Family Thais

Family Thais

According to The Nation, one third of marriages in the United States began online. While that “statistic” seems ludicrous (I’d wager more than a third of marriages in this country began before internet dating was a thing), the sheer number of dating apps available reflects their demand and success. The big execs at Facebook noticed these trends too, and the company is now testing a new dating service in a few, select countries. Just yesterday, the 47 million Facebook users in Thailand began creating their newfangled Facebook Dating profiles in hopes of finding soulmates. While we wait for love at first ‘site’ in the states, let’s honor the burgeoning kinships in Thailand with a few Thai species anyone would swipe right for: Opsarius pulchellus, Oreichthys parvus, and Danio choprae.

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Opsarius pulchellus or “Royal Butterfly Danio”  

-7,486 miles away


-Likes: flowing waters, hardy plants, open swimming space, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, and shoaling with friends.

-Dislikes: buildup of organic wastes and dominant males.

Native to the Chao Phraya River, these danios are found in fast-flowing submontane headwaters. They do best in tanks with variable-sized gravel or sandy substrate, water-worn rocks, driftwood, well-oxygenated flowing water, and lots of open swimming space.  Earning their common name from a beauty befitting royalty or butterflies, they have yellow bodies with dark vertical striping down their lengths, orange bellies, and bright orange, extended pectoral, dorsal, and anal fins. Not for general community aquaria, they are extremely active, and will likely outcompete anything timid. They can be kept with robust tankmates suited to similar environments including large cyprinids or bottom dwellers like loricariids, loaches, or garras. Feeding on both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates in the wild, they go crazy for live and frozen offerings, but will also fare well on high-quality dried products. Waters should be maintained with temperatures between 68 and 75°F, pH of 6.0 to 7.5, and hardness around 36 to 215 ppm.

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Oreichthys parvus, or “High Fin Headstander Barb”

-7,302 miles away


-Likes: Clear, slow-flowing rivers, overhanging vegetation, floating plants, Daphnia, Artemia, and low-key, peaceful communities.

-Dislikes: Boisterous social environments.

Found in many slow-moving stretched of rivers and streams in the Malay peninsular and Mekong basin, O. parvus is shy, but a beloved goofball to those who know them best. Known more commonly as “High Fin Headstander Barbs”, they spend their time with floating with their noses pointed downwards as if in a headstand. Reaching just 2 inches in length, these Thai barbs have slender silver bodies with sail-like black and white rimmed dorsal fins. Extremely peaceful by nature, they can be kept in many community aquaria so long as their tank-mates are of a similar size and disposition. These barbs are gregarious and will form a pecking order within their conspecific group, so be sure to get 5 or more individuals to prevent an unfortunate 1 or 2 from being picked on too relentlessly. Sometimes reluctant feeders, they should be given daily meals of live and/or frozen invertebrates alongside a high-quality dried product. Tank waters are best kept with temperatures of 75 to 82°F, pH between 6.5 and 7.5, and hardness of 90 to 268 ppm.

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Danio choprae, or “Glowlight Danio”

-7,389 miles away


-Likes: Small hill streams, lots of plants, well-furnished environments, jumping, insect larvae, and family.

-Dislikes: Bright light and parenting.

Widely distributed throughout small, rocky hill streams in Thailand, “Glowlight Danios” are extremely popular in the hobby due to their easy compatibility. They don’t have strict water requirements, and do well in decked-out tanks with gravel substrate, variable-sized water-worn rocks, driftwood branches and tangles, lots of vegetation, and tight-fitting lids. Reaching just over 1 inch in length, these cyprinids have yellow bodies with light black striping, a bright pink horizontal stripe right under a bright green stripe, and yellow and black edges along their dorsal, caudal, and pectoral fins. Very peaceful, these danios can be kept in most community tanks alongside others like small cyprinids, tetras, rainbowfish, catfish, and loaches. Generally feeding on insect larvae in the wild, they are easily fed high-quality dried foods in aquaria, but will show best coloration when regularly offered live and frozen fare. Tank waters should be kept with temperatures around 62 to 78°F, pH of 6.0 to 8.0, and hardness between 18 and 215 ppm.

This one’s for all the aquarists out there who have enviously watched their fish pair off only to eat their own fry! Soon you’ll be able to create your own Facebook Dating profile to ‘lure’ in compatible fish-lovers. #MeetMe@TheWetSpot