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New York Aquarium reopens

new york aquarium

Flooded Forest gallery at Conservation Hall. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher

The New York Aquarium closed its doors late last year after flooding brought on by Hurricane Sandy. At the time, most of the aquarium’s inhabitants were moved to other aquariums and zoos. Seven months and 10 million dollars later, the NY Aquarium has reopened its doors to the public. This past Memorial weekend crowds returned to the partially opened aquarium to enjoy the shows and view the many fish on display. Among the open attractions is Conservation Hall, which houses coral reefs, freshwater lakes, Amazon flooded forests exhibits.

If you live or are going to be in the New York area, make sure to stop by and show your support. For more information on the New York Aquarium, visit NYAquarium.com.

Wild Victorian cichlids

wild victorian cichlids

Pundamilia nyererei. Photo by Robert De Leon

After their long absence, some wild Victorian cichlids began to appear on some price lists. Apparently there were a couple of collection trips to Lake Victoria and shortly after they began to appear in Europe and here in the U.S. They were quickly bought up by hobbyists and now they are ‘Out of Stock’ and also out of mind. What ever happened to them? Are they breeding and reinvigorating the captive stocks? Since some species were collected from areas where they weren’t originally found, has their been any identification corrections? Any controversies? From what I understand, there are no new collection trips planned so we aren’t likely to see any more wild Victorian cichlids for a while.

Cichlid News Magazine lists 6 of the imported species (with pictures) in April’s What’s New segment for anyone who wants to take a look.

Herichthys cyanoguttatus parenting video

A short video of a pair of Herichthys cyanoguttatus protecting their fry.

This video was shot in the Comal River in Southern Texas. H. cyanoguttatus (aka Texas Cichlid or Rio Grande Cichlid) is the only native cichlid species in the United States. However, it is not native to the Comal River. Despite it relative proximity to the Rio Grande, H. cyanoguttatus wasn’t found in the Comal River until its introduction sometime between 1928 through 1943 by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The video shows a pair of Herichthys cyanoguttatus caring for their young. A big thanks to Greg Steeves for providing us with this video. For more videos, visit his site at AfricanCichlids.net. You’ll find an extensive collection of videos including cichlid ponds and many Victorian cichlids.

Pre-filters help reduce maintenance


Various types of pre-filters

Using pre-filters on canister or power filters can greatly reduce maintenance. This doesn’t mean that you can skip water changes. Water changes and filter maintenance are done for different reasons. One reduces nitrates in your tank while the other removes solid waste and improves water flow. By using a pre-filter, you can reduce the amount of waste and food going into your filter, clogging up your mechanical filtration. Less waste going into your filter means less mechanical media cleaning or replacing. When using a pre-filter, I can go many months without having to do maintenance on my filters. Since I don’t use chemical or fine mechanical filtration, I only have to worry about the impeller being clean and moving freely. You do have to clean the pre-filter regularly, but that is easy to do by squeezing it under running water in the sink. It is much simpler than pulling apart a canister filter to clean or replace the mechanical media.

There are several companies that make pre-filters. Some make them specifically for their products while others are make to fit a variety of different intake tubes. You can also make your own pre-filter or adapt one made for a different product. I use to pre-filter my power filters with an idea I got from the DIY Sponge Filter article. I cut a mechanical filter sponge into a smaller 2x2x4″ sponge. Using a flat wood boring bit, I drilled a 1/2″ hole into it so it fit the intake of my power filter. It not only reduced maintenance but also saved me some money in replacement mechanical media.

For other filtration tips, check out the Power Filter “Tricks” at the bottom of the Aquarium Set Up page.

Peru orders oil cleanup of Pastaza River

peru orders oil

Pastaza River. Photo by GTR-PUCR

The President of Peru orders oil cleanup along the Pastaza River following the declaration of a contamination emergency. The Pastaza River flows into the Marañón River which is a source of the Amazon River. The 90 day cleanup order comes along with a hefty fine to the oil company blamed for the spill. This is a bold step for the South American country since Peru’s economy relies in part on oil extraction. It’s good to see that an effort is being made to preserve Peru’s forests and rivers and at the same time protect the Amazon River.

For more on this story visit the PRI.org article

peru orders oil

Pastaza River oil contanmination. Photo by Observatorio Petrolero Sur.

Aquarium photography tips from Nikon

Aquarium photography

Butterfly fish. Photo by Paul Van Allen

An excellent article with some great aquarium photography tips. Although the author is drawing from his experiences photographing fish in public aquariums, many of the suggestions would also work with your own tanks. The article is geared toward DSLR cameras but some of the tips should work for non-DSLR cameras, especially those that offer some manual controls. Digital camera sensors have come a long way, especially in “point and shoot” cameras. You can get some very impressive shots from non-DSLR cameras by paying close attention to techniques like those recommended in this article.

You can read up on all of these tips at the Nikon USA website. For more aquarium photography tips visit the Photography section of the Library.

Dicrossus maculatus video

An in-the-wild video of Dicrossus maculatus. The video is in German but a link below is available for an English version. The English version wasn’t on YouTube so I couldn’t embed it here.

Dicrossus maculatus is a small and colorful cichlid found in rivers in the Brazilian Amazon basin. Reaching only 2.5″ in length, these fish are suitable for a 20gal aquarium. However, they do require a very low pH and hardness, especially if you expect them to reproduce. Males and females are very similar in size and appearance. Males do have a little more color, especially when putting on a show for the opposite sex.

English Language Video

Some pictures can be found on this forum topic

GCCA Cichlid Classic 2013

gcca cichlid classic

Started almost 40 years ago, the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association is a not-for-profit, educational organization, dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of information relating to the biology of the fishes in the family Cichlidae, with particular emphasis on maintenance and breeding in captivity.

Next weekend, May 24th – 26th, the GCCA will be holding their annual GCCA Cichlid Classic at the Heron Point Conference Center in Lombard, IL. Speakers will include John Krepper, Greg Steeves, Charlie Grimes and Dan Sharifi. There will also be a fish show, raffles, vendor tables and an auction. For more details on the GCCA Cichlid Classic 2013, visit the association’s website at GCCA.net.

Eretmodus cyanostictus spawning

Short video of a pair of Eretmodus cyanostictus spawning.

This goby from Lake Tanganyika is an ideal addition to aquariums with other herbivorous cichlids like Tropheus and Petrochromis. Eretmodus cyanostictus is a pair bonding bi-parental mouthbrooder with a distinct, comical personality. Males and females are identical except for a slight size difference. The best way to obtain a pair is to get 6 juveniles and keep them together until a pair is formed. Remove the unpaired extras as they will not be tolerated by the pair. Other than aggression towards “extra” gobies and protecting their young, E. cyanostictus is quite docile and will not pick on other fish.

An interesting aspect of E. cyanostictus is the male’s active participation in caring for the young. The strongly bonded pair will stay together for their entire lives, both caring for and raising their young. About two weeks after spawning, the female will pass the developing eggs to the male who will brood the young until they are released. The fry are allowed to mature even while other broods are being released by the pair. At some point, when the offspring begin to get large, they will be chased away. It is best to remove offspring before they become too large.

For more information on E. cyanostictus, read the articles E. cyanostictus and Goby Cichlids.

Eretmodus cyanostictus

Eretmodus cyanostictus by Dave Hansen

National Aquarium closing

National aquarium

Electric Eel. Photo by George Grall

The National Aquarium in D.C., which first opened its doors in 1885, is set to close September 30th. As part of the Herbert C. Hoover Building renovation, the 1500 species of animals are being moved to other aquariums. The closure of the aquarium will signal the end of the oldest continuously operating aquarium in the United States. In 1982, the aquarium became part of the National Aquarium Society, ending its federal funding. It was at this time that the aquarium became a non-profit organization funded solely by donations and attendance fees.

Closure Press Release

If you live near Washington D.C. or plan to visit before September 30th, make sure to take the time to visit the National Aquarium before it’s gone for good.

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