We were able to import one of the most curious species of freshwater puffer fish: Pao baileyi
. This species occurs in the rapids of the river Mekong in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia and has been discovered only in 1985. The species attains a maximum length of about 12-15 cm. The strange beard that is developed in some specimens is most probably only sometimes a feature that can be used to sex the fish. There do exist beardless animals that seem to be males (according to the overall proportions) and there are sometimes animals with a small beard that seem to be females. It is only rarely as easy to sex the fishes as it seems from some of our pictures. Anyway, the species is highly variable in respect of coloration, too, not only in respect of the beard.
This variability is connected with the unique lifestyle of the fish. They imitate stones! The puffer sucks with its belly to the ground. Now the function of the beard becomes obvious: this beard imitates algae growing on a stone! If a fish or a shrimp comes along and tries to feed Aufwuchs or algae from the surface of that "stone", it becomes prey of the puffer fish. So a comparably bad swimmer like a puffer fish can survive in the strong current of rapids with a minimum of energy.
Pao baileyi is very aggressive against conspecifics. So one should keep these puffers solitary and put pairs together only for breeding purposes. The hardness and pH of the water is of no meaning, but this puffer needs clean, oxygen-rich water.
For our customers: the animals have code 461254 on our stock list. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in limited numbers only!