Red Bearded Dragon
Bearded Dragon - Photo   by       jdnx 
Bearded dragons are native to Australia, and like the vastness that Australia has to offer, there is also a large number of different species and variations of bearded dragons over the large continent.

All species of bearded dragons are popular because of their quiet nature, ease of handling, and their small size to name just a few. Unlike many reptiles, bearded dragons require a much smaller space to live comfortably in, and are easily handled by adults, and children. There are eight different species of bearded dragons noted in Australia, and the following 6 are the most commonly known as pets.

The Western Bearded Dragon
The western bearded dragon is mainly found on the southwest coast and inland areas of Western Australia. It lives mainly in woodland areas, as well as in coastal dunes, and in the desert as well.

The Inland Bearded Dragon
The inland bearded dragon is the largest of all the species and grows to around 20cm in size. This species is found in every state, and territory of Australia except for Western Australia. The inland bearded dragon is the most popular breed of reptilian pet.

The Mitchells Bearded Dragon
The Mitchells bearded dragon is found in the interior of the Northern Territory, and in the north of Western Australia in the Great Sandy Dessert. The Mitchells species is the smallest of the bearded dragon species and grows to around 14cm. One of the easiest ways to tell a Mitchells bearded dragon apart from the other species is his large cone-like head spikes, which are unlike any of the other bearded dragons.

The Dwarf Bearded Dragon
The dwarf-bearded dragons, considered to be closely related to the Mitchell species, are mainly found in the Great Sandy Desert. The dwarf dragon is easily Identifiable because of his short legs, and short tail.

Lawsons Bearded Dragons
The Lawsons bearded dragons are the second most popular pet species. This species lives in most of Queensland, and some of the Northern Territory, but how much area the species actually occupies is still unknown.

The Nullabor Bearded Dragon
The Nullabor bearded dragon is a very rare species found only in a small area between the South Western, and South Australia. The Nullabor bearded dragon is easily recognizable by its markings, with large white markings along its back, and spines on its sides. The Nullabor bearded dragon is the least likely of all of the bearded dragons to be kept as pets, as they are hard to find in the wild, and have been known to be very difficult to breed in captivity.

It is possible that there are still undiscovered species of bearded dragons in Australia, as well as subspecies, as much of Australia's reptilian wildlife is still being discovered today.


FANWORT - Bacomba aquatica

FANWORT - Bacomba aquatica - Photo: Wikimedia


TWIG CATFISH Farlowella acus

TWIG CATFISH  Farlowella acus


The Top Seven Ways To CONTROL ALGAE In A Freshwater Aquarium

Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus (Syn. Liposarcu...
Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus (Syn. Liposarcus multiradiatus)
(Photo credit: 
A beautiful aquarium can quickly change into an unsightly mess when green algae take over. Algae is sneaky; it creeps throughout your tanks while slowly, innocently, covering everything inside your aquarium. Then, your friends stop by for a visit and they accuse you of neglecting your poor little fish. Let's look at the best ways to control this!
  1. Change the Water - Regular water changes are necessary to keep fish healthy. During water changes use a gravel vacuum to remove some of the water while you suck out fish waste and excess food from the gravel. Since excess waste is converted by bacteria into Nitrates and Nitrates are a food for alga, vacuuming the gravel removes one of its sources of food. Also, vacuuming the gravel will physically remove some the unsightly mess by turning the gravel under. This vacuum action buries algae-covered gravel so it no longer can receive light. Without light, it will die.

  2. Physical removal - Algae can be physically removed from the glass by wiping it with an aquarium sponge, algae magnet or scraper (razor blade scrapers work well.) Large rocks, driftwood, artificial plants, etc., can be treated outside the aquarium in a bucket containing a 10% bleach solution. It is important to rinse and dry them thoroughly before putting them back into the tank.

  3. Natural Algae Control - Light is a key factor for algae growth. Fish only aquariums (aquariums without live plants) do not require lot of light compared to the intense light needed in order for live aquarium plants to flourish. For fish only aquariums, make sure there is enough light to see your fish; if you add bright light you will spend much time cleaning the glass and equipment.

  4. Reduce Light Time - How long your light is turned on is another factor for algae growth. Generally, run lights 6 to 10 hours a day for fish only aquariums. Live planted aquariums require light from 8 to 12 hours each day. To control excess algae growth in a fish only aquarium simply shorten the number of hours the lights remain on.

  5. Appliance Timers - An appliance timer is great for turning aquarium lights on and off at specified times. A timer removes human error so that the lights are not left on when you are out all night partying or fall asleep on the couch!

  6. Live Controllers - There are several varieties of fish that eat algae. A few of the best choices are Otocincluss, Siamensis, and Plecostomus. Otocincluss are great for small aquariums as they grow to only to 2 inches in length. The Siamensis is another great choice -, especially for live planted tanks. One of the most popular algae eaters is the plecostomus (pleco for short.) The plecos seen most often for sale in pet and aquarium stores can grow over a foot long. A better choice for most is a clown or albino Bushy Nose Plecostomus as these fish grow to a mere four and four and a half inches long, respectively.

  7. Chemical Treatment - There are several commercial algaecides which are safe for fish. If you keep live plants, read algaecide labels and follow directions carefully. Some algaecides can be harmful to live plants.

A final tip is to not to overfeed your fish. Excess food is not only bad for the health of your fish, it is also broken down by good bacteria, becoming a source of food for algae.

    By Laurren Schmoyer
    Following these tips will keep your aquarium looking beautiful for longer times between cleanings.
    For more expert tips and advice on setting up, keeping and maintaining a freshwater aquarium, and much more, click here http://aquaticexperts.com/products/
    Laurren Schmoyer owned one of the largest aquarium stores on the East Coast for over 25 years. He also owned an aquarium service company for over 28 years. He has spent many years teaching and training customers the experts' way to keep all types of aquariums healthy and thriving for years.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Ocellaris CLOWNFISH - Amphiprion ocellaris

Ocellaris Clownfish


Ocellaris CLOWNFISH - A Guide to Keeping Amphiprion Ocellaris in a Marine Aquarium

Amphiprion Ocellaris - Photo   by       Andreas März   (cc)
When it comes to popular marine fish, the Ocellaris clownfish (Amphiprion Ocellaris) is the undisputed king. It shares its title with the Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion Percula) since they look entirely alike to most people. Both the ocellaris and percula clowns are the marine aquarium hobby's greatest ambassadors. Most people might think this is due to the hit animated film, Finding Nemo. They don't realize these clownfish were already popular before the film was released.

The ocellaris clownfish is a staple offering in the hobby. They are heavily collected from their natural habitats in South East Asia, they are the most plentiful ornamental marine fish at the moment. Walk into any saltwater pet store and you'll find at least one ocellaris there for sale. They are also heavily bred in captivity with tank-raised ocellaris priced a little higher than wild caught specimens.

Ocellaris clownfish are entirely orange with three white bands (outlined with black) around their heads, body and near their tail. To the untrained eye, both ocellaris and percula look exactly the same. Yet they are both slightly different physically. Percula clownfish have 10 dorsal spines while ocellaris has 11. Thankfully there's an easier method to tell them apart. Percula clownfish have thicker, more pronounced black outlines while those on the ocellaris are always thin.

One of the cheapest marine fish you can buy, with specimens costing as little as $10. A few dollars more can buy a tank-raised specimen. Given a choice, never go with wild caught specimens as tank-bred ones are generally hardier and better suited to the aquarium.

Ocellaris clowns are also known as the false clown anemonefish and the false percula clown. They are called anemonefish because they share a symbiosis with anemones. They have figured out how to escape the anemones powerful sting, it is thought they have a layer of mucus on their bodies that fool the anemone into thinking there's nothing there. Anemones are not required despite clownfish needing one in the wild.

Generally peaceful, these clownfish get along well with a wide variety of tank mates. However, they do not get along well with other species of clownfish, especially those outside their species. There are three routes you can take when looking for a pair:

* Purchase a mated pair
* Get a large and a small one, introduce them together and pray they pair up
* Purchase two small ones and put them together, eventually one will dominate the other and become a female, pairing up in the process

I cannot give a guarantee that options 2 or 3 will work 100% of the time.

Reaching a maximum of 3 inches in length, they are considered a small fish. All clownfish are site attached, which means they are usually around their territory (a small area) most of the time. Their territory can be anything from a pile of rocks to an anemone. Mushroom and elegance corals have been hosted by the ocellaris when an anemone isn't available. They can be housed aquariums as small as 20 gallons due to this behavior.

These fishes are very easy to feed because they will eat just about anything. While they are omnivores in the wild, they consume both meaty and algae-based food in the aquarium. A wide variety of foods should be given. Prime reef, Formula One and Formula two are some good dry foods to offer. Formula two has an added amount of algae mixed in with seafood while Prime reef is mostly made up of seafood.

The best pellet food on the market is those made by New Life Spectrum. Mix in some frozen foods like mysis shrimp or krill and they will be very happy.

Overall, the ocellaris clownfish is a hardy fish that is a great choice for both beginners and experienced hobbyists alike.


How to AQUASCAPE - Dutch Style

A 58g aquascape by
A 58g aquascape by (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aquascaping allows you to create a visually impressive aquarium and there a range of different aquascaping styles to choose from for you to create this effect. The style you choose should be based on your personal preference and how confident you are keeping plants generally.

A Dutch style aquascape is a lush arrangement of plants, often containing a diverse arrangement of leaf colors, sizes, and textures. This can be compared to how terrestrial plants are shown in a flower garden and is immediately striking to the beholder. This style attempts to emphasize plants situated at different heights and on different terraces in the tank. When a strong contrast is used, such as prominent red leaves with green, this can be exceptionally striking. Particularly, this style of aquascape may be useful to consider if you are keeping an aquarium where 80% or more of the bottom of the tank will be covered with plants.

Aquascaping like this was developed in the Netherlands in the 1930s, where it became popular elsewhere in the world rapidly, particularly with the growth of commercially available freshwater equipment. Straight rows of plants are commonly called "Dutch streets" and there is a wide range of plant types which can be used in them and the planted aquarium generally. The most commonly used plants are groupings which can be neatly trimmed, plants that have contrasting leaf colorations and also plants which have a feathery foliage. Members of the Hygrophila family are common in Dutch aquariums.

The most important aspects of keeping plants successfully when you are keeping different species is to understand their individual needs and ensure they are similar. If you are keeping two different species of plants which need extremely different water conditions, one or both of them will grow sick and in the worst case scenario, will die. Try to ensure that the plants you wish to keep grow successfully with a similar composition of nutrients, lighting, water hardness, heating, and PH. It may take time to do the research on the individual species, especially in this style of aquascape where many kinds are used, but it is worth it for the long term.

t may be advisable to have a good amount of experience keeping quite a few different kinds of species before trying to create a Dutch aquascape. You may end up wanting to use a wide variety of plants to create the desired effects.

With live aquarium plants, you can overcome all the problems of a non-planted aquarium. You can improve the quality of your aeration, filtration, food and algae control. You can improve the lives of your fish.

Find out how live aquarium plants can help you, help them.

    Sean Norman  an environmental science student and freelance writer with a deep love of ecology. - Article Source: EzineArticles