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How to start – setting up first tank.How to start – setting up first tank.

How to start – setting up first tank.

Many people find that having a tropical fish tank in their home is relaxing and enjoyable. If you decided to join this fascinating hobby the first step is to find good guide so you can avoid common beginner errors. There are many great books that are guides to different aquarium fish or you can look this guide how to setup new aquarium. The first thing to do is wise shopping. You need buy all necessary equipment and setup tank before you can buy your fish. Read more

Paracheirodon axelrodi (Shultz, 1956)Paracheirodon axelrodi (Shultz, 1956)

Paracheirodon axelrodi (Shultz, 1956)

Copyright © Andrzej Ostropolski 2010

 The “Cardinal Tetra” is one of the most popular and most desired fish in a tropical freshwater tank, because of its awesome coloration. However, keeping these fish requires certain knowledge.  The Paracheirodon axelrodi is a freshwater fish of the Characin family of order Characiformes. It is native to the upper Orinoco and Negro rivers in South America. Growing to about 3 cm (1.25 in) total length, the cardinal tetra has the striking iridescent blue line characteristic of the Paracheirodon species laterally bisecting the fish, with the body below this line being red colour. Cardinal tetra is a shoaling, peaceful and it should be 6 or more fish in aquarium.

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It is a top and middle dweller that prefers a densely planted aquarium with dark bottom substrate and some open space in the centre. It is recommendable to use floating plants to dim the light.  The Paracheirodon axelrodi is difficult fish to breed. The fish need soft and acid water (1° – 2°of hardness, Ph of 5.0 – 6.0) with a temperature of about 82°F(28°C). Use Java moss or a synthetic net substitute over the bottom of the tank to protects scattered eggs and reduce the lighting as the fry is very light sensitive for the first week of life. Cardinal Tetras usually spawn at twilight. The male embraces the female when spawning and about 400-500 eggs are scattered. Remove the parents soon as they complete spawning and leave tank in dark for next week. The eggs hatch in about 24 hours and the fry start free-swimming in about five days. The fry feed of liquid fry food, infusoria, or hard-boiled egg yolk mixed with water. The Paracheirodon axelrodi reach sexual maturity within a year. 

Latin name Paracheirodon axelrodi
Size Up to 1.25 inches (3 cm)
Difficulty Easy
Water Temperature 71.6 – 82.4°F or 22 – 28°C
Water pH 5.5 – 6.5 pH
Water Hardness 5 – 15 dGH
Peaceful or Aggressive Peaceful shoaling fish
Number of same species in tank Six or more, more is better
Community Fish Yes
Sexes Males are generally slimmerFemales are larger and more rounder
Space in aquarium Middle to bottom
Food Flake food, blood worms and brine shrimp
Breeding Not easy to breed – require high quality water
Breeding temperature 82.4°F or 28°C
Common names Cardinal Tetra, Cardinal Neon Tetra, Red Neon
Lifespan in aquarium Up to 4 years

Chromobotia macracanthus (Bleeker, 1852)Chromobotia macracanthus (Bleeker, 1852)

Chromobotia macracanthus (Bleeker, 1852)

 
macracanthus

Copyright © Andrzej Ostropolski 2010

 Chromobotia macracanthus  is a tropical freshwater fish belonging to the Cobitidae family. It is the sole member of the Chromobotia genus. Clown loaches are native to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia. A harmless, very active and sociable fish, clown loaches are best kept in groups of 3-4 or more as excellent community tank fish. 

Latin name Chromobotia macracanthus
Size 7 to 15 inches (15 to 30 cm)
Difficulty Moderate
Water Temperature 71.6 – 82.4°F or 22 – 28°C
Water pH 6 – 7.5 pH
Water Hardness 5 – 15 dGH
Peaceful or Aggressive Peaceful, sociable
Number of same species in tank 3-4 or more, more is better
Community Fish Yes
Sexes  
Space in aquarium Bottom
Food Flake food, blood worms and brine shrimp, snails
Breeding Not confirmed breed in captivity
Breeding temperature 82.4°F or 28°C
Common names Clown Loach, Botia macracantha, Cobitis macracanthus,
Lifespan in aquarium Up to 40 years
Thayeria Boehlkei (Weitzman, 1957)Thayeria Boehlkei (Weitzman, 1957)

Thayeria Boehlkei (Weitzman, 1957)

The Thayeria Boehlkei is a species of Characidae fish endemic to the Amazon River basin and Araguaia River in Peru and Brazil. Popular with aquarium hobbyists where it is traded under a variety of common names including Blackline Penguinfish, Blackline Thayeria, Hockey-stick Tetra, Penguin Fish and Penguin Tetra. 

Latin name Thayeria Boehlkei
Size Up to 2.36 inches (6 cm)
Difficulty Easy
Water Temperature 71.6 – 79°F or 22 – 27°C
Water pH 6- 8 pH
Water Hardness 6 – 15 dGH
Peaceful or Aggressive Peaceful shoaling fish
Number of same species in tank Six or more, more is better
Community Fish Yes
Sexes Males are generally slimmer Females are larger and more rounder
Space in aquarium Middle to top
Food Flake food, blood worms and brine shrimp
Breeding Moderate to breed – require high quality water
Breeding temperature 79°F or 27°C
Common names Blackline Penguinfish, Blackline Thayeria, Hockey-stick Tetra, Penguin Fish, Penguin Tetra
Lifespan in aquarium Up to 5-6 years

The Nitrogen Cycle in new setup aquarium.The Nitrogen Cycle in new setup aquarium.

