Blog posts relating to freshwater and tropical fish.

Top 6 Amazing Pet Shrimp for the Freshwater Aquarium

»Posted by on Jul 16, 2021 in Education, Freshwater Fish | Comments Off on Top 6 Amazing Pet Shrimp for the Freshwater Aquarium

Top 6 Amazing Pet Shrimp for the Freshwater Aquarium Written by: Isha K. Shrimp are some of the coolest freshwater invertebrates, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. Here are some of the coolest pet shrimp ( all available at Absolutely Fish and Absolutely Fish Naturals! ) Dwarf Shrimp : These shrimp usually get around 1” and are very well suited for nano aquariums Neocaridina davidi (neos, skittle shrimp, rili shrimp, cherry shrimp) Neocaridina shrimp are the most available dwarf shrimp, and for good reason. These shrimp are much hardier than their caridina relatives, they happily live in tap water and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. Neocaridina come in many colors, including goldenbacks, orange sunkist, blue dreams, red rili, red cherry, and blue jelly. Water Parameters Temperature : Best at 70-78F, survive 60-85FpH : 6.0 – 8.0KH : Prefer 0-8, survive most water conditionsGH : 4-14Ammonia/Nitrite : 0 (Not for cycling) Breeding Neocaridina shrimp breed in freshwater. The newborn shrimp are very small, so if you’re intending to breed these shrimps it’s best to keep them alone or with herbivorous fish like otocinclus. They will still breed when with other fish, just not as rapidly. All colors of neocaridina are the same species and a result of selective breeding. If two different neocaridina colors interbreed they will produce ‘wild type’ offspring that are a mix of black, brown, and clear. Caridina sp. Caridina shrimp are much more sensitive than neocaridina shrimp, but are considered more attractive by many. RODI water buffered to their water conditions is ideal. Caridina shrimp come in many different forms, all of which require different care. Tiger Caridina shrimp (tangerine tiger, black/red tiger, caridina baubalti) These shrimp are some of the hardiest caridina shrimp, and can do well in some tap water (RODI still preferred). They have black or red stripes on them and are more transparent than the other caridina species. Water conditions Temperature : 70-78FpH : 6.0 – 7.5KH : 0-6GH : 4-8Ammonia/Nitrite : 0 (Not for cycling) Bee Caridina shrimp (crystal shrimp, king kongs, blue bolts) These shrimp are the most prized dwarf shrimp, but are also the most sensitive. They have solid white on them accompanied by a red, black, or blue patterning. The difficulty of bee shrimp varies, with crystal shrimp being the easiest and king kong and galaxy shrimp being the hardest. Water conditions Temperature : 70-78FpH : 6.0 – 7.0KH : 0-4GH : 3-6Ammonia/Nitrite : 0 (Not for cycling) Breeding Both Tiger and Bee shrimp breed rapidly in freshwater. If different colored caridina shrimp mix, they form a shrimplet that is solid white with different patches or stripes of solid color. Caridina multidentada (Amano shrimp, Japonica shrimp) Amano shrimp are one of the best algae eaters for nano tanks. They get larger than the other dwarf shrimp at 2” (the size of a betta). They are usually clear with black/brown dots but some varieties have blue or green coloring on them. Water conditions Temperature : 70-78FpH : 6.0 – 7.5KH : prefers 0-10GH : prefers 4-14Ammonia/Nitrite : 0 (Not for cycling) Breeding These shrimp don’t breed in freshwater, and their young need to go through multiple salinities to develop properly. True amano shrimp won’t breed in a home aquarium. Palaemonetes paludosus (ghost shrimp) While ghost shrimp are mainly sold as feeders, they can still be wonderful pets. Ghost shrimp get up to 2” and while they aren’t good algae eaters, they’re very interesting to watch. Water conditions Temperature : 65-82FAmmonia/Nitrite : 0 (Not for cycling) Breeding Ghost shrimp are very easy to breed. Other popular shrimp : These shrimp get a little larger and can be housed with bigger fish Atyopsis moluccensis (Bamboo flower shrimp, Bamboo shrimp, Wood shrimp, Singapore flower shrimp) Bamboo flower shrimp get 3”, and are much hardier than dwarf shrimp. These shrimp are some of the few shrimp that can be in a tank with larger fish. Water Conditions Temperature : 70-78FpH : 7.0-7.5Ammonia/Nitrite : 0 (Not for cycling) Breeding Bamboo flower shrimplets need different salinities to develop, they have not been captive bred. Atya gabonensis (Atya Viper shrimp, Vampire shrimp, African Filter shrimp) Atya Viper shrimp are the biggest of the shrimp on this list at 4-5” and sometimes up to 6”! They’re known for their beautiful coloring which can range from a creamy white/brown color to vibrant blues and purples. They appreciate higher temperatures than most shrimp, which makes them good tankmates for rams and other high temperature fish. Water conditions Temperature : 75-85pH : 6.5 – 7.5Ammonia/Nitrite : 0 (Not for cycling) Breeding Atya Viper shrimplets need multiple salinities to properly...

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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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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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