Need more ammonia oxidizing bacteria? Maybe not

Image of archaea by Steve Gschmeissner from

We all know that the nitrogen cycle consists of breaking down ammonia or ammonium into nitrite and then into nitrate. For years, the microorganisms credited with performing these tasks in aquaria were bacteria, specifically from the genera Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter. That is still true, however the notion that bacteria are exclusively responsible has recently been challenged by the scientific community. In fact, it may not be bacteria at all that perform the majority of the work, at least in freshwater aquariums.

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Drs. Chloé Laubu and François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont Interview


Professor François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont. 


Dr. Chloé Laubu. 

A few weeks ago, I was searching for a scholarly article on something cichlid related and stumbled upon some interesting research on convict cichlids. I downloaded the paper and read it. I then looked up the authors and discovered that they regularly use cichlids in their research. I reached out to them about doing an interview for the blog and, thankfully, they agreed.

Professor François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont is a behavioral ecologist who teaches at the University of Lyon in Lyon, France. His research focus is the evolution of decision making, within a sexual context, of fish.

Dr. Chloé Laubu is a former student of Dr. Dechaume-Moncharmont, and her research focuses on mood and personality of convict cichlids in a sexual context. Dr. Laubu works in the Laboratoire Biogéosciences at the University of Burgundy. The two researchers have authored several papers together, and their research is quite complementary.


With the introductions out of the way, let’s get started.

Continue reading this post…Drs. Chloé Laubu and François-Xavier Dechaume-Moncharmont Interview

New air pump

Silent Giant dual outlet air pump. Photo from

If you’re in the market for a new air pump, consider the Silent Giant by Hydra Aquatics. It might just be the quietest aquarium pump on the market. You can see a video of it being tested against a couple of other comparable pumps, including Danner, on the Aquamanknox YouTube channel here.

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