China – Shanghai, 18 October 2009
During his visit to Shanghai for Shaquaria 2009, Heiko made a side trip to the most famous Flower and Ornamental fish market and made amazing discoveries. And the Tetra-Studend Pan Hongyu guided and translated for him.
Already over the entrance to the very large Flower and Ornamental Fisk market in Shanghai was written Better City – Better Life in English (rare to find) and was not only a guide for more natural (plant and fish) city but also making people aware of the upcoming 2010 Worl Expo which will take place in Shanghai (and 4 years later in Milan…)
There was an immense variety of ceramics and terra cotta pots for plants, at extreme low prices. But also some shops with very rare hand-painted ceramics. In one shop with an amazing large beautiful Rock full with fossils, was a man doing handicraft. I wonder what is was and then saw it is a special box for a Grasshopper. This is high fashion and big business. They built the box with a special wire on top, which intensifies the sound of the Grasshopper and it is music in the airs… a new toy. And they are also sold as fighters, the males only individual kept. Actually I found out later it is big business in China today. Man have their special fighting Grasshoppers and they go to large extent of betting, each Discus breeder I visited had many Grasshoppers…
On the flower market there were all kinds of very nicely cultivated plants, even many kinds of South American bromeliads, rare (and red) cactus as well as the carnivorous Nepenthas.
Nice rocks with tiny villages and bridges built into it and waterfalls, as well as fish-fountains.
At the end of the Flower and plant section were the ornamental fish section started, was one very large aquarium shop, Cheng Mao. I was astonished with their quality of plants, fishes and the aquascape or only just nicely planted aquariums. They had also different models of Nan-aquariums and gave to fishes their correct decoration, as in nature, like for these Loricariids (lower right). Not many aquarium shops like this in Europe to be found…
Behind the large store was the street with hundreds of smaller aquarium shops and open market for Goldfish and Koi, for feeds and supplies.
Some sold plastic plants, but the majority had beautiful planted aquariums and with really incredible beautiful submersed plants – and rare ones.
The aquarium plants were sold from these beautiful set-up aquariums, rarely outside from trays. And one can buy the underwater grass mats just like it is done for the lawn…
There were exclusive Discus shops (upper) and the majority are red, white or blue. Although there is a Symphysodon discus on the door painted no wild discus can be seen anywhere.
Almost every shop is specialized in a particular variety of aquarium fishes and this one had only Flower horn cichlids. The upper one sold for 2000 USD, the lower one for 1200 USD.
This shop was specialized in pearl-scale albino angelfishes with a striking red head and all the way to the dorsal fin…
…another one was specialized in imports and rare fishes, like Monodactylus sebae (upper left), Badis badis (upper right), beautiful red-eyed Hemigrammus pulcher and a Nemachelid I had never seen before, from southern China.
Unfortunately also in China these terribly colour-injected poor fishes (which have to die soon) are sold also, and some even now with pot full of flowers “painted” on its sides (lower).