As a kid growing up in fish geek household, I spent a lot of time geeking out over my dad's fish book collection...and one of my faves was Innes' classic, "Exotic Aquarium Fishes." Among the many charming descriptions and tantalizing black-and-white images in the book was the amazing "Sailfin Tetra"- a stunningly different sort of characin! I was hooked immediately!
These amazing fishes are probably the best-known representatives from the family Crenuchidae, or "South American Darters." The genus Crenuchus means "Guardian of The Spring"- which in and of itself is enough to make the serious fish geek take notice! Widely distributed throughout Amazonia, ours hail from the Orinoco region, and are some of the LARGEST specimens (2 inches or so) that we've seen available!
They are commonly found in habitats which are replete with fallen leaves, branches, and other botanical materials, and have habits, like caring for their fry- that are often more reminiscent of cichlids than tetras! Mails have elongated dorsal and anal fins and are quite distinct from the females when they mature, and engage in mock battles with rivals and show off for females. They will often spawn in "caves" comprised of leaves and other botanical materials.
Although somewhat timid in nature when first introduced, in an aquarium with proper decor, they will eventually gain more and more confidence, swimming throughout the aquarium and feeding freely and competitively. They are perfect for a well-conceived biotope aquarium, with a population of peaceful fishes, like small Tetras, Loricarids, and small Apistos. You just need to be a bit patient with them at first...and it's totally worth it!
They'll eat just about anything you feed them, but I've noticed that they have a real fondness for bloodworms, black worms, Daphnia, and brine shrimp. With a little patience, they'll feed freely and color up beautifully! If you are lucky enough to get them to pair off and breed, you'll be rewarded with an amazing display. We offer these gems in groups of 6 specimens, so you can enjoy their interactions and potential spawning behavior!
All in all, once you keep these guys, I'm almost certain you'll fall for their charms and be as enamored with them as we are!
SOURCE: Net-Collected Orinoco
CARE LEVEL: Novice-Intermediate
NATURAL DIET: Small invertebrates, insects, and zooplankton
COMPATIBILITY: Best kept with smaller, more peaceful fishes
MAXIMUM SIZE: Approx. 2.25"
IDEALLY SUITED FOR: Blackwater/clearwater botanical-style aquariums (soft, acidic water is best) aquariums.
NOTE: This photo is for illustrative purposes only. You will be receiving specimens which look similar to the ones shown in our photo, but should expect variations in color.
SHIPPING AND HANDLING FOR LIVESTOCK ORDERS OF ANY SIZE IS $42.00. FREE SHIPPING ON DRYGOODS WHEN PURCHASED WITH LIVESTOCK! (SHIPPED SEPARATELY!)
ALL LIVESTOCK ARE GUARANTEED FOR 14-DAYS FROM THE DATE OF ARRIVAL! SEE OUR "SHIPPING AND HANDLING" SECTION FOR MORE INFORMATION.