FNZAS Aquarium World May 2013

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NEW ZEALAND'S ONLY MAGAZINE For Tropical, Coldwater and Marine Fish Hobbyists.

Aquarium World May 2013


The following rates give the advertiser four advertisements in the Aquarium World magazine (published quarterly in August, November, February and May). ADVERTISING RATES: $40 page width 125mm x 30mm $70 page width 125mm x 60mm $120 page width 125mm x 90mm $200 page width 125mm x 190mm $65 page width 60mm x 90mm COVER: $130 page width 125mm x 90mm $220 page width 125mm x 190mm

½ page 1 page ¼ page ½ page 1 page

The "Aquarium World" magazine is distributed to members of the Federation of New Zealand Aquatic Society clubs, or is available by subscription. CUT-OFF DATES FOR ADVERTISING, ARTICLES, LETTERS etc. August issue: June 30th November issue: September 30th February issue: December 31st May issue: March 31st. The Aquarium World is sent out in the first week of each due month. Any enquiries related to this publication or the Federation of New Zealand Aquatic Societies may be addressed to: Editor: Caryl Simpson Ph: 03 578-9390 8a Faulkland Drive Fax: 03 577-9782 Blenheim Email: caryl@simtronics.co.nz COVER PHOTO: Cuckoo catfishes, Synodontis multipunctatus Photograph; Adam & Teresa Sikora (FNZAS website’s Photo of the Month, April 2013, fish category winner) Do you have a photo suitable for our front cover? Either post (actual photo, or on a disk or CD) or email a copy to the editor. Don’t forget to add details of the fish, photographer and any other pertinent information you might want included. FNZAS WEB SITE: www.fnzas.org.nz Check out our Forums, club information, chat room, articles, photo of the month competition and all sorts of helpful and interesting stuff. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! This magazine is available for a minimum 12 month subscription of $27.00 including p&p. Subscribe direct from the web site or contact the editor. It is currently available FREE to all members of affiliated societies (a list of these can be found in the back of this magazine.) 2

Aquarium World May 2013

Official Publication of the


ISSN 1173-8375



May 2013

Overseas Societies please note: Original articles printed in the “Aquarium World” may be copied provided credit is given to the author and to the “Aquarium World”. Please send two copies, one for the author and one for the “Aquarium World” files. The Editor accepts no responsibility for writer’s views; nor do we necessarily accept such views.

Advertising Rates & Submission Cut-off Dates ................................... 2 Index .................................................................................................. 3 From the Editor ................................................................................... 4 President’s Ramblings ..................................................................... 4/5 Botia Loaches - Bottom Dwellers From Asia........................................ 6 Kauaeranga Valley Spotlighting........................................................... 8 Medicating Fish Food........................................................................ 11 Danios & Devarios ............................................................................ 12 Ideas For Alternative Fish Ponds....................................................... 16 TFBIS Update................................................................................... 18 Aquaponics....................................................................................... 19 Knowledge & Education .................................................................... 26 Nautical Dip (for humans, not fish!).................................................... 30 Otos and Pitbulls............................................................................... 31 Latest Breedings............................................................................... 33 New Zealand Cephalopods ............................................................... 34 Fishy Business.................................................................................. 38 Retailers’ Discount List...................................................................... 39 Retailers’ Discount List...................................................................... 40 List of Affiliated Societies .................................................................. 41 List of Affiliated Societies .................................................................. 42 The views of the editor are not necessarily those of anyone else! If you find any errors in the club lists, or know of any other retailers offering discount to affiliated members, please contact the editor. Aquarium World May 2013


From the Editor This will be my last editorial as I will finally be standing down from the editor’s job at next month’s AGM. It was not an easy decision and I feel I am letting down Jennifer and the FNZAS but my health is more important to me than you are and I have reached the end of my rope. At the beginning, September 1995, I was full of enthusiasm and ideas and did not mind the lack of contributions from others as I researched and wrote articles when little else was supplied by others. The enthusiasm began to wane as the lack of support at both club and individual level continued, despite constant pleas. I should not have been surpised as the previous editors had endured t he sam e si nce t he magazine’s inception in 1953. Many com plai n of a l ack of communication from the executive but communication goes two ways. Too many sit back and criticise without offering any useful alternatives. Most cl u b of f i ce r s nev er r e pl y t o communi cati ons sent out and members seems to be saying “What can the FNZAS do for me?” The FNZAS is YOU, the members, so you ought to be asking “What can I do for the FNZAS?” Times change and the internet has se e n a d r o p i n m a n y cl u b memberships. Two, in fact, have just gone into recess. One of them being t he W el li ngt on Aquari um & W atergarden Society, the first aquarium club to form in NZ and, eventually, the one to form the FNZAS itself. This drop is not just within the federation either as I hear it time and again from many other clubs and 4

organisations. Here’s hoping the l a t e st intitiatives being worked on by the executive will boost membership again, albeit possibly in a different format, and continue to improve NZ’s fish keeping hobby. The biggest change, brought about by ever increasing costs, is moving the Aquarium World to online only format. Several messages were sent to clubs and individuals asking those without internet access, or wishing to continue receiving a printed copy (at a cost), to contact us. To date there were no such requests so you would think every single FNZAS member has internet access and has registered in The Fishroom so they can read this issue online. Unfortunately this is not so and there will be many unable to read this as they did not respond to the warning notices either in the February magazine, or sent out by the FNZAS. I wish you all the best in your fish keeping endeavours and I will still be around in The Fishroom forum. Thanks to those who did take the time to send in articles, photos, puzzles, fillers and stuff and a sincere thank you too for those who took the time to offer their appreciation of my efforts over the years. ▲ Happy Fishkeeping!

www.fnzas.org.nz Aquarium World May 2013

The President’s Ramblings This issue is a milestone of sorts. Firstly, this is our first online issue as we have had to move away from printing to meet financial constraints of running the organisation. This may not be a permanent move if we can generate funds to sustain the magazine, but in the meantime, we will develop the new platform so that even if we are able to produce a printed copy again, we will also be able to reach more readers via a concurrent online platform that is rich in media and digital features. Secondly, this is the last issue with Caryl Simpson as editor and we are deeply grateful for everything she has done for the organisation over the

years, especially in producing is magazine reliably and skilfully each quarter since September 1995. On behalf of the members and executive of the FNZAS I extend my sincere thanks to Caryl for her efforts on the m agazi n e an d h er c ont i nu ed commitment to moderation of the Fishroom forums. ▲ - Jennifer Hamlin Christchurch Totally Tanked

Jennifer’s main aquarium

If you know of a financial member who has not received the email link for this magazine, or can’t access the members’ section of The Fishroom to read it there, the treasurer did email all club secretaries to get complete, correct, members’ details however she found it was like getting blood out of a stone. Tell them to email the FNZAS treasurer at treasurer@fnzas.org.nz. If they want a printed copy they will have to carry the full cost of $40 per year, or ask another member to print them a copy. Or they can write to; Treasurer, 26 Mt St John Ave. Epsom, Auckland 1051 The Aquarium World headings are colour coded according to subject.



tropical coldwater



This should make it easy to see at a glance what area of fishkeeping each article is about. An article, with no author named at the end, was written by the editor. Aquarium World May 2013


Botia Loaches - Bottom Dwellers From Asia Botia loaches from Asia are very much second class citizens in the aquarium when compared to the armoured catfish from South America. I find this hard to understand, as these loaches combine lovely colour patterns with lively and sometimes comic behaviour. They are, in fact, ideal aquarium fish. In Asia the larger loaches are commonly used as eating fish. While they bear a close resemblance to catfish they share more in common with zebra danios. They are also closely related to the so-called freshwater sharks. Their German name ‘Botia’ translates as ‘splendid loaches’. This is certainly true of the most common species found in aquariums – the clown loach (Botia macracanthus). There are over 40 species of Botia loaches but only a small number of these are regularly found in the aquarium.

Botia macracanthus The Botia species belong to the family Cobitidae, one of the families that make up the Cypriniformes. Like all loaches the Botia have a knife-like, erectable spine beneath the eye, which they are able to use as a very good weapon. The Botia loaches have an enormous range in the size to which they eventually grow. One of the smallest species is the dwarf or pygmy chain 6

loach, Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki, which at maturity reaches the length of just 6cm. Nearly at the opposite end of the scale is the popular clown loach, Botia macracanthus, which is one of the giants of the genus reaching the length of about 30cm in the course of its life time. When thinking of purchasing one of the Botia species it is important to research the loach you want, in order to provide an aquarium of suitable size.

Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki Should you purchase Botia loaches singly or in groups? Botias are shoaling fish, which become aggressive only if they are kept in a group which is too small - fewer than 5. If kept alone they will often refuse to eat and pine away. These fish often form bonds with their own kind and form a pecking order with the head loach whom is normally the largest loach and is often a female. They should not be purchased if the aquarist is not prepared to maintain a suitable sized shoal. In order to see the some times comical behaviour of these fish it is important to have a group of them in the aquarium. Botia loaches are essentially meateaters (carnivores). In nature their diet is mainly made up from the larvae of aquatic insects and worms. In the aquarium these fish are valued for Aquarium World May 2013

their love of feeding on snails. There are few other fish that are so reliable at ending a plague of snails as the Botia loach. This is the reason that so many aquarists buy just one loach. Apart from snails these fish will eat all types of flake, pellet and frozen foods fed to them and any other tank mates.

Botia lohachata Botia loaches do not burrow as much as other loaches however they do prefer safe hiding places. They like to hide inside bamboo. The more hiding places or bolt holes they have the more you are likely to see them out and around your tank. Tank substrate should not be too large and it should not be sharp edged – freshwater aquatic sand or pea gravel up to 3mm is ideal. Sharp gravel can wear down the barbels and the sores can become infected. In general plants are left alone however the dwarf chain loach, Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki, finds the new tender shoots of red pine (Rotala wallichi) irresistible. It is advisable to use larger pebbles around the roots of plants so that the loaches can not accidently dig them up. An open swimming area should be left in the aquarium as often in the evenings the fish enjoy swimming the length of the tank in their school. Loaches, being river fish, are used to living in the fresh clean waters of their native waterways. The aquarium water should be well filtered as these fish come from fast moving water. When Aquarium World May 2013

acclimatising new fish to a tank and in the following week to fortnight it is important to remember that Botia are prone to whitespot. It is a good idea to have a medication for this on hand. Botia have successfully bred in the aquarium on odd occasions. In nature, like many other fish, loaches undertake a breeding migration. Therefore one needs to simulate the annual cycle in the aquarium. The dwarf chain loach and the clown loach are spawned on a large scale via hormone treatment but the details of this appear to be a highly guarded trade secret.

Botia striata Botia loaches more commonly found in NZ include Botia macracathus (clown loach), Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki (dwarf chain loach), Botia lohachata (yoyo loach), Botia kubotai (polka dot loach), and Botia striata (striped loach).â–˛ - Adrienne Dodge Marlborough Aquarium Club

Botia kubotai 7

Kauaeranga Valley Spotlighting I arrived back at the campground, after getting dinner in Thames, at about 9.30pm and proceeded to get boots on and get torches ready. So it must have been about 9.45 by the time I reached Waiora stream next to the Wainora DoC campground. I walked down the stream edge towards the main Kauaeranga River. In the first small hole I flicked the small torch, that I use for walking, across water – straight off a torrentfish, male redfin and common bullies. Looking good. As I continued the walk down to the main river I heard or saw a few splashes of what looked like kokopu, vanishing.

When reaching Kauaeranga river I was surprised to only see bullies, the odd eel and a single (what looked to be a) smelt, although the water level was very low, with that on-going drought. I did see a lot of hunting spiders though, Dolomedes spp.

As the main river was proving unfruitful I headed back up Waiora stream. 8

Aquarium World May 2013

Waiora stream proved a very different prospect to spotlight than Kauaeranga river with many more bullies, torrentfish and Galaxias spp. The first few runs saw torrentfish, Cran’s, common and redfin bullies almost by the dozen. The first hole proved just as productive with bullies, torrentfish and banded kokopu throughout. This hole of about 2m x 10m was home to at least 4 adult banded kokopu, 100150mm, and another maybe 5 or more one year old banded kokopu at about 50-60mm.

Aquarium World May 2013

The next hole housed even more adult banded kokopu, I saw maybe 7, as well as many juvenile. I may have also seen a juvenile shortjaw, but probably an inanga, but didn’t get close enough to catch and ID it.

The stream continued in this manner with the odd eel, koura and shrimp in the mix until I caught what probably was an inanga, with very faint markings. 9

Then I saw my first ever koaro, doing what they do best, climbing a wet rock in some rapids – almost completely out of the water, just where the water line meats the rock. Man those things have some amazing colour.


Not much further upstream than here was where the DoC road crosses the stream. It was depressing to see that at the moment it was almost impassable to fish with a high drop and overhang.

Above the ford/culvert the species distribution changed with a lack of torrentfish, way fewer bullies – I think I only saw Cran’s above the ford. I was surprised to see banded kokopu and shrimp above the ford, though not as many as below. So all up for the night I saw: w Banded kokopu (too many to count) w Inanga (just 2) Aquarium World May 2013

w w

Koaro (just 2, and maybe a third) Eels (probably both long and short fin) w Bullies – Common, Cran’s, redfin w Torrentfish w Smelt (?) w Shrimp and koura w Trout (rainbow and maybe a small brown) What I was surprised not to see over the 2½ hours were giant kokopu.

Full set of hi-res photos here; https://plus.google.com/ photos/113298704761943818357/ al bum s/ 58 61 77 206 85 053 12 88 1? banner=pwa ▲ - Charles Fryett (blueether) Waikato Aquarium Society

Medicating Fish Food We cannot get medicated fish food in NZ so here are a couple of ideas to make your own. This is from the Eastern Districts Aquarium Society newsletter Vol 23, No.7, July 1992. Not sure how you know how much medication is getting into the fish though! Use oil to “lock in” medication: Mix good quality flake and/or pellet fish food with water and work into a puttylike consistency. Add 10 - 14% vegetable oil or cod liver oil - or a combination of both. Cod liver oi l i ncreases p al at abil it y and acceptance. Add medications and mix well. Feed by breaking into pieces or rolling into balls. Can be frozen and can be grated frozen into the water.

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Gelatinising Food: For smaller amounts scale down the recipe or add medication to a portion of the food then use the rest for normal feeding. To 250g good quality flake and/or pelleted fish food, add 500ml water. Mix well. Add 25ml cod liver oil and 25ml vegetable oil (both optional) Add a can of sardines, tuna, zucchini or peas. They should be blended or ground first (all optional). Add 1,000mg Vitamin C and 200mg Vitamin E (both optional). Mix well. Add medications and mix well. Dissolve 60 - 75g gelatine in 500ml hot water. Stir well. Allow to cool to luke warm but don’t let it set. Add gelatine water to food mixture and mix quickly. Set in fridge for an hour or more. Chop into portions and freeze until needed. Food can be thawed and fed, or grated into the aquarium.▲


Danios and Devarios The Danioninae comprise the following genera: Danio, Danionella, Devario, Microdevario, Esomus, Microrasbora, Betadevario, Chela, Parachela and Laubuca. The first Danionin to be described was Danio dangila by Hamilton in 1822. It was at that time, known as Cyprinus dangila. At the same time, Cyprinus rerio and Cyprinus danricus were also described. Up until 1990, there were around 32 different species of Danio or Devario described. Since that time, a further 20 have been described and at least another 9 species have yet to be examined. Many of the new species have been found in Myanmar and some of the previously described species have now become available as restrictions in the country have been lifted. If we include other related genera, then a further 3 new species and 1 new genera have also been described. Many scientists have contributed in the examination of the Danionins. In the 1800’s, Hamilton, Day, Jerdon, Blyth and McClelland all made significant contributions to the data base. During the first half of the 1900’s, Regan, Chaudhuri and Annandale described three new species however it was Sunder Lal Hora and co-workers who described no less than six new species. It was not until the 1980’s that Barman after few discoveries of Danionins during the ensuing years described four new species. Since then, the number of species and genera has increased enormously mainly due to the work of the late Fang Fang. She described no less than eleven new species and one new genus either solely or with co-authors 12

during her short life at the Swedish Natural History Museum. Here I must also acknowledge the brilliant work performed by other eminent scientists. Maurice Kottelat an independent researcher from Switzerland associated with the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research in Singapore, Ralf Britz based at the Natural History Museum in London and Sven Kullander of the Swedish Natural History Museum in Stockholm. These gentlemen have contributed greatly to our knowledge of the Danioninae. Indeed, the most recently described species: Danio flagrans (formerly known as Danio sp. Putao) was described in November 2012 by Dr Kullander. Without doubt, as more areas of Myanmar become accessible more species will be found. Even in the areas where ‘foreigners’ are allowed access, it is possible to find new species. Indeed, during the first of my visits to the country, I was fortunate enough to find what are believed to be two new species. One of them, as yet un- named, came from the river where Puntius padamya and Devario shanensis are currently found. I first became interested in the Danionins when a shipment of Danio choprae came to one of my local shops. The brilliant colours of this species immediately attracted me and soon a small shoal was in one of my aquariums. Breeding them became a priority and it was not too long before I had a tank full of fry. A search of the internet revealed that Fischhaus Zepkow (in northern Germany) had other interesting species of Danionin so after an exchange of emails, a trip was planned. As it is around 1,000km Aquarium World May 2013

from my house, we decided on a three day trip. Ilse and Guido made us very welcome and gave me a fantastic wealth of knowledge of fish they had bred. I was able to purchase a number of different species together with some Rainbow species that were unavailable in the UK. The third day saw us heading back and the journey was accomplished without loss of any fish. From then on, the Danionins became fishes to be eagerly sought after. I might add that most of the Devario pathirana seen in shops today probably originated from Fishhaus Zepkow. I collected a number of fish from a friend in Holland some years ago and they were then taken to Bangkok where they have been bred in large numbers for the export market. Aquarium Care: Danios and Devarios in general are classed as easy fish to keep in the aquarium. They are quite happy in varying water conditions. They will tolerate hard or soft water and a range of pH. All of the species I keep, are in very hard water (300ppm+) with a pH of around 7·8. They are undemanding with regard to temperature. My fish house is space heated and I prefer to keep my tanks at a temperature of 22ºC. This will vary a little depending on whether the tank is on the floor or on the upper part of the fish house – the tanks on the floor will naturally be cooler. Fish of the genus Danionella much prefer a soft water environment though I suspect this is not essential. One thing that I do find essential to their wellbeing is regular water changes. I try to do a 25% water change once a week on the stock tanks and a daily one on each of the fry tanks. Danios in particular seem to Aquarium World May 2013

be prone to dropsy if kept in water that is un-refreshed. Being a retired industrial chemist, I do not actively add chemicals to aquaria unless there is a disease that requires treatment. Hence when changing water on the main tanks, I do not add any chemicals whatsoever and the water is usually straight from the mains water tap. The water is cold and I direct the flow (from a hosepipe) directly into the aquaria. Any chlorine is rapidly dispersed and there are no ill effects from this treatment – indeed, the fish will be very active in the cold water. Quite often, this will promote spawning of the fish. I should stress that fish need to be acclimatised to this seemingly harsh water changes. The fry tanks are not treated in the same way. I warm the fresh water before slowly adding it to the tank. In the Yoma mountains in Myanmar, I fished a small rock strewn stream that had only a small flow of water. In the small pools were numerous Danio feegradei, Gara flavatra and Rasbora rasbora. As you can see, the rocks are large and there is much evidence of a fierce torrent during the rainy season. Not much water treatment here! I estimate that during the rainy season, there can be as much as two to three metres of water in this ‘stream’.

Kyar Chaung stream flowing into the Tha Hday river. Near Thandwe 13

Food: The Danionins will in general eat anything that is put in front of them. Live foods such as Daphnia, Cyclops, Mosquito larvae, blood worm, earth worm and tubifex worm are all avidly consumed. Flake and frozen foods are also readily accepted. I also feed finely chopped mussels, cockles and prawns on a fairly regular basis. For the small Danios, Danionellas and Paedocypris species, I feed plenty of newly hatched brine shrimp and fine Daphnia. Breeding Danios and Devarios: It has long been considered that Danio rerio the Zebra Danio was probably the easiest egg layer to breed. Ideal for the beginner was frequently quoted. In general, this is true though I have known experienced aquarists have problems. Most Danios and Devarios will quite readily spawn following a water change. They are however voracious egg consumers so it is necessary to provide cover for the newly laid eggs. There are several methods of achieving this: glass marbles. pebbles, spawning mats or a plastic grid slightly elevated but covering the tank base are often used. For the small Danios like D. margaritatu and D. erythromicron, a woollen mop as favoured by killifish breeders works very well if anchored to the tank base and the fibres allowed to float upwards. This also works well for the Microdevario species. When conditioning fish ready for spawning, I separate the sexes and feed plenty of live foods. The conditioned fish are placed in the breeding tank just before I turn off the house lighting. I generally use three male fish to every female. This ensures that a good percentage of the eggs laid will be fertilised. 14

Usually they spawn in the early morning though it can be a few days before they decide to perform. The eggs hatch between 24 and 60 hours and the fry attach themselves to the tank sides whilst absorbing their yolk sac. After 24 hours the fry become free swimming and will be looking for food. I use flake food that has been put in a high speed blender with a little water. This form of liquid fry food is further diluted with water prior to feeding. This food must be kept refrigerated as it tends to decompose quite readily. After a few days the fry will accept newly hatched brine shrimp. Raising the fry from this stage is then relatively easy. Small water changes are undertaken after two to three weeks on a daily basis. This ensures that waste products are removed and growth is not hindered.

Dominant male Devario shanensis Species: We are very fortunate that there are plenty of species readily available most of the time in the UK. We do not have the same restrictions on imports as is in place in New Zealand. These include Danio choprae, albolineatus, rerio, erythromicron, dangila, feegradei kerri,kyathit, margaritatus, roseus, tinwini and nigrofasciatus, Devario aequipinnatus, malabaricus and pathirana. Other species are only seen periodically and these include, Danio sp. Hikari, aesculapii and sp. redfin, Devario assamensis, auropurpurea, browni, chrysotaeniatus, devario, Aquarium World May 2013

maetaengensis, regina, shanensis, and sondhii. All of the above I have been successful in breeding though some have proved to be a little more difficult than others. There are still many Danionins that are rare. Towards the end of 2012, friends in India set out to catch Devario neilgherriensis. They were successful and the first pictures of this species became available. It is probable that it will not become commercial. Another species that is very unlikely to come to aquatic shops is Betadevario ramachandrani. The remote location of this species coupled with the fact that it is in dense forest where leeches and king cobra snakes abound and that it does not travel well means there is little chance of it being seen. Several of the Indian Devario species all suffer a similar fate being located in ‘difficult’ places. In 2012, with friends, I set out to try to find Devario peninsulae and Devario suvatti. Having identified the type locations, we fished the small streams extensively. After two weeks of netting numerous locations, the only species we found (in great abundance), was Devario regina. The

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line drawing of Devario suvatti shows a fish where the starts of the anal and dorsal fins are in a direct vertical alignment. Adult Devario regina has anal and dorsal fins almost in alignment but very interestingly, young fish show fins in alignment. Based on this, and the fact that we caught so many Devario regina without even a hint of a different species, I question whether Devario and Devario peninsulae are in fact synonyms of Devario regina. There is little doubt that our knowledge of the Danionins has increased vastly over the past few years. I can only see many more species being discovered as more areas of Myanmar become accessible and further exploration of the rivers and streams of Laos and Vietnam in particular is undertaken. My book Danios and Devarios is available through my web site www.danios.info I have purposely added some blank pages so that the book can be updated – new additions and amendments are published on the web site. ▲ - Peter Cottle, FBAS


Ideas For Alternative Fish Ponds


I love the use of the shower head in these two pics!

There are all sorts of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic containers available these days. You may need to line, or paint concrete with potable paint (the sort safe for water tanks) before use or the pH will rise dramatically. 16

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Here is another pond made using car or tractor tyres. You can add a soil retaining wall around this then plant it so greenery and/or flowers cascade down the sides. Full step by step instructions, including those for the retaining wall, can be found at; http://www.instructables.com/ id/Fish-pond-from-tractor-or-car-tires/ What about a pond with side viewing panels for children to be able to see the fish?

When I was a teenager (many moons ago) our big chest freezer died. Dad stripped the outside off it, dug a hole and buried the inside metal case 3/4 deep in the ground then filled it with water and added plants and fish. The “jar” idea on the right allows the fish to swim up and get a bird’s eye view of their pond su r r o u n di n g s. Here is a URL to how someone else did it, along with some other ideas and suggestions; h t t p: / / www. n e t t a l l y . c om / p al m k / FishHiRise.html Aquarium World May 2013


The pond above is under the window, so the power cord, with RCD, can come out for the pump. The pump pumps the water through a clear hose on to the pipe for the tap. The washer in the tap was taken out so it can’t be turned off to ruin the pump, so the tap runs and it overflows into the bath. ▲

TFBIS Update FNZAS Plant Search In 2011 the FNZAS successfully applied f or a grant f rom the Department of Conservation (DOC) for the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Inf ormation System (TFBIS). The funds were to be used in a collaborative project with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to update the FNZAS website with data on pest aquatic plants and native NZ aquatic plants that could be used in temperate 18

TFBIS Project and tropical aquaria. Our site went live with the new data base in January 2013; www.fnzas.org.nz/?page_id=2379 Thank you to DOC for the funding, NIWA for the data supplied, and in particular I would like to acknowledge the huge contribution of Diane Wilkie and Warren Stilwell in seeing this project through to completion. - Adrienne Dodge, FNZAS Treasurer Aquarium World May 2013

Aquaponics Here's my "aquaponics" pond. It was a 2m wide hydroponics trough and holds approx 600L. I bought it for $40! I originally planned to use a 1.5m fish tank (outside growing mozzies for fish food) but could not get a satisfactory stand/base for the tank to sit on an uneven concrete pad outside in conservatory and a plastic trough cares not about uneven ground.

Below left is my grow bed 24hrs after planting basil, lettuces (2 types) and peppermint then 6 days later (on right).

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Seems to be working fine, goldfish going well as are the 4 oddball platties I threw in there as an experiment. The grow bed is filled with gravel and expanded clay balls. It floods and drains via siphon every 8mins. I used a pump I had lying around which I think does 800l/hr but it doesn’t do half that with filter and pipes slowing it down. As long as it triggers the siphon that works for me. You can bleed off excess flow into the grow bed into strawberry towers, NFT growing gullies, or simply as a return water feature to oxygenate. It pumps into the grow bed from the filter/pump past the wee/clay pot man to the grow bed, using standard 13mm irrigation tubing and a flow valve to control output. (Less output to plants makes clay pot man wee further.) It flows through the grow bed and exits via the same sized irrigation tubing that is curved over and so creates its own siphon when water level gets to top of tube. Really simple. A little bit of fiddling was needed to get the intake flow just enough to start the siphon at the other end but slow enough to not stop the siphon easily draining the grow bed. Draining the grow bed gives oxygen to roots to stop them rotting. Adding worms to the grow bed is also a good thing apparently - have to go raid the compost bin!

Ideally it should be twice this depth (next year) 19

The clay pot man aerates the pond. Algae rocks were added for the bristlenoses and duckweed is an amazing nitrate absorber and a very underestimated plant! DAY 14 UPDATE PIC; 14 days of goldfish water since planting (1 night of snail raiding party)

Well it's been 4 weeks and 1 day since planting and despite cold temps and a night’s snail raiding party the lettuces are doing brilliantly. The peppermint is doing ok and basil is still going (probably needs more light). Nothing but used goldfish water is feeding these plants (no dirt, just clay balls for grow media) The duckweed is going amazingly as well I must have scooped out well over 1sq m of the stuff tonight. It can slow the plants growth, competing for nutrients etc. and I try and keep it to the drain chamber in the grow bed, but it does escape into main pond. Dried and mixed with something (ground up 20

trout pallets etc) it makes excellent fish food. Here is 28 days growth since planting.

July 2011; mid winter update. - We ate all the delicious lettuces - the basil just didn't mature, after a promising early start - I added some mint which has gone haywire with the biggest leaves I've ever seen (my young kids were amazed a plant leaf tastes like toothpaste!) - I added chives, which adds a little zest to those few winter salads, and they have ballooned out heaps. - The parsley’s going ok too (which amazes my mother-in-law as her parsley is gone for the winter) - Went to Whitemans Valley Goldfish farm to get 20 x new goldfish to help the others grow my tomatoes. I figured adding another 20 in the middle of winter to the 15 or so current inhabitants wouldn't suddenly overload the bacteria balance given everything Aquarium World May 2013

is on a go slow.. Just need some warmth and sun now! I'm anticipating a huge crop of summer tomatoes. Some of my new gardeners‌

Note that this is really an experiment in natural biological filtration, and the edible plants are just a bonus. There is no direct sunlight on the pond at all now, so I'm amazed at what has kept going through these cold months. Here is the plant mass (chives, mint, lettuce, parsley) that the goldfish waste builds up. It all tastes good too (the plants that is).

I think the key with aquaponics is basically concentrated fish in balance with basically the same amount of grow bed and bacteria as there is water. Aquaponics does not scale as well as basic hydroponics and it seems to work better in smaller tanks. Pond update 2 Oct 2011; Things still Aquarium World May 2013

growing well. Still getting mint/fresh parsley and chives for salad additions about 3 times a week. Finally getting good daily sun on pond. Goldfish (around 50+) doing well. Water quality and clarity has been superb) and the cats drink it as well. Strawberries growing in milk bottles (yet to get pump for full height strawberry tower).

Bought a "flowering semi aquatic plant" from Bunnings.. its gone flower crazy!


Overall pic of original grow bed

grown from seed and only ever been fed goldfish waste water‌

The plant bio filter really absorbing lots of nitrite from the fish right now and cucumbers are growing at a rapid rate.

This still requires almost zero maintenance, a small top up of water once a month or two. You just feed the fish, nitrifying bacteria does the rest. It fares very well over winter. I did throw 2 large sheets of polystyrene over the pond to keep the snow out on 17th August 2011 (it was like a Christmas card at our place) and I had a 300W heater in the pond on lowest setting to try and keep fish alive. Result: no fish deaths, plants got flattened somewhat by snow, but a few days after you couldn't tell. I think the pond dropped to about 6°C at its lowest point. Apparently, seasoned aquaponics nerds never plant mint, or keep it really tightly boxed in. I've trimmed mine right back now to give strawberries and tomatoes some space and light. Got tons of it anyway, just chucked it out via compost bin. Update December 2011; Warmth and summer growth going ok with fish powered water. These tomatoes were 22

Fish are also doing real well, and I've boosted my biggies (around 20cm long) to 7 in number + around 35 middle size and 1 x yearling from a surprise batch of eggs last year.

Strawberry plants are growing a upside down milk bottle with a dripper. Strawberries don't like too much water or getting the crown wet. Aquarium World May 2013

Even an avocado stone sprouted over the winter and is now growing nicely (given it's growing at 185m in altitude in Wellington, I'm impressed!). Remember the wee pot man from the start? He now looks like this‌

You can hardly work out his form anymore, such is the power of fish enhanced water for growing plants! I did this by grabbing some moss off the concrete and putting it on his head. After a while it took off, so I added a water dripper feed to it and it just went Aquarium World May 2013

crazy (it's kind of a moss filter and makes for really nice close-up photos of moss and water droplets). I just feed the fish and top up evaporated water, that's about it. This system is far easier to manage than my tropical tank. Adding worms to break down the physical waste in the grow beds is another way to turbocharge your plant growth. It's just great fun seeing daily growth. I do not add fertilisers but it's all about balance. If you get yellow, sickly, leaves you may need to add some iron supplement (fish don't give off iron via the nitrate cycle) but other than that, the fish are what provide the fertiliser (actually it's the CO2 they breath out and the urea/ urine they excrete, the poo is not really part of the cycle much).

This photo shows some of the growth when I had a cucumber vine go crazy. There were nice yellow cherry tomatoes too and I did have to add some potassium, as suggested, during that period. Some of the rules I have found which I wo u l d r ec om m e n d f o r f el l o w experimenters are: w If you have 500l of pond/fish in water, you can have 500l of grow beds. 1:1 ratio w It will take 6 months to balance bacteria and built up fish levels, so don't expect instant results (those 23

of us with fish tank filters loaded with bacteria can cheat and add these dirty sponges to the tanks, works well in my experience) w Grow bed should be 30cm DEEP and not less (like my initial efforts) w Keep top of grow bed dry for the bugs (ie: keep the water level just below top of grow media) w Flood and drain the grow bed (use an auto siphon of some sort). Roots will rot if constantly wet and not exposed to oxygen. w 1000l IBC bulk containers make easy aquaponic setups. Approx $150 bought off Trademe. w Duckweed is underestimated and can be a key part of an aquaponics setup (food for goldfish!) Update 21/1/2013; With lots of goldfish, and feeding them daily, it results in lots of muck. Got totally sick of cleaning the gutless little sponge filter every 3 days in the 3000l/hr pond pump, so I bought a spa pool filter cartridge and connected it up. Now have crystal clear water once again. I used to have a 50 sq/ft cartridge in the old filter, this one is somewhat smaller, but I would think should run around a month before flow really drops off. I let it run for two weeks before I had to clean it, out of curiosity, and flow from pump had not dropped at all.

I like having the fish in view (most aquaponics seem to hide away the fish in a black tank) so why not make the most of the goldfish colours and give them crystal clean water to show off? Feeding time - getting really tame now.

Central area: pump & filter lower right

plus the aquaponics favourite‌ Aquarium World May 2013


After years of tropicals only, I really enjoy these goldfish. Cats enjoy drinking out of the pond and haven’t fallen in yet. They totally ignore the fish.

Got cucumbers and gherkins growing

The acocado stone that sprouted

My final experiment which was to grab the cut-off spring onions stumps from the Christmas potato salad and shove them in the grow bed... REBORN!â–˛


Fish in crystal clear water

- Maxim_nz This article was created from a thread in the FNZAS Fishroom forum. Maxim_nz gave a guide into his aquaponics set-up. Aquarium World May 2013


Knowledge & Education My Grandfather taught me to shoot. Sure, it might seem odd for an 8 year old to learn to shoot in today’s modern world but he did own a farm, there were plenty of pests that needed disposing of, and my Grandmother made a fantastic rabbit and bacon pie! On one occasion my Dad and my Grandfather were cutting wood and I was off on a rabbit hunt. I knew where the people were so I knew what direction not to shoot in, don't shoot over hills, and all the other safety stuff. Four hours later I made it back to where they were cutting the wood. I had not seen any rabbits and I had not fired a shot. "How did you get on?" my Grandfather asked. "I think I have already got all the rabbits on your farm," I replied. "I didn't see a thing." My Grandfather just smiled and said, "Have a look in the truck." In the foot well of the truck was a nice juicy rabbit. "But how did you get that?!" I exclaimed. "It was in the wood," my Grandfather said. I was in disbelief, how was this possible? "But how did you catch it?" I asked, "I have the gun." "With my hands," he replied. The lesson for that day was "you don't always need a modern gadget to get the job done!" On another occasion it was just me and my Grandfather. I forget exactly what he was doing, but I know I was hunting rabbits again. I had flushed one out of a small thicket of manuka and tracked it over a hill. I saw it 26

scamper into a pile of tree stumps, that we would be cutting up for fire wood next year. Remembering my Grandfather’s fantastic feat of catching a rabbit with his bare hands the previous year, I carefully searched the stump pile for the rabbit. I could not find it so, dejected, I went back to find my Grandfather. "Any luck?" He asked. "Well, I found one and chased it into a pile of stumps but I can't find it now," I replied. "It will still be in there," he said. "I know," I said, "but I can't get it." "So why don't you wait for it to come out?" he asked. "How long will I have to wait?" "That depends on whether you want to catch the rabbit or not," he said. I told him where I would be and went back to wait for the rabbit. I found a flat elevated position, about 100 meters from the pile of stumps and waited for the rabbit. An hour passed and still there was no sign of the rabbit. another hour passed and still there was no sign of the rabbit. It was a fantastic day, the sun was out, but it wasn't too hot, as we still had some Ozone protecting our skies at that time. I figured I was at least blending into the surrounds as there were sheep that had come quite close to me and they were not unsettled by my presence. I waited almost another hour, and was starting to think that my Grandfather had just wanted to get me out of his hair, which he still had then. Then the rabbit came out. Hop, hop, hop. It moved further out from the pile of stumps. Just a couple more feet I thought, in case I need a second shot. Aquarium World May 2013

I didn't need a second shot, and we were having rabbit and bacon pie again for dinner. The lesson for that day was in regard to patience, and sometimes in order to get what you want all you need to do is wait. Aside from the lessons about life, I would not have been able to do the things I did without the help of my Grandfather. My Dad taught me to fish. Not catching sprats off a wharf mind you, but fly fishing for trout in the Tongariro river. There was plenty of stuff to learn, types of fishing (wet, dry, nymph), techniques, presentation, knots, lures, etiquette, patience, patience, and more patience. Sure there was a bit of specialised equipment required, and sure we needed advice from the guys at the fishing shop, and there was local knowledge too. What I also needed was someone who had patience. Someone who could encourage me, and support me, and show me what I was doing wrong. When I was 9, Dad presented me with my first pair of waders (gumboots that come up to your chest). This meant that I was ready to go into the river. Etiquette in the river means, amongst other things, you do not cross someone else's line! The thing about being a 9 year old in a big river is that you can't physically walk out as far as the other anglers, because you are so much shorter than the adults. When wet fly fishing this means that you cannot use a long cast, because as the loop of line flows down the river, what happens is that you hook the legs of the downstream angler. This is what is known as Aquarium World May 2013

"rather poor form" and bad etiquette. However etiquette is a two way street, much like respect, and as the downstream anglers were able to see that I had a reasonable amount of skill with my casting, and obviously was able to demonstrate a degree of passion for the art of fly fishing, they would either take a couple of steps backwards, to allow me a longer cast without fear of hooking them, or allow me to "walk through". (How you wet fly fish a pool is to make several cast/ retrieve cycles and then take a few downstream steps towards the end of the pool, allowing me to walk through, basically lets me skip over them or jump the queue). Another skill this gave me was to reasonably accurately estimate distance over water, and the amount of line I had out. On the occasion when I got my first river bite, I struck the line with great excitement. The line immediately went tight and started rising rapidly, the fish was going to jump. I was retrieving line with my left hand, as fast as I could, whilst lifting the rod with my right, and stepping backwards carefully. Anything to keep pressure on the line, as jumping and slapping their head on the water is how the fish dislodges the hook. About 30 meters down stream the water beside the left elbow of the next angler in the pool began to boil and a magnificent 2.2kg (5lb) rainbow trout erupted from the water. She made it all the way out of the water and came crashing down onto the river. Slapping her head with great force against the water. The line went slack, the hook was dislodged, the fish was free. "It had blue eyes!" the surprised angler that the fish nearly jumped on, yelled 27

up to me. "I beg your pardon?" I yelled back. "Your fish," he said, "it had blue eyes." "Thanks," I replied. "What fly are you using?" he enquired. Oh my god, I thought, and adult is asking me for advice. "Red setter," I told him. "Thanks," he said. Then he took a couple of steps backwards, and so did the others fishing down stream. My Dad was fishing to my left, I looked over to him. He was smiling and he nodded his head once, and we carried on fishing. It took another year before I actually caught a fish in that river, and I caught two that day. Patience, respect, etiquette, local knowledge and the help of an expert. These are the things that I learnt on my way to becoming a fly fisherman. I got my first aquarium when I was an adult. I don't mean "just" an adult, like "my mom does not buy my undies anymore so I must be an adult,� I mean 30 years after my previous adventures. It was fantastic! Well, it still is as I still have it. It is 120cm long and about 15cm tall and if I clench my fist I can't get my hand into it. It holds about 20 litres of water. Best of all it hangs on the wall. AWESOME! I got it at a "home show", and it came with free installation. He told me all sorts of stuff when he was setting it up, and I got the feeling he was really into fish. This is what I recall of the conversation that we had when he was setting it up for me. "Now you are listening to me Geoff?" he asked. "Yes, of course," I replied. 28

"OK, so before you blah blah blah blah blah," was what I heard. "And you need to blah blah blah blah... ‌" he continued. Wow, he was here for a good couple of hours, and talked for most of the time. "OK," he said, "have you got all that?" "Sure," I said. Thinking all the time, how hard can this be? Unfortunately it didn't come with a manual, and I like manuals, but hey how hard can it be eh? The next day I was off to the only place that I knew you could get fish, one of those large chain stores. "I need some fish." I said to the person. "What sort of tank do you have?" they asked. "Crap" I thought to myself, "I have got the shop idiot helping me." Taking a deep breath, so hopefully my response was not dripping with sarcasm I replied, perhaps a little too slowly, "I have a fish tank." They smiled. I smiled. They said, perhaps a little too slowly, "Does it have a heater?" "Doh," I thought, "Yes it has a heater," I replied. "Then you have a tropical tank," they said. "Idiot," I thought. Then they showed me to the tropical fish section, and pointed out all the fish that were tropical fish. I was thinking that I might have to do some research, as it became apparent that I was in fact more of an idiot than they were, even though I bet their mom still buys their undies for them. Off home I went with my newly acquired fishy friends and my fishkeeping journey had begun. Aquarium World May 2013

Within a week my new fishy friends were all named and were always hanging around the top of the tank eager for a jolly good feeding. Hungry things fish! By the end of the next week I was in need of some more fishy friends, and a whole lot of new names, as my previous fishy friends all seemed to have died. At least I knew I had a tropical tank, not a cold water or marine tank. Knowledge is power! Not enjoying the experience of my previous fish buying adventure I discovered an aquarium specialist shop, not too far from where I live, so off I went, happy in my confidence as an adult, and armed with my knowledge that I did indeed have a tropical tank. Arriving at the new fish shop, which I now know as my LFS (Local Fish Store), I once again asked for some tropical fish. "How big is your tank?" the lady asked me. "Oh, about this big," I said, holding my arms out about 120cm apart. I was wondering if this fishkeeping was like a game show, or something. I ask a question, and then I get a series of questions back, and depending on how well I answer them, I may, or may not get served. "Ok," the lady said, "how tall is the tank?" "About this tall," I said, holding my fingers about 15cm apart. "Hmm," the lady said, "how wide is it, front to back?" Now I was starting to understand, the lady was trying to figure out the volume of water that was in the tank. "It's this wide," I said, holding out my clenched fist. "That’s about 20 litres," she said. Aquarium World May 2013

"Do you have any other fish in the tank?" she asked. "Well I did," I said, "but they all died." "How old is the tank?" she asked. "Oh, about 3 weeks," I said. "Has the tank cycled?" she asked. And so began my fishy journey and my respect for the LFS. Using the lessons that I have previously mentioned; patience, respect, etiquette, local knowledge and the help of an expert, and a couple more that I have picked up on my journey, knowledge and education, I went about trying to get more knowledge about my fishy friends. It became pretty obvious that there was a significant amount that I would need to learn in order to be proficient at this fish keeping hobby. It also became pretty obvious that the folks in the LFS could become experts at the generalities of keeping your fish alive, but due to the variety of different fish, it was highly improbable that they would be able to be an expert on every species of fish. Education is an important thing. There is theory, and there is practical experience. I asked the managers of my LFS if there was a course that their staff could do, or even better one that I could do. As it happens there is a NZQA course in aquatics, and advanced aquatics that is run by the Mahurangi Technical Institute. So I did these. Now I had a solid theoretical background for my hobby, as well as some fantastic text books for future reference. Of course by this time I had developed a specialist interest in small Pleco fish, and in order to become a leader in their reproduction and care then I would need to know a lot more about 29

these fish. Ironically these fish are relatively new to the world of fishkeeping, about 25 years, unlike tetras which have been in the hobby for almost 90 years, therefore it is difficult to obtain knowledge from those who have come before me. Obtaining knowledge from people who have had practical experience, is what happened to me when my Grandfather taught me to shoot, and my Father taught me to fish, and the knowledge gained by the experts in the fishing shops when fishing for trout in the Tongariro river. Whilst I'm not going to call myself an expert, I will call myself a specialist, and if you are a specialist then you

obviously care to some degree about the subjects you specialise in, and also have a degree of practical experience. If you have specialist knowledge about an area of our fish hobby in New Zealand, join a fish club, let your LFS know, pass on that knowledge so that our hobby can not only become stronger but survive as an industry in New Zealand. ▲ - Geoff Haglund Auckland Fishkeepers’ Association NOTE: Geoff is also the guest speaker at the FNZAS AGM being held in Auckland, Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Nautical Dip (for humans, not fish!) 300ml carton sour cream ½ packet French creamy onion soup 125g can mackerel fillets 2ml Tabasco sauce lemon juice Combine everything, mix well and chill. Serve with crisp breads and zucchini sticks. Zucchini Sticks 3 medium zucchini ¾ C whole wheat breadcrumbs ¼ C freshly grated parmesan cheese 1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried) ½ tsp fresh ground pepper ½ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp salt (sometimes use celery salt) 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil Preheat oven to 230°C & spray a large baking sheet with oil cooking spray. Cut zucchini into slices, (about 4cm x 2cm). Toss zucchini in a bowl with the olive oil. Mix dry ingredients in a plastic bag. Place zucchini, a handful at a time, in the plastic bag, and shake to coat. Bake 20 minutes. Turn zucchini, bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. 30 Aquarium World May 2013

Otos and Pitbulls In this final suckermouth catfish (family Loricariidae) article we will cover the cascudinhos, the Brazilian name given to about 135, mainly small species, that comprise the subfamily Hypoptopomatinae and include the algae-loving Oto’s or dwarf suckers, Otocinclus spp. and the pitbull pleco, Parotocinclus jumbo. Cascudinhos usually have widely spaced eyes on the outer edge of the head, and they can be separated from all other suckermouth catfish by the structure of their pectoral fins. The bones supporting the pectoral fins on the underside of the fish are visible through their skin. Cascudinhos are found throughout South America, except Chile and Argentina, although most species occur in the coastal states of eastern Brazil. They are generally found in small streams or along the banks of larger rivers, often hanging among vegetation. Many species can breathe air from the water surface - a useful adaptation when oxygen levels are low during the dry season. Cascudinhos are traditionally divided into two tribes (groups): the Hypoptopomatini and Otothyrini, although research suggests they should be split into separate subfamilies. Tribe Hypoptopomatini Otos or dwarf suckers - Otocinclus

ŠTanya Rowe Otocinclus macrospilus Aquarium World May 2013

Otos or dwarf suckers (Otocinclus spp.) are delightful little (most species only reach 3 - 5 cm) light grey to beige catfish with a black longitudinal stripe. There are 17 scientifically described species found east of the Andes from Colombia to northern Argentina. They are usually found among vegetation (often grasses and small leaved aquatic plants) along the margins of small to medium sized streams with moderate flow, although they have also been observed in large shoals in more open water. In the wild, otos feed on algae and aufwuchs (essentially algal biofilm), and they do a great job of controlling soft algae in aquariums without harming aquarium plants. It is not known which species we have in New Zealand, although the most common aquarium species overseas are the Amazonian O. macrospilus, which is mainly exported from Peru, and the widespread O. vittatus, which is mainly exported from Brazil. Otocinclus affinis is sometimes mentioned but this species is apparently rarely available overseas and threatened in the wild due to pollution. Otos are peaceful algae-loving fish suited to well planted community tanks with smaller, more peaceful, tank mates. Along with soft algae, otos will eat a wide variety of aquarium foods, but do best on a largely vegetarian diet (algal wafers, blanched lettuce, zucchini, cucmbers, etc.). They are often found in large numbers in the wild and are best kept in groups in aquaria. Otos need good water quality and appreciate regular water changes and good water flow. They do best in 31

slightly acidic to neutral pH’s and temperatures of 22 - 28oC. The smaller species can be bred in captivity and have been bred in New Zealand. A breeding group should comprise many more males than females. Tribe Otothyrini Parotocinclus There 24 scientifically described species of Parotocinclus found in Guyana, Surinam, and eastern and southeastern Brazil. Researchers believe that the Genus is in need of revision and some species, including the pitbull pleco (P. jumbo), may be transferred to new Genera in the future. Parotocinclus look like Otos but they have an adipose fin, a small knob-like fin between the dorsal (top) fin and tail. This character distinguishes Paraotocinclus from all other cascudinhos. Generally Parotocinclus species need clear, unpolluted, oxygen rich water, and they can be tricky to keep. Pitbull plecos appear to be a notable exception as in some areas they seem to thrive in heavily polluted waters in the wild. Most Parotocinclus species are largely, although not exclusively, vegetarian. In New Zealand, we only seem to get the pitbull pleco (P. jumbo) although overseas the redfin otocinclus, Parotocinclus malicauda, is also commonly available. Pitbull or goby pleco

© Darren Stevens Parotocinclus jumbo (LDA025) The pitbull pleco is a neat little (to about 5 - 6 cm) pale grey catfish 32

flecked with darker grey patterning and greenish and golden shades. They are called pitbull plecos because their eyes are close-set and near the top of their head and reminded Erwin Schraml (LDA pleco number author and photographer for the German aquarium magazine Das Aquarium) of a bull terrier dog (he knows his fish but got the wrong dog variety). They differ in many ways from other Parotocinclus species and some researchers believe they should be placed in a new Genus. Pitbull plecos originate from north eastern Brazil were they are found in shallow, slow flowing, clear waters, or remarkably, in waters heavily polluted by human effluent. They apparently co-occur with the undescribed Parotocinclus sp. “Recife” which may be occasionally imported with P. jumbo. Pitbull plecos will accept a variety of aquarium foods but do best on a largely vegetarian diet with the occasional meaty treat (daphnia, grindal worms, bloodworms, etc.). They are peaceful, social, and well suited to community tanks with smaller, more peaceful tank mates, and pH’s of 6.4 - 7.6 and temperatures of 20 - 26oC. Pitbulls have been bred in captivity. And finally a word of caution. One of the reasons for writing these pleco articles was to highlight the rich diversity of plecos we have in New Zealand and the different requirements for their care. If you are looking at buying a pleco it is worth doing some research first. Find out what water parameters and temperature it prefers, what habitat it lives in (for example, wood piles, among rocks, etc.), how big it grows (red spots and gold spots will grow too big for most aquariums), and perhaps most importantly what Aquarium World May 2013

you should feed it (is it a highly specialised vegetarian, an algae and wood grazer, an omnivore, or perhaps a carnivore).â–˛ Thanks to Geoff Haglund for his comments and improvements on an

earlier version of this article. - Darren Stevens Upper Hutt Aquarium Society Kapi-Mana Aquarium Club

References: The websites Planet catfish, www.planetcatfish.com, and Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, have excellent information and were used extensively in compiling this article. The following references were also used: Eschmeyer, W. N., and R. Fricke. 2011. Species of fishes byfamily/subfamily. In: Catalog of Fishes, electronic version (25 March 2013). http://research.calacademy.org/research/ ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp Evers, H.-G.; Seidel, I. 2005. Catfish Atlas Vol. 1: South American Catfishes of the Families Loricariidae, Cetopsidae, Nematogenyidae and Trichomycteridae. Mergus, Germany. 943 p. Hardman, M. 2011. Keeping Otocinclus catfish in the aquarium. Practical Fishkeeping http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk Lalkaka, D.; Lalkaka, R. (2002). Otocinclus - ''Little Monkeys'' in the planted aquarium. http://www.planetcatfish.com/shanesworld/shanesworld.php?article_id=178 Dignall, J. (2004). LDA025, Goby Pleco, Pitbull Pleco - Parotocinclus jumbo. Catfish of the Month, October 2004. http://www.planetcatfish.com/cotm/cotm.php?article_id=164

Latest Breedings It is sad to see so few breedings coming through, however it could be contributed to the falling number of fish clubs out there. However, if you are a FNZAS member then you can still register your fish breedings. If you don't have any other member to verify your breedings, then take a clear photo of the fry and the parents, and I will use this as verification of your breedings. You will still need to fill in the registration form as well. I will do the rest. I know that Jennifer has bred her calico bristlenose and have verified them with photos she has taken of them. All I am waiting for is the completed registration form. So, no more excuses to register your breedings. Get them to me for the new competition year. - Paul New Breedings Puntius titteya, Cherry Barb Malcolm Hall WKTO 25.12.12 Aquarium World May 2013


New Zealand Cephalopods Cephalopods are a class of molluscs comprising over 700 highly advanced and active species and include the octopus, squids, cuttlefish, nautiluses, and the vampire squid. The name ‘cephalopod’ comes from the Greek words ‘kefale’ meaning head and ‘pous’ meaning feet and relates to one of t he key f eat ures of all cephalopods—the arms or tentacles come out of the head. The internal organs are contained within a muscular mantle at the opposite end of the head. Cephalopods are the most intelligent of the invertebrates (animals without a backbone), and there are a number of impressive observations of captive octopus. Otto the octopus from the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, was seen juggling the hermit crabs in his tank, rearranging the décor, throwing rocks at the aquarium glass (damaging the glass), and on a few occasions he caused a short circuit by crawling out onto the edge of his tank and shooting water jets at an overhead light. New Zealand has a rich array of cephalopods with over 40 species of octopus and over 90 species of squid known f rom the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This is a higher number of squid species than is reported for any other country, and new species, and new records of species known elsewhere, are reported on a fairly regular basis. This is perhaps not surprising as New Zealand’s EEZ is the fifth largest in the world and covers sub-tropical to subAntarctic waters. Squid are an important food source for marine mammals, fish, and seabirds, 34

and two species are commercially important in New Zealand. The arrow squids Nototodarus sloani and N. gouldii are relatively large (to about 40 cm mantle length) reddish-brown muscular squids with arrow-head shaped fins. Over the last 10 years, 32000 to 86000 tonnes of arrow squid have been caught by trawling and jigging in New Zealand waters. Many New Zealanders are familiar with squid rings, which are either cross sections of the mantle (muscular cylindrical body) of arrow squids (Nototodarus sloani and N. gouldii) or are made from surimi (flavoured and moulded fish paste). A third squid species, the broad squid (Sepioteuthis australis) is a common coastal species in warmer parts of New Zealand that grows to about 30 cm mantle length. It is not landed commercially in New Zealand but is targeted by recreational fishers, and it is fished commercially in Australia.

Broad squid, Sepioteuthis australis (Credit: Kat Bolstad, AUT) Contrary to popular belief, we do not have any true cuttlefish in New Zealand waters (apart from a single live Sepia sp. seen in the far North), Aquarium World May 2013

although the broad squid (S. australis) is often mistaken for a cuttlefish and the bobtail or ‘Mickey Mouse’ squids also look similar. In this article we will look at a selection of cuttlefish-like species, and a few of the diverse range of squid species we have in New Zealand. Ram’s horn squid

Bobtail squid, Sepioloidea sp. (Credit: Peter Marriott, NIWA) New Zealand also has about 5 species of bobtail or Mickey Mouse squids (Order Sepiolida). These endearing little squids have large, almost-circular fins on each side of the mantle giving rise to the common name of Mickey Mouse squids. Some species are pelagic (live in the water column) over deep water, while others live on the sea floor and bury themselves into sandy sediments to hide from predators. One bottom-living species, Sepioloidea pacifica, grows to about 40 mm mantle length and lives in shallow coastal water (to about 56 m deep) and would make an excellent subject for a saltwater aquarium. Vampire squid

Ram’s horn squid and shells (Credit: Owen Anderson / Sadie Mills, NIWA) The Ram’s horn squid (Spirula spirula) is a small (to about 40 mm mantle length) common oceanic species. It lives in deep water and is seldom seen alive but its coiled internal shell, the ram’s horn shell, which is used for buoyancy, is commonly washed ashore after storms. Bobtail or Mickey Mouse squid

Aquarium World May 2013

Vampire squid, Vampyroteuthis infernalis (Credit: MBARI) The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis—which means ‘vampire squid of hell’) is a small (to about 30 cm in total length) bizarre deep sea cephalopod which shares some features with squid and some with octopus, and is placed in its own order: Vampyromorphida. It has a 35

gelatinous body, 8 webbed arms, two very slender long arms (often tucked in pockets), and proportionally the largest eyes of any animal. Unusually, small specimens have a pair of paddle-like fins, medium sized ones two pairs of fins, and adults revert back to a single pair of fins.

length, and weighing at least 160 kg.

Violet squid Dana octopus squid, Taningia danae (Credit: Darren Stevens, NIWA)

Violet squid, Histioteuthis sp. (Credit: Owen Anderson, NIWA) ‘Violet’ or ‘jewel’ squids (Histioteuthis spp.) are attractive, dark-red to violet oceanic squids covered in numerous photophores (light-producing organs). There are 7 to 9 species of violet squid in New Zealand waters, which (depending on the species) grow from about 10 to 30 cm mantle length. Unusually, their left eye is much larger than the right and aimed directly upwards; it is thought to be used to detect silhouettes of animals above them. Violet squid are widespread in deep water around New Zealand and are an important food source for marine mammals, sea birds, and fish. Dana octopus squid The Dana octopus squid (Taningia danae) is one of the heavy weights of the cephalopod world, reaching 1.7 metres mantle length, 2.3 metres total 36

It is a formidable, powerfully built predator, armed with two rows of hooks along the inside of each arm, and a large light organ on the tip of each second arm—the largest known light organ in the animal kingdom, which is thought is to be used to disorientate prey or predators. Taningia danae is an important food source for sperm whales. Giant squid This very large squid needs no introduction and takes out the title of the longest squid in the world, reaching about 18 metres in overall length. It was once thought there were several species worldwide, but recent genetic research suggests there is only one global species, A. dux. Although rarely caught, it seems New Zealand is a hotspot for giant squid and several are caught most years by our deep-water commercial fishing fleet. The other contender for the world’s largest squid is the Antarctic colossal squid (Mesonychotetuhis hamiltoni) which doesn’t grow as long but is much more heavily built, and has the largest beak of any cephalopod.▲ Aquarium World May 2013

Volume 1. Chambered nautiluses and sepiolids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spiruli dae) FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes No. 4, Vol. 1. Rome, FAO. 262 p. Ministry for Primary Industries (2012). Report from the Fisheries Assessment Plenary, May 2012: st ock assessments and yield estimates. Compiled by the Fisheries Science Group, Ministry for Primary Industries, Wellington, New Zealand. 1194 p.

Giant squid, Architeuthis dux (Credit: Kat Bolstad, AUT) - Darren Stevens and Kat Bolstad T ha nk s t o Kar e en Sc hn a bel , Collection Manager, NIW A f or assistance with this article. There are lots of other cool invertebrate critters on the NIWA Invertebrate Collection Facebook page w w w . f a c e b o o k . c o m / NIWAInvertebrateCollection] References Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org Tolweb http://tolweb.org T he c e p hal o po d p a g e ht t p: / / www.thecephalopodpage.org/vsfh.php

Winkelmann, I., Campos, P.F., Strugnell, J., Cherel, Y., Smith, P.J., Kubodera, T., Allcock, L., Kampmann, M-L., Schroeder, H., Guerra, A., Norman, M., Finn, J., Ingrao, D., Clarke, M., Gilbert, M.T.P (2013). Mitochondrial genome diversity and population structure of the giant squid Architeuthis: genetics sheds new light on one of the most enigmatic marine species. Proc R Soc B 20130273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/ rspb.2013.0273 Otto the octopus http:// www. tel egraph.co.uk/ news/ newstopics/howaboutthat/3328480/ Otto-the-octopus-wrecks-havoc.html

Cook, S. de C. (ed.) (2010). New Coastal Marine Invertebrates 1. Canterbury University Press. 640 pp. Jereb, P., Roper, C.F.E. (eds) (2005). Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Aquarium World May 2013

Colossal squid beak pair (Credit: Kat Bolstad, AUT) 37

Fishy Business I got into fishkeeping in 2009, learning the hard way about cycling, sunlight on the tank and using second hand equipment that wasn’t fit for purpose. A short break came when we moved house, which was followed by a more planned approach. Here are some photos documenting my choices of plants and layout, and the various changes after learning which plants thrived (or not). The inhabitants of this tank have been killifish, celestial pearl danio, scarlet badi, sparkling gourami, hara hara moth catfish, emerald dwarf danio, dwarf and mosquito rasbora, Siamese fighter. ▲

Aug 2011 Nov 2010

Oct 2011 Dec 2010

Jan 2012 Feb 2011

Apr 2011 38

Jul 2012 Aquarium World May 2013

Apr 2013 - Sophia Sept 2012

Jan 2013 Tank dimensions: about 51cm long by 28cm high and 30cm deep.

Apr 2013

DISCOUNT - for FNZAS Members Only The following places will give discount to card-carrying members who ask nicely and politely. This is a privilege, not a right. Always have your card with you; Auckland: Hollywood Fish Farm, 36 Frost Rd. Mt. Roskill & Tawa Dr. Trade Centre. Cnr Rosedale Rd & Tawa Dr. Albany. Ph: 09 620 5249 www.hollywoodfishfarm.co.nz 10% discount on selected non-sale items The Bird Barn, 158 Lincoln Rd. Henderson. Ph. 09 838 8748. 10% discount on fish and accessories. Pupuke Aquarium Centre, City View Bldg, 1 Lydia Ave, Birkenhead Ph: 09 480 6846 10% Discount Christchurch: Organism, cnr Ilam & Clyde Rd, Ilam, Christchurch. Ph: 03 351 3001 10% discount on all dry goods. Fax: 03 351 4001 Gisborne: Eastland Aquariums, Grey St. Gisborne. Ph./Fax: 06 868 6760 10% discount as well as great in-store specials. Hamilton: Pet World, cnr Anglesea & Liverpool Sts. Hamilton. Ph: 07 834 3426 10% discount on fish products Fax: 07 834 3424 Aquarium World May 2013


Goldfish Bowl Aquariums, 966 Heaphy Tce. Hamilton. Ph: 07 855 2176 10% discount on everything. World of Water, 7 Kaimiro St. Te Rapa, Hamilton Ph: 07 849 1117 Email: info@worldofwater.co.nz (formerly Tropical Blues) Hastings: Aqua Fever Aquatic Shop, Shop 3 Pacific Boulevard, 103 Market St South, Hastings. Ph. 06 8782271 10% discount. Hawera: Wholesale & Industrial Supplies, 49 Glover Rd. Ph: 06 278 7525 Discount at trade prices equating between 15 - 40% off retail on all products Mt Maunganui: Animal Antics, 3 Owens Pl. Bayfair, Mt Maunganui. Ph: 07 928 9663 Fax: 07 928-9666 Email; www.animalantics.co.nz. 10% discount Napier: Carevets N Pets (formerly Animalz), Taradale Rd, Napier. 10% discount on fish & fish related stuff Nelson: Pet Essentials, 11 Croucher St. Richmond, Nelson Ph. 03 7020 544 4379 5% Discount Tauranga: KiwiPetz, Shop T30, Fraser Cove Shopping Centre, Tauranga 10% discount Ph: 07 578 8623 Email; kiwipetz@xtra.co.nz Carine Garden Centre & Water World, Cnr SH2 & Te Karaka Dr. Te Puna Ph. 07 552 4949 10% discount on fish, fish related products & aquatic plants www.carine.co.nz Wellington (and Greater Wellington area): Animalz Petone, 376 Jackson St. Petone. Ph: 04 380 9827 15% off all fish and fish related products. www.animalz.co.nz CareVets@Johnsonville Pet Centre, 31 Johnsonville Rd. Johnsonville. Ph 04 478 3709 10% discount CareVets ‘N’ Pets, Porirua, Porirua Mega Centre, 2 - 10 Semple St. Porirua Ph: 04 237 9600 10% discount Paws and Claws, Logan Plaza, 207 Main St. Upper Hutt. (opp. McDonalds) Ph: 04 528 5548. Fax: 04 527 4391. 10% discount on all fish & fish keeping items The Pet Centre, Lower Hutt, Harvey Norman Centre, 28 Rutherford St. Lower Hutt. Ph: 04 569 8861 10% discount on all fish and aquatic products The Pet Centre, Upper Hutt, 82 Queen St, Upper Hutt. Ph: 04 974 5474 10% discount on all fish and aquatic products The Pet Centre, Porirua, 3/16 Parumoana St. Porirua. Ph: 04 237 5270 10% discount on all fish and aquatic products The Pet House, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu. Ph: 04 296 1131 10% discount 40 Aquarium World May 2013

Ph. 06 756 7521


TASMAN AQUARIUM SOCIETY PRES: Herrie ten Oever, 18 Isel Place, Stoke, Nelson Ph. 03 547 5404 021 238 0516 frontier36@xtra.co.nz SEC: Glen George, 88 Pigeon Valley Rd, Wakefield, Nelson 7025 Ph. 03 541 9793 hellcazy@hotmail.com UPPER HUTT AQUARIUM SOCIETY PRES: Darren Stevens, 25 Emerson St. Petone, Lower Hutt 5012 Ph. 04 934 6469 027 897 251 d.stevens@niwa.co.nz SEC: Amy Curtis, 1c Redwood St. Elderslea, Upper Hutt 5018 Ph. 04 526 3136 ayglitch@gmail.com WAIKATO AQUARIUM SOCIETY (Inc) PRES: Rob Torrens, 14 Sutton Crescent, Hillcrest, Hamilton 3216 Ph 07 856 0971 r.torrens@clear.net.nz SEC: Zara Titko zarast@windowslive.com WELLINGTON AQUARIUM AND WATERGARDEN SOCIETY - IN RECESS PRES: Sandy Nolden sbn@xtra.co.nz

Do you have a fish-related web or Facebook page to add to these? Contact the editor with the details www.fnzas.org.nz - FNZAS web page http://www.facebook.com/FNZAS - FNZAS Facebook page www.twitter.com/fnzas - FNZAS Twitter Page Some clubs have their own Facebook pages and Twitter too! www.totallytanked.co.nz - Christchurch Totally Tanked club www.facebook.com/groups/270668301833/ - Totally Tanked club www.facebook.com/groups/421813681182547/ - Dunedin club Please advise the FNZAS Editor if you know of any places willing to give discount to our FNZAS members, any listed who have since closed down, or those who have changed hands and do not wish to continue giving discount. We rely on members to keep us up-to-date with these changes. If a new shop opens in your area, please take the time to introduce yourself and tell them about the FNZAS. Ask if they are willing to put up our posters advertising the nearest local club details (available from the editor) and if they are willing to consider discount to FNZAS members. Aquarium World May 2013 41

Affiliated Societies AUCKLAND FISHKEEPERS ASSOCIATION - in RECESS BAY FISH & REPTILE CLUB PRES: Pat Pearl pat.pearl@gmail.com SEC: Fiona Sytema, 30a Windsor Rd. Tauranga 3110 Ph. 07 576 9765 027 722 8978 sytema@vodafone.co.nz CHRISTCHURCH TOTALLY TANKED PRES: Donna Moot, 18 Penrith Ave. Somerfield, Christchurch 8024 Ph. 03 980 7712 donnamoot@paradise.net.nz SEC: James Butler, 25 Oram Ave, New Brighton 8061 Ph. 03 382 6263 muh47_6@hotmail.com DUNEDIN AQUARIUM AND POND SOCIETY PRES & SEC: None current HAWKE'S BAY AQUARIUM SOCIETY (Inc) PO Box 123 Napier PRES: Warren Stilwell, 50a Meeanee Rd. Taradale, Napier 4112. Ph. 06 845 2512 021 410 479 warren@kandsaudio.com SEC: Chris Drake, 31 Clarence Cox Cres. Pirimai, Napier 4112 Ph. 06 843 3673 021 979 701 cdrake@paradise.net.nz KAPI-MANA AQUARIUM CLUB PRES: Craig Hewson, 26A Hampton Hill Road, Tawa, Wellington 5028 Ph. 04 897 1001 craighewson@rocketmail.com SEC: Dominique Hawinkels, 26 Tawa Tce. Tawa, Wellington 5028 Ph. 04 232 5806 jeandom@xtra.co.nz MARLBOROUGH AQUARIUM CLUB PRES: Helen Horton, 39 Elizabeth St Riversdale, Blenheim 7201 Ph. 03 577 8480 helenhorton@clear.net.nz SEC: Deidre Wells, 4 Lucas St. Riversdale, Blenheim 7201 Ph. 03 578 7748 deeken@xtra.co.nz NZ KILLIFISH ASSOCIATION PRES: Christine L. Marshall 169 Maraetai Drive, Maraetai, Manukau 2018 Ph. 09 536 6498 139 SEC: Erling Jensen, 14 Sanctuary Ave. Port Ohope Ph. 07 312 6052 jeng@xtra.co.nz SOUTH AUCKLAND AQUARIUM & WATERGARDEN SOCIETY PRES: Mike Northcott, 53 Henwood Rd. Mangere East 2024 Ph. 09 257 1177 027 224 7356 m.r.northcott@orcon.net.nz SEC: Paul Munckhof, 2b Waiari Rd Takanini, Auckland 2112 Ph. 09 296 6596 Fax: 09 296 6546 monkie@orcon.net.nz TARANAKI AQUARIUM & POND SOCIETY - IN RECESS Contact: Mitch Minchington & Debbie McKenzie, 21 Maire St. Inglewood 4330 42

Aquarium World May 2013

The format of the future




Professional 3 series 4 models Available For aquarium sizes up to: 2071(250L), 2073(350L), 2075(600L), 2080(1200L)

 Large pre-filter for easy cleaning  For Marine or Freshwater aquariums  New priming system  Quiet operation  Handling features:

recessed handles, Transport castors, 4 sturdy clips, Multifunction tapset

 Adjustable pump output  Low power consumption 12-25w  Complete with media

excluding 2080

Available from your Aquatic specialist store NZ distributors : Brooklands Aquarium NP Aquarium World May 2013



Available from Brooklands Aquarium NZ Distributors

Aquarium World May 2013

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