Apistogramma panduro… Mirror Therapy

Here is a video of a pair of wild A. panduro that are in the process of getting ready to spawn.  This species is one of the nijsseni-group apistos, and as such it can be pretty aggressive.  They prefer to spawn in pairs, and other fish in the tank can take a pretty good beating from a dominant pair.  This can be a problem when a pair is not fully bonded.  If the male is not receptive to the advances of the female, or if an amorous male does not get the response he wants from a female, then there is a chance that the male can attack and kill the female.  Mirror therapy can help…  by using a mirror to solicit a territorial response by the pair, their bond is made stronger.  You will see in the video that the male is very aggressive on the mirror… he hits it hard multiple times.  The female will also join in on the defense, which is a good sign that the pair is bonding well.

A Visit to Anthony Mazeroll’s Fish Room

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….

San Antonio Zoo – Africa Live!

The Africa Live exhibit at the San Antonio Zoo is one of my favorite galleries to visit, because it features aquariums dedicated to most of the major (or at least famous) freshwater ecosystems that are of interest to aquarium keepers.  And those displays are LARGE.  Most zoos/aquariums have Lakes Malawi and/or Tanganyika exhibits, but most are not on the scale of what you will see at the San Antonio Zoo.  But it is the West African river display that (in my biased opinion) takes the cake!

Basic Aquarium – Part 2

Preparing the New Tank

This is the second installment in the Basic Aquarium series.  It covers preparing the tank before setting up the aquarium, and adding a basic gravel substrate with a few structural decorations.  The first part of the video will show you how I paint the backs of my tanks.  There are a lot of different ways to make a background, and it is important that you do something to cover the back of your tank.  It helps to create areas in your tank where fish can find a quiet refuge.  The aquarium will look a lot nicer too…

Global Pet Expo – Cool New New Products

The Global Pet Expo 2011, hosted by the American Pet Products Association, is a distributor trade share where manufacturers can introduce their products to potential buyers.  Every year there are new products unveiled at the event.  This video shows a few that I thought were particularly interesting.  Unfortunately, there is not enough time in a 10-minute (or less) video to show everything.

Aquatic Environments

I spent last weekend as the guest of the Quad City Fish Keepers club and presented a talk at their swap meet.  The turn out was great!  Thank you to everyone who came out to support the club.  While I was in town I was able to visit three fish rooms and a great aquarium store.  I will being posting blog entries on all of them.

Here is the video I shot in the store, Aquatic Environments, which is one of the nicest shops I have ever seen.  Their marine selection is incredible.  The reef tanks that they sell out of are nicer than many display tanks I have seen!  The owner was generous to sponsor my talk at the QCFK event, and donate a 75 gallon tank, top and stand for raffle.  The Davenport area is lucky to have such a nice place to shop in.

Archocentrus multispinosa

This is a video that I shot a while ago with my old camcorder (hence the not-so-good quality).  There are four male rainbow cichlids in this tank, and two of them used to stay colored up most of the time and spar with each other for dominance.  The oscars in with them have since grown up, and now the rainbows are not so confident.  The display that these fish put on is a good example of territorial competition without actually fighting.  The fish on the left ‘owns’ most of the space, while the fish on the right tries to hold onto just about one quarter of the area in the tank.  I like how they both look surprised whenever they run into each other.

Honey gouramies!

Colisa sota, the honey gouramie, is one of my all-time favorite fish.  Peaceful, small (but with attitude), colorful and intelligent.  The fish in this video are third generation in my fish room.  The male is tending a nest, and the fry from this spawn are now large enough to sex out.  I gave the pair in the video to a friend who wanted to try spawning them, so when the fish I have now breed they will produce a 5th generation.  This species must be genetically robust, because all I have ever done is spawn a single pair to get a new generation to work with and I have not seen any indication of reduced vitality in the line or any deformities.  My original pair, four years ago, were wild-caught fish.  I see this species infrequently in fish stores, but when they are there the price is reasonable and the quality looks pretty good.  This is a good species to work with if you want to try spawning a gouramie.