We told you last year that it was closing soon, but we’re delighted to announce that the PFK forum is to remain up and running, along with a new look!
Those of you who are regular users of the incredibly popular PFK forum were no doubt as saddened as we were by the news that it was due to be closed soon after the main website moved to its new platform last summer.
We resisted the closure here at the PFK office and we managed to get a ‘stay of execution’ for several months. We also had loads of posts and emails from users, including some who had even met their partners through the forum, and who wanted it to stay.
And it’s all paid off! We're keeping the forum.
So we’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has supported us, along with the mods for all their hard work, and everyone out there who uses the PFK forum.
This does mean that the forum will be offline on Tuesday, while the migration work takes place. A nice new shiny forum will then appear — users will be able to log in with their same credentials into this new version of the forum and all the original content will remain.
New research has provided compelling evidence that a group of strange-looking fish living near the mouth of the Congo River are evolving due to the intense hydraulics of the river’s rapids and deep canyons.
The study, led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, the City University of New York, and Fordham University, reveals that fishes in this part of the river live in 'neighborhoods' that are separated from one another by the waters’ turbulent flow. In some cases, the researchers found that fishes living less than a mile away from their relatives are actually exchanging very few genes and many represent distinct species.
“In this very short section of the Congo, we find a tremendous diversity of fishes,” said Melanie Stiassny, Axelrod Research Curator in the Museum’s Department of Ichthyology and an author on the study. “We also know that this part of the river is relatively young, originating only about 3 to 5 million years ago. So what is it about this system that makes it such a pump for species?”
For the last ten years, Stiassny and her colleagues, including hydrologists and geologists, have studied the lower Congo River — the final 200-mile stretch of the freshwater river before it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Exceptional in depth, speed, and turbulence, the lower Congo is home to the world’s most extreme rapids. The region is also remarkable for its biodiversity; scientists have identified more than 300 species of fish living there.
That diversity has long seemed puzzling to scientists because the lower Congo appeared to lack physical barriers which, if difficult to traverse, are understood to drive speciation by preventing animals from either side from breeding. Over time, this causes each group to develop separately.
The new study, which focuses on a group of freshwater, rock-dwelling cichlids of the genus Teleogramma, adds weight to a theory long proposed by Stiassny and other experts: that the dynamic forces of the river itself are acting like barriers, generating diversity by isolating certain fishes from others for so long that their populations travel down different evolutionary paths.
“The genetic separation between these fishes show that the rapids are working as strong barriers, keeping them apart,” said lead author Elizabeth Alter, from The City University of New York’s Graduate Center and York College. “What's particularly unique about the lower Congo is that this diversification is happening over extremely small spatial scales, over distances as small as 1.5 kilometres. There is no other river like it.”
The researchers analysed the genomes of more than 50 individual fishes representing each of the different Teleogramma populations found in the lower Congo. They found that their species ranges correspond to geographic regions broadly separated by major hydrological and topographic barriers, indicating that these features are likely important drivers of diversification.
The authors also note that there are important conservation implications to this work: about 25 percent of the fish in the lower Congo are endemic, or only found in this particular location. But the area is currently being proposed as a site for major dam development.
“Activity like that would majorly interrupt the evolutionary potential of this system,” Stiassny said.
The new study is published in the journal Molecular Ecology.
Multi award winning manufacturer Evolution Aqua has expanded its PURE bacterial product portfolio with the launch of the PURE Aquarium Bomb.
Joining PURE Aquarium, the unique, clear, live bacteria gel balls used in aquariums, PURE Aquarium Bomb is a much larger single treatment dose of live nitrifying bacteria designed specifically at cycling new aquariums and making them ready for fish. It also rapidly combats water quality emergencies in new and established freshwater aquariums, when life threatening levels of ammonia and nitrite are detected.
Beneficial bacteria inside the filter can be lost through cleaning media under the tap, replacing mature media with new, or the use of medications. Increased fish numbers, uneaten food and dead, decaying fish can also lead to levels of ammonia and nitrite.
Simply place PURE Aquarium Bomb directly into the main aquarium — or better still, into a space within a biological filter. One Bomb should be used per 200 l aquarium, and will even work with a full stock of fish. The Bomb contains millions of live aerobic (oxygen consuming) bacteria.
Use in conjunction with an airstone or strong aeration and surface agitation from a filter outlet or Venturi. Always dechlorinate aquarium water before using this product.
More info: www.evolutionaqua.com
Pioneer of the 'Spectral Revolution' DiCon brand, Kessil has released the A80 LED aquarium light in both marine and freshwater spectrums.
