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Blue Gudgeon Dartfish
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(Ptereleotris heteroptera) Easy Peaceful 5" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Ptereleotridae Dartfish Reef Compatible Blue Gudgeon Dartfish are an attractive and slender species endemic to tropical reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Blue Gudgeon Dartfish generally have an aquamarine to gray-blue base coloration with a black, horizontal blotch at the end of the caudal fin; there are usually yellow-hued areas just above and below the caudal blotch. Blue Gudgeon Dartfish are extremely peaceful and are known to be rather shy at times, although they are a social species that prefers to live in small groups. Blue Gudgeon Dartfish often dart around in the water column while searching for plankton, but they also like to spend their time weaving in and out of rockwork. Blue Gudgeon Dartfish are an active species that make excellent reef inhabitants and they are a great choice for hobbyists of any experience level. Blue Gudgeon Dartfish were once considered to be rare within the hobby, but have since become a lot more popular and more readily available. Blue Gudgeon Dartfish require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons and should be provided with a sand to crushed coral substrate, open swimming space, and and plenty of live rock for play and shelter. They will sometimes jump if started and their aquarium should be equipped with a sealed hood or tight fitting top. They should be housed in an established system, utilizing quality biological and mechanical filtration as well as a protein skimmer. They would benefit from a colonized refugium where they could have a constant supply of fresh amphipods and copepods in addition to other live zooplankton treats. Blue Gudgeon Dartfish are a very peaceful and active species that can be observed swimming at the mid to bottom levels of the aquarium as they dart around looking for planktonic snacks within the water column; they also enjoy hovering above substrate and weaving through rockwork while continuing their quest for zooplankton. They prefer to be in groups of 2-4 (conspecifics should be added at the same time) and will generally stay close to each other and swim together. A variety of heterospecific tank mates are suitable, but they should be similarly peaceful and must not be a species that will harass or bully the Blue Gudgeon Dartfish. They are completely reef compatible and make an excellent choice for a "nano" system as well as a much larger reef setup. Blue Gudgeon Dartfish are carnivores, which in the wild, can be found darting through the water column and among the reefs in search of planktonic food items (i.e.; amphipods, copepods, larvae, and other zooplankton). In the aquarium they should be supplied with a variety of live, frozen, or freeze-dried, vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, bloodworms, chopped krill, chopped crab meat, and other meaty food items. They will also accept quality flake and pellet foods for carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Ideally they should be feed twice a day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes.
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Skunk Tilefish
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(Hoplolatilus marcosi) Moderate Peaceful 5" 55 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Malacanthidae Dartfish Reef Compatible The Skunk Tilefish, also commonly known as the Red Stripe Tilefish, is a beautiful, social fish that prefers living in small groups among the reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Skunk Tilefish prefer to stay near the base of coral reef structures where they are commonly observed hunting among rock rubble and substrate in search of zooplankton. Skunk Tilefish are white with a bright orange to red, lateral stripe that runs from end to end; the stripe will generally begin at the face as orange and then quickly shifts to bright red once past the eye, while ending as a dark red coloration at the end of the caudal fin. Skunk Tilefish are a peaceful species that enjoy burrowing in substrate as well as hiding among crevices and their favorite caves; once fully acclimated and established in the aquarium, they tend to come out more and will readily swim around in the water column. Skunk Tilefish are a good choice for beginners as well as the more advanced hobbyist as they are very active (once established), attractive, and are a good species for learning to care for fish with a few special needs. Skunk Tilefish are quite popular within the hobby and may sometimes be hard to acquire; they can usually be special ordered from local vendors and often found through online retailers. Skunk Tilefish should be kept in an aquarium that is no less than 55 gallons and must be provided with a sand substrate (live if possible) of at least 3" in depth, plenty of live rock (with multiple hiding places), and unobstructed swimming space throughout the water column. They like to burrow in the substrate and could dislodge live rock if it’s not secure by "twisting" it into place during aquascaping. They are known to jump when startled and their aquarium should be provided with a sealed hood or tight-fitting top. In addition to quality biological and mechanical filtration used in conjunction with a protein skimmer, the Skunk Tilefish would greatly benefit with the addition of a refugium, hosting a live amphipod and/or copepod population as well as adding to overall water volume and filtration. They are active and peaceful fish that are usually observed swimming around the water column in search of zooplankton when not hiding at the slightest sign of danger. They can coexist peacefully with conspecifics (they prefer to be in pairs) and heterospecifics as long as they are not kept with overly aggressive fish that may harass them; multiple Skunk Tilefish should be introduced to an aquarium at the same time. They are completely reef compatible and will not harm coral species, ornamental shrimp, or the cleaning crew (although they may sometimes eat very tiny invertebrates). Skunk Tilefish are carnivores that consume amphipods, copepods, tiny crustaceans, various larvae, and other zooplankton within their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be provided with a variety of live, frozen, or freeze-dried, vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, bloodworms, finely chopped krill, and other meaty food items. They may also accept quality flake, pellet, and other prepared food items for carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Feed multiple (3-4) small meals a day in the absence of a zooplankton population. Otherwise feed once or twice a day to supplement their natural diet, using what would only be eaten within a few minutes.
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Zebra Dartfish
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(Ptereleotris zebra) Easy Peaceful 4" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Ptereleotridae Dartfish Reef Compatible As a hardy and very peaceful species that reach a maximum length of 4", Zebra Dartfish make perfect additions to "nano" aquarium setups as well as an excellent choices for a community reef aquariums. Zebra Dartfish are commonly found living in groups among the tropical reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Like other Dartfish species, Zebra Dartfish mainly feed on planktonic life in the water column as well as among the reef and substrate rubble. Zebra Dartfish are quite peaceful and are completely safe with other fish, coral species, and ornamental invertebrates, but should not be housed with overly aggressive tank mates that may pick on them. Zebra Dartfish are a popular choice for beginners as they are easy to care for, thus they are readily available within the hobby via local and online retailers. Zebra Dartfish prefer an aquarium of at least 30 gallons as well as plenty of live rock and open swimming space. They should be provided with a live, sand substrate that can sustain a population of amphipods, copepods, and other planktonic life (a refugium is also beneficial, but not required). Their setup requires a hood or tight fitting lid as they are known to startle easily and may unintentionally jump from the aquarium. They are mainly observed swimming around the middle levels of the aquarium and often stay somewhat close to their favorite spots. Zebra Dartfish should be housed in groups of 2-5 as they prefer the company of conspecifics; they will also get along well with other peaceful fish, but should not be housed with aggressive species that may harass them. Zebra Dartfish are carnivores that can be found patrolling the water column and reefs of their natural habitat for planktonic life such as amphipods, copepods, tiny crustaceans, various larvae, and other zooplankton. In the aquarium they should be supplied with a variety of live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, finely chopped krill, and other prepared marine food items. They will also accept quality flake foods that will help with a varied diet. Feed once or twice a day.
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Scissortail Dartfish
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(Ptereleotris evides) Easy Peaceful 5" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Ptereleotridae Dartfish Reef Compatible Scissortail Dartfish are a peaceful, social species that are quite popular in community reef aquariums; they tend to prefer living in small groups as juveniles and are usually found as pairs once they reach adulthood. Scissortail Dartfish make excellent, peaceful additions to any aquarium in need of more activity as well as personality. Scissortail Dartfish are native to reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific and they can often be observed while feeding on plankton within the water column as well as hunting among the live rock and substrate. Scissortail Dartfish are a peaceful species that prefer to cruise around in open water, but also enjoy burrowing in sandy substrate (usually under rocks as well). Scissortail Dartfish get their name from the coloration of their caudal fin which is very dark on the top and bottom sides while it remains transparent in the middle section, giving it the appearance of a pair of "scissors". They get along well with heterospecifics that aren't aggressive towards them and will do fine with their own kind, but conspecifics should be added simultaneously. Scissortail Dartfish are reef safe and will not harm coral, ornamental shrimp, or crab species. Scissortail Dartfish are great for beginners as well as the more advanced hobbyist as they are an attractive and hardy species that are very easy to care for and are readily available locally and through online vendors. Scissortail Dartfish require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons in addition to a sand (roughly 3" of preferably "live") substrate, plenty of live rock, and open swimming space. They should be provided with a tightly sealed aquarium to prevent them from jumping out as they are known to be easily startled. Although not required, they would greatly appreciate and benefit from some sort of refugium setup that can supply them with a live planktonic food source of amphipods and copepods as well as additional water volume, biological filtration via rock rubble, and a possible protein skimmer addition. They are a very peaceful and active species that can usually be seen swimming around in the open; unlike most of their relatives, they do not usually stay close to their favorite spot and will most likely just swim away if threatened. They will also burrow into the sand and may dislodge live rock if it’s not secure. They coexist well with their own and other species as long as they are not kept with aggressive bullies; multiple specimens should be added at the same time. Scissortail Dartfish are carnivores that can be found patrolling the water column and reefs of their natural habitat for planktonic life such as amphipods, copepods, tiny crustaceans, various larvae, and other zooplankton. In the aquarium they should be supplied with a variety of live, frozen, or freeze-dried, vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, bloodworms, finely chopped krill, and other meaty food items. They will also accept quality flake foods (additional variety and nutrients). Feed once or twice a day.
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Helfrichi Firefish
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(Nemateleotris helfrichi) Easy Peaceful 3" 20 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Microdesmidae Dartfish Reef Compatible The Helfrichi Firefish is considered to be one of the most sought after reef fish within the marine hobby. They are found within the tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific and can be observed weaving in and out of various caves and crevices or cruising close to the reef while looking for planktonic food within the water column. Helfrichi Firefish are a hardy and tranquil species that will coexist peacefully with many other community and reef fish of a similar nature. Helfrichi Firefish are pleasing to watch due to their beautiful, pastel-like coloration of cream, yellow, to purple as well as the mesmerizing "twitching" of their dorsal fin as they swim about. Helfrichi Firefish are extremely popular, but are considered to be slightly rare in the hobby and they have a high price tag ($100 each on average); ordering them via online vendors or special orders through a local retailer is the best method of acquisition. The Helfrichi Firefish prefers plenty of live rock as well as open space in the water column where it can feed on zooplankton and other small, meaty treats. It should be housed in an aquarium of at least 20 gallons and appreciates live sand to help fortify the population of amphipods, copepods, and other planktonic snacks. Helfrichi Firefish generally swim around at mid-level of the aquarium, rarely straying too far from their favorite caves or other favorite spots. A hood or tight fitting lid is recommended as this species is known to be easily startled and may jump from the aquarium. They should be kept in groups or at least as a pair as they prefer the company of conspecifics; they also do well with other peaceful community fish and should not be housed with aggressive species. Helfrichi Firefish are carnivorous and in their natural environment they patrol the water column for planktonic life such as amphipods, copepods, tiny crustaceans, various larvae, and other zooplankton. In the aquarium they should be supplied with a variety of live, frozen, or freeze-dried, vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, finely chopped krill, and other prepared marine food items.
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Red Firefish
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(Nemateleotris magnifica) Easy Peaceful 3" 12 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Maldives, Coral Sea Gobiidae Dartfish Reef Compatible The Red Firefish is a small species of reef fish that is found darting in and out of crevices and caves within coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific, Maldives and Coral Sea. In the wild, the Red Firefish is usually found in small groups hovering over and around coral reefs feeding on planktonic and other small food organisms that drift by in the current. This species has been a very popular aquarium species for decades, as it is well suited for aquarium life and has proven itself a very hardy aquarium species. The combination of its unique body shape, bright red coloration, size and its ease of care has made the Red Firefish popular with reef, nano reef and community aquarium keepers. Red Firefish are considered a very peaceful species that does well with others of its own kind and with other fish species of similar disposition. It is best to try and replicate a fish species natural environment within the aquarium as much as possible, as this will greatly increase the hobbyist’s success with a given species. The Red Firefish will greatly appreciate the presence of plenty of mature live rock that it can swim near while it hunts for small meaty items within the water column. Red Firefish typically stays in the middle regions of an aquarium swimming in and near rocky caves and crevices. Ideally the Red Firefish should be kept as a pair or in medium sized groups (5 to 8 specimens), and with other peaceful fish species. Mated pairs of Red Firefish will often dig burrows in the substrate or utilize small crevices in the rock as a home that the pair will share. This species is also known for being easily startled and jumpy, so caution should be taken if this species is to be kept in an open top aquarium. Slowly approaching the aquarium and have the lighting turn on and off gradually will help reduce the chances of the Red Firefish jumping from the aquarium. In the wild the Red Firefish consumes mostly copepods, plankton, zooplankton and crustacean larvae. However, in the aquarium environment they will do well with a varied diet of vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp and freeze-dried or frozen meaty marine preparations.
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Purple FireFish
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(Nemateleotris decora) Easy Peaceful 4" 30 gallons 72-78° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Gobiidae Dartfish Reef Compatible Firefish can usually be found over hard, open bottoms and rubble patches at the base of the reef. The stay near the rocks so they can dart in the small holes and crevices when threatened. In the wild the firefish feeds on zoo plankton. Nemateleotris magnifica has a tendency to twitch its long dorsal fin back and forth. Nemateleotris magnifica or the Red Firefish is the most common Firefish species found within the aquarium hobby, with the Purple firefish, Nemateleotris also available for sale at online retailers and local fish stores that specialize in marine live stock. Nemateleotris Helfrichi or Helfrichs firefish on the other hand are much more rare in the aquarium trade and commands a much higher price tag when it can be found. Firefish are very elegant fish, who have a long slender body and single raised fin just behind the head. The forward region of the body is white while the hind region will very depending on each species of firefish you have. The regular firefish (Nemateloetris magnifica) has a orange to red colored hind region while the purple firefish (Nemateleotris decora) has a purple hind region. HelFrichs (Nemateleotris helfrichi) have a yellow head with a sharp contrasting purple body. The regular firefishes single raised fin is significantly longer then both the Purple Firefish and Helfrichs firefishes fin. Firefish are peaceful fish that usually inhabit the middle level of the tank unlike other Gobies. They have a specialized swim bladders that allows them to float in one place without much effort. Firefish as a group tend to be very shy and should be supplied with many dark cave that they can duck into when they feel threatened. Firefish, like most other Gobies should also be kept in pairs. Also the should be kept in covered tanks as they are know to be jumpers. Firefish are shy feeders that will usually accept flake food, brine shrimp and just about anything else that drifts by their little hideout. However they will not feed from the bottom of the tank. In the wild they feed on plankton, fish larvae, and small crustaceans.
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