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October 24, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to the weekend! It’s been a calm week, comparatively, here at the Wet Spot and we’ve been taking some time to clean up our website and prepare for the upcoming Aquatic Experience in Chicago. I’ll be there with our Chief Operations Manager, Cameo, manning our corner booth on the show floor.   It’s going to be quite a show! I’m definitely looking forward to some of the talks on West African fish and biotopes, checking out the Aquascaping competition, and maybe learning a bit about the saltwater side of the hobby. Nevertheless, if you are already planning a trip out or decide to come visit for a day, please be sure to stop by and say hi!

Fall is in full swing here in Portland and with it we see the slow return of seasonal South American fish. While we’ve been blessed with a plethora of Peruvian fish this summer, we’ve just received both Colombian and Brazilian fish!

I must say, our entire team is quite taken by the very adorable Asterophysus batracchus “Gulper Cat”. This definitely isn’t a fish you want to include in your standard community aquarium – its name comes from the immense size of its mouth and its ability to eat (or attempt to eat) things up to nearly twice its size. With a full grown length of almost one foot, this will severely limit your aquarium cohabitants if you’re not looking to keep them in a very large enclosure. In nature, the Gulper or Ogre Catfish is a nocturnal blackwater species, though they will do just fine in neutral parameters. Keep their temperature around eighty Fahrenheit and feed liberally while they are young. As the fish ages and its growth slows, their feeding schedule can be reduced over time to once a week for adult specimens – the fish will be more active during the day if not recently fed.

Asterophysus batrachus1

Stepping away from the large-mouthed predatory catfish, we do have plenty of new community fish from South America as well. For example, a beautiful Brazilian Loricariid, Leporacanthicus cf. galaxias “L007” “Galaxy Pleco”, has just arrived. Of course, we are all thrilled with its coincidental L-number, but what makes this Galaxy Pleco so special when compared to its namesake L. galaxias is its brilliant patterning of larger spots. In addition, its snout is somewhat shorter and dorsal fin somewhat longer than L. galaxias. The L007 Galaxy Pleco grows to about ten inches and, as with other Leporacanthicus, is an omnivore and will happily dine on both vegetables and meaty foods. Bogwood and dark rocks are favored furniture with arching caves a favorite highly coveted. Temperatures in the mid-70s and oxygen-rich waters are suitable for this species. While this Galaxy Pleco can be a bit territorial with other large bottom dwellers, a group of active Corydoras should be left to themselves.

LeporacanthicuscfgalaxiasL007

A nice candidate for the discerning Corydoras keeper may be some of our new Corydoras sp. “CW012” “Long-Nosed Reynoldsi” wild-caught from Colombia. This is a lovely, cream colored Corydoras with black blotchy stripes running down the body from the fish’s eye, leading dorsal ray and the front of the adipose fin. The long nose of the species is perfect for rooting through a soft sandy substrate for food particles and buried invertebrates. A slight blue sheen graces their cheeks, adding a glimmer beneath their highly placed eyes. A group of CW012 would be perfectly at home with your L007, perhaps beneath a school of our beautiful new tetra species.

CorydorasspCW012

Hyphessobrycon amapaensis “Red Line Tetra” of Brazil is here! These beautiful little fish are an amalgamation of the brilliant red lateral line of Hemigrammus erythrozonus “Glowlight Tetra”, set above the black and gold lines of H. herbertaxelrodi “Black Neon Tetra”. The Red Line Tetra will grow to no more than two inches in the home aquarium and, like the L007 and CW012, prefers a sandy substrate with rootwood and rockwork more than a planted aquarium. H. amapaensis has only a small range in Brazil that it calls home, lending to its unusual status in the hobby.

Hyphessobrycon amapaensis

Thank you all for reading and remember – if you’re going to be in Chicago for the Aquatic Experience show, please stop by to say hi!

Jessica Supalla