25. Perchlike fishes (841)

Rhinogobius shennongensis (2)

8. December 2023

The brook gobies (Rhinogobius) are as adult fishes pure freshwater inhabitants, which are found at most once in the brackish water of the lower reaches of running waters; but even this is the exception, not the rule. With 140 described species, 72 of which are generally considered valid, there is still a wide open field here for aquarists with an urge to explore. All species can be maintained well in the aquarium. When breeding, there are those Rhinogobius that have tiny larvae that grow in the sea and those that have large larvae that grow in freshwater. All species are cave spawners, the male guards the clutch until the larvae hatch. Brood care ends when the larvae swim free.

Once more we could import Rhinogobius shennongensis from China. It originates from the Yangriwan, upper Hanjiang River, Mount Shennnong, Hubei Province. The maximum length is about 5-6 cm, males are larger than females. The sexes are most easily distinguished by the shape of the head. According to their origin, the fish are kept not too warm (18-24°C), in clear, oxygen-rich water with a good current. They are bottom fish, the males form territories. Rhinogobius shennongensis is somewhat quarrelsome; therefore possible tank mates should not be too squeamish. All common ornamental fish food is eaten, although some specimens do not like dry food. Frozen food is always accepted.

For our customers: the fish have code 453480 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudocrenilabrus sp. Ruaha

1. December 2023

The small mouthbrooders of the genus Pseudocrenilabrus have been kept and bred in the aquarium since the beginning of modern aquaristics – in the 1880s. The species P. multicolor was once so popular that it was simply called “the mouthbrooder“, although it was already known at the time that there were hundreds of species of mouthbrooding cichlids.

In comparison, the systematics of Pseudocrenilabrus are in serious disarray. The species presented here has not yet been scientifically studied. It was probably first discovered by Lothar Seegers in the upper catchment of the Ruaha River on one of his Tanzania expeditions in 1996, brought back with him and presented in the literature. We do not know whether the animals on the market today are still descendants of this first import. There are no commercial exports from this region of Tanzania, but from time to time Killians (i.e. enthusiastic killifish keepers) stray into this corner of the world. It can therefore not be ruled out that a few specimens were brought back to Europe or the USA after 1996.

Pseudocrenilabrus sp. Ruaha is a typical dwarf mouthbrooder. The males are fully colored and sexually mature at 5-6 cm, females are 1-2 cm smaller. In large aquaria the animals can certainly grow a little. The sexes can be easily distinguished by the coloration of the anal fin, which is striped in the males and without markings in the females. The anal fin pattern also reliably distinguishes P. sp. Ruaha from other Pseudocrenilabrus species. The vertical stripes, which the animals often show due to their mood, are also striking.

Care and breeding do not differ from the well-known species P. multicolor, which is why we will not go into more detail here. 

For our customers: the animals have code 567062 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Periophthalmodon septemradiatus

29. November 2023

Within the true mudskippers – these are the species that actively leave the water and search for food on land, etc. – there are two genera: Periophthalmus (19 species) and Periophthalmodon (3 species). They do not differ externally, only in the structure of their teeth. We have now received Periophthalmodon septemradiatus from India, a beautiful species that grows to about 10 cm in length.

In terms of color, mudskipper species differ mainly in the coloration of the first dorsal fin of the males. This coloration is species-specific and the fin is used for communication both within and between species. Several mudskipper species usually occur together in one biotope, which differ in their final size and food preferences. By quickly moving the first dorsal fin up and down, the males impress each other, signal to other males that they are not competitors and court the females. This behavior is called “flagging”. The females of P. septemradiatus have no first dorsal fin at all or only a very stunted one. The sexes are therefore easy to distinguish.

Periophthalmodon septemradiatus is widespread along the coast of the Indo-West Pacific Ocean and can be found from India to Vietnam. This already shows that the larvae of this species – like those of most mudskippers – develop in the sea and, after a larval period in the plankton, go ashore where the currents have taken them.

The care of Periophthalmodon septemradiatus is typical for mudskippers. Brackish water is better for the animals than pure fresh water, in any case it is important to ensure that the pH value is above 8 if possible. The males sometimes fight fiercely. The social behavior of these animals is best compared with Malawi cichlids (mbuna). So: either just one male per aquarium or a whole troop (10 or more animals), this usually avoids murder and manslaughter. The diet is simple, any good dry food is readily accepted, plus frozen and live food for variety.

For our customers: the animals have code 441171 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Cichla kelberi “Spider”

24. November 2023

Just a few decades ago, the Peacock Basses from South America (genus: Cichla) were considered almost unsustainable for aquaria, but nowadays they are bred regularly and in large numbers. The latest craze is Cichla kelberi “Spider”, a breeding form whose origin is not yet known.

The photos show our current stock, 16-18 cm long specimens, really beautifully colored animals! It is to be expected that they will reach a final length of 40-50 cm, like the parent species, which originates from the Araguaia and lower Tocantins in Brazil. 

For our customers: the fish have code 636345 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Trichogaster trichopterus ( = Trichopodus t.)

17. November 2023

The spotted gourami is one of the most important ornamental fish of all and is one of the top 100 worldwide. The species is extremely widespread in Southeast Asia. Despite its relatively small size (usually 8-10, rarely up to 15 cm), this gourami is used as a food fish and can survive for a long time out of the water due to its labyrinth breathing. This means that Trichogaster trichopterus was already widely introduced by humans in early history and today it is found almost worldwide where the climate permits.

Nevertheless, the golden-brown wild form of the spotted gourami is extremely rare in the trade. Yet it is not as inconspicuous as you might think. The blue, golden, marble and silver gourami (all cultivated forms of T. trichopterus that do not occur in the wild) are beautiful fish, but so are the wild ones!

For our customers: the fish have code 470033 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Dicrossus warzeli Bred

10. November 2023

The rarest of all checkerboard cichlids in the aquarium is Dicrossus warzeli, which was known as Dicrossus or Crenicara sp. Tapajós before its scientific description. In 1992 the very characteristically marked dwarf cichlid was discovered in an unnamed tributary (Igarapé) of the great Rio Tapajós in Brazil by the traveling aquarist Frank Warzel and brought back to Germany, which was still legally possible at that time. Warzel was able to bring the animals successfully to spawn, but the raising of the youngsters failed.

Since Frank Warzel documented his experiences with beautiful photos, the “sp. Tapajós” was from now on the longing fish for many dwarf cichlid friends. The commercial import succeeds only very, very rarely. We had this fish only 6 times in our stock, 5 times in 1999-2005 and now recently again in November 2022. From this last import we selected some pairs for one of our breeders, who could now deliver us the first just sexually ripe animals. 

The flank pattern makes Dicrossus warzeli, which was scientifically named in 2010 in honor of the discoverer who died surprisingly in 2004, unmistakable. When in an aggressive mood, this marking disappears, similar to other Dicrossus species, giving way to a longitudinal band. The photographs of the aggressive behavior show one of our offspring males fighting with its mirror image.

For the care, even more for the breeding of these dwarf cichlids, in which the males reach about 7, the females 3-4 cm in length, should be used warm, soft and acidic water. Very important are humic substances (alder cones, dead leaves etc.) and fine sandy substrate. In contrast to Apistogramma, Dicrossus are open spawners. The main brood care falls to the female, which can sometimes behave very dominant to the male.

For our customers: the animals have code 668823 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Elassoma evergladei

6. November 2023

The Pygmy Sunfish, Elassoma evergladei, is a classic dwarf fish and has been maintained and bred for many generations of aquarists. The species is best housed in a small species aquarium that does not require heating.

The cute fish, growing only 2-3 cm, are completely peaceful, however the males defend an individual area against conspecifics. Then they turn pitch black. Males and females are distinguished by the shiny spots on the body flanks, which only the males exhibit. Neutrally mooded, suppressed or frightened males take on female coloration, i.e. a light brown. Unfortunately, males sometimes predominate in number in a brood and there is then only one female for every 50-60 males.

Originally the dwarf sunfish comes from North America. The species name suggests it: first it was found in the Everglades. But today it is known that the species is widely distributed in the southwestern USA. Regarding pH and hardness the species is insensitive, although the animals often look better in slightly acidic water. Only frozen and live food is eaten, dry food is usually rejected by these animals.

For our customers: the fish have code 404603 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Gobioides broussonnetii

18. October 2023

Only rarely we can offer the dragon fish, Gobioides broussonnetii, which actually is a species of goby. Now we received once again from Colombia this strange bottom dweller. The maximum length of the species is said to be about 40 cm. They are absolutely peaceful plankton eaters, which should be offered fine sandy substrate in the aquarium.

In the wild, these animals inhabit in large numbers the lower reaches and estuaries of the rivers of the Americas that flow into the western Atlantic Ocean, from the United States to Venezuela. Adults are brackish water fish, while larvae develop in the sea. The species is so common in the wild that it is caught in large numbers as baitfish for other species. In the aquarium they are very adaptable and are quite comfortable in almost pure freshwater. However, for long-term care, we recommend adding sea salt (for coral reef aquariums, not table salt) to the water. A favorable concentration is 5-15g of salt per liter of water. Since the salt content in nature can change abruptly, the fish are insensitive to this, but the filter bacteria react very sensitively to salt fluctuations, so in aquaristic practice one should pay attention to approximately constant conditions.

The huge mouth is frightening, the grim face can only love a mother, but even if it is surprising: these gobies feed in nature mainly vegetarian on algae, namely the microscopic species Coscinodiscus concinus, which is only 150-500 µm in diameter. Just as the giant baleen whales feed on plankton, so do these gobies, and the comparatively large mouth is used to ingest large volumes of water and filter out the tiny algae. Fortunately, however, the fish will eat any common ornamental fish food in the aquarium, and in our tanks Tubifex are very popular as a power food. However, the gobies show the innate suction snapping (whereby water is taken up into the oral cavity) also in the aquarium, only the microparticles in the aquarium water are of course not sufficient for a sufficient nutrition.

All in all Gobioides broussonnetii are very interesting gobies for all who love the unusual!

For our customers: the animals have code 254683 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Macropodus opercularis: squeaky red!

7. October 2023

Solid red paradise fishes (Macropodus opercularis) have been known since the 1990s. However, they could not really establish themselves in the market, because the animals, which were also traded under the fancy name “Macropodus rex”, turned out to be very susceptible to diseases.

Apparently the problem has been solved and we have now received really good and healthy solid red macropods from Singapore. The mutation does not only affect the blue vertical stripes. The caudal fin has no lattice pattern (as in the wild form) and is white; regenerated areas interestingly turn black. The deep blue demarcation stripe of the anal fin in wild paradise fish is black in these solid red animals. All in all a very attractive breeding form, which will surely find its friends!

For our customers: these animals have code 425913 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Channa brunnea

29. September 2023

The Rainbow Snakehead (Channa bleheri) is without doubt one of the most beautiful and colorful snakeheads and with usually 12-15 cm total length (sometimes a bit more) it stays quite small. It originates from the north of India and belongs to the few Channa species without ventral fins. Since 2007 a very similar, also colorful and small remaining snakehead from the same region is known. It was unclear for a long time whether this fish, called “Chocolate” or “Flame Fin”, represents a color variant, geographic locality form or independent species. Then in 2019, it came to be described as a species in two ways, as C. amari and as C. brunnea. The name C. brunnea was published first and is therefore valid.

The most important difference to C. bleheri are the intensely red-orange, in some animals also quince-yellow colored, striped pectoral fins. There are further details, but they need not be of interest here. Concerning care and breeding C. bleheri and C. brunnea do not differ. Both are not mouth breeders, as one might suspect, but guard the spawn in the form of a raft on the water surface.

Both species are very calm, one could also say: sluggish animals, which can become fat very quickly. So you have to feed them sparingly, preferably with insects. They are also half cold water fish. Without hibernation for several weeks at 12-15°C the animals will get sick and will not live long. Otherwise, they are mostly comparatively (!!!!!) peaceful snakeheads that can be enjoyed for years.

For our customers: Channa brunnea has code 409068 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Laetacara curviceps

25. September 2023

Long before the Apistogramma species became popular, another dwarf cichlid from Brazil captured the hearts of aquarists: Laetacara curviceps, the Flag acara. At that time it was still called Aequidens curviceps. For some time it has unfortunately become quiet around him. Now we have once again received beautiful offspring of this small, peaceful and beautiful cichlid.

For our customers: the animals have code 604002 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Osphronemus laticlavius

22. September 2023

Once again we received the rare red-finned giant gourami (Osphronemus laticlavius). Like the common giant gourami this species grows around 60 cm long. The home of the fish is on Borneo, where it probably occurs naturally only in Sabah, i.e. in the very north of the island in the Malayan part. Since about 1985 this spectacular species is bred in Bangkok. Animals of this breeding stock formed the basis of the scientific description in 1992. The species was well known before, but always thought to be a “color form” of the common giant gourami, O. goramy.

The adult males develop a distinct physiognomy and deep red fins, which contrast beautifully with the body, which is black in courtship mood. The pictures of the adult animals (which we unfortunately do not have in our offer) show that O. laticlavius is a splendid show fish for large aquariums.

For our customers: the animals have code 440922 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pelvicachromis pulcher wild yellow

18. September 2023

The yellow color variety of the species P. pulcher comes from southwestern Nigeria, where it is collected west of the Niger Delta in the Ethiop River area. The additional color designations yellow, red and green refer to the gill covers in P. pulcher, they all get red bellies. 

In all Pelvicachromis, females are considerably more colorful than males. In the wild caught P. pulcher, which we can offer regularly, one can study very nicely the variance of the eyespots in the dorsal fin and caudal fin. The number of spots varies individually between zero and eight.

For our customers: the animals have code 560203 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hephaestus habbemai

4. September 2023

New fish, new questions. This is how we could characterize our import of the grunter Hephaestus habbemai. These beautiful fish come to us from Indonesia and originate from the island of New Guinea. Originally (1910) they were described from the south of the island, from the Lorentz River. The species is a pure freshwater inhabitant; it reaches a length of about 15-20 cm plus caudal fin. At present our animals are 10-12 cm long (total length). Among themselves the animals are extremely well compatible, which is by no means a matter of course with grunters.

The perch-like shape and the relationship show it already: we are dealing with a carnivore. Frozen and live food of suitable size is willingly accepted, small fish are of course considered as additional food. 

So far, so good. Where are the questions? In fact, the identification of the animals is by no means certain. We simply took the name for the time being, the research about which species it really is proves to be lengthy and is by no means finished.

We have also made a small film about these fish, which you can watch here:


For our customers: the fish have code 421478 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Gymnogeophagus balzanii

28. August 2023

The hump of the male of G. balzanii is comparable to the feather tail of a peacock: it is simply the expression of manhood! The Paraguay Eartheater originates from the southern parts of South America and is imported now and then from Paraguay as wild collected stock, but the species is also bred on a regular basis. The peaceful and quirky animal is thus quite often available, like our photographed specimens.

The species is a maternal, larvophilous mouthbrooder; this means that only the female takes care for the brood and that only the hatched larvae are taken in the mouth, while the eggs (which are placed on stones etc.) are treated in a “normal” way.

For our customers: the animals have code 676013 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Datnioides campbelli

25. August 2023

Among lovers of large, predatory fish, the species of the genus Datnioides (formerly: Coius) enjoy great popularity. They are calm, expressive fish that, after a sometimes somewhat tough acclimation period in which they are shy and skittish, become very attached to the keeper and provide decades of enjoyment.

All Datnioides species grow to 30-40 cm in size. Some prefer brackish water, others soft and acidic freshwater. Still others – D. campbelli is one of these – can do both and take it as it comes. D. campbelli is restricted in its distribution to the island of New Guinea. There it lives in the south-central part in two states, the province Papua belonging to Indonesia and the independent Papua New Guinea. Most of its finds are in the lower reaches of rivers, where it is often brackish, but it has also been caught far above the tidal influence. Due to its bright golden-yellow tiger coloration (all other Datnioides species are silver to ivory with black bands), D. campbelli is easy to identify by color, but capable of extremely rapid color changes. Disturbed animals become deep dark brown in a flash. Currently our animals are 7-9 cm long.

For basic care of such tiger perches see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/general/datnoides-quadrifasciatus-2/

For our customers: the animals have code 413893 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Stiphodon atropurpureus

25. August 2023

The neon gobies of the genus Stiphodon are all beautiful fish. None of the 37 currently known species grows longer than 5-7 cm, usually they remain much smaller. Although adult Stiphodon live exclusively in pure freshwater, the larvae can only develop in the sea. Therefore, neon gobies live in streams near the coast. They spawn under stones, the male guards the eggs. The hatching, tiny larvae are washed with the current into the sea, where they develop.

Stiphodon atropurpureus is – if one follows the literature data – widely distributed, because the larvae are drifted with ocean currents. The species is known from Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and South China. However, it is scientifically described from the Philippines. Extremely similar is S. semoni from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. By pure observation the two species cannot be distinguished. S. atropurpureus has more scales in the longitudinal row (30-37, mostly 33-35, S. semoni has 27-30), in the vertical row (12-18, mostly 15-17, S. semoni has 10-11) and in front of the first dorsal fin, so altogether smaller (and therefore more) scales on the body. 

However, this is not recognizable on the living animal; it is more than likely that S. atropurpureus and S. semoni are constantly confused with each other. Also we have no other choice than to trust the information of the exporter. Since the two species do not differ in aquaristic requirements and in coloration, the question of which species they are is rather academic.

The fish, like all Stiphodon, live in schools consisting of males and females. Females are inconspicuously colored. Only when they want to spawn, the males develop the full color splendor, occupy a territory and court with their bright colors in front of the females. When the young have hatched, the males become paler again (but they are then still beautiful) and return to the shoal.

In the aquarium the care succeeds easily. Being omnivorous, Stiphodon prefer small food particles (food tablets, frozen cyclops, etc.) and also gnaw on algae. 

For our customers: the animals have code 456083 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Gymnochanda ploegi

18. August 2023

We have received this dwarf glass perch from Indonesia, which was named in honour of Alex Ploeg, who was in the passenger plane shot over the Ukraine on 17 July 2014.

Gymnochanda ploegi is known so far only from West Kalimantan, the part of Borneo belonging to Indonesia. It is a pure freshwater species that lives in very soft, acidic water. The peaceful fish become only 3-4 cm long and is a schooling species. Their care is not difficult, however, Gymnochanda, like most glass-perches, accept only live and  frozen food, the latter only after habituation. It is best to feed such small treasures with live Artemia nauplii.

Only the males have enlarged and red colored fins. Glass-perches often spawn in the aquarium, they are plant-spawners without brood-care. The raising of the tiny young, who often only accept certain food organisms, is, however, a very high school of aquaristics.

For our customers: the animals have code 419622 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Wallaciia compressiceps (= Crenicichla c.).

11. August 2023

The dwarf spezies among the pike cichlids have recently been separated as an independent genus Wallaciia (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/the-crenicichla-have-been-reclassified/). They include W. compressiceps, which occurs only in the Tocantins and Araguaia rivers in Brazil. It is one of the smallest, the prettiest and the most aggressive pike cichlid species. Although it only grows to a maximum length of 10 cm, females always remain smaller, the animals should be provided with at least a 120 cm aquarium. Otherwise they can attack each other like small, biting terriers.

The males can be distinguished from the females already from the relatively small size of 4-6 cm by the clearly denser and more intensive striation of the softly rayed parts of the anal and dorsal fin as well as the caudal fin. In the latter, the stripes are either indistinct or even absent. In addition, males have a red stripe in the dorsal fin that is absent in females; however, this stripe is only seen when the animal spreads the dorsal fin.

If you can meet the space requirements of the little ruffians, you should definitely take care of them once. They are beautiful and relatively easy to breed. To do this, let pairs find each other from a group of animals. Like all pike cichlids they are cave breeders with parent family. The requirements for the water composition are easy to meet, they need a pH in the neutral or slightly acidic range, so they are by no means black water inhabitants! The water temperature should be between 26 and 28°C. Dry food is rejected by the fish, but any kind of frozen and live food is accepted.

For our customers: the fish have code 669202 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Apistogramma allpahuayo (2)

7. August 2023

From Peru a beautiful dwarf cichlid regularly comes to us, which is called “Apistogramma juruensis” on the exporter´s lists. The animals are very similar to A. cacatuoides and to A. juruensis, but can usually be easily distinguished from both by one coloration feature: a black chin spot, which was decisive for the common trade name in our country: Black Chin. The species was finally described scientifically by Römer et al. in 2012 as Apistogramma allpahuayo. It originates from an area near Iquitos, which belongs to the drainage of the Rio Nanay. For pictures of this form see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/apistogramma-allpahuayo-2/

As said, the black chin spot is normally a very good identification mark of the species. Now we have received a shipment of these animals that shows the chin spot almost not at all. Additionally it is noticeable that in “normal” A. allaphuayo the membranes of the first three dorsal fin rays are black in excited males, in the newcomers only the first two. All in all the differences are only minor, but they show once again that in Apistogramma you always have to expect a certain range with regard to pattern characteristics.

For our customers: the animals have code 622723 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Heroina isonycterina

4. August 2023

It does not always have to be bright colors that make a fish interesting. Rather, it appeals to nature lovers to study the life history of the animals they keep and this often leaves a deeper impression in the long run than the colorful appearance. By cichlid standards Heroina isonyterina is a gray mouse. However, it is exciting that this animal became known to science only very late. First collections were made in Colombia in 1958, then in Ecuador in 1971 and 1981 and in Peru in 1986. In spring 1995 H.-G. Breidohr, I. Kranz, U. Werner and W. Zucker flew to Colombia and searched east and west of Florencia in the drainage of the Rio Caqueta for cichlids. Among others, they caught the then scientifically unnamed H. isonycterina there, were able to bring it back and breed it. This prompted S. Kullander to finally give a formal scientific description of the new genus and species. The genus name is the female form of Heros – another genus of cichlid – and literally means “heroine”, the species name isonycterina means “equinox” and refers to the narrow distribution strip of the species in the far west of the Amazon drainage near the equator, where day and night are known to last 12 hours each.

The species falls quite out of the frame of what one expects of cichlids in South America. On the one hand it reminds a bit the also South American genera Hypselecara and Caquetaia, on the other hand it reminds very clearly to the Central American Cichlasoma relatives. With about 15 cm maximum length (males, females remain smaller) H. isonycterina is not a giant and already well accommodated in a meter tank. They are open breeders with a parental family. Some specimens spawn completely open, e.g. on flat root woods at the bottom, others prefer somewhat protected places under overhangs up to cave-like structures. Males and females differ in color when sexually mature. In females, the unpaired fins are less stippled and a greenish reflective zone develops in the dorsal fin.

We can currently offer offspring of this very rarely commercially available cichlid.

For our customers: the animals have code 682882 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: Uwe Werner (adults) & Frank Schäfer (juveniles)

Ptychochromis oligacanthus

2. August 2023

Of the cichlids endemic to Madagascar, Ptychochromis oligacanthus is also quite well known aquaristically by name. However, the understanding of what is meant by this species has changed thoroughly only a few years ago (2006). Previously it was believed that the species was widespread and divided into four different colored races. Today these races are considered to be independent species. The actual Ptychochromis oligacanthus is restricted to the northwest of the island and the small offshore island Nosy Be. The isolated black spot on the upper half of the gill cover, which does not exist in any other Ptychochromis species, serves as a species identification mark in adult fish. Only Ptychochromis mainty, described as recently as 2015, is similar in this regard, but in this species the spot is associated with a longitudinal band running across the body.

Like so many species of Madagascar, Ptychochromis oligacanthus must unfortunately be considered endangered (Red List of the IUCN: Endangered), because the relatively numerous populations are not in any generic exchange with each other and can therefore die out very quickly locally due to economic use, stocking with foreign fish, environmental events, etc.. Catching for aquaristics has no influence on natural populations, all specimens in the hobby are offspring anyway.

We have just received small youngsters (about 3 cm) of Ptychochromis oligacanthus as German offspring. The parents (photo from the breeder) grow to 15-20 cm. P. oligacanthus is a robust fish with an aggression potential which should not be underestimated. Therefore it is essential to keep it in large, well-structured aquariums in a group from which pairs can find together. Only species that are hardy, such as various catfish, are suitable as community fish.

For our customers: the animals have code 574161 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos of the juveniles: Frank Schäfer

Dario dario

28. July 2023

The Dwarf Badis, also called Scarlet, has transformed itself from the highly paid sensation of the year 2000 to the always available classic in aquaristics. It originates from northern India (North Bengal), where it inhabits clear, moderately flowing waters with sandy bottoms and rich underwater plant growth at the foot of the Himalayas.

In terms of care, Dario dario is very undemanding as far as water values (any tap water suitable as drinking water is accepted) and temperature (between 16 and 28°C) are concerned, but it does not eat dry food. Frozen food is accepted without problems, but live food is much preferred by the cute animal, which grows only 2-3 cm long. It is best to keep the little jewels in a group of 10-20 specimens, whereby the gender is irrelevant. This way animals are constantly visible and interact with each other without hurting or seriously mobbing each other. 

Dwarf Badis, unlike the representatives of the genus Badis, do not engage in brood care. In an aquarium that is densely planted and where live food is given, young usually come up all by themselves from time to time to maintain the population.

For our customers: the animals have code 413773 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Osphronemus goramy gold and albino

24. July 2023

Labyrinth fishes are among the most important ornamental fishes in the world. Their often bright colors and varied behavior make their care very rewarding. Most species also remain small, only very rarely exceeding the 10 centimeter mark. The exception are the giant gouramis (Osphronemus), of which there are four accepted species. They are not only a bit bigger than the other labyrinths, but they are really big: such an “underwater piggy” measures between 45 and 70 cm when fully grown.

The comparison with our popular carving supplier is not so far out of the air. Like the pig, the giant gourami Osphronemus goramy loves warm, nutrient-rich water, eats like a barn thresher without being particularly picky, and tastes equally delicious boiled or fried. As a labyrinth fish, it can survive in oxygenless water, in which case it uses its auxiliary respiration, making it a prime market fish. O. goramy therefore became an early domesticated animal of man and is now widely distributed throughout South and Southeast Asia. 

Less well known is that there has long been a yellow (xanthoristic) and an albino breeding form. Both are also kept as ornamental fish in ponds in their native countries, because they are so undemanding. In our country they are of course only suitable for large and show aquariums, the water temperature must not drop below 15°C, otherwise there is a risk of disease and death.

At the moment we have some juveniles of both breeding forms in the stock. Among themselves juvenile giant gouramis are quite incompatible. Only after sexual maturity (at 20-25 cm) this changes, from then on they are very friendly with each other. Giant gouramis are bubble nest builders, producing several 10,000 young per brood.  The brood care takes over, as usually with labyrinth fish, the papa. External sex differences are unknown, however it seems that it is the males that get the typical nutcracker face, while the ladies keep a “normal” physiognomy.

For our customers: Albino has code 440915, Gold 440913 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Brachygobius sabanus Vietnam

19. July 2023

From Vietnam we received this very nice bumble bee goby. The identification of bumble bee gobies is still in many cases a very tricky matter and often succeeds only with many question marks. Brachygobius sabanus was originally described from Borneo (Sabah), but our animals originate from Vietnam. However, the figure attached to the first description of B. sabanus agrees very well with our animals. In the scientific literature (Taki et al, 2021), this bumble bee goby from the Indochinese Mekong River is also assigned to the species B. sabanus.

B. sabanus grows to only about 2.5 cm in length and is individually quite variable in coloration. The animals live in pure freshwater and also spawn here. Females ready for spawning are very light in color.

For our customers: the animals have code 407252 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer


Taki, Y., R. Ohtsuka, M. Komoda, Y. Natori, K. Utsugi, K. Shibukawa, T. Oizumi, S. Ottomanski et al. (eds.) (2021): Fishes of the Indochinese Mekong. Nagao Natural Environment Foundation, Tokyo, Japan. i-xii + 1-546.

Lentipes argenteus

17. July 2023

Once again we can announce a first import, but unfortunately a completely unspectacular one. Lentipes argenteus, a neon goby from West Sumatra, is – as they say – a dream in gray. We are quite sure that this will be our only import, because such fish are only interesting for specialists. For all of you who are wondering why we imported them at all, the answer is: it was a mix-up on the part of the exporter. There are people everywhere, even in the ornamental fish trade.

Lentipes argenteus, regardless of its drab color, is very suitable as an aquarium fish. It is a very peaceful goby that likes to live in company with its own kind. Probably this is even the reason for the plain coloration: other Lentipes species are (at least in the male sex) quite colorful. Something like this always indicates territoriality. The sexes of L. argenteus hardly differ. The males have a little more silver shine in the face, very soft pink lips and – this is the color highlight – blood red ventrals (pelvic fins), but the latter only when they get into courtship mood. The maximum size of L. argenteus is about 4.5 cm, it becomes sexually ripe at about half this length. L. argenteus loves current, temperatures between 24 and 28°C and clear water. It willingly eats any common fish food, whether dry, frozen or live.

For our customers: the animals have code 423702 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

The Crenicichla have been reclassified

14. July 2023

With 93 accepted species, the pike cichlids (Crenicichla) are the most species-rich genus of cichlids anywhere. Closely related to Crenicichla are the Teleocichla cichlids. The relationship is so close that the independence of Teleocichla has been doubted several times. In a recent study in which 74 species of the complex could be considered (65 Crenicichla species and all 9 Teleocichla species), different methods were tested to better understand the relationships of the pike cichlids. The result is that strictly speaking only one species remained, namely the type species of the genus Crenicichla (Crenicichla macrophthalma Heckel 1840)!

Crenicichla macrophthalma, type species of the genus Crenicichla, was described already in 1840. The species originates from the Manaus area in Brazil, but is an extreme rarity in the hobby. The strange lateral line pattern makes the fish distinctive.

However, the authors of the study (Varella et al., 2023) consider two groups of pike cichlids to be so closely related to this species that they established subgenera for them. The two subgenera to Crenicichla are Batrachops (9 species, type species Batrachops reticulatus) and Lacustria (34 species, type species Cycla lacustris). This approach is sure to meet with criticism because the concept of subgenus is in itself a paradox. Either the members of a subgenus represent an independent, monophyletic line of development, in which case they can just as well be placed in a full genus, or not, in which case there is no need for a subgenus. Anyway, this is for others to judge.

Crenicichla (Batrachops) reticulata, type species of the subgenus Batrachops. If Batrachops became full genus rank, the species name must be reticulatus (masculinum), in Crenicichla it is femininum, i.e. reticulata.

Most species of the subgenus Crenicichla (Lacustria) are hardly available aquaristically, they come from southern Brazil. The pictures of the type species C. lacustris shown here were taken 17 years ago. At that time the not yet identified fishes were called C. sp. Itapemirim or C. sp. Malaria.

However, the remaining 49 species are so different from Crenicichla in the proper sense that they have been transferred to separate genera: Wallaciia (type species Crenicichla wallacii) with 8 species, Lugubria (type species Crenicichla lugubris) with 16 species, Hemeraia (type species Crenicichla hemera) with 2 species, and Saxatilia (type species Sparus saxatilis) with 23 species. The independence of Teleocichla was confirmed, it includes 9 species, type species is Teleocichla centrarchus.

The dwarf crenicichla were transferred to the newly established genus Wallaciia (No typo, two i’s). Type species is W. wallacii from Guyana (pictures), a species very similar to the aquaristically much better known species W. regani.

Lugubria species are quite popular with owners of large (!) aquariums. The pictures show a population of the type species L. lugubris from the Rio Jutai in Brazil.

The representatives of the new genus Saxatilia belong to the group of forms around S. saxatilis. The pictures show S. edithae, a typical representative of the genus from Paraguay. The two Hemeraia species have not yet appeared alive as far as we know.

The independence of the genus Teleocichla was confirmed. The pictures show the type species T. centrarchus from the Rio Xingu in Brazil.

As experience with breaking up other large collecting genera in the past has shown (e.g. Cichlasoma, Barbus/Puntius, Botia, etc.), some fine-tuning will now certainly take place in the near future and the outliers in the new genera will be subdivided once again.So there is some learning to do for fans of these elegant predatory cichlids if they want to be on top of scientific classification. 

The new names will almost certainly not be adopted by the trade for the time being, because any change of name means a major intervention in the merchandise management systems and is associated with high costs and – what is more important – with a loss of information. Therefore, one will wait a few years to see how the scientific community will accept the proposals of Varella et al. before taking action. 

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer


Varella, H. R., Kullander, S. O., Menezes, N. A., Oliveira, C. and H. López-Fernández (2023): Revision of the generic classification of pike cichlids using an integrative phylogenetic approach (Cichlidae: tribe Geophagini: subtribe Crenicichlina). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society Advance article: 1-43

Maylandia lombardoi

10. July 2023

Who remembers art class in school? Among the first things you learn are color temperatures, right? According to this, red, yellow and orange are warm colors, while blue, green and purple are cool colors. In Lake Malawi’s rock cichlids, the mbuna, the territory-owning males usually shine in cool colors (usually blue), and the females exhibit warm colors. But there is a well-known exception: Maylandia lombardoi. Here it is just the opposite: males in bright yellow (warm), females blue (cold).

Maylandia lombardoi is only found in a few places in Lake Malawi, which is huge. Originally it comes from the coast of the Mbenji group of islands and from the Nkhomo reef, at Namalenje island there is a probably allochthonous (= originally not native there, displaced) population. This makes the species theoretically vulnerable to overfishing and environmental disasters. However, the former is not to be feared, since the aquaristic demand can be easily and much more cheaply met by captive breeding than by wild catch. We have no control over the latter here.

Maylandia lombardoi was one of the first Malawi cichlids and at that time (in the 1970s) really expensive. Many aquarists had to pay bitter lesson money, if they could buy only one pair. Because territory-owning males of M. lombardoi belong to the most aggressive mbuna at all. Nowadays all this is not so tragic. Large aquariums (from 150 cm edge length) and large groups (not less than 10 specimens, better 20) provide a fair distribution of the beating. The gender composition does not really matter. Suppressed males take on female coloration. However, they always remain recognizable by the large yellow egg spot in the anal fin, which is always missing in females. Dominant females may also develop yellow coloration. Such a troop of colorful mbuna offers a very varied picture and countless observation possibilities to the intraspecific behavior of these magnificent animals, which reach 10-12 cm length. The photographed animals are 4-6 cm long.

For our customers: the fish have code 572502 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Uaru fernandezyepezi

7. July 2023

In the Rio Atabapo in Venezuela, from which Uaru fernandezyepezi originates, it is already some weeks closed season, i.e. no fish may be caught there. The beautiful Uaru fernandezyepezi, which we can offer at the moment, are therefore the last specimens of the current season. 

There was a time when people hardly dared to import Uaru fernandezyepezi. Rio Atabapo is a blackwater river with very low pH (around 4.5) and hardly detectable hardness, therefore very low in bacteria. And it is very warm (28-30°C). Against bacterial contamination (e.g. of the transport water), cooling down (e.g. in the comparatively “cold” Bogota, over which almost all international flights pass) and also against very hard water, Uaru fernandezyepezi is extremely sensitive, at least in the acclimation phase. But fortunately these problems are solved in the meantime and there are very well kept animals of this beautiful cichlid. 

We can offer just two sizes: 12-15 cm, with some animals still showing remnants of the brightly spotted child coloration, and 14-17 cm. As fully adult these animals are considered with about 25 cm. Similar to Discus, with which they are closely related, Uaru are almost schooling fish outside the breeding season, at least they like to swim in a troop with their peers. Adult Uaru are largely vegetarians and prefer to eat soft plants. They are peaceful, almost shy fish, which should not be kept together with rough large cichlids, to which they have nothing to oppose.

For our customers: the animals have code 688405 (12-15 cm) and 688406 (14-17 cm). Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only a few animals available!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pterophyllum Blue Angelfish 2023

7. July 2023

Solid blue-green angelfish are apparently the dream of many angelfish breeders. The body base color blue, a mutation, has been known in angelfish since World War 2, but it was very difficult to establish it in large-scale breeding. It was not until the end of the 1990s that this was achieved. Since then, a wide variety of lines have been pursued with Blue Angelfish. 

The pictures in this post show one of the current Blue Angelfish as we receive them from our breeder. The juveniles are still relatively unspectacular, you have to know what will become of them, but the adults are very attractive.

For our customers: the fish have code 693402 (md) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Coptodon gutturosus

23. June 2023

Cichlids form new species comparatively quickly when placed in geographic isolation. For them, the speciation process often takes only a few decades or centuries, whereas other groups often need millennia. Lake Bermin in Cameroon is a comparatively tiny crater lake with a surface area of only 0.6-0.7 km2. The lake is located in a former volcanic crater, has no inflow but an outflow that drains into the Cross River. There are 9 species of cichlids of the genus Coptodon living in this lake exclusively, all of which can be traced back to a common ancestor. Species differentiation of these Coptodon is extremely tricky, quite obviously the speciation process is not yet complete.

We have now received a number of offspring of cichlids from this lake, which were offered to us as Coptodon gutturosus. The parents of our fish are already offspring. Coptodon gutturosus usually has a deep red breast in its brood care dress, an inheritance from Coptodon guineensis, which is probably the common ancestor of all Coptodon species of Lake Bermin. Our animals are magnificently brassy, with blue, bulging lips and (this is mood dependent) deep black belly ridge. They do not (yet) show the red belly of the parents. Thus they combine characteristics of C. gutturosa, C. snyderae and C. bemini; also C. bakossiorum looks similar. We are very curious to see how this strain will develop further!

None of the mentioned Coptodon species grows larger than 14 cm, C. snyderae becomes reproductive in nature with 2.5 cm length and hardly grows beyond 6 cm, C. bemini reaches the mentioned 14 cm, C. gutturosus and C. bakossiorum stay somewhere in between. So they are small to medium sized cichlids. They see plants as a food component, you have to know that. They are open-breeding cichlids with parental family, which can be compared quite well with more peaceful Cichlasoma relatives (e.g. the Amatitlania species) in their overall behavior.

For our customers: the animals have code 514772 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Chromidotilapia kingsleyae

23. June 2023

The wonderful West African cichlids have been somewhat forgotten in recent decades. In the 1970s and 1980s, on the other hand, they experienced a real boom and a great many new species were discovered at that time because ornamental fish collectors were only too happy to fulfill the aquarists’ desire for previously unseen cichlids. Many species of West African cichlids are magnificently colored. But there are also other, more inconspicuous species, which score for it by an interesting behavior. Chromidotilapia kingsleyae belongs to the latter. 

The modern research of this well-known species – it was already scientifically described in 1891 and is at the same time type species of the genus Chromidotilapia – we owe to traveling aquarists with scientific claim, who set out in the 1990s and collected animals in Gabon with a lot of personal commitment and thus made it possible to distinguish similar Chromidotilapia species from each other. They also brought C. kingsleyae with them and so we now know that this magnificent cichlid is a mouth-brooding species in which both sexes can in principle participate in brood care, but the males are polygamous when they have the opportunity. They then spawn with several females, living as if in a harem. The brood care is then left entirely to the ladies.

We have received a few specimens of this highly interesting cichlid from a German breeder. There are no imports from Gabon. Therefore these animals probably go back to the ancestors collected in the 1990s. Our animals are with 6-8 cm length still young, C. kingsleyae is with maximum 15-18 cm length the largest species of the genus.

For our customers: the fish have code 514653 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Placidochromis milomo

21. June 2023

Lake Malawi in the heart of Africa is home to an enormous variety of cichlids. Often it is difficult to decide whether in individual cases they are different species or local variants. Extremely popular in aquaristics are the rock cichlids (Mbuna). But also among the non-Mbuna, which in their habitat are not so dependent on the algae growths growing on rocks as a food basis, many fantastically colored and interesting cichlids can be found.

Among the latter is Placidochromis milomo, a bulb-lipped cichlid that once, in the late 1970s, came to our aquariums as a highly prized rarity. At that time, it was still called “Haplochromis sp. Super VC 10.” The Super VC 10 was a popular, very fast small aircraft. The cichlid was so named because it dived at a high speed into deeper water layers when approached by catchers. It was not until 1989 that the species was then officially described as Placidochromis milomo, borrowing the word milomo from the Chichewa word for lips. It refers to the highly hypertrophied lips with fleshy middle lobes of this fish species.

What are these thick lips of the up to 20 cm long animal good for? Scholars argue about that. There is the thesis that the thick lips seal rock crevices into which small fish take refuge. Then the bulge-lipped cichlids could suck out the prey by negative pressure. Other researchers vigorously dispute this, pointing out that biomechanically this would not work at all. Thus there is a second widespread thesis that the thick lips are a kind of shock absorber. This is because the cichlids would keep bumping into rocks at high speed while chasing small fish. And it is a fact that the lips of aquarium fish (even wild-caught) are never as thick as in nature. In the aquarium, by the way, the fish love to dig through the bottom Geophagus-style.

Our P. miolomo are offspring from Asia. Besides their interesting behavior and beautiful coloration, P. milomo have something else to offer: they are among the most peaceful mouthbrooders ever! Even two males get along quite well in the aquarium.

For our customers: the animals have code 530202 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Bostrychus zonatus

16. June 2023

Bostrychus zonatus is a sleeper goby and becomes about 15 cm long. They are predatory fish, which should therefore only be kept together with species that have at least half the body length of the gobies, larger is safer.

The beautiful animal is widespread in fresh and brackish water in New Guinea and northern Australia. It is therefore a good idea to keep for it together with rainbowfish from this region.

The colouring can change very quickly depending on the mood, excited animals become very rich in contrast. 

These animals demand hard water, in any case the pH-value should be above 8 if possible. Soft soil, many hiding places and a light addition of salt (the latter is not absolutely necessary) increase the well-being of the quarrelsome fish.

For our customers: the fish have code 396503 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Butis gymnopomus

16. June 2023

Sleeper gobies the genus Butis (there are 6 recognized species) belong to the most original members of their kind. They swim around in the aquarium in every imaginable posture, especially often with the belly up, but also upside down or with the snout up. Thereby they imitate a floating piece of wood and are not perceived as a threat by their prey fish. The extremely voracious animals grow to a length of approx. 12 cm. Apart from fish, acclimated specimens also accept frozen food.

They are brackish water fish, which tolerate pure fresh water (but then pay attention to the pH-value, which should not drop below 8!) as well as pure sea water. Because of their salt tolerance, the species are very widespread in the Western Pacific region, being found from East Africa to India and Australia and everywhere in between. Butis gymnopomus (our specimens are from Indonesia) differs externally from the otherwise very similar B. amboinensis, B. butis, B. humeralis and B. melanostigma by the unstriped gill cover below the eye and the absence of a dark spot at the base of the pectoral fins. The rest of the coloration is extremely variable and the fish can change color in a flash.

Males have much longer extended posterior dorsal and anal fins. Although the goby often swims (or drifts) freely in the water, it is substrate oriented. When given the opportunity, it likes to snuggle up to a root or the like. Solid substrate is also used for spawning, such as a rock. The male takes care of the numerous, tiny spawn. The also tiny fry grows up in brackish water or sea; a report about a successful breeding in the aquarium is not known to us. 

For our customers: the animals have code 408012 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Parasphaerichthys ocellatus

12. June 2023

This extremely rarely imported species originates from Burma. The charming fish attains a length of only 2-3 cm. The species is a close relative of the mouthbrooding chocolate gouramis, but P. ocellatus is a bubblenest builder although the eggs look like the eggs of mouthbrooders.

In the habitats of P. ocellatus appear heavy day-night changes of the water temperature. The species lives in muddy, shallow pools. By day water temperature rises easily up to 25-28°C, while during the night the temperature becomes as low as 15°C. The metabolism of the tiny fish is adopted to that changes. So one should try to imitate them (for example by switching off the heater along with the lamps) otherwise the fish will become very sensitive for various diseases on a long time sight.

For our customers: the fish have code 441233 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Parasphaerichthys: ancient Greek, means “similar to Sphaerichthys”. Sphaerichthys is another genus of fish. ocellatus: means “bears an ocellus”.

Suggestion of a common name: Ocellated dwarf chocolate gourami

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Apistogramma kullanderi

7. June 2023

The “Giant Apistogramma” caused a flurry of excitement when it was discovered in 2009 during an expedition to the Serra do Cachimbo (Pará, Brazil). The discoverers, J. L. O. Birindelli and M. Sabaj Perez, reported on this great fish in various journals, initially under the name A. sp. “Gigas”. Then in 2014, Varella and Sabaj Perez formally described it as Apistogramma kullanderi.

The breeding coloration of adults is very beautiful and impressive. With a good 8 cm standard length, i.e. without tail fin, A. kullanderi in the male sex is twice as large as the many, many other Apistogramma species usually are, which after all are not called dwarf cichlids without reason. The import of A. kullanderi turned out to be a bumpy affair, because in the same area (upper Rio Curua) there is a second still undescribed Apistogramma species, which does not occur together with A. kullanderi, but looks darn similar when young. When importing young animals one buys the famous (expensive) pig in a poke and the disappointment was regularly big, when the hoped for A. kullanderi turned out to be the gray mice of the second species after a few weeks. 

In the meantime there are well established breeding strains of the “real” A. kullanderi and for the first time we have German offspring available in wholesale. The animals still show only a hint of their later beauty, but we present them here anyway. The photographed pair will grow in our show facility and we hope to be able to provide pictures of adult animals in their full splendor and glory in about half a year.

For our customers: the fish have code 623443 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Microctenopoma fasciolatum

2. June 2023

Unfortunately imports from the Congo are only rarely possible. But now it was once again so far and among other species we have received nice wild catches of the Banded ctenopoma (Microctenopoma fasciolatum, formerly Ctenopoma f.).

The currently imported form – the exact locality is unknown to us – differs quite clearly in color from the animals we could import last in 2020, see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/microctenopoma-fasciolatum-2/ On the linked page you will also find further information about these attractive and interesting labyrinth fish.

For our customers: the animals have code 117002 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Sineleotris saccharae

19. May 2023

From the Hong Kong area comes this beautiful, but also delicate goby. The maximum length of the species is about 10 cm. The basic temperature requirements are well known from the White Clouds (Tanichthys albonubes), which occurs in the same region: 16-22°C for normal care, somewhat higher for breeding, short-term up to 28°C are tolerated.

There is still very little experience with Sineleotris saccharae. In our normal fish house aquarium (140 x 60 x 30 cm, L x D x H) with a stock of 25 specimens and a piece of root wood as the only furnishing (no substrate, no plants) the animals show a rather free swimming behavior, comparable to Stigmatogobius sadanundio. Each fish defends a zone of about 5-10 cm around itself against conspecifics. If a conspecific enters this space, it is threatened, with the throat region turning black, and driven away. If he does not want to give way, it can also come to mouth tugging, as one knows it from cichlids. Over a larger distance than 15 cm the opponent is not pursued however, it comes to no damage fights.

In the photo tank the behavior is completely different and more typical for gobies. Here they are bottom oriented and hide behind stones etc.. One specimen has even burrowed into the sand, so there is still a lot to explore about these beautiful fish! Concerning the food they are unproblematic. We feed them live food (red and white mosquito larvae, Tubifex) in the photo tank they also snatched parts of food tablets, which were actually intended for feeding other animals.

For our customers: the animals have code 455223 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Helostoma temmickii

17. May 2023

The kissing gourami (Helostoma temmickii) in its pink breeding form is one of the best known labyrinth fish. It is not actually bred as an ornamental fish, but as a food fish. The species grows up to 30 cm long under suitable (fattening) conditions and is considered delicate. In the nutrient-rich, turbid breeding ponds, the pink-colored animals are much easier to see than the green-gray wild form, which greatly facilitates control, care and fishing.

In the aquarium the fish usually reaches only 15-20 cm in length and is a rather peaceful, but in any case interesting ornamental fish for larger aquariums. The peculiar mouth is covered with numerous teeth, which are used to graze aufwuchs (algae and the small animals they contain). The famous “kissing” of these fish has nothing to do with expressions of affection, but is a form of mouth writhing, a ritualized fighting action widespread among fish.

The sexes are hardly distinguishable in the kissing gourami. The males are slightly less high-backed. Unlike very many other labyrinth fishes, kissing gouramis do not engage in any brood care, but simply release the spawn (many thousands in larger fishes) freely into the water during a labyrinth fish-typical embrace. The eggs have small oil droplets and therefore float on the water surface. In Europe breeding is almost not practiced, it is much easier and ecologically more sensible to import them from Southeast Asia, where breeding of Helostoma has been practiced for centuries.

The care of kissing gouramis is not difficult, any water is accepted, any usual food is eaten, it should only not be too coarse. The water temperature can be between 20 and 30°C. One should always keep several specimens, even if Helostoma temmickii does not need conspecifics for well-being. But it is interesting to watch the “kissing” of these animals and for kissing you have to be at least two…

For our customers: the animals have code 421302 (4-5 cm) and 421305 (7-9 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Crenicichla zebrina

12. May 2023

Crenicichla zebrina is one of the still extremely high-priced fishes, because the finding areas are located far away and it is very costly to transport live fishes healthy and lively from there to the export stations. The wonderful coloration makes the animals nevertheless desirable.

Unfortunately it is hard to tell the sexes of C. zebrina apart and furthermore randomly mated animals rarely get along. Juveniles, on the other hand, are inconspicuous in coloration and still expensive, but quite peaceful among themselves. A troop of young animals is the best chance to get to a breeding pair. 

At the moment we can offer once again adult animals (for pictures see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/first_import_crenicichla_zebrina_arrived_en/ and https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/crenicichla_zebrina_en-2/ and also youngsters (actual photos in this post and https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/crenicichla_zebrina_en/).

For our customers: the animals have code 674051 (5-8 cm) and 674058 (24-28 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rubricatochromis “lifalili” (formerly: Hemichromis)

26. April 2023

There is no doubt about it: the Red Jewel Cichlids, formerly called Hemichromis bimaculatus, are among the most popular aquarium fishes. For several generations of mankind they have been swimming in the aquariums of the world and find again and again new, enthusiastic followers – however also aquarists who swear an oath: never again Red Jewel Cichlids! The latter comes from the unfortunately in individual cases unpredictable belligerence of these fish. Most of them are really sociable, but there are some unbearable troublemakers, which make life hell for all fish in the aquarium. Since this characteristic occurs individually, it is absolutely unpredictable.

The most beautiful red jewel cichlids are those that have numerous blue shiny spots on their bodies, called iriodophores. The distribution of the iriodophores is individually different. In the wild, specimens completely without and those completely covered with iriodophores are found in the same population of several species. This is therefore not a species characteristic, but can be selected by appropriate breeding. Thus, over the decades, aquarium strains have been created that are much, much more colorful than their wild cousins. If these fish have a particularly large number of iriodophores, they are called Lifalili in the hobby. 

This is somewhat unfortunate in that the species Rubricatochromis lifalili really does exist. It lives in the Congo. In the trade the “real” R. lifalili hardly ever appears – at least we have not seen it yet.

What you can buy as Rubricatochromis (or Hemichromis) lifalili are either selection breedings of R. guttatus or breeding forms which have their origin in crossing different species. At the moment we have especially nice animals of a wild form selection breeding (R. guttatus) in our stock. By the way, on the pictures you can see very nicely how it comes that these fish can glow in deep red at lightning speed. The body cells, in which the red pigment is located, can be contracted. Then they appear only as fine red dots. 

For our customers: the fish have code 536602 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Heterotilapia buettikoferi (formerly: Tilapia b.).

12. April 2023

The large cichlids of South and Central America have a firm place in aquaristics. However, aquarists have a mental problem with the no less magnificent large cichlids of Africa. When the name “tilapia” is mentioned in a fish discussion, everyone immediately thinks of gray underwater lawnmowers with carp format.

There is a grain of truth in this prejudice. In fact, many tilapias are mainly herbivores, and some of the important food fish among them, such as Oreochromis niloticus or Sarotherodon galilaeus (this is the biblical fish from the Sea of Galilee) are really no color wonders. But there are also really beautiful animals among the tilapia. Among them is Heterotilapia buettikoferi, a species distributed from Guinea-Bissau to western Liberia. It belongs to the largest tilapias at all, it is said that already 50 cm long specimens have been caught. Normal in nature are 15-20 cm, in the aquarium maybe 30 cm. They become sexually active much earlier. The photographed pair is only 8-10 cm long and started spawning already one day after entering the photo aquarium. There are hardly any external sex differences.

Heterotilapia buettikoferi is an open breeder and forms a parent family. The care is really easy, water values secondary. Vegetable matter (oat flakes, vegetable flake food, over-brooded lettuce) should play a role in the diet, but basically the fish are omnivores; in the wild they are snail-eaters. In sufficiently large aquariums they are usually peaceful animals. Under too cramped conditions, however, they can become real bullies. 

We offer H. buettikoferi as offspring from Southeast Asia.

For our customers: the animals have code 576903 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Symphysodon discus “BLUE MOON”.

6. April 2023

The Real or Heckel Discus (Symphysodon discus) is always somewhat behind its close relatives, the Blue and Green Discus, in popularity. This is certainly only because it breeds less willingly. There is no doubt about its special beauty.

The Heckel Discus “Blue Moon” is found only in a rather remote region of the Alto Nhamunda (i.e. the upper reaches of the Rio Nhamunda). To the nearest “normal” collecting station it takes four hours by speedboat!

Nevertheless, the Blue Moon are selected animals. Although the Blue Moon is only found in the Alto Nhamunda, not all of the Heckels of the Alto Nhamunda are Blue Moon. Only a relatively small percentage show the unique coloration. Some of these Blue Moon are so intensely colored that at first glance they could be mistaken for Area Turquoise Discus, a breeding form that evolved from Blue and Green Discus. However, all Blue Moon are wild caught.

For our customers: the animals have code 735036 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Apistogramma psammophila

31. March 2023

The two-banded dwarf cichlid, Apistogramma diplotaenia, is one of the dream fish of many Apistogramma lovers. The species originates from the Rio Negro drainage in Brazil. Unfortunately, this fish is also one of the most demanding species of the genus and even minor carelessness – e.g. a missed water change and the resulting increase in bacterial load of the water – is very resented. 

Because of its unique coloration, A. diplotaenia was previously considered to be unmistakable until 2019 when a twin species, A. psammophila was described from the Rio Atabapo in Colombia. In fact, it is impossible to distinguish the two species in the juvenile stage without knowledge of their origin. There is one distinct feature that differentiates A. diplotaenia and A. psammophila, and that is vertical black stripes on the belly of A. psammophila, which never occur in A. diplotaenia. Unfortunately, this stripe coloration cannot be provoked well. It is obviously only shown depending on the mood, but in which mood? Strongly stressed animals fade completely and during aggressive actions the stripes are also not visible or at most indicated. Apparently they are best seen in relaxed, rather “bored” animals. A second characteristic is the shape of the caudal fin (round in A. diplotaenia, lanceolate in A. psammophila), but this is only clearly visible in fully grown males and therefore irrelevant for juvenile determinations.

In any case we are very proud to be able to offer this precious specimen. For the care of this fish we recommend only experienced specialists. It seems to us that the fish, although they are still very small with 2-3 cm and just sexually mature, are extremely incompatible with each other. There are no damage fights, but constant stress seems to be enough to harm the immune system to such an extent that severe diseases occur.

For our customers: the animals have code 626632 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only very few specimens available!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Thorichthys aureus

31. March 2023

The “golden cichlid” is one of the first cichlid species that became known for aquaristics. It originates from Mexico. Already in 1911 the first imports took place. However, the species never really caught on in general, in contrast to its cousin T. meeki, which was first imported more than 20 years later and is still one of the most commonly kept and bred cichlids. Astonishing, as the “meeki” with nearly the same shape and size (maximum 15 cm) is by far not as colorful and also on average much more aggressive than T. aureus.

The reason is probably the much more inconspicuous juvenile coloration of T. aureus. Up to a length of about 10 cm this fish comes along rather pastel colored. Meekis are colored much earlier. Therefore T. aureus is rather a fish for connoisseurs.

Normally we have only relatively small juveniles (mostly 4-7 cm) of these animals in our offer. Now it happened by chance that one of our breeders had to give away a big pair. We think the pictures speak for themselves, don’t you?

For our customers: the animals have code 688170 (4-5 cm) to 688174 (8-10 cm) on our stocklist. The big pair found a new home right away. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ptychochromis insolitus

29. March 2023

One of the rarest animals in the world is this Madagascar cichlid, which was only scientifically described in 2006 and already in 2013 it was feared to be extinct. It existed in only one river on Madagascar, the Mangarahara, after which the perch is also called Mangarahara cichlid. A dam project and excessive water extraction for agriculture caused the river to dry up. Along with the river, all the fish that lived in it died. It borders on a miracle that a few living specimens of Ptychochromis insolitus were discovered in a residual water area in the Amboaboa Basin and that breeding succeeded with them. Committed conservationists, including many private aquarists, are now trying to protect this last refuge on Madagascar. At the same time, a conservation breeding program for the fish species is being established. 

Both actions are successful. Also we can now offer some offspring specimens of this open brooding fish with maternal brood care. We very much hope that the animals will become part of the conservation breeding program and that the future owners will participate in the Citizen Conservation project (https://citizen-conservation.org/arten/mangarahara-buntbarsch/?lang=en). Because the experience from the past shows on the one hand that it is quite possible to breed fish species healthy in the aquarium over decades, even over a century without inbreeding damages, but for species like the Mangarahara cichlid, which does not necessarily correspond to the ideal image of an “ornamental fish”, special efforts are needed.

Ptychochromis insolitus grows to about 15 cm in length. It is best kept in a group in relatively large aquariums (500l), because this species – typical cichlid – can sometimes be a bit robust against conspecifics. Then it is good, if the beating is distributed on several animals and these also have place to evade. From the troop it is also easiest to find a pair that harmonizes well with each other and finally ensures that the Mangarahara cichlid does not disappear from our planet.

For our customers: the animals have code 574152 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: Frank Schäfer and H. Zell

Enigmatochromis lucanusi

24. March 2023

After many years we received again this beautiful pastel colored dwarf cichlid from Guinea. Only in 2009 the species, which belongs to a group of species popularly also called king cichlids, was scientifically determined, before it was known in the hobby as “Pevicachromis sp. aff. roloffi Blue Fin”. The females of this species show – uniquely among all the king cichlids of West Africa – a neon blue shining dorsal fin. Additionally a black spot decorates this fin. 

The males look completely different in color. In them, the upper half of the caudal fin and the soft-rayed part of the dorsal fin have many spots. Both sexes usually have a dark longitudinal band.

Like all species of the king cichlids formerly grouped under Pelvicachromis, Enigmatochromis lucanusi is a cave-breeder with a biparental brood care, the female being more concerned with care of the spawn and larvae, the male more concerned with territorial defense. When the young swim free and leave the breeding cave, both parents care for the offspring equally.

Enigmatochromis lucanusi is one of the most peaceful dwarf cichlids and is well suited for keeping in community aquariums with smaller tetras, barbs, killifishes and catfishes of the region. Males grow to a maximum length of 8 cm, females to a maximum length of 6 cm. When setting up, make sure the aquarium contains sandy bottom at least in places. Otherwise the aquarium for Enigmatochromis lucanusi should be well planted and contain a lot of dead wood and dead leaves. For breeding the animals need soft and slightly acidic water, for normal care this is not necessary.

For our customers: the animals have code 560492 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rhinogobius shennongensis

17. March 2023

The brook gobies (Rhinogobius) are as adult fishes pure freshwater inhabitants, which are found at most once in the brackish water of the lower reaches of running waters; but even this is the exception, not the rule. With 140 described species, 72 of which are generally considered valid, there is still a wide open field here for aquarists with an urge to explore. All species can be maintained well in the aquarium. When breeding, there are those Rhinogobius that have tiny larvae that grow in the sea and those that have large larvae that grow in freshwater. All species are cave spawners, the male guards the clutch until the larvae hatch. Brood care ends when the larvae swim free.

For the first time we could import Rhinogobius shennongensis from China. It originates from the Yangriwan, upper Hanjiang River, Mount Shennnong, Hubei Province. The maximum length is about 5-6 cm, males are larger than females. The sexes are most easily distinguished by the shape of the head. According to their origin, the fish are kept not too warm (18-24°C), in clear, oxygen-rich water with a good current. They are bottom fish, the males form territories. Rhinogobius shennongensis is somewhat quarrelsome; therefore possible tank mates should not be too squeamish. All common ornamental fish food is eaten, although some specimens do not like dry food. Frozen food is always accepted.

For our customers: the fish have code 453480 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rhinogobius sp. “Davidi”

17. March 2023

We have the great ambition to open up new species for aquaristics again and again. Therefore it is not excluded that we also import species whose scientifically exact determination is not successful, because simply not enough scientific research has been done about the animals so far. The extremely species-rich genus Rhinogobius is a good example of this. Under the name “Rhinogobius davidi” we imported freshwater gobies from an exporter in China that was new to us. Basically you can’t really go wrong, because all Rhinogobius species are well suited for aquaristics: small, colorful, comparatively easy to care and of interesting behavior. After settling in, the “Rhinogobius davidi” turned out to be a mix of three species, none of which matched the scientific description of Rhinogobius davidi

We sent pictures of our animals to the world’s leading expert on Rhinogobius, I-Shiung Chen, with a request for identification. His answer is: unfortunately, identification is not possible without exact knowledge of the locality and without preserved material. Fortunately, there were no losses among our imports, so there is no possibility to preserve animals and locality is always to be treated with caution when importing ornamental fishes. So we have to live with not being able to name these Rhinogobius more exactly. In order not to cause name chaos for future imports, we therefore leave the name “Rhinogobius davidi” for the animals and modify it only to Rhinogobius sp. “Davidi” to make clear that it is only a provisional name.

The three species of the import can be distinguished quite well at a closer look, two of them have a similar basic coloration. However, these two differ clearly in the head pattern. One species has a vertical red line under the eye, which is surely species specific, because both sexes show it. The second, similar species has exclusively horizontal streaking and dots below the eye and in the rest of the head. The males of this somewhat smaller and more slender form (about 3.5-4 cm) also develop a conspicuously pale lower lip when excited. The third species has a completely differently shaped first dorsal fin, which is also adorned with a conspicuous black spot. All three Rhinogobius sp. “Davidi” have turned out to be robust, easy to care for fishes, which are a lot of fun to watch.

For our customers: the animals have code 453442 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Scalare leopoldi Red Spots Peru

27. February 2023

From Peru we received wonderful, large angels (Pterophyllum). They have a yellowish to reddish back and many brown-red spots on the flanks. This exceptionally beautiful wild form has been called Pterophyllum leopoldi for decades due to a misidentification in aquarium circles. The “true” P. leopoldi originates from Brazil and is the fish always referred to in the hobby as P. dumerilii, while the “true” P. dumerilii from Brazil is considered synonymous with P. scalare. Other names, equally incorrect, that circulate for Peru scalars are “Peru Altum” or “Pterophyllum peruensis”.

In fact, the “Red Spots Peru” is a scientifically undescribed species. This has nothing to do with the red spots: this species also exists without red spots. Rather it is the black, comma-shaped spot, which extends as extension of the 2nd body bandage into the dorsal fin, which is characteristic for the species (in the order: eye bandage – 1st body bandage – 2nd body bandage – tail root bandage, thus four dark vertical bands, of which the tail root bandage is often only indistinctly visible).

Regardless of the name, the red-spotted angelfish from Peru are magnificent animals, which unfortunately can be imported only very rarely and in small numbers. 

For our customers: the animals have code 699307 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only available in limited numbers!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Vieja breidohri

24. February 2023

The 1980s and 1990s were the high times of traveling aquarists who wanted to shed light on Central American cichlids. And this succeeded more than satisfactorily! One of these amateur researchers in the best sense of the word was Hans-Günther Breidohr (1938-2017). In his honor Uwe Werner and Rainer Stawikowski named a cichlid Paratheraps breidohri, which was discovered on such trips and recognized as a new species due to the subsequent aquarium care. Today it is – research progresses – placed in the genus Vieja, so it is called Vieja breidohri.

We are very happy that this cichlid, which is apparently very rarely found in the wild – it is only known from a reservoir in Chiapas, Mexico – has been included in the program of Southeast Asian breeders. Right now we have juveniles from Indonesia in the stock. The animals are still somewhat inconspicuous in color. Thankfully, Uwe Werner, one of the discoverers of the species, has allowed us to use his pictures of adult specimens for this post.

Vieja breidohri grows 25-30 cm long, so it belongs to the large cichlids. You only need to offer them enough space, then you can enjoy these character fish for many years. They are – as usual in the Cichlasoma relatives – open breeders with parent family. It is strongly discouraged to combine different Vieja species with each other, as they can hybridize. The days when it was so easy to take research trips and bring back fish are, unfortunately, long gone. This is very much to the detriment of nature, but the ignorant bureaucracy is not expected to change this situation in the foreseeable future. That is why we have to take care to keep the existing strains pure in conservation breeding.

For our customers: the animals have code 688521 (3-4 cm) and 688523 (6-8 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Cryptoheros myrnae “Rio Sarapiqui”.

24. February 2023

Central American cichlids often require large aquariums. Not so much because of their swimming needs, but because they form territories and are often unbearably aggressive in aquariums that are too small. In large aquariums, on the other hand, this is hardly a problem. But there are also dwarf cichlids among the Central Americans, which – according to the definition of the word dwarf cichlid – do not grow larger than 10 cm. The beautiful Cryptoheros species belong to them, also C. myrnae.

So even owners of medium (standard) aquariums can enjoy Central American cichlids and their varied, interesting behavior and fiery colors. Unfortunately, nowadays it cannot be assumed that regular fishing trips to the countries of origin – in this case Costa Rica, where C. myrnae occurs in rivers on the atlantic side – are possible. Commercial imports from there never existed anyway. Therefore the conservation of species in the aquarium is of special importance and for this purpose it is important to breed “true to species”, i.e. on a population basis, wherever possible. Therefore we are very pleased to be able to offer C. myrnae offspring even with locality designation. However, the animals are German offspring.

The sexes of this peaceful, hardly burrowing and also for suitably furnished and occupied community aquariums suitable species, are to be distinguished well starting from a size of approximately 3 cm. Then the females develop a black and white spot in the dorsal fin. The water values are unimportant for care and breeding, any drinking water is suitable. The temperature can be between 22 and 28°C, medium values have proven. Every usual ornamental fish food is eaten. It is very interesting if the animals have territorial differences. Then they color themselves within seconds in the face and on the chest deep black!

For our customers: the animals from Rio Sarapiqui have code 674432 on our stocklist. Furthermore we have very nice “no name” C. myrnae, code 674402 in our stock.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Betta splendens – real fighter Pla Kat Luk Maw

22. February 2023

It is a well known fact that the Betta splendens kept in the aquarium hobby as ornamental fish do not represent the species as it appears in the wild, but a domesticated fish. Initially this sport has been bred for combats, similar like sports of cocks and dogs. Only in the 1920ies, when supplying ornamental fish for the aquarium hobby became more and more an important economic factor for people in Southeast Asia, breeders started to select veiltailed sports and aberrant colour varieties. These fish are useless for combats.

The tradition of fish fights is still alive in many parts of Asia. Due to the high sums of money people bet here – and which lead to the ruin of many bet-junkies – these combats are under legal control, but in many areas they are also cultural property under special protection.

Here in central Europe is no interest in watching animals fighting and to bet on the winner, we are focussed on the empathy with the animal we keep. Nevertheless it is very interesting for a real enthusiast to get the possibility for studying these real fighters among the Bettas. These fish are called Pla Kat Luk Maw in Thai, which means about „biting fish of the earthen pot“. „Earthen pot“ refers to the traditional pottery vessels used for breeding the fish. There are Pla Kat Luk Maw mainly in blue, occasionally turquoise or wild colored fish appear.

For our customers: the fish have code 391019 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in limited numbers only!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Betta strohi

10. February 2023

The species status of Betta strohi is controversial. It is a form from the species complex around Betta foerschi (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/betta-foerschi-bred/). Some authors consider B. strohi to be a synonym of B. foerschi, others a valid species. “Technically” the two differ by a rather inconspicuous feature, namely the eye line. In Betta strohi the line runs from the gill cover through the eye, in B. foerschi it runs below the eye. In living animals this is hardly ever visible, but in preserved animals it is. A very important feature is the coloration of the gill cover in mating animals. It is bright yellow in B. strohi and bright red in B. foerschi. But also to see this feature you need patience. If they are not in mating mood, the fish do not show it. However: also this characteristic is controversial. In the original description animals of B. strohi have red gill cover stripes and B. foerschi yellow ones! 

Anyway: we have splendid, fully grown German offspring of this species in our stock. The breeder has studied the fish intensively and is sure that it is B. strohi. All species of the Betta foerschi complex are found only in Borneo, B. foerschi in the Mentaya River drainage, B. mandor in the lower Kapuas River drainage and B. strohi is found about 30 km south of Sukamara; there is no major river named there (but nameless rivers do exist).

In any case, these fish are a splendid as well as interesting enrichment for well maintained blackwater aquaria. B. strohi is a reserved fish, which can be socialized very well with other peaceful blackwater fish, e.g. rasboras, chocolate gouramis, pearl gouramis etc.. The sexes can be distinguished quite well by the extension of the fins. If you like, you can also keep several males together, they bicker, if at all, only harmlessly with each other.

For our customers: the fish have code 391023 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Scatophagus argus

3. February 2023

The Scat is one of the fish species known to science almost from the beginning of scientific naming. Scatophagus argus was already described in 1766. This first description refers to a red scat. The name “rubifrons” for red scats that is always bandied about in the hobby is a purely fanciful name with no scientific value. We have now received quite adorable red scats from Indonesia, which are about the size of a 1 Euro coin. As small juveniles red scats are vertically striped, as you can see on the pictures. It is not until they are 4-5 cm long that the striped pattern changes to a dotted pattern.

Scats use virtually any food source, they are opportunists. Studies in nature showed that larvae (scats spawn in the sea, this is also where larvae develop) eat mainly plant microplankton near the water surface. Juveniles migrate to the mangrove. Here they eat small particles both free-floating and bottom-dwelling. These are diatoms, animal plankton, aufwuchs and mulm. Adults will eat anything that fits in their relatively small mouths, but especially aufwuchs and mulm. But the absolute favorite food is filamentous algae. Scats prefer these to any other food. In the aquaristic literature one often reads that scats are herbivores. However, they are not stricly herbivorous, but omnivorous!

As euryhaline fishes, scats can be kept in fresh, brackish or marine water. The fish do not care. But the pH should never drop below 7.5 for long periods of time, this is very important. Otherwise scats will get seriously ill and may even die. The maximum size of scats is about 30 cm, a size that is usually not reached in nature or in the aquarium. Usually they stop growing at about 15-20 cm in both habitats. Then you can also distinguish the sexes: Males are more high-backed and have a steeper forehead, they also grow larger than females. Scats are free spawners without brood care. They do not spawn in freshwater, for this you need a marine aquarium.

For our customers: the animals have code 454800 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Glossamia aprion

3. February 2023

The cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) are a species-rich (ca. 370 species), mainly marine group of mostly small-bodied, mouth-breeding perch-like fish. Very well known species are the Kauderni or Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) or the Pyjama Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera), several other species belong to the standard assortment of marine aquaristics. Only very few species have made it into freshwater. The most important freshwater genus is Glossamia with currently 11 recognized species. All of them originate from New Guinea and Australia. Since hardly any ornamental fishes are exported from there – and if they are, they are rainbow fishes – Glossamia remained almost unknown in the aquaristics of the western world until now. This is a pity, because they are not colorful, but highly interesting species, all of them usually do not grow larger than 8-10 cm, whereas the largest specimen of G. aprion ever caught measured 18 cm.

In the wild, Glossamia often form a very substantial portion of the biomass of the waters they inhabit. The fish are attached to dense underwater vegetation. Without it, they do not feel safe and are shy and skittish. This changes immediately when they have “herbage” in the tank. Their diet consists of aquatic insects, crustaceans (shrimp) and small fish. In Australia, the species has a funny popular name: mouth almighty!

Among themselves and towards fish that do not qualify as food, the mouths almighthy are completely peaceful. They are, as with all cardinalfish, mouthbrooders in the male sex. At first we thought the females are very plump and a bit smaller than the males, because otherwise there are no external sex differences visible. But then we observed a brooding animal, a small fat one! Apparently the smaller ones are the males and eat themselves really big and round before they take care of the brood!

We have now received for the first time a nice, larger shipment of Glossamia aprion from New Guinea.

For our customers: the animals have code 417043 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Apistogramma sp. Amaya

27. January 2023

New catch areas bring immediately new species! That these are also wonderfully colored animals, as in the case of the bright red Nannostomus or the Apistogramma sp. Amaya (also called A. sp. Cenepa II) presented here, is surprising. Because Peru is really well collected! But let’s not be surprised, but enjoy the beautiful new imports! The Rio Amaya in Peru is a tributary of the Rio Morono, which in turn is a left bank tributary of the Amazon, which there, in its upper reaches, is called Marañón. Both the Rio Amaya and the Rio Morono flow not far from the border of Peru with Ecuador. 

The photographed males of Apistogramma sp. Amaya are 4-5 cm long (including caudal fin) and obviously sexually mature. With their bright yellow chests and two-tipped, red-fringed caudal fin, they are truly beautiful. Among themselves the males are quite aggressive, at least clearly more aggressive than other Apistogramma, but more reserved towards the female. Naturally, there is no long-term experience with this novelty, but for the time being we recommend keeping them in pairs or one male with several females rather than keeping them in a group of both sexes.

For our customers: the fish have code 614963 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Unfortunately, the animals are already sold out, but we did not want to deprive you of this unusual beauty.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Labidochromis sp. “Mbamba”

23. January 2023

At first sight one could think Labidochromis sp. “Mbamba” (the species is not yet scientifically described) is a typical mbuna of Lake Malawi: blue ground color, zebra stripes. But in reality Labidochromis sp. “Mbamba” is quite different. It is not a mbuna in the real sense, which are known to be algae/Aufwuchs eaters and aggressively defend their relatively large territories, because algae growth is sparse there, but a small animal picker. This can also be seen by their single pointed, forward facing teeth, which are not at all suitable for scraping off algae/Aufwuchs. L. sp. “Mbamba” thus specifically picks up small food particles. It is considered one of the most peaceful Malawi cichlids, but this should always be seen relatively. Disheveled fins can also be found in this species from time to time.

In any case Labidochromis sp. “Mbamba” is a very shy fish. And he is very exciting to watch, because he changes his colors all the time. This is how these fish communicate. In neutral dress they are light blue, the vertical stripes rather indistinct, the fins nice yellow. Strongly disturbed they become dark blue. And the boss in the ring turns black in the head area, the vertical stripes stand out intensely. Females are very light blue, going into brownish. Males that are low in the rank order turn the same color as females. One can spend hours watching a troop of perhaps 15 or 20 specimens and studying their communication!

So far this species is only known from Mbamba Bay in Tanzania, hence the name, where the species exists in four known populations. In the aquarium the usual rules of Malawi cichlid care apply: as large as possible, well-structured aquariums (i.e. many rocks, caves, hiding places), clean water, temperatures around 24-28°C, pH not below 7.5. As far as nutrition is concerned, these fish are less sensitive to the “normal” ornamental fish diet, which for many growth-eating Mbunas is nevertheless too nutrient-rich, which is why they grow significantly larger in the aquarium than in nature. A good brand flake food and frozen food in the form of small crustaceans (Artemia, Daphnia, Cyclops) ensure healthy, colorful Labidochromis.

For our customers: the animals have code 541402 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Symphysodon aequifasciatus “Royal Green Tefé”.

20. January 2023

The kings of the discus fishes are the “Royal” varieties. A discus is called Royal if green or blue pattern elements are spread over the entire body surface.  Among the green discus the Royal from Tefé in Brazil (which is also one of the type localities of S. aequifasciatus, i.e. the locality from which the specimens on which the scientific description is based were collected) is the legendarily most beautiful. Here one finds particularly many Royal fishes, which additionally have orange-red spots on the flanks.

However, it should be clear to every discus lover that there are royal fish in (almost) every discus population and that this is not a species or race characteristic, but an individual color variation. In nature royals and “normal” color varieties, which are far less attractive in our eyes, live together and form a reproductive community with them. Only in the export stations the animals are sorted by color. Just like the royal coloration, the eye coloration is not a race characteristic. There are always specimens with yellow and red iris ring among the wild fish.

We have very nice Royal selections of Tefé in the stock right now. Each fish is – seen for itself – a gem. Currently the animals have a length of 12-15 cm.

For our customers: the fish have code 733095 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Lamprologus brevis

16. January 2023

Snail cichlids are fascinating animals. They have chosen empty snail shells – in Lake Tanganyika there are large accumulations of empty shells of snails of the genus Neothauma – as their center of life. Neothauma snails are with a diameter of 4-5 cm relatively large snails from the relationship of the mystery snails. However, in the aquarium snail cichlids are also satisfied with other snail shells of comparable size, e.g. Roman snail shells, which can be bought in the grocery store at any time. Here in the photo session we used the house of an Asian apple snail (Pila sp.).

There is disagreement about the genus of Lamprologus brevis. Some scientists assign only the species of the lower Congo to the genus Lamprologus and put all species of Lake Tanganyika in Neolamprologus (and other genera), others think this is nonsense and leave especially the snail cichlids (there are several species) in Lamprologus. For us aquarists it doesn’t matter, you should just know that Lamprologus brevis can also be found under the name Neolamprologus brevis. Both are the same species.

Lamprologus brevis was already described in 1899 from the area of Albertville, Congolese shore of Lake Tanganyika. Males grow to about 5 cm long, females remain somewhat smaller. Both partners inhabit the same snail shell. The area around their home snail shell is vigorously defended, but otherwise these small fish need little space because of their “house-hopping” habits. They will eat any common fish food. Both parents take care of the brood and often there are floor broods where the fry of several clutches live together with the parents in the same snail shell until the parents eventually chase the offspring away.

For our customers: the animals have code 542001 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rubricatochromis: a new genus name for the red jewel cichlids

23. December 2022

Red jewel cichlids are among the most popular aquarium fishes of all. For over 100 years, they have delighted aquarists around the world with their blaze of color and wonderful breeding habits. There is disagreement about the number of species, because these fish are very variable. Until now the red jewel cichlids were known under the generic name Hemichromis.

It has always been known that Hemichromis consist of two very different groups of species, namely the so-called five-spotted cichlids and the already mentioned red jewel cichlids. The five-spotted cichlids were recently (November 2022) subjected to a scientific revision by A. Lamboj and S. Koblmüller. One of the results was that the red jewel cichlids and the five-spotted cichlids are not as closely related as previously thought, but represent different evolutionary lineages. Accordingly, they must be in different genera. Type species of Hemichromis is a five-spotted cichlid (H. fasciatus), so the five-spotted cichlids remain in Hemichromis, while for the red jewel cichlids a new generic name had to be coined: Rubricatochromis. This means nothing else than “red coloured perch”. Type species is Rubricatochromis guttatus.

The following species are now in the new classification: 

Hemichromis Peters, 1858, with four species:

Hemichromis angolensis Steindachner, 1865

Hemichromis camerounensis Bitja-Nyom, Agnése, Pariselle, Bilong-Bilong & Snoeks, 2021

Hemichromis elongatus (Guichenot, 1861)  

Hemichromis fasciatus Peters, 1858 

The species H. frempongi Loiselle, 1979, has already been synonymized with H. fasciatus by Bitja-Nyom et al., 2021.

Rubricatochromis Lamboj & Koblmüller, 2022, with nine described species:

Rubricatochromis bimaculatus (Gill, 1862). 

Rubricatochromis cerasogaster (Boulenger, 1898) 

Rubricatochromis cristatus (Loiselle, 1979) 

Rubricatochromis exsul (Trewavas, 1933)

Rubricatochromis guttatus (Günther, 1862) 

Rubricatochromis letourneuxi (Sauvage, 1880) 

Rubricatochromis lifalili (Loiselle, 1979) 

Rubricatochromis paynei (Loiselle, 1979) 

Rubricatochromis stellifer (Loiselle, 1979)

and at least four scientifically not yet described taxa:

Rubricatochromis sp. „Gabon“

Rubricatochromis sp. „Guinea 1“

Rubricatochromis sp. „Guinea 2“

Rubricatochromis sp. „neon“


Lamboj, A. & S. Koblmüller (2022): Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the cichlid genus Hemichromis (Teleostei, Cichliformes, Cichlidae), with description of a new genus and revalidation of H. angolensis. Hydrobiologia, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-022-05060-y

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Datnioides polota

16. December 2022

From India (Orissa) we have received quite adorable tiger perch babies of the species Datnioides polota. Most of the only 1-2 cm long babies still have the dark baby dress, which is only interrupted in the front third of the body by a bright band. But single animals change already into the adult dress, which is silver-colored with vertical dark bands. Cheeky as Oskar they roam the aquarium and are incredibly curious.

Tiger perch (Datnioides) are large, magnificent fish. As predatory fish, they develop significantly more behavior that seems intelligent to us humans than most other fish. Datnioides species grow up to 30 cm long. Accordingly, they need large aquariums, not so much for swimming space as for water stress. Such a large tiger perch eats quite a lot during a meal and everything that disappears through the gullet in the body (live and frozen food of all kinds), comes converted back into the water. And that’s why you need volume, otherwise there will be a water chemical catastrophe.

But true tiger perch fans provide large aquariums for the animals anyway. In the many years that a tiger perch accompanies its keeper through life, the animal becomes tame and develops into a real pet! Among themselves tiger perch are relatively compatible, other fish that do not come into question as food, they ignore. Datnioides polota is a brackish water fish that is also commonly found in pure freshwater. Aquaristically, it has been found to be best to make sure that the pH does not drop below 8 on a permanent basis.

For our customers: the animals have code 414051 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Channa marulius

12. December 2022

Which species is the largest snakehead fish? Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered unambiguously, because the expression “angler’s lingo” has already become proverbial for uncertain statements. Anglers (and not only them!) like to exaggerate a little. But indisputable is: Channa marulius from India belongs to the top candidates for the race. The largest documented catch of a Channa marulius was a specimen about 120 cm long that weighed 13.6 kg, but allegedly there has also been a 183 cm long specimen weighing a good 30 kg. Nevertheless, the normal size of the species is “only” about 50 cm, which is also quite decent!

In India, its homeland, there are huge, tame C. marulius that live in ponds in sacred temple precincts and are worshipped and fed by believers. These animals are so tame that they will take rice balls from your hand. However, rice is not an adequate food for these animals, which are predatory fish.

In the aquarium, Channa marulius are pleasant contemporaries, but they are reserved for owners of very large aquariums, zoos and display aquariums because of their size. Their aggression potential is low compared to that of other snakeheads. This changes at breeding time. Then these giants form pairs, which build a nest around the numerous brood sustainably defend. Nobody wants to be attacked and bitten by a 50 cm snakehead, because they have quite decent teeth and are really fearless! 

The young animals, as we can offer them now once again after many years, are completely different colored than adult animals. As long as they wear the juvenile dress, they are schooling fish. However, when they lose the yellow longitudinal stripe they come into puberty, in which every conspecific is seen as a food competitor. Only when they reach sexual maturity do they become interested in conspecifics again. These phases are typical for large predatory fishes, especially during puberty it is impossible to keep more than one specimen in the aquarium. But with Channa marulius everything runs moderately and manners, why primarily the possible final size is a restriction for the suitability as an aquarium fish. 

We have also made a small film about these fish, which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auSKklvgyZI&t=4s

For our customers: the animals have code 409102 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Chlamydogobius eremius 

8. December 2022

The desert goby (Chlamydogobius eremius) is a wonder of nature in terms of temperature adaptability. Originally it comes from the desert of South Australia. There it can be very hot during the day, but very cold at night. The high heat capacity of the water prevents the fish from having to endure sudden temperature changes, but the temperature range that the Desert Goby can tolerate is between 10 and 35°C!

Under no circumstances should this tempt the fish to be exposed to sudden temperature changes. They cannot tolerate this at all and may even die in extreme cases. For maintenance hard rather than soft water is recommended, in any case the pH should be above 7.5, better in the range of 8-8.5. Acidic water is bad for the animals. However, they are very tolerant to salinity.

The sexes are easily distinguished by coloration; in addition, the males have a much thicker head. They are cavity breeders with brood care in the male sex. Within the territory a male does not tolerate a conspecific of the same sex, it is essential to take this into account when caring for them. If you want to keep several males of the usually 4-5 cm long species (in the literature you can also find 6 cm as final size, but this seems a bit exaggerated to us), you need an aquarium with a lot of structure, i.e.: many stones, caves and roots. Desert gobies are bottom fish. A sandy bottom is recommended. They are peaceful towards other fishes.

For our customers: the animals have code 411002 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Symphysodon wild Nanay Green

5. December 2022

The Rio Nanay is a large, left-bank tributary of the upper Amazon River. It is considered a blackwater river. The Rio Nanay is home to Green Discus, which have always been sought after in the hobby. In the past, in the 1950s and 1960s, these precious animals came to us via the Colombian city of Leticia, which is still a major hub for South American ornamental fish. This is because Leticia is located in the triangle of Peru, Colombia and Brazil. In fact, the Colombian city of Leticia and the Brazilian city of Tabatinga are one municipality and you can get from one to the other without border controls.

Discus are and have always been relatively expensive fish, which is partly due to the fact that they have to be packed and transported individually and therefore there is only room for a few animals per box. This results in a high freight price. In addition, however, discus of all varieties and locality forms are also sorted in the country itself. Depending on rarity and demand, different prices for animals from the same locality arise. In the case of green discus from the Rio Nanay, specimens with many spots on the flanks are particularly sought after and therefore significantly more expensive than their cousins in which these spots are less numerous or missing. The number of spots says nothing about the sex and is not necessarily inherited. And, of course, the animals with numerous spots are, according to their status, a bit more reserved towards the paparazzo in front of the glass who wants to photograph them, than their bourgeois cousins …

For our customers: the animals are 10-14 cm long and have code 749944 (spotted) and 749934 (few spots) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Geophagus steindachneri

2. December 2022

The redhump eartheater (Geophagus steindachneri) from Colombia has had a regular place in the aquarium since it was first imported to Germany in 1972. There are numerous reasons for this. First of all it is very attractively colored. The males develop a red colored forehead hump, which varies very much in size. Over all: the size. In fact, G. steindachneri can grow up to 25 cm long! But sexual maturity starts already with 6 -7 cm length. 

Geophagus steindachneri is considered to be the most specialized mouthbrooder of South America, because the eggs are taken into the maternal mouth immediately after spawning. Instead of egg spots in the anal fin, as found in many African mouthbrooding cichlids, G. steindachneri have orange spots in the corners of the mouth, which achieved the same effect.

We have at the moment nice offsprings of the species in the stock, where the males have as a special feature green-golden areas in the area of the gill covers.

For our customers: the animals have code 678212 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Blue Dempsey Cichlids

25. November 2022

The Blue Dempsey is a beautiful blue variant of the normally rather dark colored Rocio octofasciata (formerly: Cichlasoma or Nandopsis octofasciatum). In the youth Blue Dempsey still have relatively many black color parts, the extremely intensive, then almost solid blue coloration develops only with increasing age. 

Presumably the animals are descendants of a mutant, which originated in Argentina (however, the fish is not native there, the ancestors of the Blue Dempsey were commercial aquarium fish) and was stabilized by backcrossing to “normal” Rocio octofasciata

According to various keepers, the animals also seem to be significantly less aggressive than the wild form, which makes them particularly valuable for the aquarist. They do not make special demands on the water chemistry, according to their final size of about 20 cm the aquariums should not be chosen too small. 

For our customers: the animals have code 657021 (2-3 cm) and 657022 (3-4 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Photos: Frank Schäfer, Text: Klaus Diehl

Biotodoma cupido Peru

11. November 2022

The small cichlid Biotodoma cupido – it reaches about 12-15 cm total length, but is already sexually mature at 6-8 cm – is probably the most widespread cichlid species in Amazonia. Among experts there is cheerful disagreement whether all the different looking animals are only local color variants or independent species.

Be that as it may: the animals from the area of Iquitos in Peru can be easily recognized by the large bronze to copper colored spot that the males show and which makes the fish very attractive. We have also posted a video about these animals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZFRAksTFew

These extremely peaceful fish are open breeders with parent families. Only when they get into breeding mood their behavior changes and they become very rabid. In nature they prefer to live in moving water, otherwise they have few demands and some populations of Biotodoma can even be found in tidal areas.

For our customers: the animals have code 634005 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Lexicon: biotodoma: means “house of life” (these fish were once thought to be mouthbrooders). cupido: after a Roman god of love.

Common name: cupido cichlid.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Badis pallidus

9. November 2022

The flood of newly discovered Badis species does not stop. It is astonishing that 23 new species of these fishes have been scientifically accepted in the last 20 years and only four in the 200 years before! Badis pallidus was only described in 2019; it belongs to the immediate relationship of Badis badis and cannot be distinguished from it without intensive research. The native country of B. pallidus is Bangladesh.

We can now offer German offspring of this pretty little chameleon fish for the first time. Because of the great similarity to Badis badis no great aquaristic career can be predicted for this animal, but who knows? After all, since there are no significant commercial ornamental fish exports from Bangladesh, the opportunity to get this fish in the future should be very rare.

For our customers: the animals have code 368382 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Channa aurantimaculata WILD

7. November 2022

We have the probably most beautiful of all snakeheads once again available in limited numbers. This species grows up to 50 cm long in the aquarium, but normally they reach only 20-25 cm in the wild; our currently stocked fish are 14-18 cm long. The species is endemic (i.e. only found there) in northern India. They are mouthbrooders in the male sex.

For breeding, which is quite possible, the distinct annual rhythm of the fish must be taken into account. A hibernation at reduced temperatures, shortened photoperiod (i.e. the time when the tank is illuminated, it should be only 6-8 hours during hibernation or omitted altogether, depending on the location of the hibernation tank; in nature the animals hibernate in caves, there it is always gloomy) and without food. Feeding is the critical factor. Animals fed all year round become obese, animals that are too lean do not hibernate well; in both cases the sexual organs are degenerated, the animals then cannot reproduce.

The sexes differ in color and head shape, but these differences are of limited use, since by no means every male and female together form a harmonious pair; in this species the females are often very dominant. In case of serious breeding intentions, the acquisition of a group of specimens from which pairs can be formed is therefore strongly recommended.

For our customers: the animals have code 409013 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Apistogramma panduro

28. October 2022

In Apistogramma panduro from Peru (drainage of the Rio Ucayali, east of Jenaro Herrera) the females are absolutely emaciated. They are at least as beautiful as the males, if not more so; they fight as if they were males, and they show marked polychromatism. Polychromatism, or multicolorism, is when animals are individually, not species-specifically, differently colored. 

The phenomenon of polychromatism is found among Apistogramma in males of many species. There are e.g. red, blue or yellow morphs, which all live together at the same locality. In A. panduro on the other hand all males look more or less the same, but each female can be recognized by its individually distinctive black markings.

At the moment we can offer A. panduro in splendid wildcatches and as beautiful offsprings.

For our customers: the animals have code 626203 (wild catch) and 626213 (offspring) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Rocio octofasciata

28. October 2022

The beautiful cichlid Rocio octofasciata from Mexico is still known by many older people as Cichlasoma biocellatum. But all over the world young and old know him also under the popular name “Jack Dempsey”, although you have to be quite old to have experienced this legendary heavyweight boxer still in his active time: Jack Dempsey’s fights for the world championship took place in the 1920s.

R. octofasciata got its popular name from its combative nature. However, one must keep in mind that in the 1920s a 60-cm aquarium was considered quite large. In such small tanks, many cichlids actually behave very aggressively against tankmates, because they claim the entire space as their territory. In today’s common, much larger aquariums the Jack Dempsey can be classified as rather peaceful.

In the photo tank, we had used one male and four females for this session; after all, the real Jack Dempsey was married four times. One of his wives was silent film star Estelle Taylor, considered one of the most beautiful women of her time. And the cichlid females are really very fancy, too. Hardly in the aquarium, they dyed themselves almost black and fenced a hierarchy among themselves, while the well double so large gentleman observed the happening unimpressed and drew measured his courses…

Rocio octofasciata is an open breeder with parent family. Breeding usually succeeds without problems with a harmonizing pair, which is best found from a group.

For our customers: the animals have code 657002 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Colisa lalia now Trichogaster fasciata?!

21. October 2022

For almost 20 years, ichthyologists have disagreed on which rule of the International Rules of Zoological Nomenclature is more important for the gouramis of South and Southeast Asia: the prime directive, according to which everything else must be subordinated to the stability and universal applicability of scientific names, or the various rules that regulate which names are valid in synonyms (i.e. multiple names of the same genus or species).

Those who want stability use Colisa for western gouramis and Trichogaster for eastern gouramis, those who see rules more like lawyers use Trichogaster for western gouramis and Trichopodus for eastern gouramis. In this, the two camps are quite irreconcilably opposed to each other, a sad example of how things should not go in the scientific naming of animals and plants.

The species Colisa/Trichogaster fasciata, which belongs to the western gouramis and was described by Bloch & Schneider in 1801, has always been a problematic case in zoology. The specimen on which the description is based was lost, the drawing to the species is inaccurate and where the fish is supposed to come from (Tranquebar in India, nowadays Tharangambadi) no gouramis of any species could be found until recently, although intensive searches were made.

Until now Colisa/Trichogaster fasciata was considered to be either the large gourami of the Ganges-Brahmaputra system, which was described in 1822 and for which the name Colisa/Trichogaster bejeus is available or (my humble self counts to this) for a South Indian species, which has not been found again as a wild form so far, but which should rather originate from the west coast (Tranquebar and Pondicherry (= Puducherry), from where also a gourami is described, are both located at the east coast; the area was a French colony from 1673 until Indian independence, which is why both Bloch & Schneider and Cuvier & Valenciennes were able to obtain naturalia via ports there; this does not mean, however, that the fish were also caught there). 

Now new life came into the matter. A team of authors around J. D. M. Knight believes that the fish described by Bloch & Schneider is our well-known dwarf gourami. They support their thesis with the fact that preserved dwarf gouramis can have a round-appearing caudal fin and that Bloch’s description of Trichogaster fasciatus explicitly mentions a round caudal fin. However, in reality NO gourami species has a round caudal fin and the dwarf gourami Colisa lalia/Trichogaster lalius was not found in southern India until 1999. It is extremely likely that the dwarf gourami there are due to abandoned or escaped ornamental fish which were not found there in Bloch & Schneider’s time. Nevertheless, Knight et al. are so certain that they declare Colisa lalia/Trichogaster lalius to be an invalid synonym of Trichogaster fasciata.

So now the dwarf gourami has three “official” names, depending on the personal opinion of the scientists involved with it, and five spellings: Colisa lalia, Colisa lalius, Trichogaster lalia, Trichogaster lalius, and Trichogaster fasciata. Whether one writes lalia or lalius depends on whether the name lalius, chosen by the first describer Hamilton in 1822, is an adjective or a noun; Hamilton did not comment on this. In the former case, the fish is called lalia (Colisa and Trichogaster are female (femininum), in which case the Latin word ending for adjectives is -a); in the latter, i.e., if lalius is a noun, it remains unchanged no matter what the gender of the generic name is. With fasciata/fasciatus (Latin for striped) this question does not arise, this is indisputably an adjective and must be adjusted in the gender of the genus. The striped gourami, previously called Colisa/Trichogaster fasciata, should be called Trichogaster bejeus according to Knight et al.

In our stock list, the dwarf gourami and its breeding forms continue to be called Colisa lalia. This has technical and economical reasons, but at the same time we are out of this name mess. The pictures for this post show Colisa lalia „Neon Colour“, Code 411605, „Flame Red“, Code 411705, „Cobalt“, Code 411555, and wild coloured, Code 411505 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.


Knight, J. D. M., Nallathambi, M., Vijayakrishnan, B. & P. Jayasimhan (2022): On the identity of the banded gourami Trichogaster fasciata with notes on the taxonomic status of Trichopodus bejeus (Teleostei: Perciformes: Osphronemidae). Journal of Fish Biology: [1-5].

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Astronotus sp. NEW ZEBRA/Tapajos

17. October 2022

We have received an incredibly beautiful pair of wild caught Oscars from the Rio Tapajos. At least the male absolutely competes with the breeding form “Red Tiger Oskar” in color, but as we said, they are wild-caught!

The sexes are difficult to distinguish externally in Astronotus, but the striking color difference and the expression of the dorsal, anal and ventral fins make it very likely that our animals – they are 20-25 cm long – are indeed a pair. However, for safety reasons we have housed the precious animals individually and therefore cannot say whether they get along.

For our customers: the animals have code 633427 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Apistogramma eremnopyge

14. October 2022

When this beautiful Apistogramma first arrived in January 2003, we were thrilled. At that time we wrote: 

„King Barbarossa lives!

A new, wonderful dwarf cichlid has now been imported from Peru for the first time. The species is still unknown both scientifically and aquaristically.

The species is collected in the Tapiche river, a tributary of the Ucayali river, near Requena. Mr Edgard Panduro named the species Apistogramma “BARBAROJA”, i.e. “red beard”, because of the conspicuous red spots on the face. While in the last time mainly new species and new variants around Apistogramma cruzi and A. nijsseni made the hearts of the dwarf cichlid fans beat faster, this Apistogramma is from a completely different site. It reminds in various respects of A. bitaeniata, which is also one of the most beautiful Apistogramma species. At first sight, however, the new “Redbeard” can be distinguished from all known Apistogramma species by the large tail spot, which has not yet become known from any dwarf cichlid in this form.“

Then, in July 2004, Ready and Kullander described the species as Apistogramma eremnopyge based on specimens collected two years earlier by Oliver Lucanus in the Rio Pintuyacu (drainage of the Rio Itaya), 48 km on the road from Iquitos to Nauta (Loreto Province in Peru).

Since then, unfortunately, it has become quite quiet about this pretty little fish. Sexually mature wild specimens are usually not larger than 5 cm, females always stay smaller, but it is of course possible that the species grows a bit larger if kept in aquaria for a long time. In any case, it is a true dwarf cichlid.

We are very happy to have this species in our fishhouse again after a long time. Currently it is called Apistogramma “Diamond” in the trade, in the past it was sometimes called Apistogramma sp. “Fresa” or “Strawberry” (both mean strawberry).

For our customers: the animals have code 628792 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Mogurnda mogurnda

5. October 2022

The Australian northern trout gudgeon (Mogurnda mogurnda) belongs to the very few fishes of the fifth continent, which became native already before the 2nd world war in the aquaria. They are very beautifully colored animals, which in contrast to many other gobies are also relatively easy to breed.

Unfortunately, the animals are only of limited suitability for socialization, because they can be extremely quarrelsome with incorrectly selected tankmates. And so the species gradually disappeared. But some breeders and exporters remained faithful to the beautiful species and we are glad to have them once again in the stock.

The species designation is not completely certain, because there are several similar species and even specialized scientists cannot determine the species without performing genetic tests and/or without knowing the exact area of origin.

Mogurnda are free-swimming gobies and therefore do not form their territories on the bottom, as many other gobies do, but throughout the water column. The tank must be arranged rich in hiding places, so that conspecifics do not have to see each other constantly. Rainbowfish, large danios or barbs, but also robust tetras are suitable as tankmates.

Northern trout gudgeons are carnivores, plant material is ignored. Spawning is not done in caves, but on wood, stones, broad-leaved plants etc., the male guards the spawn. The sexes are most reliably distinguished by the genital papilla (males flat and acuminate, females thickened and fringed at the end), but head shape also provides good clues. Males develop a distinct humped head.

Water can be soft or hard, pH should be around neutral, temperature between 22 and 28°C. The maximum length is given with 17 cm, usually the animals reach around 10 cm, they are ready to spawn already with 6 cm length.

For our customers: the animals have code 436402 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Crenicichla sp. Tapajos I / Cobra Pike

30. September 2022

The Rio Tapajós in Brazil is a more than 800 km long tributary of the Amazon. It is also the largest tributary of the Amazon River and flows to its right side when viewed downstream. It is not surprising that the great Tapajós River contains numerous endemic species, i.e. species that only occur there and nowhere else. Among these is the still scientifically undescribed Crenicichla sp., also known as Cobra Pike ( = Snake Pike) because of its striking juvenile pattern. Adult this fish, which can reach over 30 cm length, becomes splendidly red. For pictures of the adult please see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/crenicichla_sp_tapajos_en/

Crenicichla sp. Tapajos does not only grow big, it is also very aggressive. Among themselves it can come to wild, sometimes deadly fights with adult animals and even young animals can only be characterized with the adjective “cheeky”. With them the first priority is to examine every tankmate for its eatability and in the puberty – from about 8-10 cm in length – conspecifics are perceived only as annoying food competitors. Only adult pairs get along relatively well. The key to successful breeding of this species – they are cave breeders with a parental family – therefore lies in huge aquariums. Here one can raise a group of juveniles so that pairs can be found. However, a single fish can also be kept in normal sized tanks, because the swimming requirement of these animals is relatively low.

For our customers: the species has code 671832 (8-10 cm) and 671833 (10-12 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Parambassis lala Bred

21. September 2022

The dwarf glass perch, Parambassis lala, is widely distributed in South Asia; it can be found in India, Burma and Nepal. In the past this dwarf, which never grows larger than 2-3 cm, was mistaken for the juvenile of other species, which is why completely wrong size data (up to 8 cm) and also completely wrong ecological data (supposedly it is a brackish water fish, but this is not true) can be found in the literature. In reality P. lala lives only in pure fresh water and remains small.

However, there are several forms of this species, which may yet turn out to be separate species upon closer inspection. We occasionally receive wild-caught specimens from India (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/parambassis-lala-2/), but we also receive captive-bred specimens from Southeast Asia. In our country dwarf glassfish are rarely bred, because the feeding reflex of the larvae is only triggered by the nauplii of a certain small crustacean species (Diaptomus). Without this food, an attempt at rearing is pretty much futile. 

Dwarf glassfish are delightful aquarium inhabitants, always “strutting” around the tank like little tin soldiers. The males court the females spiritedly, but without becoming aggressive. Spawning takes place in fine plants, brood care is not practiced by dwarf glassfish.

Concerning the water (pH, hardness) Dwarf Glassfish are undemanding, the temperature can be between 16 and 30°C (depending on the season, no sudden temperature changes!). Eaten is exclusively frozen and live food, dry food is strictly refused.

For our customers: The dwarf glass perch has code 441282 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Mugilogobius chulae

14. September 2022

After many years we have once again imported the cute brackish water goby Mugilogobius chulae. The species grows only about 4 cm long and lives in brackish water regions and in fresh waters where the tidal influence is noticeable. Our animals come from Indonesia, but the species is widely distributed in the western Pacific region (Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand). In the aquarium one should offer a sea salt addition (3-5 g/l) and pay attention to hard water, the pH value should be over 8 if possible. 

Then the small goblins, whose males constantly bicker harmlessly, will do very good in the aquarium and also spawn. They are cave breeders, the male guards the spawn. The larvae are tiny and develop only in pure sea water. They feed on Euplotes and other tiny marine plankton, which can be cultivated, but this is very laborious and therefore rarely practiced.

For our customers: the animals have code 436804 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Mugilogobius mertoni

14. September 2022

The genus Mugilogobius comprises 33 species. The determination of living specimens is often uncertain, because the anatomical features (especially certain sensory pits), which show quite clearly in formalin preserved animals, are not recognizable in the living fish. Since there is hardly any picture material of surely determined animals, doubts often remain. Since the species reproduce via larval stages living in the sea, the origin is also not a good criterion for identification. However: one species, which we could import from Indonesia for the first time, matches very well with Mugilogobius mertoni.

Mugilogobius mertoni grows about 6 cm long, males grow larger than females. They live very often in brackish water and can even be found in the sea, but there are also records from pure fresh water. Thus, it is a euryhaline species that copes well with widely varying salinity. It is important with such fish in the aquarium that the pH is not too low, usually they show discomfort at pH values below 8. The entire distribution area covers the Indo-Pacific region from South Africa and the Seychelles to Japan, Pakistan, the Indo-Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanatu, Australia and the Santa Cruz Islands. Our animals come from Indonesia.

They are very attractive fishes, which should be kept in aquariums rich in hiding places. As with other Mugilogobius the males are constantly up to quarrels, which are harmless in all rule, but one should give possibly stressed, inferior animals nevertheless the possibility to withdraw. 

For our customers: the fish have code 436863 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pandaka rouxi

7. September 2022

The dwarf gobies of the genus Pandaka are closely related to the bumble bee gobies (Brachygobius), but still much smaller. The species Pandaka pygmea was even considered the smallest vertebrate on earth for a long time, but it has since been outranked. The species Pandaka rouxi also usually grows to only 10-12 mm in length, the largest specimen ever measured had a length of 18 mm (all sizes include caudal fin).

These dwarfs live in brackish water areas. They can tolerate both pure freshwater and pure seawater, but in the long run it does them no good. They are found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea (incl. offshore islands) and probably also in Australia.

We have now for the first time imported some of these tiny fish, which when fully grown are only the size of a newborn molly, as a test. They are cute, but also demanding fish, which we will get in the future, if at all, only on special customer request. In our experience, they need well acclimated brackish water (at least 5g/l sea salt) and fine live food (e.g. Artemia nauplii). Our wholesale aquariums are simply too big for such mini-fish, you need comparatively huge amounts of food, so that everyone gets something, but of course a lot of it dies, which pollutes the water strongly. So these are fish for specialists who have appropriate small aquariums in operation. Nevertheless, we are glad to have seen this natural wonder with our own eyes!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Symphysodon “Super Red Turqoise”.

31. August 2022

The Red Turquoise lines were among the first breeding forms of the Discus Cichlid, developed in the 1980s. Aquaristics had reached the point where wild-caught Brown/Blue Discus could be considered “cracked”. So one mastered their successful acclimation and breeding. Since wild-caught discus turn out very inconsistently – between simply brown and completely blue streaked animals (Royal Blue) everything is possible within the same population – in the next step one wanted to selectively breed the fish that were considered particularly attractive. By selective mating of Royal Blue discus with animals, which had as much red as possible in the body ground coloration, the Red-Turquoise discus were created. Until today many people consider this discus breeding form as one of the most beautiful discus at all.

Also red-turquoise discus are bred nowadays in large numbers in the discus breeders of Asia. They have remained the most „wild typed“ compared with the other Asian breedings.

For our customers: the “Super Red Turqoise” in size 5-7 cm as on the photos have code 715102 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Symphysodon “Pidgeon Blood Panda”

31. August 2022

The “Pidgeon Blood” discus, which appeared in the early 1990s as a mutation in Asian discus breeding, revolutionized discus breeding. It combined two characteristics that discus breeders had previously only dreamed of: an early coloration, i.e. already 5-7 cm long juveniles look essentially like adult fish in terms of color. And a second advantage of the mutation: even when in unfamiliar surroundings, the animals do not show the discus dress consisting of vertical stripes, nor do they darken. 

The original Pidgeon Blood – the name, by the way, refers to a gemstone (ruby) of the same name – no longer exists. It had too many “freckles”, black speckles irregularly distributed over the whole body. By crossbreeding other discus breeding forms, like red-turquoise etc., the freckle pattern was displaced more and more. Today’s Pidgeon-Blood varieties show them almost not at all.

There is no uniform naming of the many dozens of Pidgeon-Blood varieties. Each breeding farm assigns its own names. A “Pidgeon Blood Panda” is usually understood to be a Pidgeon Blood discus in the color red-turquoise (i.e. red body base color and turquoise pattern elements), in which the turquoise pattern elements form a pattern of unconnected spots (= checkerboard pattern) and parts of the dorsal and anal fin are blackish in color.

For our customers: Pidgeon Blood Panda in 5-7 cm length (as shown in the pictures) have code 714952 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Symphysodon “Marlboro Red”

29. August 2022

The color red is the dream color of many animal breeders. Red canaries, red swordtails, red guppies, red angelfish – wherever this was genetically possible, it was realized. With polychromatic fish species, e.g. with Apistogramma, where in nature always several color variants occur together, the red ones were preferred in breeding. And with the discus? Here, too, red is the trump card. With turquoise discus the red-turquoise ones are seen as the most beautiful, with the brown ones one looked – particularly with Alenquer fish – also on red color elements. So it is only logical that among the Asian Discus also a red fish is the best seller: Marlboro Red.

Marlboro Red is descended from Pidgeon Bloods, and breeders are working hard to push back the smoky black color elements that appear in Pidgeon Bloods. They have succeeded quite well with the current strains. The closest you can see to where the genetic roots of Marlboro Red lie is in the smoky gray tail fin.

For our customers: the fish have code 702502 (5-7 cm) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Symphysodon “Blue Diamond“

29. August 2022

The Asian discus cultivars enjoy great popularity, because on the one hand they color very early (wild forms all look similarly unspectacular in 5-7 cm length) and on the other hand they are not very shy, so they can be presented well even in unfamiliar surroundings.

Of the solid blue discus, the Blue Diamond, which was created in the 1990s, is the most popular. Breeders also pay a lot of attention to the brilliant red eye in this fish, which contrasts nicely with the blue body color. The modern discus breeds are much less sensitive than wild-caught fish, but even with them one should absolutely observe the three basic pillars of successful discus care: good water hygiene, keeping in schools and a varied diet. Then you will experience much joy with these fish.

For our customers: Blue Diamond 5-7 cm have code 709602 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Geophagus sp. “Caqueta”

26. August 2022

From the Colombian province of Caquetá we occasionally receive a magnificent Geophagus of the surinamensis group, which is obviously a scientifically not yet described species. Three color characteristics are used for the identification of Geophagus of this complex relationship: 1. the shape, position and size of the lateral spot in relation to the eye, 2. the vertical body bands and 3. black markings in the area of the pre-gill cover. The corresponding combination of characteristics of Geophagus sp. “Caqueta” does not correspond to any of the described species. 

They are, like most Geophagus of the surinamensis group, beautiful, comparatively peaceful animals, of which we can offer just 5 specimens in a size of 13-16 cm.

For our customers: the fish have code 674486 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Paracyprichromis nigripinnis “Blue Neon”

22. August 2022

Cyprichromis and Paracyprichromis are very special mouthbrooding cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. They live in sometimes huge schools and feed on small animals that they pick from the free water column. To attract the attention of females, the males can be very colorful. They do not occupy actual territories. The females, on the other hand, are as inconspicuously colored as possible and enjoy the protection of the community from predators in the shoal.

Paracyprichromis nigripinnis grows to about 10 cm in length. The genus Paracyprichromis differs from Cyprichromis purely visually mainly by the tail fin shape, which in male Paracyprichromis is adorned with extended tips. Females are less intensely colored than males and have a transparent caudal fin.

For our customers: the animals have code 520001 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Maylandia estherae Red/Red

19. August 2022

One of the most popular, because most colorful cichlids of Lake Malawi is the O-form of Maylandia estherae (synonym: Metriaclima e.). “O” stands for “orange.” As with many other species of Lake Malawi, several color forms occur within the same population of M. estherae in the wild. In the “normal” color form of M. estherae, the males are bright light blue with delicate vertical stripes, and the females are brownish. In the O-form, the fish are bright orange over the entire surface. In nature, it is mainly females that exhibit the O-form, but there are also – although extremely rare – O-males. Finally, there are OB forms (“orange blotch”) and Marmalade Cats (this is the name given to particularly attractive tricolored pied males). These are pied fish with an individual coloration. This means that there are no two individuals with exactly the same coloration. 

Unlike in nature, where O-males are, as mentioned, very rare, a breeder who has mastered the Mendelian rules of inheritance can breed O-males relatively easily and thus the Red-Red forms are extremely popular and common in aquaristics, where mainly captive bred specimens are traded. O-males have egg spots in the anal fin, so they can be recognized even at a young age.

Maylandia esterae grows to 12-14 cm in the aquarium and can be quite aggressive, like many mbuna. Therefore they should be kept in large aquariums and in large groups, then you will have a lot of fun with these magnificent animals. In order to keep the wonderful orange-red color, the food in the aquarium must be similar to the natural diet, i.e. a high proportion of algae (spirulina) and small crustaceans (cyclops), if possible no worm food and altogether a diet rich in fiber.

For our customers: the fish have code 568422 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Astronotus mikoljii

29. July 2022

Of the seven scientifically described species of Astronotus, only two are currently recognized by most ichthyologists, namely A. crassipinnis and A. ocellatus; however, a third, A. zebra, is so distinctly different in color from the others that there is little doubt as to its validity. Now a new name has been established: the Oscar from the Orinoco drainage and the Gulf of Paria in northern South America has been scientifically described as A. mikoljii (Perez Lozano et al., 2022). All images in this post show Astronotus mikoljii at different age stages and local populations.

The differentiation of Oscar species is decidedly tricky and can only be accomplished with certainty using molecular biology methods (DNA analysis). However, the juvenile coloration of three of the now four species considered valid is very different. The “common” Oscar, A. ocellatus, is well known from pet shops. A. crassipinnis juveniles are very conspicuous yellow-black colored (“Bumble-Bee-Oskars”) and A. mikoljii is very colorful – we have already presented such Orinoco wild catches more often (https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/astronotus_ocellatus_wild_colombia_en/    https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/astronotus_ocellatus_wild_en/   https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/astronotus-ocellatus-colombia/). Unfortunately no juvenile picture of A. zebra has been published yet – at least we don’t know any.

Besides A. mikoljii there are – according to molecular data – at least three more species of Oscars in South America, which are named Astronotus sp. “East”, A. sp. “Negro” and A. sp. “Jurua” in the work of Perez Lozano et al. In the case of these species, however, it must be carefully checked whether they have not been described before and are wrongly listed as synonym. However, the matter is not simple, because Oscars were and are brought within South America also again and again as food fish into areas, in which they were not native originally at all. In addition, this may have led to hybrids, which are also difficult to represent molecularly.

A. mikoljii was named after Ivan Mikolji, an avid artist, nature lover, and explorer of Venezuela and Colombia who is also an ornamental fish exporter. Mikolji’s Oscar, like all Astronotus species, usually grows to 25-30 cm in length and does not differ from the other species in terms of care and breeding.

Literature: Perez Lozano A, Lasso-Alcalá OM, Bittencourt PS, Taphorn DC, Perez N, Farias IP (2022): A new species of Astronotus (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from the Orinoco River and Gulf of Paria basins, northern South America. ZooKeys 1113: 111–152. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.1113.81240 

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Herichthys carpinte

27. July 2022

The Texas cichlid was successfully introduced to Germany and bred as early as 1902. In the meantime the species has undergone several name changes. In former times it was called Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum, today it is placed in the genus Herichthys and it is believed that the large spotted form as we can offer it right now belongs to the species Herichthys carpinte and originates from Mexico, while H. cyanoguttatum is smaller spotted and the only species originally native to the USA (Texas). It is the most northern occurring cichlid species at all.

Unfortunately the pearl cichlid has fallen into oblivion nowadays, so we are always very happy when these beautiful animals are offered to us. Currently the fish are 4-5 cm long, but the maximum length is almost 30 cm. Then they belong to the most splendid cichlids at all and are very high-backed, as our archive picture shows.

For our customers: the animals have code 644502 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Trichogaster leerii “Gold“

22. July 2022

Gold forms – also called xanthorists – are quite common in fish, even in nature. Ever since the beginning of man’s records of natural phenomena, there has been talk of golden perch, carp, crucian carp, tench and pike. Of course, such mutations occur much more often in breeding than in the wild, because there such strikingly colored animals soon become victims of predators. 

In the case of the Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leerii, sometimes also called Trichopodus l.) a gold form has only been known for a comparatively short time. It is difficult to say whether this will become established on the market or remain a rarity. But compared to the first specimens we received in 2015 (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/trichogaster_leerii_gold_en/ the animals we can offer now are much stronger. 

We have also made a small film about these fish, which you can watch here: https://www.facebook.com/AquariumGlaser/videos/2059837734199427.

For our customers: the animals have code 469552 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hemichromis sp. ,,Ankasa”

18. July 2022

We have received very nice offsprings of this attractive red jewel cichlid (Hemichromis). The animals are 4-6 cm long at the moment and thus just at the border to sexual maturity. Fully grown they are with about 10 cm. Then they are much more high-backed and have a splendid red coloration, which is only indicated at the moment. 

A special characteristic of this species, which was found around 2001 in western Ghana by traveling aquarists and brought back – since then it is in continuous breeding – is the broad stripes with green-golden bands on the face, while shiny spots on the body – the so-called iridiophores – are largely absent. Of the scientifically described species, Hemichromis sp. ,,Ankasa” most closely resembles H. paynei.

The care and breeding of Hemichromis sp. ,,Ankasa” is easy and successful even for beginners. Red cichlids can become nasty (but they don’t have to, some individuals are also lamb-like). The rule is: the larger the aquarium, the less aggressive the fish behave towards tankmates. However, if the animals have young, they are not to be trifled with. Therefore, the care in a species aquarium is absolutely preferable to the care in a community tank. Water composition is irrelevant for these fish and they will eat any common ornamental fish food. Plants are not damaged, unless they are in the way of the breeding preparations. Spawning is done on solid objects (stones, roots) in an open-breeding manner, both parents take care of spawn and fry together. The water temperature should be around 24°C, for breeding 2-3°C higher.

For our customers: the animals have code 536913 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Steatocranus tinanti

13. July 2022

Unfortunately imports from the Congo are becoming more and more rare, but when they do come, they usually include humphead cichlids (Steatocranus). There are almost always three species mixed. The strongest and most high-backed of them is S. casuarius, which can be recognized by the black scale centers. It has – due to mood – irregular vertical body bands (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/steatocranus_casuarius_wild_de/). Slightly more slender and with pale scale centers is S. gibbiceps, which shows regular vertical body bands (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/steatocranus-gibbiceps/). Finally, the most delicate and slender of this troop, S. tinanti, which shows two horizontal body bands.

Steatocranus tinanti is a peaceful fish despite its threatening looking massive jaw. It can grow up to 15 cm long, but as a wild caught fish it is already sexually mature with 6-7 cm (male) and 3-4 cm (female). In this size the fish shows very pretty yellow fins. S. tinanti is a typical cave-breeder with pair-bond. The male guards and defends the territory, the female takes care of spawn and young. Any common ornamental fish food is readily accepted, but it should not be too fatty and contain plenty of fiber. Water temperature should be in the range of 24-28°C, water composition (hardness, pH) are largely irrelevant as long as extremes are avoided.

For our customers: the animals have code 575404 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Dicrossus filamentosus

1. July 2022

The checkerboard cichlid (Dicrossus filamentosus) is the most typical dwarf cichlid in the habitat of the cardinal tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi). It is found in Brazil (Rio Negro drainage) as well as in Colombia and Venezuela (Orinoco drainage). Males have a lyre-shaped caudal fin and grow to almost 8 cm long; the caudal fin of females is rounded. Females always remain smaller than males. In the wild, they probably spawn for the first time at about 3 cm in length. 

Females of the checkerboard cichlid that have already spawned can be recognized by their blood red pelvic fins. In virgin animals the pelvic fins are colorless. This dwarf cichlid lives in harem associations, one male caring for several females. The species is an open-breeder, so spawns on the surface of solid objects, preferably plant leaves. 

In feeding, Dicrossus filamentosus (formerly known as Crenicara filamentosa) is unproblematic, but reproduction is only successful in water that is very close to natural conditions: practically no hardness and pH around 5. In community tanks, however, the fry are usually eaten by Cardinal and Co. despite the good brood care by the female.

For our customers: the animals have code 668007 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pterophyllum sp. “Guyana Red Dragon”.

13. June 2022

Similar to the fact that there are several red-backed angelfish populations, there are also several red or yellow-spotted wild forms. The ancestors of Pterophyllum sp. “Guyana Red Dragon” came from the Essequibo River in Guyana. Number and intensity of dots vary individually in each fish, but all specimens we currently received (they are now 5-7 cm long and just sexually ripe) are very nicely and intensely spotted. They are German offspring. 

The coloration of the red spots of the Pterophyllum sp. “Guyana Red Dragon” changes with the incidence of light. Sometimes they look more orange, sometimes black-red, sometimes cherry-red. Exactly the same phenomenon is known from the red dotted Green Discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus). And just like discus, red-spotted and un-spotted specimens occur together in nature. These are not special local variations, nor are they sex differences or even species differences. However, as the magnificent Pterophyllum sp. “Guyana Red Dragon”, which we are currently able to offer, show abundantly clear: this characteristic is hereditary and can be increased in its expression from generation to generation in the hands of experienced breeders.

For our customers: the animals have code 699793 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. 

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pterophyllum “Manacapuru redback”.

10. June 2022

There is a lot of interest in special wild forms of the angelfish. Among the best known is the “Manacapuru Redback”, a very striking form. Because of the strong need for revision of the genus Pterophyllum, it is better not to call it “Pterophyllum scalare” scientifically, because what exactly this “real” scalare is has yet to be researched.

The city of Manacapuru, after which this redback is named, is the fourth largest city in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. It is located directly on the Amazon River, but about 80 km above the confluence of the Amazon and Rio Negro. Until there, the Amazon is called Rio Solimoes. However, red-backed angelfish are not only found there and unfortunately different red-backed local forms have been crossed with each other in the past, either intentionally or unintentionally. The Manacapuru redback is characterized by the fact that the caudal fin is almost completely featureless or at most delicately striped (more or less strongly striped in many other redback local forms). The “Amapa redback”, very similar to the “Manacapuru redback”, is less intensely colored and, when fully grown, is of “eimekei” appearance. As juveniles, these two forms are almost indistinguishable.

Care of the Manacapuru Redback is no more difficult than that of the “common” angelfish breeding forms. They become most beautiful in high tanks (around 60 cm). Young animals often do not show much red in the back yet, this depends on the strain and feeding. One pays attention with purchase above all to the thread-like belly fins. If they are nice and straight and about as long as the anal fin, then they will be nice animals. Crooked, shortened ventral fins indicate bad growing conditions. This is not hereditary, but it also never really grows out. Feeding a lot of small crustaceans (Daphnia, Cyclops, Artemia, Mysis etc., whether live or frozen) will intensify the red colors in the back. Our pictures show young adult animals and  juveniles.

For our customers: the animals have code 699673 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Julidochromis marlieri

8. June 2022

The julies (Julidochromis) belong to the most popular cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. They are very beautiful, colorful and comparatively peaceful animals. Of course, for reproduction territories are formed and defended against other fish. All Julidochromis are recommendable aquarium fish, there is a suitable species for every aquarium. The largest is J. marlieri, of which we can offer just magnificent, almost adult animals of 7-10 cm length. The maximum length of the species given in literature is just under 15 cm (including tail fin). 

Julidochromis marlieri are mostly monogamous, but there are also polyandrous females, which live in polyandry. In this case, the males defend the spawning territory (usually a rock crevice or the like) and the female swims the territories and occasionally spawns with one or the other male.

Here you find a video of our fish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqLZw1h7foA

For our customers: The fish have code 538304 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Dario tigris – the “Black Tiger” was scientifically described

27. May 2022

The cute Flame Red Dwarf Badis (Dario hysginon) we have quite regularly in our stock. It originates from Burma (drainage of the Irrawaddy, Myitkyina District, Kachin State). More pictures of the species can be found here: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/dario_hyginon_2__en/ 

Partly together with the Flame Red another dwarf badis occurs in nature, which is already mentioned in the first scientific description: the “Black Tiger”. Concerning the measurable values the Flame Red does not differ substantially from the Black Tiger and therefore both were led for a long time “officially” also only as color variants of the species Dario hysginon. However, aquarium observations suggested that they are separate species, because they do not interbreed in the aquarium.

Now the discoverers of the “Black Tiger”, who originally classified it only as a variant of D. hysginon due to the paucity of material and the fact that it occurs together with Dario hysginon, have described it as a distinct species after all. It is now officially named Dario tigris Britz, Kullander & Rüber, 2022. The main differences from D. hysginon are in coloration and genetic differences, there are also minor anatomical differences between the two (fewer dorsal fin spines and vertebrae on average in D. tigris). In addition, the authors noted that Dario tigris only sometimes coexists with D. hysginon. Type locality of Dario tigris is an unnamed stream in Kachin State south of Mogaung.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to distinguish the two species in startle coloration from each other with certainty, which is why a certain mix arrives with us from time to time. Colored animals on the other hand are hardly to be confused. By the way, the females of the Black Tiger have, just like the males, a dot pattern in the neck, which makes it quite easy to distinguish them from striped females of the Flame Red.

For our customers: Dario hysginon has code 413783, D. tigris 413796 on our stock list. Please note that we cannot sort Flame Red and Black Tiger 100% and only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer 


Britz, R., Kullander, S. O. & L. Rüber (2022): Dario tigris and Dario melanogrammus, two new species of miniature chameleon fishes from northern Myanmar (Teleostei: Badidae). Zootaxa 5138 (1): 001–016 

Apistogramma agassizii Peru wild

20. May 2022

The dwarf cichlid Apistogramma agassizii has a distribution area that extends through practically the entire Amazon. With many of its genus comrades it is completely different, they often occur only locally and form then also location variants. Agassiz’ dwarf cichlid has so far successfully resisted all attempts to divide it. It is true that some particularly striking colorings are known – for example the “Tefe” with its zigzag pattern or the red-backed “Santarem”. But it is shown again and again that even with these extremes only relatively few males correspond to the ideal picture and with a larger number of wild-caught there are always also normally colored males. And the females all look the same anyway….

The matter does not get easier if you consider that almost every Apistogramma species in nature shows polychromatism (= multicolorism) of the males. So there are males with e.g. a higher proportion of red, those with a higher proportion of blue, etc. Under aquarium conditions one can select for the desired color within a few generations and then get uniform looking strains. But in nature it is not like that.

We have very pretty wild-caught Apistogramma agassizii from Peru, i.e. the upper reaches of the Amazon, in the stock right now. As is usual with wild-caught fish, they are about 30% smaller than their cousins that grew up in the aquarium when they reach sexual maturity. In the wild, there just isn’t as abundant food. But the coloration of the „wild ones“ is really very, very pretty, both the animals with more red and the animals with more blue in the tail fin.

For our customers: the fish have code 614073 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer