Friday, November 27, 2009

Flower Horn

Flower Horn Fish or Luo Han which is popularly known, has taken the aquatic world (particularly in the South East Asian region) by storm within the last two years. Its popularity is gaining momentum day by day, and it is set to be an internationally known fish as can be compared with the likes of the Discus Fish and Arowana.

Flower Horn Fish is basically from the Cichlid family, which is classified under the genus of Cichlasoma, which is commonly found in South America. This beautiful hybrid is thought to be the end product of cross breeding between the Cichlasoma Trimaculatus, Cichlasoma Festae, Jingang Blood Parrot. To date, many of the better quality Flower Horn have been produced due to the intensified eagerness of breeders to produce the best show quality fish for the market.

As stated in some reports, the Flower Horn Fish is also known as a "mutated" breed of fish. Rest assured that this is just a claim. Flower Horn Fish have gone through intense selective cross breeding in order to have the best characteristics of the respective strains of the Cichlid Fish family. For instance, most breeders are striving to produce Flower Horn with a bigger nuchal hump on the forehead, better coloration, bolder black marking on the body (which at times resembles Chinese characters), more elegant fins, and wider body. No chemicals, or bio-genetic engineering have been incorporated to improve on the traits / characteristics of the Flower Horn. Thus, the claim that this is a mutated fish is unfounded.

In addition, this fish is very hardy, and can endure water conditions that are not suitable for most breeds of aquarium fish. This is also part of the reason why the Flower Horn is well received by many tropical fish hobbyists. But the ideal pH level in the water required, should be around pH 7 to pH 7.8 with water temperature ranging between 27 to 32C. For temperate / colder climate regions, they just need a water heater.
The Flower Horn is from the South American Cichlid family, and this fish is very territorial. They are also very aggressive in nature. Co-existing with other fish is not advisable, especially smaller fish. Some parties have claimed that we can "play" with the Flower Horn. In actual fact, Flower Horn is actually trying to get rid of the "intruder" (be it a stick or a person's hand). Therefore, it is advisable that we keep our hands to ourselves as the fish has quite a nasty bite depending on the size of the fish.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oscar Guide

Scientific Name: Astronotus ocellatus

Type: Freshwater

Size: up to 16" (40cm), over 3 pounds (1.5kg)

Tank Size Needed (Minimum): Long, 75 gallon (283L)

Water pH: 6.0 to 8.0

Water Hardness: Soft to hard (5-20 dH)

Temperature: 72-78°F (22-25°C)

Origin: South America, Amazon River

Social: Does best as the only Oscar or in a pair. Will successfully live with fish that are either too fast or too large for it to eat, including other Cichlids, Clown Loach, Pictus Catfish, Silver Dollars, and Tinfoil Barbs.

Life span: 15+ years

Diet: Omnivore. Prefers live food (worms, crickets and other insects, smaller fish, crayfish), with flake or pellet food as a supplement.

Difficulty Rating: Intermediate to advanced

Comments: The Oscar fish is one of those species that frequently gets returned to the pet store. Beginners buy them without realizing how fast they grow and how big they get. One of the cichlid fish, a juvenile Oscar can grow more than an inch (2.5cm) per month, so it will rapidly outgrow a starter aquarium. However, if you want a very large aquarium, this is an excellent fish to keep in it.

The key to a healthy, happy Oscar is aquarium stability and a varied diet. This fish doesn’t really care exactly what pH, hardness, or temperature its water is, but it needs whatever the levels are to stay that way, not fluctuate every time fresh water is added to the tank. Many people make the mistake of only feeding pellet food or feeder fish, but Oscars require different kinds of food to get all the nutrition they need.

Keeping an Oscar’s tank clean can be difficult, especially if the aquarium is only the minimum size. These fish put out a huge amount of waste every day. A strong filtration system is an absolute must, as are regular water changes. Also, be careful about what kind of decorations are used in an Oscar’s aquarium. These fish are not nimble, so they swim into things. They also like to move things around. Driftwood and smooth rocks won’t scrape Oscars if they bump them, so these are good options for tank furniture.

Though cichlids are typically aggressive and territorial, Oscars are usually only aggressive if they are feeling crowded in an aquarium that is too small, or if they are breeding. Otherwise, this fish is intelligent, rather hardy, and quite a showpiece when it gets big.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oscar care requirements

Oscar fish are a good choice because they are very hardy, easy to keep and long lived, up to 16 years however, they do have a few specific requirements and this is due only to their large full grown size. Baby Oscars are tiny and cute but unbeknown to most fish keepers, they grow very large, over a foot long, 12 inches and their rate of growth is extremely quick. It has been reported that Oscar fish grow up to 1 inch per month while they are young! With that said, never purchase these little fish and put them into a small aquarium thinking you'll upgrade the tank size "down the road"

The minimum tank size recommended is 33 gallons, and this is only if you plan on housing one individual alone, without any tank mates. The recommended tank size for housing Oscar fish is 100 gallons, of course the bigger the better. Oscar fish can live alone, or with a buddy. They are not schooling fish so it is up to you if you will combine them with a partner or not. Oscar fish can be compatible with other South American Cichlids but some rules of thumb must be followed. Be sure that the fish you are introducing is the same size as the current Oscar and that the maximum size is close to that of the Oscar. They are very territorial and will either eat the fish if it's too small, or get beat up and harasses by it's larger tank mate, since all South American cichlids are aggressive and territorial.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Basic Flower Horn Keeping

The Flower horn is a sturdy fish that is not hard to care for. Providing your Flower horn with a suitable environment is not difficult. You need to give your Flower horn cichlid an aquarium that is large enough, suitable aquarium decorations, neutral or slightly basic water, a water temperature around 28º C and nutritious food.

The aquarium has to be quite large, since the Flower horn can grow big. A larger aquarium will also reduce the amount of aggressive behaviour. You can keep your Flower horn alone in the aquarium, but it is not obligatory as long as the aquarium is large enough to house other species of roughly the same size and temperament. Large cichlids from South America that will not tolerate being bullied by the Flower horn is one example of suitable tank mates. Since the Flower horn is a territorial species you should fill the aquarium with decorations that create natural borders. If the fish can keep out of each others way and stay inside their own territory, the amount of aggressive behaviour will decrease. Keep in mind that some Flower horns like to destroy plants.

As mentioned above your Flower horn will appreciate neutral or slightly basic water conditions. It is however a though fish and will survive in a wide range of different water conditions as long as you avoid the extremes. A Flower horn will produce a lot of organic waste since it eats a lot. You must therefore perform frequent water changes to keep the water chemistry at suitable levels and prevent the organic compounds from reaching toxic levels that will harm the Flower horn. A 20 percent water change twice a week is the best solution, but once a week is usually okay if you change 25 percent. If you notice that certain food types cause the levels of organic waste to sky rocket in your aquarium, you can naturally avoid these.

It is not hard to introduce a Flower horn to new food. If you have kept other South American cichlids you will recognise the feeding habits and adaptability. The Flower horn is an energetic and active fish and its metabolism requires plenty of food which makes this fish surprisingly hard to over feed. Feeding your Flower horn two or three times a day is a good rule of thumb. High quality pellets can be a good base and should be supplemented with more meaty foods such as shrimps and worms. With a varied diet it will be easier for your Flower horn to receive all necessary nutrients in order to stay healthy and good looking.

"The flowerhorn in the picture is SANTINO, champion in small category and also get the best show award last gmall flowerhorn show."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Origin of Flowerhorn

In 1993 -Malaysians admired fishes with protruding head, known as Karoi, in the western part of Malaysia, also known as warship. In Taiwan, this fish has a slight protruding forehead and long tail, and is widely accepted in the Chinese society which brings luck in geomancy.

In 1994 - The import of Red Devil also known as human face and Blood Parrot from Taiwan to Malaysia mark the birth of flowerhorn.

In 1995 - With the introduction of 1994 birth of flowerhorn this has lead to the blood parrot being crossbreed with the Human Face Red God of Fortune which produced a new species called five-colors god of fortune. With its beautiful colors, it has brought an overwhelming response.

In 1998 - It has further improved with the import of seven-colors blue fiery mouth, from South America, known as Greenish Gold Tiger and Jin Gang Blood Parrot from Taiwan. This crossbreeding was a success, leading to the first generation of flowerhorns named Hua Luo Han which is then followed by subsequent flowerhorn developments.

In 1998 It has further improved with the import of seven-colours blue fiery mouth, from South America, known as Greenish Gold Tiger and Jin Gang Parrot from Taiwan. This crossbreeding was a success, leading to the first generation of flowerhorns, named Hua Luo Han which is then followed by subsequent flowerhorn developments. The flowerhorn arena still continues till today.

Arrival In the US.

When flowerhorn first arrived there were really only 2 breeds of these fish for distribution, flowerhorn and jks. Flowerhorn came in 2 varieties those with pearls and those with out. Jks also had two varieties, those that faded and those that didn't. With the flowerhorns, the ones w/o pearls were quickly over taken by those with pearls, so then it became pearl scale flowerhorn (zhen zhou). With the jks the unfaded ones developed nice golden skin over the flowerhorns grey skin.

So at 1999 there were 4 strains of flowerhorn hitting the American market, regular flowerhorn, pearl scale flowerhorn, golden flowerhorn, and jks. there were so many breeders that these 4 strains had so many different names and minor variations, that names became a joke. No importer wanted to hear a name but rather look at the fish. Knowing this the breeders and exporters started line breeding going for better quality traits and so fourth. The pearl scale flowerhorn beat out regular flowerhorn and became ZZs.4W36YQRRTDZA

About now its 2000-2001 and kamfa hit the scene. These were hybrids of any type of flowerhorn crossed with any vieja or parrot. These guys brought on some new traits people became interested with. Short mouths, tail wrap, sucked in eyes, and of course bigger koks. seeing this those guys who had the GMs began to line breed there fish to have similar traits. Those who had the ZZs wanted to completely dominate the market and began line breeding there fish to develop faster and become more colorful. This meant that they could have a fish that could compete with the kamfa strains.

Louhan - Original flowerhorn created from crossing 4 pure cichlids.4W36YQRRTDZA

General flowerhorn classification, containing several subsets of strains from different countries and breeders. The parent breed is called Luohan, from the Chinese word for the Buddhist concept of arhat. The four main breeds of flowerhorn are Zhen Zhu, Golden Monkey, Kamfa, and Goldenbase Faders

Friday, November 20, 2009



This breed originated from Louhan. It's main characteristics are white or yellow eye (red eyes possible but not common), fan tail, water head, sunken eyes, smaller lips than Zhen Zhu. Generally has a larger and more square body shape than that of a Zhen Zhu. Head flowers can be found on the Kamfa, but not as prevelantly as Zhen Zhu. The most common and basic type of Kamfa is a Zhen Zhu X Blood Parrot. These fish typically carry more Zhen Zhu features with a better tail and yellow or white eyes. More complex Kamfa's come from the vieja side of the flowerhorn tree above.


Kamfa's typically are viewed as being much more difficult to breed. Their time to breeding maturity is much longer than that of a Zhen Zhu. In addition to a longer maturation period Kamfa's also have fertility issues. A general rule of thumb is that fish with red eyes tend to be more fertile on the whole, than those with white or yellow eyes. Since most Kamfa's have yellow or white eyes they tend to be less fertile. Because of these fertility issues refined kamfas are hard to find. Most Kamfa strains are the result of an outcrossing resulting in a few specimens of superior quality and hybrid vigor. Since Kamfas are more difficult to breed on the whole they are also more expensive than most other breeds.


Kamfa care and upkeep is a little more intense than most other breeds as well. They have a greater sensitivity to fluctuations in water parameters. This is especially true for older Kamfa strains, They actually prefer aged water (water that has been conditioned, heated and aerated for a period of at least 24hrs prior to adding to the tank). Newer Kamfa strains are not as finicky about the water used but do require diligent tank and filter maintenance to look their best.


Kamfas also differ in the way they act and interact with their environment and owner. Generally Kamfas are thought to be more aggressive than other breeds (although aggressiveness also comes down to the individual fish). They also use a more rear propulsion method of swimming style which give them a different look and feel in the owners tank. Many people enjoy the way their behaviour manifests itself in the fishes interaction with the owner. Kamfas are great "finger chasers" and delight in defending their tank and territory even from a well-meaning owner. Their territorial nature is important in the way a Kamfa looks and matures. A Kamfa that is not happy with their tank placement, waterparameters, tank mates, etc will not show off their true potential. It's important to try different methods for a Kamfa that is not up to par. Some common practices include:

Add a mirror to the tank - Some hobbyists use a mirror to induce the fish to spar with itself. One must be careful not to place the mirror in an area where the fish can injure itself while sparing. Placing the mirror outside the tank could cause serious damage to a fish, including spinal fractures from the impact against the aquarium glass

Adding a Tank mate or blood parrot - Using a divider some hobbyists will place a smaller fish or "Target fish" on the other side of the divider or in a protective mesh net. This strategy works well for those fish who've figured out the mirror trick. The more dominant and comfortable the Kamfa feels the better his appearance. There are some drawbacks to this method however. If the tankmate is permanent the tank will require more upkeep and cleaning. If the target fish ends up to be more dominant than the Kamfa, the Kamfa will be worse off than when started. Some Kamfas do not do well with tank mates at all. Even a simple pleco can make some fish feel vulnerable in their own tank. This method can work exteremly well for some individual fish and backfire for others

Corals and crushed corals

Many Kamfa owners add crushed corals or whole coral pieces to their tank. The coral acts as a PH buffer to decrease the fluctuation in water parameters that occurs doing a water change. Given a Kamfa's sensitivity to water parameters this can aid greatly in their development. In addition coral pieces provide great surface area for in-tank biological filtration.


The background on the tank can greatly influence the look and appearance of an individual fish. Some Kamfa owners use a colorful saltwater tank background to encourage the fishes color to become more vibrant. Other types of Kamfas, like King Kamfas, do better with a black background. This can help set off the double flower row that KKs are known for and make them appear more solid and less faded.

No matter which combination or combinations of the above it's important to understand that not every method will work for every fish. So if your Kamfa is not looking as good as you think he could, keep experimenting with these environmental factors until you find the combination that works best for your individual fish.

