Spawning seatrout

I have been hunting the seatrout for a long time. Every time I had the time during late autumn, I have driven around searching for spawning trouts. Every time so far the water was either murky and filled with particles or the trouts were nowhere in sight. This year everything  was perfect. In the spawning season the trouts usually migrate after heavy rains, since Dansih rivers and streams have very low waterflow otherwise. The rain also wash out mud, silt and other particles, which means it is impossible to shoot under water. This year i did not rain for two weeks and the trout where already at the spawning sites, so the water was low and clear and the river full of fish. Rune Hyldby from a local sportsfisher club showed med al the good spots. He helps the fish by palcing gravel for spawning in the streams and each year he and other club members electrofish trouts to rear the eggs in at a fish farm and release the fry when they have grown big enough to survive in the stream. This helps the dimnished fish stocks in the rivers.

Here you see the trouts under water.  I am able to sneak up on them at nigh, so close I could have touched the fish. It is incredible to dive along side a 70 cm long trout in a low watered stream.

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Posted in Nature photos, Underwater photos Tagged , , , , , |

Darter on the hunt

This summe I got pictures of yet another rare and protected species. The long term goal is to photograph all strictly protected species in Denmark. Strictly protected species are species listed in appendix IV in EU´s Habitatdirective. They are all endangered in one or more EU countries and therefore it is prohibited to collect, kill and disturb the species or disturb or destroy their habitat. The one I found, is called the Large White-faced Darter or Yellow-Spotted Whiteface (Stor kærguldsmed, Leucorrhinia pectoralis) and is only found 3 places in Denmark, two of which have been turned into Natura 2000 sites after the species was discovered. The males have morphed from their aquatic larval form and are hunting insects in old sphagnum bog, filled with sundew, bog-myrtle and common cottongrass. The white-faced darter has a characteristic white mask and a yellow dot on the tail. I also found Green Forrester (Adscita statices) and lots of damselflies.

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Posted in Nature photos Tagged , |

Alpine newt – Triturus alpestris

In April I had the honor of meeting one of the most rare amphibians and I would venture to say that it must be the first time that anyone has taken photos under water of alpine newt in Denmark in its natural environment. Alpine newt is found only in southern Jutland around Aabenraa and only in ponds that do not get too hot in the summer. Alpine newt live in cold forest ponds and requires shade at the water hole, otherwise it may die of heat stroke. We were round to 7 different ponds in order to obtain the bare roughly term in the water. All the ponds were teeming with salamanders. The newts stayed on the bottom in the deepest part of the pond where the water was coldest.

Alpine newt is the most beautiful of our newt with its blue patterns, screaming orange belly and leopard spotted side. Unfortunately, the brown forest lake water make the colors disappear little, so a single male was captured for pictures in a photo aquarium and set out again. A fascinating encounter when you’ve been searching all day. April is the time when the mountain salamander mating and this is where it is easiest to find in the pond.

Thanks to Allan Høxbroe for the above water photos showing how to work in a small pond and thanks to Uffe Mikkelsen, who showed us around in the forests south of Aabenraa.

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Posted in Ikke kategoriseret, Nature photos, Underwater photos Tagged , , , , |

Bee arrival

Our bee family arrived today. A small but healthy family given to me by my father in law. So far they are staying in a traditional hive with Langstroth frames until the family has grown. Afterwards we will put a Honeyflow hive on top with both traditional frames and flowhive frames.

Frame on displayBusy beesBrood boxQueen beeQueen beeBees

Posted in Bee keeping Tagged , , , , |

Night Dive

Had a great night dive on the north coast of Zealand. No wind and quite clear water. We saw a lot of flatfish among those turbot, flounder and Brill, here and there herring was darting around, hitting me and the camera. Trouble with the strobes meant I only hade the focus and searchlight for lightning up the object, but it looks great I think. Amazingly we also found a Five-bearded rockling in very shallow water and bare sand: I have only seen these on rocky bottom before. And then there was millions of Mysis.

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Posted in Nature photos, Underwater photos Tagged , , , , , , |

Army of snails

It looks like I have cracked the code to a less algae infested aquarium. I have had lots of snails before, but I realised that I might have underestimated how many snails there are in natural conditions. Therefore I brought home a  lot of snails, around 150 common periwinkles, and the result is so far good. In little over a week they have really grazed down a lot of the green algae and the rocks are starting to show through. The pink coraline algaes are also visible now. This is the “after” photo. Unfortunately I do not have any “before” pictures.

After adding 150 common periwinkle

Full tank photo after adding 150 common periwinkle

 

Posted in Coldwater aquarium

Bee keeping for beginners

We are going to keep bees – my father in law is preparing a bee family which is to move in, in our new hive this spring. We have bought at “Flow hive” from honeyflow.com as part of a kickstarter project. It arrived last week and I assebled it without much problem in about two hours (including shooting a stop motion movie of the assembly at the same time). Here is a couple of shots of the process. The flow frame should make it easier to harvest the honey, by just turning a handle and let it flow out of the frames.

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Posted in Bee keeping Tagged |

SharkTV

Happy New Year – not much has happened in the tank. Project baby has kept me busy, but now it pays of. The aquarium is a great baby pacifier and now little Sigrun is big enough to sit herself in front of the tank.

Still struggling with high nitrates (around 15 mg/l) but the phospates are reduced from 0,3 mg/l to 0,1mg/l. The coralline algae is starting to show through the thick carpets of green and red algae. The sharks are thriving on Mysis and small herring.

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Posted in Coldwater aquarium Tagged , , , |

Best nature photos of 2015

Happy New Year!

2015 gave a lot of exciting experiences and trips to new locations. Here is a gallery showing my best photos.

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Posted in Nature photos, Underwater photos Tagged , |

System overload 2 – update

This is getting weird – I sent a water sample to my local (1 hour away) saltwater aquarium store. He phoned the results:

Kh 15 – which is not that wierd since this is the same as the tap water (lots of calcium)

Nitrates > 25 mg/l !!

Phosphates 0,3-0,5 mg/l !!!! which is really weird since I measured around 0,3 before the water change

My own test-kit (Red Sea algae control test kit) measured nitrates at around 2 mg/l and phosphates almost 0 – so now I am confused, since I just changed 600 liters out of a total of around 800 in the whole system. I ordered a new test-kit for phospates – hope that will give me some direction off where my aquarium is headed.

Today I built my own design of a portable deep-sand bed, using a box for refrigerators from Ikea, some pvc pipping, parts from a gravel bed filter and a piece of  nonwovens (textile for preventing the sand from running out the drain in the bottom). I hope this will help reduce nitrates by denitrification.

Here a schematic of the whole system as it runs now.

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