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September 20, 2013

Hello, my friend! As summer is on its way out the door within our northern hemisphere, below the equator they are beginning their warm days. For us, this means many things. Our summer BBQ’s and camping trips are all coming to a close, and we’re moving back into our indoor lifestyles; while our southern friends are out enjoying rays (no, I’m not talking about sting rays!) and sipping on cold drinks. Though we often affiliate our winter months with the time to buy fish there is something else that happens during this transition. The summer months for South America means lower water levels. This allows for the perfect time to collect the fish that many countries use as a livelihood. What that means for us up here is more fish on our list, and have we found some things that need to be mentioned!

Last Monday, we received a shipment from one of our regular vendors that included a number of catfish. Now, I’m a huge catfish lover (I mean what don’t I like that spends its life in water?), so when these came in I was more than eager to want to tell you about the new arrivals finally in the shop. The fish came in incorrectly identified, so we asked our good friend, Dr. Stephen Tanner from Swiss Tropicals, for a bit of help in telling us what he thought the catfish were. Thanks to his keen eye and expertise in the unusual, he was able figure out what our mystery fish were!

First up, we have a mid-sized catfish coming from the country of Peru, Hemidoras morrisi “Green Turushuki Cat”. The body shape resembles that of Hassar oriestis “Black-Top Mouse Cat”, but is slightly more elongated. This gives the fish a more torpedo-like body which it most likely utilizes in fast flowing water. There is little known about these rarely imported catfish from the family Doradidae, but from what I have read they grow to be about 5.5”. My guess is that they may grow slightly larger than this in an aquarium.

Hemidoras morrisi

If you don’t like the long snout on the Green Turushuki cat then perhaps you’d like the compressed nose of the Nemadoras leporhinus “Mouse Catfish”. This cat too is very close in appearance to the Black-Top Mouse Cat, but can be told apart by its smaller nose and bone scutes. This fish will grow to be about 3.5” in an aquarium. It is a very shy animal that you will most likely only see at night when the lights, or during feeding time. The best way to get either of these animals to be more active is to keep them in a dimly lit tank with animals that are either not robust, or too aggressive. I would also recommend keeping these cats in a school as opposed to a single specimen. From the looks of it they like to swim together as a whole!

Nemadoras leporhinus

An unusual cat with distinguished body shape that came in our shipment last week was Ageneiosus atronasus “Torito Catfish”. This bizarre looking catfishes face is somewhat flattened out – giving it an almost hammerhead –like appearance. Don’t be alarmed though. These cats are quite peaceful, and would make an excellent addition to your community tank given that you don’t have any tiny fish living in there. They will also appreciate an area to swim around in, so a planted aquarium may not be the best choice for these 5” catfish.

Ageneiosus atronasus

Perhaps it’s the short and dainty that keeps you in love with catfish? Then do I have just the right animal for you - Trachelyichthys exilis “Peruvian Wood Cat”. The compact body structure gives this 3.2” catfish a potbelly full of personality and spunk. These are a shoaling fish by nature and prefer to be kept in numbers that will enjoy a fully planted aquarium. Not only is this a petite catfish that is peaceful, but it’s quite stunning with its leopard print patterns. Here’s a little history lesson for you. The genus, Trachelyichthys, was created in 1974 by Dr. Mees and had one sole specimen, T. decaradiates, found in Guyana. It wasn’t until 1977 that our mentioned fish, T. exilis, was discovered nearly 1100 miles away in Peru. There is a very slight difference between the two fish. T. exilis has its eyes much more forward in the head, and the gill plate is shaped slightly different. Of course this is something that only nerds like me would realize!

Trachelyichthys exilis

As for the diet of these spectacular animals, all of them will be more than happy on a mixture of pellets, flake foods, catfish wafers and a variety of frozen foods. Each one of them would be comfortable in a pH in between 6-7, but could possibly adapt to something a little higher. I’ve already mentioned that all of them are peaceful, and would make a good community fish. That being said I would not put these fish with animals that could possibly fit in their mouths. They are predators after all!

That will be all for this week. You’ll find all these catfish on our current list at  http://www.wetspottropicalfish.com/index.php/fish, plus many more unusual items. If you have any questions or requests please feel free to contact me via email or phone. Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest!

I’ll talk to you all very soon!

Anthony Perry

Sales Manager