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

Nymphaea lotus (zenkeri) – The Tiger Lotus, a Beast of a Plant

When you look at the hobby today, one can see that the popularity of freshwater planted aquaria has really taken off. With the cost of lighting and CO2 systems becoming more reasonable, it is becoming easier to keep a lushly planted aquarium than ever before. Not only has cost of equipment become more reasonable, but the selection of plants available at most hobby stores has certainly grown.

All kinds of plants are being cultivated for the aquarium hobby now. Everything from standard Amazon swords (Echinodorus bleheri) to new strains of Cryptocoryne that produce orange and pink and green leaves. Some plants available are certainly challenging, while other plants are virtually maintenance free. All plants that have needs, and when those needs are met they flourish and can become real centerpieces for your aquarium. One perfect example is the African Tiger Lotus – Nymphaea lotus (zenkeri). Read More »

My Favorite Madagascar Cichlids and Other Uncommon Oddballs – Part 2 – From the Mind of a Cichlid Mad Man

So this is the final part of this long blog series highlighting my favorites…here are my final five:

Etroplus maculatusParetroplus tsimoly, for all purposes, looks and behaves like P. nourissati. The main difference in appearance is that the area along its throat and its bottom lip is blue (or sometimes black), depending on its mood. This particular species is vulnerable in the wild due to habitat loss.
Read More »

Another Environmental Catastrophe Averted on the Great Barrier Reef

Blue Starfish (Linckia laevigata) resting on hard Acropora coral. Lighthouse, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier ReefThe Great Barrier Reef is the largest and most diverse coral reef in the world. The aquarium industry over the past few years has seen a growing list of fish and corals that have been made available from the Barrier Reef, and they’ve been some amazing specimens. The last thing anyone wants is anything damaging the pristine natural wonder, especially something so devastating as to restrict collection of fish and corals from selected areas again. Read More »

Making Our Fish Feel at Home – PVC of a Different Color

Hello, Jason here. Working in the fishroom at That Fish Place, I have a great opportunity to learn and discover new things about the fish and inverts so many people love to keep in their aquariums. My co-workers (being science majors and marine bio graduates) are able to work closely with these animals, observing captive behaviors and sometimes having the time to experiment with how they can keep the fish happier while they are held at our facility. Recently, we’ve been experimenting in our holding tanks –  I thought might share one of our recent tests, if for no other reason than to explain what you might see if you visit.  Read More »