Preparing Your KOI POND For Major Storms

English: Pond Lane Little Lepton before the storm
Pond Lane Little Lepton before the storm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No matter the area in which you live in, you are bound to come into contact with at least one type of severe weather throughout the year. 

Events such as Hurricane Katrina have shown us that having an emergency plan could mean the difference between saving your pond and total destruction.  

Smaller Storms

Preparing for smaller storms, and storms that you have more notice on is somewhat easier than preparing for a large storm. Taking a few simple steps will help guide your pond through the storm.
1) Stop feeding your fish. Your pond contains enough natural food sources that your Koi will not starve for a long amount of time. If the storm does any damage to your filtration process, not feeding you fish will cut down on the chance of any ammonia problems later on.
2) Do as big of water change as possible to your pond. In the case that something goes really wrong and you are unable to attend your pond right away, your Koi will have the freshest water available to them. Also, leave out several inches of water to make up for coming rainfall. This way, there will be less chance of your pond overflowing. If you have some type of drainage system, make sure to clear it of any debris so it will work at it’s full potential. If you pond is ground level and high waters are expected, you can add protection by sand bagging around the area. If nothing else, this may keep your koi confined within the area if flooding occurs. 
3) Net over your pond to protect it from any flying debris. Using the same net you use during the fall to keep leaves out should suffice, as long as you properly secure it down. 
4) Remove anything that could potentially blow over, away, or fall into your pond. A good rule of thumb, if you can push it over, so can the wind.  Items that could blow away should be completely removed from the area and placed indoors.
Large Storms

Large storms like the recent hurricanes prevent any type of preventative measures from being successful. The only real way to save your pond in these types of events is completely remove your fish from the pond.

First, it is always a good idea to have all the equipment needed to transport your Koi on hand. If you are having an emergency with your Koi, you may or may not have time to make a trip to your local pet store to gather what you need. The equipment needed to bag and transport Koi is small, and easily stored when not in use.

Bags- You must have the proper bags on hand to transport Koi. Do not attempt to transport your Koi in the trash or regular plastic bags, as they are not designed for this, and may cause damage to your Koi. Unless you remembered to keep the bags you brought your koi home in originally, you will have to make a trip to your local pet store. Make sure to get bags sizable enough to hold your Koi.

Rubber Bands- You will need quite a few rubber bands for each bag you buy. Make sure that your rubber bands are good quality, as you do not want the pressure from the water to pop the rubber band in the middle of the transport.

Net- You will need to have a net sizeable enough to compete with your Koi. You will never need the net to pull the Koi out of the water with, but you will need it to lead and direct your Koi into the place you want them. Nets can potentially damage your Koi, especially as the larger they get.

Paint Bucket- A paint bucket is a better option for catching your Koi, as they cannot hurt your Koi like a net can. Make sure that your bucket is sizable enough to hold your Koi.


Constant AQUARIUM FISH DEATHS: causes and solutions

No Fishing 4
Photo  by Fifi Banana 

A fish death aquarium tank is one of the common challenges faced by aquarists. There is a number of factors that could be responsible for the deaths experienced. These are outlined briefly below.

·                     The aquarist selection of fish.
·                     The removal and packing of the fish from the pet shop
·                     Transport time and period and the handling of the fish in transit
·                     Quarantine procedure.
·                     Adjustment and adaptation into the new community or environment by the new fish.

When buying fish from the pet shop always spend some time at the place to inquire about the life history and habits of the new purchase. You can then make a selection from a collection of the same species. Never buy the last specimen in reserve at any shop because if it had been a good specimen, you would not have met it there in the first instance.

Always form the habit of making your fish purchase during the cool periods of the day, preferably before 12 noon or after 4.30pm.

These are the only periods I can guarantee for fish comfort. This restriction is borne out of my observation that most pet shops and aquarists alike do not seem to care about insulation of the fish against temperature fluctuations after gassing them in a polythene.

When making your fish selection from the pet shop be sure the attendant has the expertise to pick fish out from a selection. This you can know through the swiftness with which your choice fish is removed out of the selection.

Reject a fish that has been chased around, gasping for breath... It is a week already! Chances are that it gives up with the further stress that accompanies the transportation of the fish.

Make sure that your new purchase is quarantined. That's a single factor that affects fish survival as pets.



Tidepool Plaza at Birch Aquarium.JPG
"Tidepool Plaza at Birch Aquarium" Licensed via Wikimedia Commons.

Smaller and more intimate than other aquariums, the Birch Aquarium is one place where you can get close to all of the animals, and still take your time to simply enjoy being there.

Due to its intimacy, adults and children alike are energized by the aquarium.  You can watch an octopus flow up and down the glass, or watch a jellyfish move slowly through the water.  This is an excellent thrill, for everyone in your family.

The most popular exhibit at the Birch Aquarium is the seahorse exhibit.  It offers many different species, from the tiny miniature seahorses that are under an inch tall, to the taller and more amazing sea dragons.

The many interactive exhibits at the aquarium will help you learn the history of oceanography.  By taking a simulated trip in a deepwater submersible, you'll learn the wonders and oddities of the deep ocean, even though it may move a bit too slow for smaller children.  Children of all ages enjoy the exhibits that illustrate how the ocean products appear in everyday items.

If you are planning to take pictures of the exhibits, be aware of the glass and the reflections.  If you can, move in close (around a foot away) and set your flash to a 45-degree angle.  Make sure that you don't get too wrapped up in taking photo's inside the aquarium - as you may end up missing the show going on outside.

If you are visiting La Jolla as a vacation or if you live there, the Birch Aquarium is worth a visit.  There are some amazing exhibits here, with something for everyone.  You can spend hours and hours here, making it one place you shouldn't hesitate to check out.


AFRICAN BUTTERFLY FISH - Anomalochromis thomasi

African Butterfly Fish - Anomalochromis thomasi


DUCKWEED - Lemna minor

Duckweed - Lemna minor


Introduction to RED CICHLIDS Types

Photograph of the Red Empress (Protomelas taen...
Red Empress (Protomelas taeniolatus) fish, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Red Cichlids! This is a term you might hear around the place and to be honest I really don't like the general use of it. I have noticed that people are too general these days and are taking shortcuts to describe their fish, for example calling them "red Cichlids".

Shortening the name for a fish is a really bad habit to get into as this can easily lead to confusion especially for beginners. If I was to ask another aquarium hobbyist as to what sort of fish they own and they answered 'red cichlids' it would give me no information as to what type of fish they actually own, and here's why, Red Cichlids could refer to any of the following, just to name a few;

· Red Devil Cichlid (American species)

· Red Forest Jewel Cichlid (African species)

· Red Parrot Cichlid (American species)

· Red Peacock Cichlid (African species)

· Red Zebra Cichlid (African species)

· Red Terror Cichlid (American species)

· Red Empress Cichlid (African species)

As you can see above there are quite a few different types of Red Cichlids around (more than what's listed here) and not only that, they come from both America and Africa, learning the difference between these two major lines of Cichlids is a very useful skill to have to be that water parameter differ greatly in areas like Temperature, pH and general Water Hardness, any American species of Cichlid will usually have much softer water than any African Cichlid as well as having a much lower pH.

If you really want to get some different color into your aquarium and are keen on a splash of red be sure to know the origin of the fish before you buy it, there are a few ways to do this, some harder than others however there is information out there that will teach you everything you need to know about how to work out where a fish originates from all the way to suitability to your new or existing African Tank and even if a fish you would like to get will suit your individual needs.

There is no question that there are some really stunning red cichlids out there just waiting to be bought. The key here is knowing exactly what type of fish to buy.

So remember, always try to do your best at sticking to the correct name of the fish you own, shortening the name of your fish can make a situation very confusing as shown above, there are so many different types of these wonderful fish that you wouldn't want anyone to think you have a type of fish you actually don't.


Breeding DISCUS FISH - Do's and Don'ts

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you are thinking about breeding discus fish, there are certain things that you need to know in order to make sure that the breeding process is a successful experience for you and the fish. Discus fish are great fish to breed and you can also earn a little extra money from selling the fry, but you need to know a lot about fish before you begin. But once you have done your research on this species, then you will be ready to think about breeding fish. Here are a few dos and don't of breeding discus fish.

DO: make sure that you invest in a bigger fish tank if you have a small aquarium. Discus requires a minimum of a twenty-gallon tank, however, twenty-seven gallons is ideal for breeding discus fish.

DON'T: forget that you will need a male and a female discus fish to begin breeding, it might seem obvious but a lot of people tend to overlook this fact!

DO: provide your fish with an area for them to lay their eggs. This should be a flat, vertical surface at the bottom of the tank such as an overturned empty plant pot.

DON'T: overfeed your fish. Make sure that you still feed your fish the recommended daily amount of food, do not overfeed them because this can result in illness and even death in some cases.

DO: give your fish a wide and varied diet, when fish are breeding it is important that they have a variety in order for them to begin mating. This can include discus food pellet and live and freeze-dried food such as bloodworms.

DON'T: leave food debris on the bottom of the tank, always make sure to scoop out any leftover food because this can dirty the water and cause bacteria to grow, causing your discus to become ill and hamper their breeding efforts.

DO: maintain a good water pH level and temperature; this is imperative for good fish health and breeding environments. Water should be kept at a pH level of 6.5 and a temperature of 86 degrees when breeding.

DON'T: become disheartened if your fish do not mate straight away, these things take time and you need to be patient and try again if the first time is unsuccessful, and never force the fish.