Pictures some of the Most Beautiful Fish

most beautiful fish

What makes Golden Crossback Arowana Special

Golden Crossback Arowana is by far one of the most highly sought after arowana breed due to its brilliant gold color metallic sheen that shines when viewed under full-spectrum aquarium lighting. The fish is a favorite crossback species popular among arowana fanatics and because of its unique feature that projects an awesome display of coloration; no doubt it commands one of the highest selling price. The breed is graded according to its color intensity and what makes the crossback special is the line of golden scales that actually runs until the end of its body crossing the upper topmost scale (also called the 6th scale).

Golden crossback is actually an Asian variety of the arowana fish. Apart from the yellow gold color base, there is also the blue and also the green based of the crossback variety developed by experienced fish breeders. These days, with extensive cross breeding program undertaken by hobbyist, there is even a special variety which is called the 24K fully golden colored arowana. What makes this one truly remarkable is the absolute gold coloration covering the whole of its body and a quick glance would actually have you thinking on whether the fish was actually been painted gold. The variety first made its appearance couple of years ago in Malaysia and Singapore and today, it is one of the top high quality fish that could easily fetch few thousands dollars, sometimes even more. Another variety of the golden fish is the red-tailed golden arowana. Although somehow it is considered a lower grade specimen commanding a fraction of the price you would pay for a crossback, nevertheless they still share the same level of attention enjoyed by all arowana hobbyist. Unlike the crossback, the red tail only has golden scales showing on the 4th and 5th level and hardly goes above the 6th level and you can see the tail fins appearing slightly reddish.

rare crossback golden arowanaAcquiring a well-developed flawless specimen and finding one that fulfills the criteria of a perfect fish is indeed very rare (to certain extent exotic) as sometimes there is always a noticeable defect seen on every individual fish such as the dreaded drop eye condition happening on some of the maturing fish and the protruding jaw effect which can really hurt the overall aesthetic value. Also depending on the arrangement of the scales and proportion of its weight against the body length, a well-balanced type is always hard to come by and because of these factors; it has made the selection process even more delicate if you intend to find one matching your requirements. Sometimes in a pool of similar crossback arowana fry born from the same parents, each and every one can develop to become a unique individual fish and there are several factors like foods and nutrition, living environment, tank size, water quality with all playing a part towards the development process.

These days, buying a juvenile arowana is perhaps the best option if you can’t afford paying the price for getting an adult fish. Usually potential buyers in Europe will actually travel across the globe going to South East Asia where most of the highly prized specimen all resides in this tropical region. Some breeders are known to sell their stock of fish with accompanying certificates so that one can trace the lineage of their pets going back to its genetic traits. However, be forewarned because most arowana just like koi fish does not show its true potential until several years later in which males will take even longer time before they are matured. During this period, chances of undesirable characteristic appearing and imperfection may occur and it all depends on luck. As one would say, a perfect fish is only one in a million and that is especially true for the golden crossback arowana. Accompanying the article here, you will find the above combo pictures showing one of the high-grade crossback specimens projected at different angles with the snapshots provided by one of our readers. As you can see, it is indeed a magnificent work of art. (Note with the use of tanning lights to increase color intensity of the fish). Related topic: South American Giant Silver Arowana

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

What You Need to know about Freshwater Stingray

spotted freshwater stingray fishBelieve it or not, Freshwater Stingray is not at all an invertebrate just like everyone thought it was and in fact, it is a fish. The river species is considered one of the largest aquarium specimens to exist in the world and anyone who has the intention to keep it as pets in home fish tank should seriously think about how to accommodate them when they grow to become large enough. Unlike their saltwater cousin which lives in the ocean, the freshwater type has a rounder overall shape and depending on species some can have spotted or polka dotted pattern marking appearing on the top.

Freshwater stingray is commonly found in the rivers of Thailand and Cambodia, areas around Malay Archipelago in Borneo, the Amazon River and until today, native species can still be found to survive in wild natural habitats although their numbers have since dwindled up to the extent of extinction. Attempts to keep and breed the fish in captivity has so far produced desirable results and normally if you visit public aquariums, chances that you might always come across a river stingray among the exhibit display. A quick glance will tell you that most of them grow up to very large with some measuring almost in meter in their disk size and the tank easily measure anywhere more than 500 gallons minimum in capacity. There are some notable species however worth considering especially those smaller freshwater specimens which some hobbyist can have the chance to keep in home aquariums. One of them is the Tea Cup stingray and the other is the Motoro stingray. Both of them although classified as being small type specimen but the idea of seeing at 2-feet giant fish swimming in the tank doesn’t sound like anything close to being small at all!

The fish has a very hearty appetite meaning that if you constantly provide live fresh foods, they will do their best to finish everything up. Being a natural predator, the freshwater species love marine shrimps, mollusks like clams and they will also go on a feeding frenzy upon seeing small-sized market fish dropped into the water. With proper diet and nutrition coupled with strict feeding schedule, you will find that they can grow very fast adding at least 1 - 2 inches in just a month and by the time they get to about one year old, the size is almost close to their adult giant size. The tea cup freshwater stingray can be mixed into a community aquarium comprising of similar species grouped in the same biotope such as discus and freshwater angelfish. Try not to mix other fierce predatory tank mates such as oscar and arowana because that will introduce unnecessary stress in the aquarium and you will further deplete natural resource like oxygen and valuable tank space. Forget about owning a stingray as pet if you do not have aquarium size with the capacity of at least 200 gallons and the fact is that with their fast growing rate, nothing is ever enough for them. Recommendation from experts is that you should provide at least 500-gallon tank or else this will make it difficult for yourself and also your fish.

Keeping them in a confined tank is indeed a challenge. Always monitor the water quality and any extreme jump in nitrite and nitrate levels can be harmful and life threatening. Some freshwater stingray is a brackish type and thus adding some salt to make up to the certain salinity is always desirable (Check out the recommendations on brackish water setup for more information on this). Handling the fish is also another area that you should be concerned of. Untrained handlers who try to catch them can sometimes ended up getting injured and the spine can pieced through the flesh and cause deep wounds and cuts and sometimes serious injuries will result because those spines are venomous as well. My advice for those new to this hobby, is to find out as much information as they can and if possible seek out ways that will allow them to learn about hands-on experience from the other fellow hobbyist who can show the proper ways to handle the fish. This is especially important when it comes to cleaning the tank and also lastly what are the pitfalls to avoid.

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

Benefits of Natural Vegetable Koi Pond Filter

vegetable koi pond filterThe idea on using a vegetable filter in koi ponds is that this will act as a natural biological filter system involving propagation of fast-growing aquatic plants to consume off the nitrates and phosphates present in the water so that the quantity left isn’t enough to provide opportunity for algae growth. Normally these chemicals are generated by the koi fish excreted in their waste and the more numbers of fish that you have stuffed in your pond, the higher these levels can get. Without an effective filter system, blanket weed and algae bloom will develop causing problems leading to low oxygen content in the water and accumulation of toxic compound affecting health of your koi carp.

Floating aquatic plants are usually selected as the ideal species of vegetation and these involve mainly reeds, duckweeds and water hyacinth as they have bottom root networks that can capture the waste more efficiently than the other plant species. Use and implementation of this concept is similar to the construction of wetland systems in treatment of natural wastewater and hence, application in koi ponds is very much similar in working concepts except that it is considered a scaled-down version of the whole process. Setup of the system is very much straightforward as what you need is a separate compartment being built close to your pond and the water is diverted to it after it has undergone primary solid waste removal, usually accomplished using a vortex chamber filter. Both are usually used in conjunction to support each other and the main purpose for doing this is that the water before being fed to the vegetable system has to be free without presence of large particles so that clogging problems will not occur and the natural filter will take care of the rest. Ideally, plant-based filter system overall layout should constitute and made up of at least 25% of total koi pond surface area in order to be considered an efficient setup.

Vegetable filters have several advantages over normal conventional mechanical and chemical setups. First of all, use of plants is generally considered far cheaper. Apart from that, it is also considered environmental friendly as it will void the use of huge amount of electricity to support high powered pumps needed in other complex setups especially the need to drive the water through compact filter media. Head loss and pressure drop caused by blockage is often a prevailing problem associated with conventional pond filter system. Instead, by using a plant-based process, normally a typical low wattage pump capable of transferring the water to another elevation is more than sufficient to move things around and get the system running. Another reason worth mentioning here is that growth of natural vegetation actually attracts and promotes propagation of microorganisms and underwater aquatic species which in turns provides extra natural foods for your koi fish. If well-maintained, the system is actually self-sustaining without needing much intervention.

The only problem that lies with the whole setup is often with the time that has to be spent on pruning and clearing the extra growth of plants so that new younger vegetation can establish and new growth will consume the nutrients much faster. Apart of that, one of the disadvantages is that the water can sometimes lead to sudden increase in mosquito population which finds the chance to breed and grow within the root networks. However, this can be easily overcome by using mosquito fish or if you prefer other aquatic species, platy and guppy can be introduced as well to the vegetable filter compartment. Related: simple guide on how to construct koi pond

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

Protecting Koi Pond Using Cover Nets

Securing your pond with netting is basically one of the most important aspects of koi keeping as it ensures that your pet fish is protected from natural predators like heron and furthermore if you have kids or small pups, that will act as a safety feature preventing them from accidentally falling into the water. Furthermore, if your pond location is situated close to trees, falling leaves will become a major problem to deal with and thus having a secure cover means less time spent on cleaning the debris and maintenance. Netting although may not be that aesthetically pleasing but at least it offers some sense of security that what you are doing is correct and it doesn’t mean you have to cover it all the time. There are different types of pond nets available in the market and a quick survey shows that quite a number of options are available to choose from. Let’s look at some of the most popular ideas that people are using including the favorite selection by koi breeders.

pond netting coverkoi open pond
Hobbyist nowadays prefer pond cover net materials made from polyester with fine mesh size that allows good ventilation and at the same time giving ample and sufficient sunlight to pass through. Basically one of the main criteria that determine your choice and selection is getting a net that will not obstruct in any way and will provide a clear and unrestricted view inside the pond. Usually there is a supporting pole that creates a frame to allow the netting to sit on it but nowadays, the whole structure including the nets and the poles are purchased as a single custom-made items created specifically to cater for your pond size. In fact, there are also protective floating net options which basically can be rolled over to cover the koi pond. The price can vary considerably between suppliers to another and basically the items are graded according to the material of construction and manufacturers’ country of origin. I’ve seen before the knotted type of net covers and these are basically stronger compared to the mesh material and it also lasts far longer than any conventional type. Repairing damaged nets is a time-consuming and costly affair, thus my advice is to choose the right type depending on your needs and purposes.

Pond net covers are also widely used in aquaculture industry as it is a must for them in order for the fish breeders to protect their valuable stock from damage caused by predators. There are some suppliers that uses fine mesh as these offers the best solution to protect from certain bugs like dragonfly that can lay eggs in idle water and once the larvae hatches, it can consume and hunt down small koi fish fry. At times, koi nets are used to prevent the fish from jumping out from the pond although to me, providing netting is not a long term solution as we need to deal with the root cause of the problem itself. Fish willing to jump out from the water is actually a symptom caused by different conditions especially those related to water quality. Although there is no specific root cause to it, some jumpers are known to contact disease and there are unconfirmed reports that fluke or ich could be one of the culprits. Another possible cause to it could be due to cats that loves to grab the fish in its mouth and toss it out and that might lead you to think that the fish actually jumped out from the water, which obviously is not the case. If this is the real problem to all that we have discussed earlier, then netting is the possible solution to address the issue.

Related pet fish topics:
Pond Vortex filter system and Koi Pond designing tips and instruction

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

Achieving Natural Koi Growth without Hormone

large koi carpGetting your koi to grow to the largest jumbo size is often a challenging task and is always an ambition deep in the mind of every hobbyist. Imagine seeing a fat koi carp with sturdy and thick body mass and yet so colorful, swimming around in your pond as it creates a stunning looking view. However, getting your fish to achieve their maximum size using only natural methods without any growth hormone requires a lot of commitment and dedication and like the Japanese always said, discipline is the key.

Koi carp with proper care is provided naturally can achieve more than 2 feet in length and depending on the variety and nutrition given, can weigh over 30 pounds and that is an extreme gigantic size. I remember seeing one at a show competition that is so huge with the body width so wide and heavy and as it swims the around, the movement is not in any way affected by the bulkiness but instead projects a graceful and elegant flawless movement. Now, everyone should be excited with the prospect of seeing their favorite fish achieving that kind of standard as it will be a proud achievement for everyone into this hobby and will do anything possible in order to get that. But before we jump in further, let us try to understand what are the factors involved including the ways that we can do to get our pets achieving their maximum size.

Genetic is the main factor that determines the optimal growth size. Most of the time, it is not possible to find out their true bloodline because some koi sellers that import the fish might not have so much information pertaining to the parentage of the fry. If you get the chance to visit Nishikigoi breeders in Japan and buy directly from the suppliers there, then most probably there’s a high chance for you to record and trace whether the fish has true potential based on to their lineage. To sums it up, Chagoi which is a copper color variety is the biggest among all, similarly as with the other outcrosses of the fish. Females in general are also bigger to certain extent compared to males but this is not always true. However, if you have a breeder stock which you would like to maintain the necessary traits and then get giant breeds, you can always work on handpick by doing artificial selection to single out the fastest growth fry and develop them to their optimal growth potential (read up about koi selection for breeding). Thus, it is a very tedious task that might take a long time process to get it right and all this information has to be properly recorded for traceability purposes. By doing a proper record keeping, out crossing between koi varieties will have better to chance to develop a genetically larger fry.

Nutrition plays an important role towards how big they get. Put aside the genetic factor, if you have a koi that carry the genes that dictates high growth, it won’t get any further towards its true potential if the right food is not given. Basically there are quite a number of high quality koi pellets in the market, notably Dainichi, Hikari, Hai Feng, Nishikoi Wheatgerm and if you prefer giving medicated foods, you can try Medikoi as well. Dried pellets alone is actually not enough, personally I’ve known a hobbyist that provide beef heart combined with occasional feeding of live shrimps as a supplement to get them to put on weight. Some koi experts which I’ve talked to totally put a blanket ban and avoiding feeding of live blood worms because those are notorious of introducing disease that will make your fish sick and jeopardize their growth potential. Basically if you have time to try out your own recipe developed at home you can grind up wheatgerm paste with eggs plus spinach, and then add some pet vitamins to the mixture. Finally your feeding schedule should be adjusted to provide constant small amount of foods instead of one large meal which will cause them to feel bloated and the foods not properly digested before discharged. You will know that your koi is ready for the next meal when they start to get excited swimming around begging for foods.

Next is Environment. Koi can only attain their maximum length and size only if the environment in which they live in is right. Based on research, it was discovered that koi naturally will release some kind of hormone into the water and the more concentrated the level gets, this will inhibit further growth to your fish. All these facts sound logical to me because similar as their wild carp cousin fighting for survival in the wild, they must attain the proper and right body mass that balances itself with the environment that they live in which can support and sustain their population. Therefore it is very important that the water must be constantly replaced with a fresh, oxygen-rich water (rather than recycled water from pond filter system) to get them on the right track on their growth chart. Similarly as the pond becomes too crowded due to overstocking issue, the fish will generate a lot of waste especially ammonia which will create a toxic condition that pollutes the water that can cause problems with their health. Comparing between outdoor and indoor ponds, basically there are certain advantages with outdoor setup because temperature can be slightly higher and exposure to sunlight also plays a main role that ensure the UV will help in their coloration and maintaining the growth curve. However, if you have the luxury of space enough to accommodate both outdoor and indoor ponds (usually using poly tanks), that would be better because it will provide a certain advantage to have them kept indoors during winter season and avoid complete hibernation. In places where there is large area for creating mud ponds, that is considered one of the best option available and the main explanation why mud ponds are better is the availability of live foods and the minerals present in the mud itself.

Related topic: Avoiding stress in Koi which can inhibit their true growth potential

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

Ideal Fish Setup for Family with Children

family aquariumQuite often I will come across the same set of questions asked around on whether it might be okay for parents to get a fish tank for their children and what type of setup that will fit everything in terms of ease of care, maintenance and at the same time fulfill the fun and enjoyment part. If you have an interest going into the fish keeping hobby but at the same time have family with children to take care of, obviously there are a lot of questions pertaining as to whether you might have enough time to manage all that and there are several things that will come into mind about making the right decisions. Thus the article here is a compilation of all the common questions and hopefully putting my best effort to answer it will help to clear some doubts.

How do I make sure that the aquarium setup is safe for my kids?
Aquarium is a very fragile container designed to hold huge amount of water. Don’t be surprised that a fully filled 10-gallon tank can easily weigh anywhere between 80 to 100 pounds depending the level of the water plus overall material of construction. There are basically two different types of material used to build the tank, one which is acrylic (much stronger) and provide a clearer see-through view plus higher transparency rating while the other one is a glass type. In terms of costs consideration alone, of course the glass is much cheaper as that would fit really nice matching your budget but if you have children, I would suggest getting acrylic instead because safety is a major concern here. There have been numerous incidents such as glass tank leaking after some time, wetting the floor and potentially causing short circuit (if it comes into contact with electrical equipment) while other possible scenario is that cracks will appear due to negligence cause by children hurling objects and accidentally hitting it. As such depends on whether you are willing to go extra mile and spending extra, I would suggest that you consider the option on getting acrylic aquarium.

What are the types of fish which require low level of maintenance?
Oh, there are endless list of fish that I would come up with and I could actually spend the whole day talking and talking non-stop about this subject. But first of all before moving on further, what I’ve always told people was that depending on your knowledge and what you know about fish keeping, always consider getting the type of fish suitable based on your level of experience. If you are beginners then what you definitely need are those pets which are hardy with low requirements and maintenance and generally fish like betta, guppies, all fit into these criteria. Forget about demanding and buying based on instincts and what your heart’s desire dictates because those are always the biggest mistakes. Once you have gained more experience, you can start to consider keeping other types of pets such as goldfish (don’t underestimate, they are difficult to maintain), freshwater sharks, angelfish and even discus. For more information, read about choosing the best pet fish for kids.

I intend to get a small-sized tank, around 5-gallon range. Would that be okay?
Generally I’m always all out against the idea on buying a small tank. Although there are fish such as neon tetra, rasbora and even pencilfish that will fit into the confined limited space, however, what you do not know is that you are hurting your pets in the process. Small tanks with such low quantity of water, complicates control of aquarium parameters as you try considerably hard to maintain at certain ideal range. The fact is, water parameters such as pH, temperature, nitrite and nitrate levels will keep on fluctuating because the slight change will cause a huge effect with that amount of water available. For example, imagine putting a teaspoonful of salt into a bucket to and trying to taste the water, of course you won’t even notice the change at all but if you are diluting the same teaspoonful into a small drinking cup, imagine what the effect is like. The point that I’m trying to convey is that with lesser amount of water, the harder it gets to control the water chemistry and changes taking place in the small-sized tank.

Is there any extra precaution that I should take to safeguard the aquarium?
I’ve read real stories about children emptying a box of cereals to feed the fish including incidence of trying to catch the fish using a net and then putting on their palm. Children can always come up with all sorts of funny interesting ideas and I can tell you that they are indeed creative. In terms of location and access point, first of all, by all means get a sturdy and tall fish stand that will keep them out of reach. If you have made up your mind on getting an acrylic aquarium as per suggestion above, that will provide another plus point, but one more thing you shouldn’t miss out is getting a tank that comes complete with a proper hood. This will at least deter them from trying to open the hood and do some funny things but anyway, this is just a short term solution as the most effective approach that goes a long way is trying to educate them about proper sense of responsibility and love of living creatures.

Thinking of something different and out-of-the-box ideas? How about having something special like the unique fish bowls.

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

Heniochus Bannerfish False Moorish Idol

Heniochus BannerfishHeniochus or better known as Bannerfish (in German it is named Wimplefish), actually belongs to the same large diverse group of Butterflyfishes family which includes the Chaetodon genus. Just like its close Chaetodon cousin, with the Heniochus being another genus under the same collective group, they all bear the same similarities in which they all have a flat body and protruding snout which varies in length between one species to another. The fish is often confused, being mistaken for Moorish Idol because of their close resemblance in terms of appearance but unlike the latter; Heniochus is much easier to take care of and they thrive naturally under artificial saltwater tank environment, acclimatizing to wide range of conditions.

Because of these, they are often selected as an alternative replacement for those seeking to have an elegant looking marine fish to the tank and yet something stress-free to handle. Thus, the fish is often referred to as False Moorish Idol or sometimes one would call it as “Poor Man’s Moorish Idol”, somehow to imply that it is a second-tiered lower class choice of fish. However, put aside the rather biased perception, there is actually nothing wrong with keeping them as pets to create the stunning aquarium look because they are still unique and special in their own ways. I would definitely recommend yourself having a first hand look at the fish before deciding or coming to the conclusion on whether they live up to the standards comparing against the Real and True Moorish Idol.

There are 8 different species classified as belonging to the Heniochus genus. Acuminatus or rather aptly called Long-Fin Bannerfish is the most common among all. The dorsal fin that extends out and ends in a pointy shape is perhaps the best eye-catching feature that made people get attracted to the fish. The beautiful elongated fins can sometimes outgrow the overall length of its body and the older the fish, the longer it gets. Another species that is the perfect lookalike is the Heniochus diphreutes or Schooling Bannerfish which is basically slightly different based on the shorter snout and pointy anal fins. Both the acuminatus and diphreutes are schooling fish which means that they prefer to travel in large groups and moving in synchronized pattern all swimming together in shoals.

In terms of aquarium community behavior, the bannerfish is regarded as one the best choice of fish that can live harmoniously without interfering with the daily activities of the other tank mates. To describe them, one would say that they are pretty shy and tame and most of the time they will go along minding their own business searching for foods without caring what is happening around them. Among the possible different species you can consider trying to mix with your Heniochus can be blue hippo tang, clown fish, bass anthias and damselfish. In terms of suitability for reef tank, there is quite a big question mark here with different accounts and opinion given by different people but my view is that they are generally considered as reef safe which means that they do not go about tearing apart the large polyps corals or mushrooms on purpose.

However, coming to certain situations when they are starving or sometimes searching for foods, they will start to exhibit their nipping behavior, accidentally shredding away pieces of the corals causing damage in the process. Thus, I would ensure that the fish are well-fed in order to avoid coming to this situation as the reefs can be very expensive to replace and grow back. Looking for reef safe community pet fish? How about trying out the endearing and loving triggerfish or even a hogfish wrasse.

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

What Causes Stress in Koi

Koi under stressStress in your koi pond can be due to several factors that we could have easily overlooked. Normally most conditions can be dealt with and corrected without bringing any harm or danger while other scenarios can be indeed complicated. Most often the impounding danger that lies within is not detected and some end results may not show up at all until it is too late and I can tell you that seeing your fish becoming sick is the last thing that you want to happen which will virtually kill off your interest in the hobby.

Koi fish which are under stress is often blamed to be the main cause leading to stunted fish condition. From the picture attached herewith, you can see that the fish appears rather listless and the overall growth from head to tail is rather imbalance and out of proportion. Other potential threats when subjected to hardship condition are development of life-threatening disease and you will risk losing you precious pet. Compiled here in this article, you will find 6 common reasons that you will need to avoid at all cost, which I will explain and elaborate going into details on every one of it.

Overcrowding normally happens when there is an overwhelmed enthusiasm taking place as a result of the owner trying to stuff as many fish as possible into the small pond. What they do not know or realize is that with more and more livestock trying to cramp into such limited living space, it will mean less natural foods to go about and stiffer competition to get precious resources such as oxygen and nutrient and all these can cause the fish to become stressful. Overcrowded condition will also mean higher generation of fish waste and water will get dirty and murky due to the buildup of unwanted by-products. Sometimes it is good to have enough hiding spot made up of plants for the koi to rest and stay away from attention but if you have too many of them living so close together this is certainly not healthy at all.

Water Quality
Water is the lifeline of your pond system and I would say that how healthy and active your pet fish is generally depends on how well or how superior the quality of water that you are providing. Water with presence of ammonia is toxic to aquatic lives while fluctuations in nitrate and nitrite levels can cause unhealthy condition leading to stress affecting your fish. Your pets are more likely to feel jumpy or agitated if the level is at the extreme side and if these conditions are not corrected immediately, it will cause them to fall sick. Usually in order to avoid it, make sure that you perform routine water changes, conducted periodically and one should stick to the schedule and never miss it. Other than that, you should also watch out for pH changes especially a sudden shift which can also be fatal. Finally, don’t forget that the right living temperature plays a main role that determines how healthy your koi can be.

Choice of Pond Mates
Not all fishes can coexist in harmony getting along with each other. Some are aggressive species that will eat smaller fish while others with their natural behavior is a bully and will pick on others until they become too frightened even to come out. There are certain species that will enjoy nipping on the fins or scales of other fish although those are actually not their main source of foods. Fish that get hunted down and bullied upon will often hide for fear of their lives and sometimes the one that get injured may eventually die. This is something that you should always put into consideration and if your intention is to set up a koi pond, I would suggest keeping only combination of koi, goldfish and certain species of catfish all staying together in the same confinement. Some varieties like the Chagoi are often friendly in nature and hobbyists are known to introduce them specially to get all the fish to harmonize and swim together when it comes to feeding.

Poor or Unbalanced Diet
small fish pelletsAnother root cause of stress affecting the aquatic system can be related to diet which are the foods that you provide to your fish. Diet which is lacking in certain basic component or nutrients will cause your pets to experience stressful condition normally related to low immune system and thus appear less healthy. I’ve always believe and advocate the importance of providing a varied diet combining live foods and pellets but if you prefer to stick to the feeding regime of providing only packed dried fish pellets for you koi, make sure that you select and choose different brands so that you can be sure that your pets are getting the best, just in case one particular brand is lacking in some nutrient and others will make up to it.

External Factors
Always be careful on where you decide to dig and construct your pond. Choosing location close to a heat vent will cause the water temperature to rise rapidly to an uncontrolled level. When this happens your pets will have a hard time adjusting and adapt to the new environment. At times if you have kids that like to run around the house and having a habit of stirring the pond water and throwing things into it, this will definitely make your fish startled and scared. Certain people make the mistakes of placing their pond close to glaring light source which can make the koi fish feel insecure because of the glare and sudden light movements. At times, other creatures such as cats or birds can also cause stressful condition to your pets which will definitely swim away in fear.

Poor Maintenance of Pond Equipment
One of the main problems that can cause undue stress to your koi fish is the improper usage or lack of servicing to some equipment such as pumps and filters. Accumulation of debris that clogs up the bottom drain system and pond decorations can sometimes lead to proliferation of bacteria that comes from decaying organic material that get trapped in between the small gaps. Also make sure that the filter media located in the compartment is regularly cleaned and sometimes a barren pond bottom without having any gravel is much better as it can save you a lot of time especially during water changes. I would always suggest a simple and plain-looking setup for your pond will do unless you have a superior self-cleaning system or you are willing to commit time to regular maintain it.

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.