DRAGONET - Dragonet Species Overview

The Dragonet family of fish is well represented in the wild yet only a handful of popular species enter the marine business. The biggest of them can reach up to 12 inches in length but most of them reach four to five inches at most. However, most species brought in to the trade rarely grow longer than 4 inches. They are a bottom dwelling fish that are found throughout the Indo-Pacific ocean.

Dragonet - Mandarinfish - Photo: Wikipedia

The most popular species brought into the trade are scooter blennies and the mandarin dragonets. Strangely, they are commonly thought to be blennies or gobies a lot of the time. Fish stores around the world will normally have a few of these fish for sale at any given time.

Most dragonets have a largely triangular head and a mouth structure that is perfectly suited to picking off small crustaceans and worms from the substrate and rock. Dragonets are usually some of the most finicky eaters in the trade.

Their primary food source is the tiny copepod which is only present in sufficient numbers in larger aquariums that have been up un running for at least 6 months. They can be trained to eat prepared foods with some success. Even though they may be feeding prepared foods, they still do require copepods to do well in the long run.

In terms of temperament, dragonets are very peaceful fish that get a long well with a wide variety of tank mates. In kind, they are largely ignored by their tank mates. Housed with large predators that include groupers and moray eels will mean a missing dragonet eventually. They are, however, aggressive towards members of the same species. Two male dragonets will usually harass each other when they cross paths.

The three main species that are common in the trade are the Mandarin Fish (Synchiropus Splendidus), Scooter Blenny (Synchiropus Ocellatus) and the Psychedelic Mandarin (Synchiropus Picturatus). Both types of mandarin dragonets are some of the most uniquely colored fish in the world and are very attractive.

Both types of Mandarin Fish have become very recognized fish within the Dragonet species.

Despite the fact that they are difficult to keep in captivity, they are still being collected from the wild in huge numbers. Because of this, a large majority of them will eventually perish due to lack of proper food. If you do not have a big aquarium that has large copepod population, avoid the dragonets.


Fact Sheet: DEMASONI CICHLID - Pseudotropheus demasoni

Pseudotropheus demasoni
Demasoni Cichlid - Photo by Lee Nachtigal 
Pseudotropheus demasoni

Demasoni is also known as the Midnight demasoni and is scientifically known as the Pseudotropheus demasoni from the cichlidae family. Its maximum length is 3 inches with a lifespan of 8 years. This species originated in Lake Malawi.

Both male and female of these species also come in the same color patterns unlike most fishes, only the male cichlid's color is brighter. The male possesses dark blue and black vertical stripes along its body and for some may have alternate blue or white stripes. The male will also display anal fin spots while the female does not. The female's color, however, is not as bright as the males.

Aquarium set-up
Demasoni cichlid needs to be in a community by the dozen or even more fishes to keep its aggression at a minimum level. Hence, these species require large size aquariums with capacious swimming space, as well as rocks and caves for hiding. Crevasses, rocks, and caves would satisfy its curiosity giving them adequate things and places to explore. It would also provide each demasoni a place to claim as its territory.

This diversity requires a temperature of 72 - 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH of 8.0 - 9.0 range and also a water hardness of 10 - 18 dH.

Behavior and Tank mates
Your demasoni can be deceiving because of its size. So be wary in incorporating tank mates in the community. What the size lacks are all compensated with its aggressiveness and hostility. These fishes are known to have the capacity to attack fishes twice as big as they are and can wipe out a whole community without difficulty.

Bear in mind that these species are really aggressive and brutal which should not be housed in a species tank. They are only compatible with aggressive fishes and must not be kept with other cichlids that look similar to its appearance or even other fishes with stripes.

Demasoni diet is more on a high vegetable matter and needs only a low protein intake. Meaty foods should be canceled in its diet instead cichlid sticks and flakes are more favorable to its diet. Spirulina foods may be given frequently.

Spawning should be 3 females to 1 male to achieve optimum results. It is usually the female who will look for a flat rocky place on which to lay its eggs and then pick the eggs up to her mouth for brooding. She will then closely follow the male until he releases the sperm to fertilize the eggs she is carrying.

The eggs will be kept inside the female's mouth for about three weeks for incubation before it is released. The fry may then be fed with crushed flakes or pellets, daphnia, or a small brine shrimp.