Thursday, November 19, 2009



Tuesday, November 17, 2009


White Spot Disease

Cause and Symptoms

* The cause of this condition is Ichthyophithirius multifilis (ICH ) , a ciliated protozoan .
* Bad water quality can increase the likelihood that your fish will be victim to this parasite.
* Low water temperatures (< 25°C) are ideal breeding grounds for ICH.
* The most common way Flower horns get ICH is when they are fed live or frozen food that has already been contaminated with the parasite.
* The most prominent symptom of this condition are the pure white spots that will appear all over your fish. You may also notice the fins are clumped together, and they act a bit more lethargic than usual. Moreover, it's common for them to lose interest in food when ICH infects.


The parasites resides under the skin of the fish, hence it is not affected by water treatment or direct treatment applied to the fish . Break the breeding cycle of Ich by washing the tank thoroughly to remove the cysts of the parasite. Keep in mind that this is a highly contagious condition, so your entire aquarium must be treated.

To cure white spots:

* Place Kordon Ich inhibitor in your tank.
* Add aquarium salt at 3g/l of water every 3 days together with the medication.
* After 3rd day, tank must be washed thoroughly to eliminate the causative agent.
* Add Kordon Malachite Green treatment to your tank.

Preventive measures:

* Add Kordon Prevent Ich Fish Disease Inhibitor and Preventative to your tank.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Hole-in-the-Head Disease

Cause and Symptoms

* The cause of this condition is Hexamita Protozoa , parasitic organisms that are highly contagious.
* These parasites thrive with poor water quality management.
* If your fish has this condition, you will notice the appearance of small pits and pimples mainly on the fish's head. These pits will simply grow and form bigger pits.
* The pits are white in color, and sometimes mucous are visible around them.
* In addition to losing weight, becoming lethargic, and losing their appetites, the fish will produce white, stringy feces.


* Add Dimetrydazole (5mg/l) or Metronidazole (7mg/l).
* Repeat treatment once every 3 days.
* Do a 20%-30% water change.
* It is sometimes necessary to inject Metronidazole, but injections near the affected area should be attempt only by qualified personnel.

Preventive measures :

* Change your water regularly.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Mouth, body and tail fungus

Causes & Symptoms

* This condition is caused by Saproglenia and other related bacteria.
* Bad water quality only causes these kinds of bacteria to thrive.
* Sudden changes in the water condition can also cause this condition in your fish.
* If your fish has this condition, you will notice cotton like tufts at the mouth, body, fin and tail.
* You may also notice your fish losing weight.


* Add Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Salt to your tank.
* Adding Jungle Labs Fungus Eliminator will also help.
* Be sure to treat the whole tank, but quarantine the most seriously ill fish.

Preventive measures :

* Change your water regularly.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Manny Pacquiao Wiining Photo


Flowerhorn Breeding Tips

The breeding of Flowerhorns is a rather easy task. There are, though, a few preparations that need to be made prior to breeding. One of the most important things you can do is prepare ar new bare bottom tank to store the tiny fries once they are ready to leave the parents’ nest. Do not install any filter mechanisms as the small fries will get sucked into the filtration system. An air stone is particularly sufficient for aeration purposes.

Selection of the breeding pairs is crucial prior to breeding. Desired phenotypic outcomes depend solely on the parents. Most of the time, it is almost possible to predict the external characteristics of the offspring produced by a pair of Flowerhorns. Thus, breeding Flowerhorn has an exciting aspect, as you would know the outcome of the selective breeding. Flowerhorns breed year round. No external stimuli are needed for breeding purposes, but you must place the breeding pair in a clean, big tank. An aquarium heater regulated to 28?C can be placed in the aquarium, but it is not compulsory. The use of a mechanical filtration system is sufficient to remove any feces and debris in order to keep the water quality in check as breeding pairs do not consume much food during this period.

The breeding pair need to be well fed at a fixed regime until they are ready to spawn. A balanced diet is crucial to produce fish well laden with eggs and milt. Broodstock can be fed with various types of food including live and pellet feeds.
If you intend to breed your Flowerhorn, you will need a few pairs of fish. Some pairs might not be suitable for each other. Normally, a mating pair is put in the same aquarium with a partition in the middle to separate the two. The female will usually develop black stripes all over its body when it is time to mate, and appetite loss is quite common. Observations also show that the female’s genital papilla will start to swell. It is advisable to cover the sides of your tank with newspapers or any other materials. This provides adequate privacy for the mating pair as they are easily frightened or disturbed during the mating period. When they are ready, females will secrete pheromones, and this signals the males to start spawning. Initially, this pair will show aggression toward each other through the partition. When the pair has stopped showing this behavior, the partition can be removed. Once you remove the partition, if they still seem to be ‘fighting’, observe further. If one fish is standing its ground instead of running to another corner, it means that they are actually courting each other instead of attacking. If the pair continues fighting until one of them is visibly injured, it means that this pair is not ready or not compatible for the moment. Separate them and try again after a few days.

If they are indeed a mating pair, the male fish will start to search for a breeding spot. In a tank with pebbles and gravels, the male fish will start clearing a chosen spot by removing all the pebbles. However, in a bare tank, none of this activity will take place. If you are using a bare tank, you should place a floor tile in the tank, because Flowerhorns will prefer a rough surface for spawning. Female Flowerhorns normally lay eggs close to the air stone, or where there’s a good flow of water, as this can help aerate the eggs. Moreover, because the water circulates in this area, a fungal attack on the eggs is prevented. Female fish will deposit rows of eggs, then the male will follow behind, fertilizing the eggs with its milt. This will continue until the female has deposited all of its eggs. No disturbances are allowed during the spawning moment as this will result in the parent eating the eggs as a natural protective measure.

A female Flowerhorn is able to produce approximately 500-2000 eggs at a time. The parents will usually take turns fanning the eggs with their fins to rid of unwanted debris or to prevent any fungal attack. It is advisable to add methylene blue (Hyperlink) or any anti-fungal treatment at a1mg/l gallon ratio to prevent a possible fungus attack.

The eggs will take a few days to hatch. When this happens, remove the parents. Once the parents are removed, be sure to practice proper fry management.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pacquiao and Cotto

Acclimating Fish and Coral

Acclimating fish and coral to your fish tank is a very important process of owning an aquarium. Just like any other animal, if you try to change their surroundings very quickly, the fish and coral can become ill or even die. You need to go through a slow process to get them used to the water conditions before you try to plunge them right in there. In this article I will be going through a few of the various steps you will need to take when acclimating new fish to your aquarium. So without further introduction, lets get into how to properly acclimate fish and coral.

First you will need to get the proper materials for acclimation. You will need a clean bucket, a net, a bucket with water at the exact conditions of your aquarium, and a cup. You should always have these materials on hand before you order the new fish to your aquarium. Once you get your fish home, you will want to start the acclimation process as quickly as possible and avoid leaving the fish in the bag it came in for an extended period of time. There are different methods for acclimation, but I will go with the more simple straight forward method.

First you want to empty the bag and the fish into the clean bucket, being very careful not to drop the fish too roughly. Now you need to condition the water in your second bucket the same condition as the water in your aquarium. At this point you want to take a cup of water out of the aquarium and add it to the bucket with the fish in it. You will continue to add a cup of water every 5 minutes for 45 minutes. At the end of the 45 minute period, you can scoop your fish out and place them in the aquarium. Now with the treated water in the non-fish bucket, you will fill up the water level in your aquarium. Be careful to not pour it too fast and cause too much of a disturbance in the aquarium.

With corals, you can place them directly in the aquarium. Live rock is another story. When you receive the live rock you should place it in a new garbage can of around 30 gallons. Completely submerge your live rock in saltwater with a specific level of 1.021 to 1.025. Place a heater in the trash can and set it to 80 degrees to speed up the process. You should provide constant water flow with a pump in the garbage can. Also during this process you should do 100% water changes twice a week to keep the water from festering. Gently use the brush to remove any dead particles from the rock during these water changes. Your live rock will be ready and able to place in the aquarium once the ammonia levels in the trash can are non-existent.

I hope you found this guide helpful for the acclimating fish and live rock to your aquarium. Just remember to take your time and get the process down and do not rush.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Feeding Flowerhorn

Flowerhorn like similar sized fish, astronotus ocellatus for example, need a live food integration to be healthy and in shape. Their diet can consist of live food, frozen food, and standard dry fish food. The live food should be of good dimension, or the fish could not notice it, earth worms and big meal worms or wax worm are accepted; moreover you can give small fish, poecilia reticulata could be a good choice since the high number of fry they spare monthly. Remember to feed every live food you choose, and in case of live fish be sure they are healthy.

Frozen food is another good solution, especially when you do not have the live one. Young Flowerhorn usually eat chironomus, brine shrimps and other frozen fish foods, while older ones could not notice them; at their place you can offer frozen fish for human use, you have a great choice, anyway if possible get freshwater fish and avoid the sea ones.

Both live and frozen food can pollute the water, so be sure that Flowerhorn eats all the given food in 5 minutes maximum, in case of rests remove them fast; for this reason it is better to have an aquarium set up that allow you to clean fast without needing to move objects.

Dry standard fish food is a good complementary option, especially if it is of good quality. You can find special foodproduced for cichlids that usually consist of big pellets that Flowerhornlike. 

A Flowerhorn cichlid should be fed two times a day, everyday, anyway be careful with the quantities and avoid to overfeed it, reducing the food amount specially if it is really rich of nutrients.

