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October 11, 2013

Hello everyone! I’m back! That’s right, I have returned from my trip, alive, well, and rejuvenated. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to Atlanta, but my adventure to the South was more than rewarding. I’d like to thank the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association for inviting me to speak at their club. For those who attended the meeting, I hope it was informative for you, and I was maybe able to get you to consider setting up an eartheater tank. I will never forget my visit to the Georgia Aquarium. I was able to have an opportunity to swim with the Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) while visiting the world’s largest aquarium. In nature, these animals grow to be astonishing 45 feet in length. The Georgia Aquarium houses four 20+ feet animals that are true gentle giants of the ocean. I highly suggest if you’re ever in the area to plan a trip there!

For this week, I thought I’d talk to you about a couple of animals a little further south of, well the South. Back in 2009, collectors discovered a new cichlid near Paso San Borja, a small town among the Rio Yi. They are found in Uruguay, below Brazil. The fish is now known as Gymnogeophagus tiraparae, but when it was first discovered it was labeled Gymnogeophagus Northern species “Rio Yi”. The males of these “naked” eartheaters will most likely grow to around 6-8” in length, are very peaceful, and quite stunning when adult size. The head and bottom half of the body are a powerful yellow color. The upper half fades into a subtle blue color with hints of yellow and greens. To say that the nuchal hump the males develop is eye catching is a massive understatement. These cichlids feed on microorganisms in nature, and should be kept above a sand substrate to allow them to feed on their main diet. Always offer frozen bloodworms and smaller sinking pellets to enable them to maintain a healthy body weight. If you do this the fish should live long, happy lives!

Gymnogeophagus tiraparae "Rio Yi"

Gymnogeophagus tiraparae "Rio Yi"

Now, maybe you have an enormous 125 gallon tank that you just added a group of the Gymnos too. With all that space you’ll need something swimming around in there. They may not occur in Uruguay, but Semaprochilodus taeniurus “Flagtail Prochilodus” is a perfect candidate to house with these mid-sized cichlids. These Characins can grow to nearly a foot, so it is best to house them in larger aquariums. In nature, the Flagtail Prochilodus can be found swimming in giant schools and they migrate twice a year over great distances. This migratory habit provides a very important role in maintaining the ecosystems of South America. As the fish swims across the Amazon basin the waste it produces from feeding on the aquatic plants helps move organics across the biotopes. In an aquarium, this migration period is not necessary and would do better not kept in small numbers, as this leads to aggressive tendencies. It’s always best to keep them in larger numbers of four or more specimens to keep the aggression levels to a minimum. Don’t worry, these gentle giants are offered in two sizes this week to help accommodate their larger growing size – a 1.5” size that would be okay for growing out in a smaller aquarium for a while, and a 3” size that would be better suited for mid to large sized cichlids that you may have right now. The fish are omnivorous, but primarily feed on vegetable matter. Offering foods like spinach, zucchini, and algae wafers is highly recommended. Plus, the Gymnos will also benefit from this diet.

Semaprochilodus taeniurus

Semaprochilodus taeniurus

In my humble opinion, no South American aquarium is complete without a Corydoras hanging out near the bottom of the tank. For this set-up I think Corydoras sp. “C121” would look great living under all of those giants. The C121 Cory is very similar to its cousin, Corydoras adolfoi, and can be found living together in the Rio Negro. The difference between the two fish is the red spot located right about the pectoral fins on C121. C121 also has a finer stripe running along the back of the fish. Corydoras should be fed frozen bloodworms, sinking pellets, and wafers much like the other inhabitants I spoke about today. They also like to spend their time on the bottom of the aquarium, so rough substrates like gravel should be avoided.

Corydoras sp. 'C121'


That will do it for this week! If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to place an order, please feel free to contact me via phone or email. For those of you, who are new to the newsletter, please be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest!

I hope you enjoyed the article!

