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Crystal Black Shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis)


Crystal Black Shrimp are a selectively bred form of Caridina which have been developed from wild specimens showing subtle black and white coloration. They are enormously popular due to their striking, high contrast coloration and can be a bit more delicate than some of the more common Neocaridina species, so are best kept by hobbyists with some experience keeping shrimp already. Crystal Black Shrimp prefer soft, lower pH water and do best at slightly lower temperatures. These shrimp are sensitive to water quality so regular water changes and adequate filtration are important to keep them healthy and thriving.

Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracantha)


With their vibrant coloration and active nature, Clown Loaches have been a staple in the aquarium hobby for years. A schooling fish, they are best kept in groups of 5 or more as smaller groups of fish will be shy and rarely display their active, almost comical natural behavior. Clown Loaches inhabit a variety of different habitats in their native Indonesia, and will adapt to most conditions in the aquarium. As a carnivore with a fast metabolism, they should be fed often with a variety of prepared and frozen foods to ensure they are well-fed. Although they can grow fairly large, they are slow growers and it may take years for them to reach their full adult size.

Cobalt Blue Stiphodon Goby (Stiphodon semoni)


The most colorful of all freshwater gobies in the genus Stiphodon, the Cobalt Blue Goby originates from fast moving rocky streams in West Papua, Indonesia. In the wild, it lives in small groups where individual fish stake out their own territories among the rocks. They feed on algae growth and biofilms in the wild and in the aquarium should be fed algae or vegetable based sinking foods (gel diets are ideal). They require clean, well-oxygenated water with some current and will do best at slightly cooler temperatures than most tropical fish (74-76F).

Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus bicirrhis)


The Glass Catfish or Ghost Glass Cat has been popular in the aquarium trade for decades due to its unique, almost completely transparent body and active behavior. In the wild, they inhabit a variety of freshwater habitats in Southeast Asia, from clear water streams to quiet swampy areas, where they are typically found in large shoals. A peaceful, schooling fish, they are relatively hardy in the aquarium but prefer slightly soft water and excellent water quality. They should be kept in groups of at least 5 fish so they can form a school. Fast moving or nippy tankmates should be avoided as they can stress out the more peaceful Glass Catfish.

Fahaka Puffer (Tetraodon lineatus)


One of a few species of giant freshwater puffers from Africa, the Fahaka or Lined Puffer is found in freshwater rivers and lakes throughout East and Central Africa. In the wild, they use their powerful beak to feed on crustaceans, mollusks, and even other fish. In the aquarium, they feed readily on most meaty foods and will readily take bites out of their tankmates as well. An intelligent and fascinating fish for an appropriately large aquarium, Fahaka Puffers are best kept in a species tank on their own.


Kubotai / Angelicus Botia (Botia kubotai)


One of the more attractive and peaceful species of Loach, the Angelicus or Kubotai Botia originates from the Salween River basin along the Thailand-Myanmar border. Like almost all species of Loach or Botia, they are social fish and best kept in groups of 5 or more. In the aquarium, they are hardy and relatively undemanding, and make for excellent pest snail control in planted tanks.

Aba Aba Knifefish (Gymnarchus niloticus)


One of the more unique species of knifefish, the Aba Aba is found throughout much of Africa, where it inhabits shallow, slow moving bodies of water. While juvenile fish are often found in small groups, adults become solitary large predators which like most knifefish use a specialized organ to detect the weak electrical currents generated by other fish. In the aquarium, they tend to be extremely aggressive, often attacking tankmates at night. This combined with their huge adult size makes them best suited for a species tank.

Dwarf Chain Loach / Sidthimunki Botia(Ambastia sidthimunki)


One of the smallest species of Botia and a longtime favorite in the aquarium hobby, the Dwarf Chain Loach or Sidthimunki Botia is a peaceful, active schooling fish ideally suited to most community or planted tanks. Originally found in river systems along the Thai/Myanmar border, they are now produced commercially for the aquarium trade. Like most Botias and Loaches, they are social fish and should be kept in groups of at least 3 to 5 specimens.

Humphead Carp (Incisilabeo behri)


The Humphead Carb (Incisilabeo behri) formerly Bangana behri, is an unusual cpyrinid found through the Mekong and its tributaries in Southeast Asia in fast-moving waters. While juvenile fish are not particularly distinctive, as these fish grow they develop a large, distinctive hump on their forehead (similar to the nuchal hump seen on cichlids). A grazer and omnivore, they will readily eat hair algae and diatoms, making them a useful as well as impressive addition to large predatory fish tanks. Best kept in groups of 3 or more.

Black Wolf Fish (Hoplias curupira)


A medium sized and widely distributed species of Hoplias, the Black Wolf or Curupira is found in a wide range of habitats throughout the Amazon Basin. With its stocky build and dark color, it is popular among predatory fish keepers and although less aggressive than some wolf fish species tankmates (if any) should be chosen with extreme care.


Thayeri Dwarf Acara (Laetacara thayeri)


An attractive and uncommon small cichlid, Thayer’s Dwarf Acara is found throughout the Amazon Basin, where it typically inhabits shallow, slow moving bodies of water. They are relatively peaceful (for a cichlid) but can become fiercely territorial when breeding.

Orinoco Peacock Bass (Cichla orinocensis)


A powerful and large growing predator, the Orinoco Peacock Bass is found throughout the Orinoco and Meta river drainages in Colombia and Venezuela. A voracious fish eater by nature, newly imported fish tend to prefer live foods at first but can be weaned onto frozen and prepared foods over time. They are fast growing and can be aggressive towards tankmates, especially other cichlids. Best kept with larger, fast-moving fish.

Tefena Whiptail Loricaria (Loricaria sp. ‘Tefena’)


The Tefena Whiptail Loricaria is an attractively marked medium sized Loricariid found throughout much of Colombia in sandy and rocky shallow water habitat. An omnivore and grazer, they will readily feed on algae or vegetable matter along with more protein rich foods. In the aquarium, they are not shy, and will often be seen perched above the substrate in the middle of the tank. Any tank housing this species should offer plenty of open sandy or rocky areas for them to stake out territories.

Tiger / Curare Severum (Heros severus ‘curare’)


The rare and exceedingly beautiful Tiger or Curare Severum originates from the far upper reaches of the Rio Negro in Colombia, near the town of San Felipe. This large growing fish are likely the “true” Heros severus, and only very recently have made their way into the hobby. As wild fish from extremely acidic waters, they will display their best colors in a similar setup with soft, low-pH water. Generally peaceful towards similar sized tankmates, they can be aggressive towards each other and should be kept singly or in a large group of 5 or more fish (they will get along with most other Heros species as long as the group is large enough).

True Parrot Cichlid (Hoplarchus psittacus)


A large growing and unique cichlid from the warm, acidic waters of the Orinoco and Negro rivers, the True Parrot Cichlid gets its name from the vibrant markings around its face (which locals in its native range consider similar to their native macaws). In the wild, they are usually found in slow moving, relatively shallow water habitat, where temperatures may exceed 86F and pH as low as 4.0. In the aquarium, they are quite adaptable but will show their best coloration in warm, slightly acidic water. Parrot Cichlids are sensitive to water quality and regular large water changes should be performed to ensure low levels of nitrate and organics.