Betta Cloudy Eye 101(Symptoms Pictures & Proven Treatment)

Betta Cloudy Eye

Cloudy eye in betta fish is common. Luckily, it is easily prevented and treatable. Even though the cloudy eye is easily treated, it’s a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Otherwise, your betta fish will lose an eye and possibly die.

What is Betta Fish Cloudy Eye?

Cloudy eye causes your Betta’s eye lens to become opaque or cloudy. Correctly diagnosing this disease is important to ensure the best possible treatment. Several different conditions can cause cloudy eye, which we will cover in this article.

The Symptoms Of Cloudy Eye In Bettas

Symptoms Of Cloudy Eye In Bettas

The most notable symptom of the betta fish’s cloudy eye is the one that has given it its name – an opaque greyish film that covers your Betta’s eye. There is a possibility you may see a buildup of mucus as your Betta fish’s body begins to fight off an infection, also what looks like a fungus stuck on his eye. Sometimes, you may notice that it appears an orange-ish or yellow-is color on the eye(s). Cloudy eye impairs your Betta’s vision, making it hard for it to swim and find food.

Other symptoms you need to be aware of could indicate a completely different disease, such as cataracts, or popeye, which are both treated differently. 

Why Is My Betta Fish’s Eye Cloudy?

There are many possible causes of the cloudy eye in bettas, so it’s important to diagnose them correctly for the best treatment.

Poor Water Conditions

The cloudy eye is almost always a result of poor water conditions. Keeping your tank clean and monitoring the parameters are the best thing you can do. You should also consider what sort of filter you have and how often do you clean it, and how do you clean it. How can you have clean water if the substrate and filter are dirty?

So far, the best treatment for bettas cloudy eyes I have used is to do a daily 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate for two weeks. The water changes and gravel cleaning help reduce the number of disease organisms in the water, which helps heal your bettas back to their full strength.

Cataracts

cod eyes with cataracts
Photo: umaine.edu

In some cases, it is possible your betta fish could be cataracts. It causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy and opaque, which is more commonly seen in older bettas with many factors, including genetic and diet. Cataracts are caused by some sort of disease or infection usually found in a community tank. Not to mention there’s no treatment for cataracts in betta fish.

Internal parasites

Considering the cloudy eye could possibly have stemmed from internal parasites. Fish naturally come into contact with harmful parasitic organisms on an ongoing basis. These usually do not cause any harm because fishes’ immune systems take care of them before they can get out of control; 

When a betta fish is stressed out from capture, transport and introduction into a new aquarium, their immune systems will weaken which means that parasites can replicate easily, eventually leading your bettas down the path of the cloudy eye or worse death.

Infection

Infection can also contribute to the cloudy eye. An infection may be caused by a variety of organisms, including bacteria, fungi and parasites. This happened to my Betta a couple of years ago. After double checked the water conditions, I went through a bacterial invasion of my sorority tank and found that she was infected by the live bloodworms. A sad story, I still lost my queen to dropsy during that bacterial invasion. 

How to Treat Betta Cloudy Eye?

The cloudy eye in battas is definitely treatable. Early detection and fast action will have your Betta healthy in no time! If you spot any symptoms of cloudy eye, follow the steps below to ensure a quick recovery.

  1. Remove your Betta fish from the community tank and place it in a quarantine tank set up with the appropriate water conditions, heating, filtration, lighting, and a structure or vegetation for your Betta to hide within. 
  2. Your quarantine tank should be set up as normal, then add conditioned water and let it sit for 24 hours before placing your Betta in the tank.
  3. After the 24 hours have passed, you will want to introduce your Betta slowly to the quarantine tank. A good way to do this is by floating it in a bag on the surface for 20 minutes before putting it in the water.
  4. Add antibiotic meds like Maracyn-2 or Kanaplex to the hospital tank. Read the medicine directions to add the right dose.
  5. Treat every other day with Kanaplex and do a 40-50% water changes before you add the next dose of medicine. 
  6. Dose every day with Maracyn-2 and do a slightly smaller water change before each dose.
  7. You should see improvements in 3-4 days, but the usual length of treatment is 5-8 days.
  8. As well as using meds you can also add some API stress coat. This will help reduce your bettas’ stress and build up his slime coat.
  9. Meanwhile, you should be maintaining your water condition to ensure the water quality remains good. The ammonia level for your tank should be at 0ppm. Nitrites should be the same, 0ppm, and Nitrates should be no more than 20ppm. You will need to continue the water changes until the tank’s water quality reaches these levels. 
  10. If antibiotics don’t fix it within one week, try something more powerful like Furran-2 to fight bacterial infections. 
Pro tips:

1. You should try doing water changes first before trying any medication.

2. I would not recommend using aquarium salt unless there is a specific illness you are trying to cure with it.

3. Don't use MelaFix or BettaFix. It will leave an oily film on the surface, and you could lose some of the good cycling bacteria.

How to Prevent Cloudy Eye in Betta Fish?

why is my bettas eye cloudy

One of the main ways to prevent cloudy eye is maintaining the water quality and ensuring it remains healthy and stable. When the water quality is kept at the proper levels, 0ppm for nitrite and ammonia, and 20ppm for nitrates, your Betta will be safe from the cloudy eye. To ensure this happens, follow the steps below.

A Regular Water Change

Regularly changing your tank’s water will keep the water quality at healthy levels. For smaller tanks, the water changes need to be larger and more frequent. Whereas, for larger tanks, you will only need to perform a 25% water change each week. 

Clean It Up

Maintain a clean tank. If you have a substrate, you should vacuum it regularly to remove feces and leftover food. Routinely clean the tank’s ornaments, including any silk plants.

Betta Fish Filter

A proper filtration system is a must to ensure your tank is cleaned adequately. A good filter needs to be biological to remove waste, chemical to remove unnecessary chemicals from the water, and mechanical to remove any debris. Change out the filter cartridges as needed.

Healthy Water Condition

Test the water quality on a regular basis to ensure the pH and ammonia levels remain stable. 

Do not overstock your tank.

A general rule of thumb is only to have a max of one inch of fish per gallon of water. However, bigger fish need more room to swim.

Tanks smaller than five gallons will compromise your Betta’s health. They can survive in the smaller tanks, but they will not remain healthy.

Is Betta Fish Cloudy Eye Contagious?

The cloudy eye is not contagious. However, if the betta fish tank’s water conditions have caused one fish to catch a cloudy eye, you can be assured your other fish will catch it as well until the water conditions return to a healthy level. Rapid actions are necessary if more than one fish in your tank develops a cloudy eye. 

A cloudy eye can also develop from malnutrition or a more dangerous illness. Test your water’s quality levels to rule out any other possibilities. 

Is Cloudy Eye Fatal to Bettas?

Any illness that goes untreated in your betta fish can potentially prove to be fatal, although the cloudy eye is least likely to cause death. Your Betta will quickly recover as long as you adjust the water’s quality levels and treat your Betta fish. 

However, if the symptoms worsen or additional symptoms occur, there may not be a cloudy eye, and you will need to start investigating further. You can get a diagnosis if necessary from your local aquatic center if this is the case. 

Summary

With rapid detection and action, a cloudy eye is easily treated and should not prove fatal. Regular tank maintenance is a must for keeping the water quality at a healthy and safe level. Frequent water changes and a good filtration system will help you maintain the tank properly. A healthy diet full of protein will lessen the amount of waste put out by your Betta, helping to keep your tank cleaner. 

Keep in mind that cloudy eye is very treatable, and it is not a death sentence for your fish as long as you catch it in time and treat it appropriately. 

Good luck!

What Do Rainbow Sharks Eat?(3 Foods You Should Feed Your Fish)

What Do Rainbow Sharks Eat

Rainbow sharks may be one of the most brightly colored freshwater sharks, but they can be challenging to keep. One of the most important things to consider when owning a new rainbow shark is what you’ll feed them. Understanding what do rainbow sharks eat is essential as not all fish can eat all foods.

What Do Rainbow Sharks Eat in the Wild?

Just like humans, Rainbow Sharks thrive on a varied diet that’s closer to what they would be eating in the wild. The rainbow shark is a very versatile predator and has been found to be an omnivorous eater.

In the wild, they generally consume algae, decaying plants matter, as well as some live foods such as insect larvae, periphyton, and aquatic insects. As you can see, the weight of this diet is heavily dependent on vegetables. Yet protein found in insects and marine-based animals also plays a huge role in their nutrition.

What Should You Feed Your Rainbow Sharks in an Aquarium?

In captivity, their staple food should be very concentrated fish food that provides all their necessary nutrients in just a small amount per day, but this is far from the balanced diet that we are looking for. 

What exactly IS a balanced rainbow shark diet? 

In a short answer, a balanced rainbow shark diet includes high-quality fish food (flake & pellets), some real veggies, plus natural treats. 

The Staple Diet: Sinking Pellets or Flakes 

Although pellets or flakes may not be the most natural-looking choice, they are guaranteed to have all of their essential nutrients in one convenient bite-sized package! Compared with homemade fish food, they don’t tend to dissolve quickly in the tank water. The best fish food manufacturing companies formulate their products with the proper ratios of protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals to keep your sharks suffer from nutrient and vitamin deficiencies.

Considering their natural habitat, rainbow sharks tend to dwell near the bottom of your tank. For my albino rainbow shark, aside from he is feeding on what I add to the tank, he is constantly scavenging. I have fake plants that accrue algae on the leaves, and he will hover in place and clean every single leaf. These guys truly don’t get credit for what a good cleaner they are. He is constantly browsing for a free meal.

I like NSL Thera A+ 2mm sinking pellets because they contain high-quality proteins like squid, comes with extra garlic that can help fish resist stress better. What’s more, these pellets are preserved using natural preservatives, with no artificial preservatives, flavoring, or colors.

Pro tip: Instead of buying a huge jar of fish food for your rainbow shark, you should buy a little pot to feed and see if they are really enjoying the food. On the other hand, the fish food will grow old and stale with time from repeated exposure to moisture and oxygen, which could lead to health problems for your rainbow shark.

Vegetables

While most fish keepers will simply feed their rainbow sharks pellets or flakes that they were recommended at the pet store, some fish owners wonder if it is possible for a rainbow shark to eat veggies. The answer? Yes!

Fibrous veggies are great for rainbow sharks. You can add real veggies with their staple food a couple of times a week or so. I have used zucchini, cucumber, celery, and dark leafy lettuce. I weight them down with a rock and let them sink on their own.

Protip: Veggie clips are not recommended. These clips especially stacked a bunch of it together, can grab ahold of a fish leading to death.

If you’re looking for a safe way to feed veggies, I am in the same boat as you. I have heard of people blending the veggies up and freezing individual servings in the fridge, then using bag clips to hold the food and access to the fish. I think this method would work reliably, and I will definitely give it a try.

Hikari Algae Wafers

Photo: Hikari

An amazing vegetable matter fish food you might try, especially you noticed that the top or middle feeders in the community tank are capturing all the pellets. This original disc-shaped algae wafers product is specifically designed for hard-to-feed bottom dwellers. It’s rich in high levels of vegetable matter that your rainbow shark prefers, along with stabilized vitamin C to support immune health. What’s more, it sinks in water too fast and doesn’t pollute the water much.

Treats – Something Different & Nutritious

Just like us, variety is the spice of life. Nobody likes to eat the same thing every day. The same is true for the life of a rainbow shark. Feeding your sharks with a nutritious treat, such as daphnias, brine shrimp, or bloodworms per week can boost their brilliant colors and make them grow fast to full size. The best part? Your rainbow sharks love them!

Like feeding them vegetables, you might try pinching some below the waterline, making it sink right away.

How Often Should I Feed My Rainbow Shark?

