The May 2013 issue featured an interview with the stars of Nat Geo Wild’s Fish Tank Kings. According to Francis Yupangco, the self-described “fish geek” on the show, the second season is bound to impress.
“I think that if people enjoyed the first season, they’re going to be blown away by the second. And if they thought that the first season was underwhelming, I think that give it a chance and watch the second season and it will most likely change their minds for the better,” he said.
Check out the video below for a preview of the exciting new season!
For more on the Fish Tank Kings, you can visit their website.
COLLEGE PARK, Md – If you’ve owned a pet guppy, you know they often jump out of their tanks. Many a child has asked why the guppy jumped; many a parent has been stumped for an answer. Now a study by University of Maryland biologist Daphne De Freitas Soares reveals how guppies are able to jump so far, and suggests why they do it.
Soares, an expert in the brain circuitry that controls animal behavior, decided to study jumping guppies while researching unrelated evolutionary changes in the brainstems ofPoecilia reticulata, a wild guppy species from the island of Trinidad and the forebear to the familiar pet shop fish. During that 2011 project, a guppy jumped out of a laboratory tank and into Soares’ cup of chai.
“Fortunately it was iced chai and it had a lid on, so he stayed alive,” Soares said. “That was enough for me. I had to use a high speed camera to film what was going on.”
Soares, an assistant professor of biology, and UMD biology lecturer Hilary S. Bierman used high speed videography and digital imaging to analyze the jumping behavior of nine guppies from the wild Trinidadian species.
In a research paper published April 16 in the online peer-reviewed journal PLOS One, Soares and Bierman reported the jumping guppies started from a still position, swam backwards slowly, then changed direction and hurtled into the air. By preparing for the jump – a behavior never reported before in fish, according to the two biologists – the guppies were able to jump up to eight times their body length, at speeds of more than four feet per second.
Soares and Bierman concluded that guppies jump on purpose, and apparently not for the reasons other fish do – to escape from predators, to catch prey, or to get past obstacles on seasonal migrations.
The biologists hypothesize that jumping serves an important evolutionary purpose, allowing guppies to reach all the available habitat in Trinidad’s mountain streams. By dispersing, they move away from areas of heavy predation, minimize competition with one another, and keep the species’ genetic variability high, the researchers believe.
“Evolution is truly amazing,” said Soares, who spent her own money on fish food, but otherwise conducted the study at no cost.
The video above captures a guppy’s high flying technique.
In the April 2013 issue, Jim Benfer profiles stick catfish. For those who are interested, stick catfish can make for a challenging breeding project. These videos and brief descriptions below may help you on the path to spawning your own stick catfish.
Breeding males entice females to spawn with them on vertical aquaria glass near the water surface beginning in the overnight hours.
Usually, the females deposit two adhesive eggs side by side, starting closest to the surface, and working downward until a double chain of eggs has been deposited and fertilized.
We all know that there are people who go to extremes for their pet fish. Some dedicate entire rooms (or backyards, or basements) to them, some raise live foods, others conduct daily water changes, and at least one goldfish keeper built his disabled goldfish a flotation device so it doesn’t have to rest on the bottom.
Check out the video below to see the fish wheelchair in action!
South American silver arowana. Photograph by Tobias Lim Koon Li.
In the February 2012 issue, Tobias Lim Koon Li describes the beautiful and majestic South American silver arowana. That is just one of the many different types of arowanas he keeps in his 13,000-gallon pond. Check out the video below for the basic information and care requirements of the other types of arowanas that he keeps.
A ray approaches the author’s camera in the 80,000-gallon snorkel tank. Photograph by Mark Denaro.
Mark Denaro recently had the opportunity to visit the Long Island Aquarium, and he wrote about it in the February 2013 issue. Taking an armchair tour of an aquarium is great, but if you can’t go, seeing a video is the next best thing. Take a look below for videos of two highlights at the aquarium: a 20,000-gallon reef tank and an 80,000 gallon snorkel tank.
Are you looking for a way to light your Christmas tree without increasing your electric bill? Well if you happen to have an electric eel on hand, you can follow the lead of the Living Planet Aquarium in Utah and rig up the lights to the eel’s tank. Every December the eel is the source of electricity for a dazzling Christmas light show.
”We took the voltage produced by the eel via stainless steel electrodes and used it to power a sequencer,” said Terry Smith, Project Manager at Cache Valley Electric. “The sequencer takes the voltage the eel produces and operates circuitry that flashes the lights, fast or slow, based on the level of voltage he puts out, ” said Smith. Each time the eel moves, the lights on the 5ft tall tree flash intermittently using 4 strands of holiday lights.”
You can check out the eel’s holiday display in action below.
At the beginning of the storm season in the Caribbean, these normally anti-social lobsters line up in the shallows and migrate to calmer waters, their preferred habitat. The video below shows them on their amazing journey, as narrated by David Attenborough from the Trials of Life.
Almost everything about the wild origins of the giant krib (Pelvicachromis sacrimontis) is unclear. We know that the fish come from the Niger River, but we do not know exactly where. I find this a bit odd because someone has been collecting them by the thousands for decades. Whoever mans the nets must know where they are, but the fact that outside of Nigeria we are still in the dark on the issue is a testament to how difficult it is to get into Nigeria to learn anything first hand.
We know that wild giant kribs are not nearly as easy to get as they used to be, and that is all the scarier because we do not know why. The C.A.R.E.S Preservation Program has listed P. sacrimontis on its Conservation Priority Species at Risk List because we have to assume that exports are diminishing due to the fact that wild populations are also diminishing. Very little of the Nigerian rainforest remains intact, and the area of the Niger River Delta around Lagos (where we assume the populations of giant kribs are located) is heavily impacted by oil drilling and the burgeoning human population of the capital city.
Twenty years ago, the fish were available year-round, but today, the exports are very seasonal. Wild fish come out of Nigeria for only a few months each year, and the numbers of boxes are limited. Most of the receivers of these wild fish are specialty importers rather than the general wholesalers who used to get them so frequently. And the price is higher. Sadly, giant kribs are rarely found in aquarium stores anymore. That is not an entirely bad thing, however, because increasing prices drive down the demand. The hobbyists who are willing to pay the price will be the responsible keepers who really want to work with the species.
For those willing to make the effort to acquire and work with giant kribs, as the video below shows, they make excellent parents and breed readily.
Tobias Lim Koon Li has a pond, featured in the August 2012 issue of TFH , that most fishkeepers can only dream about. It features monster fish, such as full-grown red-tail cats, tiger shovelnoses, arapaima, alligator gar, and much more. One of the many challenges keeping those kinds of fish is having a filtration system that can handle the massive amount waste produced.
Tobias developed his own impressive filtration system, that can be seen in his video below.