What's in storePosted on the 1st November 2018
Malawi cichlids have been popular for years and their popularity still outstrips the rate at which scientists can describe them. Pseudotropheus sp. Polit is a feisty little mbuna that’s becoming increasingly common. As an assertive species, make sure you keep it in a spacious tank crowded with rockwork that breaks the sightlines, enabling rivals to escape from constant tension. With crowded tanks of cichlids, powerful filtration and frequent partial water changes are crucial. This handsome male was throwing his weight around at theCwmbran store.
The continued improvements to the supply chains and sustainable catching practices of marine fish, combined with huge advances in captive nutrition are making a big difference to previously challenging species. Although not a fish for beginners, the Regal Angelfish(Pygoplites diacanthus)is a rewarding larger species for those prepared to invest the time and trouble to provide this stunning fish with suitable conditions. This handpicked specimen at Crawley is the perfect way to back a winner.
The fishes in our stores generally fall into easily-defined categories, although this one represents a very notable exception as a literal fish out of water. Having evolved to exploit tidal mangrove swamps, these specialised gobies vary a little in their exact requirements but the Dwarf Indian mudskipper (Periopthalmus novemradiatus) is a small species that tolerates varying levels of salinity. As can be seen from this one at our Chester store, these little muppets like to spend their time above the surface using their modified fins as primitive legs.
Many species in our hobby are regularly misidentified and when this happens at the start of a supply chain, the repercussions might not be discovered for years. In the case of more obscure fishes such as cichlids, it can be a real eye opener when you get to see the real deal after many instances of getting excited by labels, only to find the wrong species behind them - normally in this case the Redhump eartheater (G. steindachneri). Chances are that all of the folk who are likely to be enthused by seeing the real Yellowhump eartheater (Geophagus pellegrini) could fit into an average-sized scout hut but I’m definitely one of them. I was lucky enough to see the parents of these gorgeous rarities residing at our Summerhill store.
‘‘Tis the season for South American rarities and the Zamora woodcat (Auchenipterichthys coracoideus) has it all. Firstly it has a scientific name you could dislocate your jaw on, plus a shoaling but mysterious nature which means you’ll see more of them in a tank with lots of hiding places. If this wasn’t enough, the males have an adapted anal fin for mating, much like livebearers do and as a final flourish, you can keep it in a community tank as long as the other inhabitants aren’t too tiny. This group were looking good in the Bourne End store.
If you think all L number plecs are black with white spots then you’d be mistaken. Amongst the very many black and white suckermouthed beasties are fishes of a different hue, such as this gorgeous L141 Ghost plec (Ancistomus snethlageae). More gregarious and herbivorous than some of its cousins, this fish remains small and will even supplement a diet of tablet and frozen foods by nibbling on a bit of algae. This was one of many highlights of a recent trip to Braintree.