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Media bag alternatives for your filter

About a year ago I needed some media bags for my canister filter. I wanted to keep my biological media organized and have an easy way to rinse/replace it when needed. After visiting a couple local fish stores without finding anything, I took my search online. What I found was not only were the prices more than I expected, but the sizes were all wrong. Bags were either too small, too big or the wrong shape. I eventually stumbled onto something called produce bags. They are food-safe, durable and the mesh is big enough for great water flow. The bags are shaped perfectly for dropping into a canister filter without allowing water to bypass them. I’m sure they would work for other types of filters like large power filters or sumps. Best of all, I could get 5 for the price of a single official ‘media bag’.

Century old Belle Isle Aquarium to reopen

Originally opened in 1904, the Belle Isle Aquarium is set to reopen its doors this weekend. Before it closed in 2005, the Belle Isle Aquarium was the longest continuously operated public fresh water aquarium in North America. What is also amazing is that it is the only volunteer run public aquarium in the country. If you live in the Detroit area, make sure to stop by and visit. The aquarium is only open on certain days of the week. Admission is free. Make sure to visit the Belle Island Conservancy website for dates and times.

Herichthys cyanoguttatus (Texas Cichlid) in the wild

Being able to see the cichlids in the wild is something I have always wanted to do. I would love to go diving in Lake Tanganyika or some South American river, but those trips take considerable time and money. For most of us, videos and pictures are as close as we’ll ever get; unless you live in South Texas or can make plans to visit. If you find yourself in the Austin or San Antonio area, make sure to bring your snorkel and plenty of sunscreen. With just a short drive to the Comal River near New Braunfels, you can find yourself swimming with Herichthys cyanoguttatus (aka Texas Cichlid or Rio Grande Cichlid). The video shows a pair protecting their spawn in the Comal River. The Texas Cichlid is the only native cichlid species in the United States. While swimming around you might also see some “imports” including Tilapia and Plecos, as well as schools of native Tetras.

Is your cichlid right-handed or left-handed?

Ok, ok, cichlids don’t have hands. But if you take a hard look at the images above (the scale-eating, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika), you will see the mouth of one is positioned more to the left and the other is positioned more to the right. As one fish prefers to feed on the left-flank scales of other fish on the other on the right flank of other fish. The authors of the study Handed Foraging Behavior in Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish: Its Potential Role in Shaping Morphological Asymmetry, “investigated the strength of handedness of foraging behavior as well as its interaction with morphological mouth laterality in P. microlepis.” In a nutshell, their research found that it is “behavioral preference to attack a particular side of the prey plays a role in facilitating” whether a microlepis’ mouth is positioned to attack from the left or the right. The authors found this true in both wild and lab-raised individuals.

Tanganyika Travels II, by Alex Jordan

Video of wild cichlids in Lake Tanganyika, taken during a research trip in August-December 2011. For more information about the research side of things, please visit www.alexjordan.org

Cichlid Press release new App for the iPad

iPad Screenshot 1

Malawi Peacocks presents an interactive way to enjoy your favorite cichlids in their natural habitat. The information, written by Ad Konings, is illustrated by more than 300 photos and 7 videos taken in Lake Malawi. Interactive slideshows and pull-out maps give a complete picture of these colorful and fascinating cichlids.

Open iTunes to buy and download this app.

August’s Tank of the Month!

Congratulations to member ‘Spaceman’! Simple but very pleasing to the eye. This member does not fall into the trap of putting the point of focus in the very center of the aquarium. See more excellent setups in the ‘Aquarium Gallery’ section.

Gulfstream Park opens poker room after aquarium leak, 2 casinos still dark

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The poker room has been reopened at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, where staff are still cleaning up the mess left by a leaky aquarium.

The poker room and two casinos had to be closed Sept. 2 after a 13,000-gallon aquarium on the second floor sprang a leak.

Ten thousand gallons of saltwater gushed out of the tank when a seal cracked open. More than a dozen fish, including sharks, survived in the remaining water.Director of gaming Mike Couch said Saturday that the poker room is back open with new carpeting, walls, artwork and furniture. The two floors of slot machines and other games remain closed.

Foul stink likely tied to dead fish at Salton Sea, strong winds

Foul smell in Los Angeles are my be caused by dead fish in Salton Sea.

Authorities said the foul smell reported by thousands of Southern California residents from Palm Springs to Ventura County was mostly likely caused by a fish die-off at the Salton Sea combined with strong winds overnight that pushed the smell into the Los Angeles area.

Officials investigating stressed that they have not determined an official cause – and added they’ve never heard of the Salton Sea die-off smell spreading so far. But they say the sea is now the focus of the probe.


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