Showing posts with the label aquarium

FAST Easy Way to Start an Infusoria Culture for Egg Laying Fish Fry

Infusoria are probably the best first food for really tiny fish fry that hatch from eggs. If you are planning to breed egg layers, they are a must! Infusoria can also be added to daphnia cultures as a source of food for them too. Start your cultures at least a week before you plan to breed to make sure you have the food ready for your fry. Most fry don't eat the first few days so that will give you about 10 days to get your infusoria cultures well-established.   What Are Infusoria? Remember back to grade 6 when you peeked through a microscope to see what lives in a drop of pond water? You probably saw microscopic paramecium, amoeba, green euglena, rotifers, etc. Well, those are what make up common infusoria. They are present everywhere in nature. Their eggs float around in the air and when they land on water with a suitable food source, they hatch, feed and multiply.  Various species of infusoria are about 25 to 300 micrometers in length. Tiny! Perfect to fit in the mouth of very s

Snails in Your Tank- Ugh! or Yay!

When you get new fish or plants, small mollusk hitchhikers may come in unnoticed. What is your first reaction? For many hobbyists, it's "Ugh! Get rid of those things!"  I hope this post teaches you to pause and rethink your initial reaction to snails (and other things) we have been taught to be worried about. What are the Concerns About Snails in Aquariums? Let's start with some history. I believe the main concern about snails originated from the commercial food fish industry which also translated into the tropical fish trade. Some types of snails can carry parasites that infect some species of fish. These parasites may reduce the growth and success of commercial food fish produced and in high enough numbers can even kill the fish. One example is the ram's horn snail ( Bolbophorus confusus)   that is eaten by and infects catfish that are then eaten by and live in the intestinal tract of White pelicans. The pelicans release parasite eggs back into the catfish ponds

How to Prevent Guppies From Eating Their Babies

If you are interested in raising guppies, there are a few things to know that can reduce or even eliminate them eating the babies in the first few weeks after they are born. This goes well beyond providing them with a breeders box, which is often a cramped space and may actually contribute to the mother's eating the young. If instead, you look at the basic needs of guppies in detail, that can help!  Guppies, like all other animals (mammals, birds, reptile, fish etc) need food, water, shelter and space in the right balance to survive and thrive. When these things are not balanced to the needs of the fish, they can be a significant cause of stress. Genetics can also play a role. Let's look at these factors in detail. Space: Make sure you have a tank that is large enough for the number and size of guppies that you have and will have in the future. If it is not large enough for future population, then have other tanks ready to transfer the growing or adult guppies to.  One thing I

Culturing Daphnia for Tropical Fish and other Critters

Daphnia can be a great food for may species of fish and small aquatic critters. They are relatively easy to culture if you know a few things about them. Their cultures tend to crash when the water temperatures go outside of a certain range and the water quality declines too far. They can be fun to culture on their own as a school project as well! In the photo above, the yellow is the digestive tract. The black is a forming egg. The second photo is the top view. The antennae they use to swim with can be seen. Tips 1 to 3: 1. For a steady supply, always have at least two cultures going, each placed in a different location. That way, if one culture crashes, you can rely on the other until the crashed one is back up and running. 2. Once you have an established culture, collect the tiny black triangular eggs that float on the surface before they sink. Dry them and save them in a container at room temperature. When immersed in water, they should hatch within 2 weeks. 3. You don't need ma

New Babies in the House!

I am very excited today! There are new babies in the house. No, not children. Not puppies. Guppies! If you know me at all, you will know this makes me giddy! Let me explain!  About two months ago I was on the hunt for some guppies to add to my growing collection of fish and aquariums. When I was growing up, the fancy guppies that we see today were very rare. What we did have access to were some "common" or "wild type" guppies. They were much smaller than today's guppies with smaller fins and certainly nowhere near as colorful patterns on their bodies and fins. They were very hardy little fish and much would have to go wrong to kill these little guys who would multiply like crazy in tanks of all sizes, shapes and temperatures. Today, these are called "Endlers" and they are harder to get especially as a pure strain and when you can find them, they are often expensive. I am told that they are not just common guppies but actually a different species than