impor t repor t
This is the concluding report on fishes collected and imported by Rare Fish and me in expeditions to the vast lands of China that occurred in 2009 and 2010. It is my hope that you have enjoyed this glimpse of these seldom to never-before-seen aquarium fishes. I would like to thank Wesley Wong of Rare Fish for his knowledge and assistance
on the predatory fishes of the genera Siniperca and Coreoperca.
Amur Sucker Sarcocheilichthys sinensis
Purple Butterfly Loach Pseudogastromyzon cf. laticeps
The genus Pseudogastromyzon includes a group of highly evolved fish that are perfectly adapted to crisp, flowing mountain streams. Frequently these loaches are found in water with such strong
currents that few other fishes share their habitat. Being that these
curious species live in such unique environments, the hobbyist who
wishes to keep them must install special equipment to replicate their
habitat. These fish require water of excellent quality. They need water
that is saturated with oxygen and is fast moving, just like the natural
pull of a flowing stream. Furnish their aquaria with sand and plenty of
river stones and pebbles.
Strong lighting to promote algae growth is preferred in an aquarium
containing Pseudogastromyzon spp. Their diet consists of algae and
small invertebrates. Sinking algae wafers, pellets, and granules are
eagerly accepted, as are the whole gamut of small frozen and flake foods.
Male Pseudogastromyzon will hollow out caves under river stones and
pebbles in which to spawn. Many species of hillstream loaches have
been bred in captivity. Usually young suddenly appear with spawning
having gone unnoticed.
One beautiful little loach, the purple butterfly loach Pseudogastromyzon
cf. laticeps, hails from the Lianhua Mountains in Haifeng County,
Guangdong Province. The males develop magnificent, shimmering
purple fins upon maturity in this rather peaceable species. Younger
males will have maroon fins while the females lack any color in the fins.
The top size of the purple butterfly is about 3 inches.
The Amur sucker Sarcocheilichthys sinensis is a wonderful resident in the community aquarium. It goes by a whole host of common names including Amur sucker, tiger shark,
and oily gudgeon. Considering its remote habitat of the Amur
Basin to North Korea, it is surprising that these cyprinids are
seen in the aquarium trade as often as they are. This cold-tolerant species grows to a maximum size of 11 inches.
These fish should
be kept in schools in
the home aquarium.
They are always seen
This makes them
wonderful dither fish
for Chinese gobies or
Siniperca spp., as they
active at the front of
the tank. While active,
their movement is
not frantic, and this
constant activity in
the middle to upper
Stan Sung has collected fish worldwide,
non-stop since 1988. His love of tropical
fish, photography, and exploration
has brought him from the oases of
Morocco to the jungles of Malaysia. He’s
particularly interested in wild fish from
South America and Asia, and keeps a
finger on the pulse of the aquarium-fish industry through relationships
with Southern California suppliers
like Poseidon Aquatics and Southland
Aquatics, as well as collectors and
exporters in South America, Australia,
Central America, and Asia.
photographs by the author except as noted
water column seems to put many of the more reclusive species at ease.
Their coloration varies from dark chocolate brown to gold or orange
with dark banding. Some specimens have a unique mottled appearance
that makes them look like they have been attacked and are missing
scales. This very peaceful species will be a joy to keep in any pond
or coldwater aquarium. All foods are accepted. Very little is known
regarding the breeding habits of this fish. It is possible that Amur
suckers spawn via freshwater mussels, as there have been reports of
young Amur suckers being found in ponds containing mussels.