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Contains articles regarding fish and aquariums in the news.

LED Aquarium Lighting – Energy Efficient and Cost Effective

Ecoxotic Cannon LEDWhile LED lighting is still relatively new to aquariums, practical applications of new LED fixtures have shown the effectiveness of this technology for growing plants and corals. But what about cost? It’s common knowledge that LED’s use much less energy than metal halides or compact fluorescents, but did you ever consider their overall longevity and cost advantages they also offer? Well, let’s take a look at the numbers to see how popular lighting types stack up.

Consider this: Read More »

Interesting Environmental Adaptations Developed in Some Aquatic Animals

Pillow StarfishThe adaptations developed in the waters of our world are some of the most amazing in existence. From bioluminescence to specialized mouths built to feed on certain foods, the fish and invertebrates living in Earth’s oceans, lakes and streams have some of the most unique traits found anywhere. What is even more interesting is how two life forms that are completely different and unrelated can develop a near identical solution for a problem.

I have always been fascinated by the strange and the odd. From fish that mimic pieces of driftwood like the Chaca chaca to the lobe-finned and air-breathing Polypterus species, I have had the pleasure of keeping many unique fish species. Recently, I received an email from Frank Indiviglio that contained a link to some weird starfish.  After reading it, I immediately saw a parallel to another article that I had read a couple of days earlier about a new fish from Lake Tanganyika. Read More »

The Next “Big” Thing – Maxi-Mini Carpet Anemones

Maxi Mini CarpetReef keepers know that the hobby goes through phases in regards to “hot” species on the market. Over the past few years we’ve seen trends in acros, montis, polyps and acans, just to name a few. Reefers can’t seem to get enough…crazy colors, one-of-a kind patterns, endemic color variants. The next big thing for reef enthusiasts may not be a coral, but and anemone – Stichodactyla tapesum, the miniature carpet anemone. 

Affectionately referred to as “Maxi Minis” these little guys are related to the much larger true carpet anemones that have been popular for decades. Maxi-mini carpet anemones have recently grown in popularity. Unlike true carpets that can grow to a massive diameter (more than 18 inches across), they only reach a size of about 4-6 inches in diameter. The are found in the rich tropical waters from east coast of Africa across the Indo-Pacific to the Great Barrier Reef and southern Japan. They occur in a wide variety of vivid patterns, and specimens of every color of the rainbow can be seen in a single colony.  The appeal is easy to see when you witness their beauty and diversity in person.

Besides the general care of these anemones, not much is known about them.  They are hardy and adaptable, easily acclimating to new aquariums. They require good lighting, such as T-5 or LEDs and decent water flow.  Actinic or lunar lighting will enhance their appearance, causing some colors to fluoresce. The more they are fed, the faster they will grow and the better color they will have…we recommend feeding at least three times a week. These little anemones are easy to propogate, and will probably split if given good environmental conditions. 

Maxi Mini CarpetYou can put multiple maxi-minis in a single tank, making for a fantastic color display.  I have not put them in with any corals, but I have read that others have placed them in stocked coral tanks with no problems. Their sting is rather strong, however, and we have not seen clowns approch these anemones as hosts. They are serving as hosts to anemone shrimp and crabs in our holding tanks though! Anemones usually move around the tank until they find a place that they like. The few maxi-minis that we have stayed in one spot for a majority of the time they have been here, and they seem to prefer a hard surface whether rock or glass to attach to. That’s all for now…but, keep an eye out for these eye catching anemones the next time you’re here. They may be your next obsession.

Thanks,

Sam

The Flowerhorn Cichlid, Past and Present – Personal Recollections

Living Legend FlowerhornHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  While new fishes occasionally enter the trade (much to our delight!), it’s not often that an entirely new species is created by breeders.  But that’s exactly what happened in the early 1990’s, when the incredible Flowerhorn Cichlid burst onto the scene.  Since then, “fine-tuning” has resulted in a fish with perhaps the most complicated parentage of any hybrid – 7 to 10 species have contributed their genes!  Read More »

Interesting Fish and Inverts New to That Fish Place

Recently, some new fish and inverts arrived in livestock shipments that we haven’t seen before. I thought I’d take a moment to highlight a couple of the most intriguing.

First up is the Comb Goby (Paratrypauchen microcephalus). There is very little information available on this species of fish, but what we know is that they generally inhabit intertidal lagoons or brackish estuaries in the Indo-West Pacific. They have elongated bodies which helps them burrow down into the mud or sand. When we got these fish in they were fighting each other within minutes of being kept in the same Japanese Bassletstyrofoam acclimation container. They should probably not be kept with each other in a home aquarium, unless the tank is very large and has plenty of space where each individual would be able to set up a territory. They are rather cryptic so far in our tanks, remaining hidden under rocks here in the fishroom.

Another first for us is the Japanese Basslet (Liopropoma collettei). This fish is a small fish that reaches a size of about 2-3 inches. This fish is also cryptic, hiding in rock work and claiming a small area for its own. They can be slightly aggressive with other fish that come into this area, but shouldn’t harm tankmates. It will eat small meaty foods like plankton and krill and may pose a threat to small shrimp like Sexy Shrimp or similar creatures, but will generally leave larger inverts such as cleaner shrimp and arrow crabs alone. The Japanese Basslet has a slender body and an elongate snout used for picking copepods and other small inverts from nooks in the rock. Here in the store the fish hides in a coral ornaments or in the PVC tubes we keep in the tanks. When placed in a home aquarium this fish will most likely keep this shy behavior, only coming out at night to look for food. If kept with smaller less aggressive fish, there is a better chance of it showing itself. It may be an ideal candidate for smaller reefs or nano tanks.

We also received an invert, the Zebra Thorn Crab (Zebrida adamsii), for the second time. These are very interesting little crabs that will live symbiotically in the spines of some urchins. They are very small Zebra Thorn Craband striped with black and white, so they camouflage against their host urchin. Their carapace is a very unique shape and they have specialized hooks on some of their legs which alows them to hold onto the urchin’s spines. At such a small size, usually less than 1 inch, they are also a great candidate for a nano tank where they can be more easily found and observed. These crabs will eat small meaty foods such as brine or mysis shrimp, but have been known to occasionally eat soft coral tissue and polyps, so beware if placing in a reef. We have the crab housed with an urchin, and we have yet to see it leave the urchin’s spines. It seems pretty secure and does not hide when a hand is placed in the tank.

Stop in and check out our interesting new critters! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to take one home to your own tank!