Fancy Goldfish Trending Now!

»Posted by on Mar 14, 2018 in Blog, Mike D | Comments Off on Fancy Goldfish Trending Now!

Fancy Goldfish Trending Now written by Mike De Olivera   The fancy goldfish has always been the classic beginner fish.  Many fish-keepers have been introduced to the hobby by winning a pet goldfish at a carnival or inheriting one from a friend or family member as a gift.  It is unfortunate for the goldfish that people think they can be kept in a bowl.  We encounter many customers who visit our store under these false pretenses.  Here at Absolutely Fish we try our best to make our clients’ fish keeping endeavors a successful and fulfilling one. To start, these fish get quite large.  They can live for twenty years or more and can be quite messy.  Over-filtration is key to keeping your goldfish healthy and happy.  It is best to go with a filter that is rated for twice the size of your aquarium.  Whether it’s a power filter or canister, bigger is always better and will help you from having to do such frequent water changes.  Preferably you should dedicate 20 gallons of water per 1 goldfish.  Goldfish also prefer well-oxygenated water so adding an air pump and bubbler is always a good idea.  The bulk of their diet should be a sinking pellet food.  There are many available that are designed specifically for goldfish.  To vary their diet you should also feed them some veggie-based foods such as dried seaweed or spirulina enriched brine shrimp.  The desired pH range is anywhere from 7.0 to 7.6.  We love using aquarium salt with our goldfish because it helps with gill function and is a great way to naturally keep down disease.  We also dose Microbe-lift’s Thera-P to all of our goldfish tanks at Absolutely Fish.  Thera-P is an all natural probiotic bacteria that works as an immune-stimulant and will out compete bad bacteria found in your aquarium and in the gut of your fish. We believe this sets our fish apart from the rest.  With this knowledge we hope you can enjoy the pleasures of owning these lovely fish.  The amount of different varieties of fancy goldfish is truly astounding.  No longer do you just see tanks full of plain orange fish with a flowing tail.  Nowadays you can choose from multiple varieties and color variations.  It is truly amazing to think that all of these fancy goldfish originated from the standard carp.  Here are some photos of the different varieties of goldfish we bring in to the shop.   Black Moor / Telescope Eye – Moors are known to be one of the hardier varieties.  This is the classic black moor but we do get them in Red or a combo of Black and Red colors.  You can easily identify them by their bulging eyes. (Photo by Absolutely Fish)   Bubble Eye Goldfish – Known to be one of the harder to keep fancy goldfish.  Recommended to be kept in a tank with smooth gravel and decorations and concealed filter intakes to avoid damage to their fluid-filled sacs under their eyes. (Photo from   Lionhead Goldfish – These fish originate from China and look very similar to Ranchu goldfish, which come from Japan.  Both fish lack a dorsal fin.  The Ranch goldfish are known for being a better quality fish with more of an arched back. (Photo by Absolutely Fish)   Ryukin Goldfish – These goldfish have a triangular body shape and were bred in Japan from regular fantail goldfish.  They tend to be strong swimmers, which makes them a hardy goldfish. (Photo by Absolutely Fish)   Oranda Goldfish – Originating from China this fish is characterized by a fleshy headgrowth. (Photo by Absolutely Fish)   Panda Moor Butterflytail – One of the most popular breeds available right now. (Photo from Javed Fisheries)   Pearlscale Goldfish – Another slower swimming goldfish.  Should only be kept with other slower swimming goldfish like ranchus, lionheads or bubble eyes. (Photo from The Fish Doctor)...

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Quarantine Tank – A Home Aquarium Life-Saver!

»Posted by on Feb 27, 2018 in Blog, Steph | Comments Off on Quarantine Tank – A Home Aquarium Life-Saver!

Quarantine Tank – A Home Aquarium Life-Saver! by Stephanie Lamprea     What is a Quarantine Tank? A Quarantine Tank is a separate home aquarium that houses and acclimates new fishes or corals for a period of time before inserting them into your display tank. It is the perfect environment to observe new livestock for any diseases/infections and, if necessary, to properly heal your new livestock back to health! This process also prevents the possibilities of adding disease/infection to your display tank and infecting your currently healthy fish. EQUIPMENT: The items you need to setup a quarantine are a tank, glass top, filter, heater, standard fluorescent light, and some PVC pipes (or plastic plants and decorations) to provide atmosphere and hiding places for your new fishes. TANK SIZE is important and depends on what fish are being introduced. In a quarantine tank, the height is not as important as the surface area of the tank. For small fish we recommend a 20 long, for medium size fish a 30 long, and for large fish 40 breeder tank.     HOW LONG TO QUARANTINE? When introducing a new fish or coral, we recommend a quarantine process of minimum 2 to 4 weeks. This period provides you ample time to observe your livestock – is your fish eating? Any signs of sickness? Any abnormal behavior? If any of these signs come up, then you can properly medicate your tank. If you have any questions on medications or treatments, feel free to call the store and talk to any of our knowledgeable aquarists! WATER CHANGES: We recommend you test the water levels of your tank daily, and perform weekly water changes. Keep in mind that if there is medication in the tank at the time of a water change, you need to put in a partial re-dose of the medication to balance your tank out. Tip: Keep water parameters the same as your display so that acclimation goes smoothly. When concluding your quarantine session, properly acclimate the fish/coral from quarantine into display with either the Bag Method or Drip Method. If you plan on adding more livestock after this, it’s a good idea to put some small fish in the quarantine to keep the biological process going, such as damsels or clownfish. You can keep these in your quarantine, or eventually add them to your display, but it’s a safe way to keep the culture of the tank stable and prevent spikes in the nitrogen cycle when you decide to purchase a new fish. ALTERNATIVES: In the aquarium hobby, we highly, highly recommend having a quarantine tank setup to ensure a healthy environment for your aquatic pets. If a quarantine system is not an option for you, an alternative method within the acclimation of your fish can be a HydroPlex Dip. HydroPlex is a product we sell at our store that can be dosed at the end of drip acclimation for 10 minutes before putting your fish into the display tank. There is also the option of monitoring your desired fish in the store for a week before purchasing. We offer at our store a 7 day hold policy, in which a customer will pay for a fish in full and we will hold it to monitor its health and behavior before the customer introduces the fish into a new tank.     At Absolutely Fish, our display tanks are regularly cleaned and maintained, and additionally the tanks are run with Cupramine, a copper treatment for external parasites. We utilize oversized Fractionation, UV irradiation, “Zuppo filtration”, and ozone. But no matter where you purchase your aquarium livestock and needs, we highly recommend setting up a quarantine tank to prevent and unwanted diseases or infections. It really can be a home aquarium life-saver! (photos courtesy of Absolutely...

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Top Live Pods for your Reef Tank

»Posted by on Feb 13, 2018 in Blog, Heather H | Comments Off on Top Live Pods for your Reef Tank

Top Live Pods for your Reef Tank by Heather H.   You can’t really go wrong when adding live copepods to your tank. Just be sure that the species you are adding will be right for your goals. Copepods are tiny crustaceans that can be found worldwide in all types of water and are a critical link in the food chain. Many aquarists like to add pods and other live foods to their tanks for their coral and certain finicky fishes. When doing so, it is recommended to introduce them to a refugium with live rock and macroalgae and even then, you may have to re-seed every once in a while. Introducing live foods in the evening can also give them time to adjust to the tank when predators are less active.   photo provided by Reef2Reef Tigger Pods: Tigriopus californicus – Tigger pods are among the hardiest and most adaptable of all known marine invertebrates and are of great use to aquarists. They are highly effective scavengers, feeding upon detritus and even nuisance algae. The adults are typically bright red in color and large for a harpacticoid copepod (up to three millimeters in length). T. californicus adults are benthic (crawling on substrate and rock surfaces) as adults. This puts them within easy reach of the small-mouthed mandarins and dragonets. Their naplii are pelagic (free swimming in the water column) and are beneficial to filter-feeding invertebrates such as corals, tube worms, tunicates, etc. Tigger pods are loaded with astaxanthin (color enhancement), fatty acids, and amino acids making them remarkably nutritious. The size of the population may fluctuate and more may have to be added over time.   photo provided by Amphipods: Amphipods a diverse group of crustaceans and are a tasty, nutritious treat for many marine organisms. These little invertebrates are extremely hardy and mostly found on seafloors. The anatomy of the amphipod is similar in structure to that of a shrimp, with antennae, segmentation down the body and several different appendages of different function. Personally, I think they resemble cute little “pill bugs”. Hyalella azteca range from 3 – 8 mm in size. Amphipods are detritivores, surviving on organic particles, seaweed, other macroalgae, decaying organisms and bacteria that live in the seabed (meaning that they will help keep your tank cleaner!). Aquarists often have great success when feeding amphipods to more sensitive or picky eaters perhaps due to their high nutrient content. Mandarins and seahorses love them, and I have been told that they are “the gateway live food” to a frozen food diet.   Other Copepods: Tisbe sp. and Apocyclops sp. are harpacticoid copepods that are resilient and easy to grow. They are much smaller than tigger pods (less than one millimeter), but are just as sought after by aquarists and their reef organisms. The adults will spend most of their time on the substrate making it ideal food for mandarins, dragonets, pipefishes, seahorses, leopard wrasses and any other fish that spend their time picking food off of rocks and sand. Juvenile nauplii are very small and spend their time moving through the water column and are ideal for refugiums and organisms that feed from the water, making them a good live feed for SPS corals/filter feeders as well. These pods are also detritivores and can consume excess food and waste making them a perfect “micro” clean-up crew. These pods are a great first start for anyone looking to build a culture within their tank. Two other live foods reefers may add to their tanks include: Rotifers: Rotifers are small (50-1000 µm) zooplankton that occur in freshwater, brackish, and marine environments. Rotifers feed on microalgae and are consumed by a wide variety of fish, shellfish, corals, and other organisms. Under optimal conditions rotifer culture will double in the population every day. The most commonly used marine rotifers are the species Brachionus plicatilis (L-type) and Brachionus rotundiformis (S-type and SS-type). We keep the S-type which is great for small fish fry like rams, clownfish, etc. and also good to use for SPS coral in reef tanks. I like to enrich them with fatty acids and microalgae before straining them through a coffee filter to feed. Baby Brine Shrimp: Artemia spp. – Newly hatched brine shrimp are very nutritious for the first 24-48 hours. This is a great food for small fish and are very important in rearing aquacultured fish and invertebrates. These little guys are packed with canthaxanthin, fatty acids, and protein. For a reef tank, turn off the flow before feeding and watch the coral open and nab individuals from the water column. Best if drained and rinsed using a coffee...

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Spotlight – Marine Elasmobranches

»Posted by on Feb 2, 2018 in Blog, Tyler, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spotlight – Marine Elasmobranches

Spotlight – Marine Elasmobranches written by Tyler Baskin photos by Tyler Baskin   When walking into an aquarium retailer one often thinks to themselves “What’s the craziest fish they have here?” In most cases, sharks and rays wouldn’t be something you’d find but here at Absolutely Fish we meet everyone’s expectations.  These fish belong to the subclass Elasmobranchii which consists of all the sharks, skates, rays, and sawfish.  In this article we’ll explore a few of the marine elasmobranchs we commonly stock and some of their requirements for living happily in the aquarium. One of the more common sharks kept in the aquarium hobby is the banded cat shark, Chiloscyllium punctatum.  This Indo-Pacific beauty is sold here in egg case form as well as small juveniles.  Banded cat sharks can get up to 40 inches in length and are aggressive carnivores needing a meaty diet of clam strips, squid, silversides, and krill.  Due to its large size, banded cat sharks should be kept in aquariums of 180 gallons and up as it grows to provide enough space to be comfortable.  Some people keep these sharks in small ponds as well, versus the traditional tank.  When adding tank mates, if any, you should make sure that you are adding very large fish that can hold their own against becoming the cat sharks next meal (large angels, eels, tangs, etc.).  In a large enough aquarium other skates or rays are excellent choices for compatibility! The Port Jackson shark, Heterodontus portusjacksoni, is a shark we presently have in stock and makes a great beginner shark for aquarists with large enough tanks.  The Port Jackson shark hails from Southern Australia to New Zealand and can reach sizes up to 5 feet!  Because of its large adult size these sharks can be housed in smaller aquariums (180 gallon) when they’re juvenile but should move up to a 1000 gallon or more final tank.  Port Jackson sharks have a similar diet to others in the aquarium trade and require meaty diets of krill, clams, silversides, squid, etc.  Other tank mates suitable for this species would be larger eels, lionfish, and other elasmobranchs.  As for rays in our marine lagoon we have an Atlantic Yellow Ray, Urobatis jamaicensis.  This ray comes from the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico regions and has a semi aggressive temperament. The ray can reach 14 inches in diameter and 20 in length.  Rays should be kept in large aquariums with a footprint of at least 3 X 8 feet and around 360 or more gallons for the ray to have enough area to move around and bury in the sand.  Large or medium semi aggressive tank mates can live with the ray as long as they don’t have sharp teeth (such as puffers and triggers) that may hurt the ray if nipped.  Their diets consist of benthic crustaceans and mollusks and will eat some small food particles that fall to the bottom of the tank. Sand is recommended as a substrate when keeping stingrays. These organisms all prefer to have very little to no electrical signals in the tank as they have sensitive organs that can sense them and become damaged.  Sumps should have a protein skimmer, UV, and should be grounded with probes to reduce any electricity from seeping into the water.  The temperatures for these fish are usually in the range of 72-80oF and should be considered when mixing with other fish.  The elasmobranchs make an amazing impression on anyone visiting your aquarium and can provide a challenge for both new and experienced aquarists alike.  Come visit us and be inspired by our Marine Fish Lagoon!...

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Fish Family Spotlight: Hawkfish

»Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in Blog, Steph | Comments Off on Fish Family Spotlight: Hawkfish

Fish Family Spotlight: Hawkfish written by Stephanie Lamprea   So, you have your new saltwater tank, you’ve properly cycled it, and you’re now looking for fish. What are good options for a beginner saltwater aquarium? There are lots of great fish for this scenario, but in this article I’d like to talk about one particular (and my personal favorite) fish family – Hawkfish!      From left to right: Longnose hawk, Flame hawk, Falco hawk   There are 12 genuses and 33 species of hawkfish that make up the Cirrhitidae family, and they are distributed predominantly within the Indo-Pacific region. Hawkfish share many physical features with the venomous Scorpaenidae family! Fortunately hawkfish themselves are not venomous, but their fringe aesthetic and crazy colors make them impressive. Hawkfish are also great for beginners in the salt water game! Many hawkfish seen in aquariums and pet stores remain small (about 3 to 4 inches). Because hawkfish do not have swim bladders, they perch on rocks and coral, and the way they move around the tank (either through small hops or effortful linear swimming) is really fun to watch in comparison to other tank mates. Just watch them as their eyes dart vigorously as they scavenge for food, and when they do swim, it is in a swooping circular motion like that of a hawk.   My hawkfish at home – his name is Oddyseus.   Hawkfish are reef-safe (though they also do well in FOWLR tanks), and they are extremely hardy and easy to care for. Their diet encompasses a variety of meaty foods that are dry (like pellets or flakes), and frozen or live (like brine shrimp). For this reason, small shrimp may not make good tank mates with a hawkfish, along with some smaller bottom dwellers like species of gobies or blennies. However, hawkfish thrive in a peaceful/semi-aggressive environment. In my tank at home (75 gallon FOWLR), my hawkfish is housed with clowns, an extremely petty royal gramma, a firefish, and a school of blue chromis, and everyone gets along just fine. Normally there should be one hawkfish only per tank, but there are cases where hawkfish have paired off and hosted a hard coral, or harems of hawkfish have been formed with a dominant male. Hawkfish are hermaphroditic and adapt their gender to their surroundings.   Some hawkfish artwork we made at home   To sum this up, hawkfish are hardcore and pretty much great fish for any saltwater tank, reef or FOWLR. I can say that my hawkfish has enriched my love for the aquarium hobby, so for saltwater enthusiasts out there, stop by your favorite local fish store (Absolutely Fish!) and ask about any of our hawkfish species we...

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