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Betta mahachaiensis
Neocaridina heteropoda BLOOD RED

Alex Ploeg †23.07.2014

On July 17thAlex Ploeg, his wife Edith, and their son Robert died at the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over the Ukraine.

Shocked and deeply touched we take fare-well of Alex, Edith and Robert. Alex was our companion for many years, not only as secretary general of OFI but also as a colleague during his years at Aqualog. Owing to his winning personality and his outstanding communication skills he knew marvelously how to bring people together.

What has happened is inconceivable. However, we stay assured that Alex will survive not only in our memories but also in the success of the ornamental fish business: we definitely owe to his unfailing commitment and his great negotiation skills that the first drafts for the European fish health directive (2006/88), disastrous for the ornamental fish business, had not been realized. Due to Alex’ intense and constructive intervention in Brussels a policy has developed, which ensures a reasonable and effective disease control, but still did not needlessly obstruct or even eliminate the international ornamental fish business in Europe. The same applies to Alex’ efforts during the late stage of converting the Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome within the EU. Both would have led to extreme encumbrances of the entire ornamental fish business without Alex’ activities.

Thereby the mutual work of Alex and Edith continues living on every single day in our company and in all other European ornamental fish enterprises as well as the ones related to Europe.

Dear Alex, Dear Edith, we are deeply grateful for that!

Our thoughts are with all those, who were very close to Edith, Alex, Robert and Robin, especially with Miriam and Sandra! And we hope that their death, representative for all the innocent people who lost their lives, may lead to a rethinking of all responsibles in this terrible conflict!

Brachyhypopomus brevirostris23.07.2014

Knifefishes occur in Africa, asia, and South America. However, the knifefishes from the Old World and the knifefishes of the New World are not closely related to each other. From an aquarists point of view all knifefishes are very beautiful to look at. They are elegant swimmers. The extraordinary swimming style - they rather glide through the water, forward and backward, than ordinary swim - led to the popular name "ghost" for some of the species.

Currently we have some very rarely imported species of knifefish in stock. Brachyhypopomus brevirostris is one of these species. It becomes 20-40 cm long but is maximum as thick as a thumb. The species belongs to the family Hypopomidae. B. brevirostris has a wide distribution in South America. Our specimens originate from Peru. Male and females can be best distinguished by the shape of the head. Males also become larger than the females and in intact males there is also a small caudal fin that always lacks in females. However, obviously a great number of predatory fish in South America is specialized in biting off parts of the tail of knifefish. This led to the unique ability of South American knifefish to regenerate the tail inclusive the backbone.

Against conspecifics, Brachyhypopomus brevirostis are quite peaceful. They feed on small invertebrates and take readily all types of usual live and frozen food for ornamental fish. Like all South American knifefishes B. brevirostris has a weak electric organ that is used by the fish like the ultrasonic of bats. It enables the knifefish to swim even in absolute darknes and never bump to anything.

For our customers: the animals have code 210805 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ageneiosus marmoratus23.07.2014

We were able to obtain this very rarely imported species of bottlenose catfish from Peru. A. marmoratus has a very wide distribution in Amazonia. The species is a predator that prefers to feed on live fish. The largest specimen known to science was about 20 cm long (ours are currently 12-15 cm long). It can be suspected that A. marmoratus is only the juvenile of another species of bottlenose catfish, namely A. inermis, because no one ever has found so far sexually active specimens of A. marmoratus. A. inermis becomes about 40-50 cm long.

The males of all species of Ageneiosus develop very large dorsal spines during breeding season and a penis-like organ. During mating the males fixes the female with the dorsal spine. There is an internal fertilization. After the breeding season the dorsal spine becomes casted off, comparable to the antlers of a deer, and the penis-like organ becomes reduced so that males and females cannot be distinguished externally outside the breeding season.

For our customers: the fish have code 203405 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Blind cave tetras18.07.2014

78 years ago a collector of ornamental fish - his name was C. Basil Jordan - discovered a blind species of tetra that lived in a cave in the state of San Louis Potosi in Mexico. Jordan was able to collect 100 specimens of the new fish and managed to bring them to the USA without losing even one specimen. His discovery was a sensation. The blind cave tetra was the first cave species belonging to the tetra family at all! The species was described in a new genus under the name of Anoptichthys jordani, which is translated "Jordan´s eyeless fish".

The species proofed to be very hardy and easy to breed. Today we know that the blind cave tetra can be crossed over generations with the "normal looking" tetra Astyanax fasciatus mexicanus that lives in aboveground waters all over Mexico. This fact was the reason why many scientists said that the blind cave tetra does not represent a species on its own. Nowadays things are looking different again. Most recent scientist accept species concepts rather under evolutionary aspects and so the blind cave tetra is most often named Astyanax jordani now.

Interestingly the species never died out in aquaria since the first importation from 1936 and the ancestors of all specimens kept today are fish from the originally 100 wild collected ones. And the blind cave tetra is not a beauty! The fish we currently have in stock were bred in Singapore, but they also belong to the aquarium population established in 1936.

Blind cave tetras can be kept along with any type of peaceful fish. Their blindness is no handicap at all. Most probably this is the reason why aquarists keep on breeding them: most fish enthusiasts want to study the unique adaptation of the blind cave tetra once in their lifetime.

For our customers: the fish have code 209011 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rhodeus ocellatus17.07.2014

When the talk is about bitterlings one initially thinks for the European Bitterling, Rhodeus amarus, which is currently banned in the UK. In fact, there are more than 70 species of these fascinating brood parasites that deposit their eggs in live freshwater mussels. We were able now to import a species of bitterling from Hongkong that most probably represents the species Rhodeus ocellatus.

The males are extremely colorful and have the typical pimples on the snout and above the eyes that are associated with the breeding season in so many species of cyprinid fish of temperate zones. The females have a dark spot in the dorsal fin and often show at least a small part of the ovipositor that looks a bit like a worm.

Bitterlings can be kept in garden ponds (please make sure that they cannot escape from there in the wild!) or in indoor aquaria. They do very well with water temperatures up to 26°C, but of course no heater is needed to keep these fish. Bitterlings are omnivorous fish that thrive very well with flakes. In nature they feed mainly on algae.

For our customers: the animals have code 802202 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Cyprinella lutrensis (=Notropis lutrensis)15.07.2014

Beautiful Cyprinella lutrensis in stock!

There are many species of small cyprinids in North America, but only very few of them have made a career as ornamental fish. In contrast to the European minnows the Red Shiner (Cyprinella (formerly: Notropis) lutrensis) is a completely undemanding fish and does not need low water temperatures. The species can be kept in outdoor ponds and indoor aquaria likewise. However, no heater is needed. The males look very beautiful, but nowadays even the females become more and more colorful. Currently the fish in the trade are almost exclusively bred ones from Singapore. The maximum length for the species is usually 7 cm, in very rare occasions the fish grow up to 9 cm.

For our customers: the fish have code 867004 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pearl cichlids - German bred ones available!14.07.2014

The Pearl cichlid has been imported and successfully bred in Germany as early as 1902. In the meantime there were several changes regarding the name. Formerly known under the name of Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum it is now a member of the genus Herichthys. It is believed that the large spotted form, which we can offer right now as German bred ones, belongs to the species Herichthys carpinte that originates from Mexico, whereas the small spotted form is thought to represent the "real" Herichthys cyanoguttatum. The latter is the only native cichlid of the US and the northernmost species of cichlid at all.

Sadly Pearl cichlids are almost forgotten nowadays. So we are always glad when once per year one of our breeders offers us this beautiful fish. Currently the animals are 4-5 cm long. However, maximum length for the species reported is about 30 cm. Large specimens are among the most colorful species of cichlid at all!

For our customers: the fish have code 644502 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L-numbers: the season starts for species from the Rio Tapajós!14.07.2014

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