Ocellaris Clownfish – the Real “Nemo” is Animal-World’s Newest Arrival

September 29, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Saltwater Fish

The Ocellaris Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris

Nemo’s been found and his identity revealed, meet the Ocellaris clownfish!

The Ocellaris clownfish is the most recognized little orange saltwater fish in the world. This personable little fish began its long journey to stardom many years ago. Because it is very hardy, it first became an all time favorite of aquarium keepers. Then with its eye-catching appearance, it became the marine fish icon for coffee table books, advertisers, and publishers.

Finally, lo and behold, the movie industry picked up on this illustrious little fish. They dubbed it “Nemo”, and the Ocellaris clownfish became the star of the popular 2003 Pixar film “Finding Nemo”!

The Ocellaris Clownfish Amphiprion ocellarisis not a stand alone in looks however. It’s very close in appearance to the Percula Clownfish Amphiprion percula. In fact they are so similar that the two are often confused, even by the experts. It takes a keen eye and a good memory to discern which is which, and the Ocellaris also became known as the “False” Percula Clownfish.

Learn more about the habitat and care of this personable little celebrity, really known as the Ocellaris Clownfish, and learn how to tell the False Percula Clownfish apart from its look-alike cousin the True Pecula Clownfish!

Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Maroon Clownfish makes its debut as Animal-World’s New Arrival

September 27, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Saltwater Fish

The Maroon Clownfish, Premnas biaculeatus

The Maroon Clownfish could easily be Called “King of the Clowns”

The largest and most dominant of all the clownfish is the elegant Maroon Anemonefish. It is adorned in regal shades of maroon to red, accented with bright yellow or white stripes. Other fish, if they wish to subsist in its domain, live at its discretion and according to its mood!

Yes, the Maroon Clownfish Premnas biaculeatus could be called the king, except for one slight caveat. The female is up to 3 times as big as the male and tough. She’s in charge, and yes, she actually is the ruler. The female controls her environment and all who cross her path. She dominates the home and her empire. Even the male bows down to her wishes.

Perhaps its better to say the Maroon Clownfish could easily be called the “Queen of the Clownfish”! Learn more about the regal and dominant Maroon Clownfish, including its habitat and care!

Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Choosing an Aquarium Filter

September 20, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Freshwater fish

Which Aquarium Filter is Right for Me?

Guest Post by Michael David

Installing a fish tank can be a great way to add some color and life to your home or workspace. It can even provide a sense of peace in the midst of a stressful day. However, keeping your fish happy and healthy goes beyond the daily sprinkle of fish food. Proper aquarium setup and adequate water filtration is crucial to the survival of all aquarium life.

Why Do I Need a Filter?

Let me answer this question with an example from the news. A few months ago, Carnival Cruise Line’s Triumph experienced a power failure during a four-day excursion to the Caribbean. This power failure also disabled the ship’s septic system, resulting in backed-up toilets and human excrement littering every floor. These unsanitary conditions caused many of the passengers to become sick. Had they been out there any longer, the consequences could have been much worse.

Much like a cruise ship, your fish tank is an enclosed environment with a high-density population. In nature, fish do not normally need to share such a small space. However, the higher concentration of fish leads to a larger amount of fish waste. If left unchecked, fish waste releases ammonia, which is harmful to fish. Without some kind of filtration system in place, your fish will get sick and eventually die.

How is the Water Filtered?

Biological Filtration

In nature, this ammonia is removed from the water through biological filtration. Naturally-occurring bacteria will oxidize and break down the ammonia into a less toxic form which can then be absorbed by plant life.

Installing a biological filter is one way to replicate this break-down process. In addition to installing a biological filter, it’s also wise to plant some underwater plants to absorb any additional toxins not initially broken down by the bacteria. Biological filters require very little maintenance, however, the bacterial colonies will take some time (six weeks minimum) to develop, so avoid adding too many fish too quickly to your new aquarium.

If you’re looking for something very low-maintenance, you might consider an under-gravel filter. As the name suggests, these filters are placed beneath the aquarium’s gravel, moving water through the gravel and creating ideal conditions for the bacteria to grow. Wet-dry filters are another good choice, particularly if you want to install a saltwater aquarium. These filters are exposed to both the water and the air, which allows for the maximum number of bacterial colonies to spawn.

