WWF Report on New Species in the Mekong Delta - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 01-14-2013, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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WWF Report on New Species in the Mekong Delta

The Mekong basin in SE Asia is considered to be the second most diverse habitat in the world (second to the Amazon basin in SA), and is sadly one of five ecosystems under serious threat (largely due to human "development"). Many of our Cyprinid aquarium fishes come from this basin, including the dwarf loach and Boraras rasbora species.

Since 1997, there have been 1,710 new species discovered and described from this basin, and in 2011 alone there were 13 new fish species discovered. The linked article from the WWF highlights some of these more recent discoveries.


As an aside, an interesting fact about the Mekong River. Maurice Kottelat, a leading ichthyologist and authority on the cyprinid fishes, recently completed more than 30 years of study on the freshwater loach fishes. His paper was published on December 28, just over two weeks ago [it is available free online:http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/rbz/biblio/s2..._cobitidum.pdf ], and not surprisingly has resulted in an extensive revision to several species. Among them is the dwarf loach, originally described as Botia sidthimunki, but placed (along with the near-identical species Y. nigrolineata) by Dr. Kottelat (2004) in the genus Yasuhikotakia. For years this species was believed to be extinct, and aquarium fish were being commercially raised in SE Asia. Dr. Kottelat subsequently determined that the lineage of these two species is very distinct from all other cyprinids, so he has erected a new genus for them, named Ambastaia. And this [finally ] is where we come to the river name issue. Ambastaia is the latinized form of the Greek name for a river in one of the works of Claudius Ptolemy, a Greek-Roman citizen who lived in Egypt from ca. AD 90 to ca. AD 168. About 30 or so years ago, it was finally determined that this river is actually the Mekong. As these two species occur in this river, they now reside in a genus whose name has rather an interesting history.

Read more: Dwarf Loach (Ambastaia sidthimunki ) Profile
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Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

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post #2 of 2 Old 01-23-2013, 01:03 PM
WOW how strange it was only 4-5 hours ago i was reading about the Mekong basin to try to further understand the bala shark's nateral teritory

i find it very interesting that the lower Mekong basin is actualy below sea level or tide level i cant quite remember i read all of this to try and make sence of the bala shark's incredible adaption to incresed salinity

i was explaining to someone before how i had to give my bala sharks and a few tank mates a very strong salt bath

1 tea spoon of sea salt to just under a litre of tank water

most FW fish loose there balance after 10sec's - 2-3mins in this solution its a very tested tecnique my farther taught me for fish that other wise look like they will die you have to put them back in the tank extreamly quick the very second they turn upside down once back in the tank they look dead for a second and 9-10 times they swim of looking like they are in full health with in seconds this has saved over 30 fish that other wise would die for sure a great saver for mine and my friends fish in a time of need

how ever i did this with a silver shark and it just acted normal and was in this soultion for approx 10 mins before i felt crule and placed him back in the tank

even molly's only last 2-3 mins in that soultion

i looked all this up because i want to know if bala's can live in near brackish water or if they are just very good at handling the change as i guess they would when there basin floods as it does i presume a fair bit of salt water ends up in the basin

do you have any ideas on this

i will read the two articles now thank you very much

Last edited by madyotto; 01-23-2013 at 01:07 PM.
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