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Nicknamed “7 Pointer” for the 7 super red fins, the 7 Pointer Scarlet Cactus or L025 is one of the most sought after species in its genus. This heavily armored pleco, is found in the fast-flowing rocky waters of Brazil’s Rio Xingu, they are almost prehistoric in appearance, with prominent spines along the pectoral, dorsal, and caudal fins. Growing to almost 18″ as adults, they require a large aquarium with excellent water quality and are recommended for experienced hobbyists.
A fascinating dwarf waspfish found in slightly brackish to marine waters in the Indo-Pacific, the Leaf Goblinfish (also known as Indian Panther Goby) only grows to an adult size of about 4″. In the wild, they are a cryptic species typically found in shallow water among vegetation or other cover. They are an ambush predator, waiting for insects larvae, small crustaceans, and tiny fish. In the aquarium, they can be challenging to wean off live foods at first but will usually accept frozen foods like brine, mysis, and bloodworms over time. An adaptable fish usually found in intertidal zones, they can handle a wide range of salinity up to full strength marine but will do well at the lower range of brackish water salinities as well.
A medium-sized schooling tetra relative, the Red Tail, Red Line, or Slender Hemiodus is widespread throughout the Amazon and Orinoco basins, where it is usually found in large mixed species shoals alongside other schooling tetras. A fast and somewhat skittish fish at first, they make for an impressive display in a larger mixed species aquarium and make excellent tankmates for most other peaceful fish. This species prefers warm, slightly acidic water and will do best when given plenty of cover in the form of driftwood or tall plants.
A popular and attractively marked species of Corydoras found throughout much of the Amazon basin, the Skunk Cory has been popular in the aquarium hobby for many years . Like most Corys, they are peaceful, hardy, and best kept in groups due to their schooling nature. This species is a medium-growing Corydoras and will do well with nearly any non-aggressive tankmates.
The Fairy Spotted or Atropersonatus Cory is an attractive and less commonly seen species found in certain middle Amazon tributaries in Peru. In the wild, it inhabits shallow stretches of open sand, usually in clear or slightly tannin-stained waters. Like most Corys, they are peaceful, hardy, and best kept in groups due to their schooling nature. This species is a medium-growing Corydoras and will do well with nearly any non-aggressive tankmates.
The San Juan Cory is an attractively marked smaller species found in the middle Amazon and its tributaries in Peru, Western Brazil, and Bolivia. Like most Corys, they are peaceful, hardy, and best kept in groups due to their schooling nature. This species is a medium-growing Corydoras and will do well with nearly any non-aggressive tankmates.
A spectacularly colored and uncommon Tetra found throughout the black waters of the Rio Orinoco and Rio Negro basins in South America, the Black Morpho or Black Darter Tetra typically inhabits warm, shallow water habitat with lots of cover in the form of fallen branches and leaf litter. They are often found alongside more well known tetras such as Cardinals and Rummynose, especially as juvenile fish. Adult males in particular display an impressive sail-like dorsal fin and iridescent black and purple scales. Similar to the more commonly seen Sailfin Tetras, they can be a bit aggressive with one another for a tetra and are best kept in larger groups in aquariums with ample space for them to stake out territories.
With intricate black and white markings and its impressive lyre tail, the King Arabesque or Moa Pleco remains a sought after rarity in the aquarium hobby much less common than the unrelated L260 or Queen Arabesque. Originating in remote stretches of the Peru/Brazil border, this medium growing pleco is a wood eater like the rest of its genus but should be given a varied diet including algae- and protein-based foods. In the aquarium, they appreciate some current and plenty of driftwood for cover and for grazing.
A colorful and active member of the genus Pseudomugil, commonly referred to as “blue eyed rainbows” in the hobby, Ivantsoff’s Blue Eyed Rainbowfish originates from the Timika region of West Papua, Indonesia. In the wild, they tend to be found in warm, slow-moving and often tannin stained waters. In the aquarium, they are best kept in groups and will do well in a well planted tank with plenty of cover and will get along well with most similarly sized peaceful tankmates.