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Keeping Tilapia Fish as Pet

Red TilapiaTilapia is more commonly known as the type of fish served in restaurant rather than the one kept in aquariums as pet. However, that doesn’t mean that fish tank hobbyist do not fancy having the fish around as there are some who would rather keep them in large viewing tanks rather than putting them in ponds. They are also easy to keep without needing much attention which is why they are popular among beginners to freshwater fish since some common mistakes are unlikely to harm them.

Tilapia forms a large group of fish family comprising 3 main genera which are Sarotherodon, Tilapia and Oreochromis. All the fish that belongs here are collectively identified as having the same characteristics and appearances which are native to the rivers in Africa. They are basically a type of cichlids and among the most popular species in this group are Blue tilapia, Red tilapia and Wami tilapia. Tilapia fish is also identified using different names such as Snapper and Mojarra but basically it all points back and refer to the same type of fish.

Keeping a tilapia in aquariums is very much different from having them in ponds. Although the fish can tolerate wide range of water quality (those usually not suitable for common freshwater fish), the water for tilapia kept in aquariums has to be always clean leaving minimum debris floating around or else it will defeat the purpose since the hobbyist need to have a clear view of it in the display tank. They are heavy eaters meaning that if you feed them regularly, soon enough you will find that they can grow up to very large size in a matter of months. Based on my own experience, the tilapia fish that I had was only about 2 inches in length but grew to over a foot in just 8 months. During that time, the fish consumed a lot of food ranging from live worms, insects and even vegetable waste and it was quite a challenge trying to keep the water clean just for viewing pleasure.

pink tilapia cichlid fishThe water condition to house your pet fish should have the temperature somewhere from 20 to 30 degree Celsius although anything out of that range which is too cold or too hot is not recommended. They are not the type of community fish suitable to be kept with other smaller fish because they will gobble up the food leaving nothing for the rest of the tank mates. So far, the best companion that I’ve found for them are corydoras catfish which complements well with their behavior of sometimes leaving uneaten food around. All in all, if you are an avid hobbyist who likes the pleasure of having an active companion around and look upon challenges to maintain perfect living condition, then I would suggest keeping tilapia as a pet.

Other undemanding freshwater fish: Climbing Perch

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All About Giant Gourami Fish Profile

giant gourami fishThe Giant Gourami is perhaps the biggest of its kind among the labyrinth fish family known for its ability to take in and breathe normal air. Just like other species in this group such as the banded gourami and pearl gourami, this giant type is very much similar in terms of body appearance and aquatic behavior except that it can grow up to 70 cm in length and that is more than 2 feet in length, which is how the fish got its name.

The giant gourami (scientific name: Osphronemus goramy) is a native fish found on the island of Sri Lanka and today the species is widely caught and bred in aquariums not just for the purpose of ornamental fish trade but also as food fish served on dinner table. In its juvenile form, the fish itself is already 15 cm long and thus a normal sized home aquarium measuring about 100 gallon may not necessarily enough to accommodate it once it has attained full-grown length. Because of its size, this tropical species is often bred in backyard ponds dug at least 1 meter deep for them to have more swimming area so that they can attain maximum growth.

If you have intention to breed this gigantic species, the process is only possible if you have adult fish which is about 2 years old and the pond surface is full of vegetation so that the male can build its nest. What the male will do is that it will tear off bit and parts of the aquatic plants and then arrange it in a hemispherical shape with bubbles blown right in the middle of the nesting zone. Once the fish is ready, the mating ritual will begin and the pair will spawn to produce eggs.

Success rate of getting a full grown stock raised from the collected fry can be quite high provided that care must be taken to ensure that there is no spread of unwanted fish disease especially fluke. As such, once fish fry is noticeable and can be seen free swimming, I will quickly transfer them to their own separate pond and just for precaution, I will usually add in about 1% of methylene blue and having other fish medications on standby just in case. If properly fed with high protein fish feed mixed with some vegetable offering like salad and sliced tomato, soon enough you will find that you will run out of space to keep all of them. From here, your only choice is to part with some of the stock by selling it and keep only the healthiest breed to continue to the next generation.

Related Interesting Post: Search for Friendly Fish Companion
From giant to dwarf gourami group, find out about the Yellow Sunset Gourami and Chocolate Gourami.

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How to Breed Kissing Gourami

kissing gourami breeding pairBreeding kissing gourami (Helostoma temminckii) is often a skill that depends mostly on luck in order to be successful. Unlike other species of the labyrinth species, breeding the fish in home aquarium rather than natural ponds to produce young offspring can be challenging with no guarantee of success.

First and foremost prerequisite is that you must have a breeding stock that is made up of at least 2 mating pairs with each of the mature fish reaching about 12cms in length. For the fish tank used for breeding purposes the size must be large enough measuring at least 2 feet in depth and is about 1 meter in length. The surface of the tank water should be filled with floating plants such as Limnophila aquatica or Hygrophila difformis so that these will become a substrate for the eggs to attach to.

You can also consider adding dried grass collected from lawn or open fields and this is often a good idea because the covering actually serves two purposes. First, this is to protect the eggs from the attention of their parents which are known to devour their own eggs while second, dried grass are known to harbor infusoria which will later serve as nutritious foods for the young fish fry.

The water condition that houses the mating pair should be crystal clean. When the gourami fish starts to mate, the male will produce a seemingly random number of bubbles that rises to the water surface and when the eggs are released it will also follow this random fashion. This is in total deep contrast with other labyrinth species which will instead build a bubble nest on a single spot. A healthy pair of mating kissing gourami is capable of producing at least a few thousand eggs per spawn and the parents should be immediately removed once this is done.

After being released, the eggs will float and attach to the plants which we have put in earlier and after 4 days time period, the young gourami fry will be free swimming searching for foods. This is the time when you should ensure that they get the best diet that they deserve. I would suggest providing brine shrimps or microworms and apart from that, combine with fine crushed fish flakes to fill up their stomach.

Pink and Green Kissing Gourami Species Profile

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Blue Acara Cichlids Fish Care Information

blue acara cichlids fishBlue Acara also known by its scientific name of Aequidens pulcher is a type of fish belonging to the Cichlidae family. The fish’s natural habitat is in the South American region centered about rivers across Colombia and Venezuela. Blue acara cichlids can be easily identified based on it magnificent iridescence blue color display that is simply stunning with specks of blue color spots distributed mainly on the fins and gills area.

A full-grown fish has a relatively thick body and the mature size can easily reaches 5 to 6 inches in length. To ensure that they develop a nice beautiful body and form a successful breeding pair, one must ensure that they receive constant supply of live foods mixed with some green supplement such as algae wafer. The sexual morphology between the male and female blue acara can be hard to differentiate because they look almost the same. Seasoned fish breeders will tell you that the males have elongated tip starting from the dorsal up to anal fins but however, I find that this way of observation can be rather inaccurate.

In terms of environment adaptability, blue acara seems to prefer water temperature in the range of 72 to 79 degree Fahrenheit. In order to ensure that the fish is free of common aquarium disease, it is advisable that one should replace about one-third of the tank water with fresh treated water every 2 days depending on the age of aquarium. Established tank would generally be more stable and it is easier to maintain a crystal clear water condition even when you increase the quantity of food fed to your fish. In terms of pH and water hardness, so far there are no specific preferences but it would be better to control the water at close to neutral pH with the water slightly hard.

To bring out the color of your pet, one of the tricks is to enhance illumination of the tank using high-grade aquarium lighting. To provide the fish with natural habitat even in home aquariums, try to create a well-planted fish tank using rocks, pebbles and also driftwood arranged together with live aquatic plants as a perfect hiding spot. It is also recommended that the tank should also be covered at one side using an aquarium paper backdrop so that the fish will not get startled easily. There are different setups which you can choose to adopt and the number of options with different combination using different arrangements on the aquarium decorations can limitless.
More on the ways and techniques to decorate your fish 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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