Mechanical Filtration

Unlike biological filtration, which breaks down waste products, mechanical filtration simply removes undissolved waste materials (excrement, uneaten food, and other debris) from the water. Mechanical filters usually involve a water pump as well as a mesh material that catches debris. And while this is a great way to remove waste from the aquarium before any ammonia is released, mechanical filters do require more frequent maintenance and thorough cleaning before placing them back in the water.

Both power and internal power filters are the most popular and effective mechanical filter models on the market. Power filters hang off the back of your tank while internal power filters are placed inside the aquarium itself. Many have replaceable cartridges, which makes for fast and easy maintenance.

Chemical Filtration

Another popular method for filtering waste from your fish tank is through chemical or active carbon filtration. Activated carbon contains numerous microscopic pores, which allow it to absorb any dissolved chemicals in your aquarium. This is a fairly low-maintenance method to keeping your tank water clean, but you will need to replace your carbon every couple months or so.

While canister filters can be adjusted to provide both biological and mechanical filtration, they are most often used for chemical filtration. The advantage to using a canister filter for active carbon filtration is that they are significantly larger than most other aquarium filters, meaning you won’t have to replace your carbon as often as you would with smaller filters.

Michael David is a freelance journalist and blogger living in New York City. Michael loves writing about DIY projects, home improvement, and garden-related topics, and suggests you look into aquarium filters.

The Allard’s Clownfish, Animal-World’s newest arrival

September 19, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Saltwater Fish

Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Amada44
Creative Commons 3.0 Unported License

Trick or Treat starts early with The Allard’s Clownfish

This clown is all decked out for halloween! Its dazzling attire will leave black cats and white ghosts in the dark. The costume is black and orange with bright white bars to rival any glolight. Its bars have a bluish cast and it tail is all white too. It looks a lot like another popular Clown, the Clarkii Anemonefish, but that fellow is a bit more subdued with a yellow tail.

The showy Allard’s Clownfish Amphiprion allardi will make a splash in any aquarium and is highly sought after. But although it is much desired, obtaining it is the trick. This Twobar Anemonefish is rather rare, and when it is found it can cost a pretty penny. But if you can get your hands on one, or better yet on a pair, you’ll have a treat beyond compare. Trick or treat just doesn’t get any better than this!

Get ready to be bewitched! Learn more about the handsome but evasive Allard’s Anemonefish, its habitat and care!

Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

A New Arrival on Animal-World: Oman Anemonefish

September 13, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Saltwater Fish

Oman Anemonefish, A clownfish you may have to dive to see!

The Oman Anemonefish Amphiprion omanensis may look like other clownfish at first glance. But it has some awesome “stand alone” characteristics that you just won’t find in another clown.

Picture via hhobler’s YouTube Video Oman Dive Trip 2

For starters it is one of only two clownfish whose tailfin sports a majorly forked lyretail. To make it even more unique its tailfin also has streamers.

There’s several more curious facts about it too, which really make it a stand out from its relatives. These range from more distinctions in its looks, to its behaviors and unique breeding circumstances.

It makes an awesome aquarium fish that’s very hardy and great for any level of aquarist.

But… the Oman Clownfish is so rare, that if you want to see it you may very well have to go diving off the Arabian Penisula. It was said sometime in the early 2000′s that the Sultan of Oman simply doesn’t want anyone “touching his fish”! Go figure! Better yet… go diving!

Learn more about the curious and rare Oman Anemonefish, including its habitat and care!

A New Arrival on Animal-World: Clarkii Clownfish

September 11, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Saltwater Fish

Clarkii Clownfish, Amphiprion clarkii, Clark's Anemonefish, Yellowtail Clownfish

Clarkii Clownfish, Dream Fish for the Beginning Saltwater Aquarist!

The Clarkii Clownfish Amphiprion clarkii has it all! If you’re new to the saltwater aquarium hobby but looking for a fabulous eye catcher, this guys right on the money. A handsome devil with an attitude, it struts its stuff in style.

This is a very hardy clownfish that will make any aquarist proud. Whether your a beginner or advanced, a fish only keeper or a mini reef keeper, the Clark’s Anemonefish can work in almost any tank. And when it comes to needing a host anemone, this fish can take it or leave it. But if you want to keep it with an anemeone it will happily accept any of the 10 regularly available clown-hosting types. Yeah, this guy has it all!

Learn more about the Clarkii Clownfish and how to keep it.

A New Arrival on Animal-World: Three Band Anemonefish

September 4, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Saltwater Fish

Three Band Anemonefish, One of the Greatest Clownfish for beginners!

The Three Band Anemonefish Amphiprion tricinctus is one of those incredibly pretty saltwater clownfish. It immediately draws an audience to its tank where it preforms all those clownish antics its family is re-knowned for. But better than that the Tricinctus Clownfish is very durable and is one of the least aggressive of its group. Truly a beginning saltwater aquarists dream!

Being a rather cheeky little fellow it makes a very personable pet. Which is just another great bonus in keeping this saltwaterfish! Learn more about the Three Band Anemonefish and how to keep it.

The Firemouth Cichlid

September 2, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Featured Pets, Freshwater fish

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Firemouth Cichlid!

Are you a cichlid person? Some people like these fish so much that all they keep are cichlids. They may even keep several “cichlid tanks” around their home! Given that cichlids are so diverse in color, size, and temperament, this is completely understandable. The Firemouth Cichlid, in particular, is a popular one. Many people like them because of their beautiful colors and how easy they are to keep.

The Firemouth Cichlid Thorichthys meeki, is a great beginner cichlid. It is one of the easiest cichlids to care for and anyone can start out keeping them. A big reason these guys are easy to keep is because they readily adapting to most environments. Their major draw is the bright red coloring, which occurs on their underside and up through their throat area. Other attributes of these attractive fish are being small (for cichlids) and having relatively fun personalities. They often do well in community aquariums as long as they are kept with other Firemouth Cichlids and fish of the same size and temperament as themselves. You only have to worry about them becoming more aggressive than usual during breeding times.

The Firemouth Cichlid

About the Firemouth Cichlid

Central America is the native country of these cichlids. More specifically, they inhabit the countries of Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. In the wild, the Firemouth Cichlid thrives in slow moving rivers and ponds. They usually stay closer to the bottom of the water where it is muddy and vegetation is easily accessible.

Feeding these cichlids is easy. They will eat almost any type of food offered to them! This includes, flakes, pellets, live foods, and fresh foods. Offering a variety of foods weekly is a good way to make sure they are receiving optimum nutrition. You will want to give them pellets or flakes every day and then add in some fresh cucumber and spinach as well. Live blood worms and brine shrimp are excellent treats but should be offered more sparingly.

Aquarium Care for the Firemouth Cichlid

Caring for the aquarium is no more difficult than for a typical tropical aquarium. As I mentioned earlier, Firemouth Cichlids are hardy fish and can adapt to wide range of aquarium conditions. However, regular maintenance is still needed to ensure their health! Most importantly, regular water changes are needed. About 20% of the water should be replaced every week. The gravel should also be siphoned out. These two cleaning activities get rid of decomposing organic matter and help limit the build-up of nitrates and phosphates.

A 30 gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for two Firemouth Cichlids. If you want a community cichlid tank though, you will need a much larger aquarium. A general rule is one inch of fish for every gallon of water. Equip the aquarium with a good filter and water movement. Cichlids appreciate plenty of rocks, plants and wood to hide amongst. Fine sand is a good substrate for the bottom because these fish love to burrow! They don’t need any special lighting requirements and the temperature can range from 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Diseases to Watch Out for With the Firemouth Cichlid

A common problem among tropical fish, including the Firemouth Cichlid, is ich. Many fish become infected with ich, usually when feeling stressed. The good thing is that ich can’t tolerate higher temperatures, but these cichlids can! So it can be easier to treat the Firemouth Cichlid for ich by simply increasing the aquarium temperature up to around 86 degrees for a few days. Other tropical fish diseases can also plague these cichlids. These include fungal infections, bacterial infections, and parasitic infections. If your cichlid has a disease check this Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatments guide for a thorough description of most illnesses and their cures!

Do you keep a community cichlid tank? What is your favorite thing about keeping cichlids?

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Chinese Algae Eater!

The Green-cheeked Conure

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Chinese Algae Eater!

The Chinese Algae Eater may not be at the top of the “perfect” pet list, but they serve a very important function in many people’s home aquariums! Most people at some point in time run into an algae problem with their tanks. And their first thought is usually to go buy a sucker fish! The pet store I worked at had Chinese Algae Eaters being ordered in and departing with customers on a weekly basis. They are one of the most popular fish because of their useful function and therefore one of the most wanted!

