Bubble Eye Goldfish

Bubble Eye goldfish are a “fancy” variety, which is characterized by fluid filled sacs beneath the eyes. Bubble Eyes lack dorsal fins and have double tail fins. They can be found in gold, red, black, white and calico colors. The fish can reach eight inches long and the bubble sacs grow with the fish, sometimes occluding the fish’s vision.

Bubble Eye goldfish are as cheap and readily available as any fancy breed, but are not recommended for new fish owners. The vulnerable sacs are easily damaged and require care to reduce risk. The contents of the tank must be screened to ensure no sharp or abrasive surfaces such as sharp rocks or even filter fixtures can threaten the fish. If the sacs are punctured, the water must be kept especially clean and topical medicine may be required. A punctured sac can heal, but will almost always scar.

Bubble Eye goldfish must also be kept with slow and peaceful fish due to the vulnerable eye sacs. These can get large enough to hinder the fish’s ability to swim and thus the fish will not compete as well. Other bubble eyes, telescopes and celestial eyes are particularly suitable.

Bubble Eye goldfish prefer still waters. They require a minimum of ten gallons of water, and up to fifty gallons may be optimal for large bubble eyes. This breed is best in slightly warmer water, seventy six to seventy eight degrees.

However, at these temperatures it is important to properly aerate the water. With proper use of air stones and bubble walls, bubble eyes can be healthy in water up to ninety degrees.

Water changes must occur often to keep the nitrate levels below forty parts per million.

While all goldfish are vulnerable to poor food choices, bubble eye goldfish are especially vulnerable due to the breed’s large belly. The fish have best results from sinking food and a variety of fruit and vegetables. Floating food can lead to air ingestion, and bubble eye goldfish are even more vulnerable to this than most goldfish. This can lead to constipation and swim bladder problems. The fish will have trouble swimming upright and will spend time near the surface or bottom. These symptoms can also be caused by poor water cleanliness. Swim bladder problems should be treated with a fast of twenty four hours followed by a diet of frozen green peas for several days. If processed, floating food must be used, it should be allowed to soak up water before being fed to the fish.

Cherry Barb

Family: Cyprinidae
Species: Barbus titteya
Size: 2 in (5 cm)
Diet: Omnivorous
Temperament: Peaceful
TankConditions: 74-79°F; pH 6.0-7.0; dH 4-10
TankLevels: Middle and Lower

Barbs are predominantly small to medium sized fish with a typical diamond-shape, compressed laterally. A few species do grow large, but these are not commonly seen in the aquarium trade. Many, but not all, barbs have small barbels. Most barbs offered for sale come from Asia and belong to the genus Puntius, but barbs are also found throughout Africa. Many barbs (and other cyprinids) have a distinctive iridescence caused by the presence of guanin. Barbs belong to the sub-family Cyprininae, as does the well-known Silver “shark”.

Many barbs are quite undemanding of water quality, although there are exceptions. In general the waters to which these fish are native are slightly acid to neutral, of moderate hardness, clear and swift flowing. Apart from the few delicate species, barbs are quite adaptable to higher pH and hardness. However, to promote breeding behaviors, more specific conditions are usually needed, see the breeding section. Most barbs need a heated tank, but a few species, namely Rosy, China and Odessa barbs, can be kept indoor in unheated (coldwater) aquaria.

Most barbs are happy with a tank that provides plenty of swimming room with some plants or other decoration to provide shelter.

Barbs are generally peaceful, schooling fish, although some (e.g. Rosy barb, Tiger barb) are prone to be nippy. Any aggression is minimized by keeping them in a school of four to six fish, and they can then be mixed with most community fish. However it is not recommended to mix most of the larger-sized barbs with timid, very tiny, or fancy-finned fish. Larger barbs are lively, active and can be boisterous, so timid fish may become shy even if they are not being bullied. Many of the bigger species can be kept with quite large community fish or with cichlids. On the other hand, many barbs, and particularly small species such as the cherry barb, are extremely peaceful fish, sometimes inclined to be timid themselves.

Apart from a few plant-eating species that are not readily available, barbs are quite well-suited to planted aquaria.

Breeding: Barbs are egg scatterers that do not tend their eggs or fry and so a separate spawning/fry tank is needed. Spawning usually occurs between pairs, but in some species, one male may spawn with a group of two to three females.

In some species there are few visual differences between males and females, but in many males are more colourful than females and not as plump. To bring the adults into breeding condition, plenty of frozen foods should be included in the diet, and the water should be kept soft, slightly acid and with blackwater extract added. Fine leaved plants or an artificial spawning mop should be used to collect the eggs. A bare bottom is recommended so that the tank can be kept very clean. After spawning the parents should be removed.

The eggs take between 1 and 2 days to hatch. Very fine live foods, e.g. infusoria, are usually needed to raise the fry. Frequent feeding is important, as are daily water changes to keep water quality high.

The Cherry Barb is a very timid fish. The Cherry Barb is suitable for small aquariums and should be kept with other small fishes. Subdued lighting conditions complement the fish’s coloring. During spawning, the male will turn bright cherry red. HABITAT: Borneo, Indonesia, Sumatra.

Compatibility: Barbs, Gouramis, larger Livebearers, Dwarf Cichlids, Sharks, Rainbowfish, Plecos, Catfish, and Loaches

Albino Bushinose Pleco

About 8 months ago my father (Dick McEniry) Bought 3 pairs of Albino Bushienose Plecos (Ancistrus Sp.) After listening to other breeders and hearing their succeses with the Pleco, I realized the fish is not just a Herbivore. Yes one of their foods they relish is algae, but they also like to eat frozen blood worms, Adult frozen brine shrimp, And even baby brine shrimp (freshly hatched) I’ve also learned that some need “Elephant wood” in their diet, But that is for more rare and delicate species. Albino plecos have to hide in caves and under rocks. It is very easy to sex them. Males will have wider abdomine and they will have a growth on their nose, that looks like a bush. Females have a much narrower abdomine and not as big of a bush on their nose.

Breeding the Albino Bushienose Pleco is not that difficult, just give the plecos many dark caves and hiding spots. Some catfish do not like bright light. Be sure to give the plecos a constant supply of algae or par boiled vegatables., like Zucchini. Also vary their diet up with frozen foods and newly hatched baby brine, Even though Adult plecos may look to big for brine they will love it as a treat once in a while. I keep all my adult plecos in one 30 gallon tank with 2 box filters. I keep the Temp around 77-80 degrees Fahrenheit. They will normally breed once a month. The firs time mine bred, they were in a cave 3″x3″x3″ the female layed about 30 eggs. After the eggs hatched I took the fry and put them in a 10 gallon tank with baby Guppies. Once the Ancistrus consumed their egg sacks they take algae wafers and baby brine shrimp. When the fry hatch they are 3/4 of an inch. For Adult plecos I keep them in their own tank by themselves just for breeding. The most eggs I got with one breeding was 60. The male is 7 1/2 inches long and the female was 6 inches. This pair has only bred once though. It takes the fry about one year to grow up for them to get to beeding size. These fish are very unique and I plan on breeding this pleco for a long time

Low Light Planted Tank

Low light low tech planted tanks are ideally suited for beginners or those hobbyists who would rather not spend lots of time maintaining their tanks. Growth is slow and for the most part when the tank is “balanced” the aquascape remains static for long periods of time, unlike the High light high tech tank that changes from week to week with lots of nutrient additions and pruning of rapid growth.

Low tech tanks are generally meant as tanks with low light and no CO2 injection. To create a successful low tech tank there are some items that from my experiences have been critical for success.

Begin with 1 to 2 watts per gallon of linear normal output fluorescent lighting. This usually equates to two lamps (Bulbs). You don’t need to purchase expensive aquaria specific bulbs, just choose bulbs with a color rating between 5000K and 10000K, my preference is to mix 6500K and 9325K bulbs when ever possible.
vNext, choose a “rich” substrate. Plain gravel is a poor choice in my experience. You can use plain gravel but mix in a few handfuls of ground peat and some laterite. Laterite is an iron rich clay substrate that can be purchased from your local fish store or online. Other combinations of substrate materials can be used also but always add the peat in addition to the sand, Flourite, or other material. Ideally if you have an already established tank adding some mulm from that tanks substrate really helps a new tank. Substrate depth should be 3-5 inches deep. Make sure you locate the peat and laterite in the bottom 1/3 of the substrate. Use any style filter even bio-wheel filters are fine since we aren’t trying to inject CO2. Bio-wheel’s on’t cause a loss of CO2 in a non injected tank. Don’t use undergravel filters though.

Plant very heavily right from the start making 75% of the plants fast growing stem plants. Adding some floating hornwort or similar is also very beneficial at the start, just limit the surface coverage to 20%. tock with small fish and a low number for the first 3-4 months, but always try to keep a low fish load in a low tech planted tank. It’s a good idea to have an algae cleanup crew consisting of any one or a combination of the following; Siamese Algae Eater (SAE), Amano or Cherry Shrimp, Otocinclus (Otos catfish), American Flag or Florida Flag Fish, and Rosey Barbs.

Here’s the part that makes most people cringe. Leave it alone. No water changes, no fertilizer. Only add tap water weekly or as needed to top off the tank due to evaporation. If your plants show signs of nutrient deficiencies such as yellow leaves or holes in the leaves you can add a Comprehensive fertilizer such as Flourish or Tropica Master Grow once a week until improvement is noticed then only add it once a month thereafter. Limit water changes to times immediately after you’ve uprooted plants or done a major pruning. Personally I change water in my low tech tanks about once every 3-4 month at pruning/replanting time. If you can leave the tank alone it will not disappoint you. The more you dabble with this type tank the more likely you’ll upset the balance and algal problems will appear. If this approach seems too tame and you desire more involvement then you should consider the high light CO2 injected tank.

Source: Reprinted from TropicalResources.Com

Julidochromis Marlieri

Julidochromis marlieri is a fun, torpedo-shaped rock-dwelling cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. Members of this genus are affectionately known as “Julies.” Julies make a great addition to almost any rift lake setup. They are fairly tolerant of most water conditions and play well with others, with the exception of conspecifics. J. marlieri has a truly endearing personality. They are like little remote-control subs. They swim sideways, hang upside down, and move in such deliberate motions. The way they move up and down through the rocks is reminiscent of a little hummingbird.

In the wild, J. marlieri inhabits the rocky shores of Lake Tanganyika where there are steep to medium dropoffs of 5-30 meters. They spend most of their time in the caves and crevices of these rocks hunting for food or seeking protection. It is also within these rocky crevices that they spawn and lay their eggs. In captivity, Julies are somewhat shy, sticking to the rocks in the back of the tank and only dash out for food if they feel safe doing so. Needless to say, they require lots of rockwork.

Even though J. marlieri is relatively shy, they can be aggressive towards their tank mates while guarding their territory. One thing that sets Julies apart from most other Cichlids is that as they begin to mature, they will pair off. Julies are not polygamous; instead these pairing relationships remain intact for their entire lifetimes.

Once a pair has formed, it is strongly advised not to change the arrangement of the rocks because these mark the boundaries of the territories of both the male and the female. It is also rumored that any change in decor stresses them out and the stronger of the two will kill the other.

When selecting your first set of Julies, it is best to purchase somewhere between six and ten juveniles. All should be from the same locale (Magara, Halembe, Kala, Katili, Samazi, Kambwimba, Isanga, Cape Tembwe, or Katoto) and from as many different sources as possible in an effort to avoid hybridization. Eventually, a pair from these will form, at which time all others should be either moved to another tank (where more pairs may develop) or sold off. Once a pair is formed, males will aggressively chase off any other females, and the female will chase off other rival females and all other males. Therefore, to minimize aggression, it is best to remove any remaining fish from this same species.

Spawning will begin after pair formation. The dominant male will become more aggressive as he starts claiming territories and defending them. The male will pick a dark cave in a secluded part of the tank. After enticing the female to enter, she will lay her eggs on the ceiling of the cave and the male will pass over them, depositing his milt. The eggs tend to be scattered and not grouped as might be expected. They are much smaller than the eggs of mouthbrooding cichlids, being about 1.2 mm in diameter and are bluish-green in color. Typical spawns number between 50 and 100 eggs. J. marlieri will continue to spawn every five to seven weeks.

Julies are excellent parents, and will guard their young from any intruders or potential threats. When it comes time to eat, one of the two parents will always stay back to guard them. While Julies take excellent care of their young, you might find that only about 10% will survive the first couple of months. If they are removed and given special care (such as baby brine shrimp), you can expect a survival rate closer to 100%.

These cichlids grow rather slowly. After two months, fry will measure about 2 cm long. Unlike the Mbuna and many other cichlids from Lake Malawi, females of this genus are typically longer and more robust than males. Females usually grow to 14cm in length, while males only grow to 12cm. Males also possess shorter, more pointed genital papillae, angled caudally. Females’ genital papillae are longer and more flat on the end than males’, probably for attaching eggs to the surface.

In the wild, J. marlieri is primarily predatory, preying on mostly small snails, although they do need some vegetable matter in their diet. In the aquarium environment, live or frozen Cyclops and Daphnia are recommended. For larger individuals, the European Shrimp Mix, Mysis, and Brine Shrimp are the best foods. Mysis should be fed sparingly, however, because of its high fat content (30%).

The minimum tank size should be a 15-gallon aquarium for a single pair, but if more than one pair are kept in the same aquarium, 75 gallons is the smallest recommended size. As mentioned previously, these fish require lots of rockwork to create plenty of hiding places. If kept without sufficient shelter, it is unlikely that they will develop their best color and will not spawn as frequently as they otherwise would. A fine gravel or sand should be used for substrate. Fry of this species have been known to get trapped in gravel that is too large.