L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

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L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by shortykilogyrl » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:07 pm

I am setting up a Rio Xingu biotype for 3 zebra plecos and I'm looking for ideas as well as researching for mid to top dwelling fish that stay under 3". Does anyone have any ideas?? I would greatly appreciate it!

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by TwoTankAmin » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:41 pm

If you want to recreate the actual conditions where zebras live, the answer would be none. Most would be washed downstream. And then there is the depth at which zebras live. No light to speak of down there, so no live plants nor algae. And finally there is the temperature, which is too warm for many fish.

That said. If you want a tank with zebras which you may rarely see, perhaps rummy nose tetras would work. They can take it warm. Maybe there are some others. Check on some rasboras as well to see if any of them work in zebra temps. I would leave the zebras as the lone bottom dwellers.

I am assuming since the 3 zebras will cost you more than everything else that goes in the tank combined that you are setting the parameters to be best for them.

In terms of doing a zebra set-up, there is a two part article on this site at Shane's World-
http://www.planetcatfish.com/shanesworl ... cle_id=387
http://www.planetcatfish.com/shanesworl ... cle_id=400
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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by shortykilogyrl » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:22 am

That's what I have been learning recently. I 100% plan on leaving the zebras as the sole substrate fish. I am only looking to add fish to the mid and top level of the tank. And nothing too boisterous, something calm and peaceful. I do plan on adding a spray bar off a canister filter to create flow in the tank for the zebras. I use RO/DI water and my water comes out with Equilibrium and pH neutral added almost perfect for the zebras :) It's nice being able to adjust as I see fit between each tank as I wish.

Thank you for the ideas for the rasboras or rummy noses. I have read lemon tetra as well work but I am going to research that further :)

Thank you as well for the links I will check them out!

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by racoll » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:59 am

TwoTankAmin wrote:If you want to recreate the actual conditions where zebras live, the answer would be none. Most would be washed downstream. And then there is the depth at which zebras live. No light to speak of down there, so no live plants nor algae.
I am not entirely sure about some of these statements.

Regarding depth, I have seen wild photos of H. zebra in what is clearly sunlit water. I think maybe they have simply been over-exploited in the shallow areas, but I would be happy to be corrected here.

I have never collected H. zebra myself, but the other species of Hypancistrus I have collected (6 species), none have been from the raging torrents people always assume them to come from. Most have been from completely stationary water, and not deep at all (< 1 m). They are not like a Pseudancistrus.

There are many, many fishes that coexist with Hypancistrus, including some you would not expect, such as discus and angelfish. Where the current is a bit stronger, almost ubiquitously you will find lots of anostomids. However, it is rare to find these in the trade.

The majority of the tetras you do find in the trade are sourced from small forest creeks with much cooler water. The tetras you'll find in the bigger rivers tend not to be so colourful, and so are not caught for the trade.

In short, you are very unlikely to be able to find an exact biotope match, but there are species that will do okay. Lemon tetras I seem to remember catching in very warm water, so these might be a good option, but do of course break the biotope ...

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by bekateen » Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:32 am

What about golden tetras? I seem to recall that they do well in warm water. Is that so?

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by shortykilogyrl » Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:09 am

racoll wrote:
TwoTankAmin wrote:If you want to recreate the actual conditions where zebras live, the answer would be none. Most would be washed downstream. And then there is the depth at which zebras live. No light to speak of down there, so no live plants nor algae.
I am not entirely sure about some of these statements.

Regarding depth, I have seen wild photos of H. zebra in what is clearly sunlit water. I think maybe they have simply been over-exploited in the shallow areas, but I would be happy to be corrected here.

I have never collected H. zebra myself, but the other species of Hypancistrus I have collected (6 species), none have been from the raging torrents people always assume them to come from. Most have been from completely stationary water, and not deep at all (< 1 m). They are not like a Pseudancistrus.

There are many, many fishes that coexist with Hypancistrus, including some you would not expect, such as discus and angelfish. Where the current is a bit stronger, almost ubiquitously you will find lots of anostomids. However, it is rare to find these in the trade.

The majority of the tetras you do find in the trade are sourced from small forest creeks with much cooler water. The tetras you'll find in the bigger rivers tend not to be so colourful, and so are not caught for the trade.

In short, you are very unlikely to be able to find an exact biotope match, but there are species that will do okay. Lemon tetras I seem to remember catching in very warm water, so these might be a good option, but do of course break the biotope ...
I have seen many posts of zebra and lemon tetra together. That has definitely been an option.

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by Jools » Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:56 am

My dither of choice is the Harlequin Rasbora.

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by TwoTankAmin » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:03 pm

I am basing what I posted on a presentation I attended a couple of years ago by Hans. He described his experience of diving with locals who were collecting zebras some 10+ years earlier. He wanted to learn how it was done and see where they were found etc. I recounted the conditions as he described them. As to how accurate the descriptions were I cannot say since I have never even been to Brazil. But I tend to to accept this description for other reasons:

1. The over abundance of wild caught males in relation to females supports an inability to find females with ease. The method of capture was described as being one of feeling for fish that are captured not seeing what was being caught and the use of a net or other device.
2. The fact that zebras are collected seasonally because during the rainy season the water is simply too deep and fast flowing to make it possible. If zebras were easily found in shallower waters, there should be no problem with year round collecting.
3. Part of the presentation recounted the other divers discussing where other collectors, sometimes even relatives of those he was with, had been drowned during attempts at collecting. This is not a huge risk in shallower waters. Why would collectors risk death when there was no reason for this?
4. Finally, the reputation of the speaker himself would suggest to me his report was valid.

I would also add a bit of anecdotal evidence. I have raised pleco fry from about 8 different pleco species- all smaller and mostly Hypancistrus. Like many folks I had 100s of bn fry over the years. For the most part I have regularly siphoned fry to get them out of tanks. The first time I tried this with zebras I learned that the fry go in, but they don't come out. Unlike other fry which just fly through the hose into the bucket, almost every zebra fry was able to suck onto the inside of the hose and hang on in the flow there. I learned quickly not to use this method. So now I net them and often have to use an icing spatula to pry them off the glass into he net. For tiny fish they have one heck of stick-to-itivness. They seem especially suited to surviving in strong current.

If all the zebras in shallow waters had been over collected, it would have had to have happened by the very early 2000s since the trip reported occurred then. But this does not jibe with my personal experience in finding wild caught zebras over the years. It was harder to acquire wild caught fish when I got my first ones in 2003 than it was for me to find them in the past few years. This does not support the overfishing the shallows for them forcing collectors to move deeper idea.

I did find one study which might help clarify this issue somewhat, but it is in Portuguese. I could not plug the document into Google translate because it was too large. But I know there is depth data included. Here is the English version of the Abstract that is included:

Ecologia e etnoecologia de Hypancistrus zebra (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) no rio Xingu, Amazônia brasileira
Alany Pedrosa Gonçalves
Belém-PA
2011
The distribution of H. zebra is restricted to a small stretch of the Xingu River, between Gorgulho da Rita and Itaubinha, and does not occur evenly, it depends on the presence of boulders. A total of 283 individuals of H. zebra were visualized in the rocky outcrops of the study area, of which 232 were captured. The lowest average abundance was Gorgulho da Rita, as opposed to the site Jericoá with the greatest abundance. Between periods, there was a greater abundance in dry river and lowest value
for the period of filling. Environmental factors had no significant influence on the abundance of H. zebra. H. zebra is a generalist species, feeding mainly of periphytic algae, debris, plant debris and sponges, while nematodes and millipedes were considered occasional items. Diet composition and abundance of H. zebra showed no significant differences for collection sites, periods of the year and ontogeny. Considering the composition and abundance of the diet, H. zebra can be considered an iliophagousomnivorous, and ability to adapt changes in food availability in the construction of the Hidroeletric Belo Monte. Ornamental trade fishermen demonstrate expert knowledge concerning the distribution and abundance, habitat, feeding, predation and reproduction of the H. zebra, which can be used to optimize work and to facilitate future management
measures. The construction of the Hydroeltric Belo Monte Hydroelectric is a threat to the survival of H. zebra and future studies and monitoring of the species are needed, either as mitigation of impacts, either as to captive breeding as an alternative income coastal communities who depend on fishing on the Xingu river ornamental.
from http://www.ufpa.br/ppgeap/images/storie ... 202011.pdf

They present depth and flow data for the collection points.

And here is page 151 from the Catfish Atlas Vol.1 by Ingo and Hans:
ZebraBookpage.jpg
from http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr= ... er&f=false

I may be off the mark in all this and I am happy to be corrected as I love knowing as much as I can learn about these fish. I would love to hear from people who have been there and have first hand experience.
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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by racoll » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:20 pm

Thanks for digging up that link.

As I suspected, the majority of H. zebra are caught from shallow water of less than 5 m (see Figure 4-5). It seems that due to the extremely high value of these fishes, diving to extreme depths is worth the risks for the small number of extra ones. They are certainly overfished, and I guess this is more pronounced in the shallower areas.

Also makes sense that there are more in the shallow water due to the greater abundance of the algal biofilms on which they feed.

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by 7Pete » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:20 pm

Teleocichla-species are small and interesting fishes which I would consider with H. zebra. They live in same kind of rapids as hypancistrus and most of other plecos. Teleocichla sp. Xingu is suitable for your biotope aquarium.

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by TwoTankAmin » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:51 pm

racoll- you made me put Google translate to the test and I cannot say what I found agrees with what you wrote above.

First, this is what was stated regarding Figura 4-5:
The occurrence of H. zebra at depths ranging from zero to fifty meters, with 97% of respondents stating fishermen's preference sort by shallows. There was a predominance of occurrence in places up to 10 meters, with no record of individuals in places over 15 meters deep (Figure 4-5).
The problem is none of the bars is black and then they have reports for fish collected at depths greater than 20 meters. So I have a problem with making sense of this. It is likely translation issues I would hope. I also do not see how the % information makes sense either. pasted the figure here. When I post if becomes a cory picture, but if i click on it, the figure comes up on another page.)
Figura 4-5.jpg
Here is the translation of the Figure 4-5 caption:
Figure 4-5: H. zebra occurrence depth of the Big Bend of the Xingu River. white bars represent frequency fishermen answers respondents in 2006 (32), bars rachuradas represent the fishermen in 2010 (40) and black bars represent percentage of occurrence of specimens by depth class
I have found references which say the average depth was 5 meters +/- 2m. I look at Figure 2-3 which breaks down the depths by collection location and they are not 2 meters almost anywhere. here is what Google translate gave me for the paragraph above Figure 2-3:
The average depth of the collection sites was 5 ± 2 m, with a minimum of 2 m Weevil Rita, in the dry season, and a maximum of 13 m in Belo Monte, from full. The sites Farm Island and Belo Monte showed the greatest depths medium, Rita of Weevil intermediate value and Jericoá lower value
Doing the math the shallowest depth for collection anywhere at anytime of year would appear to be 3 meters which is almost 10 feet deep. 5 meters is over 16 feet and 13 m is over 40 feet. What is even more interesting in Figure 2-4 is the water velocities listed. the site with the shallowest depths is not the one with the lowest flow rates. Figure 2-5 indicates that the most fish were found at the greater depths. And Figure 2-4 which looks at the information on a seasonal (river level) basis would seem to indicate that the slowest water was not found at the shallower collection locations.

In the general information on page 34 it states this:
Depth (m): the average depth was measured at a distance of 20 meters with an echo sounder (SX HUMMNINBIRD 150) which calculates the distance through time between the emission of a sound pulse and the reception of the same signal after
be reflected by the river bed background. In addition, with the aid of a weight 25 kg tied to a rope and to measure the depth of the site where the vessel used for Fishing was anchored. The average of these two values was used as the depth of the spot.
That 20 meter average works out to about 65 feet deep.

The one last piece of information I have on this subject relative to over collecting is on another site in a sub-forum which is called "Ask Heiko." In early 2010 I got the following answer to a question I had posted:
Q. I would like to know what sort of population levels you observed in 1975 when you first came across the zebras. And then I am curious if you have been back in the past few years and if so how the populations today compare with what you observed in the 70s.
A. Hi,
in 1975 there was no way to observe the entire population in the region, time was to short. But there were many. To my later research, after going back many times, there was no reduction in its population (with other words it was not possible to see any decline whatsoever). But yes, there was a time when the former gold-diggers were heavy after those to collect them in one or two spots by the thousends. Which could have had a effect on it, but there was never ever any proof that this really happened.......
In the meanwhile the smuggeling of L-46 (Hyancistrus zebra) across to Colombia is in full swing, simply because everything what is prohibited on this planet by man, is deemed for extinction. Every animal or plant "protected" will be history, because prices go sky high (Colombians are paying between 80 to 100 US$ Dollare per L-46 and selling for $ 150 to Japan and the rest of the world - daily... I just saw it in December 2009 in Leticia with my own eyes...).
from http://www.plecoworld.org/modules.php?n ... opic&t=449

So I am still at the point where the evidence I see states the fish live "deep" most of the time and tend to be caught there. At least according to Heiko the species was not in danger from over collecting in general although it may have suffered in one location. But let us assume for a minute that during the period fishermen overcollected from the shallowest possible collection points. This might reduce the population levels at such a site. However, if the fish is normally spending much time living at those depths, they should be returning to them in some numbers even when the location has been over collected.

And finally, what about the statement by Ingo and Hans I quoted. I presume if one accepts what you are saying, then we also must assume that they are wrong in what they wrote regarding collection depths. This book was published in Nov. 2005 and must have been based on their experiences that go back some time since writing and publishing this work must have taken some time.

At any rate, I do not mean to sound like I am spoiling for a fight. I merely wish to get to the bottom of this so not only will I, but so will other people who read here, have a reasonable picture of where and how zebras live. So far I am still of the belief that the bulk of zebras appear to spend most of their time at depth and many are also captured there.

The other thing I wonder about is there are a few members on this site who are actually down in Brazil and doing research on the Xingu or who have visited on several occasions. It sure would be great if any of them could contribute to this discussion. Nothing beats first hand knowledge.

This all is about to become moot due to the dam. It will do one of two things. Either it will wipe out zebras entirely or else it will mean they live at dry season depths all year long. The Volta Grande (Big Bend) is about to get a heck of a lot shallower and lower flow. And it would not surprise me if the average temperature also rises as depth usually makes things cooler.
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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by racoll » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:08 pm

As you noticed, Figure 4-5 is not very clear at all, and the bar colours are mislabelled. It is not a translation issue. What you need to look at is the stippled bars, which report the proportion of H. zebra caught at each depth for both years, and add up to 100%. About 65% of the fish were caught from 0-5 m, about 30% from 5-10m, and about 5% from 10-15 m, and none were caught in water deeper than 15 m. The text states "97% dos pescadores entrevistados afirmando a preferência da espécie por locais rasos.", meaning "97% of the interviewed fishermen affirmed that the preference of the species was for shallow areas".

Figure 2-3 provides general information for the topography of the entire river section at the locations selected as fishing spots, but not the exact depths that the fishes were collected at on individual diving trips.
TwoTankAmin wrote:And finally, what about the statement by Ingo and Hans I quoted. I presume if one accepts what you are saying, then we also must assume that they are wrong in what they wrote regarding collection depths.
Their statements are not in strong disagreement with the data. I am sure H. zebra does occur in 20 m of water, it's just that it's less common. And bear in mind that without any equipment to measure the depth, you are trusting the fishermen to report accurately, and also not exaggerate.
TwoTankAmin wrote:And then there is the depth at which zebras live. No light to speak of down there, so no live plants nor algae.
I think this deep water vs. shallow water is a semantic issue. After all, as you say, even 5 m is still pretty deep. Really, what I was trying to disprove, was this initial statement you made. The data show what i suspected to be true, that most H. zebra live in areas with plenty of light, and plenty of algae for them to eat. They are simply not restricted to "the abyss" as most people seem to believe.

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by cjp155 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:40 pm

Very interesting discussion on L046 habitat. I wish that someone could share video of L046 in their natural habitat for everyone to see for themselves what it looks like...

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by racoll » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:10 pm

Jools added an aerial video of the habitat just the other day. Go to Hypancistrus zebra, and it's the last one in the long column of photos.

You may also be interested in joining the iXingu Project Facebook page. It is run by the scientists currently surveying the river, and they have posted probably thousands of photos of the Xingu and its habitats. There is even a current discussion of which biotope correct midwater fishes can be added to a zebra tank.

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by TwoTankAmin » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:38 am

Not even my desire to learn more about zebras will induce me to join FaceBook. If somebody wants to post the essence of what is there, it would be nice. But I understand there is no requirement to do so since it is my choice not to be on FB.
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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by racoll » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:06 am

Not even my desire to learn more about zebras will induce me to join FaceBook. If somebody wants to post the essence of what is there, it would be nice. But I understand there is no requirement to do so since it is my choice not to be on FB.
Indeed. Indeed. It's a real shame that so much good information is locked away and then lost forever in this way. I do get sad when I see really interesting threads on Facebook, and think that in a couple of weeks it will be pretty much inaccessible. Here on the forum anyone can still search for and read forum posts from 10 years ago.

Unfortunately though, this is a common problem everywhere, as the internet becomes walled and "appified", and users are locked into agreements with corporations. It's certainly not in the spirit of the "good old" internet days when PC first started 8-|

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by TwoTankAmin » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:45 am

I agree. Good knowledge belongs where it will last and where it is freely available.
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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by Kasper » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:21 am

Very interesting reading.

Sounds like algae could be a bigger part of their diet than what I expected or maybe something living on/feeding on the algae?

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by shortykilogyrl » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:43 pm

racoll wrote:Jools added an aerial video of the habitat just the other day. Go to Hypancistrus zebra, and it's the last one in the long column of photos.

You may also be interested in joining the iXingu Project Facebook page. It is run by the scientists currently surveying the river, and they have posted probably thousands of photos of the Xingu and its habitats. There is even a current discussion of which biotope correct midwater fishes can be added to a zebra tank.
that is more than likely me on there that asked that question and started the discussion lol :)

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Re: L046 Biotype Small fish ideas

Post by shortykilogyrl » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:47 pm

I will try to copy and post what has been said in the iXingu project page:

Ashley Cardinal
25 February at 17:28
Thank you for the add!
I am in the process of researching for a Rio Xingu biotype tank and would love advice.
I am looking for middle to top dwelling fish that will stay under 2.5" and from the same locations (middle and lower Xingu) as Hypancistrus zebra (L046, true zebra pleco).
If anyone has any suggestions for me to further research that would be great, thanks!
I look forward to learning through this project!
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André Ribeiro Martins likes this.

Mark Sabaj Pérez
I do not keep live fish (only dead ones in jars), but pencil fish are nice top dwellers and species such as Nannostomus unifasciatus and N. eques are common to blackish tributaries to the lower Xingu. In Volta Grande...Brycon aff. pesu is an extremely common midwater fish. also common are various Moenkhausia (M. mikia, M. heikoi, M. collettii, M. cotinho, M. oligolepis, M. xinguensis). cheers!
26 February at 11:07 · Unlike · 1

Ashley Cardinal
Thank you so much! I went through 17 pages of a report and pulled out some to look at and narrowed that list down by what I liked and then by size as to what will fit the tank I have and then I'm going by pH, GH, KH, temp and habitat after that
26 February at 11:23 · Like

Ashley Cardinal
I'm also welcome to other suggestions. I'm researching these ones tonight
26 February at 23:31 · Like

Oliver Lucanus
given the availability, i would select Moenkhausia collettii not much else would be available. Perhaps you could find some other Moenkhausias. While zebra plecos don't live in the strongest flow, the flow you have will not be suited for Nannostomus species. I would get M.collettii or even M.sanctae-filomenae and maybe Inpaichthys kerri (not from Xingu but hardy and similar to Xingu species in appearance) or something like that. A common fish is also Chalcheus, but they would eat baby zebra plecos given a chance.
27 February at 08:03 · Like

Ashley Cardinal
I definitely would know want babies to get eaten. I saw Rivulus sp. are from the same area. However, I can't find anything to pin point which species. Having them would be great. I was hoping for something with brighter colors in it for the mid to top levels since the substrate will be neutral colors.
27 February at 08:12 · Like

Oliver Lucanus
the same area is relative: you can even find angelfish in the "area", but you would never see a Rivulus or an Angelfish in the same habitat as the zebra pleco. So it is not accurate to think they can go together. I think you would be better off to select fishes similar to those that occur in the same habitat, not the same area. Rivulus like standing pools with leaf litter and plants and very shallow water, in an aquarium with water flow, rocks and no surface cover they would not do well, or at least it would be totally unnatural.
27 February at 08:14 · Like

Ashley Cardinal
This project is proving to be difficult because I want to keep it as correct as possible. Finding good information that I can research from and a fish that is available is proving difficult
27 February at 08:17 · Like

Ashley Cardinal
So far Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis seems to be popular in Rio Xingu biotypes which would be alright. Inpaichthys kerri are nice looking and would work, but shys away for the correct biotype too. So frustrating! lol
27 February at 08:23 · Like

Oliver Lucanus
the nature of the zebra habitat with big boulders in a large river simply means you have few small fishes that are not cryptic. They can not survive in that habitat. The Brycon Mark mentioned (i have it here) is fantastic, but certainly would eat baby zebras, as would Chalcheus macrolepidiotus. I think you are really limited to just the Moenkhausias, none of which are available with the exception of M.collettii which is one of the fishes found everywhere. You can usually find them mixed into rummy nose or cardinal tetra shipments from Colombia. You could also add some of the nondescript Hyphessobrycon-like tetras you see mixed into other tetras, they also exist in Xingu. This is a pic from the Xingu. One more fish you could add, and also find easily (albeit not from XIngu) is Characidium spp. They would not be in the open water, but perfectly fine with the current and rocky habitat. H.pulchripinnis is in the Xingu, but not in the zebra pleco habitat, it is not a fast water main river fish, it would fit better with the Rivulus in a planted tank.
Image
27 February at 08:27 · Edited · Unlike · 1

Ashley Cardinal
I would LOVE to stick a school of neon's or cardinals in there and call it good but I have never done a biotype set up and thought if I'm going to put the money forth for L046 I might as well try and do it right lol
27 February at 08:28 · Like

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