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May 17, 2013

 Hello over there! I bet you didn’t know that you’d find yourself hiking in Meghalaya, India going across the Thlu Muwi Stone Bridge, now did you? If you’ll hurry to the middle of the bridge I’ll tell you a little more about how this structure came to be. Long ago, the King of Jaintia ordered the construction of this bridge so that he could pass between Nartiang and Jaintianpur during the monsoon seasons. These hewn slabs are made entirely of granite, and are incredibly huge. I can’t imagine what it took to move these large pieces of stone during the time it was built. India really is a fascinating place – which is why we have come back. I know we were just here a few weeks ago, but I’ve been told that there is a rare fish swimming directly under where we are standing…

Get your cast night ready, as we are about to collect an incredible little fish known as Danio jaintianensis “Rose Line Danio”. This little Cyprinid reaches a maximum length of around 1 ¾” of an inch – making it perfect for small aquariums. Before you get all excited you must know that they prefer rather cool water. I’m sure you noticed that this stream is a bit on the cold side. Give me a moment to see just how cold it is. It looks like the thermometer reads about 68° here. I’ve heard the average temperature is only around 73°. This plain gets below freezing in the winter, and I’ve read that the fish will need a “cooling” period during the winter in order to thrive. The pH is coming up around 6.5 according to my test kit. I would guess this fish only like a pH in the range of 6-7. Now that I’ve done all the talking, and you did all the fishing, what did you come up with? I’d say that those bright red stripes in your net are a good sign…

Danio jaintianensis 

There seems to be something else hanging out in the net with our prized fish. What is that long and skinny catfish you’ve got there? That looks like Olyra longicaudata “Indian Fighting Linear Catfish”. I didn’t know that they occurred in these waters, but I guess it seems that we found them. There’s only a few, and I’m sure that we won’t find any more than that in this river. Right now they are only about 2”, but they’ll eventually grow to be about 4”. This small size would be a great addition to hide under our Rose Line Danios. You know that I’ve got some interesting information on these cats, so I might as well tell you it. The name Olyra is Greek for “grain” or “rye”. Most likely references to the body shape and color of these elongated animals. Now as you might have guessed, adults are rather territorial, and will fight with each other if not given enough space.

We found some great stuff out here in the foothills of Jaintia. It looks like we still have some spare time while we are out here, so I think I’ll tell you what kind of tank you should set up for these two fish. The danios do not grow very large at all, but would be best kept in groups. A tank measuring 24” long would probably be best. Of course you can always use a larger aquarium if you feel the urge. As I’ve mentioned before, this river gets rather cool. They appear to do best in an unheated tank. The current is also fairly swift. I would use a canister filter to keep the flow rate up. I would recommend placing small pebbles as your substrate. This could be covered with some fine sand to allow the cats to relax upon. From there the plants or decorations are entirely up to you. Once again, you’ll find our list by visiting www.wetspottropicalfish.com. If you have any other questions about these fish please feel free to contact us.

I had a lot of fun collecting with you today, and I’m sure the folks back at home are going to really dig the fish we found. In fact, I think I’m going to set up my 12 gallon rimless tank to accommodate a school of about 10 of the Rose Line Danios. I’d like to be one of the first to breed them in an aquarium. Well, that is if you don’t beat me to it!

Until we meet again!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager