The bucktooth tetra (Exodon paradoxus) is an interesting and unique addition to the home aquarium, but it brings along various challenges that must be met for its successful keeping. Most of these difficulties revolve around its nasty behavior in captivity. In fact, some aquarists may argue that, ounce for ounce, E. paradoxus is one of the most aggressive fish available in the hobby.

English: Bucktooth Tetra (Exodon paradoxus) at...
Bucktooth Tetra (Exodon paradoxus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bucktooth tetra is native to the Amazon River Basin and Guyana areas. When one hears the name, it brings about images of large, protruding teeth, but in reality, the appearance of E. paradoxus is not that extreme. A casual examination of the mouth reveals that E. paradoxus has serrated lips but not the pronounced dentition that one might associate with a name like bucktooth tetra.

Though this may initially seem disappointing to hobbyists looking for a fish with large, visible teeth, E. paradoxus has tremendously powerful jaws for its size, and its teeth are more pronounced and well developed in comparison to that of various community tetras.

The color scheme of E. paradoxus is beautiful: a bright, metallic-silver base accompanied by yellow fins with orange and red tips. Throughout the body are casts of yellow, red, and green. There are also two large black spots, one near the middle of the body and the other at the base of the tail. When maintained under optimum water quality and good lighting, the metallic sheen of the body often reflects blue and purple iridescence.

In the wild, E. paradoxus is a shoaling species with carnivorous tendencies. Insects, small fish, shrimp, and other forms of meaty fare make up the bulk of its diet, but the bucktooth tetra is also a well-known lepidophage (scale eater). This specialized form of feeding creates a problem for aquarists, making almost any fish kept with E. paradoxus at risk for injury.

Keeping the Bucktooth Tetra
E. paradoxus offered for sale at most aquatics stores usually measure 2 to 3 inches long, but they are capable of growing to around 6 inches. It is a slow-growing species, but for every inch that the fish puts on in length, a substantial amount of bulk and body mass is acquired. The bucktooth tetra spends most of its time midwater, but all levels of the aquarium are explored when food is added to the tank or the activity of another inhabitant catches its attention.

Being an extremely active fish, adult specimens must be kept in aquariums that are both long and wide. The minimum size would be a standard 55-gallon aquarium, but, as always, the bigger the better. E. paradoxus is highly adaptable to a wide range of water parameters, but extremes should be avoided. An ideal pH range would be roughly 6.2 to 7.4. Large, frequent water changes are enjoyed, and the bucktooth tetra often becomes even more active after routine maintenance.

The bucktooth tetra is not a picky eater in captivity and will accept various foods, such as brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, bloodworms, chopped earthworms, beef heart, cut fish fillet, as well as flake and pellet foods to balance out nutrition. I have a few spare tanks in which I breed feeder guppies and gutload them with veggie flakes before offering them to my various smaller predatory species.

My E. paradoxus are remarkably precise and efficient predators, often snatching guppies at the water surface extremely quickly. The only way I can tell that they are actually catching the guppies is from the small lumps in their stomachs. When any type of food hits the water, it sparks a feeding frenzy unparalleled by most other aquarium species.

Tank decor can include pieces of driftwood, rocks, slate, pots, and artificial caves. Driftwood with a root-system-like appearance makes for striking scenery, as a school of E. paradoxus will endlessly zip in and out of the root-like structures throughout the day. Although bucktooth tetras spend most of their time out in the open, hiding places are utilized to take an occasional break from their seemingly endless activity.

E. paradoxus show their colors best when maintained with a dark substrate and live plants accompanied by a dark background. Suitable plants include broad-leaved species such as Amazon swords and Java fern, as well as various grass-like plants such as Vallisneria species.

Floating plants are also appreciated by E. paradoxus for providing shaded areas and creating a more realistic environment. To find out more, you can check out Buck Tooth Tetra.

    By Jon T Cole
    Hi, I'm a traveler, fishes fanatic, reader and teacher. I hope to share my fishes experiences with you through my articles. If you like my articles, do share with your friends. I thank you for that first.
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AQUARIUMS Provide Relaxing Entertainment

Owning a fish aquarium can be a very relaxing hobby. If you have small children, they will spend many hours mesmerized by brightly colored fish swimming around and frolicking. In fact, aquariums are a great way to bring the family together, especially if you allow each of your children to pick out one special fish (of the breeds you are planning to have in your aquarium) to be his or her very own fish.

Riffbecken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite the relaxing nature of aquariums they are not a no care item. In fact there are many things that must be considered when choosing the proper aquarium for your specific needs. Aquariums today come in many shapes and sizes take care when selecting the one that will best suit your needs. 

