Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Perfect Balance of Nature

The planted aquarium thrives on perfect balance of it's own ecological system just like nature. Most beautiful tanks shows harmony of life that balances everything. Shifts in the balance will show on your tank, calling for proper attention and measures to be taken. Excessive algae, plant meltdowns, sudden deaths of fishes or shrimps, plants discoloring, lack of plant photosynthesis all points to shift of this balance. It doesnt take rocket science to remedy them, just some care and right advice from your local planted tank specialist.

In my opinion, the planted aquarium is the best classroom for conservation and sustainable environment for our planet. Nature is elaborately comprehensive and perfect in it's creation. We are still learning things from nature and how it holds the answer and solution to many of life's problem; planted aquarium included.

A serious planted aquarium keeper will gain self discipline and greater appreciation for the stewardship of this planet we call home. Taking for granted things will always have severe consequences. Hopefully every planted tank hobbyist out there will pick this up as a way of life. Happy planting!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Carinotetraodon Salivator

The Zebra Puffer is a stunning freshwater puffer from Sarawak. Ideal pH is 6.0 and this fish loves shrimps and snails. Their behavior is similar with other freshwater puffers. The male displays intense red coloration on the belly.

Betta Albimarginata

I find these bettas from the Mahakam districts to be very pretty when they are are in spawning colors. Very easy to keep and breed as they readily take to pellets, frozen bloodworms or live larvae. Keep water in pH around 5.5, with moderate lighting. Breeding tanks should have lots of plants and hiding places for the male mouth brooder.

Betta Mandor

Betta Mandor is part of the Foerschi group from Kalimantan Barat. These are wild bettas kept in our quarantine facility in Kuching. Ideal pH is between 4.5-5.5, water conditioned with blackwater extract is good when fish are stressed. Unfortunately large scale deforestration in their natural habitat will continue to deplete the wild population. Hopefully succesful aquarium kept fishes will continue to flourish all over the world amongst wild betta enthusiasts.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nemacheilus Saravancensis

This is a very gregarious fish that often isnt shy of people. Nemacheilus Saravancensis loach can be found in clean clear water streams of Sarawak. Natural habitat water pH is 5.5-6.0 with a temperature of 25C. Readily will take quality micro pellets and easy to keep in aquarium.

Betta Anabantoides Sp 'Midas'

Betta Anabantoides SP from Kalimantan Barat, this yellow golden variant could be the newly indentified Betta Midas??

Carinotetraodon Borneensis

This Redeye Pufferfish sometimes mistaken as Carinotetraodon Lorteti is a freshwater fish endemic to South western Sarawak. It is a colorful fish that adapts to environment. They are not as aggresive in group behaviour compared to the C. Salivator. They love snails and shrimps.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sono Toki Wa Kare Ni Yoroshiku Movie

Recently I watched this Japanese movie on DVD. It's a story about 3 childhood friends and the bonds between them even years after they went separate ways for 13 years. The story revolves around the guy who owns a beautiful little planted aquarium shop called Trash and the childhood sweetheart who mysteriously reappeared at his doorstep one night. Played by Masami Nagasawa, Takayuki Yamada and Takashi Tsukamoto, this movie is well produced and worthy of 'must watch' recommendation.

For planted tank enthusiast, you will see a lot of ADA setup tanks both planted as well as the Wabi Kusa style tanks. Very inspiring and refreshing. The only warning for anyone who doesnt understand Japanese, the English subtitles are probably written by the same person who pens ' Nature Aquarium Goods - Over the beautifully shining green pasture and in the green forest, joyously sail fish, fish. The support each other while playing leading parts by themselves. The picturesque scenery calms down our hearts. In the water is there a world'. :)


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Puntius Kuchingensis

Here is a Barb that is named after Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak. Puntius Kuchingensis (Herre 1940) is a barb that can be easily mistaken for Puntius Lateristriga when viewed casually in the rivers of Sarawak. When I first came across this fish some years ago, my friends from Singapore excitedly exclaimed 'there goes a school of T Barb (P Lateristriga)'. Later we learnt that it is a different Barb and equally beautiful.

Chocolate Guorami

The wild caught Chocolate Guorami (Sphaericthys Osphromenoides) is another beauty that hails from blackwater streams in Borneo and several other locations in Indonesia. The male displays stunning red colors when they are about to spawn and these mouthbooders will benefit clean soft cool water in pH5.5-6.0. Use peat to condition the tank if you are planning on breeding these beauties. Ideal temperature of the water is about 25-26C.  Feed fries with rotifiers and baby artemia when they are out. A school of these in a planted aquarium can be such a treat to behold.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sundadanio Axelrodi

Here is another small but exotic colorful fish from Kalimantan. The Sundadanio Axelrodi, sometimes referred as Rasbora Axelrodi Red from Kalimantan is actually greenish turquoise in color. One of my favorite alternative to the venerable Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon Axelrodi) of South America. These fishes hails from black water streams of Western Borneo and variants are found in other parts of Indonesia and Sarawak.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Parocrossocheilus Vittatus

This cyprinidae is found in the fast water streams of Sarawak and is one great algae grazer. They have a distinguish bronze band above the black lateral line on their body. A distant relative to Thailand's Crossocheilus Siamensis, this Sarawak's Algae Eater has been known to clear up even black hairy algae.