Tips on KUHLI LOACH Care

Kuhli loach, Pangio kuhli
Kuhli loach, Pangio kuhli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The kuhli loach or Pangio kuhli or Acanthophthalmus kuhli are members of the family Cobitidae. They are native to Indonesia. They can be found in Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, and Java.

Kuhli loaches have elongated eel-like, scale-less bodies. They commonly have alternating light and dark color bands circling the length of their bodies. The combination of shape and color bands make them resemble a snake more than a fish. They slither along the bottom of an aquarium much like a snake or an eel would. They are definitely one of the more interesting additions you can make to your aquarium.

The Kuhli loach is a bottom dwelling scavenger fish. Scavenger fish can always be distinguished from other fish by their downward facing mouth with the protruding barbles on either side. Barbles are a tentacle-like organ that contains taste buds. They serve the dual purpose of helping the scavenger find food and to help him feel his way along the bottom of a riverbed in murky water or at night.

Kuhli loaches are nocturnal. They scavenge at night and spend most of their day hiding under plants and rocks. They are also borrowers. They often burrow into the substrate to hide or rest. Sand works best if you are planning on raising kuhli loaches. You definitely want rounded gravel if sand for some reason is not an option. Sharp edges can damage their barbels. If you use a gravel siphon to help keep your tank clean remember that kuhli are burrowers. Take a head count. You don't want to injure one.

Kuhli loaches, like all bottom dwellers, make a wise addition to a community tank. Scavengers are mild mannered. And they help keep uneaten food particles from creating harmful bacteriological build up in the water. Kuhlis take readily to heavily planted tanks and have an affinity toward aquarium decorations with openings. They seem to take comfort in knowing there is a cave to retreat to. It also makes a great place for them to hang out in during the day.

Kuhlis are highly social creatures. They like to congregate with members of their own species. Purchasing a single Kuhli for your tank would not only be an injustice to the animal, it would also deprive you as an aquarium owner the pleasure of watching them function as a group.

Kuhlis are rather tolerant of their surrounding. They prefer slightly acidic water (pH 6.7-7.0) with a temperature range between 75-86°F. Kuhlis grow to 3-4 inches as adults and can live up to 10 years. Females have fuller bodies than the males.

Kuhlis are omnivores. They should be fed at night with the aquarium lights off. Sinking wafers or heavier food matter will ensure they get plenty to eat.

The Kuhli is egg layers. But they rarely take spawning in captivity. No one seems to know what conditions are most likely to induce a kuhli to spawn. Having a group of kuhli with an abundance of hiding places tends to help them feel comfortable enough with their surroundings to reproduce. Kuhli loaches have been reported to breed underneath under gravel filters.

    By Stephen J Broy
    The latest trend among Saltwater Tank enthusiasts is raising pet jellyfish. Jellyfish need specially designed Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. Jellyfish tanks are easier to maintain than traditional saltwater setups. Moon Jellies are the most popular jellyfish among home aquarists both for their exotic beauty and their ease of care. They have become so popular that two US-based websites are now tank raising them to meet the growing demand. Pet Moon Jellyfish look absolutely incredible under a fading LED lighting system.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


PICASSO TRIGGERFISH - Rhinecanthus Aculeatus

PICASSO TRIGGERFISH - Rhinecanthus Aculeatus



lagoon triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Picasso triggerfish)
Picasso Triggerfish - Photo  by Paul and Jill 
Picasso triggerfish is one of the most commonly sold triggerfish in the marine aquarium trade. Because of this, it is also the most recognizable. Their scientific name is Rhinecanthus Aculeatus and they are also known as the Huma-Huma or Humu-Humu triggerfish. This species is collected around the waters of Fiji and Tahiti.

They are nowhere near as expensive as some uncommon species like the clown triggerfish or the expensive crosshatch triggerfish. They range anywhere from $30-$40 depending on the size of the specimen.

They are called the Picasso triggerfish because of the presence of a variety of colored lines across its body. Red, yellow, blue and white lines adorn its face, mouth and the main section of its body. They can attain a length of twelve inches and require larger aquariums with a minimum of 100 gallons because of this.

Like all triggerfish, the Picasso triggerfish has a huge head. Viewed from the side, it makes up to one-third of the total body size. This is a distinctive feature found in all members of the triggerfish family. They are also aggressive and highly territorial and will defend their nesting site against all uninvited guests as many a scuba diver has learned.

In the wild, they primarily hunt for crustaceans that include crabs, shrimp and even invertebrates like the sea urchin. They are able to crack the tough exoskeleton of their prey thanks to their immensely powerful jaws. Because of the strength of their jaws, they can deliver painful bites to their human keepers as well.

Because they are carnivores, we must try to mimic their diet in captivity. Offer them meaty foods like freshly chopped seafood that include fish, shrimp, scallops and such. Mysis shrimp, frozen krill and frozen meat mixes are some good choices as well.

Overall, Picasso triggerfish are very hardy and easy to keep provided it has ample swimming space and always be careful to select tank mates that can hold their own against this large and aggressive species.



Saltwater Aquariums
Saltwater Aquarium - Photo  by Karsun Designs Photography 
Haven’t decided whether to build or buy a saltwater aquarium? For most people buying a ready-made aquarium is by far the easier option. But if you’re handy with tools and construction you might be thinking of building your own tank. This chapter will provide you with do-it-yourself instructions on how to build a 55-gallon glass aquarium to house your marine life. Ultimately it is for you to decide whether you want to build or buy a saltwater aquarium. If you are more comfortable with a bought tank, by all means, get one!

Building a tank from scratch is challenging and not for beginners unless you have plenty of patience and are willing to ask for help. However using the materials list, step-by-step instructions and advice provided here you can build your very own glass aquarium. Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will find the setup fun and rewarding. However, having built your own special tank is doubly satisfying.

Before you get started you need to know a thing or two about working with glass. The tank you are going to build is 14 inches high with ¼ inch glass panels. If you want to make a bigger saltwater aquarium you will need to learn how to calculate the correct thickness of glass for the size of the tank. If you haven’t decided whether to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you might want to consider how comfortable you are working with glass.

Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium, the first thing to do is to draw up a plan or schematic of the kind of saltwater aquarium you want. Make sure that all your measurements are correct so that the tank fits together properly. This aquarium is built with the two end panels fitted inside the back and front panes.

The front, back, and side panels are set on top of the aquarium floor. If you don’t know how to cut glass you can ask the professionals to do it for you. If you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you need to understand how the glass is fitted together as this has a lot to do with the stability of the tank.

Whether you decide to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will probably be making use of a lighted hood. When you draw up your plans you must include the hood. You should never place a solid glass on the aquarium top as this reduces the gas exchange that occurs at the surface. If this happens your aquarium will not get enough aeration and the health of the tank will suffer.

So what materials will you need to build a saltwater aquarium? Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will need to purchase all the necessary materials that go into making a good marine setup. To build a 55-gallon aquarium you will need the following:

* 1 glass panel for the tank bottom
* 1 front, 1 back, and 2 end pieces of glass
* Single edged razor blades.
* Acetone.
* Non-toxic 100% silicone sealant. (All-Glass® Brand 100% Silicone Sealant)
* Roll of paper towels.
* Washable felt tip marker.
* Roll of duct tape.
* Emery cloth or silicone carbide sandpaper.

Whether you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you should choose the biggest one that fits into your home. If your tank is bigger than 30 gallons in size you might want to install a support brace at the tank’s center. Do this by cutting a six-inch wide piece of glass that will fit the outside edges of the front and back panels. Use silicone to position it in place.

Next, you will prepare the glass panes. Use an emery cloth or silicon carbide sandpaper to smooth the edges of the glass. Clean the glass pane joints and edges at ½ inch inward using acetone. Prepare the duct tape by cutting 16 strips of tape, 5 inches long. Place these nearby. Always be careful when handling glass. This is true whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium

Place your pieces on the floor or table in the correct order for assembly. If need be, mark them with words or arrows so you don’t lose track. Place the bottom panel on a flat non-scratch surface. Stick 8 pieces of tape to the glass on the bottom side (sticky side up). If you decide to build or buy a saltwater aquarium always take care not to scratch the glass.

Now install the front glass piece. Next fold the two bottom pieces of tape upward and stick them to the glass. Now you are ready to install the first side panel by folding the 2 bottom duct tapes upward and sticking them to the front of the glass. Secure the side piece to the front piece of glass with 2 strips of tape.

Next install the other side piece, and the back panel. Once the tank has been built use silicone to seal the eight joint areas on the inside of the tank. Use a small amount and smooth your thumb over the silicone to level it. Let the tank sit for 24 hours to cure the silicone. It does not matter if you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium, it is always vital that it does not leak!

After the resting period, you can fill the tank with fresh water. Let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. Why? You are testing your tank for leaks! A 24 hour testing period is better as it will leave you more confident that your tank is actually watertight. This is important whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium.

Once you are sure that your tank is fit for your marine world you can set about planning the fish, invertebrates, and plants that will go into your tank. It is not that important whether you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium. Most people will probably opt for the ease of walking into a store and choosing a perfect, assembled tank but for those who like a challenge, constructing your own tank can be very satisfying. Once you have set everything up you will feel doubly proud! Enjoy your new aquarium!


Is An AFRICAN DWARF FROG The Right Pet For You?

Cute Lil' Bugger
Photo by Furryscaly
African Dwarf Frogs are one of the absolute best choices for first-time owners of exotic pets, but they're also well suited for experienced keepers and breeders. They're very simple to take care of, and setting up the aquarium isn't particularly difficult either as these frogs are exclusively aquatic and so require nothing more complex than a basic fish tank. This makes for a very welcome change from the problematic task of creating a home for a creature that will need both land and water, as is the case with many other amphibians.

One of the reasons many people shy away from getting their first exotic pet is the unpleasantness of feeding the animal live food such as cockroaches or baby mice, which is understandably upsetting (or just plain disgusting!) for many people. Fortunately, this isn't an issue with African Dwarf Frogs, because while they can be fed live food, frozen food can be used instead, or even pellets, as these frogs use scent rather than movement to find their food. They should, however, be fed every day, so if you're not around for long periods of time, a different pet would probably be more suitable.

Unlike many amphibians regularly found in the pet trade, African Dwarf Frogs are pretty small (not exceeding 1.5" normally) and they don't take up too much space, with only two gallons of water needed for each frog. So even if you live in a tiny apartment, there's almost guaranteed to be enough room for a few of these little creatures.

While they're perfectly content to live alone, you can keep several African Dwarf Frogs in the same tank, or even keep other creatures with them if you want. Putting a few fish in with the frogs is pretty common practice, and shouldn't cause any problems as long as they're not aggressive and not too large or small so that they will neither eat nor be eaten by your frogs! Keeping too many fish risks altering the acidity of the water which can be harmful to your African Dwarfs, but if numbers are low you should be fine. Tetra Fish and Goldfish are common tankmates for these frogs, and sometimes alone Betta Fish will work out as well. Basically, it's possible to fit a few cool pets in the same small tank without harming them or compromising their quality of life.

Activity levels are often a concern for frog owners, as they're often thought of as slow and boring creatures that never really do much. However, being among the most sociable, active and energetic frogs in the pet trade, African Dwarf Frogs don't fit this stereotype. As they need to swim to the top of the tank for air but feed at the bottom, they can't sit still for too long even if they wanted to.

Most individuals will live for around five years (some much longer), so you have to be prepared for a fairly long commitment when you first get some frogs. Still, they're extremely easy to care for, good fun to watch and will complement many of the fish you may already have, all of which makes African Dwarf Frogs a great choice for your first exotic pet.


JACK DEMPSEY Cichlid - Rocia octofasciata

Jack Dempsey Cichlid - Rocia octofasciata


Aquarium AQUASCAPING - Three Big Mistakes To Avoid

Photo by goldenfish2010
Here are three big mistakes that most novice aquarium hobbyist made. You should avoid such errors because it could potentially disrupt and harm your fish and plants.

Do not overpopulate the aquarium with too many fish and plants, as it will cause water quality to degrade very quickly. More fish does not mean the tank will look more attractive. Have you ever wonder if it looks good on a bus or a train that is severely overcrowded with passengers?

When you set up a new aquarium, introduce only a few fish between several weeks or even between months if possible. Select the smallest fish possible and build a community around a small school of fish and perhaps one or two showcase fish of your choice and modest group of bottom cleaners such as algae eating fish.

Incompatible Fish Species
Some species thrive in large numbers and prefer to live in a colony. On the other end of the spectrum, there are species that are extremely territorial in nature and will not tolerate the company of others, not even within its own kind.

You should not mix goldfish with angelfish because the latter is known to be aggressive and will attack goldfish relentlessly. Likewise, angelfish are threats to the guppies so do not mix them in the same tank.

Fish incompatibility resulting in fights and fatalities are further compounded by small aquarium footprint whereby the limited area of movement, dwelling, and congestion often leads to frenzy attacks among fish, even within its own species.

When in doubt, check with the aquarium fish seller or do some research on fish compatibility before you decide to buy and put them into your aquarium. The Smaller tank is more critical in regard to the type of species that are able to coexist without conflicts. You can arrange rocks and plants to serve as hideouts for species that are more passive in nature.

Too Many Artificial Decorations
Avoid artificial plants and structures. Some people think it is a hassle to clean up debris left over by residues of dead aquatic plants thus they opt for artificial ones instead. You need to be mindful that some of these cheap artificial decorations are toxic to fish. Furthermore, isn't it better to populate your tank with natural live habitats?

Let nature works its way to create the required balance ecological system. Consider live plants and ecologically friendly gravel for your aquarium. After all, live plants produce oxygen supply to the fish. In between, it is important to take note that the smaller the aquarium the more pertinent it is to do daily testing of the water quality.

Observe fish behavior such as gasping, hiding, drifting, or darting, it might be an indication of imminent health dangers lurking somewhere.