The two-part scientific naming system has been around ever since Carl Linnaeus first set the groundwork for it in the 1700’s. That “Genus species” system hasn’t changed a whole lot since then, but actually assigning a species a “new” name or classifying it as an already-described species can be a long and often confusing process. Is it a new species? Is it a different life stage of species X? What about geographical variations? Or natural variations? Or genetic mutations? Read More »
Aquarium fish need three basic things to keep them happy and healthy in a captive environment: clean water, consistent temperature, and proper food. The first two things are generally easy to provide with regular maintenance and reliable equipment, but it seems something as simple as feeding some fish can be rather difficult at times. What to feed, how to feed, and how much or often to feed can vary by species. Even if you know the answers to these questions, there are some species of fish out there that will not eat the food you offer. After years of working directly with this issue, I have come up with a few tricks to get stubborn fish to eat. Read More »
Whether you have a freshwater or saltwater aquarium, rising temperatures in the summer time can be a cause of concern. Aquariums shouldn’t be allowed to get hotter than 83°F, or dissolved oxygen levels in the water will start to diminish. This triggers a competition between fish and invertebrates for oxygen leading to a very stressful situation, and possibly even death, for your aquarium inhabitants. Detailed below are some tips to help keep your aquarium cool when temperatures rise. Read More »
Once upon a time you set up your first aquarium. You can remember the excitement of getting it all together, arranging everything perfectly, and introducing your first fish and plants. Chances are you also remember the disappointment and frustration when something in the tank just didn’t thrive the way you wanted it to. In many cases, beginner aquarists struggle with keeping live plants looking as good as they did in the store, but the speedy decline of pet store plants may not be due to your black thumb. While most plants offered in the aquarium trade are true aquatic plants, other plants simply aren’t meant for fully aquatic environments, waning and falling apart in the aquarium within days or weeks. Read More »
The 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 »