Thursday, 22 October 2009

Just Fish....

Due to health  & personal reasons I have not been keeping this blog up to date <shame on me>   I do miss blogging about my favorite thing in the world.....

All my fish are well and there have not been a lot of changes...other than frequent fry which keeps things interesting ;)

A newish harem I have are Apistogramma Panudro....having kept loads of different Apisto's over the years I can wholeheartedly say these are the feistiest ones I have ever kept....  the dominant female is queen of the tank and can reduce all of the bigger fish into bibbering babies...when she get's in one of her moods all the fish are clumped in one corner (60cm) and she has the rest of the tank (1 meter) to herself  LOL

The dominant Apistogramma Panduro female RiRi

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The other female who as you can see has had a few run in's with RiRi - Rita
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The Male....he cannot handle RiRi but quite likes Rita - Randy
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The Keyholes had little ones a while back and they are now scattered throughout the tank waiting for a new home....1 of the little ones will still not leave the parents sight and follows them all day long.

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Another little one...

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The Ramirezi's have also been busy....here's a little one (female)..now 1 month old

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A quickie but hopefully a cute one seeing I posted baby pics <grins>

Have a great day xxxx

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Just a Quickie on the Big Tank...

I have just gotten back from Scotland again ... and discovered Blue Green Algae in the big tank - arghhhhhhh       Everytime I go away I come back to a disaster!   I am now treating it and hope to be rid of it soon...

Anyhow...this is the big tank at the moment....

The Celestial Pearl Danio's have their first little ones swimming around - just too adorable at that size.

My photo came in third at the big Vivarium Fair 2009 in Utrecht  - woot! (see blog below)

XXX

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Busy Weekend

Hi Peeps <waves>

I have had no time whatsoever to keep this blog up to date and really want to apologize to those who keep asking for updates.

Everything is fine in the Fishalicious underwater world ;)   I managed to get a couple of wild caught Ramirezi's and am struggling to get them on frozen food at the moment.

I had a really busy weekend working at the Vivarium Beurs  (fair) 2009 in Utrecht - I was hired by a company to aquascape 2 tanks for their stall at the fair as well as help out.     I was a little worried about speaking Dutch and folks understanding me all weekend but it went well ;)

A short video showing some of the fair:

This was the stall I helped out at

www.aquaplantsonline.nl

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One of the tanks I did:

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It really was a fun filled weekend with lot's to do and see in the fishy world - Oliver Knott also did some live aquascaping and Christel Kasselmann came by and even said my tanks were very nice - that was me over the moon for the rest of the day  ;)

 

I also had the honor of being picked with one of the top 10 pictures in the photo contest  - it was brilliant to see one of my pics blown up as a poster hanging there - here were the entries:

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I don't know if I have won yet as the public had to vote on their fave piccy...I doubt it very much but I was just really happy to see my picture up there - woot!

I fell in love with this moss tree

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And here is the smallest tank that was at the fair

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My fave tank had to be the saltwater tank with all the Clownfish

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I really wish you guys could have all been there....fun was had by all xxxx

Monday, 24 November 2008

In search of the true Siamese Algae Eater – get ready for the confusion!

So we know the true Siamese Algae Eater is the Crossocheilus siamensis which is often confused with the Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchus kallopterus) and not so similar Chinese algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) as well as a fish known as the False Siamese Algae Eater (Garra cambodgiensis) which prefers fish food to algae.


                                Garra cambodgiensis

                        Epalzeorhynchus kallopterus


Often they are found in the fish store in a tank labeled – Algae Eaters which then house an array of fish that all look like a true Siamese Algae Eater.


Lots of shops mislabel these fish so Siamese algae eaters can also often be found under Flying Fox as well as other names.
The names in shops:
Algae Eater, Thai flying fox, Siamese flying fox, colorful flying fox, Epalzeorhynchos sp, trunk barb, Chinese catfish as well as an array of wonderful other names.


The only real gem for planted tanks is the Crossocheilus siamensis as this is the one that WILL eat brush algae (red algae) unlike most other fish…. All others also rather eat fish food and will not touch any algae.


So how do we tell them apart from a false Siamese algae Eater? Well the rule so far has been that the fins should be be all clear and the black horizontal line goes all the way to the tip of the tail. Sounds pretty easy but it seems one of those things so many get wrong…including publications (Baensch Atlas has a picture of a fake SAE instead of a true SAE in the book) and the internet has an array of wrong images listed under Siamese Algae Eater.

You may now smugly look at your tank and think ‘YES, I have a true siamensis’ but don’t get excited yet. Even if you have eliminated the chance of it being a flying fox, garra, or chinese algae eater there is more to come……

Intrigued as to how so many people can be confused a little research was needed…
It seems a whole group of fish who look very similar and near identical all swim in the same habitat and these are all caught up and labeled as one of the above names and sold in the shops.
So even in one tank in the shop you can have a mix of near identical fish who are actually different fish – yes it is so confusing but it gets even worse…


Here it comes… what you think may be a genuine Crossocheilus siamensis may actually be :-
Crossocheilus oblongus
Crossocheilus Langei
Crossocheilus atrilimes
Crossocheilus citripinnis

WHAT?????
Yip these guys all swim around together in a habitat and believe me they all look like the real deal…but don’t act like the real deal when it comes to Algae.

 
                              Crossocheilus oblongus

 
                             Crossocheilus Langei


                           Crossocheilus atrilimes

Note that in images the coloration varies depending on stress as well as lighting etc.

There is a whole art to telling these guys apart which comes down to shading in a certain light, the exact millimeters of the horizontal stripe as well as the barbels or lack of. To make matters worse the one and only TRUE named Crossocheilus siamensis very very rarely is imported and nearly does not exist in our tanks.


So who is the imposter you thought was your true Siamese algae eater?


If you are lucky it is the Crossocheilus Langei which I believe we all label as and know as the true Siamensis – these guys are the only real brush algae eaters. All the others prefer fish food….


If you are unlucky you have the Crossocheilus atrilimes who favors soft plants and moss which makes sense to me now…. some people report their SAE eating moss etc. whilst other say they don’t touch theirs.


If you have a Siamese Algae Eater and are curious as to which one you really have now here is an excellent link:
http://math.muni.cz/~niederle/tabulka.html


After a head breaking hour I have discovered that I have 2 x Crossochelius Langei & 1 x Crossochellus Oblongus & 1 x Crossochellus citripinnis

Two of mine I believed to be Siamensis - the back one is a Citripinnis and the front on is a Langei (note the coloring is the same but the snout is different)

World Ranking top 27 Aquariums - PLANTS LAYOUT CONTEST 2008

The winners have been in a while but thought I would share some of my favorites from this years top ranks.

Although there is no denying they are all amazingly beautiful I tend to lean towards the more dense set ups purely as I believe fish don't enjoy the sparse all low plant set ups and fish always come first with me ;)


I love the 'branches' in this


I could look at this all day...just beautiful and natural looking - My personal favorite and it came in 14th place


This reminds me of a real forest

The depth and roots in between the foreground plant are lovely

To feast your eyes on all the winners please visit:

International Layout Contest 2008

Low Light Aquarium Plants

So on a follow up on the blog I did about plant nutrition a few days ago the questions are flowing in on do I need CO2?...are my lights strong enough?..etc..etc...

If you have never ventured into the world of aquarium plants as you are scared and cannot be bothered with all the hassle of special ferts, high lights, CO2 then don't bother with all that!!  There are enough beautiful and interesting plants that are happy enough in a low maintenance every day lighting kind of tank.

Here is a list of EASY and LOW LIGHT plants

Anubias are great and undemanding...only condition is not to plant these but rather attach them nicely to some rock or wood.

Anubias barteri var. barteri which also comes in an array of versions like marbled etc.


Anubias barteri var. nana - same as above but mini version & the nana version comes in some varietes"
Anubias bar. var. nana 'Yellow heart'
Anubias bar. var. nana 'petite'

Normal Anubias barteri var. nana

Anubias barteri var. nana 'Marble'
 

So there is an Anubias for e very size tank as well as lot's of nice variations - just remember the name Anubias Barteri and you can't go wrong ;)

For mid and foreground nearly all Cryptocoryne also work great! and they come in all different kinds of leaf shapes & colors.

All Microsorums - Java Ferns will also work and there are variations - it takes a disaster to kill these in the tank...even with no light for some weeks they do great.
           

For backing plants in the scape you cannot go wrong with:

Hygrophila Polysperma (please note illegal in some countries/states)
Hygrophila Tiger Sp.
Ceratophyllym demersum
                 

Bacopa australis
Bolbitis heudelotii

To finish off the whole look of a low light tank you can add some nice drfitwood with moss attached....mosses are also easy and can look very effective and impressive in a scape.

HAPPY PLANTING!