Tag Archives: Phallichthys

Phallichthys quadripunctatus

29. April 2022

Unfortunately only very rarely we can offer this cute dwarf livebearer from Costa Rica. The males grow to a length of about 1.5 cm, the females to a maximum of twice this size. The species name “quadrimaculatus” refers to the typically four spots these fish have on their flanks. However, many variations also occur in nature. Some specimens have only one spot, others five, but in most the pattern looks like that of the females photographed for this post. 

In nature, the dwarfs have to go through all sorts of things and are exposed to extremely different water conditions there. In the scientific original description, Bussing describes several biotopes, including a partly shaded, partly sunlit forest stream with clear, 20°C cool water, and turbid, fully sun-exposed residual water puddles where the water was 34°C. He also mentions that this species is shy in the aquarium, but sheds the shyness when kept with other, less shy fish in a densely planted aquarium.

We now have a few German offspring of this rarity in stock.

For our customers: the animals have code 278253 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Phallichthys tico

2. March 2018

Once more we are able to offer this top-rarity among the livebearers. The charming fish – males reach a maximum length of about 2.5 cm, females 4.5 cm – are restricted to the upper reaches of the river San Juan in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. No commercial fishing for ornamental fish does exist there and so the species is imported only ocassionally by travelling enthusiasts. Sadly until now it proved impossible so far to build up a stable aquarium strain from these few animals and so the species always vanished from the hobby after only a few generations. Our fish are German bred ones. Keeping them is rather unproblematically. However the fish always need very clean water of low microbiological contamination. Water chemistry is not very important, extremes, however, should be avoided. Best is a pH of 7-7.5, a hardness of 3-10°GH and a temperature of 24-28°C. The fish take readily frozen and dried food, but they also have to be fed on some plant material.

For our customers: The fish have code 278263 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Phallichthys: ancient Greek, means “penisfish”. tico: after the indigenous people of Costa Rica which call themselves “Tico”.

Suggestion of a common name: Costa Rica Dwarf Livebearer

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer