That was the year that was


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We work day and night (well, early evening) to bring you the latest fish news and we wrote nearly 400 stories in 2006, hundreds of which were exclusive to this site.

We are still the only magazine to cover the latest fish species described and the latest ichthyological research. We covered 164 new species before any other magazine or website this year.

And, we're still the only magazine to write investigative stories on fishkeeping - both the good and bad aspects - making the site the number one source of information for advanced aquarists at the bleeding edge of the hobby.

Here's our round-up to what happened in 2006, including details on the year's top stories, our major exclusives and all of the species described.

You can see a full list of the stories we covered in 2006 in the index.

January 2006

In January 2006 scientists announced that there was a new contender for the title of world's smallest fish, after two new cyprinids, named Paedocypris, were found in a peat swamp in Sumatra.

A Whale caused a stir by swimming through the River Thames in central London. While a couple stood to net nearly 165,000 after finding some whale vomit on an Australian beach.

We were first to break the news of the descriptions of 16 new fish species, including 12 new catfishes.

New species

  • Cordylancistrus nephelion
  • Paedocypris progenetica
  • Paedocypris micromegethes
  • Aspidoras pssamatides
  • Otothyropsis marapoama
  • Mustelus hacat
  • Parodon moreirai
  • Noturus fasciatus
  • Noturus crypticus
  • Ancistrus verecundus
  • Ancistrus parecis
  • Parancistrus nudiventris
  • Lasiancistrus tentaculus
  • Lasiancistrus saetiger
  • Scleromystax salmacis
  • Glanidium bockmanni

February 2006

In a huge month for fish news, we exclusively revealed that fish were being tattooed with lasers and sold in the UK, and that dyed fish would remain legal under the forthcoming Animal Welfare Bill, despite both DEFRA and the RSPCA confirming that the practise would be illegal if undertaken in the UK.

For the first time in history, westerners won the All Japan Koi Show. Experts disputed the claim that Paedocypris was the world's smallest fish species, but bringing our attention to the diminutive Photocorynus spiniceps.

We launched our Fish Mapper application and made the news ourselves by getting mentioned in The Scientist magazine.

We were first to break the news of the descriptions of 14 new fish species, including a new Synodontis, a new Polypterus, six new loach species and four new catfish.

New species

  • Polypterus mokelembembe
  • Synodontis acanthoperca
  • Chiloglanis productus
  • Gastromyzon scitulus
  • Gastromyzon crenastus
  • Gastromyzon farragus
  • Hemiancistrus guahiborum
  • Harttia merevari
  • Moenkhausia pankilopteryx
  • Thymallus arcticus
  • Gastromyzon cranbrooki
  • Gastromyzon aeroides
  • Gastromyzon venustus
  • Photocorynus spiniceps

March 2006

Following a tip-off from a reader, we exclusively revealed that fishkeepers were using an online auction site to illegally import fish from overseas, risking massive fines and putting the welfare of the fish at risk. Elsewhere, we covered new research that said that scattering a layer of gravel on the bottom of your aquarium could boost your fishes' brain, and we looked at the Giant squid that recently went on display at the Natural History Museum.

We were first to bring the fishkeeping world news of 23 new species, including the description of the Endler's livebearer, Poecilia wingei, a new freshwater dragonet, Tonlesapia tsukawakii, another new Polypterus, Polypterus farou, and details on the the new Mchenga genus of Malawi cichlids.

New species

  • Poecilia wingei
  • Schistura nagodiensis
  • Schistura sharavathiensis
  • Sternarchorhychus gnomus
  • Rhabdolichops nigrimans
  • Rhabdolichops navalha
  • Rhabdolichops lundbergi
  • Ctenochromis benthicola
  • Sternarchorhynchus severii
  • Sternarchorhynchus cabocio
  • Chaetostoma changae
  • Kiwa hirsuta
  • Amblyceps carinatum
  • Stiphodon aureorostrum
  • Pseudotocinclus parahybae
  • Pseudotocinclus juquiae
  • Glyptothorax exodon
  • Rutilus panosi
  • Polypterus farou
  • Cyphocharax derami
  • Moenkhausia petymbuaba
  • Tonlesapia tsukawakii
  • Barbodes britzi

April 2006

Our top exclusive story in April 2006 was the news that two French men hallucinated for days after suffering hallucinogenic fish poisoning following dining on a popular food fish.

We also covered a study that found that some aquariums contain bacteria that are capable of producing serious infections in humans, and announced that a bacteria that causes a disease in hard corals could become more successful as sea temperatures rise and the pH of the oceans drop.

We broke news of 11 new fish species and covered taxonomic studies on botiine loaches, Palythoa and Protopalythoa polyps, snailfish, Laemolyta and Campylomormyrus elephantnoses.

New species

  • Nanochromis wickleri
  • Allecareproctus tanix
  • Allecareproctus kallaion
  • Allecareproctus unangas
  • Allecareproctus ungak
  • Sternarchorhynchus curumim
  • Astyanax henseli
  • Astyanax microschemos
  • Exyrias akihito
  • Parotocinclus bidentatus
  • Parotocinclus muriaensis
  • Anostomus passionis

May 2006

One of our most talked about exclusives of May was the news that a reader had had his pet fish culled by DEFRA after his application for a special licence to keep them was rejected. Your opinion was divided as to whether DEFRA made the right move.

We launched a project to map the UK's tapwater and the government confirmed that it is to use a report on freak pets composed from data taken from popular fish books to shape the Animal Welfare Bill. The report makes no reference to the dyeing or mutilation of fish, but could put an end to sales of fancy goldfish.

Reader Tim Dooling became the world's first person to breed the rare Etroplus canarensis. And a catfish was blamed for starting a house fire.

New species

  • Paedocypris sp.
  • Kurtamia bykhovskyi

June 2006

Our story on cosmetic fish surgery was big news in June. It showed that tailless cichlids were having their tails cut off with scissors and Parrot cichlids were injected with coloured dyes. We now believe that they are not colour-fed or dipped in chemicals and skin-dyed as previously suggested.

CEFAS curbed imports of hundreds of tropical fish - especially loaches - by limiting what could be imported with a tropical fish import licence. A major KHV outbreak hit the UK.

Bolton Museum Aquarium became the world's first to breed Danionella. A Liberal Democrat Defra spokesman tried to move an amendment aimed at reducing the trade in wild caught aquarium fishes. Scientists caught a massive nine foot endangered catfish, but accidentally killed it.

We covered the descriptions of 27 new fish, and a new catfish subfamily called the Delturinae.

New species

  • Simpsonichthys virgulatus
  • Simpsonichthys fasciatus
  • Simpsonichthys gibberatus
  • Crenicichla iguapina
  • Crenicichla tingui
  • Crenicichla maculata
  • Potamotrygon marinae
  • Tetranematichthys wallacei
  • Orectolobus hutchinsi
  • Himantura horleti
  • Capoeta ekmekciae
  • Campellolebias intermedius
  • Leiocassis collinus
  • Leiocassis tenebricus
  • Labeo fulakariensis
  • Pseudolaguvia ferula
  • Acrossocheilus spinifer
  • Ilamnemacheilus longipinnis
  • Akrokolioplax bicornis
  • Cyprichromis coloratus
  • Betta antoni
  • Betta mandor
  • Betta uberis
  • Betta compuncta
  • Betta ideii
  • Betta krataios

July 2006

Japan enlisted the help of a tiny coldwater fish to help fight the war on terror. The UK KHV outbreak got much worse and large numbers of the world's largest bony fish species - Mola mola - were spotted off Cornwall.

A charity skittles game - in which humans are the pins and the ball is a dead conger eel tied to a rope - was cancelled after animal rights activists complained that it was disrespectful to eels.

We covered the descriptions of 16 new fish species, including eight new hogfish, two tetras and a couple of South American cichlids.

New species

  • Geophagus parnaibae
  • Rivulus mahdiaensis
  • Priapella chamulae
  • Hyphessobrycon cyanotaenia
  • Dectobrycon armeniacus
  • Australoheros kaaygua
  • Cruciglanis pacifici
  • Microglanis pataxo
  • Bodianus neopercularis
  • Bodianus sepiacaudus
  • Bodianus bathycapros
  • Bodianus rubrisos
  • Bodianus dictynna
  • Bodianus busellatus
  • Bodianus solatus

August 2006

A piranha bit a chunk off a reader's finger, and another man was impaled by a Marlin and thrown into the sea - still attached to the fish's bill, a jet skier was knocked out by a sturgeon, a giant grouper died from overeating and a missing wallet was found in the claws of a lobster.

The UK KHV outbreak got even worse, with reports of up to 200 fisheries potentially infected. We covered the descriptions of 11 new fish species.

New species

  • Simpsonichthys mediopapillatus
  • Simpsonichthys macaubensis
  • Simpsonichthys janaubensis
  • Garra rotundinasus
  • Microglanis leptostriatus
  • Farlowella alticorpus
  • Pseudecheneis suppaetula
  • Propimelodus caesius
  • Pseudecheneis stenura
  • Pseudecheneis eddsi
  • Rivulus sape

September 2006

A teddy bear killed 2500 fish at a fish farm in New Hampshire, and scientists from Manchester University claimed to have found live minnows inside a duck egg. A girl became critically ill after an eel jumped into her mouth. An ugly goldfish was given cosmetic surgery.

Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray while filming. The footage was submitted to the coroner. Dead stingrays were found on Australian beaches in apparent revenge attacks.

We exclusively revealed a new fish - Microrasbora sp. Galaxy - a few weeks after it was first discovered and predicted it would be the next big thing in the hobby. We were right.

We broke news of six new fish descriptions, including six new cichlids, and were first to announce the new name for the Amano shrimp.

New species

  • Caridina multidentata
  • Haploblepharus kistnasamyi
  • Ptychochromis makira
  • Ptychochromis loisellei
  • Ptychochromis curvidens
  • Ptychochromis insolitus
  • Ptychochromis onilahy

October 2006

A duck killed a giant Pike at a Lincolnshire nature reserve, a swimmer choked to death after a fish swam into his mouth, and an angler caught a Piranha - in Stockport.

We exclusively revealed details of research on a new disease threatening sponges, and that scientists believed fish parasites could outnumber fish by ten to one.

We announced the descriptions of eight new fish species and a new fish parasite.

New species

  • Hyphessobrycon melanostichos
  • Hyphessobrycon notidanos
  • Guianacara stergiosi
  • Guianacara cuyunii
  • Nandus prolixus
  • Trimma anthrenum
  • Trimma preclarum
  • Ituglanis cahyensis

November 2006

Our exclusive story on a new virus affecting Dwarf gouramies created a lot of interest on the fishkeeping forums, as well as a stir on the PFK blog. We also exclusively revealed that dealers were unknowingly breaking the law by illegally selling prescription-only antibiotics, risking hefty fines or a prison sentence. We also reported from the OATA conference that Goldfish Herpes Virus (GHV) was going undetected in the UK.

Also this month, scientists revealed that captive breeding promotes aggression, and that butterflyfish were suffering as a result of coral bleaching. Scientists replicated the KHV virus in Fathead minnow cells.

We were first to break news of the new Discus species, Symphysodon tarzoo, as well as descriptions of four other fish species.

New species

  • Symphysodon tarzoo
  • Nanochromis teugelsi
  • Orestias piacotensis
  • Parasinilabeo longibarbus
  • Noturus maydeni

December 2006

Highlights of the month so far include news that cleaner shrimps aren't restricted to tropical climes - two species live in UK waters. Plus, we report that a marine parasite has been used to experimentally infect aquarium fishes.

New species

  • Cichla mirianae
  • Cichla melaniae
  • Cichla piquiti
  • Cichla thyrorus
  • Cichla jariina
  • Cichla pinima
  • Cichla vazzoleri
  • Cichla kelberi
  • Cichla pleiozona
  • Isbrueckerichthys saxicola
  • Isbrueckerichthys calvus
  • Etmopterus burgessi
  • Rivulus kayapo
  • Episemion krystallinoron
  • Cobitis shikokuensis
  • Rhinogobius wangi
  • Gobio battalgilae
  • Gobio maeandricus
  • Pachypanchax varatraza
  • Pachypanchax patriciae
  • Pachypanchax arnoulti
  • Pachypanchax sparksorum

You can see a full list of the news stories published in 2006 in the fish news index.

Thanks to Karel Zharadka for the Rivulus mahdiensis image, Karen Gray for the "duck kills pike" story and for Kamphol Udomritthiruj for the image (and introduction of) Microrasbora sp. "Galaxy".