Salvini Cichlids

Salvini Cichlids


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.


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.


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

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



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.


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 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 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.

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.

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

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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