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Recent Imports at Wildwoods

For those interested in oddball fish, a recent shipment of fishes to Wildwoods will be well worth checking out.

The big stuff

Starting with the big fish,Toxotes microlepis, Toxotes chatareus, Datnioides undecimradiatus and Datnioides campbelli are all now in stock.

Toxotes microlepis is a medium-sized (12-15 cm) archerfish that naturally inhabits fresh and slightly brackish water. It can either be kept in hard, alkaline freshwater or in slightly brackish water, but should not be kept at a specific gravity of more than 1.005. As with archerfish generally, this is a slightly territorial, highly predatory fish. Keep with tankmates of similar size, and look out for bullying between larger and smaller specimens.

Toxotes chatareus is a much larger fish, getting to about 40 cm in the wild, though normally around 20 cm or so in captivity. It also needs to be kept in brackish water with a specific gravity of between 1.005 to 1.010. While it will survive in freshwater for many months, brackish water is essential over the long term. Maintenance is otherwise similar to Toxotes microlepis.

Datnioides undecimradiatus is a rarely-seen freshwater Siamese tiger fish. It gets to about 30-40 cm in length and requires freshwater conditions. Being predatory, it cannot be trusted with substantially smaller tankmates, but it is otherwise compatible with peaceful but large species such as stingrays, catfish, and clown loaches. It can also be kept with others of its own kind, though it is territorial.

Datnioides campbelli is similar but needs brackish water with a specific gravity of 1.005 to 1.010. It is rather more overtly territorial than Datnioides undecimradiatus and cannot easily be kept with its own species. These are very impressively marked fish, but very rarely traded.

The little guys

Halfbeaks and glassfish have been known about in the hobby for decades, but the selection of species has hitherto been very poor. This is gradually changing, but some of the species Wildwoods have in stock at the moment are definitely first of their kind to be traded in the UK.

Nomorhamphus liemi is the Celebes halfbeak. Bigger and more brightly coloured than the better known wrestling halfbeak, this is a great community fish. In terms of maintenance it is very similar to something like a swordtail, being of comparable size and eating the same sorts of food, a mix of insects, bloodworms, and vegetarian flake food being ideal. Females get to over 10 cm in length, but the males are much smaller. As with swordtails, it is best to keep more females than males, though pairs work fine in large aquaria. Breeding is more frequent in soft, acidic water conditions, but they will breed in hard, alkaline water as well. Around 10 to 20 fry are born at a time, and these are easily raised on finely ground flake and small animals such as daphnia. The main problem is ensuring the females don't miscarry, which can happen if they are stressed or sick.

Hemirhamphodon pogonognathus is a rarely traded halfbeak with a very long beak and beautiful, if subtle, colouration. Overall colour is pinkish green with electric blue markings on the fins. It needs soft, acidic water and is sensitive to bacterial infections. Good filtration and regular water changes are essential. At up to 9 cm in length, these fish are very spindly and easily damaged by aggressive tankmates or by collisions with the walls or hood of the tank. This is another livebearing species.

Hemirhamphodon kapuasensis is completely new to the UK hobby. It is small (around 6 cm long) and has gorgeous red and blue markings on the fins and body, but is otherwise similar to Hemirhamphodon pogonognathus in terms of care.

Zenarchopterus buffonis is a brackish to marine species that spends some of its time in freshwater rivers. Very little is known about this fish in captivity, as it has been traded only occasionally. It gets to about 20 cm in length, so is quite a bit bigger than the other halfbeaks traded, but is rather more difficult to keep. It is extremely nervous and has a tendancy to jump out of uncovered aquaria.

Ambassis agrammus is a pretty little (6 cm) glassfish ideally suited to any fresh or brackish water aquarium. It will do well in anything from soft and acidic water conditions through to low-end brackish (specific gravity up to 1.005). As with the more widely traded glassfish like Parambassis ranga, this fish won't take flake, but things like bloodworms, daphnia, lobster eggs, live brine shrimp, and small pieces of prawn are eagerly accepted. Best kept in groups, these glassfish are lively and peaceful and work well with tetras, barbs, dwarf cichlids, and other small community fishes.

To find out more about Wildwoods and to view their full stock list click here.


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