Rineloricaria microlepidogaster, Regan, 1904
Origin: Brazil, in the middle and southeast region. Here the fish occur in fast flowing rivers.
Etymology: micro means small, lepis means scales
Synonyms: Loricaria microlepidogaster
First European import: 1928
Description: See picture
Care: The fish are best kept in tanks that are well filtered and with temperatures in the lower regions, since they require lots of oxygen. Other than that they can be kept in almost any kind of water. A 60 cm tank should be considered the minimum, some hideouts should be available and preferably a sandy soil although that is no requirement. For fully grown fish(20cm!) a meter tank is the minimum, not only because of the size, but also the availability of food(algae).
Feeding:Algae, vegetable matter and flake food(plants and or spirulina), fed in the evening(nightactive fish).
Size:Up to 20 cm
Breeding: Besides proper conditions and well fed animals, a suitable breeding place should be offered. PVC pipes of 3 or 4.5 cm diameter, longer than the fish, can be used for this purpose. Breeding the fish is best done in the community tank. After the female lays the up to 200 1mm eggs, the male will fertilize them and guard them until they hatch(9-12 days). After 7 days, remove the tube from the community tank, during this proces the male will (usually)stay in the tube, and place it in a breeding tank with the same water. It's best to keep the male with the eggs, since he will aid the fry when the try to break through the eggshell. The fry are extremely sensitive to infusoria and deteriorating waterquality. Keep the tank very very clean, and feed lots of small live food and later on algae.
Sexual dimorphism: Males have bristles on the snout.
Picture references: Picture 1: E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)
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