Saturday 15th June 2013 saw Dublin’s first visit from the renowned ichthyological explorer Heiko Bleher and ‘insightful’ only begins to scratch the surface. Here is how it went…
Heiko Bleher has made visits to over 180+ different countries spanning every corner of the Globe, something very few have done and leaving only about 16 left until he has explored them all! Ireland was another more easily accessible addition to the list and the visit took place at the Maxizoo in Leopardstown, Dublin. C.E. Fish Essentials owner Chris Englezou flew over for the day to attend.
The Maxizoo in leopardstown is the 14 addition to the Maxizoo family of stores and sports a very large selection of pet based goods as well as a fair selection of reptiles and fish species. The general impression is that Maxizoo is an Irish equivalent of stores such as Pets at Home or similar however, hosting such an event whereby beginners and advanced aquarists alike can get an opportunity to learn directly from specialists such as Heiko really does set Maxizoo ahead in the credibility stakes and their aquaria were all immaculately kept with some classic as well as interesting species including some very nice variants of the Endler’s livebearer.
The vivariums were stocked with typical but eye catching creatures such as bearded dragons, tarantulas, scorpions but more noticeably, were arranged with care and respect for the animals contained despite their homes being temporary. The care and passion of the staff was evident.
Heiko gave detailed lectures about his various trips across the world to remote and untouched areas and completed 3 biotope set-ups. One in particular and the last of the three was a detailed recreation of the Rio Jufaris which in an affluent of the Rio Negro where in 1965 Heiko discovered one of the most popular aquarium species in the hobby, The Brilliant Rummynose Tetra (Hemigrammus bleheri).
Heiko described the effect a biotope aquarium can have on it’s fish species, making them feel at home and instantly encouraging natural behaviour. He showed various video and photographic slides of examples where fish that had previously not bred for several years with their owners had begun to breed within a very short time being in a natural biotope aquarium. The fine details of this particular recreation really brought it to life and it was incredible to see Heiko referring to real life images stored in his mind as well as the plethora of photographs and bringing them to life in this small contained environment for all to see.
These photos (above) show how Heiko simulated the layer of annual leaf litter which falls in the Amazon and which is the reason for the dark tea coloured water in the black water regions. Within minutes of introduction the fish were all acting naturally and seemed pleased in their new home.
A fantastic event and an invaluable experience for any aquarist seeking knowledge and information on their hobby. Heiko’s Discusbook series all feature some fantastic biotope aquaria and are all available exclusively from us here at C.E. Fish Essentials.
Cyril (JBL), Heiko Bleher & C.E. Fish Essentials owner Chris Englezou