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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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Siamese Algae Eater
(Crossocheilus siamensis) Moderate Peaceful 6" 30 gallons 75-80° F, KH 5-10, pH 6.0-7.0 Omnivore Southeast Asia Cyprinidae Suckermouth Catfish Community Native to the many tributaries, streams and drainage ditches of Southeast Asia, the Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis) is a schooling species of suckermouth catfish. They are found living amongst the dense vegetation along the banks and bottoms of the many streams and drainage ditches of the tropical areas of Southeast Asia. Generations spent living in an environment of dense aquatic vegetation has made the Siamese Algae Eater a master at eating algae from all manner of plant leaves, stalks and stems, which consequently has endeared them with those who keep planted aquariums the world over. Often referred to as the "friendly" algae eater, the Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis) has a lot more going for it than simply being more peaceful than the more widely available and similar in appearance Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchus kalopterus) and the Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilos aymonieri). It is due to the similarities in appearance between these species, that hobbyists will often refer to the Siamese Algae Eater as the True Siamese Algae Eater in order to more clearly distinguish it from the more common Flying Fox and Chinese Algae Eater, who are often mislabeled as a Siamese Algae Eater. Although Siamese Algae Eaters are a bit more rare than their Chinese cousins, they are readily available within the hobby and do great in peaceful planted community aquariums. Their peaceful temperament and effectiveness at eating a wide variety of algae types has endeared this species with planted aquarium hobbyists the world over. In fact the Siamese Algae Eater is one of the few species of suckermouth catfish that is known to consistently feed on Black Brush or Black Beard algae. The Siamese Algae Eater, although dull and not colorfully attractive, can be an important asset when dealing with various forms of algae and is also an intriuging schooling fish, ideal for community setups. Their ideal tank setup would mimic their southeast Asian streams; however, they will also do well in planted tanks and general larger community aquariums. As is the case with most species originating from streams and rivers, they need additional water flow via a power head or canister return and plenty of dissolved oxygen. In their native stream habitats they are accustomed to clean, flowing water and plenty of room for schools of individuals to swim about. They prefer aquarium setups that have at least moderate water flow and plenty of plants and rock on which they can graze for algae and adequate size to accommodate at least 6 full grown specimens. Ideally this species should be kept in a 4 foot long, 55 gallon or larger aquarium which will provide enough swimming room for a group of 6 or more 6 inch adult True SAEs. When kept in small groups the Siamese Algae Eater is very peaceful towards tank mates and will generally school about the aquarium feeding on algae with its mates. However, if not kept in a small group or school they will tend to act like Barbs who are not kept in groups and nip at other fish. This occurs because they are used to living in a group and the fish within the group will communicate their position to others in the group by slightly touching or nipping each other as they move about the aquarium. Fish who aren't accustomed to living in schools will find this behavior to be stressful. Proper tank mates vary from community fish species like Tetra, Barbs, Corydoras, Gouramis, Loaches, Rasboras, Rainbowfish and peaceful Cichlid species. The key is keeping a small group of Siamese Algae Eaters and keeping them with fish who are not large or aggressive enough to see them as food. They make an excellent compliment to most community aquarium setups as they control algae growth and swim in attractive looking schools. It is well known within the aquarium hobby that the True Siamese Algae Eater is a prolific consumer of algae, including some species of algae like Black Beard Algae that many other algae eaters won't consume. Algae will most often make up the bulk of this species diet, much to the joy of hobbyists looking to control algae growth within their tanks. However, if there is a shortage of algae in the aquarium the True SAE will gladly consume a wide variety of commercial foods including flakes, freeze-dried worms and shrimp, algae wafers and even vegetables like zucchini or green beans. Despite having some distinct differences in body shape, coloration and pattern, the Siamese Algae Eater is continually mislabeled as a Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilos aymonieri) or a Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchus kalopterus). Lets start with the easy one first, the Chinese Algae has some very distinct differences between itself and the true Siamese Algae Eater (SAE). These differences include: much larger, thicker and longer body; larger and more down turned suckermouth; rounder and thicker head; dark brown coloration and brown spotted pattern on the top of their body and lastly a brown lateral stripe instead of the very black stripe of the SAE. Now for the more challenging part, identifying a True Siamese Algae Eater from the False Siamensis and Flying Fox fish. The most apparent difference between them is the horizontal black stripe running the length of the body. Both the False Siamensis and Flying Fox have a sharp, smooth black stripe topped with a gold stripe. The True Siamese Algae Eater has a lateral stripe that has ragged edges between the black stripe and the gold body coloration. Additionally, the Flying Fox has red and black on its finnage, which becomes very pronounced as they become adults. Another distinction between the SAE and the False SAE and Flying Fox is the number of pairs of barbells on the mouth of the fish. True Siamese Algae Eaters have a single pair of barbells (whiskers) by their mouth; where as, False Siamensis and Flying Fox have two pairs of barbells. While this difference can be more difficult to see on small fish darting about in an aquarium, it can definitively identify which species it is. Lastly, the behavior of the fish can help identify their true identity. True Siamese Algae Eaters are a schooling species who will stay together with others of their own kind, both swimming and feeding in small groups of individuals. While both the False Siamensis and Flying Fox are solitary species who will attempt to claim a territory and prevent other suckermouth catfish from entering by chasing off any of their own or similar species of fish.
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Joe Piegols
Reticulated Hillstream Loach
1 like Loaches
(Sewellia lineolata) Moderate Peaceful 3" 30 gallons 64-76° F, KH 8-15, pH 6.5-7.5 Omnivore Southeast Asia, China, India Balitoridae Loaches Community The Reticulated Hillstream Loach is an example of where a natural adaptation for their native habitat has inadvertently produced a gem for the aquarium hobby, with a species that has a unique almost Stingray like appearance and an active, inquisitive swim style. While many algae eaters and plecos have developed adaptations that allow them to cling to rocks and wood in their native stream habitats, the Reticulated Hillstream Loach has a highly modified flattened body that has a Stingray like appearance, which has allowed them to succeed in fast-flowing mountain streams, rivers, and rapids. This flattened body shape helps the Reticulated Hillstream Loach both navigate and cling to rocks and wood in very strong currents with minimal effort. In addition, this very practical and specialized body shape helps accentuate the gorgeous wing-like finnage of the Hillstream Loach. This combined with a graphic mottled pattern adds further visual interest which sets this species of algae eater apart from the typical algae eater found witin the hobby. Despite the adaptations for fast flowing waters, the Reticulated Hillstream Loach can thrive in the aquarium environment provided that they are provided additional water flow, highly oxyginated water and a substrate free of built up organic matter. Additional water flow in the form of a powerhead or a canister filter that is over-sized for the aquarium and utilizes a spray bar return, are essential aspects of a proper aquarium housing Reticulated Hillstream Loaches. The additional water flow will not only increase disolved oxygen and provide water current, but will also keep detritus and dissolving organics from building up on the aquarium substrate and in crevices created by rocks and driftwood. These slight enhancements to the typical tropical community aquarium setup will help make the tank suitable for housing fish like the Reticulated Hillstream Loach, who are adapted for streams and fast flowing rivers. In general the hobbyist will want to stay away from keeping this species in the typical blackwater Amazon habitat with calm waters and substrate obscurred by leaf litter, and instead keep them in a tank designed to emulate a stream or river habitat. While Reticulated Hillstream Loach can tolerate colder water temperatures down into the low 60°s F, they can do well in aquariums with water temperatures all they way up to the mid 70°s F. The warmer the aquarium water the more important that the hobbyist maintain high levels of dissolved oxygen and significant water flow. Suitable tank mates consist of pretty much any community fish species and any Cichlid species that won't see the Reticulated Hillstream Loach as a potential meal. Additionally, tank mates should share the Reticulated Hillstream Loach love of flowing waters and require higher water temperatures in the upper 70°s F to mid 80°s F like Discus. In healthy well established aquariums the Reticulated Hillstream Loach will feed primarily on algae, detritus and leftover food items that make it in between rocks or on to the aquarium substrate. They are prolific algae eaters who will readily clear rocks, plant leaves and aquarium glass of algae and any small bits of detritus or micro-crustaceans living in the algae. If kept in an aquarium where there is not sufficient algae growth or ample feeding opportunities on leftover foods reaching the substrate, the Reticulated Hillstream Loach can be fed sinking algae wafers, carnivore pellets, flake foods or freeze-dried foods designed for freshwater fish. In situations where direct feeding is required in order to make sure that the Reticulated Hillstream Loach is properly fed, hobbyists can feed them vegetables like cucumber or blanched spinach or meaty food items ranging from brine shrimp to commercial flake or pellet foods as long as the foods sink to the bottom of the aquarium.
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Von Rio Flame Tetra
2 likes Tetras
(Hyphessobrycon flammeus) Easy Peaceful 1.5" 10 gallons 70-84° F, KH 3-10, pH 5.5-7.5 Omnivore South America, Eastern Brazil Characidae Tetras Community The Von Rio Flame Tetra is commonly found within the aquarium hobby under the names Von Rio Tetra, Von Rio Flame Tetra, Flame Tetra, Fire Tetra, Rio Tetra, Red Tetra or simply under their scientific name Hyphessobrycon flammeus. Despite the name the fish remains the same, and this case the fish is a beautiful Tetra species that is at home in a variety of tropical community or planted aquariums. Schools of Von Rio Flame Tetra will even do well when kept with peaceful Cichlid species like Angelfish, Severum, Acara or other similar Cichlid species. Von Rio Tetra originate from small coastal river tributaries, creeks and backwaters of Eastern Brazil around Rio de Janeiro and surrounding areas. They inhabit slow moving creeks, backwaters and smaller river tributaries. They live in schools of individuals and move about through the submerged vegetation looking for small worms, crustaceans and insect larvae on which to feed. Living in large schools and staying close to submerged root and plants affords them protection from a variety of larger predators. Von Rio Tetra are a peaceful species who do well in most tropical community aquarium and planted aquarium setups; however, they are more boisterous than many of the smaller Tetra species like Neon Tetra or Ember Tetra. They prefer to live in schools of individuals with at least 6 or more individuals. They are active swimmers who dart about more so than swim and will nip at each other in a social manner. Keeping them in larger schools helps to eliminate any aggression, provides them a sense of security and helps to increase their red coloration as the males and females compete for one anothers attention. The ideal tank for keeping Von Rio Tetra will have plenty of live or ornamental plants, driftwood and areas of diffused lighting. Either floating plants or large pieces of driftwood can be used to create areas in the tank that have diffused lighting, which will allow the them to retreat from the bright aquarium lights when they feel threatened. They will appreciate consistent gentle water flow and warm, slightly acidic water conditions. A small group of Von Rio Tetra will do fine in an aquarium of 2o to 30 gallons, with a larger group of adult specimens needing at least 40 to 50 gallons or more to thrive. In addition to areas of plants and submerged wood, Von Rio Tetra need plenty of open swimming room and plenty of water movement in order to replicate their native river habitat. Wild Von Rio Tetra feed on a wide variety of foods including: small crustaceans, small worms, algae, small insects and insect larvae. They are very hardy feeders and will quickly adjust to commercial aquarium foods. Hobbyists should feed a variety of foods comprised of flake, frozen and freeze-dried foods designed for freshwater tropical omnivores. A mix of foods will help ensure that they receive all the vitamins and minerals that they need to maintain a healthy immune system. Von Rio Tetra are egg layers who reach sexual maturity at around 6 months of age. Hobbyists looking to breed them will want to establish a breeding group of 10 to 16 fish equally split between males and females. The breeding group should be kept in an aquarium in the 10 to 29 gallon range, with either live plants or a spawning mop in order to give them a place to deposit their eggs in a similar fashion as they would in nature. In their natural habitat the Von Rio Tetra would while clasped together perform a roll-over breeding process in moderately dense vegetation in order to both deposit their eggs and fertilize them. This style of spawning works best in vegetation or spawning material that isn't too dense, as the fish need to be able to move about within the plants or spawning mop. The tank should have more subdued lighting and the plants or spawning mops spread out in different areas of the tank in order to give the fish options on where to lay their eggs. Feedings should be kept small and consist of high quality frozen foods or live foods. Aquarium filtration for the breeding aquarium should consist of either a air powered sponge filter or a small power filter with a sponge over the intake tube. Lastly, the ideal water parameters for stimulating breeding in Von Rio Tetra is water that is soft and acidic, a pH around 5.5 to 6.5 and a water temperature between 80° F and 84° F. After the fish have successfully spawned the adult fish should be removed from the breeding aquarium so that they do not eat the eggs or the fry when the hatch. The eggs will hatch within 24 to 36 hours, with the fry becoming free swimming in 3 to 4 days. The young fry are sensitive to bright lighting and poor water conditions, thus lower lighting and daily 25% partial water changes will greatly increase the chance of the fry reaching maturity. Be sure to use the water change process as an opportunity to remove any leftover foods that accumulate on the bottom of the aquarium so that they do not degrade the water quality. New born fry should be fed micro foods like infusoria, brine shrimp nauplii or other similar items designed for newly hatched fry. The fry grow rapidly and will reach adulthood by 6 months of age, during which time the foods fed to them should increase in size as the fish grow. Baby brine, crushed flake foods or mico-worms make excellent food choices for young fish until they can eat traditional flake, frozen and freeze-dried foods.
Leopard Cory
2 likes Cory Cats
(Corydoras leopardus) Easy Peaceful 3" 30 gallons 72-79° F, KH 3-12, pH 6.0-7.2 Omnivore Amazon basin in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador Callichthyidae Cory Cats Community Leopard Cory (Corydoras leopardus) are native to the rivers, streams and tributaries of the western Amazon basin ranging from Brazil over to Peru and Ecuador. They are a very peaceful species who live in large groups of dozens of individuals, both for safety and social interactions. They spend their days foraging amongst the leaf litter, vegetation and wood root covered areas of the river near the shoreline for a variety of meaty items like small worms, crustaceans and insect larvae. The Leopard Cory can be difficult to distinguish from a few other Cory Cats who all share some very similar visual traits. The four Cory Cat species who share very similar patterns include: Corydoras julii, C. leopardus, C. punctatus and C. trilineatus, all who share a large black mark on the dorsal fin, a barred caudal fin, horizontal striping along the body at the juncture of the dorsal and ventral lateral plates and a spotted body. In addition to similar markings, all of these species can also exhibit many variations in their pattern, which makes positive identification even more difficult. Beyond the pattern and markings, the easiest way to tell the Leopard Cory from the others is that it has a longer snout profile than the others. However, Leopard Cory's are generally more rare than the other similar species, so look closely and make sure you can positively identify the species before making a purchase. 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. The native habitat of the Leopard Cory contains lots of tree roots, vegetation, a sandy substrate with a cover of fallen leaves. The jungle canopy that presides over their natural habitat creates many areas of diffused lighting and cooler mid 70s water temperatures. 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 driftwood, rocky caves and plenty of vegetation, which will provide them a tank that resembles their native home. Some important aquarium design elements when keeping Leopard Cory's is a sand or fine grain gravel substrate, plenty of internal water flow, areas of plants and wood root along with open swimming areas and locations in the aquarium where the fish can escape the bright aquarium lights. Like all cory cat species, Leopard Cory Cats 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 Leopard Cory 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. While conditions that closely resemble their native habitat is also desirable, they are tolerant of a fairly wide range of aquarium conditions. Cory Cats are easily affected by poor water conditions, as they live right on the substrate where there is often less water flow and more decaying material and fish waste. As their native river and stream habitats have a constant flow of freshwater passing through, the home aquarium by contrast is much more of a closed ecosystem, which makes it more susceptible to adverse changes in water quality and chemistry if decaying matter is present within the aquarium. As with other Corydoras species, Corydoras leopardus is a communal species who will want to live in a group of Cory cats and not a single specimen. They would love nothing more than to live in a group of Corydoras leopardus, but will also happily coexist with other Corydoras species as well. They will do well with a wide variety of peaceful community fish tank mates ranging from the smallest Tetras, Rasboras and Barbs, all the way to larger peaceful Cichlid species like Geophagus, Blue Acara and Severum. Their diet should contain primarily meaty foods, with some plant based material in the form of pellets or flakes designed for omnivores. A diet that provides a variety of food items will help ensure that all the necessary vitamins and minerals the fish needs for a nutritionally complete diet and strong immune system are available. They are very easy to feed as they will readily take to a wide variety of commercial fish foods, algae and even decaying plant material. Some good food choices are freeze-dried bloodworms, black worms, sinking pellets, shrimp pellets, flake food, brine shrimp and frozen and live foods designed for freshwater tropical fish.
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Tracy Lee
Corydoras pantanalensis
(Corydoras pantanalensis) Easy Peaceful 3" 30 gallons 72-79° F, KH 5-12, pH 6.0-7.5 Omnivore Bolivian, Pantanal wetlands Callichthyidae Cory Cats Community Corydoras pantanalensis originate from the pristine, clear flowing waters of the Western Pantanal wetlands area located in Bolivia. Unlike the typical tannin tainted waters found throughout much of the Amazon, the Bolivian Pantanal wetlands is known for its crystal clear flowing waters and areas and dense vegetation. While many Corydoras species live in habitats characterized by dimly lit water ways underneath thick jungle canopies and tannin stained waters, the Corydoras pantanalensis is used to living in crystal clear water amongst dense vegetation and under bright sunlight. This makes the Corydoras pantanalensis a natural fit for the typical planted aquarium with its bright lighting and abundance of plants. The males and females differ in appearance with the males exhibiting a reticulated pattern when mature, while the females lack the reticulated pattern. Additionally, the females are larger than the males both in length and girth. 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. The ideal aquarium environment for the Corydoras pantanalensis is one that closely resembles their native wetland habitat. Basically your typical planted aquarium consisting of a soft sandy substrate, areas of dense vegetation, open swimming areas and submerged wood or root along with typical planted aquarium lighting, would be ideal. Additionally, they will prefer aquariums that have plenty of water flow, which will both simulate their native environment and keep detritus and debris from building up on the substrate. Corydoras pantanalensis will absolutely love a well maintained standard planted aquarium or a very peaceful community fish aquarium. Quality water conditions are essential with this species as they are sensitive to deteriorating water conditions and high nitrates. As with all Cory Cats, do not use under gravel filtration and ensure the substrate receives some water flow and no large decaying items. Cory Cats are easily affected by poor water conditions, as they live right on the substrate where there is often less water flow and more decaying material and fish waste. As their native wetlands have a constant flow of freshwater passing through, the home aquarium by contrast is much more of a closed ecosystem, which makes it more susceptible to adverse changes in water quality and chemistry if decaying matter is present within the aquarium. As with other Corydoras species, Corydoras pantanalensis is a communal species who will want to live in a group of Cory cats and not a single specimen. They would love nothing more than to live in a group of Corydoras pantanalensis, but will also happily coexist with other Corydoras species as well. They will do well with a wide variety of peaceful community fish tank mates ranging from the smallest Tetras, Rasboras and Barbs, all the way to larger peaceful Cichlid species like Geophagus, Blue Acara and Severum. Their diet should contain primarily meaty foods, with some plant based material in the form of pellets or flakes designed for omnivores. A diet that provides a variety of food items will help ensure that all the necessary vitamins and minerals the fish needs for a nutritionally complete diet and strong immune system are available. They are very easy to feed as they will readily take to a wide variety of commercial fish foods, algae and even decaying plant material. Some good food choices are freeze-dried bloodworms, black worms, sinking pellets, shrimp pellets, flake food, brine shrimp and frozen and live foods designed for freshwater tropical fish.
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Featherfin Squeaker Catfish
1 like Catfish
(Synodontis eupterus) Moderate Semi-aggressive 8" 55 gallons 72-82° F, KH 4-15, pH 6.0-8.0 Omnivore Africa, Zaire, Chad, Cameroon Mochokidae Catfish Community / African Cichlid The Featherfin Squeaker Catfish (Synodontis eupterus) originates from the White Nile, Volta and Chad river basins and surrounding feeder rivers and tributaries. They live in areas where the bottom of the river has an abundance of rocks and wood and relatively sparse vegetation. The Featherfin Squeaker patrols inside every rocky cave and crevice and around submerged logs and roots for any type of edible plant, algae or meaty item that it can find. They received their common name of Featherfin Squeaker Catfish due to their ability to communicate with one another via a squeaking sound. This aids them in communicating with others in their groups when they are down in dark caves, in between rocky crevices and in and around submerged logs and tree roots. While this is less needed in the brightly lit home aquarium, it does make for an enjoyable quirk that many hobbyists find quite enjoyable and does set the Featherfin Squeaker apart from other similar catfish species. While in their native river habitats it is not unusually for this species to grow upwards of 12 to 13 inches (31 cm) in length, aquarium specimens rarely exceed 10 inches in length with a max size of 8 inches (21 cm) being much more common. The Featherfin Squeaker Catfish is considered a moderately difficult species to keep in the home aquarium due to its relative large size and the need for the aquarium hobbyist to at least partially replicate their native river habitat within the aquarium environment. While they only reach about 8 to 10 inches in length in the aquarium, the Featherfin Squeaker Catfish is a thick bodied fish who between their size and semi-aggressive temperament are not suitable for community aquarium environments with smaller fish species, delicate fish species or small ornamental shrimp. Featherfin Squeaker Catfish do best when kept with African Cichlids, New World Cichlids or moderately sized community fish. They will often become territorial towards other Catfish when kept in smaller aquariums; however, when kept in larger aquariums (125 gallons or more) they are generally pretty easy going towards their tank mates. While it is not necessary to keep this species in a river biotope, it is important to provide them an aquarium environment that has plenty of water flow, quality water conditions and lower levels of dissolved nitrate. Hobbyists will want to employ a powerhead or high-end canister filter in order to provide adequate additional water flow. Synodontis eupterus will appreciate a soft substrate like sand or rounded, small gravel as they enjoy rooting around and digging in the substrate in search of food items. They also need plenty of rocks and submerged wood or tree root in which swim in and about and search for leftover food items. They will see larger rocks and submerged wood as a major part of their territory, thus the more of this type of decor will afford them a suitable amount of territory without trying to claim the entire aquarium. This is especially important if one plans to keep the Featherfin Squeaker Catfish with other Syndontis or similar sized Catfish species. As this species originates from the river systems connected to Lake Malawi, they make excellent additions to African Cichlid aquariums. They enjoy the same water parameters and aquarium design as African Cichlids and they are robust enough to easily handle the somewhat aggressive nature of many of African Cichlid species. Featherfin Squeaker Catfish are robust feeders who will readily consume a wide range of food items. They are an omnivore, thus they will consume both plant and animal based foods. While they may consume floating foods like flake or freeze-dried items from the waters surface, they should really be provided sinking foods that will make it down to the aquarium substrate, which will give them a much more natural feeding experience. Provide a mix of sinking foods like pellets and wafers designed for omnivores, along with some plant based foods like algae wafers or foods with spirulina algae included in them. Additionally, the Featherfin Squeaker will be more than happy to scavenge for any flake, freeze-dried or frozen foods that make their way down the substrate of the aquarium. Provide daily direct feedings, with additional feedings being determined by the amount of food they are able to scavenge and supplement their diet and the overall girth of the fish. Synodontis eupterus are not known to be bred naturally within captivity. Specimens found within the aquarium hobby are wild caught from their native African rivers and river basins.
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Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish
3 likes Anglefish
(Pterophyllum sp.) Easy Semi-aggressive 6" 30 gallons 75-82° F, KH 1-5, pH 5.8-7.0 Omnivore Captive bred Cichlidae Angelfish Community The Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) is the result of selective breeding that over the course of decades has produced the brilliantly colored and patterned specimens now found within the aquarium hobby. Todays Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish are the culmination of many years worth of selective line breeding, which has combined attributes of fish carrying the "Philippine blue pb gene" with multiple more established lines of Angelfish including: Zebra Angelfish, Platinum Angelfish, Albino Angelfish and many others. In addition to the traits common to a Marbled Angelfish, the Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish is selectively bred with Angelfish exhibiting the blue color gene in or to combine the both the blue coloration and the marbled pattern of a Marbled Angelfish. While generally available for sale within the aquarium hobby, the Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish is one of the more rare variants to find in the average local fish store. Thus, many hobbyists acquire Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish online from specialty retailers or from breeders at aquarium shows or conferences. Like all Angelfish, the Blue Platinum Marble prefers warm temperate waters similar to that of their native Amazon basin in South America, where they are found in calm waterways and flood plains. In nature, Angels are found living in areas with plenty of dense vegetation and tree roots, which they use for protection against larger fish species and as a place to hunt insect larvae and other foodstuffs. Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish will do well in aquariums that are at least 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. When kept in groups they will need an aquarium considerably larger than a 30 gallon aquarium that would be appropriate for a single specimen or pair, smaller groups will do well in a 75 gallon and larger groups (more than 6) will need a 125 gallon or larger tank. Contrary to popular belief, long finned species like the 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. 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 Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish prefers soft, slightly acidic water with temperatures that stay between 79 and 83 degrees. However, the farm bred specimens that are generally sold in aquarium stores are more tolerant of a wider range of water parameters than their wild caught cousins. 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, black 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. This is rarely an issue with adult angelfish as they will generally feed very aggressively and are rarely intimidated by other community fish species. Full grown Angelfish 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 Blue Zebra Angels are capable of eating small fish up to 1 inch in length. Angelfish form monogamous pairs. They lay eggs on smooth vertical surfaces like a piece of wood, a flat leaf, smooth rocks, slate, or even the aquarium glass. Breeders often provide an artificial spawning site such as a piece of slate, a ceramic cone, or a vertical piece of plastic pipe in order to more easily facilitate removing the eggs from the breeding tank if needed. Howerver, as with most cichlids, Angelfish perform brood care where the parents will tend to the eggs, and when they hatch the parents will hang the fry on vertical surfaces until they become free-swimming. Sexing angelfish is difficult even for experienced angelfish breeders can usually discriminate male from female visually, it is not foolproof. Only during spawning will you be able to tell the male from the female because the female has a thick, blunt breeding tube, and the male has a thin, more pointed breeding tube. Breeding specialized variants like the Blue Platinum Marble Angelfish requires a deeper look into the genetics of fish breeding and is beyond the scope of this profile.
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Ashley Gilbert
Sara Bruce
Snow White 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 Snow White Discus is one of the more recent strains of discus to be developed, which through genetic mutation and line breeding have produced a solid white 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 Snow White or White Diamond Discus. 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 Snow White Discus and generally give it more of a creamy yellow or orange white 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 Leopard Skin 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. Snow White 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. Snow White 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 Snow White 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. Snow White Discus should be fed a variety of nutritional meaty foods including: white worms, blood worms, Tubifex worms, high protein pellet and flake foods. Juvenile Snow White 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 Snow White Discus is easily effected by the amount of carotenoids or color enhancing elements that are present in their food. Snow White Discus who are fed color enhancing foods or foods high in beta carotene will quickly develop a pink, light yellow or light orange hue to them. 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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Blue Panaque Pleco (L-239)
2 likes Plecos
(Baryancistrus beggini) Moderate Peaceful 4" 30 gallons 75-82° F, KH 6-12, pH 6.5-7.5 Omnivore Venezuela, Colombia, Orinoco River Loricariidae Plecos Community The Blue Panaque Pleco (L-239) (Baryancistrus beggini) is found living in the fast flowing steams and river tributaries of the Orinoco River, where it works its way around the rocky bottoms and tree root lined banks foraging for small crustaceans, microorganims and algae. Their small 4" (10 cm) size and brilliant blue / gray coloration has made the L-239 a very popular Pleco species for many aquarium hobbyists. They make a great addition to aquariums designed to replicate Amazonian river habitats or even in well aqua-scaped planted aquariums that maintain excellent water quality and utilize plenty of wood, root and areas of dense plants. Additionally, they require at least moderate water flow to keep the substrate free of built up decaying matter or detritus. In nature this species prefers locations that have large numbers of smooth rocks and boulders. They will both forage on the algae and microorganisms living on the rocks, and will use the caves and crevices they create for shelter when they feel threatened. While not suitable for the average community fish aquarium, that typically has lower water movement, some level of detritus build up on the substrate and often few pieces of wood and rock. While they do not require a full blown flowing river habitat like their native Orinoco River, they do require some of the key aspects of this environment in their aquarium habitat. When keeping the L-239 Pleco in the home aquarium it is important to provide additional water flow in order to keep detritus from building up on the aquarium substrate. High quality water that is low in dissolved nutrients and maintains low nitrate levels is also critical for the long term health of this species. The aquarium decor should provide plenty of wood, root and smooth rocks, along with proper lighting intensity and color temperature, in order to provide plenty of opportunities for the Blue Panaque Pleco to forage for microorganisms living on the surfaces of the wood and rock. Areas of the tank should have diffused lighting or areas shaded by wood or plants in order to provide the L-239 with places to retreat from the bright aquarium lighting. Lastly, tank mates should consist of community fish species or more peaceful Cichlid species that won't bully or try to eat the moderately sized Blue Panaque Pleco. This species is not suitable for tanks with very large fish species like large Catfish, Peacock Bass, Oscars or other large predatory fish species. They can be kept with other Pleco species in larger aquariums that will allow for each Pleco to have their own territory within the aquarium. Be sure to provide plenty of suitable territory in the form of submerged wood and rock piles, caves and crevices so that each Pleco specimen in the tank has multiple areas in which to hide without having to contest another Pleco for the cave or crevice. In their natural stream habitat the Blue Panaque Pleco feeds on a variety of small crustaceans, worms and decaying plant matter. They will readily adapt to commercial aquarium foods like sinking pellets and wafers that are designed for bottom feeders. Additionally, they will also consume leftover foods that make it to the aquarium substrate along with some decaying plant material. Although an omnivore, the Blue Panaque Pleco consumes more crustaceans, microorganisms and leftover meaty foods than it does plant matter or algae. Ideally the Blue Panaque Pleco should be provided plenty of driftwood, wood root and rocky caves and crevices on which microorganisms can live, which will provide feeding opportunities for Pleco species. Even with a proper environment, the small size of an aquarium compared to their native river habitat will mean that hobbyists should provide direct feeding in the form of sinking bottom feeder foods 4 to 5 times per week. Direct feedings combined with leftover foods that the Pleco will scavenge from the substrate should be sufficient. However, it is always recommended to monitor the overall girth and appearance of your fish and make decisions on feeding frequency based on visual cues like stomach girth and overall fish health. Blue Panaque Pleco are known to have a fast metabolism, thus will need more direct feedings than most Pleco kept within the aquarium hobby.
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Laura