Thank you S. T. for making this short video of unpacking one of my shipments.
Repashy Superfood has a new diet: Grub Pie, an excellent diet that emphasizes insects in its protein profile. The food is already listed in the stock shop, but it will arrive here this week. Any orders will ship early next week.
Insectivore Gel Premix
Our Insect Based (75%) Meal Replacement Gel for Insectivorous Species of Tropical Fish. Great for Livebearers, Gouramis, Catfish and even Amphibians. Insects are raised in the USA on high-quality ingredients!
INGREDIENTS: Insect Meal, Dried Seaweed Meal, Coconut Meal, Ground Flaxseed, Stabilized Rice Bran, Dried Brewers Yeast, Lecithin, Dried Kelp, Locust Bean Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Citrate, Salt, Taurine, Watermelon, RoseHips, Hibiscus Flower, Calendula Flower, Marigold Flower, Paprika, Turmeric, Salt, Calcium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (as preservatives), Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Manganese Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Copper Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Selenium Yeast. Vitamins: (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-Polyphosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta Carotene, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex).
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein min. 40%, Crude Fat min. 12%, Crude Fiber max. 15%, Moisture max. 10%, Ash max. 12%, Calcium min. 1.5%.
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…
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
There are now two new sizes for Repashy Superfood, 12oz and 70.4oz. These are replacing the discontinued 16oz and 64oz. I am also discontinuing the 6oz size, because there is little advantage to buying a 6oz jar when the 12oz jar is available for not that much more. The 3oz jars will continue to cost $8.99. This is intended to be an introductory size. The larger sizes are a better value per ounce of food. The 6oz jars are still in inventory, but will disappear as they are sold out.
The new packaging is plastic jars, which hold up better over time than the foil bags. The 70.4 oz jar includes a convenient scoop.
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.