Pictures some of the Most Beautiful Fish

most beautiful fish

Which is better? Floating or Sinking Fish Pellets

floating sinking fish pelletsThere are different opinions among fish enthusiasts as to whether floating or sinking pellets is the better type of fish foods given to your pet. But before I start, I would like to make a statement that neither can be considered superior compared to the other and your choice of whether to use floating or sinking pellets mainly depends on which type of fish species that you have. If you have bottom feeders like pleco and catfish, it would make perfect sense to give them sinking pellets while top and middle dwelling fish, it would be best if you provide them with floating pellets but those sinking pellets can also be considered as well. However, as I’ve said earlier, there are of course exceptions.

Under different circumstances depending on which type of fish species, there are several reasons on why you shouldn’t use sinking type for your middle and top dweller community fish. Foods that remain at the bottom of the tank will often get lost and missed out by your fish and thus gone wasted. Sinking pellets will also pose a problem especially those tanks that have large sized gravels because once the food touches the bottom bed; it will disappear into the gap. The foods that sink to the bottom will also most likely get sucked and trapped among the filter media and the condition gets worst especially if you have an undergravel filter system. Sinking foods that remain at the bottom of the tank will eventually rot and this will lead to proliferation of bacteria that may cause spreading of harmful fish disease.

When it comes to goldfish, it is a totally different scenario. There are some disagreements among experts as to whether floating or sinking pellets should be best fed to their fish. But basically based on my own experience, it is better if you use a sinking type instead because goldfish being a greedy pet will usually dash and swim towards their food and during the commotion while grabbing the pellets, they will end up sucking air into their stomach as they gulp their meal. Usually what you can observe is that air pockets will get trapped in their poo discharge and prolonged condition are sometimes blamed as the cause of flipping disease seen happening on goldfish. Therefore my recommendation has always been to strictly use only sinking food pellets for your goldfish.

As for koi, they are actually considered as bottom feeders and the reason why I’ve said so is because if you observe carefully, the fish has their mouths pointing downwards. This natural anatomy means that sinking pellets are best fed to them because it is easier for your pets to take a gulp of the foods. However, this doesn’t mean that floating foods cannot be offered to your fish as this will bring them up to the surface of the pond for your closer look. Koi enthusiasts mostly prefer to give their pet floating pellets because this is the time that they usually get the chance to view and get friendly with their fish. As for myself, I will use a combination of floating and sinking pellets as fish feeds for koi.



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Stunted Fish Condition

stunted discus fishStunted fish” is a condition whereby it is used to describe a fish which has stopped growing and the size it achieves is actually below the normal average size of a typical adult specimen. Usually stunting can happen when you malnourish your pet, stuff it in a tight living condition (small mini tank) with poor water quality or the condition can also happen due to genetic disorder as seen with defective strain.

One of the most typical examples which I’ve seen occur when a fish become stunted is on Amazon discus. Normally an adult fish which are well cared for can easily grow to attain a size of one foot and above with the best living condition provided at all times. Usually one of the main culprits leading to an undersized adult discus fish is basically related to the diet whereby natural discus in the wild would normally get all the live feeds with high protein which it can find comprising mostly worms. In home aquariums whereby aquarists will usually refrain from using live feeds to avoid fouling the water and substituting with dried pellets, this will usually lead to the fish not getting a well balanced diet.

Confined space limitation as what you typically see happening in home aquariums, will also subject the fish and exposing them to the risk of becoming stunted or not growing at all. Usually overcrowding is major problem because aquarists always have the tendency to think that whatever space in the tank not filled should have gone wasted. But this is not the case because if your pet doesn’t get the room to swim freely and flex its muscles, it will never grow to attain the right size. When this happens, I would suggest you remove some of your fish to another tank or give them away for adoption or else, you risk causing the whole batch of fish getting poisoned due to heavy waste concentration in the water or as described above, they will also ended up becoming stunted.

Stunted growth also has negative implications towards the health of the fish. There are reports that claim that despite the overall size of the fish not getting bigger, the organs will actually still continue to grow and enlarge. Personally, I’m not sure how true this statement is because basically some of the discus fish which I had that become stunted actually still remains fertile to produce the next generation of fry that can grow normally to an adult size. Strange, but this is true based on my observation. However, in certain species like the guppy, stunted fish often do not live long and as an enthusiast, it will be very depressing having a pet which did not grow to a large adult size and it will soon suppress your interest towards the hobby.

Related fishkeeping topic: Factors causing fish to jump out from tank

Articles that might also interest you learning on different fish species -Jaguar Cichlids, Blue Acara and Bubble Eye Goldfish



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Keeping Hawkfish in Marine Community Tank

Hawkfish is known for its exciting bright coloration which attracts the attention of marine hobbyist to keep them as pets. Unlike common freshwater and saltwater species, different type of hawkfish can exhibit wide range of color spectrum depending on where the location that they are found. The flame hawkfish for example, is cherry red in coloration and that extends even to the fins and eyes. Therefore, if you create a marine tank using white corals as the substrate as in the picture seen below, this will definitely bring out and highlight the coloration of the fish.

flame hawkfisharc eye hawkfishfalco hawkfish
Despite its special attribute, overall the species is a unique type of fish which doesn’t swim or wander around and they basically stays at the bottom of the tank lying ideal. I remember reading an article related to the fish in a book saying that unsuspecting aquarist who first gets to know the species, actually thought they were sick or dead but in actual fact this observation is just their normal behavior. Further investigation and research about the fish, tells that the reason why they lie idle is because the hawkfish actually lacks an internal organ called the swim bladder which allows them to control their accent and descent in the water.

In the natural wild, the hawkfish actually spends most of their time lying close at the base bottom, hiding among corals waiting for foods to come by. They especially love small sized fish and shrimps which make ideal meal for this predatory fish. Despite their knack for meaty diet, the fish however is not as aggressive as what you think and they make perfect companions for your other community marine fish like chevron tangs, banggai cardinal and scribbled angelfish. Usually they will get along well minding their own business but however, caution has to be taken if you intend to mix some highly aggressive territorial species like the yellow dwarf angelfish or other larger sized tang fish together with them. Since they have wide mouth with a large appetite for invertebrates like crabs and shrimps, you should consider excluding them along if you intend to set up an invertebrate tank.

So far, there hasn’t been any report underlining successful reproduction of hawkfish species bred in captivity. Most of the fish variety such as longnose, archeye and falco hawkfish which you can see sold in aquarium stores are mostly wild caught fish in deep oceans and they rarely survive artificially-constructed home aquarium environment due to acclimatization and the process of getting adapted to confined space living condition. Although they are generally hardy with high tolerance of treatment chemicals and parasitic resistance, you should never neglect their needs and you must aim towards maintaining the best water quality such as having a protein skimmer, powerhead filter system and also using live rocks as natural biological filters.



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Understanding Aquarium Sharks

hammerhead sharkSharks are not the type of fish where you would want to keep in mini size home aquarium because they can easily outgrow any tank which you initially think they would fit well. Apart from that, they are known to notoriously yank off flesh if you try to hand feed or just putting your hand in the tank during water change. Because most of the shark species, require special attention, obviously they are not the type of pet you would want swimming in your pool either and keeping them for viewing pleasure in captivity are best left to professional expert handlers in large Marine SeaWorld. However, that does not mean we should not take the effort to know them better.

Most people will often think of sharks and perceive them as a creature bound to become men’s worst enemy. Just like any other fish species, they also have the right to survive and being a predator in the sea eating mostly small fish, generally they don’t go the distance to search out human and destroy us as one would think. In fact, sharks are actually hunted for the fins and most of the time after the parts are removed, they were thrown back to the open sea and left to die. Well, you can judge for yourself whether it actually the humans or the sharks to be the enemies here and there has been a long-standing debate on this matter on whereby they deserve to be protected from such treatment.

Sharks kept in public aquariums are very sensitive to changes in water chemistry, salinity, temperature fluctuations and they are particularly fussy about having metal components that form the aquarium housing system. Filters or Protein skimmers sometimes will contain certain parts made up of alloys or metals and that will cause the fish to lose direction and dash aimlessly not knowing where to go. This condition can be life-threatening and it will wreck the whole aquarium system, injuring itself often by cutting through sharp edges during the frenzy. Apart from this problem, their huge appetite also means that the water will foul easily and that creates an unhealthy environment for the fish to live in.

In terms of breeding, different species of sharks are known to undergo different process of reproduction, with some laying eggs, some will give birth to live young fish and they have surprisingly low birth rates as well. Depending on species, generally young sharks are also slow-growing and their presence in the wild are being threatened by fishing activities that often get them caught in nets and ended up being thrown away. The fish is also highly susceptible to disease and their response using normal treatment chemicals and medications often produce poor results. In fact, they will resist any copper treatment which are often used to treat marine fish and the fish is also known to harbor parasites in their body that normally comes from unclean foods offered to them.

Again, my stand is that you should never attempt to keep and breed the sharks in your home aquarium even if it means constructing the best technologically advanced aquarium setup you can think of. Finally, if you still have the knack and enthusiasm to have something that resembles a shark, then you can even consider some freshwater shark family like the red tail black shark.

Other aggressive fish: The deadly red belly piranhas
Guest Post contributed by Larry Stewart (marine biologist, writer)



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Marine Banggai Cardinal Fish

marine cardinalfishCardinalfish is widely kept and accepted as pets in marine home aquarium because of their ability to adapt to confined tank environment and they can easily survive in captivity to reproduce generations of fry. The cardinal fish is categorized under the Apogonidae family and is made up of one of the most diverse groups of genus and species totaling more than few hundreds. One of the most popular fish that is often adopted into tropical reef tanks is the banggai cardinal fish or better known as the highfin cardinal (scientific name: Pterapogon kauderni). The fish has the trademark thin extending fin and can be easily recognized by its gray and black coloration.

Apart from the banggai, there are also different species of the fish with different characteristics but they all share one common trait whereby they are generally adaptive and are not shy or easily startled like the tang or butterflyfish. Most of them are either black or gray color mix like the highfin cardinal while there are some which are overall orange like the Apogon cyanosoma and there is also the pajama type which has dotted spots. All the fish that form the cardinal group has the size of the eyes which are rather large relative to the body. Wild cardinals are known to reach 8 inches in size while those kept in captivity can be slightly smaller ranging from 5 to 7 inches only.

The aquarium setup for your pet should be at least 80 gallons and above. Cardinal can be mixed with other fish species, kept solitary or even buy them in bulk to form 6-8 in a group to create a single-species tank. Those that are grown in captivity can easily adjust to any established marine reef tank while those caught from the wild may take few weeks to adapt to the tank environment. Nevertheless, almost 80% of the wild fish are known to make it and survive. Cardinals are also known to resist common marine disease and they don't die for no apparent reason and as long as you carry out proper quarantine procedure before placing them to home aquariums, everything would be generally fine. When it comes to feeding, your pets is also not picky as they will readily accept invertebrates (which you provide constant supply by setting up an invertebrate tank) and high quality marine flakes.

Breeding cardinal fish is one of the most interesting subject to explore. They are known to be one of the marine species that will mouthbrood and take care of the young. Unlike freshwater cichlids having the mouthbrooding characteristics whereby the task is performed by the females, the saltwater male cardinals will do the incubating instead. Once the eggs are hatched and released from the mouth, you can start feeding the banggai fry with freshly hatched brine shrimp. One note of advice is that if you have an extra tank, try to remove the other fish species or else most of the young cardinals will end up getting eaten even with the attention of the male fish looking after them.

If you are a marine hobbyist with the intention to preserve the treasure of the ocean, you can also read up topic on Environmental considerations when setting up a marine reef tank. If you are a cardinal fan, you can also read up about the pajama species belonging to the same fish family.



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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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