As with most freshwater shark species, it’s better to feed your rainbow shark small amounts of food 2-3 times a day and more often, 5 days a week and skip two days or every other day, which will make him healthier and less susceptible to disease.

Don’t overfeed the treats, 1-2 times a week would be fine.

FAQs:

Can rainbow shark eat flakes in the tank?

Yes, if they are hungry enough, they’ll go after some flake for themself.

Do rainbow sharks eat algae?

Yes, they do eat algae while young then as it gets older, it moves to flakes and pellets.

Why my rainbow shark is a picky eater?

Some rainbow sharks get super picky about eating as they have gotten older. Try feeding your shark a different pet fish brand or frozen brine shrimp.

Why my rainbow shark doesn’t like treats?

Well, it’s rare, but some rainbow sharks are strictly vegetarian.

Why my rainbow shark is not eating?

  1. Try to feed your shark in tiny pieces.
  2. A variety will help things out, like bloodworm, tropical flakes, krill, brine shrimp, parboiled zucchini, and live crickets. 
  3. Is it a new shark? He could be picky a used fish food.  
Pro tip: If your rainbow shark refuses to eat, remember to keep an eye out for fish poop. Consider adding garlic extract (an excellent appetite booster) onto their regular diet in order encourage them back into eating habits!

Now it’s Your Turn

That’s all for now. I hope these tips prove useful to you! Anyone else has the best rainbow sharks food options and feeding tips, share with us in the comments below.

How Big Do Rainbow Sharks Get? (& How To Make Them Grow Faster!)

How Big Do Rainbow Sharks Get

If you need a single fish to make your aquarium stand out, the rainbow shark is just what you’ve been looking for. With their vibrant red fins and aggressive territorial nature, these little sharks will be sure to add some splash of color and spice up any tank with an attitude of their own!

If you’ve just brought home a beautifully colored rainbow shark or are considering getting one, there might be a question looming in your mind – how big do these sharks get eventually?

So without further delay, let’s get started!

How Big Do Rainbow Sharks Get?

Rainbow sharks are the sole shark, and they can grow up to 6 inches long. Although there are some differences between males vs. females, they tend to be about the same size in length. On the other hand, normal rainbow sharks and their albino varieties are all around about the same size when it comes to this measurement of length.

How Fast Do Rainbow Sharks Grow?

Rainbow Sharks grow pretty fast in the first year, then tapers off. My lovely red queen was 2″ when I bought her from the LFS 11 months ago and is now just over 5″. It seems to be growing at a slower rate. I have learned that it takes 2-4 years for a rainbow shark to get the full size by providing it with the proper care and diet.

How To Make Rainbow Shark Grow Fast

My lovely red queen
Photo: AquaMom

The best way to help your rainbow shark reach their maximum growth potential is simply by giving them the proper care and diet.

Nutrition

Diet is playing a most important part in your rainbow shark growth. As an omnivore, they are not particularly picky eaters in nature- generally eating decaying plants, algae, insect larvae or small chunks of meat that can be found in rivers such as Zooplankton.

Rainbow Sharks can eat flake food, frozen foods, pellets, and vegetables without complaint in an aquarium, but how do you make sure your shark gets all the nutrients he needs? To keep them happy in your aquarium, you need to offer various foods just like they would have access to if they were out in the wild. It’s not enough just feeding him canned corn-they need something more than vegetables from time to time too!

Feed them veggies in their diet, which will keep their immune system strong, include:

  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Dark Leafy Lettuce
  • Boiled Peas

Veggie chips are not recommended. It can grab ahold of a fish leading to death. I have tried to shred and blend the veggies up and then freeze them into individual servings in ice cube trays. It works for me! 

If you want to give your rainbow shark a brighter coloration, try to feed it a high-protein diet, such as good insects or crustaceans, include:

  • live bloodworms
  • artemias
  • Daphnias
  • brine shrimp

Make sure you don’t overfeed your rainbow shark, a few times a week would be fine. Feed them only what they can eat in a single meal and never try to make up for missed meals by feeding more food!

Juvenile Rainbow Sharks are a true treasure in the aquarium trade. They come with great colors and amazing shapes that make them one of the most sought after fish species. One thing to keep their colorful scales vibrant is never to restrict food intake, so it’s important to make sure your juvenile sharks’ diet be varied from time to time, or they will end up stunted and lacking color expression!

Tank Size

When starting as an aquarium hobbyist, you always want to find the perfect tank size for your fish. Have you heard the typical “one inch to one gallon rule” in the community? Honestly, I consider the rule is very bogus and misleading. Imagine a 6″ adult rainbow shark in a 6 gallon tank. That would be a disaster. 

The truth is rainbow sharks require a minimum of 55 gallons, and an aquarium of that size is suitable for one single rainbow shark. Don’t bother with the tanks smaller than 55 gallons, as mentioned above, rainbow shark grows fast in the first year and the aggression will come with age. Once reaching maturity(3 inches), it gets very aggressive overnight and started attacking the community fish. So stick to the recommended minimum tank size: 55 gallons. The long tank would be better. 

If you’re not experienced with rainbow sharks and planning on setting up a rainbow shark tank, you should keep a group of them or a single one, but never keep two rainbow sharks live together.  

For fish keepers who plan to introduce more than one rainbow shark, a 130g+ tank (at least a 6 foot long) can make sure each has at least a meter of separated territory. They will fight for control over their territories and inevitably injure themselves in the process.

Pro tip: I've found that sometimes my red queen becomes extremely aggressive and territorial. To calm her down, I move the decorations and plants around in the tank. It's kind of like giving her a new home (territory), which will 'reset' her behavior. You can try this, depending on what size tanks you have.

Tank Conditions and Care

The best way to take care of your rainbow shark is by providing it with an environment that mirrors the conditions in its natural habitat.

A healthy, thriving environment can affect how well your rainbow shark will grow. Before introducing a rainbow shark to a new tank, make sure the tank is fully cycled.  

The water temperature for your shark should be between 72 to 79℉, their prefer pH neutral waters between 6.5 and 7.5 and a water hardness of 5 to 11 DH.

Rainbow sharks are sensitive to pH level, sudden changes in the pH can make them more aggressive than usual.

Water quality is also crucial; be conscientious about algae growths, which will negatively affect fish habitats if left unchecked over time.

Protip: Rainbow sharks normally stay at the bottom, but they are renowned jumpers. So make sure you plug all excess holes and a hood is a must. The best way is put a cave to keeps its aggression in check. 

Final Thoughts

Rainbow shark growth depends on a variety of factors. Keeping your rainbow shark in a large tank, providing it with clean water and feeding it the proper diet will help grow to its full potential as quickly as possible. Good luck on growing your sharks into something even more amazing than before! 

Do you have any tips for getting your rainbow shark to get big? Share with us in the comments!

Guppy Dropsy 101 (Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention)

Guppy Dropsy

Available in a range of vibrant colors, Guppies are tropical freshwater fishes that have become popular due to their playfulness and peaceful nature. 

However, they are pretty vulnerable to various diseases, dropsy being the most dangerous among them. Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to their maintenance requirements. In this guide, we will tell you all about Guppy dropsy and how you can prevent it. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

What Is Guppy Dropsy?

Dropsy is a disease that affects guppy fishes and is marked by hugely swollen, oval-shaped bellies. In this condition, their stomach becomes bloated, and their scales protrude due to water or fluid retention in the gut or other internal organs.

If not treated at the outset, it proves to be fatal for the fish.

What Causes Dropsy In Guppies?

A weakened immune system leads to Guppy dropsy. If the fish has low immunity levels, a bacterium called Aeromonas infects and eventually kills them. However, this bacterium is always present in most aquarium settings, and it is only when your Guppies’ immunity levels are compromised that this microorganism can infect them. 

Several factors can lead to a weakened immune response in Guppies. We have listed some of them below. 

Poor Water Quality

The presence of decaying plant matter, old food particles, and dirty gravel can reduce the water quality. Moreover, excess ammonia and nitrates in the tank can lead to a spike and, eventually, tank poisoning. 

Stress And Injury

Stress caused by hostile tank mates is one of the leading causes of dropsy in Guppies. In addition, an injury sustained because of transportation from one tank to another can also lead to this disease. 

Poor Nutrition

If you are not feeding your Guppies the food they need, their immune system will weaken over time, and they will become vulnerable to attacks by bacteria. This results in the development of dropsy syndrome. 

Fluctuating Water Temperatures

A significant drop or rise in water temperatures can disrupt the balance inside the tank. Fluctuating temperatures will adversely impact the body of your fish and lead to stress and “temperature shock.” If not corrected, it can damage their organs and lead to a weakened immune system response. 

How To Tell If My Guppy Has Dropsy?

The symptoms of dropsy are very prominent but vary widely. We have listed the most common ones below.  

Pinecone Scales

One of the definite signs of dropsy is the appearance of pinecone-like scales. Since the belly becomes swollen, the scales can no longer stick to the sides of the fish’s body and protrude. 

Swollen Stomach

The infection can lead to a distended or massively swollen belly. Often, it is easy to confuse a bloated stomach with constipation or swim bladder disease, so look out for other signs to confirm if it is dropsy. 

Curved Spine

The pressure inside the Guppy’s body is so severe due to swelling of the stomach that it can bend its spine. Sometimes, the spine swells in a vertical direction, and this is more likely because of tuberculosis. In dropsy, the spine curves in a horizontal form. 

Other signs of dropsy include:

  • Bulging eyes
  • Fins clamped by the side
  • Discolored gills
  • Lack of movement and low appetite 

How To Cure Dropsy In Guppies?

Although the mortality rate for Guppies suffering from dropsy is high, if diagnosed early, the condition can be treated. So, here are the different approaches you can take to cure dropsy in your fish.

Quarantine

The first step towards treating your Guppy is to transfer it to a separate tank to reduce stress and allow focused treatment. Besides, it prevents the spread of infection to other fishes in the tank. 

Don’t make the quarantine tank smaller than the recommended size for Guppies, which is 5 gallons. Also, transfer some water from its previous tank to the new one so that the good bacteria is transferred to the quarantine tank, and your fish will not have to get accustomed to different water parameters. 

Aquarium Salt Treatment

Once your Guppy has been transferred to the “hospital tank,” it is time for the salt treatment. There are specifically formulated aquarium salts, but some aquarists also recommend using Epsom salt. 

As a rule of thumb, you should add one teaspoon of salt for every gallon of water. However, remember not to add more than the recommended dose of salt, as an excess of it can further disrupt the osmotic balance of the Guppy. 

Focus On High-Quality Diet

Since dropsy is primarily a result of a weak immune system, you should focus on feeding a high-quality diet to your Guppy. We recommend a balanced diet full of blanched vegetables, live food, and flakes. In addition, you should remove any uneaten food from the tank without fail to avoid the buildup of ammonia. 

How Do You Prevent Dropsy In Guppies?

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. This especially holds true for dropsy, which is pretty challenging to treat. So, you must take certain steps to prevent your Guppies from contracting this disease. These include:

Maintaining A Clean Tank

Change the water in the tank often, clean the filter, and use a heater to balance the temperature inside the tank. All of these steps will prevent a nitrate or ammonia spike and keep bacteria at bay. 

Avoid Overcrowding

Don’t overcrowd the tank with too many fishes as it results in a higher bio-load. Besides, do not place aggressive tank mates with your Guppy. 

Don’t Overfeed The Fish

It is essential to feed high-quality food to your fish but don’t make the mistake of overfeeding them as it can result in swim bladder disease and constipation. 

Since Guppies are omnivores, maintain a balance between plant-based and animal-based food products. 

FAQs:

Is Guppy Dropsy Contagious To Other Fish?

Usually, dropsy is not contagious if the other fishes in the tank have a strong immune system. However, it is still advisable to shift the affected Guppy to a separate tank. 

Can Guppy Fish Recover From Dropsy Naturally?

It is highly unlikely that your fish will be able to recover from dropsy naturally. You need to treat it with salt, antibiotics and keep it in a separate tank. Even then, if the disease has reached advanced stages, recovery is unlikely. 

Is Guppy Pregnant Or Has Dropsy?

Female guppies have swollen bellies while pregnant, but if the swelling doesn’t decrease even after dropping the guppy fry, then it might be suffering from dropsy. 

To verify if it is dropsy, look for other symptoms such as discolored gills, curved spine, etc. 

Is Dropsy Painful For Guppies?

No. There is no evidence of dropsy being painful for Guppies. 

Summary

We hope this article has given you a complete overview of Guppy dropsy. Unfortunately, although this disease is treatable, in some cases, euthanization becomes the only option. So, it is always better to take adequate preventive steps to keep this infection miles away from your Guppies. 

Here’s a quick bit of advice before we go. You don’t need a fancy tank for your Guppy, but make sure it is spacious enough since these fishes thrive in a larger space. Besides, always look for suitable tank mates. 

With that, we come to the end of this guide. If properly taken care of, your Guppy will remain healthy for years to come!

How Big Do Oscars Get? (In Captivity & Wild)

how big do Oscars get

Oscars are large and messy, and so much more. 

Many aquarists love to have them around the house because of their intelligence and interesting personalities. In fact, they are lovingly called “river dogs” because of their loyalty and ability to recognize their owners. 

That being said, Oscars have big personalities, which means they can be moody, aggressive, calm, happy – all on the same day. To keep aggressive behavior at bay, it’s crucial to put Oscars in a tank that simulates their natural habitat and is large enough for them. 

And so, the question arises, “How big do Oscars get?”

How Big Do Oscar Fish Get In Captivity?

In captivity, full grown Oscars can measure up to a maximum of 12 inches – a healthy 10 inches being the norm. However, their healthy growth depends on various factors, such as tank size and nutrition. In fact, keeping an Oscar alive requires suitable environmental conditions. If done right, this species of fish can live to be as old as 20 years old. 

How Big Do Oscars Get In The Wild?

Most wild Oscars will be about 18 inches in length and weigh around 3lbs in the wild. when they are fully mature. However, these numbers may vary according to the environmental conditions and specific breed. In fact, the famous Red Tiger Oscar cichlids, most notable for their large dark bodies and golden spots, are mostly found thriving in the wild.

How Fast Do Oscar Fish Grow In Captivity?

Some aquarists claim that their fish went from 4 inches to 10 inches in a matter of four months, whereas others recorded a growth of 1.5 inches in the same period. Yet another pet owner noticed that their Oscar fish was fully mature within two years, which is when the fish revealed its gender. Needless to say, there is no fixed growth rate of Oscars.

6 Factors that Determine How Big Oscar Can Get

When the maximum size was measured at maturity, most of the Oscar fish in captivity were significantly smaller than those in the wild. Needless to say, the Oscar fish thrives most in its natural surroundings in the slow-moving waters of the Amazon basin. 

At the same time, they can live adequately healthy lives in a desirable environment even in captivity. In the end, the growth of an Oscar fish depends on the size of the tank, filtration, and food provided. 

Tank Size 

Oscars are generally not considered to be beginner fish because of the large aquarium that they require. While some online sources recommend a 40-gallon tank for a single Oscar fish, that number should, in fact, be doubled. As a rule of thumb, 75 gallons should be comfortable for a single Oscar fish, whereas a minimum of 100 gallons should be enough for a pair.

Filtration

When it comes to large fish with a big appetite, don’t be surprised if they leave a large bioload behind. Therefore, it is highly crucial to have a proper filtration system that can keep the aquarium water waste-free for the most part.

A combination of a canister filter and a HOB (hang-on-back) filter will provide sufficient filtration, as long as the aquarium is large enough to dilute the waste. Needless to say, a small tank is a recipe for murky waters, which can cause illness or prove to be fatal to the Oscar fish

Food

In the wild, Oscars are predatory fish that primarily feed on insects and other small fish. Live food, such as worms, crayfish, feeder fish, and insects, is suitable for those fish in captivity. Alternatively, Oscars devour thawed meat-based frozen fish foods with much delight.

Water Condition

The Oscar fish requires the same tank water conditions as most freshwater species. So, begin preparing the aquarium by placing an under-gravel filter and 3 to 5 inches of substrate at the bottom.

After this, apply a conditioner or let tap water stand for at least 24 hours before pouring it into the tank. Since Oscars are highly sensitive to temperature, use a heater to replicate the warm water of the tropics. Ideally, the water temperature should be 77°F, but anywhere between 74 and 81°F should be comfortable enough.

Tank Mates

Placing a smaller fish with Oscars is a bad idea since they will gobble up any that fits into their mouth. These predatory fish are notorious for being aggressive not only to smaller fish, but also to their own kind. 

In fact, any timid fish will get stressed out by the aggressive antics of this fish. On the other hand, confident fish, including types of catfish and cichlids, will likely get along with Oscars.

You might be interested: 7 Best Oscar Fish Tank Mates (Compatible And Safe)

Tank Maintenance

Given their large size and food intake, Oscars are likely to produce larger amounts of ammonia, which is a primary component of fish waste. While chemical filtration is necessary to remove toxins and keep the water clean, regular water changes are also absolutely required.

Furthermore, if you plan to use a submersible heater, ensure that it is shatter-proof as Oscars are destructive. What’s more, they delight in jumping out of their tanks, so remember to leave the aquarium shut at all times.

FAQs

How Fast Does A Baby Oscar Grow?

Some baby Oscars can grow from half-an-inch to one inch a month until they are 10-18 inches. On the other hand, some may never even grow at all. In the end, it’s their living conditions and nutrition that will decide the growth rate.

Do Oscars Grow To The Size Of The tank?

If the tank’s size is appropriate and is filled with at least 70-75 gallons of water, it is unlikely that the Oscar will grow to that size. At the most, these species of fish peak at 18 inches in length.

