The only captive specimens of the Ocellated Ice Fish are housed in the Tokyo Sea Life Park. Aside from its rarity in captivity, this clear-blooded fish has the distinction of not having hemoglobin. All vertebrates, with the exception of Channichthyids, are supposed to have hemoglobin in order to transport oxygen in blood. The Ocellated Ice Fish can be found in the deep, freezing waters of the Antarctic Ocean. These fish have evolved to cope with the cold and along the way disposed of the need for red blood cells.
For more information on this fish, visit PHYS.ORG. If you would like to read more about Channichthyids and their unique evolution, visit Biochemical Soul.
Wildlife Preserves Singapore has just added the world’s largest freshwater aquarium, River Safari, to its many attractions. Wildlife Preserves Singapore is a non-profit organization which manages most of the zoos in the country. River Safari is a freshwater themed park showcasing many river habitats including the Mississippi River, Congo River and the Amazon River. Its Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit houses a 500,000 gallon aquarium with a huge viewing panel providing an immersive Amazonian underwater forest experience. Unlike most public aquariums which focus mostly on marine environments, River Safari is all about freshwater environments. Hopefully this will become a trend for future aquariums.
To learn more about the largest freshwater aquarium, visit the River Safari website.
If you need something to help you relax or you just can’t be away from your tanks, Wow! Stuff’s iPad aquarium might be just what you need. This device, which is currently under development, will turn your iPad into the aquarium you’ve always wanted; sans water and real fish. A sheet of glass placed at an angle is used to reflect whatever is on your iPad’s screen. You set up the “background” behind the glass and with an aquarium app, you can now enjoy your very own virtual aquarium. I don’t know if there are any aquarium apps that offer a cichlid tank, but hopefully there is one.
Just a reminder before you run out to try and get one of these, they aren’t available yet. For more information and photos on this item, check out the Pocket-link article.
Video of Lamprologus callipterus displaying some of its wild behavior in a tank.
Many of us have seen this behavior in National Geographic’s Jewel of the Rift video, but here it is demonstrated in a tank. Lamprologus callipterus males will steal shells from other males, sometimes with females inside. This shell dweller also has the distinction of having a substantial sexual size dimorphism. Males are considerably larger than females. The size difference is so significant that it is hard to believe they are the same species. Male L. callipterus can have harems of as many as 30 females.
For more information on Lamprologus callipterus and an explanation of the size differential between males and females, make sure to read the Species Article by Dolores Schütz.
Lamprologus callipterus male. Courtesy of Dolores Schütz
Male Neochromis rufocaudalis. Photo by Dave Hansen
Despite appearances, Neochromis rufocaudalis is not a species of Tropheus. The physical similarities are probably due to the same diet and feeding behavior. As a result, a diet high in spirulina/vegetable matter is recommended. N. rufocaudalis males are very territorial and will exhibit a lot of aggression toward conspecifics. However, they tend to ignore other species. Because of their distinctive appearance, N. rufocaudalis can be kept with other Lake Victoria species with little chance of inter-species aggression and breeding. This makes N. rufocaudalis an excellent ‘other species’ for a Lake Victoria tank. For more information on Neochromis rufocaudalis, make sure to read the species article on AfricanCichlids.net
Europe’s newest and largest aquarium has open its doors this past weekend. The Blue Planet Aquarium, located just outside of Copenhagen, is not only the largest aquarium in Europe but also a work of art.
Blue Planet Aquarium. Photo by Adam Mrk
Blue Planet Aquarium is currently configured with 53 tanks totaling almost 2 million gallons of water. When first approaching the facility, visitors are treated to its unique architecture. For more information on the architecture, visit the Dezeen Magazine website. Once inside, 20,000 species of marine and freshwater fish are on display. The marine fish are also housed in ocean water brought to the aquarium by a 1 mile tube.
Photo by Thomas Olsen
If you live in the Copenhagen area or plan to visit in the future, make sure to visit Blue Planet Aquarium. For more information, visit the Den Bla Planet website.
The Princess of Lake Tanganyika (Neolamprologus pulcher), a cichlid fish which is popular in home aquariums, are cooperatively breeding fish with a dominant breeding pair and several ‘helper’ fish that do not normally breed but instead assist with raising offspring. Helpers also play a crucial role in defending the group’s territory against outsiders – although helpers also compete with the breeders for resources and reproductive opportunities. The researchers, led by Dr Markus Zӧttl of the University of Cambridge, wanted to find out how environmental pressures might influence the acceptance of new immigrants. He said: “All animal societies are affected in one or another by immigration and when we seek to understand social organisation we need to understand which environmental factors influence processes like immigration.”
New wildlife import regulations would severely regulate the import and commerce in “non-native wildlife taxa”. As feared by some in the pet industry, new federal legislation that could halt the importation of many species of livestock and pets, including fish and aquatic organisms bred or collected for the aquarium trade has been introduced in Washington.
H.R. 996: Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) on March 6, 2013. H.R. 996 is a re-write of H.R. 669 dating back to 2008.
H.R. 996 seeks to set up an “accepted” (white) list of common domesticated pets and livestock (dogs, cats, goldfish, farm animals), and an “unaccepted” (black) list. By default the black list would cover everything not included on the “accepted” list.