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October 06, 2011

Hello once again from all of us here at The Wet Spot Tropical fish.

This week brings a new shipment directly from Singapore and with that comes all sorts of new fish. This week’s setup will have something for everyone.

I’m sure many of us have had or currently own a 55-gallon tank. It’s big enough to house some larger fish without filling up your living room with one giant tank. I actually have a 55-gallon setup in my apartment. Though I do yearn for a bigger aquarium, I’ve had this tank for years now and can never seem to be able to part with it. So, with this being said, here are my thoughts on what you may want to consider for yours!

To keep things short, as you know I like to ramble, I’m going to talk about a basic set up for lighting, substrate, and décor. Let’s pick up an AquaticLife T-5 HO dual lamp fixture. This is a great choice for any of the tanks mentioned in this article. The lights are relatively inexpensive, use low wattage, and provide ample lighting for most plants that you may decide to place in your aquarium. It also gives you an opportunity to make adjustments to plant species without purchasing other lighting equipment or bulbs.

After the light has been placed, I recommend the ADA Amazonia soil to keep the tank a little darker as well as providing a great fertilizer. Beyond this you may place ADA branch woods or rocks in the spots where you feel are more suitably appropriate as well any plants you may love. Be sure to test all the water parameters of the aquarium before placing any of these fish in your aquarium.

This week’s notes are going to be a little different. If I were to set this tank up I would have my show fish (Betta dimidiata) and one group of rasboras above them. I do not recommend putting all of these fish in the same tank. Now onto the fish for the week…

…My tank would have to include Betta dimidiata “Blue Firefly Betta”. B. dimidiata which grow to around 2” and feed on a variety of foods including frozen bloodworms and prepared foods. However, take care not to overfeed as most Bettas are prone to obesity. In nature B. dimidiata can be found living the small shallow streams and pools of the Kapaus River basin in Borneo. These water systems have a very low pH (around 3!), but dimidiata are very adaptable and can be cared for in almost any pH. Clean and well-filtered water will keep the fishes thriving and in good health. B. dimidiate are generally a reddish brown color. The males will typically have a beautiful blue belt that runs along the anal and tail fins. A pair of these would do just fine in a smaller tank. But if you wish to do a small group, I would recommend a larger tank. The Blue Firefly Betta is certainly one reason to be keeping fish!

Betta dimidiata

One very interesting rasbora that is rarely imported (even though it looks similar to its cousin, R. borapetensis “Brilliant Rasbora”) is the Rasbora rubrodorsalis “Cherry Spot Rasbora”. These beautiful little fish grow to around 1” and can be found near the lower Mekong River basin in Northeastern Thailand. In the Nong Khai province, it can be found living in the clear waters of the Kud Ting with Rasbora spilocerca “Dwarf Scissortail Rasbora” and Boraras micros “Yellow Polka Dot Rasbora”. Cherry Spot Rasboras have a white to grey body and a black line running horizontally. The Dorsal and Caudal fin are colored a striking red. Like most small fish, Cherry Spot Rasboras will readily accept any prepared foods but feeding frozen daphnia or Cyclop-eeze will enhance their colors. Keeping a group of these will surely add contrast to the Bettas!

Rasbora rubrodorsalis

Endemic to only a few river systems including the Kalu, Bentota, Gin and Nilwala basins, the Rasbora vaterifloris is available in thre forms, the “Red Fire Rasbora”, "Green Fire Rasbora" and “Blue Fire Rasbora”. Both of these fish are the exact same color. The R. vaterifloris can reach a maximum size of 1.6” and again should be fed high quality flakes and bloodworms to ensure the best color. The habitats they are from are generally slow moving streams or ponds. Thus, a tank with minimal current would more than likely be ideal for these fascinating little animals.

Rasbora vaterifloris "Red Fire"

Rasbora vaterifloris "Green Fire"

Inhabiting the ancient peat swamps of the Kapuas River Basin in Borneo, Cyclocheilichthys janthochir “Red Fin Silver Shark” is much like its cousin the common “Bala Shark” (Balantiocheilus melanopterus). However, the Red Fin Silver Shark does not grow nearly as large. It only reaches about 8” and in my opinion is a much better looking fish. The body is a gold color with a black stripe along the side and all of the fins are red. The tip of the dorsal fin is etched and black. Feeding heavier protein foods, such as bloodworms or high quality pellets, will bring out the bright reds as they mature. The Red Fin Silver Shark is a very peaceful fish and is better kept in small groups. I observe mine at home to be very friendly and eager to see you when you come around. I highly suggest trying some for your tank!

Cyclocheilichthys janthochir

All right, enough about small fish, we just received one amazing catfish that has to be mentioned! A new species of Bagrichthys has just become available and boy is it hot! Bagrichthys (Bagroides) melapterus “Harlequin Lancer Cat” is a brown or black color and has marbled yellow along the sides and is as bright as a banana! These cats grow to around 12”, but here’s the best part, for a larger fish they can’t eat smaller fish due to their small and narrow mouths. The Harlequin Lancer Cat mainly looks like its diet would be worms and therefore should be fed a variety of frozen bloodworms and high quality pellets. The Harlequin Lancer Cat can be found swimming in the rivers and streams of Borneo and can tolerate a pH value of 6-7. These cats are rarely imported into the states and I’m sure they won’t last long!

Bagroides melapterus

 

Among the swift currents downstream of the Klone waterfalls, part of the Mekong River basin, the Homaloptera confuzona “Red Lizard Loach” can be seen feeding on small crustaceans and invertebrates. In the aquarium, these beautifully elongated loaches adapt extremely well to feeding on frozen bloodworms and high quality pellet foods. The body is a red-brown color that has “saddle” like red colored patterns across it. The Red Lizard Loach reaches a maximum length of 3” in the aquarium, and at their size of 2” now you’ll have plenty of time to watch them grow. When looking directly at the face of the loach it almost appears to look like a viper!

Homaloptera confuzona

 

That’s it for this week’s notes. As always be sure to check out the products link for the current stock list. Here at The Wet Spot we love to hear if there are certain items you are looking for so that we may best accommodate your needs. Please feel free to make any inquires. I hope this may have given you some ideas for your next pet(s)!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager