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Clown Loach
5 likes Loaches
(Chromobotia macracanthus) Moderate Peaceful 16" 75 gallons 76-86° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.5 Omnivore Indonesia, Borneo, Sumatra Cobitidae Loaches Large-Bottom-Dweller The Clown Loach is common within the aquarium trade, as it is available from most all local fish stores and online retailers. However, the Clown Loach is also a commonly misunderstood species as many hobbyists do not realize the size it attains or the natural environment that it comes from. Clown Loaches get big, easily exceeding 12 inches in length and commonly reaching upwards of 16 inches. They also prefer to live in groups both in the wild and in the aquarium, thus an aquarium with a group of 12 to 16 inch fish needs to be quite large. Secondly, Clown Loaches come from fast flowing streams and rivers that have abundant current and excellent water conditions. Many aquarium hobbyists add Clown Loaches to aquariums that do not contain much water current and with water conditions that are good, but not great. It is because of this lack of understanding of the needs of the Clown Loach that many do not do well in aquarium environments that are not well suited for their needs. However, if you have a very large aquarium with strong water flow and an efficient filtration system capable of keeping the aquarium water low in nitrate and dissolved nutrients, Clown Loaches do make an excellent aquarium species that can be kept with a wide variety of community, semi-aggressive and even most of the aggressive fish species. This species will require a larger aquarium that can accommodate their large adult size and provide them ample swimming room. Strong filtration is needed to process the large bio-loads produced by a larger fish species and to keep the water quality as pristine as possible. The substrate should ideally consist of softer material like sand or small pebbles in order not to scratch or irritate the Clown Loaches stomach as it moves about the bottom of the tank. Ideally the lighting should be somewhat subdued or at least not extremely bright as Clown Loaches are typically more active at night in the wild and often inhabit dimly lit underwater caves. Aquariums housing Clown Loaches should ideally contain some driftwood, rocky caves or low light plants to provide a natural setting and provide a sense of security for the fish if they feel threatened. Clown Loaches are sensitive to poor water conditions, very bright lighting, cooler water temperatures and large fluctuations in water temperature, all of which can cause them to become stressed and more prone to diseases like ich or other parasites. Clown Loaches will eat a wide variety of foods including scavenged meals from the aquarium substrate. However, it is best to feed younger specimens multiple smaller meals throughout the day consisting of quality foods designed for freshwater fish species or made up of items that the Clown Loach would feed on in their native habitat. Some good options commonly available to most hobbyists include: freeze-dried, flake and pellet foods made from meaty foods or plant matter, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, etc; manufactured sinking wafers (algae, carnivore wafers...), fresh or blanched vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini or lightly boiled peas. Larger Clown Loaches can be slightly more picky in their eating habits and will appreciate chopped prawns or similar large meaty items fed a couple of times per day.
Cardinal Tetra
3 likes Tetras
(Paracheirodon axelrodi) Moderate Peaceful 2" 10 gallons 74-84° F, KH 2-6, pH 3.0-7.5 Omnivore Venezuela, Brazil, Amazon Characidae Tetras Community The Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) originates from the rivers of Venezuela and Brazil, where they are found in a variety of river habitats ranging from slow-moving forest streams to minor river tributaries. Their native habitats also range from areas with substrates covered in leaves, branches and tree roots to areas with clear water, sandy substrates and dense growth of aquatic and bog plants. Despite still being collected in the wild, their immense popularity within the aquarium hobby has led to extensive breeding programs that breed large numbers of specimens for the commercial trade. Despite being very similar in both appearance and maintenance requirements as the Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi), the Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) is a separate Tetra species. Neon Tetras are a little smaller, usually a little cheaper, and typically a little hardier than their Cardinal Tetra cousins. Cardinals are a little more bold in appearance, mostly because they have more red on their lower sides. Both are schooling species that like to be in a group of at least six or more individuals. Mixed groups of Neons and Cardinals will also readily school together, with the bigger the school, the better they tend to look. Due to their small size, Cardinal Tetra can be comfortably housed in small aquariums and even nano tanks. However, they do best in schools of 8 or more individuals and aquariums of at least 20 to 30 gallons or more. As is the case with most small fish species, stable water parameters are very important. Quick fluctuations of water temperature, pH, etc. can shock the fish and cause them to be more susceptible to stress related diseases or even cause death. The ideal tank conditions for Cardinal Tetra will include: stable pH & water temperatures around 80° F, low to moderate water flow, plenty of both tall and ground cover vegetation, tree root or driftwood and peaceful community fish tank mates. The Cardinal Tetra is one of the most peaceful species available within the aquarium hobby. They do well in any peaceful community aquarium containing small to medium community fish species and non-predatory medium sized Cichlids. Larger Cardinal Tetra can typically be successfully kept with larger community species like Angelfish, Discus, Gourami and other similar species. Keys to successfully keeping Cardinal Tetra with larger community species include: keeping them in groups of eight or more individuals, providing plenty of vegetation or other suitable cover, providing adequate space in the aquarium (prevent over crowding) and keeping their larger tank mates well fed. In the wild Cardinal Tetra feed on a variety of items including: small invertebrates, small crustaceans, insect larvae, filamentous algae and other similar fare. Being an omnivore, hobbyists should provide a mix of algae, vegetable based and meaty foods. Quality commercial flake, freeze-dried or frozen foods make an excellent staple diet. Hobbyists should also mix in items like bloodworms, daphnia, baby brine, etc. in order to vary the diet and provide a balanced diet. It is best to feed small amounts of food 2 to 3 times per day and occasional abstain from feeding for a day or so from time to time.
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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Pictus Catfish
3 likes Catfish
(Pimelodus pictus) Easy Peaceful 10" 75 gallons 75-81° F, pH 7.0-7.5 Omnivore South America Pimelodidae Catfish Community The Pictus cat is a most popular member of the large Pimelodidae family of catfish that originate from the warm waters throughout South America. They have been present within the aquarium hobby for decades and proven themselves to build both a very interesting species to keep, but one that does very well within the aquarium environment. They have become quite popular due to their bright silver coloration on their bodies combined with black spots and reticulations on their head, body and fins. Pictus Cats are best kept in small groups of 3 or more specimens in large soft water community aquariums with medium to large sized tank mates or with in New World Cichlid aquariums. Pictus Cats are considered a community species, as they are very peaceful towards other fish species as long as they are not too small in size (Ex. Neon Tetra). While the Pictus Cat will not show aggression towards other fish species, it will eat very small fishes like the Neon Tetra. Pictus Cats are active at night scavenging for food on or near the substrate and will readily consume very small fishes like Neon Tetra while they sleep. Therefore it is important to consider the adult size of 10" and keep this species with other suitably sized fish species. Pictus Cats are also very active swimmers that should be provided plenty of swimming room within the aquarium, along with some shaded areas like plants, driftwood or rock caves in which to escape the bright aquarium lighting. The ideal setup for the Pictus Cat would be a heavily planted soft water aquarium with filtered light creating shaded areas of the aquarium, along with natural caves formed by driftwood or rocks. In the wild they prefer to stay in small groups and would due very well in an aquarium of 125 gallons or more in size that could support a small group of 3 or 4 specimens. Pictus Cats also prefer a sandy substrate and moderate water currents that closely simulate their natural living conditions in forest covered streams throughout South America. Like most tropical catfish species, the Pictus Catfish is not a picky eater and will readily consume a wide variety of meaty foods. They will forage about the lower areas of the aquarium looking for any foodstuffs that have made their way to the aquarium substrate. Pictus Cats will also feed directly from the water column on a variety of foodstuffs including flake, frozen, pellets and small live foods. While they make good scavengers, the Pictus Cat should also be fed some sinking pellet type foods to make sure that they receive a complete nutritional diet. Pictus Catfish are an egg-laying species in which under suitable conditions the female will lay eggs that are then fertilized by the male. Breeders have found that obtaining the correct environment and conditions to induce breeding in the Pictus Catfish has been very difficult to reproduce, thus this species is considered very difficult to breed in an aquarium setting.
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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Neon Tetra
3 likes Tetras
(Paracheirodon innesi) Easy Peaceful 1" 10 Gallons 68-76° F, KH 4-8, pH 4.8-7.0 Omnivore Amazon, South America Characidae Tetras Community Aquarium Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) originate from the streams and flooded woodlands of South America. Their native habitats also range from areas with substrates covered in leaves, branches and tree roots to areas with clear water, sandy substrates and dense growth of aquatic and bog plants. Despite still being collected in the wild, their immense popularity within the aquarium hobby has led to extensive breeding programs that breed large numbers of specimens for the commercial trade. They are a relatively small fish, but are very impressive when kept in medium to large schools. When kept in a good sized school, their bright colors and darting swimming motion are truly impressive to watch. Mixed groups of Neons and Cardinal Tetra will also readily school together, with the bigger the school, the better they tend to look. Neons do very well in most community tropical freshwater aquariums, where their tank mates are of similar calm disposition and are not large enough to see the Neon as food. Due to their small size, Neon Tetra can be comfortably housed in smaller aquariums and even nano tanks. However, they should be kept in schools of 8 or more individuals and aquariums of at least 10 to 20 gallons or more. As is the case with most small fish species, stable water parameters are very important. Quick fluctuations of water temperature, pH, etc. can shock the fish and cause them to be more susceptible to stress related diseases or even cause death. The ideal tank conditions for Neon Tetra will include: stable pH & water temperatures around 78° F, low to moderate water flow, plenty of both tall and ground cover vegetation, tree root or driftwood and peaceful community fish tank mates. The Neon Tetra is one of the most peaceful species available within the aquarium hobby. They do well in any peaceful community aquarium containing small to medium community fish species and non-predatory medium sized Cichlids. Keys to successfully keeping Neon Tetra with larger community species include: keeping them in groups of eight or more individuals, providing plenty of vegetation or other suitable cover, providing adequate space in the aquarium (prevent over crowding) and keeping their larger tank mates well fed. In the wild Neon Tetra feed on a variety of items including: small invertebrates, small crustaceans, insect larvae, filamentous algae and other similar fare. Being an omnivore, hobbyists should provide a mix of algae, vegetable based and meaty foods. Quality commercial flake, freeze-dried or frozen foods make an excellent staple diet. Hobbyists should also mix in items like bloodworms, daphnia, baby brine, etc. in order to vary the diet and provide a balanced diet. It is best to feed small amounts of food 1 to 3 times per day and occasional abstain from feeding for a day or so from time to time.
Golden Sailfin Molly
3 likes Mollies
(Poecilia latipinna) Moderate Peaceful 4" 20 gallons 70-82° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.5-8.5 Omnivore North America Poeciliidae Mollies Community The Golden Sailfin Molly is a peaceful and flexible fish species that originates from coastal areas of North America. They are generally found in brackish environments including coastal marshes, streams, swamps and ponds. Golden Sailfin Mollies are somewhat unique in their ability to live in both freshwater and saltwater if acclimated slowly over time. Their coastal brackish home waters have very hard water, so they should be provided with a teaspoon of salt per gallon added to their freshwater environment to provide them optimal conditions. Golden Sailfin Mollies are known for both their brilliant orange coloration and their prolific breeding habits that have mated pairs spawning roughly every 45 to 60 days. Overall a great fish for beginning hobbyists and more advanced hobbyists who are looking for an active swimming fish with a striking orange coloration. Golden Sailfin Mollies should be kept in a tropical community aquarium setup with warm water temperatures (78 to 82) and plenty of live plants. While they are a very hardy species that can adapt to a range of environments, Golden Sailfin Mollies prefer hard water with lots of vegetation. A teaspoon of salt per gallon is recommended for community aquariums housing Mollies and is beneficial to other community species as it helps to prevent ich and some other common diseases. Overall Golden Sailfin Mollyies are very peaceful and can easily coexist with just about any freshwater community species. To prevent unwanted babies many aquarists keep either males or females in their aquarium. Male Mollies can be distinguished by their larger top fins and more narrow elongated anal fins, while the females have finnage which is more rounded and blunt. However, if a mix of females and males are kept together in a community aquarium environment most of the babies will be eaten by the Molly parents and other tankmates which will keep their numbers in check. The Golden Sailfin Molly is very easy to feed, as it will readily accept a wide variety of meaty and plant based foods. It is best to provide them with both vegetable matter, algae and meaty items. Despite being an omnivore, the Mollies diet should consist of more plant material than meaty foods. This will more closely replicate their natural diet and allow for a longer lifespan. A varied diet will help maintain both the immune system and the overall health of the fish. Golden Sailfin Mollies will accept flake, freeze dried and frozen foods along with live foods and small pellets and wafers. In the case of the Golden Sailfin Molly, it is not about what conditions are needed for breeding or how to get them to breed as it how to get them to stop. Mollies in general (with the Golden Sailfin Molly being no exception) are very prolific breeders that if a male and female are present will breed in time. Distinguishing between male and female specimens is straight forward and can be done by sight. The males have genitalia in front of their anal fin and have a distinctly larger dorsal fin. Once breeding, a male/female pair of Golden Sailfin Mollies will birth young every 2 months or so. The babies should be promptly removed from the aquarium or provided a baby trap, as the parents will eat the young if they are left unprotected. Should the hobbyist aspire to breeding Mollies, and ideal breeding conditions for Mollies include a 30 gallon or larger aquarium, live plants including floating plants and an established algae growth.
Platinum Angelfish
3 likes Anglefish
(Pterophyllum sp.) Easy Semi-aggressive 6" 30 gallons 75-82° F, KH 1-5, pH 5.8-7.0 Omnivore Amazon, South America Cichlidae Angelfish Community Platinum Angelfish (Pterophyllum sp.) were originally derived from wild Golden Angelfish both containing a particular recessive gene. Since the result of this was an extremely beautiful platinum Angelfish, breeders were quick to identify the suitable parent fish to begin to mass produce Platinum Angelfish for the aquarium trade. Platinum Angelfish exhibit a brilliant silver/white sheen with just the slightest hint of blue or green on their fins. Specimens available within the aquarium hobby trade will almost always be farm raised and selectively bred for the aquarium hobby. Wild Platinum Angelfish hail from the warm temperate waters of the Amazon basin in South America, where they are found in calm waterways and flood plains. Platinum Angels are found living in areas with losts of plants or tree roots, which they use for protection against larger fish species and as a place to hunt insect larvae and other foodstuffs. These days this species is more commonly tank bred in the United States and parts of Southern Asia, than collected from the wild. They have long been sought after in the aquarium hobby because of their brilliant coloration and long flowing fins. Their long fins mean that they should not be kept with fish species that will nip or tear their fins. In a small or medium sized aquarium the Platinum Angel is best kept in a mated pair, in larger aquariums they can be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals. Platinum Angelfish will do well in aquariums that are 30 gallons or larger and have plenty of plants and/or driftwood. As a group freshwater Angelfish are territorial and will squabble with one another until a dominant male is established. They can be kept singularly, in mated pairs or in medium sized groups of 6 or more. Contrary to popular belief, long finned species like the Platinum Angelfish can be kept with barbs and other "fin nipping" species. The key here is that the fin nipping species be kept in proper sized groups, so that they nip at each other instead of nipping at the Angelfish or other species that are not equipped for this type of behavior. Barbs and other fin nippers prefer to be kept in groups and their nipping at each other is normal behavior that will not hurt them at all; however, this behavior is too boisterous for many other fish species and damaging to long finned fish species. Angelfish in general require fairly constant water parameters and are less forgiving than many other freshwater community species towards fluctuations in pH or temperature. Like with most South American cichlid species, the Platinum Angelfish prefers soft, slightly acidic water with temperatures that stay between 79 and 83 degrees. Platinum Angelfish are omnivores and should be fed a variety of foods including meaty and vegetable based foods. They have a particular love for blood worms, tubifex worms and similar food items, but will readily consume flake, pellet and frozen foods. They should be fed about twice per day the amount of food that they will consume within 5 minutes. When housed in aquariums with many faster swimming fish species, it may be necessary to increase feedings to 3 times per day to make sure that the Angel is properly fed. Full grown Platinum Angels will prey on small fish species like small Neon Tetras, Mosquito Danios or pretty much any small species that will fit into their mouth. They generally wait until the aquarium lights are off for the night and hunt the small fish while they sleep, which makes them easy prey. Because they grow to be a fairly large fish, adult Platinum Angels are capable of eating small fish up to 1 inch in length.
Peppered Cory Cat
3 likes Cory Cats
(Corydoras paleatus) Easy Peaceful 3" 20 gallons 72-80° F, KH 2-12, pH 6.0-7.0 Omnivore South America, Amazon Callichthyidae Cory Cats Community Peppered Cory Cat's are native to the streams and tributaries of South America, where they can be found living along river banks and river beds. They spend the vast majority of their time dwelling about the river bottom looking for both meaty of plant foods that have made their way to the river bottom. The Peppered Cory Cat's coloration and pattern help it blend into the substrate, which helps the cory cat avoid larger predators. Peppered Cory Cat live in large social groups in the wild and prefer to live in groups within the aquarium environment as well. It is recommended to keep at least a small group of 4 or more cory cats in the aquarium to satisfy their social requirements. As is the case with all species in the genus, Cory Cats will regularly swim quickly to the surface for a gulp of air. The fish swallows the air, which blood vessels in the hind gut extract oxygen from; it is then expelled through the vent the next time the fish breaks the surface for another gulp of air. This adaptation is believed to have evolved so that the fish can survive in poorly-oxygenated water such as stagnant pools during the dry season. It is however essential to the fish's well-being that it regularly swallows air. Aquariums housing Peppered Cory Cat's should contain plenty of vegetation, areas of diffused lighting and a sandy or smooth gravel substrate. It is important to provide plenty areas within the aquarium that are shaded from the bright aquarium lights. They will absolutely appreciate the presence of lush vegetation, driftwood and rocky caves in order to provide them a tank that resembles their native habitat. Like all cory cat species, the Peppered Cory Cat will do much better when kept in social groups of at least 4 individuals of their own species or mixed with other cory cat species. While the Peppered Cory Cat will gladly scavenge the aquarium substrate for leftover foodstuffs and decaying plant material, they should also be provided sinking foods designed for bottom dwelling fish species. Peppered Cory Cat's are scavengers that need to eat a wide variety of foods that include both plant and meaty foods. In the aquarium environment the Peppered Cory Cat will readily accept a variety of meaty and vegetable matter foodstuffs including: flake, freeze-dried, frozen, live foods and pellets. This species is an excellent scavenger that will work to keep the aquarium substrate clean of excess foodstuffs and some decaying plant matter. While this species is an excellent scavenger, supplemental foods such as bloodworms, tubifex, flake food, or sinking carnivore pellets should be offered to ensure proper nutrition.
Silver Dollar
3 likes Tetras
(Metynnis sp.) Easy Peaceful 6" 30 gallons 75-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.0-7.0 Herbivore South America, Amazon, Captive bred Characidae Tetras Community The Silver Dollar (Metynnis sp.) fish 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), Black-barred silver dollar (Myleus schomburgkii) and Red hook silver dollar (Myloplus rubripinnis). They have been available within the aquarium hobby since the origins of the hobby, but have remained very popular due to their bright silver coloration, unique rounded body shape and their active schooling swim style. 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 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 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, Silver Dollars 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 the Silver Dollar a comfortable and secure feeling aquarium environment. Additionally, hobbyists should really keep this species in groups of at least 5 individuals, as schooling species like the Silver Dollar do much better in groups as opposed to single individuals or pairs. Hobbyists looking to keep live plants with Silver Dollar fish will need to do some research on which plant species can be kept safely with this species without being consumed. Silver Dollars are known to readily consume many varieties of aquatic plant life and make short work of plants that they find appetizing. Their larger size allows them to be housed with a wide variety of tank mates including other peaceful community species, semi-aggressive community species and even many species of Cichlids as well. At an adult size of around six inches, the 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. They can also be kept as dither fish in community Cichlid aquariums containing peaceful to semi-aggressive Cichlid species. The Silver Dollar is a herbivore as the majority of its diet in nature consists of plant material and algae. However, they will consume a variety of meaty items, 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 Silver Dollars with live plants or very small fish like young Neon Tetra, as they will consume certain plants and fish small enough to fit in their mouths. Hobbyists interested in breeding Silver Dollars 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. 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.