Showing posts with label Livebearer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Livebearer. Show all posts


Keeping TROPICAL FISH - A New Adventure?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lively PLATY FISH Are the Color Kings in the Entire Fish Community

English: A female "Golden Comet" or ...
A female "Golden Comet" or "Twin Bar" Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus).
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Platy fish are very famous for their colors. In fact, they are called color kings in the entire fish community. They are good for the beginners and they can easily live with other species of fish in the same aquarium.

They come from South America, especially Mexico and Guatemala. As they carry a dark spot on their tail, they are famous with the name 'Moonfish'.

Originally, there were two main species of platyfish. Now there are numerous varieties created by the breeders. They are interbred with swordtails and it is now very difficult to separate them from other species. Presently they are available in all possible colors you want and even in all combinations of colors your desire. So these variations make your aquarium very lively and colorful. That is the main reason for experienced fish-keepers to go for platyfish.

A well-lit aquarium with a lot of plants is ideal for platyfish. If you add a small amount of salt in the water, they are very happy to live in. Of course, this will depend on the other species of fish you are keeping in the aquarium. There should be enough open space for them for swimming and hiding. If you provide some floating plants that will automatically provide enough hiding places for them.

One important thing to remember about the colors of platyfish is - the males will not show their colors until they are fully grown up. If you keep the temperature of the water a bit colder, their colors will brighten up.

Platyfish will eat all types of live food as well as flaked food. In addition, they will eat a lot of algae and other plants. If you provide them live or frozen brine shrimp, blood-worms or tubifex, they will be very happy. They will require some amount of proteins in their food but at the same time, they will require algae in their daily diet.

The females are bigger than the males. The females grow up to 2,5 inches while the males can grow only up to 2 inches. However, the females are in plain color while males are found in a number of colors.

They can happily live in the water having a ph level of 7.0 to 8.0. The temperature of the water should be kept in the range of 60 to 75° F.

They are very easy breeders because they will reproduce without any efforts or attention on your part. They will not eat their eggs or fry and they will live peacefully with their kids. They will get overpopulated soon; you should provide enough space in your aquarium for their growth.

As they are hardy and they can tolerate a wide range of conditions of water, they make an excellent choice for both the beginners as well as for the experienced fish-keepers.

    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


LIVEBEARERS in General - PLATIES in Particular

Two red wag platies (Xiphophorus Maculatus)
Two red wag platies (Xiphophorus maculatus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Livebearers are a very common fish in many smaller community tanks up to 20 - 25 gallons. They are relatively passive and provide much interest because they bear live fry that is often large enough to live on their own immediately, assuming they can find a suitable place to hide right away. If they are not, they are rapidly eaten by the rest of the aquarium occupants, including their mother.

There are essentially four types of livebearers found in the small aquarium; guppies, platies, swordtails, and mollies.

Guppies have evolved quite rapidly and been bred for a number of color variations and fin shapes. They are extremely popular and are often the first fish a novice aquarist may keep. Swordtails and platies share the same genus - Xiphophorus, so are very closely related. The swordtails are more streamlined in general and are interesting because of the "sword" that often extends from the tail fin. Often they are more active and aggressive than platies. The platy is usually much stockier, taller and shorter and comes in just as many colors as the swordtails. Mollies can become quite large in comparison with the other three and also is actually a brackish water fish. Believe it or not, mollies have even been used to start a saltwater aquarium and show a little problem with adjusting to such drastic water differences.

Any livebearer species seems to have very energetic males. Because of this, any livebearers should be purchased in trios, two females to every male. The males need to be diverted otherwise they can wear a female down with constant attention. Luckily it is quite easy to differentiate a male from a female, the females have a fixed triangular fin at the base of the body, males have a gonopodium instead. This a special movable sword-shaped fin near the anus of the male. It is normally held parallel to the body. It is a movable appendage that rotates forward and forms an open tube to pass sperm packets to the female. Even a brand new fish keeper can identify between the sexes with a little careful observation in the pet store.

Livebearers females, especially guppies, can store the sperm packets passed to them by a male and become pregnant at a much later date. So even if a male has been there only briefly, it is not a surprise that suddenly a female is pregnant without any apparent cause. Another thing that can happen often found in swordtails, is that when there is a tank full of swordtails where there are no males present the dominant female may suddenly appear to change sexes and become a male.

Platies are the fish I generally use in a community aquarium, guppies seem to be a lot more fragile than they used to be. Probably as a result of the tremendous inbreeding that has occurred to define and create new combinations of colors and fins. The guppy is not the most sturdy fish to add to a new aquarium. Guppies are best added, if they are to be kept, well after the initial maturation of the biological filter is fully completed. There are much better fish to initiate a new fish tank, guppies are certainly not the best.

Swordtails are very active and swim continually. They are usually one of the larger fish and their constant swimming can cause havoc for much smaller fish. There is no doubt that if you plan on keeping the larger community fish like gouramis and angels the fast swimming swords can take care of themselves in most cases. Platies seem to be a bit more placid in an aquarium with small tetras and danios but are also large enough to take care of themselves with barbs and sharks. So even though the swords and the guppies may seem to have the flash, the platies do offer as many color varieties and seem to fit well with almost any small community aquarium.

    By Stephen Pond

    Dedicated to providing information required for the successful novice aquarist. Keep tropical fish alive and thriving in your first aquarium through the critical first six weeks and beyond. Visit my website for detailed information for the novice aquarist on all aspects of the beginning aquarium.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


DALMATIAN MOLLY in the Tropical Aquarium

Dalmatian molly
Photo: Wikimedia (CC)
Each Dalmatian Molly pattern is unique, some having more black spots than others and some being much more white. Their bodies are chunky with rounded fins, except for the male's anal fin, which is pointed. They can grow up to 4-inches in length.

Although Dalmatian Mollies have peaceful temperaments, they do get a bit nippy. Provide them with plenty of sturdy plant life for nibbling to keep the nipping of other fish at bay. Plant life is optimal too because of their need to eat plenty of algae.

Angel Fish, Guppies and Platys are well-suited mates for the Mollies. Also, consider housing them with other Molly breeds. There are many types to choose from and they will cross-breed. It's kind of a fun surprise, the different combinations of fry that result.

Dalmatian Mollies do enjoy chasing other species around, but they generally cause no harm.
It is important for the health of the Mollies to have aquarium salts added to the water. For every two gallons of water add one teaspoon of salt. Take into consideration before adding other species to the tank that they can tolerate salt water. The water temperature should be between 68-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Dalmatian Mollies need plenty of swim area, so 1-inch of fish per 1-gallon of water is best.

For optimum health give your Dalmatian Mollies not only algae-based flake food but small amounts of greens. Lettuce and cooked peas are good choices. They also enjoy occasional snacks of freeze-dried bloodworms or tubifex.

Chances are good that when you bring home your female Molly, she will already be pregnant, as she is able to hold sperm for up to six months. The gestation period is anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Being a livebearer, she will give birth to more than 20 little free swimmers at one time. Some people place their pregnant Mollies in a breeding net before birthing. This is a bad idea because she will likely become stressed.

For the fry, have ready aforehand a 9 or 10-gallon tank. After the mother gives birth, remove the fry with a turkey baster and put them into their own tank. Of course, you can't be watching the aquarium 24 hours a day, so have plenty of floating plant life for them to hide in until you are able to get them to safety. You will also need to have your filter covered with netting before they are born, as it is likely many of the fries will get sucked into it. If you choose not to have a separate tank for the fry than be sure you add extra floating plant life for hiding.

The fry can eat crushed flake food and baby brine shrimp.
The Dalmatian Molly grows to adult size in about 3 months. Well before that, they may join the other fish in the community tank. You'll be able to judge when they are big enough to not be eaten by the bigger fish.

The average lifespan of the Dalmatian Molly is 2 years.
You're going to enjoy watching these black and white beauties race back and forth, stopping for a nibble here and there.



male alpha molly
Photo: male alpha molly by h080
Mollies come from Poecilia spp. and the Poeciliidae family. The Mollies are one of the favorite tank fish since the fish is similar to the swordtail fish. The swordtail comes from the Xiphophorus helleri group. The molly, however, does not have a swordtail, rather a larger fin, known as the dorsal. The fish has a variety of shapes and it reaches up to 4 to 4 ¾ inches in size. The males only grow to 3 1/3 or 4 inches at most. Mollies male and female counterparts differ in color, size, and gonopodium. The fish can live in extreme wide-ranging environments and will suit in estuaries habitats. The water temperature desired of the molly is 72 degrees, not succeeding 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Mollies also prefer hard water, which the pH level should be set at seven or eight. The fish will reside in hard waters, which salt is needed. Mollies enjoy house furnishing, lights, well-planted areas, thin layers of humus, and so on.


Mollies will feed on vegetables, including spinach as well as algae. The fish are omnivorous in nature. Mollies have a biological lively nature, which the schooling fish desires constant water flow. The fish are livebearers and breed successfully providing plenty spawns. In addition, mollies are sociable, yet the fish should be kept in community tanks where large schools exist.

Galaxy Diamante Albino
Guppy Fish - Photo  by Inka Crabs 
Guppy fish listed under Poecilia reticulata is kin to the family of Poeciliidae. The fish comes from the waters in Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil, Trinidad, and Barbados. The environment desired is still, flowing waters. The fish prefer water temperatures at 68 degrees and no higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level should not succeed eight, nor go below seven. The water preferred is hard water, which the fish can live in extreme hard water conditions as well. Tank: The fish prefer illuminated tanks with plenty of furnishing. You should store the fish in a medium tank and provide them rich vegetation and plants. The fish will eat all sorts of foodstuff. Biological nature; The biological loose school natured fish will be on the constant go, therefore he does not have time for long-drawn-out schooling arenas. The fish are good breeding fish, yet beware, since Guppy will eat their own youth. You should keep Guppy fish in tank aquariums where other livebearing fish reside.


Nowadays the aquariums are ecosystems include a wide assortment of technology advanced qualities. Air and water pollution has increased the need for aquarium life, which in accordance technology has advanced the tanks to meet the high demand of aquarists. Tanks today are constructed by technological experts, which design real water aquarium environments. Most tanks sold today, including advanced electrical circuits, plugs, filters, air supply, etc. The market is saturated with tanks that will allow you to raise or lower the water temperatures. The light switches enable you to vary in intensity, thus lowering or increasing the light production.

In addition, you have a wide array of on and off switches, which utilize mechanical timers that permit aquarists to easily adjust water temperatures and light intensity.

One advantage of tanks today is that most tanks are equipped to handle nearly all fish available on the market. The problem is all fish are different and require their own special attention. Therefore, you should never group fishes with fish that prefer to live with their own kind. In addition, seawater/saltwater and freshwater fish differ. The freshwater fish include the Tropical and Coldwater fish.


Are MOLLY FISH a Good Addition to Your Aquarium?

Female Gold Molly. Its a female fish as you ca...
Female Gold Molly. It's a female fish as you can see cause it has no Gonopodium.
(Photo credit: 
Molly fish is usually included in the list of fish which are ideal for the beginners. Their needs are minimal, they are hardy and they are grateful. However, if you keep them in the aquarium with other species of fish around, they are a bit naughty.

They will try to nip the fins of other fish and cause stress among the fish community. Fish with large fins will be able to fend for themselves but small ones may develop stress and feel harassed. Sometimes they may get infections due to the wounds and may even die.

There are some other issues also with Molly fish. They are born aggressive and their body shows the same features. They have powerful jaws with sharp teeth with which they can easily cut and eat algae from the aquarium. They have a digestive tract which is long enough to digest even the hardest algae. They are capable of destroying many other plants from your aquarium.

Another issue with the mollies is they are not freshwater fish in the real sense. They can live in the freshwater environment but they will still need some marine salt in the water. It will provide an ideal chemistry of water for them.

So after considering all these issues, an obvious question comes ahead - are they really suitable for your aquarium? These requirements are no doubt demanding than any other species of fish. They need absolutely clean water and they cannot tolerate any amount of nitrate in the water. But they need somewhat warm water in contrast with most of the other species which are comfortable with cold water. Mollies can successfully live in colder water but it is bad for them in the long run. If you are going to add some marine salt to the aquarium, they will be comfortable but the other species of fish may find it a bit tough to survive.

So you may conclude that they are incompatible in the community of tropical fish. To some extent it is true. Species like the tetras and Corydoras will not be able to live with Molly fish in the same aquarium. However, there is a number of other species which are fine with them. Species like glassfish as well as wrestling halfbeaks will be comfortable with the Molly fish. All the livebearers of the New World will enjoy their company as they can easily tolerate some salt in the aquarium waters. Other varieties like bumblebee gobies will also be able to live with them. If you make a small research on the Internet and speak to the local pet shop staff, you can get many tips about their compatibility with the other species.

Mollies are sometimes misunderstood but they are wonderful additions to your aquarium. Their actions are fascinating and graceful and it is a pleasure to watch them swimming in the aquarium. My advice is - know them well before you bring them home and you will be certainly proud of them.

    By Chintamani Abhyankar
    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


GUPPY Companions

By now, your guppies have settled into their tank and you have enjoyed getting to know and enjoy them. I imagine your confidence has soared and you have the urge to have some different inhabitants. This is where the term community tank takes its meaning. Not all fish make good companions for other fish.

Photo by Frank Boston (bostonsphotos) (cc)
The guppies are a peaceful fish and get along with other livebearers like mollies and swordtails. These small fish are covered with the big name of Cyprinodonts because they have teeth. These groups are named tooth-carps and cover both the livebearers that have live fry and the fish that lay eggs. So if you hear different names for the same fish this is the reason. Most community tanks will have the addition of catfish or suckermouth fish to help in algae control.

My favorite addition to a community tank is catfish, the very shy algae eaters that scoot from dark corner to an even darker hiding place. The catfish live primarily on the bottom of the tank but you will see them moving all-around the tank attached to the glass with the sucker mouths they possess or moving in a flash through the water. While the catfish I have are pleco‘s, they are just one of over 2000 species. The common plecostomus can live a long time, and you have to be aware that these fish can grow quite large.

They do like the vegetable matter to form the greater proportion of their diet. They will eat sliced courgette or peas with gusto! Pseudo fights for ownership of peas dropped into the tank will happen between the guppies and catfish. They will also clean up dropped food after the guppies. There are also specific foods just for the pleco and they feel very special getting these treats. These fish have wonderful personalities if they qualify as having one! I have always had bogwood in the tanks; the pleco does like these and during the day will hide or spend time on or around the bogwood. The male has more whiskers that are prominent on his snout, where the female has a more reduced number just around her nose.

glyptoperichthys gibbiceps

The breeding habits of the bristle nose pleco are interesting to see. If you have provided a cave or tube like structure for them to hide in or under, you may notice the male “sweeping” or tidying the house. The female appears to attach the eggs to the walls of what ever the adults have elected to use. The egg sacs are noticeable in that they are an orange color. This color makes them very noticeable to the fry “eating” guppies. The male will spend time causing water movement into the cave for the young.The parents seem to watch the small pleco’s but you will only know they are in your tank when you see the little fish amongst the pebbles and plants in the bottom of the tank. Guppies will eat anything they find so you will need good hiding places to read any real number of the little pleco. These are excellent fish to have in a community tank.

By Maman Wilson - Article Source: EzineArticles


Fact Sheet: MOLLY FISH - Poecilia sp.

List of freshwater aquarium fish species
(Photo credit: 
The Molly is actually more than one species. This fact sheet is an attempt to give information common to most of the ones frequently kept in aquariums. One of the most popular species of Molly is the Sailfin Molly, Poecilia latipinna. Another common Molly is Poecilia sphenops. The Molly is in the same genus as the Guppy, Poecilia reticulata. The Molly tends to be bigger than the Guppy. Mollies normally grow to about 4 inches (10cm), but under very good conditions will grow bigger than this. Mollies in the Brisbane River are reported to reach 7 Inches (18cm).

Water Conditions

The Molly is a salt loving tropical fish. They do not do well in water that is too pure in the sense that it is lacking in salt. The Molly will even live in sea water, and is sometimes added to marine aquariums. A suitable temperature is 24 degrees C (75 degrees F). They prefer alkaline water, and like plenty of hardness.


The Molly is an omnivore with a preference for vegetable matter. They will relish live food like daphnia and mosquito larvae like most fish, but also eat soft algae. A normal fish food is suitable, and some people like to supplement this with algae wafers or spirulina flakes.


The Molly can be kept as a community fish as long as you choose suitable companions. Mollies are a little bigger than many of the small fish often kept together. While I have kept Mollies with Neon Tetras they are not ideal companions. This is not so much the size difference as the different water preferences. Mollies are generally peaceful fish, but I would avoid putting them with Siamese FightingFish. I know of one case where two male Mollies were kept with a male Siamese Fighting Fish and attempted to mate with it. Eventually the Mollies harried the poor fighting fish to death.

Some suitable companions for Mollies are Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Black Widow Tetras, Peppered Catfish, Swordtails and Platies.

Pest Fish

Any fish released or that gets away and gets into natural waterways is a potential hazard to the native fish of the habitat. In some parts of Queensland Mollies are becoming a problem. In Queensland, Mollies can legally be kept in aquariums, but not in situations where they can get into natural waterways.


Breeding LIVEBEARERS - Guppies and Swordtails

Equipment Needed:

  • Breeder Box or Breeder Net
  • Breeding Grass
  • 5 or 10 gallon tank for the baby fish or a tank divider that you can use for your main tank.
  • A pair - 1 female and 1 male

Female guppy (Poecilia reticulata)
Guppy - Photo by tartaruga33 
Two of the more popular tropical fish for beginners has to be Guppies and Swordtails.  Guppies and Swordtails are livebearers which means that their babies come out swimming.  Like most livebearers, there is not much to getting your guppies or swordtail to breed.  If you have a male and a female then you will eventually have a pregnant female.  The gestation period for livebearers is usually 28 days but can range from 20 to 40 days.

Place the male and female in the same tank together and they will soon mate. You are probably asking, how can I tell when the female is pregnant?  When a female guppy is pregnant she will develop a dark triangular shaped gravid spot near her anal vent.  This will get larger and darker as the pregnancy progresses.  While you are waiting on the female to develop the fry it's time to make sure you are prepared for the delivery.  We use plastic breeder boxes and always have without any problems.  A breeder box is a small box plastic box about 4 inches long by 3 inches wide and 4 inches deep.  There is a removable "V" shaped trap in it which serves to separate the mother from the babies.  When the mother fish has babies they fall through the slot in the "V" into the bottom of the box.  

After the mother is finished having babies, you can remove the "V" trap so that the babies have more room to grow.  Some people have had bad experiences with breeder boxes and now only use a breeding net.  It is also a good idea to purchase some real or plastic breeding grass for the top of the aquarium.  The breeding grass is just in case the mother gives birth before you have a chance to put her in the breeder box.  The young babies instinctively will swim to the top of the aquarium and the breeder grass provides a great hiding place so they won't get eaten by the bigger fish in your tank.

To feed your new arrivals you can use finely crushed flake food.  Using your fingers, you can rub the flakes into a fine powder.  Some only feed live foods such as baby brine shrimp.  Live foods would definitely be the best way to go, but for most this is simply not feasible.  Crushed or powdered flake food will suffice.  Try to feed the babies 3 very small meals per day.  You will invariably feed too much and the excess food will drop to the bottom of the tank or breeder box.  To clean a breeder box we like to take a 3 ft. length of aquarium tubing and a small bucket.  Use the tubing as a siphon to clean the bottom of the breeder box.  Be careful not to siphon any baby fish.

Try to perform 25% water changes weekly for your baby guppies.  This will aid in the optimal growth of your baby tropical fish. After a few weeks in the breeder box your new babies will soon outgrow their home and you will need to move them either to a new tank or your main tank with a divider installed. By 8 weeks old your baby fish will most likely be able to return to the main tank without a divider.  However, it really depends on the size of the other inhabitants in your aquarium.  Use your best judgement before releasing them into the main tank.

Marigold Swordtails
Swordtails - Photo by Eric F Savage 

Whether you are going for that one of kind strain or if you simply find small fry swimming in the top of your tank one day after work, please be responsible with your fish.  If you have more than you can accomodate you can try trading them or maybe even selling them to a local fish store in your area.

Talk to your local pet stores beforehand to see if you can work out some sort of arrangement.  You can also use this opportunity to get your friends interested in fish.


BLACK MOLLY Fish Makes the Aquarium Beautiful and Lively

There are some peculiar varieties of fish which requires special conditions for their existence. Black molly is one of them.

Black Molly is a brackish fish. Such type of fish cannot sustain in either pure freshwater or in pure saltwater. They must be kept in a tank with water which has some salt. The quantity of salt may not be very high like normal saltwater but there has to be some salt required for them to live. Naturally you cannot easily accommodate Black Molly with other fish in fresh-water or salt-water tanks.

English: Black Molly Polski: Molinezja Black Molly
Black Molly
(Photo credit: 
You should make some on-line research and also consult your pet shop owner about how much salt needs to be placed in the water.

There is no need to get worried about their compatibility with other species due to their salt requirement. There are other species which can sustain in such partly salty water.

Besides this specific requirement, Black Molly is like any other average fish. Usually it resembles a black guppy fish. This is a live-bearer fish. So you need to provide a lot of baby fish around the adults. If you keep a pair of a male and a female with no young ones around, they may not be comfortable with the environment and may develop stress which may even result in their death.

In spite of these specific requirements, Black Molly is an easy fish to care. You should put the fish in a tank with the water capacity of 10 gallons or more. This is required for taking care of their living environment. The fish will grow up to two inches over a period of time. If you want to keep a family of them in the tank, which is recommended, you should calculate the water capacity at two gallons per one inch of fish. So if the family consists of 10 members, you can keep them in a tank of 20-plus gallons.

The temperature of water should be kept in the range of 75-85 degrees. You should install a lighting system to provide sufficient light for them. They will usually require 6 hours of light every day. Please do not keep the light for longer time. In that case, the temperature of the water will increase and the fish will get over-heated. Providing light for 6 hours will resemble their natural habitat.

This fish is peace-loving. So it will be happy to live with other species comfortably. It will not chase or hurt other fish in the tank. It does not have any territorial ambition, so it will swim around the tank happily with others without any stress.

Considering the acquiring costs, the fish is available very cheaply in the shop. So even if you bring a dozen of family members at home one time, that's within your budget. It may not cost you more than $25!

There are no specific requirements of food for Black Molly. They are happy to eat the food you will provide to the other species in the aquarium. You can feed them flaked food or pellets. They are happy to eat live food like brine shrimp or blood-worms, but you should not offer them live food very often. You can also make a few experiments to find out which food your fish like the most.

Black Molly fish very popular among the fish keepers and if you put a combination of mollies in different colors like black and gold, they can make your aquarium beautiful and lively.

    By Chintamani Abhyankar
    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Fact Sheet: PLATY FISH - Xiphophorus maculatus and Xiphophorus variatus

(Original Title: Platy Fish Fact Sheet)

2009-03 München 024
Photo by Allie_Caulfield
There are two species of Platy, Xiphophorus maculatus, and Xiphophorus variatus. Platys are closely related to Swordtails and Xiphophorus helleri, and Xiphophorus maculatus will freely interbreed with Swordtails. The interfertility of Xiphophorus variatus with the others two species may be less, but hybrids can occur. The Platies and Swordtails we buy are often not of pure species.

All three species come from Central America. Xiphophorus variatus, commonly called the Variatus Platy, appears to be able withstand slightly colder conditions than the other two species, and may be more suitable for an unheated tank in a reasonably warm house than the other species, but all are basically tropical fish. Platies tend to be shorter but thicker than Swordtails.

Water Conditions
The platy is a tropical fish and I recommend a temperature of 24 degrees C (75 degrees F). They prefer harder water with some salt in it although they are quite adaptable. The platy appears to be better able to survive higher Nitrite (NO2) levels than most fish, but these should normally be avoided for all fish.

The Platy is an omnivore and will eat some algae as well as live food including Mosquito larvae (wrigglers) and Daphnia. They do well on all normal fish foods.

The Platy is a peaceful fish and is a good fish for a community tank of small peaceful fish. The Platy lacks the long fins of the Guppy and is a faster swimmer, so its companions can include some of the slightly aggressive fish that you would not put with Guppies. You need to avoid any large, aggressive or predatory fish.

Suitable companions include Rummy Nose Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Guppies, Endlers Guppies, Neon Tetras, Peppered Catfish, White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Zebra Danios. Most of these fish will eat baby Platies.

Pest Fish
Never release your pet fish or put them in the position of being accidentally released. The Platy has the potential to seriously damage fragile ecosystems.


Fact Sheet: GUPPY - Poecilia reticulata

Photo by markplymouth
Guppy Fact Sheet 
The Guppy, Poecilia reticulata is an attractive and normally peaceful fish. It was named after Robert John Lechmere Guppy who discovered this fish in Trinidad. He believed that this was a previously undiscovered fish. After being scientifically described, the fish was called Girardinus guppii. The common name of Guppy was given the fish.

The Guppy males tend to have a smaller body and bigger fins than the female. The fin underneath the fish in about the centre of the fish's body (the anal fin) is long in the male and is used in fertilisation. The male is capable of pointing it forwards so it can make contact with the female and transfer the sperm. In the female, this fin is triangular in shape. The males tend to be much more colourful than the females. Modern female guppies often have good colours, but the wild ones did not. Modern Guppy males tend to have purer colours, while the wild ones tend to have more varied ones. Often the wild males have more colours on each fish.

It was later found that the fish had been previously discovered by Wilhelm C. H. Peters, described and named. The fish is now usually called Poecilia reticulata. The most common of the common names is 'Guppy'. There are several other common names including 'Rainbow Fish' and 'Millions Fish'. The name Rainbow Fish is appropriate to its many and varied colours, but is misleading because of the several other fish with the same name. I prefer the name "Guppy'. However, I would note the name 'Guppy' is sometimes used for other fish. Fish I have seen called 'Guppies' include goldfish, Neon Tetras, Zebra Danios and Gambusia. This is simply misleading and can be confusing.

Guppy standards Large strains A flag tail B tr...
Guppy standards Large strains A flag tail B triangle tail C fan tail D veil tail Sword strains E double sword F upper sword G lower sword H lyre tail /  Short strains I spade tail J spear tail
K round tail L pin tail (Photo credit: 
Guppies are native to several Caribbean islands and north western South America including Barbados, Guyana, Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands, Venezuela and Brazil.

The Guppy is a popular aquarium fish. It can be kept with other small peaceful fish, including Platies, Swordtails and Mollies. It is in the same family as these fish and is in the same genus as Mollies. Other fish suitable as companions are White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, Siamese Fighting Fish, Peppered Catfish and other Corydoras catfish, Cherry Barbs, and other small peaceful fish.

Note that many of the fish just named are schooling fish. I would recommend that these be kept in groups of at least four, and preferably more. The Guppy is not a very strongly schooling species and can be kept singly or in small groups, although I certainly prefer larger numbers. It is both the way they usually occur naturally, and they look good. A tank of the highly coloured Guppies is a beautiful sight. Males and female guppies can be kept together although if they are I suggest that at least one female be kept for each male. If you keep several males with one female, all the males want to mate with the female and do not give her much peace.

Fish I would not recommend as companions for guppies include Black Widow Tetras, Serpae Tetras, Buenos Aires Tetras, Paraguay Tetras, Red Eye Tetras, Tiger Barbs, Rosy Barbs, Paradise Fish, Galaxias, and any other fish that can be fin nippers. Larger fish are also generally not suitable companions for Guppies.

The Guppy is easy to feed. They are omnivores like most fish,and benefit from some vegetable food including algae. Guppies will eat most fish food. I suggest a good flake food as a basis for the diet, if possible supplemented with other food to give variety. Good flakes include the Wardley Total Tropical or Total Colour. As well as Wardley there are many other reputable manufacturers of fish food who make excellent foods. Other foods can include live food like Daphnia. Mosquito larvae (Wrigglers) are an excellent food. In the wild, Guppies will eat a lot of these. Their upturned mouth is well adapted to eating wrigglers. Blood Worms are related to wrigglers and are also a good food. Frozen Blood Worms are also good, as are several other frozen foods. Live or frozen Brine Shrimp are good. I also find that Guppies will benefit from dry fry food as achange.

Do not over feed your fish.
I suggest feeding once a day, but not too much. For most types of food the fish should have finished it in a couple of minutes. Guppies are good eaters and generally will get the food quickly. Larger food including Algae Wafers is also good. Because these are hard, the Guppy will take longer to eat them.

Guppies generally thrive in fairly hard, slightly alkaline, water. They can tolerate very large amounts of salt in the water. In some countries they are bred in water which is a mixture of half fresh water and half sea water. The Guppies thrive in this water, but these fish can cause problems when people put them into normal fresh water aquariums. As well as having to be acclimatised to the fresh water, the Guppies have not been exposed to columnaris disease. These fish can die very quickly in a normal aquarium unless strong treatment is done quickly. To get immunity the fish have to be exposed to the disease, and the disease cured.

Rain water is not good water for guppies although many people have used it successfully. If this is the water you have, I suggest using a rainwater conditioner (A mixture of salts). If you are using tap water (as I do), make sure you get rid of the Chlorine or Chloramine.

For a tank of mixed small tropicals, I suggest a pH of 7 and a moderate amount of salt and hardness. In most places normal tap water, with the Chlorine or Chloramine removed and the pH adjusted to 7 is suitable for Guppies, and to a mixed community. If in doubt about your tap water, I suggest visiting your local aquarium store. They should know about the local water.

The Guppy is a tropical fish. However, different strains of Guppy have different tolerances to low temperatures. I have even heard of strains that are claimed to be able to tolerate temperature down to 4Ì? C (39Ì? F). I have never encountered any of these. Once I heard of a creek to the north of Adelaide that was supposed to have a naturalised strain of Guppies. I searched for the creek. I was able to identify the creek from the description I was given. There were no Guppies in it. (Actually, there was not even any water.) Although I tried to find where the Guppies would have gone, I was unable to find any Guppies. I suspect that this was a case of mistaken identity of the fish.

As a general thing I would not suggest a temperature of lower than 18 degrees C (65 degrees F). Guppies will certainly tolerate up to at least 32 degrees C (90 degrees F), and probably higher. Although I sometimes give the maximum and minimum temperatures types of fish can tolerate, it needs to be remembered that subjecting fish to their limits is not good and you are stressing the fish very badly. Stress will leave the fish very vulnerable todisease.

I generally set the thermostat at 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) although some people prefer a few degrees higher, especially for breeding.

The modern Guppies have been selective bred for colour and fin length, as well as other external characteristics. In the process they have lost much of the original hardiness of the Guppy. The life span of the Guppy now is often no more than a year.

Pest Fish
The Guppy has been introduced to every continent except Antarctica. In some places it is causing considerable damage to the native fish of the areas it has been introduced to. You should not release aquarium or pond fish into the wild, and you should ensure that they cannot get introduced accidentally.

It is worthy of note that many of the most destructive introduced fish and other animals have been introduced deliberately, often by government agencies.

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LIVEBEARERS Tropical Fish - Red Velvet SWORDTAIL Tropical Fish

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

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

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

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

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

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