Koi Fish

Koi Fish – Different Types

Koi fish are fish that are mainly breed in Japan. They are part of the carp family but due to decades of breeding by the Japanese, they have mainly adopted the orange and white color which symbolizes tranquility in Japan. The Japanese have developed shows for this fish which showcase their immense beauty. It was only in 2017 when a breeder in Japan sold his koi fish for around 1.8 million dollars making it the most expensive pet fish in the world.

The best koi fish are distinguished by their good pattern in color. The Japanese have used selective breeding to exploit the fish’s color to make it look quite beautiful.
The koi fish come in a variety of breeds including;

• The Kohaku; this fish has a solid white base with patterns of red overlaid on top of the white. To know that it is of top quality, make sure that the fish displays a bright blemish free white combined with deep vibrant red tones. The variations for this type include; the Doitsu Kohaku, the Gin Rin Kohaku, and the Tancho Kohaku.

• The Showa Sanshoku; This is a koi fish with a white red or orange patterns over the top of a black base color. It usually has black patterns on the head. To know that the fish is of high quality, ensure that the red white and black are balanced evenly about the body with evenly crisp clean edges between each color. The variations include; The Tancho Showa, the Maruten Showa the Gin Rin Showa and the Kin Showa.

• The Tancho; this koi fish has only one red pattern which is a single red dot on the top of its head. The symmetry and placement of the Tancho mark are the main factors when determining its quality. The Tancho make can also appear on other varieties of the koi fish.

• The Taisho Sanke; These are another popular koi fish that have a solid white base overlaid by patterns of both black and red. The high-quality Sanke begins with a great Kohaku pattern to which the black is a welcomed compliment. Their variations include; Doitsu Sanke, Maruten Sanke, and the Tancho Sanke.

• The Shiro Utsuri is a koi with a black base overlain by white areas. A high-quality one will combine clean white patterns with a deep lacquer-like black. A split head of both black and white is also a show of top quality variations include; Gin Rin Shiro Utsuri, Gin Shiro Utsuri, and Doitsu Shiro Utsuri.

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Freshwater Fish

Freshwater Fish – Best fish for Beginners

1. Guppy; This is a great fish for beginners. It is a tropical fish that produces every 30 days. They come in a variety of colors and are quite easy to manage and feed. They are great with live plants and love to move around in the water showing their spectacular colors.

2. Sword Tails and Platy; These are also popular freshwater fish that are easy to keep for beginners. They come in different shapes and colors. There are also those with low fins and those with high ones. One can choose as per their liking. They keep the plant life in the tank clean as they tend to nibble at algae. They are fairly big and thus require tanks ranging from 30 to 50 gallons.

3. Betta fish; These are also quite popular in the majority of households that have aquariums. They are quite cheap and come in a variety of colors. They also have these amazing fins that they like to display as they swim about peacefully in the water. If you get this fish, make sure that you change the water regularly to reduce its toxicity. This will make the fish have a longer lifespan and also the colors will come out more beautifully when the fish is healthy.

4. Neon Tetra; these are another bunch of amazing schooling fish. They are small and thus would not require one to invest in a very large aquarium. The fact that they are small also makes them quite an easy fish to handle. They are peaceful and do not disturb any other fish that may be introduced into the tank. These are freshwater fish that are great for a planted tank as they blend in quite well with all the green vegetation.

5. Corey Fish; These are a large group of freshwater fish and thus will require a bigger tank. They come in a variety of species and they are generally very pleasant to look at. They are a peaceful breed and thus will not disturb other fish in the tank. They also tend to rummage at the bottom of the fish tank. This acts as an advantage as it helps in the filtration of the water by picking up the debris. They should be kept in minimum size groups of maybe 3 to 4 per tank. As they tend to rummage on the substrate a lot, it is best to use a substrate that is fine and smooth.

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Betta Fish

Betta Fish Care

Betta fish has become one of the most popular fishes bred by human beings. They are popular mostly because for one, they are amazing fish to have and two, they come in a variety of colors hence making your aquarium quite beautiful to look at.

Caring tips
• Make sure you give your fish adequate space to move around. The common misconception is that a Betta fish can do well in a small vase or bowl. This is not the case as it requires more space so that it can be more active which in the long run increases its life span.

• Subtle lighting is good for Betta fish. Too much light may be harmful and not conducive to the fish.

• Make sure the pH for the water is approximately 6.4 to 7. Although these fish can do well in hard water, try to soften the water a bit so that they may thrive. Betta fish do well in temperatures of about 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit so make sure that you have an adequate thermometer to keep the temperature in check and also a water heater to warm the water during cold days.

• You can condition the water by adding almond leaves that produce a lot of natural acids which are beneficial to the fish.

• Use live aquatic plants mostly the floating plants. These floating plants help them to build bubble nests necessary for their breathing. These plants also offer shade to the fish and reduce the general toxicity of the water making the fish to enjoy a very conducive environment.

• Make sure you do regular water changes so as to reduce the toxicity levels due to the build-up of nitrates.

• Make sure also to feed to Betta fish with the correct amount of food that will help in its growth. Betta fish can eat a wide variety of food for example bloodworms, frozen marine foods, white worms, and even pellets. Two small feeds in a day are recommended. Make sure you do not overfeed the fish as wasted food accumulates at the bottom making the tank dirty and also increases the toxicity levels by producing nitrates. This is not healthy for your fish and thus should be handled with care.

• Last but not least, give your fish love, look for any signs of diseases and treat them before they become worse. Loving your fish will surely make it have a longer lifespan.

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Saltwater Fish

Saltwater Fish for Beginners

If you are a beginner reef or saltwater fanatic, this is definitely the article for you. Below I give some of the easiest and popular saltwater fish, to begin within your aquarium.

1. Chromis
These are an awesome schooling fish to choose and they come in a variety of colors. Blue and green for example look amazing mostly in saltwater aquariums as they have a nice torque body that gives sort of a shimmering effect. These fish are also hardy meaning they can adapt to new environments quickly. They are easy to keep and also come cheap which is an advantage to any beginner.

2. Dwarf Angel
Dwarf Angels are really amazing saltwater fish as they come with an open personality and usually swim around the water with grace and pomp. They also come in a variety of beautiful colors to choose from. They grow around 4-5 inches and thus do not require a huge aquarium. They are a very peaceful fish and love grazing on the algae. They are however pricey as their price ranges from $40 to $70. They are also very hardy and super easy to take care of for beginners.

3. Blennies
There is a variety of these saltwater fish in the market and they include; starry blennies, bicolor blennies, algae blennies, and tail spot blennies. These fish have excellent coloration with unique color patterns that no other fish seems to have. They are a hardy fish meaning they can survive even in tough conditions and are usually sold at a cheap price.

4. Royal Gramma
As the name suggests, these are royal saltwater fish, they tend to be a bit shy when introduced to new environments but with time, they learn to come out. They are very colorful fish and would look amazing in any aquarium.

5. Saltwater Guppies
These are also great beginner saltwater fish. The species vary mostly in terms of color. They are mostly divided into; the yellow prawn, the neon blue, the orange strike, and the diamond watchmen. These are a cool fish to have as they are easy to maintain so long as you feed them well. They are quite hardy and thus can acclimatize to different environments easily. They are not that expensive to buy and keep. The diamond watchmen tend to be more expensive as they sift the sand in your aquarium making it cleaner.


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Aquatic Plants

Aquatic Plants for your aquarium – Tips for Beginners

• Live aquatic plants in a fish tank make it look more appealing to the eye and also serve as a good environment for your fish. You should, therefore, choose the best plants in relation to you and your fish’s needs. For beginners, I would recommend plants like Crypts, Anubias and the Java fern that are easy to grow, come in different shapes and sizes and are relatively low light plants. These aquatic plants are mainly sold in pet stores at a very affordable price. These plants do not require a lot of high tech equipment in order to grow and thus this makes them very cost effective.

• What is its purpose? As I have mentioned earlier, live plants give a natural look to your fish tank and ensure they have a nice environment. They also provide a surface area for bacteria to grow, this bacteria help in the nitrogen cycle where the excess ammonia in the water is sort of filtered out by these plants. Fish also tend to interact with live aquatic plants in a more realistic fashion than plastic decoration plants.

• The aquatic plants I have mentioned above are quite handy as they do not require that much maintenance as compared to other complex plants. Make sure you have proper lighting for your plants as this helps them in their growth. Keep the temperature of the water in the mid-’70s to ’80s which is a good temperature for aquatic plants to grow. Also, make sure that you keep the pH of the water in check. Typically these plants grow well in a neutral pH of about 6 and up to a high of 8.

• The substrate for these beginner aquatic plants is really not a big factor to consider. You can use either gravel or sand. Don’t go with big size gravel as the roots will find it difficult to grow. Standard gravel you buy from the pet store can do the job well.

• Avoid large water changes as this can be very stressful for your fish. Small water changes done over a period of time is beneficial as it introduces new nutrients to the plants and fish contributing to their healthy growth.

• These plants also need more sources of nutrients, they do get nutrients from the fish waste that settles on the substrate but this is not enough, you can add fertilizer bought once more from your local pet store and this will give you nice green plants in which the fish feels right at home. Make sure you read the instructions for the fertilizer well so that you do not end up hurting the fish by applying too much.


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Betta Fish Tank

Betta Fish Tank

Aquariums make your home look more appealing and more natural when setup correctly. They also give a sense of peace and calmness in any home setting. Betta fish are beautiful fish that come with lots of different colors. When most of the people buy Bella fish in a pet store, they tend to shove them in a small vase or bowl and add just a small plant for the natural taste. This is not ideal to keep the fish living for a long period of time.

It is better to keep these fish in a Betta Fish tank that is much bigger than a mere vase and thus the fish is able to move around quite fluently. The other disadvantage of keeping these fish in a bowl is that the temperature will not be suitable for the fish. Betta fish tend to do well in temperatures of about 78 degrees and this cannot be well maintained in a small bowl. If the temperature is not set correctly, your fish will not move about as it should and will also tend to eat less. This, in the long run, reduces the lifespan of the fish.

The Actual setup

As this is just a simple setup for one fish, it will not need a lot of requirements. So the first thing you should do is get the materials. The materials required are;
• A thermometer
• A 2.5 or preferably 5 Gallon aquarium.
• A submersible heater
• Gravel or sand for your substrate
• A filter
• Water
• Moss balls or an aquatic plant

Most of these items you can find at a pet store near you. Make sure you get the right materials that will be able to suit your fishes needs.
Add sand or gravel to the bottom of the Aquarium, just enough is required to act as a base for any aquatic plant you may want to introduce. This base also gives the fish tank a natural look.

• Attach the submersible heater to the Betta Fish tank. Make sure that the heater keeps the water at the perfect temperature for the fish which is about 78 degrees. You can test this by using the thermometer.
• Place the water filter strategically in the aquarium preferably on the upper parts so that the currents from the filtering does not disturb the fish. The filter acts as a huge advantage as you will not have to regularly change the water as the ammonia will be filtered out.
• After setting up the filter, you can then add the aquatic plant or moss balls to make the fish tank look more natural. Live aquatic plants and the moss balls also help to filter out the excess ammonia in the water and this contributes to the well being of the fish.
• Once done with the above steps, add a little bit of water and transfer your fish from the bowl or vase to the Betta fish tank. Enjoy.


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Discus Laid Eggs Now What

Discus Laid Eggs Now What

The most exciting moment for any discus keeper is the day that their discus fish lay eggs. This is an amazing feeling an accomplishment. To know that your discus keeping skills have come to a point where your water parameters, maintenance and feeding is perfect.

The excitement is then quickly interrupted when worry and concern takes over. A million thoughts start running through your mind. What do I do now? Where am i going to put over 100 discus babies? I need to buy some more tanks and filters and maybe even a new house to be able to store all of these additional tanks!

If you discus laid eggs- no need to worry. just remain calm and follow these simple steps.

1. Determine if the eggs were fertilized.
If the eggs were fertilized they will be a goldish color. If the eggs were not fertilized they will be a white cotton like color. The white eggs will not hatch and usually the discus pair will eat the white eggs.

2. Separate the pair with the eggs from the rest of the fish in the tank.
This can be accomplished in 2 ways:
A. Remove all the other fish in the tank and place them in a different tank. That way you only have the pair and the eggs left in the tank.
B. Place a tank divider in the tank so the parents and the eggs are by themselves on one side of the tank.

A quick and cheap tank divider can be made by going to Home Depot and buying a milk create light filter for drop ceilings. This will cost you less than $15. Then cut it to size and place it in the tank.

3. Do not do any water changes until the eggs hatch. The eggs will usually hatch in about 4-5 days.

4. Once the eggs hatch the babies will attach to the sides of the parents. They will eat the slime/mucus off the sides of the parents. After 3 days of the babies eating off the parents, start feeding rotifers to the babies. Rotifers look almost like saw dust. it is very small fine grade food.

5. Once the babies are no longer eating off the parents and are eating only rotifers, then prepare a 20 gallon fish tank using the same aquarium water from your main tank. Insert a sponge filter and keep the water temp the same as your main tank. Get a turkey baster and suck up all the babies and put them in the new tank by themselves.

6. Feed the babies several times per day minimum of 3 to 5 times per day! Do a partial water change after each feeding.

The babies will grow fast. It is critical that partial water changes are performed after every feeding!

Do not be discouraged if the pair eats all the eggs the first few spawns. This is very common when the pair is young.

Once they start to spawn they will spawn every few days for the next 5 weeks!

The process involves some work but it is very exciting! I hope this helps you the next time your discus laid eggs!

Enjoy the experience and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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