Showing posts with label Aquarium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aquarium. Show all posts



English: Mid 19th Century glass freshwater aqu...
Mid 19th Century glass freshwater aquarium, containing Vallisneria spiralis,
goldfish, roach, and minnow.
 (Photo credit: 
Fishes are kept at home in aquariums and ponds. The hobby of fish keeping is divided into brackish, saltwater, and freshwater fish keeping, out of which freshwater fish keeping is the favorite. The fishes which are popular for fish keeping are angelfish, goldfish and guppies. Different species of fishes can be kept together and sometimes fishes of the same species are kept together for breeding purposes. With breeders, the popular fish species are guppies, mollies, catfish, killifish, cichlid, and characin.

Fishkeeping was started centuries ago. At that time fishes were bred for food. Also, due to religious reasons, fish was eaten on days when meat wasn’t allowed. The Chinese and Japanese traditions included fish keeping for food purposes. But later the kings began keeping goldfishes and koi, because of their attractive colors. They were kept in ponds and when guests used to arrive, the fishes were shifted indoors in fish bowls. Romans were also known to keep lampreys in pools with saltwater. Ancient Egyptians kept fishes from Oxyrhynchus in temple pools.

Saltwater or marine fish keeping is more difficult and expensive. Usually experienced fish keepers or aquarists are into this hobby. This is certainly not for beginners. But it sure is very attractive with colorful and attractive fishes along with different types of corals. Brackish fish keeping involves both freshwater and saltwater fish keeping because the salinity of the water is in between that of seawater and freshwater.

Fish keepers which are into this hobby also focus on the aquatic plants. Some hardcore aquarists even attempt to grow coral reefs with the help of living rock, worms, and calcareous rocks with algae growth, sponges, and worms. When the corals begin to grow echinoderms, crabs, mollusks, and shrimps are also added to the aquariums, which are also called reef tanks.

The aquarium should have ecology which is similar to the natural habitat of the occupant fishes. This is an extremely difficult task. Also, it is important to maintain the predator-prey relationship balance. Also more than the volume of the water, the surface volume is important. This is because, more the surface volume, more the oxygen levels in the water. Air pumps also are used to increase the dissolved oxygen in the water. This is part of the nutrient cycle, which should be maintained and controlled for the well-fare of the fishes. Larger aquariums are more preferable and they make things easier, for example, the event effects are diluted easily and the systemic shock is absorbed well.

Other factors to be controlled are the nitrogen cycle, dissolved gases, and balanced food supply. The salinity of the water should be checked regularly depending on the aquaria being maintained. The pH level should be checked to test the acidic nature of the water. For the freshwater aquarium, most of the aquarist use tap water, which is a mistake as it contains chlorine. Chloramines should be used in tap water to make it chlorine-free.

Depending on the temperature, the aquarium can be differentiated to have tropical and cold water. For the tropical aquariums, the water should be warm and the temperature should be nearly seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit. For cold water aquarium, the water temperature should be less than room temperature. For this purpose, a refrigeration device called chiller can be used.

Plants and certain organisms can be introduced in the aquarium which metabolizes the waste, especially nitrogen. But more the number of organisms added to the fish tank, the more difficult it is to maintain. The needs of all the aquatic organisms must be considered. Introducing many types of species in an aquarium is known as biological loading. Two important factors should be considered which include filtration process and oxygen levels. Aquarists interested in fish breeding should be more careful. Firstly, they shouldn’t mix many types of fishes together. They should also develop special conditions called spawning triggers for proper breeding.

Artificial ponds can be also made in the garden. It is very similar to freshwater keeping, except that they are big and out in natural conditions. Tropical fishes are a good choice for such garden ponds. But where the temperatures are cold, goldfishes, orfe, and koi are good options.


Some Of The Best All Year-round AQUARIUM TIPS

English: Fish in aquarium.
Fish in marin aquarium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When it comes to looking after your aquarium you need to be focussed on providing care all year-round. Below we look at some of the most important points

Temperature Control For Your Aquarium
When it comes to caring for your aquarium fish, temperature control is one of the most important aspects. Although we may really feel the weather outside, your aquarium fish are more likely to suffer from any drastic changes to temperature which occurs inside the aquarium. So the following tips are worth noting:

1) Ensure that you switch the lights off during the hottest part of the day.
2) Check that your heater is properly working and keeping a steady temperature. Water which is too warm may result in the fish suffocating.
3) If you need to make any change in temperature always do so gradually.

Regular Care and Maintenance of Your Aquarium

Regular care is needed if you have an aquarium. This regular maintenance should involve vigorous aeration and filtration. Make sure that you clean your tank out regularly to ensure that the fish remain healthy.

Aquarium General Tips

Following these general tips should lead to a better environment for your aquarium fish:

1) Limit the number of fish in your aquarium to maximise the amount of oxygen for each fish. It will also help minimise the number of times you will need to clean the aquarium.
2) Make sure that you think about the positioning of the aquarium – it shouldn’t be in direct sunlight as this may increase the amount of algae.
3) Research the fish before you buy. You need to check that each fish you put into the aquarium is compatible with the general environment and with the other fish. 
4) You should change 25% of the water in the aquarium weekly to help maintain a healthy water balance for your fish


Caring for a Goldfish Aquarium

Photo: Pixabay
Keeping Goldfish can be a fun and rewarding hobby. As with any new hobby, especially one that involves living creatures, always consider the maintenance that will be involved. If you care for your aquarium properly, you will be sure to have happy and healthy Goldfish for many years. Goldfish have a life expectancy of five to ten years. If you do a good job maintaining their fish tank, you should have fun, beautiful fish for a long time. Make sure to feed them correctly and keep their water fresh and clear. 

When starting any new aquarium, you should get everything in place before buying the fish. If you are going to put gravel on the bottom, you may want to put only a thin layer. This will make it easier to keep clean, as Goldfish tend to be messy. Make sure that you rinse the gravel thoroughly before placing it in the bottom of the tank. If you have some decorations, you should add them now. Make sure that you rinse them well before putting them into the tank. Also be sure that the goldfish have plenty of room to swim, as they as active fish. Give them a place or two to hide, and that should do nicely. 

Now that you have everything in place, you can add to the water. You will need to use a dechlorinator, as the chlorine in tap water is poisonous to fish. Once the fish tank is filled up, you can turn on the filter. Change it as often as recommended to keep your fish healthy. Goldfish live at room temperature so you will not need a heater. They are quite comfortable in temperatures from 68 to 80 degrees. However, they should not be exposed to rapid temperature changes. You might want to let the filter run in the new goldfish tank for a day or so to filter out any chemicals or dyes that might have been left on the gravel and decorations that you just added. Waiting to buy new fish can be one of the hardest things about fish keeping! 

You need to add fish gradually. Fish excrete ammonia. If you add too many fish at once to a new fish tank, the water will not be seasoned enough to dissipate it. As the water in your Goldfish tank ages, it builds up beneficial bacteria that turn harmful chemicals excreted by the fish into harmless ones. However, this will take some time. Start out with only one fish. The nitrogen cycle will not begin until you add the fish, so running an empty tank for several days will not help. Since your fish tank is brand new, you might want to consider making partial water changes of about 25 percent of the total water volume every few days for the first week or so. 

You can find Goldfish food at almost any pet shop. Make sure to purchase some when you buy your first fish. Feed only a small amount. Especially at first. Any uneaten food will sink to the bottom and rot. Keep this to a minimum. Watch your fish for the first few times that you feed them. Feed only as much as they will eat in two to three minutes twice a day, or as recommended on the Goldfish food label. Be especially careful not to overfeed when the Goldfish tank is new. This will cause an excess build-up of toxic chemicals and can kill your fish quickly. 

As the water in your fish tank cycles through the nitrogen cycle, you may notice that is becoming very cloudy. This is a normal process and should clear up in a few days. Do not add any new fish until the water is crystal clear again. Clear water will signify that the nitrogen cycle is working and that the toxic chemicals are being converted to good ones. 

Remember that Goldfish will grow large and they need a big space. Don't overcrowd the tank if you want to keep healthy fish. If you follow this little guideline, you will be sure to have a healthy goldfish aquarium.


FILTRATION: Necessary process to poison free aquarium water

Filtration system in a typical aquarium: (1) i...
Filtration system in a typical aquarium: (1) intake, (2) mechanical filtration, (3) chemical filtration, (4) biological filtration medium, (5) outflow to tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In order to have poison free aquarium water, the filtration process is very important to the aquarist. Since most aquarists are aware of the fact that their aquarium water gradually accumulates potentially harmful substances, which eventually poison their fishes. In order to prevent this from happening there is a need for filtration, therefore, for our purpose, I would define filtration as the removal of unwanted substances from water.

Most aquarist uses three types:
chemical amongst which the biological is the most important.

Biological filtration is also referred to as undergravel filtration because the major equipment used (a flat plate of perforated plastic) is placed under the gravel bed hence it is invisible. Unless you are properly equipped, you can’t see the process happening and cannot measure its effect. Yet this process is the major difference between success and failure, and the aquarist who does not take the time to understand its workings is doomed to watch an endless procession of dying fishes passing through his tank.

Biological filtration is solely the work of bacteria attached to the surfaces of the gravel, the grave and the under gravel filter together constitute the filter bed. Bacteria normally reach the filter bed through the food you give the fishes.

The waste product of the fishes, the air, and even by your hands as you are working in the tank.


What The Fuss About FISH TANKS?

The most developed male

Fish tanks come in many shapes and sizes. It ranges from a small one-quart to a 55-gallon aquarium. The concept of fish tanks has changed over the years. It used to be viewed as a glass container for fishes, but now, a fish tank can also be viewed as an art or an aqua furniture. For some homes, fish tank has become a design piece of art that is placed in the living room. The focus is no longer the fish, a rather the fish tanks. These fish tanks can be designed to fit comfortably into a corner or all be recessed into a wall. Some fish tanks are built within the wall, framed by wood and appear to be a living painting.