Flowerhorn Aquarium Set-up

Due the big size they can reach, Flowerhorn need big aquarium with a lot of free space for swimming; a 200 litres tank is the minimum you can offer to an adult fish to let it live healthily. It is a really strong fish and can live in different water conditions without having problems, anyway it is important to provide a temperature between 25°C and 30°C; pHvalue is also important, because acid water can tone down fish colours and make it sick, the ideal condition is a lightalkaline water, with a pH between 7 and 8. Moreover it is necessary to avoid sudden condition changes of temperature and chemical values, because they can make Flowerhorn being more sensible to sickness like bacteria attacks.

Water filtration is really important because this big fish produces lots of refuses that end increasing nitrite and nitrate levels in the water. You can choose both internal and external filtration, even if the second one is preferred to leave more free space to the fish. The biological part must work properly, so be sure to have a well activated aquarium before to house a Flowerhorn cichlid. 

Take also a look to the water current, an excessively strong one can damage the fish, anyway it is important that a slow movement is present, because it oxygenates the water, and avoids that the water heats only near heater.

Tank decorations are important to make the fish feel quieter. Use a layer of fine gravel and be sure that rocks and woods are stable and do not risk to fall easily on the fish; be sure, as well, that all the decorations do not make the tank cleaning too much difficult. Live plants are important for filtration and oxygenation, anyway choose strong plants like big anubias, because any Flowerhorn cichlid use to dig a lot; you can also use plastic plants, even if they are not useful and you can risk that the fish accidentally eat them. 

Being big and aggressive is better not to house it with other fish species, specially if they are smaller. While if you plan to house more than one Flowerhorn, provide a big tank and divide it with accessories to let fish divide the territory; to avoid fights it is recommended not to keep more than two or three fish together in the same tank.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Flowerhorn Illness

Flowerhorn are susceptible to all the same diseases as other fish. Fortunately, these fish are tough, and less vulnerable. So you should not be fighting disease very often.

All of disease in Flowerhorn requires poor water for it's start.

Fish tanks which are too small, or fish tanks without adequate water changes, or filtration are the most common cause of illness.

If a Flowerhorn appears sick, you should IMMEDIATELY check the pH of the system. The pH should be above 7.0 for best results. If the pH is lower than this, the fish won't mind much, but the bacteria in the filter will not work up to par, and nitrogen will accumulate.

To keep the pH "up" you can use Baking Soda in small quantities, crushed oyster shells, or Buff It Up.

If the pH is not out of whack, you should check the Ammonia, Nitrite, and NITRATE of the system. High nitrates is a common cause of illness in established tanks. It's immune suppressive and it causes poor healing and color in fish. Here's a test kit that has everything for all the testing you need.

If the water quality is good, it still would not hurt to change some water.

Flowerhorn should have their water changed as follows:
10% per week
20% every 2 weeks
or 30% every three weeks.
Whichever suits your schedule. If you keep up your water changes, the nitrates will be down and the growth rate will be HIGH! You will also notice that the hump on your fish grows more.

Diseases can be broken into three groups, or treated with shotgun remedies.

Bacterial Infections
Bacterial infections in Flowerhorns are effectively treated with medicated food. The best one is actually for Koi and contains THREE antibiotics. It's called MediKoi. Click here.

Ich, Trichodina, Scyphidia, Epistylis, and other ciliated protozoan diseases in Flowerhorns can be treated with salt. It's easy, safe for you, and for the fish and it works! 
Their primary mode of killing would ostensibly be through the accumulation of large numbers. Especially in fish fry, the numbers of flukes encountered area accepted as the cause of mortality simply because they take such a toll on the victim when they occur in large numbers. Based on observations made in practice, however, I would like to introduce my opinion of how just a few flukes can kill a larger fish.

In the process of attacking a host, the flukes dig deeply into the epidermis and gill tissue with their happens. Regardless of species, the flukes are known to carry and inoculate pathogenic bacteria. Flukes from certain areas, and on certain batches of fish carry more and more dangerous and virulent bacteria on their hap tens. In this way, discovery of a few flukes on the gills or skin can account for rapid and mortal outbreaks of Aeromonas and Pseudomonas funrunculosis (Ulcer Disease).

Control of flukes has become increasingly easy with contemporary medicine.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Materials Use in Planted Tanks

The Tank: 

   A tank between 10 and 30 gallons is the best size for beginners. Smaller tanks can be managed, but require more attention to detail. Larger tanks often take up more space than can be spared and are more expensive. Certainly, if you have a tank that is outside this range, don't hesitate to use it, but be aware that these instructions will have to be modified. 
   If possible, use a tank that is longer than it is tall. Tall, narrow tanks and those of unusual shapes are difficult to light adequately, and are also hard to work in. Some of the best tanks are: 
   Standard 10 gallon, standard 15 gallon, 20 gallon "long", 20 gallon "high", 29 gallon "high", 30 gallon "long". 
   All of these tanks can be outfitted with commonly available aquarium equipment.

Other equipment and supplies:

- Enough good quality fluorescent lighting to reach at least 2 watts per gallon. An exception to this rule is the 10 gallon tank. This tank is small enough and shallow enough that you can usually get adequate growth of shade tolerant plants using a single 15 watt bulb as long as the bulb is less than 1 year old, and of good quality. Except for the 29 gallon "high" tank, all of the other tanks mentioned can be adequately lit with two bulbs of the largest size that will fit on the tank. i.e., two 24" 20 watt bulbs over the 20 gallon tanks, and two 36" 30 watt bulbs over the 30 gallon tank. For the 29 gallon size, you will need three 24" 20W bulbs for adequate light. Aquarium strip light fixtures come as either double or single bulb fixtures. You can use any combination of single or double bulb fixtures that will meet your needs. 
   Some good brands of bulbs are: 
More expensive: VitaLite Pennplax Ultra-Trilux Triton 
Less Expensive: GE Chroma 50 Phillips Ultralume 5000 Phillips Daylight 
- Glass canopy 
- Heater: 150W heaters are probably adequate for the 10-20 gallon tanks, 200W heaters will be adequate for the larger tanks. Buy a good quality submersible heater. Don't skimp here... a tank is left unattended too often to risk your plants and animals to a faulty thermostat! 
- Thermometer: Any aquarium thermometer will do, but I prefer the stick-on-the-glass liquid crystal type for several reasons. They are unobtrusive, but easy to read, they are inexpensive, and most are marked with both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales which makes them another useful learning tool. 
- Filter: Do not use an under gravel filter or other air driven filter in a planted tank. It will drive off needed CO2. Use either an internal or external power filter. There are many good ones on the market. My preference is for those that have rinsable, reusable filtration media rather than those with disposable "cartridges". They are less expensive to maintain, and more environmentally friendly. Any good pet shop can tell you which size filter to get for your particular tank, but it is better to slightly oversize the filter rather than skimping. A couple of reliable brands of outside power filters are Marineland and Hagen. Duetto internal power filters are excellent in a number of applications. 
- CO2 Generator: See specific directions for making a yeast reactor. 
- Electrical equipment: Use a heavy duty power strip to provide power for your aquarium equipment. If you cannot locate the tank near an outlet, use a heavy duty extension cord. You will also need a light timer (like the ones used when people go on vacations) to turn the tank lights on and off each day. 
- Support: Remember that an aquarium is heavy! Filled, it will weigh close to 10 pounds per gallon. 10 gallon tanks can be placed on a sturdy table. Larger tanks really need a properly designed aquarium stand. 
- Gravel: Use fine non-coated natural color aquarium gravel. It should be between 1-3 mm. in size, and not contain calcium carbonate bearing rock. You can test this by placing a drop or two of muriatic acid (available at the hardware store) on a sample of gravel. If it foams, don't use it. 
You will need about a 25 pound bag for a 10 gallon to 20 "high" tank, you'll probably need a 50 pound bag for the larger tanks. 
- Laterite: This is an iron rich tropical clay that will serve as the nutrient base for your plants. Your local pet store will either carry it, or can order for you. 
- Another very good alternative for the substrate of a planted tank is Seachem Flourite. This product is attractive, easy to use and grows plants very well. You do not need to add laterite or other materials to a Flourite substrate; it can be used as-is.

Introduction to Aquarium Plants

Foreground plants are species that are quite short and small. They mostly form carpet-like matting at the bottom. They do this by producing numerous runner plants. These plants are often used in shallow aquariums because they need plenty of strong light. Glossostigma sp. is one of the most popular carpet plants around. It is not very easy to grow but looks absolutely stunning. Water Wisteria can be used a carpet plant too, if you put some stones on the stems till they catch root. The middle ground plants are taller than the foreground plants. Their main use is in hiding the stems of the background plants that are much taller. The background plants grow quite fast and can be used effectively to hide all the accessories in your aquarium. They usually need lesser sunlight too. 

Bunch plants – plants that look good in a group – are usually middle ground or background plants. Some plants, called the specimen plants, are large decorative species that are usually highlighted at the center. Floating plants are an attractive option, but care must be taken to place floating plants away from the heat of the light bulb. Floating plants also propagate very quickly and may block out all the light in your aquarium. 

Java Moss and Java Fern are some of the most common aquatic plants and they are very suitable for beginners. Initially, Java Fern should be attached to a piece of driftwood or rock. After the roots are formed it will stick to its surface. Java Moss and Java Fern are very hardy plants that can thrive in a wide range of soft and hard waters and even do well in a brackish aquarium. These plants will also tolerate a lot of different pH-values. New plants form on the older leaves of existing plants. The new plants will break themselves off from the original plant, but can also be cut away. These shoots can then be replanted. They grow quickly and give a very lush appearance to your aquarium. 