Anthony Perry

Sales Manager

October 04, 2013

Good afternoon, folks. I’m sure you miss Anthony’s newsletters as much as I do; however, he’s off giving another talk on Geophaginae this week. He will return early next week and I’ll make sure he writes you folks some excellent newsletters.

Almost everyone in the freshwater aquarium hobby knows of Pterophyllum scalare, the Angelfish.  Angelfish are probably the most common cichlid in the home aquarium and most easily recognizable, despite the vast difference in their body shape from most other members of the Cichlidae family.  

P. scalare is available in a wide range of selectively bred color morphs such as black, marble, koi, silver, and blue neon as well as fin morphology such as the long-finned veil varieties.  After doing some quick research, one can discover that the genetics relating to the various phenotypes of domestic angels were fairly thoroughly researched in the early 1980s to mid-1990s by a Dr. Joanne Norton.  Most, if not all, color morphs can be attributed to 13 identified unique gene pairings.  Each gene pairing has three possible combinations – essentially “on/on”, “on/off”, and “off/off”, much like a double light switch. 13 pairings equate to 313 possible combinations of genes, or over 1.5 million combinations.  Thanks to dominance of certain genes over others, such as dark coloration over albinism, we don’t have 1.5 million varieties of Angelfish to keep track of.

Aside from the lovely color phenotypes available through selective breeding, there are regional differences between wild populations of Angelfish.  These, unfortunately, are not clearly documented.  While I’m excited to tell you about one of our gorgeous wild Angelfish, I can’t provide many hard facts other than location of origin and a comparison of the specimens as they currently present.

P. scalare “Mocajuba Wild” originates from the Rio Tocantins watershed in northern Brazil. These specimens are the brownest of the varieties we’ve received with significantly warmer tones than the Colombia angels.  The forward edge of the dorsal fin is significantly red compared to the others as well.  The first stripe of the Mocajuba angel is significantly fainter than the others, as is the fourth stripe, which occasionally appears to be completely absent.

Pterophyllum scalare Mokajuba

The secondary striping of these specimens is quite faint with only the marking between second and third stripes visible, however, it runs anywhere from half to the full depth of the body.  The Mocajuba’s eye is lighter than that of the Peruvian and Colombian angels with distinct cherry red coloration on the back of the iris.  The fin striping on these specimens is clear and clean and consists of quite narrow translucent dark red and transparent banding.  These are quite unusual in the hobby – I’ve not been able to find any information on them whatsoever.  They are, in my opinion, the loveliest of our wild Angels.

All this talk of Angels begs the question – if you are going to house tankmates with these beautiful wilds, what should they be? Most hobbyists are familiar with Otocinclus arnoldi “Common Otocinclus”.  This little loricariid is an industrious worker and suitable for many smaller aquaria.  However, I’m an avid fan of a different species of OtocinclusO. cocama “Zebra Otocinclus”.  The Zebra Oto is very slightly larger than the common Oto and unlike its brown and black mottled cousin, O. cocama features amazing patterns of black and white stripes and spots. Personally, I have found them to be slightly hardier than the common Oto, however, this may be due to the fact that they arrive at our store in such exceptional condition.  Zebra Otos are schooling fish and best kept in a group. A small group of five O. cocama will suit a fifteen to twenty gallon aquarium perfectly, and a pair of Zebra Otos would be suitable for a ten gallon aquarium.  Larger schools are perfectly capable of keeping a more sizeable aquarium spotless as well – as one needs much more space to house Angelfish, perhaps a group of fifteen or more could be housed in that 55 gallon or larger aquarium.

Otocinclus cocama Zebra Otocinclus

Many folks like to keep schooling fish with their angels to provide a bit more interest to the aquarium.   I’ve seen Paracheirodon axelrodi “Cardinal Tetra” time and again and, indeed, they make an excellent complement to wild-type Angelfish.   I’d like to suggest instead some other beautiful tetras. Hyphessobrycon megalopterus “Black Phantom Tetra” occurs in the Rio Guaporé and upper Rio Paraguay in Bolivia and Brazil.  It is slightly larger than P. axelrodi, topping out at 1.8”.  Black Phantoms have a very silver body with darkened edges and tail.  The large spot on the body center appears to be smeared vertically and edged on the sides with bright silver.  Their fins are black, fading to transparent as they near the body.  The males’ fins are much longer and more rounded, but the female’s ventral and anal fins are tinted with a lovely red tone.  Their natural habitat is slow-moving and tannin-stained waters.  Black Phantom tetras are peaceful, non-competitive and prefer the presence of dense vegetation for cover.  To bring out their best color, frozen and live foods are recommended.

Hyphessobrycon megalopterus

Hyphessobrycon megalopterus female

Thanks and have a great weekend, friends!

Jessica Supalla


September 13, 2013

Nice to see you again, folks! I’ve been asked to occasionally “guest star” as the writer of the newsletter about once a month. I’d like to thank you all for your appreciative words before I get down to it: Thank you!

Now, I’ve spent some time each day over the past few weeks archiving all our old newsletters, from mid-2011 through to last week’s. Soon these will be organized and posted on our webpage in blog format.  Of course, in this immense grind of getting about one hundred newsletters uploaded, edited, tagged, and inlaid with our fabulous photography, I’ve gotten a feel for the sort of species that have been spoken on repeatedly, once, and not at all. For example, we’ve never featured any of the larger gourami species! The only group of gouramis to have been mentioned in any detail is the chocolate gouramis (Sphaerichthys and Parasphaerichthys genera).   With my great love of anabantoids, I strongly feel that this cannot go unrectified! While some of these species may seem ‘common’, they also need some newsletter love (and besides, Anthony dedicated a whole newsletter to zebra danios and another to neon tetras, so I think I’m okay writing on Pearl gouramis).

Sphaerichthys acrostoma

Before I head into the large gouramis we have, I feel it is important to note and explain the relatively recent genus changes for the sake of knowledge and clarity – you know I’m a fan of learning new things! The change is rather simple while the reason is not – The genus known as Trichogaster before 1995 has been renamed to Trichopodus, while the genus Colisa has been ‘promoted’ to Trichogaster. A fairly detailed write-up of this development can be found here: Those species that have been renamed Trichopodus as of ca. 1995 will be referred to as such in this newsletter.

As a general rule, gouramis naturally inhabit shallow, sedate to stagnant blackwater pools. The dynamics of shallow pools filled with tannins lend themselves to dense plant growth, warm temperatures and soft, mildly to highly acidic water. The easiest gourami genera to house and care for are, by far, Trichopodus and Trichogaster followed by Trichopsis, Sphaerichthys/Parasphaerichthys and, lastly, Parosphromenus.

I’ve encountered many customers admiring Trichopodus trichopteruscolor morphs; however, most new hobbyists don’t know of their tendency towards aggression.  Because of this, I rarely recommend them to beginning fish keepers despite their beauty.  Thankfully, there are a few wonderful alternatives to the semi-aggressive T. trichopterus. Trichopodus species prefer warm water in the range of 77-84F and fairly neutral pH values from 6 to 7.5. Trichopodus microlepis “Moonlight Gourami” is a big and beautiful species of fish, with each of our specimens over two inches from pointed snout to tail. They are nearly halfway to their full-grown size of six inches.  This is a shining silver gourami with a dramatic dished face and the longest filamentous ventral fins, compared to their body size, of any other gourami species.  They sport the diminutive dorsal and subtly lobed caudal fins of other Trichopodus species such as T. leerii and T. trichopterus.  They seem to take on the colors of their surroundings with their reflective scales, appearing blue toned or even slightly reddish, based on the temperature of overhead light used.  Their eyes are marked in the top rear third with orange-red.  Adult males’ ventral fins take on beautiful orange-red coloration, while adult females develop a subtler yellow color.  As with most anabantoids, T. microlepis prefers sedate waters and is unconcerned with dissolved oxygen content.  Aside from some slight territorial possibilities between males and other gouramis, Moonlights are quite peaceful with tank mates.

