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November 14, 2014

Happy Friday, friends! I’ve returned from Chicago safe and sound. I do believe the weather followed me here – we had a day of freezing rain yesterday that was thoroughly unpleasant. Thankfully, we still got plenty of new fish in and all our orders out the door.   Please note, however, that if you’re planning an order for the next couple weeks, our minimum overnight temperature for shipping is 20° Fahrenheit – if the temperature at our facility, your location, or at the UPS hub in Louisville is below 20° Fahrenheit, we will delay shipping until conditions improve. Now, on to the highlight of our Friday, the fish!


Tucanoichthys tucano, aptly named the “Tucano Tetra,” is probably one of the most exciting nano fish I’ve seen in over a year. These amazing little fish look a bit like tiny N. palmeri Emperor tetras with a bold black lateral line extending downwards towards their underside and the rest of their body is a beautiful translucent amber coloration. The Tucano Tetras sport brilliant red chins and fins. Tiny white tips adorn their unpaired fins. A tiny hint of blue is visible on the upper edge of their iris. With a maximum size of less than one inch, tiny food such as baby brine or prepared crumbles are ideal and avoid any large tankmates that may strike this little tetra as a predator. These fish can handle temperatures from just below 70°F to just above 80°F and prefers acidic water between 5.0 and 6.0. Mind you, we’ve acclimated them to our usual 78°F and neutral pH with no ill effects. The Tucano Tetra would make an absolutely striking dither fish for an Apistogramma pair.



In fact, an ideal species would be Apistogramma pantalone, a lyretailed Panduro-type described in 2006.  Males are a beautiful cream color with beautiful fins - their dorsal is trimmed in red, their anal fin brilliant blue, and each fin is tipped in sunflower yellow or, in some specimens, bright orange.  Their caudal fins feature brilliant extensions at their outermost rays, setting them far apart from their round tailed cousins.  When resting, the males show bold black spots at the caudal peduncle and mid-body, as well as a diagonal black tear line across their eye and gill plate.  Females are sunflower yellow from snout to tail with thicker black spots and tear lines, as well as blatant black patches at the front of both their dorsal and ventral fins.  The female's caudal fin is also lyre-shaped, though not to the extent of the male, and she shows a very faint rim of orange along the edge of her dorsal fin.  A. pantalone, as its cousins, will likely grow to two to three inches with males the larger of the sexes.




Of course, if you’re not concerned about geographic origin and creating a biotope, Rasbosoma spilocerca “Dwarf Scissortail Rasbora” would be a decent alternative to the Tucano Tetra. These tiny little schooling fish have silvery bodies with slight black and gold lateral lines, a deeply forked caudal fin with black and yellow banding, and a dark line at the base of the anal fin. They may not be as brightly colored as the Tucano, but their likewise diminutive size and slightly more agreeable native water conditions definitely make them a contender. A more neutral pH is suitable for this Southeast Asian fish and its temperature range is closer to traditional tropical parameters, falling between 73°F and 79°F.



Thank you for reading, folks, and for all of you whom stopped by our booth at the Aquatic Experience, it was lovely to meet you face to face. If you were there and you have any feedback for our presentation, please, let us know.


Jessica Supalla