API Aquarium Salt

API Aquarium Salt

Introduction: Of fish care and well-being

As many fish lovers have unfortunately come to discover, neglecting proper fish care can have disastrous consequences for our little friends. Things such as water that does not get cleaned regularly, low quality nutrition, large quantities of waste material in the fish tank or even a fish tank of inadequate size can lead to all sorts of trouble for fish. Stunted growth, deformities and problems with scales and skin are chief amongst them but even worse things, like premature death are not out of the question. As is fairly plainly obvious, doing all that can be done in order  to maximize the chances of your fish’s proper development through the construction of a supportive environment of the best possible living conditions is your best bet, should you desire your pets to live a long lasting and prosperous life.

Stress in Aquariums

A large part of taking care of your fish is dealing with the stress that is very likely to inflict your fishes at some point of their lives. This may seem strange at first, considering how peaceful a life it seems at first glance, to be able to freely swim all day in an aquarium, fed and taken care of by others. Unfortunately, the reality is that fish do get stressed not unlike the way we humans are. This is mainly due to improper water conditions, or troubles with neighbor fishes, but other causes are possible, such as the presence of added chemicals in the fish’s tank. When looking for symptoms, the most easily recognizable would be the following:

  • A fish gasping, wide mouthed at the surface of the tank. This is usually due to poor water conditions and a lack of oxygen.
  • Loss of appetite. A very human like consequence of stress. Stressed fish will not eat the way they used to.
  • Odd swimming patterns. Whether it is a needless crash at the bottom of its tank or frantically swimming without going anywhere, strange swimming is definitely a sign to look for.

But unfortunately, trouble does not end with stress. There is more.

Disease in Aquariums

Another common problem fish have to combat in their aquariums is the spread of disease. One can spot a diseased fish by recognizing aberrant, uncharacteristic behavior. Thus, the previous stress signs may well be signs of disease. Other relatively easy to recognize signs of disease are the following:

  • Clamped fins.
  • Shimmy: This looks as if the fish is swimming fast, yet staying in the same place.
  • Ich spots: These look like tiny white spots on the body and fins of the fish.
  • Red or white sores – these could have been caused by unrelated factors, such as a fight with another fish, but they are prone to getting infected.

If all this looks too much to handle, worry not. We are going to present you with a product specifically designed to cure or even prevent such unfortunate occurrences.

Enter API Aquarium Salt

 Enter API Aquarium Salt

For over fifty years, API has been at the spear point of the Aquatics industry, developing and perfecting products and solutions for indoor aquariums. Amongst its colorful product palette, one can find treatment, testing, nutrition and pond products. The product we are presenting you with, the API Aquarium Salt, is specifically designed to treat a fish’s health problems, whether it is stress or disease related. It works as follows:

Containing natural, active ingredients such as a natural fish tonic, the API Aquarium Salt improves gill function and reduces stress, providing all the essential electrolytes a fish needs for the uptake of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide and ammonia through its gills. It should be used when setting up a new freshwater aquarium, when changing water or treating disease. A word of caution is necessary, though: Extra care should be taken when using salt with live plants in the tank, as some plants might be sensitive to it.

In any case, the API Aquarium Salt product works greatly in order to provide a safe, hospitable environment for fish enhancing their health and ensuring their longevity and well-being.

Conclusion

To summarize: Taking proper care of your fish is essential in order for them to live long and well. A big part of the equation is handling disease and stress. There is no better alternative product to accomplish that than API Aquarium Salt. It is an excellently made product, bound to enhance and improve your fishes’ lives and a sound investment for all the fish lovers around the world. We would recommend it in flying colors.

TERAPUMP Aquarium Cleaner

Introduction: Cleaning your Aquarium

As many fish around the globe can attest to, living in a poorly maintained aquarium can prove to be extremely unhealthy for one’s growth and well-being. Without proper care of their environment and without clean water fish suffer all kinds of trouble, like stunted growth, skin problems or even premature death. Thus, regularly taking care of the aquarium is a necessity for every fish lover out there. This usually consists of having to scrub the sides of the tank, siphoning out some of its water, sorting through the rocks, sand or gravel at its bottom, cleaning its various accessories whatever those may be and adding new water back in it. In case your fish tank has a filter, it is usually a good idea to clean it separately from the rest of the tank as doing it simultaneously could prove too much of a change for your fish at one time. Usually, filters do come with instruction manuals. Your best bet is following your particular filter’s instructions in order to avoid any unnecessary complications.

Where there is a need, there is a market

cherry barbIf all the above sounds a bit complicated for you, you need not worry. Nothing is wrong with you. In fact, it sounds complicated and frankly too much work for a lot of people around the world. Thus, many companies have developed products specialized in cleaning aquariums and fish tanks to facilitate the process for all interested parties. More importantly, such products usually come with extra features such as the ability to properly clean the aquarium without disturbing the fish at all. In this article, we are going to present you in short our favorite such product to satisfy all your cleaning needs. Not only do we find it is of the highest quality and of a reasonable cost but honestly, living in 2017 as we are, where technology constantly moves forward in leaps and bounds, we think its appropriate to use every available advantage at our disposal in order to support and easily sustain our hobbies.

Enter TERAPUMP

The product we are presenting you with is brought to you by TERAPUMP, an internationally shipping company dedicated to all your liquid transferring needs. It is called TERAPUMP Aquarium Cleaner, Model No. TRFTCLN, and sports the following number of features:

  • A manually operated liquid transfer pump
  • Two types of nozzle: A shorter nozzle for drainage and a longer one for gravel cleaning
  • A hand pump to initiate the siphon to start transferring liquid from one receptable to another
  • A patented unique pump filter that allows dirt in sand to be discharged along with the water.

It is of portable, light weight and heavy duty material and it is specifically designed to leave any aquarium fish unhurt while in use. Its siphon work is totally user-friendly and its containers are easily emptied. It is simple to operate and it actually comes with a set of detailed instructions on how to use it to maximum effect. Words of caution to those having small fish inhabit their aquarium: Particularly small fish can actually end up getting sucked up into the pump, so be careful with that.

Currently, this product is priced at $13.99 which is a very accessible cost for everyone. It sports a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating after having been reviewed by 968 customers – a pretty impressive score! Naturally, it is listed as the #1 best seller in Aquarium Gravel Cleaners in Amazon. We can’t say enough good things about this product. Highly recommended for all fish lovers out there.

Conclusion

Manually cleaning your aquarium or fish tank is no easy tank. Moreover, it can be time consuming and physically demanding. So why not pick the strictly better alternative? You have been presented by an amazing product made by a highly specialized company in order to facilitate the process just for people like you. It has a very reasonable and accessible price, it is bound to keep working for you for a long time, and it is easy to use – not to mention better and safer for your fish. TERAPUMP’s Aquarium Cleaner is the definitive product on the market, currently, and you would do well to consider it.

Think of buying this product as an investment. You will save time, effort and a lot of headaches. You are definitely getting your money’s worth back and more. Like we previously stated: This product we can safely, highly recommend.  You will not regret it.

Swordtail

What are the Easiest Fish to Take Care Of?

Have you thought about owning a pet fish, but withdrew the idea because you thought it would be expensive and time-consuming? Well, after reading this article you will be able to know what type of fish is much easier to take care of you.

Guppies

If you are interested in keeping guppies, it is important to know the difference between a male guppy and a female guppy. Guppies do reproduce like crazy, so if you put both sexes together, you can expect many Guppy babies. To avoid this, you just have to keep all male or female, this will also cut on your budget but if spending is not a problem you can keep both sexes and mix them and maybe later you can sell some to your friends.

Why Choose Guppies?

Guppies are available in a wide range of colors.

It is a tough fish so won’t get sick easily

You can feed them ordinary fish flake, worms and live or frozen brine shrimp. The fact that the guppies can spend a week without food, shows how difficult they are. As you can literally go out on a weekend and come back the next weekend and they will still be alive and healthy.

Angelfish

Angelfish

They can survive in different water parameters and water temperature as well, or in other words, they are quite robust and resistant to changing conditions. It can be a bit aggressive, so you do not want to put a very small fish among Angelfish as they will probably eat or mistake it for lunch or dinner. They can grow up to 6 cm long and you need a fairly large tank.

Why Choose Angelfish?

When comes to maintenance, there is really not much to do. These fish are omnivorous and anything they can find, alive or dead, plants or meat, they will eat it.

Cherry Barb

cherry barb

Depending on nutritional needs, they eat almost any type of fish food, but they won start to eat right away in the first place. Give them a couple of weeks and they will eat comfortably. It can tolerate large changes in water parameters, they are gentle, and they only grow about 2 cm long.

For you to make cherry Barb feel comfortable and safe as possible, it is recommended that you keep some live plants so as they can have that space to hide whenever they feel threatened. It may take some time before they come out of their shell (hiding place). They are better maintained in schools, so about 6 is preferable.

Why Choose Cherry Barb?

They are very active once they get accustomed to their new surroundings

It eats almost any type of fish food

They are resilient to temperature changes

Since they are active they provide a source of entertainment as it is fun to watch

Sword tails

SwordtailA water filter and slight heating is more than enough. It can survive in a variety of temperatures and water conditions, and do well with fluctuations. When it comes to simply taking care of the fish, Swordtail require minimal care compared to others

Why Choose Swordtail?

They are easy to feed

They are very quiet fish and go well in a community pool

They are not going to attack other fish

They can live for longer period with little care for several years

Resilient to water temperature changes

Cory Catfish

With a lifespan of up to 20 years Cory catfish is a common fish, which will survive well when kept in groups of 3 or more.

Why Choose Cory Catfish?

They can feed on insects, larvae and any plant material that sinks to the bottom of their dwelling, this is when they are in the wild

You can feed it by reproducing it by offering a variety of vegetable flakes, insect larvae and worms like bloodworms.

As aggressive eaters, these freshwater fish are responsible for keeping the tank clean

Thanks to their love of plant material and algae that can build up at the very bottom of the fish tanks in, this type of fish will feed on that as food hence you will be spending less in terms of buying fish food.

Bloodfin Tetras

Bloodfin Tetras

They are very quiet fish, so you should not have worries about the fight that erupted in your tank, especially if it is a community tank. The beauty of this fish is that they do well at water temperatures ranging from 64 to 82 degrees.

Why Choose Bloodfin Tetras?

Resilient to very low temperatures, you will not need to worry if the water at the fish tank is colder than usual. This means that you do not need to heat up the water in the tank during cold seasons.

They are so potent that they can handle changes in temperature and pH as well. In fact, Tetra Sangraleta can live up to 10 years without major maintenance.

Pearl Gourami

Pearl Gouramis does not like living with aggressive fish, so keep this in mind when filling your aquarium. They also love a place to hide, so a small floating fern blanket can give them a good place to hide and feel comfortable. They are easy to maintain and can be stored in tanks with at least 30 liters of water, but like many other types of Gourami, require space at the top of the tank so they can breathe air.

Why Choose Pearl Gourami?

Regarding feeding, the Gourami Pearl can eat a wide variety of different foods, both vegetable-based, meat-based. Example of what the can feed on include; Food flakes based on algae and live foods such as brine shrimp, blood worms and tubifex.

Conclusion

All the species of fish above are easy to take care of, what will determine the best for you will basically depend on your preference of the type of fish you love or for what purpose you want to own one. If you will like one for entertainment then you will need to choose one that is active and not shy to new surroundings.

Great Barracuda

5 Of the Most Aggressive Freshwater Fish

The law of survival of the fittest still applies to the animal kingdom. We should think about introduce some liberal ideas in the animal kingdom as “democracy and the rights of the animals”, unfortunately not to the aggressive freshwater fish, even if kept in the aquarium their behavior remains normally the same.

Aggression is a behavior that develops on the development of the fish species and grow even in the most peaceful fish species; the conditions under which the fish can live determine whether the fish will be aggressive in order to survive. Here I will give some of these freshwater fish that are very aggressive.

Dogtooth Tetras

This is a freshwater fish and the most aggressive of the aggressive freshwater fish species. This species of fish are found in the Amazon and rivers in southern Africa. The tetras, known as Dogtooth Tetras have used huge teeth to pin up small fish. While the most notable of the fish is Payara (another name for Payara is the vampire fish).

The Vampire Tetra Payara is a notable character, but not the typical Tetra. A look at the mouth of the fish and there is no doubt that the Payara is a devil carnivore. This amazing fish has two large fangs in its lower jaw. These teeth can be 4 to 6 inches long. In fact, the two large lower teeth are so long that the upper jaw has holes integrated. The Payara feed quickly and aggressively. These fish tend to swallow their prey as a whole, but sometimes they bite into smaller pieces, bite size, which can reach a length of 1.83 m (3.8 feet).

Hydrolycus genus has four types. Together they are called Pirandirá or Payara. His names are Tetra vampire, Vampire Characin, Payara Characin and saber-toothed fish. This fish teeth are frightening so just in case you catch one or do not let you hand in between those teeth because it can surely inflict a considerable damage.

Cichlids

This fish is bad or let me be fair here (its super mean), their territory is never shared with other fish because they are willing to chase or kill intruders. Aggressive cichlids are often territorial because they want to defend their own garden in the backyard against intruders since it is where they hunt and harvest. Well, I call this kind of male fish a real “Republican” since they are the more aggressive of the two, and tend to be crude to women who do not want to pair. Well, I am just being sarcastic just a little. There are certain types of quiet cichlids considered good parents and defend aggressively their children, come to think of it, good parents do not exist even in the animal kingdom.

Muskie/ Muskellunge

MuskellungeMuskie or Muskellunge is a familiar sight in the lakes and rivers of northern North America. From close up they look like their relatives, pike and cucumber, and would argue that they just look the same as fresh water barracuda. They can grow up to 7 feet (1.8 meters) and weighing nearly 70 pounds (32 kg), this species are the largest members of the pike family.

Muskellunge do spend most of the time motionless in the weeds, waiting for a meal to swim. Once it decide to attack it does so with accuracy. However, the speed and power of the attack is remarkable. This is one of the top fishers when it comes to the ambushing prey. Muskellunge Name comes from a French translation of the word maashkinoozhe meaning the ugly pike “but the wildness of the species, rather than their appearance, make them scare fishermen.

Tiger Barb Fish

Tiger barb Puntius tetrazona over green plant background in aqua

Male Betta fish are very common small fish, which behave very aggressively against each other and fight each other to the death. They are also very aggressive towards calm and shy fish and literally torment them to death, and a male Tigerbart will fight with a female to death, unless both are mating. Tiger Barb (Barbus tetrazona) belongs to the family Cyprinidae. The origin of the fish is from Indonesia, Sumatra and Borneo.

They are omnivorous hence they will eat probably anything. Their diet does consist of a variety of foods to help their immune system. They can eat frozen foods, living and crumbled and cooked vegetables and they seem to enjoy sugar beet hearts, worms and Artemia. The Tiger Barb is a yellow-orange color with four black stripes on his body. Breeders have spent years working to produce different colors. So far, they have created tiger bats in red, black, green and albino. Despite its aggressive and dishonorable nature, they are beautiful fish.

Wels catfish

Wels Catfish is defined for a long time, without body scales; A large flat head; And a wide mouth with rows of small teeth like sandpaper – hundreds of them. It also has two sets of spikes (filament bodies) such as the upper and lower jaws that help fish to catch prey in the muddy waters of lakes and rivers that flow slowly in Europe. Their diet consists of annelid worms, snails, insects, crustaceans, fish, frogs, rodents, ducks and even other catfish. They even documented attacking pigeons by ambushing them on land, they captured and devour their prey in the dark depths. Wels Catfish can exhibit aggressive behavior during mating season, which makes it possible for this fish monster to be responsible for attacks on those entering its territory. Do not be scared there hasn’t been any confirmed attacks on humans by this fish all that there is just nothing but rumors.

Conclusion

There are more species of freshwater fish that are even aggressive but I have just provided a few for you. Do not get scared of being attacked by any of this fish as there have been no confirmed reports of attacks by any of the fish I have discussed above to humans.

 

biggest recorded Goldfishes

How big do goldfish get ?

Introduction

A relatively small member of the carp family, the goldfish is one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish. Natural selection and selective breeding originating in China more than a thousand years ago has led to several distinct goldfish variations, differing in color, shape, fin and eye configurations. Nowadays, there exist roughly three hundred breeds. They are often a favorite pet for children and adolescents due to their relatively low maintenance requirements. As popular as they are beautiful, this type of fish can live up to twenty years or even more assuming proper care, housing and accommodations. The question is, however, how big can they get?

The myth

There is a myth circulating the elegant goldfish’s potential for size. Supposedly, a goldfish can grow as big as its environment lets it, very much like the magical dragons of the Song of Ice and Fire series. There are stories about 100 pound fish of the carp family. But not every carp fish is a goldfish. And naturally, the above is simply untrue when it comes to goldfishes. Goldfishes can’t reach a monstrous size, should one flush them down their toilet or release them into a river. Their size is determined almost completely by their genetics not by environmental factors such as their fish tank’s size. In fact, should a goldfish not have a large enough space to grow to its full potential, it is more likely that it will die before you even notice that the environment is not large enough to hold it. And even if it does survive in a too small and restrictive environment, other problems will likely surface, amongst them stunted growth, deformities and problems of various kinds with its scales and skin.

The facts

Goldfish sold as “tank suitable” will grow to roughly ten inches whereas those sold as “pond suitable” can reach a maximum of about eighteen inches. The vast majority of goldfish should be able to reach a size between eight and twelve inches, assuming reasonable conditions. And while there is truth in the notion that a goldfish typically does not outgrow its tank, this is not because the tank size impedes its growth. It is mainly because small tanks provide much poorer water quality compared to the larger ones. All in all, the poorer quality their environment has, the less will the goldfishes grow. And like it was stated earlier, the biggest factor to determine growth is the individual fish’s genetics. Better conditions give a goldfish better chances of getting big, in no way will they guarantee it.

All in all, assuming a goldfish has a good genetic potential for size and assuming it is kept in growth friendly conditions (good water quality and adequate quantity of food being chief amongst them) they will probably end up the same size, whether they are kept in a tank or swimming free in a river.

Meet the biggest recorded Goldfishes

“Simply amazing” was how Goldie, a 1ft. 3 inches long goldfish as of 2008, was described by a marine biologist. Some have claimed that Goldie is the largest goldfish in Britain, and the second largest in the world, behind a 1ft. 7 inches long goldfish currently located in the Netherlands. Another case was when in July 2010, a goldfish measuring 16 inches and 5 pounds was caught in a pond in Poole, England. According to Dick Mills, however, Secretary of the Federation of British Aquatic Societies (FBAS) such a size is “not that unusual”. According to him, there are probably even bigger goldfish out there, inhabiting ornamental lakes that people do not recognize as record holders.

In any case, whether such feats of size are unique or not amongst these cases, one can only feel amazement at the remarkable growth of these specimens. Their size could only be attributed to a combination of excellent genetics coupled with great care and living conditions.

Conclusion

To summarize, a goldfish will grow as big as the combination of its genetic potential along with its living conditions, nutrition and water quality chief amongst them, will let it. This maxes out at about eighteen inches, with the largest recorded goldfish having been encountered in the Netherlands followed shortly by Britain’s Goldie. Goldfish continue to grow as they age to the day they die, in small bursts. A small tank and other poor conditions will typically stunt their growth and limit their potential for size – if not outright kill them. In any case, however, one should definitely not fear that their goldfish will grow to a monstrous size should they be released in a river.

Great Barracuda

Top 3 Aggressive Fish

As you probably already know, there are thousands of different kinds of fish in the world, in fact there are actually 30,000 species that we know about. We are discovering different species all the time, some of these fish a very harmless but you do get the odd type of aggressive fish that are actually pretty harmful if you were to run into some. These fish are usually only found in certain parts of the world, this article will be reviewing what we believe are the top 3 most aggressive fish out there. Most fish are actually very harmless and look absolutely beautiful in tanks and aquariums around the world. But you do get the odd fish that have a much darker side to them, The fish in this list are the types you probably won’t want to have as a pet, or keep around your family in any way.

#1 PIRANHA

PIRANHAThe first fish in this list is the Piranha, as you have probably already seen in movies, the piranha is one of the most aggressive and ferocious fish in the waters. Also known as the caibe or piraya there are in fact more than 60 species of this razor toothed carnivorous fish. The baddest species of the piranha are the red-bellied piranha that actually have the sharpest teeth of them all. One of the alarming aspects of the red-bellied piranha are that they hunt in groups sometimes getting as large of 100 of them. When a large animal has been attacked it is not unusual for several groups of piranha to converge on the animal and eat it. Although attacks on humans are very rare,if you find yourself with a cut and start to bleed I would suggest getting out of the water if you are in an area that the piranha like to frequent. Normally the piranha can be found in rivers and lakes in South America.

#2 The Great White Shark

The Great White SharkThe second most aggressive fish on this list needs absolutely no introduction, probably the most famous water animal in the whole world is the great white shark, what most people don’t know however is that the great white is actually classified as a fish. Just like the Piranha the great white has appeared in a large number of movies as the scariest predator of the sea. And they aren’t wrong, the great white is known for its unprovoked attacks on humans. This fish has been around for a long time, according to fossil records we can date the great white back almost as far as 12-18 million years ago, and its ancestors can be traced back almost 56 million years ago. The great white has been known to attack surfers, swimmers, kayakers, divers, and the occasional small boat. The great white’s bite is like nothing else, usually only biting once before leaving though the great white doesn’t usually come back for a second taste. Unfortunately it doesn’t often have to, its bite is so fierce that it can only take one bite to do the intended job.

The biggest great white sharks usually grow up to 20 feet in length, but the largest reported great white measured at 37 feet. . However the average female is about 15-16 feet, and the average male grows to around 11-13 feet. Meaning if you see this swimming around when you are in the water you will probably want to get out as soon as possible. Needles to say this fish is so aggressively big you wouldn’t want to see one in person without being in a cage.

#3 Great Barracuda

Great BarracudaThe great barracuda is the fastest fish on this list by far, its an absolute torpedo in the water. The mouth of the barracuda is terrifying, featuring large 3-inch teeth this fish has the ability to rip animals and people apart with ease. One of the even more impressive features of this fish is that it actually grows to be around 6 feet long and 100 pounds.

The barracudas are attracted to shiny metal objects and will attack when agitated. When you are in the water it is important to avoid areas with low visibility. The barracudas attack style is very simple, they actually prefer to lie and wait, then ambush their prey, relying on surprise. Hand feeding or touching large barracuda in general is to be avoided. Spearfishing around barracudas can also be dangerous, as they are quite capable of ripping a chunk from a wounded fish thrashing on a spear.

Conclusion

As you can see there are plenty of fish in the sea, some are more harmful than others, the three mentioned in this list are probably three of the most aggressive. If you find yourself in the water and get the attention of any of these fish you should try extremely hard not to draw attention to yourself. If there comes a time where this is the case you should get out of the water as fast as possible.

Most Effective Ways to Safely Get Your Fish to a Healthy Weight

I got an interesting question from a reader, Brooke, she asked my advice on how to help an underweight fish get back to a healthy weight. I’ve done this with my rescue Betta, Bub, and I think that this is a very important and often overlooked aspect of fish-keeping. The obvious answer would be to feed the fish and feed it a lot, however, I disagree with this method for a few reasons. Many fish like Bettas or African Cichlids, especially those from Lake Malawai, are very prone to constipation even when healthy, and throwing a bunch of food at them at once might only make things worse.

There are numerous reasons your fish could be underweight, most likely they stopped eating due to stress or illness or injury. Sometimes you’ll buy a fish that’s underweight or sometimes you’ll just get an incredibly picky fish that is reluctant to eat.

In my experience, the best way to help a fish get back to a healthy weight and regain it’s physical strength as well as regaining healthy immune system function consists of three main things:

  1. High quality food (New Life Spectrum, Omega One, etc.)
  2. Vitamin Supplement like Vita-Chem or Seachem’s Nourish
  3. Seachem’s Garlic Guard

And sometimes feeding a food like San Fransisco Bay Brand’s Beefheart Plus is effective, especially with carnivorous fish like Bettas or Puffers. Obviously if you’re dealing with a herbivore that doesn’t digest protein very well like Malawi Cichilds I would strongly advise not using Beefheart as it’s extremely high in protein.

High-Quality Foods:

First though, let’s briefly go over why you should be using a high-quality food even though it’s pretty self-explanatory. Higher quality foods contain more natural ingredients, more vitamins, they’re easier to digest because they use less unnatural fillers and the list goes on. If you want to learn more about fish food specifically, click here!

It’s very important than when feeding you should always aim for smaller feedings throughout the day, especially with an underweight fish. I find that this helps prevent constipation for obvious reasons, it allows the fish to actually make use of the food and a fish that’s hesitant to eat is unlikely to gorge itself and you’ll end up with a lot of leftover food on the bottom of the tank, decaying and affecting water quality.

Vitamin Supplements:

Now, let’s talk about vitamin supplements. These are vital when you want to regenerate a fish, so to speak. The two products I recommend are Vita-Chem and Seachem Nourish, however, I’ve had more success with Vita-Chem. In layman’s terms, Vita-Chem is a multivitamin for fish. That’s as simple as it gets. In more detail though, it’s a vitamin supplement that’s absorbed through the fish’s tissue or ingested directly which means even if the fish isn’t eating, you can add Vita-Chem directly to the water column and still get the benefits. It helps provide essential vitamins like Vitamins C, B1, B2. B6, B12, E, K and numerous amino acids.

This will get essential nutrients to a fish even when they refuse to eat, it’s not a substitute for food, but it might be enough to get the fish to a place where they will eat. Or better yet, it’s very effective in combination with food to strengthen a fish quickly and safely. It promotes a strong immune system, increased growth, fin regeneration, breeding activity and like I mentioned will sometimes restore a fish’s appetite.

When dealing with a sick fish, I add the recommended amount directly to the water column at least twice per week. Sometimes every other day. The days I don’t add it to the water column I add it directly to their food, if they’ll eat.

Seachem Garlic Guard

 Seachem Garlic Guard

Now, another product I always keep handy is Seachem’s Garlic Guard. This is a great flavor enhancer, rich in Vitamin C and is believed to have some anti-parasitic properties to it. I find it much easier than crushing up garlic and mixing it with water. I use this product primarily to defrost frozen fish foods as I find it to be way more beneficial than simply defrosting in dechlorinated tap water. It can also be used to entice a fish into eating and I’ve even heard people say they use it to cure ich. Which I will say is completely false, the antioxidants in Garlic Guard help minimize oxidation caused by parasite’s toxins, but it will not eradicate any parasites by itself. If you want to learn how to actually defeat ich, click here!

If you have any specific questions for me, feel free to message me on Facebook!

Meet Bub: The Little Betta That Could

Over three grueling months in a tiny cup, toxins in the water causing more and more damage by the day, a little Betta, lived to fight another day. This is the story of Bub. This little guy is far from out of the woods, but he already looks much better than the day I found him lying motionless in his cup on the top shelf of a local PetSmart.

Bub in his tiny cup just minutes after we left the store.

I went into PetSmart “to look around” because my girlfriend had a job interview close by and I needed to pick her up. We all know that “looking around” almost always turns into “but honey, I just couldn’t say no”. Anyways, back to the story, I was sifting through the Bettas on the shelf and I noticed that some of them were in really bad shape. I found at least two dead and countless more on the way out but one in particular caught my eye on the top shelf. He was in a cup with a silver top and I noticed he was $30 which I found unusual for one of the big box stores like PetSmart. A crazy person like myself might drop $30 on a fish but the average person wouldn’t so I was surprised to see they carried bettas with such high price tags. There was only two of them there but the one I paid closest attention to looked very ill. At first I thought maybe he was dead but as I picked up the cup I saw him wiggle and after a few moments of watching him struggle to breathe I placed him back on the shelf.

Immediately I thought to myself that I couldn’t get him, I didn’t have the space, there was no way my girlfriend would be okay with me buying a $30 fish that might not even survive but in the back of my head there was that little voice going “Remember that extra tank you have? You have a spare heater! This could work! Come on, you’re his only hope…”

I then decided to walk over, rather nervously, to the fish lady who I thought would be the most understanding and tried my very best not to sound like an ass. “Honestly, I’m not trying to be ‘that guy’,” I began “but I was looking at the bettas and I see that quite a few are sick and some have even passed away. Recently I’ve seen people online posting that they’ve adopted sick fish from stores and are trying to save them. Is there anyway you could do something similar?”

“I’m not sure, I’d have to ask my manager, but let me take a look,” she replied.

Apparently “premium” means $30!!!!!

I walked over towards the shelf full of Bettas and showed her the ones that had passed away and then I showed her which ones I could tell were sick. Some had various stages of fin rot, others had ich and she took those out back and told me they would be treated. I then asked her if I could adopt the one on the top shelf who looked very, very weak. There was no way he would survive much longer in the shop, even if they took him out back to be treated. Just by looking at the poor guy I could tell he was malnourished, had inflamed gills and fin rot. He laid on his side in a pile of uneaten food and poop. She told me that she would try but not to get my hopes up because he was one of the expensive fish. In my sarcastic manner I replied, “I know but honestly nobody is going to pay $30 for a betta who looks like that so in reality there’s no way the store makes any money anyway.”

The date that Bub was placed on the shelf

She agreed with me and came back a few moments later and said the manager said that I would be able to adopt a betta who looked really, really sick and had been there for at least three months. How do you know how long they’ve been there? Well, at this Petsmart anyway, they write dates on the bottom of the cups. To my amazement, the black/white and blue guy I had been looking had been there since December 30th, 2015! To put that into perspective, I adopted him on March 13th, 2016. If we want to be dramatic, he had been in that cup since last year! I have no idea how he survived that long in those conditions but I’m glad he did. I didn’t place him back on that shelf, off to the car we went.

I placed him in the trunk of my car which is taken up almost entirely by a Styrofoam box that I always keep on hand if I need to bring fish home. Since he was in a cup, I used some boxed oil filters and microfiber detailing towels to wedge him into a corner of the box so he wouldn’t slide around on the ride home.

I picked up my girlfriend, explained the story to her and after I got the obligatory “Where are you going to put him? You already have too many fish tanks!” speech all was once again, good in paradise.

I got home and placed him on my “betta bookshelf” in his little cup which is an old bookshelf that now houses some of my betta tanks. I cleaned up the 1.5G Tetra cube that I had laying around with extremely hot water and hydrogen peroxide and then stole a plant from my Figure Eight Puffer and a rock and put them in the cube along with the black sand that was previously in it. I grabbed a spare heater that I had laying around, a nano bag of Chemi-Pure Blue and some filter floss to put in the Tetra Whisper filter that came with the tank. I knew the tank wasn’t going to be cycled so I dosed the tank with Seachem Prime to detoxify any toxins that would build up and placed my little guy in the tank with the lights off, of course.

While I know a 1.5G isn’t ideal for a betta, it was worlds better than his death-cup and I have the experience required to care for him in the cube until I upgrade his tank sometime in the future.

Bub’s first night in his new home

At first he sank straight to the bottom and did a nose-stand for awhile, as hard as it was, I left him alone and eventually within a few hours he was in the corner of the tank laying at the bottom. Bub was still breathing very heavily but I was glad he wasn’t doing a face-plant any longer. At this point I was able to begin to assess what I was going up against.

I could tell his gills were very inflamed, probably from ammonia poisoning as the water in his cup tested at about 4ppm ammonia. His fins were shredded and clamped up against him and he looked malnourished. I was also worried that he seemed unable to swim, the few times I saw him moving he was clearly struggling and had little control over where he was going. Despite all of this, I decided to drop a small flake and some pellets in the water to see if I could get him to eat because I wanted to strengthen him before I dosed the tank with anything. I made the call that if he hadn’t already died in that cup full of poison the best course of action was to give him warm, clean water and time to adjust before I start throwing chemicals at him. Unfortunately, he didn’t even so much as move his head when I dropped the food right in front of him. I went to slept and the next morning I jumped out of bed and to my relief, he was still alive.

In basically the same condition as his first day with me I sat next to his tank and pondered what I should do, despite the fact that I really wanted to medicate the tank I told myself I wouldn’t do that until I strengthened him back up. I tried once more to feed him with pellets but again he didn’t budge. Underneath my desk there’s a small red bucket that caught my eye. I hadn’t thought about using it for Bub but it’s filled with live brine shrimp which I mainly feed to my Dwarf Puffer who’s extremely picky. I decided that I would drop a few brine shrimp in the Betta’s tank to see if that would peek his interest. Sure enough, it did! Brine shrimp are far from the most nutritious meal, I do gut-load them prior to feeding with vitamin C, B12 and fatty acids so they provide some nutritional value. I was a little worried the shrimp would be too fast for him because of how weak he was but I decided that it was worth a chance.

 

Excuse the horrible video quality. P.S: Sound makes the video better 🙂

As you can see, he did struggle to swim but I was ecstatic that he ate. Later that day I came home to find him sort of floating near the surface so I decided to try to get him to eat one New Life Spectrum Betta Formula pellet because they’re much more nutritious than brine shrimp. At first he didn’t seem interested but within about 30 seconds to my amazement, he ate the pellet. He struggled to chew it because he was so weak but didn’t spit it out and I was once again, pleased with his progress. After realizing he had nothing to rest on near the surface, I took the Betta leaf from one of my other Bettas who is a brat and never uses it anyway and gave it to Bub. I haven’t seen him use it yet, but I feel better knowing he has a place near the surface to rest.

While he still has a long road to recovery ahead, Bub seems to be doing okay. His breathing his still labored but the redness of his gills has decreased ever so slightly and he still struggles to swim but at least now he is moving from time to time. Now, heading into his second night with me Bub continues to fight!

What Bub looks like heading into night #2

I will continue to monitor his progress and keep you guys posted with blog posts similar to this one. Be sure to like us on Facebook so you don’t miss anything!

Treating Bacterial Diseases with Seachem Kanaplex & Metroplex

When dealing with bacterial diseases, Seachem makes two of the most effective medications on the market. Kanaplex and Metroplex are both powdered antibiotics which should be your go-to medications when you think your fish has a bacterial disease such as columaris, tuberculosis, popeye, fin rot, dropsy, etc. It’s easy to use, highly effective and in my opinion safer than alternatives like API Furan-2. I’ve found that Furan-2 kills off beneficial bacteria quicker than Seachem’s products and Furan-2 can be easily overdosed. Kanaplex and Metroplex are also more versatile in the respect that it can be fed directly to your fish so you don’t have to treat an entire tank if you don’t want to.

Because many people misdiagnose their fish I strongly recommend using Kanaplex and Metroplex in combination with another when treating for a suspected bacterial infection. This is not only safe but in my experiences have made the medications more effective.

For some cases of stubborn infections, like columnaris, you must combine these two medications because it’s the only way in-which they are effective which is also a reason that I recommend using both. More on this later.

While they both look like similar products they each excel in different areas which we will get into a bit later. The benefit to using them both is to cover all sorts of different bacterial diseases because some strains of bacteria may not respond to one medication or the other.

Things to Consider:

While it’s always a good idea to supplement your beneficial bacteria bed when treating with antibiotics I haven’t observed any noticeable impact on my tank’s cycle when using either of these products. However, if you overdose them, which I do not officially recommend there is the chance you start a mini-cycle. Personally, I have overdosed the medications intentionally under close observation with no adverse side effects but please do so at your own risk.

Continued usage of these medications can lead to kidney failure, so I advise giving your fish at least three days to rest before repeating the treatment if possible. This means that if you administer them for the recommended three doses, 48 hours in-between doses, and you wish to do another round of treatment you should consider waiting three days before doing the second round. You do not have to do this, but if your fish will be okay without the medication it’s a good way to ensure your fish stays healthy in the long run.

Water changes aren’t necessary while medicating because after 48 hours these medications are no longer active in the water column and thus can’t build up to toxic levels.

You should remove all forms of chemical filtration when using either Kanaplex or Metroplex. This includes but is not limited to: carbon, Seachem Purigen, Poly Filter, Chemi-Pure Blue/Elite.

Seachem recommends that you remove invertebrates from the tank you’re treating, I haven’t done this and haven’t had any deaths due to the medication. However, if you plan to treat an entire tank then I would advise you listen to the company who makes the product and remove your inverts.

Seachem Kanaplex:

Kanaplex is a blended kanamycin based medication which is very effective against gram negative bacterial diseases as well as some fungal infections. Kanaplex can be added directly to the water column or mixed with food to treat only a specific fish. A big advantage of Kanaplex is because the fish absorbs the medication through it’s gills and skin it’s useful in treating internal infections even when the fish is refusing food.