And for some, the fish tanks are specially designed to feed into specific needs.
The materials used to build fish tanks have also changed over the years. The traditional material used to be glass. This is slowly replaced by moulded acrylic as the primary material. The advantage to using this as a primary material is that it reduces the breakage danger, and prolong years of enjoyment with your fish tank.

Fish tanks are not complete without its accessories. These accessories not only helps decorates fish tanks, but it also helps to keep the fish healthy and happy. You do not require a huge investment if you have only a few fishes in a bowl. However, if you plan to raise bigger and more fishes, then you certainly need more accessories for your fish tanks.

If your fish tanks hold 10 gallons or more of Water, then a water pump and filter will help to keep the water clean and moving. Otherwise, you would need to change the water frequently as they get it begins to get dirty easily. The water needs fresh air to be introduced constantly, otherwise, the fish will suffocate. This is where the air filter comes in. The air filter helps to keep the air floating through the water constantly.

A light fixture that attaches to the top of the fish tanks help provides light into the water; it helps to keep the fish from sleeping all the time. If you live in an area where temperate changes constantly, then you may want to consider installing the heater to keep the water at a constant temperate. This will help to ensure that your fish won't be cooked as the water gets too hot or, becomes lethargic if the water gets too cold. The fish tanks accessories are pretty standard. But if you have unusual fish tanks shapes, then you will certainly need a manufacturer to design and build the accessories.

Given all the accessories, these fishes still need proper care. How healthy and happy your fishes depend on the amount of time and effort you put into the care of the fishes and the fish tanks.


FRESHWATER AQUARIUM PLANTS - The Best Planting Techniques

Aquarium 60cm
There is nothing as spectacular as a freshwater aquarium with well-groomed live plants. If you have ever thought about incorporating live plants into your aquarium but haven’t done it yet – quit wasting time and get it done. It can make all the difference in the world. The benefits to your fish and the whole underwater environment completely out weight the extra effort it takes to care for the plants and their slightly higher costs.

Before you start, make a rough sketch of how you want the aquarium to look when completed. This will give you a simple plan when you go to buy the plants and a roadmap to follow when you begin the planting process.

One of the best planting strategies I’ve seen is to plant the taller plants toward the back of the aquarium and the shorter ones in front. This is a good technique to use if you are mixing plants that have different lighting needs. The taller plants can be used to shade any shorter plants that need less light.
These short bushy plants should be arranged to hide any unsightly equipment in the tank. Try to arrange them so they don’t look symmetrical in the tank. There’s nothing symmetrical about the way they grow in nature so don’t plant them that way in your aquarium.

When you start the planting process, make sure the tank is full. It may seem like it would be a lot easier (and it would be) to empty the aquarium to do the planting but that would be a mistake. You need the water to see how the plants will spread out in the water. You can’t do this with a dry tank.

Don’t bury the plants in the substrate below its crown. The crown is the area between the plant’s roots and the stalk. Be sure to place the plants far enough apart to let the roots grow properly. A rule of thumb is to separate them by the length of one leaf. Overcrowding causes the plants to eventually wither and die.

By John C Stoner - Article Source: EzineArticles


Keeping TROPICAL FISH - A New Adventure?

English: Tropical Fish cartoon
Tropical Fish cartoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did you know that the keeping of fish dates back to antiquity? It may be true but only recently has the activity become popular among all age groups.

Have you joined the multitudes who have recently contributed to the popularity of keeping tropical fish? It really has become popular as many homes now have at least a small aquarium among its furnishings. They may consist of a few goldfish in a small coldwater aquarium or they may consist of several colorful fish swimming about.

Your aquarium is most likely one of three different types: coldwater, warm water (heated) or marine. If you are keeping tropical fish, you almost certainly have a heated aquarium. Remember, tropical fish come from the tropics where it's warm. The Amazon, Africa and the south of Asia are where most tropical fish originated.

Most pet and fish stores have all in one package that includes everything you need to get started: aquarium, stand, lights, heater, filter and gravel and other decorative additions. If you're just starting out, this is a good way to go since you will save money by buying all the components individually.

Be sure to ask the store personnel for advice on which fish are the hardiest and easiest fish to keep. These may include tetras, danios, barbs, Livebearers and Corydoras. Also, don't add too many fish at a time as the aquarium needs time to mature and get "broken in". Adding too many at once will not allow the tank to develop the bacteria needed to break down the fish's waste.

Finally, a good idea is to visit your library or go on the internet to learn about keeping fish successfully. There are hundreds of books and sites which can offer a wealth of tropical fish keeping information. A good tank, kept properly can give you and your family hours of enjoyment and relaxation...


AZA - Association of Zoos & AQUARIUMS

National Aquarium, Baltimore, USA
National Aquarium, Baltimore, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums was established in 1924. Known simply as AZA, the organization is not for profit. It is dedicated to ensuring all of the animals at the various zoos & aquariums have the very best elements in place. They have strict guidelines for the way these animals are to be cared for. They offer their accreditation only to those locations that continually strive to follow or exceed those guidelines.

