Ben Lee interview

Ben Lee interview

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2015 1:51 pm

Q. First of all, tell us something about yourself, your family and hobbies.

I started fish-keeping back when during my primary school days. Back then, my ‘collection’ was from the drains near my house, and I started with whatever I could catch. So I started with small guppies, snakeheads, catfishes etc. By and large, my interest in fish-keeping grew when I started work and bought my first apartment. With more space, I started buying and collecting more varieties of fishes. By 2004, I took up fish photography during my free time.

Q. What is the definition of a predatory species as per you, since almost every fish eats any fish which can fit in its mouth.

To me, that would be the Carnivores / Piscivores.

KAC Taenioides cirratus.jpg

KAC Tachysurus tokiensis.jpg

Q. What are the minimum requirements to keep a predatory species?

Just observe the basic rules --- manage the tank size, water conditions & feeding.

Q. Do you think one can keep predatory fishes in a community set up or can more than one specimen be kept in same tank, then what are the secrets of keeping them healthy in long term.

Predatory nature and aggressiveness are 2 different things entirely. Fishes may be predatory, yet non-aggressive. Likewise, they may be non-predatory, like certain cichlids, yet make lousy community candidates.

Again, there are no secrets; one just needs to observe the basics. House them in a suitable-size tank with the right deco, have a good water management system, install compatible tank-mates and feed them balanced diets.

KAC Toxotes blythii.jpg

KAC Butis sp.jpg

Q. How many fishes and fish tanks do you currently possess? Do you use any automated method to take care of the tanks?

I have 13 tanks, but have lost count of the total number of fishes in them ... LOL!

No, my tank management is fully labour-intensive. My labour, to be exact. Weekly tank maintenance is where I check on the condition of my fishes, equipments and well, that’s part of the fun in this hobby.

Q. What is the care level of most predator setups? How important is regular water change for predatory fishkeepers?

Nothing really complicated. Good filtration system is essential. Large water changes at least once a week is necessary.

Q. Which type of lighting you prefer for your tanks? Is it intense lighting or dim lights, what is the effect on the fishes?

I prefer to us low output standard white light because most predators (esp. ambush predators) do not like bright lights. Also, using dimmer lights will put the fishes at better ease, hence may better bring out their natural colours.


Q. Do you prefer barebottom tanks or some special substrate in your tanks?

I prefer to have tanks with gravel or sand as base with some simple decorations, and to be as close to their biotope as possible in which the fishes live. I have never really liked bare tanks as it looks like a prison cell.

Q. What is the smallest predatory species in freshwater which is used for aquarium purpose?

I am not sure what species is the smallest. My personal favourite for the small-sized predator is Butis sp. aka Crazy Bony-snouted gudgeon.

Q. Which food is more preferred for predator setups? DIY, Commercial or Live Feeding

There is no “preferred” type. I feed my fishes with frozen shrimps, market prawn topped with vitamins once a week and feed them pellets for the rest of the day. Occasionally I feed them with live feeders which I think it is beneficial.

KAC frozen shrimp.JPG

KAC Albino Amblyceps foratum.jpg

Q. As per you, which is the most elusive predatory species?

There are a few that top my chart. Subterranean catfish like Ituglanis boticario, Kryptoglanis Shajii, South American knifefishes like Compsaraia samueli etc...

KAC Compsaraia samueli.jpg

Q. What is your favourite predatory fish?

Amia calva aka Bowfin.

KAC Amia calva Bowfin.jpg

Q. What is your favourite Indian predatory species?

There are just too many to choose from, eg snakeheads, catfishes like Olyra sp. etc.. However, one of my personal favourite is the Indian whiptail catfish, though it is not a predatory species.

KAC Olyra sp. `CHEL RIVER`.jpg

Q. Which type has more “punch”, the solitary predator or the pack hunters?

Solitary predators such as wolf fishes (Hoplias sp.) a.k.a. Piranha killer.

Q. Your aquatic photography skills always amaze us. Can you share your gear and set up. Also give some tips on aquatic photography.

I started with using Canon G6 in my earliest shots, and that’s when some of my photos were published on magazine.
My first DSLR is Canon 40D which I got in late 2007, and until recently, have upgraded to the Canon 5D MK 3 (which was a gift from my lovely wife!). The key to good aquatic photography is to have multiple remote trigged flashlights

KAC Leptobotia elongata.jpg

KAC Chanodichthys erythropterus.jpg

Basic tips can be found here
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Re: Ben Lee interview

Postby Soumya Sarkar » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:41 am

Thanks admin for this Great interview....... :)
I have learned how to be a learner.....
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Re: Ben Lee interview

Postby suvrajit » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:24 am

Thanks folks for the great interview :ymhug:
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Re: Ben Lee interview

Postby el batty » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:04 am

way to go!!
awesome inputs on predatory species!!

aninda wrote:I believe in karma. That means I can do bad things to people I don't like and assume they deserved it.
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Re: Ben Lee interview

Postby rahul » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:19 pm

love it........
its quite different specially when one loves predators like these and studies their behaviour in aquariums.And love those setups too.
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Re: Ben Lee interview

Postby Abhirup.mecho » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:09 pm

Great interview...awesome photography....
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Re: Ben Lee interview

Postby Najib » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:58 am

The Master indeed :)

Good work team!

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Re: Ben Lee interview

Postby amiidae » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:49 pm

I am truly flattered. LOL @ the "Master" part.. But hey ! I am glad that you guys enjoy the read. :)
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Re: Ben Lee interview

Postby Bidyut » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:44 pm

like it!
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