Pictures some of the Most Beautiful Fish

most beautiful fish

Popular Dottybacks Saltwater Fish Family

A quick glance will tell you that the Dottybacks are small sized colorful marine fish but not knowing to the unsuspecting aquarist, they are also one of the most territorial and aggressive saltwater fish family often compared to the likes of freshwater bettas. They can found in different varieties and some of the dottybacks are often mistaken and wrongly identified to be royal gramma basslet because both of them share a close resemblance with each other especially in terms of coloration and shape. However in actual fact, both fishes belong to totally different fish family. Most that are seen domesticated as pets in home aquarium are mostly aquaculture farm raised while only a small percentage are actually caught from reef sanctuaries.

Based on my knowledge, there are at least 10 different commonly seen and rather popular species sold in pet shops. Although there are hundreds more different types as crossed reference with wikipedia sources, (some of which have not yet been domesticated in home aquariums) and regardless of which type of dottybacks, all of them bear one similarity in which they all have attractive strong coloration with some ranging from red mixed with purple to others having yellow and even striking neon. They also share the same territorial behavior that defines their trait but what makes it different from one species to another is that some can be less aggressive compared to the others. Dottybacks normally grow up to 2 – 3 inches in length, mostly doesn’t go much larger than that size but there are some unique species which can attain up to 6 inches in total measured from head to tail.

Generally depending on individual preferences, for me, I would prefer keeping those smaller ones but don’t undermine these little chumps as they could prove to be one of the most difficult pet fish to handle. I often find myself getting annoyed with one of my dottybacks pecking at my fingers while cleaning the tank and doing routine water changes. On another occasions, I even hear complaints coming from fellow hobbyist that their dottyback will pick on their clownfish until it has to be removed from the tank. Thus if your main idea is to set up a peaceful saltwater community aquarium, I would suggest you put aside your option to keep them together. Therefore, no matter how colorful and how cute they are, it is your responsibility to ensure that adding the new fish will not harm the others. So far, setting up a special single-species aquarium just to keep them should be okay as long as there are ample hiding spaces among the corals. However, there are some suggestions coming along saying that keeping your dottyback with damselfish is also fine but personally I haven't try that out. Others have even brought up the name of Heniochus wimplefish but I would advise you to be careful since you can risk getting your fish intimidated this way.

Below you will find a list on the collection of all the dottybacks that I’ve come across so far, together with their accompanying pictures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do keeping them as a pet.

orchid dottybackmagenta or purple dottybackbicolor dottyback

Less Aggressive (more suited for community aquarium)
Orchid (Pseudochromis fridmani)
Springer’s (Pseudochromis springeri)
Sankey’s (Pseudochromis sankeyi)
Orangetail (Pseudochromis coccinicada)
Yellow (Pseudochromis fuscus)

Highly aggressive (trouble getting along with other fish)
Diadema (Pseudochromis diadema)
Neon (Pseudochromis aldabraensis)
Bicolor (Pseudochromis paccagnellae)
Sunrise (Pseudochromis flavivertex)
Magenta/Strawberry/Purple (Pseudochromis porphyreus)
Dilectus (Pseudochromis dilectus)



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

Bass Anthias as Reef Tank Addition

Fancy Sea Basses or popularly known as “anthias” is one of the most brightly colored and beautiful exotic marine fish in the aquarium trade. They are one of the hardest fish families to keep in captivity due to their inability to adjust and live in home saltwater aquariums. Most of the time even the most advanced marine aquarist will lament on how difficult it is to make them adapt to artificial fish tank environment and usually the species is categorized among the group with one of the lowest survival rate. Even if they do make it, the mortality rate will keep you wondering where your mistakes are and aquarist who managed to domesticate them are those that have gone through trials and errors to be successful. The reward however of achieving the feat is definitely worth all the trouble.

For me, I’ve so far failed in several of my attempts that I’ve decided it’s best to leave this fish alone to the experts. Nonetheless, I will keep my options open and will definitely try again provided there is a chance when I have more time to spend looking after my pet fish. Based on my research, there are several species that made up this diverse fancy basses member. One which I owned and among the most commonly found is the lyretail anthias which has an uncanny resemblance to some freshwater fish. The sunburst or some would call it as fathead anthias has glowing pink body with the front head appearing slightly larger. The dispar or sometimes called redfin anthias (due to their unique fin coloration) is another common species which you will come across and the other is the Bartletts with one half of their body in purple and the other half yellow including the tail. You can refer to the pictures provided below for easy identification. Note that anthias is sexual dimorphism species meaning that there is a difference between the male and female fish in terms of structural buildup, body size and color which you can make out. Male lyretails for example are larger in size and the fins will extend longer compared to the females.

Lyretail male anthias with females at the backgroundyellow tail Bartletts anthiaspink sunburst fathead anthias
All the fish no matter how well or how long they have been in the fish tank is natural that they will easily get startled and if that happens, the whole group will dash to a hiding spot. Anthias are best kept in large numbers and if possible, try to avoid putting them with the other fish in a community aquarium. To make your pets feel calmer, always work on to control the lighting in the tank because what I find is that lowering the light intensity level will help but make sure that the setting is not too low until it jeopardizes the growth of your corals. Thus, striking the balance is something learned through trials and errors and with experience. One notable factor is that most fancy sea basses get hunted down in the wild as food fish eaten by larger predators and therefore don’t be surprised that they always get picked upon by their larger tank mates. This is something that you will need to consider before setting up a community fish tank.

Aquariums that house the fish need to have a good circulation system with strong current and movement powered by a tank filter unit so that water can also be cleaned at the same time. The fish will mostly prefer to feed on meaty diet and thus crustaceans and brine shrimps will qualify as excellent food options. It would be a good idea to keep them in a reef tank because the species with their behavioral instinct will always need hiding places for them to feel secure. Male anthias can be very territorial and usually they will swim in a group accompanied by a number of female fish. If perfectly cared for, they will present a stunning display of underwater reef world as they actively swim around, moving gracefully as they go about with their daily activities.

Other saltwater marine fish stocking options:
Clownfish, Royal Gramma, Triggerfish, Seahorses, Wrasse and Jawfish
Discussion on Natural Seawater Vs Synthetic Saltwater



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

Info on Royal Gramma Basslets

royal gramma basslets fishThe Royal Gramma is easily identified based on it unique coloration which has one part of its body in purple and the other half at the tail end appears as yellow. The fish has a quirky and funny way of swimming, going sideways and then switching to different angles and most of the time, this will fool people into thinking that they are actually sick, which obviously they are not at all. Because of its beauty and special style of movements, it is not surprising to find aquarist wanting to keep them as pets as they will make wonderful addition to any saltwater tank.

The royal gramma belongs to the grammatidae family which is known as the basslets group of fish. Most of the grammas seen nowadays are commercially bred in saltwater farms and then sold to retail pet stores. There are some suppliers still selling wild caught fish snatched and taken from their homes in the Caribbean, thus I wouldn’t recommend yourself getting your stock of fish from these suppliers. Reason why is that not only it is cruel but your pets will probably have shorter life-span due to their inability to adapt to artificial saltwater tank environment. Generally it is quite difficult to distinguish between a commercial bred and a wild caught fish, domesticated in home aquariums because both specimens can appear lively and healthy in the tank so it is your duty to ask and check carefully. Luckily, most honest sellers will tell you the truth if you take the effort to confirm with them.

Feeding
Your pet fish is a carnivorous species that prefers to eat small crustaceans like shrimps and small-sized crabs. However, if you can’t provide constant supply of live foods all the time, I suggest that you use specialized marine pellets but be sure to give them their favorite foods from time to time at least once every two weeks to maintain their health and vigority.

Behavioral nature
Royal grammas will live in groups and in order to keep them in large numbers (4-5), you can only do that if you add them altogether when they are young at the same time. Never buy 3 and then add another two after few weeks later because I can tell you that these won’t work because the existing fish will become hostile and attack the newcomers. Unless you have a very huge fish tank (at least 80 gallons) your chance of keeping them in large numbers will dwindle. The best setup for your pets should confine only a pair of this fish to any one single tank.

Grammas are also known to be a good jumper meaning that even with your excellent existing tank water conditions, due to their nature of always trying to escape from the tank, you better ensure that your aquarium has a proper hood closed at all times and the top sections which doesn't have a gap that will let them get caught and stuck there in case they jump out.

Disease and Care
Identifying a sick fish is very easy as the change and fading coloration will tell you that they are not feeling well. This will be accompanied by reduced activity not normal from their usual behavior and if they prefer to stay away from attention and hide all the time, then something is not right. The first thing that you should do is to check your water quality.

On another note:
Although basslet bear close resemblance to another saltwater fish called dottybacks, do not confuse and mix up between both of them.



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

Beginner's Damselfish for Marine Tank

Damselfish is a highly diverse fish family and also a hardy marine species suitable for both the reef and saltwater tank. They are considered a beginners’ fish and usually qualify as an automatic choice for startup aquariums and also for hobbyist new to the marine field. Different species of the fish comes in a variety of strong colors with the blue and green being most common but there are also the red and metallic species gaining popularity among the circle of saltwater fish keepers' community.

Newly bought young damselfish is easy to keep and acclimatize to the new tank condition. Normally their survival rate is considered the highest compared among the other different groups of domesticated marine species. The fish to certain extent and depending on the types of damselfish, some will require for them to thrive in shoals meaning that an ideal number to live together is about 5 – 6. When getting a new pet for your home aquarium, make sure that all of them come together with about roughly the same size and the minimum tank capacity to house them should be at least 80 gallons and above to prevent the fish turning aggressive against each other due to space competition.

So far, there are quite a number of popular Damselfish species with the “Blue Devil”, “Green Chromis”, “Yellow-Tailed” among the favorites. Lately I’ve also seen some new varieties with metallic coloring making its way to the pet store but however, the exact name for the species hasn’t yet been investigated and find out. Although many claim that the fish can tolerate any kind of water parameters and conditions but as a general guide it is better to keep it within a certain ideal range. You can use the references provided in a table form below so that you know where you are and what is best for your aquarium damselfish.

different damselfish speciesFrom left, Blue Devil, Green Chromis, Yellow-Tailed

Parameters





Range to control
Salinity





1.022 to 1.025
Temperature





Depending on the species, tropical types require about 27 to 30 degree Celsius
pH





7.7 to 8.0

Diet and Feeding
Your pet is not very particular about foods given to them. They will accept almost anything but fresh supply of natural plankton and phytoplankton that comes in liquid bottles should be provided from time to time. Apart from that if you can afford it, supplement of artemia is also encouraged.

Disease Problems
Damselfish are susceptible to various parasitic and bacterial infections caused by poor water quality in the aquarium such as high nitrite and nitrate levels. Sometimes introduction of contaminated water coming from addition of new fish could also pose a major problem. Another possibility that could lead to them becoming sick is due to infection coming from open wounds occurred during fighting and accidental injury caused by sharp edges with some aquarium decorations.

Community Behavior
Most community saltwater aquariums will have damselfish mix with either triggerfish, tang, jawfish or angelfish species. Normally your damselfish will be added first before introducing the others. Close observations and quick interventions are the keys to successful and thriving population of marine fishes. Another possible tank mate is the royal gramma.



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

Clown Fish Facts with Pictures

Clown Fish is considered a hardy marine species requiring moderate care and attention and they are always an automatic choice, often added to a newly set up fish tank. The fish is regarded as one of the favorite family pets popular among kids and they are widely known as the icon from the movie Nemo. Depending on the level of knowledge that the fish keeper has, clown fish can be quite relatively easy to handle but often proves to be extremely difficult especially for newcomers with no prior experience in saltwater aquarium.

Clown fish is also one of the most ever demanding community species when it comes to making them adapt to an existing community tank with different fish mainly because of their unpredictable behavior especially with their interaction with the other species. In the past, most wild caught clown fish are extremely difficult to ensure that they survive and live long enough in home aquariums mainly because of the symbiotic relationship that require the anemones (which is an invertebrate sea creature with tentacles) to be present. However today, things have changed as the new generations of tank-bred fish no longer need the anemones around although it does help to have the invertebrates to keep them company.

Raising Clownfish – choice of either making a single species tank or community aquarium
There are two different options as to how you want to raise the fish which is to either keep them in a single species tank or get them to acclimatize to an existing community aquarium. Generally the captive-raised clown fish if properly fed and cared for can easily grow up to 3 inches in length and the size will vary depending on the type of species that you own. If you have a saltwater marine aquarium (>100 gallons) large enough to accommodate at least 3 to 4 of the same species, then I would suggest buying them in groups when they are small (about a year old) so that when they grow up, chances for any two fish to become a breeding pair is much higher. Although not compulsory, somehow doing this will ensure that there is certain level of competition among the group to survive and this also help them to have social interaction with each other as well. As they grow older, one of the larger and dominant clown fish will become the female and turns out to be the leader. After bonding as a pair with another male, it is time to remove the other clown fish as the pair will do their best to defend their chosen territory.

maroon clown fish tomato clown fishorange-fin clown fish
Maroon Clownfish is easily identified based on their bright red coloration with thin vertical white stripes. The dorsal and ventral fins are split into two parts.
Tomato Clownfish is the cutest of all and it appears orangery with presence of only one vertical strip close to the gills.
Orange-finned clown fish is the most brightly colored of all the Amphiprion species. It has blue stripe against a dark orange backdrop and has yellow fins
ocellaris clownfishpercular clown fishclarkii clown fish
Unlike the rest of the clownfish species which has thin white vertical stripes across its body, the Ocellaris Clown fish has wide expanded bands appearing at the center of its body with the orange backdrop.
The Percula clown fish look almost identical to the Ocellaris except that it has additional black color shades and bands appearing between the white stripe.
Clarkii or sometimes called Clark's clown fish is recognizable based on its two white colored bands on its dark body. The mouth and tail fin are yellow though.

Mixing clown fish to an existing aquarium seems to be more difficult. As explained previously their behavioral change can be of a sudden. Thus, in order to avoid all these problems, you should only introduce your clown fish when they are juvenile yearling and there are certain rules regarding the type of fish that they can live together with. So far, cardinalfish, damselfish, royal gramma are the best companions for them while hawkfish, predatory lionfish and moray eels are definitely out of the question. Further to that, mixing between different species of clown fish won't work as they will fight to claim their territory and so far, according to science journals, there are at least 25 different species altogether that has been identified till date. Therefore, do not make a wrong decision and conclusion thinking that all clown fish are the same. In order to help you to identify which group your clown fish belongs to and to avoid mixing between different species, hopefully the attached pictures in the table above will help you to make a wise decision.

Finally if you are an experienced hobbyist knowing the ins and outs of maintaining a freshwater tank, then I would suggest getting a saltwater aquarium with the clown fish to start with. One thing I can tell you is that your kids of definitely love them. If clown fish is not your idea of an ideal aquarium fish then I would suggest reading this article for the list of recommended best pet fish for kids.



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

About Me

My Photo

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."

Have any comment, suggestion, picture or article about your pet fish experience you would like to share? Use the Contact Me Page.