breeding discus for profit

Breeding Discus for Profit

BREEDING DISCUS FOR PROFIT – THINGS TO CONSIDER

Breeding animals – fishes, dogs and so on – can be tough, and so is breeding discus for profit. However, breeding is a passion people love, which makes its challenges even more thrilling.

Breeding discus, especially when it’s for profit comes with its fair share of problems. You can’t put a school of discus in a tank, go to sleep and expect money to flood in. However, when it’s done the right way, breeding discus for profit can fulfill both your passion and financial needs.

To successfully breed discus for profit, you have to put some things into consideration. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the factors to help you start a successful discus breeding business.

Select Healthy Discus Fishes
If you are breeding discus for profit, then it’s always best to select healthy ones. Also, pay attention to discus fishes that have been genetically modified. When choosing discus fishes, consider their shapes and ensure they are round.

Also, there should be a healthy protrusion of fins from their body. Also make sure their eyes aren’t chipped, as discus with chipped eyes may have been genetically engineered.

When breeding discus for profit, also ensure to select good breeding pairs. You can begin producing with 10 or 15 young pairs of the same strain and let them pair off.

Don’t compromise on Equipment
You can’t afford to compromise on equipment when breeding discus for profit as you’ll run at a loss. For the discus tank, choosing one depends on the number of fishes you intend starting with. A tank of about 60 gallons is ideal when you are keeping 7 to 10 discus fishes. You don’t want to overcrowd your tank. Also, an aqua clear 500 filter and water heater are required. For aeration, use a check valve and airstone. If you intend using tap water, you should keep chlorine level low using Seachem Prime.

Ensure High Quality of Water
Poor quality of water is often the root cause of most failures at breeding. Hence, to successfully breed discus for profit, water quality must be high at all times.

High nitrogen level is dangerous to the health of discus fishes, and must, therefore, be kept low. The PH level is also very important and should be slightly alkaline at a range between 6.0 and 6.5. The water temperature must also be suitable at around 90o F.
Therefore, if you intend breeding discus for profit, PH meter, aquatic water heater, and aquarium thermometer are a must-have.

Protect from Gill Flukes
A significant disease of discus is the gill fluke. Young discus fishes sometimes develop gill flukes, which should be treated immediately. You can treat the tank water with Prazipro – an active, ready to use liquid concentrate. Formalin is also effective in protecting young fries from flukes. Wiping the inside of the tank down is another method.

With these suggestions, you can be successful at breeding discus for profit. Who says you can’t live off what you love doing?
You’d love to breed discus fishes for profit but don’t know what to do? Contact us.

Make sure to check our recommended discus breeding supplies.

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planted aquarium

Planted Aquarium

Planted Aquarium – How to Set One Up

It can be a bit confusing to set up a planted aquarium, more so for beginners. If it were a simple gallon tank, then it is fairly easy putting it together. All you need is gravel and cheap decoration.

Planted tanks, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated. They have a unique set of requirements that must be met with precision. Some can be tricky but doable.

The beauty of an aquarium filled with luscious green plants is indeed something to behold. It is like having a tranquil running river right in your living area.

So how can you set up the aquarium to such a standard? Read on to find out.

What you need
 LED light
 Substrate
 Heater
 Filtration system
 Test kit

After collecting everything, it is time to start the process.

Step 1: Choose the substrate
This is a natural step for non-planted tanks. But for planted tanks, not just anything will work. The reason is, plants need nutrients to survive, which gravel cannot hold very well. Plain gravel is not the best idea for in this situation.
However, there are a number substrates that can help facilitate the plant needs in a planted tank. Use:
 Fluorite and
 All-in-one Substrate
Now, before you use any of these choices, make sure to rinse the substrate. You can use a five-gallon bucket and rinse until the water is clear.

Step 2: Light choices
Getting your hands on a good light fixture is vital. You can use LED or fluorescent bulbs. Most fish tanks come with these. Some of the recommended fixtures include:
 Beamswork EA timer
 Finnex FugeRay
 Finnex Planted+24/7

No two tanks are the same when fitting the lights. Some may require up to 10 hours of light while others may need less.

Step 3: Picking the filtration
This might be the most tiring part of the process yet very important. But you don’t have to over-think filtration.
Consider the following options.
 For smaller tanks under 50 gallons. These are perfect for hanging on back filtration units. They may not be as powerful, but HBO is convenient all the same.
 Bigger tanks 50+ gallons. Canister filters are better for such tanks. They can process much more water.
Before using the filtration, be sure to get rid of any activated carbon.

Step 4: Plants
Live plants are important for speeding up the cycling process. But you have to choose wisely. Start with easy-to-keep plants. Consider plants like:
 Java moss (carpet)
 Anubias Nana (Foreground)
 Cryptocoryne (mid-ground)
 Amazon sword (background).

You will need:-
 Carpeting plants
 Foreground plants
 Mid-ground plants
 Background plants

Take good care of the plants with stable temperatures, and trimming. Make sure that you check the preferred temperature of the plants before you buy them. Some plants are meant for warm water discus tanks while others are meant for cooler water.

Step 5: Now the fish
This is always a big milestone whether planted aquarium or not. Once the tanks are cycled completely, you need to add the fish. Some of the most popular fish choices include:
 Discus
 Tetras
 Corydoras
 Gouramis
 Swordtails
 Angelfish

Now you have your planted aquarium going. It may sound hard, yet it is quite doable and rewarding.

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comet goldfish

Comet Goldfish

Comet Goldfish

The Comet Goldfish is an elongated, flat-bodied variety of goldfish. It has a wide but short head, and its body tapers smoothly from its back and belly to the base of its caudal fin (tail fin). Its caudal fin is long and deeply forked and generally stands fully erect. They live up to 14 years or more, depending on how well it is kept and the prevailing conditions. In terms of size, it is slightly smaller than the common goldfish, but this depends also on the prevailing conditions. They can grow up to 12 inches (30+ cm) depending on the size of the tank and the other conditions.

They are primarily a reddish orange color, but they are also available in yellow, orange, white, and red. Some however have a bi-color red/white combination, and occasionally they are available with nacreous (pearly) scales, giving them a variegated color.
Comet Goldfish are some of the hardier species of goldfish. They are very undemanding of water quality and temperature. They can do well in a goldfish aquarium or even a pond as long as the environment is safe and their tankmates are not competitive. Many people will keep goldfish in an aquarium with no heater or filtration, but for the best success, provide them the same filtration, especially biological filtration, that other aquarium residents enjoy.

Comet Goldfish Diet

Since they are omnivorous, the Comet Goldfish will generally eat all kinds of fresh, frozen, and flake foods. To keep a good balance, give them a high quality flake food every day. To care for your goldfish, feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen), blood worms, Daphnia, or tubifex worms as a treat. It is usually better to feed freeze-dried foods as opposed to live foods to avoid parasites and bacterial infections that could be present in live foods.

Fish tank

These goldfish are hardy and easy to keep in a well maintained tank. Minimum tank size is 15 gallons. Snails can be added as they reduce the algae in the tank, helping to keep it clean. Water change should be done weekly. This is because Comet goldfish produce more waste than most other freshwater fish and benefit greatly from more frequent water changes. Good filtration, especially biological filtration, is very helpful in maintaining the water quality of the aquarium. A filtration system will remove much of the detritus, excess foods, and waste, which keeps the tank clean and maintains the general health of the goldfish.

Comet Goldfish Diseases

1. Ich. This is a protozoan disease which is easy to identify because it makes the fish look like it is sprinkled with salt. Though Ich is easily treated, like other protozoan diseases, it can be fatal if not caught quickly. Some other protozoan diseases are Costia, which causes a cloudiness of the skin, and Chilodonella, which will cause a blue-white cloudiness on the skin.

2. External parasites. These are common but are easy to treat and are normally not fatal when treated. They include flukes, which infest the gills or body of the fish, fish lice (Argulus) that attach themselves to the body of the goldfish and finally anchor worms which resemble threads coming out of the fish.

3. Bacterial infections. They include Dropsy, an infection in the kidneys that can be fatal if not treated quickly. Fish Tuberculosis is indicated by the fish becoming emaciated (having a hollow belly). For this illness, there is no absolute treatment, and it can be fatal. Tail/Fin Rot may also be bacterial, though the reduced tail or fins can be caused by a number of factors as well. There is also fungus, a fungal infection, and Black Spot or Black Ich, which is a parasitic infection.

4. Swim Bladder Disease. This is an ailment indicated by fish swimming in abnormal patterns and having difficulty maintaining their balance. This can be caused by a number of things: constipation, poor nutrition, a physical deformity, or a parasitic infection. Feeding frozen peas (defrosted) has been noted to help alleviate the symptoms and correct the problem in some cases.

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seahorse tanks

Seahorse Tanks

Seahorse Tanks

Introduction

There are approximately 36 species of seahorses all belonging to the Sygnathid family (Genus Hippocampus). Pipe fishes and seadragons are also included in the Sygnathid family.

Characteristics

1. Unlike most fishes seahorses swim upright using only their dorsal and opercular (modified pectoral) fins for propulsion.

2. They do not have a caudal fin, in its place they have a long muscular prehensile tail.

3. They also lack any scales; instead their bone structure is modified into a series of plates that act as bony armor.

4. They have a horse-like head (giving it the name seahorse) with a bent neck and a long snout. This adaptation allows the seahorse to probe into nooks and crannies for prey, that they then suck up with a “snick” of the snout that causes a vacuum like suction.

Seahorse Fish tank

Although seahorses live in a diverse array of habitats, in a domestic setup they need the same basic care and water quality as other fishes. The main difference however with seahorses is their sensitivity to changes in water quality, temperature and light.

Factors to consider when setting up seahorse tanks include:

1. The filter. There should be no air bubbles and a low flow rate (this does not necessarily mean low gph). Seahorses like a fairly turbulence free tank, and air bubbles can lead to the dreaded Gas Bubble Disease (to be discussed later in the article).

2. The next most important thing is to get a tank that is tall, seahorses are known for their intricate courtship rituals that take up a lot of vertical space. Substrate can vary by what decor you are looking for. Just remember that whatever substrate you chose, it should not have too many sharp edges for the seahorse to get cuts from. I prefer to use a small crushed coral or sand substrate.

3. The hitching posts; rocks, plants, and corals (faux and real) should be chosen by their ability to be used as a hitching spot. Depending on species of seahorse, the size and maximum diameter of the hitching posts will vary.

Seahorse Tanks – Feeding and Diet

Seahorses should be fed on frozen, enriched foods. Live foods should therefore, only be used as an enrichment item. Frozen food should always be enriched with a vitamin supplement as well as something such as selcon that is high in fatty acids.

Seahorse Tanks – Diseases

1. Mycobacterium. This is very common and is fatal. Symptoms inclide: lethargy, loss of appetite, an abdomen that is very pinched or swollen, and eventually muted color/loss of vibrance. Treatment include Kanamyacin and Maracyn which should be administered orally.

2. Vibrio. This is difficult to detect early and is fatal. Symptoms include; lethargy, loss of appetite, and white or red spots on the skin indicating an open necrotic wound. Often when tail rot or snout rot is seen it is vibrio. Treatment is a multiple antibiotic especially when detected early.

3. Gas Bubble Disease (GBD). There are three main types of GBD, internal GBD (IGBD), external GBD (EGBD) and pouch emphysema. All GBD is caused either by gas supersaturation in the water column, or an internal bacterial infection. EGBD symptoms include gas bubbles forming under the skin. While IGBD symptoms include body bloat causing buoyancy problems. Pouch emphysema is only found in male seahorses, and is noticeable by the inflamed, reddened pouch (looks different from a pregnant seahorse). Treatment typically consists of 3 things: making sure there are no air bubbles getting into the system, treating with an antibiotic, and if available (only by prescription) treating with diamox. The actual bubbles under the skin may be popped, and with pouch emphysema the pouch should be evacuated.

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blue crawfish

Blue Crawfish

Blue Crawfish

BLue crawfish can live in almost any freshwater aquarium and are among the toughest freshwater tank inhabitants available in the market. They are very active and they love exploring and do not spend all of their time hiding under rocks. They are well known for keeping tanks clean and free of waste, and are especially useful in large aquariums of 30 gallons or more. Due to their maximum potential size, they should not be kept in aquariums any smaller than 20 gallons. They can grow to achieve lengths of up to 15 centimeters. They can live up to 5 or 6 years old with the proper care.

In order to keep Blue crawfish with other crawfish or other large types of fish and invertebrates, is important to keep them in a tank with plenty of hiding places. This is because they are vulnerable when they are shedding their exoskeleton, so landscaping the tank with live plants, driftwood, rocks, and/or caves is vital to their survival. Also, it is normal for a crayfish to eat his/her exoskeleton after molting.

Tank requirements

It is recommended that the tank should have  some fine sand or gravel, and allow a cave or place for hiding when they  are stressed. Plants are highly recommended as they provide a source of food and hiding places. As long as the tank contains enough water, they should be able to bury themselves.

Because they require a large tank, blue crawfish should be kept in a tank of at least 20 gallons. They are excellent escape artists, and the tank should have a tight lid. Temperatures should be between 10-22 degrees Celsius. They normally require pH values of above 7.0. It has been reported that the addition of freshwater salt greatly enhances the health of this species.

Usually, Blue Crawfish get along well with other fast, medium size fishes. However, small and slower fishes will be eaten, and larger but slower fishes may be injured by the Blue Crawfish. Larger, carnivorous fishes view Blue Crawfish as prey. Blue Crawfish are highly territorial and should therefore NOT be kept with others of their kind, or they may fight and gravely injure one another, unless there are lots of hiding places and the tank is large enough for all of them.

Blue Crawfish continuously moult (they will drop off their shell) during their growth. The moulting however reduces in degree as they grow up.

Blue Crawfish Diet

Blue Crawfish are not good eaters and they should not be overfed. They should be fed on fish flakes when they are young and shrimp pellets when they are grown up.

Two large crushed flakes a day are plenty for babies, one in the morning and another in the evening. For adults, a large pellet for breakfast and then another for dinner should do it. You can also try feeding them water lettuce, water hyacinth, water cress and romaine lettuce.

How Blue Crawfish Breed

During the mating act, the male initiates copulation, and the Blue Crawfish will clean each other as part of the mating ritual. After mating, the eggs are carried in the female pleopods. The eggs normally hatch in about 4 weeks. They emerge as miniature versions of adults, though lacking reproductive organs. In the first 24 hours of life, the fry must molt, and many may not survive this first molt. You should begin changing the water regularly and maintaining the best water conditions possible to aid the fry in surviving. They can be fed freshly hatched brine shrimp, microworms, or liquefied foods. After about two weeks, the young Blue Crawfish would have generally become much more hardy. They will still however be rather transparent, but by the time they reach sexual maturity they will have gained adult coloration.

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freshwater snails

Freshwater Snails

FRESHWATER SNAILS

Introduction

Freshwater Snails is indeed a site to behold in a fish tank. They are usually added to a fish tank  as tank cleaners with the intention that they will be eat algae and also free the tank from uneaten food, dead plant matter and debris. However, freshwater snails can be much more than that. They do several stunning  things in the tank and exhibit a number of interesting behaviors to watch. They can however be seen as pests when they are introduced to the tank by accident.

Food and water requirements

When it comes to freshwater snails, it’s critical to avoid causing sudden changes in water parameters. This is because the freshwater snails are very sensitive to sudden water parameters changes and it may be fatal.

In the case of food,freshwater snails should be fed a diet rich of calcium. They need calcium for growth as well as for healthy shells.

Types of Freshwater Snails

  1. Assassin Snails: this is the type that is kept for taming the populations of other snail types in the tank as they feed on them. They feed on other snail types such as Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Pond Snails, and Ramshorn Snails.
  2. Gold Inca Snails: these are very good tank cleaners and they are very popular. They can also greatly improve the beauty of the tank, thanks to their bright yellow shells. popular type of freshwater snails in pet store display tanks are Gold Inca Snails. They can however be ferocious eaters and are always on the prowl for a bite to eat and are very interested in soft algae buildup on hard surfaces. The main setback for this type of freshwater snails is that some of them feed on live aquarium plants.
  3. Ivory Snails: these are freshwater snails with creamy white colored shells and they blend well in a community. This type of freshwater snails, just like Gold Inca Snails, like scavenging the tank for uneaten food, dead or decaying plant matter and soft algae on hard surfaces. They feed on fish flakes, algae wafers, tablets, pellets and even some blanched green and leafy vegetables.
  4. Japanese Trapdoor Snail: this freshwater snail type is calm, peaceful and non-aggressive in temperament and it can spend hours at the bottom of the tank scouring for uneaten food, debris and soft algae. They derive their name from their operculum that serves as the “trap door” that seals their shell aperture should danger suddenly arise.
  5. Mystery Snails: These have shells that are generally on the dark side, with light brown and dark brown accent colors and stripes. Others may have ivory white shells. Their color patterns are unique and nearly limitless. They make great tank cleaners, feeding on a diet of uneaten food, and dead or decaying plant matter but they also like supplements of bottom feeder tablets, pellets, algae wafers and fish flakes.

These freshwater snails are notorious escape artists, so it’s very important to keep tanks covered to the extent possible. If there is a way out of the tank, the odds are Mystery Snails will eventually find it.

  1. Nerite Snails: this is the best algae eating freshwater snail type. They spend a lot of time methodically travelling across aquarium glass and other hard surfaces searching for soft algae buildup that they eat in small bites. Their popularity is due to the fact that they do not reproduce in freshwater aquariums and overrun a tank like the rest.
  2. Pond Snails: these end up in tanks by accident. They can be pets or pests, depending on the keeper.
  3. Rabbit Snails: this is a peaceful, non-aggressive slow moving freshwater snail type that can help keep tanks free of uneaten food and debris. They have very intriguing look, and they can reproduce in fresh water.
  4. Ramshorn Snails: these lay eggs, reproduce in freshwater, and can quickly overrun a tank. They can be considered as a pet or a pest.

Conclusion

Freshwater snails are the best fish tank cleaners.

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tropheus

Tropheus

Tropheus

Introduction

The Tropheus species are originally from Lake Tanganyika, Africa and are widely distributed throughout the lake. They are a moderately deep bodied fish that seems to have a larger head in proportion to the body. The body narrows as it forms the tail and the caudal fin is fan shaped. They vary in size depending upon the species. The Black “Bemba/Pemba” species is perhaps the smallest reaching about 4 to 4.75″ (10 – 12 cm) in length while the “mpimbwe” species may be the largest, and it reaches up to about 6” (15 cm). They can live for up to 10 years or even more depending on how well they are taken care of.

Tropheus Characteristics

1. The Tropheus will often have an overall dark body and fins with a bold contrasting band around their middle or large color blotches on the sides or head. The blotches are often bright yellow or red in color.

2. This variety can have a red body with a black head, black along the upper surface of the body and dorsal fin, and on the tail fin. They can also have a yellowish or dark golden body with reds in the dorsal fin and sometimes on the pectoral or anal fin. Some varieties have striping.

3. This species has an overall black body and fins with a bold wide yellow band in the center of the body.

4. This species has a dark golden to brown body color with thin yellow stripes and there can be a yellow or reddish color to the cheeks or chin area of the head. Sometimes the striping may be absent.
Tropheus fish are suitable for more experienced aquarium keepers since they very demanding when it comes to keeping. This can be attributed to their susceptibility to certain infections of the intestinal tract such as “bloat”, therefore they require more stringent requirements with diet and habitat. They are also highly aggressive. They can be moderately easy to keep if they are properly fed and the water quality is kept up, but difficult if not. They do best in a species tank, and only with other herbivorous types of cichlids included if the tank is large. The aquarists must be willing to do frequent water changes and provide appropriate tank mates.

Tropheus Diet

The Tropheus species are omnivores. You should feed them on a spirulina based flake and pellet. If you use pellets, hold them underwater for a few moments before the fish eat them. That may prevent air released from the pellet from getting trapped in the belly of the fish. They should have spinach or romaine at least once a day. Only include foods that are high in fiber. Avoid soft or slimy foods as well as Tubifex, brine shrimp, beef heart, and mosquito larvae.

Aquarium Care

Do water changes regularly, this is very important. Water changes of 15% twice a week or 30% weekly, depending on stocking numbers and removing uneaten food will help prevent disease. They cannot handle large water changes very well unless the new water chemistry closely matches the water they are in. If a large water change is needed, changing 15% every couple of days should bring water back to normal. This inability to tolerate large water changes is due to Lake Tanganyika being very deep and the water tends to stay stable.

Tropheus Diseases

1. Wounds, minor fungal infections and film over the eyes of fish. This happens mainly during transit. Treatment is done by use of marine salt (used for salt water fish) which will add some trace elements. However, avoid addition of too much salt.

2. Ich. Treatment is usually by raising tank temperature to 86° F (30° C) for a period of 3 days. Another alternative method is use of copper, to remove any water conditioners.

3. Skin flukes and other parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.), fungal infections, and bacterial infections.

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salvini cichlids

Salvini Cichlids

Salvini Cichlids

Introduction

The Salvini Cichlids are also referred to as Salvin’s Cichlids, Yellow-Belly Cichlids, or Tricolor Cichlids. They originally live in moderate and fast moving waters of rivers and lagoons. They feed on macro-invertebrates and small fishes. It spends most of its time hunting in the central open areas of rivers and tributaries rather than lurking among roots and caves on the sides like the other fish. When it comes to keeping, they should be either alone, in pairs or kept in a large fish tank together with other cichlids.

Salvini Cichlid has an elongated oval shape body and its snout is pointy. They reach up to 8 1/2 inches (22 cm) long when mature. They can live up to 13 years when kept well. Its body is generally yellow in color, with a series of blotches running mid-body all the way from the eye to the tail fin. The yellow color however vary with their geographic location.
It is recommended that Salvini Cichlids should be kept by the more experienced cichlid keeper and not beginners. Salvini Cichlids are very hardy and can do well in relatively small fish tanks. They show aggression towards other fish. They are messy and hence need strict and frequent maintenance including water changes.

Diet

Salvini Cichlids are primarily a carnivore in nature, feeding on small fish and small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, even though they are omnivorous. They can therefore be fed on all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods.

Maintenance

Since Salvini Cichlids are very messy, the fish tank needs frequent and comprehensive water changes. You will need to carry out water changes of 20 – 25% at least once a week, but it should be more frequent if your tank is highly populated. The process should include the following:-
• Before starting the water change it is best to clean the side panes of algae, using an algae magnet or sponge.
• Thoroughly vacuum the substrate and remove all fish waste and biolgical material (including food) from the tank during the water change.

In order to be guaranteed success, you need to set up a strict maintenance routine for them and you will definitely end up with healthy Salvini Cichlid with a long and happy life which is the joy of every aquarium keeper.

Fish tank requirements

A single Salvini Cichlid needs a minimum of 50 gallon fish tank. For two you will need a 100 gallons tank and so on. Apart from the size, they also need great flowing water and a perfect working filtration system. For filtration, a canister filter is recommende and powerheads are recommended to enhance the movement of water.
You will need to provide them with hiding places which can be rocks as well as wood. You can opt to plant your fish tank to enhance the beauty of the aquarium. However, ensure the plants are along the inside perimeter of the fish tank so that the fish will have room for swimming in the middle.

Salvini Cichlid Diseases

1. Ich. It can be treated with the elevation of the tank temperature to 86° F (30° C) for 3 days. If that does not cure the Ich, then the fish needs to be treated with copper (remove any water conditioners). Several copper based fish medications are available for Ich. Copper use must be kept within the proper levels, so be sure to follow the manufacturers suggestions. A copper test also can be used to keep the proper levels. You can also combine increasing the temperature with an Ich medication treatment.

2. Skin flukes and other parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.), fungal infections, and bacterial infections.

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ryukin goldfish

Ryukin Goldfish

Ryukin Goldfish

The Ryukin Goldfish is a type of a goldfish that is egg-shaped. It has a short body which is stubby. They grow to a length of about 6 inches (15cm) although lengths of up to 10 inches (25 cm) have been reported in some cases. They can live for 20 years or more when well maintained, although most live for 10-15 years on average. There are two types of Ryukin Goldfish, namely:-

• Calico Ryukin Goldfish
• Tri-color Ryukin Goldfish

The Ryukin is a Japanese version of the Fantail Goldfish. Both of these goldfish will generally reach about 6 inches (15 cm), though some hobbyists report their Ryukins reaching up to a whopping 10″ (25 cm). The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, though living 20 years or more is not uncommon in well-maintained goldfish aquariums and ponds.
Ryukin Goldfish are one of the hardiest species. This means that they are not prone to effect of water changes and the other tank conditions like temperature. For this reason, even a beginner can comfortably keep them without any fatalities. Apart from that, they can do well with the other species as long as they are not competitive. Also, they can survive in most environment such as a pond as long as safety is assured.

Ryukin Goldfish Diet

Ryukin Goldfish are omnivorous and hence they will feed on most kinds of food whether fresh, frozen or even flake foods. Ensure that you however strike a balance on the foods. Frozen food is recommended as opposed to live foods as this ensures that parasites are frozen to death before the food is fed to the Ryukin Goldfish. Ensure you also feed them with well despite the type of food even though they are not too demanding on the number of times in a day.

Fish tank

Ryukin Goldfish are hardy and easy to keep in a well-maintained tank. Minimum tank size is 10 gallons, so make sure water changes are frequent in such a small tank. Regular weekly water changes of 1/4 to 1/3 are strongly recommended to keep these fish healthy. Snails can be added as they reduce the algae in the tank, helping to keep it clean.
Ryukin Goldfish Diseases

If the fish tank is well maintained any disease that can affect the Ryukin Goldfish can easily be contained. However, in a scenario where any illness occur, it should be treated in a timely manner. Moreso, Ryukin Goldfish are hardy and most times they don’t end up dying if they are treated after an illness as long it is done in a timely manner. Another critical thing is that you should ensure sick fish should always be isolated for treatment and care. The quarantine tank should have no gravel or plants.

1. Ich. This is a protozoan disease that affect most fish and Ryukin Goldfish is not an exception. It makes the fish look like salt has been sprinkled on it. If not identified and treated quickly, it can be fatal.

2. External parasites. These are fairly common but very easy to treat and are normally not fatal when treated. They include flukes, which are flatworms that infest the gills or body of the fish, fish lice (Argulus) that attach themselves to the body of the goldfish and anchor worms that resemble threads protruding from the fish.

3. Dropsy. This is a bacterial infection in the kidneys that can be fatal if not treated quickly. Other common bacterial infections include Fish Tuberculosis whose symptom is an emaciated (having a hollow belly) fish, Tail/Fin Rot and so on.

4. Swim Bladder Disease. This is a disease whose symptom is Ryukin Goldfish swimming in abnormal patterns and having difficulty maintaining their balance. Causes may include: constipation, poor nutrition, a physical deformity, or a parasitic infection. Treatment used has been feeding them with frozen peas.
There are other minor diseases like Cloudy Eye, Constipation, wounds and ulcers. All these have individual treatments.

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butterfly koi

Butterfly Koi

BUTTERFLY KOI

Introduction

This is a brown and grey fish with long fins. It originated from Indonesia where it was found in canals and ditches. Initially, most people found this particular type of fish ugly considering its looks, but that has since changed over time after long periods of breeding. They have characteristic long fins. They could also be bred back into color as well as many colorful lines similar to the orginal long fin koi.

One of their most selling point is the fact that they are robust and are also very resistant to almost all diseases. The name ‘butterfly’ was due to their looks as they resemble a butterfly.

Butterfly koi Size

Butterfly koi displays a great growing pattern. The signature fins keep growing as the butterfly koi grows, making it look more and more impressive in the process. At some point however, the blood vessels can no longer sustain the fins growth and that is where they stop. When fully grown, butterfly koi resembles a long, slinky dragon swimming in your aquarium fish tank. They can grow up to 36-40 inches, depending on the food amounts. They however can not compare to the regular koi in size.

Types of Butterfly Koi

  1. Sorogoi fish

This type of butterly koi when fully grown as adults are incredible. It has a characteristic grey or black fish net pattern over its body. They grow huge as they are robust and they are mysterious.

  1. Black butterfly koi

Another type of butterfly koi is black butterflies, which are considered by some people as being better and even coolest. They are not easily found and hence the effect is rare making it special to say the least when it happens. They can have scales but sometimes they don’t. Among this type, the rarest and most valuable is the doitsu, karasu butterfly. This fish is black, has no scales, and has long fins.

They grow up and become very large because their genes are not as strained as some of the brighter colored fish. And if they have no scales, the body is a glistening jet-black. The fins keep growing until the entire fish is broad, and streams long black robes behind it. They look like a jet-black dragon.

Butterfly Koi Fins

In a striking resemblance to any other koi, the fins of the butterfly koi are made up of dozens of rays of cartilage that radiate outward and support the fin. These rays generally grow very straight, but past the point of normal length they can grow wavy. The fish that grow straight rays even into the lengthier parts of the tail are more impressive looking and would be more valuable.

Caution when handling butterfly koi

One problem with butterfly koi is that they are often handled the same way as regular koi. Broken fins and tails are common when they are fully grown. This means that it’s  normal to see bends and waves in the fins and tail of butterfly koi partly because of growing that way, but also because of netting-damage as a juvenile. As an adult, a split tail or fin often does not heal well and remains split. All of the above is irrelevant to the casual observer, the impact of the fish is exactly the same, but you might notice variations in fin quality and you may care enough to choose one fish over the other based on that.

Conclusion

As to whether it is a true koi or not, the butterfly koi is a true koi. The butterfly koi is very unique and satisfying to look at and you will be fascinated by there characteristic long fins and the beautiful colors. It is a great addition to your fish tank.

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freshwater puffer fish

Freshwater Puffer Fish

Freshwater Puffer fish

Freshwater puffer fish are actually great aquarium fish as they are wonderful specialist fish. Moreso, they are rewarding to keep in an aquarium as pets as long as their you adhere to their requirements and needs.

Mixing with other species

Freshwater puffer fish do not mix well with other aquarium species in most cases. The main reasons for this are; they may end up eating the other aquarium fish, nip at their fins or starve since they are slow and can’t compete favorably when feeding.

Fish tank requirements

Freshwater puffer fish tend to excrete a lot of Ammonia in their waste. The main reason for this is that the puffers are known to eat a high protein diet and are extremely messy at eating for that matter. This means therefore that they need big fish tank to minimize such effects. For example, the smaller species should have a 30 gallons tank as the bare minimum. The larger ones should have way bigger tanks even up to 1000 gallons.
Another thing about freshwater puffer tank requirements is the filtration. It should have double filtration because of the mess.
Also, your freshwater fish tank should be fully cycled. This means that the fish tank should be safe for the puffer fish. For this reason, you need the level of ammonia to be under control. You should change your water periodically. Ammonia is more toxic to puffer fish as they do not have scales.

Feed requirements

Most freshwater puffers require feeding twice or thrice a week unlike other aquarium fish. The other aquarium fish usually graze often the entire day. Not all freshwater puffers however are like this, for example dwarf puffer require frequent feeding. This calls for care and research.
Freshwater puffers need a constant diet of hard-shelled foods to curb their “beaks” from overgrowing which would lead to starvation due to not being able to eat.
The most common freshwater puffers food is snails, shrimp and frozen fish food like blood worms, among others. It is important to note that you should quarantine all live foods like snails when it comes to feeding of freshwater puffer fish. Failure to do this will lead to your puffers feeling very sick.

Types of freshwater puffer fish

1. Amazonian Puffer
This type of freshwater puffer fish have very distinct stripes. They grow to a length of about three inches. They are considered to be more peaceful compared to the other types of freshwater puffers. They are alternatively called Amazon, Brazilian, Bee puffers or South American.

2. Fahaka Puffer
This is a much larger type of freshwater puffer fish as it grows up to 18 inches long at maturity. This means therefore that it requires a larger fish tank to accomodate it. It has a characteristic set of stripes and is therefore sometimes referred to as a lined, stripped or band puffer.

3. Avocado Puffer
The color of this type of freshwater puffer fish makes them to be referred to as golden or bronze puffers. They are small (4 inches long) and are not as doglike as the other puffer types. They are quick swimmers.

4. Dwarf Puffer/Indian Malabar puffer
This is the smallest type of puffer (one inch long). They feed more frequently unlike the other types of puffers. They are known to kill other larger fish despite their small size.

5. Pignose/ Mekong/ arrowhead puffer
This type of freshwater puffer fish prefers to be still or stay burrowed and ambushes its meal when it passes by hece it is a hunter and not a good community fish. When mature, it measures up to six inches long.

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freshwater stingrays

Freshwater Stingrays

Freshwater Stingrays

Introduction

Freshwater stingrays originated from the Amazon River system just like most of the other aquarium fish. Even though they are considered to be a docile species, they are known to be the cause of injuries to people more than any other animal in the system.

Appearance
Their appearance is essentially flat and their eyes appear to be on top of their bodies with their mouths as well as their gill slits being on their sides but on the lower side. Compared to their disc shape of the body, their tails are way longer. They use saw-like spine(s) for self-defense as they are tipped with barbs that can easily tear into flesh when withdrawn.
Freshwater stingrays are also know to be colorful as they have different spots of different sizes and colors such as gray, brown or black.

Fish size
Freshwater stingrays can grow to maturity and have a disc width of roughly 18 inches. The tails on the other hand can be up to 1 foot long and 1 inch wide. Given these measurements, freshwater stingrays are not as large as such and therefore would not need a very big fish tank.

Feeding habits
Freshwater stingrays are omnivores in nature. They feed on crustaceans as well as other invertebrates in their natural habitat. They occasionally eat small fish. In an aquarium, they can feed on shrimp, earthworms, smelt and the like.

Reproduction
Freshwater stingrays like some of the other fish reproduce through internal fertilization. This happens after a male makes the female pregnant by use of a modified pelvic fin as he bites the female’s back. The unborn freshwater stingrays are ovoviviparous in nature, meaning they are nourished by egg yolk inside the mother’s body. After a gestation period of three months, the female produces eggs that hatch internally before birth. The developing embryos receive additional nutrition from a milky, rich substance produced in the mother’s uterus. About one litter of two to six pups is produced yearly. When it is born, a ray’s disc is about 3 inches wide.
Freshwater stingrays are known to live for a period of between five and ten years when they are taken good care of.

Points to Consider Before Purchasing Freshwater Stingrays

The following are some factors to consider before buying your first freshwater stingray. Getting to know these things before you purchase the freshwater stingray will icrease your chances of achieving success.

I) Medical Precautions
Stingrays are venomous animals. While no freshwater species are known to have caused human fatalities, we know very little about the nature of the toxins they produce, and individual sensitivities may be a concern. You should therefore speak with your doctor and arrange for medical care in the event of an emergency before purchasing a stingray.

II) Selecting a freshwater stingray to buy
The small stingrays that appear in the pet trade are not adults but rather are babies of a variety of large species. Adults of several trade species approach 3 feet in diameter.

III) Furnishing the Aquarium
Freshwater stingray skin is easily damaged by ornaments that are safe for other fishes; they do best in a sparsely-furnished aquarium. Even small specimens will quickly uproot plants and dislodge filter tubes, aerators and heaters.

Use smooth stones as a substrate. Typical aquarium gravel is too rough and may cause skin lesions. Substrates designed for marine aquariums raise the pH to dangerously high levels and sand, while acceptable, poses water quality problems (please write in for further details).

Stingrays usually land on aquarium heaters, but seem not to respond to the high temperatures generated. Therefore you should shield the heaters with OVC sheath or heavy rocks.

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freshwater sharks

Freshwater Sharks

Freshwater Sharks

Sharks have over time been found by more and more people to be fascinating to look at and learn about. A visit to museum for aquatic animals attest to this. Also, there has been numerous documentaries about sharks due to that fact.

But it is known that sharks live in the oceans and seas, which are mainly salty water bodies. The possibility of then keeping sharks in freshwater seemed impossible and far-fetched for aquatic fish keepers. This is where freshwater sharks come in. Freshwater sharks are however not real sharks as such, but they are called sharks because of their appearance. They can have teeth or not and they are large in size. This means therefore that if you plan to keep it, you will need a large tank.
The freshwater sharks resemble real sharks not only in looks but also in behavior as they can swim in a similar manner to actual sharks even when they kept in a fish tank. This means that aquarium lovers will find the freshwater sharks a site to behold.

Fish tank requirements
As mentioned earlier, you will definately need a very large tank to accommodate the sharks. The freshwater sharks can be very large when they are mature. This means your aquarium tank should have a capacity of at least 55 gallons all the way to 150 gallons or even more depending on other factors.

Feeding habits
Freshwater sharks are omnivorous in nature but they can also be carnivorous. This means that they are not good community fish as they can feed on other fish in the aquarium. This therefore means they should be kept alone in the fish tank. They however mainly feed on smaller fish as they see them as live food. This happens especially when they have grown big.
It is good to note however that not all freshwater sharks are predators of small fish. However they all happen to be aggressive towards any other fish present in the aquarium. This therefore calls for keeping them alone in the fish tank. And you must keep them with other fish types, kindly find out which ones are prone to aggressiveness from the freshwater sharks first.

Types of freshwater sharks
I) Silver/Bala shark
This is the type of freshwater shark that resembles the actual shark by its shape of the body, color which is silver and its fins. It is sometimes called tricolor shark or shark minnow. When they are young, they are largely peaceful but this changes when they grow as they become semi-aggressive or predatory to the smaller fish in the tank. They live in shoals in order to socialize and they swim most often in schools.
On feeding, they are omnivorous in nature as they eat live food like bloodworms, tubifex, flake food, with proteins, fibers, supplements and vitamins.

II) Iridescent shark/Siamese shark
It resembles the actual shark due to its shape, color and swimming design. It also grows to become very large and it is a member of the catfish shark. You should therefore have a very large fish tank to keep it.

III) Mekong giant catfish
This is the biggest member of catfish sharks. They can grow up to 3 metres in length which is huge.

IV) Giant Pangasius/Paroon shark
This is another member of catfish shark and has a striking resemblance to Iridescent shark due to its looks.

V) Red tail shark/Bicolor shark
It is a smaller type of freshwater shark and is less aggressive and territorial. It has two colors which are a black body and an orange tail and hence its other name. The orange tail plays a crucial role as it indicates something is wrong when it starts to fade.

VI) Columbian Shark
This is a very peaceful freshwater shark type and it can grow big.

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wood aquariums

Wood Aquariums

Wood Aquariums

In the past, one wouldn’t imagine an aquarium made of wood. This is basically because of the common knowledge that water destroys wood, but then again, so is steel yet it has been in use for making aquariums. But now things are changing as people have explored and found out that wood is indeed a very good material for making wood aquariums.

Factors to consider with wood aquariums:

1. Wood coating
When making an aquarium using wood however, just like most of the other commonly used materials, we need a coating between the wood and the water making the aquarium water tight.

2. Stiffness
Aside from that, stiffness is another important factor. To achieve this, thickness of the structure is inevitable to ensure the structure doesn’t bulge as well as bend due to the pressure. This factor is indeed a major advantage for wood compared to the other commonly used materials like steel. This is because wood is usually available cheaply and in good thickness. Steel on the other hand are usually thin and would usually bend under the pressure of the water. This is the main reason you will not find an aquarium made of purely steel, because thick steel come with a huge cost which is not bearable. In cases where the wood isn’t strong and stiff enough one can use either horizontal or vertical beams to reinforce.

3. Use of beams for strength
As mentioned above, either horizontal and/or vertical beams are used to reinforce plywood whenever there is risk of bending of the aquarium structure. To achieve this, there is need for calculation of thickness of the beams to achieve the desired strength. There may not be need to go into the tedious calculations however.

4. Gaps between the wood plates
One of the challenges of using wood as an aquarium construction material is sealing the gaps between the wood plates. This can be solved by either plugging or even gluing. Do not however make a commonly made mistake of simply painting hoping the gaps will be sealed, as this would lead to leakage. Note that painting is not an option even if the gaps appear small.

Importance of silicone
Silicone is a very important material in the construction of an aquarium using wood. One of its main advantages is the fact that it is non toxic and hence it will not cause any harm to your fish. Secondly it is very elastic coming in handy. Also, it is very strong hence can endure pressure to a great extent.

Use of glass
For visibility of the fish in the aquarium, a glass is used on the sides and even on top or bottom as desired, to replace the wood. The thickness should be just enough to sustained the pressure of the water.

Construction process
Construction involves a step by step process but it is recommended that you make the stand first. Then after that, make the side walls, back wall and finally the bottom wall. After that, you can assemble the parts into the whole structure.
Ensure you do a proper coating of the inside of the structure to ensure no leakage. Also ensure you use rust free screws in joining all the parts. When done with the assembly, do a proper outer coating by using thin sheets of plywood.

Conclusion
Constructing an aquarium using wood is indeed a noble thing and it reduces the construction costs considerably. The advantages of using wood far outweigh the disadvantages and wood are very fast becoming a material of choice. When everything is done right, wood is one of the best options.

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how to transport live fish

How To Transport Live Fish

How To Transport Live Fish

Introduction

When it comes to keeping fish in an aquarium, movement from one point to another will eventually turn out to be inevitable. Whether it is moving the fish for a short or long distance, great care must be taken. This is because fish are very delicate and if they are handled carelessly, especially during transportation, they may die. In this article, we are going to discus how to transport live fish in four phases.

Phase one
This phase capitalizes on making sure the fish is safe before the journey. It involves the following steps:-
• Making a good plan of how to transport the fish. Ensure you don’t just rush to transporting your aquarium fish without a proper plan of how to precisely do it. This means you need to know your means of transport in advance so that you prepare accordingly. Ensure you don’t leave your fish unattended whenever you make a stop over. Note that most fish can only withstand a travelling of 48 hours, this means you should make your plan with this in mind.

• Ensure you change the water in the aquarium a number of days before the transportation day. The main purpose of this is to make sure the water in the aquarium is clean. This does not however mean that you change the water all at once. You should rather do so gradually running into a number of days, say 20% for five days.

• Never feed the fish a day or two to the transporting day. This will ensure the fish do not mess up and dirtify the water during the journey. Just to note is that fish can survive without food for upto a week.

• Do not pack the fish until it is time to start the journey.

• Only travel with your when it is absolutely necessary.

Phase two

This involves choosing a container that will be used for transportation. It entails:-
• Put the fish in transporting plastic bags. Ensure each fish has its own plastic bag to avoid crowding.

• Ensure the fish is transported in five-gallon buckets. This is because this is the simplest way of transporting a number of fish in the same container. The bucket should be new and free of any chemicals and it should be covered.

• If the aquarium is small, you can transport it as it is.

• Transport the plants separately in a container inside plastic bags.

How To Transport Live Fish – Phase Three

This phase is about keeping the fish safe during the journey. It involves:-
• First step is to fill the containers to be used for transportation with water from the top of the aquarium.

• There should be no foreign objects in the container with fish.

• Keep the temperature under control.

• Keep your fish in a dark place.

• Do not feed the fish during the journey.

• Introduce the fish to the aquarium once again on reaching your destination.

Phase four

This final stage is about caring for the aquarium. It involves the following:-
• The water in the fish tank should be emptied into a container that is safe for fish. The water should be from the top of the aquarium.

• Decorate the tank as desired. This can be done using beautiful rocks as well as other ornaments.

• Ensure correct and safe packing of the filter media. If travelling for short distances, don’t clean the filters but rather keep them in a sealed and clean container free of any chemicals. In case of long travel, ensure you clean the filter.

• Finally, assemble your aquarium at your destination. The water should be the one you emptied from the old aquarium.

After reading this article you should be better versed on How To Transport Fish.

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how to reseal an aquarium

How to Reseal an Aquarium

How to Reseal an Aquarium

Did you ever come home one day and find your aquarium leaking? Did you find a great deal on a used aquarium because it leaks? Do you have an old tank sitting in storage that leaks? Or just one that you don’t think will hold water? This article will guide you in fixing this problem. I will go through the steps you must follow to reline a tank and show you how to do it. This whole process of relining will take roughly about 3 hours but then again it depends on your speeds. This article will strive to take a look at how easy resealing your aquarium really is (or can be). It may look like a daunting task at first but once you break it down, it’s quite simple really. In this guide, we break it down to you step-by-step on how to reseal an old aquarium tank.

How to Reseal an Aquarium – The Tank

A good sample to use for this guide is a 25 gallon tank resealed in several places with various materials including Mono caulking, and is definitely poorly done to say the least.
The Equipment
Here are the things you will need.
1. Razor knife or utility knife blades,
2. Windex
3. paper towel,
4. plastic scotch rite pad/sponge,
5. and depending on the size of the project either a squeeze tube or a caulking gun and a tube of aquarium safe silicone
6. And a vacuum for removing the debris.

How to reseal an aquarium – The Steps

1. First of all, you will want to clean the glass and remove any dirt etc. from the tank. After that you are ready to start removing the old silicone or whatever it is that was used. Place the edge of the blade against the glass at an angle and slide it under the silicone cutting toward the face that is butted against first. This will take several passes before you will reach the opposing glass.

2. Next, cut into the silicone from the other face; be careful not to cut into the joint between the two panels. When you have cut deep enough the silicone should come out in large lengths or pieces. If you make diagonal cuts in the bottom corners it is easier to clean them out. At this point, you should vacuum out the debris, clean the glass with glass cleaner (not the foaming spray as it leaves a residue), and you are ready to start taping.

3. Starting with the bottom, place pull tabs in each corner. Then place your tape approximately one quarter inch back from the joints all the way around. Note that the pull tabs in the corners should be made of masking tape.

4. Next, tape the sides. Start with the vertical runs first so that when you pull the tape it will lift the bottom run as you go.

5. After this is done trim out your corners. The tank is now ready for re-sealing

6. Now you are ready for the new silicone. Cut the tip of the nozzle at approximately forty five degrees with a quarter inch opening. I apologize that is hard to see in this photo.

7. Press it in and smooth it with your finger – working everything in until it is fairly even and smooth.

Note: It is very important to remove the tape immediately after smoothing. Otherwise you will have silicone taped to your glass and have difficulty removing it.
After you are done with the steps above, your aquarium is set and you must wait at least forty eight hours before filling.
One final note – if you accidently get silicone on the glass, leave it to cure for twenty four hours and it will peel off easily by use of a razor blade.

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aquarium buying guide

Aquarium Buying Guide

Aquarium Buying Guide

Buying an aquarium is a commitment which should be approached with careful thought and consideration. While aquarium keeping is considered to be an enjoyable hobby by many, it is always best to purchase the largest tank you can afford when you first begin. This will help you to avoid the need to upgrade later on; after your fish have already been established. Keep in mind, when purchasing an aquarium that you will also need the correct equipment to go along with the actual tank including a heater, filter and lighting to correspond with the size tank you purchase. A sufficiently large tank is necessary as your fish will be happier and healthier when they have adequate room to exercise.

Aquarium Buying Guide – Size and shape of the aquarium

Today, many different shape and height of tanks are available, so some thought will need to be given to this as well. Ideally, it is best not to purchase a tank that is deeper than your arm length or you could face difficult maintenance issues. Generally speaking, standard rectangle and bow-fronted aquariums are more suitable as these types of tanks provide the largest surface area in relation to their volume. As a result they provide maximum length for your fish to swim and exercise in. While tall column tanks can be visually interesting, they do make maintenance difficult. In addition, due to the small surface area, in the event of a power shortage, your fish can suffocate. Other options include cylindrical and spherical tanks; however, these types of tanks tend to distort the fish for viewing.

Aquarium Buying Guide – Types of aquariums

There are three basic types of aquariums available;-
i) basic glass tanks
ii) complete set-up tanks
iii) Systemized aquariums.

Each has advantages and disadvantages.

i. A basic glass tank is an all-glass tank that is in a word-basic. When purchasing this type of tank you must keep in mind that you will need to purchase everything else needed to complete a fully functioning aquarium separate. This means purchasing the filtration, lighting, thermometer, hood, stand, test kits, heater and more separate. Purchasing these items separately can be more expensive than purchasing a complete set-up; however, it does allow you to purchase exactly what you want.

ii. With a complete set up aquarium, the tank comes with a hood and some equipment and accessories. When purchased this way, you usually get a break on the individual prices. This can be a good option if you are unsure about what you will need when you first start out. Perhaps the only disadvantage is that because the items come together you will not be able to purchase exactly what you want, regardless of manufacturer. In addition, do not allow the term ‘complete set-up’ fool you. You may still need other items such as cleaning equipment, background paper and test kits; which must be purchased separately.

iii. A systemized aquarium has the lighting and filtration already fitted into the tank by the manufacturer. This can take the hassle out of selecting and fitting the equipment; however, if you want to use different equipment or even if you want to upgrade in the future, the process is not that simple. Therefore, you should make sure that the system you choose is appropriate for the type of fish you want to keep when you purchase it. For example, some systemized aquariums are better suited for planted tanks and tropical fish.

Tank position
Regardless of which type of aquarium you choose to purchase, it is important to position your tank where it will be easy to view as well as maintain. It should also be positioned in a location that is near an electric outlet. Try to avoid locations near natural sunlight as this can increase the water temperature as well as doors, which may be loud and distress your fish. Finally, avoid placing your tank near areas close to radiators and fireplaces as this can result in excess heat as well.

Aquarium Buying Guide – Conclusion
By giving proper thought and consideration to the type of tank that will best suit your needs and the needs of your fish for some time to come you can be sure you and your fish will enjoy your new aquarium for a long time.

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aquarium maintenance

Aquarium Maintenance

Aquarium Maintenance

Good aquarium maintenance practices will lead to a healthy aquatic environment and thriving fish. Expensive and time-consuming problems can be prevented by spending thirty minutes on maintenance every other week. The biggest factor for maintenance is tank stability. As long as everything is running properly and your fish are healthy, there is no need for any major change, even if the pH or hardness seems to be slightly out of range; only increases or decreases of the major aquarium water parameters will need your careful but immediate attention.

Water Changes
A key part of aquarium maintenance is the water change, which should be performed about every two weeks. In most cases, 10-15% of the tank volume is sufficient. A good method is to replace the water extracted while vacuuming the gravel, which will eliminate uneaten foods and other residues that settle on the substrate. It is highly recommended to check the water parameters of both the tank and replacement water. Most tap water (city water) contains either chlorine or chloramine. Chlorine will air out rather quickly (kept in an aerated bucked for twenty-four hours); chloramine (chloramine = chlorine + ammonia) will not. Using a water conditioner will neutralize the chlorine in both cases, but ammonia will still be present in the latter. It has to be broken down by the nitrifying bacteria present in the aquarium. This may take longer than your fish can tolerate.

Other elements of municipal water may be phosphates, iron, and other heavy metals. To find out about your tap water chemistry, call your local water company.

Filtered water should also be checked on a regular basis and should be considered part of your aquarium maintenance routine. The filter membranes could be damaged or may require replacement prior to the expiration date.

Testing the Aquarium Water
Water chemistry is not visible; therefore, it is vital to check it on a regular basis. The best way to make this a routine is to check on the tank chemistry while changing the water. The vital parameters are pH, nitrates, nitrites, and carbonate hardness (salinity for marine tanks).

Stability is the main factor with pH. pH in the range of 6.5 – 7.5 is suitable for most species, but they can adjust if slightly out of range.

KH (carbonate hardness) is the indicator of pH stability. It should be kept under close observation if it comes close to 4.5 dH (degree hardness) or 80 ppm.

Nitrites should be undetectable at all times (except during cycling). If you detect nitrites make sure you check on ammonia as well.

Nitrates should be kept below 10 ppm in freshwater and 5 ppm in marine and reef (preferably 0 ppm).

Filtration of the Aquarium
The proper function of the filter is essential. Filter inserts should be changed at least every four weeks. A high fish load may require shorter periods. Trapped particles will decompose in the filter as they would in the tank. The filter should also be cleaned once a month (do not touch the bio-wheels, if present) by using the water extracted from the tank during the water change.

Recommended Aquarium Maintenance Routine

Daily
• Make sure the equipment is running properly.
• Watch your fish during feeding. Behavioral changes are a good indicator of a potential problem.

Weekly
• Count your fish. In case of fish death, smaller species can decompose quickly, resulting in ammonia and nitrite spikes, and eventually high nitrate levels.

Every Other Week
• Test your water for the vital parameters: pH, carbonate hardness, nitrite and nitrate.
• Change 10-15% of the water.
• Vacuum the gravel.
• Clean the aquarium walls. Filter floss is fairly cheap and very efficient. Start from the bottom upward and rinse out often.
• Rinse filter inserts (cartridges) with the extracted water.

Monthly
• Replace filter inserts.
• Inspect tubing, connections, airstones, skimmers and other parts for proper operation.
• Clean aquarium top to assure your lighting is not affected.
• Check the expiration dates printed on the boxes and bottles of the aquarium supplies you use. Do not use after the imprinted date.

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fish fungus

Fish Fungus

Fish Fungus

Fungus consists of fine white threads known as hyphae that pass through organic material. These hyphae form distinctive patches on fish that resemble cotton wool.

Pathology

The fungi involved include species of Achyla and Saprolegia, often referred to collectively as water molds. These are likely present in most aquaria, breaking down organic material, such as feces, leaf litter and uneaten fish food.

Triggering Factors
Fungus spores are opportunistic and given the chance will invade most types of organic material, including living tissue. Fungus do not harm healthy aquarium fish because the mucus layer on the skin of a fish prevents the spores from infecting its living tissues. However, if the fish’s mucus layer is damaged, fungus can quickly develop, particularly if the fish is living in dirty/unhealthy conditions. Rough handling is a common cause of fungus, but other common causes include fin nipping and fighting among fish. Any diseases that produce open wounds, such as ich, ulcers and hole-in-the-head disease, can lead to fungus.
Fungus is also associated with environmental stress, presumably because fish exhibit a weaker immune response when they are not properly taken care of. Chilling, poor water quality and inappropriate water chemistry are all common reasons why aquarium fish develop fungus. Keeping brackish water fish in freshwater conditions can also lead to fungal infections.

Fish Fungus Treatments:

i. Organic Dyes
Fungus needs to be treated promptly because it spreads rapidly, making the fish more vulnerable to secondary infections, such as fin rot. Even by itself, fungus will kill a fish if not remedied.

There are various proprietary medications available for treating fungus, usually based on organic dyes, such as malachite green. These medications are safe when used to treat most community fish, but they cannot be used in tanks containing certain delicate species, such as mormyrids and stingrays, and they are also toxic to snails, shrimps and other invertebrates.
Because fungus is not contagious, infected fish can be moved to a quarantine tank for treatment away from other livestock. This is the recommended approach for systems where some of the livestock are intolerant of antifungal medications.

ii. Tea-Tree Oil and Salt
Tea-tree oil is sometimes promoted as a less toxic antifungal medication. While it can work up to a point, tea-tree oil medication is inconsistent in effectiveness and may not be strong enough to treat severe fungal infections. Tea-tree oil is best considered as a preventative or precautionary measure -something to be used in situations where the fish are not yet sick, but they could be physically damaged because of fin nipping, fighting or handling.
Salt is not a reliable antifungal medication at the doses suitable for use with most community fish, though raising the salinity will help keep fungal infections at bay in tanks with livebearers and brackish fish. Even so, this therapeutic effect should be viewed within the context of providing these fish with better environmental conditions, in particular their needs for a basic pH, moderate to high levels of hardness and a level of salinity appropriate to the species in question.

iii. Treating Fish Fungus, Fin Rot and Mouth Fungus Simultaneously
Fungus, fin rot and mouth fungus are all opportunistic infections that can occur when fish are stressed or injured. In some situations, fish may contract more than one of these diseases, and distinguishing between them is often difficult.
Fortunately, there are numerous medications available that will treat all three maladies equally well. Combinations of formalin and malachite green will treat a range of fungal and bacterial pathogens, but as stated earlier, such medications can be harmful to certain types of livestock, so they should always be used with care.

Fish Fungus on Fish Eggs

Besides fish, fungus will readily infect fish eggs, as well. Unfertilized eggs are usually infected first, with the hyphae gradually spreading onto healthy eggs, eventually killing the developing embryo. You should keep the aquarium as clean as possible so that fungus cannot become established.
Prevention
• Avoid injuries to your fish by minimizing handling
• Maintain cleanliness.

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cloudy aquarium water

Cloudy Aquarium Water

Cloudy Aquarium Water

The issue of cloudy water can be a baffling phenomenon for many aquarium owners. Unfortunately, there is no single answer as to why your aquarium water is cloudy because there is no single cause. However, based on the color and circumstances under which cloudy water appears, it usually can be pinpointed to a couple of basic causes.

The cloudy aquarium water can be subdivided into two; white or grayish water and green water.

1. White or Grayish Water
• Gravel Residue: If the water is cloudy immediately or within an hour or two of filling the tank, it’s probably due to insufficiently washed gravel. Drain the tank and rinse the gravel until the water runs clear. That should resolve the problem.
• Dissolved Constituents: If washing the gravel doesn’t solve the problem, the next most likely cause of cloudy water in a newly filled tank is a high level of dissolved constituents, such as phosphates, silicates, or heavy metals. If you test the water, you’ll likely find that the pH is high (alkaline). In these cases, treating the water with conditioners will often resolve the problem.

Another option, that has many benefits beyond resolving cloudy aquarium water, is to use RO (Reverse Osmosis) water. Your local fish shop may sell it or sell units capable of making RO water.

• Bacterial Blossom: Often, cloudy water doesn’t appear the instant an aquarium is set up. Instead, it appears days, weeks, or even months later. The cause is usually due to bacterial bloom. As the new aquarium goes through the initial break-in cycle, it is not unusual for the water to become cloudy or at least a little hazy. It will take several weeks to several months to establish bacterial colonies that are able to clear waste from the water. Over time, that cloudiness will resolve itself.
• Decaying plants or excess food that remains uneaten can also cause the milky water seen in bacterial bloom. Keeping the aquarium very clean by removing debris such as decaying plants and uneaten food, vacuuming the gravel regularly, and performing partial water changes will quickly resolve most cases of bacterial bloom. Cut back feeding to every second or third day, which will reduce excess food decay.

2. Green Water
Green water is a no-brainer. It’s due to algae growth. Getting rid of it is the hard part, but if you know the cause, it’s easier to cure. Here are the primary causes of green water:
• Too Much Light: Placing the aquarium in direct sunlight or leaving the lights on too long will result in algae growth. Reduce the amount of time the lights are on, and move the aquarium to a location out of direct sunlight.
• Excess Nutrients: Nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates also support the algae growth and must also be reduced to successfully battle algae. A water change will give some immediate relief but probably won’t resolve the problem completely. It’s important to deal with phosphates and nitrates at their source to rid of them.
• Phosphates: Phosphates come from two sources – decaying matter such as fish food, and from the water source itself. Testing your tap water for phosphates will let you know if you have a problem with your water source. If your water naturally has a high level of phosphate, you will need to use RO water or a phosphate remover to treat the water.
• Nitrates: Nitrates rise in the aquarium over time is due to fish wastes. The only way to remove them is to perform a water change.

Conclusion
A vast majority of cases of cloudy aquarium water can be resolved by weekly 10 to 15% water changes, keeping the gravel very clean, and using good quality food.

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how to clean aquarium gravel

How to Clean Aquarium Gravel

How to Clean Aquarium Gravel

Aquarium gravel forms a critical part of your fish tank. It serves not only as a decoration, but also as a filter. Because of this, it tends to harbor a lot of debris and waste. Cleaning gravel involves the process of removing some aquarium water. Because of this, most aquarium hobbyists will plan their gravel cleaning day alongside their weekly partial water changes.

How to clean aquarium gravel involves the following four stages with each stage having several steps:
1. Initial Preparation
2. Vacuuming the gravel
3. Finishing up
4. Cleaning the gravel bought from the store

How to clean aquarium gravel-Initial Preparation

i. Unplug the heater, filter, and pump. Don’t worry, the cleaning process is quick, so your fish will be fine. Do not remove your fish, decorations, or plants from the tank.
ii. Get out your aquarium vacuum.
iii. Place a bucket below the aquarium. This will hold the old water.
iv. Start the vacuum by submerging it.
v. Start the vacuum with a priming ball. Some aquarium vacuums come with a rubber ball attached to the end of the siphon.
vi. Know how to start up a Phython, and other similar types of vacuums, if you are using one.
2. Vacuuming the Gravel
i. Place the end of the vacuum into the gravel.
ii. Let go of the tube.
• If you are using a Phython, or a similar type, simply turn the water on the begin siphoning.
iii. Cover the end of the tube once the water starts to run clear.
• If the gravel starts to go too far up the vacuum, just cover the end of the tube and let the gravel settle. Then, uncover the tube and let the water flow again.
• If you are using a Phython, or a similar type, simply turn the water off the stop siphoning.
iv. Remove the vacuum from the gravel, but not out of the water. Try to keep it as straight as possible, so that you don’t dislodge the adjacent debris.
v. Move the vacuum to the next patch of dirty gravel and repeat the process.
vi. Do not clean all of the gravel. Keep vacuuming until the water level is two-thirds of the way full. Aquarium gravel hosts a lot of good, helpful bacteria that is important for the health of your tank.

3. How to clean aquarium gravel- Finishing Up

i. Take the temperature of the tank’s water.
ii. Fill a clean bucket with water that is the same temperature as your tank’s water.
iii. Treat the water, if necessary. Most tap water is not aquarium safe.
iv. Place the bucket above the water level of the aquarium.
v. Stick the entire rubber tube into the tank, and plug on end up with your finger. If you are using a gravel vacuum with a plastic siphon, see if you can pop the flexible tube off.
vi. Leave the uncovered end in the bucket, and place the covered end in the tank. Slowly let go of the tube. The water should start flowing back into the tank.
vii. Remove the tube from the tank when the water level is about 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) away from the top edge.
viii. Re-plug the heater, filter, and pump.
4. Cleaning the Gravel bought from the store
i. Only clean gravel before putting it into your tank for the first time.
ii. Open up the bag that your gravel came in.
iii. Get a colander or mesh strainer.
iv. Fill the colander or strainer with gravel.
v. Place the colander/strainer into a sink and turn on the water.
vi. Move the gravel about until the water runs clear.
vii. Transfer the gravel to your aquarium.

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best aquarium water test kits

Best Aquarium Water Test Kits

Best Aquarium Water Test Kits

Testing aquarium water is a key component of maintaining a healthy environment for fish. Below are a list of aquarium water test kits and some information about them.

Best Aquarium Water Test Kits – Master Test Kits
Combination, or Master, test kits are touted as the perfect way to have all the tests you need on hand. Their advantages include lower cost per test, everything has the same expiration dates, and it’s a quick and easy way to purchase and keep the basic tests all at once. The disadvantage is that one can’t customize tests; the kits are fixed to what’s in the kit. Also, the kits tend to run out of one item long before the others. It is recommended that keeping a master kit on hand with pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, preferably a liquid variety instead of strips is best.

Best Aquarium Water Test Kits – Ammonia Test Kits
An ammonia test kit is one of the must haves for every aquarium owner. However, not all ammonia tests are created equal. The primary issue at hand is the fact that ammonia can be present in a non-ionized form (NH3), or the ionized form (NH4) known as ammonium. NH3 is what hobbyists are concerned about, but most tests give results for the total of NH3 and NH4.

Nitrite Test Kit
Nitrite is another test that is important during the start-up of a new aquarium, as well as on an ongoing basis. It is advisable to test for nitrite monthly and any time a fish is sick or dies.

Nitrate Test Kits
Nitrate is not as dangerous for fish, but at high levels it stresses them, leaving them more susceptible to disease and ultimately shortening their lifespan. Nitrate tests are often included in a master test kit, or paired with a Nitrite test kit, but they can also be purchased separately as well.

pH Test Kits
pH is a key parameter for all aquariums, and should be tested and recorded in a log regularly. Sudden changes in pH are often the invisible cause of fish disease and death. Gradual pH changes are less serious in the short term, but ultimately can be just as dangerous to the health of fish. If using strips instead of liquid test kits take care to seal the strips well and don’t touch the pads on the strips with dirty fingers.

Hardness Test Kits
Two types of hardness tests are available, KH or carbonate hardness, and GH or general hardness.
KH, often referred to as alkalinity or carbonate hardness, is the measure of carbonate and bicarbonate in the water. The higher the KH, the more stable pH will be. GH measures the levels of dissolved magnesium and calcium, which is what we refer to when using the terms hard or soft water. GH should be matched to the species of fish being kept.

Phosphate Test Kits
Generally this test is most often used in saltwater aquariums. Phosphate is not a commonly used test in freshwater aquariums, as elevated levels will not harm fish. However, phosphate is a key factor in algae growth. If battling algae problems, knowing the phosphate level can help determine if the steps being taken to lower the phosphate levels are having the desired effect.

Oxygen Test Kit
Oxygen is rarely tested in aquariums, but there are specialty situations where it is useful. Densely populated tanks, such as those that breeders might have, or densely planted tanks are two situations in which oxygen levels may require closer examination. Both salinity and temperature impact the amount of oxygen that can be dissolved in the water. Warm water holds less oxygen than cold water, and freshwater holds more oxygen than saltwater.

Iron Test Kits
Iron is present in trace amounts in aquarium water and generally does not require testing. However, plants require iron to thrive, and those who keep heavily planted tanks, or breed plants, may test for iron levels.

Copper Test Kits
Copper tests are only used in situations where copper is used to treat sick fish. Because it is used only during treatment, this is not a test kit that is normally kept on hand. Instead copper test kits are usually purchased when giving copper treatments.

So which is the Best Aquarium Water Test Kits?
I have been using the Freshwater Master Test Kit for many years. It covers your most critical parameters all in one box.

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how to hatch brine shrimp

How to Hatch Brine Shrimp

How to Hatch Brine Shrimp

Storing Brine Shrimp Eggs

First of all, you need to start with healthy, properly stored eggs. All brine shrimp eggs need to be stored as follows:
• in a tightly sealed container;
• free from moisture; and
• in a cool environment at or below 50°F. (Refrigeration is ideal for short term storage, i.e., less than three to four weeks; for longer term storage, eggs are best kept at or below freezing.)
The above storage guidelines apply to all brine shrimp eggs, whether in opened or unopened tins.

How to Hatch Brine Shrimp – Hatching Environment

Here are the recommended conditions on How to hatch brine shrimp:
• Salinity:
25 parts per thousand (ppt) salt solution, or approximately 1 and 2/3 tablespoons of salt per quart (or liter) of water. Be sure to use marine salt or solar salt.
• pH:
Proper pH is important in hatching brine shrimp. A starting pH of 8.0 or higher is recommended. In areas where the water pH is below 7, Epson salt or magnesium sulfate can be added at the rate of 1/2 teaspoon per quart of solution to buffer the hatching solution.
• Temperature:
Optimum water temperature for a 24-hour complete hatch is 80-82°F or 26-28°C. Lowering the temperature would result in a longer hatching time. Do not exceed 30°C.
• Light:
Illumination is necessary to trigger the hatching mechanism within the embryo during the first few hours of incubation. Maintaining a light source during the entire incubation period is recommended to obtain optimum hatch results and for temperature control.
• Aeration:
Constant aeration is necessary to keep cysts in suspension and to provide sufficient oxygen levels for the cysts to hatch. A minimum of 3 parts per million dissolved oxygen during the incubation is recommended. Strong aeration should not damage or hurt the brine shrimp cysts or nauplii.
• Stocking Density:
1 gram per liter or quart or approximately 1/2 level teaspoon of cysts per quart is recommended. A higher stocking density will result in a lower hatch percentage.
• Hatching Cone:
Flat-bottom hatching vessels should be avoided. Cone or “V” bottomed containers are best to insure that the cysts remain in suspension during hatching. Be sure to thoroughly wash the hatching cone with a light chlorine solution, rinse, and allow to air-dry between uses. Avoid soap. Soap will leave a slight residue which will foam from aeration during hatching and leave cysts stranded above the water level.
• Incubation Period:
Generally, the optimum incubation time is 24 hours. Egg which has been properly stored for more than 2-3 months may require additional incubation time — up to 30-36 hours. Oftentimes, eggs will hatch in as few as 18 hours. If a smaller size nauplii (Instar I) is desired, a harvest time of 18 hours is recommended.

How to Hatch brine Shrimp – Hatching Procedure
i. Set Up: Place hatching cone or similarly shaped vessel in well-lit area. Cone should be semi-translucent for ease of harvesting and light transmission.
ii. Add Water: Fill cone with water and adjust salinity to 25 ppt (parts per thousand). Optimum hatching temperature is 82°F (28°C).
iii. Add Cysts: Add cysts at the rate of 1 gram per liter.
iv. Aerate: Provide adequate aeration to keep cysts in suspension.
v. Hatch: Depending upon water temperature, cysts should hatch in approximately 18-36 hours.
vi. Harvest: After hatching brine shrimp, turn off or remove aeration and wait several minutes for the shells and baby brine shrimp (or nauplii) to separate. Newly hatched nauplii will settle to the bottom of the cone or move towards a light source; the shells will float to the surface. Once separated, the nauplii can be siphoned from the bottom with a length of air tubing or gently drained through the bottom of the cone through a valve, if so equipped.
vii. Rinse: The warm incubation temperatures and metabolites from the hatching medium create ideal conditions for a bacteria bloom. Rinsing of the baby brine shrimp in a fine mesh net or sieve using clean fresh or salt water is important before feeding them to your fish.
viii. Clean Equipment: Tanks and brine shrimp hatching equipment should be cleaned and disinfected routinely.

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how to move an aquarium

How to Move an Aquarium

How to move an aquarium

You may need to move your fish tank/aquarium in some situations, say when relocating. Moving your aquarium can be a tedious task, but with a little planning, the correct handling, and the proper supplies, your fish should make it to their new home with minimal upset. The following guidelines enable you to walk through the process mentally, alerting you to any precautions you need to take to help ensure a smooth transition.

Moving Fish
In a case where you are relocating within your home, net your fish into a clean, 5-gallon bucket with plenty of aquarium water. Carefully scoop out invertebrates in a small, clean plastic container before placing them in the bucket.
On the other hand, when moving less than one hour from your home, bag your specimens individually the same way your pet store does. Once bagged, keep the fish in the dark to reduce stress.
Finally, if moving a distance of 1-6 hours away, again bag the fish individually. But this time, you’ll need to add pure oxygen to the bags, supplied by your local fish store. Always ensure you call ahead of time to check for availability, and agree upon a time. Live plants can be transported in bags, too, with some of the original aquarium water. Wrap leaves in wet newspaper to prevent drying out, or make sure plants are completely submerged. Maintain water temperature for your fish and other specimens by placing them, in their sealed bags, within a sealed cooler.

How to Move an Aquarium – Preparation
• Discontinue feeding your fish two days before the move
• Establish a checklist of items you’ll need at your new destination, such as pre-mixed saltwater or an ammonia-removing product
• Acquire several clean 5-gallon buckets that have not housed chemicals or detergents
• Designate a space in the moving truck closest to a door for easy access to your aquarium and equipment
• Your aquarium should be the last thing you pack, and the first thing you take out and set up
• Move your fish separately from the aquarium

Moving the Aquarium
When taking down the aquarium, save as much of the water as you can. Use 5-gallon buckets with lids to transport water. Reusing your water cuts the cycling time considerably once you restart the system, and decreases the likelihood of a toxic ammonia spike. Pack your pumps, heaters, and other equipment the way you would pack fragile appliances.
Remove the gravel and water and place in 5-gallon buckets to alleviate the stress on the aquarium seams resulting from the bumps and bouncing during transport. Keep your filter media and sponges immersed in some of your aquarium water, as well, to minimize disruption of the bacteria colonies within them. This, too, helps reduce cycling time.

For moves further than 6 hours, take out your gravel or substrate and bag it with some aquarium water. Either clean or discard your filter media, but if you do this please remember that your system will have to be treated as new when starting it up again. This necessitates a complete cycling, and only a few hardy species of fish will be able to withstand the cycling process. You should make temporary arrangements for your other fish until the aquarium has been properly cycled.

When moving the aquarium within your home, use the buckets as mentioned above. Leave enough water in the aquarium to fully cover the gravel. There’s no need to pack your pumps and other equipment, but it is a good idea to keep submersible filters in a container with some aquarium water.

How To move an Aquarium- On Arrival
Whether your new destination is within your existing home, or a new location altogether, you’ll need to work quickly to get your aquarium operating again. Fill it with as much of the old water as you were able to save. Top off with fresh water or premixed saltwater, get your filters, heaters, and other equipment running, and then add a bacterial additive to accelerate cycling. Add your plants and decorations and test your water parameters. If acceptable, add your livestock after proper acclimation.

Hopefully you have a better understanding of how to move an aquarium.

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discus food recipes

Discus Food Recipes

Discus Food Recipes

Discus fish thrive greatly on a number of food types. These include beef, veal, turkey heart, fish fillets, shrimp and liver of beef/ turkey. Below are some of the common recipes for making these food types for the discus fish.

Discus Food Recipes 1: Beef Heart and Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of ground beef heart. (Remove the blood vessels and fat)
  • 4 tablespoons of yellow cornmeal or cooked wheat germ.
  • 1 cup ground raw shrimp (without the shell).
  • 3 tablespoons of ground garlic.
  • ½ cup cooked spinach puree.
  • Yolk of 3 eggs.
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika.
  • 6 crushed calcium citrate and Vitamin D supplements.
  • 4 multivitamins (washed and soaked in water to form a soup).
  • 2 cups of meat lover’s flakes and 1 cup discus and angel flake.
  • 2 ounces of Formula One Marine
  • 7 small boxes of unflavored gelatin.

Preparation Procedure

Mix all the above ingredients and heat them. Do not boil. Stir in the gelatin and mix again. Pour the mixture out and allow it to cool. Once it cools, cut it into small pieces and freeze it in zip-lock bags. You can add 3 tablespoons of spirulina powder/krill/plankton.

Discus Food Recipes 2: Veal Heart

Ingredients

  • Veal heart (should be rinsed well in cold water and cleaned of blood vessels and fat).
  • One 10 ounce packet of frozen spinach; thaw and squeeze out the water.
  • 6 cloves of garlic.
  • 3 large handfuls of any type of dry flake food.
  • 1 cup Quaker oats.
  • 1 small box of unflavored gelatin.
  • 6 multivitamins washed off the protective coating and dunked in a small cup of water.

Preparation Procedure

Blend all these ingredients into a food processor and store the paste in freezer bags. The mixture should be around ¼ inch thick in the bags, when placed it in the freezer. At the time of feeding, just break off a piece, place it on a paper towel and allow it to thaw. Then feed the fish!

Discus Food Recipes 3: Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Shrimp, and Fish Fillets

Ingredients

  • 350 pounds turkey heart, washed and trimmed of all blood vessels and fat.
  • 150 pounds turkey liver.
  • 50 pounds non-oily fish fillets.
  • 100 pounds peeled shrimp.
  • 32 pounds green peas.
  • 20 pounds fish flakes.
  • 10 pounds oatmeal

Preparation Procedure

After allowing the hearts, livers, fish fillets and shrimp to thaw, cook them separately. Grind each of them and then mix them together. Grind this mixture once again and dollop the final mixture into plastic bags. Flatten the mixture in the plastic bag, so as to remove the air. Store in the freezer and thaw before feeding this discus fish food to the fish.

Discus Food Recipes 4: Beef Heart, Shrimp, Beef Liver and White Fish

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beef heart.
  • 1 pound beef liver (trimmed, rinsed well and soaked for 3 minutes in hot water).
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled.
  • White fish – 1 pound.
  • 2 pounds frozen plankton.
  • 2 packets of lightly steamed spinach.
  • 1 box of lightly steamed peas.
  • Yolk of 6 eggs.
  • ⅓ cup Kelp seaweed powder.
  • ¼ cup brewer’s yeast.
  • ½ cup cooked wheat germ.
  • Spirulina powder – 1 tablespoon.
  • Vitamin C powder – 1 tablespoon.

Preparation Procedure

Blend the beef heart, liver, shrimp, white fish, plankton, peas and spinach in a food processor. Dollop out the paste in a large bowl and add to it the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Place the mixture into freezing bags and freeze them until needed. At feeding time, take a piece and allow it to thaw. Feed it to the discus in the fish tank.

 

 

Conclusion
Besides the above mentioned recipes, these fish also feed on frozen blood worms, mosquito larvae, white worms, Mysis shrimp, glass worms, red worms (chopped up) and dried or frozen adult brine shrimp. One can make some modification to the recipe as one desire. The above mentioned discus fish food recipes are suitable for discus fish of all ages.

 

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how many discus

How Many Discus

How Many Discus

How many discus can I safely keep together is a very common question I receive from many discus keepers.

If you search online you will see many conflicting responses.

How many discus you can keep together is not a one number answer. There are many factors to consider before being able to answer the question.

In this article I will explain all the different factors involved to help you decide how many discus is bet for your aquarium.

Consideration 1:
The rule of thumb for how many discus you can keep together doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone but is 1 discus for every gallons of water. Therefore if you follow that rule you can only keep 10 full size discus in a 100 gallon tank. I have been keeping discus for well over 25 years and have never followed this rule. My personal opinion is that 10 fish in a 100 gallon tank will make the tank look empty unless you plan on having a lot of plants and decorations.

Consideration 2:
What size is your tank? Obviously the bigger the tank the more discus you can keep. However make sure you take into consideration the amount of plants and decorations you have in your tank. Remember that they take up space therefore reducing the total water volume.

Consideration 3:
How much filtration do you have? Discus require very clean water conditions. The more filtration you have the better. Keep in mind that every fish produces waste. The more fish you add the more waste that will be produced. Therefore you must make sure that you have sufficient filtration.

Consideration 4:
What kind of substrate will you have at the bottom of your tank? There are many options to choose from such as gravel, sand, or even nothing at all just a bare bottom. If you use gravel uneaten food and fish waste can get trapped between the pebbles. Your filter will not be able to pick it up so that will require you to perform more frequent water changes.

Consideration 5:
Are you keeping other fish with the discus? if so what kind are they? How big will they grow?

At this point you are probably thinking “so how many discus can I keep? I’m still confused”

Here is my personal opinion which has worked well for me for over 25 years:
Allow 7 gallons of water for every discus fish. This will give the fish enough room to grow, swim and be happy. Do not crowd your tank with many decorations. Live plants are good if you want to go that route. Live plants actually help keep the water extremely clean. However plastic plants are fine also. Just make sure you clean then in warm water when they get dirty. It is extremely important that you keep up with your water changes (at least 30% per week of water changed weekly). The more water changes you do the faster your discus will grow.

I hope that you now have a better understanding of how many discus you can keep.

Feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

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