Showing posts with label Cichlids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cichlids. Show all posts

2018-10-27

FLAG CICHLID - Mesonauta festivus

Flag Cichlid - Mesonauta festivus



2018-09-27

GREEN TERROR CICHLID - Aequidens rivulatus

Green Terror Cichlid - Aequidens rivulatus



2018-09-26

GREEN TERROR CICHLID - An Intro To This Amazing Cichlid Fish!

green terror
Photo  by veress_szilard 
The Green terror cichlid (Andinoacara (Aequidens) rivulatus) is frequently confused with Blue Acara, somehow there is a slight difference in their features which is, green terror has a more pronounced bump on its forehead when they mature. They are also more aggressive than the other fish that is why it is important to keep them with varieties that can fend themselves.

They are widely spread in South America, Ecuador, and Peru. They are commonly found in still and sluggish waters of the local river basins. Generally speaking, when looking at the side angle of a terror the shape is obviously oval, in the front angle, it is evident that this variety has a very broad forehead area and gradually decreases down to its rear. The mature male, however, tends to develop a noticeable hump and may also reach a length of about 8 inches in its regular size.

It is the male in this variety that is catchy to the eye of the hobbyist possessing a body color of a brilliant and bright greenish white. The tails especially are very attractive that is demonstrated with reticulation and fringed in bright red color... Really magnificent! The female is rather not much of a head turner with drab olive green color and does not have the favorable metallic feature of the male. Somehow some females may possess a blue-green color of its chin.

Green terror cichlid is somehow a hardy fish and may be quite easy to care for especially when needs are met. They are basically omnivorous and will always eat on anything and may relish any live foods. They thrive well on large tanks with copious caves and rocks to hide in such as driftwood, rockwood, and live plants as well. Live plants though may be uprooted because of their agility and aggressiveness. When young they may be placed together with other community cichlids nevertheless as they mature they tend to live up to its name the "green terror" and will seemingly terrorize all except for the largest fish in the tank. Needless to say, they are best kept in a species tank.

The adequate tank size of this variety should be approximately 48 inches with water that is soft to hardy and a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5 and kept in a constant temperature of 72 - 82 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 - 24 degrees Celsius. Like any other cichlids, by providing them with the proper filtration, temperature, and frequent water change will live healthily and vigorously.


Breeding a green terror cichlid, always choose the most robust fishes and paired with an unrelated juvenile and raise to sexual maturity about three inches. They breed in a typical Aequidens way, meaning they will find an open water location and spawns in a flat stone. Unlike other cichlids that hide their nest, the green terror does not. Check more on the breeding methods of green terror cichlid in order to spawn one of your own.

    By Lacey Bryant
    Lacey Bryant is a cichlid enthusiast and author, who has been caring for cichlids for over 15 years. She has been breeding Cichlids for years and it has become her passion to share her knowledge about their proper care.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2018-09-11

ELECTRIC BLUE CICHLID - A Brief Introduction

Electric Blue Hap
Photo  by Marcel Sigg 
The Electric Blue cichlid [electric blue hap (Sciaenochromis fryeri)] is a popular fish among hobby aquarists because it is an overall easy breed to care for and an easy species to breed. People also find their vibrant colors pleasing to the eye. In addition, they are not known to be picky eaters. However, they do ask for good water conditions, with suitable aquarium decorations.

Setting up an aquarium for an Electric Blue cichlid is simple, but takes thought and perhaps some research. It is important to try to replicate their natural environments to the best of your ability. Electric Blue cichlids are native to an African Rift Lake named Lake Malawi. In their natural habitat, they depend on their own instincts for their survival by hiding in rocks and logs, searching for smaller fish to eat.

In an aquarium, an Electric Blue cichlid totally relies on his owner for his survival and well-being. By providing for your fish, a home that closely resembles his native home, you will increase his lifespan, as well as cut down on aggressive behavior. You can also train your cichlid to eat prepared food rather than smaller fish in your aquarium. The other option is to keep your Electric Blue only with fish are as large, or larger, than they are. They will be safe from your cichlid's bite.

An Electric Blue cichlid can grow to be 6 inches in length, therefore should be put in a larger tank. A 55-gallon tank is the smallest tank you would want to house your Electric Blue cichlid in. They can live in murky water, but most hobby aquarists prefer to have their tanks clear. The fish do not mind clear water, either.

The water should be kept at temperature ranges of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This is very important because having the incorrect water temperature is one reason why cichlids become aggressive. They are hardy fish, but any drastic change in water temperature could have detrimental effects. Keep the aquarium out of direct sunlight, and away from all heat sources to prevent sudden a rise or fall of water temperature.



