Destructive Blast Fishing in the Indo-Pacific

At this point, most people are aware of how important the coral reefs are to the world’s oceans and the world itself. With this knowledge, you would think that we would show more respect to this fragile environment. However, this is not the case, specifically in the Indo-Pacific region. This area is infamous for their destructive fishing techniques, using cyanide and dynamite to collect stunned fish. The use of cyanide has been banned for quite sometime, but is still being used by some to collect fish for the aquarium hobby. Cyanide fishing can damage or kill corals that are exposed during the catching process, not to mention that the fish that it was intended will most likely die days or weeks down the road. Blast fishing is just as bad if not worse, a battle that has been fought for decades. Read More »

Longfins and Devilfish – Elusive and Fascinating Roundheads

Power's RoundheadEvery now and then, we find a new fish or invert that jumps its way to the top of our wish lists. My new favorites? The Roundheads aka Longfins, Marine Bettas, Prettyfins, Comets, Devilfish,  Spiny Basslets – fish from the family Plesiopsidae.

There are a few genera in this family that you may see in fish stores and aquariums. The most well-known (although still far from common) are the Assessors – the Yellow Devilfish (Assessor flavissimus) and the Blue Devilfish (Assessor macneilli). Wild-caught Assessors are still few and far between, but tankraised fish are slowly starting to become more common. Longfins, genus Plesiops are also becoming more common. The three you’re most likely to see are the Yellow AssessorCrimsontip Longfin (Plesiops coeruleolineatus), Northern Devilfish (Plesiops corallicola) and the Sharp-nosed Longfin (Plesiops oxycephalus). A few other fish from the Plesiopsidae family show up every now and then as well, like the Power’s Roundhead Grouper (Paraplesiops poweri) and the more well-known Marine Betta or Comet (Calloplesiops altivelis). Read More »

Feeding your Koi and Pond Fish – Simplifying Seasonal Dietary Requirements

There are so many food formulas and brands of pond fish foods on the market today that it can be daunting for a pond hobbyist to make any sense out of the mix. What and when should I feed my Koi? Why can’t I feed the same staple food year round?  What are the differences in the formulas?  These are all common questions, and just a sampling of those we answer each day at That Fish Place. 

Anyone with koi and other pond fish knows that they aren’t generally picky eaters.  As soon as the ice melts they flock to the surface, looking ravenous after the long winter. But just because they will eat doesn’t mean that it should be fed or be fed what you are feeding. Unless you live in a temperate area or you keep your pond heated during cold months (above 50F) it is vital to their health and appearance that they be provided with appropriate nutrition for each season. Commercial food formulas are developed with seasonal changes in growth, metabolism and other biological activities in mind.  Lots of things go on in the body of a pond fish as the seasons change – all of which have to be considered when you purchase food. Read More »

Extreme Underwater Activities – Things You Never Knew Folks Did Underwater

I spend a few minutes each day looking for news and other information that might be of interest to blog readers and hobbyists. While perusing one of my favorite websites, Underwatertimes.com. While it was a slow day in respects to fish and aquarium related news, I did come across an entertaining article about a group of Florida Keys Divers who are attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for extreme underwater ironing.  That’s right, extreme underwater ironing. I am not sure what is more interesting, the fact that there is such a thing, or that there is a Guinness record for it.  All you need to know about the sport is on the Extreme Ironing Bureau website, “Welcome to the home of extreme ironing – the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt”.  Man, I thought fish geeks were a weird bunch.

I love being on and in the water, diving, snorkling, and watching what goes on down there with fish and other reef inhabitants, but I’ve never come across anyone pressing their laundry! This got me to wondering what other weird underwater activities have I missed out on, and all I can say is WOW.  Here’s some of what I found:

Underwater Hairdressing –  David Rae recently set the Guinness record for underwater hairdressing, cutting 33 peoples hair in one hour, in 3 meters of water.

Underwater Juggling – Hannes “kann es” Neumann from Hannover, Germany owns the record for underwater juggling, in 2009 Hannes juggled underwater for 49 minutes, 53 seconds.

Underwater Tic-Tac-Toe –  Divers in Melbourne, Australia set out to break the record for consecutive hours of underwater tic-tac-toe playing of 24 hours.  The goal of the diving crew was to play for 36 hours strait.

Underwater Hockey – who needs ice to play hockey?  Yes it is serious, very, very serious.  For more information click here.

Underwater Pumpkin Carving – right here in our neck of the woods, the York Divers held an underwater pumpkin carving contest in 2009 to celebrate thanksgiving.

Underwater Mail Service – the tiny South Pacific Island paradise of Vanuatu, has what they claim to be the only underwater post office.  Located 9 feet 10 inches underwater, patrons can snorkel or scuba dive to the fiberglass hut on the seafloor to purchase and mail waterproof postcards!

Maybe people have a bit too much time on their hands…Thank God for the internet, so they can share their fun with us.

Until next blog,

Dave