Jump to content

DeadFishFloating

Rewarded Registered Users
  • Content Count

    7,394
  • Joined

  • Last visited


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    DeadFishFloating got a reaction from johnbetta in WoW giant fighting fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   
    * cambodian, does not actually = the fishes origin, that was merely a sneaky marketing ploy from way back. Turns out they were being bred on thai fish farms the whole time. These days cambodian refers to the purple/pink/blue pied colour morph. Similar to OB colour forms in most fish. Breeders refer to the " cambodian gene" and I spose thats the best way to describe what cambodian is, if not a location.
    oh and anyone?
    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=YxyVUlwi1YkC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=betta+sp+plakat&source=bl&ots=Mr0_b7S2XG&sig=RJKYwK061IfZNLgPYOO_MAgnXOU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AnOKT-b9MejtmAW7udDcCQ&ved=0CEcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=betta%20sp%20plakat&f=false
    have a read
    tis a cool book
  2. Like
    DeadFishFloating got a reaction from johnbetta in WoW giant fighting fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   
    sometimes ya gotta pay to get what ya want.
    i aint about to post the prices I have paid for certain specimens of normally cheap species in lfs around brisbane...... because me lady would read it and then kill me!
    Fish are worth the $ you (and you alone) are willing to pay (so no one else can own them) at that point in time.
    No regrets!!!
    but then thats how I roll!
    ya gotta give it up to a good salesman/saleswoman!
  3. Like
    DeadFishFloating got a reaction from johnbetta in Beware of rainwater tanks!   
    good advice indeed.
    so easy to kill fish with chlorine.
    so very easy
  4. Like
    DeadFishFloating got a reaction from unheatedtank in Starting an African Cichlid aquarium.   
    The most complicated part of keeping African cichlids is compatability. This is where research and planning will pay off the most in your quest to create the perfect aquarium for you. There are 2 main types of setups. Display tanks with males only or Breeding tanks with colonys of males and females.
    The all male African cichlid tank has the advantage as a display aquarium because most male cichlids are a lot more colourful than the females. When starting out with a display it is a good idea to make a list of species you wish to keep. Then sort them out least aggressive to most aggressive. Adding the least aggresive species first and the most aggresive species last, this gives the more timid fish a chance to settle in. With little effort a display that can rival most marine setups can be created.
    Breeding African cichlids is a very rewarding experience. Unlike American cichlids, Africans have rather large young. Often around the size of a baby mollie. These young are easily raised in a fry saver net. Feeding is as simple as frozen baby brine shrimp, suplimented with crushed up African cichlid pellets and flakes. Depending on the species and size of the fish, you can get from 5 to over 100 each time. Because most African cichlids are mouth brooders, raising the eggs up in the females mouth, breeding can take place in most aquariums. For best results using at least 3 females for each male prevents females being stressed by constant male attention. Similar fish of different species (eg peacocks) may cross breed. The resulting hybrids have little sale value, so the smart breeder avoids mixing similar fish in a breeding setup.
    Malawi cichlids themselves can be divided into 3 main groups. The Haps, peacocks and mbuna. Peacocks are usually found over sand where they hunt shrimp. They will battle rival males for breeding rights. Mbuna, usually hang near the algae covered rocks in shallow water. Because they eat from these rocks mbuna are usually territorial and will patrol rocks they have claimed as theirs. The haps are found in open water and often feed on the young of peacock and mbuna species.
    Mixing Malawi cichlids is always interesting. The different types of mbuna, hap and even peacock vary greatly in aggression, size and colour. Even within species there is a great variety of personalities. No matter which fish you want to mix, growing them up to adults together will give you your best chance of one big happy family. Africans can be hard on each other. Understanding the reasons for this will enable you to plan ahead and have a cichlid community that works well. Cichlid aggression is something best managed by careful stocking.
    Fish with the similar colours will often fight more frequently. This is because they are seen as breeding rivals. Dominated males will often show colours very close to females of their species as a show of submission. Males that have similar colour to the females of other species may also recieve unwanted attention from confused males.
    Fish with the same body shape will be seen as competitors for the same food and feeding territory. If you plan on keeping fish with the same body shape together ensure that they are the same aggression level. Aggressive mbuna are actually well suited to living with other aggressive mbuna. They fight a lot but the fights are not usually too serious if they are well matched.
    The secret to keeping the more aggressive species is to provide lots of broken up territory. The most aggressive Malawi mbuna will often vigorously attempt to drive fish that look similar out of their territory. Africans will fight over the best caves and favourite places to hang out. The more ornaments added, the more smaller territories created. Having more territories allows a fish defeated in a teritory squabble over a prime location plenty of other places to flee to. Its also wise to stock aggressive species aquariums with a higher numbers of fish to spread out aggression. This technique is very popular and is known as "over rocking, over stocking".
    If less aggression is desired in your display. Its best to aim for different body shaped and coloured fish. Avoid males of the same species, more aggresive species and larger species. Have a good centre piece fish or "King of the tank" and he will break up any fights before they get too bad. A king who is too aggro or too wussy will not work as well as one who is just right.
    The occasional squabble will happen in even the most carefully planned cichlid aquarium. If you notice nipped fins the addition of aquarium salt will speed up their repair. More serious injuries such as scraped flanks or eyes respond very well to the addition of melafix. If however you notice a fish in the top corner of an aquarium it is likely it has become stressed and needs to be isolated from the other fish to make a recovery. Ideally the fish is removed to another aquarium but a net style breeder trap can be used instead. If a damaged and stressed fish is not removed it may develop secondary fungal or bacterial infections. African cichlids are generally very fast healers and given a break recover quickly. Its a good idea to have some aquarium salt and melafix on hand if you are keeping the more aggresive mbuna species.
    Cleaning the aquarium.
    The optimum way to maintain an African cichlid aquarium is with more frequent maintence. By doing smaller cleans more frequently you avoid having to do big cleans that can be stressful on fish and you! In general the more fish you stock an aquarium with, the more food you have to feed. The more food you have to feed, the more waste your fish will produce. The more waste your fish produce the more frequently you should dilute that waste with partial water changes. When removing water from the aqarium the best way to do it is with a gravel vaccum. This allows you to remove any waste that has settled in the gravel. Its important to never remove more than 50% of the aquarium water in a single clean as adding too much new water can rapidly change the temperature and pH too much, stressing your fish.
    If you have noticed reduced filter flow, now is also to time to clean filters. Filter sponges and bioballs or noodles should be cleaned in water taken from the aquarium they are running on. This ensures you do not kill off the beneficial bacteria colonys living on them. Filter sponges, noodles and bioballs should NEVER be cleaned using tapwater. The chlorine in tapwater will kill all the beneficial bacteria and create ammonia or nitrite spikes. The aim of cleaning a filter is too get water flowing through it again. Giving sponge a good squeeze out in water taken from the aquarium achieves this. You do not have to get it totally clean, just clear the pores of the sponge.
    If you are also using fine disposable wool type pads or carbon this is a good time to replace them with new ones.
    A heavily stocked aquarium benefits from weekly water changes of around a third of the water. Moderately stocked aquariums do well with a one third water change each 2 weeks. If you have a nitrate test kit you can make more accurate water change shedules with the aim being to keep nitrate below 40ppm nitrate.
    Aquarium glass should be cleaned using a scrubbing pad. For convience you can also purchase magnet cleaners that make it easy to keep the glass algae clean without even getting your hands wet. Many people add fish that help keep algae and missed food cleaned up. The most effective algae eaters in Malawi cichlid aquariums are the bristlenose and pleco catfish. Their heavy armour protects them from cichlids and their hunger for algae ensures its kept under control. The best scavengers of missed food are the synodontis catfish and clown loaches. These fish provide an excellent contrast to the cichlids and provide interest as well as performing useful scavenger duties. As a further plus the brightly coloured clown loaches eat pesky snails, while stunning cuckoo synodontis catfish and helpful bristlenose can be bred!
    Remember the helpful members of this forum are always ready to help. The world needs more African cichlid keepers and we want you to succeed! Completing a Malawi Cichlid aquarium is one of the most rewarding things an aquarist can achieve. Once you bring these exotic fish from Africa into your life, you will wonder how you ever did without their company.
  5. Like
    DeadFishFloating got a reaction from unheatedtank in Starting an African Cichlid aquarium.   
    The Malawi cichlid Aquarium.
    Africans are for everybody! Their beautiful colours and inquizative nature make them a hit with children and even babies. Their fascinating behaviour captivates even the most jaded biologist. The fact they are some of the hardiest, most beautiful and easy to breed fish available has made them a huge hit with fish keepers the world over. In fact an African tank makes the perfect stepping stone for those who later want to try their hand at a saltwater aquarium. You can even use much of the equipment from an African tank later in a marine aquarium!
    Here at QLDAF.COM we have members who have been creating amazing African Cichlid setups for decades and we can help you! You dont need thousands of dollars to enjoy African cichlids. The most successful African cichlid keepers put thought into 3 main areas. Water quality, nutrition and compatability. This article aims to give you an idea of how these come together to create an aquarium that will reward you for many years.
    Before you can rush into stocking your aquarium, you need to prepare it. Attention to the small details will ensure an impressive end result. Its a good idea to start an aquarium blog here. Use this to record water test results, fish names and purchase dates. Theres no limit to what you can decide to record, but it will all become invaluable if you need to solve a problem or even work out what you have done right! One of the great joys in fish keeping is passing on things you have learnt to others and a blog here is the perfect way to do this. Some cichlid names can be long and obscure, so reccording them is always a good idea. The most common question you will be asked when you go to buy a new fish is, "what fish do you already have?".
    A 4 foot aquarium or larger will allow you to keep all types of African cichlids. A 3 foot will need to be stocked with smaller to medium species. A 2 foot aquarium is only suitable for the smallest species or as a grow out aquarium. It is important to place a piece of styrofoam between the stand and the aquarium. This will spread the weight of the aquarium and prevent damage to the glass.
    When filling the aquarium with water add a quality dechlorinator to remove chlorine from the water. Africans are very sensative to chlorine and its important once fish are in it to always add dechlorinator before adding tap water. Next we add a heater, setting it to 25 degrees celcius. Its important to also add a thermometer to ensure the heater is heating accuratly. The next step is filtration. It is always better to over filter an African cichlid aquarium, this is usually achieved by using 2 seperate filters or one powerful cannister filter. Reliable cannisters from Ehiem are very popular. For larger African cichlid aquariums, the fluval FX5 is a great choice. Good filtration choices will provide excellent biological filtration to convert fish waste to non toxic nitrate, and a strong water flow to provide oxygenation and a current for fish to swim against. Ensure your filter ripples the surface of the aquarium. A disturbed water surface ensures good oxygenation of the water. If your filter does not ripple the water surface, the addition of an airpump will help maintain the high oxygen levels that African cichlids need. Airpumps can be used to run sponge filters and these make an ideal backup or complimentary filter to your main one. An airpowered sponge filter and a powerhead filter is a popular combination as an alternative to a cannister filter. Cannister filters while more expensive are visually more appealing as they are located outside of the aquarium. Bubbles can complete the look in an aquarium, so consider an airpump even if you have decided on a cannister filter.
    Gravel or rocks made of coral, marble, limestone or shell grit are the most popular as these will keep the water pH high and stable. Texas holey rock and crushed coral gravel not only look good but also but also provide an ideal environment for African cichlids. The amount of gravel used comes down to personal preference. It is important to give gravel a wash before adding it to remove any dust.
    An alternative to maintaining a high pH by using coral or limestone is the use of buffer additives. Theres range of rift lake buffers ideally suited to this task. These can be used even when using gravel and ornaments that help buffer the water, to achieve an exact pH. But they are essential if you are not using ornaments or gravel that help buffer the water. Many buffers will also add the many salts and minerals found in rift lake water and these will improve the health, colour and breeding of Africans. Otherwise you should look into buying rift lake salts. Buffers and mineral salts will always need to be used if you are water changing with rain water.
    When placing ornaments you should consider the natural homes of the fish you wish to keep. If you are keeping large haps, caves are important as hiding places as this is what fish seek out in the wild as a defence against predators. If fish know they have hiding places they can dash into they will be more confident about coming out into the open. Mbuna feed from algae growing on rocks, so will be more confident with lots of ornaments they can patrol. This will also help fish avoid being in the path of any fish in a grumpy mood. Peacocks like having an open gravel or sand area to build bowers, these are craters that they use to display in and attract the attention of passing females.
    Of course you also want the aquarium to look great and a light is the perfect addition to ensure just that. Not only will a light let you enjoy your fish at night but certain light tubes can enhance the colouration of your fish. For lights that take 2 tubes, a popular trick is to use one actinic blue tube and one white tube. For lights that take one tube, there are blended lights that contain lots of blue and red. These are very effective at reflecting the metalic colours of many African cichlids. To light deeper aquariums T5 high output and high powered LED lights can be used.
    Its reccomended to let your setup aquarium run for at least one week before adding the first fish. This will give the filter bacteria a head start to colonise your filteration before waste producing fish are added. It also provides time to ensure everything is running correctly and to make adjustments if needed. The addition of a bacteria starter culture such as API quickstart or cycle will ensure the establishment of a robust filter bacteria culture and speed up the rate at which the aquarium can be stocked. Cloudy water can be a problem in newly setup aquariums, two products that are very effective at clearing it are API accuclear and Easylife.
    Once the aquarium has been running for at least a week, you are ready to add in the first fish. Its important not to rush stocking the aquarium, as until the filter is fully colonised by bacteria it is not going to be able to process much fish waste. The build up of excessive amounts of fish waste can be lethal to Africans. We measure this build up of unprocessed fish waste by testing for the chemicals ammonia and nitrite. As insurance that your aquarium is ready for fish a testkit is the perfect peace of mind. A masterkit such as the API kit, covers the key important areas of water quality. Ideally you want a test to reveal no ammonia or nitrite is present. This means that the filter bacteria is converting them to nontoxic nitrate as fast as they are being produced by fish. However in the first 3 weeks it is usual to detect some ammonia or nitrite. Adding fish slowly will help prevent the levels of these from reaching those high enough to hurt your fish.
    For a 2 foot aquarium adding a single first fish is reccomended. For a 3 foot adding 2 fish and for a 4 foot adding 3 fish. By waiting a week before adding more fish we give the filter bacteria a chance to catch up to the increased levels of fish waste being produced. It is a good idea to test for ammonia and nitrite before adding the second batch of fish. If you find ammonia or nitrite levels have not fallen it is wise to wait another week before adding more fish. If ammonia or nitrite levels are rising to levels harmful to fish its a good idea to do a partial water change to dilute them down to levels safe to fish. By stocking slowly you not only avoid deaths but also avoid having to do frequent emergency water changes until your filter bacteria colony stabilizes.
    Once you have chosen your new fish, its time to get them some food. There are many options available and you should be guided by quality and variety. A blend of pellets, flakes and frozen foods will ensure not only good nutrition but that feeding time remains an exciting time for your fish. Pellets remain the most popular staple food for African cichlids with the New Life Spectrum brand considered by many breeders as the best. Colour foods high in astaxanthin such as White Crane pellets are a popular suppliment for all male display aquariums, but will interupt breeding so should not be used to feed breeder tanks. Flake foods with high spirulina content enhance a fishes long term health. Frozen foods are an ideal treat but must be of the correct type. Ocean Nutrition foods are the most popular with the most suitable being brineshrimp and mysis. Africans should not be fed bloodworm, black worm or beef heart. As an extra treat, live brine shrimp can be fed. For adults of larger species you can even purchase live feeder prawns!
    Adding new fish can be stressful for the fish but is always exciting for you. To help them settle in there are a few things you can do. First float the bag in the aquarium to allow the temperature to equalise. Next move around a few rocks or ornaments. This will distract the fish you already have and prevent them focusing on the new fish 100%. After a 15 minute float it can be a good idea to roll down the fish bag sides and add some aquarium water to the bag. Doing this 3 times about 5 minutes apart will allow the pH in the bag to equalise with the pH of the aquarium. This is called staging the fish, and is more important the longer the fish has been in the bag. CO2 from the fish can cause the bag water pH to drop, so by staging the fish we prevent pH shock. If when the new fish is added the established fish stress it, add some food and consider turning out the aquarium light for a few hours. The first day is always the most stressful for new fish, once they find the hiding places and get to know the other fish they usually settle in well. Its a good idea to purchase some fish nets with your first fish incase you need to catch them. The most effective net combo is a smaller net to chase with and a larger one to block with. African cichlids can be tricky to catch and having 2 nets will avoid undue stress on you or your fish!
  6. Like
    DeadFishFloating got a reaction from Joshwd in Starting an African Cichlid aquarium.   
    The most complicated part of keeping African cichlids is compatability. This is where research and planning will pay off the most in your quest to create the perfect aquarium for you. There are 2 main types of setups. Display tanks with males only or Breeding tanks with colonys of males and females.
    The all male African cichlid tank has the advantage as a display aquarium because most male cichlids are a lot more colourful than the females. When starting out with a display it is a good idea to make a list of species you wish to keep. Then sort them out least aggressive to most aggressive. Adding the least aggresive species first and the most aggresive species last, this gives the more timid fish a chance to settle in. With little effort a display that can rival most marine setups can be created.
    Breeding African cichlids is a very rewarding experience. Unlike American cichlids, Africans have rather large young. Often around the size of a baby mollie. These young are easily raised in a fry saver net. Feeding is as simple as frozen baby brine shrimp, suplimented with crushed up African cichlid pellets and flakes. Depending on the species and size of the fish, you can get from 5 to over 100 each time. Because most African cichlids are mouth brooders, raising the eggs up in the females mouth, breeding can take place in most aquariums. For best results using at least 3 females for each male prevents females being stressed by constant male attention. Similar fish of different species (eg peacocks) may cross breed. The resulting hybrids have little sale value, so the smart breeder avoids mixing similar fish in a breeding setup.
    Malawi cichlids themselves can be divided into 3 main groups. The Haps, peacocks and mbuna. Peacocks are usually found over sand where they hunt shrimp. They will battle rival males for breeding rights. Mbuna, usually hang near the algae covered rocks in shallow water. Because they eat from these rocks mbuna are usually territorial and will patrol rocks they have claimed as theirs. The haps are found in open water and often feed on the young of peacock and mbuna species.
    Mixing Malawi cichlids is always interesting. The different types of mbuna, hap and even peacock vary greatly in aggression, size and colour. Even within species there is a great variety of personalities. No matter which fish you want to mix, growing them up to adults together will give you your best chance of one big happy family. Africans can be hard on each other. Understanding the reasons for this will enable you to plan ahead and have a cichlid community that works well. Cichlid aggression is something best managed by careful stocking.
    Fish with the similar colours will often fight more frequently. This is because they are seen as breeding rivals. Dominated males will often show colours very close to females of their species as a show of submission. Males that have similar colour to the females of other species may also recieve unwanted attention from confused males.
    Fish with the same body shape will be seen as competitors for the same food and feeding territory. If you plan on keeping fish with the same body shape together ensure that they are the same aggression level. Aggressive mbuna are actually well suited to living with other aggressive mbuna. They fight a lot but the fights are not usually too serious if they are well matched.
    The secret to keeping the more aggressive species is to provide lots of broken up territory. The most aggressive Malawi mbuna will often vigorously attempt to drive fish that look similar out of their territory. Africans will fight over the best caves and favourite places to hang out. The more ornaments added, the more smaller territories created. Having more territories allows a fish defeated in a teritory squabble over a prime location plenty of other places to flee to. Its also wise to stock aggressive species aquariums with a higher numbers of fish to spread out aggression. This technique is very popular and is known as "over rocking, over stocking".
    If less aggression is desired in your display. Its best to aim for different body shaped and coloured fish. Avoid males of the same species, more aggresive species and larger species. Have a good centre piece fish or "King of the tank" and he will break up any fights before they get too bad. A king who is too aggro or too wussy will not work as well as one who is just right.
    The occasional squabble will happen in even the most carefully planned cichlid aquarium. If you notice nipped fins the addition of aquarium salt will speed up their repair. More serious injuries such as scraped flanks or eyes respond very well to the addition of melafix. If however you notice a fish in the top corner of an aquarium it is likely it has become stressed and needs to be isolated from the other fish to make a recovery. Ideally the fish is removed to another aquarium but a net style breeder trap can be used instead. If a damaged and stressed fish is not removed it may develop secondary fungal or bacterial infections. African cichlids are generally very fast healers and given a break recover quickly. Its a good idea to have some aquarium salt and melafix on hand if you are keeping the more aggresive mbuna species.
    Cleaning the aquarium.
    The optimum way to maintain an African cichlid aquarium is with more frequent maintence. By doing smaller cleans more frequently you avoid having to do big cleans that can be stressful on fish and you! In general the more fish you stock an aquarium with, the more food you have to feed. The more food you have to feed, the more waste your fish will produce. The more waste your fish produce the more frequently you should dilute that waste with partial water changes. When removing water from the aqarium the best way to do it is with a gravel vaccum. This allows you to remove any waste that has settled in the gravel. Its important to never remove more than 50% of the aquarium water in a single clean as adding too much new water can rapidly change the temperature and pH too much, stressing your fish.
    If you have noticed reduced filter flow, now is also to time to clean filters. Filter sponges and bioballs or noodles should be cleaned in water taken from the aquarium they are running on. This ensures you do not kill off the beneficial bacteria colonys living on them. Filter sponges, noodles and bioballs should NEVER be cleaned using tapwater. The chlorine in tapwater will kill all the beneficial bacteria and create ammonia or nitrite spikes. The aim of cleaning a filter is too get water flowing through it again. Giving sponge a good squeeze out in water taken from the aquarium achieves this. You do not have to get it totally clean, just clear the pores of the sponge.
    If you are also using fine disposable wool type pads or carbon this is a good time to replace them with new ones.
    A heavily stocked aquarium benefits from weekly water changes of around a third of the water. Moderately stocked aquariums do well with a one third water change each 2 weeks. If you have a nitrate test kit you can make more accurate water change shedules with the aim being to keep nitrate below 40ppm nitrate.
    Aquarium glass should be cleaned using a scrubbing pad. For convience you can also purchase magnet cleaners that make it easy to keep the glass algae clean without even getting your hands wet. Many people add fish that help keep algae and missed food cleaned up. The most effective algae eaters in Malawi cichlid aquariums are the bristlenose and pleco catfish. Their heavy armour protects them from cichlids and their hunger for algae ensures its kept under control. The best scavengers of missed food are the synodontis catfish and clown loaches. These fish provide an excellent contrast to the cichlids and provide interest as well as performing useful scavenger duties. As a further plus the brightly coloured clown loaches eat pesky snails, while stunning cuckoo synodontis catfish and helpful bristlenose can be bred!
    Remember the helpful members of this forum are always ready to help. The world needs more African cichlid keepers and we want you to succeed! Completing a Malawi Cichlid aquarium is one of the most rewarding things an aquarist can achieve. Once you bring these exotic fish from Africa into your life, you will wonder how you ever did without their company.
×
×
  • Create New...