Freshwater Ich Treatment by: Robert Dixon

Posted by on Feb 8, 2019 in Cedes Militante, Conservation, Education, Freshwater Fish, Robert D, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Freshwater Ich Treatment by: Robert Dixon

Freshwater Ich Treatment  by: Robert Dixon   Ichthyophthirius multifiliis or freshwater ich as it is more commonly known is a common protozoan parasite that has plagued the freshwater aquariums of fishkeepers for decades. In that time many different cures and remedies have been suggested, tested and established for the public to use. Some of the more powerful treatments however are not the most ideal to use in certain situations. Some aquarists are apprehensive to use such potent chemicals in their tanks when they have some of the more sensitive fish. Others completely avoid these products for ethical reasons. There are alternatives for people caught in these situations. There are now numerous freshwater ich treatment products that use natural and botanical compounds which are not as harsh to sensitive fish and living tropical plants. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis or freshwater ich as it is more commonly known is a common protozoan parasite that has plagued the freshwater aquariums of fishkeepers for decades. In that time many different cures and remedies have been suggested, tested and established for the public to use. Some of the more powerful treatments however are not the most ideal to use in certain situations. Some aquarists are apprehensive to use such potent chemicals in their tanks when they have some of the more sensitive fish. Others completely avoid these products for ethical reasons. There are alternatives for people caught in these situations. There are now numerous freshwater ich treatment products that use natural and botanical compounds which are not as harsh to sensitive fish and living tropical plants.             One example is Prevent Ich and Ich Attack produced by Kordon. These are a preventative and curative treatment respectively that use botanical compounds such as naphthoquinones to treat ich. Acurel Knockout IP is another natural product that’s use all-natural oils to medicate ich and prevent further spread. This product also has Absorpotol which allows for the Knockout IP to be more readily absorbed by the fish and allow the fish to be treated faster. Another plant that has had its extracts used for freshwater ich remedies is garlic. Scientific research has proven the natural curing properties of garlic on ich. There are many products made using garlic extracts such as ingestible foo soaks. Lastly Melafix is an antimicrobial product that uses compounds from the Melaleuca genus, or more widely known as tea tees, to combat various bacterial infections and parasites including ich. The compounds eliminates “masking” bacteria which is used by ectoparasites such as Ich to prevent immune detection.             There are many different ways to go about treating ich. Sometimes using more powerful chemical products is necessary for particularly virile cases. Other times softer and more natural products are needed for aquariums with fish that are easily susceptible to strong chemicals. What is important is being informed about all the options available for treatment and what is best for your aquarium. It is ideal for most aquarists to use natural products such as botanicals. There are a variety of these products available to choose from at Absolutely Fish. Also, please come into the shop and ask about our Aquanats Boxes. They are a great way to sample natural and medicinal care...

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Amyloodinium ocellatum – a.k.a Oodinium a.k.a. Marine Velvet Disease

Posted by on Jan 11, 2019 in Blog, Cedes Militante, Conservation, Education, Heather, News, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Amyloodinium ocellatum – a.k.a Oodinium a.k.a. Marine Velvet Disease

Amyloodinium ocellatum – a.k.a Oodinium a.k.a. Marine Velvet Disease If someone were to ask me what the most deadly marine disease was, one of the first things that come to mind would be Marine Velvet. Unfortunately it is not uncommon, and the dinoflagellate infestation can frequently be found in newly imported fish. The A. ocellatum parasite responsible for premature fish loss is actually an algal protozoan and closely related to the dinoflagellates that cause red tides. ocellatum can completely wipe out an entire aquarium in the right conditions: poor nutrition, low water quality, improper life support equipment, and other stressors.     Life cycle of “Oodinium”: Life cycle is typically 6-12 (but as long as 28) days depending on temperature. Trophont stage- the only time you can see the parasite, nonmotile and hosting a fish absorbing nutrients for reproduction Encysted stage- a.k.a tomont or palmella, the parasite divides while still on the fish. Incubation period can be 3-6 days. Dinospore stage- newly hatched parasites emerge from cysts and are free swimming, looking for new hosts   Symptoms Marine Velvet is not easy to spot. TIP: make sure to look at thin, transparent areas of your fish and try to view these areas at an angle to best see affected areas. First signs of infection include rapid respiration (the gills are typically attacked first). A classic infestation has been described as a dusting of powdered sugar or a foggy or faded area on the fish’s body and can be accompanied by cloudy eyes and fins. Fins may appear clamped and fish may stop eating. You may see the fish flashing or scraping its body against décor or the substrate. Severe infestations look velvety in texture, thus the name. In these instances you will also see sloughing off of the protective slime coat. Death can occur in as little as 12 hours, without any outward appearance if the gills are severely damaged by the parasite. It has even been known to colonize the guts or esophagi of many fishes, making it difficult to spot and control.   Treatments Prevention! Especially in reef tanks, as most medications can kill coral and live rock! Have the right equipment to house your fish, proper UV sterilizer, feed a nutritious diet, quarantine new fish, be educated and ask questions when selecting fish for your tank, etc. This disease can happen so fast, that sometimes aquarists loose their whole tank in a day or two and never saw anything wrong. Repeated fresh water baths dosed with quick cure or formalin may dislodge some of the trophants on the fish (about 10-15 minutes). Fish must be caught quickly or stress of netting can cause disease to worsen. Treatment with copper sulfate (i.e. Cupramine) for 21-30 days. Chloroquine phosphate treatment could be used. Reef safe medications, though much weaker include Rally or Hypercure. Antiparasitic foods and garlic additives may also help if the fish is eating. Monitored hyposalinity may enhance effectiveness of treatments (1.010-1.013). Increasing temperature will increase reproduction rate of parasite and shorten life cycle for decreased treatment time, however, the fish’s metabolic rate and demand for oxygen also increases. If you think you might be noticing signs of Oodinium in your home aquarium, stop in to see one of our marine certified aquarists to diagnose and...

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Posted by on Jan 11, 2019 in Blog, Cedes Militante, Conservation, Heather H, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on

Amyloodinium ocellatum – a.k.a Oodinium a.k.a. Marine Velvet Disease     If someone were to ask me what the most deadly marine disease was, one of the first things that come to mind would be Marine Velvet. Unfortunately it is not uncommon, and the dinoflagellate infestation can frequently be found in newly imported fish. The A. ocellatum parasite responsible for premature fish loss is actually an algal protozoan and closely related to the dinoflagellates that cause red tides. A. ocellatum can completely wipe out an entire aquarium in the right conditions: poor nutrition, low water quality, improper life support equipment, and other stressors. Life cycle of “Oodinium”: Life cycle is typically 6-12 (but as long as 28) days depending on temperature. Trophont stage- the only time you can see the parasite, nonmotile and hosting a fish absorbing nutrients for reproduction Encysted stage- a.k.a tomont or palmella, the parasite divides while still on the fish. Incubation period can be 3-6 days. Dinospore stage- newly hatched parasites emerge from cysts and are free swimming, looking for new hosts   Symptoms Marine Velvet is not easy to spot. TIP: make sure to look at thin, transparent areas of your fish and try to view these areas at an angle to best see affected areas. First signs of infection include rapid respiration (the gills are typically attacked first). A classic infestation has been described as a dusting of powdered sugar or a foggy or faded area on the fish’s body and can be accompanied by cloudy eyes and fins. Fins may appear clamped and fish may stop eating. You may see the fish flashing or scraping its body against décor or the substrate. Severe infestations look velvety in texture, thus the name. In these instances you will also see sloughing off of the protective slime coat. Death can occur in as little as 12 hours, without any outward appearance if the gills are severely damaged by the parasite. It has even been known to colonize the guts or esophagi of many fishes, making it difficult to spot and control.   Treatments Prevention! Especially in reef tanks, as most medications can kill coral and live rock! Have the right equipment to house your fish, proper UV sterilizer, feed a nutritious diet, quarantine new fish, be educated and ask questions when selecting fish for your tank, etc. This disease can happen so fast, that sometimes aquarists loose their whole tank in a day or two and never saw anything wrong. Repeated fresh water baths dosed with quick cure or formalin may dislodge some of the trophants on the fish (about 10-15 minutes). Fish must be caught quickly or stress of netting can cause disease to worsen. Treatment with copper sulfate (i.e. Cupramine) for 21-30 days. Chloroquine phosphate treatment could be used. Reef safe medications, though much weaker include Rally or Hypercure. Antiparasitic foods and garlic additives may also help if the fish is eating. Monitored hyposalinity may enhance effectiveness of treatments (1.010-1.013). Increasing temperature will increase reproduction rate of parasite and shorten life cycle for decreased treatment time, however, the fish’s metabolic rate and demand for oxygen also increases. If you think you might be noticing signs of Oodinium in your home aquarium, stop in to see one of our marine certified aquarists to diagnose...

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Todd’s Top 5 Predatory Fish for a Marine Aquarium

Posted by on Dec 21, 2018 in Blog, Cedes Militante, Conservation, Saltwater Fish, Todd F | Comments Off on Todd’s Top 5 Predatory Fish for a Marine Aquarium

Todd’s Top 5 Predatory Fish for a Marine Aquarium What do you think of when you hear the word predatory? First thing in my mind, is a great white shark or an apex predator hunting its food source, but is there any animal which is not predatory, I think not. I have listed my five top predatory marine fish which are available to aquarists. These are no hard to find specimens on my list. Each fish has been chosen for a particular reason. Each are predatory in their own right, but are spread apart by huge differences. So here we go: 5. Miniatus Grouper (Cephalopholis miniata)- No list would be complete without a grouper and what would be better than a fire engine red, electric blue dotted miniatus. This is one of the most striking groupers you can look at. Ranging to a max length of 15”, it will eat anything it can fit in its mouth and has a bottomless pit for a stomach. A miniatus grouper is a great pick for an aggressive, large fish aquarium, but not a peaceful reef aquarium. 4. Blueline Neon Goby (Elactinus oceanops)- Who says a predator has to be a big fish with gnarly teeth. A blueline neon goby is an absolute beast on taking care of parasites on their fellow tank mates. They only grow to about an inch and eat all prepared foods you can give. A bonus to these gobies is they live, unlike a cleaner wrasse which is temporary. These gobies do come in a couple other colors such as yellow and a hybrid teal. 3. Kleinii Butterfly (Chaetodon kleinii)- Do you have aiptasia in your reef tank? Tired of injecting each one with aiptasia x? Well, try a kleinii butterfly. An alternative to a copperband butterfly, kleiniis are a great choice to rid your reef of aiptasia. They eat all prepared foods as well and are very hardy. The one thing to keep in mind is it is still a butterfly. They may still go after your prized zooanthid colony or torch coral once the aiptasia is gone. 2. Harlequin Tusk (Choerodon fasciatus)- I can’t think of any big fish tank not having a harlequin tusk. How can you deny the bright orange, red bars with gnarly blue teeth. They are a show piece for a tank with larger fish and no mobile invertebrates. Harlequin tusks are one of most popular marine fish many aquarists want to keep. They are a hardy species which eat larger prepared foods and grow to a max length of 12”     1. Volitan Lionfish (Pterois volitans)- One of the most exotic marine fish you can buy. The long pectoral fins and striped body makes the lionfish one of the most recognizable fish you will see. These fish grow to 15” and can pack a wallop with their venomous dorsal spines. Volitan lionfish will eat anything smaller than most of its body. They were primarily from the Pacific Ocean but have become a nuisance in the Atlantic. Their appetite is voracious which makes for a bad environmental impact where they are not kept in check by a larger predator. So if you are looking for a fish for your predator tank or just the right predator for the job, hopefully one...

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5 Nano Reef Fish

Posted by on Dec 7, 2018 in Blog, Cedes Militante, Chris F, Chris F, Conservation, Education, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on 5 Nano Reef Fish

5 Nano Reef Fish By: Chris Fong                 As the hobby continues to evolve with advancements in technology ever growing nano reefs are becoming more and more popular. These setups are attractive towards most people due to their small size requirements, significantly smaller setup cost compared to larger systems, and the wide variety of options aquarist can choose from in terms of equipment and livestock. However, even as our understanding of aquariums has improved along with advancements in technology small tanks in general are still considered more difficult due to their smaller volume of water. As a result, the aquarist should pay extra attention towards these smaller setups to help reduce fluctuations in parameters which could be potentially devastating. To clarify a Nano reef is considered around 5-30 US gallons by most people and the fish described in this blog will comfortably live in this 30-gallon setup long-term considering their husbandry requirements are met. These requirements include a properly cycled aquarium with adequate filtration, heating, water quality combined with proper compatibility and diet. In this blog I will discuss 5 great fish species suited for a Nano reef. Side Note:  The best fish suited for small nano reefs or pico reefs long term are gobies as most of them stay incredibly small.  But to add variety to this list I decided to add other fish that can live comfortably in a larger nano tank. Panamic Barnacle Blenny (Acanthemblemria hancocki) This fish can be located from Panama to El Salvador and even as far down as Ecuador. It is an excellent choice for Nano tanks as it has a maximum size of 2 inches when fully grown. The barnacle blenny has a unique personality preferring to sit inside of a small hole and occasionally poke it’s round head out to look for food and predators. On top of this, the barnacle blenny also has large googly eyes making it an adorable addition to a small tank. Also, when food is added to the aquarium the barnacle blenny will dart out of its crevice at an incredibly fast speed and then quickly retreat into the same crevice making it a very entertaining fish to observe while feeding. The barnacle blenny should be kept with peaceful fish although it can sometimes exhibit aggression towards similar looking fish or fish that invade its territory. Additionally, many nooks and crannies should be made available for this fish to hide in naturally. Finally, a diet of small meaty foods such as frozen blood worms, brine shrimp, plankton, and Mysis shrimp should make up most of its diet combined with quality flakes/ pellets that have been soaked in vitamins. Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) While the Royal gramma is the largest fish on this list growing to 3 inches when fully grown making it ideal for tanks around 30 gallons for long term housing I decide to include it in this list because of it’s outstanding coloration and hardiness. Naturally these fish are found in deep water reefs in the Caribbean hiding in and around rock crevices. Due to this natural behavior the royal gramma will hide a lot especially when first introduced into the aquarium. Over time though this fish will become bolder and venture out into the open. Royal Grammas are very hardy fish making...

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Freshwater Nano Fish

Posted by on Nov 16, 2018 in Blog, Conservation, Education, Freshwater Fish, Mike D, News | Comments Off on Freshwater Nano Fish

Freshwater Nano Fish               Nano aquariums have been popular for quite some time.  They can light up a desk or kitchen counter top and can easily be the center of attention in any room.  These small aquariums, generally 10 gallons or less, can be a great alternative for those that feel a large aquarium is too much work or too daunting.  Nano tanks do come with some challenges.  The main challenge is that with less water volume there will be a more rapid shift in water quality.  It is important to be consistent with regular weekly water changes for the long term success of the aquarium.  The best looking nano tanks in my opinion are ones that are fully planted.  With the use of driftwood, various stones, and lush green plants you can turn a glass box of water into an underwater oasis.  I’ve seen some professionally designed nano tanks that will make you think you’re looking at a miniaturized mountain range.  The limit is your imagination.              Now onto the main attraction, the fish!  Here at Absolutely Fish we carry a wide selection of nano fish to choose from.  One of our most popular species is the celestial pearl danio.  This fish is relatively new to the hobby, only being discovered in 2006 out of Myanmar.  This micro-danio will reach an adult size of about 3/4 of an inch.  They possess bright red fins and a brown body covered in gold spots.  They are quite active and can be kept with many other tetras, rasboras, and peaceful barbs.             Another extremely popular fish we regularly stock is the Amanda tetra, also known as the ember tetra.  These miniature tetras come from the Amazon and are great schooling fish.  They are a solid orangey-red color and are surprisingly hardy for their size.             One of my favorite fish selections for nano tanks are dwarf corys.  The two species we most commonly see are Corydoras habrosus and Corydoras pygmaes.  These cory catfish are a schooling fish so a group of five or more is recommended.  They prefer a sandy or smooth substrate and a diet consisting of small sinking pellets and bloodworms.             Another colorful option for a nano aquarium would be Endlers Livebearers.  Endlers are a form of guppy native to Venezuela.  Males reach a maximum size of 1 inch and females closer to 2 inch.  The males possess all the color and come in many different color varieties.  Some of the colors we regularly bring in are the flaming pink, electric blue, and yellow cobras.  Be careful mixing males and females because they are prolific breeders. Other than fish we do bring in some interesting invertebrates to add another dynamic to your nano aquarium.  Thai micro crabs are quickly becoming a crowd favorite.  Their care is similar to that of fancy shrimp.  They require very clean water and lots of plants to hide.  They should be kept with only other small peaceful fish.  These crabs are omnivorous and will spend most of their day foraging for microorganisms.             Recently we have seen the popularity in nerite snails surge.  We now regularly carry a few varieties of these excellent algae eating snails.  We regularly stock the zebra nerites and tiger nerites.  On occasion we will bring in fancy...

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Top 5 Frags to Buy at Absolutely Fish

Posted by on Nov 2, 2018 in Blog, Cedes Militante, EricR, News, Reef Aquariums | Comments Off on Top 5 Frags to Buy at Absolutely Fish

Top 5 Frags to Buy at Absolutely Fish By: Eric Russo   5. Zoanthids/Palythoas Zoanthids and Paythoa buttons offer any hobbyist the opportunity to add a variety of color into their tank. They are relatively easy to maintain and will grow at a decent rate. Zoanthids in particular are very prone to pests such as nudibranchs so dipping new purchases in a coral cleaning bath is highly recommended. It is important to use caution when handling and particularly when fragging zoanthids and palythoa buttons due to the dangerous palytoxins they possess. 4. Montipora capricornis This montipora species is most notable for the unique way it grows in a stacked plating formation. As far as SPS corals are concerned, this is a great option for beginners, it is fairly easy to keep and will grow quickly. To enjoy the potentially explosive growth it can be known for calcium and alkalinity levels should be monitored and kept in optimal ranges. As with zoanthids and palythoas these corals are prone to pests and should be dipped before adding to the tank. 3. Acans (Micromussa lordhowensis) Knows colloquially as “Acans”, these LPS brain corals have been reclassified within the last few years from the genus Acanthastrea to the genus Micromussa.  Taxonomy aside, these corals make awesome frags that are easy to keep. Individual polyps can be found with multitudes of color, with many earning a nickname like “rainbow”. These corals benefit from semi-regular feeding and can consume food as large as a pellet or a mysis shrimp. 2. Frogspawn  The genus Euphyllia has several corals that could be in a top 5 list, but there’s something about frogspawn that gives it the edge. It features the same long polyp extension seen with torch corals but with a more interesting polyp shape like a hammer. It’s the best of all Euphyllia has to offer, and frags here at the shop are always among the first to sell. While slower growing than the other corals on this list it is still easy to keep alive and thriving. Keep in mind when placing it in your aquarium that is has a longer reach than most corals, it is semi-aggressive, and it can sting neighboring species. 1. Green Star Polyp We’ve made it to the top slot on the list and some may find this pick controversial. Green Star Polyp is an excellent choice for beginners to experts alike; it has vibrant coloration, pleasing motion in the aquarium, and it grows quickly….very quickly. This coral is probably only rivaled by Xenia in terms of potential growth rate and can be overwhelming for those who are unprepared. Careful consideration should be taken when determining placement because under ideal growing conditions, it can take up more “real estate” in the aquarium then you intended. Many hobbyists have had experiences that left those feeling like Green Star Polyp were akin to other reef pests like aiptasia, but when properly placed and tended to it makes a great addition to any reef. There are so many other corals that make great frags, but these are some of my personal favorites. Feel free to share your favorite frags or just talk coral in general with us in the shop! Stop by soon to see these and many more awesome options for your...

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Plecos To Buy In New Jersey – Pelcos

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 in Conservation, Education, Freshwater Fish, Leonel Justiniano | Comments Off on Plecos To Buy In New Jersey – Pelcos

Plecos To Buy In New Jersey When hobbyists hear the word pleco, images of catfish suckered onto glass and various aquatic surfaces come to mind. Unbeknownst to many newcomers in the hobby, the common pleco is not the only loricariid in the Amazon, or our store for that matter. Loricariids are an extremely important component to the ecosystems in the Amazon, making up the largest family of catfish with new species being described every year. These fish have adapted to their respective environments over many years, providing us with a plethora of catfish in different shapes and colors. Today we’ll be going over the top 5 plecos I recommend to hobbyists looking to get their toes wet keeping these armored catfish. Before I begin, I’d first like to mention I won’t be selecting specific species but rather small groupings of genera within the Loricariid family. With so many to choose from it’s a bit of a disservice to recommend specific fish. Each genera has its specific behavior and care requirements, and hobbyists can select any of the fish in each grouping that better suits their aquarium set-up and its inhabitants. Without further ado, lets gets started! Panaque/Panaqolus The fish in this group consist of mainly royal plecos, clown plecos, and one of my favorites, the L204 flash pleco. Royal plecos can get very large, requiring excessive filtration to keep up with their heavy bioload. The smaller fish in this genus also tend to be very shy when compared to others such as ancistrus and leporacanthicus. These fish have an affinity for mowing down wood in the aquarium in search of aufwuchs (the collection of small animals and plants that adhere to open surfaces in aquatic environments). These fish although beautiful will demolish your favorite piece of driftwood over time and leave the trails all over your substrate for you to vacuum later. Therefore, I won’t rank them higher on this list. Leporacanthicus/Scobinancistrus Loricariids in this genus avoid plants and have a more carnivorous diet. A few examples would be the sultan pleco, vampire pleco, sunshine pleco, and triactis pleco. These loricariids can get a medium to large size, with some topping over a foot. Because of this, most leporacanthicus are not suitable for smaller tanks. As a result of their preferred diet, it is also a bit more of a challenge to maintain good water conditions. Prawns, Mollusks, and other inverts should be fed regularly, with the addition of algae wafers and driftwood. Although they are very colorful, the species in this genus tend to be more aggressive than most. Rineloricaria These are known as the whiptail catfish. We have a few in our store, with my personal favorite being the royal farlowella. These fish are very distinct because of their narrow, twig-like bodies. This genus is well suited to planted tanks, as they won’t bother most plants. Diet consists mainly of algae and other greens, dropping in some spinach or zucchini would be a nice addition to a staple of algae wafers. As with all loricariids, a piece of driftwood in the tank for them to graze on between feedings is encouraged. These are very peaceful, so they would do well with other bottom dwellers and community fish in home aquaria. Hypancistrus If you want a bit of...

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The Essential Top 10 Reef Cleaners

Posted by on Jun 7, 2018 in Blog, Glenn L | Comments Off on The Essential Top 10 Reef Cleaners

The Essential Top 10 Reef Cleaners by Glenn Laborda   The modern reef tank has evolved. In the past, a perspective reef keeper would have to go to a local fish store or stores to learn and purchase supplies for their reef. Today, there is literally huge shows and expos dedicated to this part of the hobby. At these events you can find some of the rarest items possible for your reef. You can purchase rare mushrooms in upwards of 10,000 dollars and a quarter inch of an S.P.S. frag in the thousands! The people who sell the items are generally not from a L.F.S.; they are coral traders. Great at buying and selling odd and unique corals, but not well versed in the ecosystem of an established reef. Most of us do not want a plastic tub with egg crate racks and small frags. We want a small, complete piece of the reef in our home. We want to make the most natural looking picture of this as we can. That takes a balance of macro- and micro-organisms to keep everything in check. I have been building these ecosystems for over 30 years. I have tried many approaches from the early Jaubert systems to today’s full automated and ap-driven reefs. Over that expanse of time I have learned there are some amazing reef animals that excel at cleaning and husbandry of your reef. Although there are probably over 100 reef animals that can make their way into the hobby, I will go over my top ten essential cleaners. These are all “generally” reef safe. Even safe cleaners can be opportunistic and eat a tank-make, but for the most part these are all good together. Red Stripe Trochus: (Trochus radiatus) is a great algae eater. Will clean from the glass to the rocks. Very hardy, can flip itself over pretty easily. Keep about 1 per 2 gallons of tank volume. Scarlet Hermit: (Paguriste cadenati) is a small Caribbean species which is great at eating filament type algae. They are omnivorous so supplement with pellets now and again. Same 1 per 2-3 gallons of tank volume. Tuxedo Urchin: (Mespilia globulus) is one of my favorite reef cleaners. Will mow down algae not to bulldozing as they stay small. Can eat your coralline though. 1 per 30 gallons is sufficient. Nassarius Snail: (Nassarius distortus) is the Tongan variety of sand snail. Omnivore/Detritivore, great at keeping sand stirred and oxygenated. Also great at finding uneaten food. 1 for every 2-3 gallons of tank volume. Sand Star: (Astropectan polycanthus) is the white sand star. Another great sand mover, also omnivore/detritivore. Make sure all 5 arms are solid upon purchase. 1 for every 10-20 gallons of tank volume. Conches: (Strombus sp.) are amazing at eating algae, stirring sand, and omnivorous cleanup. Some species get large, stick with fighting or tiger varieties. 1 per 10 gallons tank volume. Cleaner Shrimp: (Lysmatta amboinensis) is fantastic at finding uneaten food, keeping parasites off fish and general tank cleaning. Become very “friendly” and will jump on your hand during routine maintenance. 1 per 10-15 gallons of tank volume. Emerald Crab: (Mithraculus sculptus) is probably one of the best filament algae eaters in the invert world. This one though can be the most opportunistic “attacker” when large. Always buy...

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Species Spotlight – Marine Betta

Posted by on Apr 27, 2018 in Blog, Greg M, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Species Spotlight – Marine Betta

Species Spotlight – Marine Betta written by Greg Macher   photo by Greg Macher The Marine Betta or Calloplesiops altivelas is an amazing reef fish from the family Plesiopidae.  This family is known as the roundheads or spiny basslets. There was a thought for a while that there was a second species called C. argus which has smaller spots and some blue lines but further research found out it was the same species at different stages of life.  As the marine betta grows its spots move apart.  These beautiful fish are found in the Indo-Pacific commonly near reefs and drop offs.  They are nocturnal by nature and like to hide in caves during the day coming out to feed at night.  C. altivelas is a predator in the wild feeding on small fish and small crustaceans.  The pattern of the marine betta is a dark body with white spots including a false eye spot near the caudal peduncle region.  This false spot helps the marine betta to mimic the whitemouth moray eel.  This tactic is called mimicry as a way to avoid predators.  When the marine betta is hiding behind a rock it will stick its head downward and the tail spot appears as the moray.  The marine betta has been bred successfully in captivity although hard to come by.  C. altivelas can grow up to 20cm (8 inches) and can make an amazing addition to your home aquarium. In the home aquarium it is important to aquascape with many caves and hiding spots for your marine betta to hide during the day so they can feel comfortable.  A minimum tank size for the marine betta should be at least 55g.  It is possible to put two marine bettas together but usually will only work if one is male and the other female.  Telling the sexes apart, however, is very difficult. The best option is to get one larger and one smaller.  One awesome aspect of these fish is that they are very hardy fish which have a strong resistance to ich and other parasites.  The marine betta will not eat coral themselves but caution should be taken placing one of these beautiful fish in a reef aquarium as they can eat small fish and invertebrates.  Although C. altivelas is a predator, it will not mix well with other aggressive predators such as groupers and lionfish or even fast boisterous eaters.  The marine betta is a slow stalker and needs time to get food.  When first introduced to the new aquarium C. altivelas may be shy and hide longer than most people want but with time and care they can be a real show piece for your aquarium!  Many customers having trouble feeding at first will use ghost shrimp or live black worms; however, they should be weaned off live foods toward meaty foods such as mysis shrimp, squid, clam and even pellets!  I can tell you personally over time the marine betta will become your favorite fish and much more outgoing.  Mine personally comes to great me every morning and night looking for some pellets.  If you have any questions about C. altivelas please come in to Absolutely Fish and talk to me,...

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