by Chuck Nishihira
This widespread species was the first african characin that I kept. When I was in elementary school, an old chinese lady a few blocks away kept these tiny fish, and through her I received a few. I don’t remember thinking that they were very pretty, but they still seemed exotic to me as they darted around and bred in their gallon sized mayonnaise bottles! Decades later, I was fortunate enough to come across this absolutely beautiful form south of Fougamou, Gabon. They lived along the edges of the rivers, deep among the roots and plants in very shallow water. Certainly, the large Phenacogrammus gabonicus in the same stream kept them from venturing into the deeper water.