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April 11, 2014

Good day, friends! We’ve finally gotten some Spring weather here in Oregon and I must say it’s nice to see the sun again. Lia and I are working hard to make our Online department even better and with Anthony catching and bagging all your fish, we’re able to ship out your orders all the faster! We’ve gotten so many beautiful fish the past two weeks that I had trouble narrowing down what I’d like to tell you about.

Since we obtained so many awesome Synodontis catfish recently, I felt I should narrow it down to just one and, with such an adorable picture available, it just had to be Synodontis pleurops, the “Bug Eyed Syno” of Zaire. These adorable fish are pretty unique amongst Synodontis with huge eyes set out from their heads that give them a downright startled appearance and a dainty, rounded snout and mouth. Their caudal fins are long and deeply forked, bordered at their outer edges with jet black. Their pale, silvery bodies are overlain with reticulations of chocolate brown to black. Specimens' markings vary anywhere between a spotted pattern, while others are nearly striped.

Synodontis pleurops

These are fairly peaceful Synodontis and are best kept without other species of their genus as many more aggressive members may outcompete them for food – They like a bit of meat with a main diet of algae and greens. I’m a sucker for anything with a sucker and these can often be seen clinging to the aquarium glass, making them a lovely sight to behold. A nicely planted aquarium featuring some tall driftwood with water temperatures in the upper 70s and a neutral pH value will keep these adorable cats happy and healthy in your home aquarium.

Synodontis pleurops

A more unusual nano fish for your tiny community setups is Barboides gracilis “Dwarf Amber Barb”. Unlike the wonderful and popular Boraras species that tend towards red and black patterning, the Dwarf Amber Barb is beautifully yellowish orange in color, brightest at their tail and fading to translucency over their bodies and heads. A bold black spot marks their caudal peduncle. The largest recorded specimen of these fish was only about 18 millimeters from snout to tail – that’s 7/10ths of an inch! These little schooling fish prefer well-aquascaped homes with a preference for pH values slightly on the acidic side (though, as always, our specimens have been nicely acclimated to about 7.5 pH) and are happy in temperatures between 70 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit – middling temperatures in the upper 70s will likely be ideal. Feeding may be more challenging with such tiny mouths – they will likely appreciate a varied diet of baby brine shrimp, finely crushed flake and maybe the tiniest micropellets one can get their hands on.

Barboides gracilis

While we nearly always have Nematobrycon palmeri “Emperor Tetra” in stock, it’s pretty unusual to find Nematobrycon amphiloxus “Black Emperor Tetra”. Most, if not all, experts actually consider this fish to be a color morph of N. palmeri. These fish are black from the back of their gill plate to the end of their caudal fin, from their ventral side to just shy of their dorsal edge. This black coloration will often show a faint sheen of purple or blue, while their uppermost edge displays the same blue iridescence as the usual Emperor Tetra. Likewise, these fish develop black central extensions and hints of yellow in their forked caudal fins and brilliant yellow and black edges on their anal fins. Keep these one and three quarters inch Black Emperor Tetras as you would N. palmeri – A nice school in neutral to slightly acidic pH and warm 70s Fahrenheit will compliment many community aquaria quite well.

Nematobrycon amphiloxus

Aplocheilichthys normani “Normani Killi” has long been popular in the hobby for its intense blue-green eye, but its dull silver body leaves something to be desired. Its cousin, Aplocheilichthys luxophthalmus “Luxophthalmus Killi” or “Emerald Green Lampeye” definitely has that extra something to make them really special. While in adverse lighting conditions this fish appears nearly as dull and grey as its cousin, when the light hits them properly their sides flash and gleam – a vivid stripe of iridescent blue-green- marks their entire lateral line and is mirrored along their ventral edge.   Midway between these lines they sport a small series of matching dots. Their fins, especially those of the male, are slightly extended and bright yellow rimmed in white. These stunning Lampeyes, preferring mid-70s Fahrenheit water and neutral pH values, grow to about one and a half inches.

Aplocheilichthys luxophthalmus

That’s all for the week, folks. Thank you all for reading and also thank you to all of you who came by our booth at the NEC Convention the weekend before last!

Jessica Supalla