3 Interesting Synodontis Catfish That Won’t Get Bigger Than 8 Inches

»Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Blog, Kristen R | Comments Off on 3 Interesting Synodontis Catfish That Won’t Get Bigger Than 8 Inches

  3 Interesting Synodontis Catfish That Won’t Get Bigger Than 8 Inches by Kristen Rigolizzo                     “Typical” catfish have an iconic and endearing appearance that’s hard not to visualize. Long whiskers, strange body shapes, and (often) cute faces make them hard to resist for some aquarists. However, many aquarists also know how big some catfish can get – and how quickly their tankmates can disappear.                 Fortunately, we carry catfish of many sizes and shapes. Synodontis, a genus of African catfish, includes many small to medium-sized species with beautiful appearances. Synodontis cats are found all over central Africa, form the Congo River and western streams to the rift lakes in the east. Most Synodontis sold at Absolutely Fish stay below 8 inches in length. Here are three examples of unique Synodontis cats that won’t outgrow popular freshwater aquarium sizes and won’t get big enough to eat most tankmates:                   The Upside-down Cat (Synodontis nigriventris):                 The upside-down cat is probably the most well-known catfish on this list. They are squat in shape and only reach about 3-4”. This catfish is adorable both in looks and personality. They are famous for their strange swimming behavior; they swim mostly upside-down. Originating from rivers of western Africa, they do best in peaceful aquariums at a minimum size of 20gal and a pH range of 6.0-7.5. Be sure to include hiding spots for these little guys and some friends too. They are least shy when other upside-down cats are present.                   The Cuckoo Cat (Synodontis multipunctatus):                 This attractive cat reaches 5-6” maximum length and, endemic to Lake Tanganyika, requires a high pH (7.8-9.0). The cuckoo catfish is named for its breeding tactic know as brood parasitism, made famous by cuckoo birds. The cats take advantage of mouth brooding cichlids’ good parenting by tricking their cichlid hosts into incubating their eggs for them. As a result, they are relatively easy to breed in captivity. The cuckoo cat is perfect for any African cichlid tank of minimum size 40gal, so long as you provide enough places to hide. This is another cat that does best in groups.                   Angel Catfish or Angelicus Cat (Synodontis angelicus)                 S. angelicus is probably the rarest catfish on this list and has an unforgettably beautiful appearance. This fish originates from the Congo River, and accordingly does best in soft water with lots of plants (but can do well in a wide range of pH: 6.0-8.0). This is a great unique fish for a peaceful aquarium, but reaches about 8”, so a tank of minimum size 55 gal should suffice for a full-size adult. Here’s a bonus: Angel cats will pick at algae as well as any sinking food you drop in the tank.                   The above cats easily accept sinking pellets, frozen/freeze dried treats, and flakes. These are just three of many amazing Synodontis species available at Absolutely Fish. Come in any time to ask about our Synodontis cats; our staff is always happy to show you what’s in stock and how to care for...

read more

Stingrays for sale in New Jersey

»Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Blog, Cedes Militante, Thomas Tarkazikis | Comments Off on Stingrays for sale in New Jersey

Stingrays for sale in New Jersey

Stingrays for sale in New Jersey by: Thomas Tarkazikis   Perhaps the jewel of our freshwater department, our freshwater stingray tank has been known to turn heads. Many customers are captivated by these misunderstood fish and have questions on how to properly care for them. Stingrays are extraordinary animals with personality of iconic identity however; people are usually deterred from purchasing them because of the size, difficulty in care and cost of the animal.             About Rays/Behavior: Freshwater Stingrays can be found in parts of Asia and the Americas. In our store and throughout the hobby, the Stingrays we see in home aquariums are almost entirely indigenous to Parts of South America throughout the Amazon and connected basins. They are true to their name in that they have the potential to sting! Their tail is equipped with a serrated barb covered in a sac of tissue filled with venom. As the serrated barb impales its victim it tears open the venom filled sac and releases venom into the wound it creates when it stings. The wound can range from very painful to a serious injury/infection and should receive immediate medical attention. Typically they do not sting! Stingrays are intelligent fish and learn their environment well over time and become very used to or even “friendly” with their owners. They are Predators and will try to engulf smaller fish but their barb is a last resort defense against something harming them. It is extremely unlikely that they will sting their owner; typically it only occurs when they are stepped on in the wild. In the home aquarium, owners should be cautious while cleaning the tank not to bump into them as they may be out of sight, buried in sand. I would recommend approaching them with caution, especially new arrivals that are getting used to the tank and their owners hands in it. After a number of weeks in captivity, they become more accustom to people and can even be taught to be hand fed in many cases.             Water Quality: Stingrays have high standards for Water Quality and their size and appetite can make that difficult to maintain. Stingrays are not great first fish, they are very much like discus in terms of water quality. They prefer a tank with softer, more acidic water. This can be difficult to maintain, most people have harder water coming out of their faucet with a ph of 7.4-7.8. There are several products on the market to help achieve a lower ph and softer water but are not always stable. Powder buffers can lower the ph of tap water temporarily but should be tested in the days following as the ph can climb back up sometimes overnight. With rays collected from the wild, a stable ph of 6.5-7.0 is ideal to get them eating and accustom to the tank. Using a ratio of a quarter to a half R.O. water to tap water, most people will end up with a stable ph and hardness in that ideal range. Many of the stingrays we are starting to receive now are bred in captivity and born in water with a ph of 7.2-7.4 and do not require a lower ph. Eventually, even a once wild ray can be acclimated to ph in that range. They eat a lot and can produce a lot of waste! We recommend two filters or an appropriate sized wet/dry system to accommodate their bio load. The filters should be well maintained and the substrate should be vacuumed at least monthly. They are also very sensitive medications commonly sold in the aquarium trade and should owners should never use anything with harsh chemicals like copper and quick cure. They can however tolerate many herbal and natural medications.               Diet: Stingrays can be picky eaters and ideally should eat at least once a day. When acclimated to a new tank,  rays may not immediately accept food. The captive bred stingrays we receive are raised on various worms and frozen food. Wild rays can be more stubborn, often refusing prepared and frozen foods at first. Stingrays love live worms and even the pickiest of rays should accept live black worms or earthworms. These are great foods to get any rays to eat but they can lack in nutrition and long term and should be transitioned to a varied frozen diet or ideally a pellet food. Good frozen foods include mysis shrimp, silversides, bloodworms, krill, and even fresh shrimp from the local market.             Tankmates: Anything that can remotely fit in the mouth of a stingray is fair game! They cane be housed with more peaceful cichlids that...

read more

Live foods to buy, New Jersey

»Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Blog, Cedes Militante, Education, Freshwater Fish, Heather H, News, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Live foods to buy, New Jersey

Live foods to  buy, New Jersey

What should you feed your picky aquatic eaters?   by: Heather H. Live foods must be chosen with care. In good condition, live foods can add to aquariums fishes’ diet as they contain fresh, active ingredients that can aid in digestion. Additionally, they tend to stimulate the innate feeding responses of a fish and can sometimes trigger breeding behaviors. However, certain live foods can cause needless problems like poor water quality, unbalanced diets, and even certain serious health issues. Below I have listed some common live foods you can use in freshwater and saltwater aquariums: Adult Brine Shrimp: Artemia spp. – As brine shrimp grow to adulthood, their nutritional value diminishes greatly. They are great aid in getting stubborn, picky eaters to start eating, but they should be enriched before feeding. You can use anything from spiralina powder, Selcon (or ay product containing omega-3 fatty oils), Cyclop-eeze, or even crushed up flakes. For best results, fortify the brine shrimp for 8-10 hours before feeding to the aquarium. Always suggest that the customer rinse the brine shrimp before feeding to their animals. Black Worms: Lumbriculus variegatus – In the wild these worms will anchor themselves to the substrate, but in the container we keep them in, they anchor to each other creating a ball. They are high in protein and can help induce breeding behavior in a number of aquarium fish (aka conditioning). Another good treat, but be sure to tell the customer to wash them at least once daily. Ghost Shrimp: Palaemonetes spp. –These little guys can be quite irresistible for aquarium animals. They are herbivores that live in rocky stretches in both fresh and brackish waters (some prefer it). They are an excellent live food that ca also be gut loaded. I feel these to the little cat sharks to stimulate them to eat frozen. It usually works. Feeder Fish: Roseys, Guppies, Goldfish – For certain predatory fish in captivity, this is one of the only things they will eat. For the average aquarium, feeder fish should only ever be considered as an occasional treat and should not become a steady diet. They lack fatty acid that many fish need to stay healthy and can be very messy (causing ammonia spikes). This course does not include every live food available, but you should be able to find these items at your local store. Ask a trained Aquarist to help you select the right food for your aquarium. Good luck in your feeding endeavors!    ...

read more

Octopus Vulgaris (Common Octopus)

»Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Blog, Education, Ryan S | Comments Off on Octopus Vulgaris (Common Octopus)

Octopus Vulgaris (Common Octopus)

Octopus Vulgaris (Common Octopus) by Ryan Sickles The Vulgaris Octopus is a very wide-spread all over the Atlantic Ocean. This kind of cephalopod can be found from the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic areas to the Indo-Pacific regions. They generally inhabit shallow water going only as far down as as 200 meters. Something special about the Vulgaris is that it can regulate its body temperature to whatever ambient temperature is. however, they thrive best in 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These magnificent creatures can move swiftly along the shaded, rocky outcrop areas of the reef where the food source is convenient and hiding places are plentiful. These hiding places are needed to help the animal rest and restore its energy for the next hunt. Like most other cephalopods, the octopus enjoys snacking on many different crustaceans like crab, lobster, snails, and clams.  Occasionally, even small fish that would pose as prey along the reef are an acceptable meal for this brilliant species. The Vulgaris Octopus is well-known for its bulging head, eight arms, and hundreds of tube-feet. These wonderful animals have a very complex respiratory system. When they gomobile and hover over the rocks, their oxygen intake increases by two and a half times as much of that of a resting octopus. But it cannot ho9ld its oxygen intake levels that high for too long. Eventually, the octopus would need rest and re-circulate as much oxygen and blood as it can without over-exhausting itself. Due to all that blood pumping just to get around, the octopus has a short lifespan. Females can lay 120k – 400k eggs,  but will die after hatching the last embryo. The eggs that she hides and buries are legacies of her heir. She will starve for months without eating while protecting he eggs. These eight armed fellows are masters of the art of escaping. In case a predator was to come along and try to strike, the octopus has the ability to wedge and/or squeeze into tight and intricate spaces. Whether it be a hollowed rock or a long, thin pipe from shipwreck, the octopus can maneuver through just about any complicated spot. Having no vertebrate or any inner shell is the unique part of being an octopus. They can also escape out of almost any aquarium that is not secured tightly enough. The octopus is a smart enough animal to participate in: lifting glass canopies, squeezing through overflows, intake pipes and climbing right out of the tank. Want to learn more about how to keep an octopus? Stop into the Absolutely Fish to hear the stories and witness the elegant animal in an enclosed ecosystem. Be sure to also ask about our other varieties of octopus species like the Mimic, the Atlantic Pygmy or the Bimac...

read more

An Aquatics Shop So Exclusive

»Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Blog, Education, Patrick D | Comments Off on An Aquatics Shop So Exclusive

An Aquatics Shop So Exclusive

9 out of 10 fish cannot get in… By D. Patrick Donston   The aquatic animals you purchase are important to us. This is why we diligently research and inspect all of our suppliers we source. We evaluate and grade every livestock shipment. We utilize monthly data to record a yearly assessment for each vendor. We confirm they adhere to appropriate facility standards, which includes qualified staffing, packing, transport and acclimation. Harvesting, farming and handling must be covered by collection, fishing and holding standards. Whereas skilled divers collect to order, using non-destructive collection methods, aqua-farms must be operated by trained professionals who utilize proper husbandry protocols with environmentally sound irrigation techniques. We believe the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the trade are important to hobbyists, conservation and government agencies alike. As well; “healthy organisms handled, quarantined, and transported properly ensure an aquarist’s success”. Subpar suppliers operate on low budgets and cut corners to make a profit. The animals pay the price with negative environmental impact. An end consumer may feel good about the “cheap price”, although most of us actually find value in an exotic animal. We treasure these animals and feel privileged to keep them in our care. We understand cost is reflective of the conservation value to the global socioeconomic state of the animal’s region. We’ve been asked many times why we do not get certain fish from particular regions or suppliers. The reason may be sustainability or valid operators whom we cannot justify. As trite as this may sound, it’s true… and we believe it’s important, when in fact we turn many soliciting-suppliers away each year because they do not meet our standards. We do our very best to bring in only quality fish from expert supply chains. Because it’s important to us as well as you; “You might say we only house exclusive fish”. In fact so exclusive, 9 out of 10 can’t get in…...

read more
Copyright 2013 Absolutely Fish, Inc. All Rights Reserved