Thanks to the Missouri Aquarium Society, Inc. I had a chance to play with my video camera’s underwater housing in an Ozark stream this week. North American native fish would be an addiction easy to succumb to. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin invasive species laws prevent me from being able to collect fish all over the midwest and bring them back to my fish room. I will just have to stick to video and pictures… they are easier to transport anyway.
We spent half a day filming and netting in Whittenburg Creek, at the town of Steelville, MO, which is a tributary of the Meremac River. The conditions were great. Clear, shallow water on a sunny day. Take a look at the video:I thought the variety of fish we found was great, but the MASI members on hand told me that they usually find more at this location, especially darters. I netted this nice male fantail darter (Etheostoma flabellare)
There were two common minnows in the stream, southern redbelly dace (Crosomus erythrogaster)
and bleeding shiners (Luxilus zonatus).
We also found two species of Fundulus killifish: the black spot top minnow (F. olivaceus)
and the northern studfish (F. cantanatus)
Banded sculpin were very common (Cottus carolinae).
Unfortunately, we disturbed a madtom catfish nest, but did not catch the catfish. Here is a picture of the eggs. They were hard like a cory cat egg, and very well attached to the underside of this rock. Mike Hellweg (my host for the trip) took them home to try to hatch them. If anyone can do that, it will be Mike!
We also collected fish in the Meremac River itself, but the water was cloudy and filming poor. Maybe next time!
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.
I am going to try something new… a newsletter. Right now the plan is to send one out once each month with updates about the blog, hobby events, industry news and anything else that is timely and not something that I would normally put in a blog post. I am also going to use the newsletter to offer specials and discounts on livestock and products. Please sign up for the newsletter at the top of the right hand side bar. If you do not like it you can always unsubscribe at any time.
If you are a customer who has already purchased from me, you may be getting a customer newsletter as well. These will go out every other week with current stock lists, specials, clearance items and anything else I want to offer my customers in way of thanks for the support. How can you get on that list? Place and order!
Lots of very nice Apsitogramma on today’s order in from the Czech Republic. Better size than the last order too. Highlights are some smaller A. cacatuoides that are lower in price, more Dutch rams, big A. agassizii of various flavors, two different A. veijita (normal and Gold), more Laetacara dorsigera ‘Bolivia’, A. sp. ‘Opal Red Mask’, A. borelli ‘Paraguay’ and some A. trifasciata. Some Altolamprologus compressiceps ‘Sumbu’, which is the dwarf, shell-dwelling compressiceps also came in on special order for a customer, but I have five more that I can sell. If you are interested, ask… they are not on the list.
Betta pugnax – I have not seen this cool, larger mouthbrooding species in a while. Compared to other wild Betta sp, this is not very expensive. Try this one if you want to get some experience with the larger mouth brooders.
Betta channoides – a lot like B. albimarginata, but brighter orange and a little smaller.
Akysis vespa – the Asian wasp catfish. Don’t get stung! I have not had this fish before. It is very pretty and interesting. According to Mike Hellweg, they will breed in an aquarium.
Trichogaster chuna – Honey gouramies!
Lot’s of shrimp: orange rili, carbon rili, super red cherry (awesome), blue velvet, armadillo/leopard, crystal red
Large Pangio kuhli!
Trigonostigma heteromorpha and T. hengeli rasboras
Corydoras sterbai, paleatus & panda
Anomalochromis cf. thomasi…. small westie butterfly cichlid. This is the spotted Guinea form that stays small
Fire eels, black ghost knives, celebes halfbeaks, Denison barbs, tricolor Showa swordtails, Danio tinwini, D. kyathit….
2nd-day shipping is now available for $35 or actual rice + $15% (whichever is lower). Live arrival is not guaranteed on any shipping slower than overnight. We are still pretty cold here in WI (expecting more snow tonight… uhg), but next week should be ok.
Every time I think this Winter is over, the forecast calls for more snow. 2-4″ on April 1st? Really? If the weatherman is playing a joke, it’s a bad one. We have warmed up enough that I can start ordering fish again though. Last week I got a SPECTACULAR order of wild fish from a new source in Columbia. Big cardinals, lot’s of great cory cats, checkerboard cichlids, royal farlowella, whiptail cats, parrot cichlids, baby wild oscars…. AND AND AND the real Apistogramma viejita!
More great stuff coming March 31. Several boxes from Brazil that will have some Apisto. mendezi, A. elizibathae and Dicrossus maculatus. And some Asian fish I have been nervous about missing out on this season. Chocolate gouramies: regular chocolate, cherry chocolate & vallianti chocolate. Betta albimarginata. Betta unimaculata. Crossocheilus reticulatus… a different siamese algae eater that is reputed to eat brush algae.
If we can get past these SNOW STORMS we might even be able to start shipping 2-day….
Ray is a long-time hobbyist living in Liverpool, England. Matthew and I had the privilege of staying with Ray for a few days while over in England last Fall for a British Cichlid Association event. Ray is an great tour guide. He know where all the good beer is! His fish room is impressive. I say ‘fish room’, but his hobby spreads throughout his house. Ray’s passion is really whatever captures his interest, but he has a lot of interest in South American dwarf cichlids. Take a look….
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!