Pseudomugil sp.”Aru”

Hello!
I hope all of you are having a great day!
I’m here to present another relatively new Rainbowfish of the Pseudomugilidae genus! It resembles a blue-eye from the grouping of P.gertrudae and P.paskai, and it goes by the name of Pseudomugil sp.”Aru”.

I would like to once again give photo credit to Hiroyuki Sasaki, a well-known photographer of smaller fish here in Japan, and the fish of which the photos are of, are from a shop by the name of “Tropical Garden”.

PsuedoAruWhite
White-finned Aru Male

These beauties relatively recently have been making their way into the hobby via Indonesian distributors. They are at least claimed to be collected from the islands of Kepulauan Aru, which is a part of Irian Jaya, New Guinea. Which specific island of the Aru islands I have no knowledge of.

AruIsle

These may be a variety of gertrudae, that is still yet unknown, but it is a likely fact, being that the original P.gertrudae were collected from one of these very same “Aru” Islands, known as “Terangan” island. When it comes to localities of the same fish, Rainbowfish in general are known to vary greatly in terms of color, finnage, and patterns. Although there are usually some characteristics which are consistant throughout all the locality types. For example, in this case, if it were a P.gertrudae variety, it shares the black-spotting on the fins. Then again, so does P.paskai but that’s a whole other species of Pseudomugil. The Rainbowfish groups is quite a varied group of fish.

The most defining characteristics of P.”Aru” is that #1 the anal fin’s 3/4 rays are extended, creating a sickle shape. #2 is that all of the fins (with the exception of the pectoral fins) will either have a white-hue or an orange-hue on their edges. The pectoral fins of both the white and orange varieties exhibit a deep orange color at their tips. You can clearly see these differences in the 1st photo posted above of a white-finned male, and the photo below of an orange-finned male.

PseudoAru
Orange-sickle male

The females, as with all Pseudomugils are quite drab compared to their male counterparts. The eyes are still blue, but the body has almost no color, finnage, or patterns, resembling the males.

PseudoAruFemale

I haven’t had any experience breeding/raising these, but from a friend of mine who has worked with them, they really pose no serious problems. Relatively easy to both keep/raise and breed. Of course with most Pseudomugils, they will do much better in groups and aren’t very aggressive, with the exception of the males sparring with each other.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Another on a relatively new and beautiful Pseudomugil!
If you like what you are seeing please feel free to leave a comment!
Have a good one!
Inspire91

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Pseudomugil sp.”Timika”

Hello Hello!
I know it’s been quite awhile! I was on vacation back in my home state, but now that I am fully relaxed, here is another post! I haven’t done a fish post in quite some time, this one will definitely drop some jaws!

One of my favorite genus of fish is Pseudomugilidae, more commonly known as “Blue-eyes”, from the group of fish called “Rainbow Fish”. Most originate from Australia and surrounding island nations such as Papua New Guinea, or Irian Jaya. These are small fish, but they pack a punch in terms of color, pattern, and finnage! The specific one that I will be covering today is known right now as Pseudomugil sp.”Timika”. In all honesty I have not seen a blue eye this gorgeous in a looooong time!

Credit for all these photos go to Hiroyuki Sasaki, a well-known photographer of smaller fish here in Japan. The credit for the fish goes to the shop “Tropical Garden”.

Timika1
Males sparring

These small fish (the ones in the photographs are just under an inch long) come from Irian Jaya, the Western neighbor to Papua New Guinea, on the island of New Guinea.
IrianJaya

In terms of sexual dimorphism, the males are much more flamboyant than the females, as you can see from the picture below. The color and finnage are much more boring/drab compared to that of the males.
TimikaFemale
Female “Timika”

These Pseudomugils began being imported into Japan (at least) 1 year ago. I have no experience raising or breeding these fish, but I have heard that they are relatively easy to keep. They will do fine in pairs, but they do just as fine, if not are more comfortable when kept in groups. They aren’t overly aggressive towards one another, although the males will often spar, no “real” damage is done to one another.

Timika2

I hope you all enjoyed this short write up on a new GORGEOUS Blue-eye, hopefully this genus of Rainbow Fish will become one of your new favorites!
My next post will most likely cover another Pseudomugil. I promise you its another eye-catcher!
If you enjoyed this or any of my previous posts please leave a comment!
Thank you very much for your time!
Inspire91

Geothelphusa dehaani (blue variant) “Sawagani”

Hello again!
These past few weeks have been quite busy, the combination of the flu and work doesn’t do the body any good. Nonetheless I am back, this time with a post on a freshwater crustacean called Geothelphusa dehaani (blue variant). They go by the name of “Sawagani” here in Japan.

Sexually mature male
bluemale

This is a small freshwater crab that is found in and around the forest streams of Japan. They are quite abundant during the warmer times of the year, Spring and Summer, where many can be found crawling around out in the open, and there are baby crabs everywhere. As opposed to the colder times of the year (Fall, and especially Winter) they tend to “shutdown” and tend to go into “hibernation” you could call it. They do not breed, they aren’t found crawling out in the open, and basically just not active at all. Take the one male that I currently have in my terrarium. During the Summer when I first got him, he would crawl and climb all over the tank all day, very active. Yet now during the Winter, it has gotten very cold, and I never see him, he does not even eat the food I place in the tank, although he is still alive, he just always stays under the water and hidden.

In terms of sexual dimorphism, both males and females can exhibit the blue and white coloration, the brown colored specimens seem to be sexually immature. The easiest way to tell the difference between the sexes is the males have 1 large claw, and 1 smaller claw. Also the females have a larger/wider “flap” on their abdomen, in order to carry the eggs/babies.

Sexually immature specimen
Brownimmature

In their natural habitat (given you collect them at the right times of the year, as stated above) you can find them crawling anywhere on the ground. Most of the time they can be found especially under rocks, it seems that, that is where they make their homes.

A blue variant excavating a home underneath rocks

They are very good climbers, in the forest I have seen them crawling steep rock faces. As for food, they like most crustaceans are scavengers. They have been documented as eating, rice, algae, bugs, other dead crustaceans, and vegetable matter (soy beans, bamboo root etc). I personally fed my crab cooked white rice! Seems odd, but he would go nuts for it!

An older blue variant male eating a piece of old carapace

A Red variant eating some vegetable matter

As far as I could tell, in terms of breeding, the females carry the eggs on their underbelly, and they carry them until the eggs hatch into baby crabs just under 1cm across, at which point the female drops them, and they’re left to fend for themselves.

Blue variant females carrying eggs
bluefemaleeggs
photo credit: http://www.pintaro-tabinosora.cocolog-nifty.com
bluefemaleeggs2
photo credit: http://www.ncaflyfish.blogspot.com

Red female carrying babies that are soon-to-be dropped

Recently dropped juvenile
juvenile
photo credit: http://www.geolocation.com

Like I mentioned earlier this is the blue variant of Geothelphusa dehanni. There is another known variety that naturally occurs in Japan, and it is the red variety. The lifestyle and habitat of the red variety is no different from the blue variety.

Red variant male
redmale

I hope you all enjoyed this post on my most recent pet, Geothelphusa dehaani! Please leave a comment if you like what you are seeing, it would be much appreciated!
Take care all!
Inspire91

Shizuoka Collecting Trip part#2

Hello to all of you again!
I hope life’s been treating you all well also 🙂
Here is my 2nd installment of a small 2 part series on my recent collecting trip out in the field of Shizuoka, Japan. This post will pretty much follow the format of the previous post where I will simply be sharing with you a few of the more interesting flora that I came across while in the field, again I don’t actually know many of the names of these plants, so forgive me for that, but I hope you folks still enjoy the pictures!

As I stated previously in my last post, many of the spots we stopped at, were right on the side of the road, “easy” collecting I must say!
roadside1
roadside2

The below picture was of a moss that I considered one of the most interesting that day. The best way I could describe it, is that it was a tight packed mat of small stems. Each stem including the leaves were about the size of your pinkie finger, actually a larger moss.
largespikemoss

This type of moss I found very, very little of. It was a very wet, small and soft to-the-touch species. The largest fronds were about the size of your thumb nail.
rubbermoss

This one was another larger species, with each stem being about the size of your middle finger. Also best described as a tight packed mat of stems. This species was very dry, not near any running water, very “feathery” to-the-touch, with very fine, needle-like leaves on each stem.
featherymoss

Going into this trip, I was after one specific plant, and it was this fern. I like it for two reasons, it takes to water somewhat easily, and is easy to grow. The leaves are translucent-green, like Bolbitis, the largest fronds (emersed) grow to about 5-6 inches from tip to base of the leaf. If this fern is immersed, the fronds only get to about 3 inches long. The look of the leaf doesn’t change when grown under water, it just shrinks quite a bit. It is also a very slow grower, maybe 1 leaf or 2 (if you are lucky) per month. That growth rate goes for whether it is grown in or out of water.
LargeFern

This smaller fern pictured below, I have seen a number of times on previous trips into the field in Japan. It is not very common, but it is abundant in spots where it is found. As you can see it makes a really nice drapery of leaves, with each leaf only being about 2 inches long. This small fern doesn’t do very well under water, but I have been growing it in a terrarium for months now, and it is doing great!
smallfern
smallfern2

I hope you all enjoyed this 2nd part of my Shizuoka collecting trip!
Take care!
Inspire91

Shizuoka collecting trip part#1

I hope all of you had a great Christmas and a happy new year! I’m finally back after my holidays and work life has settled down a bit ☺

My next two posts will be about a short collecting trip with a few friends that I took to a prefecture by the name of Shizuoka, it’s a prefecture that is relatively near Mt. Fuji. There was a great abundance of moss as well as a number of small ferns that I managed to collect as well as get some nice pictures of, and those are what I will share with you today. I don’t know all of the names of the pictures that will be listed below, but I figure I share them with you anyway.

Our first stop was a small spot on the side of a mountain road, you needed to only to park next on the side of the road and walk through and entrance to a small cave-like area. Here I found 2 types of Fissidens species, they were simply attached to a wall that had water running down it.

fissiden wall
fissiden1
fissiden2

Here, like in many locations we found a species of native forest freshwater crab by the name of Geothelphusa dehaani, or as it’s known in Japan “Sawagani”. We found the blue and brown morph of it, there is also a red morph variety that’s found elsewhere. I took the blue beauty home with me, and it’s currently doing very well in a terrarium.

Blue Morph
bluemorph
Brown Morph
brownmorph

Many of the spots that we hit were right on the side of the road. While driving we’d look for streams, or a place where there was running water. Some of the spots we stopped at were at the end of old narrow and beaten roads that led into the mountains. Simply said, all of the spots where we found the following plants were easily accessible.

spot1

Thuidium species

Fissidens nobilis
FissidensNobilis
FissidensNobilis2

The follwing is one of my favorite finds, it’s somewhat difficult to find in the wild. The best way I can describe it is, is that it has clear and translucent leaves like a Bolbitis, the crown is similar to a Syngonanthus, and the root structure is rhizome-like. Previous to this trip I have collected it a number of times, but find it very difficult to make it adapt to being fully immersed. Although I took some this trip also and tried to grow it in a terrarium environment, and it is doing quite well. I will probably do a post on it at a later time.
Rhodobryum giganteum
RhodobryumGiganteum
RhodobryumGiganteum2

I wish I knew the scientific name of the following moss. I had never seen anything like it before. It had very damp, soft leaves, and they were very “rubbery” to the touch.
Unknown1

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of a two part series on my recent collecting trip to Shizuoka prefecture!
Be sure to check back for the 2nd installment!
Have a good one guys!
Inspire91

Echinodorus Saturn 2000

Hello all!
My last post was about Echinodorus opacus “Goncalo” 2003, today’s post will be about another very special sword plant, Echinodorus “Saturn” 2000. Generally speaking “Saturn” is very similar to opacus, in growth, requirements, popularity, price, etc.

E.Saturn leaf

This is another one of the more popular and rare Sword plants in the hobby. The reason for this is it’s limited importation and its very very slow growth. The 2000 on the name denotes, the year that it was imported, at least into Japan. According to my source, there was only one importation of this sword also, just like the opacus from the last post.

A short story behind this plant is that the collector of this specific 2003 variety, never told another person where he collected it, and he actually passed away. So when he passed away, the collection site of this “Saturn” 2000 variety went with him. There are actually two different imported varieties of “Saturn” one in 2000 and one in 2003. The only difference with the 2003 variety is that the leaves are wider.

In terms of price, this variety actually commands a bit higher price than opacus. Not by much, we’re talking about maybe $50-$100 more per plant. Overall we’re looking at approximately $550-600 for a larger specimen.

E. Saturn several

Just like E. opacus, this sword may not be the most colorful or the most flamboyant in terms of leaf shape, but there is definitely a few characteristics that really make this one stand out from the rest. In my eye at least, the aspects of this Sword that catch my eye are:
1. The plant is a very hard-to-the-touch, it is not a soft and flimsy species.
2. It stays relatively small compared to most other Echinodorus. Whereas most other swords get quite large sometimes massive, I have only seen this one get to about 7-8in. tall and wide.
3. The leaves are long and ovate in shape, about 3-4inch long and 1-2inch wide leaves.
4. Some may see this as a draw back but I see it as a positive. This sword is a very slow grower, typically growing 1 full size leaf in a month, maybe longer. What makes this a positive for me is that it requires little if any trimming or pruning, I just leave it alone and it does its thing! We all know how swords can easily become a massive “light-blocker” or a “running-mess”.
5. This is not a hard Sword plant to grow, it is quite easy, just give it soft (2-3 degrees) and acidic (5-6ph) water.

This is quite another “gem” of a sword for the hardcore plant-collector! Personally opacus is my #1 favorite Echinodorus, but this is firmly my #2 favorite. Hopefully someday you will have the chance to obtain both of these beauties!

Thank you for checking out this post! I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave a comment! ☺
Take care all!
Inspire91

Echinodorus opacus “Goncalo” 2003

Hello all!
I know that I said that my next post would be on another Bucephelandra variety, but I think I am going to change it up today and do a post on a gem of a Sword plant by the name of Echinodorus opacus “Goncalo” 2003. (“Goncalo” is pronounced “Gonsalo”)

Echino. opacus small specimen
These smaller specimens would fetch about $300 a plant. Don’t you love how compact this plant is when it’s in it’s smaller stages of growth!?

This is one of the more popular and rare Sword plants in the hobby. The reason for this is it’s limited importation and its very very slow growth. The 2003 on the name denotes, the year that it was imported, at least into Japan. According to my source, there was only one importation of this opacus, and that was in 2003. As the name also denotes the collection site for this Sword was from Rio Goncalo, Brazil.

This Sword typically commands a high price, obviously due to its rarity and slow growth. When I first saw a specimen of this plant in Japan back around 2003, it was on sale for about $500 for a 4-5inch tall plant. To this day it still commands that price, maybe a bit cheaper due to the fact that by now, hobbyists have propagated it and spread it around a fair bit.

Ech.opacus
These full-grown specimens would fetch about $500+ a plant!

This Sword may not be the most colorful or the most flamboyant in terms of leaf shape, but there is definitely a few characteristics that really make this one stand out from the rest. In my eye at least, the aspects of this Sword that catch my eye are:
1. The plant is a very hard-to-the-touch, it is not a soft and flimsy species. Typically plants that are this type of “hard” means they aren’t really suited for life underwater, and also it typically means it will be a slow growing plant.
2. It stays relatively small compared to most other Echinodorus. Whereas most other swords get quite large sometimes massive, I have only seen this one get to about 3-4in. tall and 4-5in. wide. This one stays very compact. In fact one of the defining characteristics is that it has almost no stem to the leaves.
3. The leaves are quite round, and they can slightly bend a bit, with a sharp tip. They get to about 3in. width and 2in. length.
4. Some may see this as a draw back but I see it as a positive. Original wild opacus is a very very slow growing plant, typically growing 1 full size leaf in a month, maybe longer. What makes this a positive for me is that it requires little if any trimming or pruning, I just leave it alone and it does its thing! We all know how swords can easily become a massive “light-blocker” or a “running-mess”.
5. This is not a hard Sword plant to grow, it is quite easy, just give it soft (2-3 degrees) and acidic (5-6ph) water.
6. The veins on the leaves of this plant are a bright-green, very visible and makes for a nice contrast to the dark-green of the webbing of the leaves.

Echino.opacus

I hope that I could bring out all of the great aspects of this rare Echinodorus to all of you. Again it may not be the most flashy of Sword plants, but it is quite the “gem” for the hardcore plant-collector.
Thank you for checking out this post! I hope you enjoyed it! My next post may be on another rare Echinodorus, but don’t hold me to it! 😛 Please leave a comment! ☺
Take care all!
Inspire91

Bucephelandra sp. “Kualakuayan”#2

Hello again!
I hope all of you have been enjoying this series of posts so far! We’ve so far covered the varieties: Kuala Kayan#1, Kayu Lapis, and Kudakan (refer to my older posts for the write up on these). This is part 3 of my Bucephelandra series of posts, and today we will be covering Buceph. “Kualakuayan”#2.

B.Kualakuayan#2

As with many other Bucephelandra this variety can be grown on either wood/rock or planted in the soil. It is relatively easy to grow, but slow and I mean that in terms of Bucephelandra “slow”. It is easy to grow, but slow, it prefers soft (2-3 degrees) and acidic (6pH) water. It can easily be grown in a terrarium setting, as that is how it is found growing in the wild.

B.Kualakuayan#2

At first glance this particular variety may not seem very unique or special, but look closer and you will find characteristics of this variety that make it a special part of any Buceph. collection. If you’re having a difficult time finding those characteristics, let me make a small list of them for you:

1. The leaves get to a max length of about 2in. and ½ in. wide.
2. The leaves aren’t very long and slender, this particular variety has short “stubby” leaves, and the tip is blunt and rounded.
3. There is very slight ribbing/ruffling around the edge of the leaves, it is not as drastically ribbed like particular other varieties.
4. Although the shade of color can vary slightly, predominately this variety has a medium shade of green for the older leaves, and the newer leaves are light green.
5. This variety grows loosely (definitely not as tight as “Kuala Kayan”#1) and it grows in a vertical direction.
6. As small a detail as this may be, you’ll notice that the leaves of this variety lay flat (parallel with the ground) as opposed to “Kualakuayan”#1 where it’s leaves point upward.

It was named “Kualakuayan” because it was found near that town, it is a small town in Borneo’s Kalimantan Tengah region.

Kualakuayan map

I hope you enjoyed this 4th installment of my Bucephelandra series! Keep checking back for the 5th installment of this series. I can tell you folks now that it will either be on Buceph. “Brown” from West Kalimantan, or Buceph. “Sintang”.
Please leave a comment if you like what you are reading/seeing, it would be much appreciated!
Take care all!
Inspire91

Buchephelandra sp. “Kedagang” (Corrected)

Hello again!
(I must note that the original post had the wrong plant pictured, so I have updated this post to show the correct plant as well as information regarding it)
I hope all of you have been enjoying this series of posts so far! We’ve so far covered the varieties: Kuala Kayan#1 and Kayu Lapis (refer to my older posts for the write up on these). This is part 3 of my Bucephelandra series of posts, and today we will be covering by far one of the more colorful of its genus, Buceph. “Kedagang”.

B. Kudakan

As with many other Bucephelandra this variety can be grown on either wood/rock or planted in the soil. It is relatively easy to grow, but slow, and I mean that in terms of Bucephelandra “slow”. Here is a quick gauge of growth speed in terms of Bucephelandra, B. “Kayu Lapis” is slow, and B. “Brown” (from West Kalimantan, this is the most common variety in the hobby at the moment) is fast. Prefers soft (2-3 degrees) and acidic (6-7pH) water. This along with others of its genus can easily be grown in a terrarium setting, as this is how it is typically found growing in the wild.

B. Kudakan

If there is one thing I must say, is that this particular variety, in my opinion is one of the most colorful! Along with it’s strong rufffled-egdes, it has a very attractive combination of color and form. Here is a small list of what makes this one unique among its kind:
1. The leaves get to a max length of about 3in. and 1/2 to 3/4in. wide.
2. There is very pronounced ruffling around the edge of the leaves, they are also blunt/rounded at the tip
3. The most unique characteristic is it’s color, it has a dark green base leaf color with a very attractive shiny “sheen” of blue over it.
4. The stem of this variety is quite reddish in hue (more so than other varieties I have seen), making for a nice contrast to the blue and green of the leaves.
5. This variety grows loosely and vertically, it also does not creep/send runners in a horizontal fashion.

At the moment I am currently still looking for the specific origin of this variety, but one can infer that it comes from a place/town called “Kedgagang”. If I get any updates or find it’s specific whereabouts, I will edit this post.

I hope you enjoyed this 3rd installment of my Bucephelandra series! Keep checking back for the 4th and final (for now) installment of this series. I can tell you folks now that it will be on Buceph. “Kualakuayan”#2
Please leave a comment if you like what you are reading/seeing, it would be much appreciated! 🙂
Take care all!
Inspire91

Bucephelandra sp.”Kayu Lapis”

Hello again!
This is the 2nd installment of my series on a variety of different Bucephelandra! The variety I will be covering today is one of my favorites, B.”Kayu Lapis”, and boy is it a BEAUTY!

This like most Bucephelandra is not difficult to keep and slow-growing, but this particular one is even slower growing than the Buceph. in my previous post (“Kualakuayan”#1) which was already quite a slow-growing variety. For the reason previously stated, this one tends to demand a higher price, for it’s unique characteristics, and it’s very slow-growing nature. Whereas B.”Kualakuayan”#1 grows/spreads horizontally, this variety grows more vertically than in any other direction.

B.Kayu Lapis
B.Kayu Lapis1

As the name implies, it comes from the town of “Kayu Lapis” in the Kalimantan Barat region of Borneo. I am currently trying to find the specific whereabouts of this variety, although once can assume it comes from a town nearby called “Kayu Lapis”.
Kalimantan Barat

The unique characteristics of this variety is as follows:
1. One of the smaller varieties of Bucephelandra
2. Very narrow leaves, maybe 1/3 in. wide max, and a leaf length of about 2 in.
3. There is a significant amount of tight ruffling around the edges of the whole leaf.
4. A vertical growing Buceph. variety
B.Kayu Lapis2

Well I hope you enjoyed this 2nd installment of my Bucephelandra series!
Keep checking back for the next installment!
Thank you for taking the time to check my blog out, if you feel compelled to, please leave a comment! They’re much appreciated and really help to let me know what you folks think about the content I post here! 🙂
Inspire91