Wet Spot Tropical Fish: Blog https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog en-us (C) Wet Spot Tropical Fish [email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:01:00 GMT Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:01:00 GMT https://www.wetspotgallery.com/img/s/v-12/u920988905-o1059313020-50.jpg Wet Spot Tropical Fish: Blog https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog 120 80 September 26, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/9/3-fish-spotlight-blog

September 26, 2014

Happy Friday, folks! This week is all about one fish – the incredibly popular and entertaining South American Puffer.

Colomesus asellus has many common names, including South American Puffer (or SAP), Amazon or Amazonian Puffer, Asell’s Puffer or Colombian/Peruvian Striped Puffer. Occasionally, it is known as the Nice Puffer or the Community Puffer – these adorable, 3-inch pufferfish enjoy the company of others of their own species and will generally not harass tankmates as they explore their home. Their brilliant yellow and black banding over their dorsal side and quick, darting motions bring to mind bumblebees.

South American Puffers are incredibly intelligent and personable fish – they learn to recognize their owners (at least, those who feed and interact with them) by both sight and sound and will often come to greet them at the front of the aquarium when they enter the room. A complex environment with smooth décor such as large root wood structures, flat rocks and plenty of plants for the fish to explore and sand for them to both search for food and bury themselves in, is greatly appreciated. Shuffling the décor on occasion and providing a varied diet (including live and frozen foods such as frozen Mysis shrimp and live snails) can keep these intelligent creatures (and their owner) entertained as they explore the new layout of their home.

Pufferfish, including the South American Puffer, are molluscivores – their primary diet in the wild is snails and other shelled creatures. The fish possess modified “beaks” composed of two upper and two lower teeth with enough strength to crack through thick shells. These teeth continue to grow over the course of their lives and, therefore, shelled food should be provided on a regular basis to help wear down their beaks. C. asellus are known for their remarkably fast-growing beaks and are best fed hard-shelled food at least once every few days to help wear them down.

With such an active tendency and relatively delicate temperament – Puffers are scaleless fish and somewhat sensitive to many medications and buildup of organic wastes – a moderately sized aquarium, preferably 25 gallons or larger, should be maintained with regular water changes for a group of three to six Colombian Striped Puffers. Larger groups should be housed in larger aquariums. A single Colombian Striped Puffer can be kept in about 15 gallons comfortably, but may become shy, nervous, or display neurotic behavior when kept individually.

While C. asellus is a comparatively peaceful and non-aggressive fish and can often be housed in community aquaria, they are notorious fin nippers and should not be kept with slow moving or long finned fish. Good choices include Plecostomus, quick and large tetras such as Cardinals or Rummynose, and other short finned or quick fish.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you back here next week!

Jessica Supalla


[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/9/3-fish-spotlight-blog Fri, 26 Sep 2014 08:30:00 GMT
September 12, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/9/209-september-12-2014

September 12, 2014

Welcome to the weekend, folks! It’s that time of year – in just about one month we will be celebrating our 15th anniversary here at the Wet Spot and, in light of this, we’ve decided to offer some very nice (specials, coupons, discounts, savings, contests) to all of you who keep up with our newsletter. A coupon and code word will be located at the end of the newsletter – reference it in your email or phone call to receive this week’s special!

We’re between shipments of fish this week and with the influx of fish relaxed somewhat, I thought I would try something special and feature the favorite fish of our Online Sales Team. I’m fairly certain our fish selection says something about us as people, though I’m not sure exactly to what extent. Nevertheless, it definitely shows that we are just as interested in the personality of our fish as we are their looks.

I briefly introduced Gabe, our new fish wrangling associate, when he joined our team. Of course, he’s far from the visible proceedings of our team and works in the background to make sure your shipments are properly caught and packed. He’s a rather laid-back fellow with a penchant for wordplay and puns and is fairly retiring until something sparks his interest. His current favorite fish, Dysichthys coracoideus “Banjo Cat”, has a very similar temperament. Gabe is especially taken by their feeding habits – the sedate and still camouflage specialists will stay as still as a piece of bogwood or leaf litter until their daily portion of worms is dropped into the corner of their holding tank. Rather than moving en masse to feed, the attention of the group seems to radiate from the food, spreading like a wave of motion across the aquarium until they are all in a slow-motion frenzy of munching on their bloodworms. Our current specimens are healthy and large – at least three inches in length. With a maximum size of six inches, these fish are well on their way to adulthood. The Colombian Banjo Cat is a strangely shaped fish with a broad, diamond-shaped body as viewed from above, marked leaf-like pectoral fins, and a long tail. Vertically they are highly compressed with their dorsal side slightly larger than the ventral side. Complex patterns of black, brown, white and grey tones mark this fish’ flat dorsal side. This natural leaf litter camouflage is one of the greatest draws of this strange species. These peaceful fish prefer sandy substrates and temperatures from 70 to 80 Fahrenheit and a fairly neutral pH.

5Dysichthys coracoideus - Banjo Cat

Any of you who contact us by phone have likely dealt with our Sales Representative Chelsea – she’s outgoing, nerdy and creative. Chelsea also works part time as a dog trainer and attends Portland University with a goal to finish a degree in Photography by next summer. She does love all things cute and adorable and in her opinion, Mikrogeophagus altispinosa “Bolivian Ram” is definitely one of the cutest fish in the world. Their feisty yet relatively peaceful personality seems to match hers well, which may explain some of her love for them. The Bolivian Ram is definitely neither new nor rare to the hobby but is often overlooked for the bright color morphs of its close cousin, M. ramirezi “German Blue Ram”.   The Bolivian Ram is a beautiful little fish with a honey to amber colored body. A black tear stripe runs from the fish’s eye to the bottom edge of its gill plate and a single black spot marks their flank at mid-body. Red fin edges and an assortment of spots and leading black edges make these fish a sight to behold. There are a lot of rumors about how to sex this dwarf cichlid; however, there is no proven way to do so until the fish is fully grown and sexually mature. The males will then be slightly larger than the females. Enhanced coloration, fin extensions, pointed fins and blue sheens over the flank spot are all visible in subadults and juveniles of both sexes. A group of six will make a perfect addition to a sedate community aquarium with some peaceful Corydoras and calm tetras such as Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi “Black Neon Tetra”.

4Mikrogeophagus altispinosus - Bolivian Ram

The vast majority of you are familiar with our Online Sales Manager, Anthony, and perhaps only the newest customers haven’t spoken with him at one time or another. Even though he’s no longer answering phone calls or emails, he’s still very active with each and every order -- catching and bagging fish, quality control, and on top of that taking the vast majority of the beautiful images we have for our fish. Anthony is a consummate individual: his sense of style lies outside any known genre, his moustache is the stuff of legends (or one may think so with how much he talks about it), and he is dead-set on catching the largest fall Chinook salmon he can from the Columbia River system – no luck yet, but we’re all hoping to chow down on some nice salmon when he succeeds. Likewise, we’re all familiar with his deep love of Geophaginae, in particular, Satanoperca daemon “Spotted Demonfish”. Anthony rightly describes the Satanoperca’s distinctive long face as somewhat cartoonish. Their colors -- a beautiful checking of iridescent blue over bronze, blue color on the upper fins and red on the lower fins -- are truly stunning. Add to that the immense filamentous extensions in their ventral and dorsal fins and an unmistakable black eye spot at the base of the caudal fin and you get one amazingly unique and gorgeous fish. Of course, their Geophaginae habits of constantly grazing through the substrate, picking up mouthfuls of sand and letting it fall through their gills, provide us with hours of rapt study, marveling at the forces of evolution to produce such a perfect and unique substrate sifting fish as this.

Likewise, if you’ve been reading the newsletter for any length of time or even if today is your first, you’ve met me. I’m not a big fan of speaking about myself and prefer to let my writing tell its own story. Nevertheless, one of my very favorite fish is Trichogaster chuna “Honey Dwarf Gourami” (Surprising to everyone, it is not a Betta species). T. chuna is a former member of the now defunct Colisa genus and an amazing 2 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 their colors to each other in shows of dominance as well as to draw the attention of females. Gouramis have modified ventral fins of great lengths -- They rely on these as an additional sensory organ, used by tapping objects with their ventral fins. When the object is another fish this 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.

2Trichogaster chuna - Honey Gourami

There exists in the hobby a beautiful color morph – 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 fish 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.

Thank you for reading once again and I do hope this gives you a bit of insight into our Online Sales team, what makes us tick and what we love about our fish.

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/9/209-september-12-2014 Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:30:00 GMT
August 22, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/8/208-august-22-2014

August 22, 2014

I won’t suggest you try to say Tahuantinsuyoa macantzatza three times fast – most of us here at the Wet Spot can hardly say it once. It’s much easier to call this fish by its common name, the “Inka Stone Fish”. These dwarf-type cichlids from Peru were only described in 1986 and are still incredibly rare in the hobby. Their maximum length of four inches and relatively undemanding care make them an excellent option for the South American Cichlid enthusiast. Neutral to slightly acidic, fairly soft water in standard tropical temperatures should keep the Inka Stone Fish happy. Be wary, however – these fish develop a definite hierarchy as they mature and a brooding pair will relentlessly defend their territory and fry. When a pair forms from a young group, it is best to remove the rest of the fish to another tank and leave the pair to their own devices. The pair will prefer to brood on movable pieces of furniture such as small, lightweight pieces of shale or leaf litter that they can clean and arrange to their liking. As biparental mouthbrooders, both the male and female Stone Fish will care for the young. However, shortly after the fry are of swimming age, it appears likely in the literature that one of the pair will take over sole responsibility for the fry and turn on their mate. Because of this, a brooding parent should again be removed and not reintroduced until the fry are old enough to fend for themselves in a grow-out tank. Reintroducing the pair should be done with the greatest of care and attention. Overall, these beautiful cichlids appear to be unfussy eaters and spawning reports are not particularly isolated. If you care to call us and ask about them, feel free to forego the scientific name – we definitely do around here. On the other hand, if you are confident in your ability to pronounce their name, we’d love to hear that, too!

TahuantinsuyoamacantzatzaWILDTahuantinsuyoa macantzatza - Inka Stone Fish

Aside from these fabulous cichlids, we’ve gotten many species of wild Peruvian Corydoras. Of our many new species, featured both last week and this in our New Fish section, I wanted to feature just a few – Corydoras sp. C127, brought in as C. cortesi, Corydoras pastazensis and the similar Corydoras orcesi “Johanna Cory”. All three are saddle-nosed Corydoras with long, dished faces and extended barbels. They all grow to an adult size of about two and three quarters of an inch and enjoy neutral to slightly acidic water. Typical tropical temperatures around 77 degrees Fahrenheit will keep them in good condition and a sandy substrate will allow them to root around for food as they do in the wild without damaging their delicate barbels.

Corydoras sp. C127 is the outlier off the trio with a pale body and dark back, reminiscent of C. fowleri or C. semiaquilus. Their slate coloration extends over the top of their face to the front of their gill plates and terminates irregularly along their lateral line. Their gill plates in particular are graced with iridescent coloration, flashing gold or green in the proper light.

CorydorasorcesiCorydoras orcesi - Bonita Cory

Corydoras orcesi was once thought to be a subspecies of C. pastazensis but is generally accepted as its own species now, though there are still some who believe its status as its own species is unwarranted. They are indeed very similar species – each one has a buff base color with a bold black stripe crossing vertically over their eye as well as down their body from their leading dorsal ray. Both feature white caudal fins with thin vertical black barring. The greatest visual distinction between the species is in the patterning on their sides – Corydoras orcesi is marked by large black spots while C. pastazensis is peppered with tiny black speckles.

CorydoraspastazensisCorydoras pastazensis - Pastaza Cory

We received many more than these four fish in the past few weeks, so be sure to check out the new fish list on the right side of the screen. Thank you for reading and we’ll see you back here next week!

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/8/208-august-22-2014 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:30:00 GMT
August 15, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/8/207-august-15-2014

August 15, 2014

Happy Friday, folks! I found my way out of the forest and back to the office and man, we’ve received some amazing fish while I was away! There’s so many that, as usual, I can’t write about them all, but I’ve tried to include as many as possible in our New Fish List to the right of your screen.   In the meantime, however, let’s talk about some of our unique Loricariids fresh off the plane.

Baryancistrus xanthellus “Gold Nugget Pleco” is a very popular specimen in the hobby thanks to its striking appearance. I must admit that I was a little surprised to learn that there is more than one distinct color morph of the species, each with their own L-numbers. We received two of the different L-numbered B. xanthellus this past week – our usual L018 “Gold Nugget” from the Rio Xingu, as well as L177 “Iriri Gold Nugget ” from the Xingu’s tributary, the Rio Iriri.

BaryancistrusxanthellusL018Baryancistrus xanthellus "Gold Nugget" L018

BaryancistrusxanthellusL177Baryancistrus xanthellus "Iriri Gold Nugget" L177

With a basic color of dark brown to black, both of the Gold Nuggets are decorated with a dramatic splattering of sunny yellow spots and accented with yellow borders at the rear of the dorsal and caudal fins. The yellow spots of the typical L018 Gold Nugget are small and delicate compared to the larger polka dots of the L177 Iriri Gold Nugget. As the fish grow towards their nine and a half inch adult length, these spots grow more numerous and intricate in pattern. With looks like these, it’s not surprising that aquarists love the Gold Nugget Pleco and the Iriri Gold Nugget looks to be no exception.

This grazing species of pleco eats aufwuchs – microorganisms and algae that grows in a film on submerged surfaces – and will appreciate a diet heavy on vegetables with treats of meaty fare such as bloodworms, blackworms, or frozen prawns when they are larger. B. xanthellus can be very territorial with other bottom dwelling fish and quite aggressive to other members of its own species, but with so much color, just one of either of these beautiful Gold Nuggets will make an excellent centerpiece for a large aquarium.

Another beautiful centerpiece plecostomus for your larger aquarium is either of the gorgeous Pseudacanthicus species we just got in, L024 “Red Fin Cactus Pleco” of the Rio Tocantins and L025 “Scarlet Cactus Pleco” found in the Rio Xingu. Their shared common name of ‘Cactus Pleco’ is due to the extensive odontodal and denticular growth on both their fin rays and scales. Males show extensive odontes than females, particularly on their pectoral fin rays. Females, on the other hand, grow to be much more full-bodied than the fairly slender males.

PseudacanthicusspL024Pseudacanthicus sp. "Red Fin Cactus Pleco" L024

L024, the Red Fin Cactus Pleco, is a lovely brown olive green in body color with orange to red fins. Some specimens appear to show spotting in their dorsal and anal fins and some show significant red coloration on their pectoral and ventral fins while others show none. Ours are still young so we are not entirely sure what colors their bodies will be when they age, but they do show brilliant red coloration in their pectoral and ventral fins. They are the smaller of the two species, reaching just less than 12 inches in length.

PseudacanthicusspL025Pseudacanthicus sp. "Scarlet Cactus Pleco" L025

In contrast, L025, the Scarlet Cactus Pleco, grows to over seventeen inches in length for the largest specimens. They are significantly bolder in pattern than their Red Finned cousins, with deep chocolate body coloration marked with black spots over their heads. These spots organize into lateral stripes down the entirety of their body and tail. The center of the caudal fin and the rear of each other fin carry this coloration with bold spots, while the leading and outside edges are all scarlet red. Their eyes are also slightly hooded in form, giving them a bit of a scowling expression that I find quite endearing.

Both species enjoy moderate temperature values neither over 80 degrees nor below 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Shady rests should be provided as both species, especially L025, may be quite shy during the daytime. Pseudacanthicus spp. are carnivores and seem to particularly relish shrimp, prawns and mussels. A bit of vegetable matter to balance their diet is a good treat for these beautiful fish. Both species are very territorial from a young age and other bottom dwellers, especially those that are nocturnal, should be avoided.   The Cactus Plecos’ array of spines and hooks can do quite a bit of damage if they decide to quarrel with another fish!

PseudacanthicusspL354Spectracanthicus sp. "Large Spot Pleco" L354

Finally, we’ve gotten a very unusual pleco worth mentioning – Spectracanthicus sp. “Large Spot Pleco”, L354. Until recently this was known as a member of the Oligancistrus genus but its conjoined dorsal and adipose fins indicate it belongs to another genus altogether. Other diagnostic criteria have set it apart from Baryancistrus by their teeth and from Parancistrus due to its comparatively small gill opening. This is an unusual fish to see in the hobby and is not kept by many aquarists. With a maximum length of around four inches and a preference for temperatures between 75 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, this little carnivore is suitable for a wide range of aquaria, unlike the very large Pseudacanthicus spp. mentioned above.

That’s all for today! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these wonderful and unusual Loricariids or any of our other fish. Thank you for reading!

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/8/207-august-15-2014 Fri, 15 Aug 2014 08:30:00 GMT
August 8, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/8/206-august-8-2014

August 8, 2014

I’m back! That’s right. I haven’t gone anywhere in the shop, other than to change duties and continue to keep up with orders and providing quality fish to you with the help of my employee, Gabe. With Jess on a hiatus this week, being lost somewhere in the Oregon woods, it gives me an opportunity to fill your heads with more South America! This week we have a treat for you…

For the first time this year, we are very proud to offer one of my personal favorite dwarf cichlids, Dicrossus filamentosa “Checkerboard Cichlid” hailing from the countries of Colombia and Venezuela. In these lands filled with vast jungles, the Checkerboard Cichlid is found in small streams among the tributaries of the Rio’s Inírida, Maripa, and the Orinoco basin. The bottoms of these forest streams are typically flooded with leaf litter, roots from the trees, and soft sands. There are virtually no plants, with the exception of some near the bank.

Despite the lack of “greens” in their homeland, the Checkerboard is a very popular fish for the planted aquaria. This is due to the incredible colors packed into such a petite animal. Maturing around 3-3.5”, males display remarkable reds, blues, and greens that flicker like a starry night in the desert against their bold checkerboard patterned bodies. The caudal fins on the males grow long, almost lyretail-like extensions. While the females stay around the 2-2.5”, with less remarkable markings, they do develop bright salmon red ventral fins to attract their potential mate.

DicrossusfilamentosusfemaleDicrossus filamentosa - Checkerboard Cichlid

When a pair is ready to spawn, they will clean off a large leaf or rock to spawn upon. I found that using Anubius barteri or a related species works the best for this. Keeping a group of about 6 individuals in a 20 gallon tank allows pairs to “naturally” form. Reports state that if you are attempting to breed them you’ll need a pH below 5. However, I have found that a range of 6-6.5 (these conditions are also ideal for long term housing) works just as well. The temperature needs to be between 82-84° in order for the eggs to hatch properly after a couple of days. Once they hatch, you may introduce Artemia to rear the fry. Of course, separating the parents from the babies is the best method to allow for the best survival rate.

Now a tank full of little cichlids is grand and all, but most hobbyists are probably not going to dedicate space to one particular item. You’re probably wondering what other fish you can keep with them at this point. As these fish come from South America, other small cichlids from that of the Apistogramma family work well, provided that your tank is large enough. I would recommend these if you have a tank at least 4 feet in diameter and have provided enough hiding places for both. Small Characins such as Paracheirodon simulans “Green Neon Tetra” make wonderful occupants to hang about our shy dwarf cichlids as well. I will say that this week our Green Neons came in at a wonderful size and are more than ready to ship with the Checkerboards!

ParacheirodonsimulansgroupParacheirodon simulans - Green Neon Tetra

I hope you enjoyed hearing from me this week. I know my style of writing is a bit different than Jess’, so thank you all for reading. Be sure to check our stock list for new items, and I’ll be happy to start bagging these up for you on Monday!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anthony Perry

Sales Manager

The Wet Spot Tropical Fish

4310 NE Hancock St.

Portland, OR. 97213

PH: 503.719.7003

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/8/206-august-8-2014 Fri, 08 Aug 2014 08:30:00 GMT
August 1, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/8/205-august-1-2014

August 1, 2014

Happy Friday, folks! It’s shaping up to be a lovely summer this year here in Oregon and I am planning to spend the next several days up in our coastal mountain range, playing with Cutthroat and Steelhead Trout fry in the rivers. Chelsea will be your main contact for the next week and you may also receive some communications from Anthony or Gabe.


I know that these aren’t trout, but we have so many beautiful Tanganyikan Shelldwellers that it seemed like a great idea to talk about them this week. I’ve gotten Anthony to take some beautiful new pictures of our available species as well. The so-called Shellies are some of the easiest Tanganyikans and generally stay small and relatively docile, can be kept in groups in a species tank or as a substrate dweller beneath upper-level Tanganyikans. Within the Shellies there are two genera, ‘Lamprologus’ and Telmatochromis. The ‘Lamprologus’ species shall be my focus this week, but rest assured, we also have some gorgeous Telmatochromis vittatus as well.

‘Lamprologus’ species in general are consumers of zooplankton and invertebrates in the wild. In your home aquarium, however, they will accept many prepared foods including flake, small pellets, and frozen fare. Aquarium décor of a sandy substrate and an assortment of suitably sized empty shells – at least one shell per fish is a good rule. Alkaline pH values between 8.5 and 9.5 and temperatures in the upper 70s suit ‘Lamprologus’ species as well.


For the most part, males reach just under two and a half inches, while females will top out at about one inch shorter. ‘L’. multifasciatus is the exception with an adult size of just under two inches for males and females of an inch and a half maximum. A ten gallon tank is suitable for a single pair of ‘Lamprologus’, whilst a group will need a larger space.

Bonded pairs of ‘Lamprologus’ brevis will share a single shell. Other species prefer to dwell on their own, each in their own shell. ‘Lamprologus’ multifasciatus enjoys communal living and is best kept in a large group with a big pile of shells. The other species prefer widely spaced shells about ten inches apart as they are comparatively territorial. Don’t be surprised to arrive at your tank’s front one day to find a cloud of fry emerging from the shell around their parent!

Well, that’s it for this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our Shellies and Anthony’s gorgeous photographs. I’ll see you back here in two weeks!

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/8/205-august-1-2014 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:30:00 GMT
July 25, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/7/204-july-25-2014

July 25, 2014

Happy Friday, dear readers. I know you all are getting antsy for our next batch of Geophagus sp. “Aripuana”, but they’re not quite ready yet. Hopefully, it will just be another two to three weeks on these guys to grow to a safe shipping size. They are truly adorable at their little 0.5” size, but we want them to be safe and sound on their trip to you. Rest assured, I will let you all know as soon as they are ready.

In the meantime, we’re also very proud of our breeding colony of ‘Geophagus’ crassilabris “Panamanian Eartheater” – these absolutely beautiful Red Humps were the first to be described in their complex, known currently as the ‘G.’ steindachneri group of fish. The group is easily distinguished from other Geophaginae by their shallowly sloped foreheads, protrusive yet underslung mouths, sited eyes and large red nuchal humps in mature males.

‘G’ steindachneri is fairly common in the hobby and, in fact, we have both wild and F1 specimens available now. ‘G’ crassilabris, on the other hand, is not often seen. Adults are set apart from their Red hump cousins primarily by their large, fleshy, blue-black lips. If your juveniles look undistinguishable from your young ‘G’ steindachneri, rest assured that they will develop their blue lips with age and we are very careful to send you the correct Red Humps. The overall body color of G. crassilabris is bronze under most lighting: differing light sources and spectra may more strongly reveal red tones or the brilliant blue iridescent scale markings and broken black lateral stripe.

The opercular plates of the male are brilliant red behind bronze-orange cheeks, as is the leading edge of his face. His anal and dorsal fins show bright red coloration and longer lobes than those of the females. The nuchal hump at the crest of his forehead is brilliant bronze and may vary in size based on the presence of other males and females – it appears to be mostly composed of highly elastic blood vessels and connective tissue which could allow it to change size as the fish is motivated to do so. Interestingly, the dominant male of a group will have a negligible hump and the subdominant males will have the largest, most imposing nuchal humps as displays with which to vie against the dominant fish and others muscling for rank within the group. The most subordinate males will often show no hump whatsoever and adopt female coloration in order to avoid the dominance squabbles of the stronger males. On that note, the females are usually uniformly bronze in flank and cheek coloration with brown-colored foreheads and only a hint of a red border to their dorsal fin.

Care of ‘Geophagus’ crassilabris is quite easy – the fact that they are tank-raised means they are quite stable fish. They are perfectly happy in the usual tropical aquarium. A pH value between 7.0 and 7.5, warm 70’s Fahrenheit, and good water quality will keep them in good condition. Feed a varied diet including some meat and plenty of vegetable matter. Too much protein can cause them to bloat or have other digestion issues, so the protein contained in a mixed community or cichlid flake is plenty and it should not be supplemented with worms or other meaty sources.

These fish have been fantastic breeders for us and the temporary pairs formed during spawning will put on quite a show with the male shimmying, shaking, and snapping his lips to encourage the female on. The female broods the eggs and larvae for an average of 17 days until they are ready to swim free, while the male will depart and is perfectly happy to pair with a different female. The young fry can be housed in a sponge filtered grow out tank and fed on Artemia and fresh-hatched baby brine and are best fed several times a day with daily partial water changes to encourage the fastest growth.

That’s all for today; I hope you’ve enjoyed this little write-up on our ‘Geophagus’ crassilabris. If you have any further questions on them or any other fish, please don’t hesitate to email or call us. Once again, thank you for reading and I look forward to writing for you again next week.

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/7/204-july-25-2014 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:30:00 GMT
July 18, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/7/203-july-18-2014

July 18, 2014

Good day, friends! With nearly 300 species of fish known in the Western Ghats drainage and nearly half of them endemic and found nowhere else in the world, I felt it was prudent to continue our discussion of this amazing hotspot of biodiversity. As though the multitude of fish wasn’t enough, the Western Ghats Mountains are home to over 4,000 different flowering plants, 500 birds, almost 300 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 120 mammals.

Dawkinsia assimilis2

Dawkinsia assimilis “Mascara Barb” is a close relative of the Rohan’s Tear Spot Barb mentioned last week. It originates in the same general geographic location and carries similar markings and body shape, as well as also being a riverine species and enjoying similar water parameters. However, the Mascara Barb is about an inch longer than the Rohan’s Tear Spot when full grown and has some marked differences in coloration. While the Rohani’s tail spot continues into the caudal fin proper, a distinct break occurs between the oval spot and the caudal fin in the Mascara Barb. Additionally, the Mascara’s caudal fins are tipped in black and red with the majority of the fin being devoid of color. The dorsal of adult males is bright red with little to no black coloration, though it does feature filamentous extensions. The most notable characteristic of the mascara barb is an oblong black spot over the eye, skewed towards the back of the gill plate. While still carrying iridescent scale edges over the dorsal half of the body, the base color of D. assimilis is much more yellow than that of D. rohani and contains some red scales, particularly along the lateral line. Finally, the ventral half of the body shows many iridescent blue scales.

Pethia setnaiPethia setnai - Indigo Barb

Pethia setnai malePethia setnai - Indigo Barb

Pethia setnai “Narayan’s Barb” is a plump two and a half inch schooling fish with a body shape akin to the ever-popular Tiger Barb. Females (as well as sub-adults and younger) are a beautiful cream color with distinct black bars behind the head and just before the caudal fin. A third diffused black bar marking occurs at the rear of the dorsal fin and extends down past the fish’s midline. The dorsal fin is touched with a hint of pumpkin orange and all other finnage is transparent. The slightly smaller and slimmer adult males feature persimmon red coloration over every fin as well as their dorsal edge, as well as brilliant white leading edges to their ventral fins. Like most barbs, Narayan’s Barb is quite peaceful and well-behaved and is suitable for nearly any community aquarium. P. setnai tends to congregate aside hillstreams in pools or slower-flowing deep areas. With a preference for low to mid 70s Fahrenheit, neutral pH and fairly low hardness, this fish epitomizes the mountain drainages it hails from.

Garra flavatra, the “Panda Garra”, is a beautiful addition to any moderately-sized Western Ghats hillstream tank. This sucker-mouthed cyprinid has a beautiful olive-brown coloration with defined dark scale edges, ribbons of yellow across its dorsal edge, and brilliant red unpaired fins. Its underslung mouth is used to scrape algae and awfwuchs from smooth rocks and surfaces, though it also enjoys a treat of meaty foods such as bloodworms and other invertebrates. A maximum length of about three and a half inches makes a small group of this shoaling fish suitable for an aquarium with a three foot footprint. As a shoaling species, the Panda Garra may be territorial with other fish of a similar shape to them, such as Ancistrus, gobies, or loaches. To avoid these squabbles, a group of G. flavatra should be kept, allowing them to establish a pecking order and bicker amongst themselves for territories. A neutral pH and temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit will suit the Panda Garra.

Laubuca dadiburjori groupNeochela dadyburjori - Orange Hatchet

Laubuca dadiburjori “Orange Hatchet” is a schooling Cyprinid that prefers to occupy the upper levels of the aquarium. It has a lovely orange-yellow coloration with an iridescent blue line running laterally from nose to tail. As the line approaches the fish’s head, it becomes broken into a series of spots on many specimens. Its pectoral fins are reminiscent of a true hatchetfish with an upturned angle; however, it is not a true hatchet. It is a unique little fish for any suitable Western Ghats biotope aquarium lacking in upper level excitement. Adults are just over an inch in length when full grown and the species prefers low to mid-70s temperatures and neutral pH values.

With the end of today, Lia will move on to greater things in her life. Her position as our Sales Associate and Phone Representative has passed to Chelsea and I do hope you will give her a warm welcome. With the help of Chelsea and our new Floor Associate, Gabe, Anthony and I can continue to supply you with the best quality freshwater fish in the country.

If you have any comments or constructive criticism on our test newsletter format, please do let me know. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you back here next week!

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/7/203-july-18-2014 Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:30:00 GMT
July 11, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/7/202-july-11-2014

July 11, 2014

Good day! I’ve recently been studying the Western Ghats mountain drainages of India. These drainages are so diverse in piscine life that I could write for hours without running out of fish we stock from these habitats. Of course, I don’t want to bore you all with too many fish (is there such a thing?), so I will leave out some of these fish, such as Barilius canarensis, Dawkinsia assimilis and Garra flavatra. If you would like me to write on these three and more next week to round out the region’s overview, please let me know and I would be more than happy to oblige! Now, we shall proceed to my selections from the fish of the Western Ghats.

What write-up of the Ghats would be complete without the absolutely stunning Puntius denisoni “Roseline Shark” or “Red Line Torpedo Barb”? This species has long been a favorite in the aquarium hobby due to is amazing coloration and peaceful nature. The body shape of P. denisoni is elongate and tapered to a very pointed snout and narrow tail; a base color similar to driftwood is accented with a thick black lateral line running from mouth to caudal peduncle. From the snout to mid-body, this black line is decorated above by a stunning cherry red stripe, the color of which is reiterated in the leading edge of the fish’s dorsal fin. Their two lobed tails are marked at the ends with bright sunflower yellow, black, and tips of white. The Roseline Shark is more at home in reasonable current. While torrential water speeds are not required, pristine water, and high levels of oxygenation are strongly advised. This beautiful fish is happy in water with temperatures anywhere between 60 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, neutral pH and low to moderate hardness. As a schooling species, these fish are best kept in groups of five or more – smaller groups may result in conspecific aggression.


Dawkinsia rohani “Rohan’s Tear Spot Barb” is a stunning barb – it has a beautifully almond-shaped body with large eyes and a large black teardrop shaped marking along its tail. This spreads along the interior edge of the caudal fin, creating something of a Y-shaped pattern. The rest of the caudal fin, in adult specimens, is a beautiful cherry red, as is the anal fin. The dorsal fin of the male grows long filamentous extensions as he ages, each ray colored black with hints of cherry red between. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this fish’s coloration is, despite having a rosy body color, the presence of iridescent scale edges. The adult Rohani flashes with greens, blues and yellows as it swims with its fellow barbs through a nicely planted aquarium. When the male courts a female of his choice, his cheeks and chin will flush rosy pink. These gorgeous barbs are riverine fish, preferring significant current and water between 65 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. While the Rohan’s Tear Spot Barb can grow to nearly four inches in length, it is a perfect gentleman in a community aquarium, though very small fish should be avoided – tank mates of two inches or larger are recommended. While a school of these fish may look striking with other Dawkinsia species, there is speculation that the Dawkinsia genus can interbreed, so this is probably best avoided.

Bariliusbakeri1Barilius bakeri - Royal Trout Danio

An even larger cyprinid from the area is Barilius bakeri “Royal Spotted Hill Trout”. These are gorgeous, amazingly colored five to six inch riverine fish. Their silvery blue body flashes with yellow and red tones as they swim and is marked along their lateral line with vertically elongate blue spots. Their fins transition from translucent at the edge of the body to a deep black and are tipped in brilliant white. The Royal Spotted Hill Trout should be maintained in groups of five or more as they are a shoaling species and, like P. denisoni, small groups can lead to aggression. Like the Roseline Shark, B. bakeri enjoys cool water between 65 and 78 degrees with a relatively neutral pH.

MesonoemacheilustriangulaisMesonoemacheilus triangulais - Zodiac/Batik Loach

Mesonoemacheilus triangularis “Batik Loach” is a gorgeous little bottom dweller. This loach reaches two and a half inches maximum size and has the most amazing patterning – a dark brown body is marked with lighter spots bordered in fine black. The similarity of this pattern to wax-resistant dyed fabric, a technique known as batik, is the source of this loach’s common name. Its fins, head, and caudal edge are overlaid with red tones. The Batik Loach can be slightly territorial so be sure to provide plenty of hiding places with caves, driftwood and overhanging rocks. As a hillstream species, M. triangularis prefers higher currents, coarse sand or gravel substrates, and temperatures from 68 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit and neutral pH. This beautiful loach, provided feeding is done with care, would make an excellent companion to any of the above cyprinids.

It is my regret to inform you that Lia Woolf, our Sales Associate and eBay specialist for the past many months, is leaving us next week. It’s been wonderful to work with her for this time and we’re going to miss her wholeheartedly. I hope you’ll join us in wishing her a fond farewell and excellent fortune in her future.

Thank you all for reading and, as usual, comments and constructive criticism are always welcome. We’re working on a new newsletter layout to be implemented soon.

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/7/202-july-11-2014 Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:30:00 GMT
July 4, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/7/201-july-4-2014

Happy Fourth of July, folks! We’ll be trying out a couple small changes to the newsletter format and features; please let me know what you think. Now, we’ve received many new fish the past couple weeks and I’ve chosen a few to discuss this week. Remember, if you have any questions about our other recent acquisitions or long-time staples, don’t hesitate to ask!

Astronotus ocellatus “Oscar” is quite common in the hobby, and we’ve been lucky enough to be able to offer both tank raised and wild specimens. At the moment we are really excited to be stocking wild-caught Astronotus crassipinnis “Big Eye Oscar”. This fish is rarely seen in the hobby and really does have large eyes, especially notable as we house them next to our wild A. ocellatus. This fish's rarity means that there isn’t a great amount of information on them. The Big Eye Oscar has reportedly been collected in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru, specifically in the Paraguay drainage and Parana River Basin. The largest specimen caught in the wild was just over nine-ten inches in length. Unfortunately, for those of us who wish the Big Eye Oscar actually stayed this small for the sake of requiring less space, it is unknown if this is the full adult size. Their basic features such as body shape, finnage and coloration are very similar to the common Oscar, but the fish tend to be a bit more dark and olive than A. ocellatus at adulthood. Red coloration around the tail ocellata is just as visible, but little to no red is seen on the rest of the body. Most notable when comparing this fish side by side with its close cousin, however, is its larger eyes.   For all intents and purposes, care of this fish should mimic that provided for the more common Oscar – a 55 gallon aquarium for one specimen should be provided, given its uncertain adult size, and water should be neutral to slightly acidic with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s Fahrenheit.

Astronotus crassipinnis

Moving on to the upper Amazon basin in northern Peru, we find a really fantastic Loricariid catfish, Pterosturisoma microps “Antenna Loricaria”. These are very similar to the Sturisoma, Lamontichthys and Farlowella species commonly known as the Twig Cats. Its snout is shorter than most twig cats but its tail is just as long and narrow. The outer rays of both their pectoral and caudal fins are greatly extended with the pectoral filaments already nearly half the size of their elongate bodies. Its armor-like scales are mottled black and dark grey-brown with a bit of light grey marbling – in contrast with the brownish dark patches, this marbling can appear almost blue. While exhibiting a small amount of sexual dimorphism in the markings on their bellies, breeding has never been reported in the home aquarium. These fish will grow to just over six inches in length, excluding their caudal fin and its extensions, and enjoys warm water from 76 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the pH values neutral for the fish’s comfort and provide plenty of vegetable matter for this fish – blanched peas are said to be especially relished.

Pterosturisoma microps2Antenna Cat - Pterosturisoma microps

Finally, a fish just identified in 2006 in the Congo River Basin: Nanochromis teugelsi, formerly sp. “Kasai” for its type locality in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This absolutely beautiful fish is a golden fish with iridescent green coloration over the cheeks and flanks, pale pink bellies on the males, and red bars above their eyes. Their fins are golden and bordered in black and white or, in the case of the caudal fin, striped in yellow, black, and blue. Zero to three black spots may be evident in the male’s extended dorsal fin. Females are comparatively rotund with the typical iridescent purple belly coloration of their close West African cichlids. A large black spot dominates the dorsal fin. The upper lips of both males and females are colored brilliant orange. This fish has readily bred in the home aquarium. They are pair bonding cave spawners, as typical for their genus, and will care for their brood for from five to seven weeks. While specific water parameters are hard to find for this fish, their collection location is generally described as tropical blackwater conditions with plenty of plants and a sandy substrate. With that in mind, our wild-caught specimens are acclimated to our fairly soft, 7.5 pH water, but may be content in more acidic conditions.

Nannochromis teugelsi

Thank you for reading and, please, let me know what you think of our newsletter format changes. Additionally, I’d like to let you all know that we have resumed offering Saturday deliveries via UPS Next Day Air.

Jessica Supalla


[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/7/201-july-4-2014 Fri, 04 Jul 2014 08:30:00 GMT
June 27, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/6/200-june-27-2014

Good day, folks! It may finally be summer, but here in Portland we’ve been having rainstorms all week. While not good for walking about, these rainy days can be useful for fish hobbyists – the resulting drop in barometric pressure at the beginning of a storm, or even the smaller dip that occurs approximately every two days in our area, can be combined with a well-timed water change using cooler water. This simulation of a monsoon encourages many fish to flirt and breed in the home aquarium.

Speaking of monsoons, the rainy season has come to South America and with it we’ve lost access to many fish. Despite being out of season, though, we’ve gotten a fair number of Hatchetfish coming in these past few weeks, including some species we don’t see very often. They’re limited in stock, but it’s been so long since we’ve had any of these species that I felt it prudent to mention them.

The popular hatchetfish are members of the only family of fish known to use powered flight - achieved by beating its pectoral fins like a bird's wings.  The hatchet's incredibly strong pectoral muscles account for approximately 25% of its body weight, allowing a fish as small as the Marble Hatchet Fish (topping out at only an inch and a half) to fly for several yards before reentering the water.  In general, these fish prefer a temperature of 75°F to 82°F, a pH between 5.0 and 7.5, and a minimal hardness of between 0 and 10 degrees. 

We typically only seeCarnegiella marthae "Marthae Hatchet Fish" once or twice a year, and this year has thus far been no exception. These little hatchets grow to barely over an inch and show very intricate patterns of black over their translucent silver bodies. The fish’s ventral edge, from just behind their gill plate to the end of their caudal peduncle, is rimmed in a thin black line. Concentric broken black stripes follow the curve of the gill plate, echoing across the keep of the fish to the back of its body. The fish’s lateral line is colored with thin black and silver stripes and its face is adorned with rippling black stripes. Finally, lending to its common name of the Black Winged Hatchetfish, its pectoral fins are bisected by deep black stripes.

Gasteropelecus maculatus “Black Spotted Hatchet Fish” is seen even less often. This hatchet is much larger, often arriving at two or more inches in length and growing to nearly four inches as an adult. It has a deep silver body, again rimmed at the ventral edge in black, though not to the same extent as the Marthae, and shows a dark lateral line with bold black spotting above and below. Their faces are marked with black, especially around the lips and below the eye. The base of their dorsal fin is as well bordered in black. These big, beautiful fish are sure to make an impact in any moderate to large sized aquarium.

Gasteropelecusmaculatus1Gasteropelecus maculatus - Spotted Hatchet Fish

That’s all for this week; now it is time for us to don our rain coats and head home for the weekend. I’ll see you back here next week!

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/6/200-june-27-2014 Fri, 27 Jun 2014 08:30:00 GMT
June 20, 2014 https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/6/199-june-20-2014

Good day, folks! This week our newsletter is going to be short and sweet, and all about our beautiful Metynnis roosevelti “Spotted Silver Dollar”.

The Spotted Silver Dollar has been described by science for over 100 years and has, along with its plain Silver Dollar cousins, been exceedingly popular due to its shining appearance and peaceful nature. The members of the Metynnis genus which are popular in the hobby range in length from five to seven inches. The Spotted Silver Dollar is a smaller sized Metynnis species, growing to just over five inches from snout to caudal peduncle, and shows diffuse dark grey spotting over its silver flanks.

As with all Silver Dollars, this is a schooling fish and prefers to be kept in a group of six or more – for a happy school of this size, a four to five foot long tank should be employed, allowing them ample swimming room. While plant and driftwood décor will suit the fish’s preferences, keep in mind that these are herbivores and they will eat just about any aquatic plant – plastic or silk plants are a good alternative.

Speaking of being plant-eaters, these fish need quite a bit of greenery in their diets – be sure to provide such food as spirulina flake, algae wafers, or blanched cucumber, peas or zucchini. M. roosevelti will definitely appreciate the occasional treat of bloodworms or brine shrimp as well. The Spotted Silver Dollar is a tolerant species as far as water parameters go – temperatures from the low 70s to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit will suit the fish, as will slightly acidic to neutral pH values, generally between 6 and 7.5 or so.

Thank you for reading and we’ll see you next week!

Jessica Supalla

[email protected] (Wet Spot Tropical Fish) Newsletter https://www.wetspotgallery.com/blog/2014/6/199-june-20-2014 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 08:30:00 GMT