meeresbande asked:

Do underwater lichen exist? If so, who are they can you introduce us--- I mean are there saltwater lichen? Freshwater lichen?

I’m no expert by any means, but from a bit of digging I’ve found that there are a number of lichen species growing in permanently submerged habitats. According to Freshwater Fungi: and Fungal-like Organisms by Jones, Hyde, and Pang, there are around 50 species, though I’ve seen a range of deviations from that estimation. It sounds like it’s an area of research that could use more attention and funding. Some examples of lichen species specializing in permanently submerged habitats are Peltigera hydrothyria, endemic to North American mountain streams, and Collema dichotomum, which can be found growing on rocks in cool, fast-flowing upland streams of the UK, Europe, and Russia. These types of lichen tend to be limited by the amount of light available, so you won’t find them in deeper waters where there is less light.

There are more species of lichens growing in areas where they are regularly but temporarily submerged, such as in tidal areas or on the margins of freshwater rivers and lakes. While looking into this, I found this fascinating website devoted entirely to the marine lichens growing along on the coast of Brittany in France. Apparently there are species of lichens which grow on barnacles!

Thank you for the excellent question! It sent me on an exciting quest for answers on a bleak winter morning.

What is that bug in my aquarium?

Planaria, flatworms

Probably the most commonly suggested answer for “what is this in my aquarium?” It isn’t usually what it is though. They appear to be almost like leeches (variety of colors) and are found in shrimp tanks mostly as they love their food and molts. They will feed off fish eggs and baby shrimps. If you have too many you’re overfeeding. Manually removing them from the glass when you see them is the safest method of removal. Medium sized fish will eat them too.

 Copepods, Cyclops

These cute little guys are the most common critter to get into your aquarium. They swim in jerky motions on the glass. Absolutely harmless and a wonderful food source for small fish and fry.

Water Fleas, Daphnia

Little reindeer. They swim in bouncy jerky motions through the water. Harmless and a great source of food for fish and fry. 

Seed Shrimp, Ostracoda

Think bigger copepods in movement and behavior. They are harmless and good cleanup crews. They’re the springtails of aquariums.

Nematodes

These little worms swim in S motions and are super common. They’re annoying to both fish and the people looking in, but otherwise harmless. Siphoning them out is often the best method of removal. Fish will sometimes eat them if they can catch them too.

Freshwater Limpet - Acroloxus lacustris

Slugs basically… They’re small and slow moving and harmless. Really hard to get rid of like snails. Sometimes mistaken as newly hatched nerites. Bleach dips are really the only way to really get rid of them.

Hydra

Probably the only thing that will cause real problems, and only if you have small fry or baby shrimp. These guys aren’t too challenging to get rid of. Fenbonazol works really well at a normal dose. Manually removing them works well also. They aren’t a big issue unless you have an overwhelming amount of them.

Pet Store Blues Ep. 6 or something

*walks over to a couple crouching over by the goldfish section which you know will always lead to a thrilling ride*

Customer: Hi, so we have a small tank… err… I’m not sure how large, maybe… *points to a 20L tank on display* We set it up maybe… err… 2 days ago? So it’s been running a long time. So we just want 4 goldfish.

Does anyone know the feeling where you’re smiling and nodding through their speech but inside, you’re wondering how you’re gonna seamlessly transition from being polite and sweet to wrecking their plans (hopefully still politely as possible)? 

Me: *inserts goldfish info* 

Okay, so here’s where I always feel guilty because my boss is a nice, responsible and knowledgeable guy but he’s also running a small business so it is expected of us to still sell a single goldfish to customers with inadequate set ups after doing our best to educate them and asking they return it as soon as it becomes too large. 

Me: So unfortunately guys, buying 4 goldfish today will most likely only end in a lot of water changes for you and a lot of suffering for the four little fish, it’d be best if you bought one small goldfish in a few weeks and I ran you through cycl – 

Customer: – -Yeah, okay, whatever. We still just want 4 goldfish. 

They actually said that? 

Me: *gets that spider sense feeling where you become sure they don’t actually own de-chlorinator* Hang on, have you used a water conditioner yet?

Customer: What is that, is that the …err…. the carbon filter thing? My brother said I didn’t need the carbon filter.

Me: *tries to sell them water conditioner, stability, aquarium salt, decent food and the idea on researching a bit more before buying a live animal*

Customer: Yeah, I don’t know. I think I’ll ask my brother if I actually need the de-chlorinator, he has goldfish. I’m not gonna get scammed into buying useless junk, sorry. 

*smiles at me and leaves*

Stocking your 10  gallon

This is a debated topic among fish keepers and what’s actually acceptable in a 10. Most people say nothing but a betta, but that’s simply not the case, in my experience, research and opinion I believe there are many interesting species that can be comfortably kept in a 10 gallon for their whole lives. With smaller tanks though you have to do the maintenance necessary. Usually that means more water changes but smaller amounts. You have to be on top of your water chemistry too because it can be so unstable in small tanks, especially if you keep fish in proper groups. So this is for those people who have that 10 and don’t necessarily want another betta, or want a new little challenge. I stay away from brackish fish in this as it involves its own set of challenges. There are plenty of brackish options for a 10 gallon as well though.

Keep reading

​River ecosystems show ‘incredible’ initial recovery after dam removal

Fate of one songbird species indicates fast rebound

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A songbird species that flourishes on the salmon-rich side of dams in the western United States struggles when it tries to nest on the side closed off from the fish and the nutrients they leave behind.

But the songbird and the rest of the divided ecosystem rebounds, faster than some experts expected, when dams come down and rivers are allowed to resume their natural flow.

Two new studies led by Christopher Tonra, assistant professor of avian wildlife ecology at The Ohio State University, illustrate the stress dams impose on species that rely on salmon and the impact of dam removal on the well-being of that wildlife.

The areas previously depleted of salmon are on a fast track to recovery in a shorter time than he ever expected after the dam removal, Tonra said.

“It’s exciting to be able to show a real positive outcome in conservation. We don’t always get that,” he said. “That these rivers can come back within our own generation is a really exciting thing.”

During his time conducting the studies in Washington, Tonra watched reservoir beds that looked like moonscapes return to vibrant, rich habitat and cascades emerge where none had been, at least for the last century.

“Watching that happen was just incredible,” he said.

Tonra and his colleagues studied the American dipper, a bird set apart by its unusual feeding style. Dippers, which are equipped with a transparent second eyelid (think water goggles for birds), dive below the river’s surface and walk the riverbed scouring the rocky floor for meals, mostly aquatic insects in their larval stage. They also eat some small fish, including juvenile salmon when they’re available.

The studies are the first to examine the effects of dams, and dam removal, on the dipper, considered an indicator species and the only bird of its type found in North America. Dippers that are faring well point to a strong ecosystem in and around the river.

Read more here.

Provided by Ohio State University

Lakes around the world rapidly warming

Climate change is rapidly heating up lakes around the world, threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystems across the planet, according to a study spanning six continents.

More than 60 scientists took part in the research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and announced today at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

“Our knowledge of how lakes are responding to global change has been lacking,” said Henry Gholz, program director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation, which funded the research. “That has made forecasting the future of lakes – and the life and livelihoods they support – very challenging. These newly reported trends are a wake-up call to scientists and citizens, including water resource managers and those who depend on freshwater fisheries.”

Caption: Ice was on Lake Vortsjarv in Estonia. Ice-covered lakes warm faster than those with open water. Credit:T.Noges