Monday, December 27, 2010

Moments of Life

Out through the bedroom window
I saw the jackfruit eyeing me
teasing the life around it with its fruity smell
Oh! I am no exception
I was seduced by it charms
Every morning I go check up
On it through the window
Watched it grow round
and thrive against the odds
Finally the time neared
For receiving the price of my patience
But Alas !!
Before I can get whats mine,
A raven had staked it claim on my price
Eyeing me sideways daring me to come near
However futile it seems I took a step nearer
just to see what I lost forever
He then let out a war cry
On cue many of his kind joined
Forming a black guard army against me
Together they devoured my treasure
Mocking me inbetween by flapping their wings
Up above on the papaya tree
Sat the blue kingfisher
whose sorrowful chirps told me the tale of loosing
Like my fury for my lost chance
Rain drops started stumbling down from heaven
Driving black guard army away
There lies my jackfruit half eaten
still trying to draw life around it with its fruity smell

Sunday, December 26, 2010


My black molly who been with me for 6 months passed away today morning :(

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry X-mas

Merry Christmas to everyone !!

Cancer or Tumor?????

Can anybody throw some light at my new predicament???

My black molly has developed a chunk of mass around its anal fin.

Just this morning I came across it.

I already isolated this fish from others because if its contaigous I dont want other ones to acquire it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flora and Fauna at my work place

After a life as homemaker for almost two years I am really relishing my career life.What makes my work interesting is that I am striving to make the world around me better in a small way by bringing awareness about Environment through workshops and seminars, doing research on Climate Change and help the State of Andra Pradesh in making its State Action Plan on Climate Change.But do you know what makes me want to go back to office every day ??? Its the Scenic Beauty around it(except for the rumor that there are snakes around).....

Environment Protection Training and Research Institute is surrounded by a botanical garden that maintains rare, endemic and endangered plant species of Eastern Ghats of India.One fine example is the Euphorbia Sebastinel thats found in Mahatrastra got transfered to our botanical garden very recently.

Phenology: Almost throughout the year with a peak between August-October.

Decumbent herbs, 10-25 cm high (Image 1); stems many from root stock; nodes thickened; internodes 1-1.5 cm long. Leaves opposite, subsessile, proximate at apex, oblong to elliptic-oblong, base inequilateral, apex acute or apiculate, margins serrate, 5-10 x 3-5 mm, pubescent; nerves obscure; stipules triangular, laciniate, ca. 2mm long. Cyathia terminal, one or two; peduncles ca. 1mm long; involucres turbinate, ca. 1 x 1 mm, pubescent; involucral lobes triangular, toothed, exceeding the glands; glands four, minute, orbicular; limbs of glands obovoid, ca. 0.5 x 0.8 mm, irregularly wavy at apical margin, white or pink. Staminate flowers: pedicels ca. 0.5mm long; anthers subglobose, transversely dehiscing; bracteoles filiform, ca. 0.7mm long. Pistillate flowers: gynophores ca. 1.5mm long; ovary subglobose, ca. 1 x 1 mm, pubescent; styles three, free from base, ca. 0.4mm long, bifid at apex. Capsules ovoid, ca. 1.5 x 1.5 mm, acutely keeled, pubescent only on keels, maturing outside the cyathia. Seeds oblong, obtusely tetragonous, ca.1 x 0.5 mm, smooth or obscurely 2-3 grooved on faces.

Habitat: Rare, in the transitional area of land and water to dry bank in moist gravely soil. The common associates are: Eclipta alba, Sida acuta, Tribulus lanuginosus, Euphorbia hirta, Euphorbia indica and invasive neotropical species such as Ageratum conyzoides, Alternanthera ficoidea and Parthenium hysterophorus.

There are many others but I dont have any correct info to share. May be after some time I will collect few pics to blog.Another main attracting sight on my office campus is the flock of peacocks and peahens.....

Another great attraction are the ducks in the pond...

My campus is also known for snakes.But so far I was lucky to have not seen them.Soon I will post most photos of EPTRI.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Horrors of high heels !!!!

Well guys I am a working lady now....!!! So if you ask how my life has been changed by my work life then I will start with how my hubby banished my high heels for daily use.It was very hard to give in but after some googling I am some what convinced that its for greater good ....

Well I know for sure that toes that look like 'hunchback of Notre Dame' is not a turn on for any guys...So ladies, PLEASE NOTE THIS:-

Those mother out there can use this tip for your babies:-

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My second hand spawning attempt...

Todayc(October 12th 2010) just before feeding my goldies (three oranda, two black moors, two gold fancy tails) I saw all of them rather busy with the gravel.On a closer inspection, I noticed my fancy tail being chased by the male black moor.All those eggs that got released were quickly eaten up others

Out of the blue,I got an inspiration to try out hand spawning with the pair.With all those fishes in one tank I knew I wont be lucky to get even one fry out of the mating.Now I have separeted the fancy tail from the gang as I wanted to keep a close eye on her.As of now she is faring good but since I am not so experienced in this I am dreading ovarian rupture(heaven save my poor baby)

The black moor whose milt I tried to squeeze out for the time being looks okay.He certainly looks more than okay since he moved on to court another oranda female.But one can never be so sure with these tiny ones.I will keep everyone updated on the process.

Update :- date 5 ,december 2010.....

No fries from my spawning attempt but good part is that my fishes are alive .On the third day of spawning I noticed opaque eggs on the bottom of the tank.Thats what happens to unfertilised eggs.Fertilised ones will be almost transparent.By fourth day fertilised ones will start hatching and will turn to free swimmers.....and they grow and live happily ever after...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bird diseases transmittable to humans

I owned once before two beautiful pigeons which I left freely inside my own room. Yes ,you got that right..they used to go around pooping inside my room and always had to clean up after them (such a messy job it was) but I never had the heart to see those gentle creatures caged .My granpa used to say that sounds of pigeon in the loft is a sign of bad luck..or more accurately put its a sign of doom...(He never used to like any animals or birds).Though I loved my garnpa more than anything in my life and wanted to be just like him,I am relieved to know that I got my animal loving traits from my paternal granddad.My earliest memories of him is patching up a sparrow's nest with a simple needle and thread which my house maid destroyed.He always had a knack of knowing their needs which I cant say have got passed on to his this grandchild when it comes to birds but I can proudly say I am better than the other three...

Before caring for any birds you should be well aware of the possible risks involved in caring for them so you know exactly what you are getting into.There are many number of bird flues reported in past years that we know are fatal in rare cases but that doesnt have to scare us away from owning a pet bird or even touching one or cleaning the poopings of wild pigeons nesting on the windowstills.They are creations of God and should be given a chance to live too.

These are common diseases found in birds that can get transmitted to humans when in contact:=

Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a fungus, which grows in pigeon droppings. It also grows in soils and is found throughout the world. When cleaning droppings a person may breathe in some of the fungus, which in cases of high exposure can cause infection. Common activities, such as cleaning off windowsills, will not result in high exposures.

Symptoms of histoplasmosis begin to appear about 10 days after initial infection and include fatigue, fever, and chest pains. Most people, however, do not show any symptoms. Those with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients or people living with HIV/AIDS are generally more at risk of developing histoplasmosis. The disease cannot be transmitted from person to person.

Cryptococcosis is another fungal disease associated with pigeon droppings and also grows in soils throughout the world. It is very unlikely that healthy people will become infected even at high levels of exposure. A major risk factor for infection is a compromised immune system. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 85 percent of cryptococcosis patients are HIV-positive.

Psittacosis (also known as ornithosis or parrot fever) is a rare infectious disease that mainly affects parrots and parrot-like birds such as cockatiels, and parakeets, but may also affect other birds, such as pigeons. When bird droppings dry and become airborne people may inhale them and get sick.

In humans, this bacterial disease is characterized by: fatigue, fever, headache, rash, chills, and sometimes pneumonia. Symptoms develop about 10 days after exposure. Psittacosis can be treated with a common antibiotic.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I love when it rains.......thunders and flashes of light illuminating the angry grey sky.....the drizzles that blows in through windows on to your face which feels like lovers touch.....the earthy smell when the first dew hits the ground....and the melody of falling water ....and the view of children playing on the puddles making papers boats while you sip a coffee frappe ....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What does feng shui say about aquariums???

I came across a site of fengshui which says aquariums or even a small bowl of fish tank will bring good luck ......The below paragraphs are an extract from it...

''Water is one of the 5 elements used by fengshui. Water is the life force, symbolizes wealth. Incoming water from the two waterfall symbolizes wealth and good fortune. All wealth will stay within top tank without flowing out even with an open outlet at the bottom. The word "SUI" in Cantonese means both water and money. In feng shui interiors like waterfalls, ponds, aquariums, fountains, in your surrounding promote wealth and blessings.
Fountains and bubbling aquariums bring sound of water to space and assist in creating peace.
Fish are considered lucky, because the water they live is equated with wealth. The Chinese word for `fish' (yu) means `abundance or affluence'. So fish symbolizes wealth.
Fish is a symbol for happiness, serenity, wealth, abundance. It is believed that fish sleep with their eyes open and do not allow bad energies. Fish in home, offices mean life which means chi is generated always. It attracts good luck.
Many geomancers recommend placing fish tanks in a home or office to symbolize good fortune.
Flowing water is an essential component to feng shui as it is one of the objects believed to have the powers of redirecting, reflecting, or shifting energy in a space. Water Fountains help lift the ch'i with the gentle sound of flowing water. In the five creative elements theory of feng shui, it is important to have a balance of all of the elements - a water fountain can help activate the water element.
Just remember to keep the water fresh! Stagnant or moldy water in your fountain can adversely affect the feng shui in your home or office. Water from fountain should not be allowed to flow out.The OPEN BOTTOM concept fish tank assure that all splashing water will stay within tank''

All those people out there who wanted a fish tank for a long time have got a reason to buy one now....

Thursday, July 8, 2010


.....leopard danio...

.....zebra danio......

At the onset of the light cycle, zebrafish will generally initiate breeding behavior. In a tank that has been marbled, the eggs collect between the marbles and thus the fries can escape predation. However, when no marbles are in the tank, the fish will rapidly consume the eggs. By eating the eggs, the fish are cycling the protein within the tank, reducing the energy loss experienced in egg production and breeding behavior. By marbling a tank, the egg protein source is denied and energy loss to a tank is extensive, which is why fish should be put over marbles no more frequently than once per week. On days when the fish are not over marbles, they should be fed several times per day with protein rich foods to compensate for their energy loss.

Marbling a tank

The fish should be fed approximately 30 min before adding marbles to give the fish sufficient time to consume the food. When the fish have stopped feeding, it is important to siphon excess food and debris from the bottom of the tank.
Add marbles to a freshly siphoned tank by slowly dropping them through the water to the bottom of the tank. The tank bottom must be completely covered with marbles. Approximately one liter of marbles is enough to cover the bottom of a ten gallon tank properly. Try to use big marbles as smaller ones will give easy access to fishes...

Removing eggs from a tank

Remove eggs from the tank using a siphon. To siphon eggs, prepare another tank which is well cycled to receive the eggs and water. Place this tank near the main fish tank, and below the water line of the main tank. To operate the siphon, place the siphon tube into the tank. Draw water by mouth into the siphon, and quickly place the flexible tubing into the fry tank. Siphon the bottom of the tank in a methodical manner to collect the eggs.Its said that siphons are to be used only once but I recommend nice rinsing and reuse.Well who in their sane mind will buy so many siphons...

Removing marbles from a tank

Marbles should be removed from tanks promptly. After siphoning, use a net to remove the marbles. Clean them thoroughly.

Cleaning marble eggs

Eggs obtained from the bottom of the main tank will have tonnes of fish POO.So clean them well by gently running clear water through it.

Because fish producing eggs over marbles expend more energy it is important to provide them with a diet that compensates for the energy lost in egg laying and breeding.

In general, it is better to feed the fish several times (four to six) lightly than to feed them once or twice heavily. Multiple light feedings allow the fish better opportunity to utilize the food sources and preserves tank water quality by minimizing the amount of food left rotting on the bottom of the tank. As a "rule of thumb", fish should not be given more food than they can consume in five minutes. If fish are still eating after five minutes, they are probably being overfed, so reduce the amount next time. If, after five minutes, there is uneaten food in the tank, and the fish are no longer feeding, the excess food should be removed either with a siphon or a net.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Egg scatterers:
Egg scatterers swim into clumps of plants or along the sides of objects or even just in the gravel and spray eggs on them. The male and female will push against each other and wiggle as they release sperm and eggs. A good spawning medium for egg scatterers is java moss or artificial spawning mops. Some species of egg scatterers include most barbs, tetras, and danios.

Egg depositors:
Egg depositors lay eggs on a surface or in a nest. Some lay eggs under a rock or plant leaf like the fathead minnow, who will also use a broken flower pot. Others lay on the top surfaces of rocks or plants like angelfish. Some fish lay in gravel pits in a sort of nest like some species of cichlids. Some fish, like otocinclus, lay all around the surfaces of small plants. Cories and other fish may stick eggs to vertical glass as well as on plants and ornaments.

Live bearers:

Live bearers are a special case. Species include guppies, mollies, swordtails, platies, halfbeaks, mosquito fish, and more. The males use a gonopodium which is a modified anal fin to inject their sperm directly into the females. She carries her eggs inside her body where they develop. She can raise several batches from one mating several weeks earlier. The fry are born live. These fry have the ultimate pre-natal care but once born are on their own.

Labyrinth fish:
Most labyrinth fish, or anabantoids, make bubble nests. Males make the foamy nests by blowing bubbles of saliva and air onto the surface of still water with floating plants to hold the nest together. He defends the nest until the fry are born from other males and females that are not ready to spawn. Species include the Siamese fighting fish or betta and many species of gourami. A few labyrinth fish, such as the kissing gourami, are egg scatterers. A few others are mouthbrooders.

Some species of cichlids and arrowana protect their fertilized eggs by carrying them in their mouths until they hatch. The parent does not eat much during this time.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Life is a big mystery to me.It gets more complicated as days goes by.Just when I proclaimed that my goldies are out of crisis I saw my dog walking around with a slight drooping ear...GOD !!! whats happening to all my pets...They are getting one ailment after another.Under a close inspection I found that he has got an infection which is in intial stage. But it got a slight stink...YUCk...
So I have a vet's appointment coming up immediately on my calender...Its unavoidable because when it comes to FROWNIE nothing else matters.He is everything for us.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Ladies and Gentlemen let me introduce to you Mr and Mrs Goldies......

They are latest addictions after death of my seven black mollies and four sword tails (cause I had to leave them with my maid for two weeks). Glodies came as unexpected gifts from my hubby for cheering me up after getting a flu ,Guess what guys, it really WORKED!!!!!

Mr and Mrs Goldies are now residing in the blue bucket which is temporary arrangement until I buy a suitable tank for them. They were first put up in one litre fish bowl. (I know its a big cruelty to put gold fishes in that as the water ratio is said to be 1 fish :: 10 gallon water).

Shortly after some hours I noticed that there was a redish marking on top of there head which was not there before. After I googled about it I came to know that it was due to high ammonia and nitrate levels in the water. I then immediatly transfered them into blue bucket which already had some gravel and java moss in it. The red marking later I found out to be internal bleeding which is now under control......

Mr Goldie had developed a white cloudy mass on his head so now he is undergoing the Ick treatment for past one day.Mrs Goldie seems fine. To cheer them up I bought some freeze dries blood worms....Bon appetite mes amies....

Friday, March 19, 2010

Breeding Angel Fish

The scientific name for the freshwater angelfish is quite descriptive. Pterophyllum is derived from the Greek word for "winged leaf" and scalare means "like a flight of stairs" in reference to the dorsal fin. It is a Latin word that can also mean "ladder". Angelfish are laterally compressed or look like a disc on edge with long fins coming out of the top and bottom and have 2 'feelers' in front of the anal or bottom fin. The tail is vertically oriented and may be ffrom scoop shovel shape to long and relatively narrow depending on the variety.Its origin is Amazon region of South America


Up to 6" in length, the top and bottom fins spanning a greater distance in the Veil varieties.

Ideal Water Quality

Soft (0.6 to 1.2 dH), slightly acid (pH 6.5 to 6.9), successful breedings have occurred in pH 6.8.

Live Plants

Live plants should be included in all freshwater tanks. Water quality is monitored by live plants as they will look sickly before the fish die, they aid in keeping water clear, hinder growth of algae and add Oxygen to the water.
Broadleaf aquatic plants are favorites of Angelfish for laying their eggs on. Amazon Sword Plants (Echinodorus) are in a genus that embraces more than fifty relatively hardy and adaptable species, most of which are native to the flood plains of South America. They prefer water that is neutral or slightly acid and not too hard making them perfect plants for your Angelfish tank.
Vesicularia dubyana (Java Moss), Ceratopteris (Water Sprite) and Microsorium (Polypodium pteropus or Java Fern) are all compatible live aquatic plants.


Angelfish can survive on flake food alone, but they will thrive and be much more apt to breed on a greatly varied diet. Live foods such as Adult Brine Shrimp, Black Worms, Mosquito larvae, finely chopped earthworms and Guppy fry are accepted with enthusiasm and should be included regularly. If live food is not available, frozen packages of Blood Worms (Midge Fly larvae), Brine Shrimp and others are available from your favorite pet supply store and are acceptable substitutions for the live food. There are many dried foods available that will suffice too.
Raw beef heart, finely ground, mixed with unflavored gelatin and frozen immediately in small one serving size pieces is a good and economical addition to your Angelfish diet. Be absolutely sure there is no fat in the meat.

Fry Diet

Angelfish fry have been successfully raised on a diet of newly hatched Brine shrimp (napulii) for the first 4 weeks of their lives and fed two to four times daily. After that, they were gradually introduced to a mixture of finely powdered Angelfish flakes and powdered dried blood worms with an occasional (twice a week) feeding of baby brine shrimp.
When their bodies are about the size of a quarter, they may be fed Guppy fry. An easy way to provide this very nutritious food is to keep pregnant guppies in the same tank as the young Angels and the rest is up to nature. Of course feedings of other varied foods are needed to round out the diet.

The author conducted an experiment and got 6 quarter sized Angelfish from a large tank of like sized Angels and put them in a 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter and Water Sprite. They were free fed guppy fry and twice a day received any combination of Angelfish flakes, frozen bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp and dried dworms for 4 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the 6 who received a varied diet twice a day were almost the size of a half dollar while the size of the other Angelfish barely had any noticeable growth at all. You can see that the correct diet for your Angels is essential to potential and current breeder fish.

Tank Size

The minimum size tank for a breeding pair of Angelfish is 15 gallons, but should be 25 gallons or larger if you plan on leaving the fry with the parents. As you can imagine, a fully grown pair of Angels with 200-300 fry to herd around would be pretty cramped in anything smaller. Another plus to having a larger tank is that there is a better feeling of security in a larger tank and the parents aren't as apt to eat their eggs or young.

Choosing Breeder Angelfish

The best way of assuring yourself at least one young pair is to choose 6 perfect specimens from a large tankful of young angels. This method is less expensive than buying proven breeders that may be near the end of their breeding careers anyway.
When preparing to buy 6 Angelfish, take your time to study the fish and select only those with straight top and bottom fins and perfect 'feelers' without any bowing or bends in them. They should be strong, robust and active. Angelfish that are active feeders mean they will grow quickly, and have a high rate of egg production in the females.

Do not buy fish from a tank with either dead fish in it, with fungus or parasite infestations. Resist the urge to 'come to the rescue of the little ugly duckling' because it will only grow up to be a big ugly duckling and will be totally unsuitable for breeding purposes. Be extremely picky with your breeder selection and you will be rewarded with beautiful fry.

Once you have carefully selected your 6 potential breeders, they can be set up in a 20 gallon tank minimum to grow up in and to finally pair off. If they are fed well with a good selection of live foods, they will grow quickly and reach breeder size rapidly.

One sure way to acquire a true breeding pair of Angelfish is to purchase a proven pair from a breeder. When you purchase a pair this way there is always the possibility that they are at the end of their breeding career.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Types Of Aquascaping

Aquascaping is an art form that entails arranging aquatic plants, as well as rocks, stones, cave work or driftwood in an aesthetically pleasing manner within an aquarium. Typically, an aquascape includes fish as well as plants, although it is possible to create an aquascape with plants only, or even with rockwork or other hardscape and no plant. Although an aquascaper's primary aim is to create an artful underwater landscape, he or she is also necessarily concerned with the technical aspects of aquatic plant maintenance. Filtration, carbon dioxide supply at levels sufficient to support photosynthesis underwater, substrate and fertilization, lighting and algae control are among the many factors that must be balanced in the closed system of an aquarium tank to ensure the success of an aquascape.

Dutch Style Aquascapes

The Dutch aquarium follows an orderly, often symmetrical arrangement, in which different types of plants having diverse leaf colors, sizes and textures are displayed much as terrestrial plants are shown in a flower garden. This style was developed in the Netherlands in the 1930's, as freshwater aquarium equipment became commercially available. It emphasizes plants located on terraces of different heights, and frequently omits rocks and driftwood. Linear rows of plants running left-to-right are referred to as "Dutch streets." Tall growing plants that cover the back glass originally served the purpose of hiding bulky equipment in the tank.

Nature Style Aquascapes
A contrasting approach is the nature or Japanese style, introduced in the 1990's by Takashi Amano. His three-volume series, Nature Aquarium World, sparked a wave of interest in aquarium gardening, and Amano has been regarded as the most influential aquascaper in the world. Amano's compositions draw on Japanese gardening techniques that attempt to mimic natural landscapes by the asymmetrical arrangement of masses of relatively few species of plants, and carefully selected stones or driftwood. The objective is to evoke a landscape in miniature, rather than a colorful garden. This style draws particularly from the Japanese aesthetic concepts of Wabi-sabi, which focus on transience and minimalism, and Iwagumi, which governs rock placement. Plants with small leaves are usually emphasized, with more limited colors than in the Dutch style, and fish or freshwater shrimp are usually selected to complement the plants and control algae.

The styles mentioned above often combine plant and animal species based on the desired visual impact, without regard to geographic origin. Biotope aquascapes are designed to replicate or simulate a natural habitat, with the fish, plants, and furnishings all representative of a particular place in nature, and not necessarily to provide a garden-like display. Plants and fish need not be present, but if they are, they as well as any gravel and hardscape must match what would be found in nature in the habitat being represented.Because only species that are found together in nature are allowed in a true biotope aquarium, these tanks are more challenging and less common than the other themes.


In a paludarium, part of the aquarium is underwater, and part is above water. This allows plants to grow immersed, with their roots underwater but their tops in the air, as well as completely submersed. These setups are ideal for brackish water or amphibian setups.

Saltwater reefs

Dutch and nature style aquascapes are traditionally freshwater systems. In contrast ,relatively few ornamental plants can be grown in a saltwater aquarium. Saltwater aquascaping typically centers on mimicking a reef. An arrangement of live rocks forms the main structure of this aquascape, and it is populated by corals and other marine invertebrates as well as coralline algae, which together serve to offer much the same aesthetic role as freshwater plants.

My first tank

As a kid whenever I came across some stagnant water my immediate thought will be ''how many fishes will be I able to have in so much water''.If the water level is too low for fishes then my next thought will be ''if i can maintain same level for some more time will moss grow there?'' well thats me,I always had to have some pets or the other for MY SURVIVAL.
My first planted tank was made of steel(stolen from my grany's storeroom).In a place like kerala where its really hot this tank placed in terrace under direct sun was worst nightmare possible.I was allowed to keep only fishes as pet but none of my fishes survived more than four days.When it dies I would coax my grandpa to take me to the nearest aquarium shop to buy a new pair but in the mornings when I come running straight from the bed to check on the fishes which are suppose to be happily swimming around it will be floating at the top.Then with teary eyes I will bury my favorite pet under the coconut tree.Once it became a normal occurence I started flushing them down the drain.
Then after months as an angel from heaven,my great aunt shama who returned from singapore to stay in kerala, explained to me how the temperature rises in my steel tank which kills my fishes and makes my plants rot away.She then gifted me with her glass bowl for keeping my fish.
Then onwards like a charm the first pair of gold fish I owned survived the first four days to live up to three years.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to transfer your FISH while Travelling

Exactly how to move your fish safely and effectively varies depending on the size of the aquarium or fish bowl, distance travel and mode of transportation. Even seasonal temperatures may effect how you travel with your fish.

Moving Fish - Moving fish is more about time spent in the container rather than the distance traveled. If moving your fish is expected to take less than a few hours by car I might suggest putting him in a small cup. I often keep one or two lying around for just such an occasion. I keep those mainly for transferring my fishes temporarily while cleaning the tank. These containers usually fit right into your car’s cup holder,use the covered type and make a small hole at the top so there is free air flow into it. Avoid excessive heat and cold from the sun or heater/AC unit. Never leave your fish unattended in a hot (or cold) car. Temperatures can reach 120 degrees in the sun, which can quickly kill your fish.

Another great method for storing your fish for a move is in plastic fish bags like those you buy most fish in at your local fish store. Put the fish in the bag with a few inches of water and capture as much air as possible in the rest of the bag. Remember, they require oxygen from the air to breathe so get as much air in the bag as possible. Close with a rubber band and double-bag. Fish stores add compressed air to the bag directly which helps to maximize the amount of time a fish can live in the bag. They often are shipped from one side of the world to the other spending a couple of days in these bags. This method can be used for short distance travel or long distance. When mailing your fish long distance you will need an insulated box, live fish shipping labels, and possibly heating or cooling packs depending on the time of year. You will also need to contact your local shipping company for rules and regulations regarding shipping live fish. Please note too that shipping your fish increases the risk for illness or death. If you have the ability to carry your fish with you, I suggest it.

One more thing to note, before shipping your fish long distance, is fast him for a day or two to minimize waste in the water. Because fishes are shipped in very little water they can quickly become overwhelmed by toxic ammonia. Have a friend or family member carry the fish on his lap. This works fine for small distances.

Moving the Tank - The work involved in moving a fish tank can vary greatly due to the tank size and distance traveled. Obviously a small bowl is much easier to move than a large-scale aquarium. For a smaller 5 gallon aquarium that is well established (meaning it has a good colony of beneficial nitrifying bacteria) you should first disconnect the filter, heater and any other elements. Remove and properly pack your fish (see above). Drain most of the water with a siphon or bucket leaving enough water to keep your substrate and plants wet. Usually a couple of inches of water is fine. If you have a HOB (Hang on Back) filter with filter bags and media, go ahead and remove the bag and place it in the tank so that it remains wet. Some debris may get into your tank but you can filter it back out later. Canister filters can be disconnected and typically moved as is. Filters vary greatly so you may need to asses your situation individually. The tank, plants, substrate and filter media can then be placed in your car or moving truck. Secure well so that it does’t move and so that nothing will fall on top of it. This method works well for shorter distances.

The bacteria in your filter media will not quickly die off. A couple of days out of the tank could cause your aquarium to go through a mini-cycle but a couple of hours will have no adverse effect on your filter bacteria.

For large aquariums over long distances I recommend one of two things. Have a professional aquarium moving company crate your tank and ship it for you. You will need to ship your fish and plants ahead of you and set up your aquarium from scratch. Moving a tank can be costly. In many cases it is cheaper to buy a new aquarium than to have it shipped by a pro. The tank itself is relatively inexpensive compared to all the accessories like lighting, tank stand, filters, etc. You’ll need to assess the cost benefits for yourself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shrimps commonly used in tanks

The Tiger Shrimp, as the name suggested, is easily identified by its beautiful tiger-like black or dark brown stripes against the transparent body. Often, it is confused with the Chinese Zebra Shrimp which also has stripes on its body besides white spots. Growing to a maximum of 3.5 cm in adulthood, this shrimp is an excellent algae feeder, although it has a soft spot for fish food such as flakes and pellets.

As the Tiger Shrimp belongs to the Caridina serrataspecies, it has very similar habits and morphology as the Bee family, surviving and breeding best in soft, acidic water with a temperature of between 23-28 °C. Once hatched, the young is exactly a miniature version of the adult, hence it does not go through planktonic larval stage.

Crystal Red Shrimp (AKA CRS, Red Bee Shrimp, Scientific name Caridina sp. "bee") is a breed variant of the freshwater Bee shrimp. Normal Bee shrimp can be found in Southern China or South East Asia. Because the breed form is more intense and vibrant in colour, it has gained popularity in Japan and is now greatly sought after by aquarium hobbyists around the world.

In 1991, Mr. Hisayasu Suzuki of Japan started breeding normal bee shrimps, which are banded with black stripes. He noticed a single red bee shrimp in a batch of about a thousand shrimps and was fascinated by it. This first red bee died but three generations later, he discovered 3 red bee shrimps among the thousands he had bred. After many cycles of selective breeding from redder offspring, he finally arrived at the true red bee. In 1996, he named it "Crystal Red Shrimp" and has been awarded a patent for this recessive red mutation of the normal bee shrimp. Since then Crystal Red Shrimp has been further refined by the founder and other breeders to produce specimens with larger white patches and intensified red.

Crystal Red Shrimp is a fairly small shrimp, growing to about 2.5 cm in adulthood. However, it is very active but remains quite peaceful towards other tank mates. The average lifespan is about 1.5 to 2 years but the gender is hard to differentiate, especially during juvenile stage. Between the ages of 4.5 and 5 months with a size of at least 2.2 cm, it is ready to reproduce in tank. As Crystal Red Shrimp can crossbreed with normal Bee shrimp and Tiger shrimp which are also of the Caridina species, it is highly recommended not to keep them in the same tank.

In the Aquarium
Crystal Red Shrimp is currently the most favorite freshwater aquarium shrimp. It's unique and distinctive red and white color is unlike any freshwater shrimps. Hobbyist have even refine the species to make it more intense red and white by going through selective breeding. They even grade the shrimps according to the intensity of the white and red patterns on the shell.

Probably due to its size, it is not a particularly great algae consumer; preferring soft mosses and a rich vegetable diet. Some hobbyist even go to the extreme of feeding them with boiled organic spinach. There are a lot of variety of flake/dry food made specially for the Crystal Red Shrimp, but make sure the food does not contain Copper. Copper is a heavy metal and even a small dose is enough to kill any freshwater shrimps!

Water Conditions
Crystal Red Shrimp is the most sensitive freshwater shrimps, due to the small shared common gene pool of the original 3 bee shrimps. Hence, maintaining a proper environment condition is utmost importance for keeping and breeding Crystal Red Shrimp. Although it may seems difficult to keep, it all drill down to the water conditions.

After years of keeping and breeding Crystal Red Shrimp, we have derived the following chart that shows the optimal water parameters for Crystal Red Shrimp. These are the water parameters that you can easily measured with available test kits from your local aquarium shop.
Water Temperature 23 ~ 24ÂșC
pH - Acidity 6.4 ~ 6.8
GH - General Hardness 3 ~ 6dH
KH - Carbonate Hardness 1 ~ 2dH
NH3 - Ammonia 0ppm
NO2 - Nitrite 0ppm
NO3 - Nitrate <15ppm
TDS - Total Dissolved Substance 90-120

The most common problem overlooked by most hobbyists is the dissolved substance in the water. You can have all the water parameters correct, but the Crystal Red Shrimp keeps dying. This is because of the different pollution factors or chemicals added by the source of the water. You can buy a TDS meter to measure the amount of dissolved substance in your tank. If the TDS exceeds 150 and your pH is on the higher range, nitrogenous waste in the tank can turn toxic.

Another important factor is the biological filter media in your filter system. A canister filter system is recommended for keeping Crystal Red Shrimp, as it provides the best mechanical and biological functions. A good biological filter media helps to remove organic waste from the tank and provide a balance in the ecosystem within the tank. Most of us at home cannot measure the amount of nitrifying or beneficial bacteria in the tank. Hence, investing on a good biological filter media is important. When choosing the biological filter media, it is important to compare the media surface area. The higher the surface area, the more bacteria will thrive and grow inside

Aquascaping trend in my native place-kerala

Aquaculture has emerged as one of the fast growing industries in the developing countries like India for domestic consumption as well as for the export. This industry not only generates foreign exchange to the country but also provides employment opportunities to the skilled and unskilled rural poor. On the other hand, aquaculture has also some negative impacts on the environment which are mainly due to conversion of mangroves and agricultural, salination of surface water resources and agricultural land at some places besides causing pollution and diseases. All the major shrimp farming countries of the world have faced environmental problem due to intensification, improper and uncontrolled planning by greed and unlimited profit motives of a section of aquaculture community. In view of this, a proper environmental management is a basic need to sustain the industry in the long run. Selection of a suitable site in the coastal areas is the first and the foremost step which is a crucial factor in determining the success of shrimp farming.

java moss aquariums

Java Moss is a moss belonging to the Hypnaceae family. Native to Southeast Asia, it is commonly used in freshwater aquariums. It attaches to rocks, roots, and driftwood. The taxonomy of this well-known plant is not resolved; formerly placed in the genus Versicularia as V. dubyana (Brotherus, 1908), it appears as if the plant usually known as java moss belongs into Taxiphyllum, as T. barbieri[1].

Java Moss does not require any special attention. It accepts all kind of waters, even weakly brackish, and all kind of light qualities. It grows best at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius), but can live in temperatures of up to 85 to 90 °F (29 to 32 °C).But don’t get excited about pH values. pH 9.5 to 10.5 fresh out of the faucet dropping to pH 7.5 in 48 hours Many killie keepers use Java moss as an egg-laying site. Java moss pulls fish wastes out of their water. It also grows in the low light small aquaria many killie keepers maintain. You still need to make water changes, however. To make a killifish spawning mop out of Java moss:

Lasso a good clump of Java moss.

Attach a cork to the clump.

Toss in your breeding tank.

Remove in ten days to hatching tank.

It is a low light plant and makes a great foreground plant. In aquariums you should plant it somewhere where there is good water current because debris gets stuck on it easily and gives it a brown fuzzy appearance. Due to its clinging nature Java Moss can also be made into a moss wall. This can be accomplished by folding a net and spreading the moss evenly across it. Then, the net can be secured together by polyester strings, and held on the aquarium wall by using suction cups. It is a slow starter until it has established itself.

It is especially popular among aquarists raising fry (baby fish) and tadpoles, to protect them from cannibalistic adults. Java Moss can also provide food for the newly formed fry, which can be challenging to feed. Some shrimp like to tear the miniature leaves off it to eat.

Java Moss can be easily propagated via division.

my dream aquariums


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