World’s largest aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium, located in downtown Atlanta, has the distinction of being the world’s largest aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium has more than 10 million gallons of water and more aquatic life than any other aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to being a global leader in research and conservation programs that mirror the unique and amazing animals seen within the facility. Along with its massive marine exhibits, the aquarium also has a River Scout gallery with a wide diversity of animals found in the rivers of Africa, South America, Asia and Georgia. If you live or plan to be in the Atlanta area, make sure to visit the Georgia Aquarium.

Sea-Monkeys

As a kid, I wanted these so badly. I bugged and bugged my parents until they finally caved in. Of course, I never saw a single sea-monkey. Don’t know what I did wrong, but I was devastated. Little did I know that as an adult I’ve hatched them by the thousands. Turns out the cute illustrated family of sea-monkeys is nothing more than hybridized Artemia (brine shrimp). The hybridization was designed for fast growth and large size, up to 3/4″. The Artemia I’ve hatched never get much larger than a dot before they are fed to newly hatched fry. Maybe as an adult I’ll step things up and give these more challenging Arsenic-Based Sea-Monkeys a try. Just can’t decide if I should get the optional protective suit and face mask with respirator.

Cyprichromis in the wild

Amazing views of large groups of Cyprichromis in Lake Tanganyika. Large quantities of these fish moving together isn’t something that can be recreated in an aquarium.

Inbreeding helps Pelvicachromis taeniatus

Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Dreamstime

Evolutionary biologists at the University of Bonn in Germany have found that there are benefits to inbreeding. Although inbreeding is often associated with genetic problems, Pelvicachromis taeniatus gain specific benefits the practice. The study found that sibling mates were more cooperative and spent more time protecting their offspring. Males in inbreeding pairs also spent more time guarding their breeding caves and were less likely to attack their mates. Inbreeding did not appear to immediately lead to higher rates of genetic problems, although more study is needed. For more information on this study, read the article on Current Biology.

Mouthbrooder stripping tools

Turkey baster and curved plastic syringe

In order to minimize stress on a fish, egg/fry stripping should be done as quickly as possible. Over the years I have used two tools just for this. The first and most common is a turkey baster. Turkey basters are great for elongated mouthbrooders like Cyprichromis and for small females. The turkey baster was very useful for Victorian females, who often start breeding when they are very small and hard to handle. The How to Strip Mouthbrooders article says to replace and gently squeeze the bulb, but I found that pouring water into the baster is sufficient to flush out the eggs.

The second tool I use is a plastic curved tipped syringe. The pointy tip of the syringe can be used to open the fish’s mouth. By gently squeezing water into the open mouth, the eggs/fry are pushed out. This method worked really well on cichlids with a down-turned mouth like Tropheus, Labeotropheus and gobies.

Female cichlids react to male fighting

Composite image. Todd Anderson, Stanford University News Service

Researchers have found that female cichlids undergo changes in their brain after witnessing their preferred male fight. Where those changes take place and what they mean has to do with who won and who lost. For more information on this study and its conclusions, visit LifeScience.com.

Aqueon announces Modular LED Aquarium Light

There are plenty of LED lights being announced lately, but this one stands out from the crowd. Its impressive feature -expansion slots that allow additional lamps to snap into place. It also features a three-position power switch, which includes moon-glow accents. A ‘Day White’ LED lamp is included. If you didn’t know it already, LED lighting lasts longer and is more energy efficient than standard T8 fluorescent lighting. Aqueon’s Colormax LED lamps are also available in addition to the Day White option. More information can be found here.

Altolamprologus variants

A great video showing several of the different A. calvus and A. compressiceps variants.

EAC proposes increased funding for Lake Victoria

Members of the East African Community (EAC) have promised to increase funding for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC). The LVBC is a specialized institution of the EAC that is responsible for coordinating the sustainable development agenda of the Lake Victoria Basin. Although the development proposed to the LVBC isn’t geared toward the preservation of Lake Victoria cichlids, long-term sustainable management is a positive step. The EAC press release in pdf format can be found here.

Cichlids have reasoning capacity of 4- or 5-year-old child

Tropheus moorii. Photo by Robert De Leon

Scientist at Stanford University have discovered that cichlids have the logical reasoning capacity of a 4- or 5-year-old child. This ability is used to figure out the pecking order of the group by simply watching other fish fight. This type of reasoning is called transitive inference and is something that develops at around 4 or 5 years of age in human children. To read more on this discovery, visit Science on NBCNews.com.