Trichopodus microlepis

Trichopodus leeri “Pearl Gourami” is an aquarium favorite with very good reason. These 5 inch fish are incredibly colorful and showy as well as hardy and peaceful. Males present ruddy brown body coloration with deep red chins fading into brilliant pumpkin orange along the back of the belly and fore edge of the anal fin. Their lateral line is marked in black from lip to caudal peduncle and the entirety of their body, with the exception of their red and orange chin and belly, is covered in beautiful, shimmering pearlescent spots. The dorsal and anal fins of the male show multiple graceful extensions, ticked with dark and iridescent light spots, as is the caudal fin. The female is just as beautiful, though her coloration tends to be muted to the yellows and oranges, with a more brown-silver base body color and slightly shorter fins, lacking extensions. The extended ventrals of this species are not quite as lengthy as those of the Moonlight gourami, yet they still frequently grow to a length beyond the end of the caudal fin. Occasionally, a specimen will feature multiple ventral rays – I’ve met a grown female with five total ventral rays.

Trichopodus leeri

While we have several Trichogaster species, I’ve chosen to focus only on Trichogaster chuna “Honey Dwarf Gourami” – While T. lalius is incredibly popular in the hobby, the species, and its color morphs would warrant their own newsletter and I’m sure the length of this newsletter has already boggled your mind. The Honey Gourami is an amazing 2.5 inch fish.  It is incredibly peaceful and curious, often startling other fish with a gentle touch from its modified ventral fins.  These fish are best kept in groups of mixed genders – while not a gregarious species, their social behavior is incredibly fascinating.  Each fish will pick a favorite spot in the aquarium, males will display to each other in shows of dominance as well as to females, by tapping each other with their ventral fins, which can be incredibly amusing.  The female of the species is a silvery-brown color with a bolder brown midlateral stripe and gentle orange edges to their dorsal and anal fins.  The males’ resting colors are similar, though slightly orange and featuring yellow fin edges.  When displaying, the males take on an absolutely amazing brick red coloration and a blue-black coloration over their face and chin, which extends along their ventral sides and over their anal fins.

Trichogaster chuna

The Honey gourami has a manmade color morph more readily available in the hobby – this is most often referred to as the “Sunset Honey Gourami”. These are brilliant golden yellow fish with bright orange to red anal fins. Be careful, however – many less reputable aquarium hobby stores mislabel Trichogaster labiosa “Sunset Thicklip Gourami” as “Sunset Honey Gourami”. These two color morphs are quite easy to tell apart: The Sunset Thicklip is distinctly brassy orange with a slightly more elongate and less round body. Mind you, T. labiosa is also a wonderful fish, but it’s nice to know exactly what fish you are keeping.

Trichogaster chuna "Sunset"

With concern for the immense size of this newsletter, causing your eyes to bleed from fatigue, I’ll call this a wrap. If you enjoyed hearing about these beautiful fish or if you’d like another newsletter special on the wonderful world of Parosphromenus species, known as the Licorice Gouramis, or a write up on Trichogaster lalius “Dwarf Gourami”, let us know! Thank you so much for reading and I’m fairly certain Anthony will be back to writing next week.


Jessica Supalla

September 27, 2013

Good afternoon, folks! With the subjects of our last few newsletters, I started to think about Vietnam’s native ornamental fish. Anthony covered basic hillstream tank inhabitants with Tanichthys micagemmae “Vietnam White Cloud” and Sewellia sp. SEW01 “Spotted Hillstream Loach” at the start of the month and I mentioned another Vietnam native fish, Trichopodus microlepis “Moonlight Gourami” the week after. With a week of catfish between, I decided we should head back to Vietnam to look at some of their other beautiful fish.

I’m sure you’re familiar with many of the fish from this country, including Ba lantiocheilus melanopterus “Bala Shark” and the common Poecilia reticulata “Guppy”, whether or not you have been aware of their native waters. Now that we have five Vietnam natives on our list, let’s add some more.

