Why Choose Captive Bred Fish?

A 20,000-gallon tropical reef aquarium

A 20,000-gallon tropical reef aquarium stands along the wall behind the reception counters at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada.
From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

Although captive-bred fish are often slightly more expensive than wild fish, this can often pay off in the long run. For instance, buying a captive-bred fish means that the fish that would be brought in from the wild to be kept as pets are left in the wild. Because divers bring in fish regularly, the amount of fish in the wild regularly goes down faster than it would naturally. This can cause many species of fish to go extinct when they would have survived if we had left them in the wild and bought captive-bred fish.

Types of wild caught fish and methods of capture

It is mainly saltwater fish that are in danger, as many commercial fish farms breed captive freshwater fish. The fish

are not the only ones in danger, many corals and invert species are also being caught or possibly even destroyed. One of the more popular practices to catch wild fish is called cyanide fishing, and it uses cyanide to suffocate the fish until they pass out. Cyanide can also have harmful effects on the habitat, such as bleaching the coral or even causing death to corals, depending on the amount of cyanide used and the exposure time of the coral to the cyanide. The long-term

effects of the cyanide on the fish that survive this method are unknown.

Advantages of captive-bred fish

Additionally, captive-bred fish have spent their whole lives in an aquarium and are much more accustomed to living in a glass container and are much easier to feed than their wild counterparts. They are also much less aggressive than fish in the wild. Species that are caught in the wild have to go through quite an ordeal to get to the local pet store, which cause many of them to die from stress. Captive-bred fish have a much higher rate of survival since they only have to travel from the local pet store to your aquarium. Wild-caught fish may also have potentially deadly diseases that come from parasites and pathogens that are not found in an aquarium. Captive-bred fish are much more likely to be healthy and disease free as long as they are kept in the proper conditions and are not placed in an aquarium with a diseased fish that was caught in the wild.

In conclusion

Captive-bred fish means that once-wild fish were caught, bred, and then raised under the care of experts in special facilities over generations, although some species can possibly be bred in your aquarium. To see how you can help the spread of captive-bred fish, please contact your local aquarium.

Attention All Fish Hobbyists

It is painful for me to watch this site sit and stagnate. It’s a blog I started a long time ago as a demonstration of how to set up a WordPress Blog on another site of mine. An old love of mine, back when I had an 80 gallon saltwater tank and a 15 gallon freshwater tank.

The sad reality is that I haven’t been able to keep fish for a long time and it looks like I won’t be able to do so anytime soon.

So I’m asking for help, help to keep quality information posted here, to keep the site fresh.

If you keep saltwater or freshwater fish, whether you have a pond or aquarium, I would like to put your knowledge, your stories, here.

Use the contact form to tell me about yourself and what you know. I’d love to post it here as a guest author. If you don’t want to write, but have information, then we can either record it or I can write it for you. I want good information here. Real information, real stories, from real people.

[contact-form-7 id=”853″ title=”Contact form 1″]


Caring For The Guppy, AKA The Rainbow Fish

guppyGuppy Quick Care Facts:

Environment: 25.5 and 27.8 degrees c (78 and 82 degrees F)
pH: 7 to 8.1
KH: 100-150
Diet: Omnivorous
Breeding: Live bearing

The Aquarium Environment

The guppy, also known as the rainbow fish or the million fish, is a popular freshwater aquarium fish. The preferred environment is a water ph between 7 to 8.1 and a temperature between 25.5 and 27.8 degrees c (78 and 82 degrees F). Guppies are prolific eaters and not unknown to grow overweight.

Feeding Rainbow Fish

The aquarium guppy should be fed a small amount of food, once every day. The best foods are “live”, for example, microworms and baby brine shrimp. These small organisms live in the aquarium alongside the fish, which means that there is no risk of fouling the water from decaying “dead” food. There are vacation feeders available, useful when the aquarium owner goes absent. However, he should test the feeder beforehand to ensure that the item works effectively in the aquarium. It is important not to underfeed the fish, especially if there are young fish present, since the guppy is known to eat its own fry.

Breeding Guppies

The male guppy is 1.5 to 3.5 cm in length, while the female is 3 to 6 cm. The males are spotted, striped and splashed in various colors, while the female is gray. After being inseminated by the male, the female guppy can store sperm and fertilize her ova for up to eight months. The breeding period runs throughout the year, with the gestation period being between 21 and 30 days. She gives birth to live young.

Diseases of the Guppy

Like other species, the million fish is prone to disease. The fish are sensitive to various fungi and bacteria, typically attacking the mouth and the fin. A very visible disease is saprolegnia, which appears on the fish body as flat, white patches. Most often, the fish is poisoned by water that is too hot or cold, too acid or alkali.

If the tank is overfull with other fish and aquarium plants, the guppy is at risk of carbon dioxide poisoning. Water that has been fouled by decaying food and other dead fish is also poisonous to the million fish. The aquarium owner should take steps against disease by not overfilling the tank with plant and fish life, cleaning it out regularly and checking ph and temperature levels, routinely.

The Care And Feeding Of Freshwater Angelfish

P2120080 (2)Angelfish Quick Care Facts:

Environment: Tropical 77-82F (25-30C)
pH: 6 – 7
KH: No data found yet
Diet: Omnivorous
Breeding: Egg Layers

Angelfish are a freshwater fish of the family Cichlidae, originally from river basins in South America. The cichlid is a favorite, mainly because of their unique shape, color and behavior. The freshwater angelfish is good fish for beginners.

General Angelfish Information

These fish are beautiful to look at, with sparkling scales and tall pointed fins. They grow to about six inches long and up to eight inches tall, with a fairly thin body. A great range of colors and patterns are available, from colored stripes to solid silver to a black and silver marble.

Angelfish are generally peaceful, but are considered semi-aggressive as they will eat smaller fish. The cichlid is territorial, so it is best to only have one per small tank, or more than three in a larger tank to help prevent a stronger fish picking on weaker ones.

Basic Requirements for Freshwater Angelfish

Angelfish prefer a warm environment, around 80 °F. They do best in slightly acidic water, with a pH below 7.5. Because of the height of their fins, a tall aquarium with at least 30 gallons of water is ideal for three fish. Decorations and plants should be high enough to provide hiding spots.

Tank cleaning and regular weekly water changes are necessary to keep the quality of water high. The water filter should be changed weekly, and it is a good idea to test the water weekly to prevent any problems.

Angelfish do not eat Angel-food cake. 🙁

These fish thrive on a mixed diet of frozen, flake and live food. Do not overfeed, as the fish will continue eating as long as food is available. The result can be fat build up, reduced activity and earlier death.

Breeding your freshwater angelfish

Angelfish are very difficult to sex. The best approach is to wait for juveniles to pair off. Place a breeding pair into a separate tank. When ready to spawn, the female will deposit eggs in organized rows, with the male following and fertilizing each egg. After spawning, remove the fish to protect the eggs and newly hatched fry.

Even Angel[Fish] get sick

Angelfish are susceptible to a disease referred to as Hole in the Head. These are small sores above the eyes that can grow and eventually penetrate the skin. The condition appears to be linked to the quality of the water so it is important to take preventative measures to keep the water clean and fresh.

Take Care Of Your Goldfish

Goldfish, Public Domain Photo

Goldfish, Public Domain Photo

Goldfish Quick Care Facts:

Environment: Non-Tropical 20 °C – 22 °C (68 °F – 72 °F)
pH: 6.5-8.25
KH: 70 to 120ppm
Diet: Omnivorous
Breeding: Egg-layer

The budding fish enthusiast usually starts with a goldfish. Such fish are colorful, relatively easy to care for, and are long-lived. Too often, though, they perform their entertaining antics in only a small fish bowl. There are basic care requirements to follow to keep your goldfish healthy, comfortable and happy.

Preparing the Best Environment

While not as delicate as tropical fish, goldfish still have requirements to keep them comfortable. Set up the home aquarium before purchasing the fish. Start-up aquarium kits provide everything needed, including the tank, a hood with light, a power strip, a filter, gravel siphon, thermometer, air stone and tubing. Add ornaments and plants for hiding places, and gravel for the bottom of the tank.

Goldfish need room to swim. A ten gallon tank, for example, would be suitable for only one goldfish. The temperature of the water should be between 65° and 68° F (18° and 20° C).

Feeding Your Goldfish

While goldfish will eat almost anything, it is best to feed them a balanced diet. Commercial goldfish food preparations are ideal. Flake food is preferable as it floats on the surface, making it easier for the fish to find and easier to clean.

Once a day, provide only as much food as the fish will eat in a few minutes and remove any leftover debris. Do this to prevent polluting the tank. A properly fed fish will be livelier, more colorful and more likely to remain healthy.

Breeding Goldfish

It can be difficult to ensure you have both male and female goldfish. Males seem to have thinner concave vents compared to rounder concave vents of females. Try to mimic the mating environment of an outdoor pond by establishing similar temperatures and conditions in the aquarium. It is helpful to make sure there are many plant roots to host eggs in which fry can feed and grow.

Keeping Them Healthy

Keeping a goldfish healthy requires clean and cool water. Regular small water changes and removal of debris is necessary. Be sure the filter is working properly, and water temperature is correct. Keep a close watch on your fish, as it is easier to treat a problem in its early stages. Check internet sites for descriptions and pictures of potential problems. There are many medications available that can quickly treat many of the diseases goldfish are likely to develop.

Guide To Keeping Betta Fish

BettaBetta Quick Care Facts

Environment: Warm Tropical (77-86°)
pH: 6.0 to 7.8
KH: 1.0 to 2.0
Diet: Primarily carnivorous but can eat some vegetables
Breeding: Egg layers

Home Aquarium Environment for Betta

Betta, or Siamese fighting fish are freshwater creatures so the water in a home aquarium must be replaced on a regular basis with clean water to prevent the salinity from rising. The water temperatures in the aquarium should be maintained at 25-30°C. Water pH and carbonate harness KH needs to be maintained at 6.0-8.0 and 1.0-2.0 respectively. You cannot keep more than one male betta in the same tank.

Betta fish need a lot of maintenance, even though they can breath surface air on their own using their labyrinth. Poor maintenance may increase the toxicity level of the water and make it uninhabitable.

Bettas grow to an average length of 7 centimeters, the fins included. They have large, brightly colored flowing fins. However, wild bettas have a dull green color while others are grayish. This is largely due to selective breeding of domesticated bettas.

Feeding Bettas

Bettas are largely carnivores. However, they can still eat vegetable matter. For a balanced diet, feed your fish with betta fish pellets, fish flakes, live bloodworms, brine shrimp and frozen dried foods among other types of foods. Be sure to feed them on a daily basis.

Breeding Bettas

Male bettas are usually responsible for building bubble nests. When interested in a female, the males usually twist their bodies, flare their grills and spread their fins. In response, the females usually curve their bodies back and forth, and darken their color. During spawning, the female can release 10 to 40 eggs each time. Fertilization takes place externally as the male releases milt into the water. Incubation takes two to three days, after which fish larvae are produced. They usually spend up to three days in the nest before they can start swimming freely in the water. Sexual maturity is attained after four months.

Betta Diseases

In addition to physical injury, there are many diseases that can affect your bettas. They include fin rot, popeye, gill hyperplasia, constipation and parasite irritation among others. Be sure to replace the water regularly to deal with some of these problems. Also have an appropriate fish antibiotic and anti-parasitic medium around the house at all times.

Caring For Your Discus

Junge DiskusfischeDiscus Quick Care Facts:

Environment: Tropical 80 – 86°F (27 – 30°C)
pH: 7.0
KH: 8.0
Diet: Omnivorous
Breeding: Egg layers
Discus are a breed of fish from the cichlid genus. They are native to the Amazon River basin and are widely known for their bright, flashy colors and easy to recognize shape.

Proper aquarium environment for the discus

When properly taken care of, discus fish can live between ten and eighteen years. It is important to keep the temperature inside of the aquarium above twenty seven degrees Celsius, with soft water, as the fish may become weak and frail in acidic water. This means that checking the pH level daily is crucial to the survival of these fish. While many owners enjoy decorating aquariums, discus are one of the few type of fish that fare best in an open environment, with few additions set in the aquarium.

Feeding your discus

Discus fish are an omnivorous breed, though they require higher amounts of protein than other breeds in order to effectively promote their health. Different breeders may swear by different diets, including single source foods such as bloodworms or brine shrimp. In order to make sure that the fish are getting the appropriate amounts of nutrition, it is recommended for owners to feed them a combination of dry and frozen foods.

Discus breeding

Discus fish need to be kept in a spacious aquarium in order to encourage them to breed. Keep the water temperature and acidity at optimal levels and keep your eyes open for activity, because once laid, eggs will typically hatch in two days. Once the fry are born, keep them in the same tank as their parents. After three weeks, feed them brine shrimp, and after six weeks, it is safe to separate them from their parents.

Diseases to look out for in your discus

As with any breed of fish, it is important to keep the aquarium safe and clean. Discus are susceptible to diseases such as flagellates, tapeworms, general skin and gill parasites, and eye problems such as cloudiness and popeye (exophthalmial). Additionally, they may be susceptible to fin rot and abnormal swimming if the appropriate temperature and acidity conditions in the water are not met and maintained regularly.

Neon Tetras Care Guide

Neon Tetra Quick Care Facts:
Environment: Tropical 70-81°F (21–27°C)
pH:  6.0 to 7.8
KH:  1.0-2.0
Diet: Omnivorous
Breeding: Egg layers

Ah the neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi). My first fish. Who doesn’t like seeing a cloud of these little silver and red fish swimming slowly around the tank… until feeding time of course, then it’s every fish for himself.

General neon tetras environment

They can live up to five years or so in the home aquarium. Speaking of a home aquarium it’s best if the tank is 24 inches (60 cm) long or more. As a tropical fish you want to keep the temperature of the aquarium between 70-81°F (21–27°C) and a pH range of 6.0 to 7.8. If you test for KH then you want to keep it around 1.0-2.0.

Neons are a timid fish and best not kept with more aggressive fish, or large fish that will eat them. Also they are a schooling fish and do best in groups of six or more. They feed mainly around the mid-tank level so you want to keep that in mind when feeding them with top tank feeders.

If you have a heavily planted aquarium with subdued lighting then you have neon tetra heaven… or something like that. Other compatible fish companions are other tetras and guppies. Nothing too big, nothing too small… though I’m curious to see what you’d come up with for smaller than a neon. 🙂 In reality they can grow up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) but it’s always the smaller ones that are the cutest… for a fish anyhow.

Feeding your neons

Neon tetras are omnivores and will eat flake foods, but make sure the flakes are small enough, so crunch them up with your fingers if not. Also to supplement their diet consider adding things like brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms (freeze-dried or frozen), tubifex worms or even tropical sinking pellets. Rumor has it that the tropical sinking pellets have natural color enhancers that will bring out the color in neon tetras, however I do not have confirmation on that.

Breeding your neons

Males tend to be more slender and their blue line is straighter than the females. Females are rounder which produces a bent blue line. It is possible that some roundness can be from overeating, so don’t feed them too much.

I personally have never tried to breed neon tetras, however what I am told is that you typically put them in a breeding tank with no light and gradually increase the lighting until spawning occurs. Mosquito larvae makes for a nice romantic dinner and keep the hardness of the water to less than 4 dGH. The adults can breed every two weeks or so, provided the environment is right.

Some people have recommended letting the nitrates rise then doing an 50% water change to simulate the fresh rain tetras get in the wild. I don’t know if that matters to tank raised neons or not. Remove the eggs as soon as they are laid otherwise the parents will be having sushi for dinner when the fry hatch. The eggs will hatch within 24 hours and are sensitive to light. Feed the fry infusoria such as rotifers and egg yolk for one to four weeks and then switch to brine shrimp nauplii, shaved cattle liver and formulated diets.

The fry should get their colors in about a month or so.

Neon Tetra diseases

There is a disease called Neon Tetra Disease (NTD) which is caused by Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. Though a well known condition it is not curable and is fatal. Neons can get it by eating microsporidian parasite spores from live foods such as tubifex, or from infected material such as dead fish.

Symptoms include restlessness, loss of coloration (which can also be caused by stress), lumps on the body as cysts develope, trouble swimming, curved spines and secondary infections like fin rot and bloating.

There is also a false neon disease which is a bacterial infection that shows similar symptoms. It’s impossible for the home aquarist to tell the difference from the symptoms. This disease has also been confused with columnaris which is better known as mouth rot or mouth fungus.

There is no known cure, as I said, so really the only thing you can do is remove the poor little neon before it infects others. Also try to find a tank filter that will reduce the amount of free parasites in the water, such as a diatom filter.

How I Got Started In The Fish Keeping Hobby

How I got started in the fish keeping hobby isn’t quite the way a lot of people might expect. You see, I had no interest in keeping fish. Nope, not at all.

I grew up with animals. We always had a cat and a dog. At one point I had a hamster and later a tarantula. We had a cockatiel and a canary (at different times) and a fish tank.

The cat and dog were a constant, the other things were around for brief periods of time. The fish tank was 15 gallon and on a metal stand. After I moved out of the house, I lived in an apartment where pets were not allowed.

This was a problem because I was used to having animals around. Finally one day in sheer desperation I asked if fish were okay. They said yes because they weren’t considered pets. So I got the fish tank and stand from my parents (it had been out of commission for a long time at this point) and went about setting it up. Thankfully, it still held water and the stand was a bit rusty, but still sturdy.

Now I knew only a couple of things about fish at this point because I really hadn’t paid a lot of attention when my parents had them. I knew that I had to put stuff in the water to get rid of the chlorine. I knew I had to float the fish in it’s bag for a half hour or so to let the temperature adjust. I knew that to feed them, I put in a pinch of food a day, just like Mr. Rogers did on ‘Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood’.

Yessir, I was practically an expert (ahem).

I bought some Neons because they were colorful, around 10 or so and dumped them unceremoniously into the tank and that was that. And after adjusting to the shock…they sat there. Smack dab in the middle of the tank, and keeping fish instead of a cat or dog was exactly like I thought it’d be…really dull.

Eventually it began to dawn on me that I was overfeeding them. I couldn’t resist giving them a big pinch of food because those little pinches seemed too skimpy and I knew I couldn’t and wouldn’t change my ways.

Off to the pet store I went. I walked in, looked at the algae eaters and said to myself, “I don’t have an algae problem”. So I asked the guy working there about bottom feeders and he took me straight to…you guessed it, the algae eaters.

After patiently explaining that the problem was NOT algae and I need a bottom feeder to eat up the excess food so it wouldn’t foul the tank, a bright light went on and he took me to the perfect fish…the Corydoris.

I had never heard of this little catfish before and it looked pretty weird. It was flat on the bottom and kind of a round elongated top, the kind of shape you see when a 3rd grader is drawing a whale. The guy at the pet store assured me that it was docile towards other fish and would happily eat the food that fell to the gravel.

So I adjusted him to the tank using my highly sophisticated methods (it’s a miracle any of the fish survived) and sooner or later there he was with his little nose twitching as he used his whiskers to find all that food I dropped. It was great, I didn’t even have to change the amount I was feeding them…actually I probably should have gotten two corydoris…..

But this is what turned me into an enthusiast: One day I was looking into the fish tank watching the neons cluster with the corydoris sitting motionless on the bottom and then the most amazing thing happened.

That cory cat came straight up off the bottom of the tank just like a helicopter. He went zooming, and I mean zooming, all over the tank right through the middle of those neons sending them scattering everywhere.

Then he came to a dead stop a few inches above the bottom, floated down and lay there still as stone. Eventually the neons regrouped in the middle of the tank and all was as if it never happened.

I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed and I was beginning to think I had imagined it. About twenty minutes later that cory cat once again came straight up off the bottom of the tank and went zooming all over the tank again, going right through the middle of those neons sending them scattering everywhere, came to a dead stop a few inches above the bottom, floated down and lay there still as stone.

It was at this point I learned that some fish have a personality. From that point on, I was hooked (every pun intended).  I had a few more episodes with keeping a freshwater tank, maybe next time I’ll tell you how I got into the saltwater end.

– Jeffery

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