Blog posts relating to saltwater and marine fish.

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

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....

read more

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...

read more

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 become quite territorial, and not just to other tangs. Make sure you have a U.V. and you offer algae based foods 2-3 times per week. 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 large...

read more

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...

read more

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 they are essentially stretched out seahorses.  Pipefish are much more suited to a reef aquarium than their cousins; but there are a few things you want to keep in mind.  Pipefish should be added to an established aquarium, preferably one that has a large culture of copepods, as getting these guys to eat frozen is also challenging.  There should be no aggressive fish in the tank, so in a reef tank, fish like tangs and maroon clowns may be too territorial.  Any strong stinging corals and anemones should be avoided; pipefish don’t have scales like seahorses so they are easily stung.  You may also want to place a guard over the teeth of the overflow box to ensure one of the pipefish doesn’t end up in the sump. There are two main groupings of pipefish that are commonly found in the aquarium hobby:  flagtail pipes and dragonface pipes.  Flagtail pipefish are a bit easier to get on a frozen food than the dragonface pipefish and like seahorses they should be kept a pair per 30 gallons.  The Bluestripe Pipefish (Doryrhamphus excisus) is perhaps one of the hardiest pipefish to keep.  These pipefish can be aggressive so caution should be taken adding more than one to a tank.  The Banded Pipefish (Dunkerocampus dactyliophorus) and the Yellow Banded Pipefish (D. pessuliferus) are much more sensitive than the...

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