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Sandelia At Wildwoods


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Jul 16, 2005
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Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England
I was up at Wildwoods last week and they had a batch of tank-bred Sandelia bainsii. These are very rare in the wild, and I have never, ever seen them in the trade, though captive breeding and conservation programs are going on and may help save the things from extinction.

These are subtropical, rather large (~20 cm in captivity) predatory labyrinth fish but not difficult to keep if provided with fast-flowing, oxygen-rich water conditions. Territorial, aggressive towards its own kind, and predatory towards smaller fish. Bizarrely perhaps given its temperament, it is threatened by alien fish species such as bass that out-compete this species for food and living space. Juveniles are fairly nondescript silvery-brown fish, but adults are quite handsome dark grey-green with, sometimes, vertical bands on the flanks. Fish for the connoisseur to be sure, but if you're into oddball fish and rarities, definitely worth stopping by Wildwoods to take a peek.

Cheers, Neale


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