The Amazon Sword is another very popular aquatic plant. Just like Java Moss and Java Fern, the Amazon Sword is a very hardy plant that is popular both among beginners and expert aquarists. Amazon Sword grows pretty fast and therefore prevents algae formation. 

Wisteria is yet another example of a beautiful and undemanding plant that is suitable for your first aquarium. The plant grows quickly and also helps to inhibit algae growth. But Wisteria also sucks a lot of nutrients from the water. Pale leaves indicate that there is a shortage of nutrients in the aquarium, and that fertilizers need to be added to the substrate. The Anubias Nana plant is also popular among beginners, since this plant thrives in virtually all conditions. Best results are obtained by tying the plant to a tree root or stone. This plant often flowers in water and is usually left alone by herbivorous fish. If your aquarium is provided with strong light, you can keep Lillaeopsis. Lillaeopsis looks more or less like grass. It grows fast, but does need bright lighting and can therefore be an unsuitable choice for your very first aquarium before you have learned how to control the algae. If you want to keep an amphibious plant, you can try the Cryptocoryne Beckettii. It is a popular plant among aquarists and it grows really well when it is submerged. 

Beginners must take some factors into mind when they select plants. Since you are new to the whole concept, it is best to stick with plants that are not very exotic or pricey. As a rule of thumb, very colorful plants are unsuitable for beginners and green plants are a better choice. This is mainly because colorful plants typically require more direct light. Providing this light may play havoc with the temperature and algae levels in your aquarium. If you are not equipped with enough know-how and experience in dealing with these situations, you will find that your aquarium will turn green with algae in no time. Availability is another matter to consider. Some plants propagate themselves and give off shoots that will develop into new plants. Such plants are usually available in most pet shops since they are easy to grow. You will also be able to plant new shoots without spending more money. Plants that are not easily eaten by fish are also good for the beginner.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tips in breeding FH

Flowerhorn cichlid fish is a type of hybrids that was created in Malaysia during the second half of the 1990s. The fish quickly became very popular due to their beauty and the fact that they got a reputation as bringers of good fortune. This resulted in Flowerhorn cichlids being sold at very high prices and Flowerhorn breeding becoming big business. Flowerhorn breeding became something that could make you rich and the fish was even traded in the same manner as stocks for a period on time before the bubble burst and a lot of people lost a lot of money they invested in no much less worth Flowerhorn cichlid fish. 

Flowerhorn cichlids are easy to breed and Flowerhorn breeding can be conducted in much the same way as many South American cichlids which are believed to be the origin of this species. This text will help you successfully breed your Flowerhorn cichlids but will not say anything about how to line bread and crossbreed Flowerhorn cichlids to get high quality fish as an result of your Flowerhorn breeding. Mainly because of the fact that this is a carefully guarded secret that is only know among commercial Flowerhorn breeders. 

Flowerhorn cichlids are best kept in large aquariums and should only be kept with other aggressive species. They can be very aggressive towards the other sex and the use of a separator is sometimes a necessity when breeding Flowerhorn cichlids. The holding tanks for Flowerhorn cichlids should be decorated with rock formations and it is beneficial if the decoration is designed in such a manner that natural territorial borders are created, especially if more then one Flowerhorn cichlids are meant to be housed in the aquarium tank. The water values are not a very important aspect in Flowerhorn breeding but a neutral to slightly basic pH level and a water temperature of around 28°C / 82°F is to be preferred. 

Keeping your fish well feed is an important part of the Flowerhorn breeding preparations. This is however relatively easy since these fish accept most food sources and is easy to get into spawning condition on a varied diet with a pellets base. Flowerhorn cichlids eat a lot and this puts a big strain on the water. Large regular water changes are therefore a necessity and changing 20% of the water two times a week is recommended. 

Flowerhorn cichlids lay their eggs on a flat surface and guards their eggs and fry. They are usually very good parents. You should however always keep a watchful eye on the pair you’re using for breeding your Flowerhorn cichlids since the male can become very aggressive towards the female, especially if something goes wrong during the spawning. A method to avoid problem with aggressions while breeding Flowerhorn cichlids is to use a transparent separator that allows water to pass between the two segments. You should if you choose this method only provide the fish with one possible breeding substrate which should be place on the females side directly beside the separator so the male is able to fertilize the eggs from his segment of the aquarium. Always have the current in the aquarium go from the males to the female’s side of the aquarium. The urge to breed will under these grow so large that your Flowerhorn cichlids will spawn even though they are separated. 
The quality of the fry will differ greatly when breeding Flowerhorn cichlids. Most fry will usually be of low quality but some of them may grow up to be high quality Flowerhorn cichlids. 

Good Luck for the project.