Fast facts on Cochliodon hondae
FOREWORD: you’ll find this “Fast Fact Sheet” not that fast (or short) but you have to consider that this fish is sort ot “UFO” (read it as Unidentified Fish Object!) to me. Therefore I felt the need to add a bit more of information. Let’s go, then, in detail …
Biotope: This is likely one of the few "guaranteed" information I happen to have on this fish: it has been caught my myself and other members of the Amazon River expedition I took part in, at Cocha of Yanashi (Cocha = Lake) in the Rio Orosa related body of water in Peru (Amazon Basin). It was August 1st 2000, a day hard to forget, believe me!
Tank: Its first tank (where the fish was conditioned once back at home) has been an 125 lt (about 33 US gal). Tank mates were always fish coming from the same area. As a matter of fact collection has been great during this trip. It is currently hosted in a 360 lt (about 98 US Gals) Amazon tank. Since this fish has proved to be utterly nocturnal and shy I’ll have to get a separate on/off switch for the lamps in its tank and exchange of one of the two white lamps with an actinic one to achieve a more gradual / softer turn on/off of lamps and a dimmer environment.
· REMARKS: This fish, that has been tentatively "labelled" as above (from our expedition-leader and local peoples), is supposed to be an adult specimem. Of course I can neither deny nor confirm the exact identification of the fish. Should I, for any reason, get more information on the matter I’ll update this sheet.
Water chemistry: Strange as it may seen we found a pH of 7.0 (see my article on the peruvian trip for more info). Anyway, at the beginning I used some peat extract in its tank: it brings the pH of the water to a neutral value and turns it quite brownish, too. Not that nice (to say so) to look at - but my fish's well being always comes first! After almost a year the fish is used to a much clearer water (of suitable chemistry to the best of my knowledge) and seem to thrive. However, it is still awfully shy!
· NOTE: you have to keep into account that at the point this particular fish was collected, if you dip your feet in the water till the anckles you’ll NOT see your toes!
Spawning: Of course there is no chance to accomplish that with a single specimen (and I regret it)! Even though, compared to our beloved malawians, spawning a loriicarid is not that easy (with the possible exception of members of the Ancistrinae group as far as I know). I’m trying to achieve that in another tank but this is a another plan; no result till now …(in case you were wondering)
Food: We came been back (in Italy) from Peru on August 9th 2000. Since that date I’ve NEVER seen him feeding in any way! Since a fish cannot starve itself for such a long period I’ll, simply, mention the supplied food: fresh vegetables, sinking tablets and wafers, flakes and pellets. Since he is (is it a male?) doing well then this is not (a real) problem. In order to satisfy my curiosity I would just like to know what this fish really likes to eat !
Tank Mates: a large number of Amazon fishes such as: Pterophyllum scalare (angelfishes); Apistogramma agassizi (from Paucarillo creek); Hypessobrycon socolofi (Bleeding heart Tetra), Corydoras, other loriicarids, Rineloricaria sp., Amblydoras hanckoki (Talking catfish) without any detectable problems till now (cross your fingers for the future). Many of the fish mentioned before are still sharing the same tank with it.
· NOTE: Only “odd” thing I’ve to mention is the fact this fish came from the Amazon along with a similar specimen. About two/three weeks later – when conditioning was supposed to be over with no troubles for both of them – I found the other one dead (to my deep sorrow!) with no signs of having been bullied. I still don't know if this was a result of settling “territorial matters” or an undetected illness. For the sake of truth I have to add most loriicarids are territorial against conspecifics in their own way, which includes far more aggression that even African cichlids are able to show.