Platytaeniodus sp. “red tail sheller”. Photo by Dave Hansen
Today’s out-of-the-ordinary species is a fish that goes by the name Platytaeniodus sp. “red tail sheller”. It is believed to have been collected near Hippo Point on the Kenyan shoreline of Lake Victoria. Of course, with all of Lake Victoria’s problems, it’s questionable if this species can still be found there. As the name implies, this species should eat snails. However, in the various profiles I have read, nobody has seen this behavior in an aquarium. As with other Victorian species, P. sp. “red tail sheller” spawns easily and at a young age. Broods tend to be small between 6-12 fry. Its deep blue body and red tail make it a beautiful addition to an aquarium. If you think you might be interested in keeping this fish, take a look at the Species Profile by Greg Steeves
A breeding pair of Cichlasoma dimerus looking after their many fry.
This South American cichlid can be found in the Paraguay-Paraná River System. This river system flows through various countries including Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. Cichlasoma dimerus appears to breed easily with spawns numbering the the hundreds of fry. C. dimerus isn’t a large fish with males rarely larger than 5″. Aggression is relatively low but they can be aggressive when protecting their fry. The pair share in the egg and fry caring responsibilities. After hatching, the fry are regularly moved by the parents. Even once the fry are free-swimming, they parents regularly round them up to keep them together and well protected.
As if Lake Victoria doesn’t have enough problems with pollution and the invasive water hyacinth. Now it appears that the lake’s water level is dropping. As the wetlands surrounding the lake dry up, excess nutrients are released into the lake causing algae blooms and further growth of water hyacinth. These same wetlands also helped keep eroded soil from silting the lake. The reasons why Lake Victoria is shrinking are complex but the result is simple; less water is entering the lake.
Lake Victoria has had a history of drying up. It is believed that in its history the lake has gone dry at least 3 times. Most recently about 16,000 years ago. For more information on past droughts, visit Science on NBCNews.com. To read more about the recent changes in water levels, its reasons and what can be done, visit NewVision.co.ug.
A warm spring that is used to irrigate farmland has found one more “crop” to raise. A ranch near the Nevada/Utah border has started raising cichlids in outdoor pools filled with water that eventually is sent to the fields. While most fish farms are located in warm weather areas, the water surfacing from a natural spring keeps the cichlids warm despite winter temperatures of -20 degrees. In an area of the country where water resources are very important and often disputed, a cichlid enthusiast has managed to farm cichlids without sacrificing water meant for crops.
Here is a video of some of the wildlife in the Tapajos River, Brazil.
A major tributary of the Amazon River, the Tapajos River accounts for 6% of the water in the Amazon Basin. Although some stretches of the river can be up to nine miles wide, other parts are slow moving with lots of vegetation. It is in these areas where this video was probably shot. In the footage you can see Pterophyllum sp., Pike cichlids and Mesonauta. Parts of the river are threatened by proposed dams. Brazil gets most of its energy from hydroelectric power and the need for more dams is only expected to increase.
Cobalt Aquatics has introduced two new Mysis flake blends. The first, Mysis Flake, is a Mysis based formula for all tropical and marine fish. Its highly palatable formula helps both freshwater and marine finicky fish to eat prepared foods. The second formula, Mysis-Spirulina Flake, ads Spirulina to the mix. Spirulina is a filamentous blue-green algae that is rich in raw protein and vitamins. This formula is also great for finicky fish. Both flake formulas are loaded with Omega 3’s (EPA/DHA) and Astaxanthin for consistent growth and superior color. All Cobalt Flake foods feature Cobalt’s BLUE flake, which has triple concentration of vitamins that help support a healthy immune system. In addition, Cobalt flakes are packed with Probiotics that support a healthy digestive system.
For more information on these two new Mysis flake blends and other products, visit the Cobalt Aquatics website.
Ad Konings, the renowned Rift Lake and Central American cichlid expert will be paying a return visit to the East Anglia Cichlid Group. Ad will be talking about conservation work occurring in many areas of Lake Malawi. As some cichlid species are already threatened, it is extremely important to continue these ventures, thanks to the Stuart M. Grant Cichlid Conservation Fund. His second presentation will be ‘Tropheus and Petrochromis from Tanganyika’. Ad took nearly 1000 underwater photographs on his recent trip to Lake Tanganyika, so expect to see some of them.
For more information on Ad Konings and the Stuart M. Grant Cichlid Conservation Fund, visit Cichlid Press.
If you would like to attend the EACG meeting/auction, visit the EACG website.
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.