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One of the larger species of knifefish, the Clown Knife is found throughout much of Southeast Asia, where it is an important food fish. It is now extensively farm raised for food and for the aquarium trade. The Red Eye Albino color form is a rare line bred variety of the fish that exhibits true red eyes and a light pink body color. A predatory species with a surprisingly large mouth, Clown Knives can easily eat fish up to 1/3rd their size in many cases. Despite their predatory nature, they are peaceful towards nearly all tankmates too big to be eaten.
The Thai Micro Spider Crab is a small and highly specialized freshwater crustacean found throughout shallow waters and partially flooded rice fields in Central and Eastern Thailand. In the wild, it tends to inhabit warm, slightly acidic, slow-moving (or still) water, usually in areas of dense vegetation. They are usually found in large groups clinging to floating plants, grasses, or root systems where they use their unique hair-covered claws to filter out tiny food particles from the water. In the aquarium, they make a fascinating addition to a nano invertebrate tank or with select (very small, peaceful) fish tankmates. They prefer heavily planted tanks with plenty of cover and structures, and will do best in slightly soft water. Although they will filter feed and graze on algae or biofilms to to some degree, they should be provided with very small sinking granules or flakes regularly.
A medium-growing and intricately patterned freshwater eel, the Zebra Spiny Eel is found in a variety of habitats throughout Myanmar, Thailand, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Hardy and more outgoing than many of their relatives, these fish make a unique addition to medium to large aquariums and will generally do well with any fish too large to become a meal. Like most spiny eels, they can be a bit slow to feed at first, so care should be taken to ensure they are getting enough food. Frozen bloodworms are usually accepted readily.
A medium sized and attractively marked species of Peckoltia very similar in pattern to the sought after L134 Leopard Frog Pleco from Brazil, the L202 False Leopard Frog or Lineola Pleco is found in the Rio Ventuari and its tributaries in Venezuela. In the wild, they are found in warm, acidic, fast-moving waters and will do best in similar conditions in the aquarium. A hardy and easy to care for pleco, they will do well with most tankmates but should be given plenty of cover in the form of driftwood or caves so they can establish territories. False Leopard Frog Plecos will eat a variety of sinking, gel, and fresh foods in the aquarium, and should be offered a varied diet high in protein.
The Elegant or Elegans Cory is an attractively marked medium-growing species widespread throughout the middle Amazon in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia where it is found in large shoals in a variety of shallow water habitats. This species is one of several very similar looking Corydoras often found in mixed schools in the wild, including the Napo Cory (C. napoensis), Nanus Cory (C. nanus) and the so-called CW044. Like most Corys, they are peaceful, hardy, and best kept in groups due to their schooling nature. This species is sexually dimorphic, with adult males having a tall dorsal fin and displaying a more reticulated pattern around the face. Like most Cory Cats, they will do well with nearly any non-aggressive tankmates.
One of several similar looking species from the ‘surinamensis’ group of the genus Geophagus found in the acidic, soft waters of the Orinoco Basin in Colombia and Venezuela, the Dicrozoster Eartheater can be distinguished by the prominent black bar on each cheek and their distinctive bar pattern. A peaceful cichlid, they generally do well in community cichlid aquaria with sandy substrate and lots of open swimming space. Like all eartheaters, they are highly specialized bottom feeders, using their downward facing mouths to inhale mouthfuls of fine substrate and then sifting it through their gills in order to pick out small invertebrates or other tiny prey. In the aquarium, they will accept a variety of sinking foods but will do best when offered a combination of small sinking granules and frozen foods like bloodworms, mysis shrimp, or spirulina enriched brine.
Very similar to the Rainbow Wolf, found in the Amazon basin, the Orinoco Red Wolf is a smaller species of found in parts of the Orinoco River basin in Colombia and Venezeula. A fast moving and aggressive predatory fish, they are likely to attack even larger tankmates and are best kept alone or with large, fast moving fish or heavily armored catfish. Smaller specimens can be shy at first and appreciate plenty of cover, and be sure to keep their tanks tightly covered as they are prone to jump if spooked.
A vibrantly colored, medium-sized barb found throughout India’s Western Ghats range, the Red Melon or Red Panda Barb is a robust and colorful schooling fish ideal for the medium to large community aquarium. In the wild, it inhabits a wide range of habitat types but most typically can be found in more slow moving waters near aquatic plants or overhanging vegetation. A peaceful species, they are best kept in groups of at least 5-10 and require plenty of swimming space. Although they rarely bother tankmates, they are fast-moving and aggressive eaters so should be kept with similarly sized (or larger) fish.
A fish with many names, the Roseline Shark, Redline Torpedo Shark, or Denisonii Barb is a vividly colored schooling fish found in the fast moving streams of Western India. With their peaceful, active nature and vibrant red, yellow, and black coloration, this fish has become a favorite in the aquarium hobby – especially among planted tank hobbyists. Although hardy, these fish prefer well-oxygenated water with some current and will display their best colors when excellent water quality is maintained. The wild form from the streams and rivers of Karnataka state, India, is known for exhibiting vibrant, deep red coloration more pronounced than tank raised specimens.
A medium-sized, stream dwelling cichlid originating in the Congo River basin in Central Africa, the Buffalo Head, Lionhead, or Blockhead Cichlid has been popular in the aquarium hobby for many years and is now commercially bred for the trade. In the wild, these fish are adapted for life in fast-flowing waters, and are powerful swimmers with reduced swim bladders which spend most of their time on the bottom of the aquarium. An active and interesting aquarium resident, they prefer fine substrate and plenty of structure in the form of rocks or driftwood. Males will pick out and actively defend a territory from rivals but are generally peaceful towards other tankmates. Although hardy and adaptable, they will do best in conditions similar to their wild habitat, especially well-oxygenated water with moderate to strong current.
One of the larger predatory fish found in the Amazon Basin, the Silver Arowana is part of an ancient family of fish known as the bonytongues. A highly adapted surface feeder, Arowana are usually found close to the water’s surface in heavily overgrown areas with lots of cover. They are incredible jumpers, with adults able to leap several feet out of the water, and need to be kept in securely covered aquariums. Due to their enormous adult size, the Silver Arowana is recommended only for dedicated aquarists who can accommodate these giants in either a large custom aquarium or even an indoor pond. Specimens offered for sale are acclimated to aquarium life and feeding well on frozen and prepared foods. The rare albino form of silver arowana originated with wild fish but are now produced on farms in Asia.
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