I updated the Currently Keeping page for anybody who cares to know. My apologies for the lack of content recently. It has been a busy spring/early summer for me in the garden. I purchased quite a number of new plants for my yard this year and have just recently finished getting most of them in the ground. I still have a few to go. Here are a couple of photos you probably couldn't care less about. The first is Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera missouriensis) and the second is a "Sugar Love" lily. I will try to post more about the fish soon.
Here is a photo of the dominant male Cyathopharynx furcifer Ruziba in my small group. This isn't a great photo, being kind of grainy. I shot it with the flash on, because it is very difficult to catch this fish's color without the flash. I typically don't use the flash at all. In any case, this spectacular color is exactly why people like the Tanganyikan feather fins.
By the way, I will be at the Quad City fish swap in Davenport Iowa Sunday, April 15th.
I had been contemplating a name change for the website to Belly Up Aquatics. After a quick Google search I discovered that there exists a YouTube channel of that name. I am disappointed. Kudos to the owner of that channel for choosing a great name.
I suppose it isn't all that bad. After all, I really like my logo as it is.
I could use Washed Up Aquatics, but that makes me sound really old. I don't know if I'm interested in that idea.
I made an impulse purchase of sorts this past Saturday. Here is a video showcasing the exLamprologus ornatipinnis I picked up. There was a pair that was behaving favorably toward one another in the pet store aquarium, but once the net went in they became indiscernible from a third fish in the tank. So I bought all three. This pair is displaying to one another minutes after I added a few shells to the tank. I am fairly certain I will have fry within a couple of weeks.
I did not take a photo of the shell an hour later when the entrance was completely blocked with a pile of sand. I wish I had. The following day it was once again back to normal and one of the fish is inhabiting it. I believe this is a female. I suspect the third fish is also a female as the attitudes of the others are not combative toward it.
You may have noticed in the Currently Keeping page that I have some Altolamprologus sp. 'compressiceps shell' Mpulungu fry. These are photos of them. They were born in December, just a few short months after I purchased the parents at a Greater Chicago Cichlid Association rare fish auction.
These are Leporacanthicus joselimai "L264" Rio Tapajos, known as the sultan pleco. They reportedly get around six inches long. I bought these wild caught individuals from Freshwater Exotics out of the Milwaukee area. They are a joy to watch. For the first couple of weeks they were very shy, rarely coming out of the caves and crevices in the driftwood/clay pot landscape I created in their tank. I originally had them housed in a forty gallon breeder aquarium. They slowly began to creep out during feedings. I initially fed them a diet of french cut string beans, veggie flakes, sinking cichlid pellets, and zucchini with ample doses of frozen bloodworms. I wanted to make sure they were healthy and fat after enduring shipping from South America. I cut the bloodworms way back once they were acclimated.
These plecos are primarily herbivorous, so too much protein in their diet could be problematic. I still toss them some meaty stuff once in a while, but less than once a week. So far a diet heavy with courgette and green beans has served them well. I have had them since October 1st of last year and they are much more active now. They are always out during feeding time and often at other times as well. Their fear of me has all but vanished.
I moved them to a seventy-five gallon aquarium with a group of nine Cyathopharynx furcifer Ruziba, a reverse trio of Altolamprologus sp. 'compressiceps shell' Mpulungu who are actively breeding, and a small number of juvenile Fossorochromis rostratus, maybe around ten or so. I would now like to induce some spawning activity in them. I am no pleco expert, but I believe I have three males and two females. I suspect upping the temperature a tad and increasing the current in the tank might help trigger breeding. One issue I have to solve first is to find some suitable caves for them. I have one that sort of works, but looks a little tight and several that are much too large for the fish.
More to come in time. Also, check out the updated Currently Keeping list.
Here are a couple of shots I took recently of some of the fish.
Altolamprologus sp. 'compressiceps shell' Mpulungu male peacocking for his lady friend.
A Paracyprichromis nigripinnis male.
A glowing exLamprologus ocellatus "Gold". I believe this is a male, though I am not 100% certain.
The Black Ghost has returned to form. He is once again a rich velvety black color. He and one of the female Neolamprologus nigriventris spawned recently. You can see a young one in the video below.
Here is a shot of one of the albino green dragon bristlenose plecos I recently purchased. They are supposed to be of the long-finned variety, but I have yet to see any sign of extended finnage. I am a little concerned that I may have been duped in that regard. I have seen photos of long-finned bristlenose that are smaller in overall body size than mine and they have noticeably long fins. Either way, I like these fellas.
I also picked up a group of five wild caught L264 plecos (Leporacanthicus joselimai), know as the sultan pleco. Unfortunately I have yet to get any pictures of them, but I will post some in the future. The fish are already around five inches long and my intention is to breed them. Outside of bristlenose plecos, which I would consider very easy to breed, I have never spawned any other pleco species.
In addition to those two, I picked up an another L128 blue phantom pleco, giving me four total. Three of them are too young yet for breeding, but maybe eventually I can breed them too. I also got five calico bristlenose and seven blue eyed albino bristlenose.
Do you recognize these guys? A friend of mine from the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association was kind enough to bring me a bag of ten Thorychthys meeki, aka the firemouth. He gave them to me at the most recent swap meet, October 1st. Take a good look. I didn't. At least not when he gave them to me.
If you are familiar with them, you will know that these are in fact red devils (Amphilophus labiatus). As much as I admire the beauty of this species, I loathe the idea of raising ten of them to adulthood or anything near it. I had one red devil years ago. He, or she, was quite the terror in the mixed tank I kept it in. These youngsters are not long for my aquariums.