Why the Hysteria About WATER WISTERIA ?

Hygrophila difformis.jpg
"Hygrophila difformis"
Licensed under Public Domain via 
Wikimedia Commons.
Water Wisteria is very easy to grow a plant for a beginner but has more demanding needs than that of other aquarium plants such as Java Fern, Java Moss or Anubias. However, many people grow Water Wisteria successfully with little or no experience of planted aquariums previously.

Water Wisteria is from the Acanthus family and is known by the Latin name of "Hygrophila difformis". It is widely regarded as being very easy to grow and prefers an environment where it can get a large amount of light, but will grow slowly under less favourable conditions. In natural environments, it is normally found in marshy habitats on the Indian subcontinent where it can easily be identified by finely branched light green leaves and flowering above water. The temperature of the water also serves to determine the shape of the leaves, when the temperature is higher they will grow larger with more space between them than they would do in colder temperatures.

Although lighting conditions have to be more intense than of other easy to keep plants such as the previously mentioned Java Fern, Water Wisteria is still very easy to keep. High light conditions do have the effect of encouraging cyanobacteria and algae growth in aquariums, but this is offset by Water Wisteria's high uptake of nutrients. The effect this has on bacteria and algae is to deprive them of much of the nutrients they need for growth, even though they will have plenty of light for photosynthesis, starving them to death before they can become an annoyance.

Nutrient-rich water and substrate are important for this plant to get the best results from it, as it will uptake nutrients through its roots and from the water column. Although they are not strictly necessary, Water Wisteria should benefit from Co2 injections and liquid water fertilizers. Applying a liquid water fertilizer, particularly one containing Iron, would only be necessary roughly once a week. It is a good idea to note that regular pruning may be necessary if conditions are very good for this plant to keep it from overtaking the aquarium.

Due to its size, it makes an excellent place for fry to hide, growing to be anywhere between twenty to fifty centimetres with a width of roughly fifteen to twenty-five centimetres. In less than optimum lighting conditions it can still do very well, depending on exposure, in a nutrient high environment even in low light it may be necessary to prune once a month. Cuttings which are taken at this time are normally easily propagated into new plants.

Although Water Wisteria is somewhat more demanding than other plants, it is still a very easily kept aquarium plant, particularly beneficial for live-bearing fish. Providing the water quality is high and a decent amount of light is available it should do extremely well in most aquariums.


All about Care for an ACRYLIC AQUARIUM Kit

Fancy - Aquarium Bed by Acrylic Tank Manufacturers
Photo  by Wicker Paradise 
The practice of keeping aquariums came about in the late 1800's. They were fairly crude. Usually, these ancient aquariums only had one side that was made of glass, with the other three sides being made of metal or wood. Most aquariums consisted of fish that were native to the region of its owner simply because of availability. Also, most old-school fish tanks contained only freshwater fish. The reason is that salt water would corrode the metal frame that held the aquarium together. 

Aquariums drastically changed in the 1960's with the invention of silicone adhesive.  Metal frames became obsolete and more people started to keep saltwater fish and invertebrates. More recently glass tanks have become less frequently used due to the flexibility of acrylic. Literally flexibility! Acrylic aquariums are far more for forgiving than there glass counterparts. If a heavy object strikes a glass tank, it will almost certainly break. The flexibility of an acrylic tank will prevent this catastrophe from happening. In addition, acrylic offers more flexibility in design than glass. Acrylic aquariums have been made into everything from coffee tables to gumball machines.  

That being said, there is a short downfall to owning an acrylic aquarium. They do scratch more easily than glass. When cleaning your aquarium, be careful not to use paper towels, and harsh or abrasive chemicals, as they can scratch the acrylic surface of the aquarium.  Always use a cleaner specifically labeled safe for acrylic. Use plastic or rubber scrubbers, rather than metal to clean the sides of an acrylic tank. Be careful not to accidentally pick up a piece of substrate or gravel while cleaning the inside of the tank. However, if you do happen to scratch an acrylic aquarium, all is not lost. The tank can be repaired, unlike glass. There are acrylic repair kits available at specialty pet stores, your local hardware store and of course online.

When purchasing an acrylic aquarium kit, there will be many different options to choose from, at many different price points. Aquarium kits can be purchased at places such as specialty aquatic pet stores, from huge retail chains, or again online. A fish lover can choose from small cylinder shaped tanks that can double as a coffee table lamp to wall huge wall-sized aquariums. While, there are some basic things that will be included in most kits, such as, a filter, some substrate or coral and sometimes lighting, the kits themselves can vary greatly.  It really doesn't matter where you buy your starter kit, but keep in mind that it is extremely important to buy your fish from a reputable dealer. Don't buy fish that are hovering near the surface, or that are located in a tank with other dead fish. Fish diseases are extremely communicable. Be wary of a fish dealer that refuses to catch a specific fish out of the tank for you. After all, this is going to be your fish and you have a right to choose.



We're all Friends Here.

Tanganyika Cichlids are one of the widely bought aquarium fish in the world. When buying Tanganyika Cichlids for your aquarium it is important to assess what type of species you are buying. These fish come in over 150 different species, depending on the type you buy, is how you should set up your tank in order to keep the stress of the fish down. Note that these fish are of the aggressive breed and a large aquarium is advised if you wish to keep different species of fish with them.

For example, some Tanganyika Cichlids are rock dwellers that live on the lakes rocky shores while others are sand living fish and prefer a softer sandier environment. If your fish are rock dwellers, then your aquarium should have plenty of rocks and hiding places such as caves, crevices, tunnels, etc. If you wish for your Cichlids to spawn, a larger cave is suggested as the dominant male will claim this as his own. Once claimed, the male will stay around the cave causing the others in the tank to feel more relaxed. If your fish are sand dwellers they also need plenty of hiding places to feel relaxed in your aquarium.

These types of Cichlids are very sensitive and it is important to keep the chemistry of your water at the appropriate levels. PH levels should be between 7.8 and 8.8 but they have been known to tolerate levels between 7.5 and 9.0. The temperature in the aquarium should be kept between 24 to 29 degrees Celsius or 75 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping it in-between this level will keep the stress levels down.

Feeding your Cichlids depends on the species you are keeping. Some Cichlids feed off the scales of living fish while others can be trained to eat normal aquarium foods. Most Cichlids do prefer live food but can also eat aquatic insects, insect larvae, etc. It is also known that some species will eat algae. When feeding your Cichlids make sure they have a variety of foods to keep them at optimal health.

Overall, when keeping Tanganyika Cichlids, check on the species you have bought, decorate the aquarium accordingly, keep your tank clean and healthy and do research on the food that is necessary for them. Doing all the above should keep your fish stress free resulting in a happy long-lived fish.


TETRA FISH - A Great Choice For Your Aquarium Collection

Photo  by Schill 
Let's talk about what attracted me to a tetra fish - the size of course! Tetras can grow to as much as two inches and can live up to five to ten years. Personally, it is one of my top choices for a freshwater tank fish because most fishes grow so big that they don't fit in your aquarium anymore after some time. Thus, you will have no choice but to transfer the big ones to a different tank. That is way too much work especially if you are a busy person and hey! I love to admire the little variety of these little ones, packed with other tropical freshwater rascals. Watching them glide after a long, tiring day is just heaven. All of you fish lovers out there surely understand what I mean!

Different Tetra Breeds
Moving on, there are many different species of tetras. I have seen about 26 of them. They come in different color, shape and size. They are also distinguished by their minuscule adipose fins, found between the dorsal and caudal fin. To keep it simple as ABC, the fins are very recognizable. My favorite is the bleeding heart tetra. There is something about the pinkish color and its bulky nature that makes it look attractive. It's price starts around $4. A tetra in general costs between $1 to $10 depending on its species. Some will need a lot of care and supervision, while others don't. A few others might need a certain special care or else they die in poor water conditions. So far, the most expensive one is the splashing tetra, diamond head neon and congo tetra. The neon-orange color from the tail going up of the diamond head is simply amazing if you have seen one! I guess that's why the price is so much more compared to regular one. Say for example the glow light or the head and tail light tetra, where the color is a simple shade of silvery hues. But to tell you the truth, the splashing tetra astounds me. It's pretty pricey for a silver colored tetra. Nothing fancy about it! Could be the ability to jump makes it more expensive? I am baffled.

Neon Tetra
Nonetheless, I am pretty sure you're more familiar with the neon tetra who is very famous of their kind. It has bluish and reddish combination found in both black and clear waters of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Funny thing is, they also need to be kept in a group. Maybe a school of 10 neon tetra is ideal, otherwise, they would feel stressed alone. Another appealing tetra species is the serpae tetra. They come in vivid red to brownish red tint. It has a variety of names - jewel, red Serpa or blood characin, something that pertains to the red color. Another sweetheart is the penguin tetra. Its stripe color gives it a bit more of an advantage in attracting tetra lovers. It doesn't have the strong alluring shade, but the distinct black line in the center probably makes it very beautiful to look at.

Food For Tetra Fish
There is a number of food source for this type. They range from enhancing the color of your puny friends, high-protein formula, high vegetable content, energy booster, maximum nutrition, or simply nutritious ingredients for your tetras. The question is, why do you need to give the best food for your tetras? Feeding them with good quality food extends the life of your pleasurable experience watching your tropical fish frolic in your aquarium. Proper nutrition also keeps the water in your tank clean, clear and easier to care for. Not to mention, it keeps your fish healthy, very colorful and at the same time minimize the waste production.

Tetra Fish Tanks
Now for your tetra fish tanks, there is a couple of equipment to keep in mind in setting up your aquarium. The essential items and accessory you need are: stands, hood and lighting, aquarium gravel, your decoration like rocks and plants, filtration and aeration, heater, thermometer, power strip, cleaning accessories, water test kit, water conditioner and net. If you do not have any idea as to how to set it up, you can actually get professional advice to make sure that you are doing the right thing. You can also do a couple of research and visit forums so you know real-life situations that may help you with your tetra tank.

Taking Care Of Your Tetra Fish
Some effective tips in caring for your tetras is that make sure you get the right tank. Acquire the aquarium kit because everything you need to know and implement is found in the kit. As I have mentioned initially, food is one of the key factors in keeping them dainty and healthy, so have your choices ready according to your tetra needs. 6 - 7.5 Ph of water has to be taken into consideration because they are from warmer climates. Higher ph makes them prone to an ailment. Keep temperature to 23C-28C. Bright lights are also bad for tetras. Keep up a dusk habitat for them. They are also top feeders, so it is better to give them food several times a day to avoid food being uneaten which becomes rotten, therefore poses a risk to their health. There has to uniform distribution of nitrogen and ammonia too. This is quite technical so just obtain the correction instructions.

Anyway, there are tetras that are hard to maintain such as the serpae, bleeding heart, lemon, black skirt, white skirt and red eye tetra. If you can't give them proper care and you don't have time to really find the best procedure and research on what to do, stick for the easier to manage species, like bloodfin tetra. They are suitable for beginners. However, the general rule of thumb is to choose for the ones with bigger, circular-shaped bodies. Thin, cigar-shaped tetras like the neon are not appropriate for beginners tank. If you consider yourself a genuine fish lover and you don't have qualms in looking for the best care of your fishes then there is no reason why you won't enjoy looking after your tiny friends. These are just the many important points to consider before you decide on the tetra fish that you want.


BICOLOR ANGELFISH - Centropyge bicolor

Bicolor Angelfish - Centropyge bicolor



Photo  by NOAA Photo Library 
Bicolor angelfish or Centropyge bicolor are a part of the family Pomacanthidae. This is but one of the 74 species of cataloged marine angelfish ranging in size from under 3 inches to over 16 in length. This species is widespread throughout the Pacific Ocean with the notable exclusion of the Hawaiian Islands. Significant populations can be found can be found off the coast of Fiji, New Caledonia, New Guinea, as well as throughout the Great Barrier Reef. Bicolors are most often seen in pairs or small aggregations in brackish lagoon water and along reefs slopes at depths ranging from 10 to 80 feet.

This is one of the larger dwarf angles, growing to as long as 6 inches in length as an adult. The anterior body region and caudal fins of these are canary yellows. Their posteriors are royal purple or blue sometimes with thin, barely perceptible, vertical bars that are only slightly lighter in color than the posterior coloration. These fish also have a single purple bar that starts at one eye and loops around the top of their head and then terminates at the other eye. This fish is also marketed by the aquarium trade under the name Oriole Angel.

Bicolor angelfish carry a moderate care level. They can be successfully raised by aquarists of intermediate skill levels. This is among the most peaceful of the commercially available angelfish varieties. They make wonderful additions to a multi-species aquarium provided they are housed with fish of similar size and temperament. Angles often demonstrate territorial aggression toward conspecifics and similar looking species. Bi-colors can be kept together if they are introduced to an aquarium simultaneously as young juveniles. This will allow them to grow up in a small community rather than being introduced to a member of the same species after they have had a chance to establish territorial boundaries. As with any family, intermediate squabbling may still occur on occasion. This species is rated reef safe with caution. 

The younger they are when added to a marine reef aquarium, the less likely they are to come to realize that many of its inhabitants are prime menu choices in the wild. Adult bicolors spend an exorbitant amount of time grazing on the naturally occurring algae growing on live rocks. An abundance of cure live rock is mandatory for keeping this species vigorous and healthy as adults. A well-feed angelfish will be far less likely to nibble on a coral or crustacean and discover a tasty new treat. A minimum tank size of 50 gallons is recommended for this species. Angelfish are more sensitive to unhealthy water parameters than many marine species. Due diligence should be practiced in maintaining clean, clear water. Under premium conditions, you can expect these fish to live up to 12 years of age.

This is an omnivorous species. Like many angelfish, this species diet changes considerably between juveniles and adults. Juveniles feed primarily on plankton. Newly hatched brine shrimp mixed with increasing amounts of flake, frozen or freeze-dried food will help them become accustomed to nonliving food items. An adult's diet consists of algae, worms and small crustaceans and clams in their natural habitat. A high-quality marine preparation specially formulated for marine angels will make an ideal staple. Their diet can be further supplemented with freshly chopped crustacean, mollusks, dried or frozen algae and table vegetables such as spinach, zucchini, and yellow squash. Once again, an abundance of cured live rock will help ensure their nutritional needs are properly addressed.

The males and females of this species are virtually identical in size and coloration. This may be because they are protogynous synchronous hermaphrodites. All fish will initially develop into females. Should prorogation of the species demand it, the largest most dominant female will transform into a male. Several juveniles introduced into an aquarium together will result in a single male and a harem of females. This fish has been known to breed in captivity but reported incidents are rare.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Technological advancements in the aquarium industry continually redefine the concept of "home aquarium owner." 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


GREEN TERROR CICHLID - Aequidens rivulatus

Green Terror Cichlid - Aequidens rivulatus