Showing posts with label Fact sheet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fact sheet. Show all posts

2018-11-12

Fact Sheet: DISCUS FISH - Symphysodon aequifasciatus

(Original Title: A Reference Guide for Symphysodon Aequifasciatus (Discus))

Snakeskin Discus Fish
Photo by Rego – d4u.hu 


This is general information on Discus, a member of the family Cichlidae. Although certainly not a complete reference guide, it will give those interested some background information on this exotic fish:

Symphysodon aequifasciatus (Discus)


Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (perch-like fish)
Family: Cichlidae
Scientific Name: Symphysodon aequifasciatus
Other Scientific Name(s): Symphysodon aequifasciata, Symphysodon discus aequifasciata, Symphysodon aequifasciatus aequifasciatus, Symphysodon discus tarzoo, Symphysodon aequifasciata axelrodi, Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldi
Common Name: Discus

Range: South America: Brazil, Peru. Found on Amazon and Solimoes rivers of Brazil, from the lower Rio Putumayo-Ica and from Benjamin Constant to Belém. Has been introduced to the Rio Nanay in Peru.

Diet: Carnivorous. Frozen foods preferred, but will accept flake foods. Particularly like red bloodworms, but feeding "live" food is not recommended. Red worms, etc, should only be fed to discus once every other day. Beware of parasites or bacteria in the discus tank from live foods!

Temperament: Timid of strangers. Easily frightened, unless placed in a high traffic area. Can be very friendly to aquarist, oft-times eating out of the hand. If given a place to hide, they will tend to do so.

Sexing: Discus are hard to sex unless breeding. Normally, the male will be larger and will present with longer fin extensions and a wider forehead.


Breeding: Buy either proven pairs or a group of young fish and allow them to pair themselves. The eggs are laid on a breeding cone. A clay flowerpot turned upside down works well. The fry must be kept with the parents after hatch, as they "feed" off the body slime of the parents. Special care must be taken to ensure that fry does not injure the parents when getting larger. Watch for marks on the body of the pair, and if it begins to occur, the fry is ready to be moved to a community tank on their own. If left w/ the pair, serious injury can result.

Special Care: If kept specifically for breeding, a bare-bottomed tank is highly recommended.

Other Comments: To keep Discus well, water conditions are absolutely crucial. A PH of 6.3 to 6.9 is the optimal level for keeping discus.

Water Temperature: Discus like it warm. They come from the Amazon basin, so water temps for these fish should be 80-84 degrees F, although some aquarists set the temperature as high as 90 degrees F.

    Alden Smith is a published author and has been marketing on the internet for 7 years. His website, King Discus, is an active gathering place for discus breeders and lovers of discus fish. 
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2018-08-25

Fact Sheet: ROSY BARB - Puntius conchonius

Rosy Barb
Photo  by Cylindric 
The Rosy Barb, Puntius conchonius, is a very easy fish to keep. Sometimes the Common Name is spelled Rosey Barb. Barbus Conchonius is a junior synonym of the scientific name. It comes from Assam and Bengal in the Indian Sub Continent. In the wild, it can grow to about 6 inches (16cm) long, but in an aquarium does not generally get longer than about 4 inches (10cm).

Water Conditions
The Rosy Barb is very flexible in its requirements. A pH of between 6.5 and 7.5 suits this fish. Although it will survive slightly acid water, it seems to prefer slightly alkaline water.

It is not too bothered by water hardness but seems to like some hardness in the water.

It can take temperatures of between 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) and 32 degrees C (90 degrees F). I would not recommend the extremes of its range, but I have heard of cases where it has been successfully kept as a pond fish in Adelaide even in the winter which suggests it can take even lower temperatures than 10 degrees C (50 degrees F). This is one of the fish that is happy in ether tropical or cold water aquariums as long as the conditions are not too extreme.

Food
This fish is extremely easy to feed. It will eat practically all types of fish food. It is an omnivore and will eat soft-boiled spinach as well as a flake, pelleted, live and frozen foods. In a mixed tank watch, the fish make sure the Rosy Barbs are not getting all the food. They eat a lot. Make sure you do not pollute the aquarium by putting more food than the aquarium and its filter can handle.
A good live food for Rosy Barbs is Daphnia.

Companions
The Rosy Barb is a schooling fish and at least 6 are to be preferred. In a school, they are much less likely to be a problem for other fish. It is a bigger fish than many of its common companions as well as being extremely active; naturally, it can sometimes cause problems.

Some suitable companions are: ParaguayTetras, PristellaTetras, Buenos Aires Tetras, Colombian Tetras, Rummy Nose Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Scissortail Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Black Widow Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Swordtails, Platies, Mollies, Zebra Danios, Glowlight Tetras, and White Cloud Mountain Minnows, as well as the Corydoras catfish like the Peppered Catfish.

Some fish I would definitely not recommend as companions for this fish are Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies, and Endlers Guppies.

Some small Fish like Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras may be all right while the Rosy Barbs are small, but whatever sort of fish you put together, you need to be guided by the sizes on the individuals as well as the species.

Varieties
There are several varieties of Rosy Barb including the Neon Rosy Barb, the Long Fin Rosy Barb, Red Glass Rosy Barb, the Blushing Rosy Barb, and the Gold Neon Rosy Barb.

Breeding
The Rosy Barb is one of the fish that frequently lays eggs in a home aquarium without their owner ever being aware of it. The eggs will normally get eaten long before they hatch, and any that do hatch get eaten as tiny babies with their owner never even seeing them.

Male Rosy Barbs have the reddish color that gives the species its common name while the females are more a yellowish color.

Frequently, hobbyists trying to breed them will use trios of two males and one female. The fish need to be well conditioned with rich food beforehand. This is particularly easy to do with this species because they are such good eaters. I find that frozen bloodworms are a good food.

The breeding tank should have plenty of plants; both submerged and floating ones. Neutral pH is probably best. The trio is often put into the breeding tank when it is getting dark and will spawn the following morning, or the second morning. When they have spawned, the female should be noticeably thinner, and the parents should be removed. Each female will lay hundreds of eggs.

The eggs hatch in 24-48 hours. The babies are fairly small. At first, they will eat infusoria or the finest fry foods, but they grow quickly and will soon be able to eat bigger food like screened Daphnia.

Professional breeders will sometimes simply let their Rosy Barbs breed naturally in ponds.

Once, to confirm my observation that my rosy barbs were frequently spawning without any special stimulus being given, I put a few Rosy Barbs into a type of breeding trap with a perforated bottom so that any eggs laid would fall through and hatch in the aquarium. I got a number of babies this way.

Growing the Babies
Baby Rosy barbs are vigorous fish. They eat well and can grow very fast, but it is necessary to give them enough space and keep the water quality high. I suggest more partial water changes that are usually done.


They will be able to eat screened Daphnia quite quickly. The definitely benefit from Daphnia and other suitable sized live food.

Feeder Fish
The Rosy barb is one of the many fish sometimes used as feeder fish. From the point of view of people selling them, they have some advantages for this. They are easy to breed, easy to grow, and the males sell better than the females, so if they can separate many of the males early on they can get something for the young females.

Personally, I think that feeder fish are often used when it is not necessary, although I recognize that there are cases where there is little alternative. In our shop, we do not sell any fish designated as feeder fish, but I am well aware that some of the small Rosy Barbs we sell cheaply are fed to other things.

Pest Fish
The Rosy Barb certainly has the potential to cause great damage to fragile ecosystems. With any pet fish, it should never be put into a situation where it can escape into natural waterways. They should never be released, and not used for live bait. The plants from a pond with fish in it also should not be put into natural waterways. Twice in setting up a new pond, baby fish have appeared. My theory is that fish eggs were on the plants put into the ponds.



2018-06-25

Fact Sheet: CLOWN LOACHES - Botia macracanthus

Botia macracanthus
Botia macracanthus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Scientific Name: Botia macracanthus

Other Scientific Name(s): Cobitis macracanthus, Botia macracanthus

Common Name: Clown Loach

Clown loaches are very popular aquarium fish; however, they are not always easy to keep successfully since they easily succumb to ick and are sensitive to poor water conditions. This article is intended to help new clown loach owners provide a good home for their loaches. Clown loaches are found in Indonesia (Sumatra and Borneo), and almost all clown loaches in aquariums are wild caught and distributed around the world before being sold. This can put considerable stress on the fish, and a vital step in getting a healthy clown loach school in your aquarium is choosing healthy fish. But how to make sure that you get healthy fish?

- Check the general conditions in the fish store. Are there dead fish in the aquariums? Is the water clean? If some tanks are mistreated there is a good chance that there might be unfavourable conditions in others too. Only buy fish from stores that take good care of their aquariums.
- How do the clown loaches look? Clown loaches can give you an indication of their condition based on their coloration. A healthy clown loach shows clear distinct colours, while a stressed one loses its colours and becomes whiter. Only buy loaches that show their correct colours.
- Are the clown loaches well fed? Those that haven't been fed correctly are hard to nurse back to health, and it is more than likely you will end up with a dead fish if you buy one. Look at their bodies and see if they look well fed, and ask the shopkeepers how often and what the loaches are fed.
- Are the clown loaches active? Healthy clown loaches are very active and full of energy. A healthy clown loach should be hard to catch.
- Do the clown loaches have hiding places? Hiding places are very important to relieve stress in clown loaches, and you are likely to get higher quality fish from aquariums with hiding places.
- Don't buy clown loaches smaller than 2 inches/5 cm if you haven't kept clown loaches before, since they are much more sensitive when they are younger.

So ideally you should look for the most coloured, most active clown loaches you can find, and buy these to have the best starting point possible. You should also consider the water conditions in the store and try to find one that keeps their clown loaches in water condition similar to the water conditions in your aquarium, to reduce stress on the clown loaches. It should also be stated that clown loaches like resting on their sides, looking almost as if they were dead. However, this is completely normal and should not be seen as a sign of poor quality in the fish but rather the opposite. When you have decided where to buy your clown loaches you should buy at least 3 (preferably 8-10). Clown loaches are schooling fish that should never be kept alone!!!

Once you get home with your new clown loaches you should let the bag float on the water surface for 10-15 minutes, and then slowly every 10 minutes add a little water from the aquarium (a coffee cup). Repeat this 4-5 times before you release the fish into their new home.

Tank setup
Clown loaches can be kept in aquariums of 100 L / 20 G or more. Keep in mind that even though clown loaches grow very slowly they will get big eventually and need an aquarium of at least 540 L/ 125 G, and that should be considered a minimum.

Decorate your aquarium using a bottom substrate of sand or fine gravel that allows the clown loaches to dig. I recommend keeping your clown loaches in a planted aquarium, however, the choice of plants differs greatly depending on whether you keep juvenile or adult clown loaches. Juvenile clown loaches can be kept with most plant species, while adults can be kept only with hardy plants such as Java fern and Anubias. All other plants will be destroyed and/or eaten by the adult clown loaches. I also recommend using floating plants to dim the lighting, which makes the loaches more active during the day.

Clown loaches want a setup with a lot of caves and other hiding places, preferably so narrow that they can just barely squeeze themselves into them. Don't be concerned if your clown loaches have squeezed themselves into caves they dug under rocks or aquarium equipment. Odds are they are not stuck - they just like it that way.

Hiding places can be created with rocks, roots, PVC pipes, flower pots, coconuts and different kinds of aquarium decorations. Sharp objects should not be used to decorate aquariums for clown loaches. You can not create too many hiding places and you should create several for each loach.
Clown loaches are sensitive to poor water quality, and they require good filtration. Higher water circulation is also appreciated since clown loaches live in currents in the wild.

Clown loaches are excellent jumpers, and you should make sure that your tank is properly sealed.

Health
As I said earlier, clown loaches are very sensitive towards poor water quality and are usually the first fish that get ill or die if the water quality drops. Water changes of at least 25% a week are recommended. Because of their low tolerance to poor water qualities, they are sometimes called indicator fish since their health indicates the status of the aquarium. Clown loaches are very sensitive to chlorine, and even small amounts can cause a mass death of loaches.

These species are very prone towards getting ick if the water quality isn't good enough, and are sensitive to most ick medicines and salts. So keep an eye on your clown loaches and only use half the recommended doses of medicine, otherwise, you risk the medicine killing the loaches.


Food
Clown loaches are carnivores and only eat vegetables to complement their diet. It is therefore recommended that they are given food that reflects this. To get your clown loaches to grow, optimal feeding 3-5 times a day is recommended. (They still grow slowly). Their diet should contain a variety of foods and can include almost any carnivorous food. A good base may be shrimps, different sinking wafers, different frozen foods, and as they grow older, fish slices. Clown loaches can make a clicking sound, and they will do this when they are content. Therefore you will soon find out what is your loaches' favourite food by them clicking when they receive it. Like most other fish, clown loaches might need some time to accept new foods, however, once they do it might become a favourite. Clown loaches are one of the few fishes that eat and like snails, and can, therefore, be of good use in snail control.

Breeding
Clown loaches have been bred in aquariums, however, it is very rare. Sexing clown loaches externally is hard, but possible by looking at the tail fin. The tail fin tips on the male are slightly bent inwards, making the fin looks a little bit like a claw. The tail fin tips on the females aren't shaped like this.
Clown loaches have to be quite old and at least 7 inches / 17 cm before they are sexually mature. In the one good account of clown loaches spawning they spawned under the following conditions:
- Temp: 84°F
- pH: 6.5
- Ammonia & Nitrite: 0


2018-04-23

Fact Sheet: CARDINAL TETRA - Paracheirodon axelrodi

peace with my buddies
Photo  by Leino88 
The Cardinal Tetra, Paracheirodon axelrodi is closely related to the very popular Neon Tetra Paracheirodon innesi and the Green Neon Tetra Paracheirodon simulans. It is less closely related to the hundreds of other tetra species. The Cardinal's specific name, axelrodi was given to honour the great fish expert, Herbert R. Axelrod. The Black Neon Tetra Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi is not a very close relative of the Neon or the Cardinal. Its name is misleading.

The Cardinal Tetra's maximum length is a little over 4cm. Cardinal Tetras are a peaceful community fish suitable for keeping with other small, peaceful fish. Common companions include other small tetras, small Rasboras, Guppies and other livebearers like platies and swordtails, as well as Corydoras catfish.

Cardinal Tetras are often kept successfully with discus and seem better able to tolerate the high temperatures. Discus fish need than Neons. They are also a little bigger than Neons and less likely to be eaten by a discus.

Fish I would not recommend putting with Cardinals include all large fish, Buenos Aires Tetras and Tiger Barbs. I have known cases where people have successfully kept Cardinals with some of the fish I just listed, but there is some danger if you attempt it. If you keep Angel Fish and Cardinal Tetras together, you need to accept the likelihood of the Angel Fish growing big enough to eat the small fish.

The Cardinal Tetra comes from the upper reaches of the Amazon River. This is a tropical area and is a tropical fish. Cardinals should have heated water, unless they can be kept in a room that never gets cold. The obvious way to heat the water is with an aquarium heater. I suggest setting the thermostat to 24C.

It comes from acidic and extremely softwater. This is the ideal water for them and is probably essential if you want to breed Cardinals. However, they can be kept successfully in water with Ph ranging from 5.0 to 7.4. They will tolerate moderately hard water for living in, but extremely softwater is needed if you want to attempt to breed them. When they are kept with mixed other fish in an aquarium, I recommend a Ph of about 7. Some cover like plants are beneficial for the fish.

Cardinals can be kept successfully, even in the strange water that comes through the taps in the Adelaide Hills as long as you get rid of the high level of Chloramine and adjust the Ph.



Like many tetras, the Cardinal is a schooling fish and I recommend that at least five be kept together. A school in an aquarium is a surprisingly beautiful sight. When it is dark, this fish losses its bright colours, but quickly regains them when it gets light again.

Although Cardinals will school with their own species for preference, if there are too few Cardinals to form a school they can school with Neons.

Like many fish, Cardinal Tetras are naturally omnivores and will eat a wide variety of food in the aquarium. Flakes are the normal basic diet for them. I find they also benefit from dry fry food. They enjoy small live food like small wrigglers (mosquito larvae) and small crustaceans like daphnia. Frozen foods like blood worms are also good. Remember they are small fish. DO NOT OVERFEED.




2018-03-19

Fact Sheet: QUEEN ANGELFISH - Holacanthus ciliaris

(Original Title: Facts About the Queen Angelfish)

A Queen Angelfish
A Queen Angelfish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Queen angelfish is considered the most beautiful of all the angelfish, although it isn't suited for a small aquarium. The Queen angelfish was named in 1758 by Linnaeus, a scientific name of Holacanthus ciliaris. They live to up to 15 years of age. If you decide to introduce a Queen angelfish to your aquarium there are some guidelines to follow:

Description
The adult Queen is blue with yellow rims on its scales. The ventral fins and pectoral fins are yellow, their lips and edging on their dorsal fins and anal fins are blue. They also have blue around each gill cover. They grow up to 45 cm in length.
The juvenile queen angelfish has blue bodies with yellow gills, tail, and lips. They have vertical bars ranging from light blue to white.

Geographical Location
The Queen angelfish is found in the Western Atlantic, from Florida to Brazil to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It is also found in the Eastern Central Atlantic, around Saint Peter and Saint Paul Islets. It is found at a depth of up to 70 meters. It can be found on stony reef corals and Porifera sponges.

Breeding
Adult Queen angelfish are found in pairs leading to suggest that they are monogamous fish. Reproduction occurs with the pair rising to the surface of the water and releasing sperm and egg in a cloud effect.

Females can release from 25-75 thousand eggs each evening, which equates to 10 million eggs in their spawning cycle. The eggs hatch in 15-20 hours as larvae. The larvae don't have eyes, fins or a gut. Within 48 hours the sac is absorbed and somewhat resembles a free-swimming fish. The larvae feed on plankton. 3-4 weeks later the juvenile will settle on the bottom and is around 15-20 mm in length.

Aquarium Requirements
The Queen angelfish is not recommended for a novice aquarist. It is sensitive to organic waste and because of that, it is hard to feed. It is a lively fish and swims in the open in the day.

The tank needs to be at least 150-200 gallons as it approaches its full size in length. It needs to have hiding spots for the Queen as well as other fish who may want to keep away from it. The Queen angelfish can be semi-aggressive and therefore should be added last to the aquarium. Two male Queen angelfish can lead to violence, but if it's to be kept with other angelfish they should all be introduced together. This is not a guarantee though that it won't be aggressive, however.

It is best to make sure the aquarium environment factors such as water temperature and pH-balance is stable before you introduce the Queen.

Queen angelfish respond well in a reef aquarium. They will nip at soft corals, clam mantles, and stony corals. It is best to train it to eat foods other than sponges, hydroids, tunicates, feather dusters because they can deplete the environment and it leads to malnutrition.


Food
In the sea, the Queen survives mainly on sponges. In an aquarium it is expensive to feed it only sponges so training it to eat other foods is advised. Serving up frozen meat foods like shrimp, squid and an angelfish formula which consists of sponges is beneficial. They also require algae on a daily basis. You can also feed them vegetables like spinach, aubergines, and zucchini. They require many small portions of food a day.

    By Kate Strong
    Although there are a few requirements to get your Queen angelfish to thrive in your aquarium, the beauty of these fish certainly outweigh any hardships you encounter along the way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



2018-02-22

Fact Sheet: KISSING GOURAMI - Helostoma temminckii

(Original Title: The Kissing Gourami)

Kissing Fish
Photo by Catchpenny

Scientific Name: Helostoma temminckii (green), Helostoma Rudolfi (pink)
Natural Location: Green variation originated from Thailand, pink variation from Java
Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
PH: 6.5-8.5pH


Size: 4-6 inches (10-15cm) They can grow up to 12 inches in the wild.

Diet: Omnivores, they enjoy vegetable matter and small invertebrates as well as readily accepting flakes
Swimming Level: Middle dweller

Breeding Type: Egg layers, eggs float and will adhere to floating plants

Ease of keeping: Beginner to intermediate
Tank Size: 30-gallon minimum

Profile: Kissing Gourami have the classic Gourami shape, narrow but the deep oval-shaped body, the dorsal and anal fin are equal in size and length. These fish are usually bought for their unusual 'kissing' action, this is not actually a sign of affection but rather a test of strength. Originally both the green and pink variations were considered the same species but have now been reclassified as two separate types.

The Kissing Gourami is one of the larger Gourami species so it does need adequate space. It is usually peaceful enough to be kept in a community tank with similar sized or larger fish but occasionally they can be territorial so care should be taken when choosing tank mates. They may also occasionally latch on to larger fish and damage the slime coat.

Males and females look identical and can't be distinguished until courting and spawning. Unlike most other Anabantoids they don't guard or care for their eggs or young. Eggs usually hatch within 24 hours of scattering and the resulting fry become free swimming in a further two days time.



Comments:

They enjoy eating algae and prefer a well-planted tank. Sturdy plants like Java fern are best as they can easily uproot or destroy sensitive plants as they graze.

    By Kelly Starrs

    I'm a breeder and importer of Show Quality Halfmoon Bettas as well as an avid keeper of a number of community tank fish. I am always happy to help with any general tropical fish or betta related questions, you can find me on my betta forum!

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2017-12-27

Fact Sheet: GOLD BARB (Puntius semifasciolatus)

Gold Barb Puntius semifasciolatus 2.png
Photo: Wikipedia
The Gold Barb, Puntius semifasciolatus is an excellent little aquarium fish. It usually grows to about two inches long (5cm) although I have seen ones nearer 4 inches (10cm). The Gold Barb is from Asia although the actual Gold form does not exist in the wild. Their usual lifespan is about five years.

Naming Confusion
This fish has many names. Other Common names are Golden Barb, Schubert's Barb, Green Barb, Half Stripped Barb, China Barb, Chinese Half Stripped Barb and Six Banded Barb. Other Scientific names it has been known by include: Barbus semifasciolatus, Pontius Shubertii, Puntius Shubertii, Barbus Shubertii and Capoeta semifasciolatus.

To add to the naming perplexity, the Gold Barb is often confused with: the Golden Barb (Puntius gelius) or the Gold-finned Barb (Puntius sachsii). The species name Shubertii refers to Tom Shubert of Camden, New Jersey, USA who developed the Gold Barb. He did this by selective breeding, presumably from the wild form of Puntius semifasciolatus, in the 1960's. I remember when I was a teenager keeping fish in the 1960's and later that the Gold Barb was called Barbus Shubertii. It was believed by some people to be a distinct species although there was already a suspicion that it was a form of Puntius semifasciolatus. I do not think that Barbus Shubertiiwas ever a valid scientific name.

Water Conditions
The Gold barb thrives in cooler water than most tropical fish. 18 - 24 degrees C (64 - 75 degrees F) is this fish's preferred range although it will certainly survive several degrees above this and a few degrees below. This means that it is suitable for either a tropical aquarium with the temperature set at 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) or an unheated tank in areas that do not get very cold. It is interesting to note that the color change was not the only change that happened when Mr. Shubert was breeding these fish. The Gold form of the species is a little less cold resistant than the wild type.The wild-type is sometimes sold as the China Barb and is a good aquarium fish although not as attractively colored as the Gold Barb.

The Gold Barb likes fairly soft, slightly acidic water, but does well over a range of pH. I usually aim for neutral (7). It will tolerate a moderate amount of hardness in the water.

Food
The Gold Barb is an easily fed omnivore. Any good quality fish food is an excellent basis for its diet. As with nearly all fish, and most other animals, the Gold Barb benefits from the occasional change in its diet. Live food like mosquito larvae and Daphnia are gobbled up greedily. Frozen bloodworms also make a good treat.

Companions
The Gold Barb is a schooling fish and a minimum of six should be kept. The Gold Barb is not as likely to become a fin nipper as Rosy Barbs and Tiger Barbs but can be kept with these fish as well as with other slightly aggressive fish like Paraguay Tetras, Buenos Aires Tetras and Colombian Tetras. Because the Gold Barb is peaceful it can also be kept with fish like Pristella Tetras and Rummy Nose Tetras. I would not recommend them as companions for Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies, and Endlers Guppies. Small fish like Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras can certainly be kept with smaller Gold Barbs. In all cases, avoid too great a size difference between the fish in your aquarium. Do not put large, aggressive or predatory fish with Gold Barbs.

Breeding
Gold Barbs scatter their eggs over plants, preferably fine leaved ones. The males tend to be brighter in color and when ready to breed will get an orange-red belly. The females are duller in color and plumper. An increase in temperature to about 27 degrees C (80 degrees F) as well as a drop in pH to about 6.5 will tend to encourage them to breed. The spawning can be a little violent, so the tank should be reasonably big. I suggest at least two feet (60cm) long.


The actual spawning will usually take place when the tank starts to get light in the morning. I suggest removing the parents immediately after spawning. The average number of eggs per female is about a hundred although I have known of a female that produced over 400 eggs at one spawning.

An alternative way of breeding them is to have them in as big an aquarium as possible, with large numbers of plants and leave the parents in. Of course, you are likely to get fewer babies surviving, but this is a little closer to what could happen in the wild. A variation on this method is to put them into a well-planted pond in the summer months and catch all the fish before it gets too cold in the autumn (fall). The eggs are a yellowish color. They should hatch in 2-3 days. The fry will eat fine dry foods but benefit from suitable sized live foods at all stages.

Pest Fish
As with all captive fish, do release your Gold Barbs into the wild and do not put them in a situation where they could get out.




2017-10-31

Fact Sheet: TIGER BARB - Puntius tetrazona

(Original Title: Tiger Barb Fact Sheet)

Tiger Barb 1
Photo by willwhitedc
The Tiger Barb, Puntius tetrazona, is a very popular little fish. Another common name is the Sumatra Barb. Other scientific names that have been used for this fish are Barbus tetrazona, Capoeta sumatraus, Barbodes tetrazona, and Capoeta tetrazona. This fish grows to about two and a half inches long (7cm). It comes from Sumatra, Borneo and the Malay Peninsular. It might have been native to some other places in South East Asia including Cambodia but it has been introduced into places and it is not always clear which are native populations and which are recent introductions.

Water Conditions
Tiger Barbs come from tropical areas. They are a tropical fish that has a slightly better tolerance to lower temperatures than a lot of tropical fish. 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) is a suitable temperature.
Tiger Barbs tolerate a wide range of conditions. I try to keep the pH about neutral (7), but some people prefer to use slightly acidic water. They come from soft water but do not appear to mind some hardness in the water.

Varieties
There are many colour variation of the Tiger Barb. These include the Moss Green Tiger Barb, also called the Green Tiger Barb, and the Moss-banded Barb. This pretty fish is highly melanistic but does not appear completely black. The scattering of light due to the Tindal Effect makes it appear dark green. It is clear that different people see the colour of this fish slightly differently. A variation of this colour variety is the Platinum Moss Green Tiger Barb. Another popular variation in the Albino Tiger Barb often called the Golden Tiger Barb. Some people consider that the Albino Tiger Barb is less aggressive than the wild-type. I have not observed any difference.

Food
The Tiger Barb is an omnivore and is easy to feed, eating all normal fish foods. They like live food like Daphnia and Mosquito larvae. In the absence of live food, they benefit from the occasional feeding of frozen foods like Blood Worms.

Fin Nipping
The Tiger Barb has the reputation for being the worst of all small fish for nipping the fins of other fish. This reputation is partly deserved. In some circumstances, they can certainly be a problem. However, if you keep a school (At least 6) the problem is reduced. I have known cases where people have bought just one of this species in the mistaken belief that one will be less dangerous than a group. In fact, the opposite is the case, and one or two will usually be much worse than a school.

Once, in our shop, I saw that a single male Guppy had got into a tank of Tiger Barbs. It must have been in for several hours, but it was swimming quite happily and the supposedly aggressive little fish were ignoring it.




Companions
Tiger Barbs should be kept in a school. The various varieties all seem to school together. Even with a school of these pretty fish, avoid slow moving fish with long fins like Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies Endlers Guppies. Some suitable companions are: Rosy Barbs, Paraguay Tetras, Pristella Tetras, Buenos Aires Tetras, Colombian Tetras, Rummy Nose Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Scissortail Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Black Widow Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Swordtails, Platies, Mollies, Zebra Danios, Glowlight Tetras, and White Cloud Mountain Minnows, as well as the Corydoras catfish like the Peppered Catfish. Also, avoid larger predatory fish that might eat the Tiger Barbs.

Breeding
The Tiger Barb is a fairly easy fish to breed. The females tend to be plumper than the males. The male has a redder nose and has a red line above the black part of their dorsal fin.

Keep a school of the fish and allow them to form their own pairs. The prospective parents need to be well fed with live food like Daphnia or other rich foods.

Hobbyists normally breed them in a separate Breeding Tank. The water in this tank should be soft and slightly acidic. They are egg scatterers giving no parental care and will eat fish eggs including their own. They also eat baby fish so it is usual to remove the parents after spawning.

The Breeding tank should have fine-leaved plants, either real or artificial. Some breeders use tanks with nothing on the bottom, but others prefer to use large (perhaps half an inch diameter) round gravel or marbles to stop the parents getting at their eggs.

The adults will often spawn early in the morning of the day after they are put in. If they have not laid their eggs after a few days, try a partial water change with water a little warmer than the breeding tank.

Typically, the female will lay about 200 eggs. These should hatch in about a day and a half, and the babies will be free swimming after five days. The young can be raised on commercial fry food, supplemented when possible with suitable sized live food. The babies need plenty of space to grow quickly, and you need to watch the water quality while feeding them frequently.



The fry grows quickly and if they are well fed, could be over an inch long in eight weeks. These young fish are potentially big enough to breed.

Pest Fish
The Tiger Barb has been introduced to many countries, including Australia, Colombia, Singapore, and Suriname as well as Asian countries they are not native to. They have the potential to cause considerable damage to aquatic ecosystems. Care should be exercised with Tiger Barbs as well as other types of fish to not allow them to escape into the wild.



2017-10-12

Fact Sheet: GREEN TERROR - Andinoacara rivulatus

Green Terror 

Andinoacara rivulatus - 20061112.jpg



Common Name: Green Terror
Binominal name: Andinoacara rivulatus (syn Aequidens rivulatus) 
Origin: South America
Family: Cichlidae

Care Level: Moderate

Tank Conditions: 72-80°F; pH 6.5-8.0; KH 9-20

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 8"

Color Form: Bright Blue, Green, White

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Diet:  Omnivore

The Green Terror is a beautifully marked cichlid. Its body is a greenish white with many electric blue spots on the chin area. The males of this species have a longer tail fin, which is outlined in red.

The Green Terror requires an aquarium of at least 50 gallons, with a sandy bottom, and rock work that will provide plenty of hiding spots. Live plants should be planted in pots to protect the roots from these fish. The Green Terror is generally peaceful with other fish of similar size, but can get more territorial as it matures.



The Green Terror is an open-breeder and will accept a range of water conditions. The Green Terror readily pairs and the female will take the bigger role in raising the fry. The female will lay the eggs on a cleaned, flat rock. They will spawn about every two weeks if the young are removed from the aquarium.

The Green Terror is omnivorous and will eat most prepared and frozen foods, including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton, as well as flake food and Cichlid pellets.



2017-10-07

Fact Sheet: PIRANHAS - Pygocentrus (Serrasalmus) nattereri

Piranhas

Aagh, piranha!
Photo  by        Joybot 

BASIC PIRANHA FACTS
Piranhas have red throats, razor-sharp teeth to rip flesh with ease, and silvery gold flesh (red-bellies have red bellies, of course). Piranhas are native to South America and Guyana and it's against the law to bring them in and out of most countries. They are quite dangerous and aggressive fish since they reside in schools, which has a tendency to promote a competitive environment.

When planning a piranha aquarium, fish size should be regarded first. Grown piranhas have been known to develop to two feet long in a big enough tank. Piranhas are in addition group swimmers, which means they'll need room to roam. Strive to provide two gallons per each inch of piranha fish. An aquarium six feet long by two feet by two should allow ample hideouts. A minimum fifty-gallon aquarium is recommended.

Red-bellied piranha or Red piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri)
Red-bellied piranha or Red piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri - Photo  by     warriorwoman531  (cc)

TANK UPKEEP AND CONDITIONS
Piranhas (Pygocentrus (Serrasalmus) nattereri) are very sloppy eaters. Ten to fifteen percent water switch-outs every seven days will ensure waste not trapped by the filter system is taken away. Regarding filter systems, almost all piranha aquariums will need at least two devices to manage the process, especially if the aquarium is fifty or more gallons. Nitrate concentrations, which have harmful effects on piranhas particularly, should be monitored directly. PH levels ought to stay between six and one half and 6.9 to copy those of the Amazon where piranhas came from.

Water degrees in a piranha enclosure should be about eighty degrees to encourage piranha movements. Many piranha owners employ additional water pump devices to prod piranhas to swim in opposition to the waves as in the River of the Amazon. The practice additionally promotes metabolism levels, stimulating eating habits.

For decoration, it's preferable to keep the fish tank low lighted to encourage piranhas to venture into open water. Man-made fauna is recommended. Any rocks and synthetic centerpieces will need to be tightly fastened, seeing as strong piranhas will hurl pieces around, potentially breaking the glass.




DIET
Piranhas' diet consists completely of proteins. Living meaty rations such as non-fatty poultry or beef and fillets of fish may be administered daily or bidaily. Feeder comet fish are a non-expensive choice, but piranhas will dine on practically any variety of meat. Experiment to find what yours favor. Whatever you do, don't leave your fingers in the water too long!

TANK MATES
Obviously, piranhas are aggressive fish, which makes your choice of tank mates relatively slim. However, some other aggressive fish can co-exist with them. For example, tetras, cichlids, Oscars, pleco catfish and pacus. These fish are by and large excellent defensive fish, while the plecos have tough outer shells and can grow to larger, intimidating sizes. Pacus resemble piranhas and will fight back. Tetras are quick and small with sensory instincts which allow them to stay clear of piranhas. Piranhas also aren't likely to give chase to such speedy, small cohabitants. Cichlids may or may not coexist with piranhas; they have simply been known to team up against them to survive. Oscars are large and in charge and inexpensive to replace if they're slurped by a fat red-belly.



As a rule of thumb, don't introduce too many new experimental tank mates into your piranha tank. Add them one by one to see how they adapt. Whatever you do, don't get too attached to them until you know they're going to make it!

SUMMARY
We hope you've benefited from this informational piece regarding piranhas. Feel free to visit AquariumUniverse.com for more piranha aquarium information including photos and videos, additional guides and aquarium resources.



2017-10-04

Fact Sheet: ARABIAN ANGELFISH - Pomacanthus asfur

(Original Title: Facts About the Arabian Angelfish)

Source: Fishbase.org - Photo: Randall
The Arabian Angelfish is considered one of the most brightly colored fish in the world. They are very sought after, they are quite expensive and because of that, they are a rare sight in a tank. So, therefore, they are truly a visual delight in any aquarium.

Description
Also known as the Asfur Angelfish or Crescent Angelfish, the Arabian Angelfish as a juvenile is colored blue with light blue and white stripes. As an adult fish it is blue/purple in it's body, with a black head, and yellow markings on its dorsal and caudal fin. They have streamer-like extensions of the soft dorsal and anal fins.They have small mouths. The adults can grow to 40cm (16 inches) in length. Their genus is Pomacanthus.

Origins
These angelfish are found on protected reefs in the Western Indian Ocean from the Red Sea to Zanzibar. Like most Red sea fish it is hardy and has a long life expectancy under ideal conditions in a tank. They live at a depth of 3-30 meters. Because of the shallowness that they can be viewed, they are a glorious site for divers.

Breeding
Arabian Angelfish are very difficult to breed in aquariums. They are hermaphrodites, so it's very hard to distinguish between the male and female. This is why they are left to breed in the wild. This is the reason why they are so expensive to buy.

Temperament
They are shy fish and like all large angelfish, they have a tendency to be aggressive towards other large fish their size. The Arabian Angelfish should not be kept with other Asfur Angelfish as they will not tolerate them. They can be mixed with other smaller Angelfish successfully.

Aquarium Requirements
Smaller Angelfish require a tank of a minimum of 55 gallons. With larger Angelfish the tank should be a minimum size of 100 gallons. There should also be lots of hiding places for this fish because it is shy. They also require live grazing. The water temperature needs to be between 75 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit for them. They are not reef safe which means corals are not safe in the same tank with them.They nip at soft and stony corals (sessile invertebrates) so it would be best to keep them with small polyped stony corals. This is generally why they are found in fish only tanks.



Food
The Arabian Angelfish are omnivores (eat both plants and animals). They require a varied reef diet. Chunks of meat, vegetables, prepared angelfish sponge products, mussels, clams, krill, and shrimp. In the wild, they graze on algae, polyps and smaller crustaceans. Your local pet fish and aquarium supplier will have sponge products for purchase.

If you're lucky enough to find an Arabian Angelfish for your tank and you adhere to a few simple guidelines pointed out in this article, you will have many hours of viewing pleasure.