Competition Terms and Conditions

General Terms and Conditions for entering competitions on the Practical Fishkeeping magazine website and in the printed version of Practical Fishkeeping magazine.

1.  These terms and conditions

1.1  These terms and conditions (which we will refer to as our "General Terms") are the overarching general terms and conditions that apply to all the competitions promoted by Practical Fishkeeping  controlled by Bauer Consumer Media Limited. We refer to all these competitions as the "Competitions" in these General Terms.

1.2  Competitions may also have their own specific terms and conditions (such as the details of how to enter, what the opening/closing dates are and what sort of prize you may win). Any such Competition-specific terms and conditions will be made available by means of the relevant media as part of the wehsite or in-print promotion of the particular Competition. In these General Terms, we will refer to these Competition-specific terms and conditions as the "Specific Terms".

1.3 You should therefore read these General Terms in combination with any applicable Specific Terms. Where any such Specific Terms conflict with these General Terms, the Specific Terms will take precedence.

1.4 We may change these General Terms at any time.  You should check our website or magazine regularly for any changes which will apply from the date that they are uploaded.

1.5 By entering any Competition you agree that you will be legally bound by these General Terms and also any applicable Specific Terms.

2.    Identity of the promoter of the competition

2.1 The "promoter" of a Competition is the person who is legally responsible for operating it.  Unless any Specific Terms tell you otherwise, the promoter of the Competitions will be Bauer Consumer Media Limited ("the Promoter").

2.2  Bauer Consumer Media Limited is a company registered in England and Wales. You can write to us using the following address if you have any concern in relation to any of our Competitions, setting out clearly the name of the Competition and your issue:

(a) in the first instance, Practical Fishkeeping, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA

(b) if you are not satisfied with the response, please write to Bauer Consumer Media, Assets Department, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA providing details of your response from  your local station.


3.1 Unless we impose a particular age limit in relation to any of our Competitions, they are open to all persons resident in the UK at the date of their entry.  We reserve the right to require that the parent or guardian of any person aged 18 or less confirms in writing that they agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and will accept any prize on behalf of an under-18 prize winner.

3.2 Certain Competitions may have additional eligibility requirements, such as valid passports, visas, driving licences, good physical health and so on. Any such additional eligibility requirements will be publicised to entrants in the relevant Competition.

3.3 Where Competitions are open to children (aged 15 or younger) and/or young persons (aged 16 or 17), the age requirements will be publicised to entrants in the relevant Competition.

3.4 It will be our sole decision as to whether any eligibility requirement has or has not been met and we may require evidence or confirmation from entrants before awarding prizes.

3.5 Employees of the Promoter and their immediate families may not enter any Competition: neither may the employees of any third party sponsors, prize providers or their immediate families.

4. Entry and entry methods

4.1 Premium rates: Competition entry may be by premium rate landline or mobile texts or calls. Your network provider may also charge varying amounts for these types of call and so the cost of your call may be more than as stated by us. In all cases you should check with your network provider. You should note that invalid or unsuccessful entries made via these methods may still be charged. In all cases, you should have the bill payer's permission to enter using a premium rate method.  Where entry is by telephone, entries that are submitted before lines open or after lines close will not be entered in the Competition but we cannot guarantee that entrants will not be charged for the call or text made.

4.2 SMS: Where a Competition asks you to enter using SMS, you will need an SMS compatible mobile phone with an account with a service provider that permits text messages to our premium rate number. SMS entries are deemed to be received on arrival, not when they are sent from your handset. SMS entries must be addressed to the correct number or shortcode and must include the correct keywords or other answer format as required by the specific Competition. Entries which fail to do so will be void.

4.3 PhonePayPlus: We will always comply with the PhonePayPlus code of conduct in relation to premium rate competitions. PhonePayPlus is the UK regulator of premium rate services and you can access their details here:

4.4 Deficient entries: In all Competitions, we reserve the right to reject any entries that are inaudible, incomplete, incomprehensible, damaged or otherwise deficient. We also reserve the right to reject entries that are unlawful, indecent, racist, inflammatory, defamatory or which we consider to be otherwise harmful to the goodwill and reputation of our station that is running the Competition in question. We accept no responsibility for any late, lost or misdirected entries including but not limited to texts, calls or emails not received due to technical disruptions, network congestion or any other reason. Proof of posting of any postal entry will not be proof of our receipt of that entry.

4.5 Automated Entry: The use of any automated entry software or any other mechanical or electronic means that permits any person to enter any Competition repeatedly is prohibited.

4.6 Names: Entrants must enter Competitions using their legal name once only. We reserve the right to disqualify any entrant who uses multiple names and to require them to return any prize they may have won.

4.7 Multiple Entries. Unless otherwise permitted pursuant to any Specific Terms, no person may enter any Competition more than once and persons may not enter or participate as part of a syndicate or on behalf of any other person, syndicate, group, society or company.

4.8 Prize Limits. No person or persons at the same residential address may win more than one prize valued at £500 or more via any of our Competitions in any six (6) month period.

4.9 Retrospective Effect. Where an entrant or prize winner has been found to be in breach of any of the terms and conditions of a Competition and in particular where a person is in breach of the entry restrictions set out in rules 4.5 to 4.8 above, we may nevertheless still enforce our right to disqualify that person and require the return or reimbursement to us of any prize even where a prize has been awarded and/or actually provided to the entrant or prize winner in question.

5 Prizes

5.1 We reserve in all cases the right to replace the stated prizes with prizes that we consider to be of broadly equivalent value. We offer no cash alternative for non-cash prizes and prize winners must accept prizes in the form offered.  Where a prize is won by a person younger than 18, we reserve the right to award the prize to the prize winner's parent or guardian on behalf of the prize winner.

5.2 All prize winners will be notified that they have won a prize within twenty eight (28) days of the closing date of the Competition via at least one of the following methods:

(a) by telephone;
(b) by email;
(c) in writing.

5.3 Prizes will be despatched to the winners via the UK mail service, unless otherwise stated. We will not be liable for any prizes which are lost, delayed, or damaged in the post for reasons beyond our control.

5.4 Prizes will only be delivered to an address within the UK.  Should a prize winner's contact details change, it is their responsibility to notify us or the contact persons for the relevant Competition.    

5.5 We reserve the right to request proof of a prize winner's identity in the form of a passport or driver’s licence and proof of address in the form of a utility bill. In the event that a prize winner cannot provide us with proof of identity reasonably acceptable to us, we may withdraw the prize and select another prize winner.

5.6 All prizes are subject to availability, non transferable and non exchangeable.  Where prizes consist of entry tickets, attendance at events, holidays and similar time-specific benefits, they must be taken on the dates specified by us.  If a prize winner does not take any element of a prize at the time stipulated by us (or any relevant third party prize provider) then that element of the prize will be forfeited by the winner.  No cash will be awarded in lieu of that prize or part of it.

5.7 Any tax payable as a result of a prize being awarded or received will be the responsibility of the winner. Winners should seek independent financial advice prior to accepting a prize if this is a concern.

5.8 We make no representation or warranty in relation to prizes provided and to the fullest extent permitted by law we shall have no liability to you in relation to any prize, its fitness for purposes, merchantability or otherwise. We reserve the right to disqualify entrants from entering our Competitions or prize winners from receiving their prizes where any such person engages in unsafe, illegal, unsociable or inappropriate behaviour.

5.9 All stated prize values are at the supplier's recommended retail price in pounds sterling and are correct at the time of printing. We take no responsibility for any fluctuations in prize values.  We award cash prizes in the form of a cheque in the name of the prize winner.  Any other arrangement will be at our discretion.

5.10 No additional, further or other costs or expenses are included in any prize unless stated. For example, the costs of transport to and from a venue or an event are not included and any accommodation prize includes basic room charge only.

5.11 Third party suppliers of prizes may also often stipulate their own terms, conditions or restrictions and all prize winners agree to be bound by these.  Subject to paragraph 19.2, Bauer shall have no liability in relation to any prize provided by a third party provider.

6. Holiday prizes

6.1 Because of their complexity, we have certain special terms that apply to holiday prizes.  These are set out in this paragraph 6 below.  Where holiday prizes include a place for a travelling companion (i.e. a holiday for the prize winner plus guest) then these terms also apply to those persons.

6.2 Unless otherwise stated, insurance is not provided as part of any holiday prize.  It will be each prize winner’s and (if applicable) their travelling companion's responsibility to take out at their own cost all relevant insurance (including but not limited to health and travel insurance, insurance for theft, loss and damage to property) which may be required or prudent to be taken. All insurance, spending money and other expenses, unless otherwise stated, are costs for the prize winner and are not provided as part of any holiday prize. Unless stated otherwise, holiday prizes consist of flights and accommodation only.

6.3 Unless otherwise stated, holiday prizes do not include airport departure or government taxes. These must be paid by the prize winner and any travelling companion.

6.4 The prize winner and any travelling companions must have and maintain valid passports endorsed with all relevant visas and with expiry dates no less than six (6) months following the proposed dates of travel or such other duration as may be required by any relevant regulation. These passports, and their holders, must not be subject to any restrictions on their rights to travel to and from the applicable country or countries.  Passport control and in-country authorities may reserve the right to refuse entry to prize winners and/or their travelling companions.  We shall not be responsible for ensuring your ability to travel to your holiday destination nor for any additional costs incurred should you be refused entry.

6.5 Unless otherwise stated, all holiday prizes must be taken within six (6) months of the closing date of the relevant Competition or the prize will lapse.  Holiday prizes are also usually subject to terms and conditions required by the provider which will apply to the prize winner.

6.6 It is the responsibility of the prize winner and any travelling companions (if applicable) to check any travel advisories issued by the Government and determine whether they wish to accept the risk of travelling to the holiday destination.  We will not be responsible for any loss or damage suffered by any prize winner and their travelling companions (if applicable) arising out of their failure to follow any travel advisories issued by the Government.

6.7 The prize winner and their travelling companions (if applicable) must comply with and are responsible for obtaining any inoculation and health regulations required by any holiday prize destination country.

6.8 We will not be liable or responsible for any loss or damage suffered by any prize winner or their travelling companion (if applicable) should any prize winner or their travelling companion (if applicable) not redeem a holiday prize as a result of any Government travel warning or advisory applicable to the destination country and/or countries or for any other failure on their part to travel.  In particular, we shall have no obligation to substitute any alternative prize, cash equivalent or other compensation where a prize winner and/or their travelling companion (if applicable) fail to redeem a holiday prize for any reason.

6.9 Prize winners and their travelling companions must comply with the terms and limitations of airlines, other transport providers, and the venues involved in the provision of any holiday prize, including any insurance policy relating to the holiday. In particular, entrants must comply with all health and safety guidelines and instructions and all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

6.10 Where the United States of America is a holiday prize destination, the prize winner and any travelling companion will be required to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). Applications must be submitted no later than three (3) days prior to the departure date. Should this form not be lodged by both the winner and within this time, they will be ineligible to enter the United States of America and will therefore forfeit their holiday prize.


7.1 Where the prize for any of our Competitions involve the winner's attendance at (or tickets to) an event, the prize winner acknowledges that we are not liable or responsible if any part of the event is cancelled, varied or rescheduled for any reason.  If this means that the winner (and/or any accompanying guests) cannot attend the relevant event, we shall be under no obligation to provide any cash or alternative tickets.   

7.2 Entrants proposing to redeem prizes involving, or participating in any Competition where it involves, travel, stunts or physical challenges should notify us of any medical condition and we may at our absolute discretion require as a condition of entering the Competition or receiving the prize to:

(a) submit to a medical examination by a medical practitioner approved by us and obtain     medical clearance to participate in the Competition and/or redeem the prize; and/or

(b) execute a legal document to exonerate us from liability in a form prescribed by us in order to participate further in the Competition and/or redeem the prize.

7.3 Where prizes comprise or include "meet and greet" elements with celebrities, the prize may be subject to the availability of the celebrity in question and we will have no liability for any inability or failure of any prize winner to attend any "meet and greet" session offered on any date nor will we offer any alternative prize or cash alternative or compensation for such failure.


8.1 All prizes must be claimed within twenty-one (21) days of our notification of winning unless otherwise stated.

8.2 We reserve the right to award prizes unclaimed after this period to alternative prize winners or not to award them at all.

8.3 If you call to claim a prize from a "withheld number" line you must provide us with your contact details: otherwise we may be unable to contact you and you may as a result forfeit your prize.


9.1 The personal information supplied by entrants when entering our Competitions will be used by us in accordance with the privacy policy applicable to our website and/or radio station in which the Competition appears, as the case may be. You should always read the applicable privacy policy as your entry in the relevant Competition is an agreement to be bound by the applicable privacy policy. All entrants may have their details removed from our database by contacting us. If details are removed prior to the conclusion of the Competition and/or award of prize(s), entrants will however forfeit their right to claim any prizes.

9.2 Should an entrant be required to submit a third party’s personal information as a part of entry into or participation in any Competition, each entrant must ensure that any other person whose details have been provided by the entrant to us has given or will give their consent for their details to be provided to us and to be contacted by us in relation to the relevant Competitions.

9.3 It is a condition of your entry to our Competitions that we have the right to publicise, broadcast and communicate to the public the names, home towns, characters, likeness and voices of entrants to our Competitions for the running of the Competitions and matters incidental to the Competition.  

9.4 In particular, entrants consent to their entries to radio Competitions being read out on air and/or to their conversations with our presenters being broadcast on air and communicated to the public on our website/s.

9.5 All entrants and particularly prize winners, may be required by us to participate in photo, recording, video and/or film session(s).  In this regard you agree that we shall have the right to use all the resulting publicity materials in any medium (including, without limitation, the internet) and in any manner we see fit, unless you advise us at the time of entering the Competition that you wish to retain your anonymity.  If you elect for anonymity, we may not be able to include you in certain Competitions.

9.6 Entrants also acknowledge that publicity materials featuring them may be provided to our third party prize providers for the purposes of promoting their association with the Competition and awarding the relevant prizes.

9.7 No fees shall be payable to any entrant in relation to their entry in any Competition.


10.1 Should any Competition require entrants to submit a photograph or video clip, as a part of entry into or participation and used in the Competition (collectively, "Photograph"):

(a) entrants warrant that they are the person in the Photograph or have prior approval from the person in the Photograph that it may be submitted as part of their entry;

(b) entrants agree that we have the right to publish and communicate to the public the Photographs in any media including, but not limited to, online, at all times without restriction or limitation throughout the world and not only for the purposes of the Competition;

(c) entrants acknowledge that we may edit the Photographs in our sole discretion;
(d) entrants agree that we have the right to use entrants' names, likenesses and other personal information in conjunction with the Photographs;

(e) entrants agree not to bring against us any actions, suits, claims and demands in respect of defamation or any infringement or violation of any personal and/or property rights of any sort from our use of their Photographs;

(f) entrants unconditionally waive their right to seek or obtain an injunction to prevent or restrict our use of the Photographs; and

(g) entrants aged under 18 shall have obtained the consent of a parent or a guardian (and will provide us with the contact details we need should we wish to verify this).


11.1 Where any prize is awarded via a prize draw, prize winners will be chosen at random from all qualifying entries within twenty eight (28) days of the Competition closing date.

11.2 If we become aware that the same person has been selected as a prize winner more than once, we will draw another name.


12.1 By entering our Competitions all entrants:

(a) assign to us all rights (including present and future copyright) in their entry and their publicity materials in all media (including, without limitation, the internet) and whether in existence now or created in the future;

(b) agree not to assert any moral rights in respect of their entry and the publicity materials (wherever  and whenever such rights are recognised) against the Promoter, its assigns, licensees and successors in title;

(c) undertake to us that their entry is not in breach of any third party intellectual property rights and will not contain anything, which is defamatory, indecent, harassing or threatening and that they will indemnify us for any loss, damage or liability arising should this turn out not to be true. If relevant, we reserve the right, but not the obligation (and without limiting entrants' warranty and indemnity as set out above), to screen, filter and/or monitor information provided by the entrant and to edit, refuse to distribute or remove the same;

(d) Confirm that they have the right, power and authority to grant the rights set out above and that they have obtained all consents and permissions necessary to grant us the same.

12.2 For the avoidance of doubt, all rights in the name and title of the Competition and the format rights for the Competition are our sole property and we may exploit the same our absolute discretion.


13.1 If any prize winner is a child or young person (i.e. under the age of 18) we may require that the terms and conditions applicable to the Competition (including these General Terms) be signed by the prize winner's parent or legal guardian before the prize is awarded.  Any such prize may at our discretion be awarded to the prize winner's parent or legal guardian.

13.2 Holiday prizes are not available to persons under the age of 18 without written consent from a parent or legal guardian and unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

13.3 Where entrants or prize winners are required by us to sign a release or other document before participating in a Competition and/or redeeming a prize and the entrant and/or prize winner is under the age of 18 years, such document must be signed by that person’s parent or legal guardian prior to their participation in the Competition and/or the prize being awarded.


14.1 If for any reason any Competition is not capable of running as planned as a result of any (including but not limited to) technical failures, unauthorised intervention, computer virus, mobile network failure, tampering, fraud or any other causes beyond our control which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of a Competition, we reserve the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Competition and/or any draw/s or judging related to the Competition and/or to disqualify any individual who (whether directly or indirectly) causes (or has caused) the problem.


Obtaining time off work and/or study or related activities to participate in a Competition and/or take a prize will be the sole and absolute responsibility of each contestant.


The Promoter may vary the terms of, or terminate, a Competition at any time at its absolute discretion without liability to any contestant or other person. The Promoter will not award the prize if the Competition is terminated.


17.1 All our decisions relating to the Competition and/or redemption of the prizes are final. No discussions or correspondence with entrants or any other person will be entered into.

17.2 Tiebreakers, disputes, conflicts, questions or concerns will be managed by us and, if required by law, by an independent adjudicator.

17.3 Where a Competition involves voting, the accuracy of the pooled results received and published by us will be deemed to be final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.

A failure by us to enforce any one of the terms and conditions in any instance(s) will not give rise to any claim or right of action by any entrant or prize winner, nor shall it be deemed to be a waiver of any of our rights in relation to the same.


19.1 Except as specifically set out herein and to the maximum extent permitted by law, all conditions, warranties and representations expressed or implied by law are hereby excluded.

19.2 To the fullest extent permitted by law, we hereby exclude and shall not have any liability to any entrant or prizewinner in connection with or arising out of any Competition howsoever caused, including for any costs, expenses, forfeited prizes, damages and other liabilities, provided that nothing herein shall operate so as to limit or exclude our liability for personal injury or death caused by our negligence. For the avoidance of doubt, this paragraph 19.2 shall also apply in respect of any prize provided by a third party provider.

19.3 In the event that any provision of these General (or any Specific) Terms are held to be illegal, invalid, void or otherwise unenforceable, it shall be severed from the remaining provisions which shall continue in full force and effect.


These General Terms (and any Specific Terms) shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of England and Wales.

Hoplo catfish given new name

The well-known Hoplo catfish has been given a new name in a study by leading catfish experts.

Reis, Bail and Mol looked at the type specimens of a number of catfishes in the Callichthyinae subfamily and found that some members of the Megalechis genus needed rearranging.

Their paper, which was published in the journal Copeia, says that the Port hoplo, formerly known as Megalechis thoracata (Valenciennes, 1840), should now be called Megalechis picta.

The authors wrote: \"This change in the synonym of the species of Megalechis is especially confusing because the name thoracata remains valid, but applies to the species formerly known as M. personata, which becomes a new junior synonym of thoracata. On the other hand, the species formerly known as M. thoracata is now known as M. picta.\"

The discoveries were made after the scientists re-examined the holotypes of Callichthys thoracatus and Callichthys longifilis, which were used to describe the species now placed in Megalechis.

The fish were found to be those currently known as Megalechis personata, the so-called Tail-bar hoplo.

However, since C. thoracatus was described first, it has priority and is a senior synonym.

This meant that the scientists needed a new name for the current Megalechis thoracata, and the next available name was Callichthys pictus, making the new name for the fish Megalechis picta.

For more information on the name changes see the paper: Reis, RE, P-Y Le Bail and JHA Mol (2005) - New Arrangement in the Synonymy of Megalechis Reis, 1997 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae). Copeia 2005: 678-682.

Catfish sting bucket-bathers

Worried about the statistical likelihood of being stung by a catfish while pouring a bucket of water out of the Amazon and onto your head?

Well, you're right to be worried, for scientists have determined the probability of getting stung while bucket-bathing is actually surprisingly high.

New research published in the journal Wildnerness and Environmental Medicine has looked into the likelihood of getting stung by small driftwood catfishes called Centromochus, which are often accidentally scooped out of the river in buckets by bathers washing in Brazil's Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes.

Although they are quite small fishes, auchenipterid catfishes have spiny fins and can prick the skin causing painful wounds. "Out of 27 bathers, 17 of them had been stung while bucket-bathing in the Amazon..."The authors, well-known catfish biologists Sazima, Zuanon and Haddad, interviewed 27 people living on the banks of the Amazon to find out whether they'd been stung while bucket bathing and found that 63% of them had - and of those, three had been injured in several different incidents.

The paper says: "To assess the likelihood of catching catfish in bathing buckets, we randomly threw a typical plastic bucket used for bathing in 4 series of 10 throws into the river at dusk or night around a floating house."

"In the 4 series of 10 bucket throws, we caught 3 driftwood catfish (in 1 series we did not catch any fish). Thus, the chance of catching a driftwood catfish in a single bucket throw at dusk was slightly less than 10%."

The paper concludes, helpfully, that all of the stings occured around dawn or dusk, so if you're off to the Amazon be careful when you're bathing.

For more information see the paper: Sazima, I, J Zuanon & V Haddad, 2005. Puncture wounds by driftwood catfish during bucket baths: Local habits of riverside people and fish natural history in the Amazon. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 16: 204"208.

Thanks to Heok Hee Ng for spotting this paper.

Puntius denisonii tops Kerala\'s exports

Government officials in India\

's Kerala State are urging locals to do more to cash in on the current boom in tropical fish exports.

According to a report from Web India, Kerala\'s Fisheries and Sports Minister Dominic Presentation has been promoting the aquarium industry and sees it as an ideal way to provide employment in rural areas, particularly to women.

Horabagrus catfishes, such as these nigricollaris, are one of Kerala\'s biggest exports.

Minister Presentation told Web India: \"In a world where urbanisation is the norm and space is at a premium, ornamental fish keeping is rapidly becoming the most popular hobby.\"

Presentation says that many Kerala households now depend on the ornamental fish industry for their income, and this has led to an increase in development of breeding techniques, display systems and accessories.

For more information on Puntius denisonii, see our

Fact File on this keeping and breeding this species.

Mr Gopalakrishnan Nair, Executive Director of the Fisheries Resource Management Society says that the aquarium industry in Kerala is both healthy and growing:

\"We have been breeding at least 12 species which are in high demand in the international market. This is because our climatic conditions and the character of the water bodies are the best to breed and develop them.\"

The report says that Kerala\'s biggest export is now the Red line torpedo barb, Puntius denisonii, which is known as \"Miss Kerala\", as well as other more established fishes such as the Orange chromine, Etroplus maculatus and the catfishes of the Horabagrus genus.

Nair believes that Kerala can grow its aquarium industry business so much that it could compete alongside world leaders, such as Singapore.

The State is due to hold a major event in February 2006 aimed at promoting the industry and boosting exports.

New study shows squid parental care

New footage taken by an underwater robot has shown for the first time that some squid provide parental care for their eggs, rather than depositing their clutch and leaving them to their own devices.

Scientists at the University of Rhode Island used a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, fitted with a camera to allow them to study squid in the deep waters of California\'s Monterey Canyon and filmed five Gonatus onyx squid swimming around while carrying thousands of eggs in their arms.

The footage shows the squid transporting a tubular pouch containing 2000-3000 eggs in its arms and is believed to be the first known example of parental care in a squid species.

The footage shot using the ROV operated by the team of scientists shows the squid carrying eggs in its arms. [4MB MPG Video Clip] Footage: Rhode Island University

Dr Brad Seibel, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Rhode Island worked with scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in 2000 and 2002 and the team\'s findings have just been reported in the journal Nature.

Seibel says that the squid repeatedly extend their arms, in what he believes is an intentional attempt to circulate water over the eggs to keep them well-aerated in the low-dissolved oxygen levels found in these very deep oxygen-starved waters.

The eggs mature and break away after several months, hatch out and then become free-swimming.

Picture: Rhode Island University. [Click to enlarge]

Not only is this the only known example of parental care in a squid, it\'s also provided new evidence to show that the arms and mantle musculature of squid do not always deteriorate following reproduction, which would render G. onyx incapable of caring for its clutch.

However, Seibel says that the muscles may still deteriorate to some degree as the brooding squid become poorer swimmers, making them an easier snack for predators, such as whales.

Gonatus onyx is one of the most common squid species in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but little is known about it, because it lives and reproduces in very deep water.

The squid is a member of the family Gonatidae, and the genus includes around a dozen species most of which reach around 40cm/16\" in length and are most common in the West Pacific.

New dyed tropical fish on sale

A Practical Fishkeeping reader has reported the sale of another new type of dyed fish on sale at an aquatic centre in the UK.

Reader Karen Gray contacted the magazine recently to let us know that she\'d seen some hybrid Parrot cichlids that appear to have been dyed in several places on sale at a garden centre aquatic outlet in North Lincolnshire.

Says Karen: \"I was browsing around the aquarium department of my local garden centre today when I came across the most horribly and deliberately disfigured fish I have ever seen.

\"Five large white Parrot fish were swimming around a tank, each of them had a thick red and blue stripe \"tattooed\" along their flanks and, even more grossly, the area around their mouths had been tattoed red in a grotesque parody of lipstick. \"I may sound melodramatic but I found the sight of these fish extremely upsetting. Abuse like this should be illegal.\"As Karen\'s photograph above shows, the fish indeed to appear to have been physically coloured in some way on their flanks, caudal fin and lips.

Practical Fishkeeping suspects that the fishes are produced using a similar technique to that used to mark the Kaleidoscope or Polka dot Osphronemus goramy which recently went on sale in Essex.

The method has also been used to \"paint\" words and company logos on the flanks of fish. Others have vertical bars painted on the flanks to make their colouration resemble that of naturally occurring species such as the Convict cichlid, Cryptoheros nigrofasciatus.

The artificial colouring of fish has serious health and welfare implications. Pic: Karen Gray

Unfortunately, some naiive dealers are under the mistaken impression that some of these fishes are genetically modified, which is not the case. These fishes are artificially coloured, however, the exact method used for administering the pigment has never been confirmed by the suppliers.

The store stocking the fish is not listed on our Fish Shop Finder and has not signed our pledge not to stock dyed fish.

Have your saySince the late 1990s, we have been running a successful campaign which asks stores to sign a pledge stating that they will not stock fish that have been artificially coloured with dyes. The pledge has been signed by 70% of the UK\'s aquatic stores, but recently the number of artificially coloured fish on sale in the shops has been on the rise again.

For more details on the Dyed Fish Campaign and for information on how you can get your local shop to sign up, please check out the campaign section .

Got an opinion on the sale of dyed fish? Why not read our recent blog post on this subject and leave us your comments?

Apistogramma picky over mates

Although there are dozens of very similar species in the Apistogramma genus, new research has shown that the fish are very picky in selecting a partner of the same species.

According to a study by cichlid experts Uwe Romer and Wolfgang Beisenherz, which has just been published in the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, female Apistogramma cacatuoides prefer wild type males over anything else.

By keeping the females in aquaria and presenting them with a choice of sexual partners to mate with, the authors were able to determine which fish the females prefered.

Most females went for the inconspicous wild-type males of A. cacatuoides, including both wild fish and captive-bred F1 and F2 fish produce from wild stocks. They didn\'t fancy the gaudy males of the domestic strains we see on sale in the shops here.

They also chose to mate with members of their own species over closely related Apistogramma of other species, including A. juruensis, A. martini, A. panduro, or A. sp. \"brustband\".

Romer and Beisenherz claim that this supports the theory that despite their striking similarity in morphology and colouration, that many Apistogramma varieties do represent distinct species.

For more details see the paper: Romer, U and W Beisenherz (2005) - Intra- and interspecific mate choice of female Apistogramma cacatuoides (Teleostei: Cichlidae).

Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 339-345, 3 fi gs., 2 tabs., December 2005.

New catfish found in Myanmar

Scientists working in Myanmar have found another new species of tropical fish in the area.

The new catfish species was discovered in the upper Irrawaddy River basin, near Myitkyina, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and is a member of the family Sisoridae.

The species has just been described by Ralf Britz and Carl Ferraris Jr as Glyptothorax panda in a paper in the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

At just 3cm in length, the tiny new fish species is believed to be the smallest known member of the Glyptothorax genus so far.

Glyptothorax panda shares a very distinctive colour pattern of vertical bands with another catfish species, Aksyis prashadi, which is found in the same area.

Britz and Ferraris reckon that this suggests a possibly mimetic relationship between the two catfishes.

They say that the new Glyptothorax species shares lots of features with members of the family Erethistidae, and believe that the finding questions \"the validity of the current distinction between the Erethistidae and the Sisoridae.\"

For more details on the new catfish see the paper: Britz, R and CJ Ferraris Jr (2005) - A diminutive new species of Glyptothorax

(Siluriformes: Sisoridae) from the upper Irrawaddy River basin, Myanmar, with comments on sisorid and erethistid phylogenetic relationships. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 375-383, 4 figs., December 2005.

