Unique Freshwater Fish for Sale- The Four-eyed Fish

»Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Blog, Education, Freshwater Fish, Mercedes C, News | Comments Off on Unique Freshwater Fish for Sale- The Four-eyed Fish

Unique Freshwater Fish for Sale- The Four-eyed Fish

The Four-Eyed Fish by Mercedes Calabro The Anableps anableps is an incredibly adaptable freshwater fish. Part of the order Cyprinodontiformes, it is related to killifish and livebearers sharing a specialized organ called a gonopodium. Females max out around ten inches and the males reach around seven inches. Anableps are found in tidal waters along the South American coastline, the Gulf of Paria, and the Amazon. In these tidal conditions, their adapted eyes come in handy. Anableps have two eyes on each side of their head that sit on top of one another and allow an extended field of vision while they search for food. During low tide sneak up on small insects and crabs using the set of eyes above water and launch themselves out of the water to grab their prey. When the tide rises they use the lower set to find small fish, snails, and amphipods (microscopic scavengers) below the surface. Anableps are fairly hardy. They need large, preferably shallow, tanks with brackish water and enjoy both open spaces to swim and built up rocks and driftwood to rest on near the surface of the water. Based on the variability of their natural habitats they can handle a pH anywhere from 7.5 up to 9.0 and like the typical tropical water temperature of seventy eight degrees. Based on the size of the tank and how many fish are present, a strong filter is needed (canister filters work well) as they produce a lot of waste.                 Anableps do well mostly in species specific tanks, but are compatible with other, bigger yet peaceful livebearers, and should not be placed with other top-dwelling fish that create too much competition for food as they have no competitors in the wild. Lastly, Anableps have a wide diet including: terrestrial insects, red macroalgae, small crabs, and small fish. So in your own aquarium, there are many options to feed to recreate their natural food sources. A basic pellet should be used for most feedings, preferably one with added spirulina would be beneficial, as they eat it in the wild. Also, Bug Bites by Fluval can substitute for the insects they usually hunt in the wild. Frozen bloodworms, chopped up earth worms, and occasionally blackworms (especially if the fish aren’t interested in pellets or frozen yet) can be used a few times a week for some added nutrition. Overall, the Anableps adaptations make it a very interesting and unique fish that would be a great addition to the right aquarium....

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Mandarins and Scooter Dragonets

»Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in Blog, Chris F, Education, Reef Aquariums, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Mandarins and Scooter Dragonets

Mandarins and Scooter Dragonets

The family Callionymidae is comprised of several species of small, colorful, reef-safe fish that have captivated the attention of aquarists for years, most notably the mandarin dragonet (Synchiropus splendidus and others), brightly colored members of the family that have been a staple for the aquarium hobby. However, these are considered the most difficult of the commonly-kept dragonets due to the difficulty in sustaining adequate amounts of food (more on this later). Hardier species are commonly available such as the brown scooter dragonet (Synchiropus ocellatus), red scooter dragonet (Synchiropus stellatus), and the recently described and popular ruby red dragonet (Synchiropus sycorax). What makes these species hardier than the mandarins is their ability to accept prepared foods, such as frozen foods, more willingly. Mandarins, on the other hand, are strictly dependent on copepod and amphipod populations within an aquarium to sustain their nutritional needs. To meet the requirements of dragonets and their relatives, an aquarist must be well-prepared in advance. A minimum tank size of 30 gallons (the larger the better) that has been cycled and established for around a year with adequate amounts of live sand and rocks should be considered mandatory. A refugium would be also be welcome in conjunction to adequate filtration, as it would provide a safe haven for copepod and amphipod populations to grow without predations. Most people will dedicate a compartment of their sump to a refugium filled with sand, live rock, and macro algae. Tank mates should be peaceful and small, as large aggressive fish may harass and eat the small dragonets (although some dragonets can emit a toxic, foul-tasting slime). Another consideration in regards to tankmates is the competition for copepods and amphipods; limiting the introduction of fish that feed on these should be considered to avoid competition and starvation. Prime choices are gobies, fire fish, clownfish, cardinal fish, blennies, chromis, etc. Dragonets are very aggressive towards others of the same species and careful planning in regards to stocking of conspecifics must be considered, especially for males. Large tanks, with adequate amounts of food and rock, help limit aggression. Here at Absolutely Fish we almost always have scooter dragonets in stock, so stop on by and have a look! If you have any other questions regarding this unique group of fish, feel free to approach a M-1 Certified employee....

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Top 10 Saltwater Reef Critters

»Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Blog, Kristen S, Reef Aquariums | Comments Off on Top 10 Saltwater Reef Critters

Top 10 Saltwater Reef Critters

Maintaining a reef aquarium allows an aquarist to create a mini ecosystem in their tank. The fish and corals are of course the highlights, but reef critters can perform useful clean-up jobs and are pretty fun to watch. Here are our top 10 most sold reef critters!   #10. Cleaner Shrimp are both entertaining to observe and useful in a reef aquarium. They can be seen cleaning parasites off of fish, which is important in a reef tank where medicating is difficult. #9. Emerald Crabs are great when that pesky hair algae takes over. They do a great job picking the algae out from between corals that can be difficult to get out manually. #8. Sexy Shrimp are just fun to watch. They will host an anemone and ‘dance’ by wiggling their tails. It’s especially cool if there’s a whole group in one anemone. #7. Banded Coral Shrimp are another purely ornamental reef critter. They usually hide a lot but their long claws make them a very interesting tank mate and they also come in gold and blue. #6. Trochus Snails are a very useful part of any clean-up crew. They do a great job cleaning algae off the glass, keeping the aquarium looking tidier for longer. #5. Scarlet Leg Hermit – another great clean-up crew member. They’re great for picking algae and detritus that collects on live rock. #4. Nassarius Snails are a helpful part of your clean-up crew that you’ll probably never see. They burrow under the sand and keep it moving to prevent algae and cyanobacteria from forming on the sand bed. #3. Sand Sifting Starfish are an alternative to the nassarius snails. They also burrow under the sand and move it around, plus they’ll feed on detritus in the sand bed. #2. Tuxedo Urchins are another option for cleaning up hair algae. They’re a cool alternative to emerald crabs and are fun to watch crawl across the reef. #1. Tigertail Sea Cucumbers are excellent detritivores, cleaning up left-over food in tough to reach places. They are also very unique looking and make an entertaining addition to any reef...

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Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

»Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Blog, Saltwater Fish, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

In the past blogs we have looked at the favorite nano and medium marine fish for our aquaria, now we are going to look the favorite large fish, 8”+, for marine aquaria. #8. Miniatus grouper- The miniatus is the perfect grouper for a large aquarium. Who can deny a grouper with fire engine red coloration with striking blue dots? They can handle the roughest of tank mates for those who have aggression issues. #7. Bluejaw Trigger- All types of marine aquaria always want to have a trigger in it. From reefs to fish only, the bluejaw fits the bill. They are peaceful enough to go with our medium sized selection as well. Males show a bright blue chin and yellow highlights in their dorsal and anal fins. #6. Lionfish- What large fish aquarium would be complete without a lionfish? They are the definition of exotic. They look the part while always having an air of danger. Keep cautious, they are venomous which we all react differently to. #5. Dogface Puffer- Come on, they look like a dog with the snout! They come in variations from simple grey to the color of a brick of gold. Those who keep these puffers should feed foods with a hard shell or are gummy to wear down their teeth. Otherwise, you will need a special dentist to fix their overgrown chompers. #4. Imperator Angel- No favorite big fish list can be complete without a few angels on it. What other family of fish are as beautiful as angelfish? The imperator is one of the favorites among marine aquarists. The coolest thing is watching an imperator morph from a juvenile coloration to an adult. #3. Harlequin Tusk- One of the most popular fish of all. The harlequin tusk is best known for its bright blue teeth and striking orange and red bars. They should be only cautiously mixed with other wrasse species. #2. Queen Angel- No large aquarium is complete without a queen angel. Its color and temperament makes it the perfect addition. Queen angels are one of the few species of fish available from the Caribbean. #1. Porcupine Puffer- One of the most popular marine fish in general. Every aquarist wants to have a puffer and who can deny the porcupine? Alien looking eyes, puppy dog attitude, and puffing into a ball of spikes make the porcupine the essential fish for a large...

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Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

»Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Blog, Conservation, Education, Jenn, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them Thanks to globalization, there’s a variety of aquatic plants and animals available in the aquarium trade that has never been seen before. While this means more gorgeous tanks and ponds than ever, it also brings a new threat: invasive species. You’ve probably heard about the snakehead, a predatory fish native to Asia that can travel short distances on land, leading it to populate New England, or maybe your rose bushes have been chewed up by Japanese beetles. Those are both invasive species, introduced to the US accidentally in the case of Japanese beetles, and purposefully as food stock in the case of snakeheads. Animals are not the only living things that can become problems when introduced to lands not originally their own. Aquatic plants can also cause destruction when introduced to rivers, lakes, or oceans. Following are the three most common invasive plants found in the aquarium trade. After learning about the damage they can cause, we’ll learn how to prevent it.   Anacharis: A common trait all of these plants have is their ease of care, which lends itself to their success in environments they should not be in. Anacharis is possibly the easiest plant on this list. It requires medium light (perfect for lakes) and doesn’t even need to be planted in the substrate to thrive and grow. Floating anacharis will grow roots along its stem, drawing nutrients directly from the water column. Anacharis can be propagated by breaking the stems into pieces, which is great news for a plant that humans try to physically remove from waterways. Any pieces left behind can immediately begin to repopulate. Problem: Anacharis grows faster than many native aquatic plants and can block out light and rob them of nutrients, out-competing them. Anacharis can also form thick floating mats that prevent recreation like swimming, rowing, fishing, and boating. An unsuspecting boater can get a nasty surprise when their propeller gets tangled in a mass of anacharis.   Water hyacinth: An admittedly gorgeous ornamental pond plant, water hyacinth has a dark side. Like anacharis, it can form massive, acres in width patches, blocking light from lower levels of the water and making recreation difficult if not impossible. Its light blocking effect doesn’t just slow down growth of other aquatic plants. Preventing light from reaching those plants prevents them from photosynthesizing, which prevents them from producing oxygen. Additionally, just the hyacinths’ presence on the water surface decreases the area for gas exchange. What we end up with is a body of water that is oxygen starved and full of dying fish. Waterfowl can’t land on hyacinths. Their habitat is effectively destroyed when lakes and rivers are clogged with floating plants. The density of hyacinth patches slows down any water movement at the surface, enabling algae growth and mosquito breeding (and remember, all the fish that might eat the larvae are already dying from a lack of oxygen). Hyacinths are also excellent at reproduction, employing two strategies: budding, and seeds. During their active growing season, hyacinths grow “daughter plants,” small hyacinths that grow off of the original plant until they are large and established enough to grow on their own, and then break off and begin growing and budding on their own. Hyacinths can also reproduce sexually, producing seeds. Seeds are the insidious sleeper cells. They can begin growing within a few days, or lie dormant for years in case of unfavorable conditions like droughts. Once the environment is more conducive to growth, the seeds will sprout and begin the invasion all over again. The main weaknesses of water hyacinth are herbicides and cold winters, which have prevented their spread into the northern half of the US.   Water lettuce: Can any plant sound less threatening? Water lettuce? C’mon. How dangerous can soggy Romaine be? Don’t be fooled: this plant is nearly as bad as water hyacinth. It is another floating plant that clogs up rivers and lakes, out-competing native plants, lowering oxygen concentrations, creating mosquito nurseries, and stealing habitats. Additionally, it’s invaded Hawaii, where some of their most important crops are grown at least partially underwater, like taro and rice, and is becoming a noxious weed. Another layer of difficulty in controlling water lettuce is its inedibility. Very few animals are willing to eat it, because it is full of needle-like crystals made of calcium oxalate. Eating water lettuce would lead to a severe itchy burning sensation in your mouth and throat, as well as damage to your GI tract. Only two animals can really make a dent: the hippo, and the manatee. Unfortunately, it would be a...

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