2016-09-30

CORAL and its habitat

Corals are a beautiful addition to any saltwater aquarium and they can also have beneficial effects on the miniature semi-ecosystem that exists in a well functioning aquarium.

Gorgonian polyps. Photographed in the reef aqu...
Gorgonian polyps. Photographed in the reef aquarium of aquarist Mike Giangrasso.
 (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Corals are living animals that are commonly called sessile invertebrates. What this means is that they are animals that don't have a backbone (like vertebrates do) and that they are generally stuck in one spot and can't move around like most animals can. Corals are usually attached to a rock. Corals consist of many individual polyps. The polyps may have an internal or an external skeleton that is made of calcium carbonate. Each polyp has an oral opening that leads to a gastrovascular tube. There is a lot of variety in the types of food eaten by coral polyps. For example, some corals feed by using their stinging tentacles to catch small fish. Other corals eat microscopic organisms, where as some coral polyps don't feed at all, and obtain all their nutrition from zooxanthellae  (a single-celled algae that lives within the coral).

Corals are more complicated to keep than many saltwater fish species, and can for instance require more intricate currents, powerful lighting and supreme water quality. Keeping the water temperature in the ideal range is therefore imperative when you keep corals in you aquarium. Reef building corals prefer quite shallow depths where the light penetration is good and will therefore usually grow at depths of less than 46 metres / 150 feet. The reef building corals require plenty of strong light since they form symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae. Other coral species can however survive without direct sunlight and live much deeper down in the ocean.


Corals should be thoroughly researched beforehand because of their often hefty price tag and demanding water, lighting and feeding requirements. The great part about live rock, aside from the biological importance of using it, is that you can use aquarium silicon sealant to shape the rocks into any type of design you desire. We now have a new term - "rockscaping". You can also use a drill to create small holes in the rock and use pvc pipes to hold them together to make columns or archways. The rockscaping possibilities are endless. Another thing you'll probably need to do is place the rock directly on the tank bottom and not on top of the sand. Sand burrowing species could get injured or worse if you place the rock on top of the sand.

Corals are very popular with aquarium enthusiasts.  Some of the most common corals are now being successfully kept and grown in a rapidly growing number of home aquariums. There are hundreds of species including soft corals, corallimorpharians (mushroom corals), gorgonians, zoanthids, large-polyp stony corals, and small-polyp stony corals.

For the beginner reef aquarium, there are a number of soft corals, that require less light and less than perfect water quality standards, than their hard coral cousins. These soft corals are the better candidates for converting to a fish only, or fish only with live rock aquarium tank to a reef tank with corals.

You can have coral in any sort of aquarium/fish tank i.e. fish only tanks, fish only with live rock tanks to a full reef tank.


Moving smoothly from tank to tank isn't really all that difficult. You need to move coral because believe it or not there can be turf wars in coral reef tanks. Corals on the reef compete for space. So do the corals in your aquarium. Corals are still deemed difficult for the average reef tank hobbyist but in my experience I have not found this to be true.

Corals are found all over the world, even around the poles. Reef building corals are however only found in warm subtropical and tropical waters. Reef building corals are present in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Western Atlantic. Their habitat is generally limited to the region between 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S latitudes. In the Indo-Pacific Ocean you will find reef building corals from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, and eastwards in the Indian and Pacific Oceans all the way over to Panama and a few places in the Gulf of California. In the Western Atlantic corals are living outside Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Belize and around the Caribbean Islands, Bermuda and Bahamas. Reef building corals will only live where the water temperature is warm enough; 20-28 degrees celsius / 68-82 degrees fahrenheit.

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2016-09-29

3 Types Of AQUARIUM FISH - Nature And Habitat Explained


English: Pterophyllum scalare - Angel Fish1. Angel Fish
This is a fish bigger than most aquarium varieties. The black Angel which comes from the Amazon basin area belongs to this category. Angel fish are also found in areas such as the Rio tapajos and Orinoco. These fish feed on smaller live bait in the aquarium. They have a deep well defined body structure. Their fins differ in color. 

They have small, pouted lips and curved eyes. Some of them have black spots which is quite desirable with collectors of ornamental fish. Angel fish normally live in water temperatures of around 72 Fahrenheit, but the water needs to be warmer at 77 to 86 degrees, for them to start breeding. Keep them in subdued lighting conditions. These fish love the natural wild surroundings, so provide lots of plants in the aquarium to keep them satisfied. You need to keep them away from bright lights, which tend to make them a bit nervous. Angelfish have certain bones in the throat region, so do not get alarmed if you hear a noise when they breed.

