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Clown Loach
5 likes Loaches
(Chromobotia macracanthus) Moderate Peaceful 16" 75 gallons 76-86° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.5 Omnivore Indonesia, Borneo, Sumatra Cobitidae Loaches Large-Bottom-Dweller The Clown Loach is common within the aquarium trade, as it is available from most all local fish stores and online retailers. However, the Clown Loach is also a commonly misunderstood species as many hobbyists do not realize the size it attains or the natural environment that it comes from. Clown Loaches get big, easily exceeding 12 inches in length and commonly reaching upwards of 16 inches. They also prefer to live in groups both in the wild and in the aquarium, thus an aquarium with a group of 12 to 16 inch fish needs to be quite large. Secondly, Clown Loaches come from fast flowing streams and rivers that have abundant current and excellent water conditions. Many aquarium hobbyists add Clown Loaches to aquariums that do not contain much water current and with water conditions that are good, but not great. It is because of this lack of understanding of the needs of the Clown Loach that many do not do well in aquarium environments that are not well suited for their needs. However, if you have a very large aquarium with strong water flow and an efficient filtration system capable of keeping the aquarium water low in nitrate and dissolved nutrients, Clown Loaches do make an excellent aquarium species that can be kept with a wide variety of community, semi-aggressive and even most of the aggressive fish species. This species will require a larger aquarium that can accommodate their large adult size and provide them ample swimming room. Strong filtration is needed to process the large bio-loads produced by a larger fish species and to keep the water quality as pristine as possible. The substrate should ideally consist of softer material like sand or small pebbles in order not to scratch or irritate the Clown Loaches stomach as it moves about the bottom of the tank. Ideally the lighting should be somewhat subdued or at least not extremely bright as Clown Loaches are typically more active at night in the wild and often inhabit dimly lit underwater caves. Aquariums housing Clown Loaches should ideally contain some driftwood, rocky caves or low light plants to provide a natural setting and provide a sense of security for the fish if they feel threatened. Clown Loaches are sensitive to poor water conditions, very bright lighting, cooler water temperatures and large fluctuations in water temperature, all of which can cause them to become stressed and more prone to diseases like ich or other parasites. Clown Loaches will eat a wide variety of foods including scavenged meals from the aquarium substrate. However, it is best to feed younger specimens multiple smaller meals throughout the day consisting of quality foods designed for freshwater fish species or made up of items that the Clown Loach would feed on in their native habitat. Some good options commonly available to most hobbyists include: freeze-dried, flake and pellet foods made from meaty foods or plant matter, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, etc; manufactured sinking wafers (algae, carnivore wafers...), fresh or blanched vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini or lightly boiled peas. Larger Clown Loaches can be slightly more picky in their eating habits and will appreciate chopped prawns or similar large meaty items fed a couple of times per day.
Florida Gar
4 likes Gar
(Lepisosteus platyrhincus) Moderate Semi-aggressive 34" 180 gallons 68-84° F, KH 8-20, pH 6.5-7.8 Carnivore USA, Florida, Georgia Lepisosteidae Gar Ancient-Fish Florida Gar (Lepisosteus platyrhincus) are found in both Georgia and Florida in the southeastern United States. Their natural habitat consists of streams, river drainage ditches, lowland streams, canals and lakes. They prefer calmer waters with plenty of vegetation and floating sticks and other debris. Florida Gar are typically found in areas with shallow calm water, dense vegetation and sandy or muddy substrates, as this environment is ideal for ambushing prey. Florida Gar are often confused with Spotted Gars, but are distinguishable from each other primarily by their snout length. The distance from the front of the eye to the back of the gill cover is less than 2/3 the length of the snout in the Florida Gar, while it is more than 2/3 of the length in the Spotted Gar. Also the Florida gar lacks bony scales on the throat area. The elongated snout with the nostrils located at the tip is an ideal adaption for the Florida Gar as it allows them to float motionless at the waters surface to mimic a stick floating in the water. Since they can breath with either their gills or a special lung like air bladder the gar can survive in hot, stagnant waters that might not have sufficient oxygen for most other species of fish. Florida Gar will appreciate an aquarium with a habitat similar to their native habitat. Ideally the aquarium should have low to medium water currents, plenty of vegetation and a sand or mixed sand and gravel substrate. Lighting is not critical, but they will appreciate areas of the aquarium with filtered lighting either by floating plants or tree root. Young Florida Gar can be raised up in smaller tanks like a 55 or 75 gallon and then transferred to a larger aquarium as they grow. Adult specimens living in an aquarium will reach somewhere between 24 to 36 inches in length, which means that a 180 gallon aquarium should be considered an absolute minimum tank size for this species. Ideally they should be kept in an aquarium somewhere between 300 to 450 gallons with a wide long foot print and shallow depth. The Florida Gar is not aggressive towards other large fish that it does not see as food, thus their tank mates should consist of other large fish species with a peaceful to semi-aggressive temperament. Florida Gar will most often not fair well in aquariums with very large aggressive Cichlid species like Peacock Bass, Flowerhorns or Managuense as they cannot compete with these ultra aggressive fast swimming species. In the wild young Florida Gar feed mostly on insect larvae and small fish, while adults prey on fish, crustaceans and larger insects. Florida Gar are ambush predators that will float silently near the water surface disguised as a stick or log waiting for unsuspecting prey to get too close and then they snap their head sideways and grab the prey with their sharp teeth. They will need to be fed a variety of meaty foods like fish, prawn, shrimp or crickets in the home aquarium. Hobbyists may find that it takes some time before this ambush predator will adjust to aquarium feedings, but they have strong appetites and with a little persistence should be able to adjust to aquarium life. Florida Gar have strong appetites and grow quickly; therefore, their growth rate and food intake should be monitored closely at first in order to determine the ideal amount of food and feeding frequency to keep them healthy and control their growth. A good starting point would be to feed them 2 to 3 small meals 6 days a week, while monitoring their overall girth until a feeding regime can be established. Florida gar spawn mostly during the months of April and May, but spawning occasionally lasts into the late summer months. The female spawns by distributing her adhesive eggs in shallow pools, weedy backwaters, or shallow areas near the bank river bank. The eggs are greenish-colored and are fertilized by two or more attending males. The newly hatched larva has an adhesive disc on the front of the blunt snout, which it uses to attach itself to gravel or vegetation. The larva remains attached until reaching an approximate length of about 1 inch. As a juvenile, the gar has a fragile fin that extends along the upper edge of the tail and vibrates constantly. The fin is lost during the first year of life. The young grow rapidly feeding on zooplankton and tiny crustaceans that they find in the substrate near the waters edge.
German Gold Ram
3 likes Rams
(Microgeophagus ramirezi) Expert Peaceful 3" 20 Gallons 76-84° F, KH 1-8, pH 5.0-6.8 Omnivore Farm raised, selective breeding Cichlidae Rams New World Cichlid Aquarium The German Gold Ram is a selectively bred variant of the common Wild Ram, in which breeders have accentuated the natural gold coloration. While Wild Rams (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) are endemic to the Orinoco River basin, in the savannas of Venezuela and Colombia in South America, the selectively bred German Gold Ram is raised in fish farms in Germany, Southeast Asia, Israel and North America. Their natural habitat is warm (25.5-29.5 °C, 78-85 °F), acidic (pH 4.5-6.8) with slow flowing waters, containing very few dissolved minerals, and ranging in color from clear to darkly stained with tannins. Wild Rams are typically found where cover from the heavily vegetated shoreline or fallen or submerged trees and tree roots provide them with shelter from larger predatory species, while offering plenty of feeding opportunities with micro-crustaceans and insect larvae. Juvenile specimens tend to be a little bit dull or transparent in color, but will quickly "color up" as they mature into adults. Since Rams have a relatively short natural life span of about 2 years, they mature from juveniles to adults rather quickly. The short lifespan of this species is also a factor when selecting individuals for purchase as the larger more colorful specimens tend to be older individuals. Older specimens also go through a form of menopause where they no will no longer spawn, thus hobbyists looking to breed need to select young specimens. German Gold Rams are generally considered to be an expert level only fish species due to their rather specific water parameter requirements. Wild Rams require soft acidic water with very stable pH and water temperatures; however, selectively bred farm raised species like the German Gold Ram are more flexible on water parameters. While farmed raised specimens are more tolerant of water parameters, they do require excellent water conditions. While their small size makes them suitable for smaller aquariums (20 gallons), it is generally easier to maintain more consistent water parameters in larger aquariums. They do best in groups of 5 to 10 individuals as opposed to a single specimen or a pair; however, an established or mated pair will also do well together. Keeping a group of Rams requires a reasonably sized aquarium (30 gallon plus) to properly support the group. Rams require excellent water quality with a low TDS (total dissolved solids), along with solid biological, mechanical and chemical filtration. High quality water conditions are usually achieved by using a canister filter, sump filter or high-end power filter that is sized for the next larger aquarium than the one being used to house the Rams. Weekly partial water changes are also good at keeping TDS low and overall water quality high. Rams are best housed in groups of 5 or more individuals, as they would live in social groups in the wild. While they are peaceful towards other tank mates, they fight amongst themselves to establish a group hierarchy. Larger groups of fish help to spread out their in-fighting, which makes it easier on the group as a whole. They prefer aquariums with a sand, gravel or mixed substrate, plenty of plants and driftwood. Rocks, live plants and driftwood also work to create territory within the aquarium so that individuals can establish their own space within the tank. As the German Gold Ram is a selectively bred farm raised species, they are very used to consuming commercially processed flake and pellet foods. They are generally considered aggressive feeders, who will eagerly swim to the aquarium glass as the hobbyist approaches in anticipation of being fed. As with most fish species, it is best to feed them a variety of food items in order to provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune system. Meaty flakes, mini-pellets, freeze-dried worms and frozen brine and mysis shrimp are ideal for German Blue Rams. They should be fed a couple times per day and amount that they will consume within five minutes. German Gold Rams once they are sexually mature will form monogamous pairs prior to any spawning activity. Generally the first signs of spawning activity is that the male Ram will aggressively keep any other male Rams away from his female and their preferred spawning location. In general the mated pair will become very intolerant of other Rams or similarly sized and shaped fish species in their desired spawning location. Typically Rams will spawn on flat rock surfaces, smooth flat wood surfaces or in small depressions that they will dig in the substrate. Like many Cichlids, Ram Cichlids practice bi-parental brood care, with both the male and the female playing roles in caring for the eggs and defending their spawning territory. They will typically produce a clutch of between 125 to 325 eggs, though larger clutches have been reported. The parents will watch over the eggs, defend against fish trying to eat the eggs and fan the eggs with their fins if they determine there is insufficient water flow or improper temperature near the nest. After about 40 to 48 hours, the eggs will hatch into larvae, who will not be free-swimming for approximately 5 days. After which the parents will escort the dense school of babies to areas of the aquarium to forage on micro fauna, insect larvae or other micro foods.
Neon Tetra
3 likes Tetras
(Paracheirodon innesi) Easy Peaceful 1" 10 Gallons 68-76° F, KH 4-8, pH 4.8-7.0 Omnivore Amazon, South America Characidae Tetras Community Aquarium Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) originate from the streams and flooded woodlands of South America. Their native habitats also range from areas with substrates covered in leaves, branches and tree roots to areas with clear water, sandy substrates and dense growth of aquatic and bog plants. Despite still being collected in the wild, their immense popularity within the aquarium hobby has led to extensive breeding programs that breed large numbers of specimens for the commercial trade. They are a relatively small fish, but are very impressive when kept in medium to large schools. When kept in a good sized school, their bright colors and darting swimming motion are truly impressive to watch. Mixed groups of Neons and Cardinal Tetra will also readily school together, with the bigger the school, the better they tend to look. Neons do very well in most community tropical freshwater aquariums, where their tank mates are of similar calm disposition and are not large enough to see the Neon as food. Due to their small size, Neon Tetra can be comfortably housed in smaller aquariums and even nano tanks. However, they should be kept in schools of 8 or more individuals and aquariums of at least 10 to 20 gallons or more. As is the case with most small fish species, stable water parameters are very important. Quick fluctuations of water temperature, pH, etc. can shock the fish and cause them to be more susceptible to stress related diseases or even cause death. The ideal tank conditions for Neon Tetra will include: stable pH & water temperatures around 78° F, low to moderate water flow, plenty of both tall and ground cover vegetation, tree root or driftwood and peaceful community fish tank mates. The Neon Tetra is one of the most peaceful species available within the aquarium hobby. They do well in any peaceful community aquarium containing small to medium community fish species and non-predatory medium sized Cichlids. Keys to successfully keeping Neon Tetra with larger community species include: keeping them in groups of eight or more individuals, providing plenty of vegetation or other suitable cover, providing adequate space in the aquarium (prevent over crowding) and keeping their larger tank mates well fed. In the wild Neon Tetra feed on a variety of items including: small invertebrates, small crustaceans, insect larvae, filamentous algae and other similar fare. Being an omnivore, hobbyists should provide a mix of algae, vegetable based and meaty foods. Quality commercial flake, freeze-dried or frozen foods make an excellent staple diet. Hobbyists should also mix in items like bloodworms, daphnia, baby brine, etc. in order to vary the diet and provide a balanced diet. It is best to feed small amounts of food 1 to 3 times per day and occasional abstain from feeding for a day or so from time to time.
Red Belly Pacu
3 likes Pacu
(Piaractus Brachypomus) Easy Semi-aggressive 42" 500 gallons 75-85° F, pH 5.0-7.0, dH 4-10 Omnivore Amazon Basin, South America Characidae Pacu Cichlid-New-World The Red Belly Pacu is one of the largest freshwater species that can be kept in a home aquarium. Originating in the Amazon Basin of South America, this huge cousin of the Piranha grows quickly and can weigh over 50 pounds. As juveniles the Red Belly Pacu almost perfectly mimics a Red Belly Piranha for defense, but once they are large enough, not many fish species will ever bother them. Although they have special requirements (a massive aquarium with strong filtration), if those requirements are met they are easy to care for and are a very hardy and long lived (20+ years) species that is readily available from both local and online retailers. Red Belly Pacus require and aquarium of 500 gallons (preferably much larger) as they will grow large and will do it quickly; they also need to be able to turn around and are much happier in groups (and anything less than 500 gallons would unlikely support more than one specimen). They prefer a sand to fine gravel substrate with several large pieces of driftwood and rock structures for shelter as well as soft, acidic, blackwater conditions. Live plants are usually out of the question because the Red Belly Pacus will generally devour them as the main part of their diet; although it has been said that they tend to stay away from Java Moss... perhaps floating Anacharis could be a tasty treat now and then. Strong and efficient filtration is a necessity to ensure good health and clean water due to the extremely large biological load this species will have on their environment; high-end (possibly custom), external biological and mechanical filtration (e.g., a sump-style wet/dry filter) will be needed and quality chemical filtration is also recommended. Red Belly Pacus are generally a gentle, peaceful species, but they can become territorial once they are older and much larger. They can be mixed with large cichlids, South American catfish, and various large Pleco species; some compatible tank mates could be Oscars, Arowana, Lima Shovelnose Catfish, Redtail Catfish, Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, L-234 Plecos, Polka Dot Lyre Tail Plecos, Sailfin Plecos, Geophagus altifrons, and Parrot Cichlids. Ultimately, tank mates will need to be chosen wisely and should at least be over 10"-12" as adults. Red Belly Pacus are omnivorous and will pretty much eat anything, but in their natural environment they mainly eat surface and aquatic insects as well as large amounts of vegetable matter. The main part of their diet focuses on vegetable matter as well as some small fruits (aquatic plants, broccoli, romaine lettuce, strawberries, etc.), but they will also eat meaty food items such as crickets, earthworms, bloodworms, and brine shrimp; they should also be fed quality pellet foods for both carnivores and herbivores alike. A variety of the foods mentioned will keep them happy and healthy.
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Khris DeCapua
Mc Rodolph Valdez
Tiger Oscar
3 likes Oscar
(Astronotus ocellatus) Easy Semi-Aggressive 14" 75 Gallons 74-85° F, pH 5.0-7.0, KH 2-4 Omnivore South America Cichlidae Oscar New World Cichlid Aquarium The Tiger Oscar was the first, variant (selectively bred) of the original, Wild Oscar from the Amazon River basin in South America. Tiger Oscars are one of the hardiest and most popular Cichlids in the hobby and have the closest resemblance to Wild Oscars out of all the other, selectively bred Oscar variants. They are extremely intelligent and can distinguish their owner(s) from strangers as well as associate them with food; they will also develop and display unique and interesting personalities. In addition to their constant "begging" for food, they can also be trained to eat from their owner's hand; which is why they are sometimes referred to as river or water dogs. Tiger Oscars have a base color of tan to gray with varying black, tan, gray and bright orange markings on their body and fins (although their pectoral fins are usually translucent with no additional colors or markings). They also have a black, ocellus spot at the beginning of their caudal fin which is bordered in a bright orange outline. Tiger Oscars require an aquarium of at least 75 gallons and should be provided with a sand or gravel substrate and multiple places where they can find shelter (driftwood, rock structures, vegetation, etc.). Tiger Oscars are known to dig in substrate, which will cause uprooting in regard to live plants; live plants should have strong root systems, be placed in pots within the substrate, or species that will attach to and grow on driftwood and other structures should be used. Water changes (at least 25%) should be carried out every 2 weeks (or more or less frequently, depending how efficient the aquarium filtration is). Tiger Oscars are very hardy fish, but they are also big and messy eaters and eventually they will have health problems if their water chemistry is not maintained; filthy water is usually where "one-eyed" Tiger Oscars come from as well as Tiger Oscars that have developed HITH (Hole-in-the-Head) disease. Tiger Oscars are omnivorous (more accurately, facultative piscivores); they love live foods and enjoy the chase (your live plants won't), but will also readily accept many other foods. Tiger Oscars require vitamin C and will develop health problems in its absence. Ideally, Tiger Oscars should be fed a variety of foods, such as live, frozen or freeze-dried ghost shrimp, minnows, bloodworms, blackworms, mealworms, earthworms, and crickets. To make sure they are getting enough vitamins and nutrition, Tiger Oscars should also be fed some prepared foods such as Cichlid pellets or sticks. Tiger Oscars are egg-layers that practice brood care; a breeding pair of Tiger Oscars will become very aggressive towards other tank inhabitants. Once a mated pair is established, the female Tiger Oscar will lay around 800 eggs in a carefully cleaned, flat location (driftwood, flat rocks, slate, etc.) within the aquarium. The eggs will hatch in 3-5 days and the fry will be free-swimming within a week. The newly hatched fry can be fed a diet of baby brine shrimp (and crushed flake food) and moved to other foods as they mature.
Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus
3 likes Discus
(Symphysodon spp.) Moderate Peaceful 8" 55 gallons 78-86° F, KH 1-3, pH 6.0-7.5 Omnivore Amazon, South America Cichlidae Discus Community Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus are a selectively bred or man-made species of Discus that accentuate a yellow checkerboard pattern over a white base color, highlighted by orange eyes. The tails of Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus are almost always clear with slight yellow or orange markings, with the dorsal and caudal fins often having some black markings on the very edge of the fins. Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus's coloration depends greatly on the types of food that they are fed. If they are fed foods high in red enhancing ingredients like beta carotene or Astaxanthin red algae, the Yellow Pigeon Blood will develop a more orange or red appearance. Many common commercial fish foods contain red enhancing ingredients, thus it can be difficult to keep Yellow Pigeon Blood in a mixed aquarium where many different foods are fed to different fish species. There are foods like Discus Madness's Yellow Beefheart Mix which is enhanced with yellow chlorophyll, designed to keep yellow coloration in fish. Wild Discus originate from the Amazon River Systems of South America, where they were first imported into the aquarium hobby in the early 1930s. Ever since their introduction into the hobby to this day, Discus are considered one of the most colorful, demanding, rewarding and expensive of all tropical freshwater aquarium fish species. Due to their popularity and the high price tag that they command, Discus are very popular with fish breeders. Over the years breeders have not only raised enough tank-bred specimens to largely fulfill the demand from the aquarium hobby, but have developed completely new color strains and patterns as well. Discus are very popular amongst intermediate to advanced fish keepers, and are widely considered to be one of the most rewarding and challenging to keep of the freshwater tropical community fish species available within the hobby. In the wild, Discus are found living in the upper tributaries of the Rio Negro and Rio Madiera along with the surrounding lakes and flood plains. The water is very low in mineral content, which makes it "soft" water with a low pH ranging from 4.0 to 7.0. The water also maintains very stable and consistent water parameters year round, including water temperatures that range between 80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit both during the day and night. When keeping Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus in the home aquarium, it is extremely important to replicate their natural surroundings and water parameters as closely as possible. It is also very important to maintain very consistent water parameters that have very little fluctuations in pH, temperature and dissolved minerals. Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus aquariums should closely resemble their natural Amazonian habitat with plenty of plants and branching root. Water parameters should be very consistent with a stable pH, temperature between 82° to 86° Fahrenheit with low to medium water currents. Discus can thrive in a wider range of water parameters as long as the changes are not sudden and the fish has adequate time to adjust to changing parameters. Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus should not be housed with aggressive or boisterous fish species or in aquariums with intense lighting or strong water currents. If strong aquarium lighting is used for plant growth, be sure that the density of the plant life is great enough to provide shaded areas for the Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus to retreat to when needed. Strong biological and mechanical filtration along with weekly partial water changes are required to keep water quality high and water parameters consistent. When keeping Discus with live plants, it is best to keep the aquarium pH between 6.0 to 6.8 and a lower water hardness of 150 PPM or less. Lastly, be sure to maintain excellent water quality at all times as Discus do not leave a lot of room for error when it comes to water quality and consistency. Recommended tank mates include: most Tetra species, peaceful loaches, cory catfish, smaller Plecostomus species, Siamese Algae Eaters, Ottocinclus, Rams, peaceful Rasbora species, Rainbow fish, Hatchet fish and Pencilfish. Being closely related to the freshwater Amazonian Angelfish, it was assumed that Discus breeding requirements would be the same. Early hobbyists removed the eggs, attempted to hatch them in a separate tank and grow the fry on. We now know this is not possible with Discus because fry consume the mucus excreted from the sides of the parents. Discus were not successfully spawned until the late fifties with Jack Wattley in America and Eduard Schmidt-Focke in Germany doing the pioneering work. During the 1970s breeders began to concentrate on producing more colorful Discus with a broader range of colors and patterns. They selectively bred specimens for their blue striations that eventually produced Turquoise and Cobalt Discus, while other breeders intensified the natural red striations that later produced Pigeon Blood Discus and Pigeon Blood Discus. The 1980s and 1990s saw an explosion in new Discus mutations with the development of the Ghost, Snake Skin, Pigeon Blood, Blue Diamond, Snow White and Albino Discus variations. Through selective breeding, todays aquarium hobbyists can choose from a wide variety of brightly colored and varied patterned Discus now available within the hobby. Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus should be fed a variety of nutritional meaty foods including: white worms, blood worms, Tubifex worms, high protein pellet and flake foods. Juvenile Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus should be fed at least 3 to 5 times per day, while adult specimens should be fed 2 to 3 times per day. Their overall diet should be higher in proteins and fats then the average tropical fish species. As with most other fish species, they should be fed an amount of food that they will consume within 10 minutes, with leftover foods removed from the system by either a quality mechanical filter or manually if strong filtration is not present. Yellow Pigeon Blood Discus's coloration depends greatly on the types of food that they are fed. If they are fed foods high in red enhancing ingredients like beta carotene or Astaxanthin red algae, the Yellow Pigeon Blood will develop a more orange or red appearance. Many common commercial fish foods contain red enhancing ingredients, thus it can be difficult to keep Yellow Pigeon Blood in a mixed aquarium where many different foods are fed to different fish species. There are foods like Discus Madness's Yellow Beefheart Mix which is enhanced with yellow chlorophyll, designed to keep yellow coloration in fish.
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Senegal Bichir
3 likes Bichirs
(Polypterus senegalus) Easy Semi-aggressive 18" 90 gallons 75-82° F, KH 5-12, pH 6.5-7.5 Carnivore Africa Polypteridae Bichirs Large-Bottom-Dweller Senegal Bichir are widely distributed across Africa, where they can be found living in a variety of slow moving shallow waters including: swamps, marshes, lakes, estuaries and small tributaries. They can grow upwards of 18 inches in length in the wild, but generally only grow to about 12 inches in the home aquarium. They are considered a semi-aggressive species since they will eat fish small enough to fit in their mouths, but will not bother larger fish species. The majority of Senegal Bichir available within the aquarium hobby are farm raised specimens that do very well in the aquarium environment when provided proper water conditions and aquarium size. Bichir have several interesting adaptations, which include a divided swim bladder and primitive lung. These adaptations the fish to take in oxygen from the air, allowing it to survive out of water for some time, provided it is kept moist. Like Ananbantoid species, they will actually drown if denied access to atmospheric air. Young bichirs even have amphibian-like external gills which are lost as the fish matures into adulthood. These adaptations along with their amphibian like behaviors of hiding during the day and hunting at night, exhibit a clear link between the modern bichir and amphibians. An ideal aquarium setup for an adult Senegal Bichir will have a foot print of 6 x 2 feet or larger, a soft sandy substrate and a mixture of smooth rocks, plants and driftwood. Due to the shape of the Senegal Bichir and its swimming habits it is important to provide an aquarium with plenty of depth and length, with the height of the aquarium being less important. As a nocturnal species, the Senegal Bichir will appreciate areas of the aquarium that are either not brightly lit or are shaded by vegetation or driftwood. Proper tank mates for the Senegal Bichir should be large enough to not be considered food (anything small enough to fit in their mouth), but not so aggressive that they will harass the Bichir. Senegal Bichir are adept at finding their way out of aquariums and onto the floor, thus a tight-fitting aquarium cover is needed. Senegal Bichir do well with other large semi-aggressive tank mates including larger South American and African Cichlids. They do not do well with aggressive Cichlids or Cichlid large enough to view the Bichir as a food item. In general, hobbyists should have no trouble keeping Bichir in their home aquarium, as they are a very hardy species that has been successful in nature for millions of years. The Senegal Bichir is a carnivorous species that will consume a variety of meaty foods both in the wild and the aquarium environment. Essentially the Senegal Bichir will see any other fish or invertebrate species in the aquarium that are small enough to fit in its mouth as food. However, in order to provide them the vitamins and minerals that they need to support a healthy immune system they should not be fed a diet solely of feeder fish. A good diet for the Senegal Bichir will have a variety of meaty foods including: earthworms, prawns, mussels, raw shrimp and various types of feeder fish like silver sides and lance fish. Some Bichir have been known to accept commercial meaty pellets and wafers, but generally they do best with live or frozen foods. They should generally be fed 1 to 2 times per day an amount of food that they will consume within 5 minutes. When first added to the aquarium, Bichir are more likely to feed with the aquarium lights off or dimmed as they are a nocturnal species. Being a nocturnal species with poor vision, the Senegal Bichir has developed an excellent sense of smell which they use to locate food in low lighting conditions. Feeding them with the aquarium lights off gives them an advantage over tank mates who use eyesight as a primary method of detecting food.
Jardini Arowana
3 likes Arowana
(Scleropages jardini) Expert Aggressive 24" 180 gallons 76-85° F, pH 6.0-7.0, KH 2-4 Carnivore Australia, New Guinea Osteoglossidae Arowana Cichlid-New-World Indigenous to the Jardine and Adelaide Rivers of northern Australia, Jardini Arowana can be found from still billabongs to flowing streams. They are large, highly evolved, powerful predators and can be traced back millions of years without many changes (earning them the title, "living fossil"). Jardini Arowana are also known as Gulf Saratoga, and like their South American cousins, they are sometimes referred to as "water-monkeys" due to their unique predatory behavior where they will hide, stalk, and jump out of the water to ambush insects and small animals that are just passing by or hanging out on an overhanging branch or nearby vegetation. The Jardini Arowana is usually not too hard to obtain from local fish stores, but are harder to find than their Silver Arowana cousins. Although they are considered to be more elusive in the wild, they are becoming more popular in the hobby due to captive breeding programs. Jardini Arowana are a very fun fish to keep and can offer a lot of enjoyment for the advanced to expert hobbyist. They are constantly on the move, swimming around the aquarium (just under the surface) with plenty of activity. They are a true "bony tongue" species that is long and flat, with large eyes (offering them great hunting accuracy), a dark, silver-gray, stream-lined body with seven rows of large scales that tend to have pink to orange hued edges, and fins that are a darker, metallic coloration with various pink to orange spotting. As evolved predators, Silver Arowana have large, oblique mouths lined with small, sharp teeth rooted in their oral bones which include their jaws, tongue, pharynx and palate; they also possess forked barbels on the tip of their bottom jaw used for sensing disturbances on the water surface. Males have a longer anal fin and can be distinguished by their prognathous jaws, where females are usually thicker when fully mature. Jardini Arowana require an aquarium of at least 180 gallons with a sand or gravel substrate and should also be provided with driftwood (tannins in the driftwood will help maintain a lower pH) and vegetation; it's a good idea to have some free-floating plants or plants that will adhere to driftwood as some individuals do not tolerate rooted vegetation. They will also require a secure, enclosed top on their aquarium as they are powerful and notorious jumpers. Weekly 15-25% water changes should be carried out (frequency can vary depending on aquarium filtration efficiency) as Jardini Arowana are very sensitive to water chemistry. Although they can be easily bullied by larger Cichlids when they are young, once Jardini Arowana hit the 8 to 12 inch mark, they usually become extremely aggressive to all other tank inhabitants, especially those of a similar shape; tank mates should be chosen very carefully. Jardini Arowana are a solitary, aggressive, territorial species, but have, on occasion, been known to coexist with large Oscars, large Manguense, large, predatory catfish, and large plecos, but it's hit or miss and more often than not, they are eventually the only fish left in the aquarium. The Osteoglossidae family arguably contains the hardiest freshwater fish species', which don't often get sick, although they grow to be large and become messy eaters and can eventually develop health problems if their water chemistry is not properly maintained. Jardini Arowana are carnivores and should be provided with a variety of meaty and vitamin enriched foods such as live, frozen or freeze-dried ghost shrimp, krill, minnows, bloodworms, blackworms, mealworms, earthworms, crickets, frogs, crayfish, and Cichlid/Arowana pellets or sticks. Jardini Arowana are mouth brooding, egg-layers and aquarium breeding is extremely difficult, but not impossible (a large tank of 600+ gallons would be needed). In the wild, spawning commences at the start of the wet season, where they will pair off and lay their eggs (50-200). Once fertilized, the female will keep the eggs in her mouth until they hatch. When the fry hatch they will stay with their mother for around 4-5 weeks and threatened the mother will open her mouth allowing the young to seek shelter.
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Cardinal Tetra
3 likes Tetras
(Paracheirodon axelrodi) Moderate Peaceful 2" 10 gallons 74-84° F, KH 2-6, pH 3.0-7.5 Omnivore Venezuela, Brazil, Amazon Characidae Tetras Community The Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) originates from the rivers of Venezuela and Brazil, where they are found in a variety of river habitats ranging from slow-moving forest streams to minor river tributaries. Their native habitats also range from areas with substrates covered in leaves, branches and tree roots to areas with clear water, sandy substrates and dense growth of aquatic and bog plants. Despite still being collected in the wild, their immense popularity within the aquarium hobby has led to extensive breeding programs that breed large numbers of specimens for the commercial trade. Despite being very similar in both appearance and maintenance requirements as the Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi), the Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) is a separate Tetra species. Neon Tetras are a little smaller, usually a little cheaper, and typically a little hardier than their Cardinal Tetra cousins. Cardinals are a little more bold in appearance, mostly because they have more red on their lower sides. Both are schooling species that like to be in a group of at least six or more individuals. Mixed groups of Neons and Cardinals will also readily school together, with the bigger the school, the better they tend to look. Due to their small size, Cardinal Tetra can be comfortably housed in small aquariums and even nano tanks. However, they do best in schools of 8 or more individuals and aquariums of at least 20 to 30 gallons or more. As is the case with most small fish species, stable water parameters are very important. Quick fluctuations of water temperature, pH, etc. can shock the fish and cause them to be more susceptible to stress related diseases or even cause death. The ideal tank conditions for Cardinal Tetra will include: stable pH & water temperatures around 80° F, low to moderate water flow, plenty of both tall and ground cover vegetation, tree root or driftwood and peaceful community fish tank mates. The Cardinal Tetra is one of the most peaceful species available within the aquarium hobby. They do well in any peaceful community aquarium containing small to medium community fish species and non-predatory medium sized Cichlids. Larger Cardinal Tetra can typically be successfully kept with larger community species like Angelfish, Discus, Gourami and other similar species. Keys to successfully keeping Cardinal Tetra with larger community species include: keeping them in groups of eight or more individuals, providing plenty of vegetation or other suitable cover, providing adequate space in the aquarium (prevent over crowding) and keeping their larger tank mates well fed. In the wild Cardinal Tetra feed on a variety of items including: small invertebrates, small crustaceans, insect larvae, filamentous algae and other similar fare. Being an omnivore, hobbyists should provide a mix of algae, vegetable based and meaty foods. Quality commercial flake, freeze-dried or frozen foods make an excellent staple diet. Hobbyists should also mix in items like bloodworms, daphnia, baby brine, etc. in order to vary the diet and provide a balanced diet. It is best to feed small amounts of food 2 to 3 times per day and occasional abstain from feeding for a day or so from time to time.