The Chinese Algae Eater Gyrinocheilus aymonieri usually does an outstanding job at clearing algae from an aquarium while it is young. This is the primary reason people purchase them. However as they age, they can no longer sustain themselves on algae and plants alone and begin needing additional food sources to keep them healthy. This includes more meat sources. You will want to acquire algae eaters when they are young and small (less than 2 inches) to maximize the benefit you reap from their algae eating capabilities. Do realize that they can reach over 5 inches in length when full grown so make sure to take that into account when purchasing one. They should not be kept in an aquarium smaller than 30 gallons. These algae eaters can come in a variety of colors and have a stripe along their length from the nose to the tail. One of the most popular varieties is the Golden Chinese Algae Eater (check the video for a beautiful example of one). Belonging to the Carp (Cyprinidae) family, their mouth is in the shape of a disk which is used to suck and stick to surfaces. This is perfect for sticking to the sides of an aquarium.

Chinese Algae Eaters are found naturally in lakes and rivers in Southeast Asia and southern China. They usually stay in more shallow areas where there is plenty of sun and rocks where biofilm grows. They were first described in 1883 by Tirant. In it’s native countries, these fish are actually part of people’s diets! In 1956 people started exporting these fish to Germany specifically for use in the aquarium trade. They are on the IUCN Red List with their state being marked as Least Concern. This is because the populations have diminished in some areas (especially Thailand), but they have not declined enough in general to warrant mass concern.

As I mentioned earlier, you won’t want to keep one of these algae eaters in anything less than a 30 gallon tank to begin with. Because they grow rather large, you will want to eventually provide them with at least a 55 gallon aquarium. In general, they are easy to care for. The main concerns are to keep their environments clean with well-oxygenated water. Plan on performing regular water changes once or twice a month which replace a quarter to half of the aquariums water. Another fact to keep in mind is that as Chinese Algae Eaters grow into adults, they often become territorial. To keep them from picking on other fish, try to make sure there are at least 5 tank-mates. These tank-mates should ideally be fast swimmers who can hold their own.

Feeding these fish while they are young is generally quite simple. They are herbivorous as youngsters and can thrive off of the plant growth around the tank. You should still provide them with supplemented flake food and algae wafers. As they grow older they become omnivorous and should be fed a variety of flake, frozen, and live foods. These can include blood worms and brine shrimp.

If you are having problems keeping your algae down, or if you just think this happens to be an interesting fish, you should have no problem finding one at a pet store or online. They are very popular and readily available. Read more about the Chinese Algae Eater on Animal-World; including more details on breeding them and common ailments!

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

A New Arrival on Animal-World: The Vermiculated Angelfish

June 12, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Saltwater Fish

Vermiculated AngelfishVermiculated Angelfish
“I am a Beauty!”

The Vermiculated Angelfish looks strikingly similar to the Butteflyfish!

The Vermiculated Angelfish Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus is a beautiful fish! Its appearance is quite similar to the Butterflyfish. In fact at first glance many people mistake it for a Butterflyfish! It is a smaller fish, reaching about 7 inches (18 cm) in length. It is amazing to look at with extremely blue lips and yellow face. They also have a vertical line on their eyes. Their bodies are two colors; white behind the head which fades into black. This pattern has tiny sprinkles of yellow all through it. The bi-colored body starts out in triangular white patch behind the head fading into a larger black area, accented with a yellow speckled patterning throughout. It kind of appears like there are wavy lines along the body, which is where the “vermiculated” part of their name comes from. Other names this fish is commonly called are the Singapore Angelfish, the Vermiculate Angelfish, and the Red Sea Butterflyfish.

If you are looking for an angelfish of this genus, you won’t have far to look! Being the most common fish available in this genus, you can find it or order it at most saltwater fish stores. There are actually 2 different species that were both thought to be the same species, just with different color tails. The Vermiculated Angelfish was thought to be the yellowtail variation and the other was the graytail variation. In 2009 the graytail variation officially became its own species called Chaetodontoplus poliourus (It has no common name, yet). The Vermiculated Angelfish has also been noted to look like the Indian Yellowtail Angelfish Apolemichthys xanthurus. The main difference between the two is that the Yellowtail Angelfish is smaller (only reaches about 6 inches) and has larger scales on its lateral line.

The Vermiculated Angelfish is a moderately difficult fish to care for. They do make great fish if they adapt to their new environment. Unfortunately, only about 50% of these fish survive in captivity. If they are too stressed out, they will often quit eating and starve themselves to death. A good plan is to keep the aquarium in a quiet room with few visitors to help reduce their stress levels… Read More

More on The Vermiculated Angelfish!

« Previous PageNext Page »