After a long, hot summer you’ll notice that many stores have pond fishes in stock that have outgrown their original size and price. Now is a great time to add them to your pond, as there’s still time for them to adjust before the cold weather arrives. Seasonal reductions in some stores often add even more value.
As the tropical season approaches, it’s worth noting that indoor fishes are a hugely diverse bunch and some rival domestic pets in terms of space and commitment. One such group are the Freshwater Stingrays and it was lovely to see UK tank bred specimens of one of the smallest species at Weybridge . Having been imported for a number of years and familiar to many as hystrix, this species is now more properly known as Potamotrygon wallacei. As mating can be a feisty process, rays are best kept in facilities that can separate the sexes if things get too heated and this means lots of room in tanks with a large surface area.
Another ‘tank buster’ worthy of the effort, the Asian arowana or Dragonfish (Scleropages formosa) is considered to bring great fortune to their owner. As a fish for huge, well-filtered aquaria, their owner needs a certain amount of fortune before they bring one into their home. This species is protected by CITES legislation and all our captive bred individuals are microchipped for identification purposes. A number of different forms were on offer at our Cardiff branch and as we don’t trade in these rare beauties very often, it’s a rare opportunity to grab a bargain.
Fish don’t have to be huge to be full of character and the marine Hawkfishes are proof of that. Named for their habit of hunting from a prominent perch these pocket sized predators need to be added with care to reef tanks as although they’ll ignore corals, they naturally prey on small shrimps and other motile inverts. This Falco hawkfish (Cirrhitichthys falco) at Syon Park was curious to see what the camera phone was all about.
Predatory behaviour isn’t restricted to fishes and the Long-tentacled plate coral (Heliofungia actiniformis) is a large-polyped stony coral that appreciates regular meaty meals. In addition to strong lighting, moderate current, excellent water quality and room to expand, its demands are modest. This individual at Sanders was showing the anemone looks that give it its specific name.
Anemones aren’t always a welcome addition to the reef aquarium and the notorious pest Aiptasia can be a nuisance. Fortunately there’s a captive bred answer in the rather frilly shape of the Berghia nudibranch (Aeolidiellastephanieae) which in true nudibranch fashion, is a specialist that eats nothing else. This one was posing beautifully beside an egg case during a recent visit north of the border to Fishkeeper Leith.
Scientific names are great, they’re descriptive and international but sometimes a common name is easier. Such is the case for Daisy’s blue ricefish (Oryzias woworae), a gem from Sulawesi named in honour of the Indonesian academic Daisy Wowor. Whatever you call them, these are great fish for a planted aquarium where females will deposit their clumps of eggs. These were looking stunning beneath the LED lights at our Woodford store.
Father’s Day (16th