Observing Piranhas in the Wild (Not What You’ll See in Piranha 3D) Part 2

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  In Part 1 of this article I wrote about some of my experiences with Red-Bellied Piranhas in the wild, and examined some of the myths and realities surrounding their fearsome reputations. 

Bird-Eating Piranhas

Jabiru StorkPiranhas living near wading bird rookeries (colonial nesting areas) are often more aggressive than those dwelling in other habitats.  It seems that young birds frequently fall from their nests to the water below (the nests are usually located in trees growing in water), and Piranhas (and Spectacled Caiman) have learned to cash in.  Red-Bellied Piranhas living near rookeries are said to be particularly aggressive and will hit just anything that lands on the water’s surface.  Read More »

Schools Aren’t Just For Kids – Schooling Fish for your Aquarium

School of SnappersIt is back to school time for most of America’s children. Backpacks, bright yellow buses, and droves of children gathered on street corners to be carted off to fall classes. Our children gather in schools to learn. Meanwhile, around the globe, millions of fish gather in schools for other reasons. Not big brick building schools, but large, synchronized groups – a fascinating behavior known as “schooling.”   Read More »

Customer Appreciation Event 2010 and Fall Frag Swap

We have combined two of our most popular events; our annual Customer Appreciation Sale, and our NCPARS/TFP frag swap into one weekend. We may be crazy, but that is the way we like it around here. The event weekend is October 2nd and 3rd, the frag swap will be held on saturday October 2nd from 11-5 here in the store, with the same setup as our two past winter frag events.

The Customer Appreciation event is free, and access to all the manufacturers and event sales are open to everyone. The Frag Swap is admission only, $5 dollars for NCPARS members, $10 for non members. All proceeds benefit NCPARS (North Central Pennsylvania Aquarium and Reef Society), a local non-profit aquarium club. There will be hundreds, if not thousands, of frags available inside the swap, and all TFP livestock will be 25% off the entire weekend. For more information and to pre-register for the event visit NCPARS, and check out some of the amazing frags available. You can pre-arrange trades, or browse at the event. pre-registration is not required, you can pay at the event if you just want to show up.

Come on out and join the fun, it is going to be huge!!!!!

Kids and Aquariums – Safely Fostering a Lifelong Addiction

common goldfishOne of my first ever experiences with fishkeeping was with a goldfish won at a carnival – I thought it looked hungry and dumped an entire container of fishfood into the bowl. At a recent family picnic, I found a pretzel in the top of my small freshwater system courtesy of my four-year-old nephew and after a lesson on not feeding Aunt Eileen’s fish when she isn’t in the room, we all realized that the cycle is truly continuing (especially since that particular nephew loves to check my aquarium maintenance skills and point out all of the spots of algae I missed). I can’t wait until he has long enough arms for me to put an algae scrubber in his hand.

So how do we keep the aquarium hobby fun and safe while turning our little “helpers” into future aquarists? Here are a few tips that I’ve come across while working at That Fish Place, in my prior naturalist experience at a South Carolina state park, and with my own two nephews: Read More »

Observing Piranhas in the Wild (Not What You’ll See in Piranha 3D!) Part 1

Piranha woundHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  With the movie Piranha 3D in theaters, I though now might be a good time to write a bit about how wild Red-Bellied Piranhas (Pycocentrus nattereri) actually behave.  Unfortunately, no matter how outlandish the movie may be, there are people who will retain what they see and regard it as fact.  I still recall that, for months after the movie Anaconda premiered, I was deluged with calls from viewers spouting the strangest “facts” (I was working at the Bronx Zoo at the time…management had been approached by the movie’s production company, but had declined to become involved).  Read More »