Showing posts with label Marine Fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marine Fish. Show all posts

2018-07-11

Tips on AFRICAN FLAMEBACK ANGELFISH Care - Orangeback angelfish

Centropyge acanthops Réunion.JPG
Centropyge acanthops - Photo: Wikipedia (CC)
African Flamebacks or Centropyge acanthops are members of the family Pomacanthidae. They are natives of the western Indo-Pacific. Significant populations can be found around the shores of the Archipelago Island chain as well as along the entire East Coast of Africa. These shallow to mid-water reef inhabitants occupy depths from 20 to 130 feet.

This is a small fish, even for dwarf angles. It only grows to a maximum adult length of 3 inches. What they lack in size they more than make up for an exotic beauty. This is one of the most striking of all the dwarf angles. The bottom half of their bodies are a royal purplish blue. This is contrasted by dazzling yellow-orange upper bodies. The upper body color starts just below their mouths sweeps upward behind their eyes and then follows the curvature of their backs all the way to the base of their tails, hence the name Flameback. Dorsal, anal and pectoral fins are accented in neon blues. Caudal fins are typically yellow and semi-transparent. 

This species is very similar in appearance to the Brazilian flameback angelfish even though they are entirely different species. Brazilian Flamebacks can be distinguished by their solid blue caudal fins. This species is sold by the aquarium industry under several pseudonyms including; African Flameback angel, African Pygmy Flameback Anglefish, African Cherubfish, Orangeback Angelfish, and Jumping bean. The latter reference should imply that this fish needs to be housed in a tightly lidded aquarium.

This fish has a moderately aggressive temperament. They are generally peaceful in a community setting provided they are in the company of equally sized or slightly larger fish that are not docile in nature. This species may be reef compatible if it is introduced to your tank as a small juvenile. An abundance of cured live rock will help deter the possibility that it will develop a taste for coral and mollusks as it matures. Flamebacks may express territorial behavior toward similar looking species. These are harem fish. A single male and several females can be successfully housed together. The introduction of two males into an aquarium could easily result in a battle to the death. This species is rated at a moderate care level. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons with plenty of hiding spaces is recommended. Flamebacks can live up to 8 years of age.

This is an omnivorous species. Juveniles are primarily planktonic feeders. Adults learn more toward being algaevores. They will, however, also eat small crustaceans, mollusks, and coral in their natural habitat. This is why only a very young flamebacks should be added to a marine reef aquarium. If the fish's diet consists of plankton, it can be conditioned to finding all the sustenance it requires in supplied aquarium foods and lives rock before it develops its adult dietary habits. A well-fed fish will be less likely to discover that clams and corals are its favorite taste treat.

These fish should be fed a high-quality marine angelfish food preparation. Foods formulated especially for angelfish contain the essential nutrients needed to maintain a healthy specimen. Its diet can be further supplemented with vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp and dried or frozen spirulina algae.


There is more than one benefit to buying this species when they are still quite young. There are no distinguishing characteristics between males and females. Thus you will not be able to determine their sexes. Two males cannot be housed in the same aquarium together.

Problem solved: These fish are protogynous synchronous hermaphrodites. They enter life genderless. They will all develop into females early in their lifecycles. If there are no males present in the population as they reach sexual maturity, the largest most dominant fish will change into a male. The introduction of several of these fish when still young into an aquarium will result in a single male with a harem just as it would in nature. Despite their ability to change gender, these fish have not been known to breed in captivity.



2018-04-20

Tips on LONGFIN BANNERFISH Care

Pennant coralfish
Pennant coralfish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The longfin bannerfish or Heniochus acuminatus is a part of the family Chaetodonidae. This family contains over 120 different species in 10 genera. Longfins are endemic to the Indo-Pacific region and the Red Sea.

These fish bear a strikingly similarity to the Moorish idol. They are narrow and triangular in shape with two thick black, vertical stripes contrasting against their white bodies. The first tripe is just behind the head. The second is located just prior to the base of their caudal fin. Their caudal, anal and pectoral fins are bright yellow in color. They have a long sickle-shaped crest the top of their dorsal fins that extends well past their tail just like their look-alikes.

So why is their resemblance to a Moorish idol of any significance? The exotic elegance of the idol makes it a very desirable choice among aquarists. Unfortunately, idols are one of the hardest marine species to maintain in captivity. Many expert aquarists can't manage to keep Moorish idols alive and healthy. Whereas the longfin bannerfish is one of the easiest fish to raise in a saltwater aquarium. 

You get the exotic look you are after without investing in a recipe for disaster. Longfins are in fact commonly referred to as "the poor man's Moorish idol," within the aquarium trade. Longfins are not considered less expensive than Moorish Idols. But they are much more likely to still be alive a year from now. This makes them a much more economical species. Longfin Bannerfish is also marketed under the names black and white butterflyfish, black and white Heniochus, and pennant coralfish.

Pennant coralfish are relatively large fish. They grow to a maximum adult length of 10 inches although 7 inches in length is more typical. This is a very active and robust fish. A minimum tank size of 55 gallons is recommended. If you intend on keeping them as community fish you will require at least a 100-gallon aquarium. These are peaceful animals and should not be housed with more aggressive species. 


They are a shoaling fish by nature and will mix well with other members of their species in the confines of an aquarium. There is a distinct possibility that they will establish a dominance hierarchy when first introduced into an aquarium. There may be a little bit head-butting until the pecking order is established. These fish may demonstrate territorial behavior toward other butterflyfish species. Pennants do not make particularly good marine reef fish. They have a tendency to nip at soft corals and smaller invertebrates. Pennants are mid-level to upper-level swimmers in an aquarium. They may live in excess of 5 years in captivity.

Longfins are omnivorous. They are primarily zooplankton feeders in their natural habitat. They generally acclimate quickly to aquarium foods. They will readily accept both flake food and pellets. As with all marines species, a varied diet will help avoid nutritional deficiencies and maintain overall fit and vigor. Frozen or freeze died preparations for marine omnivores is a good start. A good supply of well-established living rocks and dried algae sheets will help to round out their diets.

There are no distinguishing traits between the males and females of this species. These fish rarely breed in captivity.

    Technological advancements in the aquarium industry continually redefine the concept of "home aquarium ownership." Just twenty years ago not even the biggest public aquarium was capable of keeping jellyfish alive in captivity. Now they make desktop Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums. And why would you want a jellyfish tank? Perhaps you should check out what the translucent bodies of Pet Moon Jellyfish look like under LED lighting. Pet Jellyfish give a whole new meaning to the term exotic pets.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



2018-04-17

Tips on BLUE CHROMIS DAMSELFISH Care

English: Chromis cyanea
Chromis cyanea
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Blue chromis or Chromis cyaneus are members of the family Pomacentridae. They are part of a group of fishes collectively referred to as damselfish. This species is endemic to the Western Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The chromis is a coastal fish inhabiting depths from three to sixty meters.

These are a small oval-bodied fish with a characteristically long, v-shaped forked tail. Their bodies are a solid, brilliant blue with the exception of markings along the outer edges to their dorsal fins. The shade of these markings will vary from pale to dark depending on the fish's mood. Both sexes and juveniles possess this same color palette. The family of fish the blue chromis belongs to have an average life expectancy of 12-15 years.

Chromis are a hardy, very active fish making them an excellent choice for the novice saltwater aquarist. They are often used as tester fish by aquarists cycling a new tank for the first time. They test water quality the same way canaries were used to test air quality in subterranean mining operations around the turn of the century. Their survival and continued vigor indicates that more exotic and expensive species can now be added to the newly established eco-system.

This species is labeled "reef safe" and can be mixed with other inhabitants typical of tropical marine reefs. They are considered non-aggressive toward other species. Same species quarrels are an entirely different matter. The general consensus is that they can be added to an aquarium in one of two ways. You can keep a single member of the species. Or your aquarium can become home to a community of no less than six. The shoaling instinct seems to prevail in larger groups. In smaller groups, these fish have been known to pick on the weakest member of the group until it is dead. This pattern continues until there is but a single survivor. If kept in a school a minimum tank size of 30 gallons will give them plenty of swimming room. These are surface dwelling fish in aquariums.

Chromis are diurnal omnivorous. In nature, they emerge from their shelter at sunrise and rise up toward the surface to feed on plankton. Spawning also occurs during daylight hours. At dusk, the fish will seek out shelter for the evening. Feeding them a variety of foods will help them maintain their color and spontaneity. They will eat frozen or dried food formulated for omnivores. They will also dine on any of the protein sources commonly fed to marine life. They sometimes eat algae in an aquarium.



