The C.E Community
Gregory Day is a person who can only be described as a 'fish freak'. He is absolutely in love with all of the wonderful rare, interesting and unusual species which are becoming more and more available to the UK hobby by the day. He keeps several highly sought after species including P13 and P14 stingrays, golden Arowana, wild Heckel discus and several others as well as these captivating wild Parancistrus Aurantiacus which originate from the Rio Araguaia, Brazil. Below are photo's of the actual parent fish submitted by popular discus fish retailer Matthew Boardman of Manchester Discus, whom Gregory purchased the fish from thanks to Francis Hu at Chens Discus who imported 2 pairs (both taken by Gregory).
Gregory feeds all of his fish with C.E. Fish Essentials foods and varying dried foods. He finds that his Parancistrus Aurantiacus also enjoy stealing C.E. Discus Professional food from his discus fish and reject foods such as courgette. The ideal food for this species is C.E. Pleco Carnivore.
In the photo (above left)you see the male Parancistrus Aurantiacus guarding the fry. The photo (above right) shows how the caves are situated in the aquarium. interestingly these fish chose to breed in a higher cave on top of another. Previously, the male had also rejected some of the eggs which Gregory was able to save (see below). The fry are currently housed in an egg tumbler device which Gregory had to improvise and the first few fry have begun to hatch.
26th April 2013
We have uploaded a video to the C.E. Fish Essentials Youtube account to document this wonderful achievement by Gregory and would like to wish him the very best of luck! Congratulations from us here at C.E. Fish Essentials.
8 fry saved by Gregory are all doing well.
No fry found in the cave.
25 days old
45 days old
72 days old
Alex Carslaw is without doubt the U.K's most dedicated Rainbowfish enthusiast, award-winning in fact and has made it his passion to become a significant contributor in the field in hope of preserving both their keeping in the aquarium hobby and in many cases stabilising a future for several species of these graceful, diverse and unbelievably underestimated fish.
His story is as follows;
"As a young lad I remember pestering my father to go visit my uncle who had a tropical fish tank. I was amazed at the Angelfish and neons he used to keep and would jump at the chance to feed them. I was hooked! It wasn’t until I met my now wife did my passion really kick off. Her dad owned a pet shop in Glasgow down by the “Barra’s”. Soon it became an obsession. We joined the local fish club, Cumbernauld & District Aquarist society and it wasn’t long before we got more involved in the running of the club. Around 1989 I started working for a Tropical fish wholesaler in Glasgow where I had the pleasure of meeting a man who I soon realised was to teach me lots, stuff the books cant teach you, Mr Cliff Murray Snr was his name. It was here I first got my eyes on Rainbowfish, A massive tank of Melanotaenia boesemani. I still think of them when I look at some of the lesser specimens we now see today and sigh. Today, I now have my own little man-cave as I call it, 28 tanks in my purpose built fish house at the bottom of my garden. I currently keep around 18 species of Rainbowfish and Blue-eyes and to date I have bred 30 species and hopefully now with the support of great company I can continue to breed and distribute many fish we now sadly have lost in the wild".
Alex's collection features several different Rainbowfish genera and some wonderfully rare, unique and endangered species.
Glossolepis pseudoincisus (Tami River) Melanotaenia praecox
Melanotaenia herbertaxelrodi The critically endangered: Chilatherina sentaniensis
Endangered: Melanotaenia lacustris (Kutubu Lake) - Melanotaenia sp. "Aru II"
Melanotaenia parkinsoni Melanotaenia maccullochi
Melanotaenia trifasciata (Goyder River) Melanotaenia kamaka (Lake Kamaka)
Here are Alex's thoughts on why he chose to approach us;
"I first became aware of C.E. Fish Essentials on a visit to London to take in the 2012 "Aquatics Live" show, in particular to attend a lecture by Rainbowfish collector, Heiko Bleher. I really liked the look of the product, but was unable to take any as I was on a break. I was lucky enough a few months later to be chosen to test the Community Plus formula on my fish and decided to test it on my group of Chilatherina sentaniensis. At first my fish seemed a bit unsure but I soon realised that by grating the product into flakes it was 'more than readily' accepted. This is part of the appeal of this food that it can be served up in different ways to appeal to the palette of different fish. I first noticed a difference in the colour of my fish after around 2 months, my fish were like gold bars instead of orange. To be given sponsorship and support from C.E. Fish Essentials is a dream come true for me. I visit clubs all over the UK to give talks and presentations on my passion for Rainbowfishes and now with the support I have I feel I can do it better and with more confidence. All my fish will now be given the Community Plus product as a staple diet and I'm confident I will soon see the rewards in my fish and the future generations that will follow them".
The need for individuals such as Alex (and others) to propagate and increase the numbers in captivity of some of these species is vital for the survival of these fish, as some are no longer found in the wild. Many Rainbowfish habitats have already (and are continuing to be) destroyed or polluted even before they have been explored or assessed and so our support of Alex is a cry to the aquatic community to come together and make changes. If you organise events within the aquatic community, if you want to become involved in the conservation and/or keeping of Rainbowfish or if you are able to support the work being done by people like Alex;
Please make contact: Rainbowfish UK Website | Alex's Facebook | Rainbowfish UK on Facebook
In an attempt to increase their popularity in the hobby (and preserve some critically endangered species in the process), Alex is already lined up to speak at several national and international events this year including the West Lothian Aquarist Society, The Kirkaldy Aquarist Society as well as being invited to give a talk early next year at the Catfish Study Group Convention 2015.
This afternoon, Alex Carslaw, undoubtedly the UK's most dedicated keeper, breeder & conservationist of Melanotaeniidae (Rainbowfish to you & I) hosted his first official sponsored lecture about the husbandry of these wonderful genera at the West Lothian Aquarist Society. Attendees had the opportunity to grasp a better understanding of breeding methods used by Alex and how to successfully propagate these attractive fish (some for the good of their species survival).
The members of the West Lothian Aquarist Society
Alex's lecture at the W.L.A.S was well attended
Alex's work, whether his hours upon hours investing time & money with his fish, or researching, learning and teaching others about the wonderful Rainbowfish of the world, helps to keep an awareness of the need for the future of many rainbowfish to be protected. Some of these species originate from single lakes in what are now 'developing areas' and hence being destroyed, polluted or filled with invasive species which are outcompeting or even predating upon these pressurised populations. For some of these fish, their propagation within the aquarium hobby is there only chance to remain on earth...
Great work Alex!
Attendees of Alex's lecture all received FREE 10% off vouchers on all C.E. Fish Essentials products
Alex feeds all of his fish with our Community Plus formula
Photography: Sharon Johnston © (https://www.facebook.com/ZionAngelPhotography)
Located in Glasgow’s busy Darnley area, George Funkner's fishroom is a haven for all things aquatic, killifish in particular. With 260 tanks, yes, 260 ! George is kept well busy in a fish house that far outnumbers any aquatic retailer you will find in this fine city. On the approach to George’s place you could be forgiven for thinking you have made a wrong turn, it is situated at the back of some retail/workshop units. Once inside you will be gobsmacked, it’s an Aladdin’s cave as I like to call it. Measuring some 300 ft² and the main room is crammed floor to ceiling with tanks.
Set off the main room, George has a nice big area where he can prepare and receive shipments to send to hobbyists worldwide. I jokingly asked him when he is going to fill this room also, to which he pointed me in the direction of a large shipment of new shelving. Soon, it looks like the 260 will become 400! Total dedication from a man who really knows his stuff.
George’s tanks are filtered using various methods and all connect to a single main air ring fed from some pretty big air blowers. The room is space heated and one thing I did notice was the lack of condensation which is probably down to the tight fitting tank covers of the 'sometimes suicidal' Killifish.
George has been keeping fish since 1982 and in this time has bred nearly 900 species of fish from the humble guppy to the more tricky African killifish like Aphyosemion wildekampi. Looking into each tank it’s clear to see George’s success, with many hosting fry, sub-adult and adult fish all within the same perfectly decorated and leaf strewn tank. George supplies many people from all over the world with the eggs of some of the rarest Killifish you will find and this allows funding for George’s many collecting trips to the likes of Bolivia, from where he has only just returned bringing with him many new and undescribed species of fish. Here are just a few of his wonderful collection.
I always look forward to visiting George as here you will find fish you will not see very often if at all. Always with a smile on his face, George has no problems explaining his methods and success’s to which he has many. A true gent, a good friend and a fantastic aquarist.
Written by: Alex Carslaw - Editor: Chris Englezou
Photography: George Funkner © & Alex Carslaw ©
1 Fish Selection
Photography: Alex Carslaw ©
Betta macrostoma Betta mandor
In Scotland a license is required to keep Channa species and one can be obtained for free from Scottish Natural Heritage. It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to Bettas, and boy does this guy know about Bettas. Colin maintains and breeds some species like Betta renata, B. stigmosa, B. kuehnei,and as yet undescribed Betta species. You won’t find these fish in many (if any) other fish houses in the UK.
Written by: Alex Carslaw
Editor: Chris Englezou
Before the show I had entered these as a first time bred and hopefully I will receive the certificate for this most likely extinct in the wild species. From my three entries I received a first and second for both my breeding groups and a first in the Rainbowfish section for my adult fish. When entering my fish I had noticed another entry of young Blue-eyes, a group of Pseudomugil cyanodorsalis and that was the plan B. Before long I met the breeder, a nice chap from the north east of England, Robbie Kirkup and we soon agreed to trade our breeding groups. Four of my spottys for four of his Blue backs. Plan B was successful and it did not cost me a penny, happy days. On browsing the tables I noticed some cracking fish, a credit to the owners and a delight to see such healthy, colourful fish on display. Soon after it was time for the awards and finally home time, well not before my usual visit to Kinghorn beach with a fish supper first!
Receiving one of my awards | J. Symington (Best Betta)
Full list of winners are as follows :
|POECILIA-LIMA- MALE - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|POECILIA - LIMIA – FEMALE - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|XIPHOPHORUS – MALE - Sandy Murphy|
|A O V LIVEBEARER – FEMALE - Sandy Murphy|
|A O V -LIVEBEARER – MALE - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|PENCIL FISH-NANNOSTOMUS ONLY - Gordon McLeod|
|ANY OTHER CHARACIN - Gordon McLeod|
|BARBS - Graham Geddes|
|CICHLIDS-AOV.DWARF & LARGE - Gordon McLeod|
|CICHLIDS – AFRICAN DWARF & LARGE - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|BETTAS - Jean Symington|
|A O V ANABANTOID - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|CATFISH – CORYDORAS, SCLEROMYSTAX & BROCHIS - Gordon McLeod|
|A O V CATFISH - Dave Smart|
|SHARKS & LOACHES & FOXES - Gordon McLeod|
|RAINBOWFISH - Alex Carslaw|
|TROPICAL MINNOWS & DANIOS - Colin and Susan Beavis|
|RASBORAS - Dave Smart|
|AOV – EGGLAYER - Gavin and AJ Cowan|
|AOV – COLDWATER - Gavin and AJ Cowan|
|PAIRS EGGLAYERS - Gordon McLeod|
|PAIRS LIVEBEARERS - Sandy Murphy|
|MATCHED TRIOS – MALE - Gordon McLeod|
|MATCHED TRIOS – FEMALE - Gordon McLeod|
|BREEDERS CLASS OF TEN FISH - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|BREEDERS CATEGORY – D - Gordon McLeod|
|BREEDERS CATEGORY – C - Mandy Hutchison|
|BREEDERS CATEGORY – B - Alex Carslaw|
|BREEDERS CATEGORY – A - Eddie Morcambe|
|JUNIORS – ANY LIVEBEARER - Jack Young|
|JUNIORS – ANY EGGLAYER - Jack young|
|JUNIORS – COLDWATER - Jack young|
|BEST BARB - Graham Geddes|
|BEST CHARACIN - Gordon McLeod|
|BEST PAIR - Gordon McLeod|
|BEST TRIO - Gordon McLeod|
|BEST CICHLID - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|BEST ANABANTOID - Jean Symington|
|BEST JUNIOR - Jack Young|
|BEST BREEDER - Eddie Morcambe|
|BEST LIVEBEARER - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|BEST COLDWATER - Gavin and AJ Cowan|
|BEST EGGLAYER - Gavin and AJ Cowan|
|BEST CATFISH - Dave Smart|
|BEST KAS MEMBER - Gordon McLeod|
|BEST EXHIBITOR - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|3RD BEST IN SHOW - Rob and Karen Kirkup|
|2ND BEST IN SHOW - Gordon McLeod|
|BEST IN SHOW - Gavin and AJ Cowan|
A massive well done must be said to Kirkcaldy AS and in particular Brian and Abby who made things run smoothly even though this was there first year as show managers !
Photography: Alex Carslaw
Editor: Chris Englezou
Sunday the 18th of May saw the first open show on the Federation of Scottish Aquarist Society's calendar. The host club was Glenrothes Aquarist Society, a small, yet long established and well respected club from the Kingdom of Fife. After last months event in Kirkcaldy I had decided I would no longer be submitting any of my home-bred fish for auction. Whilst I regret not being able to support this and other local auctions, there are a number of reasons for this. The main contributing factor for this decision (and I’m sure anyone who raises their own fish would understand) is that I can no longer justify the stress it causes to my fish. Last months event saw me bringing home fish that had been bagged up all day to be simply returned to the tank, I don’t like to stress my fish for no reason and in any case I like people to come to me to buy my stock rather than just snapping it up because it was only £2 a bag. When aquarists come to me to collect fish I know that person actually has an interest in the fish species I keep rather than just a bargain.
Free of the stress of catching auction lots I decided I would enter a few breeding teams of my Rainbowfish and claim a first time bred certificate for them. I entered three groups of four fish, F1 Red Line Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia rubrostriata)“Kopi River” the parents of these fish were caught by my good friend (and owner of Pier Aquatics) Neil Woodward on his trip to West Papua a few years ago (with Hans George Evers), the critically endangered Sentani Rainbowfish (Chilatherina sentaniensis) and its close relative the Barred Rainbowfish (Chilatherina fasciata). There are many fantastic breeders in Scotland but for some reason the first time bred registers seem to be a bit dated and unused, perhaps the registers could benefit from being a bit more simplistic and an online application form created for claimants on the FSAS website.
Unfortunately there was no class for Rainbowfish at the event and decided I would put a couple of young bue-eyes into the AOV egg-layers class. I entered one Blue back blue-eye (Pseudomugil cyanodorsalis) and one Spotted blue-eye (Pseudomugil getrudae) “Aru II”. The spotty is a stunning wee fish and one with particular interest to me. This fish began its life after being hatched from an egg deposited on a small piece of Java fern I gave to my son for his massive vivarium's water hole. Due to the viv not being completed the fish received no light, food or filtration for the first 3 months of its life and survived solely on detritus worms and micro fauna created from the breakdown of plants in the darkened water hole. When I discovered it I could not believe the colours the fish was displaying and how it was in such good health. If you breed these take a look at the most colourful fry, you will notice no doubt, that these are the ones who will be hanging around the sponge filter pecking away at the micro fauna that inhabits it. Sometimes we can interfere to much as far as foodstuffs are concerned and a natural aquatic environment containing natural micro fauna is far superior for these small fry than a laboratory plastic tub type environment. This is my excuse for my algae covered breeding tanks and I'm sticking to it !
|Guppies||S Murphy||P reticulata|
|Mollies||D Smart||Glenrothes AS||P salvatoris|
|Platies||S Murphy||X maculatus|
|Swordtails||J Irish||WLAS||X montezuma|
|AOV Livebearers||G & AJ Cowan||Solway AS||C lateralis|
|Barbs A||J Hetherington||Workington||P oligolepis|
|Barbs B||B Kerrigan||STAMPS||P denisonii|
|Characins A||J Irish||WLAS||H amapayensis|
|Characins B||J Irish||WLAS||T argenteus|
|Characins C||J Douthwate||STAMPS||A hypselonotus|
|Danios/Minnows||J Irish||WLAS||D freegradei|
|Gouramies Colisa||J Irish||WLAS||C chuna|
|Siamese Fighters||D Smart||Glenrothes AS||B splendens|
|AOV Anabantoids||J Irish||WLAS||B pallafina|
|Catfish A||F Bennett||Fair City AS||C pygmaeus|
|Catfish B||D Gamble||Aberdeen AS||H ornatus|
|Catfish C||D Gamble||Aberdeen AS||A spinosissimus|
|Dwarf Cichlids||J Irish||WLAS||A Myrnae|
|Large Cichlids||B Kerrigan||STAMPS||S casuaris|
|Rift Cichlids||J Irish||WLAS||L helicanthus|
|Rasboras||J Douthwate||STAMPS||R lacrimula|
|Sharks/fox/loach||B Kerrigan||STAMPS||E bicolor|
|Toothcarps||D Gamble||Aberdeen AS||S santanae|
|Albino||B Kerrigan||STAMPS||E frenatum|
|AOV Egglayer||J Irish||WLAS||P gertrudae|
|Unidentified||D Smart||Glenrothes AS|||
|AOV Coldwater||G & AJ Cowan||Solway AS||N chrosmosus|
|Pairs Livebearer||J Irish||WLAS||P chamola|
|Pairs Egglayer||J Milligan||SLAG||D tinwini|
|Breeders Egglayer||D Gamble||Aberdeen AS||Hypancistrus sp (L066)|
|Junior Egglayer||AJ Cowan||Solway AS||P Viitata|
|Best Livebearer||G & AJ Cowan||Solway AS||C lateralis|
|Best Barb||J Hetherington||Workington||P oligolepis|
|Best Characin||J Irish||WLAS||H amapayensis|
|Best Danio/Minnow||J Irish||WLAS||D freegradei|
|Best Gouramie||J Irish||WLAS||C chuna|
|Best fighter||D Smart||Glenrothes AS||B splendens|
|Best AOV Annabantoid||J Irish||WLAS||B pallafina|
|Best Catfish||F Bennett||Fair City AS||C pygmaeus|
|Best Cichlid||J Irish||WLAS||A Myrnae|
|Best Rasbora||J Douthwate||STAMPS||R lacrimula|
|Best Sharks/fox/loach||B Kerrigan||STAMPS||E bicolor|
|Best Toothcarp||D Gamble||Aberdeen AS||S santanae|
|Best Albino||B Kerrigan||STAMPS||E frenatum|
|Best AOV Egglayer||J Irish||WLAS||P gertrudae|
|Best Unidentified||D Smart||Glenrothes AS|||
|Best Coldwater||G & AJ Cowan||Solway AS||N chrosmosus|
|Best Pair||J Irish||WLAS||P chamola|
|Best Breeder||D Gamble||Aberdeen AS||Hypancistrus sp (L066)|
|Best Junior||AJ Cowan||Solway AS||P Viitata|
|3rd Best fish in show||F Bennett||Fair City AS||C pygmaeus|
|2nd Best fish in show||J Irish||WLAS||H amapayensis|
|Best fish in show||B Kerrigan||STAMPS||E bicolor|
Written by: Alex Carslaw
Photography: Alex Carslaw © | Allan James © | John Bradley ©
Editor: Chris Englezou
The first name which I want to help hobbyists correctly identify belongs to the wild Symphysodon haraldi (discus fish) of the Alenquer region in Brazil commonly (but incorrectly) known as the "Curipera" or sometimes even "Curipeua". Traditionally, wild discus fish which reach the hobby are not only named by their taxonomic identities (e.g. genus & species) as even one species can inhabitat vast areas and be incredibly diverse, but they can be further classified by identifying the specific river or lake which their habitats are linked to. In this case, the Discus fish of the Lago Cuipeuá are identified as such because their biotopes are found in and around the Cuipeuá Lake - 1°51'22.6"S 54°54'03.1"W
The next to be correctly identified is the discus fish hamartianly named as coming from "Barra Mansa". Barra Mansa, as also highlighted in Bleher's Discus Volume 1, is a village along the Rio Curuá, no discus fish are found in that area however, in the bays of the lower Curuá, discus biotopes exist and host some very beautiful variants.
Another often misidentified discus fish is one which actually bares some resemblance to the variants it is falsely named as. But independently they all deserve to have their correct identities revealed, especially as it will help the collecting hobbyists. The discus of the Xingú region really are something special (I write from a moderately biased view, as readers of my personal blogs will know), but even one taxonomic publication identified these fish as a species of their own within the Symphysodon genus based on some unique genetic loci (although, personally I'm not so sure). One of the amazing characteristics of this S. haraldi variant is their lack of pigmented patterning and extreme golden colour (in exceptional individuals). They are popularly known as the most yellow / golden of all of the wild discus forms and said to be among those with the best round body shapes. Now to get to the point, sadly many other patternless brown and golden (also of the brown clade) discus are being named from Rio Xingú region when in fact they often come from areas such as Cametá, along the Rio Tocantins, Santarem & the Rio Tapajos and another beautiful golden variant is that of the Rio Arapiuns. Each are unique and deserve independent respect.
To be continued...
Photography: © N.Baviolis © N. Hivatal © Rare Aquatics © H&K Discus
Article by Chris Englezou