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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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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Spotlight – Marine Elasmobranches

»Posted by on Feb 2, 2018 in Blog, Tyler, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spotlight – Marine Elasmobranches

Spotlight – Marine Elasmobranches written by Tyler Baskin photos by Tyler Baskin   When walking into an aquarium retailer one often thinks to themselves “What’s the craziest fish they have here?” In most cases, sharks and rays wouldn’t be something you’d find but here at Absolutely Fish we meet everyone’s expectations.  These fish belong to the subclass Elasmobranchii which consists of all the sharks, skates, rays, and sawfish.  In this article we’ll explore a few of the marine elasmobranchs we commonly stock and some of their requirements for living happily in the aquarium. One of the more common sharks kept in the aquarium hobby is the banded cat shark, Chiloscyllium punctatum.  This Indo-Pacific beauty is sold here in egg case form as well as small juveniles.  Banded cat sharks can get up to 40 inches in length and are aggressive carnivores needing a meaty diet of clam strips, squid, silversides, and krill.  Due to its large size, banded cat sharks should be kept in aquariums of 180 gallons and up as it grows to provide enough space to be comfortable.  Some people keep these sharks in small ponds as well, versus the traditional tank.  When adding tank mates, if any, you should make sure that you are adding very large fish that can hold their own against becoming the cat sharks next meal (large angels, eels, tangs, etc.).  In a large enough aquarium other skates or rays are excellent choices for compatibility! The Port Jackson shark, Heterodontus portusjacksoni, is a shark we presently have in stock and makes a great beginner shark for aquarists with large enough tanks.  The Port Jackson shark hails from Southern Australia to New Zealand and can reach sizes up to 5 feet!  Because of its large adult size these sharks can be housed in smaller aquariums (180 gallon) when they’re juvenile but should move up to a 1000 gallon or more final tank.  Port Jackson sharks have a similar diet to others in the aquarium trade and require meaty diets of krill, clams, silversides, squid, etc.  Other tank mates suitable for this species would be larger eels, lionfish, and other elasmobranchs.  As for rays in our marine lagoon we have an Atlantic Yellow Ray, Urobatis jamaicensis.  This ray comes from the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico regions and has a semi aggressive temperament. The ray can reach 14 inches in diameter and 20 in length.  Rays should be kept in large aquariums with a footprint of at least 3 X 8 feet and around 360 or more gallons for the ray to have enough area to move around and bury in the sand.  Large or medium semi aggressive tank mates can live with the ray as long as they don’t have sharp teeth (such as puffers and triggers) that may hurt the ray if nipped.  Their diets consist of benthic crustaceans and mollusks and will eat some small food particles that fall to the bottom of the tank. Sand is recommended as a substrate when keeping stingrays. These organisms all prefer to have very little to no electrical signals in the tank as they have sensitive organs that can sense them and become damaged.  Sumps should have a protein skimmer, UV, and should be grounded with probes to reduce any electricity from seeping into the water.  The temperatures for these fish are usually in the range of 72-80oF and should be considered when mixing with other fish.  The elasmobranchs make an amazing impression on anyone visiting your aquarium and can provide a challenge for both new and experienced aquarists alike.  Come visit us and be inspired by our Marine Fish Lagoon!...

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Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

»Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Blog, Saltwater Fish, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

In the past blogs we have looked at the favorite nano and medium marine fish for our aquaria, now we are going to look the favorite large fish, 8”+, for marine aquaria. #8. Miniatus grouper- The miniatus is the perfect grouper for a large aquarium. Who can deny a grouper with fire engine red coloration with striking blue dots? They can handle the roughest of tank mates for those who have aggression issues. #7. Bluejaw Trigger- All types of marine aquaria always want to have a trigger in it. From reefs to fish only, the bluejaw fits the bill. They are peaceful enough to go with our medium sized selection as well. Males show a bright blue chin and yellow highlights in their dorsal and anal fins. #6. Lionfish- What large fish aquarium would be complete without a lionfish? They are the definition of exotic. They look the part while always having an air of danger. Keep cautious, they are venomous which we all react differently to. #5. Dogface Puffer- Come on, they look like a dog with the snout! They come in variations from simple grey to the color of a brick of gold. Those who keep these puffers should feed foods with a hard shell or are gummy to wear down their teeth. Otherwise, you will need a special dentist to fix their overgrown chompers. #4. Imperator Angel- No favorite big fish list can be complete without a few angels on it. What other family of fish are as beautiful as angelfish? The imperator is one of the favorites among marine aquarists. The coolest thing is watching an imperator morph from a juvenile coloration to an adult. #3. Harlequin Tusk- One of the most popular fish of all. The harlequin tusk is best known for its bright blue teeth and striking orange and red bars. They should be only cautiously mixed with other wrasse species. #2. Queen Angel- No large aquarium is complete without a queen angel. Its color and temperament makes it the perfect addition. Queen angels are one of the few species of fish available from the Caribbean. #1. Porcupine Puffer- One of the most popular marine fish in general. Every aquarist wants to have a puffer and who can deny the porcupine? Alien looking eyes, puppy dog attitude, and puffing into a ball of spikes make the porcupine the essential fish for a large...

