Fish Species at

February 2009 FAMA Editor's Note

Accept a Fishkeeping Challenge.

By Clay Jackson

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Challenges. Everybody likes a good one from time to time. And that is why I like this issue. We touch upon everything from installing a 1,200-gallon aquarium (remember, I said touch upon) to medicating fish to prey-predator interactions in the wild and in aquaria. What’s a FOWLR, how about a hybrid tank or an “empty” tank? The answers are found on pages 82, 86 and 88, respectively.

Do you know how to diagnose your fish, and once you determine what ails them, do you know how to medicate them? If you read veterinarian Mark Mitchell’s “Treating Your Sick Fish” piece beginning on pg. 44, you’ll learn how to administer meds to your fish orally, by treating their water or by giving them an injection into either their muscles, the body cavity or a blood vessel. By the way, Mark Mitchell is also our new “Wet Vet” columnist, which you can check out on page 22.

One of the things we strive for in our systems is peace and tranquility (aka compatibility) between all of the occupants. But here’s a new school of thought: setting up a system with natural prey and predators in the same tank. That way you’ll be able to watch some fascinating defensive behaviors that many times thwart predators keeping them at bay. In other words, the aquarist can manage conflict while observing some natural behaviors not often witnessed in aquaria. For more on this interesting topic, read Jean-Francois Hamel’s and Annie Mercier’s, a husband-and-wife marine invertebrate research team, “Marine Predator and Prey Interactions” beginning on page 56.

And the Denver Zoo’s Alex Saunders introduces the reader to a whole suite of cichlids from the island of Madagascar. Saunders has taken four trips to the Red Island with the express purpose of studying its ichthyofauna. In his article “Cichlids of Madagascar,” beginning on page 30, Saunders discusses in detail cichlids in the genera Paratilapia, Ptychochromis and Paretroplus. Now here is the part were the reader needs to pay extra close attention: the bonus material on Ptychochromis and Paretroplus cichlids, as well as breeding information on all three genera, can be found by going to FAMA’s website at Saunders also maintains a website devoted to Madagascar’s endangered fish, which can be accessed at

One of my favorite things about FAMA is that we will never shy away from manuscripts with challenging subject matter, nor topics that push the aquariumkeeping envelope. That’s the way everyone learns and improves. Hopefully, regardless of whether your first tank was a metal-frame beauty or you are new to the aquarium hobby, you will learn a lot from this issue.

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