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What to Feed SALTWATER Fish Aquariums

Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that one of the first things a responsible pet owner does is make sure their pet has a balanced diet. They know that the healthy their pets eat, the more likely they are to lead long and healthy lives. Fish kept in saltwater fish aquariums are exactly the same. The responsible saltwater aquarium owner knows exactly what types of food his fish needs to survive and makes sure they keep a ready supply of it on hand.

English: A dragon wrasse, Novaculichthys taeni...
A dragon wrasse, Novaculichthys taeniourus is being cleaned by Rainbow cleaner wrasses, Labroides phthirophagus
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first thing you need to know about feeding tropical fish is how much food they should be getting. The general rule of thumb is that when you feed your fish use a stopwatch and time how long it takes them to eat. It should take approximently two minutes for the fish to finish eating. If the fish in your tank finish their food in less then two minutes they probably aren't getting enough to eat. If after two minutes there is still food left over then they are probably getting over fed and you'll have to cut back. A more accurate way of measuring how much food that fifty adult tropical fish should eat approximately ten grams of food in one month, but that can carry with variety and growth.

A balanced fish food typically consists of ten percent fat, thirty to thirty-six percent protein. There should also be amino acids.

The first step in feeding your fish responsibly is knowing what type of food they eat. Some fish can not be kept in a tank that has coral because they like to eat the little invertebrates that make the coral their home. Predatory fish typically need to have frozen or live food. Bottom dwelling fish should be fed a type of food that is heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the tank, these fish do not do well with fish foods that float on the tanks surface. Aquarium owners who are interested in breeding their tropical fish often feed their fish brine shrimp, which they raise in their own brine shrimp hatchery.

Many saltwater fish aquariums caretakers like using automatic fish food feeders. Automatic fish food feeders are feeders that can be clamped to the side of the aquarium. Once the fish owner has loaded the hopper with food, the feeder will automatically dispense the food at regular intervals, this allows the fish owner to have more flexibility and not be forced to arrange their schedules around feeding their fish. The average automatic fish food feeder is not capable of dispensing frozen or live food, which does make them convenient for predatory fish. Some absentee fish owners place food blocks in their aquariums.

Tropical fish owners should store their extra fish food in a cool dry place in containers that won't allow moisture to seep in. Frozen fish food should be disposed of after three months.

One of the dangers in overfeeding fish is that the wasted food can wreck havoc on the pH levels of your aquariums water. If to much discarded food is contaminating the water it can contribute to the death of your fish.


LIVEBEARERS Tropical Fish - Red Velvet SWORDTAIL Tropical Fish

The Red Velvet Swordtail Fish adds that spark to any fish tank. Aquariums need variety and the Swordtail will definitely pack a color punch for your tank. The Red Velvet Swordtail ranges from 2"-5" in length and is from the Tropical fish group or community of aquarium fish.

The Red Velvet Swordtail fish is an Omnivore that feeds on proteins such as worms, larvae etc. However they can eat plant and animal matter too. The react better to live food but will still eat frozen and freeze dried foods. Veggies are a bonus such as canned peas. For a steady staple food use Pellets or Fish Flakes. Feed the Livebearer species twice a day rotating between veggies and proteins. Most Omnivores need a balanced diet so if you have a few different Omnivores in your aquarium then put them on the same feeding cycle.

Livebearers like the Red Velvet Swordtail fish swim in the middle and top sections of the fish tank. Keep a good variety of fish in the aquarium so you don't have a cluster of different species of fishes fighting for space on the top, middle or bottom. Livebearers are like the bunny rabbits of the fish tank. They can pop out new fish quickly. 

 They tend to reproduce a bit faster than most fish so don't be surprised one morning to see a few extra guppies sloshing around your fish tank. Red Velvet Swordtails do not lay eggs they have live babies, so for the little fellas that are born alive make sure you have some decent hide outs for them so they do not get swallowed by other fishes.

Livebearers need oxygenated water but they don't like forced water motion. Find a bubbler to add Oxygen to the water. Livebearers also need a bit of salt. Two teaspoons of salt for a normal 10 gallon fish tank will do.

    By Nathan E Peterson
    Other available Livebearers include Molly, Sailfin Molly, Platy and the good ol' Guppy.
    [http://www.FishPlenty.com/wordpress] - The Ultimate Fish Tank Guide For all Aquarium Lovers! This is the mecca for Fish Tank Maintenance, Tips and Tricks and Health information in regards to your tropical fish.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



How much food is enough for a Siamese Fighting Fish? The answer is how much they want to eat within several minutes. Like humans, Siamese Fighting Fish have days when they won't eat much and other days when they will eat like pigs. They will eat more of their favourite food such as blackworms and mosquitoes larvae and less of some manufactured foods depending on your Siamese Fighting Fish.

