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May 22, 2015

Hello, folks, and welcome to Memorial Day Weekend. Once again, we’re open Memorial Day to answer phone calls and emails, but there will be no shipments. Tuesday is rapidly filling up for shipping slots, however, so be sure to get your orders in promptly on Monday! Last week I spoke about some lovely West African fish and this week I’d like to continue, starting with another dwarf cichlid.

Nanochromis splendens is a beautiful little fish native to DR Congo. They are the most slender of their genus with highly elongated bodies. Males will grow to just under three inches in length with females notably smaller but only slightly more rotund. They are noted for their olive-brown coloration with yellow and orange cheeks and a red spot above their eyes. The males in particular present dorsal and upper caudal fins longitudinally striped with yellow and brown; the lower half of the caudal fin and anal fins striped in white and red. Females are overall yellow and orange in coloration with a typical dark violet belly when ripe. Both sexes exhibit a bit of a green shimmer over their shoulder regions and brilliant white lips.

WSNannochromis splendens

A new Distichodus was described from the area in 2008 – the tiny D. teugelsi “Dwarf Green Distichodus”. These fish purportedly grow to only two inches in length (perhaps three in the home aquarium), a very large contrast to many of the other members of their genus. Their coloration is also very unique with a deep green band dividing their body into an olive green dorsal edge and creamy colored ventral side. The upper edge of this band is marked with tiny vertical black tick marks; their square dorsal fin sports a deep black spot at the base, as does their heart-shaped caudal fin. Their entire body, in the proper semi-diffused light, shows a lovely spangling of shining blue-green spots. While these fish come from a pH of around 4.5 in the wild, they are well-adapted to our typical level of 7.2-7.4 and thriving happily.

WSDistichodus teugelsi

I haven’t seen Bathyaethiops breuseghemi “Red Cap Moon Tetra” in over three years. These are amazing characins, 2.5-3” in total adult length, with shining silver bodies and eyes. Their body is marked below the adipose fin and before the caudal peduncle by an immense black spot, running nearly from dorsal to ventral edge. Each fin is rimmed in bright white and their lateral line is marked with faint steel-grey chevrons pointing forwards towards the tiny black mark behind their eye. Finally, their dorsal edge sports a brilliant blood red mark. This mark can extend all the way from the back of their head and extending onto the leading rays of their dorsal fin.

WSBathyaethiops breuseghemi

Finally, we got a very special fish Phenacogrammus aurantiacus “Lamp Eye Congo Tetra” from the Lali and Lefini Rivers in Congo. These gorgeous fish show an absolutely stunning yellow coloration over dark lateral banding and bright, shining sky blue eyes. Their maximum length is around four inches. There is little information to be found on them, but their care should be quite similar to their close cousins, P. interruptus “Congo Tetra”.

WSPhenacogrammus aurantiacus

Thank you for reading and I do hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about these new and beautiful fish. I know I enjoyed learning about them myself!

Jessica Supalla