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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.
Platinum Angelfish
3 likes Anglefish
(Pterophyllum sp.) Easy Semi-aggressive 6" 30 gallons 75-82° F, KH 1-5, pH 5.8-7.0 Omnivore Amazon, South America Cichlidae Angelfish Community Platinum Angelfish (Pterophyllum sp.) were originally derived from wild Golden Angelfish both containing a particular recessive gene. Since the result of this was an extremely beautiful platinum Angelfish, breeders were quick to identify the suitable parent fish to begin to mass produce Platinum Angelfish for the aquarium trade. Platinum Angelfish exhibit a brilliant silver/white sheen with just the slightest hint of blue or green on their fins. Specimens available within the aquarium hobby trade will almost always be farm raised and selectively bred for the aquarium hobby. Wild Platinum Angelfish hail from the warm temperate waters of the Amazon basin in South America, where they are found in calm waterways and flood plains. Platinum Angels are found living in areas with losts of plants or tree roots, which they use for protection against larger fish species and as a place to hunt insect larvae and other foodstuffs. These days this species is more commonly tank bred in the United States and parts of Southern Asia, than collected from the wild. They have long been sought after in the aquarium hobby because of their brilliant coloration and long flowing fins. Their long fins mean that they should not be kept with fish species that will nip or tear their fins. In a small or medium sized aquarium the Platinum Angel is best kept in a mated pair, in larger aquariums they can be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals. Platinum Angelfish will do well in aquariums that are 30 gallons or larger and have plenty of plants and/or driftwood. As a group freshwater Angelfish are territorial and will squabble with one another until a dominant male is established. They can be kept singularly, in mated pairs or in medium sized groups of 6 or more. Contrary to popular belief, long finned species like the Platinum Angelfish can be kept with barbs and other "fin nipping" species. The key here is that the fin nipping species be kept in proper sized groups, so that they nip at each other instead of nipping at the Angelfish or other species that are not equipped for this type of behavior. Barbs and other fin nippers prefer to be kept in groups and their nipping at each other is normal behavior that will not hurt them at all; however, this behavior is too boisterous for many other fish species and damaging to long finned fish species. Angelfish in general require fairly constant water parameters and are less forgiving than many other freshwater community species towards fluctuations in pH or temperature. Like with most South American cichlid species, the Platinum Angelfish prefers soft, slightly acidic water with temperatures that stay between 79 and 83 degrees. Platinum Angelfish are omnivores and should be fed a variety of foods including meaty and vegetable based foods. They have a particular love for blood worms, tubifex worms and similar food items, but will readily consume flake, pellet and frozen foods. They should be fed about twice per day the amount of food that they will consume within 5 minutes. When housed in aquariums with many faster swimming fish species, it may be necessary to increase feedings to 3 times per day to make sure that the Angel is properly fed. Full grown Platinum Angels will prey on small fish species like small Neon Tetras, Mosquito Danios or pretty much any small species that will fit into their mouth. They generally wait until the aquarium lights are off for the night and hunt the small fish while they sleep, which makes them easy prey. Because they grow to be a fairly large fish, adult Platinum Angels are capable of eating small fish up to 1 inch in length.
Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
(Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum) Moderate Aggressive 40" 180 gallons 75-82° F, KH 6-20, pH 6.0-8.0 Omnivore South America Pimelodidae Large Catfish Large-Bottom-Dweller Tiger Shovelnose Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum) or as they are often affectionately known as TSN's are found throughout the larger rivers and tributaries of South America. As adults they typically stay in the larger deeper rivers where they spend much of their time along the river bottom looking for meaty foods to consume. Their attractive appearance, large size and overall interesting personality have made the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish a very popular aquarium species with hobbyist who keep larger (monster) fish species. The Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is a large catfish species that can attain a length of over 3 feet within the aquarium environment, thus require a very large aquarium as an adult. They have a long and slender body with a beautiful silver coloration along with black stripes and spots covering the entirety of the body, which gives them a tiger-like appearance. Their mouth is adorned with very long whiskers in order to seek out prey in dark or dimly lit areas, along with a long, large, flat shaped mouth which they use to inhale unsuspecting prey. While the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is readily available within the aquarium hobby, it is not suitable for the beginner or casual aquarium hobbyist. This species gets very large and aggressive and will require a very large aquarium as an adult in order to properly housed and cared for. Therefore, the Tiger Shovelnose is only recommended for intermediate to advanced aquarium hobbyists who have larger aquariums and powerful filtration systems rated to handle larger (monster) fish species like the Tiger Shovelnose. Along with a very large aquarium and solid filtration, the Tiger Shovelnose will appreciate plenty of water flow along with some driftwood or rock formations to provide it some cover within the aquarium. The aquarium should be tightly covered with a strong weighted top, as the Tiger Shovelnose is a powerful jumper that can easily escape from an uncovered or poorly covered aquarium. Lastly, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish needs to be kept with other large aggressive fish species that are not small enough to fit in the mouth of the TSN and have a strong enough personality to not be bullied by an adult Tiger Shovelnose Catfish. Like most larger catfish species, the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is an opportunistic feeder that will consume a wide variety of meaty items including both fish and invertebrates. In the wild the TSN is a nocturnal hunter that preys on a variety of native fish species found throughout South America, along with any crustacean that will fit in their mouths. In the aquarium environment the Tiger Shovelnose will readily accept a wide variety of foods including: worms, catfish pellets, pellet, frozen or freeze-dried meaty food preparations, fish that will fit in their mouths and a variety of shrimp, crab or other crustaceans found in fresh water aquariums. It is best to feed them a variety of meaty foods so that they receive a wide ranging diet which helps insure that they receive a range of nutrients to promote a healthy immune system. Hobbyists should feed them daily and adjust the amount of food and frequency of feedings based on the girth of the fish and the desired growth rate.
Peppered Cory Cat
3 likes Cory Cats
(Corydoras paleatus) Easy Peaceful 3" 20 gallons 72-80° F, KH 2-12, pH 6.0-7.0 Omnivore South America, Amazon Callichthyidae Cory Cats Community Peppered Cory Cat's are native to the streams and tributaries of South America, where they can be found living along river banks and river beds. They spend the vast majority of their time dwelling about the river bottom looking for both meaty of plant foods that have made their way to the river bottom. The Peppered Cory Cat's coloration and pattern help it blend into the substrate, which helps the cory cat avoid larger predators. Peppered Cory Cat live in large social groups in the wild and prefer to live in groups within the aquarium environment as well. It is recommended to keep at least a small group of 4 or more cory cats in the aquarium to satisfy their social requirements. As is the case with all species in the genus, Cory Cats will regularly swim quickly to the surface for a gulp of air. The fish swallows the air, which blood vessels in the hind gut extract oxygen from; it is then expelled through the vent the next time the fish breaks the surface for another gulp of air. This adaptation is believed to have evolved so that the fish can survive in poorly-oxygenated water such as stagnant pools during the dry season. It is however essential to the fish's well-being that it regularly swallows air. Aquariums housing Peppered Cory Cat's should contain plenty of vegetation, areas of diffused lighting and a sandy or smooth gravel substrate. It is important to provide plenty areas within the aquarium that are shaded from the bright aquarium lights. They will absolutely appreciate the presence of lush vegetation, driftwood and rocky caves in order to provide them a tank that resembles their native habitat. Like all cory cat species, the Peppered Cory Cat will do much better when kept in social groups of at least 4 individuals of their own species or mixed with other cory cat species. While the Peppered Cory Cat will gladly scavenge the aquarium substrate for leftover foodstuffs and decaying plant material, they should also be provided sinking foods designed for bottom dwelling fish species. Peppered Cory Cat's are scavengers that need to eat a wide variety of foods that include both plant and meaty foods. In the aquarium environment the Peppered Cory Cat will readily accept a variety of meaty and vegetable matter foodstuffs including: flake, freeze-dried, frozen, live foods and pellets. This species is an excellent scavenger that will work to keep the aquarium substrate clean of excess foodstuffs and some decaying plant matter. While this species is an excellent scavenger, supplemental foods such as bloodworms, tubifex, flake food, or sinking carnivore pellets should be offered to ensure proper nutrition.
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.
Red Tapajos Pike
(Crenicichla sp. Tapajos Red) Moderate Semi-aggressive 14" 180 gallons 76-84° F; pH 5.5-7.0; dH 3-20 Carnivore Rio Tapajos, Brazil, Amazon Cichlidae Pikes Cichlid-New-World Red Tapajos Pike (Crenicichla sp. Tapajos Red) are fairly new to the aquarium hobby and are not fully described at this time. They are currently categorized scientifically as , but are often sold within the hobby as Tapajos Red Pike, Red Tapajos Pike or Tapajos I Pike. They are often confused with the Cobra Pike Crenicichla sp. Tapajos II, which while similar and originating from the same region, varies in coloration and pattern. They originate from the Rio Tapajos and surrounding tributaries of the northern Brazilian Amazon. The Tapajos river runs roughly 1200 miles from the mountainous interior of the continent through the humid and hot valleys and then into the Amazon River. The large volume of the river and the deep tropical valleys that it runs through both contribute to make the water temperature of the river very stable and warm all year round. Red Tapajos Pike have become accustomed to very warm waters with excellent water quality and stable water parameters. Hobbyists looking to keep this or other Amazonian river fish species need to maintain high quality water conditions in the aquarium with low levels of nitrates and high levels of dissolved oxygen. Ideally hobbyists should house the Red Tapajos Pike in an aquarium setup that emulates their natural river habitat. Despite growing a modest 12 to 14 inches in length, the Red Tapajos Pike is a fast swimmer that requires a large aquarium that will allow them room to swim. An aquarium that is at least 6 feet long and 2 feet in width or larger is ideal, as this will give the fish room to swim and allow for enough territory for the Pike and other fish species. If housed in a smaller aquarium, the Pike is much more likely to become overly territorial and aggressive towards any tank mates. When kept in a properly sized aquarium, the Red Tapajos Pike is not considered to be overly aggressive and can be housed with other large Cichlid species that will not fit into their mouths. However, they are often aggressive towards conspecifics or other similar Pike species. Larger Cichlid species, Rays, Plecos and large Catfish make good tank mates for Red Tapajos Pike in large aquariums (180 gallons or more). Provide a sandy, small gravel or mixed sand & gravel substrate, at least one large piece of driftwood (preferably with some sort of natural cave) along with several smaller pieces, possibly some rock structure, and a decent amount of live plants ranging in size from micro to large Amazon swords. Red Tapajos Pike Cichlids can tolerate the light intensity needed for the larger plants (around 3 watts per gallon), but does prefer to have shaded areas via floating vegetation or cave-like structures of driftwood or rock. They also require excellent water conditions and tend to thrive in the higher end of their temperature threshold near 84°F; they also tend to prefer a lower pH of approximately 5.5 to 6.0. Because they are large, fast, and powerful, they require adequate open space for hunting and swimming; because of this a 125 gallon minimum tank size is recommended for a single male or one male and one female. Provide plenty of water flow via power heads or filtration returns, along with excellent biological and mechanical filtration through the use of large canister filters or wet/dry sumps. Red Tapajos Pike Cichlids will often prefer to eat only live prey when first introduced into the aquarium environment. Fish are their main food source in their natural habitat, but once in the aquarium, they learn quickly and they also learn from other fish; they can be trained to accept a few other live foods (e.g., ghost shrimp and earthworms) and may eventually be trained to accept frozen or fresh, prepared meaty foods such as chopped krill, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, and chopped pieces of fish. Some specimens may eventually be trained to accept freeze-dried or other prepared food items, but it does not always work out. That is not too much of a problem as ghost shrimp and some of the other food items mentioned can be "gut-loaded" and vitamin-enriched in order to provide the Red Tapajos Pike with a varied and well balanced diet.
Golden Sailfin Molly
3 likes Mollies
(Poecilia latipinna) Moderate Peaceful 4" 20 gallons 70-82° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.5-8.5 Omnivore North America Poeciliidae Mollies Community The Golden Sailfin Molly is a peaceful and flexible fish species that originates from coastal areas of North America. They are generally found in brackish environments including coastal marshes, streams, swamps and ponds. Golden Sailfin Mollies are somewhat unique in their ability to live in both freshwater and saltwater if acclimated slowly over time. Their coastal brackish home waters have very hard water, so they should be provided with a teaspoon of salt per gallon added to their freshwater environment to provide them optimal conditions. Golden Sailfin Mollies are known for both their brilliant orange coloration and their prolific breeding habits that have mated pairs spawning roughly every 45 to 60 days. Overall a great fish for beginning hobbyists and more advanced hobbyists who are looking for an active swimming fish with a striking orange coloration. Golden Sailfin Mollies should be kept in a tropical community aquarium setup with warm water temperatures (78 to 82) and plenty of live plants. While they are a very hardy species that can adapt to a range of environments, Golden Sailfin Mollies prefer hard water with lots of vegetation. A teaspoon of salt per gallon is recommended for community aquariums housing Mollies and is beneficial to other community species as it helps to prevent ich and some other common diseases. Overall Golden Sailfin Mollyies are very peaceful and can easily coexist with just about any freshwater community species. To prevent unwanted babies many aquarists keep either males or females in their aquarium. Male Mollies can be distinguished by their larger top fins and more narrow elongated anal fins, while the females have finnage which is more rounded and blunt. However, if a mix of females and males are kept together in a community aquarium environment most of the babies will be eaten by the Molly parents and other tankmates which will keep their numbers in check. The Golden Sailfin Molly is very easy to feed, as it will readily accept a wide variety of meaty and plant based foods. It is best to provide them with both vegetable matter, algae and meaty items. Despite being an omnivore, the Mollies diet should consist of more plant material than meaty foods. This will more closely replicate their natural diet and allow for a longer lifespan. A varied diet will help maintain both the immune system and the overall health of the fish. Golden Sailfin Mollies will accept flake, freeze dried and frozen foods along with live foods and small pellets and wafers. In the case of the Golden Sailfin Molly, it is not about what conditions are needed for breeding or how to get them to breed as it how to get them to stop. Mollies in general (with the Golden Sailfin Molly being no exception) are very prolific breeders that if a male and female are present will breed in time. Distinguishing between male and female specimens is straight forward and can be done by sight. The males have genitalia in front of their anal fin and have a distinctly larger dorsal fin. Once breeding, a male/female pair of Golden Sailfin Mollies will birth young every 2 months or so. The babies should be promptly removed from the aquarium or provided a baby trap, as the parents will eat the young if they are left unprotected. Should the hobbyist aspire to breeding Mollies, and ideal breeding conditions for Mollies include a 30 gallon or larger aquarium, live plants including floating plants and an established algae growth.
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.
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.