Hand Feeding Your KOI

Feeding koi fish at the temple's pond
Photo: thats - Flickr
One of the best features of Koi is their lack of fear of humans. Once the Koi understand that you are not going to harm them and that you are the one who provides them with food, they will likely eat right out of your hand with the right training. Hand feeding can be one of the funniest and most entertaining experiences.

Koi are none-aggressive fish. Koi do not have teeth so you will not get bit if you decide to attempt to feed your Koi out of your hand. This even allows you to get smaller children involved. Smaller children will be delighted by the beautiful colors and gentle nature of the Koi.

Koi, like any other wild animal, will naturally be afraid of you in the beginning. Instincts tell them to be afraid of you, which is what keeps them alive in the wild. You must build up trust with your Koi, and this takes time and patience. You will not be able to hand feed overnight.

Koi are omnivorous fish, which means they will eat both meat and plants. This means that their diets are very versatile. Koi will eat pretty much anything that you put in the pond with them, no matter if it is good for them or not. Since Koi do not have a sense of what is bad and good for them, as their owner you must control their snack diet. Another potential problem is overfeeding treats. Again, Koi do not have the knowledge to know when to stop eating, and weight issues may come from overfeeding none nutritional foods. 

The healthiest treats for Koi are what they would find naturally in their ponds, such as earthworms and tadpoles, but it will not hurt to feed Koi treats such as lettuce, bread, fruit, and veggies. You should pay special attention to the certain foods such as corn, beans, and grapes, as they contain an outer casing, which cannot be properly digested if swallowed by Koi. If you must feed this type of foods to your Koi, be sure to completely remove the outer casings before giving it to your Koi.

The trick is to start slow. Never make any sudden movements, as this will scare even the most trusting of fish. It will be best to begin hand training your fish from the very moment you get them, but it is not impossible to train a fish that you have had for a while either. Begin by placing a few pellets or snacks in your hand and submerging your hand under water. Slowly allow the food to fall out of your hand into the water. The Koi may not seem to be paying attention, but rest assured that they are aware of your hand, and are aware that you hand is providing the food. Do this for a couple of days.

After you have dropped the food into the pond for a couple of days, and have gained the interest of your Koi, begin making the fish remove the food from your hand. If the Koi refuse to take the food from your hand, do not feed them that day. You will not stare your fish in this process. They will quickly get the idea that if they want to eat, they must get the food from you. Doing this every day will get them comfortable with you.

Once you have the fish eating out of your hand, then you can start getting your Koi to eat the food directly from your fingers. If the Koi will not take the food out of your fingers, do not feed them that day. Food is your number one motivator when it comes to wild animals, and no fish will simply stare itself because it is unsure of the situation.

Once your fish are comfortable with hand feeding, you can alternate between hand are regular feeding. If you are in a rush, there is no reason to attempt to take the time to hand feed. Also, once you get your Koi taking food from your hand, be careful when allowing visitors to feed your fish. Always supervise children and adults alike, making sure that they are feeding the fish proper foods, and not making any sudden movements that will scare the fish.


The Beautiful KRIBENSIS

Kribensis, female
Kribensis, female (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Kribensis is a very colorful and beautiful fish with both male and females offering brilliant colors. Even though they are both colorful, you can tell the differences. Females are shorter, have reddish/purplish larger stomachs, and rounded dorsal fins.

These fish are also very popular as they are very easy to take off even for younger children. The fish were home at Ethiop River, Niger Delta where the water offers low-lying blackwater streams, which is acidic and more alkaline and has harder water than other streams that join the river.

Your Kribensis love caves or other small hiding areas where they will feel a bit more at home even if your fish were never actually there but only ancestors. Adding real and artificial plants to the aquarium would be a nice enhancement but the plants will need to be buried very well as this type of fish does not like to burrow and will uproot the plants if possible. 

The fish are trying to destroy their home; it is just instinct to burrow. Not only will your fish want a few places to hide, they also need room to swim. The aquarium should give them plenty of room to swim and hide. In a smaller environment, kribensis have been known to become aggressive as there are territorial. As long as you have given them adequate, room to swim you will enjoy watching these fast swimming fish to stop quickly and turn directions. The best size aquarium for these fish is a 20 gallon.

If you wish to introduce other fish to your kribensis, bottom dwellers and slow-moving fish are not the best. Even though these fish are not necessarily aggressive, they tend to nip at the fins of slow fish like the Angelfish. As well as the bottom-dwelling fish, these fish will feel threatened as if their territory is being taken away by the new fish, so other fish that enjoy hiding in caves are also a no-no.
Your fish should be fed no more than can be eaten in five minutes. They enjoy all kinds of fish food including flakes, lives, granular, or frozen.

If you have any questions regarding the Kribensis, you should talk with an assistant at the fish store. They will be able to provide you with all the answers you need to keep healthy and happy fish, as well as give you information on other fish that can live in the same tank without problems.


DISCUS Fish Photos

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
A fish of the genus Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you want to create a show fish tank and are undecided as to which species of fish to include in it, just take a look at some discus fish photos and I assure you, the type fish to show off will no longer be a concern. You can find an abundance of photos online real easy by just doing a simple search for the type of photos of interest. You'll see an assortment of species, various sizes, and color. Not all, but a great number of photos online are for commercial advertisement purposes. As promotional tools, professional breeders, use these photos to develop their business, which works well for them, after all this is how they make a living. But you can find quite a few other sites were breeders or people who just share the same hobby.

Now that we have settled the choice difficulty issue, looking at these fish photos can be useful in other ways, for instance. Owners may notice some irregularities going on with their fish. They seem to look unhealthy or have developed some kind of bodily changes. A comparison of the photos to your fish may help you to pinpoint any abnormalities that may be affecting your pets. For instance certain white spots on the body of the fish, a common parasite that can be easily identified using discus fish images. Just think, what a cost-saving asset for you these photos could be, especially with the high cost of veterinarians' services and a life saving one for your pet.

Quality is always important, especially when choosing a good reference book or guide. Scientific data description manuals or guides without relevant discus fish photos to compare would not be the first choice to buy as it only seems to keep you in the realm of the abstract. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to find large private collections or exhibitions of discus fish. Discus fish are quite unique in being among the wide life creatures that can live happily in captivity.

As mentioned earlier, fans of discus fish can quickly and easily upload or download free photos from various web pages and forums. Equally available to buy are entire galleries devoted to these magnificent creatures. Many professionally done discus fish photos, which I hear, is quite a lucrative business, may even be sold to special wildlife magazines. However, taking discus fish photos in the wild is another subject in itself.

To Your Success!

    Arthur Raymond, Jr. 
    Arthur's About Discus Fish blog will have the latest news and articles on Discus Fish including tips on how to breed Discus Fish. Many informative sites online can help you obtain more detailed information on discus fish one place to start your searching is at http://thediscusfish.blogspot.com where you will find the latest news and articles including tips on how to breed Discus Fish. 
    Article Directory: EzineArticles


Important Varieties of BARBS Available in the Market

English: Tiger Barbs
Tiger Barbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are a number of barbs species available for keeping in the aquarium but some of them are popular and preferred by fish keepers. Here is a list of some of them: 

1. Tiger barbs - They are really handsome because of their stripy nature, which looks like the skin of a tiger. They are very active and they prefer to live in their own group. Some experts have ranked them as the 10th popular species among the fish keepers. They are good for the beginners but they are equally good for experienced fish-keepers because of simplicity in their requirements. They prefer to stay in shallow waters and get along in normal temperatures.

Rosy Barbs
Rosy Barbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2. Rosy barbs - They are relatively big in size as they can grow up to 6 inches. They were very popular in the last century due to their attractive color. They are also not of 'demanding' nature and they can tolerate a wide range of temperatures as well as conditions of water. They love to shoal and they can breed very easily and quickly.

3. Panda barbs - They are of black and silver color and very shy in nature. They can get along with other species of fish comfortably and they too can tolerate adverse conditions for some time. They are slightly expensive than other types of barbs and they are not easily available in pet shops. You have to be careful about their care because they can get sick because of stress and may die.

4. Cherry barbs -They are called community fish and they are smaller in size. They can grow only up to 2 inches and they do not require big tanks. If you keep them in their own group of about 10 fish, they can live happily. They are picky about their food but once you start offering them standard types of food, they will acclimatize themselves with it. They require dense plantation in the tank because they will lay their eggs scattered on the leaves of the plant and they also require a lot of places for hiding. They are popular amongst the fish keepers because of their dark blackish red color and there dance. They would like to dance around at the time of spawning, which is quite entertaining.

5. Denison barbs - Many times these barbs are mistaken for sharks! They are bright in color and they are angular in shape. They eat a lot of vegetables and they are fond of jumping. So you have to close your aquarium with a tight lid, otherwise, they can easily jump out and come to your dining table! Much fish-keepers order for them because of their shape. Though they look like sharks, they can get along with other species of fish without any problems.

6. Two spot barbs - They have the smallest among the barb community. They are very delightful because of their colors and graceful swimming. The only problem with them is their peculiar behavior. They are very aggressive at the time of spawning and they may hurt the female. So it is advisable to keep them in the proportion of three females to one male!

When you decide to purchase barbs, you should remember some important things - they may not look as attractive as your thought in the pet shops. This is because their colors are not as bright and prominent when they are young. When they grow and are ready for spawning, their colors brighten up. Another peculiarity of barbs is their habit of jumping. If you are not keeping them in a closed aquarium, they may easily come out of it. So you should consult pet shop staff before you make a decision to purchase them.

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


Fact Sheet: CLOWN LOACHES - Botia macracanthus

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

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

Common Name: Clown Loach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Amazing Facts About SHEDD AQUARIUM

The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Deutsch...
The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you are going to visit Chicago, you got to experience visiting the icon and leader in aquarium and zoo profession - Shedd Aquarium.

Shedd aquarium was made possible by John G. Shedd wherein he envisioned it to be one of the grandest aquariums in Chicago and was officially opened on May 30, 1930, which became one of Chicago’s historic landmarks.

Shedd aquarium success lies in its founder’s leadership about shaping the future and followers incorporated by collaborative, supportive, strong, inquisitive, creative, energetic and persistent outlook.

Shedd Aquarium primary goal is to give information, inspiration and entertainment to people interested in animals, their habitat and relations to humans. They are promoting animal conservation, provides teaching and learning resources and support global environmental awareness.

Shedd Aquarium’s mission is to let animals connect people into the living world giving inspiration by starting to make a difference. They educate people in a more interesting way of having stewards with a dedication to caring for animals and people.

Shedd Aquarium is supporting global programs regarding conservations. They are also the first aquarium to have an educational department, a textbook itself exploring life and expanding horizons about the animals in their sanctuary taught by their cool teachers within classes.

Shedd Aquarium is a sanctuary with different animal species that people could explore and learn about. They provide itineraries for visitors regarding Shedd Aquarium explorations through their sitemaps.

You cannot tour the entire Shedd Aquarium in just a day so instead join their membership to visit it often. Some foundations offer discount days upon visiting Shedd Aquarium giving free general admissions.

There is no problem with visiting the Shedd Aquarium because:

-Lockers, which are coin-operated, are available for storing coats however they are not responsible for luggage or package that does not fit into the lockers.

-Picture takings of animals are allowed by only turning off the flash for comfort and safety purposes. Tripods are not allowed as well as taking pictures in restaurants and Oceanarium.

-A handicapped parking area is available but wheelchairs can be rented on a first come first basis only.

-A nursing area is also available. You can either eat at Dining at Shedd or simply carry a bag lunch where you can eat on the tables and chairs located in vending areas.

The best time to visit Shedd Aquarium is to arrive early or on Sunday mornings because it is least crowded. Shedd is a popular place and can easily get crowded during summer, weekends or holidays. Explore and have fun.


12 Tropical Aquarium Plants From the Cuttings and Floating Types Are Recommended

Rotala macranda
Rotala macranda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recommendations are given for a selection of tropical aquarium plants from the cuttings and floating plant types available. 12 are recommended with four described in detail.

A cutting, the Red Rotala (Rotala macandra) has soft delicate leaves that could easily be damaged if they are situated in strong water currents. In order to maintain the red color, this plant needs a bright light on a regular basis.

A temperature range of 22 to 28 degrees centigrade and pH range of 5 to 6.5 is suitable. Fast growing, the Rotala likes to go up to the surface and then goes on to grow with leaves floating at the surface. The leaves appear to get bigger and redder the nearer they get to the light.

A cutting, the Giant Hygrophila (Nomaphila stricta) is also known as the Indian Water Star. It has broad lance-shaped leaves, is great for fish to shelter in and is also useful as sites for spawning. Prefers slightly hard water and a strong light.

It appears that snails like this plant so look out for them. A temperature range of 20 to 28 degrees centigrade and pH range of 5 to 7 is suitable. Another plant that grows fast and will need trimming regularly.

A floater, the Butterfly Fern (Salvinia auriculata) is also known as the Eared Watermoss and is really easy to keep and grow. Bubble nesters can use the plant for their nest and fry can shelter and hide underneath in the roots that dangle down in the water.

But remember that, as with all floating plants, do not let them cover too much surface area as this will restrict light getting to plants lower down the tank and they will die off.

It is related to the Salvinia molesta which out in the wild can grow like mad and cause lots of problems in waterways as it doubles its size over a few days. In fact, they are prohibited from entry into Tasmania and cannot be sold or distributed there as they have been declared weeds under a Weed Management Act (1999).

Java moss
Java moss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A floater, the Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) is very common in freshwater aquariums. Like Riccia, it attaches itself to driftwood, rocks, and roots. Java Moss has no onerous requirements or any special attention as it will survive in varying water conditions, even weakly brackish, and under all sorts of light levels.

But it thrives better under low to moderate light conditions and a temperature range of 21 to 24 degrees centigrade but it can survive temperatures of up to 29 to 32 degrees centigrade.

As you do not plant the Java Moss, you will need to fix it temporarily, for example, to a rock with some fishing line. Then, when it has used its own tiny roots to adhere to the rock you can remove the fishing line. You can also produce a moss wall effect by adding the moss to a net which is fixed to the tank wall by suction devices and nylon string.

It is an excellent plant in which spawning can take place and in which the hatched fry can shelter and hide. Egg-laying fish that scatter their eggs would benefit most from this plant. From a maintenance point of view, you need to keep it clean of algae which will have a detrimental effect on it.

Other recommended cuttings plants are;
* Cabomba caroliniana 
* Bacopa caroliniana 
* Hygrophila salicifolia 
* Ludwiga repens
Other recommended floating plants are;
* Ceratophyllum spp.
* Ceratopteris thalictroides
* Pistia stratiatos
* Riccia fluitans