September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

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


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