Archive for category Fish

Pet Fish Care

It is important to have enough knowledge about pet fish care before planning to have pet fish. Many pet fish die in a few weeks in a new tank because of improper pet care. If you have right information about providing your fish with an optimum living environment then it becomes very simple for you to take care of your pet fish.

Some of the basic steps in taking care for your pet fish are as follows:

Selecting your pet fish:

When buying your pet fish, it is important to choose the fish very carefully. The main characteristics of ideal fish include activeness; have even color tone right for their species; and clear and unclouded eyes. Consider the following when buying your pet fish.

  • Avoid selecting a fish that looks sluggish, or that has uneven parts of their tail or fins because this could be a sign of fin rot, a bacterial or fungal infection.
  • Only prefer fish that do not have any visible bulging of their abdomen. This might be a symptom of a fatal disease called fish dropsy.
  • Beware of any abnormal spots, discolorations or otherwise cosmetic blemishes on pet fish available in pet stores. These could be a symptom of an underlying health problem in the fish.
  • Do not purchase a fish from a tank that has a dead fish in it because this might be a indication that other fish in the tank are infected with disease.

Taking care of pet fish:

It is best to schedule regular feeding times on daily basis as it will help your fish in becoming familiar with a routine. This can help in preventing digestive problems. Moreover, test the nitrite, pH and ammonia levels of water of the fish tank regularly. Also, always keep your tank clean and free of excessive algae growth as this may result in health problems in several species of fish.

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Different Types of Pet Fish

Fish make great pets, as their beautiful and vivid colors attract the owners as well as guests. There are many different types of fish that can be owned as pet. Here are some of the most popular pet fish breeds.

Danio:

Danio fish are known for their activeness, vigilance and liveliness. Their hyperactive behavior makes them great pets as they often participate in underwater acrobatic maneuvers. Since Danio fish have black and white striped appearance, therefore they are sometimes casually referred to as ‘Zebra’ fish. Its major setback is that they are a bit aggressive, usually because of their vigorous temperament. However, their small size enables them to thrive in a tank that has other larger breeds of fish. This fish breed mostly eats flaked food, and are likely to easily survive in any changes to their environment.

Goldfish:

Since Goldfish are quite hardy and do not need specialized fish care, therefore they are the most popular type of fish for home aquariums. This fish breed is the domesticated descendants of the Prussian carp fish. It is generally bred for selective characteristics, and hence comes in different color patterns. Besides their typical golden orange color, different color variations of goldfish include white, orange, yellow and black. Some goldfish also have the silver or gray color, which is a preferred characteristic as they are likely to produce distinctive color patterns when bred.

Gourami:

Gourami fish are pretty intelligent and can often be trained to follow some easy visual commands. They are enjoyable to care for, and make great pets for young kids as a training project. They have russet or blue stripes on their body, making them visually attractive. Although this fish breed is generally very peaceful, however they can often become very hostile towards smaller fish, or other male Gourami fish. It is best to keep these fish in larger tanks, with a lot of shelters to prevent aggressiveness in them.

Plecostomus:

Plecostomus, also known as Pleco, are bottom-feeding fish that are inhabitant of Central and South America. Their insatiable appetite for algae makes them great pets, as this helps in keeping home aquariums free from excessive algae growth. Since Pleco fish are omnivorous, they thrive best when their diet includes both plant and meat ingredients. They mostly feed at night, and are not active during daytime.

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African Cichlids – Basic Information

African cichlids are more colorful than any other freshwater fish. They are intriguing to observe and they will entertain you with their intelligence and social behavior.

The East African cichlids are well known for their proliferation. They are among the easiest aquarium fish to breed, especially those from Lake Malawi. Since cichlids gladly adjust to captivity, therefore many species of African cichlids are easily available in local pet shops. They are very hardy fish, making it easy for you to introduce them into new environments and geographic locations as well as to take care of them.

African cichlids show very interesting behaviors. Many are maternal mouth brooders, which mean that the mothers keep eggs and young in their mouths. After a male fertilizes the eggs, the female picks them up, and incubate them in her mouth for 21 to 31 days, depending upon the species. This behavior is believed to be the advancement in the evolution of reproductive methods as it gives more protection to the offspring during their growth period. Even after releasing the young, the mother often take them into her mouth when they are frightened.

Generally, African cichlids are more hostile as compared to the New World fish. They are very greedy and highly territorial. In their natural environment, they mostly live together in groups of similar species. Adult cichlids protect their territory, and they are not convivial and can even act violently to other fish as well as cichlids of different species.

Cichlids frequently show timidity and power through their coloration, for instance, a pale fish might be a sign of a tensed or passive fish, whereas a vivid fish is mostly a hostile or dominant fish. At times, when a male loses his territory, he also loses his vivid coloring. However, a few may hide themselves and maintain their colors of dominance to act as if they are still dominant in expectations of attracting potential mates.

In captivity, where the cichlids are kept in an aquarium, the largest cichlid is mostly the dominant one and will act assertively towards all of the other fish in that aquarium. At times, the larger and more dominant cichlid attacks and kills the smallest cichlid in the aquarium. This situation can be prevented by crowding or overstocking the aquarium.

In the past few years, there is a large increase in the popularity of different kinds of African cichlids in the market. This reason for this is their unique characteristics and unrivaled attractiveness among aquarium fishes.

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Information about Cichlids

Cichlids, pronounced as sick-lids, are the largest family of freshwater fish that are quite expensive and recognized for their attractive coloration. They are considered as one of the world’s most diverse and specialized group of fish.

Cichlids have more than 1300 species, with a surprising number of color and size combinations. Many people have come across a cichlid without even knowing it. Common aquarium fish, such as freshwater angelfish and Oscars, are actually cichlids.

A number of pet cichlids can be categorized into two groups:

1. New World Cichlids

2. African Cichlids

New World cichlids are further classified into South and Central American cichlids. Each group has many different species and subspecies. These cichlids are hardy, easy to care for, and are likely to have bright colors. These distinctive features greatly attract fish collectors and hobbyist to cichlids.

African cichlids are originated from three lakes in Africa, namely Lake Malawi, Lake Tanginika, and Lake Victoria. Lake Malawi is the third largest and second deepest lake of Africa. There are over 1000 species of cichlids in this lake, including some of the most beautiful fish in the world. African cichlids are best known for their attractive patterns and a range of color that are not common in many freshwater fish.

These cichlids are not only easy to care for but also among the easiest aquarium fish to breed. Because of this, they are very popular among the breeders and hobbyists.

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Pet Fish Types

Pet fish are of different types. They are commonly divided into three categories, which include coldwater, marine (saltwater fish and corals), and tropical.

Following are a few helpful tips to consider while buying fish as pet.

Coldwater Fish:

Coldwater fish are a good starting point for the beginners and are relatively easy to keep as compared to marine and tropical fishes. Goldfish is the most common type of coldwater fishes.

Marine Fish:

Marine are mostly comprises of saltwater fish and corals. These fish are wonderful and appealing to keep, however they can be a little more costly and their maintenance levels are also a bit higher. At a minimum, a heater and saltwater is usually required to keep these fishes.

Tropical Fish:

All of the tropical fish need a heater with a temperature of at least 25C. Some of the groups in this category include:

  • Community Tropical Fish: They are usually peaceful and easy to keep.
  • African Cichlids: They are mostly bright colorful fish, which can be aggressive at times. They are available in a number of sizes.
  • South American Cichlids: They are beautiful fish, some of which can grow quite large and can be aggressive.
  • Odd Bods: There are many different types of these fish, which have an interesting appearance or are just extraordinary.

It is important to know that different types of fish occupy different levels of water. For example, if you already have bottom dwellers, such as catfish, then it is better for you to go for a top dweller or mid-level dweller in its place.

In addition, different types of fish have specific temperaments, aggressive or peaceful, and are either nocturnal or diurnal. It is highly recommended to get a proper guidance from the professional fish seller on the number of fish to keep in a specific amount of water.

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