Friday, 22 December 2017

Worlds Only Blind Cichlid

Lamprologus lethops

Now, this is really cool.  I have always had a soft spot for cave fish.  But this is a lot more interesting and strange.  A blind African cichlid from Congo River.  This a very fascinating fish. The strangest thing is that it is NOT from a cave system.  This fish, Lamprologus lethops, lives at the bottom of the river.  Since Congo River is extremely deep and murky, the fish had started developing troglodytic characteristics often seen in cave dwelling species.  Lamprologus lethops lives almost 150 meters below surface.  Because of that, this cichlid is completely devoid of pigmentation and eyes.

Lamprologus lethops in its natural habitat

I wonder how these cichlids behave and reproduce.  Do they take care of their young the same way as other Africans?  How do they manage to do all these while being completely blind.  I heard that there was a person in US with this species in his aquarium. But I can't find any videos or a complete information on their behavior in captivity. 

Related image

A Preserved Blind Congo Cichlid Specimen 

Blind Congo Cichlid Lamprologus lethops

An X-ray of Lamprologus lethops.  Notice a complete lack of eyes

Blind Congo Cichlid Lamprologus lethops

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Amazing Super Red Crayfish )

I saw this guy at the small fish store in Hallandale Florida.  Such an amazing color.  I have never seen a crayfish this red.  This cray was sitting there, on a plastic plant.  Not sure what it was trying to do, but it looked like it was trying to reach for the light.   It really makes me want to stark keeping crayfish again.  I used keep European crays  (Astacus astacus)  when I lived in Kiev.  They were super cool, but also super aggressive.  I also kept some Noth American species when I was in Ohio, not sure what they name was. But I got them out of feeder tank.  They were regular brown crays. Anyway.  I might get some crustaceans once I move to a new appartment)))

One of former Astacus crays with some native European fish

European Crayfish  or Astacus astacus

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Каштан Фарма

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

My New Florida Gobies

Check out my fresh water gobies. Caught them myself in Florida canals in Hollywood.  These two species were the most common. I am not sure if they have any other gobies in there.  But these guys are the only thin I saw.  Sorry for the crappy photos.  They are pretty hard to photograph. Plus my aquarium is pretty scratched (I got for free from a dumpster).  

The goby on the top picture is Lophogobius cyprinoides or crested goby.  These gobies are pretty small, not more than 10cm.  As the name suggests, they have this interesting crest on top of their head.  Males are much more colorful, with lots of orange and black in them.

Two better quality photos of Lophogobius cyprinoides from the internet

Image of Lophogobius cyprinoides

Image result for Lophogobius cyprinoides

Monday, 4 December 2017

Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish: Astacopsis gouldi


The worlds largest crayfish, Astacopsis gouldi, also known as Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish or Tasmanian Lobster.   Probably the most amazing crustacean in the world.  Shockingly huge.  Up to  6 kg!!!  They are even reports of them preying on platypus. I think they are also world's largest invertebrate, but quote me on it because there also giant coconut bandit crabs.  

These guys live only in Norther Tasmania.  It's the only place where you can find them.  I have not heard of any in private aquarium or in captivity in general.  That probably because they are  protected species.  They were in danger of being overfished or overcrayed))) Mostly due to the fact that they have no natural predators and lack general fear of humans.   That, and the fact that Astacopsis gouldi only breed once every two years.

Astacopsis gouldi are omnivorous, just like the majority of crayfish.  They are known to eat  decaying wood, leaves and their associated microbes. They may also eat small fish, insects, rotting animal flesh and other detritus when available.  Basically, they would eat anything they can get their giant claws on))   

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

I Found a Tiny Pleco in Trash

My neighbor had moved. I the guy threw away almost everything. He actually put his 30gallon tall aquarium in garbage. It had everything: filter, light, stand, covers, and decorations. As I was going though all these, I found a tiny bristlenose Ancistrus spp. pleco in an equally tiny puddle of water. I guess, he was hiding inside one of the decorations. I wasn’t really planning on getting another aquarium, but I guess I have to now)))

The little guy is trying to scare me off by flaring out he tiny bristles)))   He looks dangerous

Anyway, so I scooped him into a pickle jar with some rain water. He stayed there for a few hours. I pulled the 30 gallon aquarium out of the trash, wiped it down, and filled it with water. I dumped all the ugly gravel and decoration and set up the filter (also from the trash). I thank ran to a local fish store to get some water conditioner. 

Me with the garbage found Pleco

Pleco in his temporary home

The actual aquarium after being set up

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Каштан Фарма

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Some more photos of South Florida Park

I went to another park.  This time near my house in Hallandale Beach.  They had a ton of american white ibis or Eudocimus albus.  These guys approached everyone for food.  Such cool birds.  Very beautiful and strange at the same time.  

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Cool Corals on the Beach

I found these cool pieces of coral on the beach, here in Hollywood Florida.  They are all over the beach.   Does anyone know what they are?  There are a lot of them.  I don't know where they grow because there is nothing underwater, but sand.  I'll stick them into my future aquarium, as soon as I find more permanent place to live

Some more corals

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Blind Indian Catfish : Horaglanis abdulkalami

Check out this blind catfish from India. It's Horaglanis abdulkalami. It was discovered in 2002 in a the southern Indian state of Kerala in an old dugout well. The catfish is pretty small, only 4cm long, but very interesting. It completely lacks eyes, but has an extremely red color. Local scientists think that this catfish moves through man-made wells by natural underground tunnels or channels. The blind catfish is clearly a member of Clariidae family of catfishes. Its most well known relative is the walking catfish Clarias batrachus.

Another photo of Horaglanis abdulkalami

State of Kerala is also home to a two more cave dwelling blind catfish : Horaglanis Krishnai, Horaglanis alikunhii.  Here is a photo that compares all three species.  

Unfortunately, not a lot of photos are available of these amazing cafish. I also don't think that anyone is keeping them in an aquarium.  However, it would be amazing to have them  in a fish tank. Just think of the crazy biotope tank you can create with these troglodyte fish.  If anyone has any more photos of Horaglanis sp , please let me know)))

Black and white drawing of Horaglanis abdulkalami

Image result for Horaglanis abdulkalami

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Каштан Фарма

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

I Gave Blood!!!!

Check this out, I gave blood for the first time.  There was a bloodmobile near the local library and they've talked me into it.  They took 500 ml.  That sounds like a lot.  But I felt perfectly fine.  Did not feel dizzy or anything like that.  However, they told me to skip gym for today.  So, I did.  

So overall, it was pretty interesting experience.  We you get a chance, you should definitely do it.  I am sure it would help some really sick person out there.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Pervy Penguins))

This is one of the funnies or disturbing photos I have seen lately)))  Penguins harassing this poor naked woman.  Crazy stuff.  I wonder what's on their minds. 

check out this UK site for your chemical peel and beauty needs)))
Каштан Фарма

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

South Florida Nature ))

I finally got around to check out local park for some interesting fishes.  I got to South Florida two weeks ago and I love it.  The nature here is amazing.  So many interesting animals and fish.   So, here some I photos from the park near my house in Hollywood, Florida

Some nice ibises 

Close up. They are so white. How do they stay so clean?  I mean, they go though dirt all the time with their beaks)))

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Florida Mangroves

Some photos of South Florida mangroves.  This is at the local nature park, Ann Kolb Center in Hollywood, Florida.  I can't get over how amazing it looks. Almost like a different planet.  This mangroves forest hosts a colony of fiddler crabs and Gambusia sp.   The crabs are almost impossible to photograph with a phone.  They are way too fast.  As soon as they would see me, they would run off into their burrows.  

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Cactus Cooking

I've always been fascinated with cacti.  So I was going to plant this cactus tree near my apartment, and than I remembered that you  can fry it.  So this is what I did))))  I planted a bunch of them, but I took one one, cut it into little pieces and cooked it.

I put some hot sauce and olive olive on the cactus pieces and fried them

This is what it looked like when they were done.  What did it taste like? Well, it kind of tasted like french fries a little bit, but it was more bitter.  Maybe I did not cook it properly, but it was my first attempt