Hello, cichlid fans!I’ve been blogging on how to create suitable habitats for various types of cichlids in my previous entries, and this time I want to talk about the set-up that has worked best for me when I keep Central American species. I have kept and bred different species in tanks ranging from 30 gallons to 75 gallons. Most of my recent spawns have taken place in 40 breeders with a base dimension of 36 inches x 18 inches. 40 Breeders are nice, especially since I live in a smaller apartment and I don’t have the space for larger tanks. I have had plenty of success breeding Dovii, Firemouths, and Grammodes in my tank (at different times) and am now working with Cuban Cichlids. Read More »
By this time of year, we’re all at the end of a long, cold winter and have our sights set on the warmer weather ahead. So, in honor of the vacations and tropical beaches we all wish we were on, I thought I’d share some of the native Hawaiian names of some of our favorite tropical aquarium fish.
The fish on this list are those found around the eight Hawaiian islands. Some are endemic – meaning they are found only around the Hawaiian islands – while others are found in other areas of the Pacific and even Indian Oceans. Keep in mind that in native Hawaiian, some words have multiple meanings and some of these names may refer to a group of fish. This list is far from all-inclusive and are just some of the more interesting names that I’ve found. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. While new fishes occasionally enter the trade (much to our delight!), it’s not often that an entirely new species is created by breeders. But that’s exactly what happened in the early 1990’s, when the incredible Flowerhorn Cichlid burst onto the scene. Since then, “fine-tuning” has resulted in a fish with perhaps the most complicated parentage of any hybrid – 7 to 10 species have contributed their genes! Read More »
In the never ending fight against excess nutrients in the home aquarium, many products have come along in recent years to help aquarist win the battle. Chief among the nutrients with which all aquarium owners struggle (especially the reef aquarium owner), are nitrates and phosphates. These nutrients fuel algae growth, and in the case of nitrate, can jeopardize animal health as well. In the reef aquarium, nitrates and phosphates are a serious problem, and controlling these nutrient levels are vital to the health of the living coral and invertebrates in these systems.
Phosphate absorption media, macroalgae refugiums, deep sand beds, and frequent water changes have been the methods used by most to maintain low nutrient levels in aquariums over the years. More recently, aggressive biological methods for combating nitrates and phosphates have become increasingly popular, and several Carbon dosing methods to remove nitrates and phosphates have been developed. Read More »
Recently, some new fish and inverts arrived in livestock shipments that we haven’t seen before. I thought I’d take a moment to highlight a couple of the most intriguing.
First up is the Comb Goby (Paratrypauchen microcephalus). There is very little information available on this species of fish, but what we know is that they generally inhabit intertidal lagoons or brackish estuaries in the Indo-West Pacific. They have elongated bodies which helps them burrow down into the mud or sand. When we got these fish in they were fighting each other within minutes of being kept in the same styrofoam acclimation container. They should probably not be kept with each other in a home aquarium, unless the tank is very large and has plenty of space where each individual would be able to set up a territory. They are rather cryptic so far in our tanks, remaining hidden under rocks here in the fishroom.
Another first for us is the Japanese Basslet (Liopropoma collettei). This fish is a small fish that reaches a size of about 2-3 inches. This fish is also cryptic, hiding in rock work and claiming a small area for its own. They can be slightly aggressive with other fish that come into this area, but shouldn’t harm tankmates. It will eat small meaty foods like plankton and krill and may pose a threat to small shrimp like Sexy Shrimp or similar creatures, but will generally leave larger inverts such as cleaner shrimp and arrow crabs alone. The Japanese Basslet has a slender body and an elongate snout used for picking copepods and other small inverts from nooks in the rock. Here in the store the fish hides in a coral ornaments or in the PVC tubes we keep in the tanks. When placed in a home aquarium this fish will most likely keep this shy behavior, only coming out at night to look for food. If kept with smaller less aggressive fish, there is a better chance of it showing itself. It may be an ideal candidate for smaller reefs or nano tanks.
We also received an invert, the Zebra Thorn Crab (Zebrida adamsii), for the second time. These are very interesting little crabs that will live symbiotically in the spines of some urchins. They are very small and striped with black and white, so they camouflage against their host urchin. Their carapace is a very unique shape and they have specialized hooks on some of their legs which alows them to hold onto the urchin’s spines. At such a small size, usually less than 1 inch, they are also a great candidate for a nano tank where they can be more easily found and observed. These crabs will eat small meaty foods such as brine or mysis shrimp, but have been known to occasionally eat soft coral tissue and polyps, so beware if placing in a reef. We have the crab housed with an urchin, and we have yet to see it leave the urchin’s spines. It seems pretty secure and does not hide when a hand is placed in the tank.
Stop in and check out our interesting new critters! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to take one home to your own tank!