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Extreme Amazon at Oklahoma Aquarium

Photo by Mike Simons/Tulsa World

A new exhibit at the Oklahoma Aquarium creates a unique experience from visitors. Extreme Amazon lets you crawl into the tank so you can view the fish from a different perspective. On display are Amazon River fish and iguanas. Located in Jenks, OK (just south of Tulsa), the Oklahoma Aquarium is open year round (except on Christmas Day). For more information on the new exhibit, visit the Tulsa World article.

Dam construction continues as new species are being discovered

Adult male Krobia xinguensis by Erik Åhlander

Construction continues on the Xingu River for what will become the world’s third largest dam. The Xingu River is a tributary of the Amazon River and also home to many cichlid species. Brazil obtains almost 80% of its electric power from hydroelectric dams and the country’s demand for electricity is expected to double in this decade. Despite Brazil’s need for electricity, criticism has come from environmentalists, indigenous people and land owners as the dam is expected to flood almost 200 square miles of jungle and farm land. Below the dam’s construction site, there has already been a report that water levels are dropping and so have fish populations. The Xingu River is home to various species of cichlids including Crenicichla, Cichlasoma and the newly discovered Krobia xinguensis (pictured above). More information can be found here: Dam Construction and Krobia xinguensis.

Cyphotilapia breeding

This is a great video showing the breeding process from venting all the way to growing out the fry. It also shows egg stripping and tumbling.

No oil drilling in Lake Tanganyika for at least 15 years?

Lake Tanganyika fishermen. Worldtraveller/Wikipedia

The oil and exploration company, Beach Petroleum (T) Limited of Australia, stated that although Lake Tanganyika shows signs of oil, the first oil well will not be drilled for at least 15 years. Lake area locals who are supposed to benefit from the lake’s mineral wealth, claim that oil extraction has already begun. Beach Petroleum insists that any drilling being done is for exploration and scientific studies only. For more on this story, visit allAfrica.com.

Meat-eating sponge

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Discovered by the Monterey Bay Research Aquarium Institute, the harp shaped sponge lives 2 miles below the sea surface and uses velcro-like barbed hooks to catch its prey. Named Chondrocladia lyra, this carnivorous sponge can be found in the deep waters off California’s Monterey Bay. The first carnivorous sponges were first discovered less than 20 years ago and because they live in very deep waters, not much about them is know. More on this story can be found at Science on NBCNews.com.

Discus fry feeding off of parents

Great video of blue turquoise discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus) fry feeding off of the parent’s slime coat. You can see them at 9 days and 14 days after hatching.

Endangered fish captured for breeding and reintroduction program

Freshwater blenny (Salaria fluviatilis) / Wikipedia

According to The Olive Press, two types of endangered fish found in Southern Spain and Northern Africa have been collected for captive breeding and reintroduction into their native waters. 300 Aphanius iberus (Spanish toothcarp) and 40 Salaria fluviatilis (freshwater blenny) will form the breeding group. Their native waters have been threatened by habitat destruction. The offspring will eventually be released into rivers and wetlands around Andalucía (Southern tip of Spain).

Water hyacinth plants threaten Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria’s aquatic population is being threatened by yet another invasive species; water hyacinth. This fast growing plant now covers large areas of the lake. The negative impact on the fish and the people who rely on the lake is growing. For more information, including a video report, visit the CNN story.

New Amazon River Monsters exhibit in Phoenix area zoo

Photo by Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic

The Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium has opened a new 60,000 gallon exhibit dedicated to Amazon River Monsters. For more details on this opening and the zoo itself, visit the azcentral.com story or the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium website.

5 minute book review – Water and the Aquarium

Author Joe Gargas asks, “What’s more important than water in an aquarium??” This book is written not only by a water expert, but by a fish keeper who knows what’s important and and what’s myth. Although Mr. Gargas has the credentials to talk over our heads in  Water and the Aquarium, he instead chooses to write in a straight-forward manner that us hobbyists can understand and appreciate. With all of the misinformation out there, this book deftly explains topics like water hardness, carbon, different types of filtration, UV, chlorine, alkalinity and more. Admittedly, Water and the Aquarium is available only in softcover and is has its share of typos, but if you can look past that, we think you will agree that it’s a real gem and and a must have for your cichlid library.

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