Friday, December 12, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Saltwater aquarium set up takes time but it is exciting adventure. It usually takes 4 to 8 weeks before you can add any saltwater fish safely to your saltwater aquarium.I know it is disappointing to wait too long before you can start putting fish into your saltwater aquarium, but you wouldn’t want to risk losing them.
Saltwater fish are quite pricey. So I would say that patience is the key!Before setting up a saltwater aquarium, think about these things first:
STEP 1: Choosing your Location, Aquarium Size and Aquarium Stand
The first step in saltwater aquarium set up is choosing a location that is nowhere close to natural lighting sources. Close to windows, entrance that has a clear door where sun rays can come in and patios are a BIG NO!
Intense sunlight can produce excessive algae which are a beginner aquarist's usual problem. A cooler room temperature that is well-ventilated would be the best.
Choose a large enough location for your aquarium. Set up a level and well supported area for your aquarium and stand and is highly preferred. Make sure to leave enough space for electrical connections and other equipments as well as around the aquarium for maintenance and cleaning.
Properly selected aquarium will help in a successful saltwater aquarium and set up will be a breeze. It’s not as hard as it may seem. The first requirement is a proper glass tank! It’s a mistake to buy a small aquarium "just to get started." My suggestion is to get the largest aquarium you can afford. It’s actually better generally for first timers. But make sure it will fit your space and of course your budget. Larger aquariums are more forgiving of beginners’ mistakes and provide a much more stable environment. If you buy a small aquarium, I’m pretty sure that you will just upgrade to a bigger one later on.
Surface area of the aquarium should also be taken into account in aquarium set up. Oxygen enters the water and, more importantly, noxious gases such as carbon dioxide escape into the air at the water surface. So the larger the surface area, the more efficient the exchange of gases will be.
Another important consideration in aquarium set up is the shape of the aquarium. There are now too many unusual shapes to choose from in addition to the usual rectangular shape. From hexagonal to octagonal, bow-fronted and even trapezoidal aquariums are available.
But they all have their problems. They can be difficult to light, the saltwater fish may find it hard to establish territories or even swim properly or make viewing distorted and are harder to clean. The surface area could be compromised by an unusual shape.
Next is choosing something to stand it on. Choose a sturdy stand that is capable of supporting the weight of a filled aquarium. If you don’t follow this simple step, you are likely to have a huge mess or worse, a broken aquarium if it hits your floor. Make sure that the aquarium will fit perfectly on the stand you chose.
STEP 2: Prepare and set up your aquarium
Make sure you clean your aquarium with freshwater and a soft cloth or sponge. Remember not to use any kind of chemical cleaners. Rinse it thoroughly and make sure all residues are washed out. You can now pour the sand or gravel, whichever substrate you’ve chosen to use into the bottom of the aquarium followed by your saltwater.
Then, you can either buy a pre-mixed saltwater, ready to use for your saltwater aquarium, or if you plan to use filtered water or the tap water at home make sure you get a sea salt mix. Follow the set up instruction on the manufacturer’s label on how to properly prepare your water using the sea salt mix. Tap water will have minerals and additives that are not good for your saltwater inhabitants. Your tap water contains substances that are toxic to your fish. When you have your dechlorinated water ready, fill aquarium 1/3 full. Measure the specific gravity of your saltwater. It should measure 1.025.
Install and start all the other equipments such us lighting, heater, and filter and let it run for a day. During this test run time, check for leaks, set and adjust the heater(s) to the required temperature, check and balance out the salinity of the water if needed, and test all the equipment to make sure everything is working properly.
STEP 3 Aquascape
Aquascaping your aquarium means decorating your aquarium. Possibilities are endless. There is no correct or perfect set up of decorating your aquarium. It is up to you on how you will make your saltwater aquarium attractive. Have fun and be creative. Here is a simple "how to" tips on aquascaping a saltwater aquarium.
Adding live rock as part of your aquascape is a plus. Live rock is important to your saltwater aquarium and inhabitants.
One importance of live rock is that fish will adjust better to their new environment because it is similar to their natural habitat. Live rock also becomes a biological filter of your saltwater aquarium. It provides the beneficial organisms for proper water management and so that you can enjoy your saltwater fish and other inhabitants for a long period of time.
Another advantage of live rock is that it acts as a home for corals and other invertebrates and can be used by shy or frightened fish as their hiding place.
You can get a live rock that are already cured and ready to be placed in your saltwater aquarium. If you have an uncured live rock, then it must be properly cured to create a healthy environment. Ammonia, which is a toxic compound and pollutant are released into your saltwater if you don’t properly cure your live rock.
