Catfish Convention and new fry…..

My fish room was in ‘maintenance mode’ for about the last 10 months.  By that I mean I was keeping up on water changes and regular feedings, but I wasn’t doing anything in the way of encouraging any of the fish to reproduce.

Everyone took the hint, except the plecos!

Even my L183 Starlight Bristlenose, Ancistrus dolichopterus got into the act. Their tank is very over-grown, but I believe there are 4 generations of fish in the tank at this time.  The video shows the youngest two generations.

We all know how important high quality food is when growing out fry, but large frequent water changes are also every bit as important for steady, even fry growth.

All-Aquarium Catfish Convention 2016 LogoAs catfish are the topic of this post, I’ll be leaving tomorrow for the Catfish Convention in Herndon, VA.  I’m traveling to the convention with my good friend Stephan Tanner of Swiss Tropicals . We are planning to stop over at Eric Bodrock’s All Oddball Aquatics.  I’ve heard how Eric’s fish room is just fantastic so I’m excited to get the chance for a visit.  Both Stephan and Eric are speaking at the convention.

Once at the convention, the plan is to meetup with Bob & Jeremy, my most excellent friends from CAFE.  Bob is a lover of all things Corydoras, and Jeremy is the first person to have spawned Jaguar Catfish, Liosomadorus oncinus, in captivity.  I seem to be surrounded by catfish royalty!!!

With a bit of luck, I’ll have photos and video to share when I return!

Returning to the fish room…

Terri, my high school sweetheart, my best friend, my wife of 39 years was told several years ago that she had a terminal illness.  Much too soon, and despite our best efforts, it recently came time to pay the piper.  Needless to say, my fish keeping has been put on the back burner for the biggest part of the last year.

My friend Pete Cottle, who lost his wife several years back, offered the advice that I, “Get back into the fish room and focus on them”.  As I have always been a big proponent that fish keeping is very therapeutic, I must confess that it sounds like good advice.

I owe a big Thank You to all my friends in the hobby who have been so supportive during this difficult time.  This goes double for the folks at CAFE, my local club.  If you don’t belong to your local club, you should make an effort to attend the next club meeting to see what you’re missing.  People in the aquarium hobby are some of the best folks you’re ever likely to meet.

In closing, to all the Clubs who had scheduled or inquired about me speaking at a meeting this past year, I’m sorry I had to cancel or turn down engagements.  I’m hoping to use the remainder of this year to heal and return to the hobby with renewed enthusiasm in 2017.

BBS 101

I can’t remember when I didn’t hatch a batch of baby brine shrimp (bbs) on a daily basis. That said, after years of producing a daily batch, I started to notice that my hatch rates were falling and I was at a loss as to the reason why. Well after checking all the obvious causes without any improvements I though perhaps a refresher course was in order, BBS 101 if you will. Continue reading BBS 101

Spawning Devario sondhii

These fish were first described by Hora & Mukerji in 1934 as Danio sondhii, and later reclassified by Fang Fang Kullander in 2001 under the genus Devario.   By any name, Devario sondhii the Fireline Danio, brings a subtle beauty to any aquarium.

These fish can only be found in a remote mountainous area of Myanmar. According to fish exporter Kamphol Udomritthiruj, they are collected from the same high altitude wetland pools as that of the Celestial Pearl Danio, Danio margaritatus. Currently, they are only know to exist in an area east of the village of Hopong, in the southern Shan States of Myanmar, but it is hoped, that further exploration will discover that they can be found in other areas near by. Continue reading Spawning Devario sondhii

Spawning Danio choprae

Danio choprae is without a doubt, one of my favorite Danios. Practical Fishkeeping magazine in the UK lists Danio choprae as one of the 10 best fish for the beginning aquarist. It was also a favorite of the late Mr. U Tin Win of the Hein Aquarium in Myanmar.  The fish was rediscovered by the Hein Aquarium in 2000, and it was mainly through his efforts that it was made available to the hobby, and rose so quickly in popularity. Continue reading Spawning Danio choprae

HMF aquarium filtration

Corner HMF Aquarium Filtration
Photo by Dennis Ball

If you have a fish room, and you are NOT using HMF aquarium filtration, then you my friend are missing out. HMF, or Hamburger Mattenfilter, is an aquarium filtration method invented by aquarists near the city of Hamburg Germany. While it’s considered fairly new in the US, it’s old school in Europe dating back to the 1960’s.

The original HMF aquarium filtration, or Mattenfilter for short, was simply a foam sheet  inserted vertically in the tank, about 2 cm from the side wall. This works extremely well in a working fish room where tanks are placed on end into tank racks.  There are also several variations on this basic theme, like the corner HMF pictured above.  Continue reading HMF aquarium filtration


Had a blast yesterday at the GCAS (Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society) 2015 Swap!  I’ve attended many of their club functions and always had a great time, but yesterday was my first experience as a seller at one of their events.

It is a bit early in the season for me so I didn’t have a full complement of fish, but my good friend Bob was kind enough to split a table with me so we had a good selection of fish. Bob has some fantastic tank raised and super cool cories and plecos.  He’s also got some very nice livebearers.

There were several of us from my club CAFE (Columbus Area Fish Enthusiasts) that had tables and the great folks at GCAS made us feel right at home. Many thanks to Eric and the gang at GCAS for putting together such a great event!

I’ll be looking to move my spawning schedule up just a bit to have more fish ready for this great event next year. Already looking forward to the next GCAS Swap!