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

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


2018-05-13

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.




2018-01-01

Electric Blue Ram Cichlid

Electric Blue Ram (Male) - Photo: Wikimedia
One of the more recent additions to the aquarium trade is the ram, a color morph of the ram cichlid (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) that was developed in 2009. Rams are still less commonly available than other ram varieties and may be more expensive. Be wary of rams sold at "bargain-basement" prices, as they may have been treated with hormones, a practice that weakens the specimens and reduces their lifespan. Always buy from a trusted, reputable dealer or breeder.

Housing an Electric Blue Ram
The ram is not recommended for beginners, but it is not overly difficult to keep either. One pair can be housed in a 20-gallon aquarium, while two pairs will require a tank of at least 40 gallons. As always, more water means that it will be easier for you to keep the water quality high and stable, and since the ram is sensitive to organic waste, such as nitrate, it is unwise to skimp on tank size if you manage to get your hands on this uncommon and beautiful fish.

Since the ram is a type of ram cichlid, your safest bet is to provide it with an environment similar to the habitat of its wild ancestors. Give your ram plenty of cover, ideally by including aquatic plants or submerged land vegetation in the setup.

Densely planted areas and surface cover, combined with at least one open area for swimming, would be ideal. In addition to plants, the electric ram should be given a few caves to shelter in. If you intend to breed the electric ram, provide it with several flat stones or breeding slates in the tank to choose among since this fish likes to deposit its eggs on a flat, horizontal surface.

Suitable Tankmates
The electric ram should never be housed with aggressive fish or quick and energetic species that will devour all the food before the ram finds it. A common mistake is to house ram cichlids and electric blue rams with other dwarf cichlids - avoid this at all costs. Keeping electric rams on their own isn't recommended either; they need some peaceful and docile species in the aquarium to feel safe. Go for slow-moving and tranquil species that won't outcompete the rams at mealtimes.


If your electric blue rams start displaying aggressive tendencies toward tankmates, try including more hiding spots m the setup. A scarcity of suitable sheltering spots can lead to aggressive behavior. Also, electric blue rams always get aggressive during the breeding period because they need to keep their youngsters safe.

Keeping Electric Blues
Electric blue rams should not be placed in newly set up aquariums; they need a stable environment with low levels of organic waste. Successful keeping normally includes mechanical and biological filtration as well as regular water changes. Strong water movement will not be appreciated because wild ram cichlids live in slow-flowing waters.

The normal temperature range for wild ram cichlids is 78 to 85F, and the water in which they live is soft and acidic. A pH value in the 5 to 6 range is ideal for electric blue rams, but aquarist-raised specimens normally adapt to anything below pH 7.1. There are even reports of aquarists successfully housing German blue rams in moderately hard water so this might be possible for electric blue rams as well.

Feeding an Electric Blue Ram
The electric blue ram is an omnivore and needs to be kept on a diet of both meaty and green foods. The stress of being moved to a new environment can make the fish lose its appetite, so be prepared to coax it with mosquito larvae or similar foods. Once it's eating enough, you can start introducing other types of food, such as flakes and pellets, as well. 

A well acclimated electric blue ram normally accepts many different types of food. Keep an eye on the fish during feeding time. As I mentioned, electric blue rams are a bit slow moving and may starve if kept with faster-moving species. To find out more, you can check out Electric Blue Ram Cichlid.



2017-11-18

KRIBENSIS * Purple Cichlid - Pelvicachromis pulcher (Pelmatochromis Kribensis)

Kribensis * Purple Cichlid - Pelvicachromis pulcher (Pelmatochromis Kribensis)




2017-11-15

All About KRIBENSIS Cichlids

Proud family with 23 babies...
Kribensis - Photo   by    sapienssolutions 
The kribensis cichlids are some of the most preferred African cichlids. They are very small in stature. Unlike other cichlids, the kribensis are very peaceful. However, you should note that they become very hostile during breeding time. Nevertheless, they can be kept in a communal fish tank.

The fish species is found in West Africa specifically in Nigeria and Cameroon. Their scientific name is Pelmatochromis kribensis. The name is a reflection of their purplish color. Their habitat should have a lot of plantation and rocks which enable them hide easily. They prefer living in fresh water of around middle pH with a bit of acidity and a mild temperature.

