Aquarist rents a separate flat for his 42 aquariums


A fishkeeper from Turkey has become so obsessed with the hobby that he has moved his fish from the family home in Ankara and into a separate flat to save his marriage.

Önder DoÄŸanay’s wife told him it was either her or the fish, after his collection grew to 42 tanks housing thousands of fish, reports the Daily Sabah. As he has been unable to make a decision between the two, DoÄŸanay has rented a flat specifically for his fish until he makes up his mind.
"When I am with my aquariums, I forget every other event on the Earth," he admits.
DoÄŸanay, who is a radiologist, now has so many tanks that he has had to employ a fish-sitter to help him look after the fish while he is at work, as he says he’s so busy he cannot do all the maintenance required himself.
He adds that keeping fish is therapeutic and makes him feel positive. His collection includes discus, which he says are his favourite fish.
 
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New ’Ninja’ lanternshark discovered


A new species of lanternshark has been described from the central eastern Pacific Ocean.

The shark has been given the scientific name of Etmopterus benchleyi. The species is named in honour of Peter Benchley, author of Jaws and subsequently an avid shark conservationist. 
The common name of 'Ninja' lanternshark refers to the uniform black colour of the shark and the photophores in its skin it uses to produce a faint glow in the deep, dark water (up to 1443 metres depth) in which it lives. This is thought to act as concealment allowing the shark to blend in with the limited light and making it invisible from below, somewhat reminiscent of the clothes and stealth used by the Japanese ninja. In line with Mr. Benchley’s outreach efforts, the privilege of deciding the common name was bestowed upon four young shark enthusiasts, ages 8 to 14 — relatives of one of the researchers, Victoria Elena Vásquez of the Pacific Shark Research Centre.  
The maximum size of the new shark is at least 51.5cm TL (adult female). 
For more information, see the paper. 
 
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Study suggests the Asian arowana is the ‘most primitive’ modern fish


Results of a new study contradict some of the views on the fish family tree...

A Malaysian-led research group from Monash University Malaysia has successfully sequenced the genome of a Malaysian fish: the Asian arowana, Scleropages formosus.
According to Prof. Christopher M. Austin, Genomics Cluster Leader at the School of Science, "The arowana belongs to a very old group of fish which you could refer to as 'living fossils'. One of the things we’re interested in is: Where does it fit in the family tree of fishes? Our study actually contradicts some views on the fish family tree.
"Every species carries its genealogical history in its DNA. Using genetic sequencing and bioinformatics methods, we can actually reconstruct the path of the evolution with considerable accuracy.
"Our study indicates that arowana is the most primitive of the modern fishes," Prof. Austin continues. "The evolutionary position of the arowana has been disputed in scientific literature — whether it’s the arowana group or the eel group that’s the most primitive form. Some recent publications suggested eels, but our publication suggests the arowana, which agrees with the more traditional scientific studies.
"Its appearance has not changed much over a very long period of geological time, and we’re talking millions and millions of years. But just because you’re primitive doesn’t mean you’re obsolete." He also cautions, "We can’t entirely say that the arowana is an all-round primitive fish because it’s not. The fact that it produces a small number of big eggs and that the males take care of the eggs is actually sort of more modern, if you like."
He likens arowanas to sharks, another fish that’s full of primitive characteristics but has survived millions of years.
This is the first Malaysian fish genome to be sequenced and the first achieved by a Malaysian university. The team hopes their work will contribute not only to evolutionary research but also to wildlife conservation in Malaysia.
The study, recently published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution, was co-authored by Prof. Austin and Mun Hua Tan, a bioinformatician at the Genomics Facility, along with Dr. Han Ming Gan (corresponding author, research fellow and laboratory manager), Prof. Larry J. Croft (Malaysian Genomics Resources Center) and Michael Hammer (Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin, Australia).
 
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UK aquatic dealer imported illegal corals


An aquatics dealer from the West Midlands has pleaded guilty to three charges of smuggling endangered corals.

Lee Webster was arrested after officers from the Border Force discovered 24 boxes of live coral at Manchester Airport, due to be delivered to Webster’s business address in Burntwood, Staffordshire, for which he did not have import permits, reports the Manchester Evening News.
The shipment included 136 corals covered by CITES — which means it is illegal to bring them into the EU.
During a raid by officers from the National Crime Agency and Border Force at Webster’s address, evidence was also discovered of two earlier shipments containing endangered corals, which he had smuggled in under a permit for legal species.
Webster admitted the three charges of illegal importation offences and was sentenced last week to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.
The corals have been taken to the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks, where they will go on display.  
The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association has welcomed the sentence on Webster.
“We do not believe deliberately evading the controls that apply to the import of corals should be regarded as a trivial offence,” said OATA Chief Executive Keith Davenport.
“It adversely impacts the conservation in the wild of the species concerned and undermines honest collectors and exporters in the country of origin. It also clearly jeopardises honest businesses which operate within the law. By offering a wider selection of corals and avoiding the costs of legal imports, this type of operator diverts business away from honest traders.
"And this illegal activity inevitably affects the reputation of the whole industry both in the UK and globally.
"Ultimately we have to ask retailers and hobbyists to be very careful about where they buy unusual or hard-to-get corals from. If what’s on offer seems too good to be true then it probably is and, if you’re a retailer, you should always be asking for the import permit number. Buying from unscrupulous dealers hurts the industry and the hobby, and threatens the conservation of coral species.
"We also have to thank Border Force for pursuing this and we will always support them where there is evidence of criminal activity."
Grant Miller, Border Force’s conservation lead, told Manchester Evening News: "Border Force takes its role in preventing illegal wildlife trafficking very seriously and this seizure of endangered corals shows that we will catch up with criminals who seek to circumvent the law.
"The illicit trade in endangered animals is a serious contributory factor to the threat of extinction faced by many endangered species and something Border Force, together with our partners in the UK and internationally, is determined to stop."
 
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Open day for fancy goldfish specialist in January


Hold on to any money you might be given for Christmas if you're a fan of fancy goldfish, as Surrey-based specialist Star Fisheries is holding an Open Cay on January 17, 2016, with a whole host of tempting fish on offer!

Star Fisheries' Andy Green says: Since our last Open day in November we have had a significant amount of new fish arrive from around the world. These will be offered for sale at our January Open Day.
 
"We have some outstanding new Tri-colour Orandas — some of the best we have had in recent times (see picture above). Also on offer will be some very special fish such as Celestials, Bubble-eyes, Butterflies, Celestial Pom Poms and Eggfish, along with some outstanding Orandas, Ryukins, Ranchus and Lionheads of all sizes. This time there will also be some very rare unique 'one-off' fish, and Japanese fish of various types such as Tosakin, Ryukin, Horyu and Azuma Oranda. Plus, the very best top view Ranchu outside Japanese shores, with the Andrew James range.  
 
You'll find Star Fisheries at 94a Benhill Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 3RX. It will be open from 10am–3pm on the day. There is plenty of free parking available.
Tel. 0208 915 0455 for more information. 
 
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Cultured marine livestock and foods from KoralSea


A new company that was receiving a lot of attention from visitors to the recent AQUA trade show in Telford was KoralSea.

Based in Co. Galway in Ireland, KoralSea specialises in the culture of tropical marine reef fish, corals and invertebrates, along with macro-algae.
 
 
 
Its stand at the show featured a large selection of its captive-bred livestock, including Aiptasia-eating nudibranchs, clownfish and Banggai cardinalfish. The corals all come from brood stock that has been on the farm for between 18 months and three years and come complete with identification label, colour coded for ease of keeping much in the same way as some aquarium plants, so reefkeepers know what they’re buying. Around 30 species are currently available including hard and soft corals. PFK's local aquatic shop, The WaterZoo in Peterborough, is one of the retailers now stocking KoralSea frags and we recently purchased an Alveopora from there that is doing very well indeed.
 
 
 
KoralSea also supplies Caulerpa and Chaetomorpha algae and live foods for marines with filtered phytoplankton (meaning no contamination with heavy metals), zooplankton, and live marine algae — a temperate species which won’t grow in a tropical marine aquarium. These are called K-Phyto, K-Zoo and K-Fuzz respectively. Small 'tester' sizes of these — called K-Shots — are also available.
 
More info: koralsea.com 
 
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Video: Cownose ray pup makes history!


A Cownose ray pup is doing swimmingly after being born by caesarian section at an aquarium in the US - and it's thought to be a first!

Staff at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, noticed that one of the female Cownose rays in the 84,000 gal 'Ray Bay' exhibit had not given birth along with the other pregnant rays.
 
Aquarium staff use an ultra sound to track the progress of each female pregnancy. The pup was retained for an extra 6-8 weeks with hopes of a natural birth. When it became clear that wasn't going to happen, the decision was made to perform a caesarian section in the hope of saving both the pup, and its mother.
 
Ripley’s veterinarian Dr. Robert George, performed the operation, assisted by staff. "To our knowledge, this is the first time a caesarian section has produced a live Cownose pup,” said Ryan DeSear, general manager of the aquarium. 
 
Both the pup and the mother are doing well and are both happily swimming together in the tank at Ripley's.
 
You can see a video of the procedure below:
 
 
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Santa and Mrs Claus lend a hand during aquarium fire


A fire that broke out in the kitchen area of a U.S. aquarium was attended to by the fire brigade, while Santa and Mrs Claus helped to evacuate guests and staff.

The famous couple were visiting Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah, from the North Pole, when a fire broke out early on Sunday afternoon.
"We just helped walk everyone down — clearing out the upper floor, with all the employees, and getting everybody out and safe,' Mrs. Claus told KSAT.com.
None of the animals at the aquarium were harmed in the fire.
 
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Robbers rescue goldfish


Though happy to make off with cash and electrical goods, robbers took the time to rescue a goldfish harmed during their break in, writes Nathan Hill

In a sudden show of unexpected conscience, burglers in Wollaton, Nottinghamshire have rescued a goldfish.

When home owners Lance and Monica McGill returned to their property, they feared the worst after finding their possessions gone and their goldfish bowl smashed. However, further investigation revealed that the intruders had taken the time to place Freddie the goldfish into a sink with some water, where his owners found him swimming.

It's thought that the bowl was knocked to the floor while the thieves were searching for valuables, and cash, a camera and laptops were stolen during the burglary. 

'We phoned the police straight away and they said not to touch anything until they got there, so we just waited,' Monica McGill said.

'It wasn't until they had left two hours later that I went to the kitchen sink for a drink and saw Freddie looking up at me.

'He was just there splashing around in the sink without a care in the world. You wouldn't have known what he had just been through. He looked quite content.

'I couldn't believe they went out of their way to save him. I thought he was gone for sure.

'It is mixed feelings really. They are still thieves that need catching - but we are really grateful they took the time to save Freddie.

'We bought him for my youngest daughter from a garden centre for her first birthday so she is quite fond of him. She was really happy when we found out he was alive.

‘The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. They’re just there to take whatever they can to make some money from.

‘They probably know we have insurance for the rest of the stuff, but not the pet and that’s why they saved him.’
 
The eight year old fish, originally bought for 89p at a garden centre, was placed in a cereal bowl overnight until the family could purchase a replacement. 
 
Practical Fishkeeping's Nathan Hill comments: 'Alas, the tale could be happier for Freddie at the end. After his ordeal, he's been placed back into a goldfish bowl, which looks to be considerably too small to house him. The fact that his new home lacks even basic filtration means that he'll quickly be exposed to toxic levels of his own excreted wastes. 
 
'Though the McGill family are offering a £300 reward to anyone who helps get back the items, this author cannot help to think it's all money that would be much better spent purchasing Freddie a realistically sized home with adequate life support. 
 
'With hindsight, the burglers may have done much more than just save Freddie's life. They might have given him his first and only experience of a little open space to stretch his fins.'
 
 

 

AquaBar T Series LED Light Bars from TMC


TMC has extended its range of aquarium lighting, offering this much simpler and more affordable upgrade to LEDs for those fishkeepers still using T5 and T8 tubes, including those with Juwel and Eheim set-ups.

The new light bar twin sets offer easy, easy, direct replacement for twin fluorescent lamp fittings, with equivalent sizes to T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps but with ultra low running costs and long life.
 
The lights are available in a wide range of colours including 'Fiji Purple', which incorporates NUV light for enhanced coral colouration, and 'Colourplus' for fish only and freshwater set-ups. Adaptors are included for T5 and T8 IP rated lamp holders.
 
RRPs start at £34.99 for a single lamp (PSU not included), with twin units from £99.99 (includes PSU).
 
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And your winners are...


We reveal your favourite shops, manufacturers and products of 2015, as voted for by readers of Practical Fishkeeping in this year's poll.

 
Earlier this year we asked you to vote for your favourite aquatic shops, products and manufacturers in our readers’ poll. We were overwhelmed with the response and we had thousands of votes — so thanks to everyone who took part. Now, after much vote counting, we can reveal the winners.
 
So, for 2015, the highest accolade of Retailer of the Year was won by Charterhouse Aquatics in London (pictured at the top of the page), which also scooped the award for Online Retailer of the Year. PFK visited the store on a London shoptour last year. George Farmer said: "This is a must-see shop, if only to witness the incredible showroom with its inspirational marine and freshwater displays in such a stylish and progressive environment. Dry goods representation outweighs the livestock but the quality of all fish and inverts was excellent nonetheless. The most forward-thinking aquatic retailer I’ve ever visited."
 
 
 
Readers voted Sharnbrook Shrimp from Northamptonshire (pictured above) their Small Retailer of the Year. Sharnbrook also took the title of Shrimp Retailer of the Year, making it three in a row for this specialist store that supplies the highest quality shrimp you’ll see.
 
 
 
Other specialist awards went to Seahorse Aquariums in Dublin, (pictured above), which won three of the categories: Marine Retailer of the Year, Cichlid Retailer of the Year and Oddball Retailer of the Year, as well as being voted runner-up to Charterhouse in the overall Retailer of the Year award. PFK visited Seahorse Aquariums on our Ireland shoptour and Nathan Hill said of the store: "Why would anyone ever want to leave Ireland with a store like Seahorse there? If you haven’t visited yet, then you’ve never lived. I’ve only been away from it for a few days and the craving has already kicked in. Note the abundant five-star ratings. Seahorse deserves every one it gets."
 
 
 
The title of Catfish Retailer of the Year went to Pier Aquatics of Wigan, which also won the award in 2014. Owner Neil Woodward is well known for his amazing selection of whiskery wonders, often including the rare and unusual among the tanks, and it’s a store PFK staff are particularly fond of. Catfish fans obviously agree.
 
 
 
London-based Chen’s Discus clinched Discus Retailer of the Year. PFK’s Nathan Hill visited Chen (who actually isn’t called Chen at all), earlier this year — he reported on his visit in the May 2015 issue of PFK — and he can certainly vouch for the quality of his fish.
 
Emperor Tropicals from Devon took the Plant Retailer of the Year title. Established since 1983, this Plymouth store is “run by fishkeepers for fishkeepers” and prides itself on having some of the best choices of healthy aquatic plants within the UK, ordered fresh every week. Emperor Tropicals is an ADA stockist and also sells Tropica plants including 1-2-Grow, huge mother plants and a large selection of potted plants.
 
When it comes to pondkeeping, Lincs Aquatics took the top spot of Pond Retailer of the Year. This huge store encompasses over 30,000 sq ft in a former RAF aircraft hanger and its stock includes over 80 indoor pond vats containing livestock from goldfish to white sturgeon and all the pond kit you’ll need.
 
 
 
 
Top manufacturers and products 
 
Readers voted Rolf C. Hagen the Manufacturer of the Year for 2015, an award that Hagen also took in 2014. With established brands such as Fluval, Marina and Nutrafin among its portfolio, along with several market leading products, and a huge range covering everything from aquaria and filters to foods and decor, Hagen’s products will be used every day by a huge number of fishkeepers. We often hear tales of excellent customer service by the Hagen team here at PFK. Runner-up to Hagen this year was Eheim.
 
 
 
Rolf C. Hagen also won the category for Tropical Product of the Year, with its Fluval FX6 external filter. This 'heavy horse' filter superseded the incredibly popular and similarly award-winning FX5, and is the filter of choice among fishkeepers with larger tanks. The Fluval FX6 is powered by a more efficient motor, which provides better performance while consuming 10% less electricity than its predecessor. Like the FX5, it also features Smart Pump Technology, an advanced technological feature that continually monitors the pump, constantly measuring impeller speed and force to ensure powerful output and energy efficiency. It also manages the filter’s self-starting feature and evacuates air that may enter or build up within the filtration system. 
On a 12-hour cycle, the pump will pause and allow trapped air to escape, ensuring the best filtration efficiency at all times. 
 
The FX6 is the all-terrain vehicle of the filter world, the 4x4 — only use one and you’ll realise that it’s more Big Foot monster truck than Jeep Cherokee, and there’s no dirty situation this thing can’t handle. It’s rated for aquariums up to 1,500 l/333 gal in volume — that’s in the region of 8 x 3 x 2ft, folks — and comes with filter media and a three-year warranty. 
 
Runner up to the FX6 for Tropical Product of the Year was Evolution Aqua’s Pure Aquarium filter supplement, which tied in second place this year with Esha’s 2000 treatment range. 
 
EA’s Pure Pond bomb was also runner-up in the Pond Product of the Year award, narrowly beaten by the Bioforce Revolution pond filter from Hozelock. This advanced pressurised filter with UV clarifier has a patented easy clean system and three-step filter process: 
High power UV clarifier — eliminates green water;
Mechanical filtration — CypriCube foams with +50% surface area ensure clear water and facilitate easy cleaning mechanism;
Biological filtration — Large surface area Kaldnes K3 biological media accommodates beneficial bacteria in a bug bungalow to maintain healthy water. 
Hozelock’s Bioforce Revolution pond filter is available in three sizes to suit 6,000 l, 9,000 l and 14,000 l ponds. 
 
 
 
TMC’s V2 iLumenAir lighting romped away with the title of Marine Product of the Year, with the new Red Sea Reefer aquarium the runner-up in the saltwater category. The V2 iLumenAir LED lighting system is a sleek high power three channel lighting system that can be individually controlled via a remote control unit to provide a unique user-customised lighting solution for your aquarium. It has built in timing and dimming to allow for a full range of effects, including sunrise, sunset, twilight and moonlight, along with lightning simulation. Other features include quiet temperature controlled cooling fans, which only switch on when required; a power readout to tell you how much electricity is actually being used and thermal cut out to protect the LEDs should overheating occur. It’s available in three size options to suit most popular aquarium sizes and can be tank mounted using the supplied fittings or suspended (kit sold separately).
 
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Tunnels built beneath railway tracks to save turtles


Turtles in Japan have been given their own special passageways under railway tracks to prevent them being crushed,

Not only is crossing the railway line hazardous for the turtles, but it leads to travel delays. They have a habit of becoming caught in the spaces between the railroad switches from which they are unable to climb out. The turtles then have no option but to continue to walk between the rails, where they end up getting stuck at the junctions. When the points move, the turtles get crushed between them. As well as being very bad for the turtles, it’s also annoying for passengers, due to the disruption it causes.
The passageways were a joint project between the West Japan Railway Company and Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe, a tourist attraction that brings in thousands of visitors by train every year. Both park and railway are quite close to the ocean, and many turtles cross the tracks during the summer. 
The U-shaped shallow concrete ditches have been placed under the tracks near the switch points at two stations in Nara Prefecture. Railway staff check the ditches during their monthly track inspections, and any turtles that have fallen in are rescued and taken to the aquarium. Ten turtles have been saved from death since the installation.
"The system prevents turtles from getting into accidents and avoids causing trouble for our passengers. We hope to continue using it," said a Japan Railways official.
 
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Dead fish: The latest fashion accessories?


A Russian make-up artist has come under fire after she posted photos on her Instagram pages showing models wearing dead fish on their faces, which had been killed specially for the shoot.

The fish included Tiger barbs, angelfish and Neon tetras stuck to the models' faces alongside other decor, for a mermaid-themed shoot.

The images that Elya Bulochka then shared among her 25,000 followers caused a backlash with animal lovers calling her 'stupid' and saying that the fish had been killed unnecessarily.

One of her followers said: "'This is not art, just another stupid person killing animals for nothing." Another said: "Today one dead fish, tomorrow someone's finger. Disgusted that all this is referred to as the art of makeup."

You can find a link to one of several photos from the shoot below. 

 

 

 

 

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Cuttlefish use 'stealth technology' to evade predators


Not only do cuttlefish employ visual camouflage when a predator looms nearby, but new research shows they also manage to cloak their electrical fields.

One of the cuttlefish’s major predators, the shark, has eyes on the side of its head, making it effectively blind straight ahead and near the front of the mouth. So the shark relies instead on a snout studded with sensitive detectors of faint electrical fields to get the meat in the maw.
Consequently, the Common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, has figured out a stealth technology to protect itself in the electrical spectrum.
Sharks can sense a faint current emanating from the tube-like siphons on either side of the cuttlefish’s head, the vent where it excretes, and the gap around its mantle. 
These “bioelectric fields” aren’t anything like the 500 volts an electric eel produces. They’re just a tiny electrical artifact of the ion exchanges caused by the animal’s metabolic processes, like respiration. Still, experiments by Christine Bedore at Duke University showed the sharks will bite when they sense these subtle fields.
A common cuttlefish at rest has a bioelectric potential of 10-30 microvolts, Bedore found. That’s about 75,000 times weaker than an AAA battery. But when the animal freezes in place, slows its ventilation, throws its arms around to cover the siphons and clamps down on its mantle, the current drops to about 6 microvolts.
Bedore measured these tiny electrical fields as captive-reared cuttlefish rested comfortably in a tank, and then as they responded to videos from an iPad next to the tank that depicted the dark and growing silhouettes of an approaching grouper, shark or crab 
For the fish and the shark, the cuttlefish froze, covered body openings with their arms and slowed breathing. The crab silhouette inspired no such response.
"There’s a myth that sharks detect the electrical signals of your heartbeat," Bedore said. But skin and other tissues effectively mask those signals. Bedore found that the cuttlefish’s arms over the siphons reduced the bioelectric field by as much as 89 percent.
In an experiment using real sharks and electrodes to simulate a cuttlefish at rest, both juvenile Black tip sharks and adult Bonnethead sharks responded by biting the equipment. But a simulation of the voltage from a cuttlefish’s freezing response resulted in half as many chomps.
Should the freezing trick fail, the cuttlefish’s last-ditch defense is to squirt a cloud of ink and jet away with a powerful blast from its mantle and siphons. But those actions create an electrical signal about four times greater than the resting field, Bedore found. 
"Jetting would only be for use as a last resort," Bedore said. Indeed, the wild-caught Florida test-sharks were excited by the current from jetting and actually seemed attracted to the taste of the ink produced by Common cuttlefish.
The study appears in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
 
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Lots of catfish!


The latest Catfish Study Group auction was held on Sunday, November 15 in Darwen, Lancashire.

Aquatic clubs holding auctions as well as open shows have become popular in recent years. So much so that many clubs now hold auction-only 'shows'. The Catfish Study Group (CSG) holds auction specials at its base in North-west England (although membership is actually worldwide).
 
The latest auction was held in Darwen, a small market town in Lancashire. All the town's social activities are based here in the Derwent Hall on George Street, with its excellent theatre hall and kitchen facilities. The auctioneer was CSG Chairman Mark Walters.
 
 
An audience of 70 strong bid for 'lots' of catfish — often rare species — which were sold for bargain prices. However, this bargain could be £30 or £40 and more. Most of the audience were local club members (such as Preston AS) who were also catfish breeders and so members of CSG.
 
Yorkshire's Catfish enthusiasts also crossed the Pennines to bid for the rare or special specimens. Castleford AS Show Secretary Steve Grant bought some breeder's groups of Corydoras 'Green Laser' CW009 — pictured at the top of the page — along with Corydoras virginae and this perfect Super red Ancistrus (photo by Steve Grant).
 
 
Although the majority of auctioned fishes were catfish family, others were sold too, from Fire eels to discus, and aquatic items from plants to Assassin snails.

There was a grand raffle, hot and cold beverages all afternoon and a display by G.B.W. Products (Brian Walsh's wooden carvings).
 
These auctions are keeping the clubs alive by generating cash (a small percentage is retained) and it is also a good venue for keen aquarists to gather and exchange information.
 
If you like catfish, visit the CSG website. 
 
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Fish recognise familiar faces


A new study by scientists in Japan has found that Daffodil cichlids, Neolamprologus pulcher, can recognise individual fish by looking at their facial features.

Other animals, such as chimpanzees, are able to recognise individuals in this way, but it wasn’t previously known whether fish had this ability.
Neolamprolgus pulcher lives in large family groups in Lake Tanganyika. In the study, researchers from Osaka City University exposed the cichlids to digital images showing different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar faces and body colours.
They found that the fish looked at the pictures of unfamiliar faces for longer and from further away than those that showed familiar faces.
Researchers said their study showed that "facial features are the visual cue used for individual recognition in the social fish," and that the results strongly suggest that fish can distinguish individuals accurately using facial colour patterns.
 
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New product eliminates aquarium lighting restrictions


A UK company has launched what it says is the world’s first universal fitting, four-tube, replacement T5 lighting unit: the iQuatics Aqualumi Universal T5 Lighting Bar.

Staffordshire-based iQuatics has been at the forefront of aquarium lighting design and manufacture for many years has made further strides in eliminating lighting restrictions for fish tank owners, with this groundbreaking new product, which allows fishkeepers to replace their current four-tube lighting bar or upgrade from two to four tubes, regardless of the make or model of the aquarium and without encroaching on space. 
Many modern, popular aquariums feature a central lighting system and access panels. The Aqualumi Universal can be used to replace practically any T5 or T8 lighting system. 
 
 
iQuatics tells us: "The first you notice about the product is the construction, which is truly first class. It’s sturdy, looks incredibly sleek with its double-anodised aluminium construction (no cheap plastic to be found here) and it should prove to be incredibly cost effective, with the durable aluminium coupled with IP67 water resistant connections provide years of trouble-free use. Another plus point is that the unit’s easy-to-use, low-maintenance design allows aquarium users to change bulbs without needing to remove the aquarium’s lighting pendant. 
"iQuatics has been leading the way in the development and manufacture of high-quality, innovative and no-nonsense aquarium lighting products for many years now. Formed by industry veterans in 2009, the ethos behind the company has always been to look for gaps in the aquarium accessory market where there is a dearth of quality and affordability, the two keystones of iQuatics’ ongoing success and rapid rise in a relatively crowded market." The company says that the Aqualumi Universal is just the latest example of its commitment to developing high-quality, British made products in response to customers’ frustrations with what is generally available on the market. 
 
 
"One of our driving principles is to raise the bar in areas where the current market leaders’ ranges are overpriced or under-performing and make improved products at a substantially lower price," said Andrew Latham, Director of iQuatics Ltd. "With the Universal product range, we’re endeavouring to bring an end to historic industry issues that have stifled aquarium owners’ ability to upgrade their lighting systems. We’ve developed and brought to market a cost effective, UK manufactured, problem-solver to serve as a genuine alternative to what is an otherwise stagnant market — something which most fishkeepers have experienced and been frustrated by at some point." 
 
 
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Fish show emotional response to stress


A new study has found that fish may experience ‘emotional fever’, which has been used as a basis for proving sentience or consciousness in other species. Until now many experts have seen fish as not being sentient beings in the same way as mammals and birds.

A state of emotional fever is an elevation of body temperature of one or two degrees in response to stress, and it is regarded as a hallmark of sentience and consciousness.
 
Researchers working with Zebra danios exposed 36 fish held in a net to water 1°C than they are used to, while a control group of the same number were left swimming at normal temperatures. All the fish were then transferred to an aquarium with six interconnected chambers, each with a different temperature, where they were allowed to swim about of their own accord.
 
The scientists found that the recently stressed fish consistently congregated in the heated sections of the tank, raising their body temperatures from 2–4°C above that of the unstressed fish, which may shown emotional fever.
 
The scientists say: "This finding removes a key argument for lack of consciousness in fishes."
 
Researchers published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
 
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Job vacancy: Laguna Marketing Brand Co-ordinator


This is an exciting opportunity to help manage and influence the future development of one the world’s largest water gardening brands. Interested? Read on...

Job Description
Laguna Marketing Brand Co-ordinator
 
Laguna is Rolf C. Hagen’s range of pond pumps, filters and pond accessories, sold across the globe. We’re looking for a dynamic, hard working individual to join our Laguna team to co-ordinate product development programmes, trade and consumer marketing activities, market research and maintain our social media presence. 
 
The ideal candidate
OK, we don’t want to pigeon hole you and we’ll be considering the whole package, not just your individual skills. But there are a few things that will make us sit up and listen...
  • Experience of the water gardening market, in either a trade or retail capacity, would be a major advantage in this role. 
  • Excellent project management skills are a must, as you’ll be co-ordinating global projects involving multiple offices/suppliers.
  • You may or may not be a graduate, but a good knowledge and capacity for marketing and a business or marketing related qualification would be advantageous.
  • Most important is a hands on and ‘can do’ attitude to further the success of this well established brand in a competitive and technical marketplace.
  • You must have a full UK driving license. 

Your duties will include:
  • Initiating and co-ordinating European and global product development programmes. 
  • Conducting research activities with retailers and consumers to identify future development opportunities. 
  • Developing packaging layouts for new products.
  • Updating and promoting our website www.lagunaponds.com, Facebook and Twitter feeds. 
  • Creating in-store promotional materials, trade and consumer literature and advertising campaigns. 
  • Supporting our sales team by creating and delivering key customer presentations and product Co-ordinating global brand activity and communication.
This is a pivotal brand development role and you will be taking a leadership position with this established range. Most of your time will be spent at our head office based in Castleford, West Yorkshire, with occasional travel in the UK and abroad involved. In return we offer excellent salary (dependent on experience), great working conditions, private pension and healthcare plans, a subsidised canteen and free onsite parking.
 
To apply for this position please forward your CV and covering letter to:
hresources-uk@rchagen.com
 
Closing date for applications is Friday, November 27, 2015.
 
 
 
 

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