Kanaplex is especially effective treating columnaris, dropsy, fin rot, pop eye and even fish tuberulosis.

Use 1 level measure (included) to every 20 L (5 gallons). Repeat every 2 days until symptoms disappear or up to a maximum of 3 doses. Turn off UV, ozone, and chemical filtration. To feed, blend 1 measure with about 1 tablespoon of frozen food paste. To minimize loss during feeding use with Focus™. To enhance palatability use with Garlic Guard or Entice. Food may be refrozen.

Active ingredients: kanamycin sulfate (32%)

BUY KANAPLEX ON AMAZON

Seachem Metroplex:


Metroplex treats for many protozoan and anaerobic bacterial diseases. Anaerobic bacteria is far less common however, some stubborn infections like columnaris rarely respond to Metroplex or Kanaplex by itself, however it will usually respond when these two medications are combined. It’s not fully understood why this is but Metroplex and Kanaplex form a symbiotic bond making the medications much more effective.

Use 1-2 level measures (included) to every 40 L (10 gallons). Repeat every 2 days until symptoms disappear or up to a maximum of 3 doses. Turn off UV, ozone, and chemical filtration. To feed, blend 1 measure with about 1 tablespoon of frozen food paste. To minimize loss during feeding use with Focus™. To enhance palatability use with Garlic Guard or Entice. Food may be refrozen.

Active ingredients: metronidozole (70%)

If you have any questions about either of these medications or an entirely different medication feel free to message me on Facebook! I’m more than happy to give you personal advise and/or diagnose your fish for you.

Reviewed: New Life Spectrum Hex Shield & Ick Shield

New Life Spectrum arguably makes the highest-quality fish food available and many people know that. What people often don’t know about are their two medicated pellets, Hex Shield & Ick Shield. What do they do? Do they do what they say they do? That and much more in today’s article!

(Disclaimer: Please don’t eat either of these products.)

New Life Spectrum Hex Shield:

NLS Hex Shield is a medicated pellet formulated to combat internal parasites in fish. It also helps relieve bloat caused by overfeeding. Unlike many medicated foods, I find Hex Shield to be readily accepted by numerous types of fish. Personally I’ve had German Blue Rams, Bettas, Killifish and Corydoras Catfish eat it without any intervention from me. I was even able to get my Figure Eight Puffer to eat it, but this required me to shove the pellets inside of a small snail shell. The puffer didn’t spit out the pellets though.

Ingredients: 

Hex Shield’s natural ingredients are very similar to their other products but there are a few key differences. Fish who are sick typically are less likely to eat or will eat less, so NLS has boosted the concentration of Krill. They also added more garlic, Ginseng, Ginger and Green Onions which not only increase palatability of the food but aid the active ingredients. In addition, they’ve added cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg to balance the taste of the pellet. Sounds yummy, right? Again, please do not eat Hex Shield.

Now, what’s most important are the active ingredients. In Hex Shield the active ingredients are as follows:

Magnesium Sulfate, IH-Imidazole-I-ethanol, 2-methyl-5-nitro-(443-48-1)

This is a veterinary medication that’s designed as an anti-parasitic compound. Not only do these ingredients fight parasites, they also help relieve constipation because Magnesium Sulfate is, in layman’s terms, Epsom salt, which is often used to bathe sick fish in to relieve bloat. As well as to treat more severe illness like dropsy.

Despite what you may think, Hex Shield is very safe to feed your fish. NLS doesn’t officially recommend you use it as a staple food, but they say the safety margin is very high and you can reapply this medication as needed. Another thing to take note of is that because Hex Shield attacks the parasite directly, your fish will not build up a tolerance to it.

You should feed Hex Shield twice per day for three days to achieve best results.

New Life Spectrum Ick Shield:

NLS Ick Shield is a very interesting product, to my knowledge it’s the only ich medication on the market that will actually disrupt the parasite during it’s trophont stage, whilst it’s feeding off of the fish. The active ingredients in Ick Shield are different from Hex Shield but the natural ingredients are essentially the same as Hex Shield so I would imagine that it tastes very similar if not the same to your fish. However, I obviously don’t know this for sure.

Ingredients:  

Like I mentioned before, Ick Shield and Hex Shield share basically the same ingredients besides the active ingredients which are as follows in Ick Shield:

I,4-Pentanediamine, N4-(7-chloro-4-quinolinyl)-NI,NI-diethyl

Again, this is a mediation designed to disrupt the parasite when it’s under the skin of the fish and inside of the fish’s gills which is when the fish is most vulnerable to the parasite.  It also combats various other ectoparasites like velvet. Personally, I wouldn’t use this by itself because it won’t kill ich that’s free-swimming which is why I feed this as well as dosing the tank with Seachem Paraguard.

When feeding Ick Shield you will want to continue feeding it twice per day for at least 10 days to ensure you eradicate the parasite to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Final Thoughts:

I find both of these medications to be highly effective, however, if you know that you have very finicky fish you may have trouble getting them to accept it. Don’t blame the medication if your fish won’t eat it. How many kids do you know that like the taste of cough syrup? I bet that fish like the taste of these medicated pellets more than young kids like the taste of cough syrup. I also recommend buying these products in advance and giving very small amounts every so often to your fish. This way they’re used to the medication and will be willing to eat it when they actually need it.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me on our Facebook page and I’ll get back to you as fast as I possibly can!