Employee blogs written by Cyndi T

Tropical Fish to Buy: The Brackish Aquarium

»Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Blog, Cyndi T, Education, Freshwater Fish | Comments Off on Tropical Fish to Buy: The Brackish Aquarium

Brackish Fish for Sale – Absolutely Fish, NJ   Tropical Fish to Buy: The Brackish Aquarium  By Cyndi Taylor   Are you a seasoned aquarist looking for a different kind of tank? Do you think those Figure 8 puffers are way too cute to pass up? Is a saltwater tank still too daunting to set up? Perhaps a brackish water tank is right for you! Brackish water can be found where a river meets the ocean, also known as an estuary. This means that the salty water from the ocean mixes with the freshwater from the river, creating an array of different salinities in the estuary. Salinity can be measured by the specific gravity, the density of salt found in 1 liter of water, usually measuring out to be 1.022- 1.024 in saltwater aquaria. Freshwater has no salt, so the SG reading would be 1.000. Brackish water can therefore be anywhere between 1.005 (low end) to 1.021 (high end) SG. How much salt to add all depends on what fish you would like to keep; however most brackish water fish are very adaptable. Here’s how to set one up: First, research exactly what fish and plants you would like to keep in your new brackish aquarium (some species will be listed below). Now that the maximum size of the fish is known and the appropriate size tank can be set-up. The set-up is very much like a freshwater tank, however, make sure the equipment you buy is for both fresh and salt water use. Any filter will be fine; preferably one rated a size larger than the tank size. Instead of gravel, you may consider using crushed coral or an aragonite sand to help buffer the water and keep the pH between 7.8 and 8.4. The temperature should be kept around 78° Fahrenheit. Next, add marine salt (NOT aquarium salt!) to the water, following the instructions to get to a SG of around 1.005 (measuring with hydrometer), again depending on the fish. Always mix salt into the bucket of water first and then add it to the aquarium to prevent any extra stress to the fish. It is best to start at a lower salinity with small fish and gradually increase the salinity months at a time until you reach the desired amount. You must start with salt in the water when you begin the nitrogen cycle! Any drastic increases or decreases in salinity will destroy the nitrifying bacteria established in the tank. The fish may be easily adaptable to salinity changes, but the nitrifying bacteria in the aquarium are not as adaptable. Therefore, you must have salt in the water when the cycling process starts in order to not have bacteria die off later. The nitrogen cycle will still take about a month or longer to complete, and then your tank will be ready for the next round of fish! OPTIONAL: If you would like to add bacteria to the tank as you add your first batch of fish, Dr. Tim’s One and Only claims that the freshwater version would be good for water with a SG of 1.007 or under and the saltwater version is for any SG above 1.007. The cool thing about brackish water are the many different and unique species of fish and invertebrates to choose from. Many of these species are able to live in pure freshwater for a bit, as they have adapted to do so in nature, but they will soon need salt added to the water. Some fish will even need a full marine specific gravity as it grows to an adult. Here are a few species we normally carry in our brackish water tanks: Bumble Bee Goby: Brachygobius doriae: This little yellow and black striped cutie can be found, usually, with our pea puffers; however they do prefer a bit of salt in the water. Specific gravity should be around 1.005. Getting no larger than 2 inches, these little gobies are territorial, so buy them in groups of about 6 to help spread the aggression around. Provide plenty of small caves and plants to help with the aggression issues. They may be a bit of a fin nipper, so do not mix the gobies with any fish with long fins. For food, small frozen foods like reef plankton or bloodworms will work best with these picky eaters.   Figure 8 Puffer: Tetradon biocellatus: This small brown and yellow–green puffer is a nice choice for a smaller aquarium. The puffer only grows to about 2.5″, making it one of the smaller species of puffers. Puffers are generally aggressive fish, however, the Figure 8’s can be...

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Clowning Around with Clown Loaches

»Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Blog, Cyndi T, Education, Freshwater Fish | Comments Off on Clowning Around with Clown Loaches

Freshwater Fish for Sale:     Clowning Around with Clown Loaches   By Cyndi Taylor   While walking through the freshwater aisles looking at many different fish, an orange and black striped fish catches your eye. Is it a Tiger Barb, or even a Clown Fish (no silly, that’s a saltwater fish!)? Then you take a closer look, and it is a longer bodied fish that is lying around the bottom of the tank with others of the same type. That, my friend, is a Clown Loach, Latin name Chromobotia macracanthus. Now these little fish are cute when they’re one and a half inches, but wait until that sucker gets five inches! But what’s even better is that the maximum size of Clown Loaches is 12 inches in an aquarium and even larger out in the wild! This means that fish is going to outgrow your 30 gallon tank and will eventually need a habitat that’s at least 6 feet long if you want to keep the fish happy for its 10 year or more lifespan. Also, Clown Loaches are shoaling fish so the minimum is at least three fish, and of course the more the merrier. Now let’s get to some basics about the Clown Loach. Loaches are in the family Cobititae and are found in rivers in Indonesia. The water in these rivers has a hardness level (dH) of 5-12 and a pH of 5.0-8.0. So to mimic these natural conditions, your tank at home should be no higher than a 12 dH and around neutral (7.0) pH. The temperature of the water should be at least 78° Fahrenheit. The substrate of the aquarium should be fine since loaches have delicate barbels on their mouth to help feel around for food. Speaking of food, Clown Loaches eat snails, so they are great if you have a snail problem! They may pick at any live plants too, so be sure to have broader leafed plants like Anubias or Swords if you don’t want them eating the plants. Clown Loaches are also peaceful fish that keep to themselves and would do great with other fish in a larger community tank. Clown Loaches are called “clowns” for a reason; they have strange behaviors! They make a clicking noise when they are happy and even have a “dance” where the swim up and down vertically in a big oval shape. They tend to sleep on their side (or in weird places) and pretend they are dead. It’s the cutest thing to see your Clown Loaches all piled up in the corner or under a rock! If you like watching the natural behavior of fish, the Clown Loach is a great choice for some cute...

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