Add Another to the List!

Well you can add another to the list! Tonight we discovered our Ancistrus sp. “Honeycomb” spawned. This species has one of the most interesting patterns of any Ancistrus. It has gained a lot of attention recently among catfish enthusiasts and rightfully so. Just take a look! Hopefully we will be able to offer this species sometime next year. Stay tuned!

New Spawnings in the Fishroom

We have some great news! The spawning keeps on going in the fishroom. Just in the last two weeks we have had spawns from our Centromochlus schultzi, Tatia gyrina, Scleromystax sp. “CW147” and another batch of our Hypancistrus zebra. Recently, we have had several inquires about our Ancistrus sp. “Snowflake”, well we are happy to report they have finally spawned again! The male is actively guarding the spawn perhaps better than ever.

Unfortunately, the male has previously either kicked out the eggs or very few have survived. This particular batch of eggs looks promising. One positive is that the male is a year older now and more experienced. It appears that there are roughly 25-30 eggs but of course they are hard to count. The male only offering brief views and honestly, we do not want to disturb them. Interestingly, the eggs were fixed to  the roof of the cave. All of our Hypancistrus lay eggs that only adhere to each other and the male freely moves the egg cluster around.

Below you will see a video sharing some of our fish along with an update on the All-American Catfish Convention, CatCon. We are proud to announce that we are donating 4 Hypancistrus zebra, Zebra Plecos to CatCon. All of the funds will go towards helping pay for the great speakers that they are bringing in for the event. We will also have this species and others available for the Spree on Three. Visit for all of the details including Spree on Three: A special thanks to and for the photos of Ancistrus sp. “Snowflake”.

Image result for snowflake ancistrus

Image result for snowflake ancistrus

Potentially Another World First!

It is moments like these that are truly special. We put a lot of time and effort into our work. This makes it all worth it! The only other feeling that comes close to this is collecting a new species of fish. It is with great pride that we share that potential first spawning of Tatia gyrina!

We will be the first to admit that there are probably not a lot of people keeping this species but it has been coming in to the hobby over the last few years quite regularly. It is likely that most of the imports are coming out of Peru. While the distribution of this species as listed as Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Suriname, it is highly unlikely these are all the same species. This would mean a distribution of several thousands of miles and living in rivers that do not connect to each other.

The original description of Tatia gyrina comes from Iquitos, Peru (Sarmento-Soares & Martins-Pinheiro 2008).  Specimens from Suriname are stated to be the same species from Peru but we have our doubts. Further DNA testing may shed some light on this intriguing story. Until then, we will assume that the fish from Peru are the original T. gyrina.

The species itself is pretty straight forward for woodcat species. They reach approx. 2 1/4-2 1/2″ and a 10 gallon aquarium outfitted with a sponge filter is all that is needed. Place aquarium sand, driftwood and some small caves in the aquarium and you have the perfect environment for this species. A diet of frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, Daphnia and the occasional feedings of small pellets and flake foods are all that are needed.

Our fish are now several years old and so it was not so surprising with an increase in water changes and feedings that our group produced eggs. The water we use is half tap water and half R/O water. We have shared this previously with you and this gives us a pH under 7.0 with a hardness of just under 100 ppm. Fingers crossed that we can raise these up! Stay tuned for more updated and do not forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! For additional photos of the parent fish, check out our photos on at: Tatia Gyrina Profile

Colombia and Venezuela Rainy Season

We write this post to share news of the Colombia and Venezuela 2018 rainy season. This year marks the worst flooding in over 40 years! Many families have been displaced along such iconic rivers of the Rio Meta, Rio Atabapo, Rio Vita and of course down river on the Rio Orinoco. Over 4,000 people and nearly 1,300 families have been affected. While this number may seem small, many of these families are the same families that fish for our beloved fish species like Altum Angelfish, Panda Uaru, Blue Phantom Plecos and many more!

Our guide and exporter, Hernando Gil, notified our collecting group of the flooding a few weeks ago. It only seemed like the right thing to do to send funds to people of Colombia. So our entire group worked on pooling our money together to send down. Just this week, Hernando received the funds and will be looking to send some much needed supplies.

Colombia is more than just the fish we collect, it is also about the people. With our group heading to Puerto Carreno, where the Rio Meta and the Rio Orinoco meet, it is important to take care of the people that invite us into their great country. We wish we could do more to assist them and we will continue to look for ways to help. Hopefully things return back to normal for the people of Colombia. Until then, we will be thinking about them.

Dates for Colombia 2019 are Set!

The dates for Colombia 2019 are set. We are super excited to be going back. The plan is to head to Puerto Carreno in northeast Colombia along the Venezuela border. There are many fish that come from this region, in particular, Loricariidae. Such notable species include: Peckoltia sp. “L-103”, Panaqulos sp. “L-104”, Hemiancistrus sp. “L-128”, Hypancistrus debilittera L-129, Leporacanthicus sp. “L-326” and a whole bunch of other species that are not regularly imported!

A lot of planning will go into this trip. There is a long list of things to do before we go such as buying gear, buying a new camera (our old water proof camera is now 8 years old!) and preparing new aquariums for new and interesting species. We are also trying to spot a few places to visit in hopes of finding new fish. If you have never been to South America to collect fish, we highly recommend it. It is a beautiful and magical place with so much to offer. But there is still a long wait until we leave.  Until then, please enjoy a video from this year’s trip.

Zebra Pleco Update

Ask and you shall receive! A few of you have asked and we hope we delivered with our recent video on our zebra plecos, Hypancistrus zebra. While we know the video quality could use improving, it still shares a lot of useful information. The tanks themselves are 20 highs outfitted with sponge filters and heaters. The tank decorations are fairly simple and consist of oak leaves, pleco caves and sand.

Weekly water changes of 50% are provided with a mix of half R/O  and tap water. Due to the size of the juvenile plecos, we will need to start twice weekly water changes. Foods for our baby zebras include banana worms, crushed Tetra flake food and New Life Spectrum.

Overall, zebra plecos are not too difficult to raise as long as extremes are avoided. They do require constant food, great water quality and careful observation. Hope everyone enjoys the video!

Leaking 120

This hobby can be a lot of fun but it can also be a lot of work. It can also be frustrating and today was one of those days. Sometime this evening our 120 decided to spring a leak. We feel fortunate to have caught it early. It likely started to leak around 7pm. Based on the below video, you can see how quickly it started leaking.

Our best guess is that it busted a seam. We will likely try to repair but it will take time. The local fish club, the Columbus Area Fish Enthusiasts (CAFE), has their June meeting tomorrow and we our hosting guest speaker Joe Doyle. Shout out to Joe for coming and giving a talk. Joe is a great breeder having won Breeder of the Year for the Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society (GPASI). So be sure to come see Joe at 7:30pm at Sawmill Lanes. Go to for all of the details. In the meantime, check out the video sharing our tank leak. Things happen! All the fish are safe and that is the important thing.

More of Mitu

We continue our views of Mitu, Colombia. Four months after our visit, we wish we could go back! Plans are coming together for our trip next year where we will visit Puerto Carreno in northeast Colombia. There will be many small streams, rivers and maybe even temporary pools to view. We are truly looking forward to our return trip! More to come as things develop.

Just this week, we have had a number of spawns. All the usual species are reproducing including our:  Corydoras duplicareus, Hypancistrus zebra, Hypancistrus sp. “L-333” Porto de Moz, Hypancistrus sp. “L-345”, Krobia xinguensis and now even our Geophagus megasema! If things continue, we will be well set for fall auction and convention season. Fingers crossed! Happy fish keeping everyone!

A Ride Through Mitu, Colombia

Take a ride with us through Mitu, Colombia!  This video shares our first views of the Rio Vaupes and the city of Mitu in the far east of Colombia. Seeing a new river for the first time stirs thought and curiosity of what lies within. This was the start of an epic trip to Colombia. And while there were certainly challenges during the trip, we will always remember our time in the Rio Vaupes area. Hope everyone enjoys the ride through the city of Mitu!

Spring Finally!

Spring seems to finally be in full bloom. May marks the end of the spring auction season and we have been quite busy attending various auctions including the Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Columbus auctions. Unfortunately with how busy work has been plus the auctions, it has left little time to work in the fishroom.

We are however slowly making progress. One of our main focuses right now is to move some fish in order to spreed out the species we plan to work with going forward. Some of those projects include building up future breeding stock for Hypancistrus zebra and Hisonotus aky. Some this has been more successful than others.

We are also working with pretty interesting Ancistrus including Ancistrus sp. Honeycomb, Ancistrus hoplogenys and one of the species we collected on our Colombian trip, Ancistrus sp. “Upper Rio Negro”. The Honeycomb Ancistrus in particular have recently put on a lot of size and we can tell that we already have at least two males and two females. The Ancistrus hoplogenys seems to be a smaller species in general as the largest fish are slightly over 3″ TL. Here too, we can see males and females maturing.

As mentioned, our other main focus is going to be working with fish that we collected in Colombia including a very nice Ancistrus with horizontal lines that we are calling, Royal Bristlenose Plecos. We shared some details about this species in a previous blog. Here again, we have both sexes but feel that we are still probably a year out before any males will be mature enough. Meanwhile, we have a rather large female that is around 5″ TL that is putting on some weight. Fingers crossed that eventually they spawn!

One other interesting development would have to be that we do in fact have two species of Apistogramma from the Colombia trip. One of which is a known species scientifically described as Apistogramma personata. It is a lovely fish with a yeallow-orange base color with black markings and extensions to the first 5-6 dorsal rays. The other species is very likely new. It is more slender and appears that it may remain smaller. Its base color is also yellowish but with hints of blues, greens and red facial markings.

We recently shuffled all of the above fish around to give them some more space. It should be interesting to see how these develop and we hope that at some point they produce some offspring. So stay tuned for more updates as things develop. Happy fish keeping!