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Juned Sonido


Still more ruckus about who is t he smallest fish

The debate on which is the smallest fish in the world is still getting some attention. An article from National Geographic.

A friend of mine told me that it may not be recognised as the smallest fish but it sure is one of the ugliest. Well considering the fish in the picture is a preserved specimen my friend may be a bit harsh. I guess that is the problem when you look at a preserved specimen. The formalin or alcohol that is used to preserved the specimens also take out the color of the fish. As a fisheries student taking up Icthyology I found it a bit boring to remember colorless specimens. It would have been better if they still had their colour. Then again studying colourless fish has its advantages - you tend to focus more on the structure of the fish. And the angler fish would be hard to forget. Although the smell of formalin is sickening and sticks to you.

Despite its appearance the Anglerfish is visually spectacular fish because it one of those ambush predators. It looks like a piece of rock and the fish uses this effectively to hide his presence and the fish does this so effectively that it gets its food this way. It is also one of the fish that has the most vivid color.

Check the pictures of the Anglerfish at Oceans by Anderson.

The Anglerfish is an interesting fish to keep in a saltwater aquarium. Although, It must be remembered that it is a predator, it will eat up any fish that will come close to it and it can hide itself among the rocks. I kept one when I was doing some work for a public aquarium exhibit.


Smallest Fish: Round II

It would seem that the argument over which fish deserves the title of world's smallest fish is not yet over.

Here is the link:

Smallest fish compete for honours
By Rebecca Morelle
BBC News science reporter


There are now three contenders to the throne.

Paedocypris sp
Found in Indonesia and lives in the peat swamp of Sumatra. The specimen is a female

Schindleria brevipinguis
A male stout infant fish, which measures 7mm in total length. Lives in the Great Barrier Reef. The information was found in the records of the Australian Museum in 2004.

Photocorynus spiniceps

The last contender is a male angler fish. It was discovered in the Philippines and reported in the Journal of Icthyological Research September 2005(?). Its total length (snout to tail) measures around 6.2 mm. The fish is said to spend its whole life to its female counterpart. Because of this the P spiniceps has been labelled as a sexual parasite. Although is the relationship really parasitic? The fish does aid in reproduction. Maybe the relationship can be described as mutually beneficial or mutualistic.

As compared to a set of Filipino politicians, pundits and self-appointed messiahs who seem to be in general political parasites, feeding on the body politic of the Philippines.


The debate may take years and additional research should be done. Yes, It will probably take years before this is settled.

I guess the stage has been set-up for the debate between Ichthyologists as to whose fish is the smallest. Despite the debate it would be interesting to record and study the life cycle of these fishes.


Smallest Fish Found And Lost?

I read this yesterday and this might be of interest. We do not have the smallest fish in the world anymore. Maybe we lost that distinction years ago along with the distinction of having the deepest marine trench.

Anyway, According to an article by BBC Science correspondent Roland Pease, Indonesia has the smallest fish in the world and it resides in acid pools of the Peat Swamps in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Unfortunately, the 7.9mm (0.3in) long fish - Paedocypris sp. - is endangered. I wonder if there are any particular Research Institute or Public Aquarium interested in breeding the species.

The article further states that fish adapted several interesting characteristics in order to survive in the Peat Swamps Acid Pools. The adaptation of the fish, which enabled them to survive in small pools of water during drought, includes the lack of bony protection for the brain, fewer eggs for the females and small reproductive clasps for the male. They are also said to be plankton grazers; feeding on plankton near the bottom of the water.

It would be difficult, not impossible, to set-up an aquarium system and breeding regimen for the fish. A few things the researcher or aquarist will have to master in order for the fish to survive would be the following:

  • Capturing and effective transfer of the fish.

  • Replicating the acidic environment

  • Replicating the special diet of the fish.

An ichthyologist and an aquarist sponsored by the International Organizations and the Indonesian Government should do the job.

The fish is really small you can place it on your finger and there would be a huge amount of room to spare. The article comes with a picture of the fish.

Here's the link to the article:Scientists find 'smallest fish'
By Roland Pease
BBC science correspondent


Cold weather

Its getting a little bit cold in Metro Manila these past few days. One or two of the Bettas died. These were the older ones.

A few years ago I thought it was silly when they were selling aquarium heaters here in the Philippines. However, As I learned the hard way you need it specially for certain fishes. Especially, if the aquarium is placed in an air-conditioned environment. Come Summer one has to use chillers to maintain the Reef Tank.

The rest of the fishes though are doing fine.

I have heard that a new batch bettas have arrived. I might just visit Angel Ampil. By the way he is one of the persons to see if you are into Bettas.


A Public Aquarium Crashes

It takes effort, patience, resources and time to build up an aquarium. I think almost anyone who has taken care of fish, or any living being, will know this. So, it would not be hard to explain the great loss of the Audubon Aquarium suffered when it lost most of its fish and animals after the wake of Katrina.

Here is the article at CNN:

Aquarium restocking after Katrina losses

Katrina did not kill it. I think the aquarium remained intact. However, because Katrina severed the power lines across the city it destroyed the equilibrium of the aquariums. These aquariums, the enclosures and inhabitants were dependent on human input in order to survive. In the wild when a disaster occurs all that an animal has to do is move to another place in order to survive. In an enclosure the animals had no place to go. They were trapped inside. And eventually without support from their human caretakers and power to maintain balance in the enclosures/aquariums they would die.

And that is exactly what happened. After a few days without food and power the living conditions became un-inhabitable, deplorable. The water was getting polluted and the fish were getting stressed. This was a recipe for massive fish kills, in the case of the aquariums.

The collection at that Public Aquarium took years to build. They had sharks, giant groupers, exotic and rare aquatic animals in their aquariums. I would guess a lot of the aquariums were over-stock, hence the overdependence on the filtration system.

Filipino Aquarists, especially Filipino Marine Aquarium hobbyists would be familiar with this dilemma. The loss of power would often lead to the collapse of the aquarium and toxic tank. I have seen it happen several times during the nine-hour brownouts when Cory was President. Marine Aquarists in order for their aquariums to survive did the following:

Bought generators/inverters to power the pumps and the chillers of the aquarium.

A larger number of hobbyists bought battery powered aerators. The marine aquarists used it to run the protein skimmers while the freshwater aquarists used it to run sponge or corner filters. A friend of mine claimed that at one time he was up all night using a hand pump to aerate the aquarium. It’s probably a tall-tale but it does underlie the dependency of an aquarium on its owner.

Things an aquarist/aquarium hobbyist should remember when dealing with power outages:

Stock light, a lightly stocked aquarium will take a longer time to deteriorate when the filter is down. In fact a lightly stocked aquarium will survive on frequent water change, light feeding and aquatic plants.

Light or no feeding during power outages. Less food means less waste.

Invest in battery powered air pumps and sponge/corner filter. Or get an inverter or genset, but one might have better uses for a genset or inverter than utilizing it for the aquarium.

Believe me it will save you a lot of headache when the brownouts come.


Natural Aquarium Update: Jan 2, 2005

The two natural aquarium project is going fine. Almost 90% of them are now well-balanced biologically. No motor or pumps, just using plants and natural light. The two species of livebearers I got from Cartimar are doing fine... more than fine - the hi-fin sword tails are breeding and the black swords are also breeding as well. Only one fatality in the other tanks, one of the older long finned fighting fish died.

The giant gouramis are doing fine. Although, I had to separate the two since they are establishing hierarchy within the tank. From my experience I find it practical to separate the two growing anabantoids ; together in one tank they have a tendency to fight and nip each other fins. The loser dies out in the end. In the wild the loser usually leaves the territory in the aquarium this is almost impossible to do. Hence, the fatality often seen in heavily populated aquariums. Although there are situations when stocking more than five diminishes the competition. In some fishes the same thing can be achieved with the addition of rocks distributed evenly through out the tank. Then again it would be prudent just check the books, magazines, on-line sources and more skilled aquarists when it comes to taking care of fish.

One advantage of planted aquariums though is they provide shelter, hiding place, for the fry of the livebearers from their parents or other species that will prey on them.

Problem though arose from the emergence of malaysian aquatic snails, which become a good food source for the Texas Cichlids.

I will probably buy some more livebearers, and anabantoids for the tanks. Although, a couple of weeks ago I did see a couple of nice looking goldfish and dwarf cichlids in the market.