This type of accreditation is very important. People that visit zoos and aquariums are very interested in the efforts for wildlife conservation. They won’t frequent a place that doesn’t uphold the very best of standards. Not having such an accreditation can prevent a zoo or aquarium from getting the animals they want. This can result in lower attendance too because they don’t have the main attractions that appeal to large audiences.

The AZA is also very involved in educational programs that promote the well being of animals. They like to make people of all ages more aware of the impact that animals have on our own lives. They want them to be aware of how their own actions can be a positive or negative impact on such animals. This is why so many zoos and aquariums allow schools to bring in busloads of children for field trips on a regular basis. The images of what is taking place and the educational materials can be planted into their young minds for them to carry with them as they become adults.

AZA takes any complaints from employees and guests at zoos & aquariums very seriously. They will take the time to look into such issues and explore the options for effectively resolving them. They will also randomly send representatives out to the various zoos & aquariums to make sure they are indeed doing thing correctly.

AZA continues to develop and implement better ways to house the animals at zoos & aquariums. They want to give them the best environment to live in that is reflective of their own. They also want to ensure people are able to get a good view of these animals. Safety is a very important part of making sure both people and animals can enjoy the atmosphere at a zoo & aquarium.


Fifty five Gallon Fresh Water Aquarium

Photo: Wikimedia
A fifty-five-gallon freshwater aquarium is a good choice when purchasing a new tank, if nothing else, simply because of its size.  These tanks are large enough to accommodative a variety of fish, but still small enough to keep in tight spaces in the home or office.  Your local retailer can assist you with specifics in purchasing, but here are some suggestions for the basics.  Purchase an acrylic tank, because they are lighter in weight and easier to care for than glass aquariums.  Also, the visibility is better in an acrylic tank.  If you don't already have a stand or a suitable replacement, keep in mind that you will need to purchase one.   

You will need a heater for temperature control, and a thermometer for checking the water temperature. It will take approximately five bags of rock or other substrates to line the bottom of the tank.  Choose a bright color to add some interest to the aquarium.  

In addition, you will need to purchase a filter for the tank.  Filters can be complicated.  Do a lot a research to find out what type of filter is suggested for the fish that you choose.  There are filters that go beneath the substrate in the bottom of the tank, as well as filters that attach to the side of the aquarium.  They also vary greatly in price.  It is not necessary to buy the most expensive filter when setting up a basic freshwater aquarium.  

The aquarium will also need lighting.  Again, based on personal preference you can keep it simple or get very technical.  Most fish will respond nicely to a basic light that is simply turned on for a few hours each day.  An aquarium should contain some form of plants for added interest.  The plants serve a place for the fish to seek refuge and feel safe.  There are many varieties of freshwater plants that would work nicely in a fifty-five-gallon aquarium.  Just be sure to purchase an aquatic specific species.  If you don't want the hassle of live plants, plastic is always an option.  They have come along way with synthetic plants.  In most cases, the fish may not even notice the difference, unless of course, they try to eat them.  

Once your tank is established and you are ready to add fish, choose your fish carefully. Start with hardy fish, such as livebearers, gouramis, barbs, and danios.  These fish are hardy enough to handle higher nitrate levels in the tank.  Allow about thirty days for these fish to become acclimated to the tank, before adding any new fish.  It usually takes about thirty days for the symptoms of ich or other fish illnesses to show up. It is important to make sure that all existing fish are healthy before adding any new species.  The transportation of new fish itself is stressful enough, without having to add disease to the situation.  When purchasing fish, it is important to remember that a fifty-five-gallon aquarium can handle about fifteen to twenty small fish total.  This will allow plenty of growth room for the fish.          




Photo Flickr -  n5_w1150 (cc)
The history of the freshwater aquarium and aquariums, in general, are varied depending on who you speak to. What is important today is how aquariums evolved and what they have evolved into. Also, the fact that aquariums do have a history, and it is rather interesting. From ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day Miami, aquariums have been apart of human life and have been written about by countless people who for one thing, liked their entertainment appeal as well as the reported soothing effects on the king and queen of ancient times.

The many ancient drawings, carvings, and pictures of aquariums from places in antiquity like Eqypt and Sumeria show us that these past peoples knew the beauty of the tanks and they also desired to maintain that beauty and pass on the secrets of these creatures. The ancient Romans were also known to have traded live fish as commodities in their agoras (markets).

Goldfish and Koi fish

In another part of the world, the art of selective breeding began in China around 2,000 years ago. They had been known to produce the now-famous goldfish developed from the regular carp. By the 18th century, goldfish as an ornamental fish was common in Europe and later became popular in America.

Cultured live koi – that familiar fish with the red, white and black coloration, was already a commercial item in the old trade routes that spanned China, Japan, and Europe around the 16th century. Later, its reputation also grew and became very popular. Much later, it was also exported to Europe and America.

Crude Beginnings
In the early 19th century, aquarium-keeping began. England, Germany, and France all vied to top themselves in mounting exhibits of public aquariums. It did not get a good reception as many were appalled by it.

At that time, there was very poor understanding yet on the various roles of water chemistry, the nitrogen cycle, filtration, and aeration. The size of the tanks was also limited by the holding power of the construction materials then.

The First Aquarium
In 1850, a Mr. Harrington declared through a paper he wrote for the Chemical Society of London that he had successfully maintained a stable aquarium. Fish-keeping suddenly became a popular hobby.

Three years after, many Zoo’s and farms began to open the first public aquariums one after another when they noticed a good turnout. Soon, public aquaria were all over the major European cities patronized by eager but intrigued visitors.

Household Items
It was not long after when the aquarium became a fashionable household item in Victorian England. Curiously, there were no tanks for sale then, although there were various books and other how-to manuals already available for constructing aquariums.

The first constructed tanks leaned more to the ornamental side rather than being functional at best. Most early designs featured a glass front and three wooden sides (They were sometimes constructed from slate). They were coated in pitch to make them watertight.

Tank Basics
Soon, these construction problems were overcome little by little. There was a real breakthrough with the development of silicone sealants.

It became possible now to manufacture an all-glass aquarium in all sizes and shapes. Bulky steel frames became obsolete and tanks can now be moved without the danger of breaking the seal.

Understanding Technology
At around this time, a better understanding of the needs of the tank’s fish inhabitants led to the invention of the heater and the thermostat, as postulated by a Mr. Humphreys. In maintaining fish, this person would be the one to mention the significance of the tanks chemistry toward the safety of the fish.

With a deeper understanding of water chemistry and other related matters, filtration and lighting were soon recognized as additional important elements to the total upkeep of the fish in the aquarium.

The Modern Aquarium
Today’s modern aquariums are made mostly of glass. Nowadays, more tanks are being made from acrylic instead of glass because it doesn’t break as easily. This is because acrylic is pliable and can be used to manufacture unusual shapes. (Acrylic aquariums are mostly used in big showrooms in business and office buildings today.)

Nowadays, aquaria made of acrylics are regarded as the lightweight alternatives to those made of glass. This is especially true now that manufacturers had produced harder and scratch-resistant plastics. Perhaps, they would replace the unwieldy glass in the future.


Improved Technology

Also, there had been such long strides made in the improvement of the accompanying technology related to aquarium keeping: heating, lighting, filtration, and aeration among others.

Apart from the technology, there is now a better understanding of marine life and ecology that pushed the hobby into what it is today. Taking together both marine and freshwater aquarium varieties, the simple hobby of keeping a living fish in a bowl had become the world’s 2nd most popular hobby. (Gardening is number one.)

The Future Of The Aquarium

There is now a growing number of fish varieties available for keeping in aquariums and the size and shape of aquarium tanks have evolved, too.

However, according to experts, the future of the hobby is still focused on the next advances in water purification, nutrition, lighting and other related matters. Fish breeding is an old and popular practice that has become quite popular around the world with good breeds being created constantly. (Genetic manipulation is still frowned upon.)

Whatever direction the hobby is moving into, today’s hobbyists are reminded that they are part of a thousand-year-old freshwater aquarium history as they tinker their aquariums and feed their aquatic pets.

By Bob Finklea - Article Source: EzineArticles



Peacock Mantis Shrimp

The Mantis Shrimp is also called the stomatopod. They are actually not mantids nor shrimp, but they do resemble both those animals. They usually may reach about a foot in length, although unusual specimens have been noted that were a bit longer.

The carapace of a mantis shrimp makes a cover for the head’s back side. They may appear in different colors, from brownish to neon. They are commonly seen in the animal world, and they are among the more important of the predators in the habitats they live in. They can be found in shallow water in sub-tropical and tropical areas.

These animals were dubbed “sea locusts” by the Assyrians of ancient times, and in Australia, they are known as “prawn killers”. They have powerful claws, and these can be used to lure, attack, and then kill their prey by stunning, spearing or dismemberment. The breed is sometimes thought to be only a legend, due to rare sightings in some areas. These are made up for by areas with many sightings, however.

The mantis shrimp spends its life in a solitary manner but can be aggressive. They can often be found hiding in formations of rock, or burrowing passageways into the sand. They sometimes wait for their prey, as typical crustaceans do, but they are also able to hunt down their prey. They don’t often leave their holes except to eat or relocate.

There are about 400 species of the mantis shrimp, and they are usually split into two groups, by the functions of their claws. The Squilla mantis has a spearing appendage, and they have little appendages with tips that are barbed, which they use to snag and then stab their prey. The smashing types possess a more clublike claw which they can utilize to break their meals into more easily manageable pieces.

Both types of mantis shrimp strike out at their prey by unfolding and then swinging their claws, and they can inflict damage on their prey even if the prey is bigger than they are. Smashers attack rock oysters, mollusks, crabs and snails, and their clubs allow them to crack their preys’ shells. Spearers often go for the meat that is not hard to get to, like fish.

Mantis shrimp live long lives, and they can exhibit behavior considered complex, like ritualized fighting. They can remember neighbors well, and they will defend their own areas from rival species.

These mantids may breed as many as twenty or thirty times in their lifetime. The eggs are kept in burrows or carried beneath the female’s tail, emerging when they hatch. In some sub-species, the female and male are together only for mating, while in others, they mate for life.

By Jenny Styles

Article Source: EzineArticles


Do Not Get Confused With the Complicated Names of KILLIFISH Species

Many killifish species are assigned with complicated names as compared to the other species of pet fish. Sometimes their names consist of two or three words and a number. If you are not an experienced fish-keeper and you visit a pet fish store, you will be confused with the long names and numbers. But remember, there is a logic behind their names.

Let us take an example of ‘Baira 98′. You may not be able to understand anything by reading this name. However if you just inquire with the pet shop staff, you will find the rationale behind it. Baira is the name of the village in Africa from which this fish was discovered and the number 98 represents the year in which it was found. So the fish was found in 1998 in that village.

Sometimes there is no number assigned. In that case, it indicates that the fish might have been found in many places in the world and no specific year can be attached to it. So if you find a name ‘Northobranchius rachovii’, it will mean that the fish does not have any specific place or year to relate.

However, things are not that easy all the time. Sometimes the species is known with different names. Let us take the name of Northobranchius andersonius. When the famous explorer Anderson visited Africa in 1915, he had seen the species and he gave this scientific name. However, some other explorer went to the same place in 1920 and when he found the same species, he named it as ‘Northobranchius victorii’. The reason behind such remaining was the memory of his wife Victoria. Now the same species is known with two different names!

Nothobranchius rachovii male.jpg

"Nothobranchius rachovii male" by Andreas Wretstr√∂m, 2003.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is one more reason for the change of name. There is one system called taxonomy under which all species can be placed. As we explore new things, the mistakes in the previous names are revealed. The testing of DNA may suggest that the fish which was named Northobranchius is not belonging to those specific genera. However, it is belonging to some other genus from Africa. In that case, the name is changed but the old name will still remain on the records and it will continue. In fact it may continue for years unless someone takes it up as a campaign to change it to the correct genre.

For all these reasons, in the fish-keeping community, it is common to use the popular names or common names instead of scientific names. For example, Pseudepiplatys annulatus is called clown killifish and it is famous with the common name itself. In the same way, Aphyosemion cinnamomeum is called Cinnamon killifish and Aphyosemion austral is called Lyretail killifish.

Do not nervous by scientific names. Just ignore them and get familiar with the common names. Life will be easier that way!

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


FANCY GOLDFISH make a great pet

Fancy goldfish make an excellent indoor pet for a number of people with busy lifestyles and the craving for pets and some form of companionship but not the space in their homes or their lives to actively care for and raise pets like dogs or cats.

Fancy Goldfish - Photo  by    Dr._Colleen_Morgan
Goldfish have many advantages that pets that have legs don’t enjoy and they are a very low maintenance but a very therapeutically beneficial pet. You never need to take a goldfish for a walk early in the morning or even when it is raining. Sometimes you are just not in the mood for a walk even if the conditions are perfect. This is not an issue with goldfish.

Most pets are hideously expensive. The cost of raising an average size dog has been estimated by some studies to run into the tens of thousands of dollars which is a sum that few of us can really afford. In these hard economic times where everyone is trying to cut back on expenses and reduce spending around the house, your dog may not be such a great pet if it is almost as expensive as bringing up a child. Dogs are expensive to buy and the costs continue throughout their lives. They need to be inoculated and fed with expensive food and later in life when they need medical care that is a very costly proposition too.

Fish are cheap and easy to buy and so easy and absolutely painless to maintain that you could even give them as a gift to someone without wondering whether they will be able to take care of them and will not find them to be a burden. Dogs and cats can quickly turn into white elephants when given as gifts no matter how cute and adorable they are as kittens or puppies.

Fancy goldfish make an excellent indoor pet for a number of people with busy lifestyles and the craving for pets and some form of companionship but not the space in their homes or their lives to actively care for and raise pets like dogs or cats. have no such issues. Their short lifespans mean that you do not have to worry about long-term care for them. When they die you can decide if you want to get another batch and you are never stuck with them. This is also very important when you are going on vacation or leaving town for business. You do not have to worry friends with requests to come over and watch and feed your pets with goldfish and you do not have to worry about paying the exorbitant fees that kennels and doggy day care centers charge.

So get yourself some goldfish today. They make great pets and they are relaxing to watch.


Brighten Up Your Aquarium With Attractive AQUARIUM BACKGROUNDS

Aquarium owners enjoy the luxury of keeping fish and other underwater pets for pleasure. Since a properly maintained and presentable aquarium can entail investment, the fish lover is keen on perfectly displaying and enhancing the appearance of his pet. Animals and fish look best in their natural habitat. The environment of their natural habitat can be recreated within the aquarium by using aquarium backgrounds.

These backgrounds are available in various shapes, sizes, and colors depicting underwater natural scenes. They are made of materials which are not harmful to the fish and can be placed inside the aquarium or outside.

Benefits of having Aquarium Backgrounds

The backgrounds have several practical and aesthetic benefits. They are attractive decorative items that enhance the overall appearance of the aquarium by increasing its depth. By concealing the cable, tubes, and cords that clutter the back of the fish tank, they present a neat and natural look to the aquarium.

Inside an aquarium, algae build up rapidly in presence of sunlight. In bright rooms, the presence of background reduces direct sunlight resulting in control of algae.

Options for Choice of Aquarium Backgrounds

· First it is important to consider the size of the tank. Aquariums of smaller size will require backgrounds that do not occupy too much space inside the tank. Positioning decorative objects in the fish tank will encroach upon the space that is important for the fish.

  • On the lower price range, you can buy colorful aquarium background sticking labels that can be pasted externally at the back of the aquarium tank. These stickers or labels are available in different designs, portraying floral life and rocks. This is a perfect choice for those who cannot invest time for mounting a background for the aquarium. But if you are using internal backgrounds, which are higher on price, make sure that the material and paints used inside the fish tank are not harmful to the fish. Aquariums are delicate settings and can be easily polluted.

  • The next option is the three-dimensional aquarium backgrounds, which are cast into different shapes. They are made out of plastic, fiberglass or Styrofoam. Styrofoam and plastic backgrounds are suitable for small tanks, but the large saltwater aquariums use fiberglass backgrounds. Both the plastic and styrofoam backgrounds can also be cut into shapes for using them on other backgrounds of different sizes.

  • Fiberglass backgrounds are widely used in zoological displays and public aquariums. Fish lovers who own large saltwater fish tanks can buy tailor-made fiberglass backgrounds which will present a real look of underwater scenes. These backgrounds are fixed internally at the backside of the fish tank with aquarium silicone. This silicone is made especially for use in the aquarium.
As per Feng Shui principles, the presence of an aquarium can bring peace at home. It is also true that when we gaze at fish in an aquarium, it brings a feeling of calmness. Moreover, displaying aquariums with attractive backgrounds add up to the beauty of the aquarium. So, whichever option you choose for creating aquarium backgrounds, you will be definitely spending quality time and money on your favorite asset in your home.

By Darren G Lawes Darren Lawes is a freshwater aquarium enthusiast.
Article Source: EzineArticles


FLAME ANGELFISH (Centropyge Loriculus) Care

Among the most spectacularly colored dwarf angelfish, the flame angelfish has become the most recognizable and the most popular member of the genus centropyge. Almost everyone in the marine aquarium hobby has at one time either owned a flame angel or at least considered getting one. A true testament to the beauty this angel possesses.

Flame angel, Centropyge loricula
Flame angel, Centropyge loricula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The genus centropyge contains 33 species that have been found thus far, making it the largest genus within the marine angelfish complex (Pomacanthidae). Our fish of interest goes by the scientific name Centropyge Loriculus. Its common name is the flame angelfish, so named because it is colored a bright red-orange with vertical black lines down its body. The tips of its anal and dorsal fins are accentuated with neon blue patches.
The flame angel is a little on the high side in terms of price so expect to pay between $ 40 and $ 50 US dollars for a specimen. While this may seem like a lot for an ornamental fish, it pales in comparison with rarer angelfish such as the golden angelfish. Considering the effect it has on most onlookers I’d say the price is a steal.

While commonly thought to hail from Hawaii, they are actually collected around the Marshall and Christmas Islands instead. True Hawaiian flame angelfish are very rare and are said to have a very specific coloration. They are uniformly red without any orange throughout their bodies and their black vertical lines are always thin.

As with all members of the genus centropyge this angelfish can be aggressive towards other tank mates. They are particularly hostile towards members of the same species. Putting two flame angelfish together in a small tank is generally a bad idea. The same goes for housing two members of the same genus together. Such an endeavor should only be attempted if the marine aquarium in question is large enough, 75 gallons or larger.

The flame angelfish should be kept in an aquarium no less than 50 gallons. Ideally, you’d want something like a 75 gallon or larger aquarium for them. The added space keeps issues stemming from territory to a minimum. This is assuming the tank isn’t chock full of fish in the first place. They require caves and holes throughout the rock scape so your live rock arrangement should reflect this.

Like all members of the genus centropyge, the flame angelfish has been known to nip on corals in a reef aquarium. There is no telling when such behavior will happen. I’ve heard stories of flame angels that have never bothered corals for years only to begin sampling them overnight. This is how it is with all dwarf angelfish. No exceptions. Unfortunately, once they start nipping they usually don’t stop.

Flame angelfish are grazers in the wild. They constantly pick at the substrate and rocks that surround their territory. Their food items mainly consist of tiny crustaceans and algae.

