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Vincent has been comprehensive with his top ten….enjoy!


Microgeophagus ramirezi (ram dwarf cichlid)

The Ram's natural Range is Columbia & Western Venezuela, it grows in the wild to around 2.5 inches. The second ray of the dorsal fin is longer on the male fish, although this is sometimes hard to see. When they are in breeding condition the female develops a bright pink belly. They require soft acidic water in which to live and spawn. The eggs are laid on a flat stone or in a depression in the substrate with both parents tending to the eggs and the fry. An excellent choice for a community tank, but will defend their spawning site and young with vigour.


Apistogramma Panduro (dwarf cichlid)

The Panda dwarf cichlid grows comes from Peru and grows to around to around 2 inches, the female is smaller. They prefer a well planted tank, with rock or bogwood caves and sand or fine gravel. They are very peaceful, but they will become territorial when spawning. The larger male has a blue colour sheen and a red-edged tail. Females have a distinctive yellow colouration with black blotches, resulting in the common name of Panda dwarf cichlid. They prefer soft acidic water and can be bred as a pair or a harem with several females holding small territories. Provide caves with a very small entrance. The female normally guards the fry, while the male defends the wider territory.


Zebra Pleco (L046)

The Hypancistrus Zebra is native to Brazil. The only reported habitat being on the riverbed of the Rio Xingu, (pronounced Rio Shin-gu). Unfortunately they command a high price in the trade. There are various theories on successful breeding with dedicated forums on the internet. For me, it always has been remains the ultimate pleco.


Botia macracantha (clown loach)

The Clown loach's natural range is Borneo, Sumatra India, It is the most colourful of all botia loaches, it has 3 black bars, one through its eye, one through its middle and just by the tail,which is red along with the pectoral finns. Sexing the Clown loach is difficult if impossible. In the wild this fish can get about 24" in length, but rarely reaches such a size in a community tank. This fish thrives with its own kind, it loves to shoal and so it is better to keep in groups of 3 or more, with plenty of hiding places.


Colisa lalia (dwarf gourami)

The Dwarf gourami is found in India & grows to around 2 inches. It requires a well planted tank with gentle circulation and some floating plants. It is peaceful, but may become territorial with other gouramies. Males are generally larger, more colourful. Still humid conditions are required to breed these, as the male relies on humidity to sustain his bubblenest. These are beautiful

graceful fish are well suited to a community tank.


Betta splendens (siamese fighting fish)

The Betta splendens comes from the Malay Peninula in Southeast Asia, Over the years it has been selectively bred and now is available in a variety of spectacular colours and finnage forms. Still humid conditions are required to breed these, as the male relies on humidity to sustain his bubblenest. Although they are a very attractive looking species, personally I feel that they are not suited to a community tank.


Puntius Denisonii (red line torpedo barb)

Puntius Denisonii is native to the South Western Coast of India. They have a vivid red line and for this reason they are sometimes referred to as Red-line Torpedo fish. Kept as a group they look very impressive. They grow to approximately 6 inches and are peaceful. An excellent choice for a community tank.


Brachydanio franei (leopard danio)

The Danio belongs to the cyprinid species of fish that are tropical subtropical, they can be found in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa.

The most commonly encountered cyprinids are Barbs, Danios Rasboras. These fish spawn by laying many eggs usually scattering non adhesive eggs. The leopard danio appeals to me mainly because at first glance it appears nothing special, but on closer observation and in good lighting conditions its markings and colour as it flashes through the water just under the surface are nothing less than stunning. Other than that I haven't a clue so go and ask Pete!


Corydoras (catfish)

Corydoras catfish are among my favourite fishes basically because they have so much character, there are approximately 2000 species (probably more now.Ed), with over half of those being found in South America. Most prefer soft acidic water. Sexing these can be done by observing the fish from above, the female is wider at the pectoral fins and the belly is rounder. There are various triggers that can start the spawning cycle, the eggs are often laid on a flat surface. No Aquarium is complete without corydoras.


Paracheirodon axelrodi (cardinal tetra)

The Cardinal tetra comes from northern South America & is similar in appearance to the Neon tetra except that the red belly runs the length of the fish. It requires soft acidic water to breed and the best method appears to be with the use of a spawning mop during the first rays of the sun. A

stunning addition to any community aquarium.