Sick Neon Tetra – Diseases and Treatment

Neon Tetras are a very popular freshwater fish, especially with beginners. In the wild Neon Tetras are known to live up to 10 years. Unfortunately in the aquarium Neon Tetras rarely live to this age. In captivity there is a higher likelihood that Neon Tetras contract diseases, become stressed or attacked by other fish. Sick Neon Tetra often perish prematurely. If your Neon Tetra is dying it is very important to identify the problem before proposing a solution. Incorrect treatment can further stress and damage the health of the fish.

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3 Best Ways to Clean Aquarium Glass

Aquariums are attractive decorative pieces, no matter where you keep them. Keeping an aquarium is a pleasant hobby and it’s more than fun to watch the lively inhabitants move about. For this fun to prevail and the beauty to continue it is very essential that the glass of the aquarium should be sparkling clean. But what are the best ways to clean the aquarium glass? It’s a job that requires care and patience to ensure the glass is free of algae spores but is not scratched in the process. Special care is even more important in acrylic aquariums.

If the glass walls are dirty and spotted the fish will not be clearly visible and the entire objective of keeping the aquarium will be lost. Therefore the glass walls need to be cleaned regularly from inside and outside.

Cleaning the glass walls from outside is quite easy. The outer surface will also have some synthetic bands and hard water accumulations that will require thorough cleansing. The glass can be wiped clean with a soft towel rinsed in warm water. The hard accumulations should be allowed to soften and then wiped with a wet towel. The synthetic portions will require some specific cleansing solution. Using domestic glass cleaning sprays should not be used as these can enter the tank and harm the fish.

You can use one of the three methods for cleaning the glass wall from inside:

  1. You can use sponge and clean the inside wall manually. Take care to be gentle as not to terrify the fish with too much hand movement.
  2. A better way is to use a magnetic glass wall cleaner. This cleaner has two magnetic attachments, one with a cleaning pad. Place the padded part inside the tank with the pad touching the glass. Place the other magnetic part on the outside of the tank such that it holds the padded part. Gently slide the outside magnet all over the glass wall.
  3. Use an algae scraper with attachments to scrape the inside walls clean.

5 Best South American Cichlids for Beginners

Cichlids are a type of tropical fish that have over 2,000 species and considered as one of the largest families among other species of fish. If you consider including cichclidae in your tank, you should start with the easiest species and work your way toward more difficult species. Cichlids can be difficult to care for because they are aggressive, grow quickly and need specific water parameters to survive.

But fear not, cichlids can be temperamental but most species are very easy to care for. Below we discuss the 5 South American species of Cichlids that are absolutely perfect for the begineer. These species can be kept together, however cichlids are territorial and should be monitored constantly to ensure aggression is minimised. It is always best to add the fish to the aquarium at the same time or restructure the aquarium upon adding new cichlids. This allows the fish to spread out and determine their own territories in the aquarium and greatly reduce the chance of conflict.

Below we discus the easiest South American cichlids to keep in the aquarium. Cichlids are often broken up into South American and South African varieties. The two should never be kept together as this greatly increases the probability of agression.

South American Cichclids can be found in Colombia and Chile. They live in different types of water, but they tend to thrive in in acidic to neutral water.

You can even find South American cichlids in brackish water that is partly saltwater and fresh water. They are considered as tropical fish due to the warmer temperatures of these climates and are often spotted closer to the equator. Most Cichlids are carnivores but will regularly enjoy a diet of omnivorous flakes and mixed foods. These are recommended and will aid in the coloration of your South American Cichlids.

1. Cockatoo Cichlid

A native from Amazon River Basin, this species can live in a dimly lit tank with water of 5.0 to 7.0 pH. The water temperature should be 75-80F, and the tank should be filled with 20 gallon of water for a pair of rams. The Cockatoo cichlid has a stunning red-orange fin that runs down its back. Its a beautiful and easy cichlid to keep.

The Cockatoo cichlid is generally quite easy to source in the LFS but may have to be purchased from other hobbyists in some parts of the world. It is often described to look like the more common Kribensis Cichlid but with a flame orange fin set.

1. Electric Blue Jack Dempsey

A native from Amazon River Basin, this species can live in a dimly lit tank with water of 5.0 to 7.0 pH. The water temperature should be 75-80F, and the tank should be filled with 20 gallon of water for a pair of rams. The Cockatoo cichlid has a stunning red-orange fin that runs down its back. Its a beautiful and easy cichlid to keep.

The Cockatoo cichlid is generally quite easy to source in the LFS but may have to be purchased from other hobbyists in some parts of the world. It is often described to look like the more common Kribensis Cichlid but with a flame orange fin set.

2. Severum

It can be found at the Amazon, and it grows from 5 to 10” long. They thrive in water with lower pH and can live along with small tetras, Oscars and arowanas. If you’ll keep a pair of severums, you should have 75 gallon tank.

3. German Blue Ram

This species is a native of Orinoco River Basin. It is considered as dwarf cichlid because it only grows 2” long. A pair of German Blue Rams would thrive in an aquarium of at least 15 gallons of water. They should be housed either female only or a single pair of female and a male. This will avoid conflict in the group and reduce the possibility of fin-nipping (Blue Rams have beautiful decorative fins).

4. Rainbow cichlids

These species have intense colors and adults are more beautiful than the young ones. The rainbow cichlids grow up to 7” long and can live in higher pH and temperature of water as they naturally live in the wild.

5. Blue Acara

The blue acara is very common in Venezuela as well as in Trinidad and Tobago. They don’t grow longer, but they can destroy live plants and are also active diggers.

Black Ghost Knifefish – Care, Diet & Breeding

Overview


The Black Ghost Knifefish is an unusual freshwater aquarium fish that originates from South America near the Amazonian Basin. It belongs to the Ghost Knife Fish family and is capable of both producing and sensing electric signals in the water.

They are very popular in the aquarium hobby due to their strange shape and movement. The Black Ghost Knifefish navigates itself by rippling its head to tail underside fin in a constant rhythm. Aside from the two white strings on its tail and a white stripe on its nose, the Black Ghost Knife is jet black without scales. Unknown to most beginner hobbyists the Black Ghost Knife Fish demands a very large aquarium and can continue to grow in size until it reaches its maximum length of 20”.

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Swordtail Fish – Diet, Care and Breeding

Overview


The swordtail is a very popular species of aquarium fish and it’s a great choice for the beginner aquarist. This is because it is tolerant to a range of conditions and has a very peaceful temperament. As the name suggests swordtails have a long, thin, elongated lower tail. Swordtails are livebearers, meaning they will give birth to live fry instead of eggs. Swordtails readily breed when kept in an aquarium of mixed sex, requiring little intervention. The young are very easy to rear and can be raised in the same aquarium as the adults.
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