2016-12-10

Index of Tropical FISH DISEASES

After creating and maintaining your beautiful aquarium, all the time and money you spent on it, the last thing you want to deal with is tropical fish diseases. Coming home and finding your fish covered with white spots, the eyes swollen or the fins disintegrating is a blow to any aquarist.

A veterinarian gives an injection to a goldfish
A veterinarian gives an injection to a goldfish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following are the categories and symptoms of the most common diseases in tropical fish.

Fungal Diseases
Fungal diseases will usually occur after the fish has already been weakened through stress, parasites or a bacterial disease. In some cases the fish will appear sluggish and in the latter stages develop cysts. Another type of fungal infection will produce white growths that eventually turn into cotton like tuffs on the skin.

Bacterial Diseases
Bacterial diseases often need to be treated with antibiotic medications. Fish infected with bacteria often develop bulging eyes, ulcers and open sores. One bacteria causes a disease called mouth fungus that looks like a fungal infection on the mouth. Other signs of a bacterial infection include a lose of appetite, hollow belly, erratic swimming, and disintegrating fins.

Viral Diseases
Viral diseases are fortunately fairly uncommon in fish. On sign of a viral disease is white swellings on the body of the fish. Viruses cannot be treated with medication because they use the host's body to reproduce and live on. If you suspect your fish has a viral disease, it should be removed and placed in another tank so the other fish will not be infected with the same virus. The best thing you can do is to provide a clean environment and a healthy, nutritious diet. A virus can only be identified by special equipment and it is often difficult to detect.

Parasitic Diseases
One symptom most parasitic diseases have in common is the fish scraping against or rubbing objects. The parasites are eating through the flesh of the fish and if they aren't removed will eat into the organs and kill the fish. Simply pulling the parasites off will often do more damage to the fish. A bath of potassium permanganate or a salt solution is often the best method to remove parasites. In some cases you will be able to see the parasites on the skin of the fish and thus confirm the problem is parasites, or you may notice other signs such as rapid gilling, clamped fins, red skin and weight loss.



Protozoan Diseases
These diseases are caused by the protozoan parasite that infects the intestinal tract. Several diseases will cause a yellow to light brown dust on the body. On commonly known protozoan disease is called ich. Ich is characterized by small white spots all over the body. The fish will breath rapidly and have clamped fins. Other types cause excessive slim on the body, frayed fins, bloated body and a lack of appetite.

The best way to avoid tropical fish diseases is to have a clean tank and provide adequate nutrition. New fish should always be quarantined for two to four weeks.




2016-12-09

Effective Ways to Help Keep Your DISCUS FISH Free from Diseases

Photo prise en aquarium d'un discus Heckel du ...
Heckel Discus
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The aquarium is not typically what you would first think when talking about pets. In fact, most of us would instantly depict n image of a dog inside our mind, or maybe even a cat. But many homes today do have fish tanks and they are not just for ornamental or design purposes. Yes they do look good, that is a given. Fish tanks and the fish themselves are also effective stress relievers. That’s why many people today would rather own fishes. And one of the fish breeds that many aquarists choose is the discus fish.

Before anything else, there are many advantages in owning a pet fish. First you won’t need to take them for walks, you don’t have to give them baths, they don’t demand much attention, and you don’t really have to clean up after them after every while. Yes they still need some looking after but not as much as compared to our canine and feline friends. This doesn’t mean though that once you have your tank, filled it up with water, and purchased your feed then your all done. There are still quite a few things that you have to do to ensure that they will live a long time and save you the anxiety of having to buy new fish every time.  

The big news is, most fishes, including the discus fish, maybe even more so, develop health conditions because of stress. Although fishes are fragile as compared to other household pets, they don’t really just die and wither if they are kept well. And all you really have to do is make sure that the tank is clean and feed them as scheduled, which is not really all the time. There are some factors though that can cause them stress and thus weakening their immune system. Here are some ways that you can do easily to keep your discus fish stress free and healthy.

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Like air is to humans, water is the single most important aspect to fishes besides food. So make sure that their water is free from chlorine and other toxic chemicals, as well as heavy metals. You should also keep it a good temperature and pH level. Investing in a dependable purifier, filter, and aerator will make the water clean and livable. 

Vary the diet of your discus fish. Aside from the flakes and granules, feed them blood worms or fresh or frozen brine shrimp as discus fish are carnivorous.

Keep your aquarium in a quiet and solitary place. Too much noise and motion, like a door opening or heavy human traffic can cause them stress.

Never overcrowd your tank. Discus fish are very protective of their space so they need an ample re to grow and breed. The bigger the tank, the better. 

Consistency is the key. Do not allow abrupt highs and low in the temperature and pH levels of the water in the tank. This can put them in a shock.

Following these simple steps will help you keep your discus fish away from stress thus giving them a healthier and longer life. 



2016-12-08

Fact Sheet: KUHLI LOACH - Pangio kuhlii

(Original title: Keeping the KUHLI LOACH)

Kuhli loach
Kuhli loach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Kuhli Loach, Pangio kuhlii, is a small eel like fish. It comes from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Other names include Coolie Loach, which is a clear miss-spelling of Kuhli; both these words are pronounced in the same way. It is also called "Prickle Eye" because it has a prickle near its eye. This prickle probably gives this fish some protection from predators.

Length and Longevity
The Kuhli loach will supposedly grow up to 12 centimetres (4 and a half inches) long, but I have never seen one this big. Most of the ones available are much smaller than this. One of the reasons for this variation is that there are several subspecies of Pangio kuhlii, and the size they grow to varies a lot.

They have been reported as living up to 10 years.

Water Conditions
The Kuhli Loach is an equatorial fish; the main areas it is from are a little to the south of the Equator. It needs warm water, and a temperature of between 24 and 30 degrees C (between 75 and 86 degrees F) is suitable. They can survive a slightly higher or lower temperature than this range, but I do not recommend it.

In the wild this fish is mainly found in slowly flowing streams with a sandy bottom with a layer of organic matter from the surrounding forests in many places on the stream bed. The water in these streams tends to have a fairly low mineral content and to be soft and acidic. There are plants growing in sections of these streams.

In an aquarium they will adapt to a moderate hardness and can certainly take a hardness of up to 10 dH. A pH of up to 7.5 is generally tolerated. The water needs to be reasonably clean in the sense of not having a large build up of fish wastes.

Substrate
In an aquarium you should avoid any sharp substrates and fine river sand is the normal choice. I have also had success with using large (6mm or more) rounded pebbles. These fish not only search the surface of the sand for food, they will go right into it. I have seen them dive straight into the sand to avoid being caught. With larger pebbles they will go between the pebbles looking for food.

Plants
These fish seem to like densely planted aquariums. Including some floating plants is also a good idea.

Food
Kuhli loaches are omnivores with a requirement for some animal based food. They will certainly eat flakes and pellets. One of their favourite foods is frozen bloodworms. They also like frozen brine shrimp.

This is a bottom feeding fish, so it is necessary for some of the food to reach the bottom.



Companions
Although the Kuhli loach in not a schooling fish in the normal sense, they seem to need company. A single Kuhli may be able to, live all right in a tank, but will tend to be hidden nearly all the time during the day. A group of perhaps eight of these interesting fish will behave quite differently and are much more likely to come out and show themselves during the day.

This is a small peaceful fish, and is a suitable inhabitant for a community aquarium of small peaceful fish.



2016-12-07

Fact Sheet: RIVER MURRAY RAINBOW FISH - Melanotaenia fluviatilis

(Original title: The River Murray Rainbow Fish)

Murray River Rainbow Fish.jpg
"Murray River Rainbow Fish" by Bahudhara Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

The River Murray Rainbow Fish, Melanotaenia fluviatilis,is one of the many types of Australian Rainbow fish. This group mainly a tropical and subtropical group of fishes, but this Fish's range extends into warm temperate areas and it is able to take quite low water temperatures.

Origin
The River Murray Rainbow Fish is endemic to Australia. As its name suggests it is found in the River Murray. It is also found in many but not all of the Murray's tributaries and several other river systems and lakes.

Size
They can reach 10 cm (4 inches long), but most are smaller than this. The males tend to be bigger than the females.

Temperature
Most of the articles on the internet about this Fish suggest that a temperature of between 22 and 26 degrees C is ideal for this species. My experience suggests otherwise. Although this is a very versatile fish which will certainly live healthily in an aquarium, being treated as if it were a tropical fish, the specimens with the best colour tend to be pond fish, subject to the natural rise and fall of temperature with the different seasons as well as the different weather.

Water Conditions
This fish is able to take a wide range of conditions. Most of the places it occurs naturally have a high pH and the water is quite hard. In an aquarium I suggest that the pH should be between 6.8 and 8. Excessively soft water is not ideal, but most tap waters will be of a suitable hardness. As with all fish, the Chlorine or Chloramine needs to be removed before it comes into contact with the fish.



Food
This is an omnivorous fish. Like many of its relatives it eats more plant material than most tropical fish. They will live on either Tropical or Goldfish food, but this should be supplemented with vegetable matter. Duckweed (Lemna species) is eaten very readily by this Fish. They also like many types of vegetable. I cook the harder vegetables enough to soften them. Zucchini are eaten as are cucumber, green peas and other vegetables.

Like many fish they also relish insect larvae like mosquito larvae, small crustaceans like daphnia, and small worms. Our River Murray Rainbow Fish get frozen blood worms once a week as well as frozen brine shrimp once a week on a different day.



2016-12-06

PACMAN FROG Care Guide

It may have been your favorite video game back in the 1980's, but this iconic video game inspired a unique nickname for the South American horned frog, Argentine horned frog or Ornate Horned Frog. While its real names may be a mouthful, the name Pacman Frog, is certainly easier to remember and actually helps to describe the frog. The Pacman Frog has an unusually large mouth and abdomen which make it look similar to the Pac-Man character in this popular video game.

This is my pet Argentine Horned Frog (Ceratoph...
Argentine Horned Frog (Ceratophrys ornata)
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
The Pacman Frog's natural habitat is in the rain forests of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina where it spends it time eating and hiding under leaves. This frog is certainly known for it's appetite as it will try to eat anything that crosses its path. In the wild the Pacman Frog will eat large spiders, insects, small snakes, lizards and mice. It has sharp front teeth that allow it to devour it's prey, or provide a painful bite to a human. Sometimes said to be an aggressive frog, it may actually bite if it feels threatened, but it may bite simply because it thinks that a finger is actually it's next meal.

Unlike many frogs, the Pacman frog is not exactly the best swimmer and may enjoy just hanging around in shallow water, rather than swimming in deep water. The Pacman Frog has an incredible growth rate; From the time that it is born to the time that it is a fully formed adult is just 2 or 3 weeks and it will grow to 6 or 7 inches long within a few months!

If you choose to keep one as a pet, you will want to create a natural habitat for it. Keep only one Pacman frog in the enclosure, otherwise a larger frog may end up eating a smaller one. Try to setup a very damp, warm area, similar to its natural habitat. Avoid putting deep water anywhere in the enclosure as they may drown. They need to have water, but keep it shallow. Pacman Frogs love to hide under leaves in the wild and in captivity, you must provide a similar hiding spot for them. As for food, live crickets and small mice are best, but remember to purchase them at a pet store. Handle the Pacman Frog as little as possible as they do no enjoy being handled and it causes them to become stressed when handled.



Whether in the wild, or kept as a pet, a Pacman Frog is a beautiful and unique creature. With its large mouth and colorful skin, it is certainly a unique frog.




2016-12-05

Tips on Raising and Spawning CORYDORAS Catfish

The Corydoras catfish is a member of the family Callichthyidae. They are from the genus Corydoras. There are several different species of Corydoras. They all share similar traits such as body size, shape and behavioral habits. The distinguishing feature between the various species is their color palette, some of which are quite striking.

Three catfish of the Corydoras genus.
Three catfish of the Corydoras genus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Catfish are bottom dwelling scavengers. Scavenger fish generally have two traits in common. Their mouths are usually pointed downward. And the mouth has barbels on either side. A barbell is a tentacle-like organ that contains taste buds. They are used to find food and to feel their way around on riverbed floors in the wild. The Corydoras catfish has two barbells, one on either side of its mouth.
Corydoras catfish are often referred to as armored catfish. This is because they have two rows of bony plates on each side of their body.

Unlike most scavenger fish, the Corydoras catfish is not strictly a bottom dweller. The Corydoras is part of the Anabantoidei suborder. This means that although they do have gills, they require both atmospheric and dissolved oxygen in order to survive. Anabantoids or labyrinth fishes have a lung-like organ that allows them to consume airborne oxygen. The Corydoras catfish will frequently rise to the surface of the water to gulp in needed air.

The Corydoras catfish is a relatively small freshwater fish. When fully grown, they only reach a size of between two to three inches. The dwarf corydoras or Corydoras pygmaeus is even smaller, reaching only about one inch in length.

Corydoras catfish make great additions to community fish tanks. They have a docile temperament. And they do a great job of cleaning up food particles from aquarium substrate to help in the prevention of harmful bacteriological build up.

Although Corydoras are primarily bottom dwellers, they are shoaling fish. They tend to congregate together in aquariums. They even search for food and rest together. It is not at all uncommon to see one catfish resting his head on the body of another catfish. The catfish do not necessarily even have to be the same species as long as they are of the genus Corydoras. Because of their social nature, you should add at least two or three to your tank. Corydoras are not meant to live a solitary existence.

Corydoras are omnivores. They will eat just about anything they come across on the aquarium floor. Sinking foods work best to insure your Corydoras get their required food allotment. Unlike most bottom dwellers, Corydoras have been know to rise to the surface to eat foods such as freeze-dried worms. This may be because they need to periodically rise to the surface to take in atmospheric oxygen.

Corydoras are native to the rivers and streams of South America. They thrive in neutral water (pH of 7.0) in temperatures between 70-79 degrees Fahrenheit.

You want to use sand or rounded gravel as a substrate when keeping Corydoras to help prevent them from damaging their barbels.

It is not easy to distinguish between males and females. Generally the females' bodies are a little wider than that of the males.



Breeding Corydoras Catfish
The Corydoras have some of the most peculiar mating habits found among freshwater fish. They spawn in groups of three (1 female to 2 males), usually assuming a T position. The female places her mouth against the male's genital opening and swallows some sperm. The sperm passes through her body rapidly and out onto the eggs she has just released. The female then carries the eggs with her ventral fin to a flat surface in the breeding tank and sticks them there until they hatch.

After spawning has occurred, the adult should be removed from the breeding tank. The fry will hatch in a few days.

Fry can be fed liquid fish fry food. When they get a little older their diet can be changed to newly hatched brine shrimp and then finely crushed fish flakes.

Aquarium keeping is a fun and rewarding hobby. Freshwater aquarium fish care is the easiest and most economical way to enter the field of aquarium ownership. Less than a decade ago freshwater or saltwater fish were the only options available. But that has all changed.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Keeping pet jellyfish is the latest trend in the world of aquariums. Pet jellyfish are a happy medium between the ease of freshwater fish and the demands and expense of keeping saltwater specimens alive and healthy. Jellyfish have much slower metabolisms than saltwater fish. Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums are less expensive to set up and maintain than saltwater tanks. If you find the idea of raising pet jellyfish intriguing, find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2016-12-04

Domestic FISH-KEEPING

Fishes are kept at home in aquariums and ponds. The hobby of fish keeping is divided into brackish, saltwater, and freshwater fish keeping, out of which freshwater fish keeping is the favorite. The fishes which are popular for fish keeping are angelfish, goldfish and guppies. Different species of fishes can be kept together and sometimes fishes of the same species are kept together for breeding purpose. With breeders, the popular fish species are guppies, mollies, catfish, killifish, cichlid, and characin.

English: Mid 19th Century glass freshwater aqu...
Mid 19th Century glass freshwater aquarium, containing Vallisneria spiralis,
goldfish, roach, and minnow.
 (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Fish keeping was started centuries ago. At that time fishes were bred for food. Also, due to religious reasons, fish was eaten on days when meat wasn’t allowed. The Chinese and Japanese traditions included fish keeping for food purposes. But later the kings began keeping goldfishes and koi, because of their attractive colors. They were kept in ponds and when guests used to arrive, the fishes were shifted indoors in fish bowls. Romans were also known to keep lampreys in pools with salt water. Ancient Egyptians kept fishes from Oxyrhynchus in temple pools.

Saltwater or marine fish keeping is more difficult and expensive. Usually experienced fish keepers or aquarists are into this hobby. This is certainly not for beginners. But it sure is very attractive with colorful and attractive fishes along with different types of corals. Brackish fish keeping involves both freshwater and saltwater fish keeping, because the salinity of the water is in between that of seawater and freshwater.

Fish keepers which are into this hobby also focus on the aquatic plants. Some hardcore aquarists even attempt to grow coral reef with the help of living rock, worms, and calcareous rocks with algae growth, sponges, and worms. When the corals begin to grow echinoderms, crabs, mollusks, and shrimps are also added to the aquariums, which are also called as reef tanks.

The aquarium should have ecology which is similar to the natural habitat of the occupant fishes. This is an extremely difficult task. Also, it is important to maintain the predator prey relationship balance. Also more than the volume of the water, the surface volume is important. This is because, more the surface volume, more the oxygen levels in the water. Air pumps also are used to increase the dissolved oxygen in the water. This is part of the nutrient cycle, which should be maintained and controlled for the well-fare of the fishes. Larger aquariums are more preferable and they make things easier, for example the event effects are diluted easily and the systemic shock is absorbed well.

Other factors to be controlled are nitrogen cycle, dissolved gases and balanced food supply. The salinity of the water should be checked regularly depending of the aquaria being maintained. The pH level should be checked to test the acidic nature of the water. For freshwater aquarium, most of the aquarist use tap water, which is a mistake as it contains chlorine. Chloramines should be used in tap water to make it chlorine free.

Depending on temperature, the aquarium can be differentiated to have tropical and cold water. For tropical aquarium, the water should be warm and the temperature should be nearly seventy-seven degree Fahrenheit. For cold water aquarium, the water temperature should be less than room temperature. For this purpose, a refrigeration device called chiller can be used.



Plants and certain organisms can be introduced in the aquarium which metabolizes the waste, especially nitrogen. But more the number of organisms added to the fish tank, the more difficult it is to maintain. The needs of all the aquatic organisms must be considered. Introducing many types of species in an aquarium is known as biological loading. Two important factors should be considered which include filtration process and oxygen levels. Aquarists interested in fish breeding should be more careful. Firstly, they shouldn’t mix many types of fishes together. They should also develop special conditions called spawning triggers for proper breeding.

Artificial ponds can be also made in the garden. It is very similar to freshwater keeping, except that they are big and out in natural conditions. Tropical fishes are a good choice for such garden ponds. But where the temperatures are cold, goldfishes, orfe and koi are good options.