jay

transcript

  • [20:02 19/03/2004] <@craig> Welcome to the Live! Fishchat everyone!
  • [20:02 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> *applause*
  • [20:02 19/03/2004] <@craig> Tonight's guest speaker is Mark, one of many loach fans from Loaches OnLine.
  • [20:02 19/03/2004] <@craig> His topic tonight will be the Queen of all loaches, Botia Dario--The Queen Loach.
  • [20:03 19/03/2004] <@craig> Mark, when ever you are ready.
  • [20:03 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Thanks, Craig. Hi friends... Loach lovers... Other esteemed guests...
  • [20:03 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Tonight I would like to describe some of the things I've noticed about Botia dario in the tank, and a lot of information that I've learned about them from a little research.
  • [20:03 19/03/2004] <+Mark> I would like to start by talking about their habitat, and I hope to argue convincingly that "Bengal Loach" should be the universal common name of Botia dario, and forever remove the "Queen Loach" epithet. This title would fit a much more regal Loach.
  • [20:03 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Sorry, Craig.
  • [20:04 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Finally, I would also like to show off some very low-tech experiments that I have done with regard to feeding them. Then, if anyone has any questions, we can find out if I have the answers.
  • [20:04 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Somebody slow me down, if this is coming too fast, right?
  • [20:04 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Botia dario is found wild in the rolling mountain streams of Bangladesh. This country is situated just south of the Himalayas, and is criss-crossed with streams that feed three main rivers. These streams irrigate crops grown on the hillsides before draining into the Bay of Bengal, and the primary crops are rice and jute. You all know what jute is, don't you? There's a test later.
  • [20:04 19/03/2004] <@craig> Note: If you are using the website chat, type: /undock it will enlarge the chat window.
  • [20:05 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Pesticides used in the cultivation of rice have contaminated many streams and waterways in Bangladesh, and threaten Botia dario. Since 1997, the Bengal government has enforced strict penalties against polluters, with specific rules about the pollution of streams and waterways, so at least some preservation work is afoot.
  • [20:05 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Bangladesh is a damp, damp place. Most regions of the country receive over a meter of rain in a year, and the hilly northern sections can expect as much as five meters (15 feet!) of rain. This falls primarily during monsoon season, when all the water in the country rises to such a level that land normally used to grow rice becomes a series of shallow lakes in which to fish for food. (And, presumably, the aquarium market).
  • [20:06 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Visual aid! http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2003064-0305/Bangladesh.A2003064.0715.721.1km.jpg
  • [20:07 19/03/2004] <+Mark> In January, at the coolest time of the year, air temperatures drop to around 26C, but in the spring temperatures average in the 35C (96F) range. Beyond the abundant supply of rain, a constant flow of glacial and snow melt-water makes its way down from the Himalayas to feed the thousands of streams.
  • [20:07 19/03/2004] <+Mark> This multitude of streams feed the Meghna and Jamuna rivers, which converge with the end of the Ganges, as it drains and forms a delta which comprises most of the populated land in Bangladesh. The amount of water that drains through the deltas of coastal Bangladesh is second only to the outflow of the Amazon.
  • [20:08 19/03/2004] <+Mark> B. dario can be found in the creeks and streams of the northern and eastern regions of the country (bordering India and Myanmar, respectively), and is also known in India. The fish most likely populates the streams that supply the Bengal section of the Ganges river. B. dario is also reported in Bhutan, but only in the Gaylegphug river, which eventually drains into the far north of Bangladesh.
  • [20:08 19/03/2004] <+Mark> This fish belongs (primarily) to Bangladesh, so the name "Bengal Loach" is, then, quite appropriate.
  • [20:09 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Bangladesh is also the home to lots of other loaches, including Botia ("BOU MACH" in Bengali), Acanthobitis, Lepidocephalichthys, Nemacheilus, and five species of Schistura.
  • [20:09 19/03/2004] <+Mark> I should also say here that Botia dario is one of the "true" Botias, in that they remained classified in the genus Botia during a recent shuffling of the taxonomy of loaches. Other "true" Botias include histrionica, striata, and kubotai, which are all at least similar in their physiques.
  • [20:10 19/03/2004] <+Mark> According to the statisticians and loving ichthyologists at fishbase.org, the Benagl Loach will eat 30.6 times its body weight in food each year. They can grow up to six inches in the wild, and perhaps in a large tank, but like most loaches, aquariums may stunt their natural growth.
  • [20:11 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Okay, in the tank, they're mostly bottom grazers. I have mine in a 20 gallon planted tank with a number of silver-tip tetras. I'm using an Aquaclear HOB filter and an extra 301 powerhead/cannister filter for current. 78F/25C water temps... PH: 6.8, weekly 40% water changes, vacuuming, etc...
  • [20:12 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Watching a small group of Botia dario is good sport. Most of their time is spent gravel-grazing, as they search for crumbs of food beneath the particles of substrate. They tend to swim with their noses in the gravel, at an angle of about 30 degrees. I believe them to be more active in this constant search for food than Clown Loaches - who seem to grow accustomed to feeding times, and less dependent on scavenging.
  • [20:12 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Bengals are very social loaches, and physical with one another to the point of jostling and frequent nipping. They will tussle over food and hiding spots, but they don't injure one another. When offered Hikari sinking wafers - either the carnivore ones or the algae wafers - they will actually drag the wafers off in their mouths, and snap at the others if they come too close. In this way, they behave remarkably like dogs: food is paramount.
  • [20:13 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Despite their sometimes rough competitions over food, one gets the impression that (like a lot of loach behaviour), these skirmishes are important to them socially. A heirarchy is established in a short time with these fishes, and I would suggest that keeping one of them at a time in your tank would be unwise, if not unkind. Perhaps they can learn to socialize with other Botia species.
  • [20:14 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Like most loaches and other river-dwelling fish, the cleaner the water that you keep them in, the better they will do. They come from streams after all.
  • [20:15 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Meals that will thrill a Bengal Loach includes flake food, sinking wafers, (thawed) frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp, and they really like cucumber slices. These meals are accompanied by loud clicking sounds common to Botias.
  • [20:15 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Minimal SCIENCE TIME! Well, not high science, but I tried some experiments anyway... Given a thin slice of zucchini, regular cucumber, and the seedless "English" cucumber, at the same time each night, my Bengals went for the seedless cucumber every time out of ten.
  • [20:16 19/03/2004] <+Mark> I cut a quarter inch slice of each vegetable, ran it under warm tap water for a moment, so it wouldn't be cold, shook off the tapwater, pierced it with a regular bamboo cooking skewer, and then pinned it into my gravel substrate.
  • [20:17 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Each evening experiment showed the same results: Out of four B. dario in my tank, one is clearly dominant, and is more territorial (and greedy) than the others. The seedless cucumber is preferred by all of them, but the dominant loach, or "alpha dario," will actully sit on top of the food and defend it, either by pushing the other darios away with a kind of body-check move, or he'll nip at them.
  • [20:17 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Despite the presence of the other vegetable offerings in the tank, the remaining three loaches try to grab bites of the cucumber that has been claimed.... to the point that the alpha loach spends more time defending than eating. The darios will pick at boiled, skinned peas, but not with as much zeal.
  • [20:18 19/03/2004] <+Mark> People have remarked on how shy their Bengals seem to be, but I have seen nothing shy about mine. Primarily focused on the bottom of the tank during the day, they can often be seen scouring the upper stretches of the plants in the evening, swimming quite capably near the surface and in the middle zone. At night two or three might huddle together in a tight cave, or rest in the open.
  • [20:19 19/03/2004] <+Mark> What's more, they can be seen at night to perform a very slow version of the "loachy dance," where one or a group of them will swim in large loops against the glass of the aquarium. I have read that the females are bulkier than the males in this species, but when they're well fed, this becomes a challange to verify.
  • [20:20 19/03/2004] <+Mark> I have not mixed them with other Botias, and probably won't, as they seem happy where they are, but they mostly ignore their present tank mates. I expect they would work in lots of different community tank set-ups, and may be able to defend themselves from more aggressive species.
  • [20:22 19/03/2004] <+Mark> And that was WAY shorter than I thought it would be!!
  • [20:23 19/03/2004] <@craig> Ready for some questions Mark?
  • [20:23 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Sure thing!
  • [20:23 19/03/2004] <@craig> If you have a question for Mark, please type: /query Craig I have a question
  • [20:23 19/03/2004] <@craig> Questions will be taken in the order received.
  • [20:25 19/03/2004] <@craig> Geoff. :-)
  • [20:25 19/03/2004] <+Noname> Hello there, as I was wating bewtween your responses, I looked over to my tank to see one of my skunk botia try to make its way into a bamboo stem that recently fell in, long story short, do you believe that fish, loaches in perticular prefer natural hiding places as opposed to synthetic ones?
  • [20:26 19/03/2004] <+Mark> I am completely of the belief that ALL loaches prefer a shady spot (and the occasional tight spot) to ceramic castles and so on.
  • [20:26 19/03/2004] <+Noname> hehe, ok, thanks, ^_^
  • [20:26 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Also, I believe that tanks that "go organic" look generally more appealing.
  • [20:26 19/03/2004] <@craig> Martin. :-)
  • [20:27 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> Mark, dou you find them particularly vocal with their clicks as op
  • [20:28 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Hi Mr. T! They are quite loud, and my clowns only click when they're fed certain things now, so there's little to compare it to. I'm still sure there's some unknown social reason for clicking - why else would an animal evolve to alert each other when food is about?
  • [20:29 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> Hikari carnivour pellets really made them go for it :)
  • [20:29 19/03/2004] <@craig> Any one else have a question for Mark?
  • [20:29 19/03/2004] <+Mark> When I saw them drag the wafers off for the first time, it was extremely funny
  • [20:29 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> Yep!
  • [20:29 19/03/2004] <@craig> Fire when ready. :-D
  • [20:29 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Martin is curious about jute?
  • [20:30 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> Me no uderstand???
  • [20:30 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Nevermind.
  • [20:31 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Any questions left?
  • [20:31 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> I have a "current" Q
  • [20:32 19/03/2004] <@craig> Please ask it. :-)
  • [20:32 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> How much current do you have Mark? I had my 3 dario in my second ever River-Tank. They seemed to like it.
  • [20:33 19/03/2004] <+Mark> I thought about this a lot after I got them...
  • [20:33 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Personally, I have a 301 power head in my Dario tank, which they seem to appreciate. Like several other Botia loaches, their bodies are relatively torpedo-shaped...
  • [20:34 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Which would lead one to believe that they are (at least) prepared for faster moving water. From what I learned about the streams in Bangladesh, this would only be useful during the monsoons, when EVERYTHING floods....
  • [20:34 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> Their nose/forehead shape intrigues me. Species specific.
  • [20:35 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Otherwise, it is my belief that they are particularly well adapted at scavening in smaller gravel, which may not be present in fast moving waters...
  • [20:35 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> usually washed away
  • [20:35 19/03/2004] <+Mark> So it's all guess work, but I wouldn't call them hillstreams, by any means.
  • [20:35 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> Oh no
  • [20:35 19/03/2004] <+Mark> :-(
  • [20:36 19/03/2004] <@craig> Any other questions?
  • [20:36 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> Just 'cos they ain't Hillies don't mean they ain't cute!
  • [20:36 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Too true!
  • [20:36 19/03/2004] <@craig> I guess now is as good a time as any to open the floor for general discussion.
  • [20:37 19/03/2004] <+Mark> More about jute, then...
  • [20:37 19/03/2004] <+MT-ED> :)
  • [20:37 19/03/2004] <@craig> The floor is open, watch your step. :-D
  • [20:37 19/03/2004] * Noname claps
  • [20:37 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Remember, "Say Yes to Jute!" http://www.jute.com/
  • [20:37 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Thanks everyone!! :-D
  • [20:37 19/03/2004] <@craig> Thank -you- Mark, well done.
  • [20:37 19/03/2004] <russ> Could this stuff possibly be a fiberous plant material used to make twine and cords?
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Why yes!!
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <Noname> that presentation almost makes me want to buy some dario..
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> Thank you. Excellent presentation.
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <russ> Great presentation Mark:-)
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Thanks!
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <@craig> Me too...
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <megan> yes, awesome job mark :D
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <@craig> Oh wait, I already have them. :-D
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Cheers to everyone... I was in Mexico two weeks back, thinking... "What am I going to say about darios?"
  • [20:38 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> They're nice fish all. I found them the most "up front" Botia I've ever kept.
  • [20:39 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Very social loaches!
  • [20:39 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> mark, wonderful job
  • [20:39 19/03/2004] <russ> I will try to stop calling them "Queen Darios" from now on :-)
  • [20:39 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Thanks, Jess.
  • [20:39 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> Hi Sam!
  • [20:39 19/03/2004] <+Mark> I wanted to get that one across - Bengal Loach is just better.
  • [20:39 19/03/2004] *** craig changes topic to: 'Live! Fishchat tonight at 8pm EST (-0500 GMT) -- Bengal Loaches'
  • [20:39 19/03/2004] <@craig> ;-)
  • [20:40 19/03/2004] <+Mark> I tried to ask some folks at a university in Bangladesh to describe the river situations, but got little usable info...
  • [20:40 19/03/2004] <@craig> I'm very fond of mine also Mark. They have get along quite well with my clowns and other botias.
  • [20:40 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Loaches ought to get along, I would think...
  • [20:41 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> Craig....Good thing you didn't change my topic to "Somewhat elevated streams on steep inclines"
  • [20:41 19/03/2004] <@craig> Mine have a habit of hanging out with the polka dot loaches.
  • [20:41 19/03/2004] <@craig> Martin ;-)
  • [20:41 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> lol martin
  • [20:42 19/03/2004] * +Mark serves cake to everyone - big slice for JP!
  • [20:42 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> Mine were in with some Schisturas and a B. superciliaris. No real interaction.
  • [20:43 19/03/2004] <JP> Gee thanks Mark. Great presentation by the way. :)
  • [20:43 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Hey Martin - I got my first N. triangularis, or Batiks recently... Very good fishies!
  • [20:43 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Thanks, JP! ;-)
  • [20:43 19/03/2004] * Noname wants more loaches, but might have too many for tank....
  • [20:43 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> I saw on LOL. Maybe they're moving East across the Praries :)
  • [20:43 19/03/2004] <@craig> Batiks are nice loaches.
  • [20:43 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Batiks are hot! They've got great eyes!
  • [20:43 19/03/2004] <@craig> A bit tempermental at times, but that's okay.
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> I love the patterns and colours
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Very dog-like...
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> haven't seen any around here, but i haven't checked at phx tropical.. that place just gets me in trouble..
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> Just say NO..............to NO!
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Yes, my two were $20CAD each!!!
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] <@craig> Yowch..
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> Bit steep I'd have thought
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Who can stop a loach junkie?
  • [20:44 19/03/2004] * @craig won't mention what he paid
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> lol.... 4 c. habrosus, 2 veiltail bristlenose, 4 leptobotia, 2 nemacheilus later...
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] * +Mark is thankful.
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> lol craig
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> probably best not to
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <Noname> 20 dollars for ONE loach?!?!
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <Noname> eep...
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> i've done it
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Can you believe that?
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> Jessica....you need therapy, not LFS retail therapy ;)
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Craig's probably cost 11 cents - AND came with coupons.
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> lol
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <Noname> I thought the Sidthimunki prices were bad in CAN dollars, woah...
  • [20:45 19/03/2004] <@craig> Its prolly my fault Martin.. ;-)
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> geoff wait til you see angelicus ;-)
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <@craig> (Less than that Mark)
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> hehe craig
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <+Mark> No doubt...
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> CDN$13 (ish) here in TO at Big Als Noname
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <Noname> i know
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <+Mark> Yes, that's more reasonable.
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <@craig> They were given to me by the LFS owner for working on his 'puter.
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <Noname> I saw them
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <megan> my angelicus were 20 :-S
  • [20:46 19/03/2004] <+Mark> How many hours on the puter, Craig?
  • [20:47 19/03/2004] <@craig> About 45 minutes.
  • [20:47 19/03/2004] <Noname> I was at Big Als yesterday, the sids are still there mocking me
  • [20:47 19/03/2004] <+Mark> You should charge at least that much!
  • [20:47 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> Wich BA's noname?
  • [20:47 19/03/2004] <Noname> Scarborough,
  • [20:47 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> the ones living were 20... the ones that died had a 24$ price tag, the ones in the mail are 7.50 with shipping each.. (angelicus)
  • [20:47 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> We live close then
  • [20:47 19/03/2004] <Noname> ^_^
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <MT-ED> DVP/Eglinton
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <@craig> Who is up next Jess?
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <@Jessica> sully
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <Noname> ah, fairly close indeed, :D
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <@craig> And before I forget...
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <+Mark> We're going to need a heck of a party when the Loach Bible finally comes out!
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <@craig> Mark, thank you for your time and a well researched presentation.
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <Noname> I go to Big Al's way to many times a month....
  • [20:48 19/03/2004] <+Mark> No trouble Craig!
  • [20:49 19/03/2004] <@craig> Did you do the veggie experiment just for tonight? :-)
  • [20:49 19/03/2004] <Noname> lol
  • [20:49 19/03/2004] <+Mark> You know it!


 

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