Ensure they are given a varied diet within a marine aquarium. Provide a good mix of algae based foods along with meaty foods. Nori, spirulina, frozen mysis shrimp and other meaty or algae gel cubes should be part of their everyday diet. A good dry food for flame angels is new life spectrum, formula one and formula two pellets. A great food that contains everything they find in the wild is the pygmy angel formula gel cubes by ocean nutrition. These only come in frozen form i believe.

In the wild, flame angelfish form harems, a single male will dominate up to 7 females. Each female maintains a separate territory within the male's territory. Every evening the male approaches each female in his harem until he chooses to mate with one of them. He then assumes courting behavior. Fins are flared, he darts around the female in circles and assumes mating colors.

Courting ensures anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes until they finally spawn. The male nudges the female up into the water column until they are perfectly positioned to release eggs and sperm at the same time. The actual mating process takes no longer than half a second. Having mated, they disappear into the rocks.

While there have been many cases of flame angel pairs spawning in the home aquaria, there have been no cases of their larvae being raised to adulthood. Dwarf angelfish have only been successfully raised on a commercial level by companies with a lot of money backing them. And even then, success came not more than 7 years ago.

The biggest breakthrough in angelfish breeding happened in Hawaii around 2002. It was found that the key ingredient to raising dwarf angelfish larvae was in finding an appropriate food for them. The food item had to fulfill 3 criteria. It had to be small enough for the larvae to eat, it had to be nutritious enough for them and it had to move in a way that elicited a natural feeding response from the larvae.

Frank Baensch of Reef Culture Technologies along with three others collaborated to find this food, and they were successful. What followed was the captive breeding of not just the flame angelfish but of rarer species such as the bandit angelfish, Colin's angelfish, and the Japanese pygmy angelfish. All very expensive fishes in the hobby. The breakthrough food is reputed to be an undisclosed copepod nauplii.

Such success has not been seen by hobbyists or even small scale breeders of marine fish. Baby brine shrimp and rotifers are the mainstays of home breeding but both of them do not seem to elicit a feeding response from dwarf angelfish larvae. As a result of the larvae usually, starve to death. So the key is finding an easily bred food that would work on this species. Until that time comes we are left with buying wild caught flame angelfish and even the occasional captive bred ones.


Tropical DISCUS FISH - Instructions You Need To Know

Tropical Discus Fish are a magnificent aquarium fish. They are remarkably beautiful and full of life.  With their attractiveness comes a price nevertheless. The discus can be a moody fish. They aren’t similar to the Wally world cheap fish you see inside a main retail chain. Tropical discus fish will require some advanced care to keep them healthily. Please don’t let this intimidate you. With a little guidance, you can be on your way to having a good-looking tropical discus fish aquarium.

Discus Fish
Discus Fish - Photo by ozz13x

Aquarium Balance

Aquarium balance is the number of fish you should keep in your aquarium at one time. The broad rule of thumb should be to limit an individual discus fish per each ten gallons of water your aquarium can withhold. Discus love room to roam, using this guideline will keep your fish from feeling stressed and overcrowded.

Tank Size and Shape

Discus prefers a tall sized aquarium. If you were to have two aquariums and one was six foot long and eighteen inches deep and the other tank being four feet long and 3 feet deep. The discus would prefer the taller of the two tanks which would be a 3×4 aquarium. Keep in mind if you have a tank like the first one I mentioned I don’t suggest you buy a new aquarium. They are merely aquarium suggestions they are not gospel. The only rule you should follow when picking out an aquarium for tropical discus fish is to make sure the tank is at least eighteen inches deep.

I myself don’t advocate anything lesser than a thirty-gallon aquarium. This is just my own opinion. I don’t like to utilize anything lesser than thirty gallons because of the smaller the aquarium the harder it really is to care for the water. Plus I like to have more than 2 discus per an aquarium.

Feeding Your Discus

Tropical discus fish are particular eaters. It is advisable to ask the breeder what brand of food your new fish prefer to eat. Although Discus do not require any special diet they do like to eat what they have been feeding on throughout their life time. To change their diet feed them the new food in small doses. Increase the dosage for about a week to get them accustomed to the brand new food. This is a secure and stress-free way to alter their diet.

Water Quality

Water quality is of the most important and keeping your water quality clean and stable and the right temperature is a MUST! You will want to keep the water temp between 82 and 86 degrees.

Water changes are the first and obvious way to keep your water clean and stable. When making water changes only change about 15 or 20 percent of the water at a time. Do not make drastic water changes. It puts more harm than good on your discus and will cause them a lot of stress.

Water Chemistry

Chemistry is a little more advanced so let me share some important factors with you. You need to test the water hardness. You need to have soft water usually between 3 and 15dh. Now don’t forget about ph. This needs to be between 5 and 6.5. PH will be the most difficult factor among first-time discus owners. This is important to learn because discus like to maintain a stable ph. Do not compromise their ph level.  You will think everything is fine because the fish will live and in some case they may even breed but in reality, your fish will always be stressed and have a short life span.

These are some of the most important factors you need to succeed at in order to keep tropical discus fish.

Steve Jones is an expert fish keeper and owns an aquarium shop in upper Michigan. 

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