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 a handful of new very similar types around, all found in areas traditionally visited by Discus collectors. These are H.sp.“Nhamundá” (L475), H.sp.“Madeira”, H.sp.“Uatumá”(L500), H.sp.“Trombetas” and H.sp.“Padauari”(L499). 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. H.sp.“Madeira” seems to have a more contrast rich colouration than the others. Interestingly, several of these 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 any of these types actually come from the areas their names suggest except for H.sp.L475 which has been confirmed from Nhamundá by habitat pictures. It's a well-known fact that collectors often present false locations for new fish to avoid competition. H.sp.“Padauari” (L499) was brought to Norway only very recently, after having first been exported to the UK via France. The French importer who discovered them, claims they come from high up in the Rio Padauari, an affluent to Rio Negro in Brazil. The individuals we have seen so far are only slightly variable in their pattern, with juveniles showing broad, straight vertical lines which become more wavy in adult fish. In a phototank the fish quickly loses the contrast rich colours, making it a challenge to document the true beauty of this species. It’s worth noticing that this species is very similar to the form we have so far called H.sp. “Madeira”, a form we have not been able to determine the true origin of. Perhaps we are dealing with the same form? In the December 2016 issue of DATZ magazine, we presented H.sp.“Padauari” with the number L499.
Name: Hypancistrus sp. L499
Trade names: Hypancistrus sp. “Padauari”, L499
Origin: Rio Padauari, 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 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.