Businessman builds an aquarium around his home


A businessman in Turkey has installed an unusual fence around his luxury villa - it's a 50-metre-long aquarium.

The aquatic fence in ÇeÅŸme, Izmir, is stocked with around 1,000 fish and octopus and has become a big tourist attraction — with up to a thousand visitors a day — since Mehmet Ali GökçeoÄŸlu had it built eight years ago.

The villa sits just a few metres from the shore of the Aegean Sea and the aquarium, which is stocked with native fish, gets a constant supply of clean water via a buried pipe that links it to the sea.

CCTV cameras have been installed to ensure that tourists who come to marvel at the creation can enjoy the fish, but can't get too close.

According to reports the whole project cost just 40,000 Turkish Lira/£13,700.

You can see the aquarium in the video below - it gives you some idea of the scale.

 

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Koi become street art theme in U.S. city


If you live in Milwaukee, in Wisconsin, U.S., chances are you'll have come across Koi on the pavement.

In fact there are Koi spray-painted throughout neighbourhoods in the east Side, Riverwest and Third Ward — they even 'swim' along a bike trail in one area.

The street artist responsible is Jeremy Novy, who says he became interested in Koi while studying ancient and contemporary art in China. He told the Wisonsin Gazette in an interview that he chooses areas where people gather, so they see something with beauty and colour, which will hopefully make them think a bit more. He says with his art he's "trying to send out love, harmony, peace, equality and all those things that you can find within what the Koi stand for. "

You can read the full interview at the Wisconsin Gazette and see more of Novy's art on his facebook page.

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Video: Captive-bred Clarion angel at TMC London


This captive-bred juvenile Clarion angel recently went up for sale at TMC's London branch.

TMC says this Clarion angel was the only one available captive-bred in the world at the time the video was shot — and this individual is also very unusual in its pattern as it displays what looks like a large letter 'M' on its side.

We have no idea of price, but we'd expect a tag of four figures on something like this.

Please note that TMC supplies to the trade only, however if you see something you like, your local dealer may be able to get it for you.

 

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Video: Cormorant attacks juvenile Wolf eel


A diver captured more than she'd bargained for on camera when a juvenile Wolf eel she had been filming was attacked by a Cormorant.

The video - which begins with footage of an octopus - was posted onto Vimeo by Diver Jackie, and was filmed in La Jolla.

She describes the experience as an "absolute critter thrill" and says: "I’m glad no one was around, as I may have done quite the happy dance…but then mixed emotions, as I would have liked to spend some more time with the elusive eel – at least it didn’t seem hurt as it swam off. What a scene. What a thrill."

 

Wolf Eel (juvie) attacked by Cormorant from Diver Jackie on Vimeo.

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Odyssea CFS 1000 external canister from Ocean Aquarium


Nathan Hill has a quick look at, and gives his first impressions of, the Odyssea CFS 1000 filter straight out of the box...

When a big box comes into the office we get excited, and the Odyssea CFS 1000 canister filter has us positively trilling. The thing is huge, as canister filters go. Well, just look at the picture, where it’s towering over a CristalProfi e700.

Out of the box you get the clear plastic canister itself, filled with 7 foams of varying grade from coarse to fine. You get taps, plugs and connecting cable, suction cups for piping, two lengths of corrugated 25mm hosing, a duck bill return, and a whopping strainer outlet with foam prefilter. So far so good.

The top of the filter looks very similar to the Fluval FX6 model, with 6 screwing locks, and two jutting hose connectors with seal rings already in place. The difference to the FX6 is that just off centre you have a rubber ‘bung’ with two cables feeding through it for power to the pump and the UV.

Opening the cylinder up, there’s an 'O' ring tightly embedded in the head, which looks to be a swine to get out or replace. I’d want to lube those 'O' rings senseless, but only because I’ve had too many bad experiences with leaking rings on budget goods in the past. And then there’s the media itself, which is where it starts to get a little shakier.

Each foam ring is cut on one side, around a central, large hole for the UV, and has a smaller hole through the other side, so it can fit over the return pipe. This makes getting the foam out to be something of a chore, and I’m working with it whilst dry and unclogged with muck. I’ll be interested to see how Jeremy gets on with it once it’s caked.

The pump and UV aren’t fixed in place, so once you start tugging on foams they start rattling about, and getting everything back together without gaps where water can race through is time consuming.

