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November 23, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful day spent with family and friends. There are many things I am thankful for about my job. One of these would have to be the large selection of fish I get to enjoy on a daily basis. I’ve been looking around the shop and noticed a handful of my favorite fish that all come from one particular place. This week, I think we’ll travel to the wonderful land of Myanmar (originally known as Burma).

In the aquarium hobby, it is most known for the beautiful Lake Inle. Of the forty-five square miles the lake encompasses, it is surprisingly shallow with an average depth of only seven feet! Even at its deepest point it is still only twelve feet. This, of course, can change during the rainy season with water levels rising up to almost five feet. Lake Inle is home to nine endemic species of fish, including the infamous Danio margaritatus “Celestial Pearl Danio”.

As most of you are familiar with this species, I would much rather enlighten you with some other fish you may not be familiar with. First, let’s talk about some basic water chemistry that is important when keeping fish from Myanmar. Most of the small country’s water is fairly alkaline, and in my experience, have found that these fish will do better in a pH above 7.0. It seems that if the pH falls below this you run into more problems with their health.

To begin with, I would love to talk about one of my favorite “micro” fish, Microdevario kubotai “Green Rasbora”. After many years of believing this fish came from Myanmar it now looks like it may be native to Thailand. However, one report by mentions they can be found in the Suriya River basin. This river is a headwater to the Salween system, which flows from Myanmar into Thailand. It’s quite possible the distribution is much larger than expected. Originally described as Rasbora kubotai, this petite animal now belongs to the family of Danios. The Green Rasbora is a very small animal which usually does not exceed past ¾”. Because of this small size, you want to be sure and choose its tank-mates with care.

Microdevario kubotai

I can easily recommend Hara minuscula “Burmese Mini Moth Cat” if you want to keep a catfish without worrying about them gobbling up your little rasboras. Similar to the Green Rasbora, the Burmese Mini Moth Cat was placed in the wrong family. For many years, it was believed to belong to the Erethistid family. Researchers have now concluded that anterior edging on the pectoral spines place the fish among the genus Hara. I could not find any information regarding the maximum size of the Burmese Mini Moth Cat, but I believe it is about 1.8” or so. They will accept a variety of foods, but seem to favor bloodworms and brine shrimp the most. I would suggest using sand substrates as it appears these little cats like to bury themselves.

Hara miniscula

Finally we come to one of my favorite loaches, Yunnanilus brevis “Lake Inle Red Tail Loach”. These are a very fascinating creature that can only be found in Lake Inle, mostly on the western side of the lake. I think what really makes this fish one of my favorites is that it is one of the few loaches you can distinguish between the sexes. Females of the Lake Inle Red Tail Loach are generally larger and have spots covering their body. The males are usually a centimeter or two smaller and have a black line following the length of the body. Their mouths are very small, so I recommend foods like baby brine shrimp and crushed flakes. I would also suggest keeping them in small groups as it will help to bring the animals out and about in your aquarium.

Yunnanilus brevis MaleMale

Yunnanilus brevis FemaleFemale

Thank you again for all your continued support to our store, and once again, I hope you all had a terrific Holiday. You will find our updated retail list under the products link, or by visiting I look forward to hearing from you!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager