Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Golden Pencilfish:

The Golden Pencilfish (Nannostomus beckfordi) comes
from the river basins of Guyana, the Rio Negro, and
the lower areas of the Amazon basin. 

This fish attains about 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) in total length. 
The females are slightly fuller than the slender, more colorful males,
whose pelvic fins have white margins. 
This calm and peaceful species, although quite shy, is sociable.
The groups are hierarchical and at certain times
the males defend small territories as N. mortenthaleri do.
Nannostomus beckfordi prefers densely planted aquariums
with dark sand as a substrate, little water movement,
and peat in the filter. 
The temperature should be
72–86°F (22–30°C), the pH 6.0–7.5, and the hardness

These omnivores accept almost any food—live, frozen,freeze-dried, or dry.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

2014 APSA Aquascaping Competition:

APSA 2014 Aquascaping Competition Rules and Guidelines
- Entry is free
- Entries end on the 1st March 2014
- One planted tank entry per person
- APSA sponsors, admins as well as their immediate family cannot enter. 
- Rules can be altered by APSA at any stage
- There is no tank size restriction to your entry
- Tank entries have to contain real live aquatic plants
- No freshly planted tanks allowed (tanks that are more mature will do better anyways)
- Contestants and competing tanks must reside/be in South Africa
- Please do not use non aquatic plants as this will result in point deductions
- Contestants have to be an active member of APSA with at least one post (introduction post)

The scape:
- Freshwater planted aquariums only! (terrariums, marine aquarium etc. cannot enter)
- If your entry pic includes an emersed section of your tank, only the submerged part of the tank will be graded

Final entry picture:
- Has to be a recent photo of the tank (no older than 3 months)
- Should be sent in FULL resolution. Lower resolution/bad pictures will only count against you. Judges can only judge the entry pic they are given (max size 9 megs).
- Is not allowed to be published or shown to the public prior to the winners announcement, (other tank shots /full tank shots, setup shots etc. are allowed to be published before the end of the competition but the ENTRY picture cannot be shown / published online or on any other type of national / international media .) What this means is that you are allowed to have a photo journal of your tank, show pictures of your tank, publish pictures of your tank. Share whatever you want with your tank. BUT you are not allowed to publish/show/distribute (publicly) the FINAL picture that you will be entering. 
- Has to be in electronic format
- Cannot be altered by any image editing software (adding fish or fauna etc). Superficial editing is allowed ie. cropping photos, light and colour tunes
- No boarders, frames or insignia please. Pictures with these WILL be disqualified

- 1st, 2nd, 3rd and honorary prizes available! Prize list will be uploaded once we have confirmed with sponsors
- 1st place will win the APSA aquascaping floating trophy
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd and honorary prize ribbons will be sent to the respective winners!!

Extra information:
- There will be international guest judges (to be confirmed)
- Judges comments and total points for all entries will be indicated at the end of the competition

Entry procedure:
- One entry picture per entry
- Email entry (this may change) 

Judging criteria:
Total Impressions (60 Points)
- Originality, creativity and overall completeness of the layout will be evaluated.
- Is the composition of the layout well developed and pleasing to the eye?
- Has the aquascaper used appropriate species of aquatic plants? 
- Has the aquascaper positioned their plants in a way that looks natural?
- Is there “balance” in the scape? i.e. The colors and shapes of aquatic plants, “balance” and must “complement” the scape.
- The aquascaper’s choice of fish for his/her layout is evaluated. i.e. Does the color, size, swimming method and ecology of the fish match the layout?
- Does the layout clearly portray a natural atmosphere? 
- Do the methods and techniques used, render a natural feel in the layout?
- Is the layout maintainable over a long period of time?
- The use of non-aquatic plants will result in point-deductions.

Plant Condition (20 Extra Points)
- The condition of the aquatic plants in the layout will be evaluated. Extra points may be awarded for excellent plant health

Artistic Creativity (20 Extra Points)
- Extra points can be rewarded according outstanding originality and creativity of the aquascape.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dwarf neon rainbow fish:

The dwarf neon rainbow fish are endemic to the Mamberamo river system, New Guinea, Indonesia. This is one of the largest river systems on the island, being over 2000 km long.They Tends to inhabit swiftly flowing tributaries off the main river, as well as surrounding swamps and marshes. 

dwarf neon rainbow fish

The fish congregate around areas of aquatic vegetation, or submerged roots and logs.
An active species, so despite its small size it requires an aquarium measuring at least  55 litres.(60cm x 30cm x30cm) 
This little rainbowfish is ideally suited to a heavily planted setup and will show its best colours in such surroundings. It doesn’t appreciate bright conditions and we suggest the use of floating plants to diffuse the light entering the tank. Allow open spaces between areas of planting to allow swimming space and areas for males to display at one another. High water quality is essential to the well-being of this species, so weekly partial water changes are recommended.
Like most of its congeners, it’s an unfussy, omnivorous species and will accept most dried, frozen and live foods. Regular feedings of the latter will help to ensure the fish exhibit their best colours.

