Lively PLATY FISH Are the Color Kings in the Entire Fish Community

English: A female "Golden Comet" or ...
A female "Golden Comet" or "Twin Bar" Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus).
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Platy fish are very famous for their colors. In fact, they are called color kings in the entire fish community. They are good for the beginners and they can easily live with other species of fish in the same aquarium.

They come from South America, especially Mexico and Guatemala. As they carry a dark spot on their tail, they are famous with the name 'Moonfish'.

Originally, there were two main species of platyfish. Now there are numerous varieties created by the breeders. They are interbred with swordtails and it is now very difficult to separate them from other species. Presently they are available in all possible colors you want and even in all combinations of colors your desire. So these variations make your aquarium very lively and colorful. That is the main reason for experienced fish-keepers to go for platyfish.

A well-lit aquarium with a lot of plants is ideal for platyfish. If you add a small amount of salt in the water, they are very happy to live in. Of course, this will depend on the other species of fish you are keeping in the aquarium. There should be enough open space for them for swimming and hiding. If you provide some floating plants that will automatically provide enough hiding places for them.

One important thing to remember about the colors of platyfish is - the males will not show their colors until they are fully grown up. If you keep the temperature of the water a bit colder, their colors will brighten up.

Platyfish will eat all types of live food as well as flaked food. In addition, they will eat a lot of algae and other plants. If you provide them live or frozen brine shrimp, blood-worms or tubifex, they will be very happy. They will require some amount of proteins in their food but at the same time, they will require algae in their daily diet.

The females are bigger than the males. The females grow up to 2,5 inches while the males can grow only up to 2 inches. However, the females are in plain color while males are found in a number of colors.

They can happily live in the water having a ph level of 7.0 to 8.0. The temperature of the water should be kept in the range of 60 to 75° F.

They are very easy breeders because they will reproduce without any efforts or attention on your part. They will not eat their eggs or fry and they will live peacefully with their kids. They will get overpopulated soon; you should provide enough space in your aquarium for their growth.

As they are hardy and they can tolerate a wide range of conditions of water, they make an excellent choice for both the beginners as well as for the experienced fish-keepers.

    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


SEVERUM CICHLID - Basic Information About the Breed

Green Severum
Green Severum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They are scientifically known as the Heros severus and commonly called the green severum, or the Hero cichlid, or even the Banded cichlid. This variety belongs to the family Cichlidae of the South American cichlid. Normally they can grow as much as 8 inches in length at maturity and has a lifespan of approximately 10 years.

They are endemic to South America and can thrive in a 40-gallon aquarium. They do well together with New World Cichlids as tank mates such as the Firemouth, Green terror, Salvini, Texas, Blood Parrots and even Peicos.

Severum cichlids came from the Northern American region of Brazil and appear to have a body shape similar to that of a discus. There are two color variations of these species and that includes Gold severum which was developed out of the green severum. They are originally bred from a pale yellow iridescent color without dark band original color. From the word green, green severum possess a greenish body with a good number of bands on its body.

Severum's thrive well with a water temperature of 72 - 84 degrees Fahrenheit, a pH range from 5.1 - 6.5, and a hardness between 3 - 10 inches. Regularly change about 10 - 20% water change weekly or bi-weekly depending on the number of cichlids in the tank.

Breeding information:
Although they are a peaceful species, they still have the possibility of eating small fish when placed together. Furthermore, severums may be quite difficult to breed compared to the other New World Cichlids because they are hard to pair off and also they do not readily pair off with the females. Sexing female or male severums are hardly recognized merely by its appearance. But they also have features that match that of other cichlid varieties and that is they basically spawn in a particularly clean horizontal surface as well as acting very concern parents to its young. They would patiently guard and take care of their young while growing up.

What is its proper diet?
Severums are omnivorous, they love flake foods, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and cichlid sticks which are considered as its favorite. They also like blanched zucchini, earthworms, or marine crustaceans. However, do not feed beef heart or liver for this food is hard to digest and may cause illness. Feed the food only 2 - 5 pinches in a small amount and in small quantities a day and not at once. This way the quality of water is kept for a long period of time. By letting your fish fast for one day once a week is also advantageous to your pet. Providing severum cichlid with vitamins and supplements which are added to its food may also be beneficial.

    Lacey Bryant is a cichlid enthusiast and author, who has been caring for cichlids for over 20 years. It is her goal to see that all Cichlids are properly cared for.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



English: Chromis cyanea
Chromis cyanea
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Blue chromis or Chromis cyaneus are members of the family Pomacentridae. They are part of a group of fishes collectively referred to as damselfish. This species is endemic to the Western Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The chromis is a coastal fish inhabiting depths from three to sixty meters.

These are a small oval-bodied fish with a characteristically long, v-shaped forked tail. Their bodies are a solid, brilliant blue with the exception of markings along the outer edges to their dorsal fins. The shade of these markings will vary from pale to dark depending on the fish's mood. Both sexes and juveniles possess this same color palette. The family of fish the blue chromis belongs to have an average life expectancy of 12-15 years.

Chromis are a hardy, very active fish making them an excellent choice for the novice saltwater aquarist. They are often used as tester fish by aquarists cycling a new tank for the first time. They test water quality the same way canaries were used to test air quality in subterranean mining operations around the turn of the century. Their survival and continued vigor indicates that more exotic and expensive species can now be added to the newly established eco-system.

This species is labeled "reef safe" and can be mixed with other inhabitants typical of tropical marine reefs. They are considered non-aggressive toward other species. Same species quarrels are an entirely different matter. The general consensus is that they can be added to an aquarium in one of two ways. You can keep a single member of the species. Or your aquarium can become home to a community of no less than six. The shoaling instinct seems to prevail in larger groups. In smaller groups, these fish have been known to pick on the weakest member of the group until it is dead. This pattern continues until there is but a single survivor. If kept in a school a minimum tank size of 30 gallons will give them plenty of swimming room. These are surface dwelling fish in aquariums.

Chromis are diurnal omnivorous. In nature, they emerge from their shelter at sunrise and rise up toward the surface to feed on plankton. Spawning also occurs during daylight hours. At dusk, the fish will seek out shelter for the evening. Feeding them a variety of foods will help them maintain their color and spontaneity. They will eat frozen or dried food formulated for omnivores. They will also dine on any of the protein sources commonly fed to marine life. They sometimes eat algae in an aquarium.

Information on sexing this species is not readily available other than generalized statements declaring that it is not easy. They have, however, been known to breed in captivity. Maintaining a school fed a diet consisting of live foods will help to induce the spawning cycle. The male will construct a nest in the sand prior to spawning. He will then mate with several females. Eggs will be gathered into the nest where the male will stand guard over them until they hatch.

The hottest new trend in saltwater aquarium ownership is pet jellyfish. Jellyfish can't be kept in a traditional saltwater tank setup. They need a specially designed Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank to remain alive and healthy. Jellyfish tanks don't require the constant upkeep normally associated with saltwater aquariums. Moon Jellies are the most popular jellyfish for home aquariums because of their exotic beauty and ease of care. Find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies. Jellyfish are among the most interesting creatures in the aquatic kingdom.

Article Source: EzineArticles 


Easy Steps in Saving Money when Breeding DISCUS FISH

It would be easy to understand why so much freshwater fish aficionado loves the discus fish. It’s very attractive and most definitely one of the most beautiful creatures that one can keep in an aquarium. Some would disagree saying that there are others more beautiful but that is just a matter of opinion, an opinion that millions of aquarium owners have made by owning a discus fish today.

This mesmerizing fish though comes with a hefty price tag. Some sellers have been found to be selling their discus fish in the northern region of 250 dollars. That is very stiff indeed, especially if you want to have more than one discus fish, and if you’re going to breed them, then a pair would certainly be needed. But, if you want to have an aquarium full of discus fish and want to save money in doing so, then you would just have to breed them yourself. Breeding discus fish is not as hard as you may think; it’s not as simple either. There certainly will be some costs, but if you do it right, you will be saving money in the long run.

In starting out, you have two options. First is the certain option, which is more expensive though. All you have to do is go to a pet shop and buy a breeding pair. This can set you back about 300 dollars. But you can be sure that one is a male and one is a female. If you want to save some money, but you can’t really be sure that they would breed, is to buy baby discus fish, about six to eight of them. You can just hope that at least one or two of them are male or female. Typically though, there would be one of the opposite sex, so you would just have to wait until they grow up.

When they reach adulthood, you will soon observe that if there is indeed a pair, both of them will soon claim a space in the tank, and start protecting it. This pair will then be your breeding pair. Have a breeding tank ready as soon as you discover them. A breeding tank should be separate from the main tank so as to protect the spawn, at the least; your breeding tank should be 20 gallons.

When you have finally established your discus fish breeding tank, transfer some of the water from your original tank, this will prevent your discus fish from experiencing stress in being exposed to a new tank. Don’t put any gravel or sand inside your tank, this will make it easier for you to clean your tank from leftover food. Just place inside a vertical surface where your discus fish can spawn. You can use an upside down pot made from ceramic, or a plant.

It is imperative that you check on the water from time to time for rising in the water temperature and ammonia level.  Daily cleaning is also a must. If you want to save money breeding discus fish, then prevent them from dying, a clean water will increase your chances of breeding discus fish from your initial investment.


UARU - Uaru amphiacanthoides

Uaru - Uaru amphiacanthoides


KOI Population Control

Koi fish. Loro Parque.
Koi fish. Loro Parque. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Population control is typically easy with the majority of domesticated pets. It is usually as simple as removing the possibility of conception until the time in which the opportunity has passed. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Koi. Koi, no matter whether you want them to or not, will spawn and lay eggs, and other Koi will fertilize them. It is natural, and there is little you can do. Since contraceptive methods are not available for fish, population control really comes down to removing the unwanted babies after they are already born.

As a newcomer to this hobby, you may simply disregard this information. For whatever reason, whether it is that you feel removing unwanted babies is cruel, or if you believe that the more fish the merrier, you will quickly realize that keeping all the babies that are born could be a potentially harmful situation to both your pond and the original parent fish.

Why Are The Babies Harmful?

What is so harmful about having more fish your originally started with? Well, a number of harmful situations can happen.

First, Koi can and will grow to us to three feet in length. Koi, unlike some other fish, will grow, no matter the size of their habitat. This will turn a beautiful pond in a wasteful, extremely overpopulated pond. Not only will to many fish cause damage to a smaller pond, but they will not be comfortable in their habitat.

When you originally set up your pond, surely you set the filtration system up for a specific amount of fish. Adding extra fish without adding more to your system will ultimately cause a surge in unwanted gases and chemicals in the water that is dangerous to your Koi.

Getting Rid Of The Babies

There are several ways of removing babies from your pond.

One way is to stop feeding your Koi the minute you realize that spawning has occurred. You should stop feeding you Koi for no less than three weeks. Do not worry about your Koi starving, as they will focus more on natural foods if you are not feeding them daily. This “natural” diet includes their young. Koi are not cannibalistic animals by any means, but they will eat their young when they are still eggs or if they are small and resemble insects. Once the baby Koi actually resemble real fish, and the adult fish recognize this, they will no longer see them as food, so it is important to start this process as soon as you notice spawning or babies.

While this is a process of nature, you may still find this method to be cruel or unusual. Another way of removing unwanted babies from your pond is to give them away.

First, check with your local pet store. Many pet stores have programs in which they will accept unwanted animals and give them good homes. Some may even pay a certain amount for each fish since they sell them but do not count on this. Local zoos may also have programs.

If you know of a local Koi society, you may let them know that you have unwanted babies. Alternatively, you can find a message board or group online and post messages there. Who knows, you may even start another person on a Koi keeping hobby.



Collage of four U.S. state reptiles showing a ...
Collage of four U.S. state reptiles showing a turtle (box turtle), snake (garter snake),
lizard (collared lizard), and crocodilians (American alligator)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many people overlook that dinosaurs were reptiles, as are tortoises and turtles.  Frogs are often lumped into the same category while they are, in fact, amphibians.

Reptiles evolved from amphibians because of their necessity to learn to adjust to life on land.  This brought about the need for legs and lungs to breathe air.  Yet snakes are legless, able to crawl along with their magnificent bodies.  The scaly reptile skin was necessary to protect the bodies from the rough surface of the ground, much different from the smooth water the amphibians were used to.

Science has described over 7,000 species of reptiles, even going so far as to claim birds as a part of the reptile group because of the inherited characteristics such as their skeletons, internal organs, and DNA.  There is a distinction besides feathers, though.  Birds are endotherms, meaning they must have food for energy to keep warm.  Other reptiles are ectotherms which need an outside heat source to help them retain proper body temperature.

Crocodiles are in the second oldest group of reptiles, perhaps resembling the dinosaur relatives more than any other reptile group.  Although, the turtle is the winner of the oldest proven reptile group, even older than the dinosaurs!

There are two groups of turtles, one group fares best on land and the other in the water.  The one that fares best on land is the terrestrial tortoise.

Success in keeping a reptile for a pet depends much on your climate.  You can forget sticking your pet snake, turtle, or lizard outside in a cage or pen or aquarium if you live in a cold climate.  Keeping the pet at a controlled temperature is essential to its survival.  Digestion depends on the right temperature and so does the animal's ability to move around successfully.

It may seem cute to see that little turtle basking in the sun on a log in a pond.  But the reptile needs the heat to stay alive. Too much heat is also as bad as too little.

Maybe the turtle's ability to live for so many centuries when other animals perished is because of its outstanding lifespan.  A turtle can live to 100 years old if the conditions are right!

Old temples have been discovered in Africa with snakes carved into the walls, giving pythons a sacred quality over the many years of its existence.  But the boas have been known to live over forty years at a time in zoos!  Anacondas have been feared in South America for a long time.  Any snake that can grow to over 35 feet deserves a wide berth!

An interesting reptile that's been around a long time is a native of Madagascar.  The chameleon exists in 120 different known types.  Oustalet's chameleon is about the size of a small cat.  It would give a domestic feline a definite scare to walk upon one of those!  On the other end of the size spectrum, the Dwarf Brookesia, also a native of Madagascar, is small enough to stand on the tip of a finger.