Biotopes of Hong Kong | Hill Stream Habitats | Blue Neon Stiphodon

Chris Englezou Biotope, Biotopes of Hong Kong, Conservation Leave a Comment

Hill stream habitats in Hong Kong are home to some of the most endearing and enigmatic fishes on Earth. These oxygen-rich, cool mountain streams or often, torrential rivers, provide crucial habitat, not only for exclusively freshwater dwelling species, but also form important migratory routes and nurseries for anadromous, amphidromous and catadromous fishes, those which migrate upriver, those with complex breeding strategies involving both fresh and saline systems and those which migrate downriver to the sea to spawn, respectively. One Hong Kong hill stream species which is particularly fascinating is the goby Stiphodon atropurpureus. From their striking iridescence, their adaptation of …

Biotopes of South Africa | Pseudocrenilabrus philander | The Southern Mouthbrooder

Chris Englezou Biotope, Biotopes of Africa, Uncategorised Leave a Comment

Pseudocrenilabrus philander is arguably one of the most underrated fish species found in the aquarium hobby, albeit rarely. In nature, it is known from a wide range of habitats, including streams, lakes, and ponds and some populations are even known to exist in slightly brackish waters¹. The species is found in biotopes across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique and Swaziland and the population featured in this article were collected and photographed just this week along the Hex River near Rustenburg, South Africa by aquatic researcher Russell Brian Tate. Research has …

Biotopes of Zambia | Neolebias lozii, a critically endangered fish from the Barotse floodplains

Chris Englezou Biotope, Biotopes of Africa, Uncategorised Leave a Comment

Neolebias lozii, also known as the Banded Neolebias is a species of critically endangered Characin in the Distichodontidae family. The two sites where the species has been found are less than 2 km apart and the streams meet <5 km downstream, and the area of occurrence consists of only a few km of streams 1 to 2 m wide in the dry season. In terms of the alien invasive threat, the streams are classified as a single location, but would be classed as two separate locations in the event of an agricultural chemical pollution event or road tanker spill. The …

Biotopes of Cameroon | Aphyosemion ahli | Ahl’s Killifish

Chris Englezou Biotope, Biotopes of Africa Leave a Comment

Aphyosemion ahli Myers, 1933 is a Lower Guinea endemic found in the Wouri River in western Cameroon and southward to the Rio Benito drainage system in western Equatorial Guinea. It occurs in swamps and quiet parts of brooks under forest cover in the coastal lowlands (Wildekamp et al. 1986). It also inhabits flooded pools in the coastal rain forest and is usually found in shallow water; it is a benthopelagic, non-migratory species. (IUCN Redlist 2010) This individual was collected from a coastal swamp biotope north of the city of Douala in Littoral, Cameroon, within the Mungo River drainage area. The Mungo …

Biotoping for charity at the Fish Barn

Chris Englezou Biotope, Chris Englezou, Events Leave a Comment

This Sunday just passed I was invited by the guys over at the well known aquatic store The Fish Barn in Crawley, West Sussex to join them for their “Discus Day” event. The event started at 10am, went on until the late afternoon around 5pm and as well as the great variety of domestic and wild discus available, there were plenty of discus related goodies on show as well. The reason for my invitation was to construct an authentic discus fish biotope aquarium as part of the discus themed day and help raise funds for the Freshwater Life Project, the …

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

Chris Englezou Chris Englezou, Conservation 4 Comments

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, Chris Englezou, 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, Chris Englezou, Conservation, Uncategorised 1 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 …

Biotopes of India | The Western Ghats, Mountain Streams to Mangrove Swamps

Chris Englezou Biotope, Chris Englezou 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 …