This will compromise the health of your aquarium system. Most live rock will be fully cured in 1 - 3 weeks. By then, it will be safe to add to your saltwater aquarium.
Curing your live rock may be done in any type of plastic container that is suitable in size to fit the amount of live rock you have or inside the newly set up aquarium. Getting as large of a water container as you can is recommended, but curing inside the new aquarium is best overall.
STEP 4 Cycling
Once you have aquascaped your saltwater aquarium, the next step in saltwater aquarium set up would be allowing the aquarium to cycle.
You have to be very patient when your tank is in cycle. New aquariums don’t have the necessary bacteria for your inhabitants to thrive and survive. This is why your new aquarium must be cycled. Cycling is the process of establishing and maturing the biological filtration. Typically, new aquariums can be cycled in 3 to 6 weeks.
But for fully cycling your saltwater aquarium, it will really depend on factors like: (1) The amount of ammonia being produced during the cycling period; (2) The efficiency of the biological filtration and (3) Whether liverocks or live plants are used in the process.
If you don’t know much about this process, it can contribute to livestock loss. So understand what it truly is and learn the proper steps to take for a successful saltwater aquarium.
First you need to establish a source of ammonia to establish the system. The usual method is adding one or two hardy fish, such as damselfishes. The waste products they produce are the initial source of ammonia. Most of these hardy fish can tolerate ammonia but some don’t. This method is cruel in the extreme! It will be easier and less cruel to use on the commercially available maturation fluids. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Add the maturation compound to start nitrification. Ammonia level will rise and reach its peak then declines, while bacteria continues to multiply until they are undetectable during testing.
The by-product of ammonia is nitrite. Nitrite levels will rise until the number of bacteria has increased to the point at which they break down the nitrites faster than it is being produced. Measure the nitrite levels with a nitrite test kit after a period of time.
The end product of this process is nitrate. Nitrate is not toxic to the fish but high levels of it can produce problem to your aquarium. You can recognize the increase of nitrate when there is an algae outbreak to your saltwater aquarium. You can then control algae reproduction by constant water changes and chemical filtration. It will also help you in managing your cycle without losing any of your fish.
Testing your water parameters regularly during this time will prevent problems in your saltwater aquarium.
STEP 5 Make the Necessary Adjustments
When you're done and the system is restarted, let the tank run for a day or two to allow it to settle out. During this run time check and make adjustments to parameters of the aquarium water that may be needed, such as the temperature and salinity.
STEP 6 Add some new Livestocks
Whether it is fish, corals, or invertebrates, you should only choose and add 1 or 2 into the aquarium at a time.
After your selection has been placed into the tank, you need to allow the aquarium's nitrifying bacteria base to adjust to the additional bio-load. This means you DO NOT add anything else at this point of the set up, and over a week's time you should test the aquarium water daily for any appearance of ammonia and possibly nitrite.
Zero readings will show you it is safe to add the next 1 or 2 pieces of livestock. Better yet, even when the test results are showing zero, wait another week or two before continuing on.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Thanks for your kind contribution, Preeti!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Description:The blue lobster that is found in aquarium hobby is actually not a true lobster, but rather a blue color crayfish. For the purpose of this article, I will refer to them as blue lobster. Like its name suggest, the Blue lobster is blue in color and shades of blue vary from bright electric blue to a duller bluish white. Other then their unique coloration, they are highly similar to other crayfish and lobsters. By maturity, Blue Florida Crayfish achieve lengths of 15 centimeters.
Habitat/Care:In the wild, Blue Lobsters are usually found in wetlands biome or habitats that have distinct wet and dry seasons. Although Blue Lobsters trend to be abundant in wet seasons, they are extremely well hidden in periods by burrowing into the mud. When water is abundant, Blue Lobsters stay near the bottom of the flooded area, eating invertebrates and algae.
It is recommended that the tank mirror their environment by providing some fine sand or gravel, and allow a cave or place for hiding when the blue lobsters are stressed. Plants are highly recommended as they provide a source of food and hiding places. As long as the tank contains enough water, blue lobsters should be able to bury themselves.
Because they require a large tank, blue lobsters should be keep in a tank of at least 20 gallons. They are excellent escape artists, and the tank should have a tight lib.. Temperatures should remain between 10 and 22 degrees Celsius. They usually require pH values upward of 7.0. It has been reported that the addition of freshwater salt greatly enhances the health of this species.