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Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

»Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Blog, Conservation, Education, Jenn, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them Thanks to globalization, there’s a variety of aquatic plants and animals available in the aquarium trade that has never been seen before. While this means more gorgeous tanks and ponds than ever, it also brings a new threat: invasive species. You’ve probably heard about the snakehead, a predatory fish native to Asia that can travel short distances on land, leading it to populate New England, or maybe your rose bushes have been chewed up by Japanese beetles. Those are both invasive species, introduced to the US accidentally in the case of Japanese beetles, and purposefully as food stock in the case of snakeheads. Animals are not the only living things that can become problems when introduced to lands not originally their own. Aquatic plants can also cause destruction when introduced to rivers, lakes, or oceans. Following are the three most common invasive plants found in the aquarium trade. After learning about the damage they can cause, we’ll learn how to prevent it.   Anacharis: A common trait all of these plants have is their ease of care, which lends itself to their success in environments they should not be in. Anacharis is possibly the easiest plant on this list. It requires medium light (perfect for lakes) and doesn’t even need to be planted in the substrate to thrive and grow. Floating anacharis will grow roots along its stem, drawing nutrients directly from the water column. Anacharis can be propagated by breaking the stems into pieces, which is great news for a plant that humans try to physically remove from waterways. Any pieces left behind can immediately begin to repopulate. Problem: Anacharis grows faster than many native aquatic plants and can block out light and rob them of nutrients, out-competing them. Anacharis can also form thick floating mats that prevent recreation like swimming, rowing, fishing, and boating. An unsuspecting boater can get a nasty surprise when their propeller gets tangled in a mass of anacharis.   Water hyacinth: An admittedly gorgeous ornamental pond plant, water hyacinth has a dark side. Like anacharis, it can form massive, acres in width patches, blocking light from lower levels of the water and making recreation difficult if not impossible. Its light blocking effect doesn’t just slow down growth of other aquatic plants. Preventing light from reaching those plants prevents them from photosynthesizing, which prevents them from producing oxygen. Additionally, just the hyacinths’ presence on the water surface decreases the area for gas exchange. What we end up with is a body of water that is oxygen starved and full of dying fish. Waterfowl can’t land on hyacinths. Their habitat is effectively destroyed when lakes and rivers are clogged with floating plants. The density of hyacinth patches slows down any water movement at the surface, enabling algae growth and mosquito breeding (and remember, all the fish that might eat the larvae are already dying from a lack of oxygen). Hyacinths are also excellent at reproduction, employing two strategies: budding, and seeds. During their active growing season, hyacinths grow “daughter plants,” small hyacinths that grow off of the original plant until they are large and established enough to grow on their own, and then break off and begin growing and budding on their own. Hyacinths can also reproduce sexually, producing seeds. Seeds are the insidious sleeper cells. They can begin growing within a few days, or lie dormant for years in case of unfavorable conditions like droughts. Once the environment is more conducive to growth, the seeds will sprout and begin the invasion all over again. The main weaknesses of water hyacinth are herbicides and cold winters, which have prevented their spread into the northern half of the US.   Water lettuce: Can any plant sound less threatening? Water lettuce? C’mon. How dangerous can soggy Romaine be? Don’t be fooled: this plant is nearly as bad as water hyacinth. It is another floating plant that clogs up rivers and lakes, out-competing native plants, lowering oxygen concentrations, creating mosquito nurseries, and stealing habitats. Additionally, it’s invaded Hawaii, where some of their most important crops are grown at least partially underwater, like taro and rice, and is becoming a noxious weed. Another layer of difficulty in controlling water lettuce is its inedibility. Very few animals are willing to eat it, because it is full of needle-like crystals made of calcium oxalate. Eating water lettuce would lead to a severe itchy burning sensation in your mouth and throat, as well as damage to your GI tract. Only two animals can really make a dent: the hippo, and the manatee. Unfortunately, it would be a...

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Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

»Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 in Blog, Patrick D, Saltwater Fish, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016 The following list compiles our best sellers among the small tropical group. Most of these fish make great nano reef inhabitants (30 gallons and under). Reef keepers of all sizes desire these fish for their color and behavior, making them the most popular among all marine hobbyists. For most of these fish it is advised to only purchase one per aquarium, regardless of size.   #8 Filamentosa/Flasher Wrasse These small wrasses get their name from the extraordinary dorsal fins and “flashing” colors. They are all from the Indo-Pacific reefs and must be fed Calanus Arcti-Pods to retain their colors. #7 O-Spot Prawn Goby These sand-movers and shakers are one of the most desired nano fish because of their symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp. They are inexpensive, hardy, and fun to keep. #6 Maroon Clowns They are the only clownfish with a separate genus (Premnas). They use a unique spine on their operculum to spar with other clownfish and conspecifics, thus never add them with other clownfish. #5 6-Line Wrasses A hardy wrasse that stays small (less than 1.5 inches). Although look out! They can be aggressive toward other tankmates later on. #4 Yellowtail/Blue Damsels Only keep one per aquarium. These smallish guys never hide and are some of the most resilient yet docile Pomacentrids. #3 Royal Grammas This beautiful small basslett comes from Caribbean waters, often seen by divers off the coast of Florida. #2 Green Chromis One of the most widespread fishes of the Indo-Pacific tropical reefs, they can be kept in groups in 40 gallons or larger. We recommend not starting with them and only purchasing SHIEC-collected specimens. Come in and ask about this sustainability effort! #1 Ocellaris Clowns “Nemo” – Almost all in the trade are Aquacultured. This is a huge step for our industry. If interested, please call or stop in with any questions you may have on these fish. As an added bonus, mention you saw them on “the most popular 2016” list and get 20% off any of these fish for purchase. Stay tuned for Most Popular 2016 medium...

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