Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Lothian Fishkeepers Presents - The Catfish Study Group!

Well Guys,

First of all I would like to thank everybody who came along on Sunday for our event. Without your support, it wouldn't be possible. I also want to thank The Catfish Study Group for giving us the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences. I hope we can do it again soon.


Sundays focus was on sharing information with Pleco keepers/breeders to help them understand more about these fish. The day started with a very interesting talk from Julian Dignall. Having personal experience of catching L-Number pleco in their natural habitat, Jools explained that learning about where these fish come from helps us to understand what they eat and why they eat it.

Julian went into detail about how you can tell a lot about you pleco just by looking at the mouth. You can tell what they eat, wether they live in fast or slow flowing water and much more.

The plecos that live in faster flowing water require strong mouths to hold onto the rocks. Jools has made many trips to study and discover these amazing fish over the years and has written several articles on the Xingu River for Practical Fishkeeping Magazine.



After The first talk, Riverside Aquaria had a table full of catfish related products along with some excellent fish for sale. The Catfish Study Group also brought along some merchandise for sale. I couldn't resist the Gold Nugget badge.
 On offer was subscriptions to the CSG Journal, Badges, Keyrings and some fantastic raffle prizes.

Riverside Aquaria brought along some excellent catfish for sale, slate and clay caves, dogwood, dry foods and even some books.
If anybody was interested in joining the Catfish Study Group, Its free and you can register online here

Riverside Aquaria are based in Livingston and kindly sponsored this event and provided us with the trophies for our show.

Another part of this event was the open show. This was exciting for me as its our first show so I was delighted to see the fish that was benched on the day. In total, we had 5 people enter a total of 13 fish. We seen a great variation of catfish from Corydoras Sterbai to a big Giraffe Catfish (Auchenoglanis occidentalis). The entries are all below and as you can see, all were fantastic.
















We had some great prizes up for grabs for the two winners. In addition to the two trophies, Riverside Aquaria provided, we had JBL sucker mouth pellets, Plankton and Fish Science Tablets. We even had two JBL Test Kits.

 Our winners were Alan Morris and Billy Aitchison. Alan won the Pauls best pleco award and Billy won the best overall catfish award.

We were joined on the day by Paul family who kindly presented Pauls award to Alan. I would like to thank them for coming along.
It was lovely to meet you all.

Paul was well known amongst the fishleeper community and to have his family come along on the day was an honour - Thank you.




 Above is the two winning fish with Alan Royal Pleco on the left and Billys Corydoras Sterbai on the right.

After the interval, We all sat down to a very educating talk from Mark Walters regarding breeding L-Number plecos. Mark is very experienced in breeding plecos and went into details such as breeding conditions, courtship and the raising of the fry. It was interesting to hear how each species was slightly different and required specific conditions to breed. Mark shared photos of his breeding set up at home. Most of Marks tanks are blackwater and the light comes from the room light with no individual tank lights. Mark has a long history of success in breeding many different catfish and I know the information he shares is invaluable to all that sat and listened.
Mark has written articles on breeding and has played a large part in the progress made in the hobby regarding breeding these fish. Each time Mark successfully breeds a new species, it is documented  and shared so that other breeders can have similar success. Is vital to these fish that they are bred in aquariums. For many of these catfish, their natural habitat is being destroyed by construction work and this is making it increasingly harder to import wild caught species. I strongly recommend joining the Catfish Study Group if you are looking for advice on breeding your own catfish.

After Marks talk, everybody returned to the main hall again for another look at the fish on show. Julian Brought some unusual fish and even had a big old Pleco which captured the attention of the younger ones.
Pauls Nephew Lewis was excited to get his hands on Julians Pleco. The Green Pleco provided a fantastic pleco plushy for the CSG raffle which caused quite a storm. I wanted to win that plush for myself but the lucky winner was John Cunningham.



After the event, I spoke with Julian, Mark and Danny from the CSG and we all agreed that the day was a great success. So much so that We will be doing a similar event again in the future. This is not only great for us Lothian Fishkeepers but also the CSG. They have an amazing passion for catfish and sharing there knowledge is what the catfish study group is all about. I think its an on our to be able to host these events alongside such  passionate people. Details of the next event will be available in soon.




In order to gather the information held by the Catfish Study Group, Its members regularly travel to places like Brazil and Peru. We can read about these trips on their website but you can also join them on fish collecting tours. It sounds like a dream come true to visit the rivers of South America to see these beautiful fish in their natural habitat.  You may even be lucky enough to find a new species. 






I would like to thank everybody that made this day possible. I couldn't do it without you. Thank you to Riverside Aquaria for providing the trophies and securing the venue. Big thanks to Julian Dignall for arranging the IT on the day. I have to thank Fish Science for supplying all the samples of food and additional prizes. Massive thanks to JBL for sending over some excellent prizes for the show. We have to thank Bell for coming along and providing snacks throught the day and final thanks to Laura for lending me the labels.

I hope everybody enjoyed themselves on Sunday and thank you for coming along. Keep a look out for our next event being announced very soon.

bye for now 

John

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