The world's smallest aquarium (and smallest aquarium net). Photograph by Anatoly Konenko http://www.crookedbrains.net/2011/05/worlds-smallest-aquarium.html
By David E. Boruchowitz
How do you do a water change on an aquarium that holds only 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of water? With a syringe!
That’s how micro-miniature artist Anatoly Konenko of Omsk, Russia fills his inch-long planted tank so as not to disturb the aquascape. This is certainly taking the nano tank craze to its extreme. The tank is so small that the meniscus (the U-shape of the water surface in a vessel caused by the water climbing the sides by capillary action) is clearly visible. The aquarium is populated with recently-free-swimming zebra danio fry, though not on a permanent basis. Here’s a video of the tank:
And if you want to see some similar ideas, check out our article from a couple of years ago:
A thunder-line royal pleco. Photograph by Leighton Lum.
Royal plecos are somewhat rare plecos that are highly sought after by catfish enthusiasts. Unlike many of the plecos seen for sale, royal plecos have bold colors and patterns that make them stand out in any tank.
This green pleco has a great home for itself. It has peaceful tankmates such as Congo tetras, rainbowfish, and roseline barbs. It has driftwood to feed on and hiding places to dart into. You can also see that there is substantial current in the aquarium.
Freshwater shrimp are one of the hottest newcomers to the aquarium hobby, and selectively bred red ones are extremely popular. One of the amazing things you can observe in your pet shrimp is the way they feed. Seeming to stare off into the distance, they sample detritus completely by touch and scent, moving their feeding appendages in apparent fast forward, transferring edible finds to their mouthparts at the same pace. Here’s a close-up video that shows the process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWL2XUU8PJw
Fake rock can be made of cement and sand, as is being done on a commercial scale at this coral farm in Indonesia. Photograph by James Fatherree.
Setting up a reef aquarium can be an extremely challenging venture. You have to choose from all the different types of equipment out there, the type of fish you want, whether or not to include invertebrates, etc. One of the most important decisions you have to make during the setup is what type of rock to use. James Fatherree explains the pros and cons of live, base, and homemade rock in the September 2011 issue of TFH http://www.tfhdigital.com/tfh/201109/#pg51.
Female crosshatch triggerfish Xanthichthys mento. Photograph by Keoki Stender.
Triggers are rough-and-tumble reef dwellers that often create problems in a community aquarium, but those from the genus Xanthichthys are comparably peaceful and can sometimes even be housed in a reef tank. Learn all about those “Marvelous Triggers” in Edward Adam Jackson’s article in the September 2011 issue of TFH http://www.tfhdigital.com/tfh/201109/#pg99.
Leopard wrasse Macropharyngodon meleagris. Photograph by Bob Fenner.
Leopard wrasses make beautiful additions to the marine aquarium provided their exacting needs are met. They must be kept in a large, established reef with plenty of hiding places, room to swim, and a secure cover to prevent them from jumping out of the aquarium when startled. Another important consideration is to purchase a healthy looking wrasse from the start.
An adult bundoon blenny Meiacanthus bundoon. Photograph by Matt Wittenrich.
Clownfish are among the most popular fish that beginning marine fish breeders attempt to reproduce, however they may not be the easiest. Although their larvae are larger than most, and therefore easier to raise, it can take years for a clownfish pair to begin spawning.
That’s why master marine fish breeder Matt Wittenrich, PhD recommends using bundoon blennies Meiacanthus bundoon for a beginner’s first project. Bundoon blennies have large larvae that are relatively easy to raise and can even handle less-than-perfect water quality.
But Mo doesn’t limit himself to photos only, he also makes incredible videos of his cichlids. In particular, he created a video of the Amphilophus hogaboomorum featured in the article. The video shows fish that Mo collected in the Rio Cholteca near Teguchagalpa, Honduras. The tank includes one female (the smallest one) and several males in a 180-gallon tank.
Blind cave fish (front) have no eyes, whereas surface fish (back) of the same species have rather large eyes. Photo by Richard Borowsky
If you want to see the full effects of inter-cave hybridization on eye size, you have to look at very young fish. The eye rudiments of Tinaja and Molino cave fish are much smaller than those of surface fish. Not only are they smaller, they are completely non-functional. In contrast, the eye rudiments of the Tinaja x Molino hybrids are significantly larger than those of their parents. Myquestion was, “Are they large enough and well enough formed to work?”
In order to determine whether any of these fry could see, we placed them individually in a shallow dish in a syrup like substance that made it difficult for them to swim, but did not interfere with their breathing or their eye movements. The dish was surrounded by a vertical cylinder with black and white vertical stripes that we could rotate. When we tested the surface fish, its eyes followed the stripes as they rotated and then, going as far as they could, they would snap back. They would then follow again and snap back once more. This happened repeatedly, until we stopped the movement or reversed the direction of rotation. When we reversed the direction, they would follow in the new direction and snap back in the opposite. The surface fry did this because they could see and because following stripes is an instinct. When we repeated the experiment with either Tinaja or Molino fry, neither of them showed any eye movement at all. The same is true when we used fry from other caves, such as Pachón. Of course, they failed to exhibit the response because they were blind and could not see the stripes.