English: Harlequin rasbora, Trigonostigma hete...2. Harlequin Fish
The Rasbora Heteromorpha is a fish from this category. It is similar to the Cyprinidae family, and it is seen in the eastern Sumatra region, Thailand and Malaysia. It is a very attractive species with a thick body shape. It is colored a silver grey which shimmers when it moves. They normally have a patch of blue or black on the body as well. These fish grow up o about an inch and a half in length and they prefer to live in warm waters since they are from the tropical region. Keep the tank around 75-77 degrees if you house these fish. However, when they are breeding the water should be at a warmer level of say 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the lighting subdued and provide ample room for them to swim around, they are quite active.

Picture taken in the zoo of Wrocław (Poland): ...
All Photos Wikipedia (CC)
3. Scat
These fish belong to the Scatophagus Argus category and is closely related to the Scatophagidae. They are found in the eastern region of India. It is colored a brownish gold tone, with a sprinkle of brown spots all over the body. They are larger than other varieties discussed in this article and can grow to over eleven inches in length. Scats are hexagonal in shape. This fish prefers a well lit area to live in, and you need to add salt in their water to keep them healthy. 3 or 4 tea spoons of salt in 2 to 3 gallons of water should do just fine. You could add sand into their tank rather than gravel, as well as some good hardy plants to make them feel at home. They enjoy eating live bait, as well as a little from the plants. Use a good filter in their tank and you need to get ready to often change their water.

    By Abhishek Agarwal
    Abhishek is an avid Fish Lover and he has got some great Aquarium Care Secrets up his sleeves!
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2016-09-28

BUBBLE EYE GOLDFISH

Bubble Eye Goldfish



2016-09-27

Six Reasons Why You Should Never Neglect CHANGING WATER In Your Aquarium Tank

49/365 Rainbow Chemistry
Photo  by Jellaluna 



  • pH Control – pH stands for hydrogen potenz. It is actually the concentration of hydrogen ions present in your aquarium tank, and as you know, hydrogen ion concentration refers to acidity of the water in the tank. As fishes live in the water, performing all their biological activities, the pH value is bound to change. The best way to ensure that the pH values remain conducive for the health of your fish is to change the water often.




  • Kh control – For the scientifically inclined people, Kh is the hydrolysis constant. Simply speaking, it is ability of water to buffer, which means, maintain a particular optimum level of the acids and bases in it. Changes occur in the fish tank over time due to the inclusion of chemicals produced from biological activity. That is one reason why the water has to be periodically changed.




  • Controlling nitrate levels – Ideally speaking, a saltwater aquarium must have a nitrate concentration of at the most 20 parts per million and a freshwater aquarium must have at the most 50 parts per million. Fish excretion is in the form of ammonia, which increases the nitrate level of the tank. There are protein skimmers available that can help to keep the nitrate levels to optimal levels within the tank. But these skimmers will not be able to remove the organic debris that collects in the tank from time to time. That is the reason why complete water changes become necessary. In fact, aquarium sellers do stress upon nitrate level maintenance as the most important reason for making periodical water changes. 




  • Detoxifying the aquariums – Dead aquatic organisms, byproducts of metabolic activities in the fish and other aquarium residents and the excretion products of your fish will definitely introduce some toxic products in your aquarium tank. Some toxic materials can also enter from the external environment, such as when things drop into your tank or when some microorganisms enter through the air. They could play havoc with the health of your delicate fish. You cannot effectively monitor such toxic intrusions. The best way is to change water.




  • Cleaning aquarium accessories – If you have live elements in your aquarium tank such as live sand, live rock, sponges, bio balls, etc. it is best to provide them with clean water of aquarium standard to filter out the wastes that they produce from time to time.




  • Controlling algal growthAlgae are microscopic plants that grow in all types of aquatic environment. They grow faster in aquariums because the water there is stagnant and favorable for their growth. However, algae can pollute the water in the closed environment to drastic levels, which could also mean health problems to your fish. Not only that, algae will compete with the fish with the resources available in your aquarium. If you change the water from your aquarium regularly, you are also removing the algae that have grown in them.


  • Hence, water changes in your aquarium are a very important aspect of aquarium cleaning. They ensure that your fish live longer and healthier in the home you provide them.



    2016-09-26

    Fact Sheet: DISCUS FISH - Symphysodon aequifasciatus

    (Original Title: A Reference Guide for Symphysodon Aequifasciatus (Discus))

    Snakeskin Discus Fish
    Photo  by Rego – d4u.hu 


    This is general information on Discus, a member of the family Cichlidae. Although certainly not a complete reference guide, it will give those interested some background information on this exotic fish;

    Symphysodon aequifasciatus (Discus)


    Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
    Order: Perciformes (perch-like fish)
    Family: Cichlidae
    Scientific Name: Symphysodon aequifasciatus
    Other Scientific Name(s): Symphysodon aequifasciata, Symphysodon discus aequifasciata, Symphysodon aequifasciatus aequifasciatus, Symphysodon discus tarzoo, Symphysodon aequifasciata axelrodi, Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldi
    Common Name: Discus

    Range: South America: Brazil, Peru. Found on Amazon and Solimoes rivers of Brazil, from the lower Rio Putumayo-Ica and from Benjamin Constant to Belém. Has been introduced to the Rio Nanay in Peru.

    Diet: Carnivorous. Frozen foods preferred, but will accept flake foods. Particularly like red bloodworms, but feeding "live" food is not recommended. Red worms, etc, should only be fed to discus once every other day. Beware of parasites or bacteria in the discus tank from live foods!

    Temperament: Timid of strangers. Easily frightened, unless placed in a high traffic area. Can be very friendly to aquarist, oft-times eating out of the hand. If given a place to hide, they will tend to do so.

    Sexing: Discus are hard to sex unless breeding. Normally, the male will be larger, and will present with longer fin extensions and a wider forehead.


    Breeding: Buy either proven pairs or a group of young fish and allow them to pair themselves. The eggs are laid on a breeding cone. A clay flowerpot turned upside down works well. The fry must be kept with the parents after hatch, as they "feed" off the body slime of the parents. Special care must be taken to insure that fry do not injure the parents when getting larger. Watch for marks on the body of the pair, and if it begins to occur, the fry are ready to be moved to a community tank on their own. If left w/ the pair, serious injury can result.

    Special Care: If kept specifically for breeding, a bare-bottomed tank is highly recommended.

    Other Comments: To keep Discus well, water conditions are absolutely crucial. A PH of 6.3 to 6.9 is the optimal level for keeping discus.

    Water Temperature: Discus like it warm. They come from the Amazon basin, so water temps for these fish should be 80-84 degrees F, although some aquarists set the temperature as high as 90 degrees F.

      Alden Smith is a published author, and has been marketing on the internet for 7 years. His website, King Discus, is an active gathering place for discus breeders and lovers of discus fish. 
      Article Source: EzineArticles

      Discus Fish Care Handbook
      A Guide For Beginners And Experts. Learn The Requirements For Keeping Discus Healthy And Happy! Topics Include Purchasing Guide,tank Size, Temperature, Feeding, Nitrogen Cycles And Compatible Tank Mates Are But A Few Of The Gems In This Handbook.
      For more information click here


    2016-09-25

    Fact Sheet: CHERRY BARB - Puntius titteya

    The Cherry Barb, Puntius titteya, is a much more peaceful fish than some of the barbs. It comes from Sri Lanka (which used to be called Ceylon). In its native area it is not common and is threatened by habitat destruction. In the aquarium hobby, it is alive and thriving, being a peaceful and well loved community fish. An alternative scientific name is Barbus titteya.

    Cherry barb, Puntius titteya
    Cherry barb, Puntius titteya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The Cherry Barb grows to about two inches (5cm) long. The average life span of this fish is about four years, but some have been recorded up to seven years old.

    Threatened Species
    This fish is threatened in the wild. Juniper Russo Tarascio in his excellent article on Associated Content:

    "The Cherry Barb: A Threatened Freshwater Aquarium Fish" puts its rarity down to over fishing for the Aquarium Trade. Although this may certainly have been a factor in the reduction in numbers of this fish, my own research suggests that the continuing problems the wild population of the Cherry barb are more to do with destruction of habitat rather than over fishing.

    In our own shop, all this species (and nearly all the fish) are bred in captivity.

    Water Conditions
    The Cherry Barb will be happy at a temperature of 24 degrees C (75 degrees F), with a pH of 7 and soft to moderate hardness. Nowadays, practically all the Cherry Barbs offered for sale are captive bred ones, and like many captive bred fish tend to be able to adapt to a wider range of conditions than the wild ones could. However, particularly for this fish, do not change the water temperature or chemistry too quickly.

    The Tank set up should have plants, preferable growing right up to the surface, and some clear section for swimming.

    Food
    Like most fish, Cherry Barbs are omnivores. In the wild they will eat insect larvae, especially the young of mosquitoes, algae, and a wide range of other things of the right size.In the aquarium they will eat all normal fish foods, and are an easy fish to feed.

    Like nearly all aquarium fish, they appreciate the occasional feed of live food like daphnia or wrigglers. Good frozen foods like frozen blood worms are a good treat.

    Companions
    The Cherry Barb is not a fish that forms a very tight school. Nevertheless, if only one is kept it tends to be stressed. I recommend a group of at least six.

    It is one of the most peaceful barbs, and I have kept them even with slow, moving long finned fish like Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies and Endlers Guppies.

    Cherry Barbs are also happy with other small reasonably peaceful fish.

    I have also kept them with slightly more aggressive fish like Paraguay Tetras, Buenos Aires Tetras, Colombian Tetras, Rosy Barbs, and Tiger Barbs, but I would hesitate to recommend these fish as companions for Cherry Barbs. I suggest caution with these fish.



    Sexing
    The Male Cherry Barbs are a much more definite cherry color than the females which are more faded in color. The females tend to be plumper.

    Breeding
    The Cherry Barb is an egg laying species, producing something like 200 eggs from one female. This fish spawns readily. A fine leaved plant in the breeding aquarium will increase the chances of them laying.

    The eggs hatch in about one day. The parents eat their own eggs as well as the young babies, so to have much chance of raising the young, the parents need to be removed as soon as possible after spawning.

    An alternative way of breeding it is simply to keep a small group of them in a large aquarium with a lot of plants, and no other fish. Under these conditions, many of the eggs and fry will get eaten, but some may survive. This is a little closer to what would happen in the wild.

    Pest Fish
    Although I do not have evidence that the Cherry Barb is a pest fish anywhere, any fish introduced into a foreign ecosystem can damage it. The fact that it is not common in its native area is not a good reason to put it into inappropriate places in the wild.



    2016-09-24

    Finding a Pet POISON DART FROG

    Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates auratus)
    Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates auratus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    Inhabiting countries of South and Central America like Costa Rica, Columbia, Bolivia and Peru, the poison dart frog is a stunning, bright colored frog that secretes a poisonous toxin. The science community only discovered this unique frog in the 1960's, but it has been known by tribes for many years. By the name of the frog, one might think that it is somehow able to shoot poisonous darts, but this is simply not the case. The poison dart naming comes from the fact that tribes in the rain forest used the poison on the tips of darts that they would use to subdue a threat.

    The poison dart frog is not just one frog, but an entire species of frogs that contains well over 100 individual types of poison dart frogs. Usually, these frogs are quite small and measure less than 1 inch long, but some species can grow up to about 2.5 inches.

    While the poison in many species of poison dart frogs may not be enough to kill a healthy human, their have been instances where the poison entered a cut or scratch which resulted in death. Their poison is quite effective in subduing their predators, however if a poison dart frog is born in captivity, it's unlikely that they will contain any poison. The poison that is developed in the frog while out in the wild is because of it's diet of ants, termites, beetles and other insects. When they no longer eat the poisonous beetles of Central America, the toxins in their body are no longer produced, making them harmless.

    Most of us are accustomed to seeing frogs at the edge of a pond, marsh or stream, but the dart frog is different. It does not have webbed feet and is therefore not a good swimmer, so you won't find one of these frogs living in ponds.

    Unfortunately, the Poison Dart frog is experiencing a population crisis and is on the endangered species list. Over the years, destruction of rain forest land as well as droughts in their regions, these frogs have decreased in numbers. Fortunately, pet Poison Dart Frogs are bred only in captivity and are not collected from the wild.

    The bright colors of these frogs are just incredible and it's no wonder why people want to keep them as pets. With proper care, the Poison Dart Frog can live for many years in captivity.

      By Gary Phelps
      To learn more about Poison Dart Frogs, check out Frog World. Poison Dart Frogs are wildly popular pet frogs and are entertaining to watch. There are many types of Poison Dart Frogs, each with distinctive colors and markings.
      Article Source: EzineArticles