Employee Blogs written by Mercedes C

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 discuss your situation. We are experienced with this pathogen and would be happy to help you prevent and eradicate it!   Cool side note: A quick and immediate drop in salinity has dramatically increased effectiveness in controlling “Oodinium”. The parasite has semipermeable membranes and cannot control osmosis. They begin to absorb water as the cells try to equalize osmotic pressure with the change. Eventually, most strains of Amyloodinium pop like fish bags filled with too much air (in this case...

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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 and discuss your situation. We are experienced with this pathogen and would be happy to help you prevent and eradicate it!   Cool side note: A quick and immediate drop in salinity has dramatically increased effectiveness in controlling “Oodinium”. The parasite has semipermeable membranes and cannot control osmosis. They begin to absorb water as the cells try to equalize osmotic pressure with the change. Eventually, most strains of Amyloodinium pop like fish bags filled with too much air (in this case...

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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 of these fish will fit your needs. All of these species mentioned above can be found in stock at Absolutely Fish. Please feel free to contact us at Absolutleyfish@yahoo.com or at 973-365-0200if you have any questions or recommendations for your...

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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 ideal for beginners who want to add a colorful fish to their larger sized Nano reef. While mostly peaceful towards other fish the royal gramma can sometimes be territorial towards other similar looking fish or fish that invade its territory. Due to its cryptic behavior a large amount of rock structure should be provided. 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 Clown Goby (Gobiodon sp.) Clown gobies are another excellent Nano reef fish as there are several species each with a distinct color. Some are green with red markings on their face while others are solid yellow or black. This group of fish only max out around 1 inch making another fine addition to small tanks where you will find them perching on rocks and corals. These small gobies are naturally found living amongst soft and hard coral colonies in the Indo Pacific where they utilize these corals for shelter. However, in the reef aquarium they can sometimes kill portions of SPS colonies they host as a result.  Clown gobies are considered very hardy and peaceful towards most other fish but can sometimes become territorial with other similar fish or those that enter its territory. Additionally,...

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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 reef tank!...

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Stingrays for sale in New Jersey

»Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Blog, Cedes Militante, Thomas Tarkazikis | Comments Off on Stingrays for sale in New Jersey

Stingrays for sale in New Jersey

Stingrays for sale in New Jersey by: Thomas Tarkazikis   Perhaps the jewel of our freshwater department, our freshwater stingray tank has been known to turn heads. Many customers are captivated by these misunderstood fish and have questions on how to properly care for them. Stingrays are extraordinary animals with personality of iconic identity however; people are usually deterred from purchasing them because of the size, difficulty in care and cost of the animal.             About Rays/Behavior: Freshwater Stingrays can be found in parts of Asia and the Americas. In our store and throughout the hobby, the Stingrays we see in home aquariums are almost entirely indigenous to Parts of South America throughout the Amazon and connected basins. They are true to their name in that they have the potential to sting! Their tail is equipped with a serrated barb covered in a sac of tissue filled with venom. As the serrated barb impales its victim it tears open the venom filled sac and releases venom into the wound it creates when it stings. The wound can range from very painful to a serious injury/infection and should receive immediate medical attention. Typically they do not sting! Stingrays are intelligent fish and learn their environment well over time and become very used to or even “friendly” with their owners. They are Predators and will try to engulf smaller fish but their barb is a last resort defense against something harming them. It is extremely unlikely that they will sting their owner; typically it only occurs when they are stepped on in the wild. In the home aquarium, owners should be cautious while cleaning the tank not to bump into them as they may be out of sight, buried in sand. I would recommend approaching them with caution, especially new arrivals that are getting used to the tank and their owners hands in it. After a number of weeks in captivity, they become more accustom to people and can even be taught to be hand fed in many cases.             Water Quality: Stingrays have high standards for Water Quality and their size and appetite can make that difficult to maintain. Stingrays are not great first fish, they are very much like discus in terms of water quality. They prefer a tank with softer, more acidic water. This can be difficult to maintain, most people have harder water coming out of their faucet with a ph of 7.4-7.8. There are several products on the market to help achieve a lower ph and softer water but are not always stable. Powder buffers can lower the ph of tap water temporarily but should be tested in the days following as the ph can climb back up sometimes overnight. With rays collected from the wild, a stable ph of 6.5-7.0 is ideal to get them eating and accustom to the tank. Using a ratio of a quarter to a half R.O. water to tap water, most people will end up with a stable ph and hardness in that ideal range. Many of the stingrays we are starting to receive now are bred in captivity and born in water with a ph of 7.2-7.4 and do not require a lower ph. Eventually, even a once wild ray can be acclimated to ph in that range. They eat a lot and can produce a lot of waste! We recommend two filters or an appropriate sized wet/dry system to accommodate their bio load. The filters should be well maintained and the substrate should be vacuumed at least monthly. They are also very sensitive medications commonly sold in the aquarium trade and should owners should never use anything with harsh chemicals like copper and quick cure. They can however tolerate many herbal and natural medications.               Diet: Stingrays can be picky eaters and ideally should eat at least once a day. When acclimated to a new tank,  rays may not immediately accept food. The captive bred stingrays we receive are raised on various worms and frozen food. Wild rays can be more stubborn, often refusing prepared and frozen foods at first. Stingrays love live worms and even the pickiest of rays should accept live black worms or earthworms. These are great foods to get any rays to eat but they can lack in nutrition and long term and should be transitioned to a varied frozen diet or ideally a pellet food. Good frozen foods include mysis shrimp, silversides, bloodworms, krill, and even fresh shrimp from the local market.             Tankmates: Anything that can remotely fit in the mouth of a stingray is fair game! They cane be housed with more peaceful cichlids that...

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