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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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Species Spotlight – Celestial Pearl Danio

Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Blog, Matthew M | Comments Off on Species Spotlight – Celestial Pearl Danio

Species Spotlight – Celestial Pearl Danio written by Matthew Muscara photo retrieved from <> The Celestial Pearl Danio is a cyprinid that was first discovered in September 2006 and became an immediate hit in the aquarium industry. It was discovered in a small shallow pond in the sovereign state of Myanmar and at one point it thought to have been completely fished out due to its popularity in the aquarium trade. The Celestial Pearl Danio is a hardy peaceful fish. The ideal temperature for them is in the low to mid 70s, and they are perfect for small-planted aquariums. When considering a Celestial Pearl Danio, consider keeping them in schools of 6 or more. If your tank is under 5 gallons, avoid getting more than one male. While competing for mates, the males will nip at each other’s fins, possibly leading to serious injury if there is not enough space. Photo retrieved from <> Females generally have an olive coloration while males are a darker blue color with black stripes on their dorsal and anal fins. The Celestial Pearl Danio is a very fecund fish and under ideal conditions will readily breed in the aquarium on a daily basis. However, the parents will then turn around and eat their own eggs and hatchlings, thus parents must be moved shortly after spawning if you want to raise the fry. The Celestial Pearl Danio had a very interesting first year after being discovered; six months after its discovery the Celestial Pearl Danio had been so heavily collected that it became classified as endangered. The Myanmar government responded by banning all exports of the fish. Fortunately it was a false alarm, and the Celestial Pearl Danio was found in several of the surrounding pounds after a few short months and the original pond was able to restock itself naturally. At Absolutely Fish, we usually always have Celestial Pearl Danios in stock. They are amazing nano-fish, perfectly fit for planted-topes and communal aquariums. Stop by and view these beautiful fish. We hope you become enamoured with these colorful...

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Rabbit Snails of the Genus Tylomelania

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Blog, Chris F | Comments Off on Rabbit Snails of the Genus Tylomelania

Rabbit Snails of the Genus Tylomelania by Christopher Fong photos by James Ong     Rabbit snails are a large group of freshwater snails endemic to Sulawesi which is located in Indonesia. Within Sulawesi many of these unique and interesting snails are restricted to a small number of lakes such as Lake Poso/ Lake Malili. What makes these snails attractive to many is the bright coloration of the flesh combined with the smooth cone shaped shell. However, by far the most attractive feature of these snails is their eyes and mouths which resemble that of a cuddly rabbit making them down right adorable.  Another unique feature with this group of snails is that their oviparous, meaning the production of young by means of eggs hatched within the mother’s body. Finally, this group of snails comprises of several different species each having their own unique coloration and shell pattern. Rabbit snails are hardy if certain requirements are meet such as good water quality, correct substrate, peaceful tankmates, and enough food. If these requirements are meet these snails will live for long periods of time and in certain scenarios even reproduce!     Water Quality: PH ranges from 7.2 to 7.7 and Carbonate/General hardness hovering around (3-7) should be satisfactory to allow these snails to construct their calcareous shell.  Soft Acidic water will gradually eat away at the shells of these snail resulting in their ultimate demise. Ammonia and Nitrite should be zero with Nitrate being as low as possible.  Finally, always use a good quality water condition to remove harmful heavy metals, chlorine and chloramine from the water which is harmful to aquatic life (especially inverts). Finally, never use medications intended for fish diseases when keeping rabbit snails and other inverts in the aquarium. Often times most Fish medications are toxic to invertebrates. Substrate:  A sandy bottom would be considered ideal as this allows the snails to naturally borrow and seek shelter mimicking natural behavior. If sand is not an option any small smooth gravel like substrate is satisfactory. Tankmates: Should be peaceful such as tetras, barbs, rasboras, small catfish, shrimp and other similar snail safe fish/inverts. Crabs These snails are considered plant safe although in situations with little food they can turn towards aquarium plants for sustenance. Feeding: Rabbit snails are herbivores by nature so having algae within the tank prior to introducing these snails is advisable. Even with algae present within the aquarium supplementation is recommended to keep these snails well feed and healthy. Foods such as algae wafers and dried seaweed are excellent choice for feeding rabbit snails. Rabbit snails of the genus Tylomelania make unique and interesting additions to most community/planted tanks, adding the diversity needed for proper ecological health of an aquarium. These snails can live long periods of time and even reproduce when a sufficient food source is present for both the parent and young. If you want to see these adorable snails in person or have any question regarding these awesome creatures stop by Absolutely Fish and ask us to show you these unique creatures! Sources:

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SPS and How to Keep Them

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Blog, Josh M | Comments Off on SPS and How to Keep Them

SPS and How to Keep Them Written by Josh Maxwell               SPS (Small Polyp Stony) corals are some of the most beautiful corals to keep in a reef tank.  They have amazing coloration and growth patterns that liven up any aquarium.  However they are among the most difficult corals to care for and that air of difficulty surrounding them makes reefers who would aspire to keep them reluctant to try their first frag.  As a reefer who pulled the trigger on keeping SPS and absolutely loves them I’ll attempt to help would be SPS keepers learn the basic ins and outs of keeping these amazing corals.              Most SPS corals that are seen in the hobby are native to the Indo-pacific region of the world in shallow waters surrounding islands and coasts such as Indonesia, Australia, Fiji, etc.  Stony corals in general are important ecologically as they make up the very foundation on which the reef itself is built with their calcium carbonate skeletons.  The structures that these invertebrates build are essential safe havens for many species of fish and invertebrates.  In the  hobby, SPS represent the highest tier of care for most reef keepers.  They are in some cases very demanding to care for but are very rewarding when successfully grown in an aquarium. (See all photo credits at the end of article.)             The question now is how to keep them.  SPS, in general, are found in shallow water reefs in the wild, where there is abundant sun light and flow from the crashing waves at the surface.  As such when these corals are kept in a reef aquarium they require strong light and strong flow.  Lighting can be provided by LEDs such as Ecotech radions and AI Hydras, or through T5 lights.  Flow can be provided by any strong powerhead such as Ecotech vortech pumps, or sicce voyagers.  Flow is important because as SPS colonies grow they can collect detritus in their structures and if left unchecked can actually kill tissue in certain areas if not swept out by adequate flow.  Filtration is extremely important for keeping healthy SPS.  Nitrates and phosphates need to be kept to a minimum as they can irritate SPS tissues, phosphates especially hinder skeletal growth on SPS.  Filtration should include an adequate protein skimmer as well as the use of chemical media like GFO (granular Ferric Oxide) to remove phosphates specifically.              It’s not just about what you remove from your tank, its also about what you add to keep your corals healthy.  SPS require the addition of calcium, magnesium, and carbonate (alkalinity) continuously so that they may build their skeletons.  Levels are as follows for optimal health and growth; calcium at 400-450 ppm, magnesium at 1400-1450 ppm, and an alkalinity of 8-12 dKH.  This is typically done in two ways.  The first is the use of a calcium reactor which uses carbon dioxide to break down aragonite into calcium and alkalinity to be used by your corals.  The other method is to use a dosing pump which adds certain amounts of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium at certain times.  Organic elements need to be introduced as well.  I prefer using both planktonic foods and liquid foods.  SPS are quite capable of catching small planktonic organisms and benefit from target feeding. ...

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Species Spotlight- Polypteriformes

Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in Blog, Cameron | Comments Off on Species Spotlight- Polypteriformes

Species Spotlight – Polypteriformes by Cameron McMath   The longest river in the world, The Nile is home to an abundance of diverse and interesting species of wildlife. In an otherwise arid, dry climate many African organisms are dependent on The Nile for water and vital habitat, one such being the archaic Polypteriformes (polypterus and rope fish). Polypteriformes is an order of Actinopterygii found only in tropical African waters comprising of the bichirs and ropefish. At first glance the polypterus may seem ancient and rudimentary, and indeed they do come from a time period more than sixty million years ago, however it poses a surprising number of interesting qualities. Adapted to survive in murky, hypoxic (low oxygen) environments, this peaceful predator possesses a number of advantageous traits including a keen sense of smell, as well as a modified swim bladder that allows them to gulp oxygen from the surface of the water. With thick ganoid scales and elongated bodies their snake-like appearance makes them a favourite for oddball tanks.   Juvenile Polypterus palmas   Tank Setup Housing these reptilian-like creatures is rather simple, provided one has an adequate tank size and set up. While many polypterus are bought relatively small, it is important to keep in mind their potential for growth. Some of the smaller species such as the palmas and retropinnis grow to around a foot in length, whereas the behemoths like the endlicheri congicus can get as long as a whopping thirty-nine inches (three feet in length!) in the wild. Being that both the bichir and the ropefish are benthic (bottom dweller) organisms, they do require a tank with adequate width and length so as to maneuver and search for their food. Lighting for these creatures is not too big a concern, as the polypterus eyesight tends to be poor. They hunt using two elongated sensory nostrils to detect prey or scraps for an impromptu meal, and due to their poor eyesight must literally scrounge around the bottom of the tank until they are right on top of their food. Younger poly’s may be kept in smaller tank sizes, provided of course that their tankmates can’t fit in their mouth, however fully grown specimens will need to be housed in a minimum of 60 gallons with larger tank sizes are preferred for the polypterus to live comfortably. Predators tend to add a greater bioload to the tank, so it is important to make sure tank filtration is adequate or over filtered preferably. As far as water chemistry goes, the polypterus is a rather hardy fish. Thriving in tropical water parameters (neutral ph, 78-80 Farenheit), they are also very tolerant of cooler temperatures and poor water quality as aforementioned their wild lifestyle often dictates adapting to available water conditions.   Adult Polypterus ornatipinnis   Compatibility While polypteriformes are considered peaceful predators, their potential for growth and predatory status can make them tankbusters. When planning suitable tankmates it is important to make sure other fish cannot fit in the mouth of the bichirs. Other large fish make good companions provided they are not too aggressive and do not require any extreme water parameters. Some examples of good combinations with the bichir include certain arowanas, larger species of catfish, larger schooling fish such as lemonfin barbs, and certain peaceful cichlids...

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3 Interesting Synodontis Catfish That Won’t Get Bigger Than 8 Inches

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Blog, Kristen R | Comments Off on 3 Interesting Synodontis Catfish That Won’t Get Bigger Than 8 Inches

  3 Interesting Synodontis Catfish That Won’t Get Bigger Than 8 Inches by Kristen Rigolizzo                     “Typical” catfish have an iconic and endearing appearance that’s hard not to visualize. Long whiskers, strange body shapes, and (often) cute faces make them hard to resist for some aquarists. However, many aquarists also know how big some catfish can get – and how quickly their tankmates can disappear.                 Fortunately, we carry catfish of many sizes and shapes. Synodontis, a genus of African catfish, includes many small to medium-sized species with beautiful appearances. Synodontis cats are found all over central Africa, form the Congo River and western streams to the rift lakes in the east. Most Synodontis sold at Absolutely Fish stay below 8 inches in length. Here are three examples of unique Synodontis cats that won’t outgrow popular freshwater aquarium sizes and won’t get big enough to eat most tankmates:                   The Upside-down Cat (Synodontis nigriventris):                 The upside-down cat is probably the most well-known catfish on this list. They are squat in shape and only reach about 3-4”. This catfish is adorable both in looks and personality. They are famous for their strange swimming behavior; they swim mostly upside-down. Originating from rivers of western Africa, they do best in peaceful aquariums at a minimum size of 20gal and a pH range of 6.0-7.5. Be sure to include hiding spots for these little guys and some friends too. They are least shy when other upside-down cats are present.                   The Cuckoo Cat (Synodontis multipunctatus):                 This attractive cat reaches 5-6” maximum length and, endemic to Lake Tanganyika, requires a high pH (7.8-9.0). The cuckoo catfish is named for its breeding tactic know as brood parasitism, made famous by cuckoo birds. The cats take advantage of mouth brooding cichlids’ good parenting by tricking their cichlid hosts into incubating their eggs for them. As a result, they are relatively easy to breed in captivity. The cuckoo cat is perfect for any African cichlid tank of minimum size 40gal, so long as you provide enough places to hide. This is another cat that does best in groups.                   Angel Catfish or Angelicus Cat (Synodontis angelicus)                 S. angelicus is probably the rarest catfish on this list and has an unforgettably beautiful appearance. This fish originates from the Congo River, and accordingly does best in soft water with lots of plants (but can do well in a wide range of pH: 6.0-8.0). This is a great unique fish for a peaceful aquarium, but reaches about 8”, so a tank of minimum size 55 gal should suffice for a full-size adult. Here’s a bonus: Angel cats will pick at algae as well as any sinking food you drop in the tank.                   The above cats easily accept sinking pellets, frozen/freeze dried treats, and flakes. These are just three of many amazing Synodontis species available at Absolutely Fish. Come in any time to ask about our Synodontis cats; our staff is always happy to show you what’s in stock and how to care for...

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