Blog

Raising Brine Shrimp for Aquarium Fish

Hatching and Growing Brine Shrimp (February 2018) describes a new, and I believe, better method for providing aquarium fish with the world’s tastiest and most nutritious food. After hatching the eggs, I grow out the shrimp for 3-4 days in bottles seasoned with bacteria and micro-algae–food for the shrimp. Resulting juvenile shrimp are bigger and more nutritious than starved nauplii. My method saves expensive eggs and reuses the saltwater.

Flukes and Sick Guppies

Flukes and Sick Guppies (8 pages) tackles the problem of why guppies die for “no good reason.” It starts with the author’s own discovery of Monogenean flukes as being a major and long-standing problem for the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). The disease management strategies she now uses are based on recent scientific papers and the ecology of flukes and guppies

Parasite Surveys

Which parasites are most prevalent in tropical aquarium fish?  My article Parasite Surveys of Aquarium Fish, a compilation of 11 different investigations from around the world, answers that question. Freshwater fish (goldfish, guppies, tetras, etc) were sampled from Sri Lankan fish farms, Swedish pet shops, etc.  Most surveys reported Monogeneans (i.e., flukes) as the most common parasite of aquarium fish–whether healthy or diseased.  For example, 37% of 223 freshly caught wild fish from the Amazon carried Monogeneans, ranging from a 92% prevalence in Angelfish to only 7.4% in Cardinal Tetras.  The ICH parasite was in second place (21% prevalence in the 223 fish), but other studies reported a much lower prevalence of the ICH parasite. Overall, Monogeneans dominated.

Treating Fish for Nematodes

Over the years, I have had to deal with nasty Camallanus worms three times in newly purchased fish. My article ‘Treating Fish for Camallanus and Other Nematodes’ contains step-by-step instructions for preparing a Fenbendazole-containing fishfood that successfully rid my tanks and fish of these intestinal parasites. I have included information on other treatment options, the related nematode Capillaria, plus the worldwide presence of Camallanus in both native fish and the aquarium trade.

New Family History Book

Danish Governess

Danish Great-grandmother (1885)

Here, author offers a peek inside Family History (1860-1950) of a Doctor’s Daughter. Preview includes the table of contents, preface, and the entire first chapter. First chapter tells the story of the author’s Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Dutch immigrant ancestors and what their lives were like in Europe before they came. Also included is a general history of immigration to the U.S. during the mid-19th century.  For example, author discusses the effect of potatoes, land reform, and smallpox vaccination on European emigration.  Lots of pictures…   Author cites reference sources for her material (84 citations for the first chapter alone!).

Mycobacteriosis in Aquarium Fish

Mycobacteriosis in Aquarium Fish, a 15 page article, provides vital information that fish keepers can use to prevent—or deal with—“Fish TB.” Scientific surveys show that almost half of fish deaths due to unknown causes are due to mycobacteriosis. Article is based on the author’s experience fleshed out with the latest scientific research. Every fish keeper, whether professional fish breeder or beginning aquarium hobbyist, should read this.

Impact of Tuberculosis on Families

Author Diana Walstad delves into the impact of TB on her ancestors in Family History (1860-1950) of a Doctor’s Daughter.  She explains their behavior in terms of societal attitudes that prevailed at the time.  For example, before people knew that TB was contagious and not an inherited frailty, her great-grandmother sometimes put the kids in bed with their feverish, tubercular father to keep them warm on cold nights.  Prior to 1930, many people believed that TB generated immunity, perhaps explaining why the author’s grandfather saw no risk in marrying a woman from a tubercular family.  He may have thought that she–now a robust adult–had acquired immunity.  She hadn’t.  After she died of TB, he repeated the same mistake with his second wife.

The book fleshes out the personal tragedies with history.  It begins with Robert Koch’s discovery (1882) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and ends with Gerhard Domagk, a bacteriologist who risked his life during World War II to bring forth the drug isoniazid, now a cornerstone of TB chemotherapy.  The book documents the struggle and ultimate victory of America’s health care community in rooting out TB from the general population.  It was no small achievement.

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