For a quarter of a century, scuba diver Hiroyuki Arakawa has been visiting an Asian sheepshead wrasse, Semicossyphus reticulatus, — who he calls Yoriko — in the waters of Hasama Underwater Park in Tateyama, Japan. The friendship developed when he nursed her back to health after finding her injured many years ago, something she seems never to have forgotten. One of the largest wrasses, the Asian sheepshead wrasse can reach a metre in length.
Watch Hiroyuki Arakawa and Yoriko's story in the video below...
Cuttlefish have been filmed apparently imitating hermit crabs by researchers in Japan.
A team at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, first spotted the odd behaviour in Pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, while feeding them in the university lab.
Watch the video below and you’ll see for yourself just how good this mimicry is. The cuttlefish raise their front arms and wave them about, while bending those behind to make them look as though they are jointed, like the legs of the crabs.
The cuttlefish were filmed impersonating hermits when prey was present. As hermit crabs aren’t predators the researchers think it could be a method of lulling potential prey into a false sense of security before striking. But the mimicry could also be a useful form of defence, by fooling predators into thinking the soft-bodied cuttlefish are covered in a hard shell.
Check out this jaw-dropping set-up belonging to aquarist Steven Baker — and in case you’re wondering, yes, those plants are all real!
Find out more about the man who brought a piece of Borneo to Britain and how he put this spectacular aquarium together, in the July issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. On sale now! In the meantime, sit back and be inspired by the video Nathan Hill took on his visit...
None of our tank set-ups has ever divided opinion like this one, featured in the June 2017 issue of Practical Fishkeeping. The plan was to recreate a South American flooded forest pool for Neon tetras, and whether you love or hate the result, it was one of the most rewarding in terms of fish behaviour!
You can find out more about this set-up and the secret side of Neons it revealed in the June 2017 issue of Practical Fishkeeping.
This King angelfish, Apolemichthys kingi, is being offered for sale at Burscough Aquatics, reports Jeremy Gay.
The rare marine fish and coral specialists in the North West of England imported the fish, and are holding it in quarantine while it feeds and rests (scroll down for video).
Thought to be one of just four in the UK, two of which are said to be residing together in a private collection, The King angel is a rare import indeed, and is causing quite a stir with the store’s customers and the UK marine community.
Kings were thought be South African endemics, with adults preferring cooler, deeper waters with strong currents, making diving extremely difficult.
But specimens have been found recently on the Indian Ocean side of Madagascar, significantly expanding the fish’s potential natural range.
Imports of note of this exclusive fish remain close to single figures even worldwide, with sums of over £20,000 reportedly being paid.
On sale for a mere £12,000 once rested, this 15cm/6in specimen in adult colours offers a very real chance for wealthy trophy hunters in the UK to get their hands on one.
For more information contact Burscough Aquatics on 01704 895880.
They may look rather like garishly dyed or tattooed fish, but in fact the specimens swimming about in this aquarium are all robots.
These incredibly lifelike fish are on display in the the entrance hall of the newly-opened Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay in Japan — which is staffed by robots. Henn na Hotel means ’strange hotel' in Japanese.
It’s the second robot-staffed hotel operated by H.I.S. Co. to be opened in Japan.
The amazing footage below shows a diver being caught underneath a huge ball of fish, and then swimming through it.
The curious puffer at the bottom of the picture comes over to take a look at diver Kawika Singson, who was filming off the coast of Hawaii last week.
Then Singson is swarmed by a huge school of fish that almost block out the light from the surface. Luckily, he had his underwater camera and was able to shared his experience...
This footage of the rather sinister looking Venus flytrap sea anemone, Actinoscyphia sp. was shot near the 'Moki' seamount, on the northern region of the American Samoa Exclusive Economic Zone, by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. It's a deep sea species that closes its tentacles to capture prey or to protect itself. This one is perched on top of a dead Iridogorgia coral — watch it closing up as the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) approaches. It's easy to see how it got its common name.
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa.
Scientists aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's research ship, the Okeanos Explorer, captured footage of a deep sea Armoured sea robin using its fin rays to take a stroll along the bottom of the ocean.
The fan-like fins on each side of the sea robin’s body behind the head (pectoral fins) have stiffened rays. The first few rays are free from the membranes of the rest of the fin and are very thick. The fish uses these thickened, stiff fin rays to ‘walk’ along the bottom. That is the usual form of locomotion for sea robins, instead of swimming like most other fishes explain the scientists.
Video of this deep sea resident was taken during a dive with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at the Ta'u Unit of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa.
You can watch live streaming videos of the researchers' dives and other footage on the Okeanos Explorer website.
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.
This Pointy-nosed blue ratfish (Hydrolagus cf. trolli), a species of ghost shark, was videotaped by MBARI’s remotely operated vehicle Tiburon near the summit of Davidson Seamount, off the coast of Central California at a depth of about 1,640 m. This is the first footage showing the deep sea ghost shark alive in its natural habitat.
It also represents a range extension for this species, which was originally described from specimens collected off New Caledonia in 2002. It was named in honour of Alaskan artist Ray Troll because of his fascination and appreciation for this strange group of fishes, also known as chimaeras.
Check out this video of the magnificent mbuna display aquarium belonging to Scott Lynch, which aquascaper George Farmer helped to set-up.
You can read more about Scott's tank — plus loads more besides — in the fish-packed January issue of Practical Fishkeeping, on sale Wednesday, November 23.
The January issue also comes with a FREE beginner's guide to setting up your first aquarium.
Scientists monitoring the ocean around Western Australia have found that fish sing a dawn chorus, in a remarkably similar way to the more well known early morning birdsong.
Researchers from the UK’s Exeter University and Curtin University in Perth, Australia, identified seven fish choruses over an 18-month period using a pair of sea-noise loggers placed both near the shore and offshore around Port Headland. They found that the fish chorus was most likely to be heard at dawn and dusk and between early spring and late summer.
The sounds recorded by the researchers included a deep ‘foghorn’ call made by the Black jewfish, Protonibea diacanthus, another which they described as sounding similar to ‘the buzzer in the Operation board game’, which was emitted by a Terapontid — there are several species of Terapontidae found in this area, including the Fourlined grunter, Pelates quadrilineatus, which is known to produce sound. There was also a ‘ba-ba-ba’ call from a batfish. You can hear these calls below.
“I’ve been listening to fish squawks, burble and pops for nearly 30 years now, and they still amaze me with their variety,” lead author Robert McCauley of Curtin University told New Scientist.
Earlier this month aquatics manufacturer Tetra teamed up with Aquatic Design Centre to create an exclusive underwater experience in London’s Old Street Underground Station.
The Tetra Tranquillity Tank was a custom built serene aquatic pop-up experience, aimed at giving busy Londoners a relaxing retreat.
Best known for their luxurious custom-made coral reef aquarium in the Sexy Fish restaurant on Berkeley Street, Aquatic Design Centre was brought on board to share over 25 years of experience in creating bespoke aquariums and installations to help transform the two front windows of the retail space.
Two aquariums measuring over 1,800mm high x 550mm wide, held 2,689 l of water and were home to 60 colourful African cichlids and a turtle in one window, with angelfish, rainbowfish, and Corydoras catfish very at home in a planted tank in the second window.
Offering a complete sensory experience, over 3,000 visitors had the opportunity to unwind in relaxing seating whilst listening to therapeutic, underwater sounds in an environment that reflected the tranquillity of an aquarium, created by water projections, special effect lighting, plants and the scent of freshly brewed herbal tea.
Talking about the project, Aaron Mallet at Aquatic Design Centre said: “We were thrilled to be part of such an exciting project. The London Underground was the perfect place to create an area of tranquillity and we were really pleased by the response from the public. The tanks took a total of 11 days to build and three days to install and we couldn’t have been happier with how the final installation looks. We really hope that those who visited the Tetra Tranquillity Tank will go on to install an aquarium in their own home.” You can watch a time-lapse video showing the aquariums being installed at the foot of the page.
Tetra launched the Tetra Tranquillity Tank following research* which highlighted long working hours, not having enough time, money worries and the dreaded commute are among the most stressful things about living in a city.
Four in five (79.8%) Brit’s claim to be under pressure every day, and considering 24% of UK adults are clinically obese*, it’s hardly surprising to find that our favoured stress relief is comfort food and treats. Alcohol, smoking and boxset binging are all among the top stress relievers. Clearly stress has an impact on our overall health and wellbeing; lack of sleep (51%), feeling run down (45%) and general health (29%) are the top three things to suffer due to stress according to Tetra’s findings.
Giuliano Buccino, Head of Marketing at Tetra adds: “The Tetra Tranquillity Tank provided a relaxing environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life but also allowed us to showcase a range of our most popular aquariums filled with beautiful fish. We look forward to hearing from those visitors who were inspired to take up the hobby.”
Kev Green doesn’t do small. When he wanted the ultimate Koi pond, he built the ultimate Koi pond.
Check out the video below and you'll see what we mean!
At six and a half feet deep, and containing 11,800 gal, this is one of the bigger hand-made pools you’ll come across. Putting that into perspective, that’s 54,000 l of water — 54 tonnes of water!
You can read all about this amazing pond in the October 2016 issue of Practical Fishkeeping.
Yes, it might look like a something out of the recent Finding Dory movie, or even a child’s toy, but in fact this googly-eyed Stubby squid is real.
A team of scientists on board the Exploration Vessel Nautilus spotted it off the coast of California at a depth of 900m/2,950ft (scroll down for video).
They say: “The Stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) looks like a cross between an octopus and squid, but is more closely related to cuttlefish. This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish.
“Rossia pacifica is found in the Northern Pacific from Japan to Southern California up to 300m, but in addition to our sighting, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have spotted them at depths of 1,300 m (4,260 ft).”
This unidentified purple orb stumped scientists on board the Nautilus research vessel during a mission to explore the deep sea around the Channel Islands.
Researchers with the Ocean Exploration Trust managed to collect the unusual looking ‘blob’ for sampling using a special suction device.
To their surprise, the blob later began to unfold to reveal two distinct lobes. After consulting with on shore scientists, the team thinks it may be a pleurobranch, a close relation to the nudibranch. Currently none of the known species of California deep-sea pleurobranchs are purple, and so this could be a new species.
You can watch a video of the mystery creature’s discovery and collection below:
At first sight this weird and beautiful jellyfish just doesn't look real. But the footage of this hydromedusa was shot last month by a team from NOAA's Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition.
Scientists identified it as belonging to the genus Crossota.
NOAA says: "Note the two sets of tentacles — short and long. At the beginning of the video, you'll see that the long tentacles are even and extended outward and the bell is motionless. This suggests an ambush predation mode. Within the bell, the radial canals in red are connecting points for what looks like the gonads in bright yellow."
A former reality TV celebrity from Nevada has caused controversy by uploading a video that shows her emptying a bag of goldfish into the bathtub so that one of her pet Servals can catch and eat them.
Morgan Lynn uploaded the video onto the YouTube channel she has created, which is dedicated to her Servals.
While some viewers think that feeding the cat live fish is unnecessary and cruel, others believe it is justified.
Owning Servals requires a special permit in the US and is legal in only a few states.
A man who adopted a fish without a back end managed to keep the unfortunate creature alive for six months.
Mr Watchara Chote, from Thailand, discovered the 'half fish' in a tank at a local market and felt sorry for it. He took it home and named it ’1-half’.
According to a report by Matichon News, the Lemon-fin barb, Hypsibarbus wetmorei, had been injured in an attempt to jump from a pond, damaging its bones and leading to its tail and part of its body rotting away.
Some readers might find the video that accompanies this story rather distressing, as the fish is obviously unable to swim at all, so we have taken the decision not to embed it. But if you wish to watch it,
The report says that the fish died after travelling to different villages to be shown off to the public by its owner.
Members of the public clubbed together to buy a coffin to allow Mr Watchara to give the fish a proper burial after its death.
Was keeping this fish alive the right thing to do? We'd be interested to hear your views...