Category Archives: video posts

Catfish From Peru

Here is a video highlighting some of the fish that recently arrived from Peru.  The order was predominantly catfish, and so is the video.  Enjoy…

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Tarpon

Not really aquarium-related, but this video does have fish in it.  Catching a tarpon on a fly rod has been on my bucket list for a long time, and today I was able to check it off.  The experience was even better because my son Thomas was also able to catch a tarpon.  Biggest fish either of us has ever caught!

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Freshwater Displays at the Steinhart Aquarium

The Steinhart is one of the famous aquariums in the USA.  It is part of the California Academy of Sciences museum in GOlden Gate Park, San Francisco.  I visit any time I am nearby.  The aquarium features many freshwater displays from small nano-aquariums to a huge Amazon River tank.  Here are a few of them…

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Catching Up with the Bireley’s

I had another opportunity to visit the Bireley family in California recently, and shot some more video of their home and fish room.  I was last there two years ago, just after Rich had taken possession of some large catfish (and some that would be getting larger), and now we can see the plan for those fish complete.  There is a lot of debate about whether or not large, ‘monster’ fish should be something we keep in captivity.  99%  of hobbyists should not keep them.  But if you have the resources to provide adequate space and adequate food, these animals can become wonderful pets.  Yes…. pets.  And they can live for a very long time.

The pond that these catfish are housed in is a 24-long fruit liner used for hauling fruit from orchards.  Rich has one of these big tubs and two smaller.  It is truly one of the most unique fish room features I have ever seen.  Enjoy…

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Crenicara punctulatum… The Hermaphrodite Cichlid

Once upon a time, all of the checkerboard cichlids were in the genus Crenicara.  When the genus was split, two fish were left in the genus and all the others went into Dicrossus.  The type species is C. punctulatum (the other is C. latruncularium).  This original checkerboard cichlid is a fun fish to keep.  They are not overly demanding, though they do not do well in dirty water.  This fish is a sequential hermaphrodite.  All of them start off looking phenotypically female.  As a group of young fish mature, the most dominant fish will grow faster and become the breeding male.  He will pair with a female that will also grow, though not as larger, and take on brighter colors and redder fins.  The rest will stay comparatively small… as though they are suspended in growth.  If the male is removed, a new male will arise (usually the previous dominant female).  The sex change is not reversible.  So that means that the easiest way to get a breeding pair is to pick up a group of 6-8 juveniles and let them grow up.  Once a pair forms, move the rest to another tank and another pair will arise. Fun fish!

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Filtration in the Fish Room

Finally!  A fish room blog post.  Hopefully I will be able to follow this one up quickly.  This post is about sponge filters, which I believe are the most cost effective method of filtering aquariums a fish room setting.  They are not pretty, but they work.  But not all sponge filters are the same, and the way they they are used can make a difference too.  One of the debates is whether a matten filter wall is worth cost.  Sure…. a filter all has a HUGE amount of surface area compared to a smaller cube filter.  But do you really need it more surface area in the same size tank that is being filtered effectively by a basic cube filter?  No… the only reason to use a matten filter, in my opinion, is if you want to over stock a small aquarium.

Bacteria grow and die very quickly, and their cell population is dependent upon the same ecological rules of carrying capacity as any other living things (except maybe humans… assuming we have surpassed our carrying capacity).  A biological filter needs the waste of fish to thrive.  If there is more waste than the bacteria cells can use, the cell population grows.  If fish waste reduces, bacteria cell population goes down.  And it happens very fast.  Days.  Hours even.  So there is really no point in a filter with 300 cubic inches of volume if the tank is going to hold two fish.  But… if you want to grow 200 cory cat fry in a 10-gallon tank, a matten filter will let that happen.

This video presents the basics of sponge filters, how they work and how to clean them.  I will cover how to run them with air in the next installment.

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Bolt (Volt) Catfish – Aguarunichthys torosus

Here is a ‘monster’ fish that is not so much a monster.  The bolt catfish is predatory cat that grows up to be about 13″, so not outrageously large.  They are active catfish with voracious appetites, and are really really good and chasing down and killing small fish.  The fish in this video have only been here a few days, and they are settling in nicely.  When they got here they were in pretty bad shape, as evidences by the few that are really thin and some bent and eroded barbels, but they are coming around.  I am feeding them guppies, Repashy Meat Pie gel food, black worms and chopped earthworm.

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Tatia sp. Wood Catfish

I have been getting more and more interested in wood catfish over the past few months, and one of the species that I have brought in is a large Tatia sp. from Peru.  And I do mean large…  The first four I got back in late February were all about 10″ long, and I really liked them.  But they were sold pretty quickly.  So I got some more.  10 more to be exact.  They are almost through quarantine, and six of them will soon move into a 180-gallon aquarium that is being prepared for them.  I am really hoping to get them to spawn!  Here is a video of them in their quarantine tank, feeding on chopped earthworms.

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Wet Spot Tropical Fish

A few weeks ago I went on the trip out to Portland, Oregon, to give a talk to the Portland A. S., and while I was there I had the chance to visit a store that I have really wanted to visit for a long time:  The Wet Spot Tropical Fish.  Marcie and Steve Lundblad have established a great store.  Easily one of the best in the USA.  A video is worth a thousand words…. Enjoy.

 

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Solid Gold with Jenny

When I went up to Minnesota last weekend, I was invited to do an interview with Jenny, the talented aquarist who shares her hobby with us through her YouTube channel Solid Gold.  Jenny posted the video of our interview this evening, and I am really impressed.  I also see that I really need to go on a diet!  I with think about it over a beer…  The interview was a lot of fun to do.  Jenny is a lot of fun to hang out with.  Check out her YouTube channel.  Here is the video:

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