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[AGA Member] Re: AGA Member - Digest V1 #97

Aaron Glass wrote:

>> I am trying to identify a fish species that was at a LFS in the Dallas
area that I saw during our AGA convention field trip. I have photos but no
name to go along with it. Does anybody have the name? Click on the link
below for photos of the fish that I took while on the field trip.<<

As Erik and Scott told you they are Puntius denisonii, though the Genus name
is somewhat up in the air. "Puntius" is the Cyprinid equivalent of
"Cichlisoma".  It is a genus that they have put fish into when they haven't
known quite what to do with them.<g>

They are still expensive, but the price is coming down.  Initially, they
didn't ship well, probably because they were wild caught and imported at
full adult size, which ia about half again as long as the ones we saw at the
convention, and fuller bodied.  Now large shipments of very uniformly sized
smaller fish are coming in from Taiwan, which makes me wonder whether
someone is breeding them.

I have had my original 3 for over a year and a half now, and my newer 5 for
6 months.  They have been trouble-free for me once home and acclimated, and
remain just as beautiful even at full adult size.  I learned with my
original group that 3 is not enough.  They don't bother other fish at all,
but are very scrappy among themselves.  You need a good sized herd to spread
their quarrels out.  They are big and fast, so I wouldn't recommend them for
a tank smaller than a 4 foot 70G (that's what mine are in)...a 6 foot tank
would probably be best. Guessing from the early shipping problems, and the
occasional kills I've heard about, I suspect they need a fairly high oxygen
content in the water.

Although they are occasionally listed as "Crossocheilus denisonii", (you'll
see them in the Baensch Atlas that way, although it's a CRUMMY photo) I
haven't seen ANY signs of them eating algae of any kind, though there's not
much algae in their tank, either.  OTOH, unlike many larger barbs, neither
have they bothered even the fine-leaves plants in the tank.  There are at
least two distinct varieties.  One type has a solid red dorsal fin, while
the other has a black spot at the base of the dorsal fin.  My older 3 are
the type with the dorsal spot, while the others are the all red dorsal
variety.  My first thought was that perhaps the black spot developed with
age, but the spot has not appeared on my younger ones, even though they've
grown a lot.  My guess now is that this is a locality variation, as the fish
appear the same in all other ways.  They accept each other as school-mates
without difficulty.  The smaller ones coming in from Taiwan seem to all be
the ones with completely red dorsal fins.  I think that's what we saw in

If you spend much time with them, you quickly see that they have only a
superficial resemblance to SAE's.  They are deeper bodied, but more
laterally compressed, and the mouth is not as down-turned.  Their swimming
pattern is very different... They don't do the "diagonal hang in the water"
thing that is a hall mark characteristic of SAE's.  They also stay in a more
cohesive school than SAE's, even at larger sizes.  They are more
continuously active than SAE's too.  My SAE's, once they are past babyhood,
spend periods just sitting around when they aren't actively foraging.  The
denisonii are on the move most of the time, whether feeding or not.  For
Cyrinids, they are one of the more personable fish, and beg at the glass for
food like a bunch of goldfish.


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