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Category Archives: Freshwater Aquariums

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Contains articles featuring information, advice or answering questions regarding freshwater aquariums, livestock or equipment.

My Top 10 South American and West African Cichlids, From the Mind of a Cichlid Madman

Dicrossus filamentosus "Checkerboard Cichlid" - SmallSo, this time we are going to talk about my 10 from two areas, South America and West Africa. I’ve found through experience that both species can tolerate the same type of water conditions, with pH below 7.5 and softer water than African Lake Cichlids. Most of the species I’ve kept were for the challenge of breeding and/or their rarity. So lets begin. Read More »

Bucktooth Tetras – Beautiful Brutes for a Species Aquarium

Working here I often find people looking for a fish that is just a little different from everything else. Although they may not be the most exotic fish out there, the Bucktooth Tetra (Exodon paradoxus) will bring some life to a tank, as well as some color and attitude like no other fish I have seen in my time here. But these aren’t your average community fish.

At first glance, you can see that these Amazon natives are quite attractive. They have rather elongate bodies, lending to their speed and agility. They are tan with a beautiful, green-gold shimmer along the mid-line, two well-defined, rich, black spots, and orange-red accents in the fins. It is said that the fish gets its name from its prodruding teeth, though these teeth are not always visible. These are hardy, robust fish that can live for many years in home aquariums. Read More »

Electronic Monitors – Serious Equipment for Serious Aquarists

Hey everyone, Justin here. Working on the sales floor, I answer questions from customers each day about testing equipment. which to use, how accurate and easy the kits are, and lots of other specifics. Today I’d like to shed a little light on testing and monitoring tools, especially the electronic monitoring tools available to aquarists. There are several methods of testing the water conditions in your aquarium, including titration tests and test strips. Less frequently used are the electronic monitors. Electronic Monitors are a different way of testing your aquarium parameters quickly, easily, and accurately. Instead of using a Titration kit (liquid) or paper strips (litmus), Electronic sensors can detect specific components of your aquarium water, such as: pH, Nitrate, Calcium, Salinity, and Dissolved oxygen, in a matter of seconds. If calibrated and cared for correctly, your monitor can provide constant testing with pinpoint accuracy, which can be a real benefit, especially in complicated systems. Large systems can be huge investments in livestock alone, and pristine water conditions protect your investment. Read More »

Why Did My Plant Do That? – Part 2 – Melting Cryptocorynes

Hello, Craig here again with with another answer to a common plant problem! This time I’d like to address a problem some aquarists have with Cryptocorynes. Crypts are generally described as hardy, low maintenance plants, but not everyone finds them to be that way.

Why do my Crypts look like they’re melting?

So, you are standing in a fish store and over hear someone talking about Crypt Rot. Sounds pretty nasty doesn’t it? They aren’t talking about mummies or some weird disease you get from exploring pyramids. They are talking about an unfortunate problem with an otherwise very sturdy group of plants known as Crypts.

Crypt WendtiiMembers of the Cryptocoryne genus are well known and well established within the aquarium hobby. The most popular of the Crypts, Cryptocoryne wendtii, is tolerant of lower light, higher heat, and just about anything else you can throw at it. Though there are some types that can be tricky to keep, the species that are regularly available to hobbyists are certainly considered to be among the most reliable and versatile plants around. Read More »