Finally, an Electric Blue cichlid likes to have plenty of places he can hide, yet also have plenty of swimming space. Rocks and wood can be stacked strategically along the bottom of your tank to accomplish this. You will also want to replicate the substrate from Lake Malawi because these cichlids like to play in the substrate sometimes. Having the incorrect bottom layer in your aquarium can harm them unnecessarily.



2018-09-06

New World CICHLIDS

Herichthys cyanoguttatum (Rio Grande cichlid, ...
Herichthys cyanoguttatum (Rio Grande cichlid, Texas cichlid). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
New World Cichlids can be found in the continents of North America, South America, and Central America. These fish make wonderful pets due to their unique colors, their interesting personalities, and the ease with which they may be maintained.

The angelfish is one of the most common New World cichlids. A South American cichlid, the angelfish is beautiful and queenly but needs very specific water conditions. Angelfish are generally triangular-shaped with long, string-like fins trailing behind them and sometimes a stripe or two across their backs.

Another common New World cichlid is the convict, so named because of its feisty temperament. Convict cichlids may be bullies but they can live in a wide variety of aquarium conditions and are easy to keep and breed. Convicts can be identified by their light blue bodies and the dark black, zebra stripes across their backs.

The Jack Dempsey is also a favorite among cichlid lovers. Like the convict, the Jack Dempsey can be moody, and as an adult, he can grow up to nearly a foot in length. Jack Dempsey's are dark brown but males usually have splashes or dots of bright blue or green on their sides and humps on their foreheads. Jack Dempsey's are easy to keep and need large open spaces as well as caves to hide in.

In the wild, North and Central American cichlids are found in rivers and lakes. Some lay their eggs in the sand of the river bottoms while others lay them simply on top of rocks at the bottom of the lake in which they reside. Some even make their homes in tiny underwater caves and tunnels. South American cichlids are usually found in water conditions that are more acidic such as black water regions in the Amazonian basin.

The aquarium requirements for these types of fish vary according to their natural habit. North and Central American cichlids are more adept at adapting to vary aquarium conditions but need good hiding places or caves in their aquarium for refuge. These should not be kept in any tank with a length of fewer than 48 inches.



The South American cichlid usually needs much more specific water conditions in the aquarium in which it is kept. The pH balance of the water needs to be quite low - sometimes as low as six - and the water itself needs to be very soft. Plants are popular with the South American cichlid, although certain species may cause havoc to underwater plants.

One of the best things about New World cichlids is that there are so many from which to choose. The variety available among these species of fish is simply astounding and there is always something new to discover. New World cichlid fish can be a joy to take care of and a delight to own.



2018-08-28

The Most Common CHICLIDS For Home Aquariums

Pink Convict Cichlid Male
Pink Convict Cichlid Male (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was in the year 1945 that cichlids gained in popularity and were increasingly sought after as aquarium fish. This is predominantly due to the fact that aquarium owners found them easy to feed, compact in size, easy to breed and their ability to care for the young ones even when they are captive.

There are more than 2000 cichlid species around the world. Only a few species that are stunningly beautiful are sought after by aquarium owners. Some owners prefer the most common cichlids that are easy to feed, keep and breed.

Some of the popular and most common cichlids include 

Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) - Due to its mild disposition, inquisitive nature, elegant and unique appearance, the angelfish that is predominantly found in the Essequibo, Orinoco and Amazon rivers in South America are one of the most popular among aquarium owners. When it is feed time, these fishes swim eagerly to the surface or swim towards the glass as they are not shy with humans. Angelfish, the most common cichlids sought after by aquarium owners tolerate any water condition and are the easiest to feed.

Oscar fish (Astronotus ocellatus) - This fish, considered to be a food fish, originates from South America and is also referred to as Oscar, marble cichlid, velvet cichlid or tiger Oscar. Being extremely tough and hardy, Oscar fish can tolerate high toxin levels and any water condition. Oscar fish grows quickly even beyond eighteen inches and eats a variety of foods including flakes, live food and pellets. If you want your Oscar fish to stay bright, colourful and healthy, it is recommended to feed them with a lot of live food.

Convict cichlid (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus) - This fish is one of the most common cichlids sought after by beginners due to ease of breeding and due to their small size. They are not choosy about the water conditions or food. Convict fishes must be kept in appropriate surroundings. For this, you must recreate their habitat with a lot of artificial caves and rocks. These are used by them for breeding. It is recommended to use external filtration for this cichlid type as they burrow into the substrate.

