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April 12, 2013

Buenos días, mi amigo! You’ll be happy to know the rays have arrived back at home safe and sound. All four made their trip without any issues and are already eating our store out of house and home. Didn’t you tell me your friend was looking at getting one? I think you should send him an email and let him know he had better act quickly if he wants to own a freshwater stingray. I have a feeling that on how nice this group of Potamotrygon motoro was that they won’t last much longer in our shop.

We have a long journey on the Río Marañón ahead of us. I have scheduled a stop for breakfast at this restaurant called Amazon Bistro. I’ve been told that this this is THE place to get a good cup of coffee. I always thought that the coffee in South America would blow what we have out of the water, but from what I’ve tasted so far I guess I’ve become quite the coffee snob living in Portland. Ah, here comes breakfast now. That tacacho looks really good covered with chirozo. Anyway going over our itinerary we will be boarding the boat for San Lorenzo in about an hour. I’d hate to rush us, but we’ve got a boat to catch!

In order to collect, we need to get pass the national park of Pacaya. I’m sure it’s completely illegal for us to collect in this region, and I don’t know what to end up on the wrong end of the law in a foreign country. We have a few hour journeys ahead of us, so I thought I would take a moment to tell you about one of our potential target fish, Nannostomus rubrocaudatus “Purple Pencil”. When first imported, they were labeled as Nannostomus sp. “Coral Red Form II”, and thought to be a variant of either N. mortenthaleri or N. marginatus – another inhabitant of Peru. At first, these fish were extremely rare - so rare that in five years of working for the company I only saw them once. The boss had kept a small group for one of our show tanks. His hopes were to one day he would be able to get a spawn from them. Unfortunately, our business was growing rapidly, and this was one of many side projects that kept getting pushed off. It’s been our experience that N. rubrocaudatus is more like N. marginatus as far as temperament goes. The fish seem to prefer schools, unlike the overly aggressive males of the N. mortenthaleri. They make much better community members because of this. The full grown length is about a 1.5”. This compact size with an extremely red/purple color makes this fish an ideal candidate for planted tanks. I know most literature states the opposite, but this has been my experience with the fish.

Nannostomus rubrocaudatus

Importers down here have luckily grown, and the fish are becoming available on a more regular basis. I thought it would be a great opportunity for us while we are here to collect some for ourselves. I think we’ll make a stop just ahead where the river forks into the Rio Huallaga. It looks like there is plenty of swamp land here to search around in. What’s that in your net there? Some type of cory? I’m not much of a cory expert, but that looks like very close to orphnopterus. I think we should label them Corydoras cf. orphnopterus until we can get a proper idea on them. We are certainly in the right area to be collecting these. I love how the dark markings that cover the body seem to form a line along the lateral. Did you know that that orphnos means ‘dark’, and pteron means ‘wing’? The author was referring to that spot on the dorsal. My guess is that these grow to typical cory size of around 2.5”. No luck getting the pencils though. Shall we keep heading along the Rio Marañón?

Corydoras cf. orphnopterus

This area looks to be moving pretty slowly, and the vegetation in the river is quite thick. This has got to be the place to find our Purple Pencils. I just know it. Wait, did you see that tiny black and white fish hugging that log? Look there’s even more of them. Quick grab your net! So how many Otocinclus cocama “Zebra Oto” did you bring in? I think I must have caught like 100 of them! Ok, ok. I might have over exaggerated that one a bit. It was certainly a lot though. Did you know that the Zebra Oto was named after the Cocama-Comamilla Indian tribes of Brazil? They may not be little warriors against other fish, but when it comes to fighting algae they’ll slay any diatom that comes at them. Well more like ‘that they go after,’ considering algae doesn’t really move. These nano-loricariids reach a maximum size of 2”. They are very peaceful, and would do best in a planted tank where the vegetation is thick. This allows the shy animals to feel more at home like here on the river.

Otocinclus cocama

Don’t put down your nets just yet. It looks like the current has swept us right above a school of the Purple Pencils! This trip wasn’t a waste after all. Now that our coolers of full of livestock I think it’s time we got these back home, and onto our list. You know you’ll want to visit to see these, and a few more fish. Like always, you should “like” us on Facebook for even more fish and product updates.


Voy a ver a todos en la frontera!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager