Dwarf shrimps of the genera Caridina and Neocaridina are the all the rage in the 21st century aquarium hobby. When Uwe Werner published the very first book on the subject in 1998, Shrimps, crayfishes, and crabs in the freshwater aquarium (Aqualog), a few species were already known in the hobby. But it was virtually impossible to get reliable information on the little creatures imported more or less universally as bee or bumblebee shrimps.
Last time we looked at the “living fossils”, ancient fishes that breathe using lungs and have stout scales and limb-like fins or fins on stalks. None of the species in existence today displays any serious inclination to venture onto land, and hence they don’t answer the question of why at some time in the past fishes made their way ashore. Perhaps there are modern fish species that can provide an answer?
The maintenance of many aquatic frogs is largely something for dedicated animal enthusiasts who are prepared largely to overlook the fact that decorative planting of the aqua-terrarium is not entirely compatible with their pets. As the vast majority of aquatic frogs, that is frogs that live year-round in the immediate vicinity of water, grow to significantly more than 5 cm long. So delicate plants don’t stand much of a chance in the long term… But for a while now there has been a little frog on the market that grows to only around 3.5-4 cm long and is perfectly suited to the attractively planted aqua-terrarium: the Green Puddle Frog, Occidozyga lima.
The majority of the roughly 33,400 fish species currently known to science have never yet been maintained in the aquarium. Little more is known of them than that they exist. And even that often isn’t certain, as in the course of the centuries – as is well known, our modern zoology started in 1758 with the 10th edition of Carl von Linné’s book Systema naturae (= The System of Nature) and Linné still believed in the original creation by God and the immutability of species – our view as to what actually constitutes a species has undergone frequent and fundamental changes.
When did humans begin to keep reptiles? Of course we don’t know exactly, but crocodiles and snakes played a major role in the religion of Ancient Egypt. Crocodiles had temples of their own and so did snakes. It is probable that every type of animal maintenance was originally for religious reasons. The keeping of animals in the Stone Age, during the so-called Neolithic revolution, was undoubtedly originally influenced by religion. Otherwise why were cattle domesticated, but not bison?
Official release for Oliver Knott’s latest book – Training days in Japan – My Journey is Monday, 6th of March 2017! Pre-order now via animalbook.de and with a bit of luck you will be one of the first 30 customers who get hold of a signed copy – it pays to be quick!
Hans-Albrecht Baensch died on 2nd November 2016 at the age of 75. It is probably no exaggeration to say that the modern aquarium hobby is closely linked with the name of Baensch, so closely that it is difficult to imagine it without the Baensch family.