26 July, 2011

Aquarium in Japan, Shinagawa Aquarium

Shinagawa Aquarium is one of the most popular aquarium galleries in the Tokyo area other than  Sunshine City Aquarium.
Popular features include a dolphin and sea lion show, white alligators, gray reef sharks and seals. As the name suggests, it is in Shinagawa. During Christmas there are special Sea lion show, the tanks are decorated with a Christmas theme. The fun part of this aquarium is walking through an underwater glass tunnel while some 450 species of fish swim around and above you. There are no pamphlets or explanation panels in English. Also the dolphin and sea lion shows draw crowds on Sundays in an impossible numbers. Take the local Keihin-Kyuko private rail line from Shinagawa to Omori-kaigan Station. Turn left as you exit the station and follow the ceramic fish on the sidewalk to the first traffic light; then turn right. You can also take the JR Tokaido Line to Oimachi Station; board a free shuttle to the aquarium from the No. 6 platform at the bus terminal just outside Oimachi Station.

10:00 - 17:00 (Last entry at 16:30), Dolphin and Sea Lion show thrice daily on varied schedule.

Shinagawa Aquarium Closed on:
Tuesday and Jan 1. Open on Tuesdays during holidays or school vacations.

Entry Fees in Shinagawa Aquarium
Adult (+ high school) 1,300 yen
Junior high and elementary 600 yen
4 and up 300 yen

Contact No of Shinagawa Aquarium - 03-3762-3433

Access Point by Train:
The aquarium is accessable by JR (Omori Station) or Keihin trains (Omori-Kaigan) from Shinagawa Station.

History of Shinagawa Aquarium:
There are newer, larger and more innovative aquariums in Japan but except for Tokyo Sea Life Park they aren't anywhere near Tokyo. Shinagawa Aquarium is well worth seeing for those in the Tokyo region. The aquarium was opened in October, 1991 and has established a tradition of opening a new section for every 5 year anniversary. Penguin land was opened in August 1996 and was followed by the shark tank in 2001 and the seal observation building in 2006. 

Famous Aquarium in Tokyo, Sunshine Aquarium

During my stay in Tokyo I have visited 2 aquarium galleries,  
  1. Shinagawa Aquarium  
  2. Sunshine City Aquarium

The Sunshine International Aquarium is located in the the Sunshine City building. This building also have an observatory in the topmost floor which can be reached by the elevator at a tremendous speed. The main attractions of Sunshine City Aquarium are seal and sea lion show, a feeding show with manta rays, utsubo, which is a very large fish that looks like a coin, and a large number of freshwater, brackish and saltwater tanks. The Sunshine City Aquarium also has an enclosure of penguins, another of some pelicans and a big enclosure of some land animals like monkeys, macaws, armadillo, anteater and something that looks like a mix between a deer and a rabbit where some persons can enter and have a stay with close proximity with the animals. The Sunshine City Aquarium is not a very big aquarium but it has a good variety of fish and sea life. The aquarium also has a section where you can touch and connect various type of animals, fish, birds, reptiles etc. which is very innovative and must conscious people about conservation of these beautiful animals.

The Sunshine International Aquarium has one the endangered Eastern Snake Neck Turtle. There are tanks featuring marine life from virtually all waters of the world. Several tanks showcase the diversity of Japan's coast, while others tour around Australia, the Caribbean, fresh water fish from the Amazon, Thailand and Africa, deep water fish and jellyfish.

The biggest tank, which holds the manta rays and utsubo, has a feeding show every couple of hours; a diver goes in and handfeeds some of the fish. Especially interesting is to see the manta ray devour in one gulp a baby octopus. During the show the diver tells something in Japanese which I could not understand but the children likes the show very much. They also give torch during the show in the evening and switch off the lights inside the aquarium to give a feeling of diving in dark underwater.



14 July, 2011

Sciaenochromis fryeri or the Electric Blue Hap

Introduction to Sciaenochromis fryeri:
Sciaenochromis fryeri or the "Electric Blue Hap" is a Lake malawi haplochromis species. The breeding blue color of the male haps are best shown in S. Fryeri. The females are brownish-grey to silver, very difficult to distinguish from the Kadango cichlid females. The male in this species is very popular in the hobby for their stunning color. Sometimes they may  show dark vertical bars on their body which is a sign of stress, and it is farely common in Malawi haps.

Color Variants of Sciaenochromis fryeri:
There are many color morphs of S. Fryeri present throughout Lake Malawi, but all have the same electric blue as the base color. Main difference found is in their  fins. There are also some hybrids of S. Fryeri present in the hobby.

Sizes of S. Fryeri:

The wildcaught S. Fryeri measures sizes of 12-14 cm in general, but there are specimens collected from Likoma Island having a length of over 20 cm. In the aquarium, all variants can grow to 20 cm in length. The females of this species, like most African Cichlid species, tend to be slightly smaller than the males.

08 July, 2011

Malawi Tank

Want some active colorful fishes. Keep Malawi cichlids, the most colorful freshwater fishes. Below are some photos from my malawi tank. In Kolkata you can get many options of malawi cichlids in Galiff Street market.

Geophagus Redhead Tapajos

The most colorful of all the Geophagus species is the Redhead Tapajos. Even smaller tetras can be tankmate of Geophagus Redhead Tapajos, as they are timid and usually do not bully other fishes. The smallest tank or aquarium size  for Geophagus Redhead Tapajos is 3'-1.5'-1.5' (LBH) tank. Geophagus Redhead Tapajos needs clean little acidic water and some driftwoods. As the best substrate in a Redhead Tapajos tank you can use fine sand. They dig a lot in search of food and so need fine sand so that they do not harm their mouth. Good filtration is necessary as the substrate is disturbed very often.

Find below some snaps from my 5'-2'-2' Geophagus Redhead Tapajos tank in Kolkata

31 May, 2010

C. Borleyii, the Red Kadango Cichlid

Introduction to Red Kadango:
This African Lake Malawi cichlid is an An easily kept fish, only need is a descent size tank that has dedicated rock structure to hide, if more than one fish is present. Male female distinction is very explicit, and easy to distinguish from in smaller fishes as well. So a pair is ideal to keep in a tank, the red kadango or redfin kadango can easily be bred. Various color morphs are present in the aquahobby, the color is mainly dependent on which point of the lake malawi it is collected from. They are not overly aggressive like most of the other malawi cichlids, and should not be kept with aggressive fishes like mbunas. Recommended to keep with lake malawi cichlids only, do not ever mix CS American cichlid with malawi or tanganyikan or victorian lake cichlids. Their requirement is all different including food habit, ideal pH, temperature, aggression level etc. If constantly bullied, the red kadango may become timid and not fare well. The beautiful red color in the body does not show up  well.

Check the article on my MALAWI TANK here.

27 May, 2010

Dimidiochromis Strigatus, the false eyebiter cichlid

Introduction to Dimidiochromis Strigatus, the false eyebiter cichlid:
Dimidiochromis Strigatus looks similar to the eyebiter cichlid, the dimidiochromis compressiceps. It is a predator fish like the eyebiter. Typically fed on smaller mbuna as well as insects.
It's common name is Haplochromis Sunset.

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