Aquacadabra is looking for a hard-working, friendly and enthusiastic Customer Service Advisor.
This role would suit someone with previous experience who is driven and wants to do well in the business.
Starting salary: £18,000 depending on experience, and commitment could lead to a much higher salary.
28 days holiday per annum + Staff discount
Hours: Monday–Friday 8.30am–5.30pm and possibly some Saturdays (if so, there will be a day off in the week).
About the company:
Aquacadabra is the country's leading online aquatic supplier. We specialise in all aspects of the hobby from marines to tropical to coldwater and pond fish. We sell a huge range of products on our own websites, ebay and Amazon.
Key job responsibilities to include:
- Excellent customer service and administration skills.
- Excellent grammar and telephone manner.
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- Organisational skills and punctuality.
- Experience of using online payment processing.
- Basic computer skills, especially Microsoft Office and Excel.
Daily duties to include:
- Facilitate customer service telephone lines.
- Corresponding with customers via email and our support portal.
- Liaising with courier and supply companies.
- General company admin.
- Experience in a similar role.
- Hard working.
- Fishkeeping knowledge is an advantage but not essential, the right person will be trained.
- Knowledge of Ebay, Amazon and websites an advantage.
- Admin skills.
- Excellent telephone manner.
- Computer literate.
- Communication skills.
Email your CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel. 01322 520989
13 Optima Park, Thames Road, Crayford, DA1 4QX.
Creature Comforts and Aquatic Centre has announced that its fish house will re-open on February 4 following the devastating fire that ripped through part of the store last September.
The family-run shop, based in Totton, Southampton, is holding an open event over that whole weekend to celebrate. The refurbished fish house will be opened by TV presenter Chris Packham on the Saturday at 10am.
There will some fantastic raffle prizes available, along with free gifts, and discounts available throughout the store.
A number of trade specialists will be in store to offer advice on the set-up and running of aquariums and the general care of aquatic animals.
Luckily all of the shop's livestock, which included thousands of fish, plus rodents and reptiles, survived the fire.
Creature Comforts and Aquatic Centre is at 13-15 Ringwood Road, Totton, Southampton, SO40 8DA. Tel 023 8086 8529.
Come and meet fish expert and FishScience founder Dr David Pool at The Goldfish Bowl on Saturday, January 21!
Dr David Pool founded Fish Science in 2013 with the aim of producing a range of high quality aquarium and pond fish foods that are based on natural ingredients.
David has been involved in the world of fish for over 45 years, initially as a fish keeper, but then making his hobby into a career. He studied Zoology at the University of Liverpool, specialising in Freshwater Fisheries Biology. This was followed by three years studying for his Doctorate on the diseases of carp and other freshwater fish.
He is the author of three books on aquarium and pondkeeping as well as hundreds of articles on fishkeeping. He has appeared on national and international radio and television to promote fishkeeping and given talks on the subject throughout the world.
David will be at the shop from 10am on Saturday to answer your burning questions about feeding your fish and the benefits of insect meal in fish food.
The Goldfish Bowl is located at 118 - 122 Magdalen Road, Oxford, OX4 1RQ. Tel. 01865 241825; www.thegoldfishbowl.co.uk
The bizarre Ruby red seadragon, Phyllopteryx dewysea, discovered in 2015, has been filmed in the wild for the first time by scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Western Australian Museum.
The footage below was shot near Western Australia’s Recherche Archipelago and has given new insight into a fish which has achieved an almost mythical status since scientists described the previously unknown species from preserved specimens misidentified as Common seadragons — one of which had been collected nearly 100 years ago.
Unlike its relatives, the Leafy and Common seadragons, the Ruby lacks the ornate leaf-like appendages that give it its distinctive appearance — but these are for camouflage after all, and living in deeper waters as the Ruby seadragon does, there’s far less kelp and seagrass for it to try and blend into.
It also differs from other seadragons in that it has a prehensile tail, more akin to those of seahorses and pipefish. From the new observations, the researchers suggest that Ruby seadragons may use their curled tail to hold on to objects in the high-surge waters where they are found.
During encounters with the fish, the researchers also observed it feed by striking at prey, a behaviour common to the species. These observations of the species in the wild confirmed the fish’s ruby red coloration and that their habitat lacks kelp and seagrass, but instead is dominated by sponges, once considered an undesirable habitat for seadragons.
The researchers believe the Ruby seadragon lost its appendages through evolution, and that its red colour acts as camouflage in the deeper dimly lit waters where it lives. Whether they evolved a curly tail independently from their pipefish ancestors, or simply retained it while the other seadragons lost it, will require further study.
Government officials in Colombia have come under fire on social media after they ‘rescued’ dozens of marine fish and invertebrates from a luxury shopping mall in Bogotá — and then killed them a week later after realising they had nowhere to put them.
Local residents and conservation groups have accused the mayor’s office of acting recklessly and inhumanely after it confirmed that city government officials had decided to destroy the 40 non-native animals because they posed an environmental risk, reports Fusion.
The stock included clownfish, mandarins, tangs, angels, cardinals and, anemones and cleaner shrimp.
They were confiscated after an alert was issued by conservation group Movimiento Ambientalista over a bamboo shark living in poor conditions in one of the display tanks at Atlantis Plaza. Officials determined that the mall didn’t have the permits required for the importation or exhibition of the animals.
“Death doesn’t have to be the only alternative after confiscation,” said Camilo Prieto, director of Movimiento Ambientalista. “We made a huge effort to save these fish and the city government never listened to us. He added that after the fish were confiscated his group scrambled to arrange a new home for the fish, but they were ignored. “What happened was a disgrace,” he added.
Large numbers of small algae-grazing sea urchins and fish could take the place of larger grazers to prevent algae overgrowing on reefs.
Thirty years ago a mysterious disease wiped out Long-spined black sea urchins across the Caribbean, leading to massive algal overgrowth that smothered already overfished coral reefs. Now, marine biologists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) report that smaller sea urchins and parrotfish may be taking the place of the large sea urchins, restoring the balance on degraded reefs.
As a STRI fellow, Catie Kuempel joined staff scientist Andrew Altieri to explore a large area of the sea floor in Bocas del Toro, Panama, where corals had died but algae, surprisingly, had not taken over. The most common algae grazers they found were a small sea urchin about the size of a Ping pong ball, Echinometra viridis, and a tiny finger-sized Striped parrot fish, Scarus iseri, which would be of no interest to fishermen. They propose that these tiny organisms may be able to pre-empt shifts from coral to algae on degraded coral reefs. They may be small, but there are a lot of them: small grazers comprise up to 95 percent of the biomass of all grazing organisms on the reefs in the study. Their combined weight is roughly equal to that of a smaller number of bigger herbivores on healthier reefs.
Intense grazing by the small sea urchins and fish was highest on the most degraded reefs. In an experimental set up involving placing cages on the sea floor to exclude grazers of different sizes, intense herbivory in cages that permitted access to only small herbivores revealed that they can do the job of clearing algae once thought to belong only to the larger species of parrotfish and the Long-spined black urchins, Diadema antillarum.
In January 1983, STRI staff scientist Harilaos Lessios noticed that Long-spined black urchins, but no other species of urchins, were dying near the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal. He contacted dive shops and was able to track the mass mortality of urchins as it spread across the Caribbean from 1983 to 1984.
Subsequently deprived of this large species of grazer, algae grew unchecked, especially on reefs where overfishing had eliminated large parrotfish. Today, despite the fact that D. antillarum has recovered in some areas, the total number of this urchin in the Caribbean is still only about 12 percent of pre-die-off numbers.
