Fish, frogs, and snakes

This is a video about a cobalt blue discus fish.

ScienceDaily (Nov. 1, 2010) — Few fish are famed for their parenting skills. Most species leave their freshly hatched fry to fend for themselves, but not discus fish. Jonathan Buckley from the University of Plymouth, UK, explains that discus fish young feed on the mucus that their parents secrete over their bodies until they are big enough to forage. ‘The parental care that they exhibit is very unusual,’ says Buckley. Intrigued by the fish’s lifestyle, Buckley’s PhD advisor, Katherine Sloman, established a collaboration with Adalberto Val from the Laboratory of Ecophysiology and Molecular Evolution in Manaus, Brazil, and together with Buckley and Richard Maunder set up a colony of breeding discus fish to find out more about their strange behaviour: here.

From the Google cache.

Fish, frogs, and snakes

Date: 10/13/05 at 8:31PM

Today, I went to the aquarium and terrarium exhibition Aqua Hortus in the botanical gardens.

This exhibition celebrates that the local aquarium and terrarium society was founded 75 years ago.

Near the entrance, a sign warned that if you have an aquarium, you should have fish with similar water temperature and other water properties preferences together.

And that fish which like to school together should not be on their own in an aquarium.

And that only fish species which get along well should be in the same aquarium.

A member of the society, Mr Nelu Slev, was kind enough to show me around the exhibition.

He estimated that for each gram of fish, you need four liter of water in an aquarium.

We first saw an aquarium where a school, consisting of two South American species, swam around.

They were Metinnys argenteus, the silver dollar, which eats plants.

This is a Metinnys argenteus video.

The other species was Pygocentrus nattereri, the well known meat eating piranha.

Being still young, they got along well with the similar sized, and related, silver dollars.

There was also Hypsophrys nicaraguensis in this aquarium.

In another aquarium there were big blue discus, Symphysodon aeqaefasciata, originally from South America.

Including special forms, bred in countries like Thailand.

This species is special for feeding its young with a milk like fluid dripping from its side.

And schools of the small cardinal tetra.

There also was a third species in the aquarium: small corydoras catfish, to prevent rests of tubifex worms used for food from fouling the water.

Corydoras, bottom dwellers, act like a kind of vacuum cleaners.

An unusual species was in the next aquarium: Astyanax fasciatus, blind fish from Mexico.

In another aquarium, Barbus denisonii from India.
Dwarf gourami male
In yet another, Dwarf gourami, Colisa lalia.

This species is adapted to low amounts of oxygen in habitats like South East Asian rice fields.

In still another, Nothobranchus. This oviparous species usually lives only half a year.

It is adapted to seasonally disappearing water: eggs can survive drought to let young fish emerge in the rainy season.

Aphyosemion australe, also of this killi fish group, lives for about a year.

One species of this group almost became extinct in Brazil, when a wood pulp plant almost wiped out its population, all in just one river.

Then, there was a world wide alarm among aquarium owners, and from aquariums in many countries, including The Netherlands, the population in Brazil was re-established.

There were aquariums for fish from the African Tanganyka (including a species hiding in water snails’ houses) and Malawi lakes.

However, only one species from Lake Victoria was at the exhibition.

Due to trouble there with the introduced Nile perch.

There were also fish from Australia, like Melanotaenia trilineata, related to Melanotaenia boesemani.

Barbus tetrazona

And fish from Indonesia, like the well known aquarium fish Tiger barb Barbus tetrazona.

And probably the smallest fish of the exhibition, a school of Boraras brigittae, just one centimeter and half adult size, from Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan).

In a brackish water aquarium, there were Toxotes, Archer fish.

In the aquarium for the Hippocampus sea horses, there were also Artemisia salina shrimp to feed them.

Some fish are expensive for sea aquarium owners. For instance, the two spined angelfish lives deep in the sea, and can only be caught by divers using special deep sea equipment.

Nearly all the aquariums in this exhibition were for tropical or subtropical fish.

The only exceptions which I saw were two North Sea aquariums: one with seahorses.

And one other one.

That included the fish Chelon labrosus, the Sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus, Shanny Lypophrys pholis, Turbot Psetta maxima.

Plus the invertebrates Palaemon elegans and common starfish Asterias rubens.

On the second floor, it was mainly not fish, but reptiles and amphibians.

Like a frog species, Epipedobates tricolor from Ecuador.
Epipedobates tricolor

Another frog, Dendrobates azureus.

Also there: Dendrobates tinctorius from Surinam, Melanophryniscus stelzneri, and Phyllobates terribilis.

These are mainly arrow poison frogs.

There were also snakes: Python reticulatus, Cornsnake Elaphe guttata, Boa constrictor.

And the Pogona vitticeps, bearded dragon lizard.

There were also terrariums for arthropods.

Including the scorpion Pandinus cavimanus from Africa.

And the South American tarantula spider Grammostola rosea.

After seeing the Aqua Hortus exhibition, I saw the regular aquariums in the hothouses.

In the biggest, Tilapia mossambica, and the smaller Aequidens cichlids.

In a smaller aquarium, Firemouth, Thorichthys meeki.

House spider photos here.

8 thoughts on “Fish, frogs, and snakes

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