Pictures some of the Most Beautiful Fish

most beautiful fish

Aquarium Fish Species: Discus

aquarium fish species discusDiscus Fish is the native of the Amazon river and they thrive in hard water between 7 to 10dGH with slightly acidic environment. They are very shy and docile fish, which are best kept with their own species in an aquarium tank and a recommended setup should have a bare bottom so that it is easier later part to breed them. Today, most home aquarium discus is no longer wild variant but instead, they are tank bred to produce different species with desirable characteristic. Some of the common species are Red Phoenix, Blue Turquoise, and Pigeon Blood.

Discus is very particular about the surrounding water. Not only must it be suitable with the correct hardness level, but the temperature should also be higher close to 30degC and that is probably another reason why other tropical fish cannot be mixed with them in a community tank. This requirement is very important and if not met, the fish will become susceptible to disease especially ich and you will notice they will start to have lower appetite. Understanding their needs is the key to successful discus fish keeping and sometimes you will need more than just knowledge and experience, but patience is also equally important.

Discus grows very fast provided that they are fed with nutritious live foods and quality fish food. They are especially fond of bloodworms and they will reach full-grown size and body thickness by the time they are 9 months old. Once they reach that age, they will start to find partners and form a pair, hanging out together. That is the time, that you should isolate the rest of the discus or you can choose to leave the mating pair alone in the current aquarium tank.

Female discus usually lay her eggs sticking onto aquarium side surface and the male will release the sperm to fertilize it. In a matter of 48 hours, the eggs will hatch and the fry will remain on the same spot clinging to the surface for another 12 hours before the parents will start to move them to another location to hide them. In about 1 week, the fry will become free swimming and will start to feed off the slime coat on their parents’ body. It will be another 3 weeks before they become independent. Don’t be surprised if there’s hiccup and the whole process does not go smoothly as it was meant to be because young discus pairs usually failed in their first few attempts.

So far, based on my own experience, keeping the fish in a 30-gallon tank somehow is not suitable because what I noticed is that somehow the tank size will limit the growth of the discus fish and they will not become fully developed. As such my recommendation is definitely 50-gallon fish tank minimum to ensure they thrive well. Needless for me to say that, other that having best aquarium size, maintenance especially regular water changes is also a top priority.

Related topic: Find out more about preparing and conditioning aquarium water for your discus fish.

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Aquarium Fish Compatibility

There are a number of factors other than fish behavior that determines compatibility between different species of fish. Some of the considerations are like pH of the tank, water temperature and water hardness. Let’s take an example of some of the most common freshwater aquarium fish.

aquarium discus fishDiscus is regarded as highly sensitive fish when it comes to disease susceptibility. Although aquarist has made an effort to mix them with other tropical fish species such as angelfish and corydoras catfish, the parasitic disease which is commonly found on both fish were even more prone affecting discus. Other than that, the pH of the water is also another consideration because angelfish would thrive between pH 7 to 8 while discus generally prefers lower pH value at the range of 5 and 6. Therefore, fish owners will either have to choose between separating both species to different tank or risk having either one of them accommodating the other.

aquarium goldfishGoldfish is also another example whereby aquarist would try to mix them with other fish species. However, based on my experience, goldfish are best left in their own tank. First reason on why I would say that is because Goldfish generate a lot of waste. They have huge appetite that sometimes, whatever fish food that you put in may not seem enough to feed them. They will gobble up almost everything and nothing is left for other tank mates. Goldfish is also cold water fish that thrives in temperature between 18 to 22 degC and somehow all of the tropical freshwater fish require much higher temperature than this. Although they are peaceful in nature, most of the time, they become targets of abuse and attack by other larger fish.

Checking fish compatibility is a very important consideration when selecting your type of fish for your home aquarium. I suggest you have a read up as well on what is a community aquarium.

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Aquarium Fish Species: Guppy

guppy fishGuppy is perhaps the easiest to care for and is considered one of the hardiest fish for any freshwater aquarium. They are always active with the males courting the females all the time and they will breed in large numbers often overrun the whole aquarium. Guppy will tolerate different range of aquarium temperatures and generally they are not sensitive to changes in water quality with regards to buildup of nitrite and nitrate. And because of this, they are often used as starter fish for newly established community aquarium so that the aquarium waters are fully cycled before other types of fish are added in.

Guppies can be easily distinguished from other fish species by their long trailing and well-spread colorful tails and they are often found with combination of red, green and blue color mix that covers the body and fins. However, these features only exist in the male species while for the females, they appear as dull grey color and the overall shape is not as attractive as the male fish. Another obvious difference is that the size of the male fish only reaches 2-3 inches in length excluding the tail while the female guppies can grow up to 5 inches long.

Guppies are not picky when it comes to food. However, in order to ensure healthy and lively fish, you should introduce a mix of live foods plus dried fish flakes as added nutrition. They are considered a peaceful fish which are not aggressive except towards their own species especially when you have males that outnumbered the females going against the 1:3 male to female ratio. In community aquarium, they are often mixed with other smaller fish such as mollies, platies and danios.

The ideal water chemistry needed to successfully raise the fish involves pH between 7.2-8.5 and the temperature range can be in the region of 18-25degC. It is always a good idea to source for large aquarium size to accommodate the fish and usually a 20-gallon tank is more than enough to house 4-5 guppies as a start. Having different types of live aquarium plants is also recommended for a guppy tank setup. Usually the plants will act not only as hiding spot for newborn fish fry but will also enhance the water quality for the growth of guppies.

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Types of Fish Garden Pond

fish garden pondGenerally there are two different types of fish suited for living in a Garden Pond. One is koi and another is goldfish. Not all goldfish are best kept in ponds and the choices are usually limited to those fast swimmers and hardy varieties. Shubunkin and comet goldfish are two fine examples because their shapes and different mix of coloration are better viewed from above. Koi and goldfish can also be kept together in the same confinement and so far based on my experience they will not show aggression towards each other although they are from different fish species.

Both koi and goldfish are known to adapt well to harsh conditions and mild fluctuations in pond water temperature. During summer when there is low dissolved oxygen, the fish generally becomes less active and during this period, one must ensure that aeration from air pump are performing at top notch condition. During winter when the water starts to freeze at the top layer, both types of fish are known to survive through this period by remaining dormant underwater. Despite their hardy nature, one must never neglect the general maintenance needed to keep the fish healthy such as doing routine water changes and pond cleaning to remove fish waste, feeding the fish with supplemental fish food and servicing the water filters.

Depending on the size of your garden pond, your choice and selection will determine which type of fish among those two that you can keep. A smaller sized garden pond measuring less than 3 feet in depth is generally suitable only as goldfish pond. However if your intention is to setup a koi pond, then you will need larger and deeper pond (at least 4-6 feet in depth) that can accommodate at least 5000 gallons of water. Usually the best period to add the fish is during early spring because that is the time when the water starts to warm up and the fish will have enough time to acclimatize and adapt to the natural water condition before summer. Let's also look at the design considerations and what to look for when building your first koi pond.

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Set Up and Maintain Koi Pond

koi pondKoi pond is indeed one of the most beautiful attraction to grace your home garden. If you are a fish enthusiast and have a large open space area, you should consider setting up one of your own koi pond. The effort will always pay off because the koi fish swimming in it will provide endless hours of fun and relaxation for the mind.

Koi pond can be constructed by expert builders or you can also setup your own from scratch. I do not have the necessary experience to build everything on my own because there are quite a lot heavy things to move around, not to mention doing it all alone will surely takes time. There is a lot of piping works that need to be carried out including drainage so I decided to leave it to the experts. Once the pond is ready, it is up to me to get the right pond supplies like filter, fish food, and then taking care of the pond maintenance.

Let’s look at some of the basic things, which you need to know regarding the overall setup and maintenance of the koi pond.
  1. During the designing and construction stage, it is always a good idea to get an expert builder who has the necessary experience. Don’t worry about finding the right one because you can always get a good start based on recommendation from friends or local koi pond associations in your neighborhood.

  2. Depending on the buildup area that you have, ensure that the pond is as large as possible and a good surface area should have at least 16 square feet for every koi fish that you intend to rare. Depending on where you stay, you should also ensure that the pond must be at least 5 to 6 feet deep to prevent the pond from completely become frozen during the winter. Deeper ponds will also allow better growth and development of the fish and to hide from predatory birds but anything deeper than 6 feet is not recommended since it will be hard to view them and to catch the fish if required.

  3. Get the best pond filter, which you can afford and check carefully, what is the volume and the amount of water the filter is able to treat. A good guide should be around 2000 gallons per hour and that also depends on the size of your pond.

  4. Other pond supplies like heater and UV sterilizer will come as handy to ensure you have a healthy fish.

  5. Consider getting and planting water plants like lilies to add beauty to the koi pond. They will also help to provide a shade during summer. However avoid building your pond under a tree because falling dead leaves will pose a problem.
UPDATE: Finally, after learning all the tips and tricks with the input coming from fellow koi hobbyist, I finally managed to set up one of my own with the help of my brother. Check out the koi pond construction details.

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Saltwater Aquarium Water Change

saltwater aquariumPerforming water change for Saltwater Aquarium is very much different from normal freshwater aquarium. The main difference is of course during the preparation of saltwater and also the amount that you can change at any time.

Freshwater aquarium setup usually involves a very direct and simple process because basically all you need to do is to dechlorinate the water and ensure that the water chemistry plus temperature is roughly similar to the fish tank before you can add in the water. Freshwater setup sometimes allow up to 50% addition of new water in a single change and the temperatures and water parameters doesn’t have to be exact because these variations can easily be tolerated and acclimatized by the fish.

However when it comes to saltwater aquarium setup, the routine becomes more tricky because you have to avoid doing large water change at any particular time. The reason is because the marine fish and invertebrates are more sensitive to changes and if this is not done properly it could upset the ecosystem.

Usually water change of maximum 5% is allowed at any single time for saltwater tank. First, get a container large enough to accommodate the total amount of the water you need to prepare. Fill in fresh water and after the normal process of dechlorinating using heavy aeration, you need to mix in the aquarium salt according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freshly prepared new saltwater can cause serious burns and during the water preparation, I would suggest you use goggles to avoid splashing into the eyes. Wear aprons if possible for safety purpose. Upon completion, leave the newly mixed saltwater in the container for at least 24 hours.

After this is done, then comes the tricky part. Basically what you need to do is to ensure that the salt concentration in the aquarium water falls within the range of recommended limit for saltwater aquarium setup. In order to achieve that, first measure and determine the specific gravity of the water in your saltwater tank by using hydrometer or refractometer. I would suggest using refractometer because it gives a more accurate reading. Next, do the same as well for your new water, which you have already mixed in the marine salt.

Once you obtained the reading for both, make a simple calculation to determine whether by adding in the amount of new water, will this cause the final density in the actual tank to fall or rise. If you find that specific gravity is too low in the saltwater tank, make a rough calculation (based on percent difference) to prepare the new water with higher density by adding more salt to it. Your final objective is that, when you mix in the new water, this will cause the density in the main tank to rise. Don’t worry about not getting it right the first time because you can always do adjustments if needed.

Finally, before adding in the water, make sure that protein skimmer and aquarium filter has been thoroughly cleaned. After the water has been added in, reconfirm on the final density of the aquarium water to determine whether you have done it correctly. Experienced aquarists are known to keep another batch of new water in case there’s an emergency whereby there’s an urgent need to quickly do a water change. The reason behind this is very simple, you don’t have time to immediately prepare the water and as such it is best to have a standby new saltwater on hand when it is needed.

Common saltwater aquarium problems and approaches:
Guide on how to effectively deal with marine green algae bloom

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Measure Salinity: Aquarium Hydrometer

aquarium hydrometerIf you have a saltwater aquarium, it is important that you check the concentration of salt in the water by using Aquarium Hydrometer. Salinity or salt concentration in the aquarium water can increase or decrease depending on how much aquarium salt that you add in. The density is represented by specific gravity, which simply means the ratio in terms of weight of one liter of salt water compared to the same corresponding amount of pure water at a given temperature. Basically what it means is that, this will determine the amount of dissolved salt substance in the water. More concentrated saltwater will actually translate to higher specific gravity and vice versa.

The value of specific gravity, can change overtime if the aquarium water starts to evaporate. According to the rule of thumb, a good specific gravity to maintain for your saltwater aquarium will depend on whether you have fish-only saltwater tank or reef tank. Both setups will require different density and the normal value for fish-only marine tank ranges between 1.020 to 1.023 while reef tank needs higher value that goes between 1.023 to 1.025. Bear in mind also that different saltwater tropical fish will have different requirements and thus the density value has to be adjusted according to the species.

aquarium refractometerOther than hydrometer, there is also another salinity checker, which is Refractometer. Both equipment are using different concept of measurement in which hydrometer is based on buoyancy while refractometer is based on principle of light refraction through liquids. Both units will also provide fast reading but however, for more accurate measurement, usually experienced fish hobbyist prefers using refractometer. Price is also another determining factor towards your selection because hydrometer usually cost around $20 while refractometer can go as high as three times the price. There is also another reason why sometimes fishkeeper prefer refractometer because unlike hydrometer, refractometer does not lose accuracy overtime.

Nowadays, getting specific gravity reading is quite simple because all a person needs to do is to dip in the hydrometer and the results can be obtained from the gradual marking. For refractometer, this will require a certain skill because you will need to place a drop of aquarium water on the prism and you need to do adjustment by viewing through the optical lens until a clear reading is obtained. Finally, based on the reading given by the hydrometer or refractometer, you can either add in more marine salt if the density value is low or you can add more water to dilute if the density shows higher value above the range that you want.

Other saltwater aquarium supplies: Protein Skimmer

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Saltwater Tropical Fish

Saltwater Tropical Fish requires more attention and is harder to take care of. Most of these fish, which you can buy in aquarium stores are harvested and taken from their natural habitat and acclimatization in home aquarium tank can be a very difficult process. Here are some of the most common saltwater tropical fish, which you normally come across these days.

Clown Fish:
clown fishClown Fish is the most popular and highly sought after for its bright yellow and orange coloration. What attracted me to this saltwater tropical fish, is their cute feature and also their active behavior. This fish requires sea anemones for their survival and it can be quite tricky to keep the fish because the anemones have poisonous sting that can cause blister if not careful.

Cardinal Fish:
cardinal fishCardinal Fish is a hardy marine fish, which can be easy to maintain, and adapts well to new aquarium saltwater tank setup. They are known for their silver and black color combination that form stripes on their body. They usually grow up to average three inches in length and they are considered good community tank mates.

blenniesBlenny is also another example of saltwater fish living in tropical waters. This unusual looking fish is easy to keep and they are good at getting rid of algae. Some of the common species that form this group of fish include lawnmower blennies, scooter blennies and eel blennies. Other than algae, their diet includes mostly brine shrimps and other small invertebrates.

Setting up and maintaining saltwater aquarium can be quite tough but with knowledge and experience, nothing is impossible. Discover more about fish keeping hobby with these tips and fish care guides.

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Marine and Freshwater Aquarium Salt

Basically there are two different types of Aquarium Salt, one is for freshwater use and another is for saltwater aquarium.

freshwater aquarium saltFreshwater aquarium salt is mainly added together with fish medication for treatment of fish disease. This type salt is not like the ordinary table salt because those that you use for general application can sometimes contain trace amount of iodine and anti-caking additives. While those chemicals may not directly harm you fish, it can have negative effect towards beneficial bacteria in your aquarium.

Basically, the reason why freshwater aquarium salt is needed is because it helps to reduce the slime coat on the scales and skin to allow better penetration of fish medication. Other than treatment of disease, adding aquarium salt is also beneficial in terms of prevention of disease because slight salinity will help to control growth of protozoa. Usually for treatment purposes, salt concentration of 0.5% should be sufficient and this can be achieved by adding 1 tablespoonful to every gallon of water that you have. However, if you intend to add only just for prevention, 1 tablespoonful for every 5 gallon is more than enough.

Before you add in any aquarium salt, first of all, remove all the live aquarium plants. A correct method of adding to your aquarium is to dissolve it in a bucket of freshwater and then slowly pour in the water. Never throw the salt directly into the aquarium without first dissolving because some curious fish can actually tried to gobble up and taste it like fish food. Beware, certain tropical fish species like the catfish do not tolerate salt in the water and therefore you should check carefully before you do anything.

marine saltMarine Salt on the other hand, is added into your saltwater aquarium to create the same level of water salinity just like natural seawater for the survival of marine fish. It also acts as a carbonate buffer that maintains high pH at a certain level and a good marine salt should contain all the major ions in the right proportion just like natural seawater.

Usually a good rule of thumb is to maintain the salinity level at between 1.020 to 1.023 for fish-only marine tank while for those reef tanks, a slightly higher specific gravity of 1.023 to 1.025 is more suitable. There is also another type of aquarium salt known as reef salt which contains trace elements like calcium for proper growth of aquarium reefs.

Other related aquarium fish supplies: Water Test Kit and pH Test Kit

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Exotic Tropical Fish

Exotic Tropical Fish basically refers to the fish that are different and somehow rare to certain extent because the numbers were inferior compared to the dominant group even if they are within the same species. Usually it is associated with beauty and wonder, as such exotic tropical fish is highly sought after by aquarist who prefer to have something unusual in their aquarium collection.

Fish which are termed “exotic” usually have their genes suppressed by the dominant ones and because of that, exotic fish are only kept and interbreed among their own same variety, in order to retain the desired features and characteristics. Although it is very hard to draw a borderline between what you would exactly termed the fish as being exotic or otherwise, eventually that will depend on your requirements and expectations including the context, in which you use to describe it.

super red arowana rare red albino discus

For me, I would accept two different varieties of the high-grade fish species and one of them is the Super Red Arowana, which can be quite difficult to find and fetch a very commanding price tag. The Super Red Arowana is indeed a beauty to behold. The fish is considered an endangered variety and due to its popularity, wild species has been captured from its natural habitat until it is almost close to extinction. The variety, which you can see in home aquarium nowadays, has been crossbred to produce different dark red to light tones and they look spectacular against a dark color background.

The other fine example of exotic tropical fish is the Albino Red Turquoise Discus, which comes with its red eyes and display a very brilliant orange to strong red color mix. The strain, which I’ve seen before, has high fin and with its round and thick body, I’m not surprised that the fish is highly sought after among discus owners.

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Starter Kit

aquarium starter kitSometimes if you want to quickly setup your aquarium without going through a long list of aquarium equipment and supplies to purchase, then you could simply select an Aquarium Starter Kit to begin with. Usually a complete set will come with all the necessary items like lighting, filter, gravel including aquarium hood, with all these items specifically selected to match with the aquarium size and thus you don’t have to worry about anything else.

Most of the aquarium starter kit, which can be found, sold online and at aquarium fish stores are reasonably priced ranging from $50 up to $100. My advice is that before buying your choice of starter kit, always check carefully whether there is an aquarium stand that comes together with the package before most of them doesn’t include this in the set. Another thing which you should also know about is that, aquarium starter kit are sold from 3-gallon size up to 12-gallon size and there’s not much choice unless you go for a fish tank with individual items purchased separately. And because the size is a limitation, usually there are few freshwater fish species that can specifically fit in like neon fish and swordtails.

Aquarium starter kit is suitable mainly for aquarium fish beginners especially kids because there's not much thing to worry about setup and installation. In fact, all the person needs to do is to fix in everything according to the diagram shown on the box and plug it in to the power supply and begin working. Today, even office personnel who fancy having an aquarium would go ahead to purchase a starter kit to save time and money. Finally, there are also different designs, which are unique that comes with special shapes on what we always referred to as unique aquariums.

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Aquarium Medication

There are different types of Aquarium Medication mainly to treat bacteria, parasites, fungus and also to prevent further infections in the fish. Some of the most common medications are like Methylene Blue, Potassium Permanganate, Malachite Green, Fluke Tabs and Formalin. Most of these chemicals especially Malachite Green can be harmful if there’s prolonged exposure and thus, always use according to the recommended dosage and with extreme precaution.

Among the basic aquarium medication mentioned here, two of the most common, which I normally use are Methylene Blue and Potassium Permanganate. Both chemicals are widely applied as antifungal remedy especially to treat some common fungus infection including mouth and fin rot disease. These two chemicals also do not leave harmful effects that could endanger the fish or human skin in contact, thus would be deemed safe and recommended for general usage. Usually a good practice when using aquarium medication is to remove all the aquarium plants and decoration before applying the solution.

aquarium fish medicationBased on my own experience, it should be best that one should never ever use the chemicals as prolonged treatment. Depending on which type of medication, the correct usage should involve a short dip that lasts no longer than 8 hours period before doing a water change. This preventive measure is also important to ensure that the chemicals also do not harm beneficial bacteria residing in your tank and therefore, a short dip is enough when applying treatment. Chemicals such as Formalin, which are normally used to counter heavy infestation of Ich, also do not remain stable in water and the effectiveness will only last for about 2 hours. As such, there is no reason to leave the chemical much longer than the period suggested.

Another important thing, which you should always keep in mind, is that whenever handling aquarium medications, one should take precautionary measures to wear glove so that it will not stain the skin. Malachite Green especially those that contains zinc in the formulary, although will easily kill most parasites and bacteria can be hazardous when it comes into contact with the skin.

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Aquarium Live Food

There are different types of Aquarium Live Food that can be used to supplement your pet fish diet. Although there are many benefits of using live food such as providing a well-balanced and extra nutritional requirement in addition to dried fish food, use of aquarium live food will actually bring with it potential harm leading to fish disease and introduction of pests like snails. Let’s look at some of the common range of live foods used by aquarists.

brine shrimp naupliiBrine Shrimp Nauplii
One of the best live tropical fish food which are rich in nutrients and can be easily hatched from the brine shrimp eggs. They can be stored in a dry storage condition for months, up to years and they make perfect live foods for cultivation of fish fry. In order to successfully hatch the brine shrimp eggs, one can follow the instructions below.

First, fill an empty wide-open mouth jar with about three-quarters depth of dechlorinated tap water and then add about two tablespoonful of seawater salt. By using an air pump, generate turbulence in the water and aerate it vigorously. Place the hatchery at a location close to indirect sunlight in order to get the temperature of about 25-28degC. Once the seawater salt has dissolved, you can proceed to add in the brine shrimp eggs. In about 2 days, the cysts will hatch and you can collect by shutting off the aeration pump and then shine a flashlight to the bottom of the jar. Free swimming live brine shrimp are attracted to the light and you can use this method to siphon them out to a fine fish net. Do not pour in the whole mixture because the empty cyst shell cannot be digested by your fish fry and will harm your fish instead.

aquarium live food daphniaDaphnia
Daphnia or water fleas can also provide an alternative aquarium live food supplement. You can easily grow daphnia by first making its food consists of algae which you can easily grow using a container of aquarium water placed on a location with direct sunlight. Once the water starts to turn green, you can add a starter culture of daphnia obtained from aquarium fish stores. In about a week, you can start to see daphnia growing in water and you can harvest them using fine fish net. Ponds are also a good source of daphnia, which you easily collect, but be forewarned not to take them from fish ponds with contaminated water since it will lead to introduction of aquarium fish disease.

live aquarium food microwormsMicroworms
Microworms are also another option, which you can consider to use as cheap aquarium live fish food. They can be easily cultivated using packets of cooked oatmeal added with small amount of yeast. Usually a common method to grow microworms involves using plastic food containers with the cover punched with holes for air circulation purpose. You can then add the starter culture together with the yeast plus your oatmeal mixture and then wait for two to three days for the growth to take place. Once you open the container cover, you should see the microworms crawling up the sides of the containers and some on the cover surface. Harvest the worms by scraping them off with a clean butter knife and then dip it into your aquarium water.

tubifex wormsTubifex Worms
Tubifex worms are another type of live food normally used to feed different types of freshwater aquarium fish. It is often used to induce breeding especially in goldfish and the Tubifex worms culture can be easily bought at any aquarium fish stores. I would not recommend cultivating Tubifex because this type of worms require contaminated sludge water to grow and it’s best to avoid them for hygiene purposes. Before feeding the Tubifex worms to your fish, one must take extreme caution in order to ensure that the worms are properly cleaned and washed. Leave the worms in a container of clean fresh water and then change the water every 4-5 hours in order to ensure that contaminants are flushed out. Without food, these worms can last up to a day or two so it might be a good idea to change the water frequently within this period before feeding to your fish. If you happen to come across liquid live food disinfectant sold in aquarium fish stores, I would suggest getting one of these to properly clean your Tubifex worms.

fish live food bloodwormBloodworms
Similar like Tubifex worms, this is one of the favorite live foods for discus fish, in which your fish will crave for it. Some are sold as freeze-dried stored in refrigerator and sold in packets. However, the blood that comes with it dissolves easily in your aquarium water and thus usually after the feeding schedule, it has to be followed up with water change. Bloodworms are preferred among fish owners for its high nutritional value and protein content. Discus fish fed with bloodworms often exhibit bright coloration and achieve fast growth.

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Aquarium Service

aquarium serviceIt is always a good idea to engage the help of professionals for Aquarium Service such as maintenance, aquarium equipment installation plus setup including looking after the health of your fish. If you are a working executive who finds it hard to allocate your time and still wanted the option to relax in front of a well-maintained aquarium during your free time, then acquiring such aquarium service should be a better option. This is especially true when it comes to reef tank setup, which requires a lot of time and commitment not to mention having knowledge plus experience as well.

Nowadays, there are quite a number of established aquarium service providers that are reputable and well-known to provide helpful assistance. Depending on your location, it’s not hard to find one that is willing to come to your residential place on regular basis to perform the task. Basically the service is offered in an affordable package that covers everything that is needed to keep the aquarium running such as water changes, aquarium cleaning, water quality testing and also aquarium equipment checking like air pump, filters, heater and protein skimmer.

Certain aquarium service establishment also provides consultancy and other specialized tasks such as aquarium decoration, aquarium landscaping and reef setup which can be a very tedious task. Sometimes, it is also a good idea to engage the help of professionals and you can also take the opportunity to learn from them and acquire the necessary experience needed to maintain your freshwater and saltwater tank.

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Aquarium Algae Control

aquarium algaeAquarium algae is a common problem affecting every fish tank. A small amount of algae is actually beneficial and does no harm to the fish but when it becomes too much, it will be hazardous leading to fish disease. Algae growth is also unsightly and it will cause problems later on aquarium cleaning.

There are different types of aquarium algae such as brown algae, blue-green algae and green water, which is also known as algae bloom. Usually the growth is caused by absence of live aquarium plants, which leads to heavy buildup of nitrate, prolonged exposure of light and overfeeding of fish food. For aquarium algae control to be effective, there are a few options to consider.

  • Having live aquarium plants will actually consume the nutrients like nitrate in the water and thus reduce the availability for algae growth.

  • Types of aquarium lighting such as fluorescent will emit lower intensity of light compared to metal halide and thus will help prevent sudden algae bloom. The aquarium should also have a light timer to determine sufficient hours of lighting

  • Feed the exact amount of fish food so that there are less waste and uneaten food left in the aquarium tank.

  • Conduct regular water changes at least once a week.

  • Depending on what types of fish you have in your community aquarium, you can also consider introducing algae eating species like pleco or freshwater shrimp.

  • Finally, aquarium UV sterilizer can also help to prevent algae bloom but not other types of algae like blue-green algae, brown algae, and so this is also another alternative.
Sometimes even with the aquarium algae control measures in place, once in a while it will still become a problem. If that’s the case, try to use magnetic aquarium scraper for the cleaning and then siphon out the scrapped off pieces. I would not recommend using anti-algae chemical solution to prevent overdosing and poisoning of your fish. If possible, avoid stripping down the whole system with full water changes because this will require starting all over the nitrogen cycle.

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Aquarium Fish Species: Catfish

catfish speciesCatfish is considered one of the most diverse groups of fish and they can exist either as saltwater fish living near coastal areas or as freshwater tropical fish species. Unlike common fish, they do not have scales on their body, some are covered with bony plates while others have poisonous spines on their body. All of them have one common feature, which is presence of sensory barbels around the mouth region, used to seek out food and guide their way around the environment.

Catfish also do not resemble in terms of appearance on what a common fish should look like. With more than 2000 species known to date, they are most popular and widely known among fishkeepers as scavenger for leftover food in the community aquarium. Catfish can also grow very big with size ranging from a few centimeters up to more than two meters in length. They feeding behavior is usually after the aquarium lights are out and their diet varies considerably between different species. Let’s look at some of the most common freshwater catfish families.

Mochokidae (upside-down catfish) – This family of African catfish spends most their time upside-down near the surface although there are some within the family that tends to be bottom-dwellers. They are known to have attractive markings on their body and usually they grow up to moderate size from 7-35 centimeters.

Doradidae (talking catfish)
This type of catfish is unique in the sense that they have the ability to produce sounds using the pectoral fins or by vibrating their swim bladder. They originated from South America and their body is fully armored. The size can range between 7 to more than 75 centimeters in length and usually the smaller sized species is suited for community aquarium.

It is quite impossible to list each and every one of them here and I would suggest a good reference such as With further research, you will be amazed with the number of diverse species that comes up and I’m sure as an aquarist, at any point, you will find that Catfish will make interesting aquarium pets.

» Other freshwater tropical fish: Neon Fish, Red-Tailed Black Shark

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Aquarium Store

aquarium storeAquarium Store does not only sell fish, but also other aquarium supplies like air pump, filter, heater, fish food and water test kit. Each and every one varies in terms of their stock, quality of the items and also service. With different choices in mind, it is always a good idea to visit as many aquarium stores that you can find to evaluate and check out the items yourself. This will give you an opportunity to compare and make up your mind to find out which one offers the best deal before you buy. Other than price, few points to consider are:
  1. Cleanliness of the place and aquarium tanks. If the place is in a mess with waters everywhere and it smells, you will immediately get the impression that the owner does not know how to manage the place well. Same goes with cleanliness of the tanks and check whether there are accumulation of waste in it.
  2. Health of the fish – Does the fish on sale appear listless or inactive? Is there any spot or sign that shows it is infected with fish disease? This is an important criteria to determine whether they provide good stock
  3. Labeling of the fish tank – Does the owner took the effort to label the names for different types of fish including the price? There are some reputable aquarium stores that go up to the extent of providing a brief description such as size of full-grown fish, water requirements like pH and hardness, general behavior and fish compatibility info whether they are suitable for community tank.
  4. Staff Attitude – Is the staff helpful enough to offer advice and assistance? More important, is the information given accurate? Do they really know and have experience with aquarium fish keeping?
  5. Finally, does the shop quarantine the fish before they offer it for sale? The reason why fish needs to be quarantined is because when they arrive from wholesalers, usually the fish are stressed out from their long trip and most of them are infected with fish parasite. Fish stores that put this quarantine measure into practice should be reliable to provide good stock.

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Aquarium Background

aquarium backgroundAquarium Background helps to create visually stunning backdrop for your home aquarium. It serves to create the natural looking view to complement your fish swimming in it. Other than decorative purpose, aquarium background also helps to reduce reflection so that the fish will not easily get shocked or frightened. Generally what I notice is that aquariums which are well-covered can actually help new fish acclimatize to the new aquarium environment much easier. If you have aquarium plants, the background will look great and natural and further to that, it also helps to hide unsightly aquarium equipment behind the tank.

There are different types of aquarium background sold in the market with endless choice on design to choose from depending on your preferences. Nowadays some of the most attractive and highly popular is the grassy plant design, to create the tropical natural look. If you have saltwater aquarium, some of the common selections are coral reef or underwater world backdrop. Certain people prefer plain settings like the deep-sea blue color shades while others prefer a more colorful and vibrant colors. There is also a 3D-view aquarium background sold these days that is perfect for any home aquarium setup.

The backgrounds are sold in rolls just like wallpaper and basically all you need to do is to specify the length and measurements that you want based on your aquarium size and make the purchase. Once you are done, all you need to do is to just stick it to the sides, as it is self-adhesive. You don’t even have to worry about water splashing causing the paper to be wet because most of it is waterproof. For custom aquarium with special shapes such as hexagonal, the aquarium background can even easily adhere to the surface without any problem.

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Aquarium Protein Skimmer

protein skimmerAquarium Protein Skimmer works by injecting tiny air bubbles into the aquarium water and the protein layer that forms at the surface is skimmed off and removed from the water. It is widely used in saltwater aquarium as means of mechanical separation to remove some of the organic waste and reduce the load for biological filtration. Other than protein, the skimming effect will also remove fats and trace amount of metal compounds as well. Generally, this will improve water quality considerably.

All protein skimmer operate using similar basic operation in which water will be directed through a chamber and then come into contact with high volumes of fine bubbles for maximum air/water surface contact. The bubbles, which are lighter and heavily charged will attract protein binding and then float to the surface. Currently there are two different systems, one is using the co-current flow and another is the counter-current system. A Venturi Protein Skimmer is a good example that works based on the co-current flow while Beckett Protein Skimmer is another that type that employs the counter current flow system.

Other than ensuring better water quality, buying a protein skimmer can actually save lot of money in the long run. Basically a cubic meter of water for saltwater aquarium can cost quite a lot and it’s much cheaper to treat the water than using fresh water and then increase the usage of marine salt. If you are a serious pet fish hobbyist, I would suggest getting a unit even though the price can be quite high, it is actually a worthy investment.

FAQ: Is it necessary to have protein skimmer in freshwater tank?
Related fish topic: aquarium pH testing using special kit

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Cloudy Aquarium

Cloudy Aquarium is usually what you see when the fish tank has just been newly setup (usually within the first two weeks) and the aquarium has yet to establish the beneficial bacteria that breaks down harmful chemical like nitrite. During this initial stage, it is imperative that you conduct regular water changes (once every 2 days if needed) and monitor on the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels at all time using water test kit. It is also a good idea to reduce the number of fish so that less waste is generated until the aquarium stabilizes. Once it is in the final stage of the cycling process, the water should start to clear up and clarity improved tremendously.

Sometimes, certain types of fish food can also cause the cloudy aquarium water. Avoid fish food that dissolves easily in water and become mushy once it turns into leftover and not eaten by the fish. Usually these are the results of cheap fish food that is offered at low prices. These types of low nutrition low value food are usually made up of flours as the main ingredient. Beware and check carefully on the manufacturers because the negative effect that it brings in the long run outweighs on the money saved.

cloudy aquariumAnother reason that could cause cloudy aquarium is clogged up aquarium filter. Sometimes, accumulation of waste and debris will actually harbor unwanted growth and population of algae and bacteria. This type of condition not only affects the water clarify but prolonged situation is actually harmful to your fish since it might lead to introduction of aquarium fish disease. If this is detected, immediately wash and rinse the filter media ensuring that the condition goes back to normal.

Cloudy aquarium could also be due to new decorative items that you add in. Make sure whatever that you plan to put in is properly washed and avoid putting items like driftwood that contains harmful chemical that could peel off and contaminate the water.

Finally, if you don't mind spending money for your home aquarium, another option is to either get a UV Sterilizers or Protein Skimmer (only for saltwater aquariums) to overcome issues related to cloudy aquarium and achieve better water clarity.

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Tropical Fish Care Guides

fish careThere are different aspects dealing with Fish Care. A lot of people will actually complain on how hard it is to maintain a perfect working aquarium but the fact is the reason why most people fail is because of ignorance. Fish care has nothing to do with being easygoing, it’s about getting yourself prepared to face the challenges ahead. Let’s look at some of the basic aspects related to it.

Before other things come along, what you must always do is to first understand your fish. Find out about the type of aquarium fish you are having, study its behavior, learn about the optimal living condition most suited for the species like pH, temperature, water hardness. Don’t worry, because there are many great handbooks you can find and read about aquarium fish keeping.

Time and Commitment is the core to having a successful aquarium. Draft out the routine plan on what you need to do everyday to monitor the water condition. Be prepared to conduct weekly water change. Spend time to visit aquarium stores and get the best fish supplies. Remember it’s not always the bigger the better but it’s more towards getting the right item. Don’t worry, all these effort and money spent will eventually pays off.

Aquarium Maintenance is also another key factor when it comes to fish care. It is consistency that we are talking about here. Most people were only interested during the initial stage but after a while starts to lose interest. All the fish accessories must be checked to ensure that all are running in tip top condition, things like aquarium filter clogging up is the worst thing that could happen.

Learn from mistakes and improve. There are quite a number of things which cannot be learned just be reading alone. The knowledge can only be grasped by first hand look and experience. Fish disease is the greatest enemy, so learn how to avoid or deal with it.

Finally to sum things up, fish care is all about passion.

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Freshwater Aquarium Snails

aquarium snailsAquarium snails can be troublesome pest that wrecks havoc in a community tank. They are usually introduced through live aquarium plants hidden among the leaves either as eggs or small adults. They can breed prolifically and will overrun the aquarium with large numbers. Although they do not render any harm to different fish species, their presence will mean that they will become direct competitor for much needed oxygen resource and also cause unnecessary buildup of ammonia and nitrate with their waste. They will also eat up fresh leaves leaving unsightly holes and they can also harbor microorganisms leading to fish diseases.

Most common aquarium snails are Ramshorn snails. If there’s presence of only one or two, I would suggest leaving them alone since they can make interesting aquarium subjects so that whole aquarium is more natural looking. After all, they also help to overcome algae problem so it might be a good idea to have a few around. However, if the number starts to get too large, you might want to look into ways to control their population. It can be quite difficult to get rid of the snails because they can deposit eggs well hidden between the gravel and plants.

There are different approaches to get rid of aquarium snails. First, you can actually start by manually picking up those, which you can see. Next, I would suggest you remove the plants and then wash them in a bucket of water. You might want to introduce a gentle rub to the leaves and shake it well in the water. I would not suggest using bleaching chemicals because if the plants are not properly rinsed, you can introduce harmful chemicals that will poison your pets.

After you have done with the washing, leave the plants in another quarantine tank for at least a week and then rinse them again. If you have gravel, I would suggest doing the same thing as well. Hopefully this will further get rid of the newly born aquarium snails. Note that I do recommend using chemicals as snail eradicators directly introduced into your fish tank because some of these chemicals might actually be harmful to your fish and the sudden death of large number of snails will lead to huge buildup of ammonia and pollute the water.

Finally another approach is to introduce natural predators such as Clown Loach which can actually make a good meal out of the snails. Check on the compatibility of the fish with other aquarium fish species before you introduce it to the tank.

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About Me

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My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

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