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November 30, 2012

  

Last week, I took you with you me on a snorkeling adventure along the banks of Lake Inle. Here we introduced ourselves to one of my favorite loaches, Yunnanilus brevis “Lake Inle Red Tail Loach”. Well, this week we continue on our journey eastbound into Vietnam.

 

Vietnam is a fascinating place that has undergone many changes over the last decade. Now home to almost 88 million people, it is the thirteenth largest populated country in the world. The country itself is considered among one of 25 countries that is considered to be rich in biodiversity. Among the hundreds of animals, and over 15,000 species of flowers that inhabit the hilltops and forest lands that make up the majority of Vietnam, you can find almost 800 different types of freshwater fish. Many of these fish are exported for the aquarium trade, and today’s newsletter will be completely based on a couple of these fish that we were able to bring in for your home aquarium.

 

To begin, we’ll travel to north central Vietnam and put on our diving gear to dip into the Ben Hai River drainage. It’s here where we will be able to collect Tanichthys micagemmae “Vietnam White Cloud”. The much loved Tanichthys albonubes “White Cloud Mountain Minnow” was for years believed to the be only type specimen for the species until 2001 when this wonderfully attractive fish was discovered. As White Cloud Mountain Minnows are an aquarium favorite, I thought it would be a great idea to get out our cameras for a moment to experience these 1” cool water fishes for ourselves. Here we can observe the males quarrelling amongst themselves in full display in hopes of attracting a ripened female or two.

Tanichthys micagemmae

 

Finally, let us take a dive near the southern mountains of Vietnam to find another Yunnanilus species, Yunnanilus cruciatus “Pygmy Multi-Stripe Loach”. These inch and a half loaches can only be found along the mountainous coastline near Hue, Vietnam. It’s in these flooded forest swamps and streams that Pygmy Multi-Stripe Loaches are collected and observed in nature. Most Yunnanilus have a very interesting way of swimming. Much of their time is spent hovering at a 45° angle scouring the substrate in search of micro orgasms to feed upon. This unique behavior not only sets them apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, but from other loaches. This is because unlike most other loaches that spends their time hiding away until nightfall; the Pygmy Multi-Stripe Loach is often seen hanging out in the open with other schooling fish. The quaint little guys like being in larger groups, so be sure to pick them up in a school!

Yunnanilus cruciatus

 

It looks like our travels through Vietnam have come to end, but fear not, these wonderful escapades are far from over. The boat engine is still running, and I’ve got a surprise in store for you all next week. Until then be sure to visit the products link below, or visit www.wetspottropicalfish.com for our current price list.

 

See you all on board next week!

 

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager