Here is a video of a recent aquarium makeover I did. The tanks are two 350-gallon monsters set side by side so that they look like one long 700-gallon tank. These aquariums have been running for several years, and were not very well maintained. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me), the previous keeper was unable (or unwilling) to keep the filters clean, and the owners went looking for someone else to do the job. I apologize for the iPhone video. I did not think about documenting the project when I started, and the phone was all I had with me when I realized I should probably make a blog video.
Tag Archives: cichlid
Summer is coming to an end, and I am now back to getting in some fish. Watch the blog for some video posts about what I have been doing all summer. Here is a link to the current stock list. Jump on these fish early, especially the wild fish from Peru. I do not have many and when they are gone they are gone until next year.
I visited the COAST aquarium club in southern California a few weeks ago, and one of our tour stops was Dr. Anthony Mazeroll’s fish room. Dr. Mazeroll is a Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Soka University of America. His work on wild fish genetics and environmental impact of humans takes him all over the world. His fish interests are just as broad. He has a huge DIY aquarium in his living room that is full of Lake Tanganyika cichlids. His fish room has a fish diversity from fancy bettas to wild discus. Dr. Mazeroll is a man truly dedicated to tropical fish, both professionally and as a hobby. Enjoy….
Here is a glimpse of the fishroom and homestead of my good friends the Bireley’s. Rich has a love of large tanks and the monster fish that go into them. Most serious hobbyists have one or two large tanks, maybe up to a 220 gallon (my largest is only 110!). Rich has several large aquariums, and some even larger vessels for holding fish. At one point in the video, Rich explains that the fish he is talking about needs a larger tank… the 180 it is in just will not do! You will also meet Anjoli, Rich and Laura’s daughter, who loves her big fish as much as her dad does. Great family. Great fish room. Enjoy….
I brought in some fish last week. Everything is acclimated, doing well and will be ready to ship next week. I figure we have about another week of safe shipping before the Holiday crush sets in. Here are the highlights:
- Galaxy rasbora (Danio margaritatus, wild)
- Danio choprae (wild)
- Botia kubotai (wild)
- Clown loach 1.75″ and 2.5″ (wild)
- Corydoras loxozonas (wild)
- Corydoras metae (wild)
- Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (wild, Columbia)
- Apistogramma alacrina (wild, Columbia)
- Pea puffer (wild, India)
- Indian medaka rice fish (Oryzias melastigma)
- Sewellia lineolata (wild)
- Dawkinsia (Puntius) rohani (wild, India) VERY RARE
- Rose badis (Badis singenensis (sp. Buxar) (wild, India)
I am shipping fish again for the next few months. Unfortunately, I do not have a ton of fish to ship. One big change is that I now have a REAL job, and I can only pack and ship fish on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which are the only days I can get to the post office on time (or have time in the morning to pack fish). That schedule may change at the end of October, but for now that is the best I can do. There is a new list of fish posted on the livestock page.
Dave Herring is the owner/operator of a long-established aquarium maintenance company in Indianapolis: African Adventure. I knew Dave casually as another ‘fish guy’ when I was doing the retail aquarium thing in Bloomington and Indianapolis over 20 years ago. I ran into Dave at the ACA convention this past July. He was wearing a t-shirt that I designed and sold at the Louisville ACA convention… back in 1992!
Dave built himself an awesome fish house on the back end of his garage, and he is justifiably proud of it. He invited some friends and I over for a visit on the Sunday of the convention. Dave is also the leader of a rock band, and he built a ‘party’ room for his band to perform over the fish house. Dave’s fish are probably the rockin’est cichlid in the midwest. Here is Dave’s fish room. Enjoy!
Not all of the cichlids I keep are from West Africa. Here is a group of cool dwarf cichlids from French Guiana, Nannacara aureocephalus ‘Sounourou’. I got them as small juveniles in November, 2011, from Cris Moscarell. I have found the species to be very slow growing, and they are just now starting to show some spawning behavior. The females wear a very chromatic black and yellow pattern, so you will be able to pick out the spawning female from the group.
The tank is a 25 gallon (36″x13″x13″) filtered with a Poret foam matten filter (air driven). The tetras you see in the video are Hyphessobrycon peruvianus. I am using about 1/2 RO in this tank to soften the water, but I am not adjusting pH. If the pair does nto spawn soon, I will switch to straight RO for a while. If that does not work I will start to drop the pH a bit. Hopefully I will be able to shoot another video of this species in a few weeks… when they are raising fry!
I like to leave cichlid fry with their parents for as long as possible, primarily because the parents will do a better job of raising the fry than I will. I also like to spawn cichlids in community aquariums, if possible, so that I can watch the interactions between the parents, their fry and the other fish in the tank. Care mus be taken to ensure that none of the fish in the tank are harmed too much, and the best way to prevent permanent damage is to use large tanks.
This video shows a pair of wild-caught Pelvicachromis pulcher raising a brood of fry in a 75-gallon aquarium. Other fish in the aquarium include an extra male krib, a small group of Melanotaenia vanhuerni rainbow fish and a breeding pair of Hemichromis cf. lifilili ‘Moanda’. I spend a lot of time watching this pair, and what strikes me is how the parents provide the basic requirements that fry need to survive: food, shelter and protection from threats. Enjoy…
Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting Paul V. Loiselle in our home while he was in town to give presentations to our local aquarium clubs (Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists and the Milwaukee Aquarium Society). Paul and I share an interest in west African fish (that’s a bit of an understatement), so I made sure to clean up all the class and do some big water changes before he arrived.
Everyone with a lot of aquariums will admit that there are usually one or two ‘catch all’ aquariums where fish that may not be current projects are kept. Tanks where young fish are placed to mature, single fish are kept until a mate can be found or any fish where there is simply not a place for at the moment.
The tank that serves that purpose in my house is the 110-gallon aquarium in the video below. Several months ago I happened upon some fish that I had always wanted and could not pass up buying, even though I did not have a breeding tank ready for them: Pelmatochromis buettikoferi and Bryconaethiops boulengeri. They were too young to breed anyway, so into the catch-all tank they went. I also keep my group of rather old Chromidotilapia melaniae in there, but they have not spawned in well over two years. There are also some Hemichromis cf. lifilili ‘Moanda’ that are extra breeders in case my productive pair has a problem. Rounding out the westie theme is an eel… Mastacembelus nigromarginatus, and a few miscellaneous Synodontis sp. catfish. The net result is a pretty cool large-species westie tank.
I turned on the light to show them to Paul, and surprise!!!… the Pelmatochromis buettikoferi were defending fry. I left them in with the parents with the intention of shooting this video, but when I got around to shooting the footage the fry were gone. They will spawn again though! Enjoy….