Category Archives: Fish

Videos of Ted’s fish in his fish room.

Apistogramma eunotus ‘Red Tail’

This video shows a pair of Apistogramma defending their spawning site from their own reflections in a mirror.  I use ‘mirror therapy’ to keep cichlid pairs bonded, especially pairs that I do not have extra fish of the same species for.  I am convinced that an individual in a pair kept in a tank without tank mates has the potential to go nuts and start seeing its mate as a threat.  I usually keep extra fish in with the pair as targets, but it that is not possible a session with the mirror once a week seems to reset their bond.

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June 15, 2014 · 3:47 am

What is it?

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I recently imported a lot of dwarf cichlids from the Czech Republic, and the fish in this video was sold as sp. ‘Abacaxis’, which it most certainly is not!  What is it?  I have not been able to nail it down with the key in the Mergus atlas.  I think it may be caetei or regani, but those are not quite right either.  If you know, please tell me!

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Who C.A.R.E.S.? – Tilapia ruweti

T. ruweti is a small, true Tilapia found in the far southeastern sections of the Congo River basin.  It is famous as being the cichlid found in the Okvangu delta, a very unique habitat where the Zambezi River literally empties into a desert, creating an incredible oasis.  Unfortunately, that aqua-oasis comes close to completely drying out every dry season, and if that were to happen the population of T. ruweti in that delta could disappear.  That is why the fish is a priority species in the C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program.

This diminutive cichlid is also one of the most well-suited Tilapines for a small aquarium.  Adults rarely grow larger than 3″, and they are not overly aggressive, even when spawning.  Breeding reports are few for this species.  The trio I am working with act like they want to spawn, but so far… no luck.  Hopefully soon….

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Luciocephalus pulcher – Crocodile Pikeheads

Here is a short video of some cool fish that I am holding in quarantine until their permanent aquarium is ready.  Luciocephalus pulcher, the crocodile pikehead, is a predatory anabantid from south east Asia.  Not a lot is known about these fish, and the success rate with keeping them long term is pretty poor.  I am hoping to buck that trend this time (yes, I have had them before).  The fish in this group are the largest I have ever seen, and so far they are doing very well.  They are voracious eaters, and I am glad that they like black worms.  Otherwise I am not sure I could keep them well fed.  Look for more blog posts about this species in the future…

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Carinotetraodon borneensis… Borneo Red Eye Puffer

I have always liked puffers, but I have not taken advantage of many opportunities to keep them.  When this species popped up I decided to import a bunch of them and see how they do.  What an awesome aquarium fish!  C. borneensis is very uncommon in the hobby, which is why we do not know a lot about it.  It is very similar to the C. irrubesco, which is more common, so we can extrapolate a lot.  My first surprise was how large he males came in.  When I think of the genus Carinotetraodon, I think of the pea puffer fron India (C. travancoricus).  The Borneo red eye is larger… but does not grow as large as the true Tetraodon sp.  I learned one lesson the hard way… do not kep them with cory cats.  You will see what I mean in the video….

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Who C.A.R.E.S.? Hemichromis cristatus

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Here is a little jewel cichlid that is listed on the C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program priority list as being vulnerable.  They come from Nigeria, where their natural habitat is under siege by deforestation and oil drilling.  We are not entirely sure what the future hold for these fish, but he do know that they are infrequently exported (usually by accident as a different species).  They are the smallest of the red jewel cichlids, and have a unique red over yellow over red color pattern when spawning.  The fish in this video are not in their brightest coloration, but you can see the yellow stripe down the lateral line.  Enjoy…

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Stiphodon percnopterygoinus

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I have always wanted to have a river tank with some Stiphodon gobies, and now I do.  These interesting little rapids-dwellers come from Taiwan, where most of the colorful species currently popular in the aquarium hobby come from.  They live in fast-flowing coastal streams that are oxygen-rich, shallow and bright enough to foster a healthy growth of algae.  These gobies are such good algae eaters that they can easily clean off several square inches of surface area in a day.  They are also very territorial, and where there are many in an aquarium (I have about 30 of them), small groups form up and stick to their little areas of the tank.  Each group will have a dominant male, a sub-dominant male or two and several females.  The dominant males flash a lot of color.  S. percnopterygoinus is referred to as the ‘yellow stiphodon goby’ on the import lists, but I am not sure why.  The displaying males have a jet black eye and dorsal fin.  The other unpaired fins are red.  The body becomes very dark, almost black, at the front and back, while the abdomen flashes a bright tan… I guess it looks a little bit yellow in contrast.  These gobies will readily spawn in an aquarium, but the fry will not survive.  In the wild the larvae are washed downstream to the ocean where they live through a long planktonic stage.  Once they settle they find a freshwater stream to return to.  There are several very colorful species in the hobby right now, and a tank with a lot of them is fun to watch.  Enjoy…

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Danios, Rasboras and Barbs

I needed to get some photos of some of my smaller fish, so I placed a couple dozen of each into my 30-gallon planted photo tank.  I am always amazed at how cool a tank full of very small fish looks.  The three species in there are the classic harlequin rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha), the relatively new micro-danio with the common name of neon yellow rasbora (Microdevario kubotai) and the very old school (but hard to find today) African fire barb (Barbus fasciolatus).  The African barb is a very cool fish that makes a great dither in dwarf cichlid tanks, or even under schools of larger African tetras.  The harlequin rasboras are one of the most historically popular fish in the hobby… with good reason!  A school of these beauties is hard to beat for action and color.  The neon yellow microdevario is destined to become a classic.  It really is neon yellow, and a school of them looks awesome in a planted tank.  All three are available in the stock shop right now.  Enjoy…

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Panda Barbs Spawning

My panda barbs are some of my favorite fish.  Very active, very pretty, very prolific and always willing to put on a show.  Here they are engaging in their daily spawning routine.  This happens about an hour after the lights come on, and continues until I feed them.  I am sure that if I removed the fish from this aquarium I would have thousands of fry appear in a few days.  When I want to collect eggs, all I have to do is move the male and one female to a 2.5-gallon tank with a yarn mop and they will happily fill it with hundreds of eggs.  Enjoy…

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The Dark Knight Paradise Gouramie

The common name of this fish is all it took for me to want it (I am a bit of a batman fan).  The pictures sealed the deal.  This is a typical paradise gouramie in just about every way, except that it comes from some pretty temperate climates and prefers its habitat cool.  I am probably keeping them too warm, but that will change with I give them the 75 planted tank in the living room.  That aquarium stays in the low seventies, and dips into the high 60′s in the Winter.  I have a group of six, but these two are the pair.  They colored up nicely this week, but I think the water is too warm for them to spawn.  Hopefully moving them to a colder tank will help.  Cool fish!  (literally… LOL).

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