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Orange Finned Danio
(Danio kyathit) Easy Peaceful 2" 10 gallons 64-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.8 Omnivore Northern Myanmar Cyprinidae Danios Community Native to the rivers and tributaries of northern Myanmar, wild Orange Finned Danios are found in a variety of habitats, ranging from fast-moving streams to shallow pools and stillwater areas. They utilize the cover of dense vegetation and rock formations both for protection from larger fish species, and as an ideal location in which to hunt for micro foods like tiny crustaceans and insect larvae. Orange Finned Danios add a punch of orange color to the standard Zebra Danio, which has been a popular mainstay within the aquarium hobby for decades due to a combination of their attractive appearance, ease of care, active swimming style and widespread availability. They are an excellent species for beginning hobbyists due to their hardy nature, ability to tolerate a wide range of water parameters and overall ease of care and feeding. They are also popular because of their active swimming style and attractive striping. A group or small school of Orange Finned Danio swimming in and out of the plants or other aquarium decor is a very attractive sight to behold. Their small size and peaceful demeanor makes them ideal tank mates for peaceful community aquariums, planted aquariums and nano or pico table top aquariums. The natural habitat of the Orange Finned Danio varies depending on seasonal rains as they spend the dry season in larger streams and tributaries, while venturing out into flooded pools and smaller water ways during the wet season. They do not have specific aquarium decor requirements, but will appreciate the presence of plants, driftwood, rocks and other similar decor in order to give them someplace to retreat when threatened. They have only basic needs when it comes to filtration and water movement, with any aquarium designed to house tropical community fish being suitable. Tank mates should include other peaceful to semi-aggressive fish species that are not large enough to consider the Orange Finned Danio as food. Orange Finned Danio school in nature, thus they prefer to be kept in sizeable groups of at least 8 or more individuals. They will typically live longer if kept in groups or small schools and are generally considered more interesting to watch while swimming in tight groups. Being a omnivorous species they need a varied diet containing both meaty and vegetable matter. In the wild they are considered a micro predator since they prey on small insect larvae, crustaceans and other small invertebrates. They also consume algae and plant matter by picking at vegetation and decaying material on the substrate. Orange Finned Danio are very easy to feed in the aquarium environment and will readily consume a very wide variety of commercial foods. Their staple diet should consist of quality flake foods, freeze-dried foods, blood worms, tubifex worms, brine shrimp along with some frozen foods designed for tropical omnivores. They should be fed one or two times per day an amount of food that they will consume within a couple of minutes.
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Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar
1 like Tetras
(Myleus schomburgkii var. thin bar) Easy Peaceful 8" 75 gallons 75-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.0-7.0 Herbivore South America, Amazon, Captive bred Characidae Tetras Community The Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar (Myleus schomburgkii var. thin bar) is a South American species closely related to both Piranha and Pacu, and are native to same South American rivers, streams and tributaries. There a number of subspecies of Metynnis who vary in coloration and pattern based on their origins, some common species of Silver Dollar include: Silver dollar (Metynnis argenteus), Striped silver dollar (Metynnis fasciatus), Spotted Silver Dollar (Metynnis lippincottianus), Red-spot Silver Dollar (Metynnis luna), Speckled silver dollar (Metynnis maculatus), Wide Bar Silver Dollar (Myleus schomburgkii) and Red Hook & Blue Hook Silver Dollars. Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar are available within the aquarium hobby with moderate regularity. They are often sold at a size of around 1.5 to 2 inches in length and will generally grow upwards of 8 inches in larger aquariums, with females sometimes being slightly smaller and males sometimes slightly larger. They are very popular due to their bright silver coloration, black bar pattern, unique rounded body shape and their active schooling swim style. Alls species of Silver Dollars prefer to swim in medium to large schools and are generally found in the middle to upper regions of the water column within the aquarium. Ideally they should be kept with a minimum of six individuals, which will allow them to school and provide them a sense of security. In their native habitat Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollars congregate in large schools of fish, where they swim throughout the heavily vegetated shorelines of the numerous rivers and river tributaries of the Amazon basin and northern portions of South America in search of aquatic plant life and algae on which to feed. The slender disc like body of the Silver Dollar allows them to move easily throughout both the dense vegetation of the river shoreline and the stronger water currents found in deeper rivers and tributaries. While in nature their brilliant silver coloration and schooling are used as defense mechanism that helps them to avoid being eaten by predators, hobbyists covet Silver Dollars for the brilliant coloration and active swimming style, which looks amazing in aquarium environments ranging from Amazon biotope aquariums to tropical community aquariums. Like other South American fish species whom originate from river habitats, the Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar prefers warm, soft acidic to neutral water conditions, plenty of moderate or laminar water flow and low to moderate levels of nitrate. As an active swimming and schooling species, they will do best in aquariums that provide plenty of horizontal swimming space. They will also greatly appreciate aquarium decor that mimics their native environment, thus a tank with plenty of plants, either live or fake, combined with driftwood or wood root and open swimming areas will go a long way toward giving them a comfortable and secure feeling aquarium environment. It should be noted that they will consume many types of live plants, especially stem plants. Silver Dollar species in general are often referred to as underwater goats due to their propensity to devour plant matter; however, they most often will not consume Anubias species, Java Fern and floating plants like Hyacinth, Water Sprite and Water Lettuce. Feeding them supplemental feedings of romaine or green leaf lettuce will both provide them valuable nutrition and help to reduce their grazing on decorative aquatic plants growing within the aquarium. However, at the end of the day hobbyists looking to keep live plants with any species of Silver Dollar fish will need to do some research on which plant species can be kept safely with this species and go through some trial and error before finding a situation that works. Their moderately large size and need to be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals means that they need to be housed in a relatively large aquarium of at least 90 gallons or more. Their size also allows them to be housed with a wide variety of tank mates including many peaceful community species, semi-aggressive community species and even many species of Cichlids as well. At an adult size of around 8 inches, the Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar will consume very small fish species like Ember Tetra or smaller Neon Tetra; however, they are not aggressive towards tank mates larger than these very small Tetra species or similar sized fish. They also work well as dither fish in community Cichlid aquariums containing peaceful to semi-aggressive Cichlid species. The Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar is an omnivore, but the majority of its diet in nature consists of a variety of plant material and algae. While their diet in nature is more heavily based on plants, they will consume a variety of meaty items including small fish, snails, insects and small crustaceans should the opportunity arise. Hobbyists should make sure that the majority of their diet is plant based in order to provide them with correct vitamins and minerals that they require for good health. It is best to feed a variety of flake, small pellet, freeze-dried or frozen food designed for freshwater herbivores, a couple times a day. Be careful when keeping any species of Silver Dollars with live plants or very small fish like Neon Tetra, as they will consume certain plants and fish small enough to fit in their mouths. Hobbyists interested in breeding Thin Bar Schomburgkii generally begin with a small group of juvenile fish, roughly 6 to 8 individuals. As the fish mature a male will generally establish himself as the dominant fish within the group and exhibit mating behavior towards a chosen female. This established pair can then be separated from the group and kept in a separate aquarium that is maintained with ideal breeding conditions, which include: warm 80 to 82° temperature, soft slightly acidic water (KH 4-8), dim or diffused lighting, vegetation (real or fake) and lastly a smooth rock, slate or submerged wood on which to lay eggs. Females will lay upwards of 1500 to 2000 eggs somewhere on the bottom of the tank or on piece of hard scape. They fry will hatch within three days and after approximately a week they will be free swimming and able to eat fine foods such as commercially prepared fry food, finely-crushed flake food or freshly-hatched brine shrimp. Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollars are good about not eating their own eggs or fry, but can be removed once the eggs hatch as well, which should generally make it easier to raise the fry without having to also contend with larger adult fish.
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Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar
1 like Tetras
(Myleus schomburgkii var. wide bar) Easy Semi-aggressive 12" 125 gallons 72-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.0-7.0 Omnivore Amazon River Basin, Venezuela, Peru & Brazil Characidae Tetras Larger Community / New World Cichlid The Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar (Myleus schomburgkii var. wide bar) is a South American species closely related to both Piranha and Pacu, and are native to same South American rivers, streams and tributaries. There a number of subspecies of Metynnis who vary in coloration and pattern based on their origins, some common species of Silver Dollar include: Silver dollar (Metynnis argenteus), Striped silver dollar (Metynnis fasciatus), Spotted Silver Dollar (Metynnis lippincottianus), Red-spot Silver Dollar (Metynnis luna), Speckled silver dollar (Metynnis maculatus), Wide Bar Silver Dollar (Myleus schomburgkii var. wide bar) and Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar (Myleus schomburgkii var. thin bar). Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar are available within the aquarium hobby with moderate regularity. They are often sold at a size of around 2 inches in length and will generally grow upwards of 12 inches in larger aquariums, with females sometimes being slightly smaller and males sometimes slightly larger. They are very popular due to their bright silver coloration, black bar pattern, unique rounded body shape and their active schooling swim style. All species of Silver Dollars prefer to swim in medium to large schools and are generally found in the middle to upper regions of the water column within the aquarium. Ideally they should be kept with a minimum of six individuals, which will allow them to school and provide them a sense of security. In their native habitat Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollars congregate in large schools of fish, where they swim throughout the heavily vegetated shorelines of the numerous streams and river tributaries of the Amazon basin and northern portions of South America in search of aquatic plant life and algae on which to feed. The slender disc like body of the Silver Dollar allows them to move easily throughout both the dense vegetation of the river shoreline and the stronger water currents found in deeper rivers and tributaries. While in nature their brilliant silver coloration and schooling are used as defense mechanism that helps them to avoid being eaten by predators, hobbyists covet Silver Dollars for the brilliant coloration and active swimming style, which looks amazing in aquarium environments ranging from Amazon biotope aquariums to tropical community aquariums. Like other South American fish species whom originate from river habitats, the Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar prefers warm, soft acidic to neutral water conditions, plenty of moderate or laminar water flow and low to moderate levels of nitrate. As an active swimming and schooling species, they will do best in aquariums that provide plenty of horizontal swimming space. They will also greatly appreciate aquarium decor that mimics their native environment, thus a tank with plenty of plants, either live or fake, combined with driftwood or wood root and open swimming areas will go a long way toward giving them a comfortable and secure feeling aquarium environment. It should be noted that they will consume many types of live plants, especially stem plants. Silver Dollar species in general are often referred to as underwater goats due to their propensity to devour plant matter; however, they most often will not consume Anubias species, Java Fern and floating plants like Hyacinth, Water Sprite and Water Lettuce. Feeding them supplemental feedings of romaine or green leaf lettuce will both provide them valuable nutrition and help to reduce their grazing on decorative aquatic plants growing within the aquarium. However, at the end of the day hobbyists looking to keep live plants with any species of Silver Dollar fish will need to do some research on which plant species can be kept safely with this species and go through some trial and error before finding a situation that works. Their larger size and need to be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals means that they need to be housed in a relatively large aquarium of at least 125 gallons or more. Their larger size also allows them to be housed with a wide variety of tank mates including many larger peaceful community species, semi-aggressive community species and even many species of Cichlids and Rays as well. At an adult size of around 12 inches, the Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar will consume very small fish species like small Tetra or Barbs; however, they are not aggressive towards tank mates larger than these very small Tetra species or similar sized fish. They also work well as dither fish in community Cichlid aquariums containing peaceful to semi-aggressive Cichlid species. The Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar is an omnivore, but the majority of its diet in nature consists of a variety of plant material and fruits dropped from trees. While their diet in nature is more heavily based on plants and fruits, they will consume a variety of meaty items including small fish, snails, insects and small crustaceans should the opportunity arise. Hobbyists should make sure that the majority of their diet is plant based in order to provide them with correct vitamins and minerals that they require for good health. It is best to feed a variety of flake, small pellet, freeze-dried or frozen food designed for freshwater herbivores, a couple times a day. Be careful when keeping any species of Silver Dollars with live plants or very small fish like Neon Tetra, as they will consume certain plants and fish small enough to fit in their mouths. Hobbyists interested in breeding Wide Bar Schomburgkii generally begin with a small group of juvenile fish, roughly 6 to 8 individuals. As the fish mature a male will generally establish himself as the dominant fish within the group and exhibit mating behavior towards a chosen female. This established pair can then be separated from the group and kept in a separate aquarium that is maintained with ideal breeding conditions, which include: warm 80 to 82° temperature, soft slightly acidic water (KH 4-8), dim or diffused lighting, vegetation (real or fake) and lastly a smooth rock, slate or submerged wood on which to lay eggs. Females will lay upwards of 1500 to 2000 eggs somewhere on the bottom of the tank or on piece of hard scape. They fry will hatch within three days and after approximately a week they will be free swimming and able to eat fine foods such as commercially prepared fry food, finely-crushed flake food or freshly-hatched brine shrimp. Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollars are good about not eating their own eggs or fry, but can be removed once the eggs hatch as well, which should generally make it easier to raise the fry without having to also contend with larger adult fish.
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Red Melon Discus
1 like Discus
(Symphysodon aequifasciata) Moderate Peaceful 8" 55 gallons 78-86° F, KH 1-3, pH 6.0-7.5 Omnivore Amazon, South America Cichlidae Discus Community The Red Melon Discus is one of the many strains of discus that through genetic mutation have produced a reproducable color variation of the Discus fish. This breeding work was performed by breeders who over the course of decades were able to selectively breed the discus to achieve what we now call the Red Melon Discus, Melon Red Discus or Super Red Melon Discus, which features a solid reddish orange body and either a reddish orange face or a pale yellow face. Their coloration is easily influenced by color enhancing foods or carotenoids present within the foods they are fed. Color enhancing foods that contain beta carotene will alter the color of the Discus and generally give it a deeper red or red/orange appearance. 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 Red Melon 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. Many tank bred Discus are used to higher pH ranges from 6.0 to 7.0 and can thrive while being kept in a higher pH. The key is to keep water parameters that are consistent over time and do not high quick flucuations. Discus as with other fish can easily adjust to pH that flucuates naturally between day and night and with slight fluctuations caused by partial water changes. Red Melon Discus aquariums should closely resemble their natural Amazonian habitat with plenty of plants and branching root or driftwood. Water parameters should be very consistent with a pH near 6.5 to 7.2, temperature between 80° 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. Red Melon 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 Red Melon 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. Frequency of water changes can be lessened or avoided if some other form of nutrient export is present within the system. Aquaponics or an external vegetable filter (heavily planted sump using aquarium water for nutrients) is present on the system and able to keep dissolved nutrients very low. 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, 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 Leopard Skin 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, today’s aquarium hobbyists can choose from a wide variety of brightly colored and varied patterned Discus now available within the hobby. Red Melon Discus should be fed a variety of nutritional meaty foods including: white worms, blood worms, Tubifex worms, high protein pellet and flake foods. Juvenile Red Melon 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. The coloration of the Red Melon Discus is easily effected by the amount of carotenoids or color enhancing elements that are present in their food. Discus who are fed color enhancing foods or foods high in beta carotene will quickly develop deeper red and orange coloration. 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, manually if strong filtration is not present or through the presence of substrate scavenging fish or invertebrates.
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Marlboro Red Discus
1 like 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 The Marlboro Red Discus has been selectively bred for its brilliant red coloration. The face of this Discus varies between white to light yellow in color and the main part of the body is a bright red. The Anal and dorsal fins can vary in color from whit and red to red with black on the edges depending on the particular breeder or blood line of 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 Marlboro Red 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. Marlboro Red 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. Marlboro Red 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 Marlboro Red 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. Marlboro Red Discus should be fed a variety of nutritional meaty foods including: white worms, blood worms, Tubifex worms, high protein pellet and flake foods. Juvenile Marlboro Red 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. Marlboro Red 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 they will maintain a deep red appearance. Many common commercial fish foods contain red enhancing ingredients, thus it is not difficult to keep Marlboro Red Blood in a mixed aquarium where many different foods are fed to different fish species and still maintain a strong red coloration.
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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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Rodney
Stu
Splendid Dottyback
(Pseudochromis splendens) Easy Semi-aggressive 4" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Australia Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis / Dottybacks Reef Compatible The Splendid Dottyback (Pseudochromis splendens) is found throughout the Western Indo-Pacific to Australia, where it lives in shallow reefs, reef slopes and outer reef areas. They move about the rocks and corals of the reef feeding on all manner of small worms, pods and micro-inverts that they find living in rocky crevices and within the sand. They are an efficient carnivore that makes an excellent addition to all manner of reef aquariums and FOWLR aquariums with plenty of live rock. Wild caught specimens will often vary in color depending on the food source they were feeding on in the area where they were collected. Specimens fed a high quality diet with balanced vitamins will generally exhibit the more sought after brighter coloration, while specimens who are fed a lower quality diet exhibit a more faded coloration. Splendid Dottyback psuedochromis are also known for being one of the larger species of psuedochromis commonly available within the hobby, as they can reach 4 inches in length. Their larger size coupled with the typical aggressive and territorial nature of psuedochromis makes them aggressive for their size. Due to their somewhat aggressive nature, the Splendid Dottyback should be the only psuedochromis or similarly shaped species in smaller aquariums in order to avoid territorial battles. Large aquariums with plenty of live rock can support multiple psuedochromis specimens or a mixture of psuedochromis and other similarly shaped species. Overall the Splendid Dottyback is a very hardy species that makes a good addition to both reef and FOWLR aquariums. The Splendid Dottyback is at home in aquariums ranging from smaller 30 gallon aquariums all the way up to large reef aquariums. Like most other psuedochromis species they are very territorial towards other psuedochromis and similarly sized and shaped fish species. However, they get along very well with a wide variety of community fish species and are not easily bullied by semi-aggressive species like larger wrasse, parrotfish, hawkfish, angelfish, etc. Splendid Dottybacks will not bother corals, invertebrates or sessile invertebrates which makes them well suited for larger reef aquariums. The exception to this is that they will readily consume bristleworms and small shrimp species like anemone shrimp. However, they are quite aggressive for their size, so they are not well suited for reef aquariums with extremely delicate fish species. They do best in aquariums with plenty of live rock caves and crevices and at least around 30 gallons or so of water volume. They have an aggressive personality for their size, which means that they are not well suited for very small nano aquariums or shy tank mates. Splendid Dottyback psuedochromis need a balanced diet containing a variety of marine based meaty foods. Foods high in vitamins like carotene and vitamin A are required for them to truly thrive and exhibit their brightest coloration. Foods like krill and chopped raw table shrimp are good sources for these vitamins as the plant matter and plankton that these species feed on is high in carotene and vitamin A. A well balanced diet made up of mostly meaty based foods with a small amount of plant matter or algae is best suited to provide all the vitamins and minerals the Splendid Dottyback requires in order to maintain a healthy immune system. Ideally they should be feed two to three times per day an amount that they will consume within five to ten minutes. Good food options include: krill, chopped raw table shrimp, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, chopped raw mussel, chopped raw squid, chopped raw clam, marine algae and marine sponge. High quality commercial flake and freeze-dried foods designed for marine carnivores are also an excellent food source for this species, and often make up the staple portion of their diet when kept in captivity.
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Gary Wayne
Kelberi Peacock Bass
(Cichla kelberi) Easy Aggressive 18" 180 gallons 76-84° F, KH 5-15, pH 5.0-6.5 Carnivore, Piscivore Amazon, Brazil Cichlidae Peacock Bass Cichlid-New-World The Kelberi Peacock Bass (Cichla kelberi) is one of the smaller species of Peacock Bass available within the hobby, with a max size of around 18" in length, but more commonly only reaching about 10" to 12" in length within the aquarium environment. Even the largest Kelberi Peacock Bass is quite reasonable in size compared to many of the other species of Peacock Bass who routinely reach lengths upwards of 28" or more. Cichla kelberi are collected from the Rio Araguaia drainage and the lower Rio Tocantins drainage located within the Brazilian Amazon. These areas tend to be lower flow and with less overall water volume than the main stems of the Amazon River where many of the larger Peacock Bass like Cichla monoculus are collected from. More narrow, slower moving and more highly vegetated water ways has most likely played a large part in the Kelberi Peacock Bass evolving into a smaller Peacock Bass species in order to better ambush prey in their native environment. Cichla kelberi is distinguished from all other species ​of Cichla by presence in adults of small light spots​ on the pelvic and anal fins, and lower lobe of caudal​ fin. Cichla kelberi have similarities to C. monoculus and C. pleiozona in ​that they both have three dark vertical bars on their sides, a pronounced occipital bar in larger specimens, absence of black or ocellated markings laterally on head, and presence of irregular dark blotches on anterior abdominal side and typical absence of bar 4.​ Dominant or breeding males will exhibit yellow or golden coloration on their side, vertical black bars, a greenish head without black spots, white chest, abdomen and ventral aspect of caudal fin base. The yellow coloration on the sides is interspersed with numerous small black spots dorsally. Additionally, they will exhibit prominently a dark grey nuchal hump. Dominant or breeding females tend to exhibit yellowish to golden coloration on their sides and yellow on the cheek and gill covers. Their lower jaw, chest, abdomen and the ventral side of caudal peduncle will be white or light yellow in color. They will generally have light spots along their sides, a light caudal eyespot and spots on anal fin yellow. Kelberi Peacock Bass (Cichla kelberi) is probably the most suitable of all Peacock Bass species for aquarium life due to its smaller size of 12" on average. Their smaller size makes them suitable for more hobbyists as they do not require a massive aquarium like many other Cichla species. Additionally, their smaller size means that they have a smaller mouth and corresponding aggressiveness, which allows them to be kept with a larger variety of tank mates than say a full grown 30" plus Temensis Peacock Bass. Peacock Bass are accustomed to an environment with high quality water with low levels of pollutants and high levels of dissolved oxygen. Kelberi Peacock Bass aquariums need to replicate this environment as much as possible through strong mechanical, chemical and biological filtration along with medium to strong water movement. They are a little less sensitive to lower oxygen levels partly because of the slower flowing tributaries where they originate and partly due to their smaller overall size. While Peacock Bass are large fish that eat equally large meals, they can do well in aquariums with excellent filtration capable of removing the excess food and waste products produced from such a large species. The adult size of the Peacock Bass is also an important factor in choosing the right aquarium to house them, with the size and shape of the aquarium being very important. With adult Kelberi Peacock Bass reaching between 10" to 18" in length, they can be suitably housed as an adult in aquariums of 180 gallons or larger. Smaller specimens can be raised in smaller aquariums if they are moved to larger tanks as they grow, with a general rule of tank being at least 4 times as long and 1 1/2 times as wide as the length of the fish. The aquarium decor should be designed to provide plenty of swimming room, while also providing some areas of cover using driftwood, floating or well rooted plants and rocks with a sandy or gravel substrate. Tank mates are an important consideration when housing adult Peacock Bass with other New World Cichlids due to their large size and aggressive temperament. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can fit in the mouth of the Peacock Bass eventually will. Tank mates should consist of other large aggressive New World Cichlids, large Catfish species and freshwater rays. Kelberi Peacock Bass can be kept as the only Peacock Bass species or mixed with other species of Peacock Bass. They also do well in good sized groups and will work out a dominance structure amongst themselves, which will lower aggression between fish once their social hierarchy is in place. Wild Kelberi Peacock Bass feed on a wide variety of live foods living in their river tributary ecosystem, which include: insects, smaller fish, worms, crustaceans and amphibians. Kelberi Peacock Bass kept within the aquarium environment will readily feed on the same variety of live foods that they feed on in nature, but it is often more desirable to ween them off of live foods. Live foods are typically more expensive, require holding tanks, more frequent trips to the aquarium store, can bring diseases and can create excess pollution in the aquarium water. Hobbyists generally ween their Peacock Bass to commercial food preparations in order to simplify their care and avoid the pitfalls or live foods. However, it is not uncommon for Peacock Bass enthusiasts who have weened their fish to commercial foods to provide the occasional live feeding to enjoy the prey drive and aggressive feeding technique of the Peacock Bass. Suitable commercial foods for Peacock Bass include: worms, pellet foods, food sticks, frozen meaty foods like krill, silver sides or similar fare. Peacock Bass will also consume a variety of dead meaty foods like raw shrimp, raw prawns, raw fish and similar meaty items. Individual specimens will often have their own preferences, with some specimens eating most anything while others will be more picky about their diet.
Red Tiger Lotus
(Nymphaea Zenkeri) Easy Medium 10-32" All 70-86° F, KH 3-15, pH 5.5-7.8 Seeds Red/Green Root tabs, Iron supplement, CO2 West Africa Nymphaeaceae Lotus Red Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea Zenkeri) originates from West Africa where it is found growing in drainage ditches, the margins around lakes and ponds and other areas of stagnant water. The relatively shallow water in its native habitat has made this plant quite tolerant of water temperature, lighting and dissolved CO2 in the water. When under high lighting and CO2 the Red Tiger Lotus will grow more rapidly, but it is equally at home in environments with medium lighting intensity and no added CO2. Red Tiger Lotus are capable of absorbing atmospheric CO2 from the lilly pads that reach the surface of the water, which accelerates their growth compared to plants that must take in all of their CO2 from the water column. The Red Tiger Lotus will grow to about 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide in ideal water and lighting conditions. They will extend arrow shaped lilly pads to the surface of the water, producing red or blue flowers. It is these flowers that once they fruit will produce the seeds that propagate the plant. The seeds develop into bulbs that root them selves into the substrate and begin the growth of another plant. Without a doubt the Red Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea Zenkeri) will quickly become a center piece of the aquarium due to its brilliant red and green coloration, arrow shaped red leaves, lilly pads and bright red or blue flowers. It not only looks attractive, but also serves to create areas underneath the broad leaves and lilly pads that is filtered from the bright aquarium lights, which is ideal for fish or inverts who appreciate areas of diffused or filtered lighting. Additionally, it is a versatile plant that can look great in all different areas of the aquarium and can integrate well with a wide variety of other plants, driftwood and rock scapes. Red Tiger Lotus is generally sold within the aquarium hobby as either a bulb or a small juvenile plant with an existing root system. If purchased as a bulb, make sure that the bulb is firm and not soft or squishy which would indicate it is dead. A good firm bulb can be planted about a third of the way into the aquarium substrate or simply place on top of the substrate, where it will begin to establish a root system and producing leaves. Do not bury the bulb too deep or completely covered by the substrate as this will kill the plant. While the Red Tiger Lotus can absorb nutrients and CO2 from the water column, it is primarily a root feeder and does best with a soil rich in iron; additionally, once its leaves have reached the surface of the water where it will take in atmospheric CO2. When kept in aquariums with plant substrates or dirt the Red Tiger Lotus will grow out extensive root systems and take in much of its nutrients through the roots. However, in aquariums with inert substrates the Red Tiger Lotus will be forced to take in the majority of its nutrition from the water column. In these cases it is best not to plant it near more sensitive plant species that it will out compete for nutrients and starve out. Often times with this species hobbyists find that its growth is too rapid, which is often the case in tanks with high intensity lighting, use of liquid fertilizers and CO2. The two primary ways to slow down the growth of the Red Tiger Lotus is to trim leaves before they reach the surface of the aquarium or constrain the roots so that they cannot spread into the whole substrate. Keeping leaves and lilly pads from reaching the surface of the water keeps the Red Tiger Lotus from accessing atmospheric CO2, which is much more abundant than dissolved CO2 in the water column. Constraining the root system prevents the plant from accessing all the iron and nutrient rich soil or plant substrate throughout the entire aquarium. Limiting both CO2 access and root growth controls the amount of fuel the plant has access to and thus controls the rate of growth of the plant. The Red Tiger Lotus propagates through producing lotus flowers at the surface of the water, which produce a large amount of seeds which when dropped fall back into the water and can take root in the substrate and produce another plant. This is a very effective way for the plant to reproduce and in the aquarium environment the fast growing Red Tiger Lotus can quickly take over the aquarium. In order to keep the plant from taking over the entire aquarium it is best to trim surface flowers before they develop fruit and produce seeds. The flowers will only develop when leaves are allowed to grow to the surface of the water. Many hobbyists enjoy the look of surface leaves and the shading it provides within the aquarium, so trimming the flowers is the best approach. However, for those who do not want or care about surface leaves, they can simply trim the leaves before they reach the surface, which will prevent flowering, grow more submerged leaves and slow down the overall growth rate of the plant.
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Needle Leaf Ludwigia
(Ludwigia arcuata) Easy Medium to High 20" Midground to Background 72-82° F, KH 3-11, pH 5.5-7.8 Cuttings, Seeds Green, Red/Yellow w/high lighting Trace Elements, CO2 Fertilization, Iron, Potassium Southeastern United States Onagraceae Ludwigia Needle Leaf Ludwigia (Ludwigia arcuata) is found growing both submerged and emersed in marshes, pond margins and drainage ditches in the Southeastern United States, primarily in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. It has a delicate looking reddish stem and thin needle like leaves that vary from green to red. Despite looking quite delicate, it is actually a very hardy species and when kept under the correct conditions will quickly branch and grow into bushy clusters reaching nearly 20" in height. Needle Leaf Ludwigia is an easy plant to grow that adds movement and dimension to the aquarium. The leaves are thin, pointed and grow in opposite pairs along the whole length of the stem. Depending on the amount of iron available in the water and the intensity of the water, the leaves can vary in color from green to red. If pruned frequently, this plant will branch out and provide a bushy filler for the mid-ground or background placements within the aquarium. Ludwigia arcuata is typically sold in a bunch of individual stems, marked for medium to high lighting and recommended for background applications in smaller tanks and mid-ground to background in larger tanks. Many hobbyists are attracted to this species due to the movement it creates within the aquarium as it slowly sways in the water currents. It is also excellent at creating thick bushy areas within the aquarium if pruned frequently, thus providing a bushy filler for the mid-ground or background applications. In more shallow tanks with high lighting Needle Leaf Ludwigia can grow to the surface and grow horizontally on the waters surface, where it will both produce brilliant yellow flowers and provide filtered shaded areas on the substrate below. Needle Leaf Ludwigia is a versatile plant, but to get the more desirable bright red color, hobbyists must provide high lighting and nutrient levels. High iron content is key in bringing out more red tones of the shoot apexes and the undersides of the leaves. CO2 injection is not required for the cultivation of this plant, but can help it grow more robustly. When grown emersed, the leaves tend to be more round like what is typically found on other types of ludwigia and will remain green. When grown under high light and submerged in an aquarium, the leaves turn thin and orange to red depending on iron and nutrient levels. Dosing with iron supplements will bring out the deepest red coloration. In nature reproduction occurs during the late spring and summer when mature plants develop bright yellow flowers just above the surface of the water. From these flowers seeds will develop and eventually drop off and find their way to the substrate, where they will develop into a new plant. Hobbyists looking to propagate Ludwigia Needle Leaf need simply cut off one of the numerous side shoots, branches or simply top off the plant and plant the newly cut stem into the substrate. In order to ensure proper root growth of the new cutting, remove any leaves from the last segment or node of the plant before replanting.
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