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

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...

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...

Turbidity

The turbidity of water refers to the presence of suspended matter - either living organisms forming plankton rare in an aquarium or inert matter, such as animal or vegetable remains or particles of sediment, particularly mud. The size of this suspended matter ranges from a few thousandths of a millimeter to several millimeters. In calm, unstirred water it forms sediment at a speed in proportion to its weight. In running or turbulent water, some of the matter remains permanently suspended,...

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....

Angelfish

Angelfish can be distinguished from butterfly fish by their protractile mouth and the presence of a spine at the base of the operculum. They are good swimmers and live alone or in small groups, close to shelters such as caves and coral overhangs. As angelfish are highly territorial, they react badly to other members of their own species. The coloring of the juveniles gradually changes when they reach 8-10 cm though this is not a general rule , and turns into that of the adults. Juveniles adapt...

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...