Category Archives: video posts

Bermuda Snorkeling with Reef Explorer

I am in Bermuda this weekend as a guest of the Bermuda Fry Angle Aquarium Society.  Yesterday I was taken out on a glass-bottom boat excursion with Reef Explorer.  We had a great time!  I highly recommend Reef Explorer when you visit here.  You can get more information about the trips on the website www.bermudareefexplorer.com .

I went snorkeling on a reef for the first time in June 2015 in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Bermuda is very different.  First, the island is not in the Caribbean Sea… Bermuda is a lot further north, roughly on the same latitude as the the Carolina’s, east of the main flow of the Gulf Stream and in the western part of the Sargasso Sea.  The Gulf Stream helps to keep the waters of Bermuda warm, but they are still quite a bit cooler in the Winter.  That means that there is a lower diversity of life here than further south.  But I believe that Bermuda does a better job of protecting their reefs, and maybe the pollution is not as bad here as it is in the Caribbean, because the corals all looked a lot healthier and larger.  The fish were definitely larger!  We saw some huge blue angelfish, a massive porcupine puffer, big parrotfish, and a really cool hogfish.  Lots of butterfly fish and smaller species as well.  Lots of fun!  Enjoy…

9 Comments

Filed under Tours, video posts

Apistogramma sp. ‘Abacaxi’

Here is a short video showing my colony of A. sp. ‘Abacaxi’, an undescribed dwarf cichlid from Brazil. Enjoy….

2 Comments

Filed under Fish, video posts

Corydoras sp. CW049

Here is a short video showing my school of Corydoras sp. CW049 .  These catfish were imported from Peru, but they come from the region around Letecia, where Colombia, Peru and Brazil intersect.  They are similar to CW051, but the 49’s have proven to be easier to spawn.  This is one of my favorite cory cats, but they are pricey.  They swam around in the warehouse fish room for months and nobody bought them, so I decided to keep them for myself.  You will also see a larger cory in the video, which is CW117 from Brazil.  Also in the tank are a group of Apistogramma cacatuoides ‘triple red’, which are already spawning.  I thought that the cories would go into the caves at night and steal the eggs, but so far they have left the cichlids alone.

 

The aquarium is a 30-breeder aquarium that is top drilled in the back.  Water changes of about 15% are done 2x each week by topping the tank off with water and letting the excess drain out.  The filter is a Poret foam 5″ cube filter with a jet lifter that has an elbow and spout on the top.  That smooth 90-degree turn makes all the difference in the world when it comes to current in the tank.  I get the filters from www.swisstropicals.com .  The wood and caves provide structure and cover, but the catfish pretty much stay out in the open over the sand.

The tangled mass of plant-like matter in the back is Spanish moss, which you can get at most nurseries that sell supplies for planted hanging baskets.  I soak the moss in hot water, changing daily, for a few days to get rid of a lot of the tannin, but there is still plenty in there.  I do not mind the tannin, and the moss is a great place for the cories to deposit eggs (though it will be hard to see them in there).  The yarn mops are also for depositing eggs.  One mop is located directly in the current of the filter, and the other is on the calm side of the tank against the glass.  Hopefully I will see some signs of spawning soon.

The cories are fed at least twice each day.  Baby brine shrimp is given daily (along with all the other tanks in the room).  Other feedings may be flake (Brine Shrimp Direct deli, plankton and earthworm flake), sinking pellet (Sera plankton pellets), Repashy gel food (Bottom Scratcher or Spawn & Grow) or live black worm.  I generally feed each of those foods a few times each week, but not a lot of any of them.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Fish, video posts

A Tank for Apistos

The new fish room is functional and I am in the process of getting my aquariums set up for keeping the fish that I have on hand; and for some fish that have come my way that I simply cannot pass up, regardless of whether I am ready for them or not!  All 21 of the 30-breeder aquariums in the fish room will be aqua-scaped long-term homes for different species, many of which are from soft, black-water biotopes.  I was experimenting with using planted tank ‘soils’ over int he old fish room, and I like the affect that they have on the pH in a soft water tank, so I am going to incorporate these soils into the aquariums where I want the water to be very soft and acidic.  This video will show you how I am setting up a tank as one of these soft, black-water biotopes for a group of Apistogramma sp. ‘Miua’ and cardinal tetras.

5 Comments

Filed under Fish, video posts

Out of the Old… Into the New!

Here is a first glimpse of TedsFishroom 3.0.  I am moving my hobby out of the warehouse and back into my basement…

1 Comment

Filed under Fishroom, video posts

Monterey Bay Aquarium – Open Sea Gallery

I am in San Jose, CA, this weekend visiting friends and giving a talk to the Pacific Coast Cichlid Association.  I made the pilgrimage to Monterey for lunch and a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I only shot video of one gallery this time.  I have several videos of this wonderful aquarium already posted, but I cannot go to any aquarium without making at least one video.  The Open Sea gallery is unique.  There are lots of places with kelp forests, tide pools, coral reefs and rocky shores.  Monterey Bay Aquarium is the only place I have been to with big tuna!  Enjoy…

Leave a Comment

Filed under video posts, Zoo/Aquarium

Breeding Project: Endler’s Livebearers and Small Guppies

I have been looking for an opportunity to start working with some small livebearer species for a while, but I have not pulled the trigger on buying small groups of fish that would take a long time to build up into a good size colony.  I want some livebearers types that are desirable as aquarium subjects, but will also produce enough culls to feed my growing collection of small predatory fish like dwarf pike cichlids and small wolf fish.  A member of our local club (Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists), Jeff Zwicker, recently posted an ad to sell his colonies of Endler’s livebearers and other guppy types, so I took a trip out to see them… and made a purchase.  Six different colonies!  Enjoy the video….

5 Comments

Filed under Fish, video posts

One of my favorites…

Pelvicachromis kribensis ‘Moliwe’ is one of my all-time favorite fish.  I am rarely without a pair.  I still have a few fish that are descendants of fish that I brought back from Cameroon in 2009, but the pair in this video is a wild pair imported about 6 months ago.  This is the second spawn.  You may wonder why I have these larger tetras in the tank, because they can be a risk to the fry.  Watch the parents work together to protect their brood.  I want to see that behavior, and I believe that the need to work together to protect the fry makes the pair better parents.  Enjoy…

3 Comments

Filed under Fish, video posts

Unpacking a Shrimp Order – 3 Part video

I am presenting a video about importing, acclimating and quarantine of freshwater shrimp in a three-video series.  Part One describes the unpacking, initial inspection and acclimation of the shrimp.  Part two shows the first feeding.  Part three will cover additional inspection.

Shrimp are more delicate than most fish species, so the process for acclimating them is different than for fish.  Unfortunately, if the shrimp arrive in poor condition and the water fouled, the ‘cut and dump’ method used for fish would result in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation.  Leaving the shrimp in the crappy bag water will kill them, but so will dumping them into new water without acclimating them.  Having a good supplier who knows how to ship shrimp is, therefore, very important.  I stopped buying shrimp in 2014 because of problems at arrival, as well as a rampant parasite issue.

Part One will describe the steps I use for acclimating shrimp, and how I inspect them for parasite problems.

Part Two describes the first feeding of the shrimp.  I use a gel food combination of my own diet, Ted’s Most Excellent and Repashy’s Super Green (equal amounts of each), and present the food in small ceramic feeding discs.  I like the discs because it keeps the food in one place and allows me to see how well the shrimp are getting to it and the amount that they are eating.

2 Comments

Filed under Fishroom, video posts

Overhauling My Reverse Osmosis Filter

I use pure water created by a reverse osmosis machine to soften my rock-hard tap water so I can breed soft-water fish species.  I also use it when I import fish from places where the water is very soft, so it is easier to acclimate them to life in hard water over a week or so.  On a daily or weekly basis, I use relatively little RO water, about 30-40 gallons.  When I need to use soft water for acclimating an importation of fish, however, I will use about 400 gallons!  So my RO machine will produce 180 gallons per day, and I store the water in two 220-gallon containers until I need it.

A month ago I decided to work harder to spawn some of my Apistogramma and other soft water species.  They all looked good, but none of them were breeding.  My test kits and meters were long-gone, so I bought some new testers, which indicated that I had a problem with hard water.  Specifically, by reverse osmosis membranes had given up the ghost and needed to be replaced.  That is the topic of this video… the overhauling of an old RO machine.  Enjoy….

1 Comment

Filed under Fishroom, video posts