Category: Aquarium Fish Care

Information and posts about caring for all varieties of freshwater tropical fish. Plus, aquarium contests to make things fun and interesting!

Driftwood Helps Naturally Lower the pH

Driftwood Helps Naturally Lower the pH

Driftwood also helps naturally lower pH naturally while creating a safehaven for your discus fish to feels secure around… This brings up another aspect in keeping your Discus fish as healthy and happy as possible. Discus and other fish species do not like to be in an undecorated aquarium! They prefer to have hidding spots. Even in our breeding tanks we keep 2 clay bricks, for the adult breeder Discus to not only use as breeding locations, but to also use to hide behind if something spooks them or if they are fighting they can evade each other. Young Disus fish also prefer hiding spots… lots of them. Driftwood, aquatic plants, etc. will help them feel much more comfortable in there aquarium home.

This will make them feed more robustly and show brighter colors. Tetra fish, rasboras and other schooling fish also help the discus fish feel more comfortable in their aquaria. These fish are generally at the bottom of the food chain, so psychologically to the discus… if these fish aren’t being eating, I more than likely am safe also. So not only do these schooling fish make the discus feel more at ease, they add a blast of color to the aquarium… a school af galaxia rasboras with there vibrant orange background and beautiful yellow galaxy like spots or a school of brillant blue and red cardinals make any aquarium much more entertaining

Caring for Corydoras Catfish

<p><b><span style=”background-color: #ff0000;”><span style=”color: #ffffff;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”>About Corydoras Catfish :</span></span></span></b></p>
<p>The Corydoras Catfish, or Cory Cat, are a great addition to any  community tank.&nbsp; Cory’s are peaceful in nature as they just like to be bottom dwellers.&nbsp;</p>
<p>Corydoras catfish refer to be in schools of 6 or more, however we have many customers who keep just one or two corydoras in smaller tanks.</p>
<p>Like most bottom feeders, Cory’s feed on <b><a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/tropical_fish_food”>tropical fish food</a></b> that will sink to the bottom such as <b><a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/dry_fish_food/veggie_wafers”>algae wafers</a></b> or <a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/dry_fish_food/shrimp_pellets”><b>shrimp pellets</b></a>.</p>
<p><b><span style=”background-color: #ff0000;”><span style=”color: #ffffff;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”>Corydoras Catfish Care &amp; Information:</span></span></span></b></p>
<p><b>Scientific Name:</b> Corydoras spp.</p>
<p><b>Care Level:</b> Easy</p>
<p><b>Size:</b> 2.5 inches (6 cm)</p>
<p><b>pH:</b> 6 – 8</p>
<p><b>Temperature:</b> 72&deg;F – 78&deg;F</p>
<p><b>Water Hardness:</b> 5&deg; to 18&deg; dH,</p>
<p><b>Lifespan:</b> 3 – 5 years</p>
<p><b>Origin:</b> South America</p>
<p><b>Corydoras Temperament:</b> Peaceful.</p>
<p><b>Tank Size:</b> 10 gallon or larger.</p>
<p><b>Corydoras Compatible Tank Mates:</b> Many, such as <a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/discus_fish”>discus fish</a>, <a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/tetra_fish”>tetras</a>, <a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/angelfish”>angelfish</a>, <a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/dwarf_cichlids”>dwarf cichlids</a>, <a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/flower_horn_cichlids”>flower horn cichlids</a> and <a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/rainbowfish”>rainbowfish</a></p>
<p><b>Corydoras Diet:</b> Cory’s are bottom feeders and so they scavenge ooking for scraps.   Its best to supplement their diet with <b><a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/dry_fish_food/veggie_wafers”>algae wafers</a></b> or <b><a href=”http://www.rfitropicalfish.com/dry_fish_food/shrimp_pellets”>shrimp pellets</a></b> that sink to the bottom of the  tank.</p>
<p><b>Tank Region:</b> Bottom Feeders</p>
<p><b><span style=”background-color: #ff0000;”><span style=”color: #ffffff;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”></span></span></span></b></p>
<p><b><span style=”background-color: #ff0000;”><span style=”color: #ffffff;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”></span></span></span></b></p>

Freshwater Tropical Fish Are Sensative To Chlorine!

Discus fish along with other tropical fish are very sensitive to Chlorine and other additives that municipal water companies add to the water to keep us safe… I have a Discus Fish customer in the Florida Keys that made the fatal flaw of using only Sodium Thiosulfate to remove Chlorine from his water that he put into his Discus Fish tank. This worked fine for him for years until the city started using Chloramine (a bond of chlorine and Ammonia) while this creates a safer drinking water for humans it is deadly to discus fish and other tropical fish species. The Thiosulfate only removes the chlorine, leaving the ammonia… Sad to say he lost several hundred Angelfish and Discus Fish…

The solution? Use a quality dechlorinator such as Amquel. This product and other like products remove not only chlorine, but also chloramine from your discus fish aquarium. You never know when the city will make a change like this… and the gamble just isn’t worth the few dollars saved. Another big helper is having a low pH in your discus fish aquarium… Ammonia is converted to ammonium at a pH below 7.0, making it far less toxic to Discus fish and other tropical fish species. There are other benefits to this lower pH, the slime coats on Discus Fish is kept thicker making them more resistant to disease. Bacteria and Virus that are harmful to Discus fish do not reproduce near as abundantly in lower pH’s. People often tell me… My local pet shop or local Discus Fish breeder raises their Discus Fish in a pH of 7.5 so they will acclimate into local water easier.

Reverse Osmosis(RO) water filtration for your freshwater aquarium

Reverse Osmosis(RO) water filtration will also give you a safe (chlorine free) water with a pH of neutral(7.0) or lower These filtration units will strip over 98% of the contaminants out of your tap water creating ideal discus fish water. The spectra pure units that we sell use a solid block carbon filter that is good for up to 20,000 gallons, making it one of the best on the market. These units are extremely easy to setup, using a snap conector that will literally hook up in seconds. I recommend having a water storage vessel (55 gal drum or in our case 1,870 gallons) to store this water in… this allows you to adjust it’s temperature, pH levels etc.

When you are ready for a water change it is as easy as vaccuming your aquarium down to the level you want (20% water changeor so) switching a pump on that is conected to a hose leading from your water storage to your aquaria and filling it up. No buckets to carry… Water change amounts and frequencey depends on your aquariums bioload(how many fish are in it) In say a 75 gallon aquarium with 8 or 9 discus fish (we recommend 1 per 8 gallons as this cuts down on territorial fighting) 2-3 water changes of 20-30% are recommend per week for optimal growth and health. We do not agree with massive water changes daily as we feel that it stresses the discus fish, is lots of work and the benifits do not outweight the input.”

How to lower the pH in your Freshwater Aquarium

How to lower the pH in your freshwater Aquarium? There are many good products on the market for this… Check with your local tropical fish store and ask for there recommendations. It is quite often necessary to add quite a bit of these products to reach the desired pH level of say a 6.5 in your discus fish aquarium.

KEEP IN MIND*** DO NOT ADD THESE pH BUFFERS DIRECTLY TO AN AQUARIUM WITH DISCUS FISH OR OTHER TROPICAL FISH! pH SWINGS OF MORE THAN .3-.5 CAN BE FATAL TO SENSITIVE FISH SPECIES LIKE DISCUS FISH.

Add these products to your water change water before it goes into your aquarium, and slowly (over time) bring the pH down. Or preferably add them to an empty tank, to get your pH where you want it BEFORE you purchase your discus. One other note to mention, I have noticed that most of the pigeon blood Discus color morphs (Marlboros, rainbow dragons, tangerines, Apricots etc.) will exhibit much more peppering(black spotting) at higher pH’s. Another reason for the lower pH.

How to get your discus fish into breeding condition

How to get your discus fish into breeding condition? Live Black worms, mosquito larvae (live), live red worms, live Daphnia and live bloodworms all work magic in getting the discus fish into breeding condition.

Mosquito larva along with daphnia are quite easy to raise… just sit out a tub of water with some organic matter in it and at least with mosquito’s, nature will do the rest. MAKE SURE TO HARVEST DAILY, if not West Nile and angry neighbors may become all to common!

Maintaining and caring for Angelfish

About Angelfish:

Angelfish are a very popular freshwater tropical fish because of its unique shape and their interesting personalities. Angelfish are aggressive eaters and will go to the top of the tank when they see you approach. Because of their feeding habits, you need to ensure that your less aggressive aquarium fish are getting enough during feeding time.

Angelfish are interested in their environment and can they have a tendancy to be very territorial…especially around breeding time. Angelfish typically will pair off and they are defensive if another fish tries to enter their territory. If you have a community aquarium, be cautious when selecting Angelfish.

Not typically picky eaters, we have many varities of food for angelfish available for sale. Angelfish will like many types of fish food, including vitamin enriched flakes, frozen and live foods.

Overall, and due to their vertical size, Angelfish prefer taller tanks over short tanks.

Angelfish Care Information:

Scientific Name: Pterophyllum scalare

Angelfish Care Level: Easy

Size: Up to 6 inches (15 cm)

pH: 6 – 7.5

Temperature: 74°F – 84°F (23°C – 29°C)

Water Hardness: 5° to 13° dH

Lifespan: 8 – 10 years when well taken care of

Origin: Amazon River

Angelfish Temperament: Generally peaceful, but can be aggressive eaters and may become territorial while breeding.

Tank Size: 20 gallon minimum, Angelfish prefer taller aquariums

Angelfish Compatibility: Angelfish are good tank mates with Plecos, Gourami, Congo Tetras, Bala Shark

Angelfish Diet: Angelfish are usually very good eaters, they will take flakes, frozen foods (blood worms, brine shrimp) and live black worms.

Tank Region: Middle

Caring for Gourami in your freshwater aquarium

About Gourami:

For a gourami, the pearl gourami is considered peaceful and will share a tank with most community fish types. Male pearl gourami’s may fight with each other, mostly  if there are females in the tank.

The pearl gourami originates from swampy areas in Asia where the water can be on the acidic side of the pH scale. While it would be good to keep them in similar conditions you should know that they will tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

Gourami pose no problems with eating since they really enjoy nearly every sort of fish food you put in the tank. Its best to provide a hight quality flake food and supplement with live or frozen freshwater fish cubes. If you’re planning on breeding, you must also use live fish food as well.

Gourami Care Information:

Scientific Name: Trichogaster leeri

Care Level: Easy and hardy, good for most community aquariums of freshwater tropical fish.

Size: 5 inches (13 cm)

pH: 6 – 8

Temperature: 77°F – 82°F (25°C – 28°C)

Water Hardness: 5° to 15° dH,

Life span: 3 – 4 years and longer

Origin: Asia, Thailand, Indonesia

Gourami Temperament: Mostly peaceful but they may fight with other gouramis. Males are more aggressive than females.

Tank Size : 29 gallon minimum

Compatible Tank Mates: Gourami are peaceful most of the time, except for when the males fight each other for a female gourami.

Diet: Gourami are not picky when it comes to eating. They will eat flake food with as much excitement as they’ll eat frozen foods or live foods.

Tank Region : Middle to top

Discus Fish Care

About Discus Fish:

Discus Fish are the Kings of the Aquarium. Probably the most beautiful and appealing of all tropical fish, Discus Fish are also one of the most difficult tropical fish to keep.  Caring for discus fish is not recommended for beginning aquariasts. Discus Fish require excellent water conditions, frequent water changes and higher water temperatures than most other freshwater tropical fish. Most successful aquariasts who keep discus fish provide a species only tank because of the varied requirements for keeping discus fish healthy.

For Discus Fish, there are many color varieties and patterns to choose from and Rainforest Farms International is introducing new varieties of discus fish all of the time. If discus fish are of interest to you for your aquarium, contact us to discuss the how we can help you make your dicus fish experience as best as possible.  Rainforest Farms International has been breeding discus fish for over 28 years.  To see our discus fish that are currently available, click here.

Discus Fish Care Information:

Scientific Name: Symphysodon aequifasciatus

Discus Care Level : Moderate to Difficult, needs frequent partial water changes to keep water parameters at optimum levels.

Size: Up to 8 inches (15 cm)

pH: 5 – 7

Temperature: 80°F – 86°F (27°C – 30°C)

Water Hardness: 1° to 8° dH,

Life span: If well cared for, they can live for 10 years or more.

Origin: Amazon River

Discus Temperament: Very peaceful most of the time. They may become territorial when they pair off to breed.

Discus Tank Size: 30 gallon minimum, prefer tall aquariums

Discus Compatible Tank Mates: It is usually best to keep them in a species only tank because of their water requirements. Tetra Fish and Cory Catfish are sometimes kept in tanks with them and Angelfish also make good tank mates for discus fish.  There are many varieties of tropical fish that can live with discus fish.

Discus Fish Diet: Discus Fish prefer live foods.  You may need to supplement their diets with foods enriched with vitamins. For optimum health, its best to vary the discus fish diet. There are foods made specifically for Discus and we have many types of food for discus fish available for sale.

Tank Region : Middle