Did You Know How Much Fun Your Family Could Have at the MAZATLAN AQUARIUM?

Great Family Fun at the Mazatlan Aquarium
The Mazatlan Aquarium (Acuario Mazatlan) is a great place for your family to visit while vacationing in Mazatlan. While it's not big or fancy, it offers several aquarium tanks with a large variety of marine life, including the Ocean Tank which is the largest in Latin America. In addition, it also has several entertaining shows like a tropical bird show, seal show, shark diving show, and several other attractions.

Photo: Aquario Mazatlan

New Ocean Tank makes a great aquarium experience
The Mazatlan Aquarium (Acuario Mazatlan) has several large tanks which display a large variety of different types of marine life. But the most impressive is the new Ocean Tank. Completed fairly recently (in October 2008), it allows a view into the depths of the ocean, housing many different types of ocean life all living together as they do in the ocean.
Because of the large size of the tank (1,600,000 liters of water), it has room even for large sizes of marine life, like sharks, sea rays, and giant sea turtles.

Other shows and exhibits are the icing on the cake!

Diving Exhibition - in the Shark Tank!

Enjoy the excitement of watching a diver enter directly into the tank with the live sharks. He also interacts with the turtles and other large sea creatures. And to top it off, he teaches how scuba diving equipment works (You just might get the itch to take some scuba diving classes as well while you're in Mazatlan!).

Tropical Bird Theater
This is true entertainment for you and your family! The show consists of a group of tropical birds (Macaws and Cockatoos, along with their trainers) singing and dancing to prove just how intelligent they really are.

Seal Show
The Sea Lions are also delighted to put on a good show for you! In the water and in the air (with plenty of splashing in case you wanted to get wet yourself), Bony, Toby, Cili, Ely, Lili, and Tito know how to move!
What's really special is that each of these sea lions were rescued. They arrived at the aquarium with different injuries, and the Aquarium staff nursed them back to good health and trained them to do the show.

And More!
There's also a botanical garden to explore, crocodiles that you can watch, and a frog habitat.
All in all, the Aquarium is sure to be a fun event for your family during your vacation in Mazatlan. If nothing else, do it as a break from the beach and sun.


Defining BACTERIAL AUGMENTATION and Competitive Exclusion For the Novice Aquarist

The novice aquarist must face a variety of problems when a new tank is started. Beginning aquarium woes often commence with the lack of understanding exactly what is going to happen in the first six weeks the tank is active. Without knowing what processes are occurring invisibly in the aquarium, too many beginners overload the aquarium with fish right away and sentence their new pets to death by their own excretions. The fish actually create the majority of the poisons that kill them! 

Often the rest of the deadly compounds comes from excessive feeding that rots and promotes decay. In the new aquarium, Ammonia is produced by the fish and decay processes. It can rapidly build to toxic levels. If the pH is acid (below 7.0) the toxicity of ammonia is often minimal, even in what could be considered high concentrations. However, it rapidly becomes extremely deadly when the pH reading rises over 7.0. The higher the pH, the more dangerous ammonia becomes, even in smaller concentrations.
Nitrogen Cycle in aquariums. Legend: (1) Addit...
Nitrogen Cycle in aquariums. Legend: (1) Addition of food and nutrients, (2) Production of Urea and Ammonia by Fish, (3) Ammonia is converted to Nitrites by beneficial Nitrosomonas bacteria, (4) Nitrites are converted to Nitrates by beneficial Nitrospira bacteria. Less toxic Nitrates are removed by plants and periodic water changes. (5) Evaporation. (6) Light, (7) Soil, (8) O 2 produced by plants, (9) CO 2 produced by Fish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As time goes by, even starting from a sterile environment, beneficial bacteria that specialize in using the ammonia as an energy source establish a foothold. With enough time, adequate populations develop that can reduce the ammonia as quickly as it is produced. They produce nitrite as a by-product. Nitrite has no relationship with pH or any other water characteristic. As nitrite rises in concentration, it is equally deadly for fish in any water conditions. Once again, nature has provided a bacterial strain that will rapidly eliminate nitrite, nitrobacter. The specialized bacterial strains use nitrite for energy and create nitrate as the final step.

Nitrate is a good plant fertilizer, but otherwise is not removed by standard processes in the aquarium. It constantly builds to levels that eventually become harmful to fish. There really is no reliable way to remove it other than by dilution. The standard water change is the most effective method to remove high levels of nitrate with the waste water. Fresh tap replacement water replacement normally has low or non-existent amounts. As new water is added to replace siphoned used aquarium water, the overall levels of nitrate are lowered and controlled by this simple method.

The entire system heavily depends on a strong and vibrant population of two separate bacterial strains (nitrosomonas and nitrobacter) doing their job. In addition there are a multitude of other bacteria that are constantly at work breaking down waste materials into component parts this is the natural decay process. A big part of this waste removal is the production of ammonia. In the very beginning, there are no bacteria of any kind to start with, they have been killed by the chemicals water companies put into the water supply to make it safe for human consumption. Assorted bacteria strains do start to populate quite quickly, but as far as the invisible bacterial world is concerned, ammonia and nitrite reducers are quite slow to replicate. There are many other types that are much faster to exploit a suitable niche and can inhibit nitrosomonas and/or nitrobacter from thriving.

It takes ten days in a perfect environment for a single starting bacteria that reduces ammonia to populate the billions upon billions of its fellows required to eliminate ammonia as soon as it occurs. The bacteria that reduces nitrite to nitrate is even slower to replicate. It has the further disadvantage of being inhibited when there is too much ammonia present. Once the ammonia removing bacteria are plentiful enough to eliminate ammonia immediately, then these weaker strains will begin to grow, taking another three weeks to get to high enough densities to remove nitrite immediately as well.

Biological Augmentation of the bacterial filter

The above is a very brief synopsis of the Nitrogen Cycle, it is meant neither to be complete or exhaustive, but the timing of the bacterial population crests are important. It is this long lag behind many other types of bacteria all fighting for the same space and elements that gave rise to the concept of bacterial augmentation of the biological filter. Although there are disagreements of which particular strain of bacteria that actually do the work removing ammonia, classically it has been defined as nitrosomonas, and few would argue that these are the bacteria that can do the work. In the past few decades, certified pure strains of both nitrosomonas and nitrobacter have been isolated and cultured quite successfully. Even before this advance, it was long felt that if you added these bacteria to the aquarium directly, they would help reduce the length it takes to get the populations up to size as well as keep the actual concentration levels much lower.

In the very early days, this was done by simply grabbing a handful of gravel from an old, established aquarium and adding it directly into the new aquarium. Since both of these previously mentioned beneficial bacteria are lithotrophic and attach firmly to clean hard surfaces, this did work to inoculate a beginning aquarium with the bacteria living in the old tank, whatever the strains. There was always the risk that the older tank had other, less desirable strains that tagged along as well. Many tanks introduced a disease into it along with the beneficial bacteria.

Then came the first bacterial suspensions that contained living bacteria, in the early 1980's. These were actual living and breathing bacteria, bottled active and alive and sold with very short expiration dates. The concept was to provide a concentration of specifically cultured bacteria that do a particular job and supercharge a new system with them. The spikes of ammonia and nitrite were felt to be reduced and the fish had a better chance of surviving the break-in ordeal. The main drawback of this first product was that it went out of date so fast. You had to get it right off the truck and use it immediately, as every hour saw the loss of some more of the bacteria.

Soon a newer product arrived that was able to deliver much higher concentrations of both bacteria, coupled with some of the best waste reduction bacteria in the same bottle. The shelf life, from culture vat to consumer was extended because it exploited the newest technology, which allowed pure cultures of nitrosomonas and nitrobacter along with a few powerful waste reduction strains to be cultured into extremely high concentrations and then shut down and forced to hibernate until the bottle was opened. The advancement of causing the dormancy of the bacteria was thought to be impossible, and although many seem to believe it still can't be done, the success of the product for over 20 years on the market proves it to be viable.

When the technology advanced to the point where billions of bacteria spores and hibernating cells were concentrated into every ounce, the concept of competitive exclusion also became a reality. Unlike throwing a handful of gravel into a new tank and hoping the right bacteria strains make it, the ability to culture a pure strain of bacteria, mix it with other pure strains to form a team allows the knowledge of exactly what is being put into the aquarium. By dosing in recommended amounts every week, the balance of population is shifted in favor of the strains being added. Over time, they become the dominant bacterial strains, which is fine, because if other pathogenic species appear, they are crowded out by the more dominant types. This is the definition of competitive exclusion, inoculating the aquarium with the beneficial bacteria and crowding out potential pathogens.

Many companies have provided products like this to the market, have a friendly chat with your local life fish store about which one of these preparations they recommend. By regularly dosing the filter and aquarium with billions of bacteria every week, the tank stays in better health and actually seems to run with less chance of bacterial disease. Fungus is also reduced as the amount of waste is more rapidly decayed to composite parts before a problem can occur.

    Steve Pond

    Having kept and bred many different types of tropical fish for the past forty years, I am dedicated to providing information required for the novice aquarist to become successful in this fascinating hobby. Keep tropical fish alive and thriving in your first aquarium through the critical first six week and beyond. Visit my blog website (http://www.noviceaquarist.com/blog) for more detailed information specifically tailored for the novice aquarist on all aspects of the beginning aquarium. Besides my own personal contributions, a variety of other sources are polled and added regularly to the content warehouse available there.

    Article Directory: EzineArticles


The Basic Things You Need to Know About the ELECTRIC BLUE CICHLID

Electric blue cichlids are extremely beautiful fishes and are stupendous in freshwater aquarium keeping. They possess the typical shape of the cichlidae family which is sleek and bullet shaped body.

The other name of a blue cichlid is Sciaenochromis fryeri, which can be placed in the aquarium together with other Lake Malawi cichlids if given sufficient and capacious tank of about 70 gallons or even more if possible and decorate it with plenty of rockwork. Live plants are not very compatible with blue cichlids because of its excessive aggressiveness and agility. However, aquatic plants may be beneficial to other aquarium inhabitants. Electric blue cichlids larger than three inches have the tendency to uproot any plants and may be aggressive towards small fishes.

Cichlid - Electric Blue
Photo by Bradsview

They are originally found in the Northern end of Africa and are considered as an "old species" because of its wide distribution in lakes and its breeding technique. Most of the blue cichlids caught are from Likoma. The natural habitat of a cichlid is deep water over rocky areas. They can grow as much as 20 centimeters.

They are considered as a mouth brooder fish. The female electric blue cichlid will fertilized and carry its eggs in her mouth within the period of twelve to eighteen days, after that the fry are released.  The female can spawn up to 50 - 60 eggs or a maximum of 100 eggs. Spawning is normally done in flat rocks or surface in the wild but in aquarium the males are the ones who make the nest.

These variety thrive well in an aquarium water chemistry of 72 - 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH level of 7.8 -8.5 and dH of 10 - 15. The temperature may range from 25 - 28 degrees Celsius. Appropriate tank size would be a minimum of 4 - 6 inches in length. The adequate ratio for cichlids inside the tank is one male to five or 7 female blue cichlid.

In the wild this fishes mainly feed in the fry of other species but when kept in aquariums the proper way to provide food is once or twice a day. Each meal should only be given the amount that may be consumed within five minutes. It is best to feed them with live foods like feeder gruppies as well as commercial meaty foods such as freeze-dried or frozen blood worms or brine shrimp. More so, supplement live foods with pellets. Bear in mind that pellets are only supplements to their staple food and should not be fed as their primary diet.

Breeding electric blue cichlid is easy as long as it is provided with the proper care and diet. Read more about how to breed this variety of cichlid, it can be rewarding in your part.


Clown Fish, Tangs and Angelfish

As a marine aquarium enthusiast, you will have you veritable pick of the litter when it comes to species selection for your tank. The only limiting factor in most cases is the size of your aquarium and the size of your budget. Some are common and cheap while others are rare and expensive. Below we take a look at the most popular choices for marine hobbyists today.

LARGER On Black Ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprio...
LARGER On Black Ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris. Some clown anemonefishes are brave. When divers close to them, papa anemonefish will swim out to defense. (Looks like very angery!!) But, oftenly they will hide.(papa will hide faster than their babies. haha~) Lovely!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At the top spot, we have the familiar amphiprion ocellaris in addition to amphiprion percula. These are most widely recognized clownfish in the hobby in addition to being the most popular ornamental saltwater fish on the market. Some of you might have seen finding nemo, where the species is well represented. However, to most saltwater hobbyists they are simply identified as the false percula and the true percula.

They look almost entirely identical with the difference being the number of dorsal spines present. Amphiprion Ocellaris is a cheap fishes that is a staple in the industry. Amphiprion percula commands a higher price along with is less common than its recognizable cousin. They both do well in the aquarium and are good selections for experienced or new enthusiasts.

The yellow tang in addition to the blue tang fill in the second spot. They are a recognizable choice on posters and a variety of saltwater aquarium products on the market. The blue tang also had some air time on the animated movie, Finding Movie. There, she was identified as the clumsy Dory. Blue tangs are usually cheaper than yellow tangs as they are imported in huge quantities.

They are both great candidates for captive life if they have ample room to swim in addition to are treated for any parasites that came in with them during shipment. Like It must be noted however that all tangs are susceptible to lateral line erosion plus particularly marine ich. Ensure they are given a diet that is rich in greens as they are algae grazers in the wild.

Finally, four angelfish make up the last spot. They are the dwarf flame angelfish, French angelfish, emperor angelfish as well as the stunning queen angelfish. These four always get top demand from the marine community. They are the most costly recognizable fishes in this article. For very large, show quality specimens of queen angelfish, french angelfish plus emperor angelfish, expect to pay hundreds per specimen.

Flame angelfish usually cost less than their larger sized brethren. But that does not reflect on its beauty as it is easily on of the most stunning members of the family centropyge. They should be fed a well rounded diet that includes seafood as well as seaweed plus algae. For the most part, angels are not reef safe so do not house them with corals. However, you're bound to have more luck with the dwarf angelfish family in this respect.

    By Indran Manickam
    Additional information on the popular Clown fish species of fish can be found at the authors hubpage.
    Should you need information on specific fish like the Amphiprion Percula which is the nemo fish, don't hesitate to pay us a visit for a full guide including breeding behavior, care and requirements, photographs and videos.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Tips on Raising Healthy CARDINAL TETRA

The cardinal tetra or Paracheirodon axelrodi is native to the Amazon River. Cardinals are among some of the most colorful freshwater fish varieties available commercially. They are a member of the family Characidae.

English: Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
(Photo credit: 
Cardinal tetras and neon tetras look very similar in appearance. There are, however, subtle differences in body markings that can be used to distinguish them from one another. Cardinals have a red stripe or band that extends from their head to the base of their tails. Neon tetras have the same band but it starts mid-body and runs back to the tail rather than extending the entire length of the body. The cardinal tetras color palette tends to be a little more vibrant than that of neon tetras. Adult cardinals are a little larger than neons.

Cardinals reach approximately 2 inches in length. Even though they are a smaller variety of fish, cardinals need ample room to swim. They are not well suited for cramped living conditions. They are mid-tank swimmers and prefer a longer rather than taller swimming environment. This makes them the perfect candidate for wall mounted aquarium lines.

Cardinals are docile in nature. They function well in a community environment devoid of more aggressive species. They are a shoaling fish. The addition of several to your fish tank will help them mimic their behavior in their natural habitat. Cardinals do not thrive as a solitary fish. Under ideal conditions you can expect your cardinals to have a five year life span.

Like all natives to the Amazon River, the cardinal tetra thrives best in soft, slightly acidic water. A 6.8 pH level is premium. Aquarium stores sale water conditioners specifically for Amazon fish species. The cardinal functions best in water temperatures ranging from 70-79°F.

They are omnivores. There is no need to worry about specialty fish food products when raising tetras. Any freshwater tropical fish flakes will work

It is difficult to distinguish males from females. They are identical in color. The female's body tends to be a little rounder when they are carrying eggs.

Unlike bleeding heart tetras, cardinals will spawn in captivity. They are most likely to breed at night or in a dimly lit tank. Cardinal tetras are egg layers. They scatter their eggs. Like all tetras, cardinals will eat their eggs. A good way to prevent this from happening is to add a layer of marbles to the bottom of your fish tank. The eggs will slip through to the bottom where they will be safe until hatching time.

Here are some handy tips to follow if you intend to breed tetras. Keep them in a separate breeding tank provided with floating plants. They won't breed in hard, alkaline water. You can filter the water through peat or add thin layer to your substrate to imitate perfect mating conditions. Make sure the peat contains no chemical additives.

After they have spawned remove the adult fish from the breeding tank. Cardinal tetra fry hatch in about 24 hours. Once they hatch, they can be fed liquid fry food, infusoria, or rotifers. Both are readily available at fish specialty stores. Larger fry will thrive on small amounts of hard-boiled egg yolk ran through a food processor. Powdered eggs will also work.

Aquarium keeping is a fun and rewarding hobby. Freshwater aquarium fish care is the easiest and most economical way to enter the field of aquarium ownership. Less than a decade ago freshwater or saltwater fish were the only options available. But that has all changed.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Keeping pet jellyfish is the latest trend in the world of aquariums. Pet jellyfish are a happy medium between the ease of freshwater fish and the demands and expense of keeping saltwater specimens alive and healthy. Jellyfish have much slower metabolisms than saltwater fish. Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums are less expensive to set up and maintain than saltwater tanks. If you find the idea of raising pet jellyfish intriguing, find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.

    Article Source: EzineArticles



Bluehead Wrasse or Thalassoma bifasciatum are members of the family Ladredae. This species is endemic to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico with populations occurring as far south as the coastline of central Brazil.

Blue-headed wrasse, San Pedro, Belize Barrier Reef
Blue-headed wrasse
(Photo credit: 

Bluehead wrasses are medium sized, cigar shaped, fish. They grow to a maximum adult length of 7 inches. This species exhibits dramatic changes in coloration in relation to gender and age. Juveniles are typically yellow with white underbellies and black markings along their bodies and on their fins. Adult females are completely turquoise in color with two vertical black bars. It is in the adult male that the truly exotic color variations of this species can be witnessed. They have blue heads as their name would indicate. A set of three thick vertical bands separate the head from the main body. The first and the third bands are black. These two bands are clearly defined by a white bar in the middle. The male's main body is either turquoise with golden highlights or gold with turquoise highlights. 

Their pitch-forked tails are colorless and transparent in the center with the same coloration as their heads outlined with black pigmentation at the top and bottom of the caudal fin. Regardless of age or gender, this species has thick, paddle-shaped pectoral fins. They are exceptionally fast swimmers. This is a short lived species. Their live span rarely exceeds 2 years. This fish is also marketed under the names blunt-headed wrasse or simply bluehead. Blunt bears reference to wrasse species with more elongated snouts.

Juveniles and the females of this species have peaceful temperaments. Adult males lean more toward the semi-aggressive side. They may tend to harass smaller, more mild mannered, fish. A new arrival to the aquarium might elicit initial territorial behavior, especially toward those of similar shape. All things considered, these fish make suitable candidates for multi-species aquariums. They should not be kept with larger more, aggressive species. The bluehead's suitability for a marine reef tank depends on its inhabitants. They will not bother plant life, corals or other forms of stationary fauna. But they will eat crustaceans and other mobile invertebrates. This species is rated at a moderate care level.

Any saltwater aquarist with intermediate experience should be able to keep them alive and healthy. They are, however, sensitive to unhealthy water parameters. A good quality filtration system and frequent water changes will help keep them in optimum condition. These are very active swimmers and will require plenty of open swimming space. They will instinctively seek out holes or cracks in rock formations to sleep in at night so you will want to provide them with plenty of aquarium d├ęcor or rock work. A minimum tank size of 75 gallons is recommended.

This is a carnivorous species. In the wild their diet consists of fish, small crustaceans and other invertebrates including worms. They will help rid your aquarium of pest species such as mantis shrimp and bristle worms. These fish take readily to aquarium food. Their diet can be further supplemented with fresh chopped seafood, and feeder shrimp. This is an extremely active species. They should be fed 3 times daily.

Bluehead wrasses are protogynous sequential hermaphrodites. They may begin their life cycle as either male or female. Females have ability to change gender should future prorogation of the species call for the demand. This fish has not been known to breed in captivity.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Technological advancements in the aquarium industry continually redefine the concept of "home aquarium owner." Just twenty years ago not even the biggest public aquarium was capable of keeping jellyfish alive in captivity. Now they make desktop Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. And why would you want a jellyfish tank? Perhaps you should check out what the translucent bodies of Pet Moon Jellyfish look like under LED lighting. Pet Jellyfish give a whole new meaning to the term exotic pets.

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SALVINI CICHLID - How To Setup The Aquarium For This Cichlid?

What is a salvini?
Salvini cichlid or the yellow belly cichlid is also known as the Tri-color cichlid especially during breeding season. They do not appear to be extremely colorful however they show color variations with intensity at the time of spawning.

They are by nature moderately aggressive but gets really aggressive when breeding which is why smaller fishes should not be kept together with salvini's at this time. Ideally they can be tank mates with Jack Dempsey or a Red Devil cichlid.

English: My salvini male (Cichlasoma salvini)
Salvini male (Cichlasoma salvini)
(Photo credit: 

These species are quite known to hobbyist because of its hardiness and vividly beautiful coloration. It exudes spectacular colors of yellow, black, red, and sometimes even blue. They thrive well showing its stunning colors especially when kept with South American Cichlids of equal size and temperament.

What to feed the Salvini?
Feeding them is effortless because it will grab any type of foods given to them. They eat foods like flakes and pellets, or live foods, and frozen foods too. Always remember to add vegetables such as lettuce or zucchini in its meal every now and then to keep diet balance.

What are the preferable aquarium conditions for Salvini Fish?
A 50 gallon aquarium for a pair of salvini is adequate enough. Fill in water with a pH value between 6 and 8, a dH of 8 - 15, and a temperature of 70 - 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A constant water change of 25% - 30% is required at least once a week. The salvini aquarium water also needs a powerful filtration system. Moreover, salvini's tank should be decorated with lots of rocks, driftwood, and plants to provide them copious hiding places.

Live plants may be used in the tank since these species are not substrate digger or plant destroyers, actually it is said to be that salvini's color are enhanced deeply if kept in a well planted tank. Nevertheless, the salvini's should be kept in capacious aquarium. It is preferable to provide them a larger space for the cichlids to swim freely without the distraction of plants and other decorative items. Keep in mind that this variety is a bottom to mid swimmer fishes.

Salvini's are also an excellent parent to its babies thus the fry may be kept together with its parents as they grow. However, when kept in community tanks, the fry may be transferred to a new tank to avoid overcrowding.

Find out more on how to breed and care for the salvini cichlid's fry. Reading and understanding first the basic information about salvini's as well as the aquarium set-up and its water conditions gives hobbyist ideas on what are salvini cichlid fish and how to care for them. After which, they are ready to move on about how to go about breeding.

    By Lacey Bryant
    Lacey Bryant is a cichlid enthusiast and author, who has been caring for cichlids for over 15 years. She has been breeding Cichlids for years and it has become her passion to share her knowledge about their proper care.
    Article Source: EzineArticles