Shocking Dangers of Bad GOLDFISH Care (Part 2): Goldfish Overcrowding

Category:Goldfish images (Original text : 'A S...
 'A School of Fancy Goldfish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Goldfish overcrowding (also called "goldfish overstocking") is a serious cause of goldfish dying prematurely or them having stunted growth.

I find it's helpful to use the analogy of your own house. Imagine you doubled the number of people living there. And then you couldn't clean it for several days. What would it be like? How would you react to that?

Oh yes, you can't open the windows or doors either. You are stuck with the same amount of oxygen in there as before. How would it feel?

Now imagine your goldfish. They are in a man-made artificially-constrained space (an aquarium). They are swimming in a limited amount of water and, like babies, they eat and excrete. But unlike babies, they can't cry and be heard if they are in distress.

Many people assume that when they go to a pet store and see fifty small goldfish in an aquarium that it means it is OK to buy a whole bunch of goldfish. And then keep them in one small tank at home.

Unfortunately, what they don't realize is:

  1. Pet shops retail goldfish fast so they can keep large numbers - for short periods - in smaller aquariums
  2. Young goldfish ("fry") are usually very small so you can keep a large number of them together for a few weeks
  3. Goldfish aquariums are usually cleaned very frequently (daily) in pet stores to remove uneaten food and poo
  4. When you get goldfish back home, they will start to grow very quickly. In fact, you'll be amazed to wake up one day and see how much they have grown

My rule of thumb: a 54-liter tank for a maximum of 2 average-size goldfish. The larger the aquarium, the better. You can never have an aquarium that is too big.

So why is overcrowding such a hazard for your goldfish?

Let me give you seven reasons why:

  1. The waste products of excretion reduce the amount of available oxygen and cause ammonia build up
  2. This means goldfish become poisoned by the water they are living and "breathing" in
  3. As ammonia levels build up and as the goldfish continue to grow, there is less oxygen available in the aquarium
  4. Goldfish will begin to gulp at the surface or start to develop a host of common goldfish sickness problems
  5. They begin to suffer from oxygen starvation
  6. Without adequate room to move, breathe or play the fish begin to suffocate
  7. Eventually, the combination of stress and oxygen starvation leads to death

Here are a common mistake goldfish keepers make: just because the aquarium water looks clear does not mean it is clean or healthy for your goldfish. When a fish suffers from ammonia or nitrate poisoning, then what's happening is that the concentration of ammonia (a clear colorless liquid) is becoming higher. The water looks clear, but it is actually poisonous. You can only be sure it is safe by using an ammonia testing kit - and conducting regular water changes.

It's also worth noting that "goldfish stress" is a very real phenomenon and can result from several reasons. Again, even if you're not agoraphobic, imagine you are jammed into a small space with a bunch of people. How would you feel? I remember being stuck on a train once on a hot Summer's day. It was so crowded that I got hemmed in against the wall: I couldn't move. I remember stress levels rising fast...

Goldfish actually experience chemical changes under stressful conditions. They are designed to release growth-stunting hormones in hostile environments. And you don't want to be unintentionally creating a "hostile" environment in your aquarium - by having too many fish.

In the worst cases, goldfish get so big they can't physically turn around in an aquarium. They get stuck in the same position. They can't feed properly and become distressed.

Finally, your goldfish need plenty of space to move, swim and play. You can't expect them to be happy if you don't give them the room to move about. It'll be a lot more enjoyable for you to watch them moving gracefully. It gives them the chance to engage in a normal range of healthy behaviors. These are fascinating to observe (and watching goldfish is proven to bring your blood pressure down too).



Cotton Mouth disease also knows as Mouth Fungus is a disease your fish can get and it needs to be dealt with quickly. Cotton Mouth disease is not as common as the white spot disease, but, it is highly infectious and contagious. 

The victim fish shows a whitish fungus around the cheeks and lips. The lips may become swollen and rot away. Sometimes a rotten strip of lip attached only at one end will move in and out of the mouth as the fish breathes.

Photo Wikipedia
Fish infected with Mouth Fungus lose their appetite and their movement become sluggish. If no adequate treatment is given, the whole frontal part of the head may be eaten away finally and the fish dies. 

Unless the affected fish is of considerable value, it should be killed before this fatal disease attack the other occupants, of the tank. Think about it... is trying to save the life of one fish worth risking the death of the rest of the fish in your aquarium? 

But if you insist on keeping the fish or in case the infection has already been passed on to other occupants, the following treatment is advised: 

- Swabbing the mouth of the victim fish with a soft cloth dipped in a strong salt solution. Then you must then keep the patient isolated in a bucket or jar containing a strong salt water. 

- Try swabbing the lips with a 5 per cent silver mercury preparation.
- Make a solution of Terramycin or Aureomycuin by dissolving 50mg per gallon of water, a rapid cure is expected within 48 hours. 

You can try all of the above remedies, but the most common remedy is the popular Methylene blue solution. To perform this remedy the sick fish should be placed in a jar, bucket or a treatment tank into which has been added a methylene per blue to color the water deep blue.





DISCUS FISH Health - How to Keep Your Discus Happy and Healthy For Years

Discus fish health truly has 2 main areas of concern and those are the fish's water and the discus fish's food. Of smaller concern, but worth discussing is that you must do a little analysis before you put your discus fish in with other species in your tank. They may not be good tank friends and this could cause your new pet stress.

Knowing what signs to have a look for can help enormously with discus fish health for the easy reason that treatment of sicknesses is boring and hard. It's best to do everything that you can to be preventive in your attempts at frustrating any stress causing environmental issues.

There are occasions where adding some medication to the water will solve the problem, however, this is not the case almost all of the time. Your discus fish's water is like the air that we breathe as humans. Should our air be soiled and polluted, we'll develop health issues. With discus fish, you need to keep their water clean and at the right temperature and pH levels. You will need to do a partial change in the water one or more times a week changing out between twenty-five and fifty percent of the water. You should have an excellent biological filter and ensure that it stays clean.

An alternative way to be fully certain that your discus stays healthy is by utilizing and reverse osmosis filter. A reverse osmosis filter uses a little, semi-permeable surface that permits only water molecules to pass through it, filtering out minerals and trace substances which are unhealthy for the discus. When using one of these, you could have to think about adding some minerals as this removes everything except pure water and there are a few things that your fish wants.

One of the largest health concerns with discus is bugs and worms that they can develop, and their immunological systems will keep them in check till they become stressed. Observing the fecal matter of your discus fish can show symptoms of bugs or worms in your fish. White feces, clear feces are 2 signs. Apart from their feces, you can tell mostly by their behavior. Bugs can bring about a number of observable symptoms from hiding, developing a darker color to food strikes and not eating.

Often times if a number of these symptoms happen, you can try doing a water change in the tank. Discus fish are terribly delicate to their environment and could cause them stress. If this doesn't do the job, there are medicines that you can put into the water that can help clear up any discus health issues.

Among those are metronidazole. Metro, as it's known, is step one in treating bugs should your discus get infected. Also common with these bugs are worms, so you must find a de-wormer to be employed in coordination with your Metro treatment.

As stated before, prevention is way easier than treatment when it comes to discuss health. Following these tips, while ensuring your discus has proper nutrient elements and feeding will ensure that you could have satisfied and healthy discus fish.

    Evelyn Stone is a discus fish expert. - Article Directory: EzineArticles


Electric Blue Ram Cichlid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


LEOPARD GECKO - Eublepharis macularis

Leopard Gecko - Eublepharis macularis



English: Golden damsel (Amblyglyphidodon aureu...
Golden damsel (Amblyglyphidodon aureus)
(Photo credit: 
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.