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