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October 11, 2013

Hello everyone! I’m back! That’s right, I have returned from my trip, alive, well, and rejuvenated. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to Atlanta, but my adventure to the South was more than rewarding. I’d like to thank the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association for inviting me to speak at their club. For those who attended the meeting, I hope it was informative for you, and I was maybe able to get you to consider setting up an eartheater tank. I will never forget my visit to the Georgia Aquarium. I was able to have an opportunity to swim with the Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) while visiting the world’s largest aquarium. In nature, these animals grow to be astonishing 45 feet in length. The Georgia Aquarium houses four 20+ feet animals that are true gentle giants of the ocean. I highly suggest if you’re ever in the area to plan a trip there!

For this week, I thought I’d talk to you about a couple of animals a little further south of, well the South. Back in 2009, collectors discovered a new cichlid near Paso San Borja, a small town among the Rio Yi. They are found in Uruguay, below Brazil. The fish is now known as Gymnogeophagus tiraparae, but when it was first discovered it was labeled Gymnogeophagus Northern species “Rio Yi”. The males of these “naked” eartheaters will most likely grow to around 6-8” in length, are very peaceful, and quite stunning when adult size. The head and bottom half of the body are a powerful yellow color. The upper half fades into a subtle blue color with hints of yellow and greens. To say that the nuchal hump the males develop is eye catching is a massive understatement. These cichlids feed on microorganisms in nature, and should be kept above a sand substrate to allow them to feed on their main diet. Always offer frozen bloodworms and smaller sinking pellets to enable them to maintain a healthy body weight. If you do this the fish should live long, happy lives!

Gymnogeophagus tiraparae "Rio Yi"

Gymnogeophagus tiraparae "Rio Yi"

Now, maybe you have an enormous 125 gallon tank that you just added a group of the Gymnos too. With all that space you’ll need something swimming around in there. They may not occur in Uruguay, but Semaprochilodus taeniurus “Flagtail Prochilodus” is a perfect candidate to house with these mid-sized cichlids. These Characins can grow to nearly a foot, so it is best to house them in larger aquariums. In nature, the Flagtail Prochilodus can be found swimming in giant schools and they migrate twice a year over great distances. This migratory habit provides a very important role in maintaining the ecosystems of South America. As the fish swims across the Amazon basin the waste it produces from feeding on the aquatic plants helps move organics across the biotopes. In an aquarium, this migration period is not necessary and would do better not kept in small numbers, as this leads to aggressive tendencies. It’s always best to keep them in larger numbers of four or more specimens to keep the aggression levels to a minimum. Don’t worry, these gentle giants are offered in two sizes this week to help accommodate their larger growing size – a 1.5” size that would be okay for growing out in a smaller aquarium for a while, and a 3” size that would be better suited for mid to large sized cichlids that you may have right now. The fish are omnivorous, but primarily feed on vegetable matter. Offering foods like spinach, zucchini, and algae wafers is highly recommended. Plus, the Gymnos will also benefit from this diet.

Semaprochilodus taeniurus

Semaprochilodus taeniurus

In my humble opinion, no South American aquarium is complete without a Corydoras hanging out near the bottom of the tank. For this set-up I think Corydoras sp. “C121” would look great living under all of those giants. The C121 Cory is very similar to its cousin, Corydoras adolfoi, and can be found living together in the Rio Negro. The difference between the two fish is the red spot located right about the pectoral fins on C121. C121 also has a finer stripe running along the back of the fish. Corydoras should be fed frozen bloodworms, sinking pellets, and wafers much like the other inhabitants I spoke about today. They also like to spend their time on the bottom of the aquarium, so rough substrates like gravel should be avoided.

Corydoras sp. 'C121'


That will do it for this week! If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to place an order, please feel free to contact me via phone or email. For those of you, who are new to the newsletter, please be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest!

I hope you enjoyed the article!

Anthony Perry

Sales Manager