AMAZONAS Magazine “SPINY EELS” Inside Look!
02 Mar, 2021
AMAZONAS Magazine, Volume 10, Number 2, SPINY EELS, on sale February 2nd, 2021! On the cover: Mastacembelus mastacembelus (top) by Jörg Freyhof; Mastacembelus sp. ‘rosette’ (middle) by Andreas Spreinat; Macrognathus aculeatus (bottom) by Frank Schäfer.
The March/April 2021 issue of AMAZONAS Magazine is printed and arriving at the homes of magazine subscribers, local aquarium shops and better bookstores!
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If you just can’t wait to see what’s showing up in the mail, or your favorite retailer keeps all the AMAZONAS in their protective poly sleeves, we are offering this INSIDE LOOK at the newest issue—a sampling of articles and opening pages for readers curious about what the issue will bring.
The Table of Contents for the March/April 2021 issue of AMAZONAS Magazine. You can view this TOC online! “In each issue of AMAZONAS Magazine, we try to balance content from destinations around the globe and present representatives from a variety of fish groups. In this issue, we focused on the oddball spiny eels as well as aquarium classics like dwarf spotted danios (Danio nigrofasciatus) and clown loaches (Chromobotia macracanthus).” Executive Editor Courtney Tobler concludes, “This was a fun issue that I hope you also enjoy.” We remember the life of FISHGUY—Phil C. Benes—a backbone of the aquarium hobby in Ohio and Fellow of the American Cichlid Association. You can read our remembrances of Phil Benes online. Aquatic Notebook: A little more than a year after the discovery and scientific description of Aenigmachanna gollum and A. mahabali, the anatomy of the Gollum snakehead, A.gollum, has been studied in detail by applying modern CT-scanning methods. Author Ralf Britz starts our feature topic discussing the fascinating spiny eels—under-rated aquarium fishes. Frank Schäfer’s images of the fire eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia), the barred spiny eel (Macrognathus pancalus), and the peacock eel (Macrognathus siamensis) hint at what’s on the pages to come! Our spiny eel expert, Ralph Britz, focuses on the five Burmese (Myanmarese) species-groups of spiny eels, and also touches base on the remaining members of these groups that occur beyond the country’s borders. Some of these species are ideal for aquarium maintenance. Roughly 41 valid mastacembelid species occur in Africa, and one species occupies waters in the Middle East. Ichthyologist Ralf Britz briefly covers their nomenclature and explains what makes African and Middle Eastern spiny eels distinctive. Diving in Lake Malawi affords an entertaining glimpse of spiny eels in their natural habitat, but housing spiny eels from both Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika in a home aquarium allows for a more personal view into their interesting behaviors. Author Andreas Spreinat offers us his experience both in the field and in the hobby with African Rift Lake spiny eels. Placidochromis cf. phenochilus ‘Tanzania’ from northeastern Lake Malawi, also known as the star sapphire in the aquarium trade, differs from the long-known P. phenochilus from the northwestern part of the lake in a number of color characteristics. Or are they two different species? Author Wolfgang Staeck reports. In 2012, Frans Vermeulen traveled to remote areas of Venezuela in search of killifishes and adventure. He found plenty of both, and now he tells the tale. Apistogramma ortegai is a gorgeous dwarf cichlid with highly variable coloration, and it has proven to be easily maintained and bred. Numerous forms of this fish are available in the hobby, but perhaps not all variants are actually A. ortegai. Author Ernst Sosna provides his first-hand experience with this stunning fish. In a quest for new, rare, and exotic fishes to stock our aquariums, we often overlook more “common” species hiding in plain sight. It’s easy to scan past a tank of danios in a retail shop, but author Ute Dederer suggests that the lively dwarf spotted danio (Danio nigrofasciatus) deserves more than a glance. Ute Dederer looks ahead towards summer with a survey of floating plants for open-top aquariums and keeping outdoors. There may be no better feeling than the exhilaration of catching a desired fish in its natural habitat, although breeding the newly acquired fish may come in at a close second. Eric Bodrock shares his experience with a species of loricariid that has limited availability in the hobby and a disputed name. Hailing from the sometimes ephemeral waters of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil, Austrolebias nigripinnis has a rapid lifecycle, but it is also quite manageable to breed and rear in the home aquarium. Although the clown loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) has been an aquarium fish for ages, hardly anything is known about their life cycle or the biotopes they inhabit on two of the Greater Sunda Islands, Sumatra and Borneo. Author Hans-Georg Evors shares his experiences visiting both of these Indonesian islands several times, collecting clown loaches in their natural habitats, learning about the fishery, and sharing some of the “special sauce” that helps improve the sustainability of the fishery. Given the current state of the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, aquarium-related events are being canceled, rescheduled, or going “virtual” with online options. Event organizers, please keep Janine Banks ( firstname.lastname@example.org) aware of any rescheduled events and cancellations, and we’ll do our best to relay that information. View our events calendar online, anytime, for the most up-to-date information we have available, but remember, check with any event organizer directly to learn the status of their event. We look forward to a time when aquarists can once again gather to share their love for fishes. The next time you’re in need of that gotta-have-it fish or aquarium plant, give these fine retailers a call. All of them carry single-copy issues of AMAZONAS (and they might even be a great source to obtain some harder-to-find back issues)! Remember to support your independent pet retailers, especially during these challenging pandemic times! View this list online, now! Every issue of AMAZONAS closes with something special—Species Snapshots—concise glimpses at rare and unusual fishes showing up in the aquarium trade and hobbyist circles. In this issue, we journey to Lake Inle in Burma/Myanmar. Friedrich Bitter illuminates Inle loaches (Petruichthys brevis), and Dr. Paul V. Loiselle shines a light on the red dwarf rasbora (Microrasbora rubescens).
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