feed on frozen or prepared foods. Even with their subtle colors, watching these fish swim in a planted aquarium proves just how elegant these fish can be.

Trigonopoma pauciperforatum


For many years, the Betta rubra “Red Flame Betta” was rarely imported due to violence in the area, better known as the Free Sumatra Movement. Finally, in 2005, the Movement reached a peace agreement with the government and since 2007 we have started seeing more of these Bettas being introduced back into the trade. This is an amazingly attractive Betta that is very sought after with its small size of 2” and with amazing color. And like many Bettas, the Red Flame Betta loves to feed on live black worms or other live foods. You’ll be amazed when a pair starts to court in your tank!

Betta rubra


This concludes this week’s notes. Be sure to check the products link below for the current retail list. If you have any questions on our livestock please feel free to call or email me. I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween!


Anthony Perry
Sales Manager