The Nitrogen Cycle in new setup aquarium.

“Cycling the aquarium” is the first step, after buying all the equipment, to start up a new aquarium. Without the nitrogen cycle, the aquarium is not a safe place for fish and it understanding is a key to healthy tropical fish. As your tropical aquarium is such “small world” all toxins (especially ammonia) generated from rotten food, feces and urine from fish and also dead plants may become deadly in matter of hours…. read more

Ancistrus spAncistrus sp

Ancistrus sp

Ancistrus sp - male

Copyright © Andrzej Ostropolski 2010

Ancistrus sp is a genus of freshwater tropical fish in the family Loricariidae of order Siluriformes. Native the fish coming from the Amazon River basin, the Negro, lower Trombetas, Tefé, Madeira and Tapajós River basins. Ancistrus is one of most common fish kept by aquarists as good algae-eater, tolerant to a wide range of water conditions, and compatible with most other freshwater tropical fish. The fish are omnivore species that needs a lot of algae based food and vegetables combined with small and infrequent meat food.

 

Ancistrus_female00

Copyright © Andrzej Ostropolski 2010

Breeding this fish is quite easy and straightforward. When fish are mature and ready, males attract females to small cave or hollow where the female will lay about 50 – 200 eggs. The eggs will be attached to the inner walls of the cave. The male will stay close to the eggs to guard them and fan fresh water over the eggs using his ventral and pectoral fins. After 5-7 days when the eggs hatch, the fry will stay inside the cave and the male will continue to guard them. Eventually, the fry will leave the cave and start swimming around. In mature aquarium they should have enough food from algae. You can provide additional food by holding a piece of Romaine salad under hot water for a while before placing it in the aquarium. As fry grow a bit bigger, you can start giving flakes food and tablets. During the following weeks the fry become completely brown. Frequent water changes are imperative since the fry produces an impressive amount of waste products. In two months time they should be around ½ inch long (2.5 cm) and look like small copies of their parents. 

Latin name Ancistrus sp  
Size Up to 6 inches (15 cm) males, females usually smaller
Difficulty Easy
Water Temperature 71.6 – 82.4°F or 22 – 28°C
Water pH 6.0 – 7.5 pH
Water Hardness 5 – 15 dGH
Peaceful or Aggressive Peaceful
Number of same species in tank One pair
Community Fish Yes
Sexes Males are generally bigger with large bristles on the head
Space in aquarium Mostly bottom
Food Algae, Flake food, blood worms  
Breeding Easy to breed – require bogwood or cave to spawn
Breeding temperature 82.4°F or 28°C
Common names Bushynose pleco, Bristlenose pleco
Lifespan in aquarium Up to 12 years

Corydoras Melini – Lönnberg & Rendahl, 1930Corydoras Melini – Lönnberg & Rendahl, 1930

Corydoras Melini – Lönnberg & Rendahl, 1930

Corydoras metae
Copyright © Andrzej Ostropolski 2010
Corydoras Melini is a species of catfish belonging to the genus Corydoras, of the Family Callichthyidae, and originates from the Rio Negro and the Rio Meta.  The fish prefers  water with pH range 7.0 – 7.5, although they will tolerate a range of water conditions. Sandy substrate is best in order to prevent damage to barbels.

 

Corydoras metae
Copyright © Andrzej Ostropolski 2010

Cordoras Melini will like plenty of plants and driftwood throughout the aquarium, with a central open area for swimming. They should be kept in schools of at least six. The fish are omnivores they will feed on live or frozen brine shrimps, blackworms, daphnia, algae wafers and sinking shrimp pellets. High quality flake food may be used as supplement. Breeding Cordoras Melini is not hard – the addition of new, clean, oxygenated water appears to be the primary stimulus for this species. During spawning, the males will follow the fertile female around and circle her. The eggs are no larger than 1.5 mm and can be left on the glass as well as on plants and spawning mops. Unlike many other catfish species, Corydoras Melini produce rather small batches sometimes less than 10-15 eggs. The eggs will hatch after 4-5 days if the water temperature is around 25ºC. At this point, the fry is around 4 mm and almost invisible from gravel. When the fry hatch, they will feed from their yolk sac for another 48 hours. As the first food for Corydoras Melini fry you can use microworms. As they grow larger, you can start giving them newly hatched brine shrimp and then gradually increase the size of the food. After four weeks they will be over 1 cm long and much thicker than when they hatched.

Latin name Corydoras Melini
Size Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
Difficulty Easy
Water Temperature 68°F – 77°F or 20°C – 25°C
Water pH 7.0 – 7.5 pH
Water Hardness 10 – 15 dGH
Peaceful or Aggressive Peaceful shoaling fish
Number of same species in tank Six and more, more is better
Community Fish Yes
Sexes Males are generally slimmer, Females are larger and more rounder
Space in aquarium Middle to bottom
Food Flake food, blood worms and brine shrimp
Breeding Easy to breed – often breed in community tank
Breeding temperature 68°F – 77°F or 20°C – 25°C
Common names False Corydoras Bandit
Lifespan in aquarium Up to 5 years

3 days old Corydoras Melini fry.

Here is video of Corydoras Melini fry with some Ancistrus sp. youngsters.
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F1 Altum Angelfish Tony Tan tank breed – Juli 2011

F1 Altum Angelfish – Tony Tan tank breed

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Altum Angels F1 – August 2011


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