Usually, Blue Lobster get along well with other fast, medium size fishes. However, small and slower fishes will be eaten, and larger but slower fishes may be injured by the Blue Lobster. Larger, carnivorous fishes view Blue Lobsters as a tasty snack. Blue Lobsters are highly territorial and they should NOT be kept with others of their kind, or they may fight and gravely injure one another, unless there are lots of hiding place and the tank is large enough for all of them.
Blue Lobsters continuously moult (they will drop off their shell) as they grows bigger. During the juvenile period, the moulting is fairly rapid, but slows down as it grows
Blue lobsters aren't actually very fussy when it comes to food. In the wild, they eat aquatic plants, algae, rotting vegetation that falls into the water, snails, fish, and even the decomposing flesh of animals that die in or near the water.The trick is never to over-feed them, as uneaten food could contaminate the tank quickly. Fish flakes are great for baby lobbies, while shrimp pellets are perfect for adults.
Two large crushed flakes a day are plenty for babies, one in the morning and another in the evening. For adults, a large pellet for breakfast and then another for dinner should do it. You can also try feeding them water lettuce, water hyacinth, water cress and romaine lettuce.
The male blue lobster's claws are generally larger and more elongated and if you turn him upside down he has two claspers near his vent that look like hockey sticks. The females blue lobster claws are shorter and more rounded and she lacks the claspers. During the mating act, the male initiates copulation, and the Blue Lobsters will clean each other as part of the mating ritual.
After mating, the eggs are carried in the female pleopods. Blue Lobsters eggs normally hatch in about four weeks. They emerge as miniature versions of adults, though lacking reproductive organs. In the first 24 hours of life, Blue Florida Crayfish fry must molt, and many may not survive this first molt. You should begin changing the water regularly and maintaining the best water conditions possible to aid the fry in surviving. They can be fed freshly hatched brine shrimp, microworms, or liquefied foods. After about two weeks, the young Florida Blue Crayfish have generally become much more hardy. They will still be rather transparent, but by the time they reach sexual maturity they will have gained adult coloration.
Got a photo? Contact me
References Cited:Pet Central Com [Online]. Available, http://www.centralpets.com/animals/fish/freshwater_inverts/fwi5009.html
Lobster Care Sheet, [Online], Available, http://www.petco.com/caresheets/fish/Lobster.pdf
Charles Drew (2004) Spawning the Florida Blue Crayfish Procambarus alleni, newsletter of the Hamilton and District Aquarium Society, October 2004
Holy Spirit Spirit Interactive, Lobsters Care and Feeding, , [Online], Available http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/kids/pets4us/lobsters/lobsters_03.asp
Blue Lobsters, Online, Available http://trouble.iotashan.com/animals/lobster.cfm
Thursday, October 02, 2008
At the basement of Plaza Singapura near Dhoby Ghaut MRT, there is a new fish shop nested near the escalator at basement 2. This fish shop sells a wide range of both marine and freshwater fishes. Below are some pictures taken from the shop. Due to strong lighting, some of the pictures are not as clear.
Warning: The prices of the fish here tends to be higher than most places, but it is conveniently located in one of the better shopping mall in Singapore where rental is expensive.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
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The Black Ghost Knife fish is all black except for two white rings on its tail, and a white blaze on its nose, which can occasionally extend into a stripe down its back. It moves mainly by undulating a long fin on its underside.
They are nocturnal, but they are weakly electric fish and use an electric organ and receptors distributed over the length of their body in order to locate insect larvae.
Black knife ghost fish require a large tank due to their large size. Black Knife Ghost Fish should not be kept with small fish such as neon terta, rummy nose terta etc as these smaller fish may be eaten.
It is recommended that you provide many hiding places with plants, rocks, wood for these fishes as they are shy and like to hide. Black Knife Ghost Fish are nocturnal and will spend most of the daylight hours hiding in the rocks or among the plants or in tubes. Once they adapt to their new home, they may come out of hiding at feeding time. Some have even been taught to feed from their keeper’s hand.
The difficulty with keeping this fish is that they are highly sensitive to chemicals, including solutions for a wide selection of medicine such as white spot treatment etc as they are scaleless - these chemicals intented for helping the fish may kill them instead.
Black Ghost Knifefish are carnivorous and feed on insect larvae as well as smaller fishes.You could feeding them some small feeder fish (for larger black knife ghost fish), fresh or fresh frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp or blackworms for smaller black knife ghost fish.
There are no records of successful breeding in captivity, but black knife ghost fish are breeded and export in fish farms in South East Asia (Indoesia, Singapore, Thailand) and exported, although the method used is unknown.
1. Knife Fish [Online], [Available], http://fish.mongabay.com/knifefish.htm
2. Black Knife Ghost Fish [Online], [Available], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apteronotus_albifrons
3. Bad Man Tropical Fish, [online], [Available], http://badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile66_comment.html
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
If you are an aquarium owner, you would probably has experienced cloudy water solutions at some time or another. As a result of numerous emails to me, I thought I share some simple tips on how to have clear waters for your aquarium so that you can continue to enjoy looking at your fish, and your fish are healthier and less likely to die so quick.
If you have just started your aquarium, or recently changed the gravel, added an aquarium decoration and are experiencing a grayish brownish discoloration of the aquarium water, and notice some coloration in your water, please don't panic. The gravel or decrocation was probably still "dirty". The free-floating dirt particles should settle as well as get trapped in the external filtration fairly quickly. There are a lot of commerical solutions available that can clump fine particles so that they are more likely to be trapped by the filter.
A yellowish discoloration or brownish tint is typically attributed to organic matter. Activated carbon and bio rings should absorb this and eliminate this yellow tint.
The green water, is often due to an algae bloom. Free floating planktonic single celled algae growing at a rate that turns the water green. The cause is always the same, too much light and excess nutrients (nitrates) often resulting from overfeeding. Excessive light cannot only be attributed to the aquarium lighting but also intense room lighting and direct sunlight.Keeping nutrients low can prevent green water, while water changes provide little to no help in clearing the water. The algae spores are readily available in the water, including most waters used for changes. These spores will thrive in nutrient rich water, adding to the deterioration of the visual appeal. An algae bloom can become so severe that the content of your aquarium can literally vanish in the green water.
To cope with green water, there are some algaecides that can kill the gren algae, but personally, I have found most of them to be ineffective against algae boom. It is my personal recommendation to purchase filter with UV set to get rid of the the algae. While this can be expensive for the beginning hobbyest, I personally find the use of these filters a god sent- less frequent water changes are required and the filter media and UV combination does an excellent job of killing aglae.
White Cloudy Water
White cloudiness is a result of a bacteria bloom. Sometimes the cleaning of all filters at once, or the changing of the gravel can trigger a bacteria bloom, due to the removal of bacterial colonies that had settled on the filter media or substrate. Another cause can bemedical treatment of the tank using antibiotics, which may destroy these colonies. As the colonies are destroyed, the bacteria are either re-establishing themselves, or are feasting on high nutrients. In nutrient rich water they can multiply at such a high rate that the water becomes cloudy white.A bacteria bloom is cause for concern as bacteria need oxygen. A few grams of bacteria consume about the same amount as an adult human, again posing a threat of de-oxygenation in the aquarium. Immediate action is required if the problem is severe, or persists.
A UV-Sterilizer may be somewhat effective, as it kills bacteria.But the biggest problem is that it's the ammonia spike that will soon occur (if it hasn't already), followed by elevated nitrites. Both could result in the loss of some or all of your fish. To avoid this problem, I strongly recommends solutions for getting rid of excess ammonia.
Cloudy Water: [Online], [Available], http://www.algone.com/cloudywater.php
Fish Tank Guide, Cloudy water [Online], [Available], http://www.firsttankguide.net/cloudywater.php
How do I Fix Cloudy Water in a New Tank? [Online],[Available], http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/qa/f/faq0015.htm
Friday, August 22, 2008
|Scientific Name:||C. cf. cantonensis|
|Other Names:||Red Bee Shrimp|
|Origin:||unknown, first discovered in Japan|
|Social:||Good. see below|
|Lifespan:||2 years |
|Minimum Tank Size:||20 gallons (for breeding)|
|Care:||Moderate- Hard- need to monitor nitrate levels and water quality|
|Tank setup:||Ideally with plants|
|Sexing:||very hard to tell |
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The coloration of this shrimp makes it one of the most sought after shrimp in the market today, and some rare variety of this shrimp can carry a hefy price tag. This shrimp is actually a bee shrimp. But a Japanese ( I think his name is Hisayasu Suzuki) discovered a red variant and successfully cross bred the red varient to produce more crystal red shrimp.
The crystal red shrimp is noted to be highly fussy about its environment, and requires very clean waters. Temperature is ideally around 68 -77 F, and the water is preferably soft and around the neutral ph range. Excessive nitrates can kill the shrimp relatively quickly, as do poor quality water. For this reason, fequently water changes are highly recommended.
The Crystal Red Shrimp is a scavenger and an algae eater. It is highly recommended that they should feed an amount of food that the shrimp can finish within 2-3 hours as overfeeding is a known cause of death and can also cause water quality issues. Crystal Red Shrimps are unfussy eaters - they will eat whatever they find. Not feeding for one or two days is fine and will not harm this species at all.
Below is the exact quote from the planted tank on a successful breeder findings. To access the full article, please visit the references link below:
I’ve been keeping crystal red shrimp for nearly a year now. I started out with some low grade crystal reds from a couple US hobbyists and kept them in a 5 gallon tank. They seemed to do well but did not breed at all even though a few females did carry eggs for short periods of time. I eventually moved them all to a 20 gallon tank and had it heavily planted with DIY C02 and they breed readily and I ended up with quite a few offspring from each batch.
1. Planted Tank, Crystal Red Shrimp Care and breeding, [Online], [Available], http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/Crystal-Red-Shrimp-Care-and-Breeding/22/
2. Planet Inverts, Crystal Red Shrimp [Online][Available] http://www.planetinverts.com/Crystal%20Red%20Shrimp.html
3. Shrimp Grading [Online][Available http://www.planetinverts.com/crystal%20red%20shrimp%20grading%20guide.html
To purchase the said shrimps, you can try
1.. ASSA Aqua. http://www.assaaqua.com
Saturday, July 12, 2008
|Scientific Name:||Epalzeorhynchus bicolor|
|Other Names:||Red Tailed Shark, Red Tail Black |
Shark, Red Tailed Labeo, Fire Tail, Labeo bicolor
|Adult Size:||Up to 6 inches (15 cm)|
|Social:||Aggressive with own spieces.|
|Lifespan:||5 -8 years|
|Tank Level:||Middle and Bottom|
|Minimum Tank Size:||10 gallons (or larger)|
|Ideal pH:||6.5 - 7.5|
|Temperature:||73°F - 79°F (23°C - 26°C)|
|Tank setup:||Tight lid recommended as these fishes are very strong jumpers|
|Sexing:||Hard to determine, but the female may have a grayer stomach whereas the males are solid black.|
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The Red Tailed Black Shark has a black body with a red tail (hence the name). The Red Tailed Black Shark has a downwards facing mouth with two pairs of barbels. The female is slightly large than the male.
Habitat/Care:Red Tail Black Shark are very aggressive and territorial towards their own speices. Therefore, it is best to keep only one of this species in your tank and avoid the temptation to keep them with a Rainbow Shark or other Red Tailed Sharks. Some literature has noted that in a large tank with sufficient hiding places, it is possible to keep more than one shark together, but one of these shark will be dominant shark, and will chase away other sharks when it is feeding time.
The Red Tailed Black Shark used to be found in fast moving waters in Thailand, particularly in the Mea Klong River. This river has a slow current, and has lots of wood and rocks for hiding. Therefore, and ideal aquarium should mimic the natural conditions of this fish.
However, various literature noted that the Red Tailed Black Shark is becoming extinct in the wild, and an article from Wikipedia notes that these beautiful fishes are in the Red List of endangered speices.
Many literature review indicated that these fishes are excellentjumpers. For this reason, the tank should ideally have a tight lid.
Red Tailed Black Sharks are omnivorous and cheerfully accept a wide range of food, including flake food, worms or vegatable pellets. To ensure that they look their best, it is highly recommended to give a varied diet.
Reports of hobbyist breeding Epalzeorhynchus Bicolor are very rare. A large well planted tank with a ratio of more females to males is needed. The females are more robust and rounded than the males. A spawning tube will appear weeks before spawning and the male fertilizes the eggs in jerky thrusting motions as the eggs are scattered. It is said that the eggs hatch in a couple of days and the fry are easy to raise. Most breeding is done in open ponds in their native Thailand and exported around the world.
ReferencesCited:1. FishLore, Online, Accessed 6 Jul 2008, http://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-RedTailShark.htm
2. Aquarium Land, Online, http://aqualandpetsplus.com/Shark,%20Red-Tail.htm
3. Aquatic community, online, Accessed 12 Jul 2008 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/mix/redtailsharks.php
Friday, July 04, 2008
I wanna stay in this hotel for 1 night just to enjoy the view! This is a new underwater hotel in Istanbul (Turkey) to be opened in 2010. http://www.vagabondish.com/underwater-hotel-in-istanbul-to-open-in-2010/
For a dining experience that keeps your guests looking at your table and not the food,
this design rocks. http://www.uberreview.com/2007/03/fish-tank-table-every-night-is-fish-night.htm