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Sewellia sp. "spotted"

by Martin Thoene last modified Oct 27, 2007 11:19 AM


Scientific Name: Probably undescribed, but currently known as Sewellia sp. 'spotted'

Common name: Spotted Sewellia, Sewellia 'special' (in exporter's lists).

Synonyms: Unknown - some Vietnamese suppliers have recently erroneously listed them as Beaufortia leveretti.

Distribution: Vietnam.

Sexual Dimorphism: Females thought to be plumper than the males. Particularly when viewed from below, the males are narrower and have different fin profiles.

Maximum size: Approximately 3.25 inches (8cm)

Similar to: Other Sewellia species. See: Sewellia lineolata.

Sewellia sp. "spotted"Care: The habitat of these recently imported fish (summer 2006) is said to overlap with that of Sewellia lineolata which inhabit boulder-strewn rapid-flowing streams. The home aquarium must duplicate these conditions as these fish have very high oxygen requirements.

With all sucker-type Hillstream species, care is broadly the same. All need excellent water-flow and aeration, numerous rocky hiding places and smooth pebbles/cobbles and boulders to graze over. Lighting should be bright to encourage algal growth in the aquarium. Plants are not necessary as the fish do not normally encounter them in the wild, but they will help with water-quality. Suitable plants for high-flow environments are Anubias and Microsorium. These will grow on rockwork or driftwood.

See Hillstream Loaches: Specialists at Life in the Fast Lane for a more detailed explanation.

Feeding: Note these fish have smaller mouths than Gastromyzon species which should be a consideration with foodstuffs. Sinking catfish pellets, algae wafers, thawed frozen mosquito larvae, brineshrimp, Daphnia etc, plus cucumber and blanched spinach, kale, natural algae an advantage with the micro-organisms it may contain.

Water parameters: pH: 6.5 - 7.5. Hardness: Soft-medium. Max dh: 12

Temperature: 68ºF to 77ºF (20-25°C)

Breeding: See: This article

Sewellia have small mouths


Sewellia sp. "spotted" - SexingFrom observations so far, these fish are slightly more reclusive than Sewellia lineolata, preferring shadier areas in the aquarium. They seem to co-habit well with other species, although you can expect minor scuffles between themselves and other sucker-belly type Hillstream Loach species. Very active after lights out, which means that a blue moon tube will serve you well for observation purposes.

This species is slightly broader than S. lineolata, and it has a pink underside (vs the white underside of S. lineolata).

Sexing is relatively easy. it has been noted that the front leading edge of the pectoral fin in the male has a more acute angle to the body. Males also develop raised "fences" on top of the first few rays of the pectoral fins, as in S. lineolata.

Sewellia species, like most Sucker-bodied hillstreams will engage in territorial disputes. These take the form of rushed, threat type attacks, or may progress into sometimes lengthy battles.

As shown in these pictures, sand will fly as the two fish struggle against one another like two wrestlers. Sewellia seem unique in the belly-to-belly actions of their fighting methods.

Most Hillstream Loaches only resort to "topping" one another by endeavouring to jump onto the other fish as a sign of dominance.

Sewellia sp. "spotted"
Sewellia sp. "spotted" fighting
 Sewellia sp. "spotted"

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