You may even find that they will turn their noses up at some food. So instead of dropping food in the tank and racing off to do other jobs, when feeding you Siamese Fighting Fish it is a good idea to keep placing small amounts of food into the tank until your fighter has stopped eating. Any uneaten food should be removed so not to pollute the water.

betta splendens
Flickr Photo by  h080 

Food should be rotated between freeze dried, pellet, frozen and live. A variety of food will ensure that your Siamese Fighting Fish is receiving all the nutrition that it requires. Freeze dried foods include blood worm, brine shrimp, blackworm and Tubifex. A variety of pellet and flake food are available on the market at present, just check the protein content in the brand. You are wanting a brand that has around 45% protein in their product. Frozen food such as blood worm, brine shrimp and mysis shrimp can be purchased from most Local Pet Shop and stored in your freezer.

It is also a good idea to give your fighter one day a week without food. This day without food helps to clear it's digestive system. A green pea with the shell removed and squashed will also help clean a fighter's digestive system. If given after their day of starvation, you will have a better chance of your Siamese Fighting Fish eating it. Live food such as blackworms should be fed only two to three times a week, unless you are conditioning a pair for spawning. Live Blackworms can be stored in a container with fresh water in the bottom of your fridge. Change the water daily and feed a small amount of pellet or flake food twice a week. Blackworms also like banana skins as food.

A Siamese Fighting Fish will survive being fed only once a day, which means that the water will not be polluted as quickly. Although if they were given the choice, you would be feeding them three times a day. Which to condition a pair for breeding/spawning is recommended. If feeding once daily, do ensure that what you are feeding them is good quality.

Having shipped and received Siamese Fighting Fish, from some 2000km away, they will survive without any harm for four days without food. So if you are going away for the weekend, your fighter will come to no harm because he has not been fed. He may act like he is starving but it will not hurt him at all. Just make sure that he cannot jump out of the tank if he see anything that may look like food.

    For more information or care tips for Siamese Fighting Fish, visit [http://www.siamesefighting.com]
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Proper Winter Care for Your FISH POND Outdoors

Fishes can be wintered either outdoors or indoors. This will depend on the construction of the entire pond according to the inclination of the owner. This article will focus about things that a hobbyist can do to properly protect and care for his fishes during winter if his pond is situated outdoors.

If you’re living in a country where winter is the most prominent season of the year, better build a pond wherein a portion of it is about 30-45 inches deep.

English: Fish pond in winter
Fish pond in winter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This will protect the fishes from long periods of cold spells. Even more drastic than cold water is the building up of gasses which are toxic in a pond that is iced over completely for a certain amount of time.

Therefore, it is mandatory that a part of the pond’s surface is kept open to enable the pond to circulate air that results to the disposal of deadly gasses and adds oxygen. You can accomplish this by:

a. Aerator. 
This is a large air stone that is operated by an aquarium air pump which can constantly create a small opening inside the ice. Unfortunately, placement is quite critical and hard to be arranged precisely.

Ideally, the aerator should be placed halfway measuring from the deepest part of the entire pond and should be monitored frequently. Chances are, if the aerator is placed too near from the surface, it has a tendency to freeze, if placed deeper, it can chill the entire pond.

b. De-Icer or Heater.
There are different kinds of de-icers that can be safely used for performed ponds, liner or even in  concrete. Out of the use of electricity, a puncture can be made through the iced pond where it serves as breathing hole for fishes.

Sometimes, the most efficient de-icers or heaters can produce an ice-free pond even if the winter weather is overwhelming.

c. Water pump. 
Same limitations to an aerator, a water pump can provide an opening on the surface of the pond but with several conditions. One condition is that the pump must be mounted on the deepest part yet should be far enough from the bottom to avoid water circulation and far enough from the surface so that it wouldn’t solidly freeze. Regularly inspect the pump because it can freeze solid or run dry, these can destroy the integrity of the pump.

Covering the pond can be helpful for the fishes and the devices used. It can protect the pond from extreme coldness and will reduce the amount of electricity that your heater needs. Although, the cover must always be raised to enable gas exchange and prevent toxic substances to reside in the pond. The structure would turn out like a wooden frame is built over the pond at its surface then it will be covered with plywood. Insulating materials can follow. The covering must possess sturdiness to withstand the long days of snow accumulation.

Last concern is feeding your fish. Actually, you can drop this idea for even if your pets seem to be quite interested, they will just ignore the food that you’ll give. This is because during cold days, metabolism can be quite sluggish. Although, to prevent starvation, you can supplement them food that can easily be digested like the ones that are made from wheat germ.

Proper care of your pond fishes during winter can be crucial to your pets especially when it is located 


How To Cure FISH DISEASE - Three Things You Must Do

Everyone wants his fish to be disease free and it is painful to see any creature suffer. It is also a fact that if you have one sick fish, without isolation and care, pretty soon all of them will or may be sick. This can be especially disastrous if you have a pond full of koi fish or other expensive ornamental fish.

If you suspect you have a sick fish, there appear to be three separate things you have to do: Recognition, separation and treatment. One without the other two leaves you with either one sick fish or a pond full of sick fish.

English: Fish Pond Fish Pond
Fish Pond Fish Pond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Do You Cure Fish Disease?

1. Learn to recognize the symptoms that indicate your fish may be sick.
There are several types of bacteria, parasite, fungi, and other illnesses common to most fish. Some of these diseases are also common to other tropical fish and cold water fish. It is a good thing to get to know the common diseases and review the symptoms, so you can quickly recognize them in your fish.

You're may not recognize the symptoms of all the diseases right away, but knowing when something is wrong with your fish is the first step toward helping the recover and protecting your pond.
Most disease can spread through pond water very quickly. So, instead of just one diseased fish, without treatment, you may soon have a pond full of them.

Depending on the type of disease and the circumstances surrounding it, there's the very real possibility that you could lose your entire pond of the beautiful fish you love. It's not fair to the other fish, it is not fair to you and it may be totally unnecessary.

No matter how big a pond you have if you don't have healthy fish to enjoy, it is just a big puddle of water, isn't it?

2. Quarantine a Sick Fish.
Fish, especially koi, have individual personalities that you will learn. And as soon as you think a fish is acting differently or may be developing a problem, don't hesitate to quarantine it until you find out for sure.

Recognizing when a fish is sick as quickly as possible can help you remove and quarantine it and hopefully avoid spreading the disease through your pond. Being able to recognize the symptoms of a sick fish is priceless.

When purchasing new fish, it is a good idea to quarantine the new ones separately from your current population for two to three weeks to observe them.

Fish that live in quarantine conditions for this length of time and have not shown any disease symptoms will have a substantially less chance of contaminating the rest of your pond.
Another important thing to remember about quarantine is to properly wash your hands when handling both quarantine items and non-quarantine items to avoid transferring anything that will make your pond sick.

3. The Treatment of Fish Disease
Identify the particular disease or condition.
There are many parasites and organisms that can make your fish sick. And you have to know what you are treating to determine treat it. Some kinds of parasites are treated by adding salt to the pond water while others cannot handle a change in water temperature.

Check for Unusual Stress Factors.
While you may think that fish disease is a result of water borne pathogens, you may not be aware that stress is a contributing factor to many of the diseases that affect your fish.
Stress works on the fish immune system much like it works on ours. It slowly lowers the immune system and makes it much more difficult to naturally fight off disease.

Stress in animals is now being increasingly being implicated in many diseases that humans get. Everything from cancer to heart disease, and (this one is hard to believe) even sinusitis. I cannot imagine a fish with sinus problems or a runny nose.

Fish stress comes from their physical environment most importantly, the quality of the water they live in. Crappy water can make it easier for disease to spread and make it more difficult to spot a fish that is having problems.

Check your pond water.
This is the easiest thing to do. In the ideal pond environment, the goal would be to remove as many stress causing factors as possible. Most of all, this means having good quality water, eliminating ammonia and nitrite and increasing the oxygen levels.

If you suspect you have a sick fish, act quickly. The most important consideration is to keep from infecting all the fish in your pond by quarantining the sick fish as soon as possible. After all, it's better to be wrong than to not act at all and lose your entire pond!

A backyard fish pond that is clean and have healthy fish with vibrant colors is a joy to behold. But sometimes bad things happen. But it is useful to know that diseases don't attack any specific species of fish any faster or often than they attack other fish.

    By M Crum
    CLICK HERE and get all the information you need to keep your koi or other fish healthy and disease free.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


APISTOGRAMA, Dwarf Cichlids in the Aquarium

The real apistogramma's come from southern America, they all have the same characteristics, like a complex breeding behavior, as their large relatives, only their size is different. Besides the apistogramma group there are also some relatively popular dwarf cichlids from Africa, like the Pelvicachromis group. From this group the most widespread cichlid is the Pelvicachromis pulcher, also known as the Kribensis or Purple cichlid.

Apistogramma hongsloi
Flickr Photo by Britzke

Generally the cichlids from the apistogramma group are more fragile and harder to maintain, and breed, for a longer period of time. In my opinion apistogramma's are not real beginner species. They are more likely to get diseases if not all the environmental variables are properly taken care of. They need soft and acidic water with a low PH value, a PH of 5.5 to 6 is preferable. They hardly eat dry foods, best is to feed them live foods or frozen food, like bloodworms, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae. Apistogramma species can be kept in a large tropical community aquarium, but be sure the other fish are not too small, they can defend their territory very fiercely, and can be quite aggressive when they are breeding. In my opinion it is best to keep the apistogramma's on their own, in a larger aquarium you could combine two apistogramma variants together, maybe supplemented with a small group of other fish, like some livebearers or betta's. They also can be kept together with discus or angel fish. I always have a harem of apisto's in my discus tanks, just to populate the lower areas of the aquarium and I really like these small dwarfs with a big attitude.

The cichlids from the Pelvicachromis group are much more tolerant when it comes to water values and feeding, I do consider these cichlids a good beginner species. They are hardened, beautiful colored and eat almost anything. The Pelvicachromis pulcher is maybe one of the most easy to breed cichlids as well. If you have an adult couple they will reproduce, in a community tank, a special species tank or in a pond, some people like to breed them in their pond during summer.

Actually some of the biggest and nicest colored Pelvicachromis pulcher were pond bred and raised. The only thing to keep in mind with these cichlids is that they are capable of redesigning your aquarium, they can make huge holes and are real little bulldozers. So if you have, or want to setup, a subtile planted tank, don't add a couple of Pelvicachromis to your aquarium.

The last dwarf cichlid I want to mention is the Microgeophagus ramirezi, or Ram cichlid. Their behavior and care are roughly the same as the apistogramma's but they are more tolerant when it comes to water values, and in my experience they are easier to keep in good condition. Unlike the apistos they have to be kept as a couple, not a harem but that's the only breeding experience I have. I have tried several couples, have a couple in a breeding tank right now, but I have never even had a clutch of eggs. I know from other breeders that they are kind of hard to get going, but if they do they never stop.

    By Auke Veenstra
    Auke Veenstra is keeping and breeding tropical aquarium fish, and dendrobatea, for years. He shares his experiences on the TinkerFish website.
    Tropical aquarium fish [http://www.tinkerfish.com]

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Understanding DISCUS FISH - Most Important Things

Understanding discus fish and their environment is vital to starting in this interesting past-time. Discus fish are native to the Amazon Stream Basin in the lakes and streams surrounding it. They are from the cichlid family of fish, and like deep water. Because of this, you would like to get about the biggest aquarium that you are able to afford to get and still be ready to slot in your place.

Discus Fish
Flickr Photo by ozz13x

Discus fish are quite social creatures and like to travel in colonies of at least 6. This makes them more assured with their group and may be less susceptible to misbehaving. This is also a way to determine if you can get some of them to partner up and then you will get into breeding and having them mate.

It is very rewarding to end up in possession of some tiny fish for your tank. Understanding discus fish and knowing that they are grazers naturally meaning that in natural settings they will virtually consistently seek food, so be happy to feed your fish a number of times during the day. Try and keep from over feeding though. One of the guidelines is to not feed them more than five times each day and make the amount such that it's about 3 to 5 percent of their body weight.

Discus fish are subject to a selection of sicknesses with the main problem being that of parasitic worms. You can monitor the healthiness of them by observing their feces and behaviour. Clear or white feces will be a hint that they're unwell and need attention. Behaviorally, if their skin becomes a darker color, or if they hide a lot or go on food strikes, this can be another pointer that your discus is unwell.

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The color of your fish can be manipulated through the food that it is fed and through hormones also. Some of food out there that publicize this feature will keep your fish's colours bright for ages however without some certain nutrient elements in their diet, their colours can fade over a period of time.

The discus fish is named such due to the flat shape of their bodies. They're so wanted due to their stunning markings and their usually social nature. Their water is their world and one of the most vital things that you can do to make certain your discus are satisfied and healthy is to keep the water as clean and pure as you can. Unclean water is going to be one of the most important things which will make your discus fish stressed and unwell.

Understanding discus fish will help you make an ecstatic discus colony and supply you with years of joy and viewing pleasure. Try the pointers that you have been given here and you may do just fine looking after these dazzling creatures.

    Evelyn Stone is a discus fish expert.
    Article Directory: EzineArticles