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 »

What Is It and Why Do I Need It? – Part 2 – Freshwater Aquarium Salt

Many freshwater aquarists use or at least have heard of using salt in their freshwater aquariums, but few seem to know why. Most “read about it somewhere”, “heard it from someone”, or “saw it on the shelf so I must need it”. To some, it may be beneficial but to others it can cause far more harm than good.

What exactly is Aquarium Salt?

Aquarium Salt“Salt” is a very broad chemical term and can refer to an unlimited combination of elements. The salt used in freshwater aquariums is Sodium chloride (NaCl). This is NOT the same thing as what is probably in your kitchen and is NOT the same thing that saltwater aquarists use for their corals and clownfish. The “table salt” used as a condiment is mostly NaCl, true, but most table salt is Iodized Table Salt and contains iodine, de-caking agents, and possibly potassium or other trace elements. The marine salt used in saltwater aquariums is mostly NaCl, also true, but has buffers and other elements like sulfate, magnesium, calcium, potassium and others. All of these extra ingredients can range from unnecessary for to harmful to freshwater aquariums, affecting the biology of freshwater plants and animals directly as well as changing the water chemistry in the tank. For freshwater aquariums, use only salt sold as freshwater Aquarium Salt or pure NaCl like Kosher Salt or Rock Salt. Read More »

Freshwater Barracudas – Predators with a Need for Speed

The word barracuda immediately conjures images of a sleek and powerful fish with a mouthful of dagger-like teeth. While most people associate the name with large, open-water marine predators, it is several different species of freshwater fish also carry this as their common name. The majority of these come from the genus Acestrorhynchus. Read More »

Lungfishes – the Natural History and Care of Prehistoric Fishes – Part 2

African LungfishHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Capable of surviving up to 4 years without food and water and unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs – Lungfish facts read like fiction.   Please see Part 1 of this article for information on the natural history of African, Australian and South American Lungfishes.  Today we’ll review their care in the aquarium.

Lungfishes in the Aquarium

The West African Lungfish (Protopterus annectans annectans) is the species most commonly available in the trade.  It and the other African Lungfishes make excellent captives if you can provide the huge aquariums they require; longevities commonly exceed 30 years. 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