NEW Photo Gallery

February 14th, 2008

Anubias barteri Flower

Today, I’ve added a new feature to my website — a photo gallery. I plan on maintaining a set of my favorite/best pictures, in one place, so that they’re easy to scan through. Hopefully this will keep everything more organized than it currently is on Flickr.

African Cichlid

You can easily access the photo gallery by using the new link at the top of every page. Every picture should have the EXIF camera data displayed so that you can see what focal lengths, iso, etc… I used when shooting the picture. I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I enjoy taking them.

Business Broker

20H – Low Light Update

February 11th, 2008

I’ve largely neglected my 20H for some time. At first, I had 55W over this tank, and was constantly frustrated with algae problems. Eventually, I got sick of it, and went with a 15W fluorescent strip light over instead. Since then, the algae has been dying back, but I’ve been surprised by some of the plants that have hung on.

20H - 02/11/2008

The Ranalisma rostrata has kept growing, albeit differently, the bolbitus has grown leaps and bounds, and my crypts have done just fine. Most surprising is the Eriocaulaceae sp. ‘Type 2? that’s continued to grow despite the awful light. Inspired by this, last weekend I pulled a few more crypts/anubias from my 54G corner tank, and filled in some of the gaps in the layout. The picture above is the result of that effort.

This isn’t a typical aquascape, but somehow it looks more natural to me then some of the others. The Jewels seem to be right at home with the plants. I’d love to hear any comments you might have on the scape.

Business Broker

New Sulawesi Shrimp

February 7th, 2008

For those of you like me, who haven’t heard the news, there is an exciting new group of shrimp coming into the hobby from Sulawesi, Indonesia. The shrimp are freshwater, but exhibit striking similarities to some marine types of shrimp, especially in their coloration. Most have yet to be fully identified, so they could go by a variety of names.

Caridina sp. “Orangedelight”

The Sulawesi region contains two ancient lakes, Lake Poso and the five-lake Malili system. These old lakes have allowed the species within them to evolve uniquely from their counterparts in surrounding bodies of water. The lakes themselves are a little bit more alkaline than what many of the shrimp we’re used to keeping live in.

Species TBD

From wklotz:

In the Towuti, Mantoano and Poso lakes you can find pH values between 7,4 and 8,2; appear to require the higher pH. the conductivity is at about 224 µS and the total hardness at about 6°DH.
The water temperature is rather stable at about 26,5°C. (80°F) Only in shallow water regions near the shore the temperature can rise to 29°C. (84°F) The Malili system lakes have relatively normal water parameters, with soft water and pH slight alkaline.

Species TBD

There are some problems, however with these shrimp. For starters, many of them have an adult size of 1cm, which would make them unsuitable additions to most people’s fish tanks. Additionally, while they have been kept successfully in captivity, they’re usually kept at a pH greater than 8.0 with no CO2 added, which is problematic for many planted tanks.

Species TBD

Finally, at least one of the species, Caridina spongicola, may not survive due to a possible interdependence with a freshwater sponge. It’s still unclear whether this is a firm requirement, but in the wild, C. spongicola appears to have descended from rock-dwelling shrimp that now use sponges for shelter, and their collected diatoms for food.

Caridina spongicola

That said, at least one member on the Shrimp Now thread have reported eggs forming and hatching when the adult reaches ~1cm in length. Some of the juveniles appear to be viable, so captive breeding may be a possibility.

Species TBD

Of all of the shrimp, Caridina sp. ‘cardinal’ seems to be the easiest to keep, with not surprisingly, the C. spongicola being the most delicate. Many folks report keeping multiple species in a single tank without concerns of interbreeding. It’s possible that this claim is made too early in the process to be conclusive.

Caridina sp. “Goldpowder”

It’s important that commercial shrimp farmers find a way to mass produce these shrimp, as wild collecting can not be sustainably done due to the narrow habitat in which they live.

From Kristina von Rintelen:

Imminent threats are habitat destruction due to canalization work in the outlet area for the hydroelectric dams of a large nickel mine operating in the area, and possibly aquarium trade, where Caridina is a well sought-after pet due its partially flamboyantly coloured species. The Malili lakes have recently received much interest from this side (Chris Lukhaup 2006, personal communication). Protective measures should be taken to ensure not only the existence of the two beautiful species but also to enable further research on the evolution of specialization and interspecific association in this ancient lake model system that can continue to improve our understanding of the origin of these traits.

Caridina sp. “Freshwater Cardinalshrimp”

These shrimp appear to be fairly shy shrimp, preferring dimmer light levels, and doing most of their foraging at night. The exception to that is the Caridina sp. ‘Caridina’ which people have reported as being fairly active.

Caridina sp. “Goldenbackline”

Similar to the Caridina spongicola possible dependence on sponges, some have speculated that the color of the substrate may also serve to keep different species more at home.

Caridina sp. “Sunghai Electric”

Finally, I do not recommend anyone currently buying these shrimp unless they are captive bred, or willing to breed and sell the shrimp themselves. The cost is probably a barrier for most folks anyways, as they’re currently retailing for $40-$45/shrimp from the U.S. online seller, Planet Inverts.

Information collected from the Shrimp Now forum. Also, from here. And here. Photos from Experienced shrimp breeders can purchase some of these from Planet Inverts.

Business Broker

75G – February 2008 Update

February 5th, 2008

It’s been about a month since my last update on this tank. I recently pulled out a large number of plants for the GWAPA auction, harvesting plenty of Utricularia graminfolia in particular. I’m pleased that the tank is growing well, despite measuring 0ppm nitrates yesterday (prior to dosing more), but some parts are growing out of my favor. Largely, the Anubias heterophylla on the right side is getting a bit unwieldy.

75G - 02/04/2008

Also, the Pogostemon stellatus in the back right has gone in and out of looking great to looking like crap. So, I got some Ludwigia inclinata var. verticillata ‘Cuba’ and Eriocaulon sp. ‘Type 3’ at the last GWAPA auction that will hopefully replace the P. stellatus in the back right. My problem is that I haven’t found the best transition plant for the right mid ground. On the left, I have the Utricularia graminfolia in front, with Hygrophila sp. ‘Low Grow’ and Crypt. affinis behind that, stepping up to Blyxa aubertii. That’s a nice transition. On the right, it’s the Utricularia to Crypt. willisii to the stems. Unfortunately, the stems usually look like crap after a trim, messing up the transition. I’ve thought about moving some Eriocaulon sp. ‘Type 2’ over there, but that plant may then be repeated too closely together.

Maybe I’m thinking too much?

Business Broker

Apistogramma sp. ‘Rotpunkt’ Pictures

February 3rd, 2008

I noticed some increased fin flashing activity in my 40G tank, and decided to try and capture a few good shots of my Apistogramma sp. ‘Rotpunkt.’ Some of the shots are better than others, but there’s no doubt that these are some pretty fish, whose colors especially pop under the new 2x96W lights!

Apistogramma sp. 'Rotpunkt'
Apistogramma sp. ‘Rotpunkt’ Male Flashing Fins

Apistogramma sp. 'Rotpunkt'
A. sp. ‘Rotpunkt’ Male Front On

Apistogramma sp. 'Rotpunkt'
A. sp. ‘Rotpunkt’ Female in Spawning Colors

Apistogramma sp. 'Rotpunkt'
A. sp. ‘Rotpunkt’ Male Close Up. Notice how brilliant the blue on the face is.

Apistogramma sp. 'Rotpunkt'
A. sp. ‘Rotpunkt’ Non-Dominant Male. Not nearly as impressive, huh?

Apistogramma sp. 'Rotpunkt'
A. sp. ‘Rotpunkt’ Male Coming at You.

I should have used a flash above the tank to shoot at a better quality ISO, but I always end up spooking the fish in order to set that up.

Thanks for looking! Any comment/critiques are welcome, as always!

Business Broker

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