USA Today is running a reader poll for the 10 best North American aquariums. The nominated aquariums are up and ready for your vote. Several of the nominations have been profiled previously profiled on this blog. Chances are you haven’t visited most of these aquariums and undoubtedly most people will vote for their local aquarium. Regardless, this list serves to help identify some of the best aquariums to visit in North America. If you live close by make sure to support your local aquarium. Money from admission fees often goes to conservation programs. If you are vacationing with the family, aquariums make a great, relaxing and cool place to visit for the entire family. Even if you are traveling on business, an aquarium is a great place to relax for a few hours when away from your own tanks and offers great photography opportunities.
To see the list and vote on the best North American aquariums, visit 10Best.com.
A recent addition to the Cichlid-Forum library is a species article for ‘Haplochromis cyaneus. This species is from the shallow waters around Makobe Island in Lake Victoria. Like so many species of cichlids from Lake Victoria, H. cyaneus is endangered due to pollution, habitat destruction and predation from non-native species. This fish gets its name from the Greek word for blue. The article not only goes into detail on the physical characteristics of the species, but also details the personal experiences the author had in keeping and breeding ‘Haplochromis’ cyaneus. The species article simply titled ‘Haplochromis’ cyaneus can be found in the library section.
A special thanks to Greg Steeves for allowing us to use his article and pictures.
A great video showing a pair of Stomatepia pindu spawning in an aquarium.
This rare cichlid is native to the crater lake Barombi Mbo in West Cameroon. At one time it was impossible to find in the hobby, but over the years it has become increasingly available. S. pindu can only be found in Barombi Mbo and is listed as critically endangered. Its native home is threatened by oil exploration, pollution and natural CO2 releases from the lake bottom.
Stomatepia pindu males and females often display all black coloration as pictured below. If you would like learn more about S. pindu and see more great pictures, make sure to read the Species Article.
A book review of Ad Konings’ Tropheus in their Natural Habitat has been added to the library. A special thanks to Pam Chin for putting the review together.
Pam is one of the founding members of “Babes In The Cichlid Hobby”, avid cichlid keeper, and writer. Her articles can be seen in the Buntbarsche Bulletin and Cichlid News. Ad Konings is one of the best known names to anyone keeping cichlids. Ad has written many books on cichlids and is a frequent guest speaker at cichlid events around the world. His research on cichlids and conservation work has been the subject of several blogs on Cichlid-Forum.
Take a few minutes to read Pam’s book review on Tropheus in their Natural Habitat and don’t hesitate to order the book in hardback or digital format. Ad’s books and photography should be on every cichlid-keepers shelf.
An informative article written by Frank Mueller (fmueller) addresses many of the questions hobbyists have about which silicone products can be safely used in an aquarium. At one time the GE brand was the go-to product for sealing an aquarium. That was until the “Aquarium Safe” wording disappeared from their products. What changed and what products are safe to use? What is the best deal for the budget conscious do-it-yourselfer?
The Amazon gold rush continues and its impact in the region isn’t slowing down. An article on Smithsonian.com details the devastation taking place as gold fever leaves little room for protecting the ecology. Even the History Channel is cashing in on the gold rush with a reality show about some construction workers from Alabama who try their luck at mining for gold.
Mining for gold has a negative impact on the local ecology, especially when there are no restrictions on the methods being used. Particularly when mercury, a highly toxic metal, is carelessly used in the process. Read all about this on the Smithsonian.com article.
Pseudotropheus saulosi at Taiwanee Reef in 2003. Photo by Ad Konings
An excellent article by famed ichthyologist Ad Konings has just been made available in the Library. Folks …it’s payback time describes the importance of the anti-netting device in preserving the cichlids in Lake Malawi and how he was able to find financing for 2000 devices.
The waters around Taiwanee Reef have been devastated by unscrupulous collectors. Particularly affected have been the populations of Pseudotropheus saulosi. A video filmed in 2010 shows how the area once known for Ps. saulosi is now almost entirely bare of the species. Take a few minutes to read the article and enjoy the underwater footage. Hopefully the simple anti-netting device will have a big impact on the preservation of cichlid species.
Finalists for The Art of the Planted Aquarium selected
Although not generally associated with cichlids, planted aquariums can be a real treat to cultivate and enjoy. While many cichlids can destroy all your hard work in a matter of hours, some groups like Apistogramma and Mikrogeophagus do very well in a planted aquarium. If you are looking for some inspiration on how to add some green to your tank, take a look at some of the finalists for The Art of the Planted Aquarium 2015.
A playlist of many videos can be found here: Youtube
The Art of the Planted Aquarium is a German aquascaping competition that takes place every two years. Finalists are selected from regional competitions. For more information and to view past finalists and champions, visit planted-aquarium.de.
Non-native “jewel cichlid” causing problems in Florida waters.
We’re all too familiar with what happened to the native cichlids of Lake Victoria after the introduction of a non-native species. The Nile Perch (Lates niloticus) was intentionally introduced into Lake Victoria in the 1950s and led to the extinction or near-extinction of hundreds of local cichlid species. It should come as no surprise that releasing your African or South American aquarium fish into your local waters can have a negative impact on the native wildlife. Unfortunately, hobbyists who think they are setting their fish free are causing damage to their local waters. Often times non-native species have an unfair advantage when released. They may be much more aggressive than local species and at the same time have no predators to control their numbers.
To learn more about the impact non-native fish can have on local waters and what is currently taking place in Florida, read the article Freshwater exotics altering ecosystem on news-press.com.
The latest Tank of Merit was submitted by Iggy Newcastle. Iggy’s tank is titled Malawi ‘Deep’ and is an effort to recreate the rock biotype of Lake Malawi. The tank is inhabited by several mbuna species and looks like it is non-stop action. Biotype tanks really bring out not only the unique behaviours of the fish, but are also beautiful.
Having new merit tanks can only be done with member participation in the Aquarium Gallery. If you want to participate, submit one or more of your tanks. There are some things you can do to improve your chances of being awarded. Make sure the main tank photograph captures the entire tank. At the same time, stand close enough so the tank fills the entire frame of the image (or crop your photo). Include a description of the tank and its inhabitants. Make sure you include a description of your setup and a couple close up photographs of the aquascaping and/or fish.
You can see Iggy’s Tank of Merit in the main page of the Aquarium Gallery. Make sure to click on the Malawi ‘Deep’ link.