What's in Store- March 2019Posted on the 1st March 2019
What with a couple of unseasonably warm days, it was easy to imagine that spring is already here. It was certainly well received by the Koi (Cyprinus carpio) in our stores that generally think with their stomach. These particular fish at our Bristol store benefit from a glass viewing window that enables them to see customers approaching from a distance and go straight into their begging routine. This friendly nature is what makes koi such great pets but remember that the more space you give these jumbo carp, the more rewarding they will be.
The gold rush in new Asian species a decade or so ago brought us a range of aquarium choices that varied in popularity once their novelty wore off. One of the most charming of these is the daintyBurma danio (Danio tinwini), an excellent fish for smaller aquaria that can also be kept at lower temperatures in the high teens. Like most danios, these are shoaling fish that enjoy good water movement and swimming space punctuated with the cover of plants. This batch were a highlight of a recent visit to Bristol but should be seen throughout our stores.
Marine fishes can give an insight into just how ancient some reef communities are. At some point when they shared an ocean before land masses moved, unrelated cleaner fishes evolved a blue and black streaked livery to advertise their barber services. This can be seen today in Cleaner wrasses (Labroides) from the indopacific and Neon gobies (Elacatinus) that are found thousands of miles away in the Tropical Atlantic region. This parasite removal service is often a popular one with aquarists and here the difference is a significant one - as well as being far more suitable for aquarium life, the gobies can also be found as tankbred stock and don’t need the community of large tankmates to graze mucous from that is essential for the wrasses to do well in captivity. They’ll happily oblige any fishes that recognise their universal pattern but will also thrive on a quality dried marine diet and as if that wasn’t enough, two specimens will usually change gender to ensure they become a pair. This gorgeous Sharknose goby (E. evelynae) was looking good at Thornbury .
Staying with the Caribbean theme, the Atlantic or Condy anemone (Condylactis gigantea) is a hardy animal that bucks the usual trend of providing clownfish with somewhere to snuggle. With more in common with our rock pool natives, this magnificent animal enjoys closer relationships with anemone shrimps than fishes and isn’t averse to eating the odd tankmate that doesn’t recognise their threat. As such, it might be a better choice for those rare reef tanks that don’t include clownfish but instead showcase the wonder of shrimps. This individual was filling its tank with tentacles at Cwmbran .
It’s easy to forget that some familiar old favourites are actually tricky fishes that thrive in the tanks of specialised keepers. Green Sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna) are large, exuberant algae eaters that demand large tanks and high KH values. Given these conditions they become outstanding display fish, with males that spar whilst flexing those huge dorsal fins and courting females with vigour. This male was caught mid-skirmish at our Shirley store, home to a wide range of interesting livebearers.