Pictures some of the Most Beautiful Fish

most beautiful fish

Live Feeder Fish

live feeder fishFeeder Fish basically refers to the type of fish usually considered unwanted (such as deformed fry) or those low-grade species mainly guppies and common goldfish which are bred specifically for the sole purpose of feeding to large predatory fish especially oscar and arowana. Although it is often used as an added supplement to provide that extra nutrition, using live feeder fish has its downsides, which I do not recommend.

Using live feeder fish is often frowned upon as a cruel act that inflicts pain and suffering to the other fish. Although there are certain people who find it interesting watching as the larger fish hunts down the smaller and much inferior prey, I don’t feel there’s anything exciting about it. Most of the time, feeder fish are swallowed alive giving it slow and painful death as it meets its end in the belly of the predatory fish. As a pet lover, I hate seeing the kind of treatment inflicted on other creatures and as such I’m all against using feeder fish as live foods.

Other than that, using live feeder fish also comes with its risk. Unless you buy your own stock and breed them, the feeder fish, which are found in aquarium stores are usually grown and bred in small containers. Most of the time, the overcrowded condition often led to poor water quality and because of that, the fish usually carries with it various aquarium fish diseases such as fish lice and anchor worm. When fed to your larger pet fish, you risk introducing the disease as well and such it is not a wise option after all.

If you need to ensure that your pet fish stays healthy and get the best nutrition, there are different options around such as using combination of high quality flakes and pellets. Once in a while, I will also consider adding frozen bloodworms and daphnia to provide that extra supplement. Remember, you always have a choice.



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Aquarium Water Hardness Test

Water Hardness is an important measurement, which you need to establish and maintain in your aquarium especially when it comes to community tank whereby there are different species of fish living in it. Generally the numbers indicated by water hardness represents the total amount of dissolved mineral content primarily calcium and magnesium. It is usually expressed in units of ppm (parts per million) and another in terms of water General Hardness (dGH). These figures vary considerably depending on the source and supply of water to different areas of residence and individual states.

Aquarium water hardness is generally classified as either hard water or soft water. Depending on which types of fish that you have in your tank, each individual species has different requirement that falls within certain range limit. For ease of reference, I’ve come up with a table below that indicates which group of fish belongs to what level of water hardness so that you can use it as a guide when setting up your aquarium tank. The task become trickier when it comes to community aquarium because basically what you need to do is to find out and establish a range of hardness level whereby all species can tolerate well in it.

Water Hardness Chart for Different Aquarium Fish Species

Hardness (dGH)Hardness (ppm) Definition
Types of Fish
1 to 3.517.1 to 60very soft-
3.5 to 6.760 to 120softAngelfish, Neon Fish, Goldfish
6.7 to 10.0120 to 180hardDiscus, Hatchet Fish, Oscar, Betta, Swordtail, Guppy
10.0 and above180 and abovevery hardDemasoni Cichlids


In order to test for the water hardness level in your aquarium water, there are different water test kits and equipment you can use to get an accurate and fast measurement. Some of the easiest method is to use test strips whereby the color indicator will change according to different levels and then compared to a scale of colors in order to get the reading. Others like digital hardness meter reader are far more convenient because it can give a direct reading by just dipping the probe into the water. What makes a difference between those two methods are basically price factor in which strips are much more cheaper while meter readers cost at least 10 times more.

Nowadays adjusting aquarium water hardness is a breeze because basically there are many options available. Based on the reading and measurement obtained earlier, all you need to do when you find out that the water is too hard is to purchase some water softener pillow from pet shops and place it on your aquarium filter media. Basically what the pillow does is that, it will lower the water hardness level by absorbing and then removing the calcium and magnesium content from the water using the ion-exchange concept. On the contrary, if you find that the water is too soft, then all you need to do is to add in mineral salt, which is easily available in your local fish center. However, I do not recommend using crushed corals for the purpose of adjustment because the fluctuation in levels and release of minerals can become uncontrollable and instead ended up with water that is too hard.

Further reading: Using pH test kit to maintain perfect water quality



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Marine Coral Tank Setup

marine coral tankAdding corals is a very delicate process when it comes to Marine Tank Setup. Probably the first and foremost important thing to plan out is actually the placement and the types of lighting you intend to use. But before we move on further, let us understand what a coral is. Coral is actually composed of millions of polyps that forms a colony either around a framework of hard surface or having its own skeleton structure. (Wikipedia Reference)

Corals are basically divided into two different types, one is soft coral and another is hard coral. What differentiates between those two lies mainly on how they were formed in the first place. Soft coral came about when tiny larvae attach itself onto hard surfaces like a rock and then develops itself from there to become a polyp and then forms a colony. Hard corals on the other hand, construct its own outer skeleton (partly relies on symbiotic relationship with algae) by secreting limestone obtained from extract of calcium and carbonate from seawater that eventually covers around it.

Depending on which type of corals you are thinking to setup, there are different techniques and considerations you have to put in place. Coral are very delicate and sometimes finding suitable location for it to establish itself is very tricky. Some require heavy water movements while others need only moderate flow. Spacing is also another factor because corals do show aggression towards one another, as this is part of their natural instinct in the open environment. Most common type of aggression is stinging tentacles and therefore it is very important that you wear special type of protective glove when handing this particular corals during your marine tank setup. Corals survival in reef tank also depends on the type of fish that you intend to add. For example, certain angelfish family like the centropyge can cause massive destruction, thus either you make the right choice to pick the right fish or separate them to another aquarium.

Tank lighting is perhaps what determines the success and growth of the colony. Basically between fluorescent and metal halide, usually the latter comes as a preferred option since it produces higher intensity. However, bear in mind that not all corals actually prefer the same condition as there are some that become too sensitive with high intensity lighting that it even causes a burn and lead to its demise. During the acclimatization process, make sure that you observe the development and coloration so that you will know that you have provided enough. Too low intensity is not desirable as well because the coral will not be able to achieve maximum growth.

At this point of discussion after knowing the basic knowledge pertaining to the requirements, I would still suggest that if you intend to setup a marine coral tank, you should always get the experts' advice and help. The aquarium stores owner that sold it to you should provide after sales support. First thing first, check out how long the corals have remained in the saltwater aquarium after being harvested from sea. I would avoid purchasing those newly acquired direct from sea because the acclimatization process is very difficult and most of the time ended up losing the coral. The best option is to buy from coral farms as it is more eco-friendly thing to do.
Reef Tank Topics: Types of Live Rocks for Aquarium



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Angelfish Tank and Species Compatibility

angelfish tankAngelfish is very territorial and as such they require large tank size measuring at least 50 gallons and above if you plan to keep 2 to 4 angelfish. They can grow up to six inches in height and because of their aggressive behavior and incompatible nature with other fish, angelfish should only be kept with its own species. Most aquarist have tried keeping them in large community aquarium but ended up with little success as they will wreck havoc by attacking other smaller species and consuming young fish fry. This is even more evident especially during spawning period.

If properly fed and cared for, angelfish can grow very fast and it will take about a year and a half to reach full-grown size. The growth rate is largely contributed by different factors such as quality of food (whether they have good mix of nutritious dried flakes and live foods), temperature and space availability. Compared to their cousins in the freshwater tropical areas in the wild Amazon jungles, Angelfish in home aquarium can tolerate wider range of water parameters with temperature ranging from 25 to 29deg Celsius and with pH between 6.3 to 7.0. However, when it comes to water cleanliness, it is very important to maintain perfect water condition because they are very susceptible to contacting ich or white spot disease.

An angelfish tank setup should have an aquarium heater for temperature control and good filter to maintain perfect water quality. I would recommend putting live plants especially those with big leaves such as sword plants for easy maintenance. However before you introduce anything into your angelfish tank, make sure it is properly rinsed and cleaned or else you will risk introducing pesky snails. Plants also help to maintain better water quality and it also helps to ensure that the fish will acclimatize faster in newly setup fish tanks. In fact, their needs are almost quite similar to that of discus fish, which you can read up further in details in order to better understand about all the Amazonian species.

When it comes to breeding angelfish, it can be quite tricky because if you don’t have an active breeding pair, they will not spawn. Most of the time, if you are raising 2 to 3 angelfish in a tank, you could somehow ended up with all with the same gender or sometimes they will never pair up due to compatibility. Once you have a successful breeding pair, it is a good idea to separate out the rest either by putting into other separate fish tanks or giving away for adoption. If not, the breeding pair will become aggressive and attack the other fish especially during spawning period. In order to stimulate spawning, you can perform a partial water change in order to shift the water temperature range to become 2 to 3 degrees higher than normal.

Different groups of angelfish can also refer to saltwater angelfish of the family Pomacanthidae.



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Wall Hanging Fish Tank

hanging fish tankHanging Fish Tank is a better option compared to fish bowls because it can hold higher volume of water (20 – 50 gallon tank size) and offers much larger living space for your fish. Nowadays there are different manufacturers that can provide these custom-made tanks and it comes with high cost for installation, most of the time reaching few thousands. Unlike hanging fish bowls, which can be easily setup within minutes, fish tank requires assistance of expert builders to ensure proper drilling and installation of the studs so that the mounting can support the heavy load.

Basically there are two different types of hanging fish tank setup whereby it can be either dangling from the ceiling with support rod or wall-mounted to suit the requirements and preferences. The dangling type as depicted in the image above, looks stunning in the sense that you can view the fish from both sides of the aquarium. However, since the fish is exposed from all corners, it is imperative that you must provide proper hiding place so that they won’t easily get frightened. The wall-mounted setup is much simpler and basically it blends in like a normal wall painting with some actually made to look like it is embedded in the wall itself.

Most of the hanging fish tanks sold in aquarium stores and online suppliers come complete with fluorescent lights coupled with hidden aquarium filter. These setups can be made to house either freshwater or even saltwater fish of different sizes since living space is not a limitation. Perhaps one of the most attractive examples of hanging tanks are those specially made for arowana and discus fish. There are even aquarium concepts created to combine different species of fish to form a community tank based on tropical waters natural ecosystem. Whichever your choice and preferences, the number of combination are endless.



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Unique Hanging Fish Bowl

fish bowlPerhaps one of the most exciting and latest additions within the aquarium community is the Hanging Fish Bowl, which is getting popular among fish enthusiasts who fancy something different. This unique aquarium setup is bound to decorate and blend well into any living room environment, bathrooms and even kitchens. Designed and made with crystal clear acrylic view, everything can be easily setup within minutes and it also comes complete with fish accessories like colorful gravel.

While it looks nice, there are a few disadvantages when it comes to having hanging fish bowl. Since it’s wall mounted, it can only support and accommodate small volume of water usually measuring about 2 gallons in size. There is no filter in place as part of the aquarium kit and with limited swimming space, only few species of fish are suitable to be kept in it. While most hobbyist will simply hop into the idea about getting goldfish, it is definitely not an option here because any species measuring 5cm or above in length will find it hard to adapt and live in it.

There are two different types of fish that I would recommend for your hanging fish bowl. One is betta since it can withstand tight living space without high oxygen requirement and another is neon fish for its small size. Just like any other aquarium setup, one of the basic things that you must do to ensure that the fish stays healthy is to conduct regular water changes together with frequent tank cleaning since lower volume without aquarium filter will mean water gets dirty easily. Even feeding schedule has to be controlled and routine water checking using test kits has to be carried out on regular basis.

Despite the disadvantages, there are a few good points that come along with it. First with wall-mounted hanging fish bowl, you can save a lot of space and you don’t have to worry about bumping into it. The fish is located at your eye viewing level and thus you can see your pets clearly.

Finally if you fancy similar concept, with hanging design to go along with your pets’ need for space, then I would suggest getting a hanging fish tank instead of bowl.



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Top Dweller Community Hatchet Fish

If you are looking for top dwellers to fill your community aquarium, then Hatchet Fish should make a great addition. Better known as the flying fish, the fish actually has the capability to leap out of water when they are frightened or threatened by other tank mates. Therefore it is important that you have a hood or cover in place so that the fish doesn’t leap out of the aquarium.

silver hatchet fishmarbled hatchet fish
Silver Hatchet Fish and Marbled Hatchet Fish
Caring and feeding for your hatchet fish should be fairly simple. First of all, they need a good hiding spot and thus heavily plant tank should be a perfect setup. The pH of the water should be maintained close to neutral value and generally they prefer soft water (around 4-8 dGH) particularly the silver hatchet fish and the marbled hatchet fish. Since they are top dwellers and remain at that level most of the time, it is a good idea to get floating fish pellet so that they will likely find the food. Besides that, you can also supplement with some live foods like mosquito larvae or small insects floating on top of the water.

Hatchet fish is known for its peaceful nature, which is why it is one of the best additions to any community tank besides the neon fish. Hatchet Fish usually grows up to maximum 4cm in length size depending on different species with the marbled hatchet fish measuring only half the size of a silver hatchet. Hatchet fish will form shoals when swimming around the tank and should be kept in a group of at least 3 so that they won’t easily get frightened. Hatchet fish is also commonly confused between different species because they look more or less the same except for the spots and marking on their body.

What makes this group of fish unique and loved by hobbyist is that, it is known for its odd shape not normally seen in other types of aquarium fish. According to scientific study, the area whereby the odd shape forms is actually made up of muscles which allow the fish to dash in high speed allowing them to leap out of water. However, like any other fish, hatchet is very susceptible to contract ich or white spot disease and as such maintaining clean water quality is your top priority.



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Tank Supplies: Aquarium Chiller

aquarium chillerAquarium Chiller basically functions to lower the temperature of the aquarium water making it suitable for certain cold water fish species like goldfish and koi, which generally prefers temperature ranging from 18 to 21 deg Celsius. This is particularly important especially during summer when water temperature can rise as high as 27 deg Celsius making the condition unsuitable for both species.

Maintaining the water at lower temperature has certain advantageous in the sense that colder water means that the fish metabolism will be reduced and thus lower down the amount of food needed to feed the fish. With goldfish known for its characteristic of eating a lot and producing high discharge of waste, lowering down the water temperature would certainly help. Second, chilled water generally holds more dissolved oxygen, which is of course better for the fish to stay active.

The principle behind the workaround of an aquarium chiller is very much similar like normal household air conditioning system. It has a gas compressor, which will heat exchange with the aquarium water and then it releases the heat to the outside environment. That way, the water stays cool and there is even a setting for you to adjust the gas flow so that you can control the temperature. Although one might argue that having a normal air conditioning system works the same as an aquarium chiller, it won’t be able to provide uniform water temperature for the fish tank because the water might still stay warm at the tank bottom.

Buying an aquarium chiller is a good option if you are planning on keeping goldfish. The price tag will usually range between $100 - $300 for a decent branded unit but sometimes can go ever higher depending on the capacity. However, watch out for cheap chillers, which can be priced lower than market value in order to get your attention but normally fails within the first few months of usage. Somehow, aquarium chiller also needs servicing once in a while to replace the gas, so it’s best to get the help of professionals to assist you on this.

Other fish tank supplies for perfect aquarium setup: Aquarium Filter; Automatic Fish Feeder; Air Pump; Protein Skimmer



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Dealing with Sick Pet Fish

sick fishSometimes, if you notice that your fish does not seem to be as active as it was before with loss of appetite or if there’s a huge wound visible on the body area, first thing first, do not panic. What you need to do is to find out what fish disease your pet may be suffering from and find out information related to it. Most of the time, novices did not take the effort to understand what causes sick pet fish and instead become agitated until they apply wrong pet medication and led to the situation becoming even worse.

Basically the best approach for you to deal with the situation properly is that you need to identify the disease your pet fish is suffering from. The disease can be bacterial, fungal, protozoan, viral or even non-infectious disease so it’s a good idea to learn each and every one of these and know how to identify them. What actually separate between a particular sickness or fish disease is actually the symptoms associated with it and what it causes. The article here will teach and explain to you which group the disease belong to and how you can cope up with it.

Bacterial diseases are transmitted through water borne, meaning that there is no contact needed between individual species as long as all of them are in the same fish tank. This group of particular disease can be difficult to deal with and most of the time will infect large numbers of fish until the situation become out of control. It can either cause infection entered through gills or fish skin or it can just stay on the surface. Usually, it all started as a result of poor water quality or the bacteria is introduced to the fish tank through infected fish. Most common sickness that belongs to this group is dropsy.

Other than that, sick pet fish can also be caused by fungal infection. Usually it is characterized by growths of cottons especially on gill areas of the fish and thus leading to breathing difficulties. The infected fish will be left gasping for air at the aquarium surface and if treatment is not quickly administered, it will lead to death. Similar like bacterial growth, it will spread rapidly and usually infects large number of fish living in the same fish tank confinement. You can read more about fungus infection here.

Viruses can also be equally devastating and is much more difficult to detect. Most often, the symptoms only appear during the advanced stage of the disease and there is no specific medication or cure for it. Usually the best way to deal with viral infection is to enhance the water quality and maintain cleanliness hoping that the fish natural immune system will respond to combat the disease. Prevention is always better than cure, and therefore before you introduce new fish to established community aquarium, make sure there is at least 3 to 4 weeks quarantine period.

Sick pet fish can also result from protozoan infection. Perhaps the most potent and well-known disease that can be categorized in this group is ich or white spot. Finally, there is also a non-infectious group of disease which does not pass on from one fish to another and that, it only seem to infect particular species. Goldfish flipover condition or swimbladder disorder is one such example.



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Tropical Fish Farming

Tropical Fish Farming is a lucrative business venture due to high demand for exports coming from every parts of the world especially United States and Europe. Fish Farming is usually done in large scale in order to bring down the cost and it involves high technology and expertise. Other than breeding, the farms also act as a wholesaler supplier and distributor that packs the fish in boxes for exports and then shipped to aquarium stores worldwide. Most of these farms are located in tropical countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Usually tropical fish farming are done in open area fish ponds to produce high quality grade and large number of different types of fish. Ponds are preferred because it has large space for the fish to grow and although it requires a lot of maintenance, generally water parameters are much easier to control. The water is actually extracted from natural sources like underground supply coming from wells and also uphill streams so that superior water quality can be obtained. Basically, there are also a daphnia ponds to supply and provide natural live foods so that the fish can grow very fast to be colorful and healthy. Here the daphnia are actually grown and cultivated for the fish.

tropical fish farmOne of the most important aspects to ensure successful tropical fish farming is that there must always be a green house, which acts like a temperature control center. The water is pumped to a centralized location whereby there are aquarium chiller units, heater and filters, which function to regulate a certain water temperature and then the water is filtered before releasing back again to the pond. Sometimes, these fish breeders also use large tanks kept in warehouse for storing certain high quality fish like discus and arowana while goldfish, guppy, neon tetra, catfish are all kept in outdoor ponds. These types of warehouses are constructed with skylights to allow natural sunlight to penetrate through to the aquarium tanks. Sunlight is important for healthy growth of fish to bring out bright colors.

If you get the chance to actually visit a farm, I would suggest you spend the time and witness the whole setup and how these fish suppliers work to mass-produce and overall care for the tropical fish. It’s exciting to learn and see with your own eyes how the fish are bred before they actually arrive in aquarium stores.



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Tank Size for Goldfish

goldfish tankThe size of your goldfish tank will depend on area availability and the number of fish that you intend to keep. Goldfish is one of the aquarium fish species that requires large tank size for it to grow well and stays healthy. Main reason for needing large volume of water is because more water will mean heavy waste generated from your goldfish especially ammonia will be diluted to lower concentration and thus less likely to cause any harm. This will also help to prevent spread of aquarium fish disease especially dropsy and swim bladder or flipover condition.

A general rule of thumb before you buy your goldfish tank is to first determine number of fish that you intend to keep in your aquarium. A normal practice based on my own experience is that you will need,

3 gallons of water for every inch (2.5cm) of goldfish length

That means, if you have 4 goldfish with each measuring 3 inches in length, you would require at least 36 gallon fish tank size to accommodate all your pets. However, bear in mind that common goldfish can grow up to 8-10 inches in length and thus your aquarium should be sized accordingly to cater for your pet’s maximum growth. Common mistake made by aquarium owners is to buy smaller tanks when they think that this is more than enough for the younger fry but later found out that, the fish tank size is in fact not big enough after all.

Having the right aquarium size is very important because without much room, this will mean that your goldfish will not be able to reach maximum growth size and will become stunted. This will also lead to development of not proportionately equal fin size.

Related topic: Goldfish Reproduction



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Guide on Buying Betta Fish

buy betta fishBetta Fish is relatively easy to care for because they need little space without high requirements with regards to water quality. They are however very particular when it comes to food because they only feed on specialized fish food made only for bettas including insects and bloodworms. Betta fish also has bright coloration with high fins probably the main reason why they are commonly sought after especially the male bettas.

Buying your choice of betta fish can sometimes be tricky because you would want to buy the healthiest one and this can be observed and selected based on their coloration. Usually the one with the brightest and most intense color should represent the healthiest fish. Be careful to observe in detail because some betta may have fungal infection and this is not easily visible due to the dark coloration on their body, so it would be wise to take your time to check out carefully before making your purchase.

Observe also on the overall surface of the body to see whether there are bumps or abnormal curve and this can be done by viewing either from the front or back portion of the fish. By right, the body should be smooth without any raised scales and any scars should be easily visible from there. Watch out for those betta fish sold by pet stores, which have already been injured due to fighting. Another thing, which you should take note is that, betta fish is very prone to dropsy, a fish disease which appears like a small bump or swelling in the abdominal region of the fish and is usually fatal.

Another guide to use when selecting your betta fish is to look at the fins. Normally, without any provocation, the fins should be fully wide open and spread out even as it stays idle. There must not be any holes or torn fins which should be a sign of injury caused by nibbling or fighting with other fish. Look out for presence of white spots, which could be fish ich and observe carefully towards the end tail of the fin, to see whether the fin is thinning or loosely attached in strands. This could be sign of fin rot taking place whereby the water quality is deteriorating.

Finally the last thing to look out for is the behavior of the fish. Betta is a very aggressive and considered a solitary fish. That means no other fish should be placed together in the same confinement even with other betta fish as well (except during breeding). Usually an active betta fish should be very alert and starts to move and spreading further the fins as you move closer. If there are other betta fish bowl beside (usually covered on the sides), you can try to remove the cardboard separator or divider to observe the response with the other neighboring fish.

Other type non-aggressive betta fish: Peaceful Betta (Betta imbellis)



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Healthy Fish Food Formula

Feeding your fish a well-balanced nutritious diet is very important to ensure that your pet achieve healthy growth and to bring out their best coloration. A balanced diet should consist of proteins, fats and oils, carbohydrates including vitamins, minerals and trace elements in the right formulation. However, the idea of right mix will vary considerably and that largely depends on the age and physical condition of different types of aquarium fish.

Certain species like arowana and oscar prefer meaty requirements in their diet while others are less picky when it comes to food and will generally accept anything that you feed to them. Providing wrong diet can be disastrous in the long run because the fish will end up malnourished and that could even cause them to be susceptible to aquarium fish disease.

aquarium fish formulaFor me, the most important factor to get a healthy fish is to provide them with a good mix between dried fish food and live foods. Carnivorous fish would require larger proportion of live foods while omnivorous cichlids and other tropical species need balanced mix between both, so it’s up to you to come up with the feeding schedule accordingly.

Today there are even different aquarium fish supplement specially formulated for certain requirements. These special foods are made with high protein used as growth enhancers especially for fish fry, extra vitamins and minerals to bring out special bright fish coloration, oils formula for growth of goldfish wen (headgrowth) and there are even medicated well-balanced nutrition for sick fish.



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Crystal Clear Aquarium Water

Probably one of common dreams shared among all aquarist is having crystal clear aquarium water. Most people consider this as tough and something, which requires a lot of effort but the fact is, if you follow some simple routines, this should be fairly easy to achieve.

From my own experience, there are few factors that actually help to get crystal clear aquarium water which I shall discuss and share here. Bear in mind that the suggestions are based on the assumption that all other external factors are perfect that is, there is no algae bloom, your aquarium is not overstocked and whatever fish supplies that you have added in has been properly rinsed.

clear water aquariumThe top priority in order to get that extra clear water is that, you must have a stable and established aquarium whereby the nitrate and nitrite is at low level and ammonia is of course at zero percent. During this stage, there is an equilibrium whereby whatever waste generated in the aquarium is efficiently converted to nitrite and then followed by nitrate by the bacteria that populates your aquarium. That is why it is very common to see all newly-setup aquariums will have cloudy water at the beginning stage.

Second, the type of filter is also another consideration. Aquarium filter not only plays important role to clear out the small debris by means of mechanical filtration but the filter media especially nylon wool is a perfect spot to establish your colony of beneficial bacteria. The difference is very obvious because you can see a large variation in terms of water clarity between an aquarium that use the right type of filter including the filter media and another aquarium that uses an undersized, inefficient, cheap filter. For the best clear water result, I usually recommend using either undergravel or overhead power filter with nylon wool as the media.

Whether you have live aquarium plants is also another factor that will enhance water quality. There are many benefits attached to it because not only does presence of plants help to enhance achieve crystal clear water, but they also help to establish the equilibrium needed as mentioned before in the Nitrogen Cycle. In fact, whatever waste present in the water is actually nutrients, to be utilized by the aquarium plants, and thus this helps towards getting the best water clarity.

Sometimes there are certain aquarium water clarifier solution which can be bought at aquarium stores and mix to the water to achieve crystal clear appearance. I do not suggest using this type of clarifier aid because basically what the chemical does is to bind together the small debris and fine particles to form larger molecules which are then easier to be filtered and captured when passing through the filter media. There’s a risk however, because basically there’s a possibility that the binding agent with the particles may collect and stuck at aquarium corners and tight spaces causing a whole lump to be collected there. Another potential risk to consider is the harm and adverse effect to the health of your fish if overdosing of the chemical occurs.

Having crystal clear aquarium water is very important not only does it enhance the beauty of your aquarium and lets you see and enjoy the fish much better but it is also projects your skill towards quality maintenance and your overall way of managing the small ecosystem. Other benefits also is that with cleaner water, expect the health of your pets to improve considerably.

Related topics: How to treat and condition tapwater for aquarium use and performing pH tests



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Community Fish Tank Maintenance

community fish tankIn order to ensure that your community fish tank stays healthy, there must be a proper routine schedule and checklist that is set up for one to follow every week. Unlike normal aquarium cleaning, community fish tank maintenance usually requires more tedious tasks because basically you need to maintain tight water parameters in order to accommodate every living species in the natural surrounding. As always, it is not necessary to remove all the fish and plants during maintenance because this will disrupt the ecosystem but what is more important is that every control and monitoring needs to be carried out at present interval without fail.

Let’s look at some of the basic tasks involved for any community fish tank maintenance. I would recommend you use the aquarium checklist here.

aquarium checklistpH and temperature check. Every fish in community aquarium has different requirements. Find out more about individual species preferences and use pH test kit for the adjustment.

removing algae by scrapping the sides of aquarium and hard to reach corners

siphon and clear off any waste material including dead leaves from plants

confirm nitrite nitrate level (basically the frequency of checking for newly-established aquarium is almost everyday but once it stabilizes, weekly confirmation should be sufficient)

vacuuming the gravel bed at least once a week by using gravel cleaner

servicing and changing the filter media for aquarium filter so that it won’t choked up

topping up the salt and check salinity for saltwater community tank only (you might be interested to find out more about how to change water for saltwater aquarium)

check aquarium lighting to see whether the fluorescent tubes still emit the same intensity of light (usually the tubes need replacement roughly every 6 months)

cleaning of protein skimmer (for saltwater aquarium) to ensure no accumulation of debris and hardened material at the chamber surface

weed out presence of pests especially aquarium snails (if any)


That’s it. Hopefully the list here can be used as a guide to properly maintain and ensure successful propagation of your community tank.



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Factors trigger fish spawning

Most people often get frustrated when it comes to fish breeding because they simply do not have patience. First thing first, that we need to understand is that spawning will only happen provided that the living condition is at its best particularly food and water quality especially pH and temperature. For certain fish like swordtail and guppy, breeding will occur naturally without any intervention while certain fish like discus will only spawn provided that there’s optimal living condition.

guppy breeding tankbetta fish spawning
However, at times when things doesn’t go the way we want, certain intervention is needed to change the current condition to induce spawning. These are some of the methods which I use, but care and caution is needed so that one doesn’t overdo it.
  1. Introduce lots of aquarium plants to provide extra hiding places (works well for neon fish). Presence of plants also stimulate natural instinct to breed.

  2. Changing water temperature. (Usually lowering the temperature 2-3degC from the normal 20degC will help to induce spawning for goldfish)

  3. pH factor (Different species will require different pH condition so check this parameter regularly with aquarium pH test kit to find out the value. Make adjustments accordingly to suit the fish species)

  4. Increase frequency of water changes (generally this will help to keep the water fresh and clean for the fish to become active and participate in spawning)

  5. Enrich the diet to include live foods. (Discus fish loves bloodworms and thus it might be a good idea to provide that extra nutrition for them)

  6. Create enough space for breeding. (Certain fish like arowana is difficult to breed and spawn in home aquarium and thus it is better to find large pond for them. Goldfish breeder also use similar method.)
But before you do any of those, make sure there is a male and female pair present. Just check the gender of your fish based on certain characteristics (use online information) and most people always get frustrated when their fish do not breed only to learn that they have similar gender pair. Certain species like discus will still continue to release eggs even though there is no male fish present but all the eggs will not be fertilized and ended up contracting fungus.

At times also, it is a good idea to ensure that the ratio of male to female fish is about 1:3 to prevent competition and aggressive behavior towards one another. This is especially true when it comes to guppies and swordtails whereby too many males keep on chasing and cause the female to die of exhaustion.

Suggested reading material.
Interested to find out about koi breeding technique? Learn about the correct method to select the best koi for breeding purposes.



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Oscar Tank Setup and Care

Oscar is one of the most aggressive and fierce looking tropical fish. They can grow up to very large size some reaching almost 40cm in length and they are known to be highly incompatible with other common home aquarium community species, often attacking or making a good meal out of the other fish. Despite their aggressive behavior, certain Oscar fish can even recognize the owner who cares for them and approach enthusiastically upon seeing the owner. Sometimes they can even nibble and trying to swallow your finger but there’s nothing to worry about because it doesn’t hurt since the teeth is at the back of the throat.
oscar fish tank setupalbino oscar
Oscar has a very huge appetite and they love live foods and will generally stay away from fish pellets unless they are very hungry. Their ideal diet consists mainly of high protein feed like beef, chicken meat, krill, grasshoppers, earth worms and to certain extent, bloodworms as well. And because of this, the aquarium water gets dirty easily and as such, usually the feeding schedule that involves live foods is right before the aquarium cleaning and water change. If this is not strictly adhered to and the water is left with all the uneaten leftover food, it will foul easily and leads to spread of fish disease as a result of poor water quality. For me, what I always do to ensure that I can still keep Oscar with minimal hours of aquarium maintenance, is to control their feeding regime and allow them to enjoy live foods every 3 days interval and the rest of the days only strictly fish pellets.

Oscar also requires large aquarium tank for normal development and also to ensure that they reach their maximum size. Other than the reasons above, large tank will also mean that water quality is much easier to control and maintain. A good guideline is to allow 20 gallons of water for every Oscar that you intend to keep and remember that they thrive well in warm water with temperature ranging between 25 to 28degC. Normally the best aquarium setup for Oscar fish should have a heater so that water temperature remains constant all the time. Other than that, a high-powered aquarium filter is also needed to ensure that water stays clean. The tank setup should also have a bare bottom without gravel for easy cleaning and live aquarium plants are not needed at all since Oscar will destroy those easily. However, there is no harm to have a least some large rocks with driftwood, which will provide a natural hiding place for your fish.



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

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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