Sunday, October 24, 2010

Climacium Japonicum

     Climacium Japonicum is native to China and then Japan, its particularity is a miniature palm tree in the aquatic environment. Known as a riparium plant, it  also fits well in aquariums.
     Climacium Japonicum has a robust brown stem of a few inches and  on top shows the magnificent fallen leaves, giving the appearance of a palm tree. If planted in the shade has a beautiful olive green color, in bright light turns red and then brown. 
     This beautiful plant requires a water temperature between 15-27 °C  (59-80 °F) and a pH of 6-7.5. It is considered to be a good refuge for several species of small fish.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Aquascaping Contest 2010 in Vietnam

The Golden Prize - Wakening

Author: solid
Title: Wakening
Dimension (WxDxH): 125x60x50 cm
Volume: 375 L
Plants: Hemianthus callitrichoides, Marsilea hirsute, Hemianthus micranthemoides, Glossostigma-elatinoides, Eleocharis acicularis, Vesicularia montagnei
Fishes: Paracheirodon axelrod , otocinclus
Ages: 5 month
Light system: fluorescent 6x40W Jebo 10.000K
CO2 system: 2 bps
Filtration system: External Canister filter Atman EF4 + Overflow filter
Comment: Tank describes a mountain chain in the early morning. Living beings just have waken up after a long sleep with the new fresh day, full of power. This tank also marks my return to planted tank with many changes in the manner of presentation and idea expression.

The Silver Prize - Sangri-la

Author: vietlam
Title: Sangri - La
Dimension (WxDxH): 106x61x48 cm
Volume: 310 L
Plants: Eleocharis acicularis, Eleocharis quadricostatus, Marsilea drummondi, Hemianthus callitrichoides, Utricularia graminifolia, Glossostigma elatinoides, Hygrophila sp, Weeping Moss
Fishes: Paracheirodon innesi
Ages: 17 week
Light system: fluorescent 6x39W
CO2 system: 3 bps
Filtration system: External canister filter 25W
Comment: Shangri-La is a legendary valley leading from the Lama Religion monastery deep in the west end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La paradise on earth where the trees live on this land is always green, things seem to live immortality and the happiness became permanently...

The Bronzer Prize - Changing Season Time


Author: coi77
Title: Changing season time
Dimension (WxDxH): 108X50X48 cm
Volume: 259 L
Plants: Eleocharis acicularis/Eleocharis quadricostatus, Glossostigma elatinoides, Marsilea drummondi
Fishes: Paracheirodon innesi
Ages: 3 month
Light system: fluorescent 4x39W Aqua Japan 10.000k
CO2 system: 1 bps
Filtration system: external canister filter Atman EF4
Comment: During the business trip to the Northwest in the last spring, the picture of rice terraced fields intermixed in the limestone mountains, the immense imposing rock fields remain always in my mind. From that idea, I used plants to combine with the Iwagumi arrangement to create “Changing season time”.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Danionella Dracula - Dracula Fish

     This fish was discovered in April 2007 in a river in Myanmar, Burma. Scientists believe that its features are "extraordinary" as one of the most interesting vertebrate discovered in recent decades.
     Called Dracula Fish, this creature has only 17 mm in length and shows a sharp bony prominence, developed in the jaw bones that resembles some teeth.
     Of the 3,700 species belonging to the order Cypriniformes, none shows teeth. Only males have these "teeth" that are used in territorial fights.
     This fish reach sexual maturity before they fully develop and because of that more than 40 bones are missing in comparison with its relative, the zebra fish, Danio Rerio.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Guizzi Di Colore 2010

     "Guizzi Di Colore" 2010 is an italian contest with guppies that took place at Ranco (VA), Italy on  25 - 26 September 2010. The purpose of this event is to accumulate more knowledge on guppy selection for beginners, and to meet with more experienced breeders. Evaluation parameters of the competition were established by IKGH.

1-STEFANO GIOVANNINI 1-1-9 Punti 130 Coppia

2-PIETRO BOLOGNESI 2-1-8 Punti 141,67 Coppia

3-VALENTINO GASPERONI 2-1-8 Punti 133,67 Coppia

4-FRANCESCO GIANNINI 2-1-8 Punti 135,67 Coppia

5-STEFANO CAVICCHI 2-1-8 Punti 136,33 Coppia

6-VALENTINO GASPERONI 2-1-8 Punti 144 Coppia

7-VALENTINO GASPERONI 2-1-8 Punti 144,33 Coppia

8-VALENTINO GASPERONI 2-1-8 Punti 144 Coppia

9-FRANCESCO GIANNINI 2-1-8 Punti 140,67 Coppia

10-CINZIA LAMOURE 2-1-8 Punti 139,33 Coppia

     For more info check the facebook page:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

IAPLC 2010 Results Part II

     This post is a continuation to IAPLC 2010 Results Part I
     I have managed to find top 10 pictures of the winners IAPLC 2010, they aren't at a good quality, sorry for that.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nitrogen Cycle for Dummies

     I noticed that the nitrogen cycle is not well understood and respected by new aquarists and I thought to explain it in a more accessible way. Most people who have this hobby are abandoning it because they become frustrated when the fish begin to die. Usually they go and buy new fish. Most of these disasters can be avoided by understanding the nitrogen cycle and closely follow water parameters.
     Fish release ammonia through excrements. Ammonia is released also when excessive food and dead fish are left to decay in the aquarium. That's why is vey important not to feed your fish too much and maintain a high level cleaning in the aquarium. Ammonia is toxic for the fish, when its levels increase greatly is because bacteria called Nitrosomonas have not yet developed. They are the ones that break down ammonia into nitrite (NO2), substances that are less toxic than ammonia.
     Nitrosomonas bacteria will adhere to any surface, such as substrate, inside the filter, the filter sponge, etc.. In the first two weeks will notice a decrease of ammonia and nitrite levels will begin to increase. After that nitrite will be decomposed by nitrobacteria to nitrate. Nitrobacteria will adhere on the same type of surfaces like Nitrosomonas. Nitrites can be dangerous for fish if allowed to exceed a certain threshold of safety, usually > 0.3 mg / l. When it is revealed that the level of nitrites is reduced, you can expect to increase the level of nitrates.
     In a new aquarium, you can see a slight increase of ammonia and of course of nitrites, when you add a significant number of fish. An aquarium "mature" should not show detectable levels of ammonia and nitrites. If these substances are present in the tank, you should determine the causes and solve the problem as quickly as possible.
     Nitrates (NO3) are not as toxic as nitrites. Most fish tolerate high levels of nitrates if the growth is slow. Fish that are in such an environment will not live very long and will not reach their full potential. Another problem with high levels of nitrates occur when you add new fish in the tank. Usually, pollutants from the water are too numerous for new fish to adapt, and that's why they get sick or die. High level of nitrates is responsible for reducing resistance to disease. Plants use nitrates from the water as food and if there are excessive amounts of nitrates, plants will stor them inside. This will lead to poisoning plants with nitrates. It will be noticed that their leaves no longer grow and eventually the plant will die. As a general rule, a level of nitrates between 25-50 ppm will not harm the fish or slow their growth.
     In general, for most people, the easiest way to reduce nitrates is to change the water. Nitrosomonas bacteria and nitrobacteria are aerobic and nitrobacteriile, which means they need oxygen to survive. Nitrosomonas bacteria need oxygen to survive. Their numbers may be affected by lack of oxygen, such as substrate  without oxygen or areas that do not receive enough oxygen because of poor water flow. When you clean the tank, be careful not to clean it too well. Do not clean the filter and substrate in the same time,you could be risking to lose significant portion of the beneficial bacteria. Chlor and chloramines will kill them, as well as hot water, so be careful when you rinse the filters.
     Both Nitrosomonas and nitrobacteria need micro-nutrients that are not found in reverse osmosis water, distilled water or other purified water. Some antibiotics will kill the beneficial bacteria. When water from the tank is treated with antibiotics, check if there is an increase in pollution. Exceeding the safety threshold depends on tolerance and fish species that you have in the tank. Try to start with more resistant species and keep the ammonia and nitrite to the lowest level indicating on the scale that comes with the test kit. In a new aquarium, you should not remove all the ammonia and nitrite because bacteria need food to survive. When you see rapid growth of these levels you should make partial changes of water.
     In general, the nitrogen cycle lasts between 4 and 8 weeks, sometimes longer. At one week after setting the tank, necessary time for plants to make roots and water to remove dissolved gases, first fish can be put in the tank, preferably resistant species, Corry is a good example to start the nitrogen cycle. These fish will be affected and will die or will live less than average. If not enough fish in the tank, cycle will not start, and if too many fish, they will die because of excessive amount of ammonia. The number of fish that is recommended to be placed in the tank depends on the size of the fish, filter, etc..
     After 3 days of adding fish ammonia is tested and continue so until ammonia begins to decrease, reaching zero. If you see that the fish are breathing quickly, swimming disorderly and stay at the surface, take measures to lower ammonia through water changes. Nitrites will be tested a week after introducing the fish. Water exchanges will be made until nitrites will reach zero. When nitrites are reduced, nitrates will grow and will be kept within limits by water changes. After about two weeks nitrates will be tested  and maintained within normal limits through water changes. At one point, nitrates will drop, this being a sign that nitrosomonas bacteria were developed. When they reach to normal values, fish can be introduced , but in limited number. The pH also increases during this process, then returns to normal values. Weekly, few fish can be inserted until it reaches the desired number of fish in the aquarium. Frequent water exchanges in smaller amounts are recommended, about 25-30% of the tank volume, so the pH shock doesn't occur.
     What you shouldn't do:
  • DO NOT add other fish, wait for the nitrogen cycle to end.
  • DO NOT change the filter media, they are support for the beneficial bacteria.
  • DO NOT disturb the colonies of bacteria until they are stabilized.
  • DO NOT feed your fish too much.
  • DO NOT attempt to modify the pH because nitrifying bacteria can be affected by this; in the nitrogen cycle is normal that pH to be increased, it will return to normal at the end of the cycle.