Wet Spot Tropical Fish Facebook link Wet Spot Tropical Fish Youtube link Wet Spot Tropical Fish Pinterest link

November 29, 2013

Since its introduction into the aquarium hobby in 1996, the Roseline Shark has quickly made a niche for itself in planted aquariums. Roselines are incredibly attractive, offering intense hues of reds and yellows, with an iridescent tan body. These pastel-like colors have made them extremely desirable to planted tank owners. In fact, over the last six years alone 300,000 fish have been collected from the wild and shipped out across the globe. Sadly, after years of harvesting for the fish trade, pollution to their natural habitats, and farming land taking over, the fish ended up on the IUCN’s red list for endangered animals. The bright side to this tale is that in 2011, India prohibited the collection of wild caught specimens during their breeding season. Fish farmers did not want to see this fish wash away from our world and set out to understand how to breed this species in captivity. Through trial and error they were successful, and now our stock of Roselines at The Wet Spot Tropical Fish is entirely captive bred individuals, leaving what’s in nature to stay in nature.

Sahyadria denisonii

While commercial farmers are finding success, there are virtually no reports of hobbyists breeding them in captivity. One report from German magazine Aqualog mentioned a group of 15 adults spawning in a pH of 5.7 with the gH around 2-3 ppm. The fish had apparently spawned over a clump of java moss, typical for barbs and rasboras. This event apparently was elicited by gradually lowering the pH with bogwood. The Chester Zoo Aquarium in England also has had luck breeding and their theory now is that large groups are needed to have successful spawns. It appears that the success of commercial breeding is triggered primarily by the use of hormones.

Sahyadria denisonii

The Roseline Shark was first discovered in 1865, and was given the name Labeo denisonii, after Sir William Thomas Denison, who was the governor of Madras from 1861-1866. The fish have also been known under the names Barbus denisonii and Crossocheilus denisonii for a number of years, until falling into the catch all genus Puntius. As of November 26th 2013, the fish will now be known as Sahyadria denisonii, putting the fish into owns genus with its only other known member, Sahyadria chalakkudiensis, which is rarely exported into the aquarium trade. Hobbyists know them under several common names such as the ‘Roseline Barb’, ‘Red Line Torpedo Barb’, ‘Denison’s Flying Fox’, or the ‘Red Flash Barb’. In India they refer to them as ‘Miss Kerala’ and ‘Chorai Kanni’, which literally means ‘bleeding eyes’. With the bright red stripe running through the eye it’s not hard to understand the origin of this name.


The Roseline Shark, as well as its cousin S. chalakkudiensis, is found in the Western Ghats Mountains in Southern India. According to, the first specimens exported came from a waterfall at the Chalakudy River basin in Kerala, but were more robust and grew quite large. This was explained when people realized what they thought they had been collecting as S. denisonii, turned out to be S. chalakkudiensis (1999). The two fish can not only be told apart by their sizes, but by the black dorsal fin that S. chalakkudiensis possesses.

Keeping the Roseline Shark in an aquarium has usually been a bit of a struggle for many. I believe that this is because wild caught individuals require extremely pristine water. Tank raised specimens; on the other hand, I feel are slightly more adaptable to aquarium conditions. That being said, it is still very important to maintain water quality for these animals, and it is highly recommend that small (20%) weekly water changes are undertaken. The tank should be set up to replicate a small stream. Ideally, smaller pebbles and sand should be the basis for the substrate with larger pieces of driftwood and rocks for decorations. Roseline Sharks will not harm plants, and make excellent choices for your larger planted aquarium. These Cyprinids will grow to be about 5-6” in your tank, and need to be kept in schools of at least six to really show their behavior. Smaller kept schools or individuals are often aggressive towards one another and a bigger group seems to level this out. They’ll enjoy most aquarium foods but have a preference for meaty foods like frozen bloodworms and other insects.


With that I’d like to sum up my article by saying that I hope all of you had Happy Thanksgiving filled with close friends and family. You’ll be able to find two different sizes of Roselines on our pricelist this week. Our social networks are continuing to grow on Facebook at and Pinterest, Be sure to send me any questions you have may have!

