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Memorial to Takashi Amano

 

Film director Hiroyuki Nakano created this video of Takashi Amano and Nature Aquarium.  Takashi Amano appears with a large format camera, followed by images of vivid Nature Aquarium. Mr. Nakano released this video in order to honor the memory of Takashi Amano. We hope you enjoy.

Posted September 20th, 2016.

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Origin of Creation

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Posted September 20th, 2016.

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Colony-breeding Cichlids Finally Come Through

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By Ted Judy

Twenty years ago I kept and bred a lot of Lake Malawi cichlids.  It is hard to beat the riot of color in a well-stocked Malawi community.  Matthew (my 7-year-old fish fanatic in the making) discovered this colorful genre about a year ago, and has been slowly taking over tank space in the house ever since.  We are up to three Malawi community tanks: a 42-gallon bow front in Matthew’s room, a 55-gallon in the family room, and a 40-gallon breeder in the fish room.  I decided to take advantage of these three tanks for the contest by converting the tanks from purely aesthetic communities into breeding colonies.

What is the difference between a community and a breeding colony?  A community can be any mix of fish regardless of sex ratio, age and compatibility (though I would hope they all can get along).  A breeding colony is a group of fish set up to encourage breeding.  There is some cross over.  Purists and serious breeders will usually set up single-species colonies with only one or two males and many females.  These large colonies will usually produce a lot of fry, but only of one species.  Matthew and I chose to sacrifice large numbers of fry in hopes of getting multiple species to breed in the same tank.

The trick is to set up groups of fish that are compatible, but are not so similar that hybridization is likely to occur.  Luckily there are so many different Lake Malawi cichlids that finding a good mix is not too hard to do.  The two main breeding tanks are the 42-gallon bow front and the 55-gallon.  The 40-breeder in the fish room has one species old enough to spawn (Labeotropheus trewavasae “Mphanga”) and a bunch of young fish that are growing up to be the next groups to go into the spawning tanks.

Labeotropheus trewavasae Mphanga.

Labeotropheus trewavasae “Mphanga.”

The 42-gallon tank has a quad (one male  and three females) of adult Aulonacara stuartgranti ‘Ngara’ peacocks, a trio of Metriaclima sp. “white top Hara” and a trio of the electric blue “johanni” Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos.  We had to get rid of a few single males of different species and find some females to fill out the colonies.  We also added a lot more hiding places, which we did very inexpensively by asking the local plant nursery for any large damaged flower pots.  Matthew is very good at getting free broken pots, which we broke more until they would fit in the tank.  A big pile of the curving terra cotta pieces is perfect for these cichlids.

Aulonacara stuartgranti Ngara.

Aulonacara stuartgranti “Ngara.”

The 55-gallon has a quad of large  OB Labeotropheus fuellebourni, a group of eight (two males, six females) Metriaclima sp. “Msobo,” and a trio of Pseudotropheus sp. “red cheek.”  I am a little concerned about hybridization between the Pseudotropheus and Metriaclima, but I have not seen any evidence of it happening.  In my experience, if there are suitable mates of the same species for all the fish in the tank hybrid breeding rarely occurs.  I will hope for the best and pay careful attention to the fry.

Labeotropheus fuellebourni; offering a suitable number of mates of the same species is often a good way to prevent hybridization.

Labeotropheus fuellebourni; offering a suitable number of mates of the same species is often a good way to prevent hybridization.

Metriaclima sp. Msobo; pay careful attention to the colors and patterns on the fry to check that hybridization has not occurred.

Metriaclima sp. “Msobo”; pay careful attention to the colors and patterns on the fry to check that hybridization has not occurred.

The colonies were set up before the contest started, but we only had one species spawn right away: Metriaclima sp. “Msobo.”  Nothing else spawned in the next two months.  I started feeding more heavily and doing large water changes more frequently.  Once every two weeks I would do a really large water change followed by a 4-day fast.  Sometimes the lack of the diversion of food will trigger fish to spawn.  The weather started to get cooler, and that is not conducive to getting Malawi fish to breed, so I was worried that I would not see any success until spring.  So the first week of December I added a big heater to each tank and jumped the temperature up to 82F in hopes of heading off a winter lull.  I normally do not keep my tanks much above 74F.  I believe that cooler water is better for the health of the fish (assuming the fish are not ‘hot water’ species).  I also went out onto my local club’s forum and asked for advice.  Everyone said to split the communities up and go back to one species per tank.

I was about to do that when everything started to spawn.  Within three days we had holding females of the L. trewavasae “Mphanga,” L. feullebourni, A. stuartgranti “Ngara,” Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos, and Metriaclima sp. “white top Hara.”  Five out of seven is not bad, and since the M. sp. “Msobo” spawned early in the competition we are left with only one species of breeding-age Malawi cichlid to spawn.

The plan now is to rotate the species that have spawned out and new species in.  Matthew is excited… he LOVES to shop for fish (the apple does not fall far from the tree).

Posted September 20th, 2016.

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EcoBio-Stone

Aquarium and terrarium water stays clear and odor-free for years with easy-to-use EcoBio-Stones, a unique volcanic mixture infused with live beneficial bacteria that degrade organic matter, naturally create a healthy ecosystem for fish, and reduce aquarium care and maintenance.  Visit www.onedersave.com for more information

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Posted September 14th, 2016.

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My Aquarium Box

My Aquarium Box is the first ever subscription box made for freshwater and saltwater aquarium hobbyists. Discover the latest and greatest foods, tools, gadgets, supplements, and décor delivered straight to your door once a month and always with free shipping. Subscriptions are month-to-month and you can cancel at any time. Visit www.myaquariumbox.com for more details.

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Posted September 13th, 2016.

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SDaquarist™

Feed for Bivalves & Filter Feeders A concentrated, clean, liquid feed that is a unique blend of 6 marine microalgae: Isochrysis, Pavlova, Tetraselmis, Chaetocerous, Thalassiosira weissflogii & Thalassiosira pseudonana—species that have demonstrated success with a variety of shellfish. Increases growth and survival rate for: bivalve species & other filter feeders from first feeding larvae through broodstock, artemia, and some copepods. Lower density version of our commercial product Shellfish Diet®.  Provides the same nutritional value of live algae in convenient form. Whole cell of the microalgae encapsulates all nutrients, creating cleaner tank, less waste, & greater value.   For more information visit www.apbreed.com/product_sdaquarist.php

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Posted September 11th, 2016.

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Arcti-Pods®

For Fish and Invertebrates

Concentrated, whole-organism feed by Reef Nutrition® consisting of large, nutrition-packed, planktonic copepods (3000 microns). Naturally rich in carotenoids, HUFAs & wax esters. Even finicky fish like Potter’s Angelfish, Purple Queen Anthias and Moorish Idol love them as well as LPS Corals, Anemones, Zoanthids, and Brittle Stars. Unique benefits: pure, healthy feed; harvested fresh from cold, pristine arctic waters; the only refrigerated copepods on the market that are never pasteurized.   www.ReefNutrition.com

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Posted July 11th, 2016.

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Oyster-Feast®

For Corals and invertebrates

Unique mix of oyster eggs & oyster ovarian tissue, naturally sized (1-200 microns). Ovarian tissue offers all the benefits & nutritional value of the eggs, but in a wide range of sizes (down to 1 micron). Perfect for the smallest SPS Corals up to LPS corals & invertebrates. Unique benefits: provides the richest nutritional parts of the oyster found in nature; never pasteurized — instead, cold processed to preserve nutrients; provides more nutrition per dose. By Reef Nutrition. www.ReefNutrition.com

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Posted July 10th, 2016.

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Phyto-Feast™

Food for Filter Feeders

Unique concentrate blend of 6 microalgae of different cell sizes optimized for 100% nutrition by Reef Nutrition. Perfect for corals, sponges, tunicates, fans, stars, bi-valves & more. Best blend of microalgae for healthy growth according to universities & hatcheries around the world. Most concentrated algal feed on the market means greatest value. Long shelf life: when properly stored, provides same value after 2 months+ as first day. Also available live for superior short-term cell viability; shipped fresh. www.ReefNutrition.com

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Posted July 9th, 2016.

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Real Oceanic Eggs™

For Fish and Invertebrates

A Reef Nutrition® feed for fish, LPS & NPS Corals, & other invertebrates such as Anemones, Zoanthids & Palythoa. Super-concentrated, marine fish eggs harvested from cold water fish in the North Atlantic Ocean, the source of the richest nutrients. Unique Benefits: richest in natural fatty acids of all roe products, no coloring agents; intact eggs means all nutritional value is available to aquarium animals; easily dispersed; longest shelf life of any refrigerated, marine-sourced roe product. www.ReefNutrition.com

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Posted July 8th, 2016.

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