It is always a better idea to know what you are going to be using your aquarium for before purchasing and setting it up. You do not want to have to undo all the work that goes into an aquarium because it won’t sustain the fish and plant life you have planned for it, nor do you want to kill your fish because you have a tank that is improperly set up or proportioned to house them.

Once you’ve decided the basics (saltwater vs. freshwater, reef tank, or live plant tank) then you will want to consider how many fish you want to house in your tank. A good rule of thumb is to plan for one inch of fish per square foot of surface area in freshwater tanks and three inches of fish per square foot in a saltwater tank. Larger tanks require much less maintenance when properly populated than smaller tanks. The trick is to remember it is better to have less than the maximum than to go over. 

Having an aquarium can be a great way to relax at the end of a long workday or workweek. These pets do not require daily walking or litter box cleaning almost daily, but they are an investment and do require some maintenance. Care properly for the animals in your aquarium and it should provide you with a wealth of entertainment over the years.



Neon velvet damselfish or Neoglyphidodon oxyodon (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon) belong to the family Pomacentridae. This species is indigenous to the western central Pacific and Indo-Australian Archipelago including Indonesia and the Philippines. Large concentrations can be found off the coastlines Fiji. This species often inhabits inshore reefs and the reef flats of lagoons. They tend to congregate in shallow, current swept waters.

"Neoglyphidodon oxyodon.Licensed under GFDL via Commons 

Velvets have an elongated oval shaped body with a soft black, velvety appearance. This species has two neon blue stripes sweeping back from its snout. The first is above the eye, the second below. A second set of neon striping falls diagonally from their backs. They have a single, large white vertical bar just behind their head. Their black fins are commonly accented with neon blue trim. These neon accents are striking against the black velvet backdrop. Unfortunately, these fish often loose their vibrant coloration as they mature. This species is also marketed by the aquarium trade under the pseudonyms Blue Velvet Damselfish, Javanese Damselfish, and Blue-Streak Devil. The latter bears reference to their demeanor.

Unlike its docile cousin the green chromis, Neon Velvets have the attitude one would expect from a damselfish. This species is not suited for a peaceful community tank. These are innately aggressive fish who will bully any tank mate of lesser temperament.Conspecifics will elicit a full out feud for territorial rights. A mated pair may be housed together but any thought of multiples will require a very large aquarium. Large angelfish, butterflies, tangs and surgeonfish are suitable tank mates provided they are not large enough to see the damsel as a tasty snack. A fish must have one nasty disposition to fend for itself among species two to three times its size, hence the name blue-streak devil. This species is rated reef safe.

These are medium sized fish. They will grow to a maximum adult length of 6 inches. A mated pair will require a 30 gallon tank. For a single or couple to be kept in a community setting you will need whatever tanks is recommended for their larger tank mates. This species has a moderate care level. One factor bears mentioning. Damsels are predisposed to heavily oxygenated environments. This can be accomplished with the use of multiple air stones.

This is an omnivorous species. They are not picky eaters and will readily acclimate to aquarium food. A well balance diet will maintain fit and vigor.

Neon Velvet Spawning
This is one of the few species to be successfully bred in captivity. They have even been known to breed in home aquariums. With due diligence you can track down a mated pair to insure compatibility.

The first indication of intended spawing is found within the actions of the male. He will establish his breeding grounds by cleaning off a rock ledge or coral surface for the deposit of eggs. He will then begin to swim around in a frenzy making clicking noises to seduce his intended mate. During this courting ritual the male's coloration will increase dramatically. In the wild a male will often breed with several females. If the female accepts his proposal, she will deposit her eggs. He will waste no time in their fertilization. The entire courtship and breeding process is over within 20 minutes.

A female may lay as many as 20,000 eggs. It is the male's job to guard and care for the eggs until they hatch. He will fan the eggs with his fins to increase oxygenation levels and pick out any dead eggs from the batch. Males will defend their eggs with complete disregard for their own safety. The eggs will hatch in 3-7 days. They will emerge as larvae. The larvae will drift around feeding on plankton. They develop into juvenile fish in approximately two weeks.

    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.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



The Oscar Cichlid is an intelligent fish which creates a friendly bond between itself and its owner. To achieve this, the fish requires the utmost care and undivided attention. They respond well to gestures and will swim into your palm once the bond is formed. The Oscar Cichlid has lots of amusing gestures. For instance it knows when the owner gets home and will wag its tail.

English: These are my pet Oscars, I call them ...
Oscar Cichlid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The personality of the Oscar Cichlid is unmistakable. In the first instance, they will be timid and will spend most of their time in hiding. As time goes by, they gradually come out and interact with the owner. Within no time, the fish will eat from the hand of the owner as well as ask for food.

They will swim to the surface while moving their teeth as though they are eating. This gesture is meant to mean that it's time to feed.

The name Oscar is the most commonly used while the scientific name is Astronotus ocellatus. It goes by other names like Velvet and Marble. As a pet, the Oscar is very easy to keep. However it needs a very big aquarium, large enough for it to swim freely around and burrow. In particular, it needs a well maintained water volume of up to a maximum of 600 liters.

In the aquarium, you need to include plants also although they are easily uprooted. Include in it bigger rocks so that the fish can be able to find places to hide.

It is not possible to immediately tell the sex of the Oscar. To tell the difference, you should wait for them to start spawning. When they are ready, the sexual organ will be evident on the female. Usually these fish will form a lifelong relationship with each other.

When breeding these fish, it is a good idea to breed them in even pairs of males and females. This encourages them to choose a mate for themselves. In the event one of them dies, they will rarely make new relationships. This might be the time to go and purchase a new pair.

The size of the adult will be up to around 45cm and weigh up to 3.5 pounds. The best temperatures to keep these fish in are between 22 and 26 °C. Their feeding is pretty general. They feed on almost anything a fish can feed on. It is however recommended that you feed them with protein foods.

They originate from river stems in South America. It is good to note that the fish should not be placed in communal tanks where the fish are all smaller that the Oscar. It is generally not aggressive but during breeding, the fish overly protects its young and could be hostile.In times of danger, the female Oscar cichlid will protect its young ones through mouth brooding.

you can generally tell the males due to the dark spots located towards the dorsal fin. The males also generally mature faster than females do. Within a year, the Oscar can reach its sexual maturity and continue with this for up to 10 years.

    By Pauly Freeman
    Want to know more about the Oscar Cichlid [http://www.cichlidssite.com/oscar-cichlids/]? Then check out www.CichlidsSite.com [http://www.cichlidssite.com/] for the latest info on caring for, breeding and raising big beautiful Oscars.
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I get a lot of questions about owning a Corn snake so I decided to put together a list of Corn snake facts that you should know before you consider owning one.

Corn Snake devouring a dead mouse fetus.
Corn Snake devouring a dead mouse fetus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are a few on this list that can be considered "number one", however I feel this is probably the one most people tend to over look. While the maintenance for a snake isn't nearly as much as a dog, it's just as important. Like any pet, it's going to require feeding, handling, cleaning up after, etc. Remember that the life span of a healthy Corn snake is between 10 to 20 years.

One of the most important things to plan for is finding someone responsible to care for your Corn snake whenever you must go out of town for any reason such as vacation or a business trip. Not only should they be responsible, they need to also not be afraid of snakes. You'll come to find that it isn't quite as easy as finding a pet sitter for a dog or cat. This brings me to the next thing on this list

Your snake will feed on either frozen or live mice. If the thought of handling this part of the responsibility makes you uncomfortable, this consideration should be very high on your list. Another thing to consider is that you will need to have a place to store the mice. Also, this will be another requirement for the person you select to watch your snake when you are out of town.

Remember that your snake will need housing, a heating source, substrate, hides, and food. While baby Corn snakes can be kept in small containers, such as a shoe box; they will soon out grow it and will need to be moved to a bigger tank.

I would suggest purchasing a corn snake from a local breeder, or from a local reptile expo. These shows are held annually in various cities across the country. If attending one of these shows isn't possible then my next suggestion would be to purchase it from a reputable website. Be sure to do a thorough research on Google for customer reviews and ratings. I would avoid purchasing one from a local pet store if possible but if you have no other choice, some things to look out for include: Is the store clean? Do the employees appear to be good with snakes and knowledgeable?

By asking a few basic questions, you'll know if they have any knowledge at all. Some questions you can ask include: What do you recommend for tank size? How often should I feed it? What is the idea temperature for my Corn snake? What should I do if it won't eat? If they can answer these types of questions then it's time to move onto the snake. Be sure to check the snake thoroughly. It should be alert and responsive. It should also be free of any scars or parasites. The body weight should be appropriate for its size, not scrawny and weak. It should also have good muscle tone.

INVERTEBRATES Are Trustworthy Friends For Aquariums

In addition to your personal efforts in maintaining your aquarium, you can also get help from a team of invertebrates who will work quietly without any expectations. If you know them well, you can realize how valuable their support is in maintaining the natural environment in your aquarium.

There are a number of invertebrates who are friendly to your fish and will happily live in the aquarium. Let us the list them on the basis of functions they perform.

There are mainly three types of functions which the invertebrates perform - the control of algae, the sifting of sand and detritus control.

Red-knobbed Starfish Protoreaster linckii at B...
Red-knobbed Starfish Protoreaster linckii at Bristol Zoo Aquarium, Bristol, England.
 (Photo credit: 

Controlling the algae
You can use snails, sea slugs and crabs for controlling algae in a salt water aquarium. There are a number of snails which can be used for this work. Astraea snails and turbo snails are important amongst them. They come from the Turbinidae family. This is most common family of snails. Both types of snails look similar. Their shell will be conical and smooth. It will look like a turban.
Now the question is how to identify them? Well, it is easy. Just look at their operculum. This is the door which these snails use for closing the shell. It is brown in color.

These snails are algae grazers. However they cannot eat all types of algae. So you should add other snails and crabs to control other types of algae. Some of them are - sea hares, emerald crabs and lettuce slugs. Out of these, sea hares can be the best choice for controlling algae. Emerald crabs are considered to be somehow rare in the world of crabs. But they are very famous for doing their job faithfully.

The work of sifting the sand
For this work your best choice is sand sifting starfish. Tiger Tail Cucumbers are also a good option. They are recommended if you have a bed of sand in the aquarium. They grow up to an inch in length and they live for a long time. Sand sifting starfish will clean up the sand. The only bad thing about them is - they will eat up everything in the sand, including the good stuff.

Tiger Tail Cucumbers will literally vacuum the sand. They will consume bacteria and micro-algae, making it sparklingly clean. The only thing you have to ensure is a reasonably big size aquarium. If the size is small, say less than 60 gallons, there is a risk of water getting toxic due to the waste created by them.

The control of detritus
It includes the particles of food which are left over, the waste of the fish accumulated in the aquarium etc. You can rely on many animals for controlling detritus - Bumble Bee snails, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs and Cerith Snails. You can make a combination of any of these animals for creating an effective team of cleaners and caretakers of your saltwater aquarium.

    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 


Keep CHOCOLATE LYRETAIL KILLIFISH for Easy Breeding and Feeding

If you want to keep a fish with stunning colors, Chocolate Lyretail killifish should be your ideal choice. Even though chocolate color is dominant, you will get orange and red colors on their body to complement it. As it goes with the other varieties of killifish, the male Chocolate Lyretail killifish will bear these colors.

As the name suggests, the fish will have a lyre tail with spiking dorsal fins. The anal fin is also pointed and all the colors will be looking very attractive on the background of chocolate color. The size of a grown-up fish is usually small (about 2-3 inches) like any other killifish.

Aphyosemion australe gold
By Alexander Prokoshe  (CC)

Chocolate Lyretail killifish can easily adapt to a number of conditions of water and this quality makes them a good choice for the beginners as well as the experienced fish-keepers. Further, they can get along with other species of fish very easily because they are peaceful by nature.

Just like most of other killifish varieties, Chocolate Lyretail killifish can be found in shallow waters in the wild. You should remember this origin when you set up your aquarium. You should provide a long but shallow aquarium with a lot of decorative items like driftwood, rocks and gravel. You should also provide floating plants so that the fish will have enough places to hide.

The size of the aquarium should be reasonably big. There should be enough area for the fish to swim around. If you over-populate your aquarium with many varieties of fish, Chocolate Lyretail killifish will get stressed and they will look inactive with dull colors.

You should also cover your aquarium properly so that they will not get any opportunity to jump out. Like any other killifish, they are fond of jumping and they cannot live out of water for a long time.

They are non-annual killifish meaning their life cycle is not limited to one year. So they prefer to stay in the permanent bodies of water in the nature. In your aquarium also, you should not keep currents in the water which will disturb their swimming activity.

They are comfortable in the subdued light so you should see that there is no direct sunlight hitting the aquarium continuously.

The breeding process for Chocolate Lyretail killifish is very easy. The only precaution you should take about their breeding is you should arrange them in the proportion of at least two to three females against one male.

They are continuous breeders and they will lay their eggs on the leaves of a plant or even on the mops.

Sometimes the experienced fish-keepers increase the temperature of the aquarium which will act as a trigger for spawning. After spawning, you need not remove the eggs out of your main aquarium. The eggs will take about a month to hatch.

As the fry come out, you should shift them to another aquarium. This new aquarium can be small and it need not have dense plants. The newly born fish should be fed with live brine shrimp from day one and you should look after them every day. You should clean the tank water daily and keep the levels of toxic elements under control.

As the fry grow, you will be able to easily identify between males and females because of their colors. The females will not have pointed fins but they will have rounded fins.

Chocolate Lyretail killifish will not live longer after spawning. Within about a couple of months after spawning, they will die.

If you use dark substrate, the bright and colorful Chocolate Lyretail killifish will shine very well. If you feed them with live food frequently, their happy and graceful swimming and jumping will keep your aquarium lively all the time.

    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