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December 07, 2011

 

Here’s how it all began…

About 9 years ago, I walked into the coolest aquarium store I had ever laid eyes upon on. This place had everything I had dreamed about as a kid. My first experience at the shop would be one of the most memorable in my life. I would walk up and down each row, of the then only 5 rows of fish tanks, and look at all the beautiful fish. Yet, in this small space, there were fish that most people had never seen - let alone heard of. And from then on, I would spend every Thursday bugging every manager for a job. I finally got my chance six years ago….

A lot has changed in the past six years. The Wet Spot now has over 1000+ aquariums within its walls and is the largest freshwater store west of the Rockies. And as for me, I’ve grown from loving Pictus Cats (Pimelodus pictus) to keeping and successfully breeding Pelvicachromis taeniatus “Wouri”. No, I am not the master fish breeder that every hobbyist strives to be, but why would I need to be? After all, I work for one of the coolest stores in country. I’ve seen what most never have on a daily basis, and I’ve spent two years working and breeding fish on the African Cichlid breeder row. And that is how it all began.

This week I would love to point out some amazingly unique fish with hopes you’ll step outside your comfort zone and try something a little different… just like I did a few years ago.

I’ve kept a wide range of fish in my years. As many of you know, I have been on a Labyrinth fish binge lately. So, why stop now? It may surprise you to know that Macropodus spechti “Black Paradise Fish” (also known as Macaropodus concolor) may have been one of the first aquarium fishes kept in a home… or dojo in this case. The Japanese have been transplanting these little guys from Vietnam for nearly 300 years now into their fish bowls! Well, thanks to my love for unusual fish, I was able to get a group of these onto our order sheets. They’ve been here for a few weeks now and are starting to get their beautiful red and black fins with that striking yellow on the ventral fins against their elegant grey body. Of course, you’ll be thrilled to hear they’ll eat just about anything you give them. I’m going to recommend a good variety of frozen bloodworms and some flake to keep up their color and to get them to their almost 5” size.

Can you believe there is a tetra that spawns inside of caves instead of egg scattering? What? That’s right, Poeciliocharyx weitzmani “Black Darter Tetra” actually lays its eggs on the roof of caves. Males grow to around 1.5” and can be found guarding small territories outside small cavernous enclosures. I would often observe mine flaring their beautiful sail-like dorsal fins at one another. Their mouths popped open as if ready to take on their challenger. But even through this entire ‘bad boy’ display it would be all for show. They are rather peaceful with one another. I would almost say they couldn’t harm a glassworm, but that’s certainly not the case, since they love eating these foods!  

Poeciliocharyx weitzmani

There have definitely been fish that stand out when they first come in. I can still remember the streamline body and the extended caudal fin on Synodontis brichardi “Brichard’s Cat”. Inhabiting fast flowing streams and rivers of the Democratic of the Congo, these fish spend most of their day eating algae off of rocks and of downed branches. S. brichardi is a highly adaptable fish when it comes to water conditions. I used to keep mine with my Mbuna cichlids of Lake Malawi, but they can even go with your community tank without causing harm to most of your mid-sized fish. It is a sight to see these 6” beauties’ cruising in the water flow of the power head!

Synodontis brichardi

It seems like yesterday when I was staring with envy at the tanks at the store. Although, the years have passed and I climbed the ranks from being a tank monkey to the Online Sales Manager, I still have the passion that I did nearly a decade ago. A big part of it is because I work for a company that continues to bring in the new and unusual stuff. There is no doubt that having something exciting and new to see every week keeps the spark of all those years ago going bright. So, The Wet Spot will continue to be the supplier of the “new and unusual” and will fill your aquariums with such items you won’t find anywhere else. A new shipment just arrived and there are certainly items you most likely have never seen before. Be sure to check the products link below for our current list. Until next week my fishy friends!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager