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June 13, 2014

Good day, folks! I’m sure many of you are aware we breed a lot of cichlids ourselves and one of our newer projects has just come to fruition. In October 2011, our owner was out on business in Germany and when he returned he brought several half-inch Geophagus fry with him. These beautiful fish, the new and rare Geophagus sp. “Aripuana”, have grown and spawned and their first fry are finally large enough to ship.

Geophagus sp Aripuana

There is very little literature out there on this fish that is not in German and as I do not speak German, the pool of knowledge on them is even more limited. The general scope of knowledge indicates that the fish was collected from the Rio Aripuanã in Brazil, specifically above the Dardanelos and Andorinhas waterfalls. The collected fish, as of 2011, had reached about five inches in length and were projected to reach seven to eight inches when fully grown. Native water parameters and actual adult size are absent. Given this dearth of information, we’ve been raising our progenitors for three and a half years (see below for juvenile) and, at about five inches in length, we’ve gathered a pretty good set of information on their care and breeding.

Geophagus sp Aripuana Juvie

Our beautiful group of Geophagus sp. “Aripuana” is housed in a 150 gallon aquarium over the prerequisite sand. The water parameters are kept near our standard – a pH of 7-7.5, low hardness, and a temperature in the upper 70s has kept them in excellent health. These fish will eat nearly anything we throw at them – their favorite foods include awfwuchs gel food from Repashy, brine shrimp, and cichlid pellets. Worms and other very meaty foods are avoided, as they can lead to bloat and other digestive issues with these fish. Their décor is fairly bland – sparse plants, a bit of root wood, slate and a cave are included. The fish don’t care for the cave but it is left in place as its presence helps to break up lines of sight when the males are fussing over each other or over the females (see below).

Geophagus sp Aripuana female

Speaking of the males fussing over the females, these fish are fantastic breeders.   We’ve had five successful spawns from the group, each yielding an average of 35 fry. Whenever the fish receive a big water change, they respond by flirting and displaying to each other endlessly. When the fish have begun to spawn, the eggs are laid on a nearly horizontal piece of slate – unlike many other cichlids that prefer a 45 degree incline or greater, these fish prefer their surface with an angle of around 10 degrees. The Aripuana is a delayed paternal mouthbrooder – the males will hold and protect their fry for about 14 to 15 days before releasing them. The new little Geophagus can be fed fresh-hatched baby brine and crushed flake food and will reach an inch in size after three to six months, dependent on water quality, tank size and feeding regimen, and these little fish should grow to a breeding size of five inches in two to three years.

Geophagus sp Aripuana male

Thank you all for your attention and if you have any questions about these amazing Geophagus sp. “Aripuana”, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Jessica Supalla

 

June 6, 2014

Good day, friends. Unfortunately, we’ve had some issues with bringing in new fish –not with the fish themselves but the timing; our new batch arrived late last night after closing. They’ll have to go through their prerequisite resting period before we make them available – this has provided me with the chance to write about some more common fish! While I’m sure a good portion of you are enjoying the attention to the common, for those that prefer more unusual fish, we’ll return to them soon enough.

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.  Despite the fish being very difficult to sex – basically impossible outside of spawning -- breeding is frequently achieved in home aquaria. A piece of slate or driftwood kept at a high angle between 55° and 80° will provide a suitable surface upon which the female will lay her eggs and little needs to be done to encourage a pair, though conditioning the fish by feeding them profusely with live or frozen food will help them along.

P. scalareis 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 313possible 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.

Temperature:

76°F - 86°F

pH values:

6.0-7.5

Hardness:

0-15 dH

Maximum size:

6” long and 8” high, excluding finnage

Care level:

Easy and undemanding.

Diet:

Omnivorous; tank-raised fish are unfussy.

Aggression level:

Peaceful but may squabble amongst own species or eat small fish. Avoid guppies and other long finned   tankmates.

Aquarium size:

30 gallon tall for breeding pairs, 55 gallon or larger for   communities or groups.

Of course, the wild type coloration of the Silver Angelfish is a long-standing staple in the home aquarium, especially for those looking to set up a natural-looking biotope without bringing in potentially expensive wild fish. Bold black vertical bars run across the fish’s eye and gill plate, from the front edge of the dorsal fin to the front of the anal fin, and from the middle of the dorsal fin to the middle of the anal fin. Fainter grey barring occurs between each of these stripes as well as on the caudal peduncle. This all overlays a shimmering silver body dusted from above with warm brown coloration.

Pterophyllumscalare8

In contrast to the wild Silver Angelfish, Marble Angels come in a variety of colors with broken, irregular or mottled black vertical lines. This can range from large amounts of black over silver or white in the case of the classic Marble, to a small amount over a white and golden tinted body as in the Gold Marble Angel. The markings vary broadly between individual fish, with some featuring a marbling so intense that none of the natural pattern is visible, to a subtler variation where the natural stripes are simply broken or slightly askew.

Pterophyllumscalare1Marble

Pterophyllumscalare6

In contrast, the Half Black Angel features a creamy silver front and a black tail region, the color break occurring just behind the first rays of their dorsal and anal fins. The black and silver proportions can vary greatly between individual fish and some specimens show remnants of the wild form’s vertical black bars as well.

Pterophyllumscalare7

Those with irregular divisions between dark and light regions, often featuring deep silver and dark chocolate coloration and dark heads, are the Smokey Angelfish. These fish are lovely in their unique irregularities and markings.

Pterophyllumscalare3

Lastly, we have the Blushing Angel. A Blushing Angelfish is any whose gill plates are transparent, showing the pink of their gill tissues beneath. The Blush is most visible in pale-colored fish, however, they can come in many different varieties – Gold marble, Platinum and Smokey are common in the Blushing Angels, while dark colors such as Black and intense Marble are unusual.

With such a variety of color morphs available, there’s an angelfish for every taste, ranging from the pure wild-caught fish to the colorful Blue Neon Angels. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these longstanding staples of the aquarium hobby and we’ll see you here next week!

 

May 16, 2014

Good day, my friends!

I’m frequently asked by concerned fishkeepers about our quarantine process for fish, often followed by the question of whether or not they should quarantine our fish before adding them to their established aquaria. So to clarify and also emphasize our own value of healthy fish: whenever we receive new fish, they are kept in quarantine for at least seven days, though we may hold them longer if they need it. When medications are needed, the fish receive the full treatment before leaving quarantine. No fish are removed from quarantine and placed on sale until they are plump, healthy, and active.

Of course, this still leaves the question of whether or not to quarantine our fish, since we’ve already done so. While not strictly necessary with our fish as they have been held long enough for any communicable diseases to be identified and eliminated, it is never a bad idea to quarantine your new pets. This will allow them time to recover from the stress of their journey, whether from our storefront to your home in our local area or from our Online Sales department to any part of the country.
If you obtain fish from more than one source, they may have developed different tolerances to common issues and one group may be carriers of some of these problems – a frequent example of this is ich or whitespot. The stress of shipping can greatly lower a fish’s immune system, just like stress lowers the immune systems of us humans, and they can pick up these issues from your established fish even when the established fish show no signs of illness.

If you don’t have the space to keep quarantine tanks up and running at all times, an excellent alternative to a fragile and heavy glass aquarium is a clear Rubbermaid-type bin. Made of nonreactive plastic and often with a lid included, large volume tubs are relatively inexpensive, especially compared to aquaria, and their plastic lids are easily cut to create gaps for cords, tubing and filters. They are often not suitable for hang-on-back filters due to shape, but an inexpensive sponge filter is perfect for a quarantine setup. Combine this with an adjustable heater and your quarantine tank is ready to go – and ready to stow when your quarantine period is over and the fish finally enter their new home.

Now that I’ve spoken extensively on quarantine procedures, it’s time for the fish. In my attempts to familiarize myself with the vast family of cichlids, I stumbled upon some beautiful images of Cyprichromis a couple of years ago. I was immediately taken by these elegantly shaped and brilliantly colored schooling cichlids. Of course, we didn’t have any adult specimens at the time and, indeed, we haven’t had any of this fish for some time. Luckily, we’ve just gotten stock of two beautiful varieties of CyprichromisC. leptosoma “Chituta” and C. leptosoma “Katete”.   As with many unique fish, I’ve had a bit of trouble finding very specific information on these fish and conflicting reports assign both fish to different species than leptosoma. The “Chituta” type is noted for having a brown body overlain with yellow and blue, brilliant iridescent blue over the top of their head and snout, and electric blue patterned dorsal and anal fins. Their ventrals are marked in white and their tails, as with most Cyprichromis species, can be either yellow or blue.

CyprichromisleptosomaChituta

C. leptosoma “Katete” seems to have a more brightly colored body than that of the Chituta, often displaying brilliant yellow over the belly and cheeks fading to a blue tone over their tail. Their dorsal and anal fins are blue and riddled with deep black markings and thick white edges. Again their tails may be yellow or blue-black like their fins; we’ll not be sure on the tail color of either of these fish until they are mature. Cyprichromis species are very popular additions to the Tanganyikan aquarium, as their somewhat shy and skittish nature seems to make them the perfect dither for other cichlids from the lake. Their brilliant color and tendency to prefer the upper levels of the aquarium helps as well, considering the preference of many Tanganyikan species from the substrate or rocky crevices in the home aquarium.

CyprichromisleptosomaKatete

To accompany your Cyprichromis species, consider perhaps Enantiopus kilesa, a lovely substrate dweller covered lips to tail in iridescent blues and violets with a brilliant yellow chin and black lower fins. The males of this sand-sifting species build complex ‘sand castle’ nests and use their brilliant iridescence to attract females to spawn. These beautiful elongate cichlids grow to about six inches in length and males begin to show their true coloration at 2.5-3 inches.

EnantiopusspKilesa

Thank you all for reading and, for those of you who are fans of Anthony’s photography, we’ve been working hard to expand our image library on Pinterest – be sure to head over and check it out!

Jessica Supalla

May 30, 2014

Good day, friends. I regret to inform everyone that we received no new fish this week! It’s a tragedy, to be sure. However, with no new fish vying for a place in the newsletter’s limited space, I’m excited to focus on a common and much-loved fish: the Bushynose Pleco.

The common Bushynose is a taxonomic mystery. Having been introduced into the hobby in the 1920’s with no recorded collection locations, its identity is a mystery. In the early 2000’s, it was commonly referred to as Ancistrus sp. 3. This was abandoned, a short time after this, when some hobbyists thought that its appearance was quite similar to Ancistrus cirrhosus of the Parana River Basin and that it may be either originally bred from this species or a hybrid of A. cirrhosus and another similar Ancistrus species. Genetic studies have indicated that this is not the case and, with so many unidentified members of the Ancistrus genus roaming South America, it is likely that this aquarium staple will remain unidentified in taxonomy for quite some time to come. The generally accepted moniker for this fish is Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus, indicating its similar appearance to A. cirrhosus while not placing it in a species of its own as A. sp. 3 indicated.

AncistrusspBushynose

As a longstanding member of the fish hobby, the common Ancistrus has been bred into numerous ornamental strains. Each variety, however, features their namesake beautiful, bizarre fleshy growths upon the snout of the mature males. Some basics on this fish are broken down below:

Temperature:

71°F - 80°F

pH values:

5.8-7.5

Hardness:

1-16 dGH

Maximum size:

4-5”

Care level:

Easy and undemanding.

Diet:

Algae, awfwuchs, meaty foods.

Provide bogwood for grazing.

Aggression level:

Peaceful, males may be territorial if housed

in too small a space.

Aquarium size:

20 gallons for a single specimen or breeding

pair, 40 gallons for a small group.


The common color form of this fish is a brown fish mottled with lighter and darker regions of color, with light white to yellow spots patterning its upper back and fins. A white rim borders the back edge of their caudal and dorsal fins. There is a bit of variation between individuals – some specimens appear more grey or black, while others tend towards brown or olive tones.

Color morphs of the Bushynose pleco can be grouped by tone or distance from the natural coloration. Those closest to natural coloration include the “Green Dragon” color morph – a mottled fish with a cast of forest green, olive, and khaki.

AncistrusspGreenDragon

In the brown to red tones, we begin with the Calico Ancistrus, a beautiful fish of orange with mottling of brown. Each specimen is unique and beautiful in its patterning. Some have more complex patterning with smaller regions of brown and orange, whilst some have large, bold separations of pattern.

AncistrusspCalico

It is suspected that the Super Red Ancistruswas developed by breeding the Calico strain to eliminate the brown coloration. These fish are gorgeous, bright orange as juveniles, and maturing to a slightly more ruddy coloration, though they will remain brilliantly colored for their entire lives.

AncistrusspSuperRed

One of the most common color morphs of Ancistrus in the market is the Albino Bushynose, a pale pinkish variety with semi translucent scales and skin and red eyes. Small white spots adorn their backs, as with the common, Green Dragon and Lemon Drop Ancistrus. We commonly stock both short and long finned varieties, the latter of which are bred by one of our managers.

AncistrusspAlbino1

There is another albino morph on the market, one that is new to us. It is known as the Large Spot Albino Bushynose – it is very similar to the standard Albino Ancistrus but, as the name implies, the white spots on its dorsal side are much larger and more distinct than that of the standard Albino.

AncistrusspBigSpotAlbino

Finally, we come to the strange bright yellow Blue Eye Ancistrus– a leucistic or xanthic variety that can range from pale yellow as a juvenile to brilliant sunflower as an adult. Their eyes, unlike those of the Albino Ancistrus, are silvery blue with black pupils. This color morph is a reduction of all pigmentation, known as leucism, as opposed to the reduction or lack of melanin that causes albinism.

AncistrusspBlueEye

I hope everyone learned some new information about the Bushynose Pleco and as usual thanks for reading. I can’t wait to talk about some new wonders next week!

Jessica Supalla

May 9, 2014

Good day, friends! As I mentioned last week, we’ve had quite a plethora of new fish come in that we’ve never had or have not had in a very long time. I was excited to see on the list two species of Cyprichromis, native to Lake Tanganyika, as well as Uaru amphiacanthoides and Ivanacara adoketa of South America. I did mention last week our new stock of wild-caught Apistogramma species – I hope you’re excited to read about some of them!

The Apistogramma genus of cichlids is incredibly diverse – over 70 described species occupy the waters of South America with numerous species yet to be examined and named. Each species is classified into a variety of groups, subgroups and complexes based on their similarities to other species within the genus. While these classifications are not standardized, some relations between species are quite curious when compared to the ancient waterways of the Amazon – related groups that inhabit fully separate rivers and regions would once have been part of the same geographical population. It’s quite possible that the diverse speciation of the Apistogramma genus has resulted from division of populations by the changing geography of the antique Amazon drainage.

Apistogramma agassizii “Flamenco” is an absolutely stunning wild color morph. Its dorsal edge is dark brown, fading down the flanks to a creamy white belly. Their sides are graced with a bold black lateral line, bounded above and below with striking blue iridescence. A pleasing yellow-orange coloration caps their heads. Their dorsal fin, extended at its posterior end, is a brilliant display of yellow color, bordered at the body in black and rimmed in orange. The extended anal and ventral fins are ultramarine blue and accented with the same bright orange. Finally, the spade-shaped caudal fin has nested striping with exterior blue-white edges and interior red-orange regions each bordered in black. Flamenco Apisto females reach a mature length of just over two inches, while males are just shy of three. They enjoy warm water around 80 degrees Fahrenheit with quite acidic water.

ApistogrammaagassiziFlamencoMale

Apistogramma baenschi “Inka”, like A. cacatuoides, features a heavily-extended dorsal fin with numerous long rays. Males display brilliant blue lustrous coloration across their flanks and cheeks, as well as over the majority of their dorsal fins. The crowns of their heads are vivid yellow and this coloration continues through the extended rays of their dorsal fins, as well as across their caudal and anal fins. Mature specimens show a dazzling red trailing edge on their round caudal fin as well. The Inka is a smaller species with males just over two inches and females a bit under two inches. Cooler temperatures in the mid to high 70s are preferred, along with acidic pH values.

ApistogrammabaenschiInkaWILD

I truly like Apistogramma bitaeniata “Shushupe”. Its body is long and slender like A. agassizi, but its highly extended dorsal fin and lyre-shaped caudal fin are reminiscent of A. cacatuoides – the best of both worlds! Its body is marked with a striking pair of dark lines bordered above by pale pearly white. Their fins are layered in yellows, oranges and blues and iridescent green-blue reticulations cover their cheeks. The Shushupe prefers particularly warm water around 80 degrees Fahrenheit with acidic pH values. Males grow to just under three inches and females just over two.

ApistogrammabitaeniataShushupeWILDPAIR

One last treat for you all – a wild-caught, undescribed Peruvian tetra! Hyphessobrycon sp. “Bleeding Blue Tetra” is a gorgeous, thick bodied fish, similar in body shape and coloration to Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi “Black Neon Tetra”, with the exception of a brilliant blue iridescent sheen over the entirety of their flanks. In addition, males feature orange regions at the top of their eye – once more similar to the Black Neon- and bright cherry red caudal fin coloration. Females, on the other hand, have a much yellower tone to their eyes and distinctly lemon yellow caudal fin coloration. I would expect these remarkable, beautiful tetras to grow to one and a half to two inches in length and enjoy neutral to acidic, upper 70s water temperatures. These Bleeding Blue Tetras are definitely an unusual find – I would love to take home a school myself.

HyphessobryconspBleedingBlue

Thank you all for reading; it’s always a pleasure to write about fish for you all. If you have any requests for subjects in the newsletter, don’t hesitate to drop me a line and let me know!

Jessica Supalla

May 23, 2014

Good day, folks. It’s been a cool week but it’s warming up here, just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. Please keep in mind, Monday is a shipping holiday – we’ll resume shipping on Tuesday. We’ll also resume Priority shipping via USPS, for those of you who have been waiting.

Corydoras sp. “CW 009” “Laser Green” and C. sp. “CW 010” “Laser Orange” are some of the most striking Corys on the market today. Both varieties are a beautiful deep bronze color with warm burnt orange fins. Each displays a shining stripe along each side of the top edge of their body from the back of the head to just before the caudal peduncle. In the Laser Orange Cory, this stripe is neon orange and complimented by a belly as carrot colored as its fins; the Laser Green Cory has aqua green stripes and a slightly paler, yellower belly. While there is little hard evidence on these species available, it is likely that they will grow to about two inches. Like all Corydoras species, house these extra-special fish over a sandy substrate and provide overhanging décor for them to shade under.

Corydoras sp Lazer Green1

Corydoras sp Lazer Orange2

Marosatherina ladigesi “Celebes Rainbow”, one of my favorite Rainbowfish, is back in stock this week! Hailing from the island of Sulawesi, it is the only species in its genus and sports the most amazing coloration. Celebes Rainbows have silver-blue bodies with a brilliant blue stripe from midway down their body to their caudal fin. Said caudal fin is dark blue with yellow stripes running along the top and bottom of the fin and tipped gracefully with white. The anal and dorsal fins are striped in yellow and deep blue and, on the males, develop amazing extensions. M. ladigesi’s ventral fins are blue-white and their pectorals and head area are a brilliant yellow. Females are similarly patterned, though with slightly muted coloration. This beautiful Rainbowfish doesn’t grow beyond 3.2” in length and prefers hard, slightly alkaline water. Ideal tankmates include similarly-sized Rainbowfish, livebearers, and freshwater goby species.

Marosatherina ladigesi1

I’m so excited that we once again have wild-caught Astronotus ocellatus “Wild Oscar”. These wild-caught Oscars are absolutely gorgeous and their color patterns have become somewhat rare in the hobby with the popularity of color morphs such as red and tiger Oscars. The wild coloration of the Oscar is a beautiful marbling of dark brown to black markings over a base color of tan or olive, with amazing highlights of yellows, oranges and reds that are unique to each individual. The caudal fin’s base features the namesake black spot rimmed in brilliant orange or red. With an aggressive nature and a full grown size of about 12 inches, plus or minus a couple inches, the Oscar is best suited to being a lone specimen in a large aquarium of 55 gallons or more. While many of us aquarists prefer aquaria full of life and interest, it’s good to note that the Oscar is an intelligent and friendly fish – they are known for learning to recognize their owners and become particularly attached to them throughout their lifespan of over ten years. Oscars are definitely predators and enjoy hunting live foods such as shrimp, blackworms, earth worms, and feeder fish. These amazing fish should be fed a varied diet that includes both these live foods, frozen foods, and prepared cichlid pellets to ensure proper vitamin intake.

Astronotus ocellatus WILD1

I’ve saved the cutest for last this week. Formerly of the genus Tatia, the pudgy and round-faced Centromochlus perugiae “Oil Cat” is possibly one of the most adorable catfish I have ever laid eyes upon. Their plump, white bodies are honeycombed on flanks and dorsal side with interlocking brown spots. The body shape of the Oil Cat is atypical for its riverine habits – they are fond, in general, of fairly turbulent shallow water with few plants and a sandy substrate. Oil Cats are nocturnal and tend to spend much of the day wedged into small cracks and crevices of wood or rockwork – be sure to provide hiding places for their comfort. A water temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and neutral pH values will be suitable for these cuties.

Centromochlus perugiae

Thank you all for reading and please, have a fun and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Jessica Supalla

May 2, 2014

Happy Friday, friends! As the seasons change, so do the fish available to us. As spring moseys along, we’ve had access to several new fish, many I haven’t seen in some time and I’m having trouble narrowing down my choices! I’d like to mention some that didn’t make the cut this week or are still in quarantine as they have just come through our doors – Uaru amphiacanthoides, Danio jaintianensis, wild Apistogramma cacatuoides, and two more Polynemus multifilis “Paradise Threadfin”. Our P. multifilis was shipped out as soon as its quarantine period was over so if you have been waiting for these beautiful fish to come along, let us know as soon as possible! Now, on to what we have ready and waiting for you to take home.

Nanochromis parilus “Nudiceps” has come to us from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This dwarf West African cichlid shows the typical sexual dimorphism of its nearby cousins, the Pelvicachromis species. Females are shorter and thicker of body than males with the brilliant purple-pink belly we all adore. Their dorsal fins are arguably lovelier than those of the male, with a bold, outstanding white stripe along its length, the coloration of which is carried across the upper edge of their caudal fins. This is bordered below on the caudal fin with brilliant, lightly spotted yellow and the lower two thirds of the females’ caudal fins are bare and translucent. Both males and females have wonderful golden-olive colored bodies with a brilliant blue iridescence upon their sides, just behind their pectoral fins. An L-shaped region of concentrated blue coloration borders their eyes below and behind. A brilliant cherry red band rests above their large eyes. Males’ dorsal fins are heavily patterned in stripes of black and yellow and again this coloration continues into the upper portion of their caudal fins. The rest of their caudal fins as well as their anal fins show outstanding vertical red and white barring, creating a gorgeous contrast of color. With a full grown size of approximately three inches and a sedate nature, a 20 gallon long aquarium would house a pair happily. Unfortunately, while generally a peaceful fish, individual pairs are quite aggressive to other members of their own species so, in a group setting, two square feet of substrate space should be allowed per pair. In nature, these fish prefer neutral to slightly acidic water with temperatures right around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

NannochromisparilusNudicepsFemaleNannochromisparilusNudicepsMale

As a relatively peaceful fish, the Nudiceps cichlid can be kept with a fair number of tankmates including small and gentle tetras and barbs. “Barbus” fasciolatus “African Fire Barb”, with a preference for similar water parameters and an adult size of about two inches, would be an excellent option. While resting, these long and barbeled fish show a beautiful honey gold to pumpkin orange coloration, marked with a series of ten to fifteen vertical black bars and notable red-orange blotches in their unpaired fins. A content and happy male, especially when in the presence of females, will darken to a stunning shade of rusty red with a pale, cream-colored belly.

Barbusfasciolatus1

One of those awesome wild Apistos we received is Apistogramma pantolone, a lyretailed Panduro type described in 2006. Males are a beautiful cream color with beautiful fins – their dorsal is trimmed in red, their anal fin brilliant blue, and each fin is tipped in sunflower yellow or, in some specimens, bright orange. Their caudal fins feature brilliant extensions at their outermost rays, setting them far apart from their round tailed cousins. When resting, the males show bold black spots at the caudal peduncle and mid-body, as well as a diagonal black tear line across their eye and gill plate. Females are sunflower yellow from snout to tail with thicker black spots and tear lines, as well as blatant black patches at the front of both their dorsal and ventral fins. The female’s caudal fin is also lyre-shaped, though not to the extent of the male, and she shows a very faint rim of orange along the edge of her dorsal fin. A. pantolone, as its cousins, will likely grow to two to three inches with males the larger of the sexes.

ApistogrammapantaloneWILDPAIR

Should you choose to keep these with a school of dither fish or in a loosely-arranged community, one of our recommendations is Aphyocharax rathbuni "Green Fire Tetra". This particular tetra has a fairly long and lean body, much closer in shape to the popular Neon and Cardinal Tetras than the full-bodied Bleeding Heart or Serpae Tetra. This slender fish has a beautiful green body color with a bold red stripe on the caudal half of its ventral side. The brilliant red covers the entire area above the anal fin and fades into the caudal peduncle. Often the red will also mark the base of the anal and caudal fins and the anal, ventral, and dorsal fins will be tipped in bright white. Green Fire Tetras grow to just under two inches in length and enjoy well-planted aquaria with neutral pH and a temperature between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Take care to keep this gorgeous characin in a sizeable school in order to view its best colors and natural behaviors.

Aphyocharaxrathbun2i

Thank you once again for reading and remember to check out our social media for updates throughout the week!

Jessica Supalla