I’ll see you all back here in a week!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager


November 22, 2013

Good morning, friends! We have so many beautiful Corydoras in that I thought I’d tell you about some of our more splendid offerings.

Many of you I’m sure know of Corydoras similis “Violet Cory” or, as some know it, the “Smudge Spot Cory” from the Rio Jamari in Brazil. The Violet Cory is a fairly average Corydoras with an adult length of just under two and a half inches, enjoying water in the 70s Fahrenheit and a slightly acidic pH in nature. Its versatile water parameters make this Cory a perfect option for many community aquariums. This Corydoras stands out with its beautiful patterning – a warm yellow gold head is marked with tiny brown spots. As the spots continue down the fish’s body towards the caudal edge, they appear to blur and smudge together, creating a gentle gradient to a blue or violet toned tail. The origins of both common names for this gorgeous fish are obvious. C. similis would enjoy a blackwater biotope with a bit of leaf litter, root or branch wood decorations, and a bit of peat or Indian Almond Leaf to add tannins. Of course, our tank raised stock are perfectly content at a 7.5 pH and upper 70s and would look equally stunning in a well-planted setup.

Corydoras similis

Corydoras cf. agassizi is slightly larger than the Violet Cory at just over two and three quarters of an inch, and has a slightly narrower range of temperature – these little cats prefer temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. However, C. cf. agassizi has a wider pH range, tolerant in the wild of both slightly acidic and slightly alkaline waters. These Cory cats display dark masks over their eyes and snouts as well as a broad dark band across the base of their dorsal fin, often extending along the first few fin rays. Around these dark patches are complex designs of small black spots over a silvery base, with the exception of a slightly orange-toned region between the dark markings at the head and dorsal crown, slightly reminiscent of C. duplicareus or C. adolfoi. Our C. cf. agassizi originated in Colombia and are more than ready for your planted aquarium.

Corydoras cf agassizi

Corydoras sodalis, sometimes called the “False Network Cory”, is similar to the Violet Cory in size but prefers its water in the same temperature range as C. cf. agassizi – between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. A pH of 6-7 suits this catfish in the wild. The False Network Cory is native to the waters of the Rio Yavari in Peru and is notable for its beautiful, complex and variable pattern of dark reticulation over a pale silvery or slightly green body. C. sodalis tends to show a slightly more rotund body shape than some other species of Corydoras, a body form that is best described, in my opinion, as incredibly cute. As with the Violet Cory, C. sodalis finds itself quite at home in blackwater Amazonian biotopes but will thrive just as well in a well-planted aquarium, perhaps shading itself under an overhanging Amazon Sword leaf or beneath a bit of root wood.

Corydoras sodalis

I’ve spoken so far of highly patterned Cory cats, marked with spots and stripes and bits of color. I feel, however, that it’s time to move on to simpler patterns with the rich, gorgeous colors that make so many hobbyists swoon. Let’s begin with the 2.4” Corydoras concolor “Blue Cory” or “Slate Cory” of Venezuela. Rarely, does one see the grey-blue coloration of this fish, particularly not paired with its warm sepia-toned fins, and especially not in a Corydoras species. This wonderful, special Cory sports one other unique feature – the dorsal fin of the males is extended, sometimes growing to nearly twice the length of that of the females. While our specimens are not old enough to display these extended dorsals, once they reach their adult size of just under two and a half inches, they are sure to be quite the lookers! Unlike our previously mentioned species, the Blue Cory is more particular of water parameters, preferring water with a pH between 6.5 and 7 and temperatures from 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Corydoras concolor

The “Gold/Green Cory”, Corydoras melanotaenia, is a true beauty in the aquarium. Unlike the above-mentioned Cory cats, the Gold/Green Cory enjoys cooler water from about 68 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit and the typical neutral to slightly acidic water. These beautiful little Corydoras have an overall golden coloration to their body and fins, marked by a dark stripe beneath the iridescent green coloration of their scales along the flank. These fish are fairly elongate, with slightly shorter dorsal edges and longer snouts than the average Corydoras build. This species is native to the Rio Meta of Colombia and enjoys overhanging rocks, wood, and plants. These fish are quite similar in coloration to the ubiquitous Corydoras aeneus “Bronze Cory”, though the Bronze Cory is significantly stockier and larger than any of the above-mentioned species. Unlike the brilliant golden color of the C. melanotaenia’s fins, Bronze Cories have dark brownish finnage and an overall brown and blue coloration. C. aeneus is still a beautiful fish, however, and shouldn’t be disregarded as a gorgeous addition to the community aquarium.

Corydoras melanotaenia

Corydoras aeneus

Remember to keep your Corydoras catfish over soft, sandy substrates: Those adorable barbels are easily damaged by larger substrates! Sinking foods are highly advised – these fish are comparatively slow eaters and should not be allowed to subsist on the leftovers from their tankmates above.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend!

Jessica Supalla

November 1, 2013

Even Jeremy Wade, host of the show ‘River Monsters’, would think about putting on his gloves if he were to ever catch the monstrous Acanthicus adonis “Polka Dot Lyre Tail Pleco” in the Rio Tocantins in Peru. Growing to nearly 40” in length, this mega catfish is protected by thousands of spikes known as odontodes that cover his body. The name Acanthicus is derived from the Greek word akantha, which means quill or spike. This armor keeps him from being listed on anyone’s menu. Now you’re asking yourself why anyone would want to keep such a monster in an aquarium (unless of course you’re that person who has one). To answer your question I refer you to its Latin name, the name Adonis is referring to the Greek god known for his handsome youth, and as you can see by all of those beautiful polka dots on the fish it is certainly a beauty when very young. As the fish matures these slowly fade away into an almost solid black fish. While, this fish can reach considerable lengths in nature, they really don’t get that large in your home. This is, of course, due to space limitations that are provided for them. More common numbers at home are likely to be in the 24” mark, and even then that’s rare. Now if you’re looking for an algae eater I would steer clear of this beast. He’ll be happier chewing on a piece of krill or fruits and vegetables rather than cleaning up the algae on your glass.

Acanthicus adonis

Acanthicus adonis

I’m sure many of you don’t particularly want something quite so large and would prefer a fish to clean up your algae. In that case, Hypoptopoma gulare “Giant Oto” is probably just what you were looking for. Reaching a length of about 4”, this Loricariid is a little more suitable for your planted aquarium. The Giant Oto is a rather unusual looking pleco with his eyes positioned on the side of his widened and flattened head. I’m not quite certain what the purpose of this bizarre looking appearance is, but it certainly makes them cute!

Hypoptopoma gulare

Speaking of the unusual and bizarre, the way Copeina guttata “Red-Spotted Splash Tetra” breeds, fits the definition. From what I have read, the male excavates a shallow depression, and then the pair spawns inside of this ravine. Once the pair has finished, the female should be removed. The male will guard the fry until they become free swimming—at which point he too should be taken away. The fish may live anywhere from 3-8 years, depending on how well they are taken care of, and may grow upwards of 3”. This larger size requires that they be housed in a tank of no less than 30 gallons, with larger aquariums more ideal, as they tend to be a bit nippy towards one another. With their red spots and the males’ red tails, they look great in a well planted aquarium. They should be offered flat pieces of stones and hiding places to feel at home.

Copeina guttata

I know that I’ve written about Nannostomus mortenthaleri “Red Arc/Coral Red Pencils” a couple of times now, but the batch we have in stock, is so noteworthy, that they are even making me want to bring home some for the first time in a few years. I figured, if you were to buy them all up before I had a chance, it would be easier on my pocket book, so you better get to ordering! This Characin is found in the Río Nanay in Peru, where it inhabits slow moving rivers and swamps. These areas are filled with plant life and the water is extremely soft—typically a pH right below 6 and all the way down to a pH of 4! You will need to replicate this as much as possible in your aquarium. Additionally, having plenty of plant cover is highly beneficial as males tend to spar quite a bit, even for a fish that only grows to around 1.5” it packs an attitude!

Nannostomus mortenthaleri

We’ve had our next feature fish in stock for a bit of time, which translates into them appearing fantastic and ready to go. In fact, our stock of wild Corydoras haraldshultzi is probably one of the best looking I’ve seen in some time now. These larger growing (reaching around 3.5”) fish are found in the Río Guaporé in Brazil and Bolivia. This river and its tributaries are oxygen rich with a pH above neutral. The temperature ranges usually between 75-78°. Schultz’s Cory will exhibit remarkably colored bright orange fins and a mottled brown body that make it easily confused with its cousin, Corydoras sterbai. However, the two can be told apart by the longer nose on C. haraldshultzi. Due to the family Corydoradinae being bottom dwellers, it is best to provide a soft substrate such as sand for them. Rocks or gravel can be too rough for their soft under bellies. They are scavengers by nature, but still need to be fed a varied diet of flake foods or pellets, as well as frozen bloodworms and algae wafers.

Corydoras haraldschultzi


Now for something many of you have been waiting for… Currently tucked away in our water resort are roughly around 1,000 African cichlids that have arrived directly from Lake Malawi. Their journey was very long, and they will need some rest before they’ll be ready for another one, but stay tuned for their availability. We have lots of new and exciting stuff that we’ll be offering as soon as they’re recovered in our luxury spa!

That will do it for this week. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page: or if you prefer G+ join our circle on there: or to enjoy our growing gallery follow us on Pinterest: If you have any questions, need any help, or just want to say hi then feel free to contact me via phone or email.

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager

November 15, 2013

The hillstream loaches or, as we like to call them, “the suckers” have gained popularity over the years. It seems that only a few are imported in on a regular basis, despite being easy to breed in captivity. From my understanding breeding them mainly requires an empty box filter placed in the center of the tank, providing some strong current and feeding them on a regular basis, and you will be knee deep in kids before you know it. If this is so easy to accomplish then you may be asking why we only get to see a few at a time? I believe that this is because importers haven’t taken the time to separate their catch. Often we see ‘mixed’ lots of different hillstream types arrive. Identifying each species is certainly no easy task. Even we can run into trouble making sure we received the right fish and have properly labeled them. This week we managed to bring in a couple of new types, and are able to provide some accurate information on them. I’d like to tell you more about a world hidden in the mountains of Asia…

The habitats of the hillstream loaches all consist of shallow, fast-flowing headwaters that are usually broken up by small pools or cascades. These waters are cooler in temperature, high in oxygen content, and are generally on the alkaline side (a pH above 7). Most of the fish will do alright with below neutral pH, but if you want to keep them long term their pH should be kept above 7. The streams usually are full of small pebbles or stones, and lack vegetation. Instead, large amounts of leaf litter and boulders are found. Hillstream loaches favor aquariums that possess similar environmental qualities if they are to be kept long term. Providing a strong current from either a canister filter or power-head will help with replicating such conditions. Unfortunately, this can make finding suitable tank-mates a bit challenging, since most tropical fish prefer warmer water. Two great options are fish in the Danio family or White Clouds, both of which will usually adapt to these conditions and make wonderful companions with their bottom dwelling friends.

Their diet can vary slightly between each species, ranging from grazing on benthic algae, to others preferring to feed on filamentous Cyanobacteria. When I found out the Pseudogastromyzon species liked to feed on Cyanobacteria I was a bit surprised. This is typically found in stagnant water, and most members found within the family live in waters that are more turbid—quite an interesting dietary preference. Outside of their natural environment all hillstream loaches will enjoy feedings of frozen or live baby brine, as well as Artemia and bloodworms. A good idea is to grow algae in a separate aquarium, either on pieces of PVC piping or rocks. By doing this, you can switch these pieces between the two tanks, translating into a constant food source for them. How brilliant!

Members of the family Pseudogastromyzon are not terribly aggressive, but males will claim and defend the best feeding spots in the aquarium. This is typical behavior of the Pseudogastromyzon laticeps “Red Tail Spotted Sucker”. Ideally, a tank around 30” in length is suitable to house a few males and their potential mates. An interesting note is that these hillstream loaches were collected alongside Rhinogobius zhoui “Scarlet Goby” from a stream on the Lianhua Mountain in southeastern China.

Pseudogastromyzon laticeps1

Pseudogastromyzon laticeps

Rhinogobius zhoui

From the Xi Jiang (West River) of southern China you can collect Erromyzon sinensis “Red Spotted Sucker Loach”. These landlocked hillstream loaches were once considered to be a member of the Protomyzon family of hillstream loaches from China (1980) until Kottelat found enough morphological differences between the two genera. He erected the genus Erromyzon in 2004 to cover the fish found on the mainland. The word erro translates into ‘to wander, or go the wrong way’, and myzon means ‘to suck’. The word sinensis means ‘from China’. Like other members found in the family these are best kept in small groups to really see their natural behavior.

Erromyzon sinensis

We have several variants from the island of Borneo in stock as well. From the eastern part of the island, Gastromyzon zebrinus “Eastern Borneo Sucker Loach” is found in the Sambas River in the Bengkayang regency of West Kalimantan. To the south, you’ll find Gastromyzon scitulus “Southern Borneo Sucker Loach” grazing on the rocks for their algae.

Gastromyzon zebrinus

Gastromyzon scitulus

From Vietnam we have Sewellia lineolata “Reticulated Hillstream Loach,” which didn’t establish itself in the aquarium trade until the mid-2000’s, but once it did it is easily one of the most popular aquarium pets when it comes to the hillstream types offered due to its striking appearance. Now, if you think the Reticulated Hillstream Loach is attractive, then Sewellia sp. “SEW01” “Spotted Hillstream Loach” will take your breath away (at least in my humble opinion). These hillstream loaches can be found living side by side S. lineolata in the Quang Nam province of Vietnam, but S. lineolata has a much broader range in Vietnam.

Sewellia lineolata

Sewellia sp SEW01

There you have it! A world quite literally stuck to rocks on a mountain. I’m sure as time goes by and more and more hobbyists get involved in hillstream loaches, we’ll see more and more of these imported in and eventually identified. If you can’t get enough fishy information from us then be sure to “like” our Facebook page,, and check out all our pics on Pinterest,

Until I write again!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager

October 25, 2013

Did you know there are true monsters out there? No, I am not referring to the ones that are hiding in your closet, or lying dormant under your bed. These monsters are waiting in the shadows of Japanese freshwaters, estuaries, and oceans, where they spend their time on the bottom and are known as the “Akame” by natives which translate into “Red Eyes”. For years, it was believed to be Lates calcarifer, but in 1984 scientists learned that this fish was its own species, and it turns out the true villain is Lates japonicus “Japanese Marbled Perch”. The 51” behemoth can reach weights over 70 pounds, and uses giant jaws that shoot out in a downward motion to vacuum its prey straight up into its mouth. The fish is extremely scarce in nature, but are raised for food in Japan. It’s likely that the fish we received were raised with the intention to become dinner, but somehow they made their way to us. Now you can raise your own little monster!

Lates japonicus


Last week I talked about big fish eating little fish, so I think I will stick with the Dr. Suess theme once again! I have a small appreciation for small Cyprinids- even more so when they’re incredibly rare. If my recollection is correct, it was about three years ago that we had the privilege to offer you Tanichthys sp. “Yellow Neon White Clouds”. These unique minnows are found only in the Da Nang province of Vietnam and were believed to be Tanichthys thacbaensis, but that fish occurs much further north. Unlike the common White Cloud, the Yellow Neon White Cloud only grows to be only about an inch in length, and lacks most of the red pigmentation. Instead, the fish is a faint yellow color with electric yellow fins to match. The Yellow Neon White Cloud seems to be very adaptable and can handle a broad pH range of 6-7.5 with the temperature range being kept 64-77°. The first discovery in 2009 has led to only a few exports of this wonderful minnow. So who knows when we’ll see them again!

Tanichthys sp. "Yellow Neon White Cloud"

When I think of Japan, I usually don’t think about freshwater fish living in their waters, but rather about giant Koi swimming under a Japanese maple surrounded by snowy banks. As beautiful as this image is there are other freshwater fish that inhabit the mountainous streams. One such fish is Cobitis striata “Japanese Striped Loach”. Japan is not the only country in which you can find this fish. It also calls Korea home as well. The Japanese Striped Loach will grow to be around 4”, this loach can be observed eating algae off of pebbles, on the bottom of the shallow stream, or munching on some insect larvae it happens to find. They will thrive in a tank where the pH is 7-7.7 and the temperature kept between 64-72°.

Cobitis striata

This week’s newsletter was a little on the short side, but I’ll have plenty to talk about with you all next week. Now that you’re done reading, go ahead and click the link to our website. For those of you on Facebook don’t forget to “like” our page,, and follow us on Pinterest, If you have any questions, need some fish advice or just wanting to say hi then shoot me an email or phone call!

I hope you all have a great Halloween!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager


November 8, 2013

The moment you have been waiting for has arrived…. Drum roll please… HERE YOU HAVE IT! A BRAND NEW stock list, complete with wild imported African cichlids, direct from Lake Malawi! After many months of waiting, the first attempt never making it passed Nairobi, plus a week of stabilizing them, we finally have wild African cichlids available to offer you.


Aulonocara hueseri

Getting fish from Africa’s Lake Malawi all the way to Portland, Oregon, is no easy task. Our location makes their trip arduous and lengthy, with our little fishy friends making four different connections before finally landing at the SeaTac Airport in Seattle. Once they have arrived, it takes another two and half hours of drive time for them to reach Portland (have you ever witnessed a cichlid try to drive? It is not pretty!).The fish arrive at their destination during the evening. Many late nights have been spent getting them comfortable and settled in at our facility, after their long trip. Even with such a long journey in coach, with no extra leg room, the males show up brightly colored and ready to claim their spot in a tank.


Aulonocara koningsi

For those of you who are not familiar with Lake Malawi, there are three types of cichlids that inhabit the lake. There are the rock dwelling fish known by the locals as “Mbuna”. These fish generally have a rounded face and elongated body, and prefer to eat algae, but they will pick at zooplankton if they find it. The bigger “haps” are found living amongst the sand beds and in the rocky areas. These fish generally have a tall body, and like to construct large “pits” to attract their mate into. Some of the haps have even learned to play dead in order to ambush potential prey. Lastly, there are the well-known “peacocks,” or as the locals call them – “Utaka” - that inhabit the entirety of the lake. Their heads have sensory pores that enable them to use sonar to detect prey as they hover over the sand bed. They typically can be found in the sandy areas, or hiding out in caves.

Aulonocara korneliae


Though each of these fish has their own specialized feeding habits, they all seem to share the same breeding practice known as mouthbrooding. This type of breeding process entails the female enticing her potential mate by coaxing him on his underside, when she is ready to spawn. The pair will dance around each other while the female lays her eggs. The male will fertilize them while she is laying her eggs on the sand. Once the eggs are seeded she quickly picks it up into her mouth. This process is complete when she has lain between 20-60 eggs; this number depends on the species and the size of the female. At this point, the care of the fry is done solely by the female, and the male is left to find another suitor. She’ll guard her fry in her mouth for about 20-30 days. After that period of time, they are released into the wild to care for themselves.


Metriaclima mbenjii male

With so many fish that look alike in the lake (sometimes up to 70 species one locale!) a common question is how can each fish be sure that they’ve chosen the right mate? The answer is no one really knows for certain, yet cross-breeding does not seem to take place often in the lake. There are theories that not only are the females selective on who they choose for a mate, but the males seem to be as well. Some people believe that each fish uses colors and color patterns for identification. Maybe they use pheromones to figure out who is who along the reef? Only more research may help us to determine the answer.

Metriaclima sp Chilumba Zebra


Now, getting back to the feeding behaviors of these cichlids, each of them may consume food in a different manner, but all of them are opportunistic in nature. For instance, if mosquito larvae are in full bloom, even the rock dwelling mbuna may choose to snack on some. If a piece of algae happens to float by a peacock he’ll probably take the time for a quick snack. So what does this mean for fish being kept in your aquarium? Basically, it means that a varied diet is best to be provided. Now, I’m not saying dump a giant cube of frozen bloodworms in with your mbuna, but rather offer some protein occasionally to their diet. I always suggest very small amounts mixed in with spirulina flakes. This will provide the nutrition that all cichlids need to thrive, while keeping their appetite up.


