Monday, June 24, 2013

Hike at Cub lake & Fern lake loop at RMNP

A great hike yet again at Rocky Mountain National Park. A big 7 miles loop covering Cub lake and Fern lake followed by a small climb to the highest accessible point in RMNP at 12000 feet. Weather was in our favor and the best part was that more than 70% of the trail was shady.
View from where we started

Heard of Elks

Anna's humming bird

Trees have eyes ;)

Blue tailed damsel fly

Cub lake


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tonina fluviatilis 'Lotus blossom'

Hey guys..
I'll talk about Tonina fluviatilis 'lotus blossom' today.
Tonina fluviatilis is found in slow moving streams of South America and Central America. It makes thick carpet in these streams in wild.
It's a wonderful plant and fairly new into US hobby. People claim that it was first introduced in the hobby by Japanese hobbyists. 

Difficulty level of this particular plant is definitely hard. There are quite a few requirements of this plant-

# it requires moderately soft water. pH of 6.4-6.7 works great for this plant. ADA Amazonia might help you attain this.

# It needs strong light. If given enough light, it will frequently shoot side stems and propagate.

# it needs good amount of CO2 dissolved in water. And since CO2 lowers your pH also, it good to have CO2.

# it likes gentle flow. Not too hard but gentle enough to keep debris or algae off of its leaves. 

It's definitely not a beginner's plant. You need an established aquarium to grow it successfully. This very variant 'Lotus blossom' looks like a blooming lotus when seen from above. It's wonderful texture adds a different aspect to your scape. 
Here are a few pictures that I took with my new flash-

There are a few more variants of Tonina fluviatilis like - 'narrow leaf' and 'Marble queen'.
I'm looking for them to add to my collection :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Epiplatys annulatus

These small, pretty killie fish are found in coastal lowlands of southern Guinea and Sierra Leone to Northwestern Liberia. There, this specie is found on lowland swamps and slow moving streams or rivers with marginal aquatic plants or vagitation (seriously fish).

Very docile fish. They share their tank with a bunch of endlers here at my place. They enjoy a soft water flow. Females are much smaller and don't have that colorful tail.

They have so many common names in the hobby.. Clown killie, banded panchax, rocket killie etc.
Males are more active than the females. Males flare at other males. They usually occupy top surface level but they don't hesitate taking a swim to the bottom for food. Unlike those annual killies these have a life span of around 4-5 years in captivity.
While breeding, they like to put the eggs in some dense vagitation like java moss. Sudden lowering in pH is said to catalyze/ boost up the breeding process.
They love eating brine shrimps. Don't show interest in bloodworms (at least with me). They also like micro pallets. Females are better than the males at hunting brine shrimps.
Here are a few photos that I've taken of them-
Epiplatys annulatus male
Epiplatys annulatus female-

2 males flaring at each other-

In this following photo, I missed the focus from its face. But still I really like this one photo a lot. You can see its movement here-

All photos are copyright under Sumer Tiwari, 2011.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Hypoptopoma Gulare

Hypoptopoma gulare a.k.a. Giant otocinclus.
And when I call giant, mind it. They really are giant. I mean in comparison to our Otocinclus affinis (common oto) they really are. They can grow upto 4 inches.
When I first got them, they didn't appeal much. You know a big dull colored catfish..
Then they got settled in my tank and I got to see them very closely. They are very beautiful. Their tapered mouth looks awesome.
Then I started Google-ing about their eating habits. Didn't find much. Just some basic information like their origin, temperature, water hardness and all. So feeding them and knowing there eating habits were a hit and trial for me.
I have 3 of them in a 12 Gallons tank along with some endlers and Epiplatys annulatus (clown killies). Initially I tried offering them Hikari algae wafers. They refused. They werent eating anything. I was worried. And that was the time I saw a few endler's fries. I fed them
Hikari Micro pellets. And then I saw gulare eating the left over. Hahaha.. I mean micro pellets !! Great.
And now, they are eating anything that I am tossing in the tank. Bloodworms, mysis shrimps, algae wafers, Jake's homemade shrimp food, micro pallets. They are very happy.
A friend of mine who's been keeping Gulare since a long time told me about their temperament when kept with other cats. He kept Hypoptopoma gulare with Hypoptopoma sp 'Peru'. And guess what.. Gulare finished all of the 'Peru's. Its like ancient tribes fighting. Hahaha...
He added that Gulare loves to be in mild flow. I dont have much of a water flow in my tank as I just have a sponge filter in there. I'll soon put a small powerhead in there.
They also like Repashy Super Green and Repashy Soilent Green.

here is what has to say about them - LINK
here is what has to say about them - LINK

And here are some photos that I have taken since I got them-

And a crappy Iphone video showing them eating micro pallets. Just in case you wanna check it out -