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SEASMART – The New Look of Sustainability

Anemone and clownfishNearly a month ago, I was able to represent That Fish Place for MACNA in Orlando, Florida. MACNA (Marine Aquarium Conference of North America), is one of the oldest and largest marine aquarium conferences in North America. Each year you will find new/advanced technology in the hobby, new companies, and of course, livestock. This year was all about LED technology, which seems to be the future of lighting in the hobby.

Amongst the chatter of LEDs was the talk of Papua New Guinea and the SEASMART program. Last year in Atlantic City, SEASMART attended MACNA in the attempt to raise awareness for the need to collect livestock sustainably with an all new approach. Dan Navin, a close friend of mine collected some information on the program while we were there. He made a side trip to Papua New Guinea while vacationing in Australia to check out the operation, a few weeks later. Needless to say he liked what he saw, and is now the SEASMART MAR (Mariculture, Aquaculture, Restoration) Division Manager. Read More »

Done With Dovii, On to the Next Cichlid Breeding Venture – Cuban Cichlids

Jose’s Male DoviiSo since my last blog, my male Wolf Cichlid has done it again. Another disasterous fit of rage or passion, but this time though he decided to kill his mate. The female that produced more than a couple thousand babies in the short three years that she was mine is dead. I wish I knew what was going through his fishy mind, because he was as brutal as OJ during his jealous tirade (ooops, just kidding, we all know OJ is innocent). Like OJ, my mean male has managed to avoid capital punishment, banished to a holding tank at TFP before he can be re-homed to some other lucky (or unlucky) cichlid enthusiast.

So, now I have to figure what I should try to breed next! Several things came to mind immediately; Grammodes I’ve already bred, Argentia I’ve kept but never bred, and then there were the  the Cuban Cichlids (Nandopsis tetracanthus). These medium-sized, powerhouse fish attain lenghts of up to 14 inches. They are very striking fish, both male and female are monochromatic, that is, they both sport a black and white pattern.

I was able to trade my rotten male dovii on 4 1.5 inch fish. They all went into the 40 breeder and have so far adapted really well, they were already eating an hour after being put into their new home. The following day I did a head count and was glad to see all four fish still kicking, as everything I’ve read says they are highly aggressive towards each other. Let me tell you it is so true!
They have set up the pecking order already, though they haven’t inflicted too much damage on each other yet. To break up the tension in the tank, I also introduced a Chromidotilapia sp. individual from West Africa. The little Cubans quickly went over to check out the new fish, but the dominant male was smart not to attack, since it was 2.5 times
his size. By the looks of things (if I go by size) I may have two pairs!

They feed very well. The dominant male will pig out so much his belly distends, almost to the point that I have to be careful to limit his intake…he sometimes looks as if he’s about to explode. My bet is that he will grow very quickly. These guys take everything from flakes to sinking pellets, as they get larger I will also feed them nightcrawlers and red worms. I wish that Dovii hadn’t killed his mate…he is a beautiful boy, but I couldn’t stand to look at hm after that carnage. It happens when you keep these crazy fish. So I’m hoping to have my first batch of Cuban Cichlid eggs in about 6 months from now…until then wish me luck!

Look forward to updating you on the situation!

Jose

Fishing and Fish Conservation – Not Mutually Exclusive!

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Many aquarists, myself included, enjoy fishing from time to time.  I come home from each fishing trip with new insights and observations…and some of my most interesting aquarium pets have been native species taken by net or hook while angling.  But in these times of plummeting fresh water and marine fish populations, one cannot help but question the ethics of recreational fishing.  Well, fear not – there are many ways that responsible anglers can continue fishing and support conservation in the process. Read More »

Keeping Our Fingers Crossed For the Gulf

Oli Spill Clean-upGiven the sad comedy of errors that have occurred on the BP Deep Water Horizon drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico, a lot of people will have their collective fingers crossed this week, as the project for the permanent cap to the damaged well gets under way.  I don’t think that there is need to rehash all of the events leading up to this point, everyone directly affected by this disaster is fully aware of what has happened.  The New York times a great website detailing the repair efforts if you are interested. Read More »

The Ruby Green Haplochromis – a Victorian Gem

Hey folks, I wanted to do a real quick entry about a beautiful Lake Victorian cichlid called the Ruby Green (Haplochromis sp. “Ruby Green”). I kept my first pair of Ruby Greens when they first appeared in the hobby, I’m always on the lookout for species that aren’t “mainstream” or kept by a lot of hobbyists. These beauties fit the bill, and with their natural habitat dwindling, it’s a matter of conservation. Serious hobbists play a role in prolonging these and many other species by captive breeding and keeping lines pure. Read More »