Mature males are larger and exhibit brighter colouration than females. They also develop a much deeper body than females as they grow.
The adult fish are best conditioned as a group in a separate aquarium with plenty of live and frozen foods. As the fish come into condition, the females will appear noticeably plumper, and males will display to each other almost constantly. Select the fattest, best-coloured pair for breeding and introduce them to thespawning tank. A small raise in temperature can often induce spawning. The pair will spawn for a period of several weeks, laying batches of eggs each day. These are attached to surfaces by a small thread. The adults tend to eat the spawn, and it’s easier to raise the fry in a separate aquarium, so we recommend checking the plants or mops regularly and removing any eggs you find to a raising tank containing water from the spawning tank. The eggs hatch in 7-10 days, depending on temperature. The minute fry initially require infusoria-type food, before graduating onto free swimming foods, such as brine shrimp nauplii, after a week or so. Sinking foods are unsuitable as the fry tend to stay very close to the water surface.Brood size is usually a little larger than with other rainbowfish.


Rainbowfishes: Their Care and Keeping in Captivity by Adrian R. Tappin

Plant portions are getting smaller:

Plant portions are getting smaller

Friday, August 16, 2013

Magic Fish

Magic Fish

"Magic Fish” are fish eggs imported from Asia. They are packed in very small bowls and all the purchasers need to do is add water and the supplied food – and wait for the fish eggs to hatch. The product is marketed as a toy for children.
Early in 2012 the National Council of SPCAs undertook investigations into the "Magic Fish” product as promoted and sold by Homemark. Consumer complaints were received that the creatures which hatched, died soon after. The National Council of SPCAs subsequently met with the CEO of Homemark to discuss animal welfare concerns surrounding this product, and an undertaking was given by Homemark that existing stock would be sold off and that the product would no longer be imported. Stocks were expected to be depleted by the end of 2012.
Following a breach of commitment by Homemark to cease the distribution of this product by December 2012, the National Council of SPCAs approached major retailers stocking this product. Commitment was received from the following stores to immediately remove the product from their shelves –

  • Game
  • Pick n Pay
  • Makro
  • Checkers

The National Council of SPCAs applauds these retailers for their commitment and interest in the welfare of animals.
News on this Issue
  • Homemark's "Magic Fish” – Off the Shelves
  • On 31 January 2013 Checkers joined other retailers with their commitment to remove "Magic Fish from their shelves

Saturday, July 27, 2013

AquariumExpo 2013 Guests and Speakers:


Friday 2 August 2013

10h00: Expo opens
16h00: Riaan Pretorius "Whitespot - Know your enemy"
17h00: Dallas Goldswain "How to start a marine aquarium"

Saturday 3 August 2013

10h00: Expo opens
11h00: Dallas Goldswain "How to start a marine aquarium"
12h00: Arno Naude Biodiversity act and legislation
13h00: Sean Jefferis Live aquascaping demonstration
14h00: Jake Adams "Using LEDs to light freshwater and marine aquariums"
15h00: Riaan Pretorius "Whitespot - Know your enemy"
16h00: Jake Adams "Water Flow is More Important than Light"
17h00: Dallas Goldswain "How to start a marine aquarium"

Sunday 4 August 2013

10h00: Expo opens
11h00: Dallas Goldswain "How to start a marine aquarium"
12h00: Arno Naude Biodiversity act and legislation
13h00: Jake Adams "Using LEDs to light freshwater and marine aquariums"
14h00: Riaan Pretorius "Whitespot - Know your enemy"
15h00: Jake Adams "Water Flow is More Important than Light"
16h00: Dallas Goldswain "How to start a marine aquarium"

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ludwigia glandulosa

Ludwigia glandulosa
Ludwigia glandulosa from North America is a very beautiful water plant. It is slow growing and requires CO2 addition to grow well. Stems becomes 15-40 cm tall and 5-12 cm wide. The leaves turn greener if sufficient light is provided. Used to be sold as Ludwigia perennis.

Monday, July 1, 2013

How to keep your aquarium clean:

Total number of entries for the IAPLC 2013

2,164 applications from 57 countries and areas.

Countries and Areas:Applications:
Hong Kong
Czech Republic
South Africa          5



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Aquatic plants that are not allowed to be grown/ propagated /sold inside South Africa:

Red water fern (Azolla filiculoides)
Dense water weed (Egeria densa)
Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
Canadian water weed (Elodea canadensis)
Parrot's feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
Spiked water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
Water lettuce (Pistia statiotes)
Kariba weed (Salvinia molesta)
Azolla microphylla
Azolla pinnata subsp. asiatica
Cabomba caroliniana
Hydrilla verticillata
Iris pseudacorus,
Ludwigia peruviana
Marsilea mutica
Nuphar lutea
Nymphoides peltata
Nymphaea Mexicana
Pontederia cordata
Sagittaria platyphylla

Monday, April 8, 2013

Aquatic plants permitted to be imported into South Africa:

Ammannia gracilis
Ammannia senegalensis
Ammoricia aquatica
Anubias afzelii
Anubias barteri
Anubias gigantea
Anubias gilletii
Anubias gracilis
Anubias hastifolia
Anubias heterophylla
Anubias lanceolata
Anubias pynaertii
Aponogeton abyssinicus
Aponogeton bernierianus
Aponogeton boivinianus
Aponogeton capuronii
Aponogeton crispus
Aponogeton crispus X rigidifolius
Aponogeton decaryi
Aponogeton distachyos
Aponogeton elongatus
Aponogeton henkelianus
Aponogeton jacobsenii
Aponogeton junceus
Aponogeton longiplumulosus
Aponogeton loriae
Aponogeton madagascariensis
Aponogeton natans
Aponogeton ranunculiflorus
Aponogeton rehmannii
Aponogeton rigidifolius
Aponogeton robinsonii
Aponogeton tenuispicatus
Aponogeton ulvaceus
Barclaya longifolia
Barclaya longifolia `Red form'
Barclaya motleyi
Blyxa alternifolia
Blyxa aubertii
Blyxa japonica
Blyxa novoguineensis
Bolbitis heteroclita
Bolbitis heudelotii
Ceratopteris cornuta
Ceratopteris pteroides
Ceratopteris thalictroides
Crinum asiaticum
Crinum calamistratum
Crinum natans
Crinum purpurascens
Crinum thaianum
Cryptocoryne affinis
Cryptocoryne albida
Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia
Cryptocoryne balansae
Cryptocoryne becketii
Cryptocoryne blassii
Cryptocoryne bogneri
Cryptocoryne ciliata
Cryptocoryne cordata
Cryptocoryne crispatula
Cryptocoryne diderici
Cryptocoryne ferruginea
Cryptocoryne fusca
Cryptocoryne gasseri
Cryptocoryne griffithii
Cryptocoryne hudoroi
Cryptocoryne keei
Cryptocoryne lingua
Cryptocoryne longicauda
Cryptocoryne lucens
Cryptocoryne lutea
Cryptocoryne minima
Cryptocoryne moehlmannii
Cryptocoryne nevillii
Cryptocoryne nurii
Cryptocoryne pallidinervia
Cryptocoryne parva
Cryptocoryne petchii
Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia
Cryptocoryne purpurea
Cryptocoryne retrospiralis
Cryptcoryne schulzei
Cryptocoryne scurrilis
Cryptocoryne spiralis
Cryptocoryne striolata
Cryptocoryne thwaitesii
Cryptocoryne tonkinensis
Cryptocoryne undulata
Cryptocoryne usteriana
Cryptocoryne walkeri
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Cryptocoryne willisii
Didiplis diandra
Echinodorus angustifolia
Eichnodorus aschersonianus (Hybrid)
Echinodorus X barthii
Echinodorus berteroi
Echinodorus bleheri
Echinodorus bolivianus
Echinodorus grisebachii
Echinodorus horemanii
Echinodorus horizontalis
Echinodorus humulus
Echinodorus latifolius
Echinodorus major
Echinodorus macrophyllus
Echinodorus martii
Echinodorus opacus
Echinodorus osiris
Echinodorus `Ozelot green'
Echinodorus `Ozelot red'
Echinodorus palaefolius
Echinodorous paniculatus
Echinodorus parviflorus
Echinodorus parviflorus `Tropica'
Echinodorus portoalegrensis
Echinodorus quadricosticatus
Echinodorus 'Red flame'
Echinodorus 'Rose'
Echinodorus 'Rubin'
Echinodorus scaber
Echinodorus schlueteri
Echinodorus schlueteri `Leopard'
Echinodorus subalatus
Echinodorus uruguayensis
Elatine triandra
Eustralis stellata
Glossostigma elatinoides
Hemianthus callitrichoides Cuba
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Hemianthus umbrosum
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
Lilaeopsis mauritiana
Lindernia rotundifolia
Lindernia rotundifolia `Variegated'
Lindernia parviflora
Lomariopsis Susswassertang
Ludwigia brevipes
Ludwigia glandulosa
Ludwigia inclinata
Ludwigia inclinata var. verticilata Cuba
Mayaca fluviatilis
Mayaca sellowiniana
Micranthemum umbrosum
Microsorium pteropus
Microsorium pteropus 'fine-leaved'
Microsorium pteropus 'Windelov'
Microsorium pteropus 'Tropica'
Monoselenium tenerum
Nesaea crassicaulis
Nesaea pedicellata
Ottelia mesenterium
Ottelia ulvifolia
Pellia endiviifolia
Pogostemon helferi
Pogostemon stellatus Narrow Leaf'
Potamageton crispus
Potomageton schweinfurthii
Rotala macrandra
Rotala pusilla
Rotala wallichii
Rotala Nanjenshan
Spiranthes graminea
Spiranthes odorata
Tonina fluviatilis
Trichomanes javanicum `Aqua fern'
Trichomanes javanicum `Borneo fern'
Trichomanes rivularis variegatus
Utricularia graminifolia
Utricularia inflexa
Utricularia stellaris
Fissidens fontanus
Fissidens nobilis
Taxiphyllum barbieri
Taxiphyllum 'Flame moss'
Taxiphyllum 'Giant moss'
Taxiphyllum 'Peacock moss'
Taxiphyllum 'Spiky moss'
Taxiphyllum alternans
Vesicularia dubyana
Vesicularia ferrieri
Vesicularia montagnei
Vesicularia reticulata

Ammania sp bonsai
Bucephalandra motleyana "Sintang"
Bucephalandra motleyana "Melawi"
Bucephalandra motleyana "Kapit"
Bucephalandra sp. "Lamandau"
Bucephalandra sp. Nanga Pinoh
Bucephalandra sp. "Pearl Grey"
Bucephalandra sp. "Ampungan"
Bucephalandra sp. "Sekadau"
Bucephalandra sp. Lamandau
Hemianthis sp Monte Carlo 3
Nessaea pedicellata
Plagiomnium cf. affine (moss)
Pogostemon erectus
Staurogyne sp. "Porto Velho"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cryptocoryne "pigmea"

Cryptocoryne "pigmea"
Cryptocoryne "pigmea" is a mutation (cultivar) obtained from T/C labs of
Cryptocoryne nevilli.
This Cryptocoryne is absolutely different from C. pygmaea.
Cryptocoryne "pigmea" is a smaller and easier cryptocoryne that produces
small dark green leaves not higher than 5 cm, in the right light conditions.
It is one of the smallest Cryptocorynes available in the market.
Cryptocoryne "pigmea"
Text from:
Anubias company

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cryptocoryne parva


Cryptocoryne parva
Origin:   Sri Lanka
Type:   Rosette
Growth:   slow
Height:   5 cm - 10 cm
Width:   5 cm - 7 cm
Light demands:   0.50 Watt per liter
CO2 demands:   6-14 mg per liter
Cryptocoryne parva from Sri Lanka is the smallest of all Cryptocorynes (only 3-6 cm tall and a roset less than 5-8 cm wide). It is one of the few species that does not significantly change its leaf shape and colour depending on cultivation conditions.
Cryptocoryne parva
It needs more light than most other Cryptocorynes because it almost loses its leaf blade under water. So it must never be overshadowed by other plants. Individual plants should be planted a few centimetres apart, and after about six months they will form a cohesive low group of plants. Recommended for foreground planting.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Lilaeopsis brasiliensis :

Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
Origin:   South America
Type:   Stolons
Growth:   slow
Height:   4 cm - 7 cm
Width:   5 cm - 10 cm
Light demands:   0.50 Watt per liter
CO2 demands:   6-14 mg per liter

Lilaeopsis brasiliensis from South America can grow very compact, but a "lawn effect'' (4-7 cm tall) is only achieved at high light intensity. When planting in the aquarium small clumps (approx. 1/8 pot) should be placed a few centimetres apart to help the plants grow together more quickly. Place in an open position without shading from other plants to ensure good light. Lilaeopsis brasiliensis can be used in garden ponds, and also tolerates low salt concentrations in brackish aquariums.

Informtaion courtesy of

Tank Update:

Lindernia rotundifolia


Lindernia rotundifolia
Origin:   Asia
Type:   Stem
Growth:   fast
Height:   15 cm - 30 cm
Width:   10 cm - 20 cm
Light demands:   0.25 Watt per liter
CO2 demands:   3-5 mg per liter
Lindernia rotundifolia grows on sandy banks along streams in Asia. The plant is undemanding and the stems with marbled leaves quickly form compact groups. Lindernia rotundifolia is suitable both for background and as a solitary mid-ground plant with leaves growing tightly from top to bottom.
A good starter plant that thrives under most conditions.
All text may be used if Tropica Aquarium Plants - is given as source.