“Even those of us who had worked extensively with D. antillarum did not expect that its recovery would be so slow or that its absence would contribute so dramatically to changes in complex ecological communities such as coral reefs,” wrote Lessios in a review article of observed changes 30 years later. “Its recovery is the only hopeful ray in the gloomy prospects for Caribbean reefs.”
“Given that the frequency of coral disease will probably increase with global warming and that overfishing can be prevented only in protected areas, which cannot expand indefinitely if people continue obtaining their protein from the sea, the best hope for Caribbean reefs is that D. antillarum will recover,” Lessios said.
Based on their observations in Bocas del Toro, Kuempel and Altieri are more hopeful, suggesting that management and monitoring strategies aimed at preventing phase-shifts from coral to algae on reefs should broaden to include the role and importance of diminutive species of herbivores. “These dollhouse-sized species came to the rescue of reefs in Panama, and may be important elsewhere as well,” said Altieri.
They will continue to explore whether the algae consumption by these small species that tips the balance back from algal domination of dead reefs is clearing the way for new coral growth.
Fish food specialist FishScience has produced a unique tablet food for Corydoras and other bottom feeding aquarium fish. The tablet food is rich in insect meal which helps to recreate the natural insect based diet that these fish would eat in the wild.
"With the help of Ian Fuller from Corydoras World and other Corydoras experts throughout the UK we have been able to develop a food that is ideal for these fish species," explained Dr David Pool of FishScience. "We sent food samples to over 50 cory experts and used their feedback to fine-tune the recipe and format. The end result is a food that is not only nutritionally balanced for Corydoras, but one that they really enjoy."
The use of insect meal in the foods has a number of key benefits. It is what Corydoras and most aquarium fish would eat in the wild. Not surprisingly they have evolved to digest and process this food, which results in great food conversion ratios and less waste. Importantly, insect meal is cultured on waste fruit and vegetable material, ensuring it is environmentally friendly and sustainable — and reduces the use of fish meal taken from the sea.
FishScience Corydoras Tablets are available in two pack sizes: 50g (RSP £4.75 ) and 150g (RSP £8.95).
More info: www.fishscience.co.uk
Fancy goldfish specialist Star Fisheries is holding its first Open Day of 2017 on Sunday, January 22.
Star will be offering a special promotion on Tosakin, Ranchu and Veiltails on the day and there will also be a number of rare breeds available, including new blue and white metallic Orandas. There are also some exceptional one off fish as well as all the traditional lines
and colours from small to jumbo sizes.
The exclusive 'Andrew James' Tosai Ranchu young fish collection, will also be available.
Star Fisheries' Andy Green says: "Since our last event in 2016 we have had over 10,000 fancy goldfish arrive from different countries around the world. From these the very best fish have been selected to be offered for sale at the Open Day. For fancy goldfish enthusiasts this is a day not to be missed.
Star Fisheries is located at 94a Benhill Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 3RX. Tel. 0208 915 0455. It will be open from 10am–3pm on the day. There's plenty of free parking available.
Christmas may have been and gone but there's still time to enter the Practical Fishkeeping advent calendar competition and you could get 2017 off to a great start with some brand new fishkeeping gear!
Aquariums, lighting, food, pond equipment and much more are all up for grabs — including some cuddly plush Zebra plecs! So check out the range of fabulous prizes here and enter now!
JBL has developed a new and rather elegant looking continuous test for carbon dioxide (CO2) content, which also indicates the pH value, so that the fishkeeper or aquascaper knows at a glance how much CO2 is in the aquarium water.
Every aquarium plant needs CO2 to survive and grow — and fast growing species and red plants need a lot of it.
This new CO2 test is filled with a special indicator instead of aquarium water, because that is the only way to indicate the correct CO2 content of the water without the acids present in the water distorting the value.
A further professional touch is the enclosed sticker selection, which allows the user to select a colour scale of the pH value — also indicated — which suits its carbonate hardness. The colour indicated means a higher pH value with hard water than with soft water, so there’s a choice of three stickers for different degrees of hardness and it’s easy to monitor the actual pH value in the aquarium 24 hours a day.
Baby reef fish have an internal magnetic ‘compass’ that directs them home at night, world-first research has revealed.
Professor Mike Kingsford from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University collaborated with colleagues in Germany to find out how tiny Cardinal fish, the size of a fingernail, are able to swim towards home when there’s no sun or stars to guide them.
“This study is the first clear demonstration that reef fish larvae possess magnetic senses to orient them at night,” says Professor Kingsford. “Up until now, we only knew adult birds, marine mammals, sharks and boney fish have this in-built sense of direction.”
“We collected Cardinal fish, less than one cm long, from One Tree Island on the Great Barrier Reef and tested their orientation in total darkness using the same magnetic field as the Reef,” Professor Kingsford says.
“Normally, fish orientated to the south east, but when we altered the magnetic field clockwise by 120 degrees, there was a significant change in the direction the fish swam. They all turned further west, thinking they were still on track to their destination.”
“Our results show that larvae can use their magnetic senses to point them in the right direction when it’s night time.
“We know from our previous research that once they start to get closer to their target, a ‘homing process’ begins, where the larvae rely on odor, sounds and landmarks to find and settle on a reef.”
Reef fish hatch from eggs into a larval form and disperse for days to months in the ocean before either returning home or finding another reef to settle. Once they get to a reef they generally stay there for a lifetime.
“The study tells us these baby fish actually have brains. They know where they are going and are strong swimmers. As a result they have some control over the reef they end up on. It’s not just about being led by the currents.”
“Knowing this, we can develop more accurate models of where larvae go to determine the best way to protect and maintain sustainable fish stocks.”
Not all marine aquarium keepers stock corals alongside their fish, and with this in mind, JBL is now offering a dedicated small test kit set — the JBL Test CombiSet Marin — for marine aquarists who keep a lot of fish.
Along with the essential carbonate hardness and the pH value ammonium/ammonia (toxic nitrogen compound), nitrite (fish poison), nitrate and phosphate (algae nutrients) can be measured precisely and quickly. All the tests can be purchased separately as refills.
What makes these JBL water tests special is that they are especially easy to read thanks to a comparator system which even takes a possible intrinsic water colouration into account.
A colourful new reef fish discovered in the remote northwestern Hawaiian Islands has been given the name Tosanoides obama.
The new basslet was named in honour of President Barack Obama to recognise his efforts to protect and preserve the natural environment, including the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea, where the new fish was found during a June 2016 NOAA expedition.
In August this year, at the urging of Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), conservationists, and many marine scientists, President Obama expanded Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. At 582,578 square miles, it is the largest permanent marine protected area on Earth.
There are two other species in the genus Tosanoides, both from the tropical northwestern Pacific Ocean. Males of the new species have a distinctive spot on the dorsal fin near the tail, which is blue around the edge and red with yellow stripes in the center. “The spot on the males is reminiscent of President Obama’s campaign logo,” said Dr. Richard Pyle, Bishop Museum scientist and lead author of the study. “It seemed especially appropriate for a fish named in honour of the president.”
“The new fish is special because it is the only known species of coral-reef fish endemic to the Monument (meaning that the species is found nowhere else on Earth). Our research has documented the highest rate of fish endemism in the world — 100 percent — living on the deep reefs where we found this new species,” said NOAA scientist Randall Kosaki, chief scientist of the research cruise, and co-author on the paper. However, unlike all the other Hawaiian endemic species, which also occur in the main Hawaiian Islands, this new species is special because it is the only one that is limited to within the Monument itself. “Endemic species are unique contributions to global biodiversity,” Kosaki added. “With the onslaught of climate change, we are at risk of losing some of these undiscovered species before we even know they exist.”
The new fish was first discovered and collected on a dive to 300 feet at Kure Atoll, 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu. Kure is the northernmost of the Hawaiian Islands, and is the highest latitude coral atoll in the world.
It has to be said that 2016 has been a year of amazing developments in marine species aquaculture, and now, in the closing moments of the year, the first tank bred Hawaiian Cleaner wrasse, Labroides phthirophagus, have arrived at an aquatic wholesaler in the USA.
These captive bred fish have come to California-based Quality Marine fresh from the research team at Oceanic Institute in Hawaii, with support from Rising Tide Conservation.
These wrasse have been vigorously feeding on enriched brine shrimp, frozen Cyclop-eeze, commercial weaning diets, and even flake food at the Oceanic Institute. They began exhibiting their natural cleaning behaviour on other fish housed in the grow-out tanks just a few days after settlement, around 40 days post hatch.
In the wild, the Hawaiian Cleaner wrasse inhabits the coral reefs primarily in the surge zones. They are a cleaner species that feeds on parasites, mucus and dead skin on other reef fish and will even create cleaning stations.
Traditionally, this species of wrasse has been considered sensitive and challenging to care for, as wild caught fish have been difficult to feed properly. Their aquacultured counterparts have been reared on readily available diets, and don't have these same feeding issues. They are a very active swimming fish multiple feedings a day are recommended. They aren't aggressive, so house with tank mates of similar temperament; however, they can be territorial towards other fish that look similar.
This is the first time Labroides phthirophagus has been reared in captivity as a result of this project, and it is yet another triumph for Oceanic Institute and Rising Tide Conversation as they continue to make strides in aquaculturing an even more diverse collection of species.
Other recent successes for the Oceanic Institute and Rising Tide Conversation partnership include Yellow and Regal tangs, Potter’s angelfish and the Milletseed butterflyfish.
This Pointy-nosed blue ratfish (Hydrolagus cf. trolli), a species of ghost shark, was videotaped by MBARI’s remotely operated vehicle Tiburon near the summit of Davidson Seamount, off the coast of Central California at a depth of about 1,640 m. This is the first footage showing the deep sea ghost shark alive in its natural habitat.
It also represents a range extension for this species, which was originally described from specimens collected off New Caledonia in 2002. It was named in honour of Alaskan artist Ray Troll because of his fascination and appreciation for this strange group of fishes, also known as chimaeras.
Scientists at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in South London have settled newly spawned baby corals onto Star Wars models, and found they ‘prefer’ characters from the good side of the Force, to the dark side!
The coral ‘recruits’ — the scientific name for coral larvae that have grown big enough to be seen with the naked eye — have settled more densely on models of the Millennium Falcon, R2D2 and C3PO, than on models of Darth Vader, the Death Star and an AT-AT Walker.
C3PO proved the most popular, so perhaps ‘coral’ is among the six million forms of communication he’s fluent in.
Most corals shunned Darth Vader, apart from a rogue one (or two) that have settled on his mouth, perhaps in an attempt to silence that ominous breathing. And while the Millennium Falcon proved very attractive to the corals, the Death Star didn't seem such a good prospect — maybe they've had a peak at the plans?
The models are made of a special concrete-type mix, set into ice cube moulds, and then conditioned with an algae that gives a biological cue to the coral larvae to settle.
Aquarium Keeper Jamie Craggs, says: ‘Whenever we want larvae to settle and grow into new coral specimens, we need to provide them with a hard, textured surface. My two sons had these moulds at home, and I couldn’t resist using them and seeing which ones the corals settled on. Obviously I’m delighted our baby corals haven’t all gone to the dark side. Alongside our other, rather more scientifically rigorous, successes to date, this is good news for Project Coral.’
The spawning and settling is part of the Horniman’s Project Coral research, which is investigating captive coral reproduction to help preserve wild coral reefs for future generations.
Multi award-winning Wigan based manufacturer Evolution Aqua continues its rapid expansion with the purchase of the Bermuda pond equipment brand.
Originally a Solus brand, Bermuda was more recently acquired by Scott’s, owners of Miracle-gro, before being put up for sale as Scott’s concentrate on their core gardening business.
