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Category Archives: Planted Aquariums

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

The Pearl Gourami – A Classic Aquarium Fish

Pearl gouramiEveryone has that one fish that started it all for them. Most aquarists can remember that one species of fish that got them hooked into this hobby. Maybe it was an Oscar that would beg for food like a dog, a pair of black convicts that would spawn like rabbits every few weeks, or maybe those beautiful fancy tailed guppies got you interested in keeping fish. For me, it was the Pearl Gourami. I can still recall seeing that first adult trio of Pearl Gouramis in a fully planted aquarium. I was amazed at how the male almost glowed when he was around the two females. Read More »

Tylomenia, The Rabbit Snails of Sulawesi

Rabbit snailSpring is upon us and with the air of the Easter season lingering, many of us are still thinking about cute little bunnies. It seemed obvious (ok, not really obvious) that I should write about the snails from the genus Tylomenia. Why write about them? Because they are known in the hobby as Rabbit snails!

When I first saw these snails on a website, I was pretty intrigued. Tylomenia snails are from the rugged mountain lakes of Sulawesi. Sulawesi is one of the larger Indonesian islands and, because of its topography, boasts some very beautiful shrimp and snails that are known only to live on that island. Rabbit snails come in a pretty amazing spectrum of colors and patterns. Some are orange, some are canary yellow, and some are black, while others are black with tiny white speckles.  They have long cone-shaped shells that vary in coloration and pattern from species to species. Some are black and heavily textured, while others are more smooth and have a rich golden or brown coloration. One thing that all of the Tylomenia snails have in common is that they have one of the most oddly shaped “heads” of any snail I have seen. With long drooping antennae and a long thick mouth, they certainly have one of the most original and distinctive looks of any snail.   Read More »

Dwarf Malabar Puffers – Tiny Fish, Big Personality

Hello everyone! I often write about odd freshwater fish. This blog I wanted to write about another personal favorite, the Dwarf Malabar Puffer, also called the Pea or Pygmy Puffer.

Dwarf Malabar Puffers, Carinotetraodon travancoricus, are cute little bundles of energy that come from the inland waters of Southern India, where they can be found in slow moving rivers amongst dense vegetation. These pea-sized puffers are a dwarf species that only grow to about 1.25 inches in length. They are colorful little fish with a body that is a deep golden hue. They are splotched with dark blue, black, or green spots. Males will often develop a dark stripe along their belly, especially when they want to show off or court a female.  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 »