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


LIONFISH - Pterois volitans

Lionfish - Pterois volitans


LIONFISHES - Scorpaenidae Family

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 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. -
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Ocellaris CLOWNFISH - Amphiprion ocellaris

Ocellaris Clownfish


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

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.



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.


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.


What to Feed SALTWATER Fish Aquariums

Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that one of the first things a responsible pet owner does is make sure their pet has a balanced diet. They know that the healthy their pets eat, the more likely they are to lead long and healthy lives. Fish kept in saltwater fish aquariums are exactly the same. The responsible saltwater aquarium owner knows exactly what types of food his fish needs to survive and makes sure they keep a ready supply of it on hand.

English: A dragon wrasse, Novaculichthys taeni...
A dragon wrasse, Novaculichthys taeniourus is being cleaned by Rainbow cleaner wrasses, Labroides phthirophagus
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first thing you need to know about feeding tropical fish is how much food they should be getting. The general rule of thumb is that when you feed your fish use a stopwatch and time how long it takes them to eat. It should take approximently two minutes for the fish to finish eating. If the fish in your tank finish their food in less then two minutes they probably aren't getting enough to eat. If after two minutes there is still food left over then they are probably getting over fed and you'll have to cut back. A more accurate way of measuring how much food that fifty adult tropical fish should eat approximately ten grams of food in one month, but that can carry with variety and growth.

A balanced fish food typically consists of ten percent fat, thirty to thirty-six percent protein. There should also be amino acids.

The first step in feeding your fish responsibly is knowing what type of food they eat. Some fish can not be kept in a tank that has coral because they like to eat the little invertebrates that make the coral their home. Predatory fish typically need to have frozen or live food. Bottom dwelling fish should be fed a type of food that is heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the tank, these fish do not do well with fish foods that float on the tanks surface. Aquarium owners who are interested in breeding their tropical fish often feed their fish brine shrimp, which they raise in their own brine shrimp hatchery.

Many saltwater fish aquariums caretakers like using automatic fish food feeders. Automatic fish food feeders are feeders that can be clamped to the side of the aquarium. Once the fish owner has loaded the hopper with food, the feeder will automatically dispense the food at regular intervals, this allows the fish owner to have more flexibility and not be forced to arrange their schedules around feeding their fish. The average automatic fish food feeder is not capable of dispensing frozen or live food, which does make them convenient for predatory fish. Some absentee fish owners place food blocks in their aquariums.

Tropical fish owners should store their extra fish food in a cool dry place in containers that won't allow moisture to seep in. Frozen fish food should be disposed of after three months.

One of the dangers in overfeeding fish is that the wasted food can wreck havoc on the pH levels of your aquariums water. If to much discarded food is contaminating the water it can contribute to the death of your fish.


About SALTWATER AQUARIUM Fish! - Beautiful...

Saltwater aquarium fish are amongst the most beautiful of animals to be found anywhere in the world. A variety of saltwater aquarium fish can be housed in your marine tank provided you know what they need in terms of care, such as feeding, environment, competitors and space to grow.

English: Neon damselfish (Pomacentrus coelesti...
Neon damselfish (Pomacentrus coelestis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any marine enthusiast will tell you that setting up a marine tank is tricky and so is choosing the right saltwater aquarium fish! This is because it’s easy to make mistakes with the kinds of fish you choose. It’s usually best to start your marine tank with a few hardy and affordable fish. The majority of saltwater aquarium fish are collected from nature rather than captive raised so don’t waste that gift by making mistakes that result in the death of your fish.

Damsels are a great saltwater aquarium fish to start off with. Damsels are hardy little creatures and can survive in poorer water conditions than many other marine species. They are not fussy about their food and won’t cost you the earth. Unfortunately damsels are also quite aggressive. You can easily keep one or two of these tough saltwater aquarium fish in a tank but don’t try any more than that.

Its best to start with damsels and then add more aggressive fish later, If you want to house saltwater aquarium fish that are more shy, you need to take your damsels out before adding more timid varieties of saltwater aquarium fish. Blue and yellow damsels are two species that are less aggressive than others.

Mollies are an alternative starter saltwater aquarium fish. Mollies that are used to salt water allow you to start with cheaper fish while you learn how to make sure the salinity of your tank is correct for more sensitive creatures. On the other hand mollies are raised and bred in captivity so you won’t get much real experience in keeping them. Get them used to the tank by allowing saltwater to drip into the bag for about 6-8 hours. When the bag becomes full remove some water. After the tank cycles you can keep the fish in the tank.

Clownfish are cousins to damsel fish and are a fairly hardy saltwater aquarium fish. They are not that easy to acclimate to a marine tank, though. They are also quite territorial but aren’t likely to be aggressive to other species. They don’t have to have an anemone to survive. If you do get one bear in mind that they need water that is very clean and high quality lighting.

Blennies or gobies are fairly hardy and small and shouldn’t be a problem for the other saltwater aquarium fish in the tank. They are character fish but they are small and so might get lost in very big tanks with bigger saltwater aquarium fish. They are a good choice to help control algae but if you have a fish only tank they may not be easy to keep fed.

Tangs are a hardy saltwater aquarium fish which are a little sensitive and tend to contract marine ich (also know as "White Spot"). They eat algae so as soon as you grow some you might try to introduce some tangs.

Triggerfish or lionfish are an ideal saltwater aquarium fish for a tank which will eventually contain large aggressive fish. However they can be costly if you make mistakes. It might be a good idea to ‘practice’ on fish that are both cheaper and easier. You will need to feed them lots of shell fish and other sea creatures to keep them healthy.

Angels and butterflies are very sensitive and difficult saltwater aquarium fish to keep. They need special diets most of the time so they are not that easy to care for in a tank. The same goes for batfish.

Once you gain more experience in keeping conditions in your tank stable you can add a few other varieties of fish. Choose from hawkfishes, grammas, dottybacks, basslets and wrasses. But make sure to find out about how to take care of them properly because some are not as easy as others. However they are a much easier bet that angels and butterflies.

So which saltwater aquarium fish should beginners avoid? You should not attempt angelfish, butterfly fish, pipefish, seahorses, long-nosed filefish, blue ribbon eels, stonefish, and Moorish Idols as well as mandarin fish until you really know what you are doing.

What about invertebrates? Contrary to popular belief invertebrates are well suited for mini or micro-reef tanks. Many invertebrates do well in non-reef tanks. For the novice aquarist the hardy species are best. These include shrimps like the cleaner shrimp, blood shrimp or peppermint shrimp and coral banded shrimp. As is the case with saltwater aquarium fish, stick to the hardier shrimps to begin with.

Anemone crabs are another option you might try along with your saltwater aquarium fish. And why not add some sea urchins and starfish which are quite well suited to beginners with a couple of month’s experience? They differ in size, shape and color and some are poisonous so be careful! Sea urchins and starfish eat detritus and algae and other small bits of food so they will help to keep your tank clean and your saltwater aquarium fish healthy.

Anemones are not really suited for beginners. They need special lighting and top-notch water conditions so if you can’t foot the bill for the lights stay away or you’ll live to regret it. Invertebrates you should avoid include tridacna clams, flame scallops, Octopi, Nudibranchs, or any hard or soft coral and sea squirts. Like the saltwater aquarium fish listed previously these invertebrates have special feeding and living requirements.

When you choose saltwater aquarium fish, you need to bear in mind that they are a bit more expensive then the freshwater varieties. For this reason you should take care with them and try to keep them alive. When fish are captured and moved from the store to your home they are liable to get stressed, especially since most of them have been taken from the ocean mere days ago. So make sure you can properly care for your new friends before you bring them home!



The humbug damselfish (Dascyllus aruanus) are members of the family Pomacentridae. They inhabit the Indian Ocean, the Great Barrier Reef, and the shallow waters of the Micronesian sub-regions in the western Pacific Ocean.

English: Alan Slater Category:Pomacentrid images
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This fish has a narrow rounded body. Its distinguishing characteristics are a white body with black vertical bars. These markings are evenly spaced on the fish's body, one in the front, one in the rear and a third mid-body. The humbug is commonly marketed by the aquarium industry under the names three stripe damselfish, humbug dascyllus, or black and white damselfish.

All damselfish have a hardy constitution and a semi-aggressive temperament. They are an excellent choice for the inexperienced aquarist. This damsel's reasonable price tag and resilience to fluctuating environmental parameters make it the perfect guinea pig for testing survivability in newly established saltwater bio-systems.

In their natural environment the humbug exists in small shoals. The dominant male will often exhibit territorial behavior toward the more submissive members of the group. In an aquarium it is recommended that humbugs be kept either as a solitary fish or a community of no less than four. Having only two together in an aquarium will result in serious aggression toward the subdominant fish. A group will substantially lessen the possibility of a particular fish being singled out as an intended target for bullying.

Damselfish are instinctively territorial. You do not want to make a group of them the first inhabitants of an aquarium. This will allow the shoal to develop the perception that the news surroundings are their turf. They will be intolerant of new additions to your tank. When keeping more than a single humbug, it is advisable to add them to a pre-established population. This will minimize the possibility of territorial disputes. Lots of hiding place will also prove beneficial.

Damselfish tend to become more aggressive as they age. It is not uncommon for a shoal of juveniles to disband in adulthood. This is a small species. They reach a maximum adult length of 4 inches. Their innate aggressive behavior makes up for their lack of stature. They will not back down to a fish twice their size. Keep their temperament in mind when selecting their potential tank mates. They actually make very good community fish as long as they are with equally aggressive species of their own size or larger.

Despite their aggressive tendencies, humbugs are well suited for a marine reef setup. In their natural environment they make their homes amid the coral formation prevalent in tropical reefs. They will feel right at home in an aquarium with plenty of coral growing in it. It is unlikely that a humbug will pick on you ornamental crustaceans.

This is an omnivorous species. In the wild algae plays an important role in their dietary intake. They are not picky eaters in captivity. They will readily eat flake food and pellets. Supplementing their diet with vitamin enriched brine shrimp and dried algae sheets will help to maintain their natural vigor.
There are no distinguishing features between the males and females of this species. However, like all damselfish they are hermaphroditic. Their ability to change gender will insure that both sexes are always present in a population. This fish has been known to breed in captivity.

    By Stephen J Broy
    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



Anthias fish are a grouping of small marine aquarium fish which are located in roughly all tropical oceans. They are typically some of the brightest colored marine fishes in the ocean and are especially admired additions to the saltwater tank. They come from the family Serranidae that have mostly basslets as well as groupers. In the basslet family, they are classified in a sub-family named Anthiinae.

The sea goldie is an anthias. They are hermaph...
The sea goldie is an anthias. They are hermaphrodite, and swim in "harems"
(Photo credit: 

There have been seven discovered types among this subfamily so far. Anthias are mainly a shoaling species that can occasionally be found in the thousands throughout their usual habitats on the reefs.
They are customarily found living in areas of exceedingly high flow, something that ought to be replicated in the home aquarium. Roughly all anthias types feed on saltwater plankton during the day. This fact makes these stunning fish fairly tricky to house in the aquarium.

Some do exceptionally poorly in captivity and reject prepared foods until they finally starve to death. Multiple feedings of small foods need to be available every day. A few good selections are made up of cyclopeeze as well as grinded meaty seafoods. Feedings more than of three times each day is recommended. If such a feeding timetable cannot be offered, it would be best to shop outside of the anthias family of fish.

Anthias are located at depths anywhere from twenty feet all the way as deep as 200 feet. Deeper dwelling anthias regularly command a incredibly expensive price and are almost always sold immediately when available. Two recognizable and pricey deep dwelling varieties are Pseudoanthias Ventralis and Pseudoanthias Privitera.

Also included in the Anthias fish family are various distinctive oddities such as the highfin perchlet. Commonly confused as a hawkfish, they come from the genus PLectranthias. Like hawkfish, the highfin perchlet does not have a swim bladder.

All anthias fish are sequential hermaphrodites. Large shoals are regularly made up of a greater number of females than males. These fish have need of large fish aquariums to do well. If more than one specimen from a species is required, make certain there is only a single male present. Adding males in captivity will almost always bring about aggression.

On the whole, anthias fish are thought of as a fairly modestly priced saltwater fish outside of the uncommon deepwater types. Prices range anywhere from $20 to $40 per specimen based on species. exceedingly colorful, most lovers attempt to replicate their shoaling behavior in the aquarium. However, only those with the largest marine aquariums are successful.

    By Indran Manickam
    For further information on the Lyretail Anthias do drop by the authors website.
    All manner of popular marine aquarium fish are covered including the popular clownfish, dwarf angelfish, surgeonfish and many more.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


BASSLETS - A Guide For the Marine Aquarium

Marine basslets are small, meat-eating marine aquarium fish that are very well represented in the hobby. The overwhelming majority of them are somewhere between 2 to four inches in length and appear in a broad assortment of colors. They are all strictly meat eaters and are typically some of the easiest fish to provide for in the saltwater aquarium. They are located in a variety of depths and are usually connected in habitats which have a lot of caves.

Black Cap Basslet (Gramma melacara), Roatan, H...
Black Cap Basslet (Gramma melacara)
 (Photo credit: 
Basslets are found from a selection of families in addition to genera. Some of the more admired basslets in the trade come from the genus Liopropoma, Gramma and Serranus.

The most popular among them is undoubtedly the Royal Gramma. Not to be mixed up with the bicolor dottyback. Marine basslets from the genus Liopropoma are several of the most sought after marine fishes in the trade and can cost more than of $600 for rare deepwater species just like the beautiful candy basslet.

All basslets are considered exceedingly hardy fishes that typically do well in captivity. Owing to their eating habits, small fishes and invertebrates are not safe around them. Crustaceans to avoid are made up of sexy shrimp, small pistol shrimp for example the randall's pistol shrimp as well as any saltwater aquarium fishes that is small enough to put in into their mouths. Even as they can be taught to accept dry foods like pellets or flakes, they have a propensity to accept frozen foods a lot faster. As a result, some of the most popular fish feeds for the basslets consist staple frozen foods for instance frozen mysis shrimp, krill along with an assortment of seafood mixes such as prime reef.

In their natural habitats, they are caught individually or dwelling in pairs. They are frequently found living in or in the region of live rock that offers them plenty of hiding spaces. Such a rockscape ought to be reflected in captivity if you plan to keep these stunning fish.

For the most part, the majority of the frequent basslets have not been bred in captivity. The staple Royal Gramma sees the most attempts but as a result of its low value, such activities have not garnered much interest from private breeders or large scale breeders. The one genera that is worth looking into is Liopropoma as they are normally deep dwelling fishes that command high prices.

    By Indran Manickam
    For further information on the Basslets do drop by the authors website.
    All manner of popular marine aquarium basslets are covered including the Royal Gramma, liopropoma genus and the blackcap basslet.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

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REGAL ANGELFISH Care - Pygoplites diacanthus

The Regal Angel is thought of by several hobbyists to be one of the most lovely big angels in the market. Currently its also one of the toughest to house in the aquarium.

English: Pygoplites diacanthus, Pomacanthidae,...
Pygoplites diacanthus, Pomacanthidae, Royal Angelfish
(Photo credit: 
Its scientific designation given to this beauty is Pygoplites Diacanthus. Currently its the lone member of the genus Pygoplites. The regal angelfish has a extensive intense yellow main body including vertical white streaks that are outlined by blue.

Similar to all members of the large angel family, juveniles wear a noticeably unusual coloration pattern than adults. Young specimens do not have blue coloration and are commonly seen bearing yellow along with white with a distinctive spot close to the tail.

They are acknowledged to better a foot in length in the wild. In the aquarium however, they usually attain a maximum length of roughly twelve inches.

They are generally found all over the Indo-Pacific, Fiji and various areas in Africa. Fishes collected from the Philippines as well as Indonesia do not fare very well in captivity and normally have a excessive death percentage. This might have something to do with collection methods.

In their natural habitats these fish are grazers that feed solely on tunicates and sponges. This really is the chief reason why Regal Angelfish typically do badly in captivity. They may be tricky eaters that usually starve to death over a length of time. They must be offered a great mixture of seafood, saltwater seaweed strips and in particular sponges daily if possible.

Always quarantine your fishes to make certain they are disease and parasite free. Sometimes you may well come upon two inch juveniles for sale at the saltwater store. Resist the urge to purchase them if you do not have a large enough saltwater tank. The regal angelfish is the most beautiful and highly regarded large angelfish by enthusiasts. Alas, their high mortality percentage in captivity does put off a lot of hobbyists.
    By Indran Manickam
    For further information on the regal angelfish do drop by the authors website.
    All manner of popular marine aquarium angelfish are covered including the genus Centropyge, emperor angel and other species as well.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


BLUE-FACED ANGELFISH - Pomacantus xanthometopon

Blue-Faced Angelfish - Pomacantus xanthometopon


Tips on Hippocampus Kuda Or Common SEAHORSE Care

Male seahorsees are pouch brooders
Male seahorsees are pouch brooders (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seahorses are cataloged in the genus Hippocampus. The members of this genus belong to the family Syngnathidae. This family contains over 50 individual species including all seahorses and their close relatives the pipefish. Seahorses are found in shallow waters of tropical and temperate zones around the world.

The name Hippocampus is first recorded in Greek poetry. Hippos means horse and campus translates to sea monster. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed seahorses were a gift from the sea god Poseidon/Neptune. Despite their fragility, seahorses were perceived to be a symbol of strength and power. There are three species of seahorse found in the Mediterranean Sea. These are the Hippocampus hippocampus or long snout, the Hippocampus brevirostris or short snout, and the Hippocampus fuscus which emigrated from its native habitat in the Red Sea. Many Europeans thought these equine-like creatures bore the souls of recently departed sailors, providing them safe passage to the underworld and protecting over them until their souls meant their destiny. Seahorse fossils have been discovered dating as far back as 13 million years. Here we will focus both the seahorse collectively and one specific species Hippocampus kuda also known as the common seahorse.

The common seahorse is indigenous to the Indo-Pacific. Twenty-three countries have confirmed the presence of H. Kuda ranging as far south as Australia to as far north as China.

Seahorses have been procured by Chinese herbologists for their purported healing qualities for centuries. Native populations throughout Indonesia and the Central Philippines also use seahorses as a component in herbalistic medicines. It is estimated that up to 20 millions seahorses a year are harvested to support this thriving industry. Over fishing has driven seahorse populations to the verge of becoming endangered species. The common seahorse is currently listed as a vulnerable species by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention). CITES has regulated the import and export of seahorses in this region of the world since 2004. Unfortunately Indonesia, Japan and South Korea do not recognize the trade rules put in place by the Washington Convention.

Seahorses are a boney fish. They are devoid of scales. They have a thin layer of skin stretched over a series of bony plates arranged in rings. Each individual species has a specific number of these rings. Seahorses have a cornet on their heeds. These cornets are distinctive to each seahorse. No two are identical much like a human fingerprint.

These creatures swim vertically, a trait specific to seahorses. They are poor swimmers who move very slowly in the water. Propulsion is achieved by the rapid flutter of the dorsal fin on their backs. They maneuver with the use of their pectoral fins located behind their eyes. They do not possess a caudal (tail) fin. In its place there is a prehensile tail which they warp around stationary objects to anchor themselves.

In an aquarium seahorses must be provided with objects to anchor themselves to. Coral and small branches will suffice nicely. These are timid creatures that should never be housed with even moderately aggressive species. They are easily stressed. Prolonged periods of stress will lower the efficiency of their immune system making them more susceptible to disease. Gobies and other docile mannered fish will make suitable tank mates. Seahorses are primarily bottom dwellers. They will peacefully coexist with ornamental crustaceans and other bottom feeders. This makes them the perfect compliment to a marine reef aquarium.

Amateur aquarist should not attempt to raise seahorses. You will only accomplish the unnecessary death of a rapidly vanishing species. Seahorses are only recommended for the more experienced saltwater aficionado.

All seahorses are carnivorous. They use their snouts to suck in zooplankton as a source of nutrition. Upon initial introduction to a home aquarium sea horses may only eat live food offerings. Rotifers, mysis and brine shrimp should help persuade them to start feeding. With patience they can be weaned off of live food. These are slow feeders and must not be made to compete for their food.

In recent decades the captive breeding of seahorses has become increasingly widespread. The common seahorse is among these commercially raised specimens. Farm raised seahorses may already be acclimated to non-living food offerings. These are commonly more expensive than wild caught seahorses. However you have a specimen that will not have to endure the shock and trauma of being yanked out of its natural habitat and placed in the confines of an aquarium. Farm raised marine species are more disease resistant and have a much higher survivability rate. And you will not be a participant in the further depletion of an already threatened species.