Current status of the Mediterranean Killifish (Aphanius fasciatus) in Malta | A Complex Conservation Question

Chris Englezou Conservation 1 Comment

Between the 21st-26th March 2017 I had the opportunity to visit each of five known localities for the Mediterranean Killifish Aphanius fasciatus on the island of Malta. The Killifish is locally known as “Buzaqq” and has historically inhabited brackish to hypersaline habitats at Marsa, Marsaxlokk, Marsaskala, Salini and Għadira. Salini The population at Salini are the only remaining natural population still residing in their natural habitat, but this habitat has been heavily altered since it was constructed into a large salt pan area by the knights of St John in the 16th century. It is still maintained to this day for …

Recreating the Atabapo | Biotope Seminar & Workshop in Malta

Chris Englezou Biotope, Community 5 Comments

Last week I flew over to the beautiful Mediterranean island of Malta as an invited guest to speak at the “Journey into an Aquarium” seminar which took place at the National Aquarium Malta.  This event was organised by Andy Bugeja of Aqualine Malta, the Maltese distribution agent for Naturekind Advanced Fish Food and featured some other great speakers also including Chris Ingham (Author of the book Discus World), Tristan Camilleri (Director of the Malta Aquaculture Directorate) and Raymond Caruana (The Killifish Conservation Project).   I had the pleasure of being able to speak in great detail with the aquariums curator Daniel …

The birth of the wild aquarium | a tool for conservation

Chris Englezou Biotope, Conservation, Uncategorised Leave a Comment

Almost five years ago, artist and river explorer Ivan Mikolji uploaded a video to the infamous video sharing site Youtube which would change the direction of the aquarium hobby forever, sparking a new wave of interest in nature and natural aquarium fishkeeping.   To an outsider, a non-fish-keeper, the “Wild Aquarium” series may initially come across as the work of an outlandish artist or an eccentric and lateral interpretation of a fish tank that they may deem unnecessary or just confusing. But the truth of the matter is that behind the creativity, the artistry and the millions of internet views… is …

Exploring aquatic biotopes in the Western Ghats | Mountain Streams to Mangrove Swamps

Chris Englezou Biotope 2 Comments

It is the middle of the dry season in the Western Ghats; I am here in the mountains of southern India at 3000ft above sea level on the border of two states, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and I am surrounded by dense jungle. The temperature during the day is not yet scorching but reaches somewhere in the region of 34°C, the canopy keeps me mostly shaded but at night the temperature drops by more than 20°C and it can be a shock to the system. My surroundings are dry but are quite reminiscent of my time in the Amazon except …

Biotope Aquarium Set-Up at Maidenhead Aquatics, Melksham

Chris Englezou Biotope, Community, Events 5 Comments

This weekend I had the pleasure and honour of been invited to Melksham by the aquatic chain store Maidenhead Aquatics to take part in the Wiltshire Plecos & Catfish Study Group gathering. The events are held at different times throughout the year in the aim of bringing fishkeeping enthusiasts of all levels together to provide educational talks and unite the community; they also are a great opportunity to ogle at some truly exceptional fishes and maybe even take a few home. The manager of Melksham’s branch is James Gulliver and with the help of Nick Ridout and the other members …

Lecture and Biotope Workshop for the British Cichlid Association

Chris Englezou Biotope, Community, Events Leave a Comment

This past weekend I had the distinct privilege to be invited to speak at the British Cichlid Association summer convention at the Brittania Hotel in Wigan. I was also asked to do one of my biotope aquarium workshops which teach fish keepers how to recreate a natural aquatic habitat in their aquarium using only biotope-correct species and decor. The event had a humble attendance including some of the most reputable fish keepers in the country, some of whom it was an honour to have listen to my thoughts and experiences. My talk was entitled “Pterophyllum altum and the other angelfishes” …

Rio Nanay biotope workshop at Maidenhead Aquatics in Melksham

Chris Englezou Biotope, Community, Events 4 Comments

This weekend I was invited once again over to Melksham by Maidenhead Aquatics to demonstrate another authentic biotope aquarium set-up. On my last visit here I showed how to recreate the Rio Atabapo during the high water season and this time after consulting with the Maidenhead team about what options we could work with, I gave my suggestions and once the fish list was confirmed, I decided on a biotope aquarium based on a lake along the Rio Nanay in the dry season.  The team at Melksham went right out of their way to try and ensure we had some interesting …

A new species of Pterophyllum?

Chris Englezou Biotope 2 Comments

Having been deeply fascinated with the Pterophyllum genus for many years, I have found myself waist deep in research, analysing data, images and footage and even taking trips into the jungle to better understand the majestic freshwater Angelfish and the factors which influence their distribution and taxonomy. One area of recently increasing interest to me is the Rio Negro in Brasil. I have always been curious about the distribution of Pterophyllum leopoldi and the existence of disjunct populations along both the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões and in the last few years I have dedicated countless hours to uncover more …

potamon freshwater crab malta

An Endangered Freshwater Crab in Malta | Potamon fluviatile lanfrancoi

Chris Englezou Conservation 1 Comment

Potamon fluviatile lanfrancoi is definitely not the short name for the Maltese freshwater crab. In Maltese language it is referred to as Qabru and was originally described from seven localities across Malta and Gozo islands by D. Capolongo and J. L. Cilia in 1990.  Ten years later the subspecies status was revised in a publication by Brandis et al and the genus Potamon was split into four subgenera: Potamon, Eutelphusa, Pontipotamon and Orientopotamon.  The Maltese crab is currently identified as Potamon (Eutelphusa) fluviatile although revocation of the subspecies status is not widely accepted in Malta since the endemism of the “subspecies” to …