Archive for January, 2010

Putting function before form, members of the Perissodinus genus of fish have developed a hugely lopsided jaw that provides a distinct feeding advantage. Research published in the open access journal BMC Biology describes how these scale-eating fish, called cichlids, develop mouths directed either to the left or the right — enabling them to feed on the opposite side of their prey.

Full story here – Science Daily

There are other fish that show “handedness”. Anableps anableps, the four-eyed fish is a livebearer with a sexual organ that moves either to the right or to the left. Females have a corresponding organ that can receive only from the left or from the right. It takes all sorts.


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Baensch Aquarium Atlas Volume 1 (Hans A. Baensch, Rudiger Riehl, Hans A. Smith, Eberh Schulze)
Sixth edition – 1997

At almost 1000 pages, Baensch Aquarium Atlas Volume 1 is a real heavyweight and is clearly aimed at those who are serious about their fish. Comprehensive sections on tank maintenance, equipment, water chemistry, fish anatomy, feeding, diseases and others, ensure that all the major areas of the hobby are covered in some depth. There is even a large, beautifully illustrated chapter on aquarium plants that would put many dedicated plant books to shame. (more…)

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The first meeting of the new year was held last night. There was a good turn out with a couple of prospective new members also coming along. (more…)

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LAKELAND, Fla. — Frosted oranges, strawberries encased in ice: the images of Florida’s freezes are familiar, sad and earthy. But just past the crop rows here in the state’s agricultural core, there swims another sizable industry that has suffered more than any other because of this year’s unusually long cold snap — tropical fish.

As well as a substantial financial hardship to tropical fish farmers in the US the resulting shortage of fish may result in price increases, at least in the USA. If breeders in the Far East divert fish to the states then expect price increases in europe also.

New York Times

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The big freeze, which has led to many of the UK’s ponds freezing over, may benefit animals living beneath the surface. Received wisdom says that pond owners should break a hole in the ice to allow oxygen to reach the water. But new research by conservation charity Pond Conservation has shown the opposite is true.

Fish, and other pond life, have evolved over millions of years to live in ponds that regularly freeze over. It should come as no surprise that they cope just fine when it happens. Perhaps more surprising is that it may actually be beneficial.

BBC – Earth News

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Deciding what fish to get for your new tank can be difficult. There are more species of fish than there are mammals, reptiles and amphibians put together – around 25,000 in fact. A typical shop might have several hundred different species and large shops can have  many more. Fish suitable for a beginner should be affordable, hardy, easy to keep with other fish and available in most shops. So here are my top ten.

White Cloud Mountain minnow (Tanichthys albonubes)

List of freshwater aquarium fish species

White Cloud Mountain minnow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These little minnows are ideal as a first fish. Pretty and active – keep them in a small shoal. They don’t get too big and will thrive on flake food. They live in Chinese mountain streams and so can live happily in a tank without a heater. (more…)

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The arapaima, a giant species of fish that lurks in the Amazon river, may be threatened by overfishing. Studies reveal that errors in the classification of the species could mean that it is being pushed closer to the edge of extinction than thought.

A review of  the existing literature and preserved specimens by Dr Leandro Castello of the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, US, and Professor Donald Stewart of the State University of New York in Syracuse, US has shown that what was thought to be a single species – Arapaima gigas is in fact at least four species. The result is that whilst some populations (species) are healthy, others are in danger of being fished out.

BBC – Earth News

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