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.
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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 »

Bristle Worms – Good or Bad?

BristlewormsHello, Sam here. Most saltwater aquarists know what a bristle worm is, but they may not know that it has function in the reef.  There are many different species of bristle worm, some are scavengers and some are carnivores.  Most of the small bristle worms found in a reef tank under the live rock or crawling across the sand are Eurythoe sp. These worms are scavengers and help you by eating leftover food that settles to the substrate from daily feedings or waste from the other fish in the tank.  The problem occurs when their population in the aquarium grows and you’re suddenly faced with bristleworms everywhere!  They may not be the most attractive things to look at, and clusters of them on rock and in substrate can be a little unsettling when you peer into your tank. Read More »