The pump looks sturdy enough, if a little rough around the edges. It has the feel of a small pond pump, or one of the Red Sea flow pumps, and although I haven’t fired it up, it gives the impression of being gutsy. In gutsy pump style, it’s also guzzling up 55W of power to run it.

What could go wrong? I’ve been suspicious of clear filters for years. There’s good evidence to show that nitrifying bacteria are fans of darkness, and inhibited by natural light. That’s why so many canisters out there are blacker than coal. I guess that it does mean you can see if your filter needs a clean, but that kind of defeats the object if it’s not biologically functioning.

I also note the absence of dedicated bio media. That’s a horses for courses thing, as not everyone wants sintered glass or plastic bits, but for myself, I’d be inclined to pull the foam giblets out of this thing and brim it with Kaldness K1 instead. I’d also wrap some black card around it, or some bin bags to keep those bacteria happy.

As for the price, all I can say is that it’s cheap. I’m struggling to find a UK seller with a price set in stone, but Australian retailers are knocking these out for what equates to £72.10. It’s probably safe to say it’ll be sub-£100 gear here on the mainland, too.

Watch this space for a more thorough review in the near future, including just how Jeremy gets on with cleaning.

Video: Deep sea Oarfish filmed live for first time


This video shows an Oarfish (Regalecus glesne) filmed by an ROV in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The ROV, operated by Mako Technologies, was conducting surveys of the sea floor and water column when the fish came into view.

This amazing video — almost 10 minutes in length — is thought to be the first deep sea footage of a live Oarfish. It was apparently filmed in 2011, but has only recently made it onto YouTube.

Oarfish are rarely ever seen unless they are dying. Their slender shape, bizarre red finnage and 'crest', together with their undulating way of swimming spawned myths of sea serpents and sea monsters among ancient mariners.

Unconfirmed specimens of 17m/56' in length have been reported.

 

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Salt Ramp with Celestial Children is goldfish/nature aquarium/art combo


Want to know what happens when you let an artist loose on aquariums? Feast your eyes on Salt Ramp with Celestial Children by Faith La Rocque

"Rich in natural materials, Salt Ramp with Celestial Children is a cedarwood ramp structure that holds approximately 1,000lbs of Himalayan salt tiles conjoined with a triptych of nature aquariums housing Bubble Eye goldfish and aquatic plants," says the blurb on website faithlarocque.com.
"Two lighting systems are utilised to simulate sunlight: at one end solar lamps promote aquatic plant growth and at the other SAD therapy light boxes placed within the ramp structure produce a glowing effect through the Himalayan salt."
 
 
Healthy owners
"In the realm of alternative healing, Himalayan salt is used in halotherapy (hypertonic saline aerosol inhalation treatment) to counter EMF/EMR; purify the air naturally and increase feelings of contentment by emitting negative ions; cleanse the respiratory system; and quicken the elimination of toxins. With an aura of the sauna, the Salt Ramp is an upward-facing plane that emits the benefits of sea air.
"'Nature aquariums' are a popular style of aquarium design involving aquatic plants, rocks and driftwood and ornamental fish. While not typically used in nature aquariums, bubble eyes are a variety of captive-bred goldfish propagated for their extreme physical traits.
"With fragile fluid-filled pouches under eyes that can look only upward and a lack of dorsal fins, they are disabled swimmers without defences for survival. The bubble eyes are predestined to gaze at both the heavens and their keepers. The aquariums therefore demonstrate a personalised nature as contrived by humans.
"This work also draws on the delicate relationship between salt and goldfish: in small doses salt can treat goldfish for parasites, however in the event of direct contact the goldfish would be denatured/cured."
 
 
What we think!
The PFk team happened upon this tank while online one evening. At first it looks like some sort of skate board ramp attached to some aquariums. Keen aquascapers will note what looks like ADA solar I metal halide lighting and stands, so no expense spared, then, in true ironic artistic style, the nature aquarium aspect is juxtaposed with some of the most man made, non natural fish available - bubble eye goldfish.
Is it art?  We say yes.
Will it provoke comment from all sorts of different aquarium owners? Again, yes.
Do you love it or hate it? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Video: Naked man jumps into supermarket fish tank!


The video below, caught on security cameras at a supermarket in eastern Ukraine, has gone viral.

It shows a naked man taking a 'bath' in an aquarium at the store. Why? The reasons aren't clear, although it's thought it might have been a dare of some kind. But the security staff at the supermarket don't appear to be too concerned as no one tries to stop him!

Warning: Contains nudity.

 

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Award-winning design gives aquarium a modern twist


A design student has won an award for his re-invented aquarium, styled to look like a contemporary flat or apartment.

Called the Fish Hotel, it features a detachable moulded plastic outer shell, with 'windows'. The inner tank is removeable for cleaning and you can stack them to create a 'hotel' or modern high-rise effect.

Carry handles built into the design double up as feeding holes if you have one tank on top of the other.

It measures 19 x 19 x 20 cm/7.5 x 7.5 x 8", so isn't particularly large at around 7.3 l/1.6 gal. There's no filter or heater provided, although you could add them along with gravel and plants. However, PFK feels that at this kind of volume it's not really suitable for livestock other than very small shrimps.

The Fish Hotel was designed by Teddy Luong, of the Carleton University's School of Industrial Design in Ottawa and was the winner of Canada's Build a Better competition.

It's manufactured by Umbra and is available in the UK, priced at around £36.

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Video: Hand feeding Red tail catfish at The Deep, Hull


A lovely little video has been highlighted on the PFK forum of the Amazon Flooded Forest tank.

The video shows a huge, Amazonesque display tank housing many of the Amazon river mega fauna including Red tail catfish, Niger cats, Tiger shovelnoses, Pacu and stingrays.

What is nice to see however is that these large fish have room to swim and turn around, and it gives the viewer the chance to see the size of the R8ed tail in particular as it accepts offerings of fish from a diver.

The Deep are very active members of the Big Fish Campaign where they highlight the big problem that large unwanted tropical fish cause to public aquaria and the aquatic hobby as a whole.

In an ideal world all tankbusters would reside in tanks like this, but the reality is that most live out their days crammed into a 6 x 2 x 2' bare glass aquarium.

Being long-lived and expensive to heat, filter and feed, many are abandoned, leaving public aquaria to pic up the bill.

Don't buy small specimens of these large fish as it fuels their continuing trade.

Don't think that someone else will rehome them when they get too big either. There are already far too many overgrown specimens with not enough suitable homes.

Practical Fishkeeping Magazine backs the Big Fish Campaign.

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Video: World's most creative goldfish aquascape


Well, one of them anyway, as I'd never seen anything like this before, writes Jeremy Gay.

To satisfy the goldfish police let's get all the usual stuff out of the way. Yes, goldfish will eat the plants and mess the tank up. And yes, the fish featured will also outgrow that aquarium.

But…
For sheer aesthetic value and as a show tank I like it. After all, have you ever seen an aquarium that is furnished not only inside, but outside?

The first incarnation of this tank appeared on YouTube a while ago (scroll down to see this version) and by the looks of it the tank was on display at a Japanese aquatic show.

As aquascapes go it's pretty awesome in its own right, with trees made from wrapping Hygrophila polysperma around spindly branches and other tricks to imitate a terrestrial Japanese garden, viewed through a traditional Japanese house.

In the second version, however the makers have got even more elaborate, this time installing a pond, in a house, in a tank…

Love it, hate it, its up to you — but it caught my eye that's for sure, and at a time when the goldfish hobby is fast getting forgotten about in the aquascaping stakes.

 

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Video: Camera is swallowed by fish - and continues filming!


A Napoleon wrasse, which was being filmed by a team from the Monaco Oceanographic Institute, decided to eat the camera - which continued to film while inside the fish until it spat it back out again.

The result is an actual endoscopy of the wrasse. Interesting viewing…

 

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Takashi Amano in the Wall Street Journal


The Japanese creator of the Nature Aquarium style has been interviewed by the largest newspaper in the United States.

In a fascinating insight into the man, his past, and his rapidly growing company, the Wall Street Journal not only managed to get some great quotes from Mr Amano, but also some facts, figures, and some clues as to the sums of money that are commanded these days if you want the man himself to travel over and aquascape your tank.

We can't confirm this, but according to the WSJ, for a 228 gal. aquarium designed and 'scaped by Mr Amano, and using all ADA high-end products of course, he charges a cool $42,600/£28,142 plus $600/£396 a month in essential maintenance.

Also that because of the logistics of foreign tank builds, and the fact that these days he can rightfully afford to be choosy, "he won't travel to the U.S. to design anything less than 13' wide."

Interesting though that Amano's is not a story of rags to riches, more one of doing quite well already through a former career in professional cycling, before becoming very good at pro photography and then turning his hand to making planted tanks look nice and creating a company which supply products that enable others to achieve aquascaping results like he does.

Quitting saltwater

Intriguing also that Amano admitted to recently quitting designing saltwater tanks, stating "no matter how hard you try, you can't beat nature," following with: "I don't do things when I can't win. I can win with freshwater".

These sentiments are no doubt echoed by many a seasoned multi-type fishkeeper, as although creating an authentic blackwater freshwater habitat is straight forward, even easy, you've only got to a take a dive on a coral reef and see all those things growing naturally, which we are still yet to truly understand and master, to realise that although we're getting better and better and marines, for many people, we're not quite there yet.

But before I para-phrase and plagiarise too much of the beautifully and cleverly written article, take a look at "The Sage of Aquariums" by Phred Dvorak, yourself.

And you'll get to find out how being an Aqua Design Amano team member could cause you nose bleeds!

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Club scene rekindled!


I’d been concerned for a while that the club scene was on its last legs, but I was wrong. The UK, indeed international, club scene is more alive than ever. It’s just migrating, says Nathan Hill.

Out go chilly halls and wooden chairs, and in come the luxuries of being sat in your own home, tapping in to the digital interactions of forums and social media.

But of course, that’s all lacking on the hands-on front, surely? There’s something to be said for meeting other aquarists face to face, seeing fish first hand, or even just chewing the fat over a cake and a coffee. One wiley aquarist has managed to innovatively fuse the best of all worlds into one venue.

Craig Whitehead, an affable and perpetually smiling hobbyist himself, is the brains behind the 'Pleco Sales or Swap' group, a Facebook phenomenon that currently boasts in excess of 3,000 members.

The intention of the group was exactly as the name describes it. Craig was tired of not having access to the kinds of fishes he sought, and local retailers in his northern home county rarely if ever stocked those delights that he craved.

The group was set up to allow for a trading platform between equally minded enthusiasts, and it soon gained momentum. A closed group that anyone can request to join, it started life in October 2011, and has since evolved to be more than just a source of keyboard interaction, or clandestine meets that involve swapping fish.

February 17 saw the third organised meet, based at Rare Aquatics in Crewe, Cheshire. Ultra-cynics may have images of a tiny handful of hardcore aquarists turning up to heckle discounts, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The event I attended was the third hosted so far, but the second that I managed to reach myself. Last time I got to witness a seminar given by none other than catfish hero Julian Dignall, who had travelled from Scotland for the day.

This time saw an equally massive turnout of catfish enthusiasts as former events. Not a dozen or so, but a steady, day-long stream of fishkeepers that packed in so tightly it was actually hard at times to navigate.

What did the day offer? Well, aside the chance to converse with likeminded aquarists, there were the private sales and swapping of fish. Enthusiasts were turning up with home grown L46 to trade for newer projects.

Rare Aquatics went out of its way to put on a glorious spread. It had primed for the meet in advance with the importation of 55 boxes of Colombian fish. Putting that into context, a large chain store may get through three or four boxes of tropical fish in sales per week. 55 boxes are a big commitment, and one that takes some effort to sort.

Rare Aquatics owner Jo Crane informed me in the brief break she could snatch between serving catfish-hungry customers that the shipment arrived at around 2pm one afternoon. They eventually got away from work just past midnight after unpacking and acclimating.

Aquarists on the day spent money as though the world was about to end. As I watched fish being piled into a box for one attendee who had travelled up from Brighton for the event, I ran a quick mental tally up that hinted at a one-off spend sat between £1000 and £1500. Even Craig had eyes on a brace of L397 cats at £100 a head.

I got to make many contacts on the day, and to put voices to names I knew. I got to covet fish and plan future projects. But more than that, I got to have a fun time with the most open and friendly crowd of aquarists there are.

Yes, the club scene is alive and well, but as I said, it’s just migrated. Welcome to the future of aquatic meets…

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Dolphins chew puffer fish to get 'high'!


Dolphins have been filmed chewing on toxic puffer fish, apparently to enjoy their 'narcotic-like effect'.

The footage was shot using cameras disguised as other sea creatures for the BBC series Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, from by the award-winning wildlife documentary producer John Downer. It shows dolphins gently chewing on the fish, and passing it between them, before lapsing into a sort of trance, floating just beneath the surface and apparently fascinated by their own reflections.

Although large doses of the toxin produced by puffer fish can be deadly, in small amounts it can produce a narcotic effect — and the dolphins appeared to know exactly how to make the fish release just the right amount to get them 'high'.

It's the first time dolphins have been filmed acting in this way.

The first of the two-part series will be shown on BBC1 on Thursday, January 2, at 8pm.

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Thousands of fish feared dead following fire


A shop owner from Seattle in the US fears tens of thousands of fish will have died following a fire above his store on Christmas Eve.

The 100-year-old building on South King Street in the Chinatown district, houses eight businesses — one of them an aquatic shop owned by Djin Kwie Liem, which has been trading there since 1979.

But a fire broke out in the vacant upper part of the building at around 4pm on Christmas Eve, causing extensive damage. Dozens of fire trucks attended the scene and people living in surrounding homes had to be evacuated.

Liem was only allowed back into his ground floor shop shop briefly on Thursday to pick up a few personal belongings, cash and receipts.

There's no power to the building following the fire, so the shop's tanks are without heat, oxygen and filtration. Liem had to use a flashlight to see what he was doing. He told The Seattle Times that he couldn't bear to look into any of the tanks to see the fate of the thousands of fish.

Liem had only received a shipment of about 5,000 goldfish the day before the fire, and an additional 4,000 a fortnight earlier, ready for the Chinese New Year. The Chinese consider goldfish good luck, so this is a particularly busy time for him.

He estimates that 20,000 fish may have been lost, including tropical specialities such as Fighters and Corydoras along with fancy goldfish and Koi.

Liem knows there's little hope for the tropicals, but hopes that some of the coldwater fish could still make it.

Fire officials say the upper areas of the building are so damaged that the cause of the blaze may never be known and business owners have been told it could be weeks before they find out if they can ever reopen.

The same building was the site of the Wah Mee massacre in 1983 — the deadliest mass murder in Washington State history — when 14 people were gunned down by three men in the downstairs Wah Mee gambling club. Thirteen died, but the survivor was able to testify against the gunmen.

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Four new species found off the coast of Scotland


Four new species of deep sea creature have been discovered off the north west coast of Scotland, exciting researchers who think the presence of three of them could indicate a "cold seep" vent, in which hydrocarbons leak into the water from a fissure in the seabed.

Two species of clam — Thyasira scotiae and Isorropodon mackayi — and a marine worm, which was actually found living inside one of the clams and has yet to be named, were found at a depth of about three quarters of a mile at a suspected cold seep during surveys around the Rockall coast in the north Atlantic by researchers from Marine Scotland.

If confirmed, the cold seep would be the first to be discovered in the area and could lead to controls on fishing.

A large 10cm/4" sea snail (pictured above) which has been named Volutopsius scotiae, was also discovered during the survey, living at a depth of about a mile.

Both Volutopsius scotiae and Thyasira scotiae have been named after the research vessel MRV Scotia, while Isorropodon mackayi has been named after mollusc expert David W Mackay.

Jim Drewery from Marine ­Scotland Science, said: "The discovery of these new species is absolutely incredible, especially when you consider that the sea snail measures a relatively large 4", yet has gone undetected for decades.

"The project we were undertaking was designed to provide advice that would help balance both commercial fishing and conservation interests in the Rockall area.

"The potential cold seep and its dependant community of marine life is a great find as it is just the sort of habitat we were hoping to pick up on these surveys."

Scotland's Environment ­Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Scottish waters cover an area around five times bigger than our land mass and are miles deep in places...The area where these species were found is not fished and the confirmation of a cold seep is likely to result in the region being closed to bottom contact fishing."

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70 bathers bitten by piranhas in Argentina


More than 70 people were injured after a school of fish attacked bathers in the Parana River on Christmas Day.

Thousands of bathers are reported to have taken to the water at Rosario — a city located around 185 miles north of Buenos Aires — due to the extreme temperatures, which topped 38°C.

But around mid-morning, people began to shout that they had been bitten.

Medical officials described the attack as "very aggressive", with some of those bitten having lumps of flesh torn from them. Some of the children who were injured are reported to have lost entire digits.

The fish responsible was described by bathers as 'palometa': a carnivorous fish of the piranha family — probably Pygocentrus palometa.

Officials said the unusually warm weather may have been responsible for the fish congregating at the water surface prior to the incident.

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