New parasitic catfish discovered

A new species of parasitic catfish has been found in Brazil.

The new fish, which has just been described as Trichomycterus pradensis in a paper in the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, was found in the southern Bahia coastal rivers of northeastern Brazil.

The catfish was found in the upper and middle parts of the coastal drainges of the Rio Peruipe, Rio Itanhem and Rio Jucurucu basins which flow from the State of Minas Gerais to Bahia State.

The scientists who described the new catfish species say that it has a distinctive set of characters that set it apart from other trichomycterid catfishes found in South America:

\"It is distinguished from its congeners by having the supraorbital sensory pores s6 placed close together, a narrow opercular patch of developed odontodes, with 8-10 odontodes, and 8 branched pectoral rays. These features make T. pradensis unique within Trichomycterus.\"

For more details on the new catfish see the paper: Sarmento-Soares, LM Martins-Pinheiro, RF, Arion, Aranda, T and CC Chamon. (2005) - Trichomycterus pradensis, a new catfish from southern Bahia coastal rivers, northeastern Brazil (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 289-302, 10 fi gs., 2 tabs., December 2005.

New salmon species found

A new member of the salmon family has been discovered in Russia.

The new fish species, which has been named Salvelinus vasiljevae, was found in the rivers of northwestern Sakhalin in Russia and is known from the Varnak, Ten\'gi, Pyrki and Langry river systems.

The trout-like Salvelinus vasiljevae has just been described by Safronov and Zvezdov of the Sakhalin State University in a paper in the Journal of Ichthyology, and is a member of the Char group, which are most common in cold arctic waters.

Safronov and Zvezdov say that the new char can be told apart from other Salvelinus by its distinctive low number of lateral line scales and its deep body and short caudal peduncle.

The new salmonid also has a very deep head and a wide forehead with elongated jaws. The authors claim that they couldn\'t find other salmonids in the area with characters that fell between those of this fish and other fish in the area, and they believe these factors have led to the reproductive isolation of this new species.

The Salvelinus genus contains around 45 other species and subspecies. The fish are very closely related to trout and salmon, and all are members of the family Salmonidae.

For more details on the new species see the paper: Safronov, SN and TV Zvezdov (2005) - Salvelinus vasiljevae sp. nova. A New Species of Freshwater Chars (Salmonidae, Salmoniformes) from Northwestern Sakhalin. Journal of Ichthyology, Vol. 45, No. 9, 2005.

New tetras described

Two new species of tetra from the Bryconops genus have been described from the waters of Venezuela.

The new species, which have been named Bryconops magoi and B. collettei in a paper in the journal Zootaxa, were discovered in the Orinoco and Cuyuni drainges straddling three States in Venezuela.

Bryconops magoi is a small to medium sized tetra which reaches around 6cm/2\" or so, and has a silvery base colour with a distinctive caudal spot which is red on the upper half. It was discovered in a small area around the Rio Moquete at Paso Bajito in Venezuela.

The second new species, B. collettei, has been found over a much wider area, with specimens recorded from three different States within the country.

Like magoi, collettei also has a spot on the caudal which is red on the upper half, but can be told apart via a number of morphometric characters.

Both species are similar to an existing fish, B. caudomaculatus, and the authors say that some of the fishes in museum collections identified as this species are actually members of the two new species.

The two new fish bring the total number of species in the Bryconops genus to 15. The fishes are widely distributed across much of South America, with the majority of species being most common in blackwater habitats.

For more details see the paper: Chernoff, B and A. Machado-Allison (2005) - Bryconops magoi and Bryconops collettei (Characiformes:

Characidae), two new freshwater fish species from Venezuela, with comments on B. caudomaculatus (Gnther). Zootaxa 1094: 1-23 (2005).

New catfish found in Mato Grosso

A new pseudopimelodid catfish from the Batrochoglanis genus has been discovered in the Mato Grosso in Brazil.

The new species, which has been named Batrochoglanis melanurus, was found in the Corrego Cancela area of Mato Grosso State in a water system which feeds the Rio Cuiba and eventually drains into the Rio Paraguai basin.

Four species of Batrochoglanis were already known to science, but none had previously been seen in the Rio Paraguai basin.

Subsequent taxonomic research by Pavanelli and Shibatta, which has just been published in the journal Zootaxa, showed the fish collected at Corrego Cancela to be a new and undescribed species and a first for the genus in the Rio Paraguai basin.

Ugly customerIn common with most members of the Pseudopimelodidae, the new fish isn\'t a great looking fish and has the stocky and bull-headed appearance that is typical to members of the Batrochoglanis genus.

Most of the specimens of the new species collected measure around 14cm/5\" in length and are brown in colour with a series of muddy stripes on the flanks and tail. The stocky little catfish gets its species name \"melanurus\" from the black colour of its caudal fin.

The species is closely related to B. raninus (formerly Pseudopimelodus raninus), a species that sometimes enters the aquarium trade.

The other species in the genus are B. raninus, B. transmontanus, B. villosus and B. acanthochiroides. Shibatta and Pavanelli provide a new details to identifying the species in the genus in the paper.

For further information see the paper: Shibatta, O and C. Pavanelli. (2005) - Description of a new Batrochoglanis species (Siluriformes,

Pseudopimelodidae) from the rio Paraguai basin, State of Mato

Grosso, Brazil. Zootaxa 1092: 21-30 (2005).

New catfish found in Vietnam

Scientists have described a new species of bagrid catfish from Central Vietnam.

Heok Hee Ng of the Fish Division at the Museum of Zoology at the University of Michigan and Jorg Freyhof of Leibniz-Institut fr Gewsserkologie und Binnenfischerei, Mggelseedamm described the new catfish as Pseudomystus sobrinus in a paper in the latest issue of the ichthyology journal Copeia.

The new catfish was described from some small streams on the coast of Vietnam which drain the eastern slops of the Annam Cordillera in the central region of the country.

According the Ng and Freyhof, the new catfish is similar to both siamensis and bomboides, as all three species have a striking colour bumblebee-like pattern made up of contrasting vertical bands of brown and yellow-cream.

Unlike bomboides, sobrinus has shorter maxillary barbels which reach the operculum at most, rather than past the base of the pectoral fin spine. P. bomboides also has two brown bands on the tail, rather than the single band seen on sobrinus.

P. siamensis has a less bulbous snout and a longer adipose fin base than sobrinus, as well as slightly different pectoral fin spine lengths in relation to the body.

For more details see the paper: Ng, HH and Freyhof, J. (2005) - A New Species of Pseudomystus (Teleostei: Bagridae) from Central Vietnam. Copeia: Vol. 2005, No. 4, pp. 745-750.

Two new cats discovered

Scientists have described two new callichthyid catfishes in South America.

One of the catfishes, which has been named Lepthoplosternum ucamara was collected from a tributary of Lago Tef (Lake Tefe), in Amazonas, Brazil, while the second, which has been named L. stellatum, was discovered in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve in the lower Ucayali River, Loreto, Peru.

According to the paper, L. ucamara can be told apart from other members of the Callichthyinae subfamily on the basis of the following characters: \"lower lip with pointed, crenulate, triangular fleshy projections lateral to the medial notch, caudal peduncle comparatively shallow (15.7-18.9% SL), and dorsal fin usually with one unbranched and seven branched rays.\"

By contrast, L. stellatum has a short lower lip with \"rounded projections\" and a shallow caudal peduncle (15.2-17.7% SL).

The catfishes have just been described by Roberto Reis and Cintia Kaefer in a paper in the ichthyological journal Copeia and bring the total number of species in the callichthyid genus Lepthoplosternum to three.

The third fish, L. altamazonicum is now believed to be found over a much wider area than previously believed, with the range extending across the varzea floodplains of the Solimoes Amazon and its tributaries.

Reis and Kaefer provide an updated dichotomous key to the members of the genus in the paper.

For more information see: Reis, RE and CC Kaefer (2005) - Two New Species of the Neotropical Catfish Genus Lepthoplosternum (Ostariophysi: Siluriformes: Callichthyidae). Copeia 2005: 724-731.

Meet the experts


've just launched a new section on the website in which you\'ll get a chance to find out more about the movers and shakers in the fishkeeping hobby and the aquarium trade.

The Meet the Expert section kicks off with an interview with Practical Fishkeeping contributor Pete Cottle.

Pete is a highly-experienced fishkeeper with over 40-years hands-on experience with masses of different fishes, and he\'s a regular on our Ask the Experts column.

You can find out more about the fish Pete keeps at home, what he wants to keep next and what he thinks of the hobby in the Opinion section.

'll have a new expert lined-up every week for the next few months. If there\'s someone you\'d really like to know more about, why not drop us a line with the questions you want us to ask them and we\'ll see what we can do.

Special Christmas subs offer

Subscribe to Practical Fishkeeping before Christmas and you\

'll get two free aquarium books worth 45.

If you sign up to a subscription to the magazine by quarterly direct debit you pay just 10.56 per quarter, but you\'ll also receive two books worth an incredible 45 - that\'s more than the subscription itself!

Besides the books, you\'ll get the usual 13 issues of PFK we produce every year, plus our regular supplements, such as Practical Marine Fishkeeping and our Fishkeeping Directory.

Subscribers also get their magazine before they go on sale in the shops, and you won\'t pay a penny for postage.

We also have regular giveaways and competitions in the magazine which are exclusive to subscribers, and we\'ll soon be offering special subscriber-only content on the PFK website!

The two books are available to both new and renewing subscribers.

Setting up a tropical aquarium week-by-week by Stuart Thraves

This new book shows you how to set up your tank in stages from day one to week 12 and beyond. It covers all the key topics including planning, decor, setting up, planting and maintenance. There are loads of pictures with profiles on 50 plants and 100 fish. This hardback book contains 400 colour pictures in its 208 pages. It usually retails for 20.

Focus on Freshwater Aquarium Fish by Geoff Rogers and Nick Fletcher

This stunning book where the fish are very much the stars of the show features more than 800 photographs of over 150 popular aquarium fish. It's a pictorial gallery which provides the 'wow' factor for freshwater fish - and we're sure will also inspire non-fishkeepers to take up the hobby. This hardback has 208 pages and usually retails for 25.

Get both of these books FREE with this great subscription offer.

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New Garra discovered in China

A new species of tropical fish from the Garra genus has been discovered in China.

The new fish, which has been named Garra micropulvinus, was caught in the Panlonhe, a small branch of the Yuanjiang or Upper Red River in Yunnan, China.

The species has just been described in a paper by Zhou, Pan and Kottelat in the journal Zoological Studies and appears in a work that looked at the Garra and Discogobio cyprinids of the Yuanjiang drainage.

According to the authors, Garra micropulvinus is easily told apart from all currently known Garra and Discogobio species by its unusual oral sucking disc.

The species has: \"a median notch in the posterior margin of the posterior free fold of the oral sucking disc (vs. no notch) and 2-7 small fleshy buds between the skin folds and the sides of the median pad (vs. none).\"

G. micropulvinus also has a dorsal fin with three spines and 7-8.5 branched rays; an anal fin with three spines and 5.5 branched rays; pectorals with one spine and 11 rays; pelvics with one spine and eight rays and 9+8 branched rays in the tail.

The fish lives in fast-flowing streams with a stony bottom and feeds on algae, and sometimes aquatic plants and insect larvae. The authors say that villagers claim that the species migrates upriver during September to December to spawn in clear pools.

The paper includes a key to the Garra and Discogobio species of the Upper Red River and a number of useful photographs of the fish and their distinguishing features to aid identification.

Garra, Discogobio and Placocheilus are the only three genera in the cyprinid subfamily Labeoinae which have an oral sucking disc formed from the lower lip.

For more details on the new species see the paper: Zhou, W X-F Pan & M Kottelat, 2005. Species of Garra and Discogobio (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in the Yuanjiang (Upper Red River) Drainage of Yunnan Province, China with a Description of a New Species. Zoological Studies 44: 445-453.

World\'s largest aquarium opens

The world\

's largest public aquarium is due to open in Atlanta, Georgia, today.

The Georgia Aquarium, which has cost over $200 million (127 million) to develop, will hold around 8 million gallons of water and house over 100,000 fish of over 500 different species.

The aquarium was funded by multi-millionaire businessman Bernie Marcus, who owns the Home Depot retail chain, as a gift to the city of Atlanta where he built his business empire.

There are over 500 different species of fish in the exhibit.

The aquarium is part of a revival of downtown Atlanta and is hoped to bring in lots of tourists and income to the area.

Two of the main exhibits at the new Aquarium are a pair of Whale sharks - the world\'s largest species of fish - which were imported from Taiwan some time ago.

The sharks, which are called Ralph and Norton, travelled by UPS on a Boeing 747 cargo plane which had been specially equipped to make the journey safe and comfortable for the fish. The two fish are the only Whale sharks in captivity outside of the massive aquaria of Asia.

\"When Ralph and Norton came to the Georgia Aquarium, Ralph was 16 feet long and Norton was 14 feet long weighing 2200 lbs together. Both animals now reside in a 6 million US gallon habitat specially designed for Whale sharks.\"

Captive raised trevallySome of the fish at the Aquarium have come from an aquaculture project designed to help stock the aquarium. More than 100,000 were produced on a fish farm in Taiwan and imported by plane earlier this year.

\"Many of those fish were Golden trevally,\" says the Aquarium. "For their protection, the trevally were held in a sea pen in the main exhibit when they arrived at the Georgia Aquarium in order to protect them until they grew large enough to swim among the giant group, sawfish and hammerhead to name a few.

\"Three trevally escaped and swam in front of Ralph, a filter feeding Whale shark, for months. When another hundred were released they swam in front of Ralph and Norton for a few hours, but then swarmed around the giant grouper. The original three escapee trevally continued to swim in front of Ralph.\"

Massive filtersThe centralised filtration, or \"life support system\" as it is generally called in the public aquarium world, is on a scale that dwarfs that seen in most other aquaria.

The water is cleansed by 141 pressurised sand filters, 70 protein skimmers and 65 tower reactors, all of which are similar to those used in many aquatic stores in the UK, but on a much bigger scale.

The aquarium is powered by 218 pumps providing 4160 horse power and shift an amazing 59.3 million litres per hour - enough to fill a 2.5 million litre Olympic swimming pool in under three minutes! \"The pumps provide enough water to fill an Olympic swimming pool in under three minutes...\"The water is pumped through a staggering 98,170 metres (61 miles) of pipework, which is enough to stretch from London to Brighton (and go ten miles out to sea.)

Says the Aquarium: \"The Aquarium\'s life support system is controlled by a high tech system that can make 150 million decisions per second through 11 computers.

\"This system regulates the filtration in the exhibits. Additionally, Aquarium staff test the water quality twice daily. The HVAC system has 3600 tons of cooling capacity, enough to cool 1200 average sized homes. The heating and cooling capabilities of the building are desigend to maintain tight water temperature parameters in the exhibitis.\"

Getting thereThe Georgia Aquarium is located in downtown Atlanta across from Centennial Olympic Park: Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St, Atlanta, GA 30313, (404) 581-4000.

Knight gobies reshuffled

The gobies in the Knight goby genus Stigmatogobius have been reshuffled in a systematic revision.

Helen Larson of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Australia revised the gobiid genus Stigmatogobius and has just announced her findings in a paper in the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

Larson's study looked at the 18 species believed to be members of this fish family, which occurs in both fresh and brackish water, and found that just four species had the necessary characters required to keep their taxonomic position in the Stigmatogobius genus.

The four species that Larson says should remain valid Stigmatogobius species are S. borneensis, S. pleurostigma, S. sella and the Knight goby, S. sadanundio. Larson says that the Knight goby name, S. sadanundio, has been used as a catch-all term for a variety of misidentified species.

Larson believes that the Stigmatogobius are members of the Gobionellinae subfamily with the Gobiidae family and are characterised by: "a distinctive transverse pattern of infraorbital sensory papillae, a reduced headpore pattern which lacks an infraorbital pore and posterior oculoscaupular canal, the first haemal spine curving around the second anal pterygiophore in several species, 17 segmented caudal fin rays and by having one more anal fin ray than in the second dorsal fin."

Some of the other representatives previously considered to be Stigmatogobius have been moved into related genera including Redigobius, Mugilogobius, Eugnathogobius and Pseudogobius, and two new species have been described in the paper.

For more information see the paper: Larson, H. (2005) - A revision of the gobiid genus Stigmatogobius (Teleostei: Gobiidae) with descriptions of two new species. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 347-370.

Plagioscion genus revised

The South American tropical fish genus Plagioscion has been revised and the number of species it contains has been dropped to five.

The revision, which was undertaken by Lilian Cassati of UNESP (Universidade Estadual Paulista, Laboratorio de Ictiologia) in Brazil, has just been published in the systematics journal Zootaxa and considers just five of the 15 nominal species as valid taxa.

According to Cassati, the genus Plagioscio should be restricted to just five species: Plagioscion squamosissimus which is found in most freshwater drainages on the eastern side of the Andes, P. auratus which is found in the Orinoco and Amazon basins, P. magdalenae which comes from the Rio Magdalena basin, P. ternetzi from the lower Parana, Paraguay and Uruguay basins and P. montei which is found in the Amazon basin.

The Plagioscion genus, which is a member of the family Sciaenidae, is found in freshwater but most other sciaenids are marine species.

Not that much is known about the genus, but it is believed to be a representative of the sciaenid Cynoscioninae subfamily.

Several species are commercially important as food fishes in South America.

For more details see the paper: Cassati, L. (2005) - Revision of the South American freshwater genus Plagioscion (Teleostei, Perciformes, Sciaenidae). Zootaxa, 1080: 39-64 (2005).