The Bermuda brand joins Evolution Aqua’s existing pond and Koi product portfolio including K1 Micro, Nexus, PURE, EazyPod, evoUV, eaProPump, Stop Blanketweed and air pumps.
A separate business
At a different range and price point, Bermuda will operate as a separate business and complement, not compete with, Evolution Aqua and its specialist Koi filtration market. Bermuda will be available to the much wider gardening and water gardening markets, as well as being available to the whole existing Evolution Aqua dealer network.
Bob Meacham, a 26-year water gardening trade veteran, moves with Bermuda brand to Evolution Aqua: “I could not be more thrilled and excited to be at the helm again of the relaunch of one of the UK’s leading water gardening brands!” says Bob.
“Coupled with the fabulous backing and technical excellence of Evolution Aqua, I feel extremely confident we will again bring to the marketplace, new and innovative selling products in the months and years to come.”
More info: Contact Bob Meacham at email@example.com or call 07780 666 048.
A lovely new species of Moenkhausia tetra with blue eyes has been described from Brazil.
Moenkhausia parecis was discovered in the upper rio Machado, rio Madeira basin, Rondônia, Brazil.
The type locality of Moenkhausia parecis is located at 585 m above sea level on the Chapada dos Parecis, and is a clear water stream with a swift current and a substrate of sand and leaf litter. It was observed swimming in midwater is small groups of 10-15 individuals.
The specific name of parecis refers to the Chapada dos Parecis (plateau including the type locality), which is an important watershed that separates tributaries of three basins: rio Madeira, rio Tapajós and rio Paraguai.
For more information see the paper: Willian M. Ohara and Manoela M F Marinho. 2016. A New Species of Moenkhausia Eigenmann (Characiformes: Characidae) from the upper rio Machado at Chapada dos Parecis, rio Madeira Basin, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology [Neotrop. ichthyol.]. 14(1); DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-20150041
Tetra has refreshed its popular FreshDelica gel food in a newly developed 80g tube for an even easier feeding experience.
Offering high quality food which is preserved for up to four weeks after opening without the need to refrigerate, the new tube packaging is quick to use and mess-free.
Tetra FreshDelica brine shrimp and bloodworms are a great addition to a complete and balanced diet as brine shrimps help to enhance a fish’s bright colours thanks to their high carotenoid content, whilst bloodworms support healthy growth. Packed together in a nutritious gel, Tetra FreshDelica tubes offer a convenient alternative to frozen or live food.
Offering owners the opportunity to interact more closely with their fish, Tetra’s new launch allows fishkeepers to feed their livestock in a more natural way by squeezing droplets or strips of gel onto the water’s surface or into the water itself.
Tetra FreshDelica gel is available in an 80g tube with an RRP of £7.99. The popular 3g FreshDelica sachets are also still available.
More info: Visit http://www.tetra.net/en
Evolution Aqua has announced its new collaboration with the well-respected marine salt and supplements brand Aquaforest.
Through extensive research conducted at their own coral farm, the Aquaforest product line-up is a complete care programme, even for the most demanding coral species, by maintaining water chemistry, managing nutrient levels, and by providing the correct food.
Owned and run by avid coral culturists and reef divers, Aquaforest is manufactured in the EU, under the strictest laboratory conditions, and is fully ICP OES tested. The Aim? To create natural seawater conditions in the home marine aquarium, where even the most delicate of sps corals will thrive.
Reefkeepers can now choose from a range of three Aquaforest salts, each one engineered to match the exacting needs of fish, soft or hard corals, then maintain them successfully long term by way of Aquaforest’s own Probiotic bacteria, micro and macro nutrients, trace elements, vitamins and amino acids.
Aquaforest is available nationwide, in the UK and Ireland, via all Evolution Aqua stockists.
More info: Visit www.evolutionaqua.com/aquariums or speak to your nearest Evolution Aqua retailer.