The kribensis cichlids will feed on most aquarium foods. However, some foods with specs of meat will encourage them more in their breeding period. Their color is more pronounced in females rather than males. Therefore, they are easy to distinguish. Also, for the males, they have more color towards the back than the female kribensis cichlids. The tail will tell you this since it has some spots that are a bit dark.

The fish are a bit fun loving and very social. Placing them with other kinds of fish will not pose a danger to the others at all. Although the kribensis cichlids need more swimming areas, you should include rocks and more places to hide. They are burrowers therefore you should be adding more sand in the aquarium.

During the spawning period the female develops brighter colors. The belly in particular is turned to a bright red during this period. During the breeding period, the fish develop a higher degree of aggression.

The fish life span could surprisingly reach 5 to 10 years of age. To sway away predators, the kribensis cichlids have some spiny rays towards the back. Their bodies are structured in such a way that they have a soft and perfect shape. This helps them during swimming helping them move around without much effort.

During feeding, you should feed them on worms and insects. Flakes and pellets offer a good balance to their diet. It is advised that you feed the fish small amounts of food rather than resorting to feed them in a lump sum.



This will encourage them utilize the food and minimize wastage that eventually turns the water in the tank dirty. A funny fact about the kribensis cichlids is that you can keep a male and a female together in one fish tank. The two develop lifelong relations. In the event of death of one of the pairs, it's time to buy a new pair. This is because regardless of how many replacement you make, the compatibility is impossible.

When building their tanks, the tank should be able to accommodate between 80 and 90 liters of water. Since the kribensis cichlids are burrowers, include a larger amount of fine gravel. The substrate should be however free of quartzite substrates since they tend to interfere with larval development and may cause the death of fry.



2017-09-30

Pelvicachromis sacrimontis - GREEN KRIBENSIS




2017-09-11

Tips on RAM CICHLIDS - Care and Spawning

The Ram cichlid or Microgeophagus ramirezi belongs to the family Cichlidae more commonly referred to as cichlids. They are endemic to Orinoco River basin in Venezuela and Columbia. The aquarium industry markets rams under several trade names including; Ram, Blue ram, German blue ram, Asian ram, butterfly cichlid, dwarf butterfly and Ramirez's dwarf cichlid. The Ramirez's dwarf cichlid is a hybrid originally bred by fish enthusiast Manuel Ramirez.

ram2
Ram Cichlid - Photo  by   boscosami  (cc)
Rams are arguably the most peace loving of the entire cichlid family. This makes them very popular with aquarium owners. They make wonderful community tank fish provided they are surrounded by equally docile tank-mates. They mix exceedingly well with tetras. Another aspect of their popularity is their size. They only grow to about 2.5 inches unlike their cousin the angelfish that can grow to up to 6 inches in diameter. This makes them perfect for smaller aquariums such as desktop models. They are most at home in well planted aquariums.

Ram Cichlids thrive in slightly acidic water. A pH of 6.8 with a water temperature range between 72- 78°F is the ideal environment for keeping rams. Under premium conditions you can expect your ram cichlids to live for up to four years.

Rams are omnivorous. They can survive just fine on common variety tropical fish flakes. But supplementing their diet with live food such as brine shrimp, frozen or freeze dried food will help insure their vigor.

Distinguishing males from females isn't difficult. This species is sexually dimorphic, males being larger than females. Males typically possess longer spines on the front of their dorsal fin. Females have rounder abdomens than males. This trait is quite apparent when they are carrying eggs.
Breeding Ram Cichlids



Both the male and the female typically become more colorful when its time to breed. The abdomen of a females' body turns reddish or pinkish when she enters into her spawning cycle. A slightly acid water and warmer water temperatures will help induce spawning.
You will want to place the pair in a breeding tank. Males can become territorial when they enter their breeding cycle.

You will know your rams are about to spawn when the expectant parents begin to clean a flat surface to deposit their eggs on. Cichlids rarely deposit their eggs on barren substrate when a more suitable nursery is available.

    The latest trend among Saltwater Tank enthusiasts is raising pet jellyfish. Jellyfish need specially designed Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. Jellyfish tanks are easier to maintain than traditional saltwater setups. Moon Jellies are the most popular jellyfish among home aquarists both for their exotic beauty and their ease of care. They have become so popular that two US based websites are now tank raising them to meet the growing demand. Pet Moon Jellyfish look absolutely incredible under a fading LED lighting system.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



2017-07-07

Tips on RAM CICHLIDS - Care and Spawning

The Ram cichlid or Microgeophagus ramirezi belongs to the family Cichlidae more commonly referred to as cichlids. They are endemic to Orinoco River basin in Venezuela and Columbia. The aquarium industry markets rams under several trade names including; Ram, Blue ram, German blue ram, Asian ram, butterfly cichlid, dwarf butterfly and Ramirez's dwarf cichlid. The Ramirez's dwarf cichlid is a hybrid originally bred by fish enthusiast Manuel Ramirez.

A female M. ramirezi
A female M. ramirezi
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Rams are arguably the most peace loving of the entire cichlid family. This makes them very popular with aquarium owners. They make wonderful community tank fish provided they are surrounded by equally docile tank-mates. They mix exceedingly well with tetras. Another aspect of their popularity is their size. They only grow to about 2.5 inches unlike their cousin the angelfish that can grow to up to 6 inches in diameter. This makes them perfect for smaller aquariums such as desktop models. They are most at home in well planted aquariums.

Ram Cichlids thrive in slightly acidic water. A pH of 6.8 with a water temperature range between 72- 78°F is the ideal environment for keeping rams. Under premium conditions you can expect your ram cichlids to live for up to four years.



Rams are omnivorous. They can survive just fine on common variety tropical fish flakes. But supplementing their diet with live food such as brine shrimp, frozen or freeze dried food will help insure their vigor.

Distinguishing males from females isn't difficult. This species is sexually dimorphic, males being larger than females. Males typically possess longer spines on the front of their dorsal fin. Females have rounder abdomens than males. This trait is quite apparent when they are carrying eggs.

Breeding Ram Cichlids

Both the male and the female typically become more colorful when its time to breed. The abdomen of a females' body turns reddish or pinkish when she enters into her spawning cycle. A slightly acid water and warmer water temperatures will help induce spawning.

You will want to place the pair in a breeding tank. Males can become territorial when they enter their breeding cycle.

You will know your rams are about to spawn when the expectant parents begin to clean a flat surface to deposit their eggs on. Cichlids rarely deposit their eggs on barren substrate when a more suitable nursery is available.


    By Stephen J Broy
    The latest trend among Saltwater Tank enthusiasts is raising pet jellyfish. Jellyfish need specially designed Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. Jellyfish tanks are easier to maintain than traditional saltwater setups. Moon Jellies are the most popular jellyfish among home aquarists both for their exotic beauty and their ease of care. They have become so popular that two US based websites are now tank raising them to meet the growing demand. Pet Moon Jellyfish look absolutely incredible under a fading LED lighting system.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2017-07-03

Fact Sheet: BLACK STRIPE DWARF CICHLID

Black Stripe Dwarf Cichlid

Black Stripe Dwarf Cichlid - Taeniacara candidi - Wikipedia

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Tank Conditions: 72-86°F; pH 6.0-7.0;
  • KH 2-15 
  • Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 3"
  • Color Form: Black 
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet:  Carnivore 
  • Origin: Farm Raised, South America 


The Taeniacara candidi is known in the hobby as the Black Stripe Dwarf Cichlid, and originates within the Amazon Basin of South America. The bodies of these fish are extremely slender and elongated, and have a dark stripe that runs horizontally from the nose to the base of the tail. Another distinguishing feature is its unusually low dorsal fin. 

The Black Stripe Dwarf Cichlid should be kept in a tank that is 30 gallons minimum, with densely planted groupings. They require plenty of open swimming areas but also need hiding places. A fine gravel to sand substrate is recommended. Although a semiaggressive fish, they are also timid and should not be housed with large, aggressive fish. They require good water conditions, and regular water changes are a must. 

The Black Stripe Dwarf Cichlid is an egg layer that prefers to spawn on the underside of leaves or pieces of driftwood. Once the female has laid her eggs, the male will follow to fertilize them. After fertilization, the male then leaves the brood for the female to tend to.



The fry will be free swimming within seven to ten days, at which time they should be fed newly hatched brine shrimp. They are a fast growing species, and the fry will reach sexual maturity in about five months. 

The Black Stripe Dwarf Cichlid is a carnivore, and will consume a wide variety of foods. Freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, flake food, and both frozen and live brine shrimp and worms will make excellent food for these fish.  Approximate Purchase Size: 1" to 1-1/2"



2017-05-13

CICHLID Aquarium Setup - Our Top Five Tips

Cichlids are beautiful fish and I applaud your decision to set up a cichlid tank. Before you start I would like to ease the way by covering several points you may not have considered. This is a big job and it is very difficult to rectify afterwards as once the tank is full of water it will be nearly impossible to move.

The first consideration is the location. Is your planned location big enough to accommodate your size of tank and have enough space to allow filter tubes and lighting cable to run down behind the tank stand? From time to time you will need access to these things and if you cannot reach it will make life difficult. You need to allow sufficient working space. Direct sunlight is the next major consideration. If the tank is in the glare of direct sunlight algae with grow like wildfire on the inside of the glass, on rocks, driftwood and plants. This can be reduced by various water treatments but it is not ideal. It would also make cleaning your aquarium a lot more work than it needs to be as well as spoiling the overall presentation of your fish.

male altispinosa dwarf cichlid
Male altispinosa dwarf cichlid by úlfhams_víkingur


If at all possible you should avoid placing you tank against a cold external wall. A Cichlid tank by definition is filled with warm water. If you have something cooling the water down your heaters will have to work overtime to maintain the correct temperature for your fish. This will also raise your electricity bill enormously. People rushing past your tank will startle your fish and cause them undue stress. Accidental knocks and bangs on the tank will also upset your fish in addition to the likelihood of damage caused to the glass which would be a major disaster. Therefore a quieter location would be preferred by all, especially your fish.

Finally, please give some thought to cleaning time. You will need to transport large quantities of waste water away from the tank. Do you have a clear route to the garden? The water can be used to water flower beds and potted plants rather than being flushed into the sewer system. You do not want trip hazards while you are carrying a bucket of used fish water. It will not be good for the carpet, believe me. Been there - done that.

I hope that I have opened your eyes to a few other considerations other than 'It will look nice there' when it comes to setting up a cichlid fish tank. Of course you want it to look nice, but without further complications down the line. I also fully appreciate that you might not be able to satisfy all the points listed above so you will have to judge each point on your own circumstances and make your own decision.

    If I were to choose just one point above all others it would be to avoid the sunlight. Not only is it bad for your tank, you won't see a thing with the sunlight reflecting off the glass and that's not why you set up a Cichlid Aquarium in the first place.

    Article Directory: EzineArticles


2017-04-18

APISTOGRAMA, Dwarf Cichlids in the Aquarium

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

Apistogramma hongsloi
Flickr Photo by Britzke


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

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

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

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

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

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2017-03-22

How to Breed DWARF CICHLIDS

If you have Cichlids in your fish aquarium, can you imagine how frustrating it can be to know you have a pair of these clever fish spawning but you can never get around to actually seeing them do it? Such is often the case with Dwarf Cichlids who are quite secretive spawners. Many spawn in rocky caves, often upside down on the ceiling, just to be different.

Pelvicachromis pulcher, adult male
Pelvicachromis pulcher, adult male (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Kribensis, Pelvicachromis pulcher, is a modest-sized Cichlid from West Africa. The male has a spade-shaped caudal fin whilst the female's main claim to fame is her purple coloration which intensifies at breeding time.

These fish will certainly spawn in the community aquarium and are stout defenders of both their spawning site and subsequent fry. It is not unusual for them to 'disappear' for a disconcerting period of time only to eventually reappear with a couple of dozen youngsters in tow. However it is obviously best to set up a separate breeding tank for them.

Again a planted tank is recommended with the added furnishing of a flowerpot laid on its side on the substrate. You should enlarge the drainage hole in the bottom to allow the fish to enter and exit the pot from that end should they prefer to. Alternatively, short pieces of plastic pipe may also make potential spawning sites.

As with other Cichlids, a pair of Kribensis will normally pair off spontaneously should you have a number of them grown up from young in your collection. You could also buy a pair from your dealer, using the sex identification guide, but there is no guarantee that they will turn into a compatible pair bent on producing a family for you.

Once decided on a lady of his choice, the male fish will display in front of her with many turnings and U-shape bendings of his body. At this time too, his colors will be intensified.
They will disappear into the flowerpot or pipe to clean a spawning site on which eggs are laid by the female and fertilized by the male.



When the fry emerge from their hatching period and are free-swimming, the female's colors again intensify possibly to facilitate fry-adult communication. Her belly turns a deep rich purple whilst her fins take on a sooty black appearance, especially the pelvic fins which she continually flicks as if signalling to the fry.

Again, the parents will herd the young and protect them against any possible threat.

Raising the fry to young fish follows the normal feeding patterns and the fry grow quickly.

It is often the case that there is a predominance of one sex or another in the brood of youngsters. 

Reports suggest that this state of affairs can be altered (perhaps producing too many of the other sex next time?) by tinkering with the water chemistry, i.e., raising or lowering the pH from what is was before. Caution must be exercised when altering the water chemistry; at the very least you might put off the parents' willingness to breed - even though you wouldn't be able to see them doing it.



2017-02-27

APISTOGRAMMA - Fish Fact

Highly prized by many hobbyists, Apistogramma is a genus of as many as 250 identified species of fish from the family Cichlidae distributed in the tropical areas of South America's small streams, oxbow lakes, Amazon basin and Venezuela. Most species are strongly sexually dimorphic, with males generally larger (up to 9 cm) in its small adult size and dramatically more coloured to the females. Male Apistogramma has elaborate or extended fins while the female Apistogramma generally has gray to brown colour.

Umbrella cichlid, Apistogramma hongsloi
Umbrella cichlid, Apistogramma hongsloi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All Apistogramma species are micropredators, with their main diet consisting of insect larvae, fish fry and other invertebrates. Live foods such as Brine Shrimp , Cyclops , Daphnia , Bloodworms , mosquito larvae, Tubifex can be fed. They may also accept flakes.

Apistogramma are quite peaceful, popular aquarium residents, making them ideal for inclusion in any community or planted aquariums with plenty of cover such as plants and driftwood. Apistogramma thrives in soft acidic water in its original habitat and are very sensitive to changes in the water chemistry. Recommended values for the water are a pH value range between 5.5-6.8, a water hardness from 0-8 dH, and a temperature from 75-84°F (24-29°C). Peat filtration will help in improving the water chemistry. Dim lighting or partial cover of floating plants should be considered as these species thrive in shaded areas. In the home aquarium, there should be little water movement created by filter. The substrate bottom preferably should be a darker tone.

During breeding and brood care, the female Apistogramma will have a shade of yellow colour. As in most Cichlidae, brood care is highly developed where all Apistogramma species spawn under rocks, in caves, or in holes in branches or sunken logs. A number of breeding strategies exist. Some species breed in polygynous harems, while other species form monogamous pairs. 

In most instances, the female is usually more highly involved with brood care, while the male defends the surrounding territory against predators. Development of the sex of the fry is largely affected by the water conditions, with warmer and softer water favoring more males to females. The eggs usually hatch in 2-5 days and the young will be free-swimming about 4-6 days later. The delicate fry can be raised on small Daphnia , Artemia nauplii, and roftiers.



2016-10-23

AFRICAN BUTTERFLY FISH - Anomalochromis thomasi

African Butterfly Fish - Anomalochromis thomasi




2016-06-18

Tips On Setting Up Your CICHLID AQUARIUM

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.

female Apistogramma nijsseni in mating colors
Female Apistogramma nijsseni in mating colors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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 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 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 residue that is toxic and harmful for cichlids.

Do not over feed 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 per cent 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.





2016-05-27

The Beautiful KRIBENSIS

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.

Kribensis, female
Kribensis, female (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These fish are also very popular as they are very easy to take of even for younger children. The fish were home at Ethiop River, Niger delta where the water offers low-lying black water 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, then also need room to swim. The aquarium should give them plenty of room to swim and hide. In 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.

    If you liked this article, you should read some of the other articles I have written. For instance, read about kribensis [http://www.kribensis.net]. 
    Article Source: EzineArticles