Different in shape and design to previous Kessil models, the A80 is the first to employ passive cooling, so no fan is used, opting instead for a well-designed heat sink. What they have kept however, are the key features which Kessil is famous for — that lifelike LED shimmer along with unique colour blending, and the single lensed Dense Matrix Array. This means that nano reef owners can now enjoy all of the features offered by the larger A160WE and A360WE lights, but at a much smaller size, output, and at a smaller budget.
Using just 15W of electricity, the A80 is capable of lighting even the most demanding, light loving corals in nano reefs of up to 14in cubed, or can be used on larger tanks of up to 24in if opting for easy to keep soft corals, easy to grow plants, or fish-only systems.
Choose Tuna Blue for saltwater applications and Tuna Sun for freshwater. The A80 can be fully dimmed and spectrally tuned by way of on board control knobs or connected to the Kessil Spectral Controller (not included), allowing automated control of colour and brightness.
The A80 is available exclusively in the UK via Evolution Aqua’s extensive dealer network, and is priced at £149.95. Evolution Aqua is also offering a free A80 mini gooseneck worth £29.95 with every purchase.
More info: www.evolutionaqua.com/aquariums
No less than 500 new species of African cichlids evolved in Lake Victoria over the past 15,000 years — a record in the animal and plant world. This rapid evolution was facilitated by earlier hybridisation between two distantly related cichlid species from the Upper Nile and Congo drainage systems, scientists have discovered.
This hybridisation enabled genetic variants to be recombined on a scale which would not otherwise be possible in a single population, say scientists from Eawag and Bern University, who published their study in Nature Communications.
According to Dr Joana Meier, first author of the study: “It’s similar to the way the recombination of parts from Lego tractor and aeroplane kits could generate a wide variety of vehicles.” Indeed, the species which evolved exhibit innumerable combinations of colours and are adapted to different habitats, such as sandy bottoms, rocky shores or open waters — ranging from the clear shallows to the permanent darkness of the turbid depths. Depending on the species, cichlids may scrape algae from rocks, feed on plankton, crack open snail shells, forage for insect larvae, or prey on other fish, including their eggs or scales.
The hybridisation event probably took place around 150,000 years ago, when — during a wet period — a Congolese lineage colonised the Lake Victoria region and encountered representatives of the Upper Nile lineage. Across the large lakes of this region, the hybrid population then diversified in a process known as “adaptive radiation” (evolution of multiple new species adapted to different ecological niches). While the precise course of events in ancestral Lake Victoria has yet to be reconstructed, it is clear that, after a dry period, it filled up again about 15,000 years ago. Descendants of the genetically diverse hybrid population colonised the lake and, within the evolutionarily short period of several thousand years, diverged to form around 500 new (endemic) cichlid species, with a wide variety of ecological specialisations. The particular genetic diversity and adaptive capacity of Lake Victoria’s cichlids is demonstrated by the fact that more than 40 other fish species which colonised the lake at the same time have barely changed since then.
The study involved sequencing over three million sites in the genome of 100 cichlid species — a task which until recently would not have been feasible. This allowed the group led by Ole Seehausen to provide strong evidence for his theory that hybridisation between divergent species, in conjunction with ecological opportunity, can facilitate rapid adaptive radiation. Over a few thousand years, this process gave rise to a complex food web in Lake Victoria, as the new species, in turn, influenced their environment.
Over the past 50 years, changes in land use and wastewater inputs have led to eutrophication of the lake, with increased turbidity and oxygen depletion in deeper waters. Consequently, various species have merged into hybrid populations, as the male nuptial coloration which attracts females of the same species has become less effective; certain deep-water habitats are no longer viable. Some of the lake’s biodiversity and ecological diversity has therefore been lost.
The light produced by flashlight fish at night can be seen up to 100ft away. Now researchers have studied the purpose of these flashing signals, which are produced by glowing bacteria in special organs below their eyes.
Flashlight fish, also referred to as lantern-eye fish, live in swarms of up to 50 animals that hunt plankton on coral reef roofs at night. During the day, the fish withdraw to a depth of up to 400 metres, where they presumably rest in underwater caves. They have light organs below their eyes which can be rotated backwards and which contain bioluminescent symbiotic bacteria. By rotating their light organs, the fish generate flash patterns in different frequencies. To date, researchers could only speculate about the light organs' function.
“Deploying methods of behavioural biology, we have now successfully demonstrated that Anomalops katoptron uses its light organs while foraging, and it adjusts the flash frequency to the context in which it operates,” explain Prof Dr Stefan Herlitze and Dr Jens Hellinger of Ruhr-University Bochum.
They observed that the fish blink 90 times per minute on average during the night. Once the researchers add zooplankton to the water, the animals promptly reduce their flash frequency and emit an almost continuous glow while feeding. Non-glowing control animals of the same species hardly ever caught any prey. They didn’t exhibit any changes to blink frequency in the presence of zooplankton, either. The blink frequency in non-glowing fish can be determined by monitoring light organ rotation.
“The results clearly indicate that Anomalops katoptron relies on its light organs while foraging for food,” conclude Stefan Herlitze and Jens Hellinger.
Moreover, the researchers have demonstrated that the animals’ blink frequency is also regulated by the lighting conditions in their environment. During the day, the animals rest in the reef aquarium in a dimly lit cave, keeping their light organs closed for the most part, interrupted only by brief blinks. During their active phase at night, on the other hand, the fish exhibit a high blink frequency. The precise function of that blink pattern is not yet fully understood. Additional analyses will reveal whether the fish use blink patterns to communicate or whether they confuse predators by blinking in a swarm.
In addition to the lighting conditions in its surroundings, the presence of food also determines the bioluminescence of the fish. A loss of luminescence is caused by food shortage.
The researchers published their report in Plos One.
The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) has broadly welcomed the Next Steps document issued by Defra outlining its proposed approach to the licensing of ‘animal activities’, including pet shops.
In its joint submission with PIF and REPTA to the original consultation OATA called for a new licensing scheme to provide consistent, coherent standards which were well-enforced by inspectors who had appropriate qualifications and experience on the animals involved. It also called for robust enforcement which rewards good business practises with earned recognition and which stamps out bad businesses which flout the law and have little regard for animal welfare.
In particular, OATA welcomes:
The acknowledgement that online traders of animals will need to be licensed in the same way that ‘bricks and mortar’ pet shops are. Defra has also said it ‘intends to require’ local authorities to look at whether an individual who sells animals is running a business. This is a welcome acknowledgement which we hope will go some way to levelling the playing field for all businesses.
That ‘key requirements’ of the CIEH’s model licensing conditions will be enshrined in law. We look forward to ensuring this finally means local authorities must follow a consistent set of high standards – in England and Wales at least – something OATA has called for for many years.
The acknowledgement that inspectors need to have the right training, experience and competence to carry out inspections. Defra is proposing that a set of standards and training are created and we look forward to playing our part in this work. Defra has also acknowledged that a list of inspectors who meet that standard could be created, which would help local authorities to pool resources and develop expertise, such as through Primary Authority schemes.
The acknowledgement of ‘earned recognition’ which means good businesses could have licences issued for up to three years. We look forward to playing our part in developing the ‘robust and consistent risk-based system’ that will be used to take forward this approach and OATA notes that being part of an independent scheme, such as UKAS, is likely to be taken in account when identifying lower risk businesses which require less frequent or detailed inspections.
All businesses will need to provide written information on the animals they sell to customers by law (including online businesses).
Licences will no longer be issued for the calendar year but for a fixed term throughout the year. This will spread the administrative burden for local authorities and we believe should further improve inspections.
The requirement for licence holders to notify local authorities to ‘major changes’ to their business and we welcome that this will be ‘clearly defined’.
The requirement for local authorities to report annually to Defra on the licenses they issue and conditions they put on them, which will help improve information on this.
The guidance Defra will introduce on how local authorities set reasonable fees to help improve consistency and transparency.
“Overall we are very pleased that Defra has listened to many of our suggestions about how to improve the licensing of ‘animal activities’, as it will now be labelled to acknowledge the advent of online sales,” said OATA’s Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee.
“While the majority of the Next Steps document appears to be good news for the aquatics industry, we remain concerned about how all this will be enforced. Robust enforcement is the flip side of the coin to good standards,” he added.
“There is some mention of fixed penalty notices to aid enforcement and an aspect of concern is the ‘powers of entry’ question. We recommended that people who ran their business from home should have, at the very least, the same scrutiny around enforcement that ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses do, despite the fact that traditional pet shops actually already have greater scrutiny because they are visited daily by the public in a way that online businesses are not.
“But Defra is not recommending a change to the powers of entry that inspectors have into these ‘home’ businesses – they will still need a warrant and to give notice. It is this kind of detail that needs further scrutiny about how it will be practically implemented and there will no doubt be other examples that need further input from the pet industry to ensure the right outcome for animal welfare is achieved.”
Defra’s Next Steps document and the joint submission to the original consultation is available on OATA’s website.
Tropical Marine Centre has a super-rare Tiger angelfish, Apolemichthys kingi, in stock at its head office in London.
If you’re looking for a fish that’s eye-catching and beautiful — as well as one that very few other fishkeepers are going to have — check this out. But we warned that it’s likely to carry a five-figure price tag!
The Tiger angelfish comes from the Western Indian Ocean around Natal and Mozambique, South Africa.
Please note that Tropical Marine Centre only supplies to the trade, but if you want this rare beauty, chat to your local marine retailer to see if they can secure it for you!
A tiny new species of hermit crab has been found at dive sites in the National Marine Park of the southern Caribbean island of Bonaire, and scientists wonder if it is the first fish-cleaning hermit crab to have ever been discovered.
The presence of this lovely but rather secretive little crab first came to light on photos taken by underwater photographer Ellen Muller, who was observing invertebrates in crevices under a large coral ledge when she inadvertently photographed it alongside a reef lobster. More of the hermit crabs appeared in photos alongside different moray eel species, where they were sharing the same crevices.
Permits were obtained for a few individuals to be collected and taken for study at the Smithsonian Institution in the USA.
The shape of the major pincer of this new species is remarkable with its shape and massive size when compared to the body. The underside of the claw of this pincer is deeply excavated, and scoop-like. The function of the pincer and claw, however, is at present unknown, although a video shows that it is used by the hermit crab to push itself while crawling along the bottom.
The behaviour of this new hermit crab is intriguing and scientists wonder whether it could act as a ‘cleaner’ or a ‘den commensal’ to moray eels. At least in one instance, an individual was observed crawling on the body of a Broad banded moray, perhaps feeding on mucus or other materials present on the fish. This may be evidence of some kind of symbiotic association, or den commensalism, between the two animals. The brightly coloured pattern of the hermit crab with red stripes and very long, hairy antennae are also typical of fish-cleaning crustaceans.
While some shrimp species are known to act as fish cleaners, removing parasites or fouling organisms from fishes' bodies, or undesirable food particles, a hermit crab has never been documented to engage in this type of association.
The new species is described in a paper by Dr. Rafael Lemaitre of the Smithsonian Institution, and has been given the common name of ‘Candy striped hermit crab’ due to its red and white stripes which are reminiscent of traditional candy cane. The scientific name of Pylopaguropsis mollymullerae is in honour of Ellen Muller's young granddaughter, Molly Muller. The underwater photographer believes that the honour would "inspire her to continue the tradition of protecting the amazing and fragile diversity of marine life in Bonaire."
For more information, see the paper: Lemaitre R (2017) Discovery of a new species of hermit crab of the genus Pylopaguropsis Alcock, 1905 from the Caribbean: “den commensal” or “cleaner”? (Crustacea, Anomura, Paguridae). ZooKeys 646: 139-158.
Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is mourning the death of one of its most iconic and beloved residents, and the longest-lived of any fish in a zoological setting in the world.
Granddad, a male Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, had to be humanely put to sleep on Sunday, February 5, due to a rapid decline in his quality of life associated with his old age.
Granddad was one of two lungfishes acquired from the Taronga Zoo and Aquarium in Sydney, Australia during Shedd’s 1933 Pacific collecting expedition with the purpose of attracting some of the 10 million visitors expected to attend A Century of Progress International Exposition just steps away from the aquarium. Arriving in Chicago a day before the opening of the fair, the lungfishes were the first of their kind on exhibit in the United States. Granddad's exact age isn't known, but he's thought to have been in his nineties, as he was already a mature fish on his arrival.
“It is incredible to know that over 104 million guests had the opportunity to see Granddad in our care and learn about his unique species over eight decades,” said President and CEO Bridget Coughlin, Ph.D. “For a fish who spent much of his time imitating a fallen log, he sparked curiosity, excitement and wonder among guests of all ages who would hear his story and learn about the incredible biology that makes his species a living fossil and one of the oldest living vertebrate genera on the planet.”
Granddad began to show signs of declining health last week when he had little interest in his diet. After he stopped eating and signs of organ failure were apparent under physical examination, the Animal Health team made the decision to euthanise him. Initial findings of a post mortem show conditions consistent with geriatric age. A full report with additional results is forthcoming.
OASE UK is looking to recruit a new team member to work at its offices in Hampshire. So, if you're a keen fishkeeper or pond owner and fancy turning that interest into a career, read on...
OASE are the worldwide market leaders in Water Gardening and pride themselves on their exciting, innovative and market leading products. In the last year OASE has expanded into the Drainage, Irrigation and Indoor Aquatics markets; including the acquisition of biOrb.
This role requires a great deal of flexibility as no two days are the same. A willingness to learn is essential; as is enthusiasm. You will need to have a keen interest in ponds or aquariums and a desire to provide excellent customer service every day.
The role will include, but is not limited to:
- Dealing with enquiries in relation to orders and products via email and phone
- Testing incoming returns and processing necessary paper work
- To attend OASE exhibitions, customer weekends and site visits when required
The role is based at the OASE offices in Andover in Hampshire so the successful applicant will need to able to travel there each day or relocate to the area. A full driving license is essential.
At OASE we have a very friendly team who are widely regarded as the best in the industry. To join us in the next stage of our growth please contact Amanda Crook, Sales Office Manager at email@example.com with CV and covering letter.
Closing date: February 10, 2017.
The image above shows Saccorhytus, a microscopic animal, which lived about 540 million years ago — and researchers think it could be the earliest known prehistoric ancestor of humans.
The tiny sea creature, which measures just 1mm in size, has been named Saccorhytus after the sack-like features created by its elliptical body and large mouth. It is new to science and was identified from microfossils found in China.
If the conclusions of a new study, published in the journal Nature, are correct, then Saccorhytus was the common ancestor of a huge range of species, and the earliest step yet discovered on the evolutionary path that eventually led to humans, hundreds of millions of years later.
It’s thought that Saccorhytus probably lived between grains of sand on the seabed. Its features were spectacularly preserved in the fossil record — and intriguingly, the researchers were unable to find any evidence that the animal had an anus.
The study was carried out by an international team of academics, including researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK and Northwest University in Xi’an China, with support from other colleagues at institutions in China and Germany.
A TV production company based in Bristol is looking for pet owners — including fishkeepers — to take part in a new ITV series called Teach My Pet, which will follow fun families as they are taught to train their household pets amazing and even unexpected tricks.
From fish to ponies, chickens to dogs, the show aims to include all types of pet and uses only positive training methods
Plimsoll Productions says: “The show is very light hearted, educational and family friendly and there are two very experienced animal behaviourists on board who will meet the people and their pets, set a training scheme and mentor their family through the training process.”
The producers say they are keen to find people who own fish to also take part — and it’s a great opportunity to help try and dispel that three-second memory myth for good!
For more information and an application form, email MyPetCasting@plimsollproductions.com or call 0117 307 2320. But don’t hang about, as filming is due to start very soon.
Buyers of JBL’s electrical products can rest even easier because they can now get an additional two-year guarantee free of charge.
Just register your product online within the usual two-year manufacturer guarantee period to take advantage of this fabulous extended warranty, giving you four years of cover from the date of purchase of your JBL product.
JBL GarantiePlus offers the convenience of carrying out the registration from your sofa to enjoy the new service immediately. You’ll not only be able to take advantage of the maximum cover for your equipment with reliable and fast service, but you can get exclusive updates and information about your product, or even the chance to take part in special pre-launch development phases of new JBL products.
You just need a few minutes, the purchase receipt and the serial number of your technical JBL item.
More info: You can find out how JBL GarantiePlus works, plus a list of all the benefits at www.jbl.de/en
A Harry Potter-mad researcher working with a tiny new species and genus of crab, which was first collected almost 20 years ago, has given it the name of Harryplax severus.
Dr. Jose Christopher E. Mendoza, of the National University of Singapore, who is lead author of the study, is a self-confessed 'Potterhead'. The genus name of Harryplax alludes not only to the lead character in J. K. Rowling's famous series of novels, but is also a tribute to the original collector of the crab, Harry Conley, whose knack for finding new species is likened to the magical powers of Harry Potter.
The species name of severus is inspired by the character of Professor Severus Snape, who only reveals his secrets and his true agenda at the end of the Harry Potter series — something which the authors say the new crab has in common with his character, having eluded discovery until now, nearly 20 years after it was first collected.
The crab measures less than 1cm and lives deep inside coral rubble in the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. Its dark habitat has led to the development of reduced eyes. The species also has well developed antenna and long, slender legs.
For more information, see the paper: Jose C.E. Mendoza, Peter K.L. Ng. Harryplax severus, a new genus and species of an unusual coral rubble-inhabiting crab from Guam (Crustacea, Brachyura, Christmaplacidae). ZooKeys, 2017; 647: 23 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.647.11455
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.