10. Catfishes (690)

Myoglanis koepckei

20. September 2023

This small catfish, unique in its combination of characteristics, originates from Peru. There it was collected (scientifically) for the first time in 1984 in a small tributary of the Rio Nanay, which had sandy bottom covered with debris (probably dead wood, dead leaves etc). The scientific description was then in 1999 as Myoglanis koepckei. In the ornamental fish trade this species is offered only very sporadically in small numbers. For us these are the first specimen at all, which we could import.

The largest specimen that has been scientifically measured so far was 5.9 cm long (without caudal fin). The specimen photographed for this post is about that size, rather slightly larger, and measures (with caudal fin) about 7.5 cm. Noticeable are the numerous and large pores in the head area and on the forebody, which strangely are not mentioned at all in the scientific description. These pores are highly sensitive sensory organs. Body shape and just these pores (they are electroreceptors, with which extremely weak electric currents are perceived, as they arise, for example, during the muscle movement of a small worm) strongly remind of the conditions in Gymnallabes (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/10-catfishes/gymnallabes-typus-2/). Although Myoglanis and Gymnallabes are not related; they probably have a similar lifestyle. 

For our customers: the animals have code 271223 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale. Only available in very small quantities!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Peckoltia sp. L265/LDA84

15. September 2023

There are three forms of orange fringed plecos among L catfishes, namely L76 (tributaries of Rio do Pará, Brazil), L99 (also tributaries of Rio do Pará, Brazil), and L265 (Rio Tajajós and its tributary Rio Jamanxin, Brazil). Thus, all sites are located within the state of Pará. L265 has also received LDA number 84 after being assigned an L number. All of these animals have in common that the otherwise largely unpatterned dorsal and caudal fin has an orange fringe. Individually the body pattern can be quite different, therefore the various L- and LDA-numbers. But always one recognizes a pattern of four broad, dark bars on the flanks. In L265/LDA84 the body plates are conspicuously dark bordered.

The pretty animals become 12-15 cm long and belong to the peaceful representatives of the family. The dentition shows that they are unspecialized omnivores, which in the aquarium especially like to accept frozen food of animal origin, but should also get the usual vegeabilic food. Like so many central Amazonian loricariids they like a combination of strong current and comparatively warm water (28-30°C). They are typical cave breeders with a father family.

The assignment of L76, L99 and L265 to the genus Peckoltia is only provisional; because of the orange fin seams a relationship with Ancistomus snethlagae is occasionally suspected. But it is surely more meaningful to wait for a scientific treatment of the animals, than to speculate wildly concerning the genus affiliation.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 265-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Brochis splendens “Peru“

13. September 2023

From the upper Amazonas drainage in Peru we regularly receive the beautiful emerald catfish, Brochis splendens. From this region no less than four synonyms of this armored catfish, distributed in three genera (Brochis, Chaenothorax and Corydoras) were described by the famous biologist Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1897)! This shows very clearly how different the fish can look. The type specimen of the species Callichthys splendens (today: Brochis splendens) described by Castelnau in 1855 came from the Rio Tocantins in Brazil. It is agreed that there are several species behind the name Brochis splendens, but a comprehensive revision of the species does not exist at present.

At least it is quite interesting that just in a tank with Peru imports we noticed animals with small dots in the dorsal fin. This fin is usually completely transparent in B. splendens. At the same time one male developed – possibly because of the unusually high water temperatures due to the current heat wave – a courtship dress and distinctly long extended pectoral fin spines. The courtship dress is shown by a darkening of the body, a brightening of the head area and both zones are sharply separated by a bright vertical line. The matching female (and the other animals in the tank), on the other hand, continues to show the usual shiny emerald green coloration.

In terms of care, Brochis splendens does not differ significantly from most Corydoras species. You should keep these fish in a group (from 6 specimens upwards). The tank should not be too small, because B. splendens can reach almost 10 cm length. The bottom should consist of fine, soft sand at least in places. Every usual ornamental fish food is eaten. The Corydoras are completely peaceful against all co-inhabitants. Every tap water suitable as drinking water is suitable for the care, the water temperature can be between 18 and 28°C.

For our customers: the animals have code 212505 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras ortegai (CW31)

8. September 2023

This cute corydoras is relatively new. It was scientifically described only in 2007. In the hobby it was known a bit longer as “Loreto Panda”, “New Panda” and under the code number CW31. The CW-numbers are assigned on the homepage of Ian Fuller (https://www.corydorasworld.com/).

The complete distribution of the pretty species is not yet known. The locality of the specimens used for scientific description was in the drainage of the Rio Putumayo. This river rises in southern Colombia, forms the border between Colombia, Ecuador and Peru in places, continues through Peru into Brazil (where it is called Rio Içá) and finally flows into the Amazon. In total, the Rio Putumayo is over 2,000 km long. 

Corydoras ortegai does not inhabit black or clear water, but has been found in the turbid white water of the Rio Yaguas (a tributary of the Putumayo in Peru). Aquaristically the species is excellent and could be bred already, but it is not very productive, so that the small number of offspring does not (yet) appear in the trade, but is distributed among enthusiasts. Males become about 4 cm, females about 4.5 cm long (standard length without tail fin).

For our customers: the animals 238302 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras loretoensis

1. September 2023

The extremely great popularity of the Corydoras in aquaristics is certainly due to the combination of peacefulness, usefulness and nice appearance that these fish combine. They all have these characteristics, and so you really can’t go far wrong when it comes to deciding which species to choose for your aquarium.

But there are subtle differences nonetheless. Some species grow larger than others, some are particularly sensitive, some like it rather cool, others warm, still others swim more in the open water and also the swarm cohesion is differently pronounced. Corydoras loretoensis originates from Peru, more precisely from the department of Loreto – hence its name. It becomes (without tail fin) maximally 4.5-5 cm long. The temperature requirements are in the range of 22-26°C, the adaptability to different water values is very good. C. loretoensis belongs to the bottom dwellers with particularly large swarm cohesion. Therefore it should be kept in groups of 7 specimens or more.

For our customers: the animals have code 233603 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Brachyplatystoma capapretum

16. August 2023

The genus Brachyplatystoma is called “Goliath Catfishes” in English, because some of its species belong to the largest freshwater fishes at all: up to 3.6 m length are given in literature! In South America they are ubiquitous and important food fish, of which more than 30,000 tons are consumed annually. Nevertheless, distinguishing the species is almost impossible in some cases, and the species we present here was even scientifically recorded and named only in 2005! In fact, there is no one in the entire world who could confidently distinguish Brachyplatystoma capapretum and B. filamentosum from live specimens or photographs. The difference lies in the dentition. Since both species can occur in the same habitat, also the knowledge of the origin is of no use for identification attempts. The specimens shown here are from Colombia. Our decision in favor of B. capapretum in the present case is based on the upper jaw dentition, which seems to us more similar to B. capapretum than to B. filamentosum. But of course we cannot be really sure either. The relatively small spots on the body speak rather for B. filamentosum, in B. capapretum they are often larger. But since very small juveniles (up to about 3 cm body length) of both species have no spots at all, this characteristic is very unreliable.

No matter which species it is exactly: both become huge! So they are only suitable for really large aquariums and zoological gardens. Although the maximum length of B. capapretum is stated to be “only” 120 cm (that of B. filamentosum three times as long), this is probably based simply on the fact that before 2005 all large goliath catfishes were assigned to B. filamentosum. Due to massive (and threatening!) fishing pressure, even specimens of B. filamentosum over 120 cm long have been downright rarities in the wild since the 1990s.

The extremely long maxillary barbels of our fish are tremendously impressive, reaching a good 13-14 cm in length at about 7-8 cm body length (about 9-10 cm with caudal fin without caudal fin filament). What these long barbels are for is unknown. In any case they are very sensitive to touch and it seems important to us to point out to interested people that you should offer these animals aquariums with as large a surface area as possible (length and depth, the height is not so essential) without significant furnishings. However, a sandy bottom is vital, otherwise sooner or later bacterial infections will set in on the belly of the fish. The aquarium should be only dimly lit, if necessary this can be achieved by a floating plant cover. Brachyplatystoma are fish eaters from an early age. After acclimation they will accept almost any coarse frozen food in the aquarium, but for the beginning well kept, healthy (!) food fish are the best choice. Among themselves our animals are peaceful.

For our customers: the animals have code 211052 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sp. CW 89/CW 106

4. August 2023

The Rio Vaupés – so the Spanish spelling – or Rio Uaupes – that is the Portuguese one – is a “small” right tributary of the Rio Negro. After all, the “little one” has a length of 1,375 km! It rises in Colombia in the foothills of the Andes and forms the state border with the Brazilian state of Amazonas at a distance of about 150 km downstream from Mitú, where it flows into the Rio Negro about 40 km south of Icana. Aquaristically, it has been known for a long time that many peculiarities occur in the Rio Vaupes. Among them are also four armored catfishes, which however became known only in the last years: CW 89 (long snout, narrow dorsal band), CW91 (round snout to CW 89), CW106 (long snout, wider dorsal band and shorter snout than CW89), CW107 (round snout, wider dorsal band than CW91). They are found in Colombia, about 40 km east of Mitú, at least according to the exporters.

Unfortunately the mentioned distinguishing characteristics are not really constant. The more animals one gets to see, the more intermediate forms become recognizable, as it is known from other Rio Negro Corydoras. Especially the width of the dorsal band varies enormously. That is why we do not distinguish between CW89 and CW106 in the trade.

Now we have received particularly attractive animals, which are clearly more CW 106 because of the very broad dorsal band. Interesting is also the sexual dimorphism, the female is only indistinctly recognizable as a longnose. We are now eagerly waiting for when the first offspring will be offered and how they will look like.

For our customers: the CW 89/CW 106 have code 236105 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Baryancistrus xanthellus L81c Sao Felix

21. July 2023

The great hype surrounding L catfish has long since given way to normal handling of these beautiful and interesting fish. One of the enduringly popular species is Baryancistrus xanthellus, which entered the hobby under L numbers L18, L81 and L177. The species is common and frequent in the Rio Xingu and its tributaries. Nevertheless, it is considered “near threatened” because it is affected by the construction of the Belo Monte dam.

While adult B. xanthellus (these got the number L85) look pretty much the same everywhere, the attractive juveniles, as they mainly come into the trade, differ quite considerably depending on their origin. This explains the different L-numbers: We have now received divergently colored B. xanthellus from the vicinity of Sao Felix, which are thus found in the upper section of the Xingu, a good 400 km upstream from Altamira. Near Altamira are the “normal” localities of L18 and L81. We have named them L81c Sao Felix on our stocklist to indicate the special origin.

All Baryancistrus xanthellus become 15-20 cm long in the aquarium, the maximum length is given with 25 cm. They are extremely food-demanding animals, which also require high water temperatures (28-32°C) and clean water, otherwise they will grow stunted. They are therefore demanding fish, whose care requires a certain effort on the part of the keeper. You should be aware of this before buying such animals.

At the moment we have animals available in three sizes: 4-6 cm, 10-12 cm and 12-15 cm. It is interesting to note that during growth the attractive white-yellow fin seams are greatly reduced, but the dot pattern on the body remains more or less unchanged.

For our customers: the fish have code 2648-L 081C-1 (4-6 cm), 2648-L 081C-4 (10-12 cm) and 2648-L 081C-5 (12-15 cm). Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras virginiae

28. June 2023

At the moment we have one of the most beautiful corydoras from Peru in our stock, which contributed with the number “C4” more than 25 years ago to create a real corydoras boom.

The species is one of the distinct schooling fishes within the genus Corydoras. In addition, C. virginiae is a very lively species, which brings a lot of movement into the aquarium. The animals look most beautiful when kept in black water on a light, fine sandy bottom. Overall, the species is as beautiful as it is easy to care for. The maximum length is about 6 cm.

For our customers: the animals have code 240604 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Lexicon: Corydoras: from ancient Greek, means “with helmet and lance”, referring to the outer bony armor and the powerful fin spines. virginiae: dedication name for Virginia Schwartz.

Common name: Cory Miguelito 

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrus sp. L 267 Pozuzo

2. June 2023

The “four-striped Ancistrus” L267 is still a somewhat mysterious species. Even if the first specimen became known already in 1996, this Ancistrus always remained a top rarity in the trade and was not available at all for years. Even the origin remained unknown until now. We get the fish from an exporter in Peru, who runs his station near Pucallpa. Unconfirmed rumors say that the catch area of this very uniquely marked Ancistrus – there is no other known species with such distinct longitudinal stripes – should come from the upper drainage of the Rio Ucayali (Rio Pozuzo near Codo del Pozuzo in the central Peruvian province of the same name).

The basic coloration of L267 is very variable. Both sexes can be very dark brown, orange-brown or silver-gray-blackish in the basic coloration, in addition there is a strong physiological color change. But always a worm pattern in the head area and the characteristic longitudinal stripes are recognizable. Our animals are 9-12 cm in size and sexually differentiated. They will probably still be able to grow a bit, but in terms of size they are obviously in the range of the known “Common Aquarium Ancistrus”. Let’s hope that breeding will be successful soon and then the price will drop to a range that makes this beautiful Ancistrus affordable for many hobbyists.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 267-5 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras hastatus

26. May 2023

Now is the season for the southern dwarf cory Corydoras hastatus. We get this cute Corydoras, which grows to about 2-3 cm long, from Paraguay. In contrast to most other Corydoras, C. hastatus is less bottom bound. He swims just as gladly in the free water. Often schools of C. hastatus are mixed with several tetra species that have exactly the same coloration. What this is good for, you can read here: https://www.aqualog.de/blog/die-paraguay-connection/. (sadly available in German only).

For our customers: the animals have code 232004 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudolaguvia muricata

22. May 2023

In recent years many highly interesting catfish species ideally suited for aquaristics have been discovered from Asia and imported for aquarists.

The first species of the genus Pseudolaguvia were described already in 1927, but only recently it was recognized that this is a very species-rich genus of dwarf catfishes, which usually grow only about 2-3 cm long. Thus, from 1927 until 2013 only four species were described, since then 21 (!) new species were added!

Typical for Pseudolaguvia is a sucking apparatus on the ventral side. The species live in streams and small rivers, which usually have fine sand as substrate. Here the dwarf catfishes can be found among decaying plant remains (detritus).

Once again we could import Pseudolaguvia muricata from North Bengal in India. These cute animals grow to a length of about 2.5-3 cm and are thus perfectly suited for keeping in small aquariums, especially since they are not very fond of swimming. The aquarium for Pseudolaguvia should have a fine sandy bottom. Additionally, add some dead leaves to the aquarium. They eat all common fish food, as long as it fits into their mouth. Pseudolaguvia are completely peaceful towards conspecifics and alien fish, also plants are not damaged.

There are rather dark, slender fish and somewhat lighter colored, stronger specimens. Perhaps this is a sex difference. Nothing is known about reproduction, but it can be assumed that the little animals attach their eggs, similar to armored catfishes, to plants etc. without further brood care. Care is best at room temperature, the water in their natural habitat is soft and neutral. Especially important are two things: low germ water and low food competition, because the Pseudolaguvia are slow eaters and easily get short.

For our customers. the animals have code 445425 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Lexicon: Pseudolaguvia: means “false Laguvia”: Laguvia is another genus of catfish. muricata: means “spiny like a murex snail”.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sp. aff. aeneus Neon Goldstripe Albino

15. May 2023

Albinos occur in all animal species, including humans. Due to a mutation they lack the ability to form black pigments completely or partially. In nature, albinos are extremely rare, because they are too conspicuous and thus quickly become the victim of predators, in human care albinos occur sooner or later in all animal species. Since albinos are felt by many people as particularly desirable, one continues to breed them.

So it happened also with the Corydoras sp. aff. aeneus Neon Goldstripe, which is also known as CW 10 in the hobby. Originally this scientifically still undescribed species comes from Peru. Actually it is closer to C. melanotaenia than C. aeneus, but that need not be of interest here. In the albino form of this fish the ability to form yellow pigment is very pronounced. As a result, the famous neon gold stripe is always clearly visible. By the way of feeding you can control if you rather want them a little bit lighter – say: with whitish – body base color or rather with an orange-yellow body base color. A lot of food containing astaxanthin (e.g. Cyclops) gives orange-yellow coloration, food poor in astaxanthin leads to white fish. Both colorations can be reversed at any time by changing the feed. For the fish themselves this is meaningless.

For our customers: the animals have code 221092 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Cetopsorhamdia molinae

12. May 2023

For the first time we could import this cute dwarf catfish from Peru. In the scientific literature the maximum size is given as 3,6 cm (without caudal fin). It is absolutely incomprehensible, why this attractively striped fish (however, there are numerous individual colour morphs from banded to almost completely black, some animals are also of reddish brown basic coloration) has never appeared aquaristically (at least as far as we know). 

Originally the species was described from the upper Rio Cauca in Colombia, our animals are from Peru (surroundings of Pucallpa), scientific collections exist also from the Rio Tocantins in Brazil. These are completely different river systems, each of these rivers has a high proportion of endemic species (i.e. species that only occur there). It seems more likely then that there is a whole species complex of dwarf catfishes that merely look similar, rather than all of them being the same.

Anyway: this tiny catfish is an absolute enrichment for the aquarium science and we are very proud that we succeeded in such an interesting import.

For our customers: the animals have code 214712 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudolithoxus nicoi

21. April 2023

We could import some specimens of the pretty white fringed flying catfish Pseudolithoxus nicoi from Venezuela. This very rarely available species grows to a length of about 12 cm.

P. nicoi originates from the Rio Casiquiare, which connects the Rio Negro with the Orinoco. There is great similarity to P. anthrax (L235), which is why P. nicoi is sometimes referred to as L235b. Typical P. nicoi, unlike P. anthrax, have white fin seams; however, not all specimens exhibit this color feature. 

Typical of all Pseudolithoxus are the huge pectoral fins, which led to the popular name “aviator catfish. In the care the Pseudolithoxus do not differ from other predominantly aufwuchs feeding loricariids, like e.g. Ancistrus, however they require as strong a current as possible and higher water temperatures (26-30°C).

For our customers: the fish have code 284633 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Loricaria luciae

31. March 2023

From Paraguay we received a nice shipment of mouthbrooding whiptail catfishes (Loricaria). Because of the known difficulties to identify species in Loricaria exactly, we first named them provisionally as L. simillima, the aquaristic best known species of the genus, which also occurs in Paraguay.

Now that the animals are somewhat acclimated and also the latest scientific literature could be evaluated, we are pretty sure that our new imports are at least for the most part L. luciae, a species scientifically described only in 2013. Within the 13 accepted species of the genus, this is the most recently described species. 

The unique feature of L. luciae is the shape of the ventral plates in combination with the fact that the shoulder girdle is completely naked, i.e. unplated. In two of the three species occurring in Paraguay together with L. luciae, namely L. apeltogaster and L. simillima, the ventral plates also cover the shoulder girdle. Thus, these two species are excluded with respect to our new import. On the other hand, L. coximensis is very similar, from which L. luciae differs in its larger adult size (130-190 mm SL compared to less than 130 mm SL) and greater postural plate length (17.0-20.3% compared to 7.4-14.2% of HL). It also differs from L. coximensis in having a greater number of total lateral plates (32-33 versus 28-31). The shape of the lateral abdominal plates was crucial for our determination. Comparing the illustrations in the original descriptions of L. luciae and L. coximensis, in L. coximensis the two lateral rows of abdominal plates are much longer, reducing the middle abdominal plates, which are assembled like a mosaic, to a relatively narrow wedge. Two other species might be confused with L. luciae: L. holmbergi and L. pumila. L. holmbergi, as far as we know, only occurs in the Rio San Francisco in Argentina (not to be confused with the Sao Francisco in Brazil!) and L. pumila lacks the iris lobe that is distinct in our Loricaria.

We are pleased to have once again brought in a new species. It can be assumed that L. luciae can be maintained and bred similarly to the well-known L. simillima. The sexes of our apparently sexually mature animals (they are 9-12 cm long) can be distinguished by the orange teeth along the front sides of the head in the male.

For our customers: the animals have code 266584 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Lamontichthys filamentosus

24. March 2023

From Peru we could import some Lamontichthys filamentosus. This graceful, beautiful species reaches a body length of about 20 cm, the fin filaments can become even that long. 

Lamontichthys are very sensitive fish, which need optimal water conditions. In addition, the fish are often difficult to bring to the food. Obviously they are very shy and tend to stop feeding at even minor disturbances.

Lamontichthys are therefore best kept in species tanks. There even the breeding can succeed, which is similar to the related genus Sturisoma.

Lexicon: Lamontichthys: dedication name (ichthys: ancient Greek for “fish”) in honor of Francesca La Monte. filamentosus: filamentous (referring to the extended fins).

For our customers: the fish have code 264814 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Batrochoglanis villosus

20. March 2023

From the Rio Xingu in Brazil we have received frog catfishes, which are assigned to the species Batrochoglanis villosus. Batrochoglanis was previously placed with Pseudopimelodus. More recent work has divided the frog catfishes into a whole series of genera, which makes it difficult to see through, especially since many species from different genera look darn similar purely in color. 

But in this case we are sure – at least concerning the genus. Batrochoglanis can be easily distinguished from Cephalosilurus, which contains very similar species, by the structure of their mouths. In Cephalosiliurus the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw, so it is clearly protruding, and in Batrochoglanis it is just the opposite.

Admittedly, one cannot be completely certain about the species identification, because B. villosus, as the species is currently understood, is supposed to have a vast distribution range in the Amazonian, Orinoco, and Guyanese lands (Demera and Essequibo). Almost all fish species with such a large range, when looked at more closely, have turned out to be different species that only resemble each other. That is why it is so special that we have these catfishes with locality.

Batrochoglanis villosus is a small one among the big catfishes. It probably does not grow longer than 15 cm, at least no larger specimens have been deposited in scientific collections. Grant writes in his book “Pims” (2021) about a 20 cm long specimen, which he raised from a 3 cm long juvenile. The animal was very peaceful, he said, but ate any fish that would fit in its mouth.

For our customers: the fish have code 209983 on our stock list. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sp. CW113

15. March 2023

Just as indeterminate sucker catfishes (Loricaridae) receive L and LDA numbers, indeterminate armored catfishes (Corydoras) receive C and CW numbers. The very first C-number assigned was given in 1992 by Werner Seuß to a Corydoras from the upper Rio Negro (Rio Icana). This fish is remarkable in many ways, but the most striking is: there are hardly two specimens with identical coloration! Somewhat later, in August 1993, Warren E. Burgess described this fish in TFH as Corydoras incolicana, not noticing that it was the same species as C1 (he had Seuss’ book, we know).

The case of CW113 is quite similar. This beautiful, long-snouted corydoras is overall very similar to C. incolicana, but originates from the Rio Meta, i.e. the Orinoco drainage. It has received two CW numbers: CW113 and CW182, because the fish look so different. And maybe CW90, which however originates from the border area of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil at the Rio Negro (i.e. Amazonas drainage), also belongs to this species, in any case our current import of CW113 from the Rio Meta also includes animals that look very similar to CW90.

The most important difference between CW113 and Corydoras incolicana is the expression of the spot on the back just below the dorsal fin. This is also one of the most constant color characteristics of both species. Here C. incolicana normally shows a horizontal bar, which often extends over the entire width of the dorsal fin base, CW113 only a relatively small, round spot. Typical for both Corydoras species is the eye band, which extends only to the upper edge of the eye, but unites on the top of the head, so that with a little imagination the impression is given that the fish have a beret on. Corydoras incolicana usually has an unmarked caudal fin, in CW113 the caudal fin is usually clearly banded. However, it must unfortunately be stated that with individual specimens of unknown origin it will not always be possible to assign them without doubt to one or the other species, so similar are C. incolicana and CW113.

For our customers: CW113 has code 236254 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hassar orestis

10. March 2023

From Venezuela we could import this pretty and lively thorny catfish. The species is widespread in South America and reaches a length of about 18 cm. In behavior these diurnal catfishes resemble the Corydoras species; however, they are much more active swimmers and constantly on the move in the aquarium. 

They are peaceful, sociable animals. In the beginning they can be a bit shy, but after acclimation this will disappear.

For our customers: the animals have code 255711 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hemidoras boulengeri

10. March 2023

For a long time there were very different ideas among ichthyologists about the generic classification of the thorny catfishes. Aquaristically mainly the genera Doras, Hassar, Hemidoras, Leptodoras, Tenellus and Anduzedoras cause classification problems due to their similar appearance and relatively few useful color characteristics. Fortunately, this has little practical impact because they are all fairly similar in their care habits and rarely grow over 20 cm in length. They are peaceful schooling fish that seem like overgrown, stream-loving armored catfish, but are much livelier than one is commonly accustomed to with Corydoras.

One of the easily identifiable species is Hassar orestis, which we recently imported from Venezuela. Only by a hint of a customer we realized that some bycatch were with the H. orestis. Because of the intensive group behavior of the Hassar we had not noticed the deviant colored animals in the shoal. Of course we sorted the fish immediately and it turned out that there were still a few specimens of the second species, in which we believe to recognize the species Hemidoras boulengeri. Four to five species of Hemidoras are distinguished: H. boulengeri, H. morrisi (there is doubt about the validity of this species), H. morei, H. stenopeltis, and H. stuebeli. All are eligible from a geographic point of view, but H. morrisi and H. stuebelii seem too long-nosed compared to our animals, and H. stenopeltis has a strong black spot on the dorsal fin tip. H. morrisi is much darker in coloration (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/extraordinary_rare_thorny_catfish_from_peru_en/). In contrast, H. boulengeri (illustrated in Steindachner, 1917) matches our fish quite well. 

Hemidoras boulengeri grows to about 20 cm in length and, like Hassar orestis, is very gregarious. It is hardly possible to take a photo of a single animal, body contact to conspecifics is always sought immediately!

For our customers: the fish have code 257702 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sp. “punctatus Nanay”

3. March 2023

From the Rio Nanay in Peru comes this beautiful spotted armored catfish, which probably belongs to a scientifically undescribed species. It was first mentioned and pictured in aquaristic literature as Corydoras punctatus in the 1930s, but C. punctatus is a completely different species that looks similar to C. julii. Later, the “Nanay” was sometimes assigned to C. ambiacus and sometimes to C. agassizii, both determinations that do not stand up to close scrutiny.

At the moment we have especially beautiful, about 5 cm long specimens of this Peruvian in our stock, which is why we present the species here one more time. With this length the “Nanay” is also largely fully grown in nature, although old aquarium specimens can certainly add another centimeter. They are very peaceful, easy to care for and adaptable fish. The Rio Nanay is a black water river, therefore this corydoras can be kept well in soft and acidic water, but any tap water suitable as drinking water is equally well suited for care. Breeding on the other hand has probably never been successful (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/corydoras-punctatus-nanay-2/).

For our customers: the fish have code 242053 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudeutropius moolenburghae

20. February 2023

From Indonesia we received the interesting catfish Pseudeutropius moolenburghae. This shoaling fish, which grows to a maximum length of 10 cm, is very similar in behavior to the well-known glass catfish Kryptopterus vitreolus (formerly known as K. bicirrhis), but is slimmer, livelier and above all has eight long barbels, while the glass catfish has only two.

In the aquarium, these blackwater fish should be acclimated carefully, because from the wild they know practically no bacterial water pollution. Their home are the river systems Batang Hari on Sumatra and Kapuas on Borneo, from where many popular aquarium fish come. As company are suitable e.g. mouth-breeding fighting fish, Rasbora species, coolie loaches etc.. Under no circumstances should these delicate catfish be kept along with bullies such as tiger barbs. Pseudeutropius moolenburghae eat all common ornamental fish food, they are not interested in plants. A dimly furnished tank with Cryptocoryne bushes, floating ferns on the surface and dead leaves on the bottom is ideal. Soft, acidic water corresponds to natural conditions, but is not necessary for long-term maintenance. The water temperature should be 24-28°C.

For our customers: the animals have code 445503 on our stock list. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras treitlii

8. February 2023

The long-nosed Corydoras treitlii from the lower Amazon – specimens caught for export mostly come from the Belem area – is one of the real rarities in the trade, although the species is one of the longest known armored catfishes. It was scientifically described already in 1906.

With over 7 cm maximum length C. treitlii belongs to the larger Corydoras species. Nevertheless it is genus-typical peaceful and fits into every larger, well maintained community aquarium. You should offer the animals at least in places soft, fine sand as substrate. Incidentally, there are duplicate species from the upper Amazonian drainage (Madre de Dios in Peru and Rio Purus in Brazil), the latter of which has been assigned C number 78.

For our customers: Corydoras treitlii has code 247303 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Panaque sp. L191

27. January 2023

The large wood-eating Panaque of the relationship around P. nigrolineatus are fantastic fishes. Juveniles are almost splendidly colored, so also L191, a species which is still not described scientifically. L191 originates from Colombia. According to the available information the native area is the Rio Caguán in Caquetá. Particularly splendid is with young L191 the green shimmer, which the animals show.

L191 is exported again and again mixed with a quite similar species, the L190. This is probably the “real” P. nigrolineatus, but the experts are still bickering. Easiest distinguishing feature in juveniles is eye color: red in L190, yellowish, grayish or blackish in L191. The pattern of both species is very variable. By the way, they do not occur together, L190 comes from another area in Colombia (drainages of the Rio Meta and the Rio Orituco). The two species are mixed only at the exporter. Mostly they are sold as a mix, you should know this if you want to build breeding groups.

Among themselves the large Panaque – they become consistently over 40 cm long, see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/we_can_big_too_l191_en/) are to some extent compatible, but they fight with each other and demand individual free space. Large aquariums must therefore be planned for if they are to be cared for, also because of the considerable amounts of feces that are produced when caring for these fish. An essential food component of the animals is soft wood. This has hardly any nutrients and therefore a Panaque eats a lot. And who eats a lot, the sh…, um, also puts down a lot of excrement.

For our customers: the animals have code 274404 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sterbai WILD

25. January 2023

The splendid Corydoras sterbai probably knows every aquarist child. As one of the most beautiful corydoras at all it belongs to the standard offer of the pet trade and is bred in large quantities; there is also an albino breeding form, which does not occur in the wild.

Wild Corydoras sterbai from the Rio Guaporé in Brazil are rare to get and therefore definitely worth a mention once they are here.

For our customers: the animals have code 246003 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Sturisomatichthys sp. Colombia II

20. January 2023

The whiptail catfishes belong to the popular and well breedable loricariids. For example, the Real Royal Farlowella (Sturisomatichthys festivus) has been in continuous breeding for almost 50 years, wild catches of this species are very rare. For other species, wild catches and offspring coexist in the hobby. 

In former times Sturisomatichthys was considered to mainly one species, the relatively small S. leightoni, while the other, larger species were counted to Sturisoma. Today it is different, almost all aquaristic important species of these catfishes are in Sturisomatichthys. The designations Sturisomatichthys sp. Colombia I and S. sp. Colombia II originate from the earlier times. At that time it was found that S. leightoni was almost never exported from Colombia, but two very similar other species, which have not yet been described scientifically. In respect of coloration Colombia I and Colombia II hardly differ. Colombia II, however, already as a relatively small fish, has many skin teeth (odontodes), i.e. bristles. In the import trade are mostly animals of the species Colombia I, which is also much bred.

We have now received German offspring of the original strain Colombia II from a breeder. The pretty animals have indeed already in the relatively small size, in which we can offer them (6-8 cm, the final size is around 10-15 cm) clear bristles, which can be seen best in the photo of the animal sucked at the front glass.

For our customers: the fish have code 294452 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras condiscipulus

18. January 2023

Only very rarely this beautiful, long-snouted Corydoras reaches us, because the catch areas are far away from the usual routes. The species was scientifically described only in 1980, but it is known much longer. Because already in 1972 during the examination of the Corydoras material of the species Corydoras oiapoquensis it was noticed that beside round-nosed animals (these are the “real” Corydoras oiapoquensis) there are also long-nosed fish. At first it was thought at that time that this was the natural variability, but in 1980 it was decided to separate the long-nosed as a separate species Corydoras condiscipulus.

These two armored catfishes occur together in the Rio Oyapock in French Guyana; the species name condiscipulus means „schoolmate” because the two species swim together. There are hardly any ornamental fish exports from French Guyana; it is usually too expensive. But fortunately the Oyapock also flows in neighboring Brazil (state of Amapa) and so specimens from there come to us from time to time. By the way: we also received C. oiapoquensis, maybe more about that later…

For our customers: the animals have code 226105 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Soon available: Rineloricaria aurata

13. January 2023

From Paraguay we regularly receive shipments of the small whiptail catfishes of the genus Rineloricaria. No less than 65 species are currently recognized, which makes identification in many cases almost impossible without knowledge of the origin. But in the case of Paraguay, there is a recent revision of the species known from this river system by Vera-Alcaraz et al. (2008), so at least trying to determine the exact species name is not just a waste of time.

Mostly, whiptail catfishes destined for export are collected from Paraguay not far from the capital Asunción. From there three species can be expected: R. aurata, R. lanceolata and R. parva. R. lanceolata and R. parva we receive regularly, see hhttps://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/rineloricaria_lanceolata_en/ and https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/rineloricaria-parva-2/, R. aurata however (still) never – until some months ago.

Then we received a larger consignment of “Otocinlus negros”, which in reality is called Otothyropsis piribebuy. And with these animals were two whiptail catfish by-catches, which even developed to a pair, which belongs perfectly to the species Rineloricaria aurata! Why R. aurata comes so rarely to us is unknown. The species will probably not be rare in nature. But its behavior gives a hint: more than the other two species R. aurata tends to burrow. That’s why on all our photos there are always a few grains of sand on the animals. Without sandy bottom these fishes do not feel well! But in Paraguay they don’t bother to sift sandy areas to catch ornamental fish.

The pair went, after the animals had grown up and we had taken photos, to our proven breeder Kurt Jülich. What is almost unbelievable: the first juveniles are already swimming and most likely we will be able to offer Rineloricaria aurata, the Golden Witch Catfish, for sale for the first time soon! What a nice Christmas present…

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pimelodus pictus

9. January 2023

Among the large antenna catfishes (Pimelodidae) Pimelodus pictus belongs to the dwarfs. Scientifically proven are 11-12 cm length, but in the aquarium, where these fish can become very old, also 25 cm are said to have occurred. In nature these fishes probably do not live longer than 2-3 years, the keeping record in the aquarium is 18 years. 

Anyway, P. pictus is a very attractive fish, if kept correctly. This includes a lot of swimming space, because the catfish is highly active, and company of at least 5, better 10 or more conspecifics. Individually kept specimens are shy. P. pictus, also known as Angel Catfish, is a diurnal catfish. Older specimens become calmer and appreciate retreats (roots and caves). Aquaristically, the species, which was scientifically described as early as 1876 and is very widely distributed in Amazonia (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela), was not discovered until 1968. Aquaristic expeditions to Colombia led to the fish being initially imported into the United States. The fanciful name “Pimelodus angelicus” (i.e. “Angel-like Pimelodus”), which promoted sales, certainly contributed to its popularity, but also the fact that in the USA less importance was traditionally attached to planted aquariums. People preferred to keep relatively large, herbivorous, representative fish like the Silver Dollars (Metynnis and Myleus) and cichlids. There the Pimelodus pictus fitted well to it.

Pimelodus pictus leaves plants and even relatively small fish completely alone. However, to be on the safe side, by-fish should not be much smaller than about one third of the body length of the Pimelodus. No one has tried to breed these fish so far, which are free spawners without brood care, at least no breeding reports have become known.

For our customers: the fish have code 279804 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistomus cf. sabaji L75 offspring

6. January 2023

We have received very nice offsprings of L75, which are currently 6-8 cm (26480-L 075x-2) and 10-12 cm (26480-L 075x-4) long. Here the report of the breeder, for which we thank very much:

Breeding report Ancistomus cf. sabaji L75

Until breeding L75 was a long way. I tried it for seven years with two groups. It turned out: patience is always the key to success with difficult plecos.

L75 is a pleco that has fascinated me for some time, so I was happy when I got three adults (two males and one female) in 2014. I had no success with this group, but six years later, in 2020, I bought seven more. Things went very quickly with this group. Several of the males showed interest in the caves, and I was happy to soon find one on a large clutch. The fight for the cave with other males stressed the brooding animal quite a bit, and after 3 days he threw the clutch out of the cave. 

I managed to recover about fifty eggs, but because of a fungus, only six hatched, all of which fortunately survived. Later I removed four adults, so I ended up with the breeding male and two presumed females. Further reproduction now went very well, with the male mating with both females and taking care of the eggs and young, this time without disturbance.

The adults are 20-25 cm and are fed an insect-based diet with some fresh fish and mussels. Soft, neutral water, 28-30 degrees Celsius. The number of eggs per clutch was 150-250, depending on the size of the female. The fry grow very well on a varied diet under the same conditions, are gray at first and get the leopard pattern at about 3 cm. All in all, due to its more active behavior compared to other plecos, L75 is a very entertaining species whose care and breeding can only be recommended. 

Knut Hatteland Sømme 

Parotocinclus bahiensis and P. cearensis

6. January 2023

The genus Parotocinclus currently exists in a kind of shadowy existence in aquaristics. In contrast to their cousins of the genus Otocinclus, hardly anyone knows these equally small loricariids, which are, however, equally zealous algae exterminators. We have received from the Northeast region (Região Nordeste), more precisely from the states of Cereá and Bahia of Brazil two species of Parotocinclus, which have not come to us before, at least not recognized: Parotocinclus bahiensis and P. cearensis.

Honestly we have to admit that the species identification of these animals is extremely tricky and therefore we simply rely on the expert judgement of our supplier in this case. There are at least 30 species of Parotocinclus! The care of our new imports is without any problems. They behave as you would expect from small sucking catfish, they are lively and not very shy. The expected final size is 4-5 cm for the females, which are significantly larger and more plump than the males.

For our customers: The animals have code 276462 (P. bahiensis) and 276472 (P. cearensis) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras kanei

4. January 2023

This pretty, at most 5 cm long corydoras wandered for many years under different names through the aquariums, until it was finally described in 1997 by Steven Grant as an independent species: Corydoras kanei. Unfortunately the description is flawed by the fact that the type specimens came from the trade and therefore the type locality is not exactly known (probably from the area of Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil, maybe Rio Branco). This is a pity with this group of taxonomically complicated armored catfishes, but it cannot be helped.

Corydoras kanei is relatively easy to distinguish from all other spotted Corydoras with round, short snouts by the following combination of characteristics: a distinct eye mask is present; the first rays of the dorsal fin are usually black; there is no sharply defined saddle patch below the dorsal fin; a fine banding of the caudal fin composed of dots. Not everything is always pronounced in a perfect, textbook manner in every individual, but on the whole the species is readily recognizable, which, incidentally, Grant named after his sick son.

In the aquarium C. kanei is a pure joy, because it is a lively, hardly shy armored catfish, which is easy to maintain and also to breed.

For our customers: the animals have code 232802 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras “punctatus” Nanay

21. December 2022

There is a saying: “The Internet forgets nothing”. This may be true, but books are even more durable, especially if errors have been printed in them. These are often so stubborn that one could almost despair. This is what happened to a very pretty armored catfish that occurs in huge numbers in the tri-border area of Peru-Colombia-Brazil, i.e. in the upper Amazon. Because it is so common, it was also brought to Europe early, to Germany in 1935, when it was misidentified as Corydoras punctatus (which is a completely different species that looks similar to C. julii), an error that was carried over into the most important identification book on exotic ornamental fishes at the time, the “Arnold-Ahl”, in 1936. Since then, this error has apparently stuck, and exporters still send this species (and some close relatives that look very similar) under this misnomer. In reality it is a species from the close relationship of C. agassizii and C. ambiacus. Since this group of species is scientifically very poorly researched, nothing can be said for sure, but it is very probable that this particular Corydoras is scientifically still undescribed and best named Corydoras sp. aff. agassizii.

The species is, as already mentioned, widespread in the entire upper Amazonas drainage up to at least Manaus in Brazil and appears here in huge swarms. A particularly nice variety comes from the Rio Nanay in Peru, which we currently have in stock. The Rio Nanay is a left bank Amazon tributary and about 450 km long. It is considered a blackwater river. Concerning the water values and the care Corydoras “punctatus” Nanay is however everything else than demanding. Only breeding has not been successful yet, which is probably due to the fact that the animals spawn at night and are strong spawn predators, which is why the egg blessing has already landed in the stomach of the parents before the breeder notices anything.

For our customers: the fish have code 242053 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Tetranematichthys wallacei

16. December 2022

At present three species of the strange genus Tetranematichthys are distinguished. None of them comes more frequently or even regularly into the trade, because their hidden way of life makes their catch a pure matter of luck. So we were particularly pleased to be able to import the species T. wallacei from Colombia. We are even more pleased that sexually mature males and females are included in the import.

As in the closely related genus Ageinosus, male Tetranematichthys develop a huge dorsal fin at breeding time. The male uses the heavily spined dorsal fin spine to clamp the female during mating. Fertilization occurs internally with a penis-like structure formed from the anteriormost rays of the anal fin. After the reproductive period, both sexual characteristics are said to regress and then become almost indistinguishable from that of the female.

T. wallacei differs from the identically colored species T. quadrifilis by the profile of the underside of the head. The cheeks of T. wallacei run almost parallel on the left and right side, while in T. quadrifilis the distance between left and right head edge increases clearly recognizable towards the abdomen. 

These highly interesting and rare catfishes reach about 20 cm total length. They feed predatorily, preferred food being small fish. An aquarium for Tetranematichthys should contain a fine sandy bottom, be dimly lit and contain plenty of root wood for hiding. During the day the animals often lie on their sides sleeping, this is quite normal and need not worry the keeper. Among themselves Tetranematichthys are completely peaceful.

For our customers: the fish have code 296415 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale. 

Lexicon: Tetranematichthys: means “fish with four filaments”, referring to the barbels. wallacei: dedication name for Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913).

Suggested common name: Wallace’s root dolphin catfish.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrus sp. Bushmouth LDA 72

9. December 2022

Ancistrus species belonged to aquaristics long before one even thought of the term L or LDA number. Unfortunately, the systematics of the group is complex, there have been and still are misidentifications and – this is especially unfortunate – the species can apparently often be crossed, so that aquarium hybrids have been created unintentionally. Such hybrids have no scientific name. The well-known Aquarium Ancistrus is such a hybrid. Aquarists with a deeper scientific interest therefore prefer to breed with defined strains and wild caught specimens. With LDA 72 we succeeded in importing a species from Colombia, in which the males develop particularly impressive nose ornaments and the females are also bearded.

The Ancistrus species of the area from which our animals must originate have only recently undergone a scientific revision (de Souza et al., 2019). If one follows the identification key in this paper, our imports come to Ancistrus triradiatus, a highly variable species described already in 1918 by Eigenmann. Probably the species name Ancistrus triradiatus hides – so de Souza et al. assume – several species, because the animals look quite different depending on their origin. Therefore in the hobby one should not dissolve the number LDA 72, but keep it until this question is clarified. Typical for LDA 72 of our current import is the following combination of characteristics: a small black spot at the base of the dorsal fin just behind the dorsal fin spine, a regular dot pattern on the fin rays of dorsal and caudal fin, an indistinct honeycomb pattern on the back of the forebody, a light vertical band at the end of the caudal peduncle, a unicolored, unspotted abdomen and a total of three bright dots on the tips of the dorsal and caudal fin even in fully adult animals. Our fish are currently 9-12 cm long.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-LDA 072-4 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Literature: de Souza, L. S., Taphorn, D. C. & J. W. Armbruster (2019): Review of Ancistrus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the northwestern Guiana Shield, Orinoco Andes, and adjacent basins with description of six new species. Zootaxa 4552: 1-67.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sodalis (incorrect as agassizii).

30. November 2022

There are four species of beautiful corydoras, which are practically without exception available as wild collected specimens from Brazil, because even experienced breeders have a hard time with them. In addition, these species occur in masses and can therefore be offered in large numbers and very cheaply, so there is little incentive to breed them. After all, sustainable natural harvests make more ecological sense than captive breeding and provide local people with an environmentally sound, secure income.

These four species we are talking about here are Corydoras agassizii, C. ambiacus, C. schwartzi and C. sodalis. Unfortunately, they are repeatedly given wrong names. A portrait of Cordoras schwartzi can be found here: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/corydoras-schwartzi-2/

This post is about Corydoras sodalis. For reasons that go back to a mistake in the 1960s, this actually hardly to be confused armored catfish is traded again and again as C. agassizii. This is especially difficult to eradicate, because C. sodalis and the “real” agassizii often occur together and are therefore often imported mixed. C. agassizii on the other hand is – also wrongly – mostly called C. punctatus, as well as C. ambiacus, which is furthermore difficult to distinguish from C. agassizii. A real name drama!

Concerning care there is not much to say about C. sodalis, the fish will do practically everything, if you fulfill the basic requirements of Corydoras: no sharp-edged substrate, preferably soft river sand, low-germ water and specific feeding. Corydoras are not scavengers! The water temperature should be between 22 and 28°C, pH and hardness are irrelevant.

The reason why these catfishes evade breeding lies in their natural history. The mass occurrences are most likely nothing more than spawning migrations that take the fish to small, shady tributary streams where they spawn. In the aquarium, they spawn only at night, in complete darkness. And because they are strong spawn predators, there is nothing left of the egg splendor the next morning.

For our customers: the animals have code 221504 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Astroblepus from Colombia

25. November 2022

The L-catfishes or Loricariidae from South America belong to the most popular and most desired catfishes for the aquarium. However, even experienced aquarists have hardly ever had the opportunity to see a living representative of the genus Astroblepus.

It is the only genus of the family Astroblepidae, the closest relatives of the Loricariidae, distinguished from the latter by their naked body. In contrast, the Loricariidae have a bony carapace that encases the body. Nevertheless, the Astroblepidae were still listed by Regan (1904) only as a highly specialized subfamily to the Loricariidae, so strong are the other similarities of the two catfish groups.

There are currently (as of November 2022) 71 generally accepted species of the genus Astroblepus and they have not been comparatively scientifically studied for over 100 years. In the last 11 years alone, Colombian scientist C. A. Ardila Rodriguez has described 27 new species from Colombia and Peru! It is easy to see that the identification of a species is very difficult, especially since there is practically no aquaristic literature about these fishes.

The largest species of Astroblepus known so far is A. grixalvii from Colombia (Rio Magdalena basin), which can grow to about 30 cm in length. However, most species seem to remain much smaller. No matter if big or small: the flesh of the Astroblepidae is considered to be very tasty and in their areas of occurrence they are therefore eagerly pursued.

Quite recently we succeeded after 2011 (then from Peru) the second larger (thus more than one fish) import of these interesting animals. This time they came from Colombia, but without any indication of origin. This means that they do not even have to be caught in Colombia, because the Colombian city Leticia at the Amazon is located in the border triangle Brazil-Peru-Colombia and is one of the main transshipment points for ornamental fish of all three countries. 

Purely optically one can distinguish four color forms with the new import, but whether these are also different species? We are still at the very beginning with our research and do not know yet where the way will lead. One thing is for sure: a very important characteristic for the identification of Astroblepus species is the structure of the adipose keel (upper dorsal edge behind the dorsal fin) and the adipose fin. All four Columbians have a tiny, free adipose fin, but it has a spiny ray and in front of it is a long, flat adipose keel. Differences can be seen in the dentition, the two contrasting phenotypes have red, small teeth in the upper jaw, the solid yellowish fish has small white teeth in the upper jaw and the solid brown has much larger, again red colored teeth. So it all points to at least three species, maybe four. The size of the fish is currently 5-6 cm.

For the care you should consider that Astroblepus need a strong current and cool water (18-22°C). Otherwise the care is similar to Ancistrus species. Astroblepus are peaceful among themselves and against other fish. Our animals are still very shy, which makes photography very difficult. When they get the chance, the catfish hide under root wood.

For our customers: the fish have code 208773 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Aspidoras raimundi “Ceará”

18. November 2022

The representatives of the genus Aspidoras are popularly also called loach armored catfishes, which is quite a good description. Because the animals are slimmer and more scurrying, than one is generally used to from Corydoras. With 25 species recognized so far, the genus is quite species rich. Their identification is difficult for non-specialists, because species diagnoses are often based on skeletal features, which are not visible without elaborate preparation of preserved specimens. That is why there was quite a lot of confusion about the correct naming for a long time. Just now, when we have received wild catches of an Aspidoras species again for a long time, a revision of the genus came out as well. With this the identification of the animals sent as Aspidoras rochai from the Brazilian state of Ceará should be possible without any problems – we thought!

Unfortunately we thought wrong. First a short overview, how the genus is represented after the current revision. Tencatt et al. accept only 18 species, among them one newly described. A. pauciradiatus was (provisionally) transferred to Corydoras, C. virgulatus to Scleromystax. The aquaristic – at least by name – known species A. eurycephalus and A. taurus were declared synonyms of A. albater. A. albater now also includes the “Black Phantom” or C35. A. menezesi and A. spilotus now belong to A. raimundi, A. microgaleus and A. marianae to A. poecilus.

Our fish from Ceará corresponded quite well to the preserved specimen of A. rochai from the Amsterdam Museum illustrated in the book by Evers and Fuller “Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish”. But in the revision by Tencatt et al. one learns that at the time of manuscript publication only two doubtless specimens of A. rochai were known, namely the almost completely decolorized type specimens from the Zoological Museum of the University Sao Paulo. So what are our fishes now? In my distress I turned to Hans-Georg Evers and he wrote me: “You have Aspidoras raimundi. In Ceará there are two species, besides A. raimundi from the Parnaiba drainage also A. rochai from the Jaguaribe drainage, mountain range of Guaramiranga (type locality of A. rochai). …. Your animals are imported regularly, sometimes as A. spilotus, sometimes as C125, both synonyms to A. raimundi. The elongated body is typical, the pattern is highly variable.” A thousand thanks to Hans for the valuable information!

Aspidoras raimundi is an easy to care, very cute catfish, which grows 3,5-4,5 cm long and deserves the rating “highly recommended”!

For our customers: the animals have code 208713 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer


Tencatt LFC, Britto MR, Isbruecker IJH, Pavanelli CS. Taxonomy of the armored catfish genus Aspidoras (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) revisited, with the description of a new species. Neotrop Ichthyol. 2022; 20(3):e220040. https://doi.org/10.1590/1982-0224-2022-0040 

Pseudacanthicus sp. L600

4. November 2022

We have received fantastic leopard cactus plecos L600. They are german bred ones. One specimen is as beautiful and flawless as the other! We are extremely enthusiastic about the quality of the animals. They are currently 6-8 cm long.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 600-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Parancistrus sp. Rio Araguaia L56n / LDA46

2. November 2022

The genus Parancistrus includes only two scientifically accepted species, the Golden Parancistrus (P. aurantiacus), which was erroneously also assigned L-number 56 (this is incorrect) and P. nudiventris, which was assigned L-numbers 31 and 176; this is a black catfish with very fine white spots. In addition, we know L258 from Rio Iriri, a black catfish with small white dots, L300/LDA48 from Rio Xingu, which is very similar to L258 and probably the same on species level (it just has slightly larger dots) and L332, also from Rio Xingu, olive green with light fin fringes.

The Parancistrus we have now been able to import in various sizes from the Rio Araguaia in Brazil is completely different in color from all these species. It has a bright worm pattern on the body and dots on the head. This species has been given the LDA number 46. For a long time LDA46 was thought to be the juvenile of P. aurantiacus, but this is wrong. Very special about LDA46 is, that the markings become more and more intense with larger animals – the species probably grows to about 15-17 cm long. With most loricariids it is the other way round, the juveniles are the more beautiful.

LDA46 is in any case an independent, scientifically probably still undescribed species. The designation L56n was additionally given, because Parancistrus aurantiacus is still called L56 in the trade. This is objectively wrong, but nobody cares about that. The letter “n” in this context simply means “new” and indicates that the fish is similar to P. aurantiacus, but something different.

For our customers: the fish have code 26490-L 056N-3 (8-10 cm) and 26490-L 056N-5 (14-16 cm) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypostomus sertanejo

26. October 2022

For the first time we can offer this very nice Hypostomus from the Rio Jaguaribe (Cerea State, Brazil). It is a species that was described scientifically only in 2017, although 19 specimens of this species were found in the scientific collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, U.S.A., which had been collected and deposited there by R. von Ihering already in about 1936. Sometimes it takes a little longer…

Hypostomus sertanejo becomes about 20-25 cm long. It is a typical representative of its genus and a diligent algae exterminator. The nice juvenile markings with large white spots remain for a long time, even about 10 cm long specimens still show them. In fully adult fish the spots are much smaller. Our animals are currently 4-5 cm long and very lively little fellows, which are active also during the day a lot in the aquarium. Among themselves they are peaceful, and also against other fish no aggressive behavior is to be expected. In nature, the fish lives in clear water, the bottom consists of boulders and sand, sometimes with underwater vegetation. Fish species, with which the species lives together in nature, are e.g. Parotocinclus jumbo (LDA25), Moenkhausia costae and Tetragonopterus argenteus.

For our customers: the fish have code 263741 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras cf. brevirostris CW 27 Highfin

12. October 2022

We received a limited number of this extraordinary Corydoras from Colombia. The overall appearance is very much alike Corydoras brevirostris (formerly known as Corydoras melanistius brevirostris), but CW 27 has a much much higher dorsal fin and the “glowspot” on the nape is much brighter.

For our customers: the animals have code 224954 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Physopyxis lyra

7. October 2022

Although this dwarf among the thorny catfishes – it only grows to about 3 cm in length – was scientifically described as early as 1872, it was completely unknown to aquarists until a few years ago. This is a pity, because they are droll, very interesting small catfishes, which are also suitable for small and smallest aquariums. Our specimens originate from Peru.

Like many other thorny catfishes, this species is able to make noise. When you catch them with the net, they prostate loudly and audibly against it. This sounds like a creak. However, you have to be very careful when catching them, with their sharp and numerous thorns, the small catfish get entangeled very easily in the net and are then difficult to get out again unharmed. It is better to catch them with a large (very fine mesh) net, but do not lift them out of the water, but scoop them out of the net with a small cup or the like. This way you can safely transfer them. 

Every usual ornamental fish food is eaten. The small “Robocop catfish” – as the exporters call them – are by no means sensitive, but since they rarely move, one often notices too late when they are not well. It is therefore advisable to keep a few small and harmless by-fish with the Physopyxis, e.g. tetras, which serve as bio-indicators if something should be wrong with the water.

For our customers: the fish have code 278602 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rineloricaria teffeana

24. September 2022

The small remaining whiptail catfishes of the genus Rineloricaria enjoy great popularity among aquarists. They have a whimsical appearance, are peaceful, have no high space requirements and can usually be bred quite well. Some species have even really fancy pattern. The most beautiful is certainly R. teffeana. It has no bright colors, but a really attractive pattern. Its maximum length is about 12 cm (without caudal fin).

Although Tefé in Brazil is a famous discus locality (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/discus_wild_royal_green_tefe_en/) Rineloricaria teffeana, which has its type locality there (i.e. that the specimens, which were available to Mr. Steindachner in 1879 and on the basis of which the species was described and named, were collected there), is offered only extremely rarely by exporters. Therefore we are very happy and proud to have some of these beauties now in our stock.

For our customers: the fish have code 257975 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Parotocinclus jumbo LDA25, now available as German bred!

24. September 2022

The cute Parotocinclus jumbo, also known as Pitbull Pleco or LDA25, is a very popular aquarium fish. Unfortunately imports take place only very irregularly and can hardly be planned. Therefore we are happy to be able to offer this nice little fish as offspring now.

More information about the species can be found here: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/lda25-parotocinclus-jumbo-2/

The pictures show the bred fish we currently have in the stock.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-LDA 025X-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hara hara/Erethistes pusillus

19. September 2022

In India live two species of moth catfishes, which are practically impossible to distinguish in living condition. They are nevertheless sometimes even assigned to two different genera: Hara and Erethistes. The difference between the two genera lies in the structure of the vertebral body, that is, of something invisible in the living animal; according to many ichthyologists, this is not enough to distinguish two genera, and then all moth catfishes would have to be assigned the generic name Erethistes, since this is older and has priority. The difference between the species Hara hara ( = Erethistes hara) and Erethistes pusillus is only in the way the front of the pectoral fin spine is spined. In Erethistes pusillus the spines on the front of the pectoral fin spine are two pointed, in Hara hara ( = Erethistes hara) only one pointed. By the way, the animals are called moth catfishes, because their coloration and the broadly extending pectoral fins remind of night butterflies. 

So you have to look at the pectoral fin spine in high magnification and back light to be sure which of the two species you have in front of you. But this does not mean that all specimens of the import belong to this species, because Hara hara ( = Erethistes hara) and Eretisthes pusillus occur in the same distribution area and are often caught and exported together. In the trade we have not yet found a practicable method to distinguish the two species with certainty and therefore we call all moth catfishes of the Erethistes/Hara group imported from India (Bengal) to us Hara hara, with the exception of the well recognizable species Hara horai ( = Erethistes horai) and H. jerdoni ( = Erethistes jerdoni).

Basically it doesn’t matter, because all species of this Erethistes/Hara group grow to 4-5 cm and are excellent, peaceful and easy to care aquarium fishes. The animals we currently have in the stock and from which the pictures accompanying this post were taken could be identified as Erethistes pusillus in four cases, in one of the animals, which otherwise could not be distinguished from the others (in total there were 7 specimens in the photo tank), the pectoral fin front edge spination corresponded to Hara hara ( = Erethistes hara).

For our customers: The animals have code 419724 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras melanotaenia

9. September 2022

Because of its bright yellow fins Corydoras melanotaenia surely belongs to the most beautiful armored catfishes at all. It is, so to speak, the long snout to the bronze cory type, which can be found throughout South America. In contrast to its ubiquitous cousin, C. melanotaenia is an endemic of Colombia, i.e. it occurs exclusively there.

The origin of C. melanotaenia, which was already scientifically described in 1912, was unclear for a long time. It is said that the animals on which the first description was based were caught in the Rio Magdalena basin, where later expeditions searched for them in vain. Already in 1922 it was assumed that the type specimens were sent to London via Honda (this place is located at the Rio Magdalena), but in reality they came from the Rio Meta basin. In fact, to date, not a single species of Corydoras has been reported from the Rio Magdalena and it is generally agreed that C. melanotaenia comes from the Rio Meta basin.

This Corydoras grows to about 5 cm and has all the positive characteristics that make Corydoras so popular in the aquarium: a lively and completely peaceful nature and uncomplicated keeping.

For our customers: C. melanotaenia has code 235503 on our stock list. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos; Frank Schäfer

Corydoras leucomelas

2. September 2022

Corydoras leucomelas belongs to the frequently imported species of its genus. Typical characteristics of the round-nosed species are a strongly pronounced eye band, the coloration of the dorsal fin in connection with the black dorsal spot located at the beginning of the dorsal fin, a vertical black band at the end of the caudal peduncle and the stripes of the caudal fin. The body markings, on the other hand, are so varied in animals up to about 4 cm in length that each individual can be recognized individually by them; only fully grown fish develop a uniform pattern of black spots. The maximum size of the species is 5 – 5.5 cm.

Main export region of Corydoras leucomelas is Peru, where is also the type locality (i.e. the place where the type specimen used for the scientific description of the species was collected): Yarina Cocha. However, C. leucomelas is quite widespread in the upper Amazon watershed, eg in Colombia (Rio Orteguaza) , Bolivia and Ecuador. The species looks especially pretty when kept in a shoal of 10-15 specimens. The swarm cohesion of C. leucomelas is much more pronounced than in many other armored catfishes and thus often results in the very beautiful picture of such a troop foraging through the aquarium.

For our customers: the animals have code 233503 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hoplomyzon sexpapilostoma

26. August 2022

Within the banjo catfish family (Aspredinidae), there is a group of dwarfish small species (called the tribus Hoplomyzontini) divided into four genera: Ernstichthys, Hoplomyzon, Dupouyichthys and Micromyzon. They grow only 2-3 cm long. In nature they live buried in fine sand (at least during the day). Most species prefer the deepest channels of medium to large streams, which is why they usually escape both scientific and aquarium fish collectors. Therefore, very little is known about them.

We could now import Hoplomyzon sexpapilostoma from Colombia. So far four Hoplomyzon species are known, two from the surroundings of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela (H. atrizona and H. intosus), one species distributed quite widely in the Amazon and Orinoco (H. papillatus) and one known exclusively from the Orinoco (H. sexpapilostoma). Our animals agree very well with the characteristics mentioned in the orignal description of H. sexpapilostoma.

So far we can report only little about the animals. They are very peaceful among themselves and go willingly to live bloodworm as food. We have not had any losses so far. We keep them on bare glass bottom for better control, but in the photo tank they disappeared completely in the sand in a flash with a few strong tail strokes. 

For our customers: the animals have code 258903 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Bagrichthys macracanthus

26. August 2022

Bagrichthys macracanthus is a very interesting catfish from Southeast Asia (East Sumatra). This catfish reaches a maximum length of about 20 cm. In nature it lives in calm river sections. Among themselves, especially the males are quite incompatible, in pairs or in groups of a male with a surplus of females maintained, however, the species gets along quite well with conspecifics. Sexually mature animals (from about 15 cm) can be sexually differentiated very well, because the males have an unusually long, penis-like urogenital papilla; in females the urogenital papilla is small and inconspicuous. But even in younger animals, females can already be easily recognized by their taller body shape. Juveniles up to about 5 cm in length are not yet pure black, but have light colored bands (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/bagrichthys-macracanthus-2/).

Bagrichthys macracanthus – in the trade they are called “Black Lancers” – are peaceful towards fishes of other species, but tankmates should not be much smaller than about a quarter of the length of the Black Lancer, otherwise they could end up as food. Bagrichthys macracanthus is nocturnal and needs cave hiding places during the day to feel comfortable. For feeding the animals leave their hiding places also during the day. Every usual fish food is eaten. The chemical composition of the water is unimportant, the water temperature should be between 24 and 28°C.

For our customers: the animals have code 368482 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Tatia intermedia

12. August 2022

From Peru a larger number of Tatia reached us thanks to this import we can now solve an more than 10 year old puzzle. In 2011 we received from this country monochrome Tatia, which could not be assigned to any known species (https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/tatia_sp_tahuayo_river_en/). Now it is clear: it is a monochrome color variant of T. intermedia. Mostly T. intermedia has a pattern of light, short, horizontal strokes; many of the current imports also show these, but there are also specimens with only a few strokes – and the monochrome dark ones.

The brightly reflecting lower eye-half of the fish is interesting; because this is obviously a rest-light-amplifier, that helps the fish to find its prey on its nightly hunt on into the water fallen landinsects. If the fish are not flashed at, one does not see this.

Tatia intermedia grows about 15 cm long and is mainly active at night and twilight. In principle, they are peaceful fish, but of course very small fish up to about 4 cm length are considered as food.

For our customers: the fish have code 295704 on our stocklist. Please note that we exvlusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras loxozonus

11. August 2022

This Corydoras belongs to the most attractive and at the same time easy to keep species of the large genus Corydoras. One should only consider that C. loxozonus – it originates from the Orinoco and its tributaries – likes it warm; below 24°C the temperature of the water should not sink in the long run.

At present we can offer beautiful wild catches. Among them there are always specimens with different coloration, which in the past led to confusion with other species. Today we know that C. loxozonus can be very variable in coloration. Thus, according to current knowledge, even such completely different looking animals as C82 and C83 belong to this species.

For our customers: Corydoras loxozonus has code 233703 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras narcissus and Corydoras bethanea (= C. sp. “Narcissus II”; CW6)

29. July 2022

The changed export regulations in Brazil, which have been valid for some time, have now made it possible to import Corydoras narcissus again after a long time.

Corydoras narcissus is a beautiful, relatively large armored catfish. The maximum length is given with 10 cm. The species comes from Brazil, more precisely from the drainage of the Rio Purus. Like all saddlenosed Corydoras, C. narcissus is less gregarious than other Corydoras. Breeding requires large aquariums. When breeding approaches, it should be noted that many saddlenoses can become very aggressive towards each other when in a mating mood; breeders have even reported deaths. In “normal” care, however, such a thing does not happen!

The unusual name was given to the beautiful and otherwise very peaceful fish because the collectors who gave the animals to the first describers suggested to them that they should name the new species in their (the collectors’) honor. However, the first descriptors did not want to put up with this impudent encroachment on the freedom of science and therefore named the armored catfish after the Greek demigod Narciss, who fell in love with his own reflection and whose name has since been synonymous with self-indulgence.

From Peru comes a second, similar species that has only recently (2021) been scientifically described: Corydoras bethanae. In the hobby, it has therefore been referred to as C. narcissus II or CW6, while the actual species has been referred to as C. narcissus I. This is somewhat misleading, as the two species are not particularly closely related and may even be placed in different genera once Corydoras are scientifically revised. Corydoras bethanae is a longnose, does not grow quite as large, is more flesh colored (unlike the whitish C. narcissus), has a transparent dorsal fin spine (black in C. narcissus), and the dorsal band ends at the eye (runs across the snout in C. narcissus).

Therefore, one can easily tell the two species apart even without knowing their origin.

For our customers: Corydoras narcissus has code 237104, C. bethanae 237204 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Chandramara chandramara

25. July 2022

In 1822, the most comprehensive book on the fish life of the Ganges River in India to date was published. The author was the Scottish physician Francis Hamilton, who was in the service of the East Indian Company. Hamilton had detailed drawings made of all the fish species he found in the Ganges. His draftsman – Haludar, a young Bengal – was honored for his extraordinary achievements 200 years later and immortalized: the melon barbs have the generic name Haludaria since 2013. Among the many species Hamilton discovered were two small catfish species that Hamilton named Pimelodus chandramara and Pimelodus rama. To this day, these two species remain virtually unknown from a scientific perspective.

These catfishes – their current names are Chandramara chandramara and Rama rama – remain small (around 5-6 cm), prefer to swim in open water and are diurnal. They are very droll and funny aquarium inhabitants that are completely peaceful against tankmates and disregard plants. They are social animals that are best kept in groups of 10-20 specimens. Any common ornamental fish food will be accepted. The water temperature can be between 16 and 26°C. It is favorable to offer different temperatures during the year, cool in winter, warm in summer. As company are suitable e.g. zebra danios (Danio rerio), rosy barbs (Pethia conchonius) and dwarf gourami (Colisa lalia), which all occur in the same habitat.  Any drinking water is suitable for the maintenance of the above species. 

We have also made a small film about these fish, which you can watch here: https://www.facebook.com/AquariumGlaser/videos/462226828567211.

For our customers: the animals have code 409002 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras desana

22. July 2022

There are still Corydoras species which are imported so rarely and in such small numbers that they belong to the unfulfilled dreams of armored catfish lovers. One of the most attractive species of this group is certainly the “Tukano Longnose”, as it was first named, then it received the code CW011 and finally the species was scientifically described as Corydoras desana.

Of course these animals are not rare in the real sense of the word in nature, but they live individually and are very shy, so that in a period of time, when you can catch thousands of Corydoras tukano, only one or two specimens of the Longnose go into the net. 

For our customers: the animals have code 245635 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L90a Panaque bathyphilus

8. July 2022

The large-growing, magnificent Panaque bathyphilus is very variable in coloration. We have at present quite splendid 16-20 cm long animals in stock. With this they are about half grown, as maximum length for P. bathyphilus about 60 cm are given. It goes without saying that these large fish should only be kept in large aquariums.

Like all Panaque, P. bathyphilus from Peru (surroundings of Tingo Maria) is predominantly wood eater. This is another reason why large tanks with strong filtration are necessary, because the amount of feces produced by this nutrient-poor diet is enormous. Among themselves Panaque are not quite without, they can become quite rough. However, L90 is considered one of the more tolerant species in this regard.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 090A-6 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Oxydoras niger

29. June 2022

With a maximum length of 1 meter Oxydoras niger belongs to the largest species of thorny catfishes. Nevertheless it is a very peaceful species and therefore quite attractive for owners of very large aquariums, show aquariums and zoos. Fully grown these fishes are uniformly black (this is exactly what the species name “niger” = black means), half grown the fins are black and the body is silver-gray. Very young animals are reddish brown and have numerous spots. 

Mostly we import these animals from Peru in small sizes of 4-10 cm; we always had slight doubts whether these brown spotted animals really become the black submarines. Therefore we simply put one aside in the last season. This fish is now 30 cm long and confirms indeed: it is Oxydoras niger, without ifs and buts.

For our customers: the animals have code 284200 (4-6 cm), 284201 (6-8 cm) and 284207 (30 cm, only one animal!) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only available in small quantities!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras pulcher

28. June 2022

The species name pulcher means “the beautiful one”. And that actually says it all. We can currently offer this really beautiful armored catfish, which, along with a whole range of species with which it can easily be confused, comes from the Rio Purus drainage in Brazil.

Corydoras pulcher grows to about 6-7 cm in length. It is distinguished from similarly colored species by the combination of a long, pointed snout and cream-colored dorsal and pectoral fin spines. One should beware of being stung by these spines, it hurts a lot. But the peaceful armored catfish would never actively use their spines to attack. 

For our customers: the animals have code 241704 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras armatus

17. June 2022

In the last years we reported more often about Corydoras imports, which are similar to Corydoras armatus (= sp. aff. armatus or cf. armatus), but not identical. Now we received again the “real” C. armatus from Peru. The enormously high dorsal fin is really an eye-catcher. In addition it is always carried tautly upright, which reminds involuntarily of a group of dwarfs with a pointed cap.

The care of C. armatus, which grows to about 5-6 cm long, is the same as for other armored catfishes, but there are two special features. Firstly, C. armatus is one of the most social Corydoras and should therefore be kept in groups of 5 or more. Single animals do not feel well! And second, this species is somewhat sensitive to high water temperatures. The range between 22 and 26°C is correct, but for most of the year the lower value should be used as a guideline.

For our customers: the animals have code 222105 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Platysilurus mucosus

15. June 2022

Predatory catfishes exude a special fascination to many a catfish lover. Unfortunately, many species simply become too large for permanent care in a normal sized home aquarium. However, there are also species that grow to only 20-30 cm in length and for which it is therefore not necessary to flood the entire basement to meet their space requirements. Platysilurus mucosus belongs to these species.

Two characteristics make Platysilurus mucosus special: the very long maxillary barbels and the huge caudal fin. The latter, however, is more pronounced in juveniles than in adults. When catching one must be very careful, because the pectoral fins are needle-sharp and probably also slightly poisonous. It is best to catch the animals in a comparatively very large net with as fine a mesh as possible and then scoop them out with a cup or (for larger specimens) bucket. This way you save yourself and the animals a lot of stress.

They will eat any meaty food that fits in their mouths, even smaller fish and shrimp! Among themselves the animals are peaceful. In community tanks you have to take care that the P. mucosus get enough food, because they are – compared to other predatory catfishes – very shy. The home of P. mucosus is the Amazon and Orinoco, where the species is widespread. Our animals come from Peru. There is a second species, P. malarmo, which is only found in Venezuela and Colombia and which becomes remarkely larger (around 50 cm).

For our customers: the animals have code 280583 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Glyptoperichthys parnaibae

25. May 2022

For the first time ever we can offer Glyptoperichthys parnaibae, so far known exclusively from the Rio Parnaiba in Brazil. The Rio Parnaiba is located in the northeast of Brazil and has a high proportion of endemic, i.e. only there occurring fish species, because there is no connection to other river systems.

The juveniles of Glyptoperichthys parnaibae are, like all sailfin plecs, quite delightful fish. They grow to 40-50 cm in length and are then probably the most beautiful of all Glyptoperichthys species. We have received them in sizes between 4 and 6 cm. Of course you need large aquariums to keep large fish, but otherwise Glyptoperichthys parnaibae are very easy to care for. Investigation of the stomach content showed that this species eats not only aufwuchs, but also insect larvae. In its distribution area the species is very common and serves as cheap food for poorer population groups.

For our customers: the animals have code 254631 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Platydoras armatulus

20. May 2022

The snarling zebra catfish – this is how Platydoras armatulus could be popularly called. However, it is actually called the striped raphael catfish. All spiny catfish can make distinct growling or croaking sounds when taken out of the water. They vibrate their whole body. Presumably this serves as a defense against enemies. But even without this behavior Platydoras are well protected against predators. Their whole body and especially the fins are covered with spines and thorns, which are even poisonous and can cause painful stings and lacerations. It is said that there have even been cases of poisoning in humans, so one should never catch these animals with bare hands. It seems that the catfishes are aware of their inedibility: usually they are lying around in a shady cave and hardly get disturbed. We have never observed the occasional warning in the literature that these catfishes could be dangerous to their aquarium mates by secreting poison, although we have had thousands of these animals with us over the decades. But at least: we have hereby pointed out to you that such a thing could exist.

Until 2008 the striped raphael catfish was called Platydoras costatus and still today this name can be found on most stock lists. Stock management systems just can’t be changed that easily. The “real” P. costatus is only found in coastal rivers of Surinam and French Guyana, is monochromatic brown-black and has only along the lateral row of spines a thin light line. Platydoras armatulus, on the other hand, is originally from the lower Orinoco, Amazon, and Parana-Paraguay systems. Nowadays, however, almost only captive-breds from Southeast Asia are on the market. It is distinctive and contrasting black and white striped. 

The care of P. armatulus is very simple. The water temperature can be between 20 and 30°C, any drinking water is suitable for care. The species is extremely long-lived, you can look forward to several decades with them. The maximum length is said to be up to 30 cm, usually they grow around 20 cm.  They are sociable animals, which should be kept in small groups (5-7 specimens). They will eat any common ornamental fish food and also small fish if they fit in their mouth. Co-inhabitants should therefore be adapted to the size of the catfish. The sexes are externally hardly distinguishable, the females are a little plumper, that’s it. These free spawners do not practice brood care.

For our customers: the animals have code 280522 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sp. CW 51

18. May 2022

The “New Pandas” from Colombia belong to the most attractive and at the same time easy to keep and breed corydoras of the last years. There are two forms/species, CW 49 and CW 51, which differ clearly in the shape of the black saddle spot. For CW 49 please see here: https://www.facebook.com/page/119893808211837/search/?q=cw49, for origin etc. please see here: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/corydoras_sp_cw_49_und_cw_51_de/.

Currently we have beautiful CW 51 in different sizes in the stock. The extension of the saddle patch towards the belly edge is individually quite different. In some specimens the saddle patch actually extends to the belly edge, in others only just to the middle of the body. 

For our customers: the animals have code 240183 (lg) and 240184 (lg-xlg) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L129 var Hypancistrus debilittera

16. May 2022

The small remaining, nicely marked Hypancistrus debilittera from the Rio Bita (a tributary to the Rio Meta, Colombia, Orinoco drainage) enjoys a great popularity since years. Already with 7 cm length the males become sexually active, the maximum length is given with about 12 cm. We import this species regularly.

Recently we received a “Hypancistrus sp.” from Colombia, unfortunately without concrete locality information. The animals are 6-8 cm long. In this import were specimens which can easily be assigned to H. debilittera, but also completely spotted animals – and all conceivable transitions! All photos in this post were made from specimens from this import.

Therefore we decided to list these fishes as L129-variant. No question: if all animals would have been spotted, we would have seen a new L-number behind them. But this is not possible, because if we receive an order of only a few specimens and the customer happens to receive only “normal” L129, we become untrustworthy. Nevertheless it is an exciting phenomenon. Will the Hypancistrus of the Orinoco basin hybridize with each other as happily as their cousins in the Rio Xingu, for example, have been shown to do? 

There is still a lot to explore about these catfishes, which only became known to science thanks to aquaristics. For this, however, one needs again and again also wild catches, in order to be able to judge the natural variation. So it shows again: serious aquaristics is a joyful science, without which the thorough research of biodiversity (species diversity) in small fishes is not possible. Biodiversity research, in turn, is the indispensable prerequisite for species conservation. And so the trade – also and especially with wild catches – is pure species protection. Species are never endangered by this.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 129A-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Acanthicus adonis

6. May 2022

Now it is season again for one of the most beautiful of all loricariid catfishes: Acanthicus adonis. The species name “adonis”, which is reminiscent of the ancient god of beauty and vegetation, Adonis, is aptly chosen. For like the god described as a beautiful youth, the Adonis catfish is such a beauty only when young. The animals certainly reach over 50 cm in length, one even hears of specimens twice that size. But then the catfishes are only monochrome black.

Acanthicus adonis was described from the Rio Tocantins in Brazil. Mostly the animals come from Peru into the trade. They should differ from the Brazilian cousins by the smaller eye. Occasionally, the distribution of dots is also cited as the difference between the two populations, but this makes little sense since the distribution of dots – the number, arrangement and size of the white dots – varies extremely from individual to individual and is as unique in each specimen as a fingerprint is in a human.

Maintaining Adonis catfish is easy, but you need to be aware of the size these animals reach. They are also quite aggressive fish, both against conspecifics and against non-species fish.

For our customers: the catfishes have code 201203 (5-7 cm) and 201204 (7-10 cm) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ameiurus melas

6. May 2022

Among the aquarium fishes that have been kept already in the 1890ies belong the two species of bullhead catfish Ameiurus melas and A. nebulosus. Both species are very similar to each other and even specialists have problems to tell them apart. Initially bullhead catfish were brought to Europe as foodfish in the 1880ies from the USA, together with rainbow trout, pumkinseed, and brook trout. But the bullheads don´t grow as large here as they do in the original home country. They tend to reproduce early and develop mass populations of dwarfish animals that stop or at least reduce) growing after the first spawning. So the bullheads are considered to be unwanted invaders in European waters and as pests. One should never release unwanted aquarium kept bullheads, but one should never release any type of fish at all, may it be native or not.

But anyway: we are interested in keeping the fish in tanks or garden ponds, not in releasing them. Of course one may ask after a first examination of the fish, why a hobbyist should keep such a dull colored, predatory, large (over 20 cm) and basically night active species? But the bullheads have a fan community on their own. For example Nobel Prize winner Karl von Frisch studied the abilty of fish to hear on bullheads. Bullheads become tame and can be trained for sounds (for example a whistle). Once they are trained they leave their hiding place at any time of the day when they hear the whistle to search for food. Anyone who likes to keep an animal with character that is completely undemanding in respect of food (virtually any type of fish food is taken readily) or water chemistry (in fact a tank for bullheads needs no technical features at all) makes a good choice with bullheads.

Barring another miracle, the trade in bullheads will be banned throughout the EU from May 2022. The species is considered invasive (which is quite true) and it is expected from a trade ban that the number of feral catfish will decrease noticeably (which is almost impossible). So if you are interested in catfish, you should stock up on the specimens you need as soon as possible, as long as it is still legally possible.

For our customers: the fsh have code 820103 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sodalis Colombia

22. April 2022

Widespread species often show coloration differences in the different parts of the distribution area. So also the beautiful Corydoras sodalis, which is reported from Peru, Brazil and Colombia. From Colombia we could now import C. sodalis, which differ quite clearly in color and figure from e.g. animals imported from Brazil (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/corydoras-sodalis-2/).

For our customers: the fish have code 246705 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rhinelepis cf. strigosa

14. April 2022

The two species of the genus Rhinelepis – R. aspera and R. strigosa – belong with over 60 cm attainable final size to the largest armored catfishes at all and are therefore predestined as show objects in zoos, public aquariums and of course also for owners of gigantic private aquariums. Color-wise they have nothing to offer, they are monochromatic blackish, but they are imposing and whimsical creatures.

There are only a few Rhinelepis specimens in museum collections worldwide and therefore the fine systematics of these fishes is very poorly studied. Scientific doctrine holds that there are two species that occur in quite different river systems of South America: Rhinelepis aspera from the Rio Sao Francisco and R. strigosa from the Rio Parana and Rio Uruguay systems. We have now been able to import animals from Paraguay, which should therefore be Rhinelepis strigosa

The difference between R. aspera and R. strigosa is that R. strigosa has many odontodes on the bony plates of the body and R. aspera does not. In the six specimens imported by us (four 16-18 cm, two 25-30 cm long) some correspond in this respect more strigosa, others more aspera, which is why we call all of them R. cf. strigosa as a precaution. Possibly this “species difference” is rather a sex difference after all, who knows. But we cannot clarify such questions here.

For our customers: the fish have code 287575 (16-18 cm) and 287578 (25-30 cm). Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras robustus

8. April 2022

This Corydoras belongs with 9-11 cm of total-length to the biggest and most splendid species of the genus at all. Both sexes develop, when they are sexually active, long dorsal fins. The males can be recognized by the additional long ventral fins.

At the moment we have wonderful, fully grown, well settled animals in stock. More photos of sexually active animals can be found here: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/corydoras_robustus_en/.

Corydoras robustus originates from the Purus River basin in central Amazon drainage, Brazil

For our customers: the fish have code 244106 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

L92/L194 Lasiancistrus tentaculatus

7. April 2022

There seems to be a consensus among armored catfish enthusiasts that L92, which is very widespread in the Orinoco drainage of Colombia and Venezuela and later received another L-number, namely L194, is identical to Lasiancistrus tentaculatus, which was described in 2005. However, L. tentaculatus is described as more or less monochromatic brown, while L92 is quite differently colored: on the front half of the body, approximately up to the base of the dorsal fin, there are many bright spots, but not on the rear half of the body. That is why the name „headspotted delta catfish” fits very well. Typical for Lasiancistrus is the coloration of the caudal fin: the lower half is much more pigmented than the upper half. In the case of L92, the lower half of the caudal fin is rusty red.

Lasiancistrus species are typical algae eaters, but also need soft wood to supplement their diet. They are perfect for discus aquariums as „glass cleaners”, as they cope well with the usually somewhat higher temperatures in discus aquariums. At around 10-12 cm L92 is fully grown, making it one of the smallest Lasiancistrus species.

We can now offer this cave spawner, which likes to use stone crevices for spawning, as a German offspring.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 092-3 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypoptopoma sp. Ucayali

4. April 2022

From Peru we could import very nice Hypoptopoma. Most of the import consisted of H. gulare (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/hypoptopoma-gulare/), but there were some specimens with very conspicuous, broad bands in the dorsal fin and contrasting caudal fins. Unfortunately the identification attempt based on the current revision of the genus (Aquino & Schaefer, 2010) did not give a satisfying result and new species have not been described since then. However, the species is already depicted, mostly under the name H. sp. III, with the remark that the origin of this fish is unknown or that the locality is “Brazil”. Since we now know that this species comes from the Rio Ucayali in Peru, we have designated it with the corresponding information.

According to Aquino & Schaefer the species Hypoptopoma bianale, H. steindachneri, H. gulare, H. thoracatum, H. psilogaster and possibly also H. brevirostratum occur in the Rio Ucayali. Our fish does not fit to any of the mentioned species, so that it is probably to be assumed that it is a scientifically still undescribed species. According to the few data in the aquaristic literature Hypoptopoma sp. Ucayali (= H. sp. III) becomes 10-12 cm long (total length, thus including tail fin). Our import fish are currently 5-7 cm long, so they are just half grown.

For our customers: the fish have code 262315 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only available in very small quantities!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Batrochoglanis sp. Venezuela

28. March 2022

Something is happening with the South American bumblebee and frog catfishes! In former times they were assigned to the long-whiskered catfishes (Pimelodidae), today they are placed in an own family, the Pseudopimelodidae. Often in the trade are the striking yellow-black marked, only 3-8 cm large South American bumblebee catfishes (Microglanis, 23 species), and the similarly colorful, but with up to 20 cm significantly larger South American frog catfishes (Batrochoglanis). Predator fans appreciate the whimsical Lophiosilurus alexandri and the marbled Cephalosilurus, both genera whose representatives sometimes exceed the 30-cm mark.

Recently (2017), a new genus of stream-loving Pseudopimelodidae was described, Rhyacoglanis, with 7 assigned species (5 of which are new, 2 transferred to Rhyacoglanis from other genera). These are pretty, often yellow-black ringed species, growing 5-8 cm long. And in 2021, a phylogenetic study (i.e., a paper analyzing the more precise relationships) of the Pseudopimelodidae was published.

We could just import again four specimens of a pseudopimelid catfish from Venezuela, whose determination seemed to us very complex in the light of the new work. In the meantime, however, we are of the opinion that it is a representative of the genus Batrochoglanis; earlier we would have certainly addressed it as Cephalosilurus apurensis (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/cephalosilurus_apurensis_en/ and https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/cephalosilurus-apurensis-2/), now, due to the unclear situation with Batrochoglanis, more cautiously as Batrochoglanis sp. Venezuela.

For our customers: the animals have code 214644 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras sp. “Ogawae” CW86 (cf. armatus)

25. March 2022

Corydoras armatus is a rather distinctive cory from Peru. We have also received this beautiful species, which is notable for its particularly high dorsal fin, from Venezuela from time to time (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/corydoras_armatus_venezuela_de/). Geographically this all fits together well, the catching regions both belong to the upper drainage of the Amazon. 

However, there is a sibling species of Corydoras armatus from Brazil. It inhabits the Rio Abuna in the border area between Brazil and Bolivia. The Brazilian was given the invalid trade names “Corydoras dorsalis” and “Corydoras ogawae”, freely invented names without scientific meaning. In addition, the form received the number CW86.

The Brazilian lookalike is hardly distinguishable from the “real” Corydoras armatus. However, there are about 2,500 km as the crow flies between the Rio Huallaga (the type locality of C. armatus) and the Rio Abuna! Additionally CW86 has somewhat coarser spots than its cousins.

We have now after a long time again this beautiful armored catfish imported.

For our customers: CW86 has code 222113 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. 

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Tatia musaica/ Centromochlus musaicus

23. March 2022

When the first black and white “Tatia” appeared in the ornamental fish trade some years ago, they were celebrated as a sensation. (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/centromochlus_sp_ninja_en/ and https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/tatia_musaica_en/). We identified these fish, which originated in Brazil, as Tatia musaica. In 2017, a team of scientists published a study on Centromochlus species and described the species previously known as Tatia musaica from Brazil (Rio Nhamunda drainage) as a new species Centromochlus orca. However, they confirmed Tatia musaica as a valid species from the Rio Orinoco. The “real” Tatia musaica differs in color from C. orca by the higher proportion of black in the coloration. It was astonishing that these two species, so similar to each other, were placed in different genera. 

Unfortunately, this team of scientists had overlooked a 2015 paper by Steven Grant in which Grant established several new (sub)genera, including Sauronglanis for the species then identified as T. musaica. So now there were already three generic names for the small (5-6 cm long) black and white Tatias!

In 2019, another team of scientists published a study on the relationship classifications of the driftwood catfishes, in which both species (orca and musaica) were reassigned to Tatia, and Sauronglanis was declared a synonym of Tatia.

This did not go unchallenged; in a study published in 2020, both species were regrouped and this time placed in Centromochlus, so should now be called C. orca and C. musaicus. And Grant is not yet convinced that his genus Sauronglanis is really a synonym, as he writes in his 2021 book on banjo-catfish, doradids, and driftwood catfishes.

In any case, we now have pretty black and white driftwood catfishes from the Orinoco in the stock that are undoubtedly the species originally described as Tatia musaica, to whichever genus one may assign them.

For our customers: the animals have code 295842 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer


Calegari, B. B., Vari, R. P. & R. E. Reis (2019): Phylogenetic systematics of the driftwood catfishes (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae): a combined morphological and molecular analysis. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society v. 187 (no. 3): 661-773.

Grant, S. (2015): Four new subgenera of Centromochlus Kner, 1858 with comments on the boundaries of some related genera (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae: Centromochlinae). Ichthyofile No. 3: 1-16.

Grant, S. (2021): Banjos, Dorads and Woodcats. Aspredinidae, Doradidae and Auchenipteridae Catfishes. ATS-Aquashop, Neustadt am Rübenberge: 1-300.

Sarmento-Soares, L. M., Lazzarotto, H., Rapp Py-Daniel, L. H. & R. P. Leitão (2017): A new Centromochlus Kner, 1858 (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae: Centromochlinae) from the transition between Amazon floodplain and Guiana shield, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology v. 14 (no. 4): 1-11.

Sarmento-Soares, L. M. & R. F. Martins-Pinheiro (2020): A reappraisal of phylogenetic relationships among auchenipterid catfishes of the subfamily Centromochlinae and diagnosis of its genera (Teleostei: Siluriformes). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia v. 167: 85-146.

Ancistrus sp. L184 (= L107)

18. March 2022

One of the most attractive Ancistrus species is this so far not scientifically identified species from the middle Rio Negro in Brazil. There the beautiful fish is not rare, in some places even very common, but the species apparently prefers biotopes which are avoided by the local fishermen; otherwise it can hardly be explained why L184 is imported only so comparatively rarely. In the meantime, however, offspring are more frequently available, including the fish we can currently offer in small numbers.

While L184 has been found in nature in stately specimens of 15-18 cm length, the offspring always stay smaller, breeding already with 6-8 cm length and usually stop growing with 10-12 cm length. The reason for this is unknown, almost all other fish species usually grow larger in the aquarium than their wild cousins.

Apart from a high level of attention required by these Ancistrus for breeding and during rearing – very soft water with a pH around 5 and extremely low bacterial water loads – L184 are not particularly demanding when maintained “normally” without breeding intentions and are well suited for maintenance in community aquariums. However, one should not keep other, possibly even aggressive loricariids together with L184, because the “Brilliant Ancistrus”, as L184/L107 is popularly also called, is a very defensive species, which can be easily suppressed.

L184 differs from all other similarly marked Ancistrus species by the combination of the following characteristics: very flat body, broad head, white spots in the dorsal fin, no white fringe in dorsal or tail fin, pointed tail fin ends (white in juveniles).

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 184X-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rineloricaria lanceolata “Red Dun“

11. March 2022

For the first time we can offer the breeding form “Red Dun” of the Chocolate Whiptail Catfish. This new breeding form goes back to a wild-caught male that we were able to import from Paraguay in November 2015 (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/rineloricaria_lanceolata_en/). We gave it, together with some normal females of the same import, to our breeder Kurt Jülich. We hoped Kurt could breed an attractive new strain from it.

Kurt could, but it took time. As he had guessed before, it took four generations to get a hereditary pure red strain. We can now offer this F4.

Kurt suggested the name “Red dun” to distinguish the new strain also linguistically clearly from the already existing strains of red Rineloricaria. A dun is the name for a horse with a light coat base color, dark long hair (mane, tail) and other dark markings. Because in contrast to other red Rineloricaria, the “Red dun” often still has markings in darker red on the body, just like the grand-grandfather.

The “Red dun” will surely find many friends because of its beautiful coloration. Very special is the fact that here the origin of a new breeding form is documented from the beginning.

For our customers: the animals have code 288522 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypancistrus contradens L201a Big Spots

4. March 2022

From the lower Rio Ventuari in Venezuela – the largest tributary of the Orinoco – as well as from the Orinoco itself in the Ventuari estuary comes a beautiful Hypancistrus. It has large, bright spots on a deep black ground. The coloration of the spots is varying between shy white and orange-pink. There is a high similarity to L201, which was imported earlier from Venezuela, but from the upper reaches of the Orinoco River. L201 has much smaller spots. L201 has remained scientifically undescribed to this day. The large-spotted fish from the Ventuari was therefore called L201a in the trade; by the way, exported species are often mixed, which can give the impression that they occur together in nature, which is not the case according to current knowledge. A “proper” L-number was never given to “L201a Big Spots”, it is also superfluous, because L201a was already scientifically described as Hypancistrus contradens in 2007.

But nothing is as long-lasting as a proper provisional designation: the designation L201a will not be eradicated in the trade.

By the way, L471 looks completely identical (see: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/hypancistrus-sp-l471-dwarf-big-spots-2/), which also originates from Ventuari, but remains much smaller. L471 is said to reach only 5-6 cm total length (at least wild caught), while for H. contradens a maximum length of 10 cm is given. One always has to be careful that scientific papers only talk about “standard length”, i.e. body length without caudal fin, because one never knows if the caudal fin of a fish caught in the wild is complete (usually it is not), while aquaristic sources usually give the total length, i.e. including caudal fin. For example, the animal photographed for this post from our current import has 8 cm standard length and 10.5 cm total length. It is, as you can tell by the long interopercularodonts (“whiskers”), a sexually mature male. 

Hypancistrus contradens is such a popular L catfish because its beautiful coloration remains throughout its life, whereas many other species become increasingly dull and washed out as they age. 

For our customers: Hypancistrus contradens has code 26480-L 201A-3 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Synodontis polli “White”

25. February 2022

Some time ago a small Synodontis appeared in the hobby, which is called “White Polli”. But the “White” has little in common with the actual Synodontis polli. The dorsal fin spine of “White” is bicolor, black in the lower half, white in the upper half. This species is distributed in the hobby almost exclusively as offspring. The strain goes back to animals imported by the Dutchman René Krüter from Lake Tanganyika near Mpulungu in Zambia. Krüter bred the animals with good success and spread them in this way. 

The “White Polli” remains small, it hardly grows beyond 8-10 cm in length and is not a cuckoo catfish, but reproduces “normally”. Although there is hardly any doubt that it is a scientifically undescribed species occurring in the wild, it has also undoubtedly been heavily bred in recent years and selected for very light, even white body color, which is why the offspring look only very little like the original wild specimens. Adult specimens show a small occipital hump, which caused Erwin Schraml to call the animals “Humphead Synodontis”. Probably, however, the name “White Polli” (or the other way around, “polli White”) cannot be eliminated. 

We currently offer the “White Polli” as a cute offspring in 3-4 cm length. You should always keep these fish in company of conspecifics, because they are really very sociable!

For our customers: the fish have code 185701 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L501 Hypanacistrus sp. Mitu

25. February 2022

Snowball plecos belong to the largest Hypancistrus species. They can reach up to 20 cm in length. Members of the group are easily recognized by the conspicuous black fringes in the dorsal and caudal fins. 

Distinguishing the aquaristically known form, on the other hand, is tricky and sometimes simply impossible without knowledge of the origin. The most common aquaristically is L102, the actual Snowball Pleco, which originates from the Rio Negro in Brazil. It typically has snow white spots, small on the head, large on the body, usually the dorsal fin is also adorned with large white spots. The second form, Hypanacistrus inspector, comes from the Orinoco drainage in Colombia and Venezuela (type locality: Río Casiquiare, drainage of the Amazon, about 10 river kilometers above the Rio Negro mouth). It has very small white spots all over the body and the black colored zones of the fin seams are much narrower than in L102. And then there is L501, which comes from the rapids of the Rio Cuduari near Mitu (Colombia). Here the spots, which are relatively small all over the body, are mostly orange-pink in color, and the dorsal fin in adults is usually spotless. But these color distinctions are ideal imaginations. There are all conceivable transitions in the import shipments.

In any case, we now have very attractive L501 from Colombia in the stock, which correspond well to the color expectations one has of them.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 501-4 (10-12 cm) and 26480-L 501-5 (12-15 cm) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudacanthicus sp. L185 Bred

18. February 2022

The cactus plecos (Pseudacanthicus) are popular with owners of large aquariums. L185 originates from the Rio Xingu and is also called Belo Monte Cactus Pleco, because this catfish used to be caught there. We do not know if the species still exists there, or if it was wiped out by the construction of the Belo Monte Dam. This species was never very common in aquaristics. It is said to reach lengths around 40 cm.

For the first time we can now offer some German offspring of this rarity. The fish are at a length of 8-10 cm very dark, almost completely black, colored. Only in the fins you can see some dark spots. Mood conditioned the body coloration can lighten later and numerous black spots cover the whole fish, but one and the same specimen can be colored sometimes like this and sometimes like that even as an adult.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 185-4 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only available in small numbers!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Tatia galaxias

11. February 2022

The cute Tatia catfishes are quite popular in the hobby. Keepers put up with the fact that you can hardly see them outside feeding times, because they are extremely addicted to hiding. But they make up for it with their pretty coloration and good breedability.

Tatia galaxias comes from the Orinoco river basin in Colombia (including the Rio Meta) and Venezuela, where our current stock comes from. The coloration is unique. On a dark background there are numerous bright spots, like stars in the galaxy – hence the species name. There is a possibility of confusion to some individuals of Tatia intermedia, but the spots are longitudinal oval in the latter species, round in T. galaxias.

The maximum size of T. galaxias is 12 cm, sexual maturity occurs at a length of about 5-6 cm. Every usual ornamental fish food is eaten, the water values are negligible for the care, if extreme values are avoided. The water temperature should be 24-30°C.

For our customers: the animals have code 295664 (4-6 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Akysis prashadi

4. February 2022

The range of small, peaceful catfishes from Asia is much smaller than from South America, but they do exist. Moth catfishes (Hara, Erethistes) for low flow aquariums and wasp catfishes (Akysis) for tanks with more flow are becoming increasingly popular.

Akysis get their name “wasp catfish” from the most famous species, Akysis vespa, whose sting with the poisonous pectoral fin spines really hurts. But also the other species (there are 24 accepted and scientifically described species so far) can sting nasty, therefore caution is required when catching them. But the small catfishes never attack actively!

Akysis prashadi belongs to the longest known species of the genus, the maximum 6-7 cm long fish was already scientifically described in 1936. It originates from Burma, where it lives endemically (i.e. only there) in the tributaries of Lake Indawgyi. Care is unproblematic, any common fish food is readily accepted. The animals like to bury themselves in fine sand, if the possibility exists. Akysis are egg layers, they do not practice brood care. Due to their origin the fish can be kept very well at room temperature, the temperature should not exceed 25°C permanently.

For our customers: the fish have code 362352 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Nemadoras elongatus

31. January 2022

The thorny catfishes are a very interesting and diverse group of catfishes. We were able to import from Peru the slender species Nemadoras elongatus, which can reach a total length of about 12-15 cm. At first sight the fishes remind very much of the Hassar species, which they also resemble in behavior. They are peaceful schooling fish that move around a lot and appreciate some current in the aquarium.

Nemadoras are omnivores that can be fed on all common aquarium fish foods, although the emphasis should clearly be on a meaty diet. Water composition plays a minor role in their care. You can maintain the animals in any tap water.

The aquarium for Nemadoras should have plenty of free swimming space. Plants will not be damaged, but with very dense plant growth there is a risk that the fish will become entangled in the underwater plants. Nemadoras are ideal community fish for larger aquariums with tetras etc.

For our customers: the fish have code 272484 on our stock list. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Lexicon: nemadoras: means “doras with thread”; doras is another catfish genus. elongatus: means “elongated, slender”.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Acestridium dichromum

24. January 2022

The strange sucking catfishes of the genus Acestridium – there are currently seven recognized species in the genus – could also be called “dwarf needle catfishes”, because they look like a miniature version of the needle catfishes of the genus Farlowella.

Unfortunately, these animals are still an aquaristic challenge, which only very experienced aquarists should approach. But now they have the chance to try them again, because we have very stable and well acclimated Acestridium dichromum from Venezuela in our stock. Further information about the animals can be found here: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/acestridium_dichromum_arrived__en/

For our customers: the animals have code 201533 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

The sturgeon catfishes of Paraguay: Sturisoma barbatum or S. robustum?

14. January 2022

From Paraguay wonderful, partly very large sturgeon catfishes (Sturisoma) are imported. Two Sturisoma species are known from the Rio Paraguay: S. barbatum, described already in 1853 by Kner, and S. robustum, described in 1904 by Regan. The two species differ from each other only insignificantly. 

The most important anatomical feature distinguishing the two species is the structure of the nuchal and anterior dorsal shields. In S. barbatum, they consist essentially of three massive bone claspers (plus two smaller bone plates), whereas in S. robustum they consist of 17 bone plates.

S. barbatum is said to have much longer extended fin filaments than S. robustum. Today, however, we know that such fin filaments can be very differently pronounced both ontogenetically and individually and are not very suitable for species differentiation. If one looks at the illustrations attached to the original descriptions, it is also noticeable that S. barbatum (a male is shown) appears altogether more slender, the species name “robustum” is well chosen by Regan (a female is shown with him). In living specimens from Paraguay one sees very well that the males correspond better to S. barbatum, the females better to S. robustum. Possibly, therefore, S. barbatum and S. robustum are synonyms of each other. In that case S. barbatum would be the valid, because older name.

Our currently (2021/22) imported animals correspond to S. barbatum regarding the nuchal and anterior dorsal shields, as you can see well on the photos.

Sturgeon Catfishes are fantastic aquarium fishes that can grow up to 28 in length and require appropriately large aquariums. Males are easily recognized by their distinctive whiskers during the breeding season, but even outside of the spawning season it is not difficult to distinguish between the sexes, as can be easily seen in the photos. The diet is varied with a clear emphasis on plant foods.

With fish from Paraguay it is generally to be noted that the water temperatures there fluctuate seasonally and are quite low in the winter there. After successful acclimation the fish should be adapted to our seasons and kept at 24-26°C in summer and 16-18°C in winter. Then they usually breed willingly. They like to spawn at the front glass of the aquarium, the male guards spawn and newly hatched young. For the rearing of the young fish it is inevitable to feed excrements of the parents, because they need the bacteria and fungi (endosymbionts) living in the intestine to be able to digest plant food. If this is not observed, the young animals starve to death after the change from meat food (Artemia nauplii etc.), which they need as initial food, to plant food in spite of a full stomach.

For our customers: the animals have code 294805 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Baryancistrus sp. Snowflake LDA 33 / L142

7. January 2022

This beautiful loricariid catfish comes from the Rio Tapajós in Brazil. Usually, 4-5 cm long youngsters are imported from these catfishes, which look very attractive with their large, white dots on a deep black ground and fully deserve the name “Snowball-Pleco”. In addition to high water temperatures (not below 28°C), these catfishes should be kept in water that is as low in germs as possible. They also need to be fed properly. The food also includes soft (!) wood, which the animals grate off. In the nature these catfishes can become up to 30 cm long. 

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-LDA 033-7 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers. 

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

The “real” Corydoras melini?

31. December 2021

One of the most important arguments for importing wild-caught fish for aquaristics is the gain in knowledge it allows. For the majority of small fish species this is only possible by observing living specimens. Without this there is no species knowledge, without species knowledge there is no species conservation.

A wonderful example of the above is the Corydoras, which we received from Brazil a few weeks ago under the name Corydoras davidsandsi. It seemed to us a bit too high-backed and pointy-nosed for C. davidsandsi, but because they are particularly large animals and we had no better name to offer in a hurry, we let it go for the time being. 

In the meantime, however, we did further research and came to surprising results. Since the 1980s a very beautiful armored catfish is imported from Colombia, which several scientists identified in scientific studies as Corydoras melini. This Colombian is a round-nosed armored catfish with a black eye band; a broad black dorsal band begins below the dorsal fin and runs down the root of the tail to the lower base of the caudal fin and continues along the lower edge of the caudal fin. We will refer to this color pattern as the “Melini pattern” in the following text.

Nowadays we have learned that there are several developmental lineages in armored catfishes that differ in terms of head shape (and thus food acquisition). Very often there are round-, long- and saddle-snouts with almost identical color pattern, without these species being more closely related to each other; in addition, there are twin species with the same head shape, which, however, occur in spatially far apart areas, therefore at least represent different populations and are usually distinguished by details of coloration. And to make it even more complicated: the head or snout shape is also subject to a certain variation within a population and also changes in the course of individual development (ontogenesis). For example, a very young long snout is recognizable as such only to very experienced specialists, and the relative length of the snout increases considerably during growth.

The examination of the first scientific description of Corydoras melini showed that it is clearly a longnose, even if the animals on which the description was based were still relatively small. They were collected in 1924 in the Rio Uaupes in the border area between Brazil and Colombia by D. Melini, in whose honor the species was named at the first description by Lönnberg and Rendahl. Rendahl was not only a zoologist but also a recognized artist and made a detailed drawing of the largest, 44.4 mm (without caudal fin) long animal, which Nijssen & Isbrücker declared to be the lectotype in 1980 (thus it is the reference specimen for all subsequent determinations). Because this work is not so readily available, we reproduce the drawing here for comparison purposes.

An easily recognizable difference between the “false” C. melini from Colombia and the “true” C. melini from the Rio Uaupes (in Colombia the same river is called Vaupes) is the coloration of the dorsal fin. The “false” C. melini has a black triangle in the dorsal fin that extends from the tip of the dorsal fin spine to the posterior lower end of this fin. The dorsal fin triangle is merged in color with the dorsal band. In the “true” C. melini, however, the dorsal fin is transparent and only in the lower, dorsal region is there a flat, black rectangle that is also connected to the dorsal band. Further coloration differences are easily seen in the attached photos. By the way, according to Castro (1987) the “false” C. melini occurs in the Rio Guaviare (Colombia, Orinoco drainage) and in the Rio Caqueta (Amazonian drainage in Colombia, in Brazil the same river is called Japurá).

The following longnose with “melini pattern” and the coloration of the “true” C. melini are currently known: C52 (Peru), C85 (Peru), C138 (Peru), C159 (Brazil: Rio Purus), CW89 (Colombia, Rio Vaupes), CW106 (Colombia, Rio Cuduyaria, a tributary of Rio Vaupes). Of these, ours, sent as C. davidsandsi, correspond best to C159 and from our point of view CW89 is the fish closest to the first description of C. melini.

Finally, a word about C. davidsandsi: this species occurs in the Rio Negro drainage (Rio Unini) in Brazil and has the “melini pattern”, but the nuchal shield between the eye patch and the dorsal fin base is colored pale orange-red, which places it more in the relationship of Corydoras adolfoi, C. burgessi, C. imitator and similar species.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Literature cited:

Castro, D. M. (1987): The fresh-water fishes of the genus Corydoras from Colombia, including two new species (Pisces, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae). Boletin Ecotrópica. No. 16: 23-57, Pls. 1-11.

Lönnberg, E. & H. Rendahl (1930): Eine neue Art der Gattung Corydoras. Arkiv för Zoologi v. 22 A (no. 5): 1-6.

Nijssen, H. & I. J. H. Isbrücker (1980): A review of the genus Corydoras Lacépède, 1803 (Pisces, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde v. 50 (no. 1): 190-220.

C- and CW-numbers: www.corydorasworld.com

Corydoras geoffroy

3. December 2021

For a long time this fish, the type species of the genus Corydoras, was a mystery. Until today it is a top rarity among the armored catfishes. And so we are especially pleased to be able to offer offspring of this precious fish once again. The animals are still a bit inconspicuous, so we would like to thank Ernst-Otto von Drachenfels and Jürgen Glaser for providing us with some pictures of adult animals!

Corydoras geoffroy comes from the Guyana countries Suriname and French Guyana, from where there are no ornamental fish exports. The species, described as early as 1803, could therefore only be made available to the hobby by adventurous traveling aquarists. Since 2018, Corydoras specialists have been successfully engaged in breeding these unusual animals.

For our customers: the fish have code 230212 on our stock list. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text: Frank Schäfer, Photos: Ernst-Otto von Drachenfels, Jürgen Glaser and Frank Schäfer

Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps

29. November 2021

The red highfin sucker is a classic, which found its lovers long before the invention of the L-numbers. Juveniles are really adorable and excellent algae killers. In addition they look very beautiful. Since this catfish easily grows to 30-40 cm in length, there are two camps among aquarists. Some are critical of the animal because of its achievable final size (“everyone must have fallen for it”), others use the opportunity to finally acquire the long desired large tank.

The Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps in the trade are meanwhile almost without exception offsprings from Southeast Asia. The wild species is very widespread in South America (the entire upper and middle basins of the Amazon and Orinoco : Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela), but is hardly ever imported from there.

The care of the peaceful animals is completely problem-free, if one does justice to their space requirements.

For our customers: the fish have code 285801 (4-5 cm), 285802 (5-6 cm) and 282804 (8-10cm) on our current stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Corydoras undulatus Paraguay

26. November 2021

The beautiful Corydoras undulatus belongs to the relationship of C. elegans. Like most representatives of this group the species swims rather in free water than on the ground. Also typical for the group is that males and females differ clearly in color. In the case of C. undulatus the males become very dark with bright points.

Corydoras undulatus comes to us from Paraguay and grows 5-6 cm long. The species has some siblings: C88 from the Mato Grosso in Brazil is very similar and also C. bilineatus from Bolivia is a species that can be easily confused with C. undulatus.

For our customers: the fish have code 248004 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rineloricaria parva

25. November 2021

From Paraguay we regularly receive shipments of the small whiptail catfishes of the genus Rineloricaria. No less than 65 species are currently recognized, which makes identification in many cases almost impossible without knowledge of their origin. But in the case of Paraguay, there is a recent revision of the species known from this river system by Vera-Alcaraz et al. (2008), so at least trying to determine the exact species name is not just a waste of time.

Mostly, the whiptail catfishes destined for export are collected from Paraguay not far from the capital Asunción. From there three species can be expected: R. aurata, R. lanceolata and R. parva. The technical species differences are in the number and arrangement of the body plates, but the three species are also easily recognized by color: R. lanceolata has a dorsal fin that is darkly colored in the anterior part (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/rineloricaria_lanceolata_en/), in R. parva the pectoral fins are distinctly banded, and in R. aurata both fins are without conspicuous color markings. Incidentally, R. aurata was described using an atypical, solid yellow specimen. Normally the species has the gray-brown coloration usual for Rineloricaria with 4-5 narrow, dark bands across the back starting at the dorsal fin (much broader in R. parva).

Our imports consist therefore of more than 90% R. parva and some R. lanceolata as bycatch. Fishes clearly belonging to R. aurata have not been imported so far or at least we have not noticed them.

The care and breeding of these whiptail catfishes, which usually grow to a maximum length of 12 cm, is easy. You have to provide them with sandy soil in places and a good amount of vegetable food (lettuce, spinach, dandelion etc. frosted or briefly scalded, as well as flake food on a vegetable basis). They are peaceful contemporaries. As with all fish from southern South America, the water temperature should not be kept the same all year round, but cool periods (18-22°C) should be alternated with warmer ones (24-28°C) throughout the year (several months at a time).

For our customers: the animals have code 288803 on our stocklist. please note that we only supply wholesale.

Literature. Vera-Alcaraz, H. S., C. S. Pavanelli & C. H. Zawadzki (2012): Taxonomic revision of the Rineloricaria species (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Paraguay River basin. Neotropical Ichthyology v. 10 (no. 2): 285-311.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrus Orange Brown “LDA16”

22. November 2021

This extremely attractive Ancistrus is a breeding form. The actual LDA 16 is a wild form imported in 1994 from Brazil (Rio Puraqequara, a tributary of the Rio Guamá, which in turn is a tributary of the Rio Tocantins) and is uniformly purple-brown in color. We do not know if the orange-blotched Ancistrus descended from LDA 16, but we do not think so. It is rather the further development of the breeding form, which was introduced in 1996 by Ralf Paul in AqualogNews No6 as “Tortoiseshell Ancistrus”, which must have existed at that time already longer and is probably identical with the common “Aquarium Ancistrus“.

The care of the “Orange Brown”, in which every single animal is individually differently patterned, succeeds therefore every beginner in the aquaristics without problems. The only reason why these pretty loricariid catfishes are so rare in the trade, is probably that the clearly smaller number of eggs per clutch (approx. 60), than in the usual “Aquarium Ancistrus“ (up to 200).

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-LDA 016-0 (3 cm) and 26480-LDA 016-1 (4-5 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypostomus roseopunctatus L311

19. November 2021

Not less than 148 species are counted to the genus Hypostomus, but no five of them appear more often in the trade. Special is of course H. luteus with its sail-like dorsal fin and the bright yellow coloration, but most species are “plecos”, brown or gray with black spots. In addition, most species grow quite large (20-40 cm) for normal aquariums.

An exception is Hypostomus roseopunctatus. It comes, like also H. luteus, from the south of Brazil, as well as from Paraguay and further areas of the inflows of the rivers La Plata and Rio Uruguay. Whether the species is really identical with L311, which was exported from the Brazilian state of Bahia, which is much further north, is not clear, but in the trade one hardly cares. Clear recognition mark of the only extremely rarely imported species is the small number of teeth per maxillary branch, as our animals show. The pink stippling is also very characteristic.

Hypostomus roseopunctatus becomes about 25 cm long, therefore our specimens are almost fully grown. The two fish shown in the photo are probably a pair due to the physical differences. These catfishes are very tolerant among each other and towards other fishes anyway.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 311-7 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudacanthicus sp. L273 Titanic

12. November 2021

The magnificent cactus catfish L273 Titanic, up to 30 cm long, originates from the Rio Tapajós. Its first import in 1998 was a sensation. Interesting about the animals, which are allowed to be exported from Brazil again since some time, is the very individual body pattern. All cactus catfishes are carnivores; towards non-species fishes they are usually peaceful, but against conspecifics they become more and more quarrelsome with increasing age.

This is the main reason why cactus catfishes are still quite rarely bred. The mating behavior is – to put it mildly – very rough and the poor females look like they have been treated with a wire brush after a mating. This heals quickly, but a breeding attempt can be fatal to the female if she is not truly ready to spawn.

We currently have L273 in various sizes in the stock.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 273-2 (5-7 cm), 26480-L 273-4 (9-12 cm), 26480-L 273-7 (18-22 cm) and 26480-L 273-8 (20-25 cm) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only available in small quantities!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Zungaro zungaro

10. November 2021

The catfish Zungaro zungaro belongs to the largest catfish species of South America. There were all kinds of debates about its name, for a long time it sailed under Pseudopimelodus zungaro or Paulicea luetkeni. Because of its gigantic size (length up to 140 cm, weight up to 50 kg) the species is difficult to study and it undergoes an enormous change of color from a leopard-like patterned juvenile to a monochrome gray giant.

DNA studies suggest that there are other species besides the two generally recognized Zungaro species (Z. zungaro from the Amazon and Orinoco rivers and Z. jahu, which grows to exactly the same size, from the Paraná-Paraguay system).

We have now imported from Brazil some “babies” of 15-20 cm length, which still carry the nice juvenile markings. Of course such giants are only suitable for zoos, show aquariums and specialists with the corresponding large tanks.

For our customers: the fish have code 299805 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos. Frank Schäfer

Cochliodon sp. L360

5. November 2021

We have received some beautifully marked yellowseam catfish. This catfish originates from the middle Rio Jamanxin in Brazil and has not yet been correctly (i.e. scientifically) identified, neither in terms of genus nor in terms of species. However, it is quite possible that this catfish has already been scientifically described; young animals are quite inconspicuous, they are monochromatic brown and do not yet have the distinctive yellow fin seams.

Also the dentition of young animals is “normal”, so it corresponds to the usual dentition scheme of Hypostomus and Cochliodon species, while the beautiful adult animals have a Panaque dentition. But in contrast to Panaque, L360 have no spreadable interopercularodontodes.

Apart from the expected size – the animals will certainly grow over 30 cm long – they are trouble-free, peaceful animals. One should give them, like Panaque, a lot of soft dead wood as food basis in the aquarium.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 360-5 (18-21 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Scleromystax barbatus

1. November 2021

The changed legal situation in Brazil now makes the import of several species from the south of Brazil possible again, which for many years were only available as offspring, among them the magnificent Scleromystax barbatus (formerly Corydoras b.). We have been able to import a good number of wonderful, fully grown specimens. For more information on the species, please see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/scleromystax-barbatus/

The sexes are extremely differently marked in S. barbatus; the easiest way to go is by the light-colored forehead blaze, which only the male shows. By the way, the „Banded Coryoras“ is one of the very few species among the typical armored catfishes, which show rudimentary brood care. The male defends the spawning ground for some time.

For our customers: the fish have code 224006 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L350 Panaque sp. Black Lyretail

25. October 2021

From Peru we received four specimens of a top rarity: L350. This peculiar fish does not fit any genus of loricariid catfish known to date. It originates from deep, turbid, very fast flowing water of the Peruvian Amazon, where it can only be caught with great difficulty and rarely. It is a carnivorous species whose interesting black and white mouth disc pattern is characteristic of the species. There are occasional snow-white speckles on the ventral side, and the upper side is a pure jet black. The maximum final size is unknown, but specimens 40 cm long have been offered; exporters usually count the caudal fin, but not the very long caudal fin filaments, as part of the length. Our four animals are currently 14-18 cm long.

Sometimes L350 is equated with a species that is anatomically similar to it, but unlike L350 is completely colorless: Hemiancistrus (or Peckoltia) pankimpuju. So far only two specimens of H. pankimpuju are known, and they lack any color pigment. Such bright whte animals have not been offered on the ornamental fish market so far. It is not completely excluded that the raven black L350 discolors at certain times (similar to what is known from golden Parancistrus aurantiacus). However, it does not seem very likely.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 350-6 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Scleromystax barbatus

22. October 2021

The changed legal situation in Brazil now makes the import of several species from the south of Brazil possible again, which for many years were only available as offspring, among them the magnificent Scleromystax barbatus (formerly Corydoras b.). We have been able to import a good number of wonderful, fully grown specimens. For more information on the species, please see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/scleromystax-barbatus/

The sexes are extremely differently marked in S. barbatus; the easiest way to go is by the light-colored forehead blaze, which only the male shows. By the way, the „Banded Coryoras“„ is one of the very few species among the typical armored catfishes, which show rudimentary brood care. The male defends the spawning ground for some time.

For our customers: the fish have code 224006 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer