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November 1, 2013

Even Jeremy Wade, host of the show ‘River Monsters’, would think about putting on his gloves if he were to ever catch the monstrous Acanthicus adonis “Polka Dot Lyre Tail Pleco” in the Rio Tocantins in Peru. Growing to nearly 40” in length, this mega catfish is protected by thousands of spikes known as odontodes that cover his body. The name Acanthicus is derived from the Greek word akantha, which means quill or spike. This armor keeps him from being listed on anyone’s menu. Now you’re asking yourself why anyone would want to keep such a monster in an aquarium (unless of course you’re that person who has one). To answer your question I refer you to its Latin name, the name Adonis is referring to the Greek god known for his handsome youth, and as you can see by all of those beautiful polka dots on the fish it is certainly a beauty when very young. As the fish matures these slowly fade away into an almost solid black fish. While, this fish can reach considerable lengths in nature, they really don’t get that large in your home. This is, of course, due to space limitations that are provided for them. More common numbers at home are likely to be in the 24” mark, and even then that’s rare. Now if you’re looking for an algae eater I would steer clear of this beast. He’ll be happier chewing on a piece of krill or fruits and vegetables rather than cleaning up the algae on your glass.

Acanthicus adonis

Acanthicus adonis

I’m sure many of you don’t particularly want something quite so large and would prefer a fish to clean up your algae. In that case, Hypoptopoma gulare “Giant Oto” is probably just what you were looking for. Reaching a length of about 4”, this Loricariid is a little more suitable for your planted aquarium. The Giant Oto is a rather unusual looking pleco with his eyes positioned on the side of his widened and flattened head. I’m not quite certain what the purpose of this bizarre looking appearance is, but it certainly makes them cute!

Hypoptopoma gulare

Speaking of the unusual and bizarre, the way Copeina guttata “Red-Spotted Splash Tetra” breeds, fits the definition. From what I have read, the male excavates a shallow depression, and then the pair spawns inside of this ravine. Once the pair has finished, the female should be removed. The male will guard the fry until they become free swimming—at which point he too should be taken away. The fish may live anywhere from 3-8 years, depending on how well they are taken care of, and may grow upwards of 3”. This larger size requires that they be housed in a tank of no less than 30 gallons, with larger aquariums more ideal, as they tend to be a bit nippy towards one another. With their red spots and the males’ red tails, they look great in a well planted aquarium. They should be offered flat pieces of stones and hiding places to feel at home.

Copeina guttata

I know that I’ve written about Nannostomus mortenthaleri “Red Arc/Coral Red Pencils” a couple of times now, but the batch we have in stock, is so noteworthy, that they are even making me want to bring home some for the first time in a few years. I figured, if you were to buy them all up before I had a chance, it would be easier on my pocket book, so you better get to ordering! This Characin is found in the Río Nanay in Peru, where it inhabits slow moving rivers and swamps. These areas are filled with plant life and the water is extremely soft—typically a pH right below 6 and all the way down to a pH of 4! You will need to replicate this as much as possible in your aquarium. Additionally, having plenty of plant cover is highly beneficial as males tend to spar quite a bit, even for a fish that only grows to around 1.5” it packs an attitude!

Nannostomus mortenthaleri

We’ve had our next feature fish in stock for a bit of time, which translates into them appearing fantastic and ready to go. In fact, our stock of wild Corydoras haraldshultzi is probably one of the best looking I’ve seen in some time now. These larger growing (reaching around 3.5”) fish are found in the Río Guaporé in Brazil and Bolivia. This river and its tributaries are oxygen rich with a pH above neutral. The temperature ranges usually between 75-78°. Schultz’s Cory will exhibit remarkably colored bright orange fins and a mottled brown body that make it easily confused with its cousin, Corydoras sterbai. However, the two can be told apart by the longer nose on C. haraldshultzi. Due to the family Corydoradinae being bottom dwellers, it is best to provide a soft substrate such as sand for them. Rocks or gravel can be too rough for their soft under bellies. They are scavengers by nature, but still need to be fed a varied diet of flake foods or pellets, as well as frozen bloodworms and algae wafers.

Corydoras haraldschultzi


Now for something many of you have been waiting for… Currently tucked away in our water resort are roughly around 1,000 African cichlids that have arrived directly from Lake Malawi. Their journey was very long, and they will need some rest before they’ll be ready for another one, but stay tuned for their availability. We have lots of new and exciting stuff that we’ll be offering as soon as they’re recovered in our luxury spa!

That will do it for this week. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page: or if you prefer G+ join our circle on there: or to enjoy our growing gallery follow us on Pinterest: If you have any questions, need any help, or just want to say hi then feel free to contact me via phone or email.

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager