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...

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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…...

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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...

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Most Popular Marine Fish in 2016

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Blog, EricR, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Most Popular Marine Fish in 2016

  Most Popular Marine Fish in 2016 The subsequent list is a compilation of our bestselling medium sized marine fish. Most of these fish can be housed in an aquarium of 75 gallons or larger. These fish are prized for their remarkable patterns and coloration, as well as their active bright personalities.   #8 Heniochus Butterfly/Longfin Bannerfish The most impressive feature about this fish must be the elongated dorsal filament, from which it derives the name “Bannerfish”. Once established it is generally active and fairly hardy for a butterfly fish. These guys look phenomenal in groups, small or large! #7 Hepatus Tang/Regal Blue Tang “Dory”- The popularity of this fish exploded when Finding Nemo hit theaters, and has definitely resurged thanks to Finding Dory. Not to say that the big pictures were the only source of popularity, however; its striking black mask and vibrant blue and yellow coloration make this fish a sight for sore eyes. These fish can be sensitive, and a U.V. sterilizer is absolutely recommended. #6 Bartlett Anthias These are great fish to have swimming out and about in a fish only or reef aquarium. They are usually kept in harems, with one male to multiple females. Interestingly enough, if the male perishes, the dominant female will begin to change sex to take the male’s place. Best kept when fed small meals of high energy foods throughout the day, such as arctipods, reef plankton, or a high quality pellet soaked in fatty acids. #5 Flame Angel These fish are definitely show stoppers, their bright red orange coloration is almost impossible to match. Best as the only dwarf angel in the tank. These fish can be sensitive, so they are also best kept with a U.V. sterilizer. Careful in reef tanks, they have been known to nip at polyps! #4 Melanurus Wrasse/Hoeven’s Wrasse Another great choice if you are looking for something active for your tank. The red, blue, and yellow mask on these fish is certainly something to marvel at. When frightened, or going to bed for the night, these fish are known to bury themselves in the sand.  Should be fed high energy foods, and kept without small crustaceans or mollusks in the aquarium. #3 Foxface Rabbitfish A great fish for any tank! Fish only or reef, even with slightly more aggressive tank mates, these fish can find a home anywhere. They are peaceful herbivores, but they are armed with venomous spines in their dorsal fin that can be used to ward off aggression. When frightened or going to sleep, they can change their yellow bodies to a blotchy grey and white in order to blend into their surroundings. Should be offered algae based foods 2-3 times a week. #2 Coral Beauty Angel The classic dwarf angel fish, these can be housed in a tank as small as 40 gallons. Usually they are better behaved in reef tanks then some of their cousins, but keep in mind, they can always change tastes! A U.V. sterilizer is recommended. #1 Yellow Tang These are vibrant fish great for almost any aquarium of adequate size. These herbivores hail from Hawaii and are beginning to make a bigger scene in the aqua culture industry. Beware adding them as one of the first fish to the aquarium as they can...

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Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 in Blog, Patrick D, Saltwater Fish, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016 The following list compiles our best sellers among the small tropical group. Most of these fish make great nano reef inhabitants (30 gallons and under). Reef keepers of all sizes desire these fish for their color and behavior, making them the most popular among all marine hobbyists. For most of these fish it is advised to only purchase one per aquarium, regardless of size.   #8 Filamentosa/Flasher Wrasse These small wrasses get their name from the extraordinary dorsal fins and “flashing” colors. They are all from the Indo-Pacific reefs and must be fed Calanus Arcti-Pods to retain their colors. #7 O-Spot Prawn Goby These sand-movers and shakers are one of the most desired nano fish because of their symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp. They are inexpensive, hardy, and fun to keep. #6 Maroon Clowns They are the only clownfish with a separate genus (Premnas). They use a unique spine on their operculum to spar with other clownfish and conspecifics, thus never add them with other clownfish. #5 6-Line Wrasses A hardy wrasse that stays small (less than 1.5 inches). Although look out! They can be aggressive toward other tankmates later on. #4 Yellowtail/Blue Damsels Only keep one per aquarium. These smallish guys never hide and are some of the most resilient yet docile Pomacentrids. #3 Royal Grammas This beautiful small basslett comes from Caribbean waters, often seen by divers off the coast of Florida. #2 Green Chromis One of the most widespread fishes of the Indo-Pacific tropical reefs, they can be kept in groups in 40 gallons or larger. We recommend not starting with them and only purchasing SHIEC-collected specimens. Come in and ask about this sustainability effort! #1 Ocellaris Clowns “Nemo” – Almost all in the trade are Aquacultured. This is a huge step for our industry. If interested, please call or stop in with any questions you may have on these fish. As an added bonus, mention you saw them on “the most popular 2016” list and get 20% off any of these fish for purchase. Stay tuned for Most Popular 2016 medium...

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Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Keeping Seahorses and Pipefish – Not a Pipe Dream

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Blog, Kristen S, Reef Aquariums, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Keeping Seahorses and Pipefish – Not a Pipe Dream

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Keeping Seahorses and Pipefish – Not a Pipe Dream

Seahorses are one of the most unique and easily recognizable marine fish, so it’s no surprise that many customers ask about keeping them in their saltwater aquariums.  Because seahorses are very different-looking from other fish, they require special consideration when thinking about keeping them at home.  The seahorse’s lesser-known cousin, the pipefish, is also a very interesting fish to keep.  Unlike seahorses, pipefish can be kept in reef tanks, but certain considerations should be kept in mind such as tank-mates and feeding. Seahorses fall into the genus Hippocampus within the Sygnathidae family.  It’s easy to see at first glance that these fish are extremely different from your average tang or clownfish.  Seahorses don’t have scales; instead they have a bony armor that protects them.  They also don’t have a caudal fin; instead they have a prehensile tail that they use to anchor them on to rocks, coral, or algae.  They only use their dorsal and opercular, or modified pectoral, fins for movement and as a result, they’re not very strong swimmers.  In the wild, seahorses live in sheltered areas of coral reefs or grass beds with little water current.  Their horse-like mouth is specially adapted to suck up tiny organisms like amphipods, isopods, copepods, and mysid shrimp like a vacuum. Because seahorses are so specialized, they do not do well in high flow reef tanks competing for food with other fish.  A species only aquarium is the best way to house and appreciate them.  With the right equipment it’s easy to create a seahorse display at home.  A 29/30 gallon tank is a great starter option.  You may also want to consider getting a taller tank; seahorses are more vertical swimmers than horizontal.  After you have a tank picked out, you want to make sure that you have good filtration as seahorses are messy eaters and they are especially sensitive to changes in water quality, so a protein skimmer is a great addition.  The second thing you want to make sure you have is low flow because they can’t swim against strong currents. Unique features of seahorse tanks are hitching posts, or things for the seahorses to hold on to with their tail.  Branch rock, plants, gorgonians, and soft corals can all be used as hitching posts.  Soft corals may be used because they usually don’t have a strong sting; other more aggressive species of corals should be avoided because the seahorses lack scales and are stung much easier.  Crabs and shrimp should also be avoided as they may injure the seahorse or a particularly large seahorse may pick at them.  A good tank mate would be Nassarius snails; seahorses are messy eaters so having a sand-sifting snail will help prevent too much waste buildup.  Feeding seahorses can be a challenging task; they can be fed live foods such as brine shrimp, but should eventually be moved on to frozen food such as mysis shrimp.  Getting a seahorse to eat frozen food may take quite a while, so be patient.  There are many species of seahorse available to purchase that come in a few different colors.  The common species that we carry are Hippocampus erectus, H. reidi, and H. kuda.  There are also hybrids available that are combinations of two species. Pipefish may look very different from seahorses, but...

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