Micronemacheilus cruciatus

Micronemacheilus cruciatus “Multi Stripe Loach” top out at only 1.4” in length and are silver or slightly brown with 14-18 vertical black stripes along their body.  This pattern is punctuated by a black dot at the base of the caudal fin.  These Micronemacheilus loaches are found only in a small region of Central Vietnam in slow-moving and well vegetated waters.  M. cruciatus has a plump, rounded belly.   They will occasionally hover at the midwater level but spend most of their time foraging across the substrate; providing an open sandy area in the front center of your display tank will allow your customers to watch their foraging behavior.  Again, these fish should be kept with other small, peaceful species.  Their striped, monotone pattern would be an excellent contrast to a brightly colored fish such as Rasbora borapetensis “Brilliant Rasbora”

Rasbora borapetensis 

R. borapetensis is one of our especially lovely cyprinids: a silver fish whose scales flash beautifully in the light.  Their lateral line is marked with a dual stripe of rich gold over black and the base of their caudal fin is bright cherry red.  This is an incredibly easy and unfussy fish and therefore a great option for new hobbyists.  Only two inches when full grown, this fish is peaceful and sedate enough to be paired with many popular small centerpiece fish.  Sympatrically occurring wild Betta and Trichopodus species could be a fascinating biotope project, perhaps with a large group of Pangio oblonga “Black Kuhlii Loach” or a school of Puntius barbs. The Brilliant Rasbora prefers soft, somewhat acidic water in nature, with a temperature across the 70s Fahrenheit range.  Maintain this striking little fish with dense planting and a dark substrate to encourage them to show their best colors.

I love our gobies. Every time I see a new species, or even one I’ve seen before, I can’t help but marvel at how adorable they are. Rhinogobius duospilus “Flame Cheek Goby” is, of course, no exception.  The males of the species are amazingly patterned with irregular crimson to black stripes down the sides of their cylindrical blue-white bodies and deep white cheeks and chins patterned with fine red pinstripes.  Their dorsal fins rise high in cherry and white brilliance and this coloration is likewise echoed in their rounded tails and anal fins.  The slightly territorial Flame Cheek Goby can be housed with others of its species for the chance at amazing displays, provided enough space is allowed for each individual.  A male goby will prop himself on his ventral and pectoral fins, lifting his face toward a rival male or attractive female and open his broad mouth, displaying with bright blue coloration of the chin and lips.  These amazingly attractive fish are fond of hillstream habitats with reasonably high currents, cooler water in the low to mid seventies, and appreciate a substrate of rounded gravel or river rock.  The Flame Cheek Goby rarely reaches over an inch and a half in length.

Rhinogobius duospilus

Another fascinating species of loach, we have available, is the Traccatichthys taeniatus “Vietnam Peppermint Loach”.  This species occurs in northern and central Vietnam, Laos, and China.  They prefer high currents and oxygenation levels and are not as picky about the size of their substrate as other loaches. If gravel is used, they would do best with it being rounded, as well as some areas of sand for digging.  This is a five inch, stunningly colorful loach:  Its body is divided by a greenish stripe running from the back of its gill plates to the base of their tail.  The region above this stripe is silvery blue and below has lovely pink shading.  Its dorsal fin is brilliant red punctuated by intermittent black markings.  They are jumpers, so be sure to keep a tight lid on their tank.  

Traccatichthys taeniatus

These loaches would be well-complimented by another Vietnam native fish, Puntius pentazona “Five Banded Barb” – These fish look quite similar to the ever-popular Puntius tetrazona “Tiger Barb”, but are completely peaceful.  They are a great alternative for those of us who fall in love with the look of the Tiger Barb but aren’t pleased with their aggressive and nippy nature.

'Puntius pentazona

Thank you all so much for reading once again. Next week, we should be back to your regularly scheduled Anthony. Have a great weekend; I’m off to do some water changes at home!

Jessica Supalla


September 6, 2013

When you think of tropical fish, what first comes to mind? I would guess that many people think of saltwater fish swimming by a brightly colored reef in the tropics. Certainly this is an attractive scenario; however not all tropical fish occur in warm waters. This week, I’d like to discuss with you a number of freshwater fish that prefer the cool mountainous streams over warm sandy beaches.

First off, we’ll need to set up a tank for our cool water inclined friends. I’ve gone ahead and selected a 20 gallon long aquarium from Aqueon. The 30x12x12” foot print will be perfect for a riverine-like set up. This bio-tope is easy to imitate. We will need some gravel, a pile of smooth stones, and a few grass-like plants like Vallisneria to get it all in order. It’s easier to work with a tank without any water in it, place the substrate down before filling it. I would stack your selected stones all the way across the tank, leaving a small canyon in the middle. This will allow some swimming room for our center piece. The crevices between the piles of rock are pretty tight, but you should be able to get a pair of aquascaping tweezers through to plant the Vallisneria. The tank will not require a heater, and can be kept anywhere from 64-74°. Providing a light that will promote some algae growth will provide some food for our riverine fish. A strong filtration will be necessary, so I recommend a canister filter instead of the hang on the back filter that you’d typically find on this size of a tank. The pH should be in the neutral to alkaline; somewhere between 7-7.5 for the fish we will be adding.

The tank has been running for about 24 hours, and it’s starting to look great, but I think it could really use some fish in it. Normally, I would never encourage you to put your display fish in the tank right away, but these are White Clouds. No, no, not the typical White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes) that you’re thinking of. The original White Cloud remained the sole species within its genus until three new discoveries were made in Vietnam in 2001. I’m actually talking about one of the later discoveries, Tanichthys micagemmae “Vietnam White Cloud Mountain Minnow”. T. micagemmae is only found in the Ben Hai River drainage of north central Vietnam in a very clear stream. These fish only grow to over an inch. Due to their smaller size I recommend getting a group of twenty in there, once the tank is completely stable. For now, let’s start with a half dozen to cycle the aquarium.

Tanichthys micagemmae


The tank has been running for about a month now and we’ve done several water changes to ensure good water quality. However, we should test the water levels just to be safe, before adding our next fish, Sewellia sp. “SEW01” “Spotted Hillstream Loach”. These hillstream loaches are native to central Vietnam in the Quang Nam province, where they can be found in several localities. The waters they hail from are fast-flowing, crystal clear, and oxygen rich. This is why I recommended using a canister filter that was designed for a 40 gallon aquarium. Spotted Hillstream Loaches use their flattened bodies to grasp onto rocks, in order to graze for food in the turbulent waters. Look at that. They’ve only been in the tank for a few moments, and they’re already putting a huge dent on the algae on the rocks. With this kind of appetite they’ll be reaching their 3” size before you know it! The reason we selected a gravel based substrate was in hopes of breeding this species. I’ve been told that the larger river gravel makes perfect nooks and crannies for eggs to fall in. Spawning can be trigged by raising the temperatures to 78°F then conducting a cooler water change. The male will chase a potential female around the tank, and can be observed pushing his head into her body. This appears to be an attempt to coax her into open water where the spawning will commence. There are no locatable records of the egg incubation period, but once you see free swimming fry you should start feeding them Artemia or baby daphnia. The parents won’t bother the kids, so you can leave them in the same tank. With any luck we’ll have some kids swimming around with their parents in no time!

Sewellia sp. SEW01

Our cold water riverine tank turned out nicely, over the course of a month. The Vietnam White Cloud males are displaying for their potential mates, and the Spotted Hillstream Loaches are below eagerly searching for algae on the rocks. I’d say this is yet another successful biotope we created.

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Anthony Perry

Sales Manager

The Wet Spot Tropical Fish

4310 NE Hancock St.

Portland, OR. 97213

PH: 503.719.7003

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September 20, 2013

Hello, my friend! As summer is on its way out the door within our northern hemisphere, below the equator they are beginning their warm days. For us, this means many things. Our summer BBQ’s and camping trips are all coming to a close, and we’re moving back into our indoor lifestyles; while our southern friends are out enjoying rays (no, I’m not talking about sting rays!) and sipping on cold drinks. Though we often affiliate our winter months with the time to buy fish there is something else that happens during this transition. The summer months for South America means lower water levels. This allows for the perfect time to collect the fish that many countries use as a livelihood. What that means for us up here is more fish on our list, and have we found some things that need to be mentioned!

Last Monday, we received a shipment from one of our regular vendors that included a number of catfish. Now, I’m a huge catfish lover (I mean what don’t I like that spends its life in water?), so when these came in I was more than eager to want to tell you about the new arrivals finally in the shop. The fish came in incorrectly identified, so we asked our good friend, Dr. Stephen Tanner from Swiss Tropicals, for a bit of help in telling us what he thought the catfish were. Thanks to his keen eye and expertise in the unusual, he was able figure out what our mystery fish were!

First up, we have a mid-sized catfish coming from the country of Peru, Hemidoras morrisi “Green Turushuki Cat”. The body shape resembles that of Hassar oriestis “Black-Top Mouse Cat”, but is slightly more elongated. This gives the fish a more torpedo-like body which it most likely utilizes in fast flowing water. There is little known about these rarely imported catfish from the family Doradidae, but from what I have read they grow to be about 5.5”. My guess is that they may grow slightly larger than this in an aquarium.

Hemidoras morrisi

If you don’t like the long snout on the Green Turushuki cat then perhaps you’d like the compressed nose of the Nemadoras leporhinus “Mouse Catfish”. This cat too is very close in appearance to the Black-Top Mouse Cat, but can be told apart by its smaller nose and bone scutes. This fish will grow to be about 3.5” in an aquarium. It is a very shy animal that you will most likely only see at night when the lights, or during feeding time. The best way to get either of these animals to be more active is to keep them in a dimly lit tank with animals that are either not robust, or too aggressive. I would also recommend keeping these cats in a school as opposed to a single specimen. From the looks of it they like to swim together as a whole!

Nemadoras leporhinus

An unusual cat with distinguished body shape that came in our shipment last week was Ageneiosus atronasus “Torito Catfish”. This bizarre looking catfishes face is somewhat flattened out – giving it an almost hammerhead –like appearance. Don’t be alarmed though. These cats are quite peaceful, and would make an excellent addition to your community tank given that you don’t have any tiny fish living in there. They will also appreciate an area to swim around in, so a planted aquarium may not be the best choice for these 5” catfish.

Ageneiosus atronasus

Perhaps it’s the short and dainty that keeps you in love with catfish? Then do I have just the right animal for you - Trachelyichthys exilis “Peruvian Wood Cat”. The compact body structure gives this 3.2” catfish a potbelly full of personality and spunk. These are a shoaling fish by nature and prefer to be kept in numbers that will enjoy a fully planted aquarium. Not only is this a petite catfish that is peaceful, but it’s quite stunning with its leopard print patterns. Here’s a little history lesson for you. The genus, Trachelyichthys, was created in 1974 by Dr. Mees and had one sole specimen, T. decaradiates, found in Guyana. It wasn’t until 1977 that our mentioned fish, T. exilis, was discovered nearly 1100 miles away in Peru. There is a very slight difference between the two fish. T. exilis has its eyes much more forward in the head, and the gill plate is shaped slightly different. Of course this is something that only nerds like me would realize!

Trachelyichthys exilis

As for the diet of these spectacular animals, all of them will be more than happy on a mixture of pellets, flake foods, catfish wafers and a variety of frozen foods. Each one of them would be comfortable in a pH in between 6-7, but could possibly adapt to something a little higher. I’ve already mentioned that all of them are peaceful, and would make a good community fish. That being said I would not put these fish with animals that could possibly fit in their mouths. They are predators after all!

That will be all for this week. You’ll find all these catfish on our current list at, plus many more unusual items. If you have any questions or requests please feel free to contact me via email or phone. Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest!

I’ll talk to you all very soon!

Anthony Perry

Sales Manager

August 30, 2013

Our list is considered to be impressive, and many of you inform me that it’s the best you’ve ever seen, from one shop. Even with all of the fish we import, it’s not enough for us to simply say we have a large stock but we are dedicated to quality. Our company has made it our mission to keep fish that are unique as well as healthy, and we are always on the lookout for new fish to provide. Our suppliers know that we are the first to grab up any new fish that they can catch. When we found out, that some new items were being offered from Peru, we jumped at the chance to receive them and are now excited to pass on these unique offerings to the public.

The first fish that I’d like to discuss with you has been on my wish list for some time now. I’m extremely excited that they are in the shop. I’ve always pictured a school of twenty Iguanodectes purusii  “Slender Tetras” streamlining across a massive 125 gallon aquarium, their silver bodies flashing across the tank as the leader decides to race the entire group. These are rarely imported, making information very limited. Their name Iguanodectes translates into “lizard biter”, in reference to the “lizard-like” body and teeth structure. The reports I’ve read state that 2.5” is the maximum size for most of the genus. The fish we received came in around 2-2.5” already, because of this size I would say that they can grow larger. The Slender Tetras are known to be very peaceful in an aquarium, and appear to like most foods. Sadly, my fish tanks are full, and I won’t be able to take any home for myself. I’m sure that you have more than enough room in your tank!  

Iguanodecte purusii

In my dream tank I always pictured an army of Corydoras awkwardly making their way through the crevices of rocks and wood, in search of food. Corydoras sodalis “False Network Cory” is an armored cat that coming to us from the country of Peru, found in the Rio Yavari, as well as the surrounding streams and creeks. The water is usually cooler (72-79°), and the pH is typically 6-7. The fish should eventually meet a maximum adult size of 2.4”.

Corydoras sodalis

Continuing in the venue of my dream tank, I can picture hanging right above a crevice of a rock, a wild-caught male Apistogramma bitaeniata courting a female. Once the spawning is complete, she’ll defend him away. If the tank is too small, it is advised to remove the male as she may injure him. Even though he is 3” (almost a full inch larger she is), she is a mother, ready to defend her young. These dwarf cichlids feed mainly on frozen daphnia and bloodworms in an aquarium. Flake foods will most likely be ignored, but you may get them to eat pellets. In nature, the pH is very soft and acidic levels around 4.5 are common. In an aquarium, they will adapt well to a neutral pH, but for breeding purposes it may be better to keep the pH on the lower end.

Apistogramma bitaeniata WILD

Unfortunately, I would have to be cautious in my dream tank because those eggs may not last long when the lights go out. Soon after it’s dim in the aquarium a group Trachelyichthys exilis “Pygmy Driftwood Cat” will appear to make a quick snack of our new parents’ potential kids. These 3.2” catfish spend most of their day hiding away from the daylight. Keeping floating plants, to block out some of the light, should help to encourage our little mustached friends to come say “hi” occasionally. The Pygmy Driftwood Cat spends its natural life hanging out in the Rio Nanay tributaries of Peru, and also loves cooler water (72-79°) with a neutral pH, just like our Cory’s.

Trachelyichthys exilis

Be sure to check over the list for any bold items that weren’t on there last week. We’d also like to encourage you to ask about any items that you can’t find on the list. Like I stated at the beginning of this article, we fully endorse bringing in the unusual. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook, or joined us on Pinterest, do so!

Last but not least we were built on the belief of the power of small business. We just entered Intuit Small Business Contest and we are asking everyone to tell your friends, tell your family, tell your pets and VOTE! Vote for our entry, each person can vote once a day. Thanks so much for all your support! (Now image a group of grown adults crossing their fingers and toes like children and you now know what our staff currently looks like).

I hope you enjoyed!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager