Constant AQUARIUM FISH DEATHS: causes and solutions

No Fishing 4
Photo  by Fifi Banana 

Fish death aquarium tank is one of common challenges faced by aquarists. There are number of factors that could be responsible for the deaths experienced. These are outlined briefly bellow.

·                     The aquarist selection of fish.
·                     The removal and packing of the fish from the pet shop
·                     Transport time and period and the handling of the fish in transit
·                     Quarantine procedure.
·                     Adjustment and adaptation into the new community or environment by the new fish.

When buying fish from the pet shop always spend some time at the place to inquire about the life history and habits of the new purchase. You can then make a selection from collection of the same species. Never buy the last specimen in reserve at any shop because if it had been a good specimen, you would not have met it there in the first instance.

Always form the habit of making your fish purchase during the cool periods of the day, preferably before 12 noon or after 4.30pm.

These are the only periods I can guarantee for fish comfort. This restriction is borne out of my observation that most pet shops and aquarists alike do not seem to care about insulation of the fish against temperature fluctuations after gassing them in a polythene.

When making your fish selection from the pet shop be sure the attendant has the expertise to pick fish out from a selection. This you can know through the swiftness with which your choice fish is removed out of the selection.

Reject a fish that has been chased around, gasping for breath... It is week already! Chances are that it gives up with the further stress that accompanies the transportation of the fish.

Make sure that your new purchase is quarantined. That's a single factor that affects fish survival as pets.



Tidepool Plaza at Birch Aquarium.JPG
"Tidepool Plaza at Birch Aquarium" Licensed via Wikimedia Commons.

Smaller and more intimate than other aquariums, the Birch Aquarium is one place where you can get close to all of the animals, and still take your time to simply enjoy being there.

Due to its intimacy, adults and children alike are energized by the aquarium.  You can watch an octopus flow up and down the glass, or watch a jellyfish move slowly through the water.  This is an excellent thrill, for everyone in your family.

The most popular exhibit at the Birch Aquarium is the sea horse exhibit.  It offers many different species, from the tiny miniature sea horses that are under an inch tall, to the taller and more amazing sea dragons.

The many interactive exhibits at the aquarium will help you lean the history of oceanography.  By taking a simulated trip in a deep water submersible, you'll learn the wonders and oddities of the deep ocean, even though it may move a bit too slow for smaller children.  Children of all ages enjoy the exhibits that illustrate how the ocean products appear in every day items.

If you are planning to take pictures of the exhibits, be aware of the glass and the reflections.  If you can, move in close (around a foot away) and set your flash to a 45 degree angle.  Make sure that you don't get too wrapped up in taking photo's inside the aquarium - as you may end up missing the show going on outside.

If you are visiting La Jolla as a vacation or if you live there, the Birch Aquarium is worth a visit.  There are some amazing exhibits here, with something for everyone.  You can spend hours and hours here, making it one place you shouldn't hesitate to check out.


AFRICAN BUTTERFLY FISH - Anomalochromis thomasi

African Butterfly Fish - Anomalochromis thomasi


Introduction to RED CICHLIDS Types

Red Cichlids! This is a term you might hear around the place and to be honest I really don't like the general use of it. I have noticed that people are too general these days and are taking short cuts to describe their fish, for example calling them "red Cichlids".

Photograph of the Red Empress (Protomelas taen...
Red Empress (Protomelas taeniolatus) fish, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shortening the name for a fish is a really bad habit to get into as this can easily lead to confusion especially for beginners. If I was to ask another aquarium hobbyist as to what sort of fish they own and they answered 'red cichlids' it would give me no information as to what type of fish they actually own, and here's why, Red Cichlids could refer to any of the following, just to name a few;

· Red Devil Cichlid (American species)

· Red Forest Jewel Cichlid (African species)

· Red Parrot Cichlid (American species)

· Red Peacock Cichlid (African species)

· Red Zebra Cichlid (African species)

· Red Terror Cichlid (American species)

· Red Empress Cichlid (African species)

As you can see above there is quite a few different types of Red Cichlids around (more than what's listed here) and not only that, they come from both America and Africa, learning the difference between these two major lines of Cichlids is a very useful skill to have being that water parameters differ greatly in areas like Temperature, pH and general Water Hardness, any American species of Cichlid will usually have much softer water than any African Cichlid as well as having a much lower pH.

If you really want to get some different colour into your aquarium and are keen on a splash of red be sure to know the origin of the fish before you buy it, there are a few ways to do this, some harder than others however there is information out there that will teach you everything you need to know about how to work out where a fish originates from all the way to suitability to your new or existing African Tank and even if a fish you would like to get will suit your individual needs.

There is no question that there are some really stunning red cichlids out there just waiting to be bought. The key here is knowing exactly what type of fish to buy.

So remember, always try to do your best at sticking to the correct name of the fish you own, shortening the name of your fish can make a situation very confusing as shown above, there are so many different types of these wonderful fish that you wouldn't want anyone to think you have a type of fish you actually don't.

    If you would like to learn more about Red Cichlids and their environment, visit my site African Cichlid Success - NEW eBook!Get Instant Access!

    Learn everything you need to know about setting up and maintaining a perfect Cichlid Tank including the unbelievably simple secrets the professional breeders use on caring, feeding, breeding and diseases!
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Breeding DISCUS FISH - Do's and Don'ts

When you are thinking about breeding discus fish, there are certain things that you need to know in order to make sure that the breeding process is a successful experience for you and the fish. Discus fish are great fish to breed and you can also earn a little extra money from selling the fry, but you need to know a lot about fish before you begin. But once you have done your research on this species, then you will be ready to think about breeding fish. Here are a few dos and don't of breeding discus fish.

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DO: make sure that you invest in a bigger fish tank if you have a small aquarium. Discus require a minimum of a twenty gallon tank, however twenty seven gallons is ideal for breeding discus fish.

DON'T: forget that you will need a male and a female discus fish to begin breeding, it might seem obvious but a lot of people tend to over look this fact!

DO: provide your fish with an area for them to lay their eggs. This should be a flat, vertical surface at the bottom of the tank such as an over turned empty plant pot.

DON'T: over feed your fish. Make sure that you still feed your fish the recommended daily amount of food, do not over feed them because this can result in illness and even death in some cases.

DO: give your fish a wide and varied diet, when fish are breeding it is important that they have a variety in order for them to begin mating. This can include discus food pellet and live and freeze dried food such as blood worms.

DON'T: leave food debris on the bottom of the tank, always make sure to scoop out any left over food because this can dirty the water and cause bacteria to grow, causing your discus to become ill and hamper their breeding efforts.

DO: maintain a good water pH level and temperature; this is imperative for good fish health and breeding environments. Water should be kept at a pH level of 6.5 and a temperature of 86 degrees when breeding.

DON'T: become disheartened if your fish do not mate straight away, these things take time and you need to be patient and try again if the first time is unsuccessful, and never force the fish.

Discus Fish Care Handbook


Taking Care of AFRICAN DWARF FROG - Top 3 Frequently Asked Questions

African dwarf frogs are rewarding to keep and they can live a long time, up to 7 years. They're not a difficult pet to take care of, but there can be some confusion about what's best for them. Here are some answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions:

1. Can an African dwarf frog live with fish?

One of the most common questions is if an ADF can be kept with fish. And the general answer is, no, they shouldn't be. Frogs are generally incompatible with fish because of the conflicting care requirements. One of the main reasons is that feeding would be an issue because frogs eat from the bottom of the tank and they can be slow in finding their food. The fish would have no problem eating whatever food you mean for your frog to have, and because of that, the frog could die of starvation. Keeping your frog in a tank of its own is better all around.

Karlik szponiasty (Hymenochirus boettgeri)
 (Hymenochirus boettgeri) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. What should I feed an ADF?

What an ADF should be fed is always a frequent question. One of the best foods you can feed your frog is frozen bloodworms. This food is full of protein, and frogs can easily find and eat it. Another option to consider is soft pellets made for aquatic frogs or turtles. Pellets are nutritious and are easy to feed since they sink to the bottom of the tank. Some foods you should avoid feeding are freeze dried food and flakes. They tend to expand in your frog's stomach and can cause health problems.

3. How can I tell if a frog is male or female?

Another common question is how to tell the gender. Until ADFs are mature, it's nearly impossible to tell. Once mature, male frogs tend to be fairly skinny and have a light-colored bump behind their forearms. Females are usually fatter and do not have the bumps. Also, most mature males "sing" at night and females don't.

African dwarf frogs make great pets and are fun to watch. Taking proper care of them so that they live in an optimal environment doesn't have to be difficult.

    For the past several years, Angela Marie has had multiple aquariums which house both fish and African dwarf frogs. ADFs are one of her favorite aquatic pets and she loves taking care of them and educating other frog owners on their proper care.
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BRONZE CORY Fish Are Wonderful Addition to the Aquarium

Bronze Cory fish is oldest in the catfish family. If you go to any pet store, you will certainly find some variety of this fish there. Experienced fish-keepers love to have at least a couple of them in the community tank. They are industrious, they are small in size and they are good friends of fish-keepers.

Corydoras aeneus
Photo  by MunstiSue 

Bronze Cory fish were imported from the Caribbean islands at the beginning of the last century. They soon became very popular in the United States because of their variety of colors. They are available in various shades of bronze - natural bronze, with some pinkish or golden shade and sometimes with blue face. Experienced breeders have developed many different varieties from their original shape and size. They are now available in colors like black, green, orange and even in red. However, there is no change in their care and maintenance.

Bronze Cory fish live for a long time. Usually they live up to 15 years. Occasionally, they will leave up to 25 years. Surprisingly even at their old age, they are eager to grab food and spend most of their time in searching and eating food.

You need not make any special efforts for taking their care. The normal conditions of water for other pet fish will be suitable for them. The pH level of water may be in the range of 6-8 while the temperature of the water may be kept around 75 F. They can even tolerate higher temperatures for a short period of time.

You can feet Bronze Cory with the normal food. They can take frozen as well as live and prepared food you buy for other varieties of pet fish. The only thing you should remember is - you should not neglect their needs of food by considering them as scavengers. They will certainly pick up the food particles accumulated at the bottom of the tank but that may not be sufficient for their nutrition.

While feeding them, there is a possibility that the other varieties of fish in the tank will grab the food first and they will not be able to get their share. There is one solution for this problem - you can use a small pipe to drop the pellets of food at the bottom of the tank so that Bronze Cories can pick up such food easily.

Sometimes you will find them winking at you! This is a peculiar behavior associated with the Bronze Cory. There is a reason behind this. When they jump at the surface of the water for grabbing some air, and they will go back again to the bottom and wink for some time which is helpful for gulping the air.

They prefer to live in groups and you should keep them with at least half a dozen other individuals. They may not be happy when they are kept singly or in pairs. It will create stress and shorten their life.

You can easily spawn Bronze Cory fish. If you find the females slightly bigger in size, and the males a bit slim with pointed fins, you can assume that they are ready for spawning. You can separate them for at least a week. During this time you should feed them with good food like blood-worms or brine shrimps. You can set up another small tank for shifting them. After a week, you can put them in this tank. You should add an air-stone so that you will have bubbles in the tank. You should also have a powerful filter for cleaning the water.

The female will use her fins to store the eggs. The eggs are fertilized there. Thereafter, the female goes away to lay its eggs at the bottom. She will also prefer big leaves of plants. She will lay at least 200 eggs. After some time you will find that the males are remaining at the bottom of the tank and they are breathing very heavily. This is an indication that the spawning is done. At this point you should remove the males and females from the tank.

You should carefully observe the eggs and remove the fungus on them carefully. In about a week, the eggs will hatch. The small ones will be at the bottom of the eggs for some time, absorbing the liquid substance from the eggs. The young ones will also try to eat critters which live at the bottom of the tank.

The young ones will grow very quickly and they will be fully grown up in four weeks. Then you can shift them in the common tank and once they grow up to one inch in size, you can start finding another tank for them!

Many pet shops will be able to trade them for fish food or tank supplies. So you can also make some money to support your hobby.

    By Chintamani Abhyankar
    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