Wednesday, May 2, 2007

New Plant

Unknown Aquatic Plant
I picked up this plant yesterday from a small local pet shop. As usual, the boy attending the shop could not tell me the name, not even its local name. It had pale green leaves, and a thick stem without any roots. The stem is fibrous, soft and watery. Within a day, the top leaves turned into red, as shown in the picture. Probably, because of high light in my tank. It also has small purple flower buds.

Apparently, it looks like Ammannia gracilis or Nesaea crassicaulis, but weak and stressed due to the unhealthy conditions in the pet shop's dark, dumping tank. But I am not sure. I hope, it shows more of its original characteristics, as it regains its health in my 'test tank'.

It would be great if someone can help me to identify this plant!

The inset picture shows the top view of the same specimen.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Loaches


Tips for keeping freshwater loaches in your aquarium: Part 2

All loaches are bottom dwellers and love to dig around in the substrate. That is why, substrate plays an important role in setting up a perfect loach set up. Big pebbles, especially the ones with sharp edges, and other sharp-edged substrate materials, like beach sand and coral sand, should be avoided completely.

Loaches are born diggers and prefer softer substrate to dig into it while searching for food or looking for a peaceful hiding place. Because of this particular habit of loaches, fine and calcium-free sands, (free from the broken pieces of shells), like freshwater sand, river sand, Silver (playpit) sand, are ideal substrate for a loach tank The finer is better, as the finer sand won’t cause any damage to their sensitive barbells.

Few loaches have an interesting habit of taking sands in their mouth, eat the microscopic food particles and spit (?) the sand out through their gills. Few loaches, like Horseface loaches and Weather Loaches have a habit of covering themselves, entirely under the sand, except their eyes.