The small remaining whiptail catfishes of the genus Rineloricaria enjoy great popularity among aquarists. They have a whimsical appearance, are peaceful, have no high space requirements and can usually be bred quite well. Some species have even really fancy pattern. The most beautiful is certainly R. teffeana. It has no bright colors, but a really attractive pattern. Its maximum length is about 12 cm (without caudal fin).
Although Tefé in Brazil is a famous discus locality (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/discus_wild_royal_green_tefe_en/) Rineloricaria teffeana, which has its type locality there (i.e. that the specimens, which were available to Mr. Steindachner in 1879 and on the basis of which the species was described and named, were collected there), is offered only extremely rarely by exporters. Therefore we are very happy and proud to have some of these beauties now in our stock.
For our customers: the fish have code 257975 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
For the first time we can offer the breeding form “Red Dun” of the Chocolate Whiptail Catfish. This new breeding form goes back to a wild-caught male that we were able to import from Paraguay in November 2015 (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/rineloricaria_lanceolata_en/). We gave it, together with some normal females of the same import, to our breeder Kurt Jülich. We hoped Kurt could breed an attractive new strain from it.
Kurt could, but it took time. As he had guessed before, it took four generations to get a hereditary pure red strain. We can now offer this F4.
Kurt suggested the name “Red dun” to distinguish the new strain also linguistically clearly from the already existing strains of red Rineloricaria. A dun is the name for a horse with a light coat base color, dark long hair (mane, tail) and other dark markings. Because in contrast to other red Rineloricaria, the “Red dun” often still has markings in darker red on the body, just like the grand-grandfather.
The “Red dun” will surely find many friends because of its beautiful coloration. Very special is the fact that here the origin of a new breeding form is documented from the beginning.
For our customers: the animals have code 288522 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
From Paraguay we regularly receive shipments of the small whiptail catfishes of the genus Rineloricaria. No less than 65 species are currently recognized, which makes identification in many cases almost impossible without knowledge of their origin. But in the case of Paraguay, there is a recent revision of the species known from this river system by Vera-Alcaraz et al. (2008), so at least trying to determine the exact species name is not just a waste of time.
Mostly, the whiptail catfishes destined for export are collected from Paraguay not far from the capital Asunción. From there three species can be expected: R. aurata, R. lanceolata and R. parva. The technical species differences are in the number and arrangement of the body plates, but the three species are also easily recognized by color: R. lanceolata has a dorsal fin that is darkly colored in the anterior part (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/rineloricaria_lanceolata_en/), in R. parva the pectoral fins are distinctly banded, and in R. aurata both fins are without conspicuous color markings. Incidentally, R. aurata was described using an atypical, solid yellow specimen. Normally the species has the gray-brown coloration usual for Rineloricaria with 4-5 narrow, dark bands across the back starting at the dorsal fin (much broader in R. parva).
Our imports consist therefore of more than 90% R. parva and some R. lanceolata as bycatch. Fishes clearly belonging to R. aurata have not been imported so far or at least we have not noticed them.
The care and breeding of these whiptail catfishes, which usually grow to a maximum length of 12 cm, is easy. You have to provide them with sandy soil in places and a good amount of vegetable food (lettuce, spinach, dandelion etc. frosted or briefly scalded, as well as flake food on a vegetable basis). They are peaceful contemporaries. As with all fish from southern South America, the water temperature should not be kept the same all year round, but cool periods (18-22°C) should be alternated with warmer ones (24-28°C) throughout the year (several months at a time).
For our customers: the animals have code 288803 on our stocklist. please note that we only supply wholesale.
Literature. Vera-Alcaraz, H. S., C. S. Pavanelli & C. H. Zawadzki (2012): Taxonomic revision of the Rineloricaria species (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the Paraguay River basin. Neotropical Ichthyology v. 10 (no. 2): 285-311.
From Brazil we received beautiful whiptail catfishes, which we thought at first sight to be Rineloricaria lanceolata, a species with a very wide distribution. The high proportion of reddish animals was striking. The majority of the fish are small, 3-4 cm long and marked like R. lanceolata, but there are a few adult specimens among them. These fish have a conspicuous dot pattern on the head. Consultation with loricariid specialist Ingo Seidel and review of the original description revealed that it is probably Rineloricaria heteroptera. This whiptail catfish was described from the Manaus area in 1976; the paratype shown in the original description is spotted exactly like our adult fish.
According to Evers & Seidel (Welsatlas Vol.1), R. heteroptera was often bred in the former GDR, but was later displaced by the similar and more productive R. lanceolata. The popular Red Whiptail Catfish, a breeding form, probably originates from the old strains of R. heteroptera.
This whiptail catfish grows to about 13-15 cm in length and is very suitable for aquarium care and breeding. The clutches are relatively small with 40-60 eggs. Rineloricaria are mixed feeders, eating both plant and animal foods. They appreciate free bottom areas with sand and gravel. They breed in relatively narrow burrows (bamboo tubes or the like), the male guards the spawn and larvae until they swim free. The water temperature should be between 24 and 30°C, for breeding usually soft and slightly sour (pH 5,5-6,5) water is necessary. Without breeding intentions the water values are of secondary importance.
For our customers: the fish have code 288352 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
It was back in the 1980ies that a brick-red sport of whiptail catfish appeared in the former GDR. The real origin of the fish stays a mystery, but it was possible to cross it with Hemiloricaria (formerly Rineloricaria) lanceolata. The strains that exist nowadays are most probably all hybrids. The initial red whiptail catfish belonged most probably to another species than H. lanceolata (see Evers & Seidel, Wels-Atlas, Vol. 1: 694, for details).
In November 2015 we obtained an importation of wild collected H. lanceolata from Paraguay. It contained a single brick-red male specimen. This animal – along with some regulary coloured females – was given to our proofed breeder Kurt Jülich who succeeded in breeding them! Now we can offer for the very first time brick-red whiptail catfish from that new strain.
For our customers: the fish have code 288524 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text: Frank Schäfer, Photos: Dirk Stojek & Frank Schäfer
Lately we introduced to you Hemiloricaria sp. „Puerto Ayacucho“, a species known so far from Venezuela only, which we could import along with Hemiloricaria melini from Brazil. This post led to a number of requests wether we could also depict the imported melini-Whiptails.
Well, we can: here they are!
Hemiloricaria melini forms along with H. formosa, H. teffeana and H. sp. „Barcelos“ a small complex of so-called „Apache Whiptails“ that have in common a very attractive leopard pattern. H. melini is said to become about 10 cm long in literature, but our specimens are already about 15 cm long. The beautiful fish should be kept on fine sand bottom in soft and acidic water.
For our customers: the fish have code 288675 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively the wholesale trade.
Finally we were able again to import some of the beautiful Hemiloricaria melini from ´Brazil (Rio Negro basin). As usual this shipment contained several bycatches, like H. sp. Weißdorn and H. castroi (see our post http://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/hemiloricaria-bycatches/), but this time there were also some specimens we have never seen before. The most obvious feature of the fish is the black „peppered pattern“.
In Welsatlas Vol 1 a species of Hemiloricaria from Venezuela is presented under the name of „Rinelorcaria sp. Puerto Ayacucho“ which looks extremely similar to our new ones. We asked specialist Ingo Seidel for his opinion and he agreed that our new importations obviously belong to „Puerto Ayacucho“. That fish was known so far only from the Orinoco basin, but now we have to realize that „Puerto Ayacucho“ has a much wider distribution and can be also found in the Rio Negro basin.
For our customers: the fish have code 289095 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in very small numbers ony!
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer