10b. Catfishes: Suckermouths, Plecos and L-numbers (289)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spectracanthicus (= Oligancistrus) zuanoni L 354

20. September 2021

Spectracanthicus zuanoni L 354 originates from Rio Xingu and the Rio Iriri in Brazil. It has been described scientifically only in 2014 (see http://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/archiv.php?news_id=1195). The fish belongs to the same species as L 20, with however clearly larger white marks, so that the design reminds of a black net on a bright background. The reddish, large eyes form a beautiful contrast. 

A characteristic for the former Oligancistrus species is the large dorsal fin, therefore the name Sailfinloricariids suggested by Seidel appears as very applicable for this group. Since Spectracanthicus species are found in shallow water zones with fast flowing water, they place high requirements against the water quality. As many other Loricariids from this region they should be kept at higher temperatures. 

It should be paid attention on their nutrition. A too rich food with a high protein content can lead in the long term to liver damages. 

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 254-3 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in very limited numbers only!

Photos: F. Schäfer, Text: K. Diehl

Curculionichthys sabaji

1. September 2021

A very long name for a very small fish! The genus Curculionichthys was established only in 2015 to accommodate dwarf sucker catfishes of the subfamily Hypoptopomatinae (formerly: Otothyrinae) of Loricariidae, which were previously placed in the genus Hisonotus. Both anatomical and molecular data showed that two independent evolutionary lineages existed within Hisonotus, namely that around the genus type Hisonotus notatus and another that was consequently described as Curculionichthys. The genus name translates as “fish with a long snout”. 

A total of 14 species have since been assigned to the genus, but none of these have made aquaristic appearances to date. With 269 described species the subfamily Hypoptopomatinae is also very confusing. Many species look very, very similar to each other, the determination is mostly only possible for trained specialists. Therefore also we cannot exclude that the charming dwarfs – they are only about 1,5-2,5 cm long – which we could import under the name C. sabaji, turn out to be something else. But purely optically they agree very well with C. sabaji. The maximum length of C. sabaji known so far is 23.6 mm without caudal fin.

The tiny fishes keep well with us. Experience with similarly small Paraotocinclus species has shown that such dwarfs should be provided with aquariums as old as possible, with a rich micro growth on which they feed. Dead leaves, root wood etc. should therefore be abundant. In addition, the completely peaceful animals also accept fine dry and frozen food.

Curculionichthys sabaji originates from the drainage of the Rio Xingu. In nature Curculionichthys species are found in flowing water; they can be found in shallow shore areas on sand and gravel, as well as in brush hanging into the water or between water plants. A water temperature of 25-30°C is recommended.

For our customers: the animals have code 250853 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrini sp. L82

30. August 2021

Among the species threatened by the construction of the Bela Monte Dam is L82, a species of loricariid up to about 15 cm long, which cannot yet be assigned to any genus described scientifically to date; it is most similar to Scobinancistrus. Also on species level L82 is not yet worked on. The only certainty is that it belongs to the carnivorous catfishes and has only been found in the Rio Xingu. 

Sometimes you can read that the animals are only found at Altamira.  However, there are color variants, which indicates a wider distribution. For example, the photographed animals are decorated with large, yellowish dots and have an abdomen without markings. But there are also animals with smaller, more whitish dots and a pattern on the abdomen.

The species is considered to be relatively peaceful and could be reproduced in the aquarium. For the care the usual applies for L-catfish from the Xingu: high water temperatures (28-30°C) and strong current. Hardness and pH-value do not play an important role at least for the care. As a carnivorous species L82 is fed with food tablets, granules and frozen food.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480- L082-4 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudacanthicus sp. L79

27. August 2021

This very flat Pseudacanthicus from the Rio Tocantins belongs to the rarest L-catfishes on the market. Even before the export ban by the Brazilian authority IBAMA, which was lifted only recently, the fish came to us only very sporadically. L79 certainly grows over 20 cm long, but exactly how big is unknown. Our animals are currently 10-12 cm long.

The care is not different from other carnivorous Loricariid catfishes. L79 is somewhat shy, but you have to keep a close eye on them if you want to keep several animals together. If there are any incompatibilities, they can hurt each other badly. Otherwise they are very pretty and interesting keepers for a large aquarium.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 079-4 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Acanthicus sp. L155 Furo Maguari

13. August 2021

Acanthicus hystrix is one of the great myths in the literal sense. With a length of almost one meter it is one of the largest loricariid catfishes at all. In addition, the species, which was already described in 1829, is extremely prickly: “hystrix” means “porcupine”! 

Unfortunately, the specimen on which the description of this species is based was destroyed during the Second World War. Where it was captured is unknown. Thus, it is unclear which of the three or four Black Adonis Catfishes known so far is the “real” A. hystrix. For one of them, a form from the Rio Xingu, the L-number 155 was assigned. In the trade it has become common practice to refer to the Black Adonis Catfishes all as L155, regardless of origin. Our L155 come from the Furo Maguari, a tributary of the Rio Tocantins.

Black Adonis Catfish are fish for specialists who can accommodate these giants, which can also be quite aggressive. For show aquariums large Adonis catfish are excellent subjects. Our animals in the stock are currently 18-21 cm long.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 155-6 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Loricaria lata

23. July 2021

From the larger growing, mouthbrooding whiptail catfishes of the genus Loricaria only the very widespread L. simillima is in the trade from time to time, the others – after all there are 17 recognized plus several scientifically still undetermined species – are absolute top rarities. We have now received L. lata from Brazil. This species grows 20-25 cm long. It originates from the drainage of the Rio Tocantins. Like so many mouthbrooding loricariids this species is polychromatic, i.e. within one population there are quite differently marked animals. Our fish also show this polychromatism. Some are almost completely black, others rather bright with black bands and there are all conceivable intermediate stages; depending upon mood the animals also can change color.

Among themselves our fish are peaceful. However, they are somewhat skittish and try to hide in the bottom when disturbed. A sandy bottom is therefore useful for the care, even if the fish then look in the close-up as if they had the white spot disease (Ichthyophtirius). We can reassure you: the animals are perfectly healthy.

For our customers: the fish have code 266563 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

LDA25 Parotocinclus jumbo

12. July 2021

The Pitbull Pleco (Parotocinclus jumbo, formerly Hypostominae gen. sp.) was one of the most popular small sucking catfishes until about 10 years ago. Then it was accidentally forgotten on the list of Brazilian ornamental fishes allowed for export. Since then, it has only been around in breeder circles. This species, very common in the wild, was one of the most important export fish in southern Brazil. Almost all exporters had to close their farms when the export of the Pitbull Pleco was no longer possible. 

Now the situation has changed fundamentally, from Brazil all fish may be exported again, if they do not enjoy protection status due to a special situation. And finally we have received the first Pitbull Plecos again. Still a lot of lost infrastructure has to be rebuilt, the bad corona situation in Brazil, combined with extreme flood events does not make this easier, but we expect that in the future Pitbull Plecos (LDA25) will be seen regularly in the trade again.

For all who have forgotten or do not know it yet: This is a very peaceful, sociable fish that should definitely be kept in groups. The substrate should consist of fine sand at least in places, as the fish sometimes like to dig themselves in. Breeding is similar to that of Corydoras. P. jumbo does not practice broodcare. The males of the species are darker colored and slimmer. The normal size of this fish is 5-6 cm, but actually 8 cm giants of the species have been known.

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

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Parotocinclus haroldoi

9. July 2021

Perhaps the prettiest and at the same time most suitable otocinclus for aquaristics is Parotocinclus haroldoi. Concerning the coloring – yellow-white, shining spots on black underground – the species resembles the adonis pleco (Acanthicus adonis), remains however with maximally 4 cm (male) and at all-highest 5 cm (female) much, much smaller. Until now this species, which only occurs in a river system in eastern Brazil in the state of Piaui, has only been available very sporadically in the hobby, as there are hardly any exports from this corner of South America. The species has nevertheless been available among specialists through offspring from time to time. The reproduction is similar to the armored catfishes (Corydoras), the eggs are laid on plant leaves etc. and left to their own devices.

Now, for the first time, we can offer this nice, but by no means delicate beauty in larger numbers, as offspring from Brazil! It is the ideal algae eater for small and medium sized community aquariums.

For our customers: the animals have code 276573 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pterosturisoma microps

25. June 2021

This interesting, about 20-25 cm long sucking catfish from Peru should only be kept by really experienced aquarists. Beside some adult specimens we could import this time also 4-7 cm long juveniles. The size of these fish is difficult to state, because one should not count the tail fin filaments, which are much longer than the body length, but it is common in aquaristics to count the tail fin in length measurements. In adult Pterosturisoma microps the caudal fin filaments are usually absent, but grow again in the aquarium.

Pterosturisoma microps (there is only the one species in the genus) is oxygen demanding, needs warm water (26-28°C), low germ load and is difficult in feeding. The animals hate to lie on sand or gravel. They prefer the vertical aquarium glass. If they do lie on the bottom, it is on rocks or roots. As an Aufwuchs feeder, they must have something to feed on throughout the day. The best food is a jelly food based on agar or gelatine, which you spread in liquid form (still hot) on stones, which you place in the aquarium after they have cooled down. 

By the way, a bare glass bottom is also not good for the animals, as a bacterial lawn can form here over time, which can cause infections on the belly of the fish. It is best to cover the aquarium floor with flat stone slabs. If the animals become thinner and thinner despite good food intake, the intestinal flora is probably damaged. Feces from healthy, other sucking catfish (e.g. Ancistrus) can help here and should be available especially in the acclimation phase.

All in all Pterosturisoma microps are a real challenge for specialists.

For our customers: the animals have code 286551 (4-7 cm) and 286556 (16-20 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Aphanotorulus sp. L11

18. June 2021

The correct name of this beautiful catfish from the Rio Xingu is a matter of dispute among experts. In many parts of South America similar looking catfishes can be found, which are all close to the species already described in 1840 as Hypostomus emarginatus. These were assigned to the genus Squaliforma in 2001, and to the genus Aphanotorulus in 2016. There are also some L-numbers: L11 (Rio Xingu, Brazil), L108 (Ecuador, Rio Napo), L116 (Rio Trombetas, Brazil), L131 (Rio Tapajós, Brazil), and L153 (Venezuela).

Nathan Lujan wrote us: “All the members of the Hypostomus emarginatus “group” were pretty well resolved in our paper where we identified that they were actually in Aphanotorulus. Even though the type location is only listed as the Amazon, we showed that it likely came from the lower Amazon. Figure 8 in our paper is a distribution map for A. emarginatus, which shows the lower Amazon and its major tributaries plus the Essiquibo. The likely sister species is A. horridus, found in the upper Amazon, basically upstream of its confluence with the Rio Negro. Figure 12 in our paper is it’s distribution map. Here’s the link to the paper: https://www.mapress.com/…/view/zootaxa.4072.5.1/4170

L11 is a wonderful large catfish for appropriate aquariums with fish from the Rio Xingu. In cichlid tanks it is an excellent algae eater. On the one hand it can take a poke, but on the other hand it is peaceful against conspecifics as well as against other fish. Fish from the Rio Xingu should be kept warm, 26-30°C correspond to the natural conditions. Under such conditions L11 can grow up to 40 cm long and live in the aquarium for decades.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 011-5 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Farlowella amazonum

26. April 2021

The needle catfishes (Farlowella) are one of the most species-rich genera within the whiptail catfish relationship with currently 30 recognized species. The species look very similar to each other. Distinguishing features are mainly the arrangement of the bony shields along the flanks and on the abdomen, which is naturally hard to recognize on the living animal. From an aquaristic point of view, the shape and coloration of the snout process, also called rostrum, is more useful, but uncertainties in identification always remain with these animals.

From Manaus in Brazil we currently receive an attractive Farlowella species, which is probably F. amazonum. That this species is very variable is shown by the high number of synonyms: no less than six double descriptions are listed by Retzer & Page in their 1996 revision of the genus! Farlowella amazonum grows over 20 cm long. There is a great similarity to F. platorhynchus (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/farlowella_platorhynchus_en/, there also general care instructions for Farlowella), which by the way is also put into the synonymy of F. amazonum by newer authors.

For our customers: the animals have code 253633 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rineloricaria heteroptera

9. April 2021

From Brazil we received beautiful whiptail catfishes, which we thought at first sight to be Rineloricaria lanceolata, a species with a very wide distribution. The high proportion of reddish animals was striking.  The majority of the fish are small, 3-4 cm long and marked like R. lanceolata, but there are a few adult specimens among them. These fish have a conspicuous dot pattern on the head. Consultation with loricariid specialist Ingo Seidel and review of the original description revealed that it is probably Rineloricaria heteroptera. This whiptail catfish was described from the Manaus area in 1976; the paratype shown in the original description is spotted exactly like our adult fish.

According to Evers & Seidel (Welsatlas Vol.1), R. heteroptera was often bred in the former GDR, but was later displaced by the similar and more productive R. lanceolata. The popular Red Whiptail Catfish, a breeding form, probably originates from the old strains of R. heteroptera.

This whiptail catfish grows to about 13-15 cm in length and is very suitable for aquarium care and breeding. The clutches are relatively small with 40-60 eggs. Rineloricaria are mixed feeders, eating both plant and animal foods. They appreciate free bottom areas with sand and gravel. They breed in relatively narrow burrows (bamboo tubes or the like), the male guards the spawn and larvae until they swim free. The water temperature should be between 24 and 30°C, for breeding usually soft and slightly sour (pH 5,5-6,5) water is necessary. Without breeding intentions the water values are of secondary importance.

For our customers: the fish have code 288352 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypancistrus sp. “Nhamunda” L475

15. March 2021

The Hypancistrus catfishes with striped pattern are on the one hand a wonderful enrichment for the aquaristics, because they look beautiful, don’t grow too big and can be bred quite well, on the other hand they are constant cause for quarrel. Because in many cases it is hardly possible to determine them exactly. This is due to the fact that these catfishes are extremely variable in their markings and also vary greatly in body shape. In the case of the Rio Xingu species (L66 & Co.) it has already been established by molecular genetic studies that they frequently hybridize in nature.

The said applies in full extent also to L475, which we could import now. According to the exporters it originates from the Rio Nhamunda (Brazil), where ornamental fishes have been caught for a long time because of the very beautiful discus fishes that occur there. However, Hypancistrus are hard to catch without diving equipment, which is why the entire genus of these very conspicuous and by no means rare catfishes was not scientifically recorded until 1991.

There are not two specimens of L475, which have exactly the same pattern. Most animals have an irregular banding pattern of broad, dark bands on a white background, but there are also specimens where the dark bands are so broad that it looks as if in this case black animals have a pattern of white, thin bands. In most animals the dorsal fin has three horizontal bands, but there are also animals with a vertically striped dorsal fin. Typical for all individuals of L475 is that they have a white nuchal band running around the body from one ventral edge to the other, beginning at the base of the pectoral fins and continuing in most cases on the inner side of the fins, behind the spine ray. Furthermore, all animals have a white, suggestively W-shaped band just anterior to the base of the dorsal fin.

Like all Hypancistrus, L475 are mixed feeders, eating both plant and animal foods. The maximum length seems to be 12-14 cm. Such fish are kept in aquariums rich in hiding places and caves, with strong currents and good filtration and temperatures between 28 and 32°C. Too low temperatures are the most common care mistake with these fish. The water values are of secondary importance for the fish, but soft water with a pH around 6 is favorable, because less bacteria develop in this environment than in hard water with a pH around 8.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 475-3 (8-10 cm) and 26480-L 475-4 (10-12 cm) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Lasiancistrus heteracanthus

10. March 2021

We were able to import the rare Red-eyed Deltatail-suckercat, Lasiancistrus heteracanthus, in small numbers from Peru. The species attains a total length of 15-18 cm. Besides the bright red eye the most striking feature of the species is the pretty brown-red lower lappet of the caudal fin.

Lasiancistrus, in general, are good algae-eaters and fit in any community tank of appropriate size. The water temperature should be a bit higher than usual, 25-29°C are ideal. In the natural habitat, the water is only slightly acidic or even alcalic; so there is no need for a low pH, to the contrary, one should avoid a pH lower than 6.5.

Like almost all species of ancistrine catfish this species is a cave-brooder. A clutch of eggs found in the wild contained about 200 eggs and was deposited in a cave in a tree lying under water. The male guards the eggs.

For our customers: the fish have code 264952 (5-7 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in limited numbers only!

Lexicon: Lasiancistrus: Latin, means “shaggy ancistrus”, referring to the skin-spines (odontodes). heteracanthus: ancient Greek, means “with aberrant spines”.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrus macrophthalmus LDA74

5. March 2021

From time to time we receive a very flat-bodied Ancistrus from the Orinoco drainage in Colombia and Venezuela under the name of A. ranunculus/L 34. However, this species does not exist there, A. ranunculus is only known from the Amazon tributaries Xingu and Tocantins/Araguaia; the Orinoco species is Ancistrus macrophthalmus, which has received the LDA number 74.

The easiest way to distinguish between the two is by the caudal fin, which in A. macrophthalmus is always distinctly pointed above and below and has white tips. In A. ranunculus the caudal fin appears truncated, sometimes even slightly rounded above and below. In males there is another easily recognizable difference: A. ranunculus never has “antennae” on the middle of the snout towards the forehead, A. macrophthalmus does.

Regarding coloration, most A. macrophthalmus are pure black (with a bluish tinge under suitable light), but they may also have small white spots. Both color forms can be found mixed in the same import. When A. macrophthalmus is nerved, light transverse stripes appear over the back. The large eye and the dusky coloration already show that A. macrophthalmus is a crepuscular animal, which only comes out of its hiding place during the day after a longer period of acclimation. Otherwise the usual care conditions for Ancistrus apply, with the restriction that A. macrophthalmus likes it warm and is comparatively oxygen-demanding.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-LDA 074-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudolithoxus kelsorum L189

1. February 2021

Unfortunately this interesting catfish from Venezuela is offered only very rarely. It lives in the tributaries of the middle Orinoco. With a maximum length of 10 cm (only very rarely some specimens reach this size, the normal size is 6-7 cm) the species remains relatively small. Pseudolithoxus species are all quite flat, but P. kelsorum especially. Besides the flat shape and appealing pattern, L189 has another characteristic that makes it particularly suitable for the aquarium: it is also very active during the day and by far not as addicted to hiding as many other L-catfish.

We have not yet heard of successful breeding of this species, but this is surely only due to the rare imports. The sex differences are well pronounced at 5-6 cm length, the males can be recognized by the strong bristling (see photos).

The flat body structure indicates that this species is adapted to stronger water currents. They are typical Aufwuchs feeders, which should be offered temperatures in the range of 26-30°C, whereby one must pay attention to good oxygen saturation.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Lorcaria simillima Bred

11. January 2021

Loricaria simillima has a very wide distribution in South America. It is found in the Orinoco-, Amazon- and La Plata basins. A result of this large area many different color forms are known, which differ clearly regarding coloration and pattern. The species occurs in different water types. Black water forms are more demanding in maintenance and breeding than fishes originating from white water. For keeping them middlehard water with a pH of 6 – 8 and temperatures between 24 – 27°C is sufficient.

As omnivorous fishes they are rather undemanding in their nutrition, tablet food, flakes and frosted food are accepted. The aquarium should have a sandy soil, some dark corners made by stones and bogwood increase the comfort for the fish. With a total length of 25 cm they should be kept in not to small tanks, they are mouthbrooders, the male guards the eggs and larvae.

For our customers: the fish have code 266653 on our stocklist.Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexikon: Loricaria: from the Latin word „lorica“which is the chest protector of the Roman legionnaire, eg „one that wears a chest protector“. simillima: Latin, means “very similiar”, which refers to the similarity of the species to L. cataphracta.

Suggestion of a common name: Royal Whiptail Cat

Photos F. Schäfer, Text K. Diehl

Chaetostoma joropo (L445)

18. December 2020

The dotted Chaetostoma joropo is already for many years a popular sucker-catfish. Before its scientific description in the year 2016 it was given several names, e.g. sp. Spotted, cf. milesi, Villavicencio I, L187a etc. It originates from creeks in the catchment area of the Rio Meta in Colombia and therefore does not need to be kept as warm as many other L-numbers, 23-27°C are just right. With its large sucking mouth it is a striking appearance and an excellent glass-cleaner. The maximum length is around 20 cm.

We have just received very cute juveniles of this species. Many of them had such a strong metallic-green shimmer when they arrived two weeks ago that there was nothing to see of the species-typical spots. This phenomenon is also known from Corydoras catfish. In the aquarium this green shimmer disappears after a while.

For our customers: the animals have code 214831 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Parancistrus nudiventris, L31, LDA4, Peppermint Pleco

13. November 2020

This pleco from the Rio Xingu is an old friend, however, it received a scientific name only in 2005. It received the L-number 31 already in 1989. 

The genus Parancistrus is closely related to the genus Spectracanthicus; the formerly often used genus Oligancistrus is invalid and declared synonymous with Spectracanthicus. The only difference between Parancistrus and Spectracanthicus is the size of the gill opening, which is significantly smaller in Spectracanthicus than in Parancistrus. Unfortunately, this is not visible in living animals.

The Peppermit Pleco reaches a respectable size of almost 25 cm; however, in nature the animals usually remain smaller by a third; in an aquarium, where the fish live much longer than in nature, a more significant size can be reached, therefore P. nudiventris can only be recommended to owners of large aquariums. There it is a peaceful and beautiful inhabitant.

Like all species from the Rio Xingu, it requires comparatively high temperatures of 26-30°C. L31 feeds on Aufwuchs and accepts almost every common fish food in the aquarium, as long as it is lying on the bottom.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 031-3 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Parotocinclus eppleyi

6. November 2020

One of the smallest loricariid species at all is Parotocinclus eppleyi, the Peppermint-Oto. The species is fully grown with a length of 3 cm (without caudal fin), but such animals can already be seen as xxl-format and are extremely rare. Usually the species, which is common in the upper and middle Orinoco, is 0.5-1 cm smaller.

These cute dwarfs are considered to be tricky, especially in the acclimatization phase. One should always give them dead leaves and roots, which have been in the water for a long time and have a lot of Aufwuchs, in the tank. In addition, food tablets are a well suited food for Parotocinclus species.

As so often it seems to be decisive with these animals, with how much expertise they were treated in their home country after the catch; our current import from Venezuela is very stable and does not cause any problems.

For our customers: the animals have code 276562 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Baryancistrus xanthellus L18, L81, L81n, L177

14. October 2020

About from the end of May to the end of September the season of the beautiful Golden Nuggets of the genus Baryancistrus lasts. Although the fish are considered to be extremely common in nature, are also found in shallow water and have been used as food fish since time immemorial, they were only scientifically described as Baryancistrus xanthellus in 2011. 

Although L18, L81, L81n and L177 are all considered to belong to the same species from a scientific point of view, in the ornamental fish trade they have been assigned different L-numbers because they are differently colored. All Baryancistrus xanthellus come from the Rio Xingu and its tributaries. One can distinguish four color forms: L18, “the” Golden Nugget, has relatively large spots, it comes from the main river. L81, on the other hand, has much smaller dots, and apparently occurs together with L18 in the main river. The largest points of all are found in L177, which comes from a tributary of the Xingu, the Rio Iriri. Recently, a variety has appeared on the market that resembles L81 in terms of the dot size, but has a much broader dorsal fin seam and a stronger yellow coloration. Since there is no L-number available for this form yet, it is called L81n “New Stardust” (the “n” stands for “new”). Nothing is known about the exact origin of these animals, only that they too are said to come from the Xingu.

In all four of them the dot sizes, the width of the fin seams and the yellow portion in the coloration vary considerably, so that sometimes it is difficult to assign them to an L-number in single animals. When they are fully grown – all four can reach a length of 25-30 cm – they all look relatively the same and the spots are much smaller than in the young animals. 

The breeding of the animals can also succeed in the aquarium. They are typical cave breeders. However, the special requirements of these animals mean that breeding successes are very rare.

First of all you have to know that the Xingu has relatively warm water all year round. The catfish are sensitive to temperatures below 28°C. Then they are extremely needy animals, which are adapted in nature to constantly take up a relatively nutrient-poor food. With one or two feedings per day these catfish do not get along. Finally, they are territorial and quarrelsome animals, which need space once they have exceeded the 20-cm mark.

In summary one can say that the Baryancistrus L18, L81, L81n and L177 are very beautiful and desirable fish, but the care and breeding in the aquarium can only be successful if their very special requirements are met intensively.

At the moment we have especially beautiful L81 and L81n in stock, of which we present you here current pictures.

Text and photos: Frank Schäfer

Panaque cf. titan Shampupa L418

28. September 2020

The magnificent panaques of the nigrolineatus complex have long been sought-after aquarium fish. All species seem to grow around 40 cm long. One of the most spectacular species comes from Peru and was given the L-number 418. It is probably identical with the described species Panaque titan, but since this is not completely certain, the animal is better called P. cf. titan in the hobby. Characteristic for the fish, which exporters call “shampupa” after the river in Peru where they catch the animals, are the broad, light-coloured tail fin seam and the blue-green base colouring.

Shampupa is a very rare species that is always available only in very small quantities. Like all panaques they are specialized wood eaters, so plenty of dead wood is a must for the basic equipment of a panaque aquarium. However, numerous other types of food are also accepted.

All the specimens we have imported so far – regardless of size, although we have never received animals under approx. 14 cm and over approx. 25 cm in length – had the same colour (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/panaque_sp_l418_shampupa_en/). But all 6 specimens of the current import (they are 14-16 cm long) have an additional white-yellow zone in the caudal fin directly at their base.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L-418-5 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Panaque: after the native name of P. nigrolineatus in Venezuela.

Suggestion of a common name: Shampupa Royal Pleco.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypancistrus sp. L500

7. August 2020

In northern tributaries of the Amazon, namely the Rio Nhamunda (L475), the Rio Padauari (L499) and the Rio Uatumá (L500), there are very similar Hypancistrus, which have a relatively stocky body in common. In colour they resemble very much the Hypancistrus furunculus (L199) from the upper Orinoco. All four Hypancistrus are extremely variable in colour, there are many animals with nice contrasting black and white markings, but also many that – especially when they are old – are quite dark in colour.

Since L500 is currently only available as offspring, breeders naturally try to breed these attractive animals with a high white content in the basic colouring preferentially.

All four mentioned Hypancistrus are peaceful fishes, which reach sizes of 12-15 cm and can be kept like the other Hypancistrus.

For our customers: L500 has code 26480-L 500X-1 (3-4 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrus claro

20. July 2020

One of the smallest Ancistrus species is Ancistrus claro, which was known as LDA 8 before its scientific description. The catfish originates from clear water streams with a strong current in the upper part of the Rio Paraguay-Paraná river basin and becomes at most 6-8 cm long.

The sexes are not quite as easy to distinguish as with other Ancistrus species, because just like the dwarf women in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, the females of the dwarf ancistrus have mighty beards…

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-LDA 008-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudohemiodon laticeps

10. July 2020

Pseudohemiodon laticeps from Paraguay belongs to the longest known mouth-breeding Whiptail Catfish in the hobby, even if this large (up to 35 cm) species with its species-specific broad, triangular head was confused for a long time with the very similar, narrow-headed species P. platycephalus from Brazil. Mostly one sees both species in a fawn-brown colouring with a darker wormline pattern; concerning the colouring there are actually no differences between the two species.

Through the imports of P. sp. “Chamaeleon” from Peru and P. apithanos from Venezuela, attention was drawn to the wide colour spectrum that can also be shown by Whiptail Catfish. We currently have a consignment of wild collected specimens of P. laticeps from Paraguay in stock, where some specimens show a dark coloration, which is so far unknown to us from P. laticeps. It is possible that breeders will develop a contrast-colored strain of P. laticeps from such animals – who knows?

These Whiptail Catfish require aquariums with the largest possible floor area, as little decoration as possible, fine sandy bottom and good water hygiene. All common fish feeds can be used as food, but large live bloodworm are an ideal food for the animals. Especially Pseudohemiodon laticeps can be kept in moderately heated aquariums due to its southern origin, because in its home country the water temperature drops to values around 16°C at least during certain seasons.

For our customers: the animals have code 284303 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Panaque schaeferi L203 L90c

26. June 2020

Among the largest loricariid catfish are some of the wood-eating Panaque species. Panaque schaeferi is one of them, the species will certainly grow to about 60 cm long. Since P. schaeferi was described on the basis of adult specimens, the assignment to the young animals belonging to it has never been scientifically confirmed. However, it is assumed that the Panaque from Peru, first named as L90c and later as L203, is the juvenile form of P. schaeferi. The adult P. schaeferi has received the number LDA 65. 

Usually the juveniles of L203/L90c do not exhibit a spectacular pattern. Typical for the L90 relationship is a bright “window” in the colouring at the base of the caudal fin, which many of the juveniles show, but which disappears in adult fish. L203/L90c has – in contrast to L90, which is probably identical with the species Panaque bathyphilus – no long extended caudal fin filaments.

Recent shipments of juvenile P. schaeferi, which originates from the entry of the Rio Ucayali into Peru, contain exceptionally beautiful, very colourful individuals. The photographed animals have a size of 6-8 cm. Since each of the animals is drawn differently (some are also “normal” L-90c-typical), we assume individual colour variations and not a new collecting site variation or even new L-numbers.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 203-1 (4-5 cm) or 26480-L 203-2 (6-8 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Panaqolus sp. L2

5. June 2020

The tiger pleco was already imported and presented in 1988; since then, unfortunately, no scientist has yet taken a closer look on the beautiful animals imported from Rio Tocantins in Brazil for the hobby; therefore, this relatively small, maximum 12 cm long, peaceful loricariid catfish still has no “correct” name, but has to be content with “L2”; the occasionally used names “Panaqolus vermiculata” or Peckoltia vermiculata are wrong and denote a different species.

The care of L2 is easy, the animals are well suited for community tanks, but one has to keep in mind that wood is an important food component for the fish. Large amounts of faeces are produced, therefore a relatively strong filtration of the aquarium is necessary. Possible roommates must like this.

Apart from wood, these fish also eat food tablets and vegetables, meaty food should be avoided, as it can lead to life-threatening fatty deposits. Algae are not eaten, plants are only damaged if not enough green food (zucchini etc.) is given.

L2 is a typical cave-breeder with father family, but is not bred very often, because usually enough wild catches are available and the breeders therefore tend to occupy their always too scarce space with rare species, because they are not available from imports.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 002-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Sturisomatichthys leightoni

13. May 2020

Until recently, two genera of closely related whiptail catfish were distinguished according to anatomical features: the relatively short-nosed Sturisomatichthys with four described species and the relatively long-nosed Sturisoma with over 15 species. All species are popular aquarium fish because they are attractive and easy to breed. Unlike most other loricariid catfish they do not breed in caves, but lay their eggs openly (usually on one of the vertical aquarium panes). After spawning the male guards the clutch until the young hatch. As a rule of thumb one could say that Sturisomatichthys remain smaller (10-12 cm), while Sturisoma can be expected to be 15-30 cm (depending on the species).

But a recent study by Alejandro Londoño-Burbano and Roberto E. Reis showed that all species from Colombia, Venezuela and Panama are so closely related that they belong to the same genus – i.e. Sturisomatichthys -, while the species from the entire Amazon basin and further south to Paraguay remain in Sturisoma.

Regardless of this, the short-nosed Sturisomatichthys in the narrower sense are difficult in species identification. The first species to be imported and bred was S. leightoni in 1985. It disappeared again from the hobby, while two very similar species, which Evers & Seidel called S. sp. “Colombia1” and S. sp. “Colombia2″, were imported and bred more frequently from Colombia from the 1990s onwards. Then also “real” S. leightoni came into the trade occasionally. Since all three species are highly variable in colouration, and therefore it is not always possible to determine them, and since shipments from Colombia often contain several species mixed together, these three forms are usually not distinguished from each other in the trade and are referred to as S. leightoni – even in our company.

At the moment we have very well accustomed, adult, strong and mature animals in stock. Most of them correspond best to Sturisomatichthys sp. Colombia1, but for the above mentioned reasons they are listed as S. leightoni in our stock. In well acclimatized animals one can recognizes in S. sp. Colombia1 numerous spots and worm lines on the front body, which are missing in S. leightoni. Unfortunately these colour features fade to unrecognizability in stressed animals. The species S. guaitipan from the upper and middle Rio Magdalena in Colombia, newly described in December 2019, is very similar to S. sp. Colombia1, but the unique feature for S. guaitipan is that it has only 10 branched fin rays in the caudal fin, while both animals photographed for this post have 12 branched rays in the caudal fin.

For our customers: the animals have code 294403 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Literature: Londoño-Burbano, A. & R.E. Reis (2019): A Taxonomic Revision of Sturisomatichthys Isbrücker and Nijssen, 1979 (Loricariidae: Loricariinae), with Descriptions of Three New Species. Copeia 107, No. 4, 2019, 764–806

L330 scientifically described: Panaque nigrolineatus laurafabianae

23. March 2020

Many fish scientists (ichthyologists) currently reject the concept of the subspecies. They argue that either there are definable characteristics, in which case it is a species, or there are no characteristics, in which case the form cannot be named. However, this concept has only limited relevance to reality; in the case of the large striped loricariid catfish from the relationship group around Panaque nigrolineatus, the Royal Plecos, it has been known for a long time that there are different looking populations in different river systems. They were given the L-numbers L 27 (Brazil: Rio Tocantins), LDA 63 (Brazil: Rio Xingu), LDA 77 (Brazil: Rio Tapajós = Panaque armbrusteri), L190 (Colombia/Venezuela: Rio Meta), L191 (Colombia: Rio Caqueta), L330 (Colombia: Rio Guaviare), L418 (Peru: Rio Tingo Maria), L488 (Brazil: Rio Aripuana); there is also the “Golden L27” from the Rio Araguaia in Brazil without a L-number.

L330 differs from L190 in age in that it develops a dot pattern instead of the longitudinal stripes (small young animals cannot be distinguished) and has considerably larger sensory papillae on the lower half of the mouth disc (compared to L190). L190 is considered to be the “typical” Panaque nigrolineatus, a species which was scientifically described as early as 1877. The occurrences of both L190 and L330 are in the upper reaches of rivers that belong to the Orinoco system, while the third Colombian, L191 (the “green” one, probably belonging to the species Panaque titan) comes from a river that drains towards the Amazon.

Due to the commercial importance of L330 and also because recent molecular studies have shown that L330 and L190 are probably not identical at species level, Armando Ortego-Lara and Nathan K. Lujan have decided to go against the trend and describe the population of the black stripe loricariid from the river system of the Rio Guaviare (L330) as a subspecies of Panaque nigrolineatus. L330 is now correctly named Panaque nigrolineatus laurafabianae, L190 Panaque nigrolineatus nigrolineatus

The authors explicitly point out that there are specimens of P. n. nigrolineatus which show characteristics of P. n. laurafabianae as well as vice versa, but these are exceptions.

Both subspecies grow very large, well over 40 cm, and feed mainly on wood. As this is a very low-nutrient diet, the animals defecate abundantly. Larger specimens are also often incompatible with each other. One should therefore only buy Panaque nigrolineatus (no matter which form) if one has aquariums of an appropriate size.

Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: Frank Schäfer and Erwin Schraml

Hypancistrus sp L471 “dwarf, big spots”

16. March 2020

From the Rio Ventuari in Venezuela we have received this extraordinarily beautiful Hypancistrus, which is very similar to H. inspector, H. contradens and L201, but has considerably larger spots, which also appear slightly yellowish. At least wild collected L471 seem to remain much smaller than the other mentioned Hypancistrus and hardly grow beyond 6 cm. Of course this makes them especially attractive for owners of smaller aquariums. However, offspring – the species is, like all Hypancistrus, a cave-breeder – can grow slightly larger (by 8 cm). 

Important for the successful care of these otherwise undemanding animals are comparatively high water temperatures, which should be in the range of 26-30°C, and good filtration. Hypancistrus are not algae eaters, but prefer to eat frozen and dry food. A piece of raw potato, carrot or zucchini is also gnawed, but one should use these foods sparingly, as they pollute the water considerably when they start to rot.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 471-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudorinelepis sp. L95

9. March 2020

The loricariids of the genus Pseudorinelepis are the most heavily armored loricariids at all. They are widely distributed in the basins of the large South American rivers Amazon and Orinoco. The imported animals often look a little bit different, but scientifically only one species, P. genibarbis, is recognized at present. The coloration varies greatly individually, geographically and also depending on the aquarium’s setup. 

Aquarists agree that L95 from the Rio Negro, there again from the Rio Demini, is the most attractive form of the complex and that it is probably a species to be distinguished from P. genibarbis. The animals are unfortunately only available comparatively rarely and so we are very happy that we have once again succeeded in importing them. Besides some 10-12 cm long animals (we obtained for the first time animals in that handy size!) we also have a 25-30 cm long specimen in stock.

L95 grows up to half a meter long and large specimens are extremely incompatible with each other. So if you want to take care of these beautiful animals, you have to provide a really big aquarium. Concerning water composition and food supply (the animals feed mainly vegetable) L95 are undemanding, but the water temperature should not fall below 24°C for long periods of time.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 095-2 (10-12 cm) and 26480-L 095-7 (25-30 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudacanthicus leopardus LDA7

17. February 2020

Species of Pseudacanthicus are also known under their popular name “cactus catfish”, for the species are very spiny and it is no good idea to catch a larger specimen with bare hands. Some species of Pseudacanthicus can reach one metre in length, but there are other species that grow up only to 25 cm. As a rule one must be aware that Pseudacanthicus become bigger than many other common aquarium fish. Larger specimens are quarrelsome against congeneers and so spacy tanks with a lot of hiding places are needed for Pseudacanthicus. On the other hand there are reports of successful breeding of some species in the aquarium. The fish are typical cave brooders. Male are more robust than females (they have especially a broader and heavier head) and have more spines during breeding season.

One of the most popular Pseudacanthicus is L114 which originates from the middle Rio Negro basin in Brazil. This cactus cat was thought to represent the described species Pseudacanthicus leopardus for a long time. However, the real P. leopardus originates from the border region of Brazil and Guyana. There are only very few catchers of ornamental fish in that region and so we are very proud that we were successful in importing a good number of the real P. leopardus in different sizes now. They were collected in the Takutu river that belongs to the system of the upper Rio Branco.

Compared with L114 the fish are much flatter and have a slighly different coloration. 

Almost simultaneously the numbers L114 and LDA7 were given for the same fish in different magazines. Both numbers refer to the Pseudacanthicus from the middle Rio Negro. However, when the „real“ Pseudacanthicus leopardus appeared in the ornamental fish trade, the number LDA7 was used for that fish from then on. Despite this is „technically“ wrong, the number LDA7 as a popular name is very well established among hobbyists for Pseudacanthicus leopardus to distinguish it from the similar L114.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-LDA 007-3 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply to the wholesale market.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L128 Blue Phantom

3. February 2020

There is no „official“ paper that states in which genus this popular species from Venezuela should be placed in, but the catfish community agrees that it most probably is a member of the genus Hemiancistrus. Currently we have very nice youngsters of 3-4 cm length in stock, and some smaller as well as some larger specimens, too. The species attains a length over 25 cm. The fish have an individually differing pattern.

Keeping L128 is not difficult at all. However, one should use not too small tanks, as the fish attains a respecatble length. It is important to keep these suckers at comparatively high temperatures. The Orinoco river always has 28-33°C where they are collected. So water temperature should not fall below 25°C for longer periods.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 128-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrus leucostictus

22. January 2020

From the Guyana states (French Guiana, Guyana and Surinam) there are for various reasons hardly any commercial ornamental fish exports. The ornamental fish originating there, e.g. the glow-light tetra, are therefore practically exclusively traded as bred specimens. This is also true for Ancistrus leucostictus, which was brought back from a tributary of the Mazaruni River near its confluence with the Essequibo River by traveling aquarists in 2000.

In the same year the breeding of the comparatively small species (10-12 cm total length, the bristle-bearing males on the photos are about 6 cm long) succeeded and since then the animal is maintained and bred in aquaria. Also our specimens are German offspring. Usually, this bristlenose catfish shows up with uniformly black basic coloring and white points. Excited specimens (in our pictures slightly annoyed by the obtrusive photographer) show bright zones and a pattern in the form of a lying 8 on the front back. These patterns disappear when the animals dream away the day in their favourite hiding place…

For our customers: the animals have code 204452 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypancistrus spec. L 401

6. December 2019

This in the DATZ 12/05 newly introduced very beautiful Hypancistrus variant is currently available in small quantities. The animals remind in their habitus of L 333 and are sometimes confused with them.

All in all L401 are more dainty, somewhat more stretched and reach only a total-length of maximum 12 cm, while L 333 can reach 16 cm of total-length. However, the most conspicuous difference is to be seen in the golden-yellow ground-color on which a dark brown line-pattern looms. In the English-speaking area and in Japan, they are known under the name “golden mega clown zebra” due to this coloring.

In respect of maintanace, they hardly differ from other Hypancistrus species. They like a diet with a carnal emphasis, but are not averse to occasional cucumber or courgette gifts. With good water hygiene, temperatures above 27°C and a high oxygen content they can be well cared for. They make no special demands on the chemical-physical properties of the water. They could be bred by the author at pH 7,9, DGH 12, KH 6 and a conductivity of 350mS. The young fish grow slowly and seem to be somewhat more sensitive than young L 333.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 401-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text: Klaus Diehl, photos: Frank Schäfer

Chaetostoma sp. L455 Tiger

20. November 2019

After longer time we could import again the beautiful Chaetostoma sp. L455 Tiger from Peru. Generally speaking, Chaetostoma species do not stand out because of their attractive colors, but this species makes a clear exception – at least the males. The females are colored considerably simpler. Some specimens show a red coloration in the tail fin, whose intensity seems to be mood-dependent however.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 455-4 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudohemiodon sp. Peru II German Bred

15. October 2019

Floundercatfish are very popular with catfish lovers because they combine an interesting appearance with the interesting mouth brood care. Some species become quite big, so P. laticeps from Paraguay, that can become well and gladly 35 cm long, but there are also smaller species. Among the latter are two scientifically seemingly not yet described species from Peru, one rather drawingless and one with a dot and worm line pattern on the head. The first is called in the hobby as P. sp. Peru I (it has, apart from the coloring also particularly large ventral fins) the second as P. sp. Peru II. Both types become 12-15 cm long, in addition comes a well body-long filament at the upper end of the tail fin. We can currently offer some almost full-grown specimens of P. sp. Peru II as German offspring.

For our customers: the animals have code 284564 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L134 Peckoltia compta

13. September 2019

The L-number catfishes are like us humans. There are pretty, very pretty and extraordinarily pretty specimens. To the latter group belong the L134 (Peckoltia compta) from the Rio Tapajós, which we currently have in stock. P. compta belongs to the most recommendable L-catfishes at all and unites all desired characteristics of this group in ideal way: small size (maximum 12 cm with tail fin), splendid coloring, little shy nature and comparatively easy breeding. However, the distinguishing of the sexes is tricky and often ends in annoying way unsatisfactory for the aquarist. Although sexual active males are always easy to recognize, boyish females are not and males, which are ranked far below, cannot be distinguished from females at all. 

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 134-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrus patronus and Ancistrus sp. “Rio Tocantins”

13. September 2019

In small numbers we received German bred specimens of these pretty bristle-noses. Ancistrus patronus is one of the numerous white dotted, black species and was known in the hobby as Ancistrus sp. “Puerto Ayacucho” and A. sp. “Rio Parucito” before its scientific description in February 2019; the numbers L125 and L150 were given to imported animals without exact knowledge of their origin; it is assumed in catfish circles that they are also A. patronus.

The second species, Ancistrus sp. “Rio Tocantins”, strangely enough never received a L-number, although it is very strikingly coloured. This species, which is easily recognizable by its honeycomb pattern, occurs in nature together with the Ancistrus species L156. Apart from the different coloration, Ancistrus sp. “Rio Tocantins” is also much flatter than most other Ancistrus species.

Care and breeding of both species is unproblematic and corresponds to that of the well-known Ancistrus species.

For our customers: A. patronus has code 204573, Ancistrus sp. “Rio Tocantins” code 204963 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ancistrus sp. Paraguay

28. August 2019

After Paraguay had closed its doors for half a year for the export of ornamental fish, now imports from the southern country in South America reach us again. Among them also various Ancistrus species, which are often sent mixed. It has become common practice in the trade to call these animals Ancistrus tamboensis, which is objectively wrong, because A. tamboensis comes from the upper Ucayali basin in Peru, but nobody is actually bothered by it; one knows what is meant.

We have just received another import of such Ancistrus from Paraguay, among them also about 50 specimens in show-size (11-14 cm). Some males of these animals have such a huge “antlers” as we have hardly seen it even under wild collected animals so far! By the way: What this “antler” of the Ancistrus-males serves at all for is still unknown…

These “tamboensis” cannot be assigned to a certain species. In the catfish atlas volume 2: 274 top this species is called Ancistrus sp. Paraguay.

For our customers: the animals have code 205106 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Zebra Otocinclus

15. August 2019

Currently we have two forms of very attractive Zebra-Otocinclus from Peru in stock. 

The first species, Otocinclus cocama, is more commonly available. It shows a rather dense pattern of vertical black stripes on a light background and has the code number 274154 (see also http://www.aquariumglaser.de/de/otocinclus-cocama_de_1342.html_de_1342.html). 

Only in small quantities and very rarely we get a very attractive Zebra-Otocinclus with broad stripes, which has the code number 274174 (“Zebra Yarapa”) and which we can now offer again. 

Both forms are beautiful and robust aquarium fish.

Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Leporacanthicus triactis VARIETIES

8. July 2019

Currently we received an import from Venezuela, which included small, only 3-4 cm long specimens of Leporacanthicus triactis, also known as L91. Among them are an unusually large number (approx. 10) of unusually beautifully drawn variants. 

Normally small L91 do not look much different than the adults, only a little lighter in basic tone. But the color variations are really a show in bright orange and black. Such colour variations of L. triactis have been known for a long time, but are only rarely available and therefore highly sought after. At least we haven’t seen so many at once.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 091Y-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Sensational: Red Pseudohemiodon apithanos!

3. April 2019

Recently we received red chameleon whiptails (Pseudohemiodon apithanos) from Colombia. The coloration of the eight specimens (a ninth was a “normal” apithanos, which we also received) is really fantastic. Red variants can be found in different loricariid catfish, think of Hemiloricaria and Ancistrus, but for the genus Pseudohemiodon they are not known yet. 

The individual coloration of this species is of secondary importance, each animal can change color massively in a very short time. However, the red colouring remains in all moods, as the pictures, which we attach to this post in addition to the photos taken in the photo tank to show the variance of the animals, clearly prove.

For our customers: the animals have code 284219 on our Stocklsite. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Peckoltia sp. L135

27. March 2019

Currently is season for one of the most beautiful members of the genus Peckoltia, namely L135. The species originates from the Rio Negro and can be easily recognized by the “wormline-pattern” on the head. Only two other species of Peckoltia show a similar pattern: P. braueri from the Takutu river and P. sp. L121 from Guyana. But both have a different, less contrasting pattern on the body.

L135 becomes about 15 cm long. The males differ only slightly in body proportions from the females. In our pictures is the orange animal a male, the white one a female, but the colour represents only the variability in respect of the basic coloration and is not a sexual difference. This makes it difficult to assort pairs. On the other hand the attractive species has already been bred successfully in the aquarium.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 135-1 (4-6 cm) und 26480-L 135-5 (11-14 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypostomus rhantos L242

13. March 2019

With almost 150 accepted species, the genus Hypostomus (in the broadest sense) is the most species-rich group of loricariid catfish. Unfortunately, there is no current revision of all species and so the determination of Hypostomus is usually a laborious affair, in the end often only a questionable result.

Hypostomus rhantos is pleasingly easy to recognize. The L-number 242 was applied on it before its scientific description. The fine dot pattern and the orange tending coloration make the species almost unmistakable; only Hypostomus micromaculatus from Surinam has similarly small dots.

Hypostomus rhantos is quite attractive in color and certainly one of the most beautiful Hypostomus species. It comes from the upper Orinoco in Venezuela, becomes about 20 cm long and is a typical Aufwuchs eater. As by-catch we received some Hypostomus sp. L192 and a Hypostomus species from the Cochliodon group, which is almost identical in color to L192, but has a completely different dentition; it is probably Hypostomus (Cochliodon) sculpodon or an undescribed species.

For our customers: Hypostomus rhantos has code 26480-L 242-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudancistrus sidereus

6. February 2019

Nasty people could say: another brightly spotted brown-black loricariid catfish. But the heart of real fans of this group of animals beats faster at the sight of the fish, which differs from all other L-catfish by the combination of the crescent-shaped dorsal fin and the tail fin coloration, which is actually typical for Lasiancistrus species. The species was described scientifically in 2004, but the fishing area (Minicia in Venezuela, the species inhabits the Rio Casiquiare and the upper Orinoco River drainage) is off the beaten track of ornamental fish catchers, which is why the species is only offered now and at high prices in small numbers from time to time. They are typical Aufwuchs eaters, as you can see from the numerous small teeth. The largest specimen known so far was about 20 cm long, our only animal we can offer at the moment is 10-12 cm long.

The assignment of P. sidereus to the genus Pseudancistrus is controversial, genetic studies suggest that a new genus should be established for this species and for P. pectegenitor (L261). However, there is no L-number for P. sidereus, since it was scientifically described before the aquaristic first import.

For our customers: the animal has code 205204 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers. Only one specimen available!

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Panaqolus sp. L351

12. December 2018

From Peru comes a Panaqolus, that is charcterized particularly through the small eye and the long tail fin filaments.  

With L351 they got their own code number. Unfortunately L351 is imported only very rarely, because most photos of this species show a darkly colored, unattractive fish. In reality, the animal is very nicely colored after a certain acclimatization! L351 belongs to the genus Panaqolus and becomes only about 15-20 cm long, according to the opinion of several catfish specialists. A large part of the food of these fish is wood, which may never be missing in the aquarium. Because wood eating causes a lot of excrement and thus a lot of dirt (wood is extremely low in nutrients, even if intestinal bacteria make the wood digestible for Panaqolus, the fish have to eat a lot in order to cover their energy requirements), a large filter system must be installed.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 351-3 on our stocklist. Please note that we excvlusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L264 Leporacanthicus joselimai German bred

26. September 2018

Leporacanthicus joselimai (L264) comes from the Rio Tapajós in Brazil and grows 15-20 cm long. It belongs to the carnivorous species of suckermouth catfish and should therefore be fed with a wide range of feed, such as frozen food, granules, flakes, etc.. Since most of the food is eaten at night, it is necessary to plan feeding accordingly.

In the group maintained L. joselimai are very lively and tolerable, while individually kept animals are very shy and often react aggressively to other tankmates. 

The breeding of these beautiful catfish is not yet an everyday event and so we are pleased to be able to offer very pretty offspring of currently 4-6 cm length as German bred ones.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 264X-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypoptopoma gulare

7. September 2018

The genus Hypoptopoma comprises small to medium sized loricariids. The largest species known becomes about 10 cm long. At the first glimpse they look much alike a Otocinclus, but larger. Typical for members of Hypoptopoma is the position of the eyes. They are placed in way at the side of the head that the fish can look over almost 360° when it sits on a plant. This feature can be found among the loricariids only in Hypoptopoma and Oxyropsis. The latter, however, has a flattened caudal peduncle, while in Hypoptopoma the caudal peduncle is oval in cross section.

Sadly determination of species of Hypoptopoma is a tricky thing, although in 2010 a throughout taxonomical revision of the genus was published.

We obtain quite often a species from Peru which we think is Hypoptopoma gulare. This species has been described scientifically from the surroundings of Loreto where collectors of ornamental fish often work. Maintaining Hypoptopoma is comparable to that of the much better known Otocinclus, but of course the larger Hypoptopoma need more food. So in case there do not grow enough algae in the tank it is necessary to feed the suckers with food tablets or slices of vegetables to make sure they find enough to eat. Against conspecifics and other fish Hypoptopoma are completely peaceful. They are open spawners, the male guards the eggs until they hatch. It is not possible to distinguish the sexes of this fsh externally.

For our customers: the fish have code 262292 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L137 Hypostomus soniae / Cochliodon soniae

27. August 2018

The pretty, blue-eyed L137 from the Rio Tapajós is only rarely offered. It is a medium-sized species of Hypostomus that can reach a maximum length of about 20 cm. The colour of the fish is quite variable. Specimens exist that have rather brown fins, others have spotted fins and again others have bright orange-red fins. The latter might be confused with the similar “Bruno” from Paraguay (code 27510), but L137 can be always identified by the blue eyes, which are unique within the genus Hypostomus.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 137-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Hypostomus: from ancient Greek, means “with inferior mouth”. Cochliodon: menas “with mussel-shaped tooth”. soniae: dedication name for Sonia Fisch-Muller, curator for fishes at the Muesum of Geneva.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Panaque sp L330

15. August 2018

The „Full Spotted Royal Pleco“ belongs to the very attractive members of the wood-feeding genus Panaque. The species attains a maximum size of about 40 cm. Sadly in young fish the adult coloration cannot become even guessed, they are striped, like many other members of the genus. Only in halfgrown fish the spotted pattern has developed. We were able again now to import some 15 cm long (standard length, without tailfin) respectively 19 cm (total length, inclusive tailfin) long specimens of L330 from Colombia.

It is very interesting that these only halfgrown fish show some obvious sexual differences. A specimen with a yellow stripe in the caudal fin is – accoding to shape of head and body when looked from top – obviously a male, while the most likely female counterpart has only yellow corners of the caudal fin.

Sadly these comparatively large fish caused a kind of sand storm in the photo tank. Even after the water has been cleared there were attached to the mucus of the body sand particles. So please don´t worry, our fish don´t have an ick (Ichthyphthirius), but only harmless sand granules.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 330-7 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively suppyl the wholesale trade. Only very few specimens available!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Squaliforma cf. emarginata L11

3. August 2018

Among the loricariid catfishes that are known by scientists for a very long time already is this species. It has been described initially 1840 under the name of Hypostomus emarginatus. Since then it has been placed in different genera, in 2001 in Squaliforma and in 2016 in Aphanotorulus, when Squaliforma has been considered to be a synonym of Aphanotorulus. However, that latest act is not followed by all scientists so far, so we are a bit conservative and stay with the placement within Squaliforma.

Sadly the collecting site of the type specimen of Squaliforma emarginata is not known. Not less than 5 L-numbers have been given for that species, all from different locations (L11 from Brazil, Rio Xingu near Altamira, L108 from Ecuador, upper course of the Rio Napo, L116 from Brazil, Rio Trombetas, L131 from Brazil, Rio Tapajós, L153 from Venezuela, Rio Apure). This fish (or very close relatives, who knows) is known currently from almost the whole of the Orinoco and the Amazon basins. As the fish we currently have in stock originate from the Rio Xingu the L-number 11 fits.

L11 can become as large as 40 cm and is known as a very peaceful member of the loricariid family that is very well suited for aquaria large enough. It is also a quite pretty fish!

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 011-4 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hemiloricaria lanceolata Red

8. June 2018

It was back in the 1980ies that a brick-red sport of whiptail catfish appeared in the former GDR. The real origin of the fish stays a mystery, but it was possible to cross it with Hemiloricaria (formerly Rineloricaria) lanceolata. The strains that exist nowadays are most probably all hybrids. The initial red whiptail catfish belonged most probably to another species than H. lanceolata (see Evers & Seidel, Wels-Atlas, Vol. 1: 694, for details).

In November 2015 we obtained an importation of wild collected H. lanceolata from Paraguay. It contained a single brick-red male specimen. This animal – along with some regulary coloured females – was given to our proofed breeder Kurt Jülich who succeeded in breeding them! Now we can offer for the very first time brick-red whiptail catfish from that new strain.

For our customers: the fish have code 288524 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text: Frank Schäfer, Photos: Dirk Stojek & Frank Schäfer

Pseudacanthicus cf. leopardus: L 114 big and small

18. May 2018

The L-catfish L 114 is a close relative of Pseudacanthicus leopardus (please see our entrance on LDA 7 for that); currently we have different sizes of the beautiful L 114 in stock, among them (very rarely offered) 25-30 cm long specimens which are almost fully grown and in any case mature and one of the smallest sizes we usually stock, 4-5 cm long specimens. Observing the animals the idea took place to photograph them together to document the astonishing change of coloration that appears in this species during individual grow. We had to be pretty patient until the small fish was in a good position compared with the large one, but finally we succeeded and could make some nice shots.

However, we do not recommend to keep fish of so different sizes together in a long time sight. Despite the large fish was absolutely peaceful even when the small one used the big one´s head as a hiding place one cannot exclude the possibility that big L 114 will feed on very small ones by chance…

For our customers: L 114 have code 26480-L 114 on our stocklist. Currently we have different sizes in stock. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Panaqolus albomaculatus LDA 31 Venezuela

9. May 2018

In one of the most current issue of the Datz magazine (Datz 3/2018) a new L-number has been published, namely L501. This is a Hypancistrus from Venezuela belonging in the closer relationship of Hypancistrus inspector/L201/L339. It differs from the so far known relatives by the almost unspotted fins and the rather pinkish/orange spots (instead of white spots).

By chance we have right now Panaqolus albomaculatus/LDA 31 from Venezuela in stock, which also have very bright orange spots. The fish are 9-12 cm long, which means that they are almost fully grown. The „typical“ LDA 31 come from Peru and have usually rather whitish spots. However, it is already known for quite a long time that LDA 31 is ahighly variable species (see Wels Atlas Vol 2).

So we decided to take a closer look on our fish and put a pair in the photo tank. They proofed to be without any doubts wood-eaters, as could be easily seen by the spoon-like teeth; Hypanacistrus have pointed teeth and are meat-eaters. So our fish from Venezuela are simply very pretty LDA 31.

For or customers: the animals have code 26480-LDA 031-4 on or stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Leporacanthicus triactis L91 Variety

27. April 2018

The tooth-nose Leporacanthicus triactis from Venezuela s a beautiful aquarium fish that has a number of advantages. Besides the very nice coloration it does not become too big (maximum size reported is about 30 cm, but most specimens in the wild stay much smaller) and it is an omnivorous fish that readily accepts all types of usual fish food.

From time to time very attractive individuals appear in the trade that show a reticulated to spotted pattern. We currently received only the seventh specimen in 20 years, so one can really call it a rarity!

For our customers: the fish has code 26480-L091Y-4 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Micracanthicus vandragti L280

20. April 2018

One could think that this unusual suckermouth catfish – it originates from the Rio Ventuari in Venezuela – represents the juvenile form of a Leporacanthicus, for example L240 or L241. But in fact L280 is a dwarf species that hardly ever becomes bigger than 5 cm. Until now only single specimens appeared in the trade, but our c