Blog posts relating to freshwater and tropical fish.

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 horned nerites and red racer nerite snails.             Here at Absolutely Fish we do our very best to bring in only quality fish from expert supply chains.  This is as important to us as well as you.  We encourage you to come to our shop and discover what you love and learn from...

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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 color and a striking pattern in your small tank, choosing a hypancistrus may be the right choice. Some examples are King tiger plecos, Queen Arabesque, L333, and the coveted L46 zebra pleco. These loricariids do especially well in smaller community tanks. However, if you are experiencing an algae problem these fish won’t help much. Much like leporacanthicus these plecos share many of the same dietary requirements, except they only reach a fraction of the size as adults. They are also less territorial and won’t tear your planted tank apart with their displays. Due to their diminutive size and shyer disposition, they don’t do to well in a tank with aggressive feeders. Hypancistrus are best kept in peaceful community and species-only aquariums.  Ancistrus This is my personal favorite genus, as it contains the bristlenose pleco and its various color morphs. Other examples include the l183 bristlenose, and medusa plecos. Ancistrus tend to be hardier than most other fancy plecos, tolerating a wider range of water parameters. This also makes them a more forgiving choice for the new aquarist who is just starting to keep rarer fish. They are true omnivores, eating both algae and meatier foods. As juveniles its important to feed a plant-based diet, supplementing them with fresh vegetables or fruit. As these fish mature, shrimp pellets should be fed regularly. Being so versatile, I’ve...

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Live foods to buy, New Jersey

»Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Blog, Cedes Militante, Education, Freshwater Fish, Heather H, News, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Live foods to buy, New Jersey

Live foods to  buy, New Jersey

What should you feed your picky aquatic eaters?   by: Heather H. Live foods must be chosen with care. In good condition, live foods can add to aquariums fishes’ diet as they contain fresh, active ingredients that can aid in digestion. Additionally, they tend to stimulate the innate feeding responses of a fish and can sometimes trigger breeding behaviors. However, certain live foods can cause needless problems like poor water quality, unbalanced diets, and even certain serious health issues. Below I have listed some common live foods you can use in freshwater and saltwater aquariums: Adult Brine Shrimp: Artemia spp. – As brine shrimp grow to adulthood, their nutritional value diminishes greatly. They are great aid in getting stubborn, picky eaters to start eating, but they should be enriched before feeding. You can use anything from spiralina powder, Selcon (or ay product containing omega-3 fatty oils), Cyclop-eeze, or even crushed up flakes. For best results, fortify the brine shrimp for 8-10 hours before feeding to the aquarium. Always suggest that the customer rinse the brine shrimp before feeding to their animals. Black Worms: Lumbriculus variegatus – In the wild these worms will anchor themselves to the substrate, but in the container we keep them in, they anchor to each other creating a ball. They are high in protein and can help induce breeding behavior in a number of aquarium fish (aka conditioning). Another good treat, but be sure to tell the customer to wash them at least once daily. Ghost Shrimp: Palaemonetes spp. –These little guys can be quite irresistible for aquarium animals. They are herbivores that live in rocky stretches in both fresh and brackish waters (some prefer it). They are an excellent live food that ca also be gut loaded. I feel these to the little cat sharks to stimulate them to eat frozen. It usually works. Feeder Fish: Roseys, Guppies, Goldfish – For certain predatory fish in captivity, this is one of the only things they will eat. For the average aquarium, feeder fish should only ever be considered as an occasional treat and should not become a steady diet. They lack fatty acid that many fish need to stay healthy and can be very messy (causing ammonia spikes). This course does not include every live food available, but you should be able to find these items at your local store. Ask a trained Aquarist to help you select the right food for your aquarium. Good luck in your feeding endeavors!    ...

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Unique Freshwater Fish for Sale- The Four-eyed Fish

»Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Blog, Education, Freshwater Fish, Mercedes C, News | Comments Off on Unique Freshwater Fish for Sale- The Four-eyed Fish

Unique Freshwater Fish for Sale- The Four-eyed Fish

The Four-Eyed Fish by Mercedes Calabro The Anableps anableps is an incredibly adaptable freshwater fish. Part of the order Cyprinodontiformes, it is related to killifish and livebearers sharing a specialized organ called a gonopodium. Females max out around ten inches and the males reach around seven inches. Anableps are found in tidal waters along the South American coastline, the Gulf of Paria, and the Amazon. In these tidal conditions, their adapted eyes come in handy. Anableps have two eyes on each side of their head that sit on top of one another and allow an extended field of vision while they search for food. During low tide sneak up on small insects and crabs using the set of eyes above water and launch themselves out of the water to grab their prey. When the tide rises they use the lower set to find small fish, snails, and amphipods (microscopic scavengers) below the surface. Anableps are fairly hardy. They need large, preferably shallow, tanks with brackish water and enjoy both open spaces to swim and built up rocks and driftwood to rest on near the surface of the water. Based on the variability of their natural habitats they can handle a pH anywhere from 7.5 up to 9.0 and like the typical tropical water temperature of seventy eight degrees. Based on the size of the tank and how many fish are present, a strong filter is needed (canister filters work well) as they produce a lot of waste.                 Anableps do well mostly in species specific tanks, but are compatible with other, bigger yet peaceful livebearers, and should not be placed with other top-dwelling fish that create too much competition for food as they have no competitors in the wild. Lastly, Anableps have a wide diet including: terrestrial insects, red macroalgae, small crabs, and small fish. So in your own aquarium, there are many options to feed to recreate their natural food sources. A basic pellet should be used for most feedings, preferably one with added spirulina would be beneficial, as they eat it in the wild. Also, Bug Bites by Fluval can substitute for the insects they usually hunt in the wild. Frozen bloodworms, chopped up earth worms, and occasionally blackworms (especially if the fish aren’t interested in pellets or frozen yet) can be used a few times a week for some added nutrition. Overall, the Anableps adaptations make it a very interesting and unique fish that would be a great addition to the right aquarium....

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Species Suitable for a Nano African Cichlid Tank

»Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Becca N, Blog, Cichlids, Freshwater Fish | Comments Off on Species Suitable for a Nano African Cichlid Tank

Species Suitable for a Nano African Cichlid Tank

Species Suitable for a Nano African Cichlid Tank:   African cichlids don’t have to be kept in a large aquarium. While the majority of African cichlids grow to be at least five inches and longer, there are also interesting African cichlids suitable for smaller aquariums. These smaller species of African cichlids generally grow to be no more than five inches and can be kept in a tank of 20- to 30-gallons. Some species are even capable of being kept in 10-gallon tanks.   The majority of these micro African cichlid species hail from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. There are four categories of suitable species for a 30-gallon Lake Tanganyika tank. As you look over this list keep in mind that as a general rule fish under three inches are suitable for a 10-gallon tank and fish over four inches would do best in a 30-gallon tank or larger.     FREE SWIMMING Cyprichromis leptosema and Paracyprichromis nigripinnis can be kept peacefully in small schools of three or more. The rest of the free-swimming cichlids should be kept one individual fish per species group.   Cyprichromis leptosoma Max size: ~3.5” Paracyprichromis nigripinnis Max size: ~4” Xenotilapia Sp. Max size: ~3” Opthalmoltilapia ventralis Max size: ~6” Reganochromis calliurus Max Size:~6”   GOBY CICHLIDS Should be kept alone or in male/female pairs as they can become very aggressive with other similar types—including their own species. Eretmodus cyanostictus Max size: ~3.5” Spathodus erythrodon Max size: ~3.0” Tanganicodus irsacae Max size: ~2.8”   SHELL DWELLERS For shell dwellers, it is best to choose one of each species and in each size class, as they can become aggressive towards their own kind, especially in smaller tank set-ups. Neolamprologus brevi Max size: ~2.5”  Neolamprologus leleupi Max size: ~3.5” Neolamprologus multifasciatus Max Size: ~2”– thought to be the smallest cichlid in the world! Neolamprologus gracilis Max size: ~3.5” Julidochromis transcriptus Max size: ~3” Julidochromis dickfeldi Max size: ~4.5” Larger Neolamprologus sp. Max size: ~5-5.5” sexfasciatus tretocephalus brichardi daffodil cylindricus     CAT FISH Cat fish are normally peaceful. They can be kept alone or in small groups. Synodontis petricola Max size: 5” Bushynose pleco Max size: 6”     THINGS TO REMEMBER   The total maximum inches of fish should be less than or equal to the gallons of water in aquarium (i.e. 18 total inches of fish is equal to 18 gallons of water). However, with many African cichlid tanks, you can slightly overstock. If your tank is overstocked you must maintain excellent water quality, filter more than usual, and perform frequent water changes. Doubling to tripling your filtration for any African cichlid set-up is recommended.   It is also important to note that Lake Tanganyika has the highest pH of the rift lakes at around 9.0. The addition of lake salts and buffers to the aquarium will help to stabilize the pH to natural levels while also providing the fish with the electrolytes they need–the better the water quality, the healthier and better looking the fish.   At Absolutely Fish we frequently stock all of these small African cichlids and carry all of the equipment you need to keep them happy and...

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11 Freshwater Nano Fish for Your Aquarium

»Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Becca N, Blog, Freshwater Fish | Comments Off on 11 Freshwater Nano Fish for Your Aquarium

11 Freshwater Nano Fish for Your Aquarium

11 Freshwater Nano Fish for Your Aquarium Rebecca Noah   Let’s just face it: small things are cute and tiny things are even cuter. This list encompasses my favorite 11 nano species for freshwater tanks. None of the fish on the list require a tank larger than 10 gallons and majority of them can live happily in even 5 gallons.   It is important to house tiny fish with other tiny fish. The majority of the species on this list are shy, timid, and very peaceful. They can easily be out-competed for food and stressed out if placed in aquarium with larger, more boisterous tankmates. Nearly every fish on this list could live happily together in a 10 to 20 gallon aquarium except one, the pea puffer. Pea puffers can be nasty little buggers and would be best suited in a tank all on their own. Tiny tanks and tiny fish are adorable and very fun to set up and enjoy. It’s really cool to watch a functioning micro-ecosystem on your desk, but that does not mean that they are necessarily a good beginner tank or less work. In fact, the smaller the tank the more important regular maintenance and staying on top of water quality is. A lot of these tiny fish are also not suitable for beginners as they require special care and feedings. Just because the tank is small and the fish are smaller doesn’t mean the workload is smaller. Always seek the advice of your friendly and knowledgeable Absolutely Fish aquarist to ensure that you are setting up your tank for success and longevity. 1: Asian Stone Catfish (Hara jerdoni) Origin: South Asian; India pH: 5.6-7.6 Maximum Size: 1.2” Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons Diet: Likely to accept a variety of small foods including dried pellets, but should also be offered a diet of live and frozen food including bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and tubifex worms. The Asian stone catfish is one of the cutest and smallest catfish species in the hobby. Maxing out at just over inch, this adorable, whiskered catfish makes for a unique addition to a nano tank. However, do not expect much activity from this little guy as the the stone catfish is very inactive and will likely stay in one place most of the time. The stone catfish is very peaceful and will do well with nearly every micro species on this list. It can be housed alone, but will do better in small groups. The stone catfish would do best in an aquarium with plenty of hiding place, softer substrate, driftwood or almond leaves. Water quality is imperative to this tiny fish and must be kept stable, clean, and well oxygenated. The stone catfish is nocturnal so it’s best to feed after the tank lights go out. 2: Scarlet Gem (Dario dario) Origin: India pH:6.5-7.6 Maximum Size: .75” to 1” Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons for one fish, 10 gallons for a pair Diet: Difficult to feed dried foods and should therefore be fed a variety of live and frozen food including brine shrimp, banana worms, and daphnia. Badids tend to develop diseases and become obese when fed bloodworms and tubifex worms so these should be omitted from their diet. The scarlet badis is a stunning nano fish that has a body shape strikingly similar to that of dwarf cichlids, although there is no relation. The scarlet gem is a timid fish and very peaceful with other fish of similar size and temperament. Its best to house one male Scarlet Badis per every 5 gallons as they can be aggressive towards each other. Due to their shy and timid nature, care should be taken to ensure that they are properly fed. The scarlet badis makes for a unique addition to a small community tank. Find out more about the Scarlet Gem here! Salt and Pepper Cory(Corydoras habrosus) Tail Spot Cory (Corydoras hastatus) Pygmy Cory (Corydoras pygmaeus) Salt and Pepper Cory (Corydoras habrosus) 3: Pygmy Cory Cats (Corydoras sp.) Origin: South America pH: 6.5-7.6 Maximum Size: 1.3” Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons Diet: Omnivorous and will accept a variety of sinking foods as well as frozen food such as tubifex and bloodworms. Corydoras should never be expected to survive on the uneaten food from other tank mates and are not cleaners of an aquarium by any means. Each of these tiny cory cats is cuter than the last and all of them originate from South America. The tail spot (C. hastatus) and pygmy cory (C. pygmaeus) will likely max out at about one inch in length, while the salt and pepper cory (C. hasbrosus) will...

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