Information on sexing this species is not readily available other than generalized statements declaring that it is not easy. They have, however, been known to breed in captivity. Maintaining a school fed a diet consisting of live foods will help to induce the spawning cycle. The male will construct a nest in the sand prior to spawning. He will then mate with several females. Eggs will be gathered into the nest where the male will stand guard over them until they hatch.

The hottest new trend in saltwater aquarium ownership is pet jellyfish. Jellyfish can't be kept in a traditional saltwater tank setup. They need a specially designed Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank to remain alive and healthy. Jellyfish tanks don't require the constant upkeep normally associated with saltwater aquariums. Moon Jellies are the most popular jellyfish for home aquariums because of their exotic beauty and ease of care. Find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies. Jellyfish are among the most interesting creatures in the aquatic kingdom.

Article Source: EzineArticles 





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



2017-12-30

Tips on GOLDEN DAMSELFISH Care

English: Golden damsel (Amblyglyphidodon aureu...
Golden damsel (Amblyglyphidodon aureus)
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Golden damselfish or Amblyglyphidodon aureus belongs to the family Pomacentridae. This family is comprised of 28 genera and 360 species. It includes all damselfish and clownfishes. Established populations of golden damsels extend from the western Pacific to the Eastern Indian Oceans southward to the Great Barrier Reef. This is a coral reef inhabitant occupying depths from 30 to 150 feet.

Golden damsels have a rounded body, spiked dorsal fin and the forked tail characteristic of its grouping. Its bright yellow color palette is accented with electric blue vertical pinstriping on its upper and lower body regions. Coloration has a tendency to fade as the fish matures. The golden damselfish is marketed under various aliases including yellow damselfish, lemon damsel, lemon peel damsel and golden damsel.

This is a hardy and somewhat aggressive species. Its ability to contend with a multitude of environmental parameters makes it an excellent choice for the inexperienced aquarist. The fish's stamina and its low price tag often lead to it being used as a biological stabilizer in the cycling of new aquariums. If the damsel flourishes in the newly established aquatic environment, then it is worth the risk of adding more expensive species of a lesser constitution to the aquarium. In a marine reef, it will not disrupt the anchored inhabitants or devour your ornamental crustaceans.

In nature, it makes its home amid gorgonian fans and black coral trees. These would make the perfect surroundings for a golden damselfish in a reef tank. This species reaches up to 5 inches in length as an adult. Take its temperament into account when choosing its tank mates. Although it is very even-tempered compared to many damselfish species, it should not be housed with smaller more timid species. Introducing this fish to a pre-established population or in unison with the other species you wish to keep in your aquarium will reduce aggressive behavior. A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended.

The golden damsel is an omnivore. In their natural habitat, their diet consists primarily of zooplankton. These fish take readily to aquarium life. They are not picky eaters and instances of problems getting them to start feeding in their new surroundings are rare. They will eat common flake food formulated for marine omnivores. But as with any marine species, a varied diet will help ensure general health and maintain coloring. Vitamin enriched brine shrimp is a good supplement. They should also be provided with an abundance of living rock to graze on.



Damselfish are sequential hermaphrodites. They are all born as males. If a group of males is introduced to an aquarium together the largest most dominant of the group will experience a morphological hormonal surge until it gender transforms into that of a female. This is a trait common to all hermaphroditic marine species. Nature will always ensure that both genders are present in a population to ensure the prorogation of the species. These damsels are known to breed in captivity. The male damsel will instinctively guard freshly fertilized eggs until they hatch.




2017-12-12

PICASSO TRIGGERFISH - Rhinecanthus Aculeatus

PICASSO TRIGGERFISH - Rhinecanthus Aculeatus



2017-12-11

Picasso TRIGGERFISH

lagoon triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Picasso triggerfish)
Picasso Triggerfish - Photo  by Paul and Jill 
Picasso triggerfish is one of the most commonly sold triggerfish in the marine aquarium trade. Because of this, it is also the most recognizable. Their scientific name is Rhinecanthus Aculeatus and they are also known as the Huma-Huma or Humu-Humu triggerfish. This species is collected around the waters of Fiji and Tahiti.

