Firthfield Pet Store, Northwich
Firthfield Pet Store, Northwich - Wikipedia
If you are considering buying an aquarium full of fish or if you already own one, then you cannot afford to stop there. Just like any other pets, fish in aquariums require a lot of care and attention. You cannot just throw fish into an aquarium and expect them to survive and thrive. You must purchase the proper aquarium supplies for your fish.

I'm pretty passionate about this subject because owning a pet supplies store I have seen far too many people choose to own fish because "they are easier and require less than other pets." While this is true on many levels, it is no excuse for people to not buy the proper kinds of aquarium supplies for their pets.

If you are unsure of what kinds of aquarium supplies you might need for the fish you have purchased or are hoping to purchase, then look no further than to a pet supply store for help. Go to a store near you and talk to someone that is knowledgeable about aquarium supplies. Ask all of your questions and allow them to lead to aquarium supplies that are reasonable and necessary for the livelihood of your fish. Make sure that you have a full understanding of the needs of your fish before you purchase them. You need to realize that fish take work just like any other pet and that something will be required of you in taking care of them.

If you aren't quite ready to visit a pet supply store, then go to your local library and find some resources for starting an aquarium and filling it with the right aquarium supplies. There are many great resources out there, you just need to find them and learn what you can. You can also benefit greatly from learning about the proper aquarium supplies by doing an internet search based on the kinds of fish you have or are thinking of purchasing.

When it comes time to actually purchase aquarium supplies, you'll want to make your way back to the pet supplies store. Nowhere else will you find as great of help from people who really know what they are talking about. So get to your local pet shop and find all the aquarium supplies you need. And don't worry, most aquarium supplies come in a wide variety of price ranges, so don't feel obligated to run off and buy the most expensive ones. Instead, go for what fits your budget.

Having fish can be a great and fun thing. Just be sure to fill your aquarium with the right supplies and your fish will live long and stay happy.


Breeding AFRICAN CICHLIDS - A 9 Step Guide

Convict Cichlids. Female on the left, Male on ...
Convict Cichlids. Female on the left, Male on the right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is the vivid colors and peculiar mannerisms that make African Cichlids the most popular fish in captivity and it usually does not take long before the owner becomes interested in breeding them. But what that you ask? How do I do this?

1. With tropical fish generally, you can just pair them up and the breeding process takes place but its a little different when breeding African cichlids. With African cichlids, the best method is to have a largish group with a much higher female to male ratio. If you keep only couples the female most often is bullied by the male even sometimes to the point of death.

2. African cichlids have to be healthy for breeding as the female will go without food for weeks when in the spawning cycle. This means they need to be fed well prior on a varied diet of spirulina flakes, earthworm, brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larva.

3. In order for your breeding colony to flourish, they will need a comfortable environment. Make caves, rocks, crevices, and tunnels to provide protection when needed from bully fish. The ideal breeding tank setup is to use no gravel. This will focus the male on the task at hand. The males soon turn their attention to the females and the mating will soon follow.

4. If you want to use plants then I recommend plastic only and make sure they are firmly attached to the bottom. If u use real plants they will get destroyed.

5. Usually, the mating game will start with the male showing off and dancing until he attracts one of the females. Then they may appear to wrestle a bit to test strength, this sometimes includes the locking of the mouths. Eventually, this behavior leads to the female laying her eggs. Then they will be scooped up into her mouth for protection. It is believed that the egg patterns around the males anal area trick the female into thinking she left eggs in the open, so when she tries to scoop them the male fertilizes the brood.

6. After the eggs have been fertilized it will take up to two months for them to hatch at which point they will continue to reside in the mother's mouth. It is a good idea to try and feed her now as she will eat a little so the fry can get to it.

7. So the small fry does not get eaten it is important to separate the female to a separate tank until shes had her young.

8. Once the small fry is swimming freely the best way to get food to them is by putting crumbled flakes into the end of a straw and then placing the end near the small fry for them to eat.

9. The female will need to regain her strength so its best to keep her separated for a few weeks. And also keep the fry separated until large enough to fend for themselves.

Follow my guidelines and you will be breeding big beautiful healthy African cichlids in no time.


CARDINAL TETRAS - Red Cardinals to Enhance the Beauty of Your Aquarium

Cardinal tetras Paracheirodon axelrodi waking ...
Cardinal tetras Paracheirodon axelrodi waking up in an aquarium. Just after the lights were turned on. Its skin yet in a pink tone.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Originating from South America, Cardinal tetra fish are very common among the fish-keepers and are found in many aquariums and tanks all over the world. They are freshwater fish and easy for the beginners.

Their body is decorated with a blue line dividing the body. The body carries red stripes which are longer. Actually, that is the distinguishing feature between a cardinal tetra and neon tetra fish. If the stripes are short, the fish is neon tetra.

In fact, the name cardinal tetra comes from this red color. It resembles the red robes which are worn by the Cardinals!

Cardinal tetras are difficult to breed in captivity so their availability is always lesser than the demand. Many pet fish stores sell cardinal tetras which are caught from their natural habitat. They are not endangered species and they are found in plenty.

They have a very short life-span of about a year, so their entire life cycle including reproduction finishes during this period. However, if you provide the ideal conditions for them in your aquarium, they can live a much longer life.

They will grow only up to 2 inches in length so they don't require a large aquarium. You can accommodate them even in a small tank of 5 gallons. As they are peaceful by nature, you can keep them in community aquariums also. Most of the time, they stay in the middle of the water so you can keep other bottom-dwelling or surface swimming fish with them.

There is no problem while feeding cardinal tetras. They can accept all types of food including vegetables, flaked food and live food like brine shrimp or blood-worms.

If you can provide the environment which resembles in South American rivers where they are found, they will live happily for a long time. The pH level of the water should be lower and the temperature of the water should be around 72-82 degrees F. They can survive even in the higher temperatures. The hardness of the water should be moderate.

Only important factor while keeping cardinal tetras is the level of toxic elements in the water. They are sensitive about the nitrates and nitrites in the water and you should set up a good filtration system to keep the water clean. In addition, you should make frequent replacements of the aquarium water.

You should provide a thickly planted aquarium for the cardinal tetras with preferably an open swimming area. There should be some floating plants in the aquarium because which will provide ideal places for cardinal tetras to hide. They do not like bright lights so the lighting in the aquarium should be moderate and the aquarium should not be in the direct sunlight.

As tetras, on the whole, are schooling fish, cardinal tetras are not an exception. While buying them, you should buy at least a group of 7-10 so that they will be happy to live with their friends. The beginners may think that this number is large but considering their easy maintenance and feeding habits, the whole group will be very colorful and lively for your aquarium.

The breeding of cardinal tetras is difficult because the fry are very delicate and sensitive to the environment and very few of them can survive. In addition, the adults eat the eggs and also the fry so it becomes very difficult for the beginners to protect the young ones.

However, those who want the enjoyment of a colorful and lively aquarium without many efforts then always go for cardinal tetras.

    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


ALGAE Problems in aquarium tank: simple and effective solutions

Photo: Wikimedia
Eradication of encrusting algae could be done simply by periodically scraping the sides of the aquarium or scrubbing the rocks.

For those with plastic plants and a completely white gravel bed, the situation could be more tasking as it would be necessary to bleach the rocks to remove all traces of algae.

However, if you do this, do make sure that you rinse the gravel thoroughly afterwards. Bleach is highly toxic, and even small amounts can have a drastic effect on the aquarium fish.

Since the primary cause of green algae is too much light. The first step in the treatment schedule should be light reduction then partial water changes and an adequate stocking of natural aquarium plants. A final treatment with an algal remedy should ensure that the problem is eradicated and is at least kept at bay for some time.

One of the factors mentioned above is the use of natural aquatic plants as a means of control. This is really more effective than many people think.

For a start, luxuriant plant growth will filter out some of the light keeping algae in check. In addition, plants absorb a large variety of chemicals from the water, thereby starving algae of some of their essential nutrients e.g. nitrates (not nitrites).

Surprising though it may seem, and adequate plant stocking level is approximately 50 small plants per square root of available space. The last treatment mentioned is the use of an algaecide. I must stress the word "use:" - it is very different to "abuse"!

Yet despite this difference, I know that some people will still persist in pouring the chemical remedy into their aquarium and expect the problem to disappear overnight, even though they have done absolutely nothing to alter the conditions in the tank that brought about the problem in the first place.

The conditions I stated above have to be adhering to for any lasting effect to occur! Now that we know how to curb the menace of the green algae, we shall discuss its "sister" - the brown encrusting algae whose case is the reverse of the green.


CORAL BEAUTY ANGELFISH - Centropyge bispinosus

Coral Beauty Angelfish - Centropyge bispinosus



Centropyge bispinosa
Centropyge bispinosa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Coral Beauty Angelfish or Centropyge bispinosus are members of the family Pomacanthidae. This species is indigenous to the Indo-Pacific, from East Africa to the Philippine Islands. Most of the coral beauties made available for the aquarium industry originate from Fiji.

This fish lives up to its name. Their heads, upper body region, and dorsal fin are bright blue or purple. This primary coloration fades into yellow or orange transitioning into a shade of pink at mid-body. Thin vertical banding of the primary body color breaks up this transition. Pectoral fins are typically orange or yellow. Anal and caudal fins are blue or purple. All but the pectoral fins are frequently outlined in neon blue. This species is also sold under the trade names Twospined Angel or Dusky Angelfish.

This is an excellent choice for amateur aquarists who want to own their first angelfish. They have all the exotic beauty one expects in a marine angelfish. They only grow to an adult length of 4 inches. So you don't need an enormous aquarium to house them. They can be raised in a tank as small as 30 gallons. Most angels carry a moderate to expert care level (depending on the informational source). Coral beauties are one of the hardiest angelfish. These fish have an easy care level so they are perfect for novice saltwater aquarium owners. Regardless of size, most angelfish are labeled as semi-aggressive. This species is among the most peace-loving of all angelfish. They may pick on smaller fish or fight with similar looking species as they mature but they do not demonstrate near the instinctive territorial behavior of most angels. More experienced aquarists will enjoy the fact that this species is rated reef safe if it is introduced to a marine reef environment as the juvenile and is well fed as an adult. All of these factors make the coral beauty one of the most popular and commonly kept angelfish in home aquariums.

This is an omnivorous species. Juveniles are primarily planktonic feeders. An adult's diet consists largely of algae. You will need to supply your aquarium with plenty of cured live rock to ensure the general health of any marine angelfish. Coral, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms comprise the remainder of an adult's dietary intake. This is why you want to introduce this species to a reef set up when they are still juveniles. The trick is to get them accustomed to aquarium food and algae as their total dietary intake before they develop their adult taste buds. Feeding should take place 2-3 times a day.

Like most angelfish, this is a hermaphroditic species. They are born of indeterminate sexuality. They will then develop into females. In a population consisting exclusively of females the largest, most dominant fish will undergo a hormonal change until it transforms into a male.

Coral beauties are one of the few marine species that have been known to breed in home aquariums. Breeding is induced by the release of a gamete, or sex cell, into the water. The gamete's presence will make this species feel the need to spawn. Spawning occurs shortly before dusk in their natural environment. In an aquarium, spawning is just as cyclic. Spawning will take place precisely one hour before the lights turn off in an aquarium with a timer. The fact that breeding habits make the transition into captivity is truly phenomenal.

Courtship begins with the male dashing around erratically in a pre-mating dance. Once the female is attracted, the perspective mates will then begin swimming side by side. The two will then seek out the most turbulent area in the aquarium. This is generally found next to the power head. The male will rub his nose against the female's side. The female will respond by expanding her fins in a seductive manner and then dashing off so as not to be thought of as an easy target for the male's affection.

Once the courtship rituals are completed, the female will release a small clutch of eggs (usually 12-20) one at a time for fertilization. The eggs are left to float away. Juveniles are platonic feeders. Fry must be fed newly hatched brine shrimp in order to increase their likelihood of survival.



English: Floating lilies, the sun light showin...
Floating lilies, the sunlight showing its delicate petals structure and waxed leaves adapted for floating. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ponds could not be more exciting for the backyard gardener. Flowing water and the excitement of enjoying a balanced aquatic ecosystem is unmatched by traditional gardening. A key piece to pond care includes water plants. The purpose of this article is to introduce water plant care to the pond hobbyist.

The “season” for most water plants along the Central Coast is spring. Starting in March, you’ll begin to see water plants become available at local nurseries. This is also the time when you’ll need to prepare your pond for the coming “push” of growth. This begins with the removal of unwanted “trash” and “rotting” plant material. In some cases, some plants will be ready for “dividing.” You’ll need to prepare for new additions to your pond as well. Thinning out floating plants by removing larger, older material is a good idea; crowded individuals display less flowering and stringy, non-energetic growth.

Feeding your aquatic landscape is the next important step in care and maintenance. Aquatic plants have all the same nutrient requirements as the plants you’ll find in your garden. Fortunately quite a bit of nutrient required by water plants are met with ambient water soluble materials and fish wastes. That said, I encourage every hobbyist to apply fertilizer spikes or “tablet” slow-release fertilizers to their plants in the spring.

It is worth touching on pests and disease of water plants as well. Fortunately, water plants don’t have nearly the number of problems our landscape plants face. The best solution is to avoid buying or collecting diseased specimens. Inspecting and quarantining new introductions and relying on a reputable dealer is your safest bet.

Fungus problems tend to be the most significant issue facing water plants. There are several “plant dips” and treatments that will help to control fungus. The most common baths incorporate either the strong oxidant, potassium permanganate or aluminum sulfate. Concentrations and instructions for their use are enclosed with their packaging. but basically a solution is prepared and the new plant material emerged for several minutes. The plants are subsequently rinsed and placed. If you do nothing else with new arrivals, be sure to look them over carefully, trim off dead/dying material, scrape away snail and insect eggs and hose off vigorously before putting them in your pond.

When it comes to pests, there are a few to mention. Aphids can be a real challenge given that their piercing and sucking of plants above water (especially lilies) can cause trouble. Watch for the appearance of winged females in the spring when they descend from certain species of nearby trees. If you act quickly, small populations of their offspring may be washed off by a strong blast of water. There some species of flies and beetles that also prey on aquatic plants. In most cases, they can be treated by removing the affected parts of the plants.

Fish can also be a problem for water plants. Many folks are recommended to plant directly into planting baskets or in areas where fish cannot nibble at roots and foliage. There are certain varieties of plants that fish will not even touch. Water plants offer a really exciting complement to a pond ecosystem. With the right care, feeding and maintenance, your pond will exceed your wildest dreams and bring years of beauty and enjoyment.

Steve McShane is Founder, Owner and General Manager of McShane’s Nursery & Landscape Supply. Steve is a Soil Science Graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has his MBA from Santa Clara University.

Email Steve: steve@mcshanesnursery.com

Article from articlesbase.com