Rainbow above Maui Ocean Center in the Ma'alea Harbor
Photo  by maveric2003 
The ocean center has a huge aquarium that has water filtered into it from the Bay.  This aquarium is as real as it gets.  This tank has a tunnel that you can actually walk through.  This makes for great pictures.  You can get a picture of yourself standing face to face with a sand shark.  While walking through the tunnel, you will see sharks and rays, and tons of different types of fish.

The best thing about the tunnel is that you can see the underside of the creatures as they swim above you.  The tanks also boast a coral and tropical fish display that will amaze anyone.  The coral itself is breathtaking.  In fact, this coral collection is the largest of any aquarium in the world.

Another amazing display inside the aquarium is the giant cylinder columns of jellyfish.  They are several feet wide, and you can watch the jellyfish float above you.  The sight of these creatures is both terrifying and mesmerizing at the same time.

Next, you move along through the aquarium to the sea turtles tanks.  These sea turtles have been injured at some point in their lives and their stay at the aquarium is only a temporary one. They will be reintroduced back into their natural habitat once they have recovered.  This is my favorite exhibit in the aquarium. If you happen to visit during feeding time you can actually feed the turtles.  It's great to watch these huge docile creatures chomping happily on their lunch.

The ocean center also has an interactive display of whales, where visitors can learn about these giant mammals.  Whale watching is a big hobby in Hawaii.  There are several whale watching tours available.  Turtle Bay resort located on the north shore of Oahu boasts that during the winter you can actually see whales from your balcony.

The Maui Ocean Center is a perfect place for families to visit.  They offer a wide variety of exhibits for children that are both informative and exciting.  There is also a touch pond, where children can pick up some of the creatures and actually handle them.  They can see sea stars and sea urchins, as well as skates and rays.  Be careful when stroking rays, however, you should always stroke them from head to tail in order to avoid being stung by there tails.

No kid friendly aquarium would be complete without food.  The ocean center offers a cafĂ© where you can grab lunch.  They have light fare such as salads and sandwiches, and of course, ice cream.  Also, don't miss the great picture taking opportunities that the center has to offer.  Along the backside of the aquarium, there are some spectacular views of Ma'alaea Bay, and there is a dolphin statue located in the very front of the center that also makes for a great souvenir photo.


Aquatic Plants - JAVA MOSS

Java Moss
Photo  by AJC ajcann.wordpress.com 
Many fish species from all over the world like to spawn among Java moss plants in the aquarium even when Java moss cannot be found in their native habitat. Java moss will also provide fry with an ideal hiding place where they can avoid being eaten by adult fish. Since infusoria appreciate the moss as a home, the really small fry will have access to tiny food that they can feed on until they are large enough to eat bigger food types. 

Java moss does not have to be planted in the substrate; you can simply tie it to a piece of aquarium decoration or leave it floating around in the aquarium. A free-floating piece of Java moss can, however, be sucked into the filter, so most aquarists prefer to attach the Java moss to something or plant it in the substrate. It can actually do well even above the surface as long as the air is moist. It is, therefore, a great plant for open aquariums and paludariums.

When you attach the Java moss to rock, wood or any other type of aquarium decoration you can for instance use fishing wire. Be careful not to use materials that can pollute the water, e.g. copper wire. The moss will instantly start growing small roots (so-called rhizoids) and try to attach itself to the surface. After a while, the fishing wire is no longer needed since the plant will be secured by the rhizoids.

The moss is a very fast growing plant, and when you have purchased one plant you can easily use it to create new plants for other parts of the aquarium. It can be propagated by simply splitting the plant and moving one of the parts to another place. The moss will often propagate itself in the aquarium since small pieces will fall of the main plant and drift around in the water until they find a new place where they can attach themselves. The moss will also form red-brown sporocarps.

The moss will endure a wide range of different water conditions and temperatures. It is native to warm waters and the preferred temperature range is therefore 64°-86° F (18°-30° C). It will also appreciate a pH between 5.8 and 8.0 but can sometimes adapt to more acidic conditions. Unlike many other tropical plants, this moss does not require strong light and it will actually do best in low or medium strong light. Algae can be a problem for the moss since excessive algae growth on the leaves can harm and even kill the plant.


RED PEACOCK CICHLIDS - An Overview in Breeding

The Red Peacock Cichlids like water that is somewhat alkaline (a pH of around 7.8-8.0). The temperature in the tank should be kept between 74 and 82F. Consistency is key for the Red Peacock Cichlid; they do not take kindly to constant fluctuations in temperature and pH levels.

While the female Red Peacock Cichlid prefers to live in groups, the male is a bit of a loner. For breeding purposes, there should be a ratio of one male per two females. The male will "peacock" himself to draw the attention of the female and once she consents he will take her back to his cave. There they will dance, the female dropping the eggs and the male fertilizing them. After fertilization, the female will carry the eggs in her mouth for 2 weeks until they are ready to hatch. Females may hatch anywhere from 12 to 50 young, depending on her size.

These cichlids are mouth brooders and while the female is carrying the eggs in her mouth, she will not eat and will grow weak as a result. During this time, it is vital that she has plenty of hiding spaces to escape a male chasing her. It is also a good idea to provide her a recovery tank after the young hatch and she will soon regain her strength. She may spawn as often as every 8 weeks.

Red Peacock Cichlids will interbreed with other species, so keep them separated if you don't want crossbreeds. As for tank mates, species of medium size with similar temperament should be chosen. Do not place a Red Peacock Cichlid in the same tank with aggressive breeds.


ACRYLIC AQUARIUMS Offer Big Advantages for Fish Lovers and Beautiful Home Decor

Fish lovers and anyone wanting the beauty of aquariums to add to their home decor needs to take a close look at acrylic aquariums. These beauties of high-tech pet supplies offer at least three distinct advantages for aquarium owners:

Polished front pane
Photo  by Moto@Club4AG 
1. Acrylic aquariums are much lighter weight than traditional glass aquariums. If you consider a 20-gallon aquarium as an example, the typical glass aquarium weights about 35 pounds. An acrylic aquarium the same size weighs about 17 pounds. When you add the weight of the water, the 20-gallon glass aquarium comes in around 225 pounds. The acrylic aquarium, then, would save several pounds in total weight, which would is significant for handling and set it up, as well as on those occasions when you need to move it. In addition, if you're buying your aquarium via the Internet or through a catalog, you'll find shipping costs are reduced significantly. Not only is the aquarium lighter to ship, it requires less packing and extra shipping charges which most supplies add to ensure the more breakable glass.
2. Acrylic aquariums are virtually unbreakable and leak-proof. Without getting into the technology of it all, a quality acrylic aquarium is fused together by heat and molecular bonding making it virtually leak-proof, with no degradable joints or seams. Most glass aquariums are warranted against leakage and breakage for 1 to 6 years at most. Acrylic aquariums generally carry lifetime warranties. In addition, the acrylics have improved in recent years so that they maintain their clarity and are unlikely to "yellow" or become less clear with age. Although acrylic scratches more easily than glass, aquarium manufacturers sell cheap (about $10) scratch removal kits. Careful cleaning with soft cloths eliminate the scratching problem from the start.
3. These aquariums offer aesthetic benefits for fish lovers and home decor. They come with safe, rounded corners and no sharp edges. They come in a full range of sizes to fit your current aquarium stand or allow you to customize your home decor by purchasing the combination of aquarium shape, size, and stand you want. Acrylics are also more flexible than glass, giving them a distinct "bend and not break" advantage around children, non-fish pets, and even natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes! They also are generally better insulated than glass aquariums, making them require less energy to maintain necessary water temperatures for the health and well-being of your fish.

Whether you already have an aquarium, or you're just getting started, acrylic aquariums offer important advantages over others. For beautifying your home or just showing off your fish, you should buy an acrylic aquarium when you make your next aquarium purchase.



Cardinal tetras Paracheirodon axelrodi waking ...
Cardinal tetras Paracheirodon axelrodi waking up in an aquarium.
Just after the lights were turned on. Its skin yet in a pink tone.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Cardinal tetra is similar to more frequently kept Neon tetra but is much more difficult to breed in aquariums. Since both species look similar to each other at first glance, they are sometimes mixed up with each other and the Cardinal tetra is sometimes erroneously referred to as "red neon tetra". Telling them apart is however not very difficult. Both species have a characteristic sparkling blue line that bisects the body, and under this line, you will notice a red lateral stripe. If this red coloration extends only halfway to the nose of the fish, you know that it is a Neon tetra. If the red coloration instead extends much longer, you are looking at a Cardinal tetra. The red coloration of the Cardinal tetra was thought to resemble the long red robes worn by cardinals, hence the name. The scientific name of this species was given to it in honor of a highly regarded ichthyologist.

Since the Cardinal tetra is quite difficult to breed in aquariums, a majority of the Cardinal tetras in the aquarium trade has been wild caught. The native habitat of the Cardinal tetra is the upper Orinoco and Negro rivers in South America, where the water is acidic and very soft. Fortunately enough, the Cardinal tetra is very prolific in the wild and is not considered an endangered species. It is only reluctant to breed when kept in aquariums. In the wild, it is uncommon for a Cardinal tetra to grow older than one year. When you keep Cardinal tetras in aquariums without any predators around, you can, however, make them survive for several years.

The Cardinal tetra can be kept in community aquariums with other peaceful species that appreciate the same water conditions. It will usually stay smaller than 2 inches in length and a group of Cardinal tetras does not need a large aquarium to do well. This species is rarely found in beginner aquariums since it is quite scarce in the aquarium trade, but it is not overly sensitive and a dedicated beginner aquarium keeper that is prepared to monitor the water chemistry and perform frequent water changes can usually make his or her Cardinal tetras thrive. It is especially important to keep down the level of nitrate. The Cardinal tetra is a schooling fish and keeping at least ten specimens is recommended, since this will make the fish less shy and stressed. Cardinal tetras are also much more beautiful to watch when they form a big school, and living in a school makes them display a much broader variety of natural behaviors.

When you set up an aquarium for your Cardinal tetras you should ideally try to make it similar to the native habitat of the fish. A well-planted aquarium that contains floating species is recommended, but you should also leave an area open for swimming. The water should be acidic and very soft. Keep the pH in the 4.6-6.2 range and the d G H under 4. Cardinal tetras can adapt to harder water and even alkaline conditions, but they will be much more sensitive and prone to illness. The recommended temperature range is 73-81° F (23-27 ° C) or even warmer.


Fact Sheet: QUEEN ANGELFISH - Holacanthus ciliaris

(Original Title: Facts About the Queen Angelfish)

A Queen Angelfish
A Queen Angelfish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Queen angelfish is considered the most beautiful of all the angelfish, although it isn't suited for a small aquarium. The Queen angelfish was named in 1758 by Linnaeus, a scientific name of Holacanthus ciliaris. They live to up to 15 years of age. If you decide to introduce a Queen angelfish to your aquarium there are some guidelines to follow:

The adult Queen is blue with yellow rims on its scales. The ventral fins and pectoral fins are yellow, their lips and edging on their dorsal fins and anal fins are blue. They also have blue around each gill cover. They grow up to 45 cm in length.
The juvenile queen angelfish has blue bodies with yellow gills, tail, and lips. They have vertical bars ranging from light blue to white.

Geographical Location
The Queen angelfish is found in the Western Atlantic, from Florida to Brazil to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It is also found in the Eastern Central Atlantic, around Saint Peter and Saint Paul Islets. It is found at a depth of up to 70 meters. It can be found on stony reef corals and Porifera sponges.

Adult Queen angelfish are found in pairs leading to suggest that they are monogamous fish. Reproduction occurs with the pair rising to the surface of the water and releasing sperm and egg in a cloud effect.

Females can release from 25-75 thousand eggs each evening, which equates to 10 million eggs in their spawning cycle. The eggs hatch in 15-20 hours as larvae. The larvae don't have eyes, fins or a gut. Within 48 hours the sac is absorbed and somewhat resembles a free-swimming fish. The larvae feed on plankton. 3-4 weeks later the juvenile will settle on the bottom and is around 15-20 mm in length.

Aquarium Requirements
The Queen angelfish is not recommended for a novice aquarist. It is sensitive to organic waste and because of that, it is hard to feed. It is a lively fish and swims in the open in the day.

The tank needs to be at least 150-200 gallons as it approaches its full size in length. It needs to have hiding spots for the Queen as well as other fish who may want to keep away from it. The Queen angelfish can be semi-aggressive and therefore should be added last to the aquarium. Two male Queen angelfish can lead to violence, but if it's to be kept with other angelfish they should all be introduced together. This is not a guarantee though that it won't be aggressive, however.

It is best to make sure the aquarium environment factors such as water temperature and pH-balance is stable before you introduce the Queen.

Queen angelfish respond well in a reef aquarium. They will nip at soft corals, clam mantles, and stony corals. It is best to train it to eat foods other than sponges, hydroids, tunicates, feather dusters because they can deplete the environment and it leads to malnutrition.

In the sea, the Queen survives mainly on sponges. In an aquarium it is expensive to feed it only sponges so training it to eat other foods is advised. Serving up frozen meat foods like shrimp, squid and an angelfish formula which consists of sponges is beneficial. They also require algae on a daily basis. You can also feed them vegetables like spinach, aubergines, and zucchini. They require many small portions of food a day.

    By Kate Strong
    Although there are a few requirements to get your Queen angelfish to thrive in your aquarium, the beauty of these fish certainly outweigh any hardships you encounter along the way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



Neon Tetra Photo: Wikipedia
Cardinal tetras are beautiful fish because of their bright red color. They are very popular among the fish keepers. However, their cousins Neon tetras have shiny neon blue color and they are also attractive. So sometimes it becomes difficult for the fish-keepers to make a choice between them.

Neon tetras are inexpensive and sturdy fish ideal for beginners. As they have a good temperament, they fit well in a community aquarium. They can grow only up to 1 inch and they do not have any eating habits.

Cardinal tetras will grow up to 2 inches and they are expensive because their breeding in captivity is very difficult. They need to be imported from the South American region.

Paracheirodon cardinalis.JPG
Cardinal Tetra Photo: Wikipedia
As neon tetras are hardy fish, they can tolerate variations in the living conditions. If there is any major change in the temperature of the water or the ph level, they will try to cope up with that environment. Out of the whole family of tetra fish, neon tetras are the toughest. On the other hand, cardinal tetras are very sensitive to the conditions of water and a slight change in the conditions of water may affect them in a big way.

Both cardinal tetras and neon tetras are schooling fish and the need to live in a group. When you decide to keep any of them, you should buy a group of at least 10. If they are kept alone, they will get stressed and will get sick and may die.

Both these species can eat any type of food offered to them. They love to eat live food but at the same time, they can eat boiled vegetables and flaked food. Both of them can eat small insects and worm which are present in the water.

However, both of these species love to remain in the middle level of the aquarium. So when you decide to keep both of them in one tank, there will be problems. Even though your aquarium is large, if both of them want to occupy the middle area, there will be territorial problems. In addition, there will be problems during the breeding periods of neon tetras. Their eggs may be eaten by cardinal tetras. So it is better to keep only one of them in the aquarium.

It is a difficult decision to make. However, here are a few guidelines for you:

1. If your budget is limited, cardinal tetras will be expensive for you. So you should go for neon tetras.
2. If you are a beginner, it will be very difficult for you to keep ideal conditions of water in the aquarium all the time. Even a slight variation in the conditions may hurt cardinal tetras. So you may select neon tetras to start with. Later you can think of keeping cardinal tetras.
3. However, if you have some experience in fish-keeping, and you want to show off your aquarium to your family and visitors, you can select cardinal tetras. Their beautiful bright red color will shine against appropriate background of substrate and decorations.

It is difficult to breed neon tetra is in captivity but it is almost impossible for the experienced breeders to try for cardinal tetras. Considering their huge demand, some experienced breeders may try to sell you something which they will label as neon tetras or cardinal tetras. The fish will be cheaper but may not show their bright colors and they may look dull and inactive. Most of the times, they may die soon after bringing home. So you should be careful while purchasing any of them. You should speak in details to the staff of the pet fish store and if possible consult your friends before you buy.

    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles