Photo: Haakon Haagensen
HYPANCISTRUS sp. «Uatumá»
In recent years a few new types of Brazilian Hypancistrus have occurred in the hobby. Brazil have of course not allowed these for export, so the availability of such new types is very limited. Still, a few find their way to the eastern and western world. At the moment there seems to be 3 new very similar types around, all found in areas traditionally visited by Discus collectors. These are Hypancistrus sp. “Nhamundá”, Hypancistrus sp. “Madeira” and Hypancistrus sp. “Uatumá”. They are all large, high backed, massive types with big eyes and a brown/yellow/black colouration. The pattern appears to be very variable, but mainly consists of broad dark bands against a tan body. Hypancistrus sp. “Madeira” seems to have a more contrast rich colouration than the other two. Interestingly, all 3 types occur together with very similar looking forms of Peckoltia, and the Peckoltias appear to vastly outnumber the Hypancistrus they share habitat with.
So far we haven’t been able to determine if Hypancistrus sp. “Madeira” and Hypancistrus sp. “Uatumá” actually come from the areas their names suggest, it’s a well-known fact that collectors often present false locations for new fish to avoid competition. Hypancistrus sp. “Nhamundá” has been confirmed to actually come from the waters surrounding the town of Nhaundá. Hypancistrus sp. “Uatumá” was brought to Norway only very recently, and this form was in fact only first brought to my attention by Leandro Sousa during the L-Number Days in Hannover in November 2013 – before this nobody had heard about it. The individuals we have seen so far are very variable in their pattern, and there’s still a lot to learn about their true identity.
Name: Hypancistrus sp. “Uatumá”
Origin: Rio Uatumá (?), Brazil
Maximum size: 15 cm / 6”
As with all Hypancistrus, this species needs an aquarium set up consisting of lots of hiding places in the form of rocks, wood and of course specially made caves that suit their measurements. In these the males will eventually guard their offspring. They prefer water that is fairly warm (27-30 C), soft and slightly acidic. Most of all it should be well oxygenated and clean, so a good filtration system and frequent water changes are essential. It’s a rather small and timid species that should not be exposed to too much competition over food and shelter. Among themselves they are fairly peaceful, although males may quarrel for caves and females can sometimes be badly injured or even killed during the breeding-trapping in the male’s cave.