They are nowhere near as expensive as some uncommon species like the clown triggerfish or the expensive crosshatch triggerfish. They range anywhere from $30-$40 depending on the size of the specimen.

They are called the Picasso triggerfish because of the presence of a variety of colored lines across its body. Red, yellow, blue and white lines adorn its face, mouth and the main section of its body. They can attain a length of twelve inches and require larger aquariums with a minimum of 100 gallons because of this.

Like all triggerfish, the Picasso triggerfish has a huge head. Viewed from the side, it makes up to one-third of the total body size. This is a distinctive feature found in all members of the triggerfish family. They are also aggressive and highly territorial and will defend their nesting site against all uninvited guests as many a scuba diver has learned.

In the wild, they primarily hunt for crustaceans that include crabs, shrimp and even invertebrates like the sea urchin. They are able to crack the tough exoskeleton of their prey thanks to their immensely powerful jaws. Because of the strength of their jaws, they can deliver painful bites to their human keepers as well.


Because they are carnivores, we must try to mimic their diet in captivity. Offer them meaty foods like freshly chopped seafood that include fish, shrimp, scallops and such. Mysis shrimp, frozen krill and frozen meat mixes are some good choices as well.

Overall, Picasso triggerfish are very hardy and easy to keep provided it has ample swimming space and always be careful to select tank mates that can hold their own against this large and aggressive species.




2017-10-30

LIONFISH - Pterois volitans

Lionfish - Pterois volitans




2017-10-27

LIONFISHES - Scorpaenidae Family

Regalia
Lionfish * Firefish - Photo   by      Bob Owen
Members of this family are known commonly as Firefish, Scorpionfish, Rockfish, Stonefish, or Lionfish (amongst others). They belong to the order Scorpaeniformes, which includes 35 families, 300 genera, and more than 1,000 species. They are important both in the marine aquarium trade and as food (those of us fish-eaters living on the west coast are familiar with "Pacific Snapper" which is not a snapper at all-it's from the family Scorpaenidae). Fishes from the family Scorpaenidae are widely distributed throughout the oceans of the world (temperate and tropical), but the so-called lionfishes which are of the most interest to the marine hobbyist are indigenous to the tropical Indo-Pacific (although they have now established themselves along the eastern seaboard of the United States).

The species most often seen in the home aquarium are from the subfamily Pteroinae and the genera Brachypterois, Pterois and Dendrochirus. Of these three genera, the genus Pterois are the true lionfishes while the species in the other genera are generally referred to in the hobby as the dwarf lionfishes. Specimens from the genus Brachypterois are rarely seen in the hobby. All species of the subfamily Pteroinae are hearty, dramatic-looking and very capable of causing the lackadaisical aquarist a whole world of hurt through their powerful sting. Nonetheless, the potential of being stung is far outweighed in most hobbyists' minds by the positive attributes of the extraordinary lionfish.

The lionfishes from the genus Pterois get their name from the Greek word "pteron" which translates to "wing." Indeed, a large Pterois in open water-pectoral fins outstretched-is very much like a winged creature. Add to this display the rearing dorsal fin, and you can clearly see why this fish with a mane is commonly called a lionfish. The most recognizable species in the industry is the Red Lionfish (P. volitans). This impressive fish (not to be confused with P. lunulata or the Luna Lion, which is often sold as a red volitans) has earned its way onto the stamps of at least eight countries and into thousands of marine aquaria. Growing up to a foot and a half in length, these are very impressive animals.

The Red Lionfish, it should be noted, is not always red, and as such, members of the same species should not be confused based on dramatic color differences alone. Red Lionfish living in estuaries can be almost entirely black while those that inhabit outer reefs down to 55 meters may be much brighter in color. Generally nocturnal, the Red Lionfish in the wild spends its days upside down in a cave or head down in a rock crevice. When hunting, it uses its large pectoral fins to corral its prey (small fish and invertebrates such as shrimp and crabs) before stinging and consuming it. In captivity, the Red Lionfish is, in many ways, an aquarist's dream. Provided with the right captive habitat and diet, this fish will be long-lived and the center of attention for anyone viewing your aquarium.




The other two genera of lionfish are generally thought of as the dwarf lionfish. They seldom exceed six inches in length. As already mentioned, specimens from the genus Brachypterois are rarely seen in the hobby, but dwarf lionfish from the genus Dendrochirus are quite common. In many ways, dwarf lionfish possess all the appeal of their larger kin, just in a smaller size. Although the dwarfs tend to be somewhat more sedentary and stick closer to the bottom of the tank, they can be kept in tanks half the size of those required for a Red Lionfish. Of the dwarfs one might consider, the Zebra Turkeyfish (Dendrochirus zebra) is always a favorite and relatively common. Many hobbyists swear that the less common Fuzzy Dwarf (Dendrochirus brachypterus) is the most "personable" of all lionfish.

Despite their differences in size, the true lionfish and the dwarf lionfish have similar captive habitat requirements (except, of course, for minimum tank size). Lionfish have a reputation as being remarkably hearty fish (second only to damsels some say), and while this is true, some care should be taken to provide lionfish with an environment that meets their species-specific needs. Because lionfish are nocturnal, they will not appreciate tanks that are brightly lit with metal halides unless there are places in the tank that remain heavily shaded. From the lionfish's perspective, even a relatively dark refuge in a tank illuminated by metal halides is inferior to a tank lit by low illumination fluorescents. More than one captive lionfish has been permanently damaged by being blinded by lights that are too bright.

Lionfish are not known to be particularly territorial and will share their cave or another place of refuge with members of their own species or other lionfish species. Having said this, keep in mind that recommended stocking densities for true lionfish are about 40 gallons per lionfish (and about half that for the dwarfs). In terms of water chemistry, while lionfish will appreciate stability in the system, they are remarkably resilient and can survive dismal water conditions (although this obviously should not be the goal). Lionfish do make a mess, and as a result, excellent mechanical/biological filtration and protein skimming are essential. Without appropriate filtration, a dive in alkaline reserve is likely to be accompanied by plunging pH necessitating a massive emergency water change. All this, of course, can be avoided by appropriate filtration, excellent protein skimming, and regular water changes.



Everyone knows when you go to the zoo not to feed the lions. If everyone kept the same in mind with their lionfish, far fewer would die in captivity each year. The reason you don't feed the lions at the zoo is that they are already being fed a healthy, appropriate diet by their keepers, and while there are those who may love to show off their lionfish snacking on live goldfish, this is really not in the best interest of the animal. It is true that some lionfish will not readily accept a captive diet (in which case it may be necessary to offer the specimen a live shrimp, small fish or crab at first), but the goal should always be to try to get the fish eating a captive diet. One technique that works well is the feed your new lionfish live feeder shrimp mixed with frozen mysis shrimp. Over time (days to weeks depending on the individual fish), increase the frozen mysis shrimp and decrease the live feeder shrimp until you have cut out the live food entirely. Eventually, lionfish should accept a captive diet including fresh or frozen foods such as krill, shrimp, silversides, and various prepared foods. Once the lionfish is settled in, offer food on a feeding stick, but don't force the issue. Feeding one to three times a week should be sufficient. Keep in mind that lionfish will eat smaller fishes, ornamental shrimps and crabs in your system, and remember that their mouths can open to leviathan proportions.

It is not uncommon to see some fin rot due to handling during the shipping process, and this is easily taken care of with furan compounds. Copper treatments are highly effective with lionfish suffering from protozoal infections like Cryptocaryon. "Coughing" or "shaking" disease is something you will experience with lionfish, but it's actually not a disease at all. This is a common behavior and aids in the shedding of skin (necessary to purge algae and sessile invertebrates that have attached themselves to the fish). In short, it is a perfectly normal part of life for many of these fishes.

At the beginning of the article, it was cautioned that lionfishes are capable of a powerful sting. This is true and something of which any aquarist should be aware before purchasing one. Lionfish are not poisonous, as if often stated-remember, many species in the family Scorpaenidae are important food sources. Instead, they are venomous meaning that they deliver their venom or toxin through injection (not ingestion). Lionfish have venom sacs connected to their spines, and while there have been reports of some individuals aggressively "charging" the hobbyist's hand when in the tank, most stings are the result of careless contact while cleaning the tank or handling the fish. If you are stung (either by an alive or dead specimen), it will most likely be painful and, although rarely fatal, it is possible to have a very severe reaction necessitating the attention of a physician. In most cases, however, expect a reaction like a bee sting. If you experience more serious signs and symptoms including, but not limited to, shortness of breath, nausea, and fever seek medical attention immediately.

In conclusion, while there is some risk in choosing to keep lionfish from the family Scorpaenidae, most hobbyists agree that the good far outweighs the bad. These incredible "winged fish" are almost inconceivable in their delicate beauty. The fact that a fish so exotic-looking and interesting is also relatively easy to acquire, hearty and long-lived is the proverbial icing on the cake.

    By Ret Talbot
    2008 (C) Blue Zoo Aquatics
    Blue Zoo Aquatics was formed in 2001 as a custom aquarium design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance company which provided its services in and around Los Angeles, California. The company founders and key personnel had either a background in marine biology or had spent their entire career in the saltwater aquarium industry.
    Customers who bought a custom aquarium were also frequently asking us to provide livestock and aquarium supplies, so we created bluezooaquatics.com to showcase our entire product offering and make it available to everyone.
    Today, Blue Zoo Aquatics has evolved into the complete source for all of your aquarium needs. Although we can still design and build you a beautiful custom aquarium, we are also proud to offer one of the largest selections of livestock on the web as well as a wide variety of quality aquarium supplies.
    Our business has expanded, but Blue Zoo is still owned and operated by the same team of expert aquarists that have dedicated their lives to helping people have fun and succeed with saltwater aquariums. - http://www.bluezooaquatics.com
    Article Source: EzineArticles



2017-10-19

Ocellaris CLOWNFISH - Amphiprion ocellaris

Ocellaris Clownfish



2017-10-18

Ocellaris CLOWNFISH - A Guide to Keeping Amphiprion Ocellaris in a Marine Aquarium

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Amphiprion Ocellaris - Photo   by       Andreas März   (cc)
When it comes to popular marine fish, the Ocellaris clownfish (Amphiprion Ocellaris) is the undisputed king. It shares its title with the Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion Percula) since they look entirely alike to most people. Both the ocellaris and percula clowns are the marine aquarium hobby's greatest ambassadors. Most people might think this is due to the hit animated film, Finding Nemo. They don't realize these clownfish were already popular before the film was released.

The ocellaris clownfish is a staple offering in the hobby. They are heavily collected from their natural habitats in South East Asia, they are the most plentiful ornamental marine fish at the moment. Walk into any saltwater pet store and you'll find at least one ocellaris there for sale. They are also heavily bred in captivity with tank-raised ocellaris priced a little higher than wild caught specimens.

Ocellaris clownfish are entirely orange with three white bands (outlined with black) around their heads, body and near their tail. To the untrained eye, both ocellaris and percula look exactly the same. Yet they are both slightly different physically. Percula clownfish have 10 dorsal spines while ocellaris has 11. Thankfully there's an easier method to tell them apart. Percula clownfish have thicker, more pronounced black outlines while those on the ocellaris are always thin.

One of the cheapest marine fish you can buy, with specimens costing as little as $10. A few dollars more can buy a tank-raised specimen. Given a choice, never go with wild caught specimens as tank-bred ones are generally hardier and better suited to the aquarium.

Ocellaris clowns are also known as the false clown anemonefish and the false percula clown. They are called anemonefish because they share a symbiosis with anemones. They have figured out how to escape the anemones powerful sting, it is thought they have a layer of mucus on their bodies that fool the anemone into thinking there's nothing there. Anemones are not required despite clownfish needing one in the wild.

Generally peaceful, these clownfish get along well with a wide variety of tank mates. However, they do not get along well with other species of clownfish, especially those outside their species. There are three routes you can take when looking for a pair:

* Purchase a mated pair
* Get a large and a small one, introduce them together and pray they pair up
* Purchase two small ones and put them together, eventually one will dominate the other and become a female, pairing up in the process

I cannot give a guarantee that options 2 or 3 will work 100% of the time.

Reaching a maximum of 3 inches in length, they are considered a small fish. All clownfish are site attached, which means they are usually around their territory (a small area) most of the time. Their territory can be anything from a pile of rocks to an anemone. Mushroom and elegance corals have been hosted by the ocellaris when an anemone isn't available. They can be housed aquariums as small as 20 gallons due to this behavior.



These fishes are very easy to feed because they will eat just about anything. While they are omnivores in the wild, they consume both meaty and algae-based food in the aquarium. A wide variety of foods should be given. Prime reef, Formula One and Formula two are some good dry foods to offer. Formula two has an added amount of algae mixed in with seafood while Prime reef is mostly made up of seafood.

The best pellet food on the market is those made by New Life Spectrum. Mix in some frozen foods like mysis shrimp or krill and they will be very happy.

Overall, the ocellaris clownfish is a hardy fish that is a great choice for both beginners and experienced hobbyists alike.



2017-10-16

QUEEN ANGELFISH Care

A Splash of Color
Young Queen Angelfish - Photo  by      laszlo-photo  (cc)
The Queen angelfish (Holacanthus Ciliaris) is one of three very popular "large" angelfish in the marine aquarium hobby today. The other two being the Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus Imperator) and the French Angelfish (Pomacanthus Paru). It reigns as the most popular angelfish in the genus holacanthus. They are a member of the family Pomacanthidae and are one of the largest angelfish among its cousins.

The queen angelfish is commonly found throughout the Caribbean sea, Florida, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico. It is closely related to the Blue Angelfish (Holacanthus Bermudensis) and to the untrained eye they look completely alike. These two angelfish have been known to interbreed in the wild. Their offspring have also been known as Holacanthus Townsendi. It should be noted that Holacanthus Townsendi is not a valid species, it is merely a hybrid. Fortunately, telling them apart is easy, queen angelfish possess a blue-ringed crown on its head while the blue angelfish does not.

As with all larger angelfish species, juvenile coloration differs from that of an adult. Juveniles possess bright blue vertical bars from its face to its main body. These bars will slowly disappear as they grow. Adults sport a brilliant iridescent yellow and blue throughout their entire body.
Juvenile angelfish also take on a peculiar role in the wild. They assume the role of "cleaners". As cleaners they provide a valuable service for other marine fish, they feed on any parasites present on the bodies of other fish.




This is an expensive fish, small specimens usually retail for $80-$90 USD with large adults (Show quality) costing $200 and upwards.

Larger angelfish of the family Pomacanthidae have developed a well deserved reputation or being aggressive bullies in captivity. Queen angelfish is no exception.
It generally ignores other species of fish but is pretty hostile towards other large angelfish. It is especially hostile towards other queen angels or blue angelfish for that matter. One queen angelfish per tank is the general rule.

This angelfish reaches lengths of up to 18 inches. A foot and a half! They rarely achieve such lengths in captivity however, expect a maximum size of 12 to 13 inches or so.
Marine aquariums no smaller than 150 gallons should be used to house a queen angelfish. As with all larger marine fish, the bigger the tank, the better. Ensure your rock scape in the aquarium allows for ample swimming space.

Do not be fooled into buying smaller juveniles for a 50 gallon aquarium. They will quickly outgrow such small tanks in a matter of months. The queen angelfish is not reef safe, it can eat corals or at least nip on them until they eventually perish. Though some hobbyists have been successfully keeping them in reef aquariums, they are more often seen in large, fish-only aquariums.



They feed on tunicates, sponges, corals, algae and plankton in the wild. Avoid housing them in a reef aquarium with many corals as they can make short work of your expensive corals.
Offer them a good variety of foods from sheets of nori/seaweed to meaty foods like krill or mysis shrimp. New Life Spectrum produces some of the highest quality pellets on the market and would be my first choice as a good pellet food to offer my fish.

Formula two is a pretty balanced food for angelfish as well, containing seafood and extra algae for herbivorous fishes. It is available in pellet, flake or frozen cube form.
The most complete food available for Queen Angelfish is Angel Formula by Ocean Nutrition. This food was specifically designed to cater to the needs of large angelfish, they contain a good mix of fresh seafood, algae, vitamins and most importantly, marine sponges. Angel Formula is only available in frozen cube form.

With regards to nori sheets/seaweed sheets for your queen angelfish. You could choose either branded seaweed sheets from companies catering to herbivorous fish or you can always run down to your local supermarket and get some there. Depending on the brand they could either be very expensive or very cheap.

If you're buying from the supermarket, make sure you buy the plain, unflavoured/unspiced version. Raw nori is a good choice if available. Get a clip for your nori and stick it on the side of the aquarium glass.



2017-09-06

FLAME ANGELFISH (Centropyge Loriculus) Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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