English: Archocentrus nigrofasciatus caught in...
Archocentrus nigrofasciatus caught in the warm outflow of a coal power plant in a temperate region of Victoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Discus fish (Symphysodon sppi) - Discus fish is another most common cichlid sought after by aquarium enthusiasts. This cichlid is very sociable and is one of the few varieties that live in large groups in their original habitat. It is recommended to purchase two or more discus fishes as they love to socialize and their character is enhanced through social interactions. Breeding tanks for discus fishes are very simple. They require many spawning sites, a simple filtration system and practically no substrate. In order to ensure that the eggs develop in a proper manner, keep the aquarium water soft.

Jack Dempsey - Interestingly, Jack Dempsey is named after a boxing heavyweight. This cichlid species are easy to feed and breed and live for a long period of time. Some Jack Dempsey fishes even live up to ten years. People love to keep Jack Dempsey's due to their vibrant colour. When they are young, these fishes feature a light grey or tan with specks of turquoise. As they grow mature, they turn purple-grey with green and blue highlights and golden specks.




2018-08-10

New World CICHLIDS

female Apistogramma nijsseni in mating colors
Female Apistogramma nijsseni in mating colors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
New World Cichlids can be found in the continents of North America, South America, and Central America. These fish make wonderful pets due to their unique colors, their interesting personalities, and the ease with which they may be maintained.

The angelfish is one of the most common New World cichlids. A South American cichlid, the angelfish is beautiful and queenly but needs very specific water conditions. Angelfish are generally triangular-shaped with long, string-like fins trailing behind them and sometimes a stripe or two across their backs.

Another common New World cichlid is the convict, so named because of its feisty temperament. Convict cichlids may be bullies but they can live in a wide variety of aquarium conditions and are easy to keep and breed. Convicts can be identified by their light blue bodies and the dark black, zebra stripes across their backs.

The Jack Dempsey is also a favorite among cichlid lovers. Like the convict, the Jack Dempsey can be moody, and as an adult, he can grow up to nearly a foot in length. Jack Dempseys are dark brown but males usually have splashes or dots of bright blue or green on their sides and humps on their foreheads. Jack Dempseys are easy to keep and need large open spaces as well as caves to hide in.

English: Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus), a popul...
Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus), a popular aquarium fish from South America.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the wild, North and Central American cichlids are found in rivers and lakes. Some lay their eggs in the sand of the river bottoms while others lay them simply on top of rocks at the bottom of the lake in which they reside. Some even make their homes in tiny underwater caves and tunnels. South American cichlids are usually found in water conditions that are more acidic such as black water regions in the Amazonian basin.

The aquarium requirements for these types of fish vary according to their natural habit. North and Central American cichlids are more adept at adapting to vary aquarium conditions but need good hiding places or caves in their aquarium for refuge. These should not be kept in any tank with a length of fewer than 48 inches.

The South American cichlid usually needs much more specific water conditions in the aquarium in which it is kept. The pH balance of the water needs to be quite low - sometimes as low as six - and the water itself needs to be very soft. Plants are popular with the South American cichlid, although certain species may cause havoc to underwater plants.

One of the best things about New World cichlids is that there are so many from which to choose. The variety available among these species of fish is simply astounding and there is always something new to discover. New World cichlid fish can be a joy to take care of and a delight to own.



2018-08-01

Tips On Setting Up Your CICHLID AQUARIUM

female Apistogramma nijsseni in mating colors
Female Apistogramma nijsseni in mating colors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is not very difficult setting up a cichlid aquarium. This can be done by yourself with ease if you know how to go about the process.

The most important aspect is to choose the right sized aquarium for your cichlids. If you are a beginner, then it is recommended to choose a 20-gallon large aquarium. This will ensure that your cichlids have enough space to move around and do not fight with each other. It is also easy to maintain larger aquariums.

Fit a water pump and filter in your cichlid aquarium as fishes survive best in toxic-free, clean water.

Decorating the cichlid aquarium is an interesting process. Here, it is important to recreate their original habitat. Items you can put into the aquarium include limestone, sand, gravel, flat stones, mini caves, hardy plants, overturned flower pots and structures that can act as a hideout for your cichlids. Apart from enhancing the decor, flat stones are used by cichlids to lay eggs and the PH level of water is neutralized by sand and gravel.

Choose a cichlid aquarium with a lid. Being very aggressive, there are chances of cichlids jumping out of the aquarium. Be sure to leave enough opening for an exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Keep your cichlid aquariums in a permanent place preferably away from any heat source including direct sunlight as heat is bad for them. As far as possible, do not move them around too much.

To ensure that cichlids are not affected by the temperature in your area, it is a good idea installing a water heater inside the aquarium. This will keep the tank temperature constant. In order to allow for stabilizing of water and to ensure that chlorine has evaporated completely, it is recommended to wait for a day after setting up the aquarium to put the cichlids in.

Setting up the cichlid aquarium is only the first step. You must ensure that they do not fight among them and live in a happy and comfortable manner. Here are a few tips -

Begin with just a small group of fish or maybe with just one cichlid. In a new aquarium, it takes quite some time for the nitrogen cycle to run smoothly. It is therefore not recommended to crowd the aquarium initially.

Be sure to keep the cichlid aquarium clean and tidy. At least once a month, ensure that you clean it without using soap as soap can leave a residue that is toxic and harmful for cichlids.

Do not overfeed your cichlids as too much food can make them sick. Excess food in the water can also deteriorate the quality of aquarium water.


It is recommended to change cichlid aquarium water every day. Clean the filters on a regular basis and ensure a twenty-five percent change every week.

Mixing other fishes with cichlids must be done carefully. Choose fishes that live in the same kind of habitat as the cichlids to ensure that they survive.

A well set up cichlid aquarium can keep your cichlids healthy and happy. Life of your cichlids can be prolonged by taking care of safety, providing water of good quality and ensuring proper diet. Take the advice of experienced cichlid owners or do your own research to find out everything you need to know about cichlids before purchasing them.





2018-06-30

The Beautiful KRIBENSIS

Kribensis, female
Kribensis, female (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Kribensis is a very colorful and beautiful fish with both male and females offering brilliant colors. Even though they are both colorful, you can tell the differences. Females are shorter, have reddish/purplish larger stomachs, and rounded dorsal fins.

These fish are also very popular as they are very easy to take off even for younger children. The fish were home at Ethiop River, Niger Delta where the water offers low-lying blackwater streams, which is acidic and more alkaline and has harder water than other streams that join the river.

Your Kribensis love caves or other small hiding areas where they will feel a bit more at home even if your fish were never actually there but only ancestors. Adding real and artificial plants to the aquarium would be a nice enhancement but the plants will need to be buried very well as this type of fish does not like to burrow and will uproot the plants if possible. 

The fish are trying to destroy their home; it is just instinct to burrow. Not only will your fish want a few places to hide, they also need room to swim. The aquarium should give them plenty of room to swim and hide. In a smaller environment, kribensis have been known to become aggressive as there are territorial. As long as you have given them adequate, room to swim you will enjoy watching these fast swimming fish to stop quickly and turn directions. The best size aquarium for these fish is a 20 gallon.

If you wish to introduce other fish to your kribensis, bottom dwellers and slow-moving fish are not the best. Even though these fish are not necessarily aggressive, they tend to nip at the fins of slow fish like the Angelfish. As well as the bottom-dwelling fish, these fish will feel threatened as if their territory is being taken away by the new fish, so other fish that enjoy hiding in caves are also a no-no.
Your fish should be fed no more than can be eaten in five minutes. They enjoy all kinds of fish food including flakes, lives, granular, or frozen.

If you have any questions regarding the Kribensis, you should talk with an assistant at the fish store. They will be able to provide you with all the answers you need to keep healthy and happy fish, as well as give you information on other fish that can live in the same tank without problems.



2018-06-07

Tips on KRIBENSIS Care and Spawning

Kribensis, male
Kribensis, male (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Kribensis or Pelvicachromis pulcher is of the family Cichlidae more commonly referred to as cichlids. They are native to the waters of West Africa, primarily found in Nigeria. They can be found in anywhere from free-flowing to brackish water. Kribensis are also referred to as dwarf African cichlids, purple cichlids, and kribs an abbreviation of their species name. Cichlids are among the most numerous and varied species on Earth. Over 1,300 species have thus far been identified and classified.

Kribs are very popular among freshwater aquarists because of their almost saltwater quality coloration.

Unlike most African cichlids, kribs have a temperament conducive to community living. They will adapt better to a community tank if given plenty of plants, rocks and hollow aquarium decorations to hide in.

Kribs thrive in soft to medium hard water with a pH level between 6.5-7.0 and a temperature range of 75-82°. They are a medium sized fish reaching three to four inches in length as adults and have an average lifespan of five years.

Kribensis are omnivores. They eat worms, insects, small crustaceans and plants in their natural habitat. In captivity, they are just fine on common variety tropical fish flakes.

Distinguishing males from females is easy. The males are larger than the females. Unlike most tropical fish, it is the female who has the more vibrant color palette.

Breeding Kribensis
Feeding them a diet high in protein such as brine shrimp, tubifex or bloodworms will help induce the spawning cycle. Privacy is essential to spawning. Kribs will seek out caves or hollow aquarium decor to spawn in.

The eggs will be deposited on the roof of their mating chamber. Spawning is complete when the male leave the spawning chamber. Sometimes males will become aggressive toward the female after spawning takes place. If this happens the male should be removed from the tank. If it does not he may be left with the female.

The female will stay in the chamber until the eggs hatch. This will occur in 36-48 hours. It is not uncommon for both adults to guard over the eggs until they hatch.


In 3-4 days the fry will be free swimming. Both parents will demonstrate parental instincts toward their newly hatched offspring. They will herd the brood around the tank keeping a watchful eye on them. There are rare occasions when adult kribs have been reported to eat the fry once they are free swimming. This is not common. You can play it safe by removing the adults if you choose.

A report issued by Barlow in the year 2000 stated that fry raised in an acidic environment will be mostly male. A neutral or slightly alkaline content will result in a heavier female population. I found this information one of the more interesting facts I came across while researching this cichlid.

Free swimming fry can be fed liquid fry food available at most fish stores. A suitable alternative to store bought food is powdered eggs. Add it sparingly to avoid fouling the water. Fry are small. They don't eat much.

    Freshwater fish are the most popular aquarium fish worldwide because of their inexpensive price and ease of care. Many aquarium owners don't realize that there is a rather exotic alternative to freshwater fish in the realms of affordability and upkeep. Jellyfish aquariums are the hottest new trend in the aquarium industry. Jellyfish do require a special Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank in order to survive but they are far easier to keep alive and healthy than saltwater fish. If you find the idea of raising pet jellyfish intriguing, find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2018-05-29

The FRONTOSA CICHLID

Cyphotilapia_frontosa
Cyphotilapia_frontosa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Frontosa Cichlid originates from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. This pet is easily identified by its cranial hump, which begins to develop as adults or when they reach a length of approximately 4 inches. These fish are usually found at depths of 100 feet or deeper in the wild. Even though the males will grow from 14 - 16 inches and the females will grow from 9 - 12 inches as adults, in Lake Tanganyika they will sometimes fall prey to larger fish, but in an aquarium, anything under 3 inches in length will often time become a snack for these generally mild predators.

Frontosas are meat eaters in the wild, mostly consuming snails and other mollusks. In an aquarium, however, their diet must be protein rich in the form of krill, adult brine shrimp, most any type of worm, and silversides.

The Frontosa is a mouthbrooder, meaning the female will carry fertilized eggs in her mouth for approximately 21 days, at which time the fry are released into the water to fend for themselves. The female will allow them back into her mouth a couple of times if she fears harm to the young ones, but will only allow them to seek cover once or twice. The female will eat hardly anything during this time period, and placing her in a separate tank will help keep her stress levels down.

The Frontosa Cichlid makes a very nice pet. It is basically nonaggressive, however, it will defend an established territory. 8 - 12 pets in at least a 200-gallon aquarium is recommended, with a sandy bottom and lots of caves. They will generally leave plants alone too. These guys will often live up to 25 years, making them a beautiful, long-term pet!


Keeping them to the age of 25 requires stable temperatures between 72 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, lots of oxygen - keep bubblers going day and night, avoid overfeeding and overstocking, 10 - 20% water changes weekly, and a constant checking of nitrate levels. Keep them happy and you'll have a nice group of pets for a long time.

The Frontosa Cichlid is an amazing pet. It is one of the few nonaggressive African Cichlids. You will be surprised at what you can mix with these guys and how your aquarium can glow with the beautiful colors from these delightful fish.



2018-05-13

BLUE RAM - My First South American Cichlid

Ram cichlid, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi
Ram cichlid, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Blue Ram, Gold Ram, which is which?  This little dwarf South American Cichlid has had its name changed so many times it has every right to be confused. But whatever you call it, the Blue Ram, or the Gold Ram (originally I knew it as Apistogramma ramirezi) is one of the most intriguing fish you can keep in a passive aquarium community.  The fish has been also been called Microgeophagus (little dirt eater) and is listed in my copy of the Baensch Aquarium Atlas as Papilliochromis ramirezi.

Doesn't matter what they call it, at least scientifically, I like these fish.  They have a very gentle personality and are extremely passive, keeping pretty much to themselves when they are added to a community aquarium. In fact, this is often a problem, they are so easily intimidated by more active swimming fish that they may never become as colourful as they can be.  Even if other fish are not even trying to bother them, swift movements and rapid fish can simply be too much and the fish will waste away. For this reason, I most often will simply give the group a tank of their own and let the interactions in their own community offer the action in the tank.  In a species tank like this, I often see much more interaction between the individuals. It may only be my opinion, but the social characteristics of these fish as a group is well worth devoting a small tank just to them.

In my experience they can be quite delicate and prefer softer acid water, some of the books do note they will tolerate up to neutral (7.0 pH) water, but I feel that is a maximum limit, lower pH down to 6.5 are much more preferable.  Above all, they simply do not tolerate environmental changes well. Be very careful when adding any type of chemical, if you must treat the water for softness and acidity, try to do it naturally, possibly with peat rather than chemical treatments that can cause the conditions to rapidly fluctuate. It is much better to allow the change to be very gradual, rather than all of a sudden. and always ensure the water you are replacing during regular aquarium maintenance protocols has been properly treated outside the aquarium to eliminate chlorine and other toxins well before coming in contact with the aquarium.

If you give do give them the conditions they require and let them settle in and get comfortable, you will watch one of the true jewels of the freshwater tropical fish species as it goes about its business. Too much action by other species in the tank and it the entire group will become timid and easily spooked, but in the right conditions, it is truly a spectacular addition to the small community aquarium.  I have found the blue and gold rams can be mixed pretty easily and that they prefer to be in groups rather than simple pairs.  The interaction of the group is quite social, so having at least five or six in the tank gives them chance to interact with interesting results.

Most of the tanks that I have kept Rams of assorted types have been pretty bare of plants, but with lots of rocks and ornaments that allow them to hide and claim as territory. They have survived and flourished in a rocky environment, and even bred repeatedly on a flat rock or on a grave impression they have dug.  One of their many names was Microgeophagus - or little dirt eater.  My observations show this is a good description for them. They will dig and move the gravel and can create hollows in the bottom, some have even spawned there.  I would suggest using relatively small fine gravel for the bottom of a ram tank since they will be moving it around anyway, and large gravel will make the effort great.

I was not a fan of keeping live plants when I kept and bred these originally.  The fact that they move the gravel means that any plants you keep for them must be well anchored.  They do enjoy a planted tank with densely bunched plants that offer places to hide and disappear within, but like my previous environments, they do need plenty of open bottom swimming area as well.  In essence, the plants provide the same type of protection that a properly rocked aquarium will for them.  Either way, when planting or rocking the aquarium, concentrate near the back and ensure there is a plenty of swimming space is probably the best way to set the aquarium.  Other fish can be included in the habitat, but keep them to lazy swimming fish in the upper regions so there is little interaction between the rams and the other species.


The Gold Ram was the first Cichlid I tried my hand at keeping and breeding.  When I first saw them introduced a few decades ago to my area, I knew I wanted to see what they were about.  Once I looked into them, the general Cichlid species characteristics intrigued me, having had my fill of fish that evidence no parental behaviour, either giving birth and abandoning them as they drop or simply scattering eggs and ignoring them afterwards.  it was a refreshing change of pace to finally encounter fish that actually cared for their eggs until they hatch, protecting the clutch and the area from unwanted intruders. This is the time when rams become their most aggressive.

Sure there are a lot of other Dwarf Cichlids, and many of them are just as stunning, but I have yet to see any fish with the depth and brilliance of colour as a well-conditioned Blue Ram in full breeding colours showing off for a receptive female.  These dwarfs do not have as pronounced roles for the parental care as many of their larger cousins display. The roles blur and both do what is required without as clear-cut responsibilities.  They can be a problem to keep happy, but when they do breed and the eggs have been laid, it is best to remove other occupants and let the eggs hatch.  Once the babies are fully free swimming, they can be removed to a grow out tank.




2018-04-26

Tips on BLOOD PARROT CICHLID Care and Breeding

English: A Picture of my large Blood Parrot It...
A Picture of my large Blood Parrot
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The blood parrot cichlid should not be confused with the parrot cichlid (Hoplarchus Psittacus). Blood parrot cichlids have no binomial nomenclature (scientific designation) to identify them by. Nor do they have a natural habitat. Why you may ask? Blood parrots are a man-made hybrid. They are, in fact, one of the only two fish species found within the Exotic-Aquariums Fish Care and Breeding Guide entirely of man-made origins. Although their parental lineage was never documented and remains shrouded in mystery, the blood parrot was first created in Taiwan around 1986.

Prevalent speculation points to the following cichlid species as the potential candidates of parental origins; the redhead cichlid (Cichlasoma synspilum) and the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) or a coupling between the red devil cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus) and the severum (Heros Severus). Despite the fact that all of the aforementioned species are native to either Central or South America, the blood parrot is considered an Asian cichlid because of the geographical location of its hybridization.

Regardless of the point of origin or parental ancestry, blood parrot cichlids have stirred up almost as much controversy as their man-made counterparts, the glofish. Unlike the glofish, blood parrots are a product of selective breeding rather than genetic manipulation. As such they have not banned for sale in most countries as a genetically engineered species. The subject of the controversy revolves around the anatomical deformities inherent in the hybridization of this previously nonexistent subspecies.

Perhaps the most physically detrimental deformity relates to the hybrid's narrow, beak-like mouth. Its vertical mouth opening makes it hard for the fish to feed and leaves it vulnerable to possible starvation. Blood parrots compensate for this deformity by using their throat muscles to finish pulverizing their food. Additional deformities include malformed swim bladders which result in erratic swimming patterns, unnaturally large often misshapen irises and deformed spinal columns that contribute to the fish's unique shape. To add further fuel to the controversy, many breeders inject the fish with colored dyes to increase the intensity and diversity of its color palette and enhance its overall marketability marketing them under the trade name Bubblegum Parrot.

This same practice was also used to transform Indian glassfish into the once very popular Disco fish. The dying of fish for commercial resale is detrimental to the fish's health and frequently shortens their life expectancy. Practical Fishkeeping has been instrumental in exposing these practices to the general public. As a result of many fish stores and online retailers no longer stock the modified variations of these fish.

Although blood parrots were a product of the 80s they were not widely available in pet shops until 2000. Many avid fish enthusiasts were opposed to the sale of these creatures on ethical grounds due to the inherent deformities resulting from their creation. Fish stores who stocked these hybrids were even boycotted. Said boycotts only met with limited success. Some store owners simply cannot afford not to carry this inventory because of the high price tag they fetch. Ethical principles and genetic deformities aside, blood parrots frequently live for 10 years and have been reported to live as long as 15 years of age.

If you are not ethically opposed to owning a blood parrot then you should be aware that this is one of the larger cichlids. Blood parrots commonly grow 8-10 inches in length. A single fish will require a minimum aquarium size of 50 gallons. When kept as a community fish, you will need a substantially larger tank. Care should be exercised when choosing their tank mates. Blood parrots should not be housed with large aggressive fish. They should not be forced to compete for food or turf in a community setting. Angelfish, catfish, danios and larger variety tetras make suitable tank mates.

Blood parrots should be provided with ample room and adequate hiding places so that they can establish their own territorial boundaries. Driftwood, rock work and larger aquarium d├ęcor are excellent options. Like many cichlids, these fish are prone to dig up gravel. Choosing a smaller, less course substrate is recommended. These fish tend to function best under subdued lighting. This is attributed to iris irregularities inherent in their breeding.

South American cichlids prefer soft water environments with a ph balance around 6.8. Water temperature should be maintained between 78-86 °F. Lower temperature ranges could result in a loss of coloration.

The blood parrot is an omnivorous cichlid. They will readily accept a wide variety of foods. They are more adept at consuming sinking rather than floating food offerings. Standard food fare can be supplemented with bloodworms and brine shrimp. Commercial products high in b-carotene and canthaxanthin will help enhance and maintain their coloration. These fish are voracious eaters. They are known for generating a large amount of uneaten food debris in a short period of time. A good filtration system combined with frequent water changes and substrate maintenance is a must to keep nitrate levels in check.



Breeding Blood Parrot Cichlids

Although Parrots have been known to mate and even lay eggs, generally they are infertile. Male blood parrots are typically infertile. There have been sporadic cases of successful spawnings, generally when they have been crossed with a non-hybrid fish. The use of a non-hybridized male will increase your rate of success. In commercial breeding, males are injected with hormones to increase fertility rates. Like other cichlids, Blood Parrots will tend the eggs and resulting fry fastidiously. As with any eggs, those that are infertile will turn white and rapidly fungus. The parents will eat infertile eggs to prevent them from spreading the fungus to the fertile eggs.

Once the eggs hatch, daily water changes of 25% are critical to ensuring the health of the fry. Fresh baby brine shrimp are the optimum food during the first couple of weeks. Often pet shops will carry frozen baby brine shrimp, which can also be used. As they fry grow, they can be weaned to finely crushed flake food.

    By Stephen J Broy
    The hottest new trend in aquarium ownership is pet jellyfish. Jellyfish require a specially designed Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank to remain alive and healthy. Jellyfish aquariums are easier to maintain than a traditional saltwater tank. Pet Moon Jellyfish have become exceptionally popular in recent years with home aquarists both for their unparalleled elegance and ease of care. The market for moon jellies has increased to the point that two US-based websites are now tank raising these exotic creatures to keep pace with the growing demand.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2018-03-13

MIDAS CICHLID

Midascichlid shedd.jpg
Photo: Omnitarian. Licensed under Wikimedia Commons.
A native of the lakes in Costa Rica and Nicaragua the Midas cichlid or Amphilophus Citrinellus is a popular fish of many pet shops and fish owners. It is a large fish that can grow to fourteen inches in length. It is quite beautiful and comes in an array of colors. They are normally yellow, red and white or an assortment of these colors. The Midas cichlid can easily be identified by the nuchal hump which is a feature of the adult male. The female version is not quite as distinguishable. The males have larger fins as well.

This fish likes lots of water. It should be placed in a large tank alone or in pairs. One Midas would be happy in a tank of 75 gallons of water. That should be the minimum amount. If the fish keeper still insists on placing it with other fish the best option would be to put fish of the same size. Any fish that looks to be inferior will surely end up in the stomach. The tank should have lots of rocks and wood. Ceramic pieces and slate will make it very comfortable. Since this is a fish that loves to dig it is not a good idea to place many plants in the tank unless they are plants that will prove difficult for the fish to move. Even if they can't move the plant around they will shred it to pieces.

The Midas Cichlid is omnivorous so it should be fed on protein as well as nonprotein foods. Worms, brine shrimp, processed fish food should be used to feed this fish. Vegetables and plants should also be added to the diet. They should be fed two or three times per day.

This fish has an intense breeding season. The male and female will play with each other for weeks and even months. They rub against each other until the time comes for the female to lay the eggs. The couple works together by digging towards the bottom of the tank where the female will lay the eggs. After laying them in rows the male will fertilize each of them. The male becomes very possessive and may attack the female during this period. To ensure her safety the fish keeper should put dividers in the tank. The male will stay with the eggs until the fry is able to go on their own. Both parents have a habit of eating any eggs that are not hatched.



If given proper treatment the Midas cichlid can live for up to fifteen years. The water should be cleaned regularly and have the correct temperature. They produce a lot of waste so the water should be tested regularly for any contaminants and chemical imbalances that would cause them stress. The recommended temperature is between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They are prone to Hole-in-the-head disease.

The Midas cichlid is a very interesting fish. They have flourished in captivity. Scientists have been using them to help in the conduct of behavioral research.





2018-03-03

What You Should Know About CONVICT CICHLID Fish Care

Convict-Cichlid-Male
Photo  by Marcel Sigg 
All people that are growing cichlids know that we are in front of an exciting hobby. It is perfect for beginners, especially if they want to raise convict cichlid fish. This is because it is quite easy to take care of them. You are not to have to deal with a lot of problems when breeding them. The zebra cichlid the common name stands out as highly attractive and this does bring in a lot of people wanting to raise them.

Convict cichlid fish are capable of adapting to different water conditions. An aquarium for them needs to include some rocks, artificial caves intended for breeding and some flat stones. Plants are not really needed because they are to be destroyed by this fish. In the event that you do want to add plants for design, you should use plants that are hardier like Amazonian sword plants or java fern.

These fish will accept quite a wide range of PH and temperature. One thing that is really important is that all has to be kept stable and no quick changes have to be made. The water PH level should be around 7 while the temperature is perfect if kept around twenty-five degrees Celsius. Convict cichlid fish stand out as an omnivore and are capable of eating almost anything that you buy. Aquarium plants can also be taken into their diet.


One really important fact is that a convict cichlid fish is really aggressive when placed in the same tank with other fish. When mating season appears this becomes highly true. We do recommend that you keep them in a separate tank when breeding season comes. All convict cichlids will be easy to breed. The parents are always guarding fry and eggs and are really protective parents.

The bottom line is that it will be easy to raise a convict cichlid fish. In the event that one beginner is looking for one fish that can be raised easily and looks very well there will be no real problems.