Demasoni cichlid may be tough to handle due to its aggressiveness towards other tank mates but are still an amazing species to keep with its vivid and bright colors. Find out what are its best tank mates and how to control its aggressiveness, I'm pretty sure, you will love the sight of them in your house.

    Lacey Bryant is a cichlid enthusiast and author, who has been caring for cichlids for over 20 years.
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SOUTH AMERICAN CICHLID Tank Mates - How to Choose Tank Mates For Cichlids (It's Easy)

Choosing South American Cichlid tank mates is not difficult at all. There are a few things that you need to consider before you make any quick decisions while at your favorite pet store.

The first thing that you must consider is the size of your cichlid species. Obviously, don't choose fish or invertebrates that appear to be able to fit in their mouth. It is not fool proof, but it makes for a good rule of thumb.

The pink oscar fishs
The pink oscar fishs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Secondly, don't choose a species that potentially could be more aggressive than your favorite species of cichlid. For example, Oscars and Angel Fish will generally do just fine together when they are juveniles. But when those Oscars start to get big, those poor Angels won't stand a chance.

Now that I have made a few obvious points about choosing South American Cichlid tank mates, let's get to the point. When I think of South American Cichlid tank mates, I think of catfish. But more specifically I think of the gentle Corydoras. These are absolutely some of my favorite aquarium fish and they make excellent tank buddies for many varieties of Cichlids, even the African varieties.

When choosing corys, make sure you consider the size of your Cichlids. If you have a mature Oscar tank, choosing the smaller types of corys is a bad idea. Your Oscars will love the snack and vacuum them up like skittles. Choose one of the larger varieties like Corydoras aeneus. They will mature at about three inches long and make good tank mates for even the larger varieties of South American Cichlids when the catfish are fully mature of course.

Keep this in mind when choosing South American Cichlid tank mates, Oscars sometimes break the rules. For the best results with Oscars, it is best to raise them with tank mates like corys, while they are both juveniles so that they are conditioned to having each other around. Oh, and make sure you keep at least a half dozen or so of the corys. They like the company and have strength in numbers.

Keeping a South American Cichlid [http://www.cichlidfishsecrets.info] tank can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. Cichlids can have unique personalities and be quite intelligent, but keeping them healthy and stress-free can be a challenge. Visit [http://www.cichlidfishsecrets.info] and find out for yourself the correct and easy way to keep your Cichlids healthy, colorful and stress-free.

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Fact Sheet: LIPSTICK CHARACIN - Moenkhausia cosmops

Lipstick Characin - Moenkhausia cosmops
Moenkhausia cosmops 

Natural Range 

The upper basins of the rivers Rio Paraguai and Rio Tapajos in Brazil 
Maximum Size and Longevity 
Maximum length reported for Moenkhausia cosmops 
is about 6 cm and life span of 3-5 years. 

Water Quality 
 · Temperature: 24°C - 26°C. 
 · pH: 6.0—7.0 
 · General Hardness: 30—150 ppm. 

Lipstick characins are omnivorous and will readily take most types of aquarium foods. They will accept flake and pellet and also benefit from most frozen foods. We recommend AI Naturals Range Frozen Brine Shrimp, Krill and Tropical Mix for these fish. Ideally, add live foods such as Black worms and Daphnia to their diet as well. 

Best kept in schools (minimum 5 in the group). Different characin species can generally be kept together with no problems. Lipsticks will also mix readily with a wide range of species and are generally an ideal community fish. It is not a good idea to mix them with species that grow very large as predation can be a factor due to their smaller size. Beware of elongated fins on some species as they can be nipped. Note: as they are omnivorous, they can be prone to eating aquatic plants. 

Colour and Varieties 
The name cosmops in ancient Greek means “with a decorated face” and the Lipstick characin certainlyhas a striking one, with red lips, blue eye shadow and a shimmery scale pattern it’s a very attractive little characin. Note: Being new to science only one variant is known to exist. 

This species, like many in its genus, shows no sexual dimorphism at all. This makes sexing of the fish difficult. Best to set up a breeding program with small schools.

General Information 
This species has only recently been described scientifically and is considered to be a close relative of the well known species Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae (Red eye tetra) and M oligolepis (Glass tetra). 

Lipstick characin have only recently (within the last 4 years) started to be imported into the fish keeping hobby and have had great success. Being unique they have fitted in well with many people’s community tanks. 

Given a varied and well balanced diet with enough tank space to openly school, looking after the Lipstick characin is something any fish hobbyist can do. 

Fact Sheet - ZEBRA DANIO (Brachydanio rerio or Danio rerio)

Zebra Danios - Photo: Wikimedia

The Zebra Danio or Zebra Fish, Brachydanio rerio or Danio rerio is a very popular aquarium fish which comes from Eastern India and Bangladesh.

This fish is often regarded as a cool water fish, but in fact, can survive in water of a very wide range of temperatures. I have heard reports of them surviving through the winter with pond temperatures as low as 4C (3S F). This is the temperature water gets under ice. However, I do not recommend them as a pond fish for these conditions. At the other extreme, I have read that they can survive very high temperatures. Again, I would not suggest very high temperatures for it.

In practice, the Zebra Danio is happy in either cold water or tropical aquariums.

Leopard Danios
The Leopard Danio is sometimes given the scientific name Brachydanio frankei or Danio frankei but is probably not a true species, but rather a variation of the Zebra Danio. It crosses readily with the Zebra Danio producing fertile young. Care of these two fish is identical. The striped coloration appears to act as a dominant single gene to the spotted pattern of the Leopard fish.

Note that hybrids can occur within the genus, but they are normally sterile.

The Zebra Fish grows to about 2 inches (5cm) long so it is a small fish. It is usually peaceful, but I have observed enough aggression to class it as slightly aggressive, rather than peaceful. It is a strongly schooling fish and, as with most schooling fish, they tend to be more likely to be aggressive if there is less than a school. However, I have known a school of Zebra Fish attacks a Siamese Fighting Fish so I would avoid slow moving fish with long fins in with Zebra Fish.

Suitable companions for the Zebra Fish include White Cloud Mountain Minnows, most tetras, including Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Black Widow Tetras, small Goldfish and other similar sized fish.

I would avoid slow moving, long finned fish like Guppies, Endlers Guppies and Siamese Fighting Fish.

The Zebra Fish is reasonably flexible in its water preferences, but I suggest neutral to slightly alkaline water. The hardness does not seem to be critical. They do not like ammonia or nitrites, so the water should be kept clean and well filtered.

The Zebra Fish is very easily fed. They are usually the first fish to come to the top to eat. It is an omnivore and will eat any normal fish food. They usually eat at the surface but are happy enough feeding at any level of the aquarium. Catching the Zebra Fish

If you can catch your fish before they are disturbed, the Zebra Fish is very easy to catch. They will swim into the net. However, once they are disturbed they are extremely good at evading capture. The horizontal stripes combined with its speed of swimming make seeing it more difficult.

Occasionally an aquarium shop will have a competition to guess the number of fish in an aquarium on display. The fish chosen is usually the Zebra Fish because they are very difficult to count.

The Zebra Fish is easily conditioned because they eat so readily. Live daphnia or mosquito larvae (wrigglers) are good. If these are not available, there are plenty of good dry and frozen foods. I use frozen blood worms.

It is an easily bred egg scatterer. They are also avid egg eaters. One common way of protecting the eggs is to have the water shallow with marbles or small rounded pebbles on the bottom. Most of the eggs will fall between the stones or marbles and have a chance of hatching.

Increasing the temperature a few degrees will often stimulate spawning. A temperature of about 26 C (78 F) is suitable for spawning the Zebra Fish. Eggs can hatch in a day. One female will produce between 200 and 800 eggs, so the eggs and the fry that hatch from them are small.

The natural food of the fry is protozoans (Infusoria) in the water. This can be supplemented with commercial fry food. Live food is very good including screened daphnia or newly hatched brine shrimp.


Setting Up An Enclosure For A SNAKE

Maybe they're not exactly cuddly, but snake makes interesting pets. Regardless of the type of snake, from nice little corn snakes up to monster Burmese pythons, there are some principles that apply to setting up a cage or enclosure for a pet snake. One of the most important aspects is to make sure the enclosure is absolutely escape-proof.

Boa - Photo: Wikimedia

Snakes are known to have Houdini tendencies when it comes to staying confined. Aquariums make good enclosures for snakes, but the lids have to fit tightly and be clipped on. Some owners make belts to attach to the enclosure for more security. Any doors or openings in the cage need to fit tightly or the snake will push against it trying to get out. Remember, most of them are pretty slim, so they don't need that big of an opening to slip out.

The size of the enclosure should reflect the size of the snake. Many babies are insecure in a large cage and even have trouble finding their food. It's usually advisable to put young snakes in smaller enclosures. To choose a size of cage for an adult snake, first, measure the length of the snake. Get an enclosure with a perimeter that measures twice the length of the snake. For instance, a three-foot long snake would do OK in an enclosure 12 by 24 inches.

The exception to the above rule is arboreal, or tree-dwelling, snakes. These need a taller enclosure with lots of branches for climbing.

A snake enclosure needs a material to cover the bottom, called a substrate. Newspaper can line the bottom of the enclosure and makes a cheap surface that absorbs moisture and is easy to change when soiled. There are also special types of carpeting available at the pet store to use as a substrate. If you have two that fit, you can use one while washing the other.

Temperature is very important in a snake enclosure. Snakes are cold-blooded animals and have to keep warm from outside sources. Ideally, a pet snake's cage will provide several choices in temperature so the animal can regulate its body heat. This is done by heating one end of the enclosure only. Heating methods include heating pads under half of the enclosure or heat lamps. If using a light, it will need to be off during the night hours.

Thermometers should be used to monitor the inside temperature. Requirements vary from one species to another. A pet store product called a "hot rock" is widely discouraged because it has a tendency to burn pet snakes. Using a heat lamp or infrared heating panel is a far better way to provide the snake with heat. Some snakes have specific humidity requirements, too. A hygrometer can be used to monitor humidity. Misting the enclosure from time to time can help keep it more humid when necessary.

The snake will need a water bowl. Ideally, it should not tip easily. For most varieties of snake, it should be large enough to take a soak once in awhile. Keeping it only about a third full helps avoid soaking the substrate. Pottery and wide based pet food dishes work well for water bowls.

A final necessity in the enclosure is a place for the snake to hide. This can be as simple as a plastic dish with a hole cut in the side. Having two, one on each end of the enclosure, gives the snake a choice. Setting up a nice enclosure takes a little time and money, but will ensure your snake has comfort and security.



Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens, formerly known as Rana pipiens) are one of the listed endangered species in the world found mostly in United States as well as in several parts of Canada. They are green colored with uneven skin over the body. These True frog family leopards are highly populous and one of the loving pets in States of America.

Leopard Frog

Northern Leopard Frog - Photo by AllieKF

In an average the leopard frogs grow approximately 11 cm in size. Not to be surprised that the female frogs grows larger than the males. The lovely looking species became popularly known as ‘Leopard Frog’ since they are having dark rosettes and spots with uneven form all over their legs, body along with its back. Several creamy stripes are seen on their backs. Leopard Frog got a pair of webbed back legs that has made them as amphibians. These small animals prefer to live in the wet places like brooks, pools, wet pasture or marshland.

Being a carnivorous group of animals they are usually in the habit of taking different kinds of insects and small creatures like crickets, small fish or frog, worms, and rats. They can even swallow the animals and birds about their own size with the help of their large sized mouth. The Hawks, Herons, Skunks, Bullfrogs and Snakes kill and eat these leopard frogs. As natural phenomenons of leopard frogs are adapted that helps them for their survival in their environment. The weeded back legs provide them a good speed by covering more than two meters in every jump. They are habituated to run in a crisscross manner that enables these animals to save themselves from there predators to catch them. In the similar way they can jump on their prey from beyond a long distant place. Their body color of dark green and brown facilitates them to hide and stay in disguise form their hunters. They can make a very shrill sound helping to puzzle the captor and get themselves free.

The Leopard Frogs have a tremendous popularity among the people of Unites States to keep as a very attractive pet.   As the Leopard frogs are habituated live in reasonably in a bigger space area so providing a specious place is the primary issue. A reservoir around ten gallon can provide them a comfortable movement. The half portion of the container is to be filled with water while the other half with soil. It is essential to use only chlorine-free water for keeping these frogs.  The water is to be changed in an interval of a fortnight. They need an average temperature of 20C throughout the day. The creature should feed with small insects like flies, crickets, worms or flies etc. They like to take different fruits or vegetables occasionally.  It is important for an individual for washing the hands properly after handling these creatures.

Author: By Tom White

The Author is a plumber mill hill in London and also writes about various London refurbishment tips and advice for plumbing repairs.

Articles Source: EzineMarc.com Northern Leopard Frogs