ON THE COVER:
Aquatic plants are more popular than ever in the aquarium hobby, and
nobody has been a greater influence on the rise in the popularity of
planted tanks than Mr. Takashi Amano, who developed the celebrated
artistic aquarium-layout style known as “Nature Aquarium.” Combining
a photographer’s eye and reverence for nature with consummate
aquascaping and aquaristic skills, Mr. Amano has brought the planted
layout to a whole new level, to the delight of a growing international
audience. We are proud to feature one of Mr. Amano’s impressive aquatic
scenes on the cover of this issue, and we are privileged and honored to
feature his Nature Aquarium articles every month in TFH, continuing this
month with a look at the use of driftwood and plant arrangements to
create a one-of-a-kind layout (p. 58). Photograph by Takashi Amano.
Our cover photo, free of any text or graphics and suitable
for framing, etc., is reproduced in full size on page 57.
Our 57th Year • Volume LVII • Number 12 • #641
Driftwood and Plant Arrangements in the Nature Aquarium
Driftwood is a key element for providing a natural feel to the planted aquarium. The aquascaper
extraordinaire provides insight on the best type of driftwood to use and which plants to best pair with
it, as well as a technique for dramatically changing the appearance of a layout without adjusting the
composition. Takashi Amano
64 Five “Easy” Tetras
Tetras are not the first fish to come to mind in terms of easy breeding, but some are easier to breed than
you might have been led to believe. One longtime aquarist provides his tried-and-true method of breeding
tetras, suggesting five species to start with. Ted Judy
Where on Earth Is Lakamora?
A heavily isolated lake amid mountains and dense jungle in a far-off country may sound like a
navigational nightmare, but in the eyes of our methodical explorer, it’s the collection site of a lifetime.
An intrepid adventurer responsible for introducing many exotic fish to the hobby relates his epic tale
of collecting rainbowfish from Lake Lakamora in New Guinea. Heiko Bleher
78 Taming the Tenacious Trumpet Snail
The ability to survive in almost all water conditions, breed easily, keep gravel stirred, not eat plants,
and clean up after fish sounds like the recipe for a perfect invertebrate—but this all comes with a
price. Our inquiring author details a tiny aquarium resident that, while providing numerous benefits,
can multiply out of control. Tom Lorenz
82 The Samurai Gourami Sphaerichthysvaillanti
A rare and difficult fish to acquire, the samurai gourami is relatively new to the hobby. An experienced
collector and breeder elaborates on his acquisition of this vibrant species from Indonesia, providing
insight into their care and proper maintenance, with an account of the challenges faced during breeding.
86 In Search of the Origins of the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey
Following up last month’s article on the original breeding facility of the electric blue Jack Dempsey in
Argentina, this month we present a look at the DNA tests performed to help unravel the secrets of this
fish’s controversial origins from an aquarist who provided his own fish’s DNA for analysis.
Lawrence Coleman Willey, Jr.
Book Excerpt: Culturing Live Foods
TFH provides a glimpse into Culturing Live Foods, an instructional book for hobbyists who want to provide
the best foods for their aquatic pets. The excerpt of this chapter details the various worms that can be
cultured, how to culture them, and the best way to introduce them into your tank. Mike Hellweg
98 Aquarium Science: Breeding the Spotted Green Pufferfish
Groundbreaking research has been conducted to find a way to captive-spawn the ever-popular spotted
green (or green spotted) pufferfish. A University of Florida researcher explains the various obstacles to
breeding the species, and his ultimate success in doing so. Craig Watson
102 Sepiabandensis Husbandry and Breeding
An alien-like look, color-changing ability, and fascinating predatory behaviors make this cuttlefish an
incredible choice for marine aquaria, but its short lifespan is discouraging to some. A cephalopod
enthusiast and breeder lays out the husbandry essentials, as well as what to provide the young.
108 Snorkeling in Akumal, Mexico
Turtles, barracudas, angels, and cichlids—beautiful Akumal, Mexico has a wide variety of sea life for the
aquarist who wants to experience fish in their natural habitats. One snorkeler narrates his trip to Akumal,
where he saw everything from Mayan ruins to the merging of ecosystems. Forrest Phillips