Freshwater Fish

These inhabit various biotopes in tropical and equatorial regions. Basically they may be divided into two groups. The first comprises those for which soft, acidic conditions are essential. Some require a very low level of hardness, with a typicalpH of around 6. The second group prefers hard, alkaline conditions. For some species the level of hardness must be extremely high, with a pH of up to 8. A few species can survive in brackish water. There are some fish which are not dependent on water...

Cichlidae

Cichlids have acquired a none-too-flattering reputation for trouble - persistently quarreling with other (and their own) species and wrecking the decor. But this is not always the case. There are more than 1,500 species (related to the European perch), which throng the freshwater areas of America, Africa, and, to a lesser extent, Asia. Often quite large and powerful-looking, these toothed carnivores are voracious feeders. Their anatomical characteristic is the single, elongate dorsal fin. Some...

Angelfish

Angels are the most well-known and popular of all the Cichlids. Their original habitats are the soft, acidic watercourses of the Amazon basin they need an aquarium with a great deal of space, including depth, where they can swim without restriction. Plants, however, are also essential to form refuges. Angels are peaceful species - except during spawning - and you can keep them with Characins and Corydoras species in a regional South American tank. You should not, on the other hand, introduce...

Window Onto World

We have all become familiar with how our television screens offer us, from the comfort of our living rooms, a small window onto the wide world outside. An aquarium also provides a glimpse into a different universe - but this time inhabited by real, live creatures. A lot of thought and work goes into a top-class aquarium. We select the best site, we want fish and decor which satisfy our sense of beauty. Before long, our new purchase has relegated to the background our photos, pictures and even...

Abudefduf saxatilis

This is more aggressive than the other damsels. The sergeant-major can live to an age of 5 years or more in captivity. It eats mainly brine shrimps, mussels, and chopped shrimps. Size 15-17 cm. Novices are advised to start with the blue damsels group. Chromis (the blue-green damsel) is active and lives in groups, sorr ti,v, o by the males. It accepts artificial food. Chrysiptera parasema (azure di Glyphidodontops hemicyaneus) is a robust species which lays eggs in captivity. The female can...

Acanthuridae Tangs

Clown Tang

Native to the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, the tangs are less common in the Atlantic ocean. An upright spine on the caudal peduncle has earned them the alternative name of surgeonfish, as this spine resembles a scalpel. It plays a defensive role and can represent a danger for the aquarist. Despite their squat bodies, which seem to have been squashed sideways, they are good swimmers, and they live in groups in a natural setting. They feed on algae and small prey which fit...

Amphiprion clarkii

Aquarium Guide

Clark's clownfish lives in couples, occupying several different anemones and straying some distance from them. It is one of the easiest to acclimatize. The male is distinguished by its yellow caudal fin (white in the female). Size 15 cm. Even though some clownfish can live without anemones, in captivity it is best to provide them with one - but not just any one. In fact, the associations concern exact species, although there may be confusion because the scientific names of anemones changed some...

Artificial Food

Commercial Fish Tanks For Live Crabs

This is dry food which is commercially widely available in specialist aquarium stores. In the last twenty years the entire range has diversified considerably, and today there is a wide variety, adapted to the needs of different groups of fishes for juvenile and adult fish, for freshwater and seawater fish, etc. These foodstuffs are characterized by a high level of proteins (generally 40-50 ) and come in different forms in flakes (the most common), granulated, or compressed. The flakes float for...

Atherinidae

The Atherinidae are characterized by long, streamlined bodies which immediately suggest their speed and agility in the water. They are preponderantly marine species, with very few inhabiting inland waters. Some experts consider that the Celebes rainbowfish belongs to another family the Telmatherinidae. T. ladigesi lives in shoals, preferring hard water and uncrowded conditions. The rays on the dorsal fin are more developed in the male. Size 6-8 cm The Madagascar rainbow appears more or less...

Barbs

Barbs are native to Asia and Africa, living in shallow, moderately fast-flowing waters rich in vegetation among the hundred-odd known species in Nature, only a dozen or so are currently available commercially under this collective name. The different species can be distinguished by the number of barbels, which varies from none to four. They are active fish, living in groups or small shoals, and the liveliest ones may even tease other species with quite large fins. They are best kept in...

Biology

It is essentially the rear part of the body, particularly the caudal fin, which serves to propel the fish, while the other fins play a stabilizing and steering role. Of course, the more hydrodynamic a fish's form, the more it is capable of setting off abruptly and swimming quickly, indispensable for catching prey or fleeing an enemy. Aquarists are sometimes advised not to let quick and lively fish (like Barbs) cohabit with slower and more placid species (like loaches), as the latter may be...

Bivalves

It is sometimes possible to come across small specimens of the giant clam (Tridacna genus) that can be fed on mussel choppy. Most species have Zooxanthellae on the outer part of their mantle, and they must therefore be placed close to a strong light source. Giant clams are demanding as regards water quality. Generally speaking, they need a certain amount of protection, nevertheless, they can be sold legally, although they are rarely found in the aquarium trade. Those that do appear on the...

Brackish Water Species

Some species cope well with conditions where there are large variations in salinity. In the case of others, juveniles start their lives in fresh water before descending to estuaries, where they complete their development once grown to adulthood, they live permanently in the sea. It is vital to keep such fish in special aquariums where the salinity is carefully adapted to suit their metabolisms. You will find several species available on the market some possess really remarkable features and are...

Calcium in sea water

Reef waters contain between 400 and 500 mg liter of calcium, which is up to 20 times more than fresh water. Calcium participates in the composition of calcium carbonate (CaC03), necessary for the formation of coral skeletons, the carapace of crustaceans, and the shells of mollusks. If you are raising these animals, the CH must be between 6.7 and 14 GH if it is below this level, part of the water must be changed or calcium must be added. This is not necessary if there are already fish in the...

Central America

Amazonian Style Aquarium

The combined influence of the sun and the temperature produces abundant vegetation. The waters close to the sea are hard or very hard (sometimes very slightly salty) and warm (over 26 C). The inland streams have clear, well-oxygenated water. amateurs to keep. The aquariums with brown, but still transparent water, recreate an Amazon-style river under the forest roof. Its acidity and its color (sometimes even black) are the result of acids derived from humus. These tanks house other species of...

Centropygeacanthops

This is a small species, relatively easy to keep, but rarely found in the aquarium trade. The flame back angelfish likes hideaways and feeds on algae and small invertebrates. In some specimens, the eye is surrounded by a blue circle. Size 7 cm. Eibl's angelfish, aggressive towards all the other species in the genus, is easy to keep in captivity. Its vegetable diet can be complemented by small invertebrates. Size 12 cm. The yellow angelfish resembles the lemonpeel angel, although it does not...

Chaetodontidae Butterfly Fish

The butterflies are some of the most beautiful of all marine fish, on account of their vivid coloring. They are widespread in the tropical seas, where they live in coral reefs, either singly or as couples, generally staying close to the coast. The juveniles often have a different coloring from adults, which can cause some confusions between species. Butterfly fish generally have a specialized diet, according to the species some graze on algae, some eat the tentacles of anemones or coral polyps,...

Clownfish or Amphiprions

These fish owe their name to their coloring. Several species are commercially available nowadays, often with their associated sea anemone, because their life is generally intertwined with this invertebrate, which offers them protection. In return, the anemones can take advantage of the clowns' leftover food, although this is not always the case, and they can also live without the company of their tenants. The Amphiprions are not affected by the action of the anemone's venom they protect...

Cobitidae

The Cobitidae are close relatives of the Cyprinidae and are found in both Europe and Asia. They possess a small number of barbels which they use to detect prey as they search the substrate. Given this feeding procedure, it is preferable to use a fairly fine, smooth sand. You can recognize these fish by the presence of a spine under the eye this is designed for defense, but can also entangle the fish in the hand net. Loaches, as they are commonly known, are bottom-dwellers, and basically...

Corallimorpharia

These invertebrates, which are not corals - they have no skeleton - are known as discus anemones. They live attached by a foot that is less powerful than that of the anemone. The diameter of the discshaped polyp varies from one species to another. The presence of Zooxanthellae demands strong light. Asexual reproduction through budding is possible in captivity. Size 10-30 cm. Actinodiscus Several species from this genus are available on the market, and they are easy to keep. Their feeding,...

Crawfish

There are around thirty species of crawfish in the world, distributed across the temperate and subtropical zones. Although some European species can adjust to tropical aquariums, it is advisable to let them remain in the wild as the regulations concerning their entrapment are strict. One crawfish, Procamburus darkii, the Louisiana crawfish, has been imported by a number of countries. It can cause a great deal of damage as it is fossorial and burrows in river banks. It grows quickly (starting to...

Dendrochiruszebra

The dwarf lionfish does not grow longer than 15 cm, in contrast to the Pterois. It is also distinguished by the absence of a membrane between the spokes of the pectoral fins. Size 15 cm. Triggers live in reef areas where the water is in constant movement, so you must plan a large aquarium for them (at least 400 liters) with highly agitated and well-oxygenated water. Their jaws and teeth allow them to graze on coral, crabs, and mollusks. In captivity they accept animal food, such as small...

Diets And Nutritional Requirements

With regard to fishes' feeding habits and dietary requirements, there are three main groups - carnivores, which feed on worms, crustaceans, insects, or other fish - herbivores, with a diet mainly comprising There is a tendency to overfeed aquarium fish and produce some rather flabby specimens. Moreover, there is an increased risk of pollution in a confined space the more a fish eats, the more it excretes nitrogenous substances, and that is without counting the foodstuffs that quickly decompose...

Different Types Of Aquarium

An aquarium is not just a motley collection of plants and fish. Some aquarists aim to reconstruct the biotope of a specific geographical region (Central America, the Amazon, Asia, Africa), while others concentrate on a single group offish (for example, livebearers, Cichlids, or marine fish). Whatever the option, an aquarium must be attractive and well-balanced for its occupants to thrive, and this entails some understanding of the various habitats, as well as their inhabitants. An aquarium is a...

Diodontidae Porcupine Fish

Their skin is dotted with spines, which stick out in response to danger, and the effect is enhanced by the fish puffing out its body to impress its foe. Porcupine fish are considered easy to acclimatize, but they do not tolerate members of their own species. They feed on mussels and small shellfish - complete with shell -which they can munch thanks to their strong teeth.

Discus

A native of the Amazon and Orinoco basins, the discus is often considered the most beautiful and regal of all freshwater fish. It lives in calm, clear waters with soft and acidic properties. Tranquil and peaceable, the discus is a leisurely swimmer, exhibiting stress reactions in the presence of livelier species. The best tankmates for it are Characins, species of Corydoras and Apistogramma or the various angelfish. A large aquarium is necessary allow 10 liters per adult, using a decor of...

Examples of pH in different types of water

Natural water from African Great Lakes Natural water from Central America and Asia, mineral water Natural water from certain Asian rivers Natural water from the Amazon Example of an aquarium's variations in pH over the course of a day pH is measured by using a color test water from the aquarium containing a few drops of the test is compared to a color scale that providesa reasonablyprecise determination of the pH value. T refers to one between 7.2 and 8, and a pH between 6.8 and 7.2 is...

Food Distribution

When they are healthy and well adjusted to captivity, fish eat at a regular time and become accustomed to the spot where the food is given out. It is advisable to divide the daily ration into two parts - one in the morning and one in the evening, for example. The end of the day - 1 or 2 hours before turning the aquarium lighting off - is usually the most practical for the aquarist. In any event, food distribution offers a special opportunity to observe the behavior of your residents and check...

Foodstuffs Of Natural Origin

It is possible to buy freeze-dried food items - small animals, shrimps, worms, or plankton -in which the water content has been greatly reduced so that they can be preserved more effectively. This treatment does clearly make them expensive, but they are at least as nourishing as flakes and very popular with fish. They must be stored in a dry place. Feed them to the fish according to the manufacturer's directions and do not exceed the quantities recommended. Frozen products - shrimps, fish,...

Fresh Water

This type of water is also known as Continental water, a more accurate term from the scientific point of view. Continental water accounts for only 2.6 of the Earths water, the rest being made up of seas and oceans. Of this volume, 98 consists of sterile water, in the form of glaciers and underground water, leaving only the water of rivers, lakes, and ponds as shelter for living organisms- barely 2 of the total volume of Continental water. The use of a heating kit allows the water in an aquarium...

Freshwater Invertebrates

Aquarium Guide

Although freshwater invertebrates play a significant ecological role in their natural habitat, they are not popular with aquarists, and this is a great shame. They are represented by two main groups the mollusks and the crustaceans. Ampullaria sp., like this golden variety, are one of the most effective gastropodsagainst algae. Bivalves commonly known as freshwater mussels can be found in some tropical waters. Although they differ as regards their anatomy, they are in fact distant cousins of...

General Principles

Most fish kept by aquarists are oviparous (egg-layers), but there are some exceptions - viviparous fish (or livebearers). A varied and rich diet enables fish to accumulate reserves of proteins and lipids, which help them form eggs and spermatozoa. This is the maturing phase. When the female's ovary swells, she is ready to lay eggs. This only needs a stimulus to trigger it off, such as, in the natural setting, rain, sunlight, or moonlight (research is presently in progress on the influence of...

Hardness

The hardness of water refers to the combination of substances based on calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) that are contained in it. The main substances, known as salts, are carbonates, bicarbonates and sulfates. Water with zero hardness does not contain any of these salts this is the case with distilled water. The water in some areas can be particularly hard, mainly due to the presence of limestone (or calcium carbonate). The hardness of water really depends on the land through which it has passed...

Hardness avoiding confusion

The use of different terms and abbreviations sometimes makes hardness a somewhat confusing concept. The table below presents the expressions most often found in recent aquarium books. Measures all the calcium and magnesium salts Measures only the calcium and magnesium carbonates and the bicarbonates. The general hardness is one of the main parameters to be taken into account when monitoring the water in an aquarium. The carbonate hardness only measures carbonates and bicarbonates, the latter...

Hexacorals

This group covers the majority of the Coelenterates found in marine aquariums, particularly anemones and corals. Do not forget that most of them need strong light, as they contain Zooxanthellae, and that they can be fed on small morsels of animal origin. The aquar-ist must take care when handling some species, as their capacity to sting can be considerable. The great majority of these animals are imported from the Indian or Pacific Oceans, but they are only sporadically available in the...

In fish

Aquarium Guide

There are times when ft seems that fish have a sixth sense, especially when a net is put into the aquarium In fact, they analyze the situation with their lateral line and their sense of smell and in this way they deduce whether there is a possibility of danger. This premonition of a danger or a particular event seems to be heightened in those fish that are normally the most friendly. It is therefore perhaps better to talk of hypersensitivity in these species. The position of the mouth can...

Internal Anatomy

The sum of the internal organs accounts for roughly 50 to 60 of the body weight in a classically shaped fish. This is fairly simple in fish, when compared to other more evolved animals. The parts corresponding to sight and smell are particularly well developed, demonstrating the importance of these two senses. Obviously, this supports the fish's body, but it is less sturdy than that of a land animal, as a fish, partially freed from gravity, is carried by the water. Nevertheless, the relative...

Introduction

There was a time when the keeping and study of exotic fish was the preserve of serious researchers closeted in their laboratories today, it is an established and popular hobby. Dealerships and specialized sales areas in large stores are springing up everywhere, paralleling an explosion in the number of public aquariums and books or magazines devoted to the subject. More and more people of all ages are falling under the spell, enjoying permanent access to a part of the natural world that was...

Labridae

The Labrids constitute one of the major fish families (several hundred species divi among 70 genera). These highly active, colored fish with fusiform (tapering at each end) bodies often live alone. Some species bury themselves in the sediment at night, and this must be taken into account when planning the aquarium provide them with a sandy bed. Their sturdy teeth allow them to feed on invertebrates (which must, therefore, be kept away from them). In captivity they accept live prey, but will...

Live Prey

These are ideal food items for carnivorous fish they retain all their nutritional value and move around to attract the fish. They are a problem to keep as they only last a few days, but they can be frozen. These were once very popular - so many aquarists have started with them Nowadays they are out of fashion in fact they are not the ideal food for fish and it is best not to use them. More complete and suitable products, particularly those in the form of flakes, are now available, even for...

Lutjanuskasmira

The juveniles of the eight-stripe snapper have less vivid coloring than the adults and a black spot on the body. Its diet consists of small fish and crustaceans. Size 35 cm. The young live in groups their 7 from that of adults, which are more solitary. They are bottom-feeders, often sifting the sand to capture small, live prey. In aquariums they can be gradually adapted to artificial food. They need a large tank with shelters.

Melanotaeniidae Rainbowfish

Commonly called rainbowfish, they come form the rivers and swamps of Australia and New Guinea. They thrive best in hard water with a pH above 7. Coloration varies according to mood, breeding condition, and hierarchical position. Water quality is not too important. Several closely-related species are marketed under the name of McCulloch's rainbowfish or dwarf Australian rainbowfish. All are robust, demanding a large, uncluttered tank where they can swim in peace - but make sure there is a...

Monacanthidae File Fish

These are somewhat more pacific than the triggers, to which they are scientifically related. These rather timid fish feed on very small prey (brine shrimps, pieces of mussel). The tassled file fish stands out due to the protuberances on its skin. It relishes algae, even more than live prey. The adults are loners and can attack some invertebrates. Size 11-25 cm. The orange-spotted file fish likes nooks and crannies but is also an active swimmer. It can live in groups and is recommended for...

Nitrogenous Products And The Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen (N) is one of the components of certain substances, largely derived from the excretion of fish, that are dissolved in water. These substances, of varying structural complexity, are quickly converted into ammonia (NH3 or NH4+), which is highly toxic for animals. At this point oxygen and bacteria intervene to convert the ammonia into nitrites (NO2-), which are also very toxic. Other bacteria, still accompanied by oxygen, transform them in their turn into nitrates (NO3-), slightly toxic...

Ostraciontidae Boxfish

Their body form renders their swimming clumsy, but these fish are nevertheless highly active. Their skin is fragile and very sensitive to parasites. In an aquarium it is best to keep only one specimen, which can sometimes be tamed to eat out of your hand. Their small mouth means that they can only eat tiny prey and algae. If they are alarmed, boxfish secrete a toxic substance, with deadly effects for other fish in the vicinity.

Other American species

There are still more American members of this family. Some of the smaller ones are deservedly popular on account of their coloration and behavior, while others are giants requiring an aquarium of commensurate size. The keyhole cichlid is tranquil, even timid, and needs a wellplanted tank with hiding places. Its breeding behavior is similar to that of Aequidens curviceps, though producing fewer eggs. confused with Mesonauta festivus, which shares its English name, is a small species from the...

Other Cyprinidae Balantiocheilus Epalzeorhynchus Tanichthys

As well as the groups already mentioned, which arc those most commonly obtainable from commercial outlets, there are a few other species of interest to the amateur aquarist. Tranquil enough - even timid - except with its own species, the flying fox is a bottom-feeder. It has not yet been successfully bred in the aquarium. A closely related species, E. siamensis or Siamese flying fox, has the reputation of keeping down green algae which can sometimes proliferate it is distinguishable from E....

Ph Values

The pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of water, with the value 7 representing neutrality. Below this level the water is acid, and above it the water is alkaline (or basic). Categorizing water as acid does not mean that it contains dangerous acids. In forest streams and rivers the water accumulates with acid organic fluid (humic acid) derived from the decomposition of plants (humus), producing an amber yellow color. Generally speaking, aquatic life can exist only between pH 5 and 9. These...

Pomacentridae

Which stay faithful to each other - the males are generally monogamous - can reproduce every 2-4 weeks. Clownfish, at first males, later become females, which are then bigger. Feeding them in captivity does not present any problems they like small live and frozen prey, mussels, and chopped shrimps, and they sometimes accept commercial artificial food. These are undoubtedly the most popular marine fish found in aquariums. Modest in size and brightly colored, they are active and easy to keep....

Pseudanthias squair

The scalefin anthias lives in a group or shoal, dominated males. This pretty little fish can live in a fairly small tank (i of 200 liters) furnished with hiding places. It feeds on pic the wild and prefers small items of food, particularly live f fish is sometimes classified in the Anthiid family. Size The Serranid family includes the species belonging to the Hydroplectiis genus, native to the tropical Atlantic, that are small in size and therefore much appreciated by aquarists who have only a...

Reproduction Strategies

Reproduction ensures the survival of a species, and nature has planned several strategies for it. In the case of small eggs produced in large quantities, these are often transparent, in an attempt to hide them from their predators. As for large eggs, if there are only a few their parents protect them most of the time. In both cases, the aim is to reduce the number of losses as far as possible. In an aquarium, the intervention of the fish-keeper considerably increases the chances of success, and...

Scleratinaria

True corals or madreporites live in a calcareous skeleton, into they which they can withdraw. This skeleton means that they make the most significant contribution to the building of coral reefs in tropical seas. These are the most difficult invertebrates to keep in a marine tank, as they require well-aerated water of the highest quality, with no suspended particles - and therefore crystal clear - and an extremely low nitrate content. As they are very sensitive to nitrates, it is essential to...

Scorpaenidae Lionfish

Lionfish are not only stunning to look at, but they can also constitute a real danger for an aquarist some of their spiny spokes emit a venom similar to that of certain snakes. They are placid and majestic fish, easy to keep in an aquarium of at least 300 liters. The tank must be furnished with elaborate and convoluted decor, complete with grottoes and overhangs lionfish swim through them flat or at an angle. Their large mouth is equal to their voracity they devour live prey, often small fish...

Sea Water

The main difference between fresh water and sea water is that the latter contains a great many salts which give it certain specific characteristics, and these must be understood by any aquarist who wishes to keep marine fish. A Very high quality sea water is required in marineaquariums, especially if they contain invertebrates, particularly anemonesand corals. A Very high quality sea water is required in marineaquariums, especially if they contain invertebrates, particularly anemonesand corals....

TetraodonpalembangensisorT biocellatus Tetraodontidae

Several related species are marketed under the general name of Tetraodon T. palembangensis is known as the figure-eight puffer. When threatened, all species can inflate their bodies with air and water to intimidate the enemy they have teeth, and can feed on mollusks and crustaceans. Tetraodon reticulatus (reticulated puffer) is aggressive and frequents distinctly saline waters. It accepts live prey or meat-based foods it is not known to breed in captivity. Size 8-10 cm. Adults of the spotted...

The Amazon

The second longest river in the world (6,280 km), the Amazon transports 15 of all the Earth's running water, with a flow of up to 190 million liters per second. Along with its tributaries, it drains an area (known as the basin) covering 7 million km' (three-quarters the size of the United States or 30 times that of the United Kingdom). In the Amazon basin, the temperature of the water is always higher than 20 C and the climate is characterized by alternating dry and rainy seasons. The latter...

The aquarium

The bigger it is, the easier it is to acclimatize the invertebrates. Do not consider a tank of under 300 liters for a medium-sized anemone, accompanied by its clown fish. A volume of 400-500 liters is the absolute minimum for a tank containing several species of invertebrates. A maximum height of 50 cm is recommended to allow the light to penetrate, as well as making it easier for the aquarist to intervene. It makes sense anyway to install as large a tank as possible, as your enthusiasm for...

The Aquarium An Alternative Approach To Ecology

A closed system like this lends itself particularly to the understanding of ecology, providing an excellent introduction to a branch of science which emerged in the 19th century but has acquired a high profile only in the last twenty or so years. It is not concerned simply with Man and his world, as many believe, but covers all the mechanisms regulating relationships between living creatures and their environments, so that all can live in harmony. Salmonidae in LeBugue Aquarium. Public...

The decor

This serves as a support for some animals. Create an aquascape in tiers or with steps, and place the species on it according to their need for light. This is easy to do with artificial materials, and the decor can be finished off with dead coral and rocks. Caulerpa prolifera is a common alga in marine Caulerpa prolifera is a common alga in marine When well acclimatized, the Coelenterates soon deploy their tentacles, which is a sign of good health.

The gender of fish

In theory, this is a simple matter there are males and females. In practice, the situation is sometimes less clear, especially in marine fish. In fact, some species can change sex this is known as successive hermaphroditism, and can be seen in groupers, Anthias, rainbow wrasses, and some Labnds, which are first female and then male. Clownfish present male characteristics when they are young, but they cannot reproduce at this stage. When they mature they become either a fertile male, or a...

The goldfish theme and variations

The goldfish is the oldest domesticated fish its story began long before hobbyists started keeping it in aquariums. The feral form, less brightly colored than the present fancy varieties, can reach 40-50 cm. Originating from Asia, it has now spread throughout all the temperate waters (5-25 C) of the globe. The classic red variety was selectively bred from feral stock, probably before the time of Christ, though breeding has made enormous advances since the Middle Ages. The earliest importations...

The main components

Sea water contains more than 60 elements. The main one is chloride, which accounts for more than 54 of the total mass of salts, followed by sodium, with around 30 . When these two elements bond, sodium chloride is formed. This is the main salt in sea water, comprising around 85 of the total the other salts therefore represent only 15 in all, but they all play an equally important role. Magnesium, sulfur, calcium, potassium, and bromide are the most abundant elements, Variations in pH in a...

The Origin Of Salt Water In Marine Aquariums

The first idea which springs to mind is that of collecting natural sea water, but this is difficult for somebody who lives a long way from a coast or requires large quantities. Moreover, although sea water does present advantages, it also has its inconveniences. While some aquar-ists filter it before using it to totally or partially fill up their tanks, the majority use reconstituted sea water. In theory, the recipe is a simple one dissolve the salts in the water. In practice, however, not just...

The substrate

Fine-grained soils are to be avoided, a size of 2-5 mm being perfect. The bed must be calcareous and comprise sand made from corals and marine algae, which can be complemented by crushed oyster shells to guarantee a moderate supply of calcium carbonate. The substrate in marine tanks consists of coral elements in fairly large grains. The substrate in marine tanks consists of coral elements in fairly large grains. These are green micro-algae which live in the skin of Anthozoa and other organisms,...

Toxotesjaculator Toxotdae

The archer fish has its hunting ground just below the surface. To capture small insects for food, it shoots out a powerful jet of water, knocking down the prey, which it then snatches with its mouth. Its precisely aimed shot is made possible by excellent vision through both water and air the jet can hit a target up to 1 m away. A territorial species, sometimes aggressive, and requiring hard, brackish water. Not known to breed in captivity. Food consists chiefly of living prey preferably...

Transportation and storage of natural water

Aquarium Guide

Water collected in a natural setting is transported in plastic containers, such as jerry cans. As these generally have a limited volume (under 30 liters), quite a few are required to fill an aquarium of several hundred liters. The water can be stored in these containers, protected from heat and sunlight (cellar, garage, storeroom, attic). Some aquarists with several tanks store their water in cisterns covered with polyethylene these are available commercially. Part of the water is siphoned off...

Tropical Aquariums

Here fish and plants not native to the same region are found side by side, creating an environment that does not exist in nature. The results may be charming and ingenious, but this type of aquarium is often disparaged by purists. A community aquarium is often a popular choice with beginners creating - or mounting, in aquarists' jargon - their first tank, although this is not a general rule. In this case, the hobbyist concentrates on a particular species, type, family, or group of fish with...

Tropical marine habitats

Tropical sea water is renowned for its clarity, its transparency allows light to penetrate deeply enough to illuminate firstly the shallow reef areas (up to 10 m) and then the lower slopes (up to 40 m). The fish in these regions, renowned for their vivid colors, thrive in the turbulent and well-oxygenated waters. They share this environment with a wide variety of invertebrates, such as the famous corals - this generic term covers both true corals and similar species - and anemones. The...

Belontiidae

These fish possess an unusual feature located in the upper part of the head is a special organ known as the labyrinth - hence their earlier name of Labyrinthidae. They were also formerly known as Anabantidae (meaning climbers), since some can scramble out onto land. The labyrinth, in fact, allows them to breathe oxygen from the atmosphere. This process is supplemental to the normal function of the gills and represents an adaptation to their habitat, developing in juveniles during the first few...

Sea anemones Actinia

These live on the substrate, attached by their single foot, which acts as a sucker, but they can move around and find the place that suits them best (sometimes the tank's front pane). Some rare species live in the sand and can retreat into it. They are fairly robust in an aquarium if in water that is well lit and aerated (some anemones have Zooxanthellae). A large living space must therefore be planned for them, as other Anthozoa do not appreciate their tentacles moreover, they sometimes...

Compatibility between Coelenterates

Urticant (stinging) Coelenterates must be kept apart from the more delicate species a safety margin of 10-15 cm is often recommended. The madreporites and anemones are among the most urticant, and they must not be put alongside a leather coral from the Sarcophyton genus, for example. Other alternatives for a Coe-lenterates tank are algae - whether encrusting or not - supported by live rocks, or even caulerpae. Their development must be controlled so that they do not end up smothering the...

The genus Cichlasoma

The genus Cichlasoma originates from Central and South America. These fish are considere as potentially aggressive, especially during spawning, though some species remain reasonably peacable. Because of their temperament and their size, it is important to keep them in large tanks 200 liters for the smaller species and at least 400 liters for the largest. The decor should consist of rockwork and sturdy plants. These fish are omnivorous there is no problem keeping them in captivity, but be aware...

Shrimps

These very brightly colored animals are much appreciated by hobbyists for the theatrical flourish they add to a tank. They are relatively easy to keep if the water quality is good and the aquarium is equipped with hiding places. New species regularly crop up on the market. Stenopus hispidus This is one the most common shrimps in the aquarium trade. In their natural habitat (several tropical seas), the barber shrimps live in couples and serve as cleaners, especially for angelfish (Pomacanthids)....

Cichlidae Lake Malawi species

There are reckoned to be more than 200 species living in this lake, almost all endemic. The habitat consists of rocky zones with hiding places and shelters, surrounded by clear, shallow, and well-lit water. The Cichlids feed on the algae encrusting the rocks - practically the only vegetation present. These fish require a fairly large tank (200-300 liters minimum for small species, 400-500 liters for the largest) fitted with a powerful filtration system. Rocks will form the main decor, but...

Algae Problems

The large majority ofaquarists have found themselves confronted with undesirable levels of algae that are sometimes difficult to combat. Generally speaking, it is better to avoid excess growth in the first place than to have to try to fight it- often with varying degrees of success. This overgrowth can be recognized by its greenish or yellow-brown color, (while whitish or gray filamentous masses, made up of bacteria and fungi, may also be mixed in with algae). This type of growth can form quite...

Reproduction Of Plants

Aquarium Plants Guide

In the wild, the most common mode of reproduction among plants is sexual, involving flowers and seeds. When the conditions in a setting are inauspicious, however, sexual reproduction gives way to asexual reproduction, know as vegetative multiplication. Pieces ofplants that have broken off or been uprooted, and then swept along by the movement of the water, settle and take root. It is this vegetative multiplication method that is used in aquariums. The techniques used, which vary according to...

Introducing Coelenterates to an aquarium

Coelenterates must of course present all the necessary signs of good health before being introduced to an aquarium they should be unfurled, swollen, and full of water. If they are in a bad state, they look wilted and may not be viable. Anthozoa like clear and well-lit water, as it benefits both them and the Zooxanthel-lae to which they play host. They must be placed close to the surface of the aquarium. The water quality is, of course, very important, and in addition the calcium Some species...

Other Dissolved Substances

Sea water contains more than 60 elements, some of them in microscopic amounts for example, there is 1 g m3 of gold in sea water. All the solids dissolved in sea water serve a purpose, and that is why the salts that are used to reconstitute water must be of excellent quality. Some substances can accumulate in sea water and in high concentrations give rise to concern. This is especially true in the case of organic matter, but it is possible to eliminate them by partially changing the water or...

Labroidesdimidiatus

The cleaner wrasse, with a reputation for being difficult to acclimatize, lives in couples as an adult. It feeds on live prey and it has a highly distinctive habit it cleans other fish. It puts on a show in a specific part of the tank to attract them, and it then frees them of their external parasites or pieces of dead skin. When there are no males available, a female can change sex. Size 10 cm. THE FALSE CLEANER ASPIDONTUS TAENIATUS This is not a Labrid - in fact, it belongs to the Blenniid...

Catfish

Catfish Synodontis Nigriventris

Catfish belong to different families, but are all members of the order Siluriformes. They possess barbels, live a solitary life on the bottom, and are mainly twilight species. Not very fussy about water quality, they play a major part in maintaining the balance of the aquarium as they scavenge algae or particles which have sunk to the bottom. Two families are of particular importance the Callichthyidae and the Loricariidae. The Callichthyidae include the genus Corydoras these fish do not have...

Curiosity Corner

African Leaf Fish

Some species, often possessing unique anatomical features or biomechanisms, exist only as a single family in the world of the aquarist - and sometimes also in the wild. For these reasons we have grouped them together on this double page. The Indian knifefish or clown knifefish lives in Asia in slightly alkaline waters. It can swim both forwards and backwards, and tends to be nocturnal. Several species have proved marketable one of them, Notopterus notopterus, which has only recently been...

Hemirhamphidae Goodeidae

Hemirhamphidae

The Hemirhamphidae which are false livebear-ers originate from Asia, where they live in hard, sometimes brackish waters. They are characterized by a lower jaw which projects distinctly further than the upper. The Goodeidae, natives of Mexico, are trtie livebearers. Contrary to what happens with the Poeciliidae, the females produce only one brood after mating. The red-tailed goodeid. The males, recognizable by their orange hindparts, are sometimes slightly aggressive. Gestation in the female...

Starfish

These are not recommended for a marine invertebrate tank, as they attack other species, such as sponges. Starfish are in fact either carnivorous, gripping their prey with their long arms that emerge from a central disc, or microphages, in which case they feed on small organisms on the bed. The ophiuroids, sometimes called brittle-stars and closely related to starfish, have articulated arms which allow them to move around quite quickly. These arms, like those of the starfish, can regenerate...

Health

The aquarist must learn how to detect signs of ill health, and above all establish good habits as regards tank maintenance and food hygiene, in order to prevent disease. A fish can not only fall sick, but can also be a carrier of a disease without actually being sick itself- then it is known us a healthy carrier. The disease will appear under certain conditions or will be The origin of a disease can be outside the aquarium - the introduction of a fish stressed by importation, or by the living...

Aphyosemion

Species of this genus inhabit most areas of Africa east of Benin formerly Dahomey , and particularly from the Niger to the Congo. Seasonal species are less common than the continuous breeders of drought-free areas some species exhibit breeding patterns intermediate between both types. The eggs of the blue gularis, a seasonal killifish, incubate in 5 weeks at 22 C. Size 12 cm. The exact coloration of the steel-blue killie varies according to its geographical origin. It is a continuous breeder....

Poeciliidae

Platy Varieties Pictures

The Poeciliidae inhabit considerable areas of the American continent, favoring hard, alkaline, and sometimes even slightly brackish conditions where the water is rich in plant life and normally calm. This is a family of active, energetic fish, ideal for the beginner. They will accept any form of food, including small, live prey, but appreciate extra vegetable material. The male is normally smaller than the female, though often more vividly colored. His anal fin, by a modification of the third,...

Feeding Coelenterates

By filtering the water, the Coelenterates trap small suspended particles, particularly the crustacean zooplankton. Collecting, keeping, and distributing plankton is not a task to be taken lightly, and it is best to look for other solutions. However, it must be made clear that commercial foods on the market provide little more than a stopgap. It is possible to use rotifers or freshly hatched brine shrimp nauplii, normally used as the main food for fish, but not everybody breeds these animals....

Malayan snails

They breathe through their branchiae and can retreat into their tapered shell, which closes with an operculum. They relish the tiny algae which encrust the decor if they are well fed, they proliferate quickly. They are considered less effective than the planorbis, but as they bury themselves, they contribute to the equilibrium of the aquarium by turning over and aerating the bed. If you want to get rid of them, introduce a fish from the Tetradon genus, which will appreciate these mollusks....

Most Popular Plants

They could also be called the classics, as they have given great pleasure to both veteran and novice aquarists for generations. Some are of particularly interest to beginners, as they are not only easy to cultivate but also inexpensive. They are mainly stemmed plants which provide cuttings without any difficulty and grow rapidly provided they are given the appropriate level of light. Some are species that adapt to different types of water, others are more suited to a regional aquarium. The...

Marine Fish

There are almost 20,000 species of marine fish in the world, but only a small minority is of any interest to the aquarist. Of these, most come from the Pacific and Indian oceans, although a few are native to Australia and the tropical Atlantic ocean. Marine fish are usually collected in their natural environment and rarely reproduce in captivity. They find it more difficult to acclimatize than freshwaterfish, particularly as regards feeding some refuse to eat artificial food, and others have...

Pterois antennata

The antenna lionfish has four dark bands on its head. A close relative, P. sphex, has less intense coloring. The latter is hard to find in Europe, but is frequently imported into the United States. Size 20 cm. Consult a doctor immediately. The very intense pain increases for 20 minutes, reaches a peak, and gradually subsides over a period of 4-24 hours. Bleed the wound and immerse it in the hottest water possible to par 11 the action of the Obviously, the best ic to avoid getting sti take care...

Mollusks

Ertain species of mollusks can be kept with fish, and sometimes with oth invertebrates, so they are popular among hobbyists. The species found in the aquarium trade are mainly carnivorous and feed on mussels or fish. There are others which graze the algae on the decor. The highly decorated shell of the Cypraea is much prized by collectors. In aquariums the porcelain-like shell is only visible when the mollusk is at rest when they are active, it is covered by the mantle the most external part of...

Nomenclature And Distribution Of Aquarium Fish

Barbus Titteya Distribution

The inhabitants of our aquariums - fish, plants, or small invertebrates- all have individual names. These, however, are often the subject of unresolved disputes a single species can, in fact, have several different names Let's try and shed some light on this Xiphophorus helleri exists in a considerable number of varieties hifin, lyretail, wagtail, etc. NAMING FISHES THE CORRECT TERMINOLOGY Scientific and common names Scientific names The scientific name is the only one which is recognized...

Softened water and osmosed water

Domestic softeners produce water in which the calcareous salts are trapped by a special resin but, on the other hand, they are loaded with other substances, such as sodium. Their use is not recommended for aquariums. Osmosed water, very slightly mineralized, is obtained by using an osmoser connected to a supply of drinking water. A special membrane allows this machine to retain several substances, including calcium-based salts. The water obtained in this way is of great use to the aquarist....

Palaemonidae

This family includes the familiar pink shrimp, as well as a large number of freshwater tropical species, such as the genus Macrobrachium which covers some 200 species . These long-pincer shrimps are sometimes raised for restaurants this is the case with M. rosenbergii, which grows to 25 cm, without counting its pincers. It is the smaller species that are sold in the aquarium trade, with M. lanchasteri being the most common at the moment. Native to South-East Asia, it acts as a garbage collector...

Chaetodonauriga

One of the best-known butterflies, the auriga is characterized by the adult's filamentous extension of the dorsal fin. Active and not prone to shyness, it is easy to acclimatize. Feed it with living or frozen food, backed up by vegetable material if there are no algae to graze on in the decor. Size 14 cm. accepts food of animal origin backed up with vegetable material. The black patches on the young dorsal area and rear get bigger in adults once they have reached 7 or 8 cm. Size 20 cm....

Lutjanus sebae

Adioryx Cornutus

The red emperor snapper lives close to corals. The adults, which are often solitary, are not always able to tolerate each other. This species must be put in a large tank with suitable hiding places. Size 20-30 cm. Lutjanus sanguineus The blood red snapper has a good appetite and appreciates small fish. The juveniles have a dark band running from the eye to the base of the dorsal fin, but this is not very evident in adults. Size 30-35 cm. The yellowtail snapper is native to the tropical...

Cyprinidae

Widely distributed over the planet the Cyprinidae barbs, danios, rasboras, labeos, carp, etc. form one of the largest freshwater families, with more than 2,000 species. The smallest species - only a few centimeters in length - are very well known and extremely popular with hobbyists. The largest, which can grow up to 1 m in length, constitute an important human food source the annual captive production of various types of carp - the most familiar member of this family -exceeds 6 million tonnes,...

Characidae Characins

Marbled Hatchetfish

The majority of characidae commonly known as Characins over 1,000 species in all live in South America, especially in the Amazon basin, but not all are aquarium fish. You can usually identify them by a small adipose fin situated between the dorsal and caudal fins however, this is not always present, and is also found in certain catfish species. Their solid teeth indicate that they are carnivores their diet consists, among other things, of insects and insect larvae. Characins live in groups or...