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Mollienesia sphenops Marble Ancient

Dwarf lampeyes (Fluviphylax) from Venezuela28.01.2015

The miniature lampeyes belonging to the genus Fluviphylax become only 1.5 cm long and are very slender. The delicate animals are very sensitive, so they are hardly ever imported. We are very proud that we were able to manage an importation containing members of that genus from Venezuela. And not enough with this: it also seems that our fish belong to a species new for science! In all 5 species described scientifically so far the anal fin has a higher number of rays. Also the light spots along the lower belly that are present in our fish have not been described yet for any other species of Fluviphylax. The species most similar to our fish is F. obscurum.

So hopefully our new imports will settle well and maybe they will even breed. The sexes can be told apart rather easily (for people with good eyes) by the shape of the ventral fins, which are pointed and prolonged in males and rounded in females.


For our customers: the animals have code 325681 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Acestrorhynchus altus27.01.2015

We obtained most beautiful barracuda tetras from the state of Para in Brazil. They look very similar to the fish we sometimes get from Paraguay. However, the species from Paraguay has been described scientifically as Acestrorhynchus pantaneiro, whereas the type locality for Acestrorhynchus altus is in the state of Para, Brazil.

If Acestrorhynchus pantaneiro and A. altus should proof to belong to the same species, the elder name, A. altus, would be valid. But we still suppose that both species are valid, although looking like twins. It seems that the snout in A. altus is shorter than in A. pantaneiro. Please click here for a picture of A. pantaneiro:

Acestrorhynchus altus becomes about 25 cm long. One should keep this splendid predator best in a group, for against conspecifics the fish are very peaceful.

For our customers: the animals have code 201606 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pao baileyi (= Tetraodon baileyi)26.01.2015

We were able to import one of the most curious species of freshwater pufferfish: Pao baileyi. This species occurs in the rapids of the river Mekong in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia and has been discovered only in 1985. The species attains a maximum length of about 12-15 cm. The strange beard that is developed in some specimens is most probably only sometimes a feature that can be used to sex the fish. There do exist beardless animals that seem to be males (according to the overall proportions) and there are sometimes animals with a small beard that seem to be females. It is only rarely as easy to sex the fishes as it seems from some of our pictures. Anyway, the species is highly variable in respect of coloration, too, not only in respect of the beard.

This variability is connected with the unique lifestyle of the fish. They imitate stones! The puffer sucks with its belly to the ground. Now the function of the beard becomes obvious: this beard imitates algae growing on a stone! If a fish or a shrimp comes along and tries to feed Aufwuchs or algae from the surface of that "stone", it becomes prey of the pufferfish. So a comparably bad swimmer like a pufferfish can survive in the strong current of rapids with a minimum of energy.

Pao baileyi is very aggressive against conspecifics. So one should keep these puffers solitary and put pairs together only for breeding purposes. The hardness and pH of the water is of no meaning, but this puffer needs clean, oxygen-rich water.

For our customers: the animals have code 461254 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in limited numbers only!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Mustang shrimps arrived!26.01.2015

For the first time we can offer the very pretty, black-and-white "Mustang Shrimp". The dwarf shrimps belong - according to the "godfather of dwarf shrimps", Werner Klotz - to the species Paracaridina zijinica. Regarding keeping and breeding they do not differ from the well known dwarf shrimp "Crystal Red".

By the way: this species of dwarf shrimp, the Crystal Red, which is the first dwarf shrimp that appeared in the market at all, finally has been described scientifically under the name of Caridina logemanni Klotz & van Rintelen, 2014, named in honor for the brothers Logemann, well known dwarf shrimp breeders.

And in the very same work, the also very well known Tiger Shrimp has been named as Caridina mariae Klotz & van Rintelen, 2014, dedicated to the wife of Werner Klotz, Maria.

For our customers: Paracaridina zijinica has code 485388 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Klotz, W. & T. van Rintelen (2014): To "bee" or not to be - on some ornamental shrimp from Guangdong Province, Southern China and Hong Kong SAR, with descriptions of three new species. Zootaxa 3889 (2): 151-184

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Dicrossus maculatus - Checkerboard cichlids part 326.01.2015

This splendid dwarf cichlid is known to science since 1875, but almost never found in home aquaria. This is a great pity, because there are hardly any species that are as beautiful as this one and simultaneously as peaceful! Males become around 9 cm long, females about 6 cm.

The animals we currently have in stock originate from the rio Tapajós basin in Brazil. In contrast to its close relative Dicrossus filamentosus (the only member of the genus that is almost permanently available in the trade), D. maculatus is said to prefer white water. However, this has no meaning for the maintenance of D. maculatus in the aquarium. By far of more importance for a successful keeping than hardness and pH are a low level of bacteria in the tank and a gravel composed of fine sand.

However, if one wants to breed this species, almost distilled water (conductivity less than 50 µS/cm) and a pH below 5.5 is necessary, for otherwise the eggs cannot be fertilized and develop. Like all other checkerboard cichlids D. maculatus is polygamous. This means one male mates with several females. The female alone takes care for spawn and offspring.

For our customers: the fish have code 668504 (large) and 668506 (xlg) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: Frank Schäfer and Aqualog archieves

Dicrossus foirni (= sp. Rio Negro): checkerboard cichlids, part 226.01.2015

Finally Dicrossus foirni is available again! This extremely rarely imported dwarf cichlid was formerly known in the hobby under the name of Dicrossus sp. "Rio Negro". These fish are a real eyecatcher when fully grown. Keeping this jewel is not complicated at all, but for breeding extreme water conditions are necessary (pH below 5, hardness practically zero), for otherwise the spawn will not develop. A little movie about that species can be found on our facbook-site:

For our customers: the animals have code 668802 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: Ursula Glaser-Dreyer, Frank Schäfer

Crenicara punctulatum - Checkerboard cichlids, part 126.01.2015

Currently we have several species of checkerboard cichlids (genera Crenicara and Dicrossus) in stock. Most of them are real rarities in the hobby, among them Crenicara punctulatum. We obtained this pretty species from Peru.

Males of Crenicara punctulatum can attain a maximum length of about 12 cm, so this species is not a dwarf cichlid in the strict sense. But as this species is very peaceful the fact that they grow to a bit larger size doesn´t matter too much. Crenicara punctulatum belongs to the very few species of freshwater fish that can change the sex.  As far as it is known, all newborn specimens are females. One can recognize sexually active females easily by the bright orange ventral fins. If no male is present in the tank, the strongest female will change from a functional female to a functional male. This phenomenon is very common in marine coral fish and known under the term of "protogynous hermaphrodism".

Keeping Crenicara punctulatum is pretty easy. However, these fish need a larger place filled with fine sand in the tank. This sand is checked for food day-in and day-out. The species is an open brooder. Males mate with several females. The male has to defend the territory while the females look for the eggs and offspring.

For our customers: the fish have code 669003 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in limited numbers only!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Silver Dollars26.01.2015

Every child has heard about piranhas. Piranhas are predatory tetras. Many horror stories are told about piranhas, most of them lies. The silver dollars are close relatives of the piranhas. They also have sharp or broad teeth, but they use them to bite off pieces of plant material or to crack nuts and seeds.

The medium sized (15-20 cm) species belonging to the genus Metynnis feed mainly on plant material. The members of the genus can be recognized easily by the typical shape of the enormous adipose fin. We could import very pretty young Metynnis from Venezuela, which most probably belong to the species M. orinocensis.

As a bycatch a small number of "red hooks" were sent along with the Metynnis, most probably Myleus rubripinnis. Myleus are seed-crackers. The large mouth and the large teeth are adaptations to that behaviour. Myleus become larger than Metynnis, one should expect that they reach about 25 cm: Adult fish look totally different and are much more colourful than the youngsters. They are perfect show fish for display aquaria.

Only one specimen of another species of Myleus reached us from Paraguay, This fish represents most probably an individual of M. tiete. Even in the very young specimen the very large dorsal and anal fins are very obvious.

For our customers: Metynnis orinocensis has code 268082, Myleus rubripinnis 270401 and Myleus cf. tiete 270521on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

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