Blaukopf-Kaiserfisch (Pomacanthus xantometopon) 01.jpg
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.
Divine are his creations, all beautiful and all different from each other. God has painted each one in a very unique style and in a very appropriate manner. He gave the sky blue color, the earth brown and green color and the made the sea transparent but due to the blue color of the sky, the sea absorbs shades of blue. In this deep blue sea live uncountable beautiful creatures, some green, some black, some red, some yellow and some blue. Amongst these blue color ones is Blue Face Angelfish.

As the name enunciates all, this beauty does not need much of an introduction. The blue face angelfish has a blue face with a yellow colored mask on eyes and the body a mixture of these two shades. The body is well textured and looks like a painter's color pallet with the body starting from blue color, then yellow color, next part gives an impression of a yellow or white colored net on a blue body and the tail is of yellow color. It looks very attractive with its intense and vibrant shades.

These Blue Faced Angelfish are found in the Indo-Pacific Oceans, ranging from the Maldives to Vanuatu. They dwell in lagoons, reef slopes and channels with fertile algae growth. You can even find them near caves and they prefer roaming all alone. As they are large in size they need bigger tanks because of their huge size, they grow about 15 inches. Unlike others, blue face angelfish sometimes get aggressive towards their own type, only one angelfish should be kept per tank because of their length. Aggressive yet adjusting, it takes only a while to get adjusted, they even become friendly after some time.

Angelfish like to feast on coral, invertebrates and sponges; they can be on brine shrimps too. They are considered as big foodies, they can consume pellets of frozen foods. Be careful with the water quality for these fish, they find it difficult to tolerate nitrate and living with high nitrate levels is just impossible. Not only nitrate, ammonia and nitrite levels should also be at their lowest levels. They preferably want the water temperature to be in a range of 26 degree Celsius to 28 degree Celsius and a pH level of 8.1 to 8.4 would be perfect.

The aquarium must have rocks and plants and vegetation so that this blue face angelfish can get enough space for hiding and swimming. As this fish is aggressive and bit violent, take care of the surroundings that do not give a threat to the fish and put a strain on it.

Although an aggressive is famous for violent behavior still they are easy to keep. Their vibrant and intense colors make it attractive and expensive. So beware of this beauty, bringing this blue face angelfish is not a problem, you just have to be extra careful with it.


Cichlid - Useful Tips About GOLD SEVERUM Cichlids

Heros severus (Cichlasoma severum) "Gold&...
Heros severus (Cichlasoma severum) "Gold" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gold severum cichlids belong to the Cichlidae family of fish. They are generally the shy type of cichlids. They are also one of the largest cichlids growing up to 20cm. Their bodies are shaped like a discus.

Due to their size, these cichlids are best kept in aquariums that are large enough for them to be comfortable in. These cichlids also like to swim all over the aquarium so make sure that they have plenty of swimming space.

Gold severum cichlids are also known as hero cichlids or banded cichlids. The latter name is due to the bands that they have on their bodies. These bands consist of around 7 to 8 stripes which are most vivid on baby cichlids. Once they reach maturity, these bands become less vivid. Male and female cichlids usually have the same color although the females appear paler in comparison to the males.

In addition to that, the females also do not have the pattern on the forehead as the males. These cichlids are particularly hard to breed due to the fact they are very particular when it comes to choosing their breeding partners. But when they do spawn, these cichlids become very territorial and aggressive which makes them very protective of their brood. Gold severum cichlids are open breeders which means they'll lay their eggs on open and flat surfaces.

Gold severum cichlids are omnivorous by nature which means that they'll eat both plants and creatures. But when feeding these cichlids you should stick to their natural diet which means it should contain a lot of vegetable ingredients. They would do well when fed with flake foods, pellets and live worms.

When treated properly and kept healthy, the lifespan of a gold severum cichlid is said to reach over 10 years.

In conclusion, keeping and breeding cichlids is a very satisfying and challenging hobby. Thus, it is very important that you know the secrets of taking care of your cichlids.


Dangerous REPTILES

Aztec double-headed serpent (detail)
Photo  by Neil_Henderson 
When people decide to buy reptiles for pets, some inevitably cross the line of safety and wisdom.  Although it may seem thrilling to own a pet that is harmful, it's best left up to the experts and people who are trained to preserve wildlife.

Underestimating a dangerous reptile can mean a quick and certain death to the uneducated and careless pet owner.  But if you're determined to own a dangerous reptile, at least make sure you are aware of all the possible safety precautions.  Be fully informed as to what steps to take should you incur injury from contact with your pet.

A pet may harm an owner for several reasons.  A reptile has instincts that are inbred.  If you make the mistake of smelling like food, you will be in danger of being mistaken for food.  There's also the danger of underfeeding your reptile and having them strike out in desperation from starvation.  If you startle the reptile, you're likely to be harmed.  If the reptile is injured or ill, the pain may cause them to strike out.  Although it is easy to want to blame the reptile, you must take into account the reasons it may have chosen to bite, scratch, or otherwise harm someone.

Neglect to keep the cage, terrarium, or other enclosure secure at all times is crucial to your safety and to the safety of the reptile.

Some snakes have teeth, some have venomous fangs, and some have constriction to use as weapons.  Whatever the case may be, you can be certain it will be painful to the recipient.  Vipers and rattlesnakes are two dangerous snakes that use their poisonous fangs to inject venom into their prey or attacker.  Vipers can grow as long as 6 feet and don't need daylight to attack.  The pits between their eyes and nostrils alert them to their prey.  A beautifully dangerous reptile, the golden eyelash viper is a bright lemon yellow color.

Snakes aren't the only dangerous reptiles, nor are they the only dangerous reptiles chosen for pets.  Crocodiles and caymans are also big predators.  They latch onto their prey with their many teeth and powerful jaws, and then they drag the larger victims underwater to drown them.  Crocodiles have been known to gobble snakes for treats!

American alligators can be seen in many museums or zoos, live in exhibits.  Well known in the deep south of Louisiana, they are not only predators but also are hunted for food and to be cut up into trinkets sold to tourists.

The alligator disguises itself as a log in swamp water and is camouflaged very well.  They live in swamps and bayous from Texas to North Carolina.  Florida has an abundance of inland water that provides a perfect habitat for these reptiles.  Their diet of fish, birds, and small animals along with their size and vicious capabilities make them unwelcome to most as pet material.  Their habitat is hard to create as well.

You can tell the difference in crocodiles and alligators by the shape of their snouts and the way the teeth lay when the jaws are shut.  The alligator is able to conceal its teeth inside its mouth while the crocodile is not.


Macroalgae As Natural Filtration For REEF AQUARIUMS

Caulerpa is a genus of edible seaweed.

Caulerpa is a genus of edible seaweed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Removing excess waste is one of the main challenges to a successful reef aquarium. It's often easy for beginners to forget that corals are living animals that excrete waste. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and phosphates are problematic to corals, fishes, inverts and other animals. An increase in ammonia that is not quickly removed or converted can easily crash a reef aquarium. High amounts of nitrates and phosphates can hinder coral growth and cause discoloration.

Typical means of removing nitrates and phosphates involve water changes, skimmers and the use of macroalgae. All three are very effective but the use of macroalgae is the easiest and most economical. Skimmers are often expensive and require cleaning few times a week. Water changes are time-consuming and can get expensive for large reef aquariums. Macroalgae can effectively absorb phosphates and nitrates as long as a light source is present. The only maintenance required is pruning excess growth once a month. While skimmers and water changes incur costs, excess trimmings of macroalgae can often be sold.

A side effect of excess nutrients is an increase of nuisance microalgae. Microalgae can ruin the beauty of a reef aquarium and suffocate corals. The good news is that macroalgae are able to able to starve microalgae of nutrients and thus greatly reducing its presence.

There is an abundance of choices of macroalgae that include Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa, Gracilaria and Ulva. In terms of phosphate and nitrate absorption, Caulerpa is the most aggressive and effective. However, Caulerpa can be potentially dangerous. Caulerpa can suddenly dissolve and release toxic elements and the excess nutrients that were absorbed. This happens when Caulerpa is lacking light or nutrients. A second problem with Caulerpa is its holdfast roots. Caulerpa has the ability to attach itself to hard objects making removal extremely difficult. With these risks, it's better to choose other macroalgae.

Chaetomorpha is an excellent and likely most popular choice among reef aquarists for nutrient uptake. Although the nutrient absorption rate for Chaetomorpha is not as aggressive as Caulerpa, it doesn't pose any risks that Caulerpa does. Chaetomorpha will not dissolve suddenly when starved of nutrients or light. There will be plenty of time and signs before Chaetomorpha dissolve. Chaetomorpha also lacks the ability to attach to objects making removal very easy.
Long-term control of excess nutrients is essential for a successful and beautiful reef aquarium. Although skimmers and frequent water changes are extremely effective in removing excess nutrients, macroalgae are the easiest way to remove excess nutrients.


Caring for a Goldfish Aquarium

Photo: Pixabay
Keeping Goldfish can be a fun and rewarding hobby. As with any new hobby, especially one that involves living creatures, always consider the maintenance that will be involved. If you care for your aquarium properly, you will be sure to have happy and healthy Goldfish for many years. Goldfish have a life expectancy of five to ten years. If you do a good job maintaining their fish tank, you should have fun, beautiful fish for a long time. Make sure to feed them correctly and keep their water fresh and clear. 

When starting any new aquarium, you should get everything in place before buying the fish. If you are going to put gravel on the bottom, you may want to put only a thin layer. This will make it easier to keep clean, as Goldfish tend to be messy. Make sure that you rinse the gravel thoroughly before placing it in the bottom of the tank. If you have some decorations, you should add them now. Make sure that you rinse them well before putting them into the tank. Also be sure that the goldfish have plenty of room to swim, as they as active fish. Give them a place or two to hide, and that should do nicely. 

Now that you have everything in place, you can add to the water. You will need to use a dechlorinator, as the chlorine in tap water is poisonous to fish. Once the fish tank is filled up, you can turn on the filter. Change it as often as recommended to keep your fish healthy. Goldfish live at room temperature so you will not need a heater. They are quite comfortable in temperatures from 68 to 80 degrees. However, they should not be exposed to rapid temperature changes. You might want to let the filter run in the new goldfish tank for a day or so to filter out any chemicals or dyes that might have been left on the gravel and decorations that you just added. Waiting to buy new fish can be one of the hardest things about fish keeping! 

You need to add fish gradually. Fish excrete ammonia. If you add too many fish at once to a new fish tank, the water will not be seasoned enough to dissipate it. As the water in your Goldfish tank ages, it builds up beneficial bacteria that turn harmful chemicals excreted by the fish into harmless ones. However, this will take some time. Start out with only one fish. The nitrogen cycle will not begin until you add the fish, so running an empty tank for several days will not help. Since your fish tank is brand new, you might want to consider making partial water changes of about 25 percent of the total water volume every few days for the first week or so. 

You can find Goldfish food at almost any pet shop. Make sure to purchase some when you buy your first fish. Feed only a small amount. Especially at first. Any uneaten food will sink to the bottom and rot. Keep this to a minimum. Watch your fish for the first few times that you feed them. Feed only as much as they will eat in two to three minutes twice a day, or as recommended on the Goldfish food label. Be especially careful not to overfeed when the Goldfish tank is new. This will cause an excess build-up of toxic chemicals and can kill your fish quickly. 

As the water in your fish tank cycles through the nitrogen cycle, you may notice that is becoming very cloudy. This is a normal process and should clear up in a few days. Do not add any new fish until the water is crystal clear again. Clear water will signify that the nitrogen cycle is working and that the toxic chemicals are being converted to good ones. 

Remember that Goldfish will grow large and they need a big space. Don't overcrowd the tank if you want to keep healthy fish. If you follow this little guideline, you will be sure to have a healthy goldfish aquarium.

AQUARIUM FISH death: precautions of young aquarist.

Small Aquarium with Paracheirodon innesi (neon...
Small Aquarium with Paracheirodon innesi (neon tetra), Trigionostigma heteromorpha and Hemigrammus erythrozonus
(Photo credit: 
Another thing to watch out for in a newly installed tank is the quantity of food: very little of this should be given during the first three weeks. Mind you! I am not suggesting that you should not give them food at all, because without food, no bacterial flora forms. The food supply to the bacteria should be increased only very gradually.

Fish keepers with old functional aquariums should avoid general cleaning that is washing of sand/gravel, scrubbing of the tank wall and complete water changes so as not to disturb the bacterial flora.

When you have to service, it should just be the removal of the mulm and dead leaves sufficient to ensure adequate flow through the filter and no more. The bad habit of replacing the entire filter material or the soiled part with fresh materials is detrimental to fish life. Most bacteria live in the sludge at the bottom of the tank, so don't throw them away.

Many pet shops that operate a house-to-house maintenance routine on aquariums are used to the habit of a complete overhaul which invariably lead to fish death. I have met many people who have said, "I used to service my tank myself. On close scrutiny, I discovered that he indulges in the unforgivable habit of washing the aquarium with detergents!

In real life situation, no one can attest to having experienced a complete overhaul of a river bed. The only thing that happens during heavy rains or flood is the partial/complete change of the water body. The bed, sand and gravel components get cleaned but not overhauled.

This is nature's method of 'servicing' the fish's natural environment. So why don't we all adopt nature's method? Professional aquatic pet dealer’s service aquariums in the same way, and to the committed aquarist, I will advise you to do this yourself!


A Guide To Buying DISCUS FISH

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
A fish of the genus Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Buying discus fish for your aquarium should be pretty much the same as buying any other fish, yet it seems to give people all sorts of worries and anxieties, possibly because of the amount of money involved. Not many other fish has the price tag that Discus Fish has attached to them.

The main thing is that you have carried out your homework, so you know about the fish and their requirements, what to look out for, and what questions to ask, in order for you to be able to make a right decision. This may seem like common sense - but some people fail on this - and make costly mistakes!

Next - remember you're not in a race! If you are up against time or competition to get the fish you want, put down a deposit to get the vendor to keep hold of it for you, or let it go. Don't let yourself be pressurized into making a hasty decision.

When you feel you've got these bases covered - you're ready to go! So where do you go?

Discus Fish are generally available from 3 sources: Importers/Dealers, Pet shops and Home Breeders.

If you're a beginner - whether you never had discus before or are starting as a fish keeper in general - always go to the specialist shops. There are two reasons for this. They have a bigger selection of fish which means you are more likely to find something to suit you, and they have specialist knowledge for you to draw from at the time of purchase and after.

For the more advanced Discus Fish keepers - by all means, try other avenues - but take care. While the fish may come at less of a premium - you'll often find that the quality of the stock isn't always all it's cracked up to be.

So what do you need to look out for? Most people will tell you to search for Discus Fish with perfectly round shaped bodies and small bright eyes. Even though this is correct - there's more to it than that.

Apart from finding the fish with the colour/pattern (don't worry too much about their names as these tends to vary from place to place), it's important that you spend some time watching the fish closely and monitor their behaviour.

Healthy Discus Fish should be bold and alert, and not shy away from the front of the tank. Do not go for fish that hideaway at the back of the tank or behind plants etc., as that is a sign that something is not quite right.

As far as bodily defects are concerned, the things to be on the outlook for is fish that seems to be breathing heavily, fish with twisted mouths, poorly shaped fins and tails, odd or big eyes and short gill covers. These are all signs of poor breeding practices.

Also, you should not look at the fish themselves only. It's equally important to look at the bottom of the tank, to see if you can see any of their waste. Discus Fish pass their faeces regularly, and it the fish are healthy it should be black in colour. If they're white or clear this indicates that the fish may have intestinal worms or similar internal problems, in which case you shouldn't buy them.

So what about the questions to ask the dealer? Well - first and most importantly - ask if you can see the fish feed. Healthy discus should, though they are slow eaters, respond fairly quickly to food. Any dealer who really wants to sell his fish will agree to do this. Otherwise walk away.

Other information you need to obtain is how long the dealer has had the fish (less than two weeks suggest that they may not be fully quarantined), where they originate from (import or bred in-house), and if they have been subject to any medication or de-worming cures? Any decent dealer will have an immediate answer to such questions - and it will give you an idea of the fish's history as well as the dealer's knowledge.

Finally, remember to ask about the water conditions the fish are in, so you can make sure your aquarium offers the same conditions before bringing the fish home. If this is not the case, go and make the necessary changes to your water, before bringing the fish home.

Again - if you have seen the fish you want - put down a deposit, and go back a couple of times to check on their conditions, while you're in the process of changing things. It's another chance for you to make sure that the fish you're buying is in good health.

If possible - buy medium sized Discus Fish - adolescent in want of a better word. The reason for this is that they will find it easier to adapt to a new environment than older fish, and they do not require as many regular feeds as the young growing Discus.


SEATLLE AQUARIUM Featured Advantage

Seattle Aquarium, Pier 59, Seattle, Washington...
Seattle Aquarium, Pier 59, Seattle, Washington. The building has a city landmark status.
(Photo credit: 
Seattle Aquarium’s goal is to inspire people regarding marine environment conservation. They provide education regarding marine preservations and handling as an exciting adventure and a more fun discovery about the extraordinary Puget Sound. 

Seattle Aquarium is under the support of a non-profitable organization promoting interests on aquarium hobbies, which provides interactions of information from aquarium hobbyists.

Seattle Aquarium provides a map of the marine sanctuary they are maintaining. Visiting Seattle Aquarium is the best destination for educators, parents, kids and visitors from other places searching for undersea information. You can see and enjoy real marine life adventures through availing of their specialized teachers' programs, field trip events and opportunities and other marine resources. Everyone enables to learn so that their knowledge can be shared with more people cultivating their awareness about protecting the marine environment.

They provide animal guides through their educator’s presentations about the life activities of particular sea creatures such as their looks or eating behaviors. Everybody could ask questions and get the right answers for them.

Seattle Aquarium is an ideal place for marine science camps. They are offering either a full or a half-day camp programs for children ages six to twelve years old held during summer, spring or winter school breaks. Parents could find the right camping programs appropriate for their children’s interest in marine life.

Seattle Aquarium does their best to incorporate knowledge on people interested in the marine world providing different opportunities for learning such as art contents for kids, aquarium classes or giving resources and workshops for teachers. They are also offering programs suitable for parents and children giving them the chance to explore and learn about marine life.

Your visit to Seattle Aquarium is well compensated. You can become a member to get an unlimited admission while supporting the Seattle Aquarium mission. Their admission fees are amazing and whether you regularly visit Seattle Aquarium, you can always find something new to explore because their exhibits are changing constantly. Seattle Aquarium has gift shops stores where you can find high-quality products and books for enhancing your experiences regarding aquariums.

Seattle Aquarium focus is to stay green and clean by using energy efficient electricity, choosing biodegradable cleaning supplies, feeding animals with sustainable foods and using building practices which are environmental friendly when building new aquariums and exhibits.

Seattle Aquarium’s associations together with other organizations are keeping the conservation moving for maintaining a clean and green environment even in the future.


Taking Care of a Molting HERMIT CRAB

Blackeyed hermit crab (Pagurus armatus, armed ...
Blackeyed hermit crab (Pagurus armatus, armed hermit crab), taken in Victoria, BC, Canada
 (Photo credit: 
Molting is the natural process of growing for a hermit crab. During this time, it sheds its exoskeleton and forms a new one. During the molting process, a hermit crab is very defenseless. A molting crab is under a lot of stress and extra care is required during this vulnerable time. The frequency of molting depends on the size and growth rate of each individual crab. Smaller crabs, that grow much faster may molt every 3-4 months. Larger crabs that grow much more slowly may only molt once per year.

The first thing to remember is that when molting, a crab will bury him or herself; do not move him or her! As hard as it is not to pick him up and look to see if he’s ok, you must be brave and let him do his thing. Molting may take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks for the averagely sized crab. Smaller crabs may take a shorter time; larger crabs may take longer. They may stay buried the entire time. Another important thing to remember is that molting crabs are in danger from other crabs while they are molting. Other crabs may attack the molting crab while it is vulnerable. Always keep the molting crab in an isolation tank. Most pet stores have dividers available to section off one part of an aquarium from another.

Once the process is complete, the crab should not just be put back into the main tank, as it takes awhile for the new exoskeleton to harden. The real way to tell if the crab is ready to be back in with the other crabs you may own is when they are active and appear healthy again. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Be patient and let your friend heal.

A question you may have about molting is how you will know when your crab is going to molt. There are usually pretty obvious signs. Your hermit crab will most likely start to act a bit differently and look a bit different just before molting. However, though there are crabs who exhibit obvious signs, always be prepared for molting as some hermit crabs may surprise you by molting when you least expect it. Keep a close eye out for the following signs and be prepared to support your molting hermit crab through this stressful and vulnerable time. Once you see these signs, you should consider isolating the hermit crab from the other crabs right away.

- Sluggishness or relative inactivity.
- Ashy body color.
- A crab might dig more than usual. (Always check tank conditions as this can also be a sign of temperature and humidity problems.)
- Eating and drinking significantly more. The crab may stop eating completely just before a molt.
- Spends lots of time around water.
- A molt sac, or water sac under the abdomen, may form.
- Missing limbs may occur.
- Whitish color on legs and claws.
- Cloudy, whitish color to the eyes Legs may seem weak.
- Eye stalks may face away from each other.
Observe carefully for these signs of molting and offer your hermit crab support. Remember, isolate him, and leave him alone. These are the best things you can do for your crabby.


GIANT SNAKEHEAD Care - How to Raise an Aggressive Fish

Français : Tête de serpent à l'aquarium tropic...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some people keep fish for their beauty. Some people keep fish for the relaxation the hobby brings. Then there are those that keep fish so they can see them eat other fish. Those would be who own predatory fish, such as the Piranha, the Cichlid and most importantly (at least for this article), the Giant Snakehead.

I have in the past been an owner of several varieties of the above-mentioned breeds and can say that the most aggressive was the Giant Snakehead. On top of being strong, hardy and highly aggressive, the Giant Snakehead fish is an eating machine. If you do not believe this, then the (unjust) nationwide ban across the USA done for fear of the Giant Snakeheads potential environmental damage should be enough. With that said it is important to remember that even a naturally aggressive still need some intervention by their owners to bring out their true potential.

We are going to look at the approach I have used in the past to raise the aggression levels in my Giant Snakehead from its youth to adulthood. The basic idea behind my approach is live food as early on in life as possible, with live food as the Giant Snakeheads primary food source. There have been many arguments against the use of live feeder fish due to health concerns, but I can honestly say that it is all my Giant Snakeheads have ever eaten and I each have lived very long happy lives.

In their infancy stages, I do not recommend live feed as the Giant Snakehead will not be fast enough, nor big enough to catch and eat his prey. Bloodworms and bits of Nightcrawlers are both solid choices until your Giant Snakehead reaches about 4 to 6 inches long. Follow that I would slowly introduce him to live feed. Give him a single feeder fish at a time and watch to see if he begins actively hunting it. If he does not eat it, remove it from the tank and try again later. If he does eat his first I would suggest one live fish a day for a week, while he learns to become a more effective hunter.

After the first week, you can begin to give your Giant Snakehead two to three live fish a day for the next several weeks, while slowly weaning him off his non-living feed. As he gets larger you will want to increase his feedings. Once every two weeks, I would gorge him in a large amount of live feeder fish, giving him three to four times his usual daily allowance. Doing this will not only help his growth but also increase his aggression as your Snakehead will go into something of a feeding frenzy.

If all goes well in two years time your Giant Snakehead should be reaching nearly two feet in length and you can begin considering feeding him live rodents and frogs on the extremely rare occasion. I say this because in my research I have found it can make your Giant Snakehead very stressed as it will be a very foreign food object entering his tank. On the several occasions that I fed him rodents, he becomes violent and erratic in his tank.

On a final note, you should exercise caution when taking this approach at raising your Giant Snakehead. In his later years, the Giant Snakehead will get very large, very strong and lightning fast. An adult Giant Snakehead could easily leave with you a very nasty bite and could possibly remove meat.


LESSER JOYWEED - Alternathera denticulata

Lesser Joyweed - Alternathera denticulata


MBUNA CICHLID Breeding - Step by Step Guide To Avoid Common Mistakes!

different Mbuna from Lake Malawi
Different Mbuna from Lake Malawi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Breeding Mbuna cichlid fish is facile. To get them to spawn is to provide them with the same care and conditions as with the non-breeding Mbuna's.

Place the breeding mbuna's in a tank approximately one male to 2 - 3 female ratios. The aquarium in which they are kept must be well stocked and adding extra aeration and filtration is important as well as a frequent water change. Remember that Lake Malawi has a stable environment thus Mbuna does not appreciate rapid changes in water quality and will not breed with unstable water conditions. Keep Mbuna's in an aquarium with a pH of 7.5 - 8.5 water range and a KH/GH of 12. There should be zero contents for ammonia and nitrite and nitrate of no more than 15 ppm. More so keep the temperature at 75 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the breeding to be successful it is relevant not to overfeed your mbuna. Keep in mind that they tend to utterly eat anything and everything give to them and may easily lead to obesity which is bad for its health. Furthermore, larger mbuna's would mean fewer fishes in your aquarium plus the fact that its aggressiveness may also increase. As a result of its violence stress is manifest in your fishes hence making them less capable to breed. Not only will that, but overcrowding the aquarium may also hamper breeding as well.

Mbuna cichlid natural diet includes algae and insects. But if they are fed with prepared foods, make sure that vegetable and algae matter like Spirulina is always included.

Another important factor that mbuna's are rock dwellers, thus it is apparent that they prefer to spawn in rocks, crevices, or caves. Needless to say, when keeping and breeding mbuna's it is vital that the breeder must provide a substantial amount of hiding place with the use of rocks or caves.

Initially, breeding is noticeable when the male will start claiming a small territory which he thinks is suitable for the spawning process. It is quite obvious that the male mbuna will show himself in front of the female mbuna and starts dancing usually by causing its whole body to vibrate and its fins will start to erect.

Moreover, its color will exude more brightness than normal. If the female is also in a spawning condition, then she will willingly go with the male to its spawning site. Both the female and the male cichlid will now start to swim closely to each other in a circular motion and amazingly the female will now start depositing the eggs in the spawning location. She will then pick the eggs and put it in her mouth for guarding and at the same time receives a mouthful of sperms to fertilize the eggs.

She will continue depositing eggs in the site and the process will follow the same cycle until all the eggs are fertilized and inside her mouth. When the eggs are all kept in her mouth the male mbuna will drive away the female in its territory. The female will try to hide the fry on hiding places provided for during the aquarium set-up. Even with the meticulous caution, some of the offspring may still be eaten but at least there are also a relative amount of babies saved. Female Mbuna cichlid fish may be moved to another aquarium to increase the rate of survival of its fry.

    By Lacey Bryant
    Lacey Bryant is a cichlid enthusiast and author, who has been caring for cichlids for over 15 years. She has been breeding Cichlids for years and it has become her passion to share her knowledge about their proper care.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Pet JELLYFISH Facts: What Are Jellyfish?

Flower Hat Jellyfish (Olindias formosa), Monte...
Flower Hat Jellyfish (Olindias formosa), Monterey Bay Aquarium, California.
(Photo credit: 
Jellyfish are gelatinous zooplankton from the Phylum Cnidaria. From an anatomical standpoint, they are little more than a sac within a sac. Their body composition is 95% water. They do not have a brain or even a central nervous system. They lack anything that remotely resembles a skeletal system. Most jellyfish do not even have eyes. Aside from eating, their only interaction with their immediate surroundings is the ability to distinguish between up and down, light from dark, or physical contact. Yet somehow their light sensory abilities allow them to perceive and maneuver around foreign objects.

Jellyfish are one of the oldest non-extinct life forms in existence. This should come as little surprise considering they are just one step up the evolutionary ladder from single cell organisms. Jellyfish fossils have been unearthed dating as far back as the Cambrian Period some 600 million years ago. The Cambrian Period predates not only the extinction of dinosaurs but their existence itself. These mysterious creatures will probably be swimming the Earth's oceans long after mankind is gone.

The largest known jellyfish species is the Arctic lion's main jellyfish followed closely by Nomura's jellyfish off the coasts of China and Japan. The largest lion's mane ever officially documented washed up on the shoreline of Massachusetts Bay in 1870. Its bell measured 7.5 feet (2.28 meters) in diameter and its tentacles stretched to a length of 120 feet (36.5 meters). There have been claims of larger jellyfish being discovered since then but none have been officially documented.

Can Keep Pet Jellyfish be Kept in an Aquarium?

Most people don't realize this, but until just a few short decades ago scientist did not possess the technological know-how to keep jellyfish alive in captivity. Jellyfish are 95% water. They would be liquefied instantly if sucked into a conventional water filtration system. Jellyfish cannot be housed in a typical square aquarium. They will get stuck in the corners and lack the higher brain functioning ability to get out. If there is not a flow of turbulence in the water, they are reduced to the equivalent of a bowl of jello. Keeping a jellyfish in a home aquarium was unthinkable. There was not a single jellyfish exhibit in a public aquarium anywhere in the world.

Jellyfish were first displayed in a public aquarium just over twenty years ago in Monterey California. This feat was made possible by the pioneering work of German Oceanographer, Dr. Wolf Greve.

Dr. Greve invented a circular aquarium that circulated water in a horizontal circular pattern. He dubbed his invention the Kreisel (German for carousel) tank. This revolutionary aquarium was originally designed for the study of arctic plankton. The tank's circular design and water flow gently pushed the plankton away from the aquarium's outer perimeter and toward the center of the tank. This technological breakthrough was essential in keeping jellyfish alive in a man-made environment.

    By Stephen J Broy
    The jellyfish home aquarium industry is still in its infancy. The industry itself is less than a decade old. To date, there are only two manufacturers of Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank systems in the world.
    Moon jellies are by far the most easily obtainable jellyfish on the market. Moon jellyfish are even being tank raised to supply the recent demand of home aquarium owners. Learn more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Caring For OSCAR Fish

English: This is a picture of two Oscar Fish i...
This is a picture of two Oscar Fish in a Fish Tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oscar fish are some of the most beautiful and hardy fish you can keep in an aquarium, but require special care and aquarium conditions to flourish. These fish can grow up to fourteen inches long, which makes them a handful for novice aquarium keepers -- they're definitely not starter fish. If you'd like to experience the special challenge of raising Oscar fish, then keep these tips in mind.

#1 - Oscar fish only like other Oscars.
Oscars are schooling fish, and they only like being with their own kind. They won't appreciate it when mixed in with different species and are known to attack other fish.

Oscars would love it if they schooled with a few other of their own kind in the fish tank. Remember that these fish can grow to be pretty big, so make sure to give at least 30 gallons of swimming space for them. If you take care of your Oscars well, they can live up to fifteen years.

#2 - Oscar can spawn with the best of them.
There are many Oscar species out there, and some of them change colours when they're ready to mate. If you have a male and a female Oscar in the same tank, they might spawn thousands of eggs at once. If you don't want to deal with a fish tank full of Oscars, then it might be a good idea to put one Oscar in a different location until its color changes back to its original color.

#3 - Oscars need specific conditions to survive.
Aside from a big enough tank, the usual filters, aerators, and lighting, Oscars thrive in clean, clear water with temperatures around 28 degrees Celsius. For some reason, they also prefer sandy bottoms to gravel. They feed on carnivorous fish food -- you can check with your local pet store if they have any fish food that's specifically for Oscars.

Surprisingly, Oscars can also eat food scraps such as shrimp, worms, and vegetables. Oscars only need to be fed once a day, and make sure you only give so much food that they can consume everything in three minutes.

Oscars are great pets to have, and it's always a temptation to add another one to the fish tank. Remember, though, that it's best to add an Oscar that's around the same size as the Oscars already in the tank. This will make sure that they'll get along swimmingly.



Chameleon - Photo: Pixabay
Chameleons are lizards with many fascinating features. There are several different types of Chameleons. By current classification, there are over 160 different species of Chameleons. Most Chameleons are native to Africa and a small island off the coast of Africa called Madagascar. There are also a few Chameleons native to Europe, such as Spain and Portugal, and some regions of Asia. 

They have also been introduced to Hawaii. They tend to live in warm climates from rain forests to deserts. Chameleons are truly unique creatures. Through evolution, they have developed many interesting features.

One of those features is the ability to move their eyes independent of one another. One eye can look beside or behind them while the other eye looks in front of them. This feature gives Chameleons the ability to have a 360-degree view around them. Contrary to the belief, Chameleons do not change their color to blend in with their background. They are naturally camouflaged because of their colors. Usually green to match the treetops.

They do however change their color by brightening or darkening their skin, but this is based on temperature regulation or emotional changes like stress or frightening. Chameleons are arboreal, which means they stay in trees most of their life. They have strong feet that grip like vices. 

Chameleons are didactyl. They have five toes on each foot, but they are connected together into a group of two and a group of three. This makes their feet appear to look like tongs. Each toe has a sharp claw.

They also use their long tail to help with balance and with climbing. Chameleons have a quite extraordinary tongue. Their tongues are made up of bone, muscle, and sinew. Most Chameleons can stick out their tongue one and a half times its body. They use this feature for food. They can shoot out their tongue in just a fraction of a second to catch their food. The tip of their tongue is also very sticky. Chameleons vary greatly in their sizes.

The smallest Chameleon is about 1.3 inches and the largest at 27 inches. Many Chameleons show some time of head or facial ornamentation, such as nasal protrusions, or horn-like projections or large crests on top of their heads. Like snakes, they do not have a middle or outer ear. This might suggest that Chameleons may be deaf. Most Chameleons are oviparous (egg-laying) and others are ovoviviparous (live birth). After about 3 to 6 weeks, oviparous Chameleons will climb down from the branches and dig a hole to lay the eggs in. Eggs will hatch between 4 to 12 months depending on the species. Ovoviviparous Chameleons will give birth between 5 to 6 months.

Chameleons mainly eat insects, such as locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, roaches, and mantis. Some larger Chameleons have been known to eat small birds and other lizards. Chameleons do not seem to recognize standing water so they tend to drink water from leaves. Chameleons are truly beautiful creatures with many interesting features. Chameleons continue to be one of the most fascinating lizards in the world.


How to Deal With AIPTASIA the Natural Way

Aiptasia sp.
Aiptasia sp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aiptasia anemones plague many saltwater aquariums, particular those including reefs. These anemones can be quite hard to get rid of. This is both because they are extremely hardy and because of their reproductive strategies.

Aiptasia can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Their asexual reproductive method is known as a pedal laceration. This method involves the growth of daughter clones from the foot of the mother anemone. Pedal laceration allows aiptasia to reproduce very rapidly, and to create multiple new offspring at the same time. Furthermore, many attempts to destroy aiptasia fail. This happens because, even if the mother anemone is manually removed or destroyed, a circle of daughter clones will be left behind.

Chemical approaches to aiptasia removal are also problematic because they can easily destroy other species and ruin the delicate balance required to maintain a vibrant, living reef aquarium. Luckily, humans can borrow some ideas from nature as to how to deal with these prolific anemones; the best solution to an overabundance of aiptasia is to introduce some of their natural predators into the aquarium ecosystem.

There are several potential species to use in this manner. Peppermint shrimp are small cleaner shrimp that naturally consume aiptasia. However, their efficacy is limited by the fact that these shrimp generally prefer other food sources.

Some reef keepers also use a few varieties of butterfly fish, with the Raccoon Butterfly species being the most popular. These fish have also been known to eat other reef inhabitants, including tube worms, corals and other anemones.

The best choice for a predator to introduce is generally Berghia nudibranchs. These animals are mollusks which are commonly called "sea slugs". Berghia nudibranchs are more focused than other potential species on eating aiptasia anemones.

This species of mollusk is small. At the largest, they grow to be one inch in length. When newly hatched, these animals are so tiny they cannot be seen by the unaided human eye. They are often shipped when they are only partially grown, at a size of half an inch or smaller. Berghia nudibranchs at this size are still quite delicate.

Shipping in general causes significant physical stress for aquatic animals. As such, it is highly recommended that you allow your newly arrived Berghia nudibranchs several days at least of time in mason jars to recover their strength. If you do not do so, you risk the mollusks being damaged by high water flows or simply being eaten by the other denizens of your aquarium.

The best practice for nurturing your Berghia nudibranchs in jars before transferring them to the main aquarium is as follows. Place at least six Aiptasia in a large mason jar a week or two before you expect the nudibranchs to arrive. Fill the jar with water from your aquarium. Keep the jar in an enclosed, dark place with a consistent temperature. Allow the newly arrived nudibranchs to remain in the jar for at least two days. When you do transfer them to the aquarium, do so at night.