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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish
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Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish

 
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nvj1
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:03 pm Post subject: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 
 
 
 Ichthyologist  Rahul  G.  Kumar  was  part  of  a  team  that  studied  the  fresh  water  fish  of  the  Western  Ghats  for  an  exhaustive  book  on  the  subject.  Rahul  talks  about  the  venture  and  his  work  as  an  expert  on  fish
 
 Rahul  G.  Kumar's  unassuming  house  at  Maruthankuzhi  Junction  in  the  city  is  home  to  Peruvians,  Colombians,  Brazilians,  Africans...  They  reside  in  45  aquariums  in  his  home.
 
 In  fascinating  colours  and  shapes,  the  fish  lends  colour  to  the  space  that  Rahul  has  created  in  a  shed  in  his  compound  while  a  room  in  his  house  also  has  aquariums  containing  fish  of  myriad  kinds.  Scientific  and  common  names  of  species  and  sub-species  roll  of  his  tongue  with  ease  as  you  scramble  to  get  the  spellings  correct.
 
 Rahul's  fascination  for  denizens  of  the  deep  goes  beyond  mere  hobby  and  aquariums.  A  natural  scientist  with  a  post-graduate  degree  in  Environmental  Science  from  the  University  of  Mumbai,  Rahul  smiles  when  he  says  that  it  was  a  childhood  fascination,  which  began  at  the  age  of  five  when  he  got  his  first  aquarium.  Later,  it  developed  into  a  passion  for  the  natural  world.
 
 Currently  pursuing  a  doctorate  in  Ichthyology  from  Madras  University,  Rahul  says  he  realised  that  it  was  fish,  and  specifically  fresh  water  fish,  that  fascinated  him  and  so  he  left  his  studies  in  environmental  engineering  in  the  United  States  to  return  to  India.  As  MetroPlus  catches  up  with  him,  he  is  in  the  middle  of  preparing  a  presentation  for  an  international  delegation  that  will  be  in  Kerala.  He  was  part  of  a  team  that  has  just  wrapped  up  a  book  on  the  freshwater  fish  in  the  Western  Ghats,  which  should  be  out  by  the  end  of  the  year.
 
 “After  I  returned  to  India,  a  lot  of  well-wishers  felt  that  I  should  work  on  such  a  book  as  there  was  nothing  exhaustive  on  the  subject  in  the  past  15  years  or  so.  Most  of  the  dependable  books  were  written  by  British  naturalists  working  in  pre-Independent  India,”  explains  Rahul  reeling  off  the  names  of  authors,  natural  scientists  and  writers  who  had  written  on  the  subject.
 
 “Francis  Day,  T.C.  Jerdon,  and  W.  H.  Sykes  were  British  army  naturalists  who  did  fairly  extensive  documentation  of  the  fish  in  Malabar,  Kochi  and  so  on.  But  most  of  it  was  in  the  19th  century.  Indian  authors  like  J.C.  Jayaram  and  A.G.K.  Menon  had  also  published  books  on  the  subject.
 
 “The  last  book,  I  think  was  by  J.C.  Daniel,  written  about  15  years  ago.  What  we  are  doing  is  specifically  on  the  fish  in  the  fresh  water  bodies.  There  are  44  rivers  just  in  Kerala  and  that  is  without  counting  the  ponds  and  lakes.  So  I  felt  it  was  an  interesting  area  of  work.  Although  there  were  books  on  the  birds  and  the  mammals  of  Kerala,  there  was  nothing  much  on  the  fish  in  the  region,”  he  explains.
 
 Over  two  years,  the  study  covered  the  region  south  of  Gujarat  and  moved  all  along  the  coast  to  Kerala,  Karnataka  and  Tamil  Nadu.  Two  years  of  hard  work  and  long  treks!
 
 Rahul  remembers  a  four-hour  trek  to  a  waterfall  near  Shimoga.  By  the  time  the  team  reached  their  destination,  their  feet  were  covered  with  leeches.  “We  pulled  them  off  our  feet  and  at  the  end  of  it,  it  looked  like  there  was  a  bloody  sacrifice  or  something,”  he  says,  showing  the  scars  on  his  feet.
 
 Another  time,  they  were  trekking  along  the  edge  of  the  Mudumalai  wildlife  sanctuary  along  with  a  forest  guard  who  ensured  that  the  trip  turned  memorable  as  he  kept  pointing  to  certain  spots  where  wild  elephants  had  gored  unwary  travellers.  Rahul  remembers  how  at  every  turn  they  were  looking  over  their  shoulder,  expecting  to  see  a  wild  bull  charging  at  them  any  moment.
 
 What  a  catch
 
 “When  we  began  the  study,  the  assumption  was  that  there  were  between  270  and  290  species  of  freshwater  fish  species  in  the  Western  Ghats  but  our  work  suggests  there  are  more,”  he  says.
 
 Recently,  Rahul  was  chosen  as  technical  adviser  for  a  BBC  team  that  was  filming  Karimeen  fishing  in  the  Vembanad.  Instead  of  a  net,  the  fishermen  drag  a  long  rope  along  the  bottom  of  the  lake.  The  Karimeen  immediately  dive  into  the  mud  to  hide,  two  fishermen  swimming  behind  the  rope  catch  the  fish.  Rahul  says  this  ingenious  method  of  catching  Karimeen  is  indigenous  to  Kerala.
 
 So  does  the  ardent  fish  lover  eat  it?  “Oh,  every  day.  The  ones  I  eat  are  different  from  the  ones  I  rear!”  he  says.
 
 For  new  fish  keepers…
 
 Get  the  largest  tank  you  can.  The  more  space  there  is,  the  happier  the  fish  will  be.  Also,  length  and  width  of  the  tank  are  more  important  than  height.
 
 Invest  in  good  life-support  equipment.  This  includes  air  pumps  and  filters.  Canister  or  hang-on-the-back  type  filters  are  better  than  undergravel  or  power  filters.  A  good  rule  of  thumb  is  to  keep  about  70  per  cent  of  your  budget  for  the  tank  and  filter  and  the  rest  for  fish  and  decorations.  If  you  have  a  good  filter,  just  replace  about  10-25  per  cent  of  the  water  in  your  tank  once  a  week  and  rinse  the  filter  medium,  you  don't  have  to  change  all  the  water.
 
 Do  not  mix  goldfish  and  koi  with  other  fish.  These  two  varieties  very  long  lived  if  properly  maintained  (there  are  koi  that  are  supposed  to  be  over  a  100  years  old,  in  Japan)  and  do  not  do  well  in  the  company  of  faster  moving  or  aggressive  fish.
 
 Resist  the  urge  to  keep  adding  fish  to  the  tank.
 
 Don't  waste  your  money  on  so  called  “cleaner  fish”.  All  they  do,  at  best,  is  scrape  algae  off  the  glass.
 
 Discovery  of  a  new  species
 
 The  excitement  of  stumbling  on  a  new  species  is  something  indescribable,  he  says.
 
 “It  seems  to  be  just  another  day  and  suddenly  you  spot  something  that  is  not  supposed  to  be  there!”  As  it  happened  when  they  found  what  looked  like  a  new  kind  of  fish  in  Wayanad  during  the  end  of  last  year.  “We  sent  a  specimen  to  the  Zoological  Survey  of  India.  They  had  also  come  across  the  same  kind  and  when  the  description  was  published,  my  photograph  of  the  fish  was  used.  It  has  been  named  as  Puntius  nigripinnis.”  
 
 
 
 Source:  http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article3480079.ece
 
 
 
 
 Unfortunately  no  other  pics  of  his  tanks  are  given....


Last edited by nvj1 on Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Amazonian2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:50 pm Post subject: Re: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 Nice  report  nvj1...looks  like  "River  Monsters"  remake  can  happen  in  India..
 Fingers  crossed  and  lets  have  some  world  class  documentary  from  our  own  land..
 
 Thanks  for  sharing.
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Rohanj
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:02 pm Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 very  intersting  read  !Cheer  Didn't  know  those  discus  grew  so  huge   Rock On
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adesh8028
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:47 am Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 A  very  nice  article  and  nice  to  see  fish  fanatic  doing  so  much.
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sid
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:54 am Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 Way  to  go  Rahul.
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saikumar
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:20 am Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 Nice  going  Rahul  Thumb Up  All  the  very  best.
 
 Guys  who  need  to,  he  is  our  very  own  forum  member  retro_gk
 thanks  for  sharing  nvj
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nvj1
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:47 pm Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 @Amazonian2010  :  That  would  be  pretty  awesome
 
 @saikumar:  I  thought  he  probably  would  be  in  IAH...  Just  didn't  know  who  it  was..Thnx  Smile
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Ram_a_rosi
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:42 pm Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 Hmm  quite  interesting.  That  another  persons  whose  home  i  would  want  to  visit   Very Happy  for  a  glimpse.
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rasikanayak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:04 pm Post subject: Ichthyologist retro_gk in the news. Reply with quote

 http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article3480079.ece
 
 Geat  going   Clapping  
 
 Regards,
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saikumar
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:07 pm Post subject: Re: Ichthyologist retro_gk in the news. Reply with quote

 Hi  Nayak,
 
 Club  this  one  too  Thumb Up
 http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=293498#293498
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rasikanayak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:32 pm Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 Saikumar,
 
 Thank  you.
 I  have  merged  both  topics.  I  missed  the  earlier  post  on  his  subject  entirely.
 
 Regards,
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aquarius
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:02 pm Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

                                                   
nvj1  wrote  (View  Post):                
 I  thought  he  probably  would  be  in  IAH...  Just  didn't  know  who  it  was.                

 
 Precisely  my  point.
 Why  do  we  have  to  refer  to  The  Hindu  or  for  any  other  daily  for  that  matter  to  know  about  the  achievements  of  our  OWN  IAHians?
 Why  don't  we  form  a  section  which  deals  exclusively  with  such  super  achievers?
 The  IAH  Hall  of  Fame!
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saikumar
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:46 pm Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 You`re  welcome  Nayak.  No  wonder  Rahul  has  been  off  the  forum  so  much.
 ...more  over  this  small  article  tells  quite  much  about  his  signature  as  well.
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Amazonian2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:18 pm Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 Good  idea  Swarnendu...we  can  have  a  Hall  of  fame  for  this  kind  of  celebration..
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garothmaan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:50 pm Post subject: Re: Newspaper Article: Hooked by fish Reply with quote

 But  we  are  all  hooked  by  the  fishes.  Whoever  is  not  hooked  by  fishes  is  not  an  IAHian  herein  and  all  those  who  are  hooked  get  soaked  too  Thumbs Up  BIG  DEAL  HUH!
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