KRIBENSIS * Purple Cichlid - Pelvicachromis pulcher (Pelmatochromis Kribensis)

Kribensis * Purple Cichlid - Pelvicachromis pulcher (Pelmatochromis Kribensis)


Five steps to success with Saltwater CORAL REEF Aquariums

English: Rumphella aggregrata soft coral in ho...
Rumphella aggregrata soft coral in home reef tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do you dream of watching the natural beauty of the undersea reef life while sitting in your living room?

Whether your goal is a nano reef tank or a 150-gallon aquarium with an ecosystem of coral and saltwater fish, the following five steps will lead you on your way to success.

1) Commit!  Decide you are going to spend the $$ it takes to make a proper go of it.  At a minimum, most tanks, (from 10 gals to 55 gals) take between $250 and $500 to get going.  Can you do it cheaper?  Yes, but usually not your first one.  You have to know what you are doing and understand how things can and will go wrong before you can choose less expensive husbandry options and/or equipment.  Save up if you have to, but count on that first tank being expensive.

Realize that this is not a short-term commitment. And as much fun as it is to collect the coolest coral fragments out there and show them off to your friends, there WILL come a time when you are hauling all of those same 'frags' out of the tank and into temporary storage when your six-year-old cracks the side of the display tank with a pool ball or some other calamity occurs.

2) Study!  Spend time on the internet, in books and watching nature shows on reefs BEFORE you get your animals.  Understand the animals that you are going to keep and how they interact with each other.  If you count on the LFS (Local Fish Store) or your buddy down the road to keep you out of trouble and don't do your homework. You will fail.  That is the one guarantee in this hobby.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

The only way around this is to be able to afford to pay someone else to set-up and maintain your tank.

3) Mingle! (see 2 above)  There are plenty of reef-keeping societies out there with lots of experience to help you along your way and teach you what you need to know.  As long as you are doing your own homework, they are usually happy to help!

4) Keep an open mind!  There is not just one way to keep a reef tank - no matter how loudly people on the various bulletin boards and forums out there might shout that there is.

5) Share!  It is amazing how much help people are willing to give when they realize that you are offering a particularly nice specimen that they have always wanted.  Equipment that they didn't even remember they had may magically appear or they might be willing to share a very nice piece of their own reef frag with you.

Trading frags not only is a great way to increase your variety, but it helps maintain genetic strains of corals (frags are also known as 'clones') that might otherwise die out in a single tank struck by the calamity mentioned in 1 above.


All About KRIBENSIS Cichlids

Proud family with 23 babies...
Kribensis - Photo   by    sapienssolutions 
The kribensis cichlids are some of the most preferred African cichlids. They are very small in stature. Unlike other cichlids, the kribensis are very peaceful. However, you should note that they become very hostile during breeding time. Nevertheless, they can be kept in a communal fish tank.

The fish species is found in West Africa specifically in Nigeria and Cameroon. Their scientific name is Pelmatochromis kribensis. The name is a reflection of their purplish color. Their habitat should have a lot of plantation and rocks which enable them hide easily. They prefer living in fresh water of around middle pH with a bit of acidity and a mild temperature.

The kribensis cichlids will feed on most aquarium foods. However, some foods with specs of meat will encourage them more in their breeding period. Their color is more pronounced in females rather than males. Therefore, they are easy to distinguish. Also, for the males, they have more color towards the back than the female kribensis cichlids. The tail will tell you this since it has some spots that are a bit dark.

The fish are a bit fun loving and very social. Placing them with other kinds of fish will not pose a danger to the others at all. Although the kribensis cichlids need more swimming areas, you should include rocks and more places to hide. They are burrowers therefore you should be adding more sand in the aquarium.

During the spawning period the female develops brighter colors. The belly in particular is turned to a bright red during this period. During the breeding period, the fish develop a higher degree of aggression.

The fish life span could surprisingly reach 5 to 10 years of age. To sway away predators, the kribensis cichlids have some spiny rays towards the back. Their bodies are structured in such a way that they have a soft and perfect shape. This helps them during swimming helping them move around without much effort.

During feeding, you should feed them on worms and insects. Flakes and pellets offer a good balance to their diet. It is advised that you feed the fish small amounts of food rather than resorting to feed them in a lump sum.

This will encourage them utilize the food and minimize wastage that eventually turns the water in the tank dirty. A funny fact about the kribensis cichlids is that you can keep a male and a female together in one fish tank. The two develop lifelong relations. In the event of death of one of the pairs, it's time to buy a new pair. This is because regardless of how many replacement you make, the compatibility is impossible.

When building their tanks, the tank should be able to accommodate between 80 and 90 liters of water. Since the kribensis cichlids are burrowers, include a larger amount of fine gravel. The substrate should be however free of quartzite substrates since they tend to interfere with larval development and may cause the death of fry.


Dealing With DISCUS FISH Disease

A Discus Fish In The Princess Of Wales Conservatory - Kew Gardens.
Discus Fish - Photo   by Jim Linwood 
Discus fish disease is one of the things you want to learn not only because you want to know how to deal with it but also prevent the disease from striking your fish. One of the most common problems among specific big cichlids including the Discus fish is having a hole in the head. Early detection and treatment is very important because the longer the disease exists, it can be the cause of death of your fish.

Even if the fish heals after the treatment, the wound can leave a permanent scar. Treating the wound while it is still small is strongly recommended. You can treat the disease by increasing the water temperature from 30 degree Celsius to 36 degree Celsius for a couple of days, 8 to 10 days is ideal. Remember that an increased water temperature should be combined with increased aeration to keep the oxygen level up. You can combine heat treatment with Metronidazole, this should be administered orally. You can give this to your Discus fish once every three days. If your fish is not responding well to heat treatment, you can just use the Metronidazole treatment.

Another Discus fish disease is gill fluke. This is very common among Discus fish and it is very dangerous for Discus fry. Gill Flukes are external parasites that destroy the gills and cause heavy breathing and irregular swimming. The affected fish can become totally paralyzed and can sink down to the bottom of the tank. 

You can cure this by using formalin. Infested parents can still spawn but when the offspring grow to about the size of a 10 cent coin, gill flukes transmitted by the parents can become a serious problem. Another form of Discus fish disease is being affected by internal parasites. The fish can have internal parasites without posing some serious threats but sometimes these parasites can grow uncontrollably and that's when the problem begins. 

Common symptoms include emaciation and white feces. While it can be difficult which specific parasite affects your Discus fish, a dose of Metronidazole usually clears the problem out. If your Discus can still eat, you can prepare a solution of 200 ml water and 10 ml liquid Metronidazole and soak its food in it for an hour. Feed your Discus fish with the medicated food every 2 days for a period of 10 days. If your fish is no longer eating, you would have to force feed it using a syringe without a needle.


Saltwater REEF Aquariums

Reef Coral - Photo: Pixabay
Historically saltwater aquarium owners have shied away from reefs. No one could understand why when these coral reefs were put into an aquarium the reef had a depressingly short lifespan. Now, thanks to some very persistent aquarium owners, fans of the saltwater aquarium's can enjoy the beauty of their very own coral reef.  There are reefs for every aquarium owner, from the raw beginner to the experienced professional. The saltwater enthusiast can now find the saltwater coral that best suits their abilities, whether they are a rank beginner or an experienced professional.

Zoanthus Coral is a wonderful choice for the person who is just beginning to add coral reef to their saltwater aquarium. Reef enthusiast finds that Zoanthus is a hardy coral that flourishes in most saltwater tanks. Zoanthus coral does not like to be fed a meaty diet and prefers to have its food finely chopped. Zoanthus Coral can be found in a variety of colors, many experienced saltwater reef aquarium owners like to use Zoanthus as a filer coral for their more temperamental varieties of coral reef. Zianthus is also called Sea Mat and Bottom Polyps.

Another good variety of starter coral is Cladiella, Cladiella is also commonly referred to as Colt Coral and Finger Leather Coral. The Cladiella Coral is renowned for is adaptability. Anyone interested in using Cladiella Coral in their saltwater reef aquarium must make sure that it is securely anchored or it will not grow.

Something like Siderastrea Coral.  Siderastrea is a soft coral, that is tolerant of light, temperature, changes in the tanks quality of water, and currents. It is typically tan or gray or white. Although it can occasionally be found in round domes the typical shape of the Siderastrea Coral is flat plates that can measure anywhere from 4-12 inches around. Pink Starlet Coral, Starlet Coral, and Lesser Starlet Coral are three names that commonly refer to Siderastrea Coral.

Once the saltwater aquarium owner becomes comfortable caring for his hardier varieties of coral they may wish to move onto something a little more challenging.

Fish and coral seem to go together, some types better than others. When an aquarium owner is looking to purchase fish they must consider the compatibility of the fish to the coral. It is also important to make sure that the fish you are purchasing for your saltwater aquarium is healthy. Take the time to examine their eyes, scales, skin, abdomen, mouth, and fins before making your final decision.

The eyes of your fish should be clear and bright. A cloudy film obscuring the eye could be a sign of an internal bacterial infection. A saltwater fish that has blotchy scales is a fish that is potentially dealing with an internal disease. Fish that have bruised mouths can sometimes lack an appetite, look for a fish with a firm unbruised mouth. Your potential fish should have an abdomen that is firm, and gently rounded. The fins should be crisp and clean. A fish that has scales that are ragged or one that's fins are starting to droop and sag.



male alpha molly
Photo: male alpha molly by h080
Mollies come from Poecilia spp. and the Poeciliidae family. The Mollies are one of the favorite tank fish since the fish is similar to the swordtail fish. The swordtail comes from the Xiphophorus helleri group. The molly, however, does not have a swordtail, rather a larger fin, known as the dorsal. The fish has a variety of shapes and it reaches up to 4 to 4 ¾ inches in size. The males only grow to 3 1/3 or 4 inches at most. Mollies male and female counterparts differ in color, size, and gonopodium. The fish can live in extreme wide-ranging environments and will suit in estuaries habitats. The water temperature desired of the molly is 72 degrees, not succeeding 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Mollies also prefer hard water, which the pH level should be set at seven or eight. The fish will reside in hard waters, which salt is needed. Mollies enjoy house furnishing, lights, well-planted areas, thin layers of humus, and so on.


Mollies will feed on vegetables, including spinach as well as algae. The fish are omnivorous in nature. Mollies have a biological lively nature, which the schooling fish desires constant water flow. The fish are livebearers and breed successfully providing plenty spawns. In addition, mollies are sociable, yet the fish should be kept in community tanks where large schools exist.

Galaxy Diamante Albino
Guppy Fish - Photo  by Inka Crabs 
Guppy fish listed under Poecilia reticulata is kin to the family of Poeciliidae. The fish comes from the waters in Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil, Trinidad, and Barbados. The environment desired is still, flowing waters. The fish prefer water temperatures at 68 degrees and no higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level should not succeed eight, nor go below seven. The water preferred is hard water, which the fish can live in extreme hard water conditions as well. Tank: The fish prefer illuminated tanks with plenty of furnishing. You should store the fish in a medium tank and provide them rich vegetation and plants. The fish will eat all sorts of foodstuff. Biological nature; The biological loose school natured fish will be on the constant go, therefore he does not have time for long-drawn-out schooling arenas. The fish are good breeding fish, yet beware, since Guppy will eat their own youth. You should keep Guppy fish in tank aquariums where other livebearing fish reside.


Nowadays the aquariums are ecosystems include a wide assortment of technology advanced qualities. Air and water pollution has increased the need for aquarium life, which in accordance technology has advanced the tanks to meet the high demand of aquarists. Tanks today are constructed by technological experts, which design real water aquarium environments. Most tanks sold today, including advanced electrical circuits, plugs, filters, air supply, etc. The market is saturated with tanks that will allow you to raise or lower the water temperatures. The light switches enable you to vary in intensity, thus lowering or increasing the light production.

In addition, you have a wide array of on and off switches, which utilize mechanical timers that permit aquarists to easily adjust water temperatures and light intensity.

One advantage of tanks today is that most tanks are equipped to handle nearly all fish available on the market. The problem is all fish are different and require their own special attention. Therefore, you should never group fishes with fish that prefer to live with their own kind. In addition, seawater/saltwater and freshwater fish differ. The freshwater fish include the Tropical and Coldwater fish.


Are MOLLY FISH a Good Addition to Your Aquarium?

Female Gold Molly. Its a female fish as you ca...
Female Gold Molly. It's a female fish as you can see cause it has no Gonopodium.
(Photo credit: 
Molly fish is usually included in the list of fish which are ideal for the beginners. Their needs are minimal, they are hardy and they are grateful. However, if you keep them in the aquarium with other species of fish around, they are a bit naughty.

They will try to nip the fins of other fish and cause stress among the fish community. Fish with large fins will be able to fend for themselves but small ones may develop stress and feel harassed. Sometimes they may get infections due to the wounds and may even die.

There are some other issues also with Molly fish. They are born aggressive and their body shows the same features. They have powerful jaws with sharp teeth with which they can easily cut and eat algae from the aquarium. They have a digestive tract which is long enough to digest even the hardest algae. They are capable of destroying many other plants from your aquarium.

Another issue with the mollies is they are not freshwater fish in the real sense. They can live in the freshwater environment but they will still need some marine salt in the water. It will provide an ideal chemistry of water for them.

So after considering all these issues, an obvious question comes ahead - are they really suitable for your aquarium? These requirements are no doubt demanding than any other species of fish. They need absolutely clean water and they cannot tolerate any amount of nitrate in the water. But they need somewhat warm water in contrast with most of the other species which are comfortable with cold water. Mollies can successfully live in colder water but it is bad for them in the long run. If you are going to add some marine salt to the aquarium, they will be comfortable but the other species of fish may find it a bit tough to survive.

So you may conclude that they are incompatible in the community of tropical fish. To some extent it is true. Species like the tetras and Corydoras will not be able to live with Molly fish in the same aquarium. However, there is a number of other species which are fine with them. Species like glassfish as well as wrestling halfbeaks will be comfortable with the Molly fish. All the livebearers of the New World will enjoy their company as they can easily tolerate some salt in the aquarium waters. Other varieties like bumblebee gobies will also be able to live with them. If you make a small research on the Internet and speak to the local pet shop staff, you can get many tips about their compatibility with the other species.

Mollies are sometimes misunderstood but they are wonderful additions to your aquarium. Their actions are fascinating and graceful and it is a pleasure to watch them swimming in the aquarium. My advice is - know them well before you bring them home and you will be certainly proud of them.

    By Chintamani Abhyankar
    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.

    Article Source: EzineArticles