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Lighting Up the Tree

Electric eel. Photograph by Klaus Paysan.

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.

 

 

Source: The Living Planet Aquarium 

 

 

 

 

Posted December 21st, 2012.

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Caribbean Spiny Lobster Migration

 

In the December 2012 issue of TFH,  Edward Adam Jackson reviews the types of spiny lobsters and their care requirements. One of the most unique things about one species, Panulirus argus, cannot be seen in an aquarium.

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.

 Photograph by Keoki Stender.

Posted October 24th, 2012.

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Giant Kribs Breeding

 

Giant kribs (Pelvicachromis sacrimontis).

By Ted Judy

Excerpted from the November 2012 “Cichlid World” column.

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.

Video Source: http://tedsfishroom.com/2012/08/06/who-c-a-r-e-s-pelvicachromis-sacrimontis/ 

Photograph by Ted Judy.

Posted October 12th, 2012.

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Monster Fish Filtration

Photograph by Tobias Lim Koon Li.

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.

 

Posted July 20th, 2012.

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Aquascaping at Interzoo

This soccer field tank was one of many unique aquascapes featured at Interzoo 2012. Photograph by Valerio Zupo.

In his August 2012 article, Valerio Zupo wrote about Interzoo, the biannual fair dedicated to the world of pets, declaring it, “an even larger success this year than in previous years.” It was held in Nuremberg, Germany, from May 16–20, 2012. He described the incredible number of aquariums and accessories, many of which were quite unique.

One of the highlights of Interzoo is seeing the setups developed by various companies. Check out the video below to see some fantastic and creative aquascapes featured at the show.

 

 

Posted June 29th, 2012.

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Water Testing Demonstration

In the July 2012 issue, Wesley Devers discussed the importance of water testing—a fundamental and vital aspect of ensuring the health of a tank and its inhabitants. We were fortunate enough to run into a professional aquarium caretaker at our local fish shop and captured a basic look at the process. Check out the video to get an idea of the tools employed and which parameters to monitor.

 

Posted June 22nd, 2012.

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Fish Tank Kings

A reef tank with a race car decoration was built for Indy car driver Ryan Hunter-Reay in the Fish Tank Kings episode “Finsanity.” Courtesy of Lindsey Snell/NGCI

Fish Tank Kings, a reality TV show that premiered on Nat Geo Wild this year and is featured in the July 2012 issue of TFH, follows Living Color Enterprises on a variety of aquarium builds.

According to Mat Roy, President of Living Color, “I think the show is unique, and I think it holds true to the industry. Like any reality television show, there is some scripting because they’re trying to throw out worst-case scenarios and best-case scenarios. But at the end of the day, Living Color is always the hero, getting the project done, and more importantly, every single one of those projects is done correctly. That was the foremost of everything that we were doing—we were not going to rush into a job just to get it done to put it on film. These are real projects; these are real clients. That’s the way it is.”

For those of you who enjoy the show, here is a preview of the final episode featuring the Rainforest Cafe and airing tomorrow at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nat Geo Wild.

 

Posted June 15th, 2012.

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Super Mario Aquarium

Talk about an interestingly themed aquarium! Using custom painted Legos and a close attention to detail, Redditor jennyleighb created this Super Mario Bros tank. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the video of this truly unique setup.

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5914021/do-fire-flowers-still-work-in-this-awesome-super-mario-aquarium/gallery/1

Posted May 30th, 2012.

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Creating an Aquascape Using Unzan-seki Stones

Photograph by Takashi Amano.

By Takashi Amano

Unzan-seki stones are a new layout material in the Nature Aquarium, as explained in the June 2012 issue of TFH.

The way that the willow moss was attached to the surface of unzan-seki stones is quite unique. Willow moss was chopped into tiny pieces with a kitchen knife and rubbed on the surface of the unzan-seki stones. Chopped willow moss pieces will remain in the numerous depressions on the surface of unzan-seki stones and gradually attach themselves to the stones naturally.

You can watch exactly how the tank was set up.

 

Posted May 3rd, 2012.

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Schooling Rays

Well, this is certainly not your average school! Check out this mesmerizing video of an epic group of schooling rays in action, captured in expert fashion by National Geographic.

Posted May 1st, 2012.

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