Protomelas taeniolatus Namalenje PAIR

I’ve taken the liberty to include pictures of several species that are now here at our facility. All of the fish shown as well as many others are now available for sale. I strongly encourage you to have a look or ask any questions you may have. Don’t forget to go like us on Facebook,, and follow us on Pinterest,

Tropheops romandi PAIR


Hope everyone takes advantage of the great fish we are able to provide! Now, I’ve got some more fish to sell and place in good homes, so I’ll see you all back here next week!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager

October 18, 2013

Excitement is filling the air! We recently got in a variety of shipments from all over the globe that contained many fish we haven’t had in quite some time. For this edition of the weekly newsletter, I will be focusing on some of the South American members that are ready for your aquarium!

It’s been about 3 years since we last offered Nannostomus espei “Barred Pencilfish”, so we were more than eager to acquire these rarely exported fish when we heard they were available. The Barred Pencilfish was first discovered in 1953 in the Rio Kurupung, part of the Mazaruni River system in Guyana. In 1956, Meinken would describe the species as Poeciliobrycon espei until Weitzman changed the name in 1966 to its current status. Their habitat is usually very soft (4.0 pH!) blackwater that is typically filled with aquatic vegetation with lots of wood structures. These conditions should be replicated as close to possible in an aquarium for long term care. Their diet is mainly small insects and their larvae in nature. When feeding them in the aquarium you should offer the fish frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp. Flake foods may be accepted, but in small quantities. The Barred Pencil is the only known member of their family that does not have a diurnal color pattern. Meaning, most pencils change their color at night, but Barred Pencils maintains their silver sheen no matter the time of day. This makes them even more unique among their family. They need to be kept in groups of ten or more as the males will spar with one another. I used to keep a group of ten of them in a 10 gallon tank that did extremely well for me for a few years, and if I were you I would not pass these up!

Nannostomus espei


Our next imports should not be housed with the previously mentioned small Characins, as they would only end up in the jaws of the Hydrolycus scomberoides “Vampire Tetra”, or quickly gobbled up by Acestrorhynchus falcirostris “Yellow Tail Freshwater Barracuda”, which would make one expensive snack. Vampire Tetras are found throughout the upper Amazon basin in the countries of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil in a number of biotopes with a range limited to the Río Tapajós. Their Latin name Hydrolycus translates into “Water Wolf”, and despite its dark demeanor, it does not seem to bother fish that are of similar size. Instead, this 12” predator feeds on fish that it considers small enough to be a meal. Unlike the Vampire Tetra, that likes more turbid water, you’ll find Yellow Tail Barracudas seeking their shelter in major river channels all over northern South America. They’ll also be able to eat prey that you might think would be too large for them to consume, so be mindful of what you house with them. They’ll eventually grow to around 14”. Who knows what they could end up thinking may be their next dinner…

Hydrolycus scomberoides

Hydrolycus scomberoides face



As the night settles over the Río Ucayali, Río Purus, and the Río Mamoré in Peru, a catfish is beginning to emerge from his slumber. The Planiloricaria cryptodon “Spoon Face Whiptail Cat” is awake now as the twilight overcomes the forest. He’ll begin his search for mosquito larvae during this night time raid before camouflaging himself once again when the morning comes. The Spoon Face Whiptail Cat is rather unique in appearance with its flattened body, and small beady eyes perched up on the top of his head. This interesting cat takes a little while to acclimate to an aquarium, but once they are can adapt to a pH range from 6-7.2, with temperatures set between 72-82°. The aquarium will need to have a sand substrate with spacious areas for them to burrow into. Eventually, they’ll grow around 8.5”, and will require a large aquarium to live in.

Planiloricaria cryptodon


I would talk about more fantastic fish we got in but I think that’s enough for now. As much as I would love to talk a bit about the incredible batch of Scobiancistrus aureatus “Goldy Pleco” L014a’s that we received, I think I’ll just show you this photo instead. 

Scobiancistru saureatus L014a

Chek out our fish list, if you don’t see the item that you’ve been looking for, please feel free to contact me via email or phone. Once again, don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook and check us out on Google+ and our growing gallery on Pinterest!

I’ll see you all back here next week!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager