Employee blogs written by William C

Keeping Dory and Responsible Fish Care

»Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Blog, Conservation, Education, Saltwater Fish, William C | Comments Off on Keeping Dory and Responsible Fish Care

Keeping Dory and Responsible Fish Care

Are you anticipating the release of Finding Dory? We sure are! After the success of Finding Nemo, we expect Dory’s movie to be an even bigger blow out. And like with Nemo, we know you’re going to wonder… “Can I keep a Dory?” Let me begin with, “Yes, absolutely!” We love when people get to bring home a fish they can connect with as well as Dory, but there are some things you should know first… By William Ciaurro Dory Specifics Dory is a fish known as the Hepatus Tang, that’s Paracanthurus hepatus for you nerds! Hepatus tangs, much like other tangs, like A LOT… A LOT of space to swim and roam! I would almost never sell Dory to any tank smaller than 75 gallon. AND YES, that does include the tiny “nano” Dorys we get. These are just babies. The babies will grow, and need a large nurturing tank to grow up healthy. Dory is what I would consider a delicate fish so an ultraviolet sterilizer is an absolute must (see our sizing guide)! Dory should have a very mixed diet consisting of vitamin soaked pellets, frozen mysis shrimp, and LOTS of algae. Tangs prefer to graze throughout the day therefore we recommend the use of algae sheets attached to rocks or clips. My last major key to success with Dory is consistent cleanings. No fish wants to have 40 gallons of water flushed in and out of their tank once a month! It’s much better to do smaller water changes more frequently, like say 20 gallons, every 2 weeks in your 75 gallon aquarium. (wink, wink: Do it!) Please note: Dory does not play well with other Dorys. When they get large, almost one foot, they will be territorial with one another. Being Responsible What do I mean by being responsible? Well fish are animals too. It’s important that we treat them with the same respect that we treat cats, dogs, and other animals with. We at Absolutely Fish always stress that fish live a long time, and you should be prepared for that. Hepatus Tangs can live over ten years. It’s very disheartening when folks bring back their fish in buckets looking all chomped up saying, “I had no idea it would get this big/live this long.” Don’t buy a fish on the false premise that you will “upgrade later”. We would once again like to emphasize, they live a long time, and the last thing we want is for the animal to outgrow the tank. If you’re going to take these animals home to your “ocean in a box,” then please make sure it is in fact an ocean. Fish keeping is not a right, it’s a privilege that we should not abuse. We take a lot of care to ensure that fish end up in great forever homes, and we hope that this blog inspires you. Our aquatic friends mean so much to us, and we hope they mean as much to...

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Top Ten: Nano Reef Fish

»Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Blog, Education, Reef Aquariums, Saltwater Fish, William C | Comments Off on Top Ten: Nano Reef Fish

Top Ten: Nano Reef Fish

Check out our top ten nano fish! We carry all of these and more! Top Ten Nano Reef Fish at Absolutely Fish William C Skip to our top ten nano reef fish! Let’s talk about something I’d like to describe as Saltwater Syndrome. When afflicted with said syndrome, saltwater newbies(and old-timers alike) ask to purchase fish such as the magnificent Queen Angelfish. Which is fine. Only when I ask about their aquarium, it’s a 30 gallon reef tank… not at all adequate. And no, it’s not a good temporary home— as a matter of fact a “home” should be a fish’s permanent dwelling. The Queen grows far too large for a 30 gallon aquarium and should be housed in something closer to 90 gallons or more! Further, the entire grouping we call Angelfish ARE NOT REEF SAFE. Sure you may have a 50-50 shot with that Argi Angel when it is first introduced in the tank, but you’ll be really upset 6 months down the line when you can’t add any corals that are even minorly “fleshy” (Bye, bye Acans!) After explaining this though the saltwater syndrome kicks in further, “But I bought a saltwater tank to keep exotic fish!” Exotics such as the Queen Angel and say — the Hepatus tang (popularized by Finding Nemo) should be housed in large appropriate tanks. So I’d like to clear up some misconceptions about the saltwater nano reef, and suggest the APPROPRIATE fish one might keep in such a habitat. Firstly a lot of fish are not reef friendly, meaning they eat corals, shrimp, worms, sponge, or some other reef invertebrate you care deeply for. Angelfish, Butterflyfish, and Triggers are the major offenders in this category. Alternatively some fish just grow too large for a nano reef (40 gallon tanks or less). Tangs for the most part grow to sizes of 7 inches or larger and need plenty of space to grow. In addition some very active species just need lots of space to live in a natural way. Take anthias for example,while most species do not exceed 6 inches they do like ample space to swim during the day! Lastly, there are the aggressors — some fish may be perfectly happy in a 30 gallon tank, and that’s great — but when your Domino Damsel goes on a killing rampage because his tank mates occupy too much of his space— we have a problem. Aggression doesn’t just include towards other fish… If you have a full grown Maroon clown in your 30 gallon reef and you just purchased the most magnificent little torch coral — expect the Maroon to attempt to host this piece (your results may vary). So what fish does that leave us with? Well below is a top 10 list of what in my opinion are the best common nano reef fish. Top Ten Nano Reef Fish 10. Clown Goby Max Size: 2″ Minimum Recommended Tank Size: 10 gallons Clown Gobys are some of the cutest little fish for the nano tank. They stay incredibly small, and are either bright yellow or vivid green. Some specimens will live in and around the corals in your tank. They’re quite the little beauties!   9. Skunk Clown Max Size: 4″ although most rarely exceed 3″ Minimum Recommended Tank Size: 20 gallons Hold your seahorses folks, I know there will be an uproar over Skunks v. Ocellaris. I’ll have you know now — Skunk Clowns are cooler! They come in pink and orange! They’re also unique in a sea of Nemos, and will host some anemones more readily… but for those naysayers Ocellaris would be good too. 8. Pajama Cardinal Max Size: 3″ Minimum Recommended Tank Size: 10 gallons PJ Cardinals are some of the prettiest fish, with their big beautiful eyes and polka dotted patterns. The only downside is they move infrequently some people find this boring, but I see it as conservative! 7. Sixline Wrasse Max Size: 3″ Minimum Recommended Tank Size: 10 gallons Small, zippy, bright colored fun! With the sixline wrasse it’s a blast of excitement. A warning though: If you plan to keep other small wrasses, or small pseudos down the line this fish may not be right for you. 6. Royal Gramma Max Size: 3″ Minimum Recommended Tank Size: 10 gallons It never ceases to surprise me at just how many people really dig this fish. Small children will exclaim, “I want the purple and yellow one!” This fish is peaceful, brightly colored and small growing. It’s nearly the perfect reef inhabitant. 5. Firefish Max Size: 3″ Minimum Recommended Tank Size: 10 gallons Firefish are wonderful little animals. They...

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So Ugly They’re Cute! — Unique Fish at Absolutely Fish

»Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 in Blog, Saltwater Fish, William C | Comments Off on So Ugly They’re Cute! — Unique Fish at Absolutely Fish

So Ugly They’re Cute! Unique Fish at Absolutely Fish By William C #5 Did you ever notice how some fish are so ugly that they’re cute? No? Well I have one word for you — Pufferfish — Case in Point! These guys have an ugly mug for sure! From their fantastic set of chompers, to their almost dog like faces these fish inspire many hobbyists around the world. They’re also smart and recognize their owners as “the great caregiver”. #4 But perhaps that’s not really ugly in your opinion… and we might agree with you. There is in fact a fish that stands out more than the pufferfish! The Big Eye Catalufa — has a face only a mother could love (or pet owner). The eyes on these bad boys are for seeing in the darkness and hunting prey. #3 Big eye, big deal — I bet you haven’t seen a fish as unique as this one though. The Lookdown is a large growing schooling fish. This fish looks like you wrapped a flounder in aluminum foil and made it stand upright! Very cool indeed! #2 The Wartskin Angler— Also known as a “Frogfish” is one of the most horrifically beautiful fish under the sea. They blend in with the surrounding reef and prey on small critters such as shrimp and tiny fish! Look at how rigid they appear —- they’re actually quite soft, their bodies expand to trap prey as large as themselves! #1 None of these fish hold a candle to my top Ugly-Beauty… (Drum roll) The Rhinopias Scorpionfish! This is truly a wonder to behold. Much like a frogfish that blends in with its’ surroundings, the Rhinopias looks like a large piece of coral itself — It fools more than us, just ask its...

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The Solution to Slow Coral Growth

»Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Blog, Education, Reef Aquariums, William C | Comments Off on The Solution to Slow Coral Growth

Corals for Sale – Absolutely Fish, NJ   The Solution to Slow Coral Growth   By William Ciaurro   If you know me, you know one thing I would never do is hype a product I didn't believe in. And believe me, I'm very skeptical of a lot. One thing I'll stand by through and through however, is the use of amino acids in the reef aquarium. “But Billy, why do I need amino acids?” A fair question my padawan, let me explain. One of the joys in keeping a reef is watching the corals grow; single polyps into large colonies! The problem for me is that it takes so darn long! Introducing the solution… amino acids! Still not there yet? Okay, let me explain further. Amino acids are organic compounds used for nutrition in living things. These compounds are essential to growth, and in particular for QUICK growth. “Wow! How does it work? Can you explain it using minimal scientific mumbo jumbo?” I certainly can. Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins. Corals can synthesize many amino acids, but some amino acids can only be obtained through food sources. By presenting the coral with plentiful amino acids it can then create the essential proteins with ease. I've personally used Reef Energy, by Red Sea. Reef Energy is a two part supplement. Part A stimulates the corals to extend their polyps, and in this way Part B is easily consumed and utilized by the tissue. We have such faith in amino acids here at Absolutely Fish, that we use it extensively at both the shop and our aquaculture facility. Amino acids come in many forms by the way. You can find amino acid liquids, powders, and infused foods. Stop by the shop and ask one of our M–1 Certified Aquarists to let you know more about the magic of this miracle compound.     Signing...

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Marine Angelfish of the Family Pomacanthidae

»Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Blog, Education, Saltwater Fish, William C | Comments Off on Marine Angelfish of the Family Pomacanthidae

Saltwater Fish for Sale NJ Marine Angelfish of the family Pomacanthidae   By William Ciaurro   Marine Angelfish of the family Pomacanthidae, are some magnificent animals. With bold and beautiful colors it’s easy to see the appeal. I mean who doesn’t want an exotic, beautiful, and unique fish in their home aquarium? I remember my first trip to Absolutely Fish as a customer, I saw an Emperor Angelfish… Now at the time I was not familiar with this beauty, but I was captivated all the same. Interestingly enough, the Emperor Angel changes colors! As a juvenile it is a blue and white striped fish, but when this fish grows it goes through a magnificent metamorphosis transitioning into brilliant designs of yellow and blue. This, as I said, was my first experience with a marine angelfish. Cortez & Imperator Angelfish Many other species of marine angelfish, as I found out, go through similar changes in pattern and color. For example the Koran Angel, a fish with similar blue and white stripes, takes on a blue & grey appearance with blue spots as an adult! Did you know, one of the most prized fish in all of Japan is from our very own Florida; the magnificent Queen Angelfish! Angelfish are a tough bunch and they will hold their own against fish of similar sizes, however their Number One issue in the home aquarium is disease. Marine angels have a lower immune system than that of many other fish and it is for this reason that we recommend ultraviolet sterilizers on any tank that will be housing angelfish. F.Y.I.; a common misconception is that Flame Angels and Argi Angels are much hardier than their large counterparts, but we find that all species, especially Flame Angelfish, can be a sensitive group. To overcome this compromised immune system it is important to feed marine angels a varied diet of mixed foods with lots of veggies as well as some meaty substance. One strange part of their diet is sponge, Marine Angelfish Formula foods will be abundant in this squishy delicacy and should be fed regularly, along with some Vitamin C soaked pellets. Another downside to these awesome fish is their incompatibility with reef aquaria. Although they are finicky and sensitive as I’ve said, I would never steer someone away from purchasing these fish (assuming they had a great setup), as I would never wish to rob someone of their...

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Fancy Shrimp for the Planted Aquarium

»Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Blog, Education, Freshwater Fish, William C | Comments Off on Fancy Shrimp for the Planted Aquarium

Freshwater Fish for Sale – Absolutely Fish, NJ   Fancy Shrimp for the Planted Aquarium   By William Ciaurro   of all the animals I’ve kept in aquaria, the fancy shrimp is the one that steals my heart! Whether they’re bright Red Cherry Shrimp, or stunning Crystal Shrimp, these animals have some of the most entertaining behavior. The best part about these crustaceans is their quick reproductive cycle. When keeping shrimp the colony can go from four to forty very quickly! Fortunately even small tanks can support large colonies of shrimp. These animals do best in planted aquariums, with plenty of moss to hide in. Fancy shrimp spend their days combing through plants in search of yummy algaes! It’s important to realize that these are docile creatures and should be kept with the most peaceful of tankmates. Amanda Tetras, and small Rasboras such as Rasbora espei, make excellent tank mates. Another important detail to success with these animals is feeding appropriate foods; some folks think the algae alone is enough to sustain these animals, however surviving is not the same as thriving! Feeding shrimp foods with vitamins and iodine insure the most healthy beautiful shrimp.You can stop by and see these beauties up close and personal in the store where we stock Crystal Varieties, Mandarin, Rili, and many other varieties of...

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