Summary

To sum it up, Oscars are relatively high-maintenance fish with a voracious appetite and an aggressive streak. However, with proper care, they can grow to be large 10 to 18-inch fish that are magnificent to look at. 

In fact, variations and fancy Oscars, such as the albino Oscar and Lemon Oscars, are some of the rarest and most expensive fish in the sea and aquariums. 

That being said, taking care of one may prove to be challenging if you wish to see it grow to its maximum potential. But, at the same time, an Oscar’s beauty, mischief, intelligence, and loyalty are what make it so valuable. 

Rainbow Shark Tank Mates (5 Best & 5 Worst)

Rainbow Shark Tank Mates

Rainbow Sharks are fun and colorful fish to have at home, but there are several things to consider when keeping them with other fish.

Though not actual sharks, they get their name from the shark-like dorsal fin they have on top. Rainbow Sharks are originally Southeast Asian freshwater fish belonging to the Cyprinidae family and aren’t very aggressive in the wild. But they can be territorial while in captivity.

So, it’s essential to exercise caution before introducing tank mates for the Rainbow Shark. In this guide, we’re going to give you the complete low-down on the best Rainbow Shark tank mates.

Let’s dive in.

Can A Rainbow Shark Live Alone Without Tank Mates?

Behavior-wise, Rainbows can get somewhat territorial in close quarters, and this leads to them becoming aggressive. They are usually timid when young, but the aggressive side tends to become pronounced as they mature in proximity with other fish. 

In general, you’d need a larger tank (at least 75 gallons) to house a Rainbow Shark. Since they are territorial in nature, they don’t mind living alone without tank mates. If you’re thinking of introducing some mates, then make sure your tank has a lot of caves and hiding spots.

Rainbow Sharks are usually bottom dwellers, which means they can live in peace with top-dweller species. However, they don’t get along well with others of their kind and can exhibit hostile behavior such as biting, head-butting, and chasing.

Overall, we’d say a Rainbow Shark can live alone without mates very well. If you are thinking of introducing other fish in the same tank, make sure they are compatible with your Rainbow Shark. Otherwise, you’ll be facing severe trouble as it will attack other smaller fish.

How To Choose The Best Tank Mates For Rainbow Shark

Rainbow Sharks begin to show signs of aggression as they grow older. This is the time when you need to look out for them becoming hostile towards other fish in the tank. So, you’ll have to choose the tank mates rather carefully to ensure a peaceful aquarium environment.

Here’s a list of some of the considerations you need to keep in mind when selecting tank mates for Rainbows Sharks.

Fast Moving Fish

Fast-moving fish such as Harlequin Rasboras or Cherry Barbs are a good fit as tank mates for Rainbow Sharks. These fish can get away from Rainbow Shark territory faster and avoid any attacks coming their way. Faster fish can also compete well with Rainbow Sharks for food.

Don’t Have Long Fins.

When introducing mates into a Rainbow Shark tank, make sure they don’t have long fins. Since Rainbow Sharks themselves have a long dorsal fin, other fish with longer fins might obstruct their path, prompting violence from the Rainbow Shark.

Not The Same Or Similar Species

We recommend you don’t keep more than one Rainbow Shark in the same tank. These fish can be extremely aggressive towards the same species, or even other fish such as Red Tail Sharks, which look similar to them. We’ve observed Rainbow Sharks getting hostile with other freshwater shark species. 

The 5 Best Tank Mates For A Rainbow Shark In A 100g+ Long Tank

Here’s a list of the top five tank mates for a Rainbow Shark.

Cherry Barb

Cherry Barb

Cherry Barbs are an excellent choice as tank mates for Rainbow Sharks. These are peaceful freshwater fish that thrive in the tropical waters around Sri Lanka. They have an average lifespan of between 5 to 7 years and reach about 2 inches in length when they’ve fully grown.

These are active fish that live in schools, so you’ll have to introduce 4 or 5 of them in the tank. They are peaceful in nature, making them an ideal choice as tank mates for larger bottom feeders such as the Rainbow Shark. They are also fast swimmers, which is another reason they can survive in a tank with Rainbow Sharks.

Finally, the Barbs don’t like the bottom of the tank and prefer to stay towards the central region. This ensures that they won’t encroach upon the Rainbow Sharks’ territory in any way, causing it to feel threatened.

Scientific Name:Puntius titteya
Family:Cyprinidae
Origin:Sri Lanka
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Black, Red, White
Size:2″
Temperature:74-79° F
PH:6.0-7.0
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:25 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasboras are another schooling fish that can be good tank mates for Rainbow Sharks. Rasboras are peaceful fish that live best in groups of 4 or 6; since they like to stay near the middle of the tank, it’s highly unlikely that a Rainbow Shark will see them as a threat.

Since Harlequin Rasboras grow to be at most around 2 inches, they are small enough not to bother the Rainbow Shark. At the same time, they can’t be easily gobbled up by it either. Further, the aquarium conditions preferred by Rasboras are also similar to those for Rainbow Sharks.

Scientific Name:Rasbora heteromorpha
Family:Cyprinidae
Origin:Asia
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Orange
Size:2″
Temperature:72-77° F
PH:6.0-6.5
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful

Clown Loach

Clown Loach
Photo: lews_tank

Clown Loaches are middle to bottom dwellers, so theoretically, you shouldn’t put them in the same tank as a Rainbow Shark. However, we’ve observed that Rainbow Sharks do get along well with Clown Loaches, maybe because they live in close proximity in the wild.

The trick to getting Clown Loaches to live peacefully with Rainbow Sharks is to provide a lot of hiding spots for both species. Also, Clown Loaches fall in the optimal size range, so they’re neither too big to obstruct, nor can they be easily eaten by a Rainbow Shark. 

However, a word of advice: different Rainbow Sharks have different temperaments, and some might not get along well with Clown Loaches and feel threatened. In that case, you’d need to move them to separate tanks immediately.

Scientific Name:Chromobotia macracantha
Family:Cobitidae
Origin:Indonesia
Care Level:Moderate
Color Form:Black, Orange, Red, Tan
Size:1″
Temperature:72-86° F
PH:6.0-7.5
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:100 gallons
Temperament:Semi-aggressive

Zebra Danio

Zebra Danio
Photo: bob_jenkins

Zebra Danios are beautiful fish that have stripes similar to the animal they are named after. Also called Striped Danios or Zebrafish, they are usually found in South Asian waters. And since they are typically found at the top or middle of the tank, they are perfect as tank mates for a Rainbow Shark.

Small and naturally peaceful, Zebra Danios live in shoals. Also, they are relatively fast swimmers, which means they can get away from the Rainbow Shark before it can attack them. 

What’s more, their tank requirements and food habits are similar to Rainbow Sharks. And they grow to almost 3 inches, which is large enough for the Rainbow Shark to give them a miss as food.

Scientific Name:Danio rerio
Family:Cyprinidae
Origin:Farm Raised – USA
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Blue, Purple, White, Yellow
Size:3″
Temperature:64-75° F
PH:6.5-7.5
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful

Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Pleco

The primary reason a Bristlenose Pleco makes for good tank mates with Rainbow Sharks is their larger size. This means, although they are usually bottom dwellers, the Rainbow Shark is unlikely to pick a fight with it due to its massive size of almost 2 feet.

Further, Plecos are an extremely tranquil variety of fish and aren’t likely to fight with your Rainbow Shark. Keep in mind that these choices will only work well if you have a wide enough tank of at least 100 gallons.

Scientific Name:Ancistrus sp
Family:Loricariidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Orange, Tan, White
Size:5″
Temperature:74-79° F
PH:6.5-7.4
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful

The 5 Worst Rainbow Shark Tank Mates To Avoid

Guppies

Guppies

Guppies are one of the most popular aquarium fish species and are great for beginner aquarists. They are very hardy fish and can be prolific breeders when provided with the right conditions.

However, they make for one of the worst tank mates for Rainbow Sharks. Rainbow Sharks are larger than Guppies and also much more aggressive. As a result, they can bully the Guppies if they’re put in the same tank.

Further, Guppies are livebearers, which means that the fry are already swimming freely at birth. This can become a severe problem as the Rainbow Sharks will most likely end up eating the fry.

Gouramis

Gouramis

Gouramis are slow-moving tropical freshwater fish that are found in the South Asian waters. They are an egg-laying species and are air breathers. So, you can usually find them towards the top of the tank.

Despite being top dwellers, Gouramis are not suitable fish for keeping with Rainbow Sharks for several reasons. For one, Gouramis (especially males) tend to be aggressive and territorial and can get into fights with the Rainbow Sharks.

Several species of Gouramis, such as the Giant Gourami, can get very large and may be unsuitable for keeping with Rainbow Sharks. Again, other Gourami species are too small to be kept with Rainbow Sharks as they might get eaten.

Also, since Gouramis are slow swimmers by nature, they won’t be able to compete with the Rainbow Sharks for food. 

Corys

Corys are usually great for freshwater community tanks, but you can’t keep them with a Rainbow Shark. Corys are a calm and peaceful species and can’t compete with the semi-aggressive Rainbow Sharks. 

Another reason for not keeping Corys and Rainbow Sharks together is that Corys are also bottom dwellers. This means the Rainbow Shark(s) will see them as encroachers on their territory and are most likely to attack.

African Cichlids

The African Cichlid comes in several species, each with its own distinct coloration and patterns. These are aggressive fish that grow up to 8 inches in size and can live up to 15 years, depending on the species and living conditions.

Since African Cichlids are similar in size and aggression to Rainbow Sharks, there’s a good chance that they will get into fights with each other. Further, as they are bottom dwellers and territorial, African Cichlids don’t go well with Rainbow Sharks.

Yet another reason for not keeping Rainbow Sharks with African Cichlids is the water condition. While Rainbow Sharks prefer a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5, Cichlids prefer pH levels of 7.5 and above. 

There’s also a temperature difference; Rainbow Sharks prefer waters between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. African Cichlids like warmer temperatures in the range of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, you might find it difficult to hit upon the ideal water parameters when keeping these fish together. Read more

Most Of Freshwater Sharks

In general, we recommend you keep only one Rainbow Shark in a tank at a time. Rainbow Sharks don’t take well to other freshwater sharks that look and behave similarly to them. We’ve even seen them become aggressive towards Albino Sharks.

Since Rainbow Sharks live a solitary and territorial life in the wild, the same behavior is reflected in captivity. As a result, they can’t tolerate other Freshwater Sharks such as the Red Tail Shark or even Bala Sharks. 

If you’re keeping any of these fish with a Rainbow Shark, be very careful and look out for bite marks or nipped fins. They can get extremely aggressive with each other.

Tips To Introduce Rainbow Shark Tank Mates

Introducing tank mates for Rainbow Sharks can be tricky, especially if your tank size is limited. Rainbow Sharks can be unpredictable, and temperaments vary from fish to fish. Still, here are a few general tips to keep in mind when introducing Rainbow Shark tank mates:

  • Always choose tank mates that are middle or surface dwellers
  • Never keep other freshwater shark species with Rainbow Sharks, especially the same species
  • Select fast-moving fish as tank mates that can quickly get away from the Rainbow Shark
  • Make sure the species have similar water parameter requirements
  • Be certain that the species is large enough so that the Rainbow Shark can’t eat them

FAQs:

Can rainbow sharks live with tetras?

Rainbow sharks can live with tetras in a big community tank, especially these tougher types of tetras, such as Serpae tetras, black skirt tetras, etc. DThe weaker tetras including rummy nose, neons and cardinals can easily be eaten by just about anything.

Will a rainbow shark eat other fish?

The rainbow shark is an semi-aggressive species that will pick a territory. such as a cave or anywhere it can hide and defend them from intruders. They are extremely savage with conspecifics and similar shaped fish like other sharks and and algae eaters.

Can 2 rainbow sharks live together?

No, never keep just two rainbow sharks in the same tank. Rainbow sharks can get aggressive with conspecifics. Either keep a group of them (5 or more) from fry or one rainbow shark in a single tank.

Conclusion

We hope you now have a better idea of the requirements you need to keep in mind when introducing tank mates for Rainbow Sharks.

As we’ve already mentioned once above, choosing tank mates for Rainbow Sharks can be rather a tricky task. They are temperamental fish that are known to bully other tank mates. In extreme cases, they can even go in for direct attacks.

However, if you can keep the suggestions and recommendations mentioned in this guide, we’re sure you’ll be able to find suitable mates for a Rainbow Shark. Just keep a close watch on the community for a while, and observe how the Rainbow Shark reacts.

Till then, enjoy your aquarium!

How Long Do Clownfish Live? (5 Tips to Increase Their Lifespan)

How Long Do Clownfish Live

The mesmerizing stripes of the clownfish have made it one of the most popular fishes in the sea. 

However, it is a lesser-known fact that baby clownfish aren’t born with these stripes; each stripe appears at a different point in their lives. But do you know how long do clownfish live? 

In the wild, clownfish have a special relationship with sea anemones, which help them earn their stripes and possibly extend their lifespan. However, with proper care, you can simulate conditions for clownfish to thrive even in an aquarium. 

Dive into the details to find out how!

How Long Do Clownfish Live In The Wild?

When in the ocean, clownfish live among sea anemones. These are predatory invertebrates with stinging tentacles that can kill other aquatic life for food. In addition to food scraps left by the sea anemone, clownfish rely on sea algae and other invertebrates for their diet.
Apart from providing food, the sea anemone also acts as a protective hiding place for the clownfish. Foraging and moving away from its safe-haven means that they are susceptible to starvation. Moreover, they have a stressful existence because of fishers and predators lurking in the sea.

Given their high-risk situation, even the luckiest clownfish live only about 6-10 years in the wild.

How Long Do Clownfish Live In Captivity?

Some species of clownfish are believed to have a long, natural lifespan of over 20 years. Additionally, they have a mucus coat that protects them from toxins released by the tentacles of the sea anemone. This provides them an extra survival mechanism. 

However, clownfish in captivity generally live between 3 and 10 years. The stress of being captured and transported is often regarded as the leading cause for their short lifespan. 

On the other hand, captive-raised clownfish adapt better and tend to live longer. But even these do not survive when released back into the wild as they avoid sea anemones. Not to mention how husbandry practices usually focus on breeding attractive fishes that are genetically deformed and susceptible to health issues. 

This is not to say that clownfish cannot live long. Surveys have shown that some species of clownfish have lived up to 20 years under supervised care. In fact, the fish continued to reproduce at that age, which indicates that they can live much longer.

How Old Is The Oldest Clownfish?

In 2013, two clownfish named Harold and Maude became well-known among aquarists for being the oldest living clownfish in captivity. These Percula clowns were believed to be 34 years old at the time, and were still going strong. 

Can Clownfish Live Alone?

Clownfish can live alone, especially if they have grown up in an empty tank. However, it is recommended that you add a sea anemone to the aquarium if you plan to keep a single fish in the tank.

How Can You Help Your Clownfish Live Longer?

As a Clownfish owner, you must be proactive in the care and well-being of your pet. Though it may seem like there are no measures to take for our little friends’ survival rate, we can make some changes that will drastically increase their chances at living longer than they would otherwise have lived.

Get A Decent Sized Tank

While the Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish can grow up to 6 inches in length, most clownfish peak at about 3-4 inches. For most species, it is best to start with a 20-gallon tank to allow fully mature fish to swim freely and explore their surroundings without any stress. Perhaps, you may not even have to upgrade to a bigger one in the future.

At most, a 20-gallon tank should be comfortable enough for one clownfish, and 30 gallons for a pair. But be advised that a pair of the same species should include one male and a female. Also, if adding an anemone to the surroundings, you will require at least a 50-gallon tank.

Proper Water Conditions

Making Saltwater: As Needed

First off, clownfish are saltwater fishes, so adding salt to the tank is indeed a no-brainer. For this, begin with filtered water and add a salt mix until the water has reached the desired salinity.

Keep in mind that saltwater requires better filtration than freshwater, so it is crucial to upgrade mechanical filtration systems. At the same time, you can add live rocks to the tank; these act as natural, biological filters for the aquarium.

Maintain The Right Temperature

Clownfish are native to the Indian Ocean, warm parts of the Pacific, and tropical regions of Southeast Asia. With that being said, they are not acclimated to cold water and prefer to stay in temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Install a subversive heater to keep the water warm, and use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature remains constant.

Balancing The Chemical Composition

Maintain a pH level of 8-8.4, and ensure that the nitrites remain under 0.2ppm at all times. Regular perimeter checks and partial water changes will also help keep ammonia and chlorine levels low.

Compatible Tank Mates

In the wild, clownfish and sea anemone have a symbiotic relationship, and they depend on each other to hunt for food. However, sea anemones do not have a significant role to play in aquariums – perhaps, with the exception of its aesthetic appeal. Moreover, maintaining these can prove to be more complicated than the clownfish itself.

On the other hand, angelfish, dart fishes, tangs, and wrasses are known to get along with clownfish. But don’t forget to monitor the reaction of the clownfish any time you introduce another fish to the tank. Swiftly remove it in case of any aggressive behavior.

Getting A Balanced Diet

Clownfish are omnivorous, which means that they will eat almost anything that you feed them. A healthy diet would consist of pellets, flakes, frozen, and live food. However, the more important thing to remember is not to overfeed them.

For smaller fish, spread the food around thrice a day and let the clownfish eat for 2-3 minutes. Take out the remaining food, and don’t worry – these fish can survive even a week without eating. For grown fish, two feeds a day will be sufficient.

Conclusion

Clownfish are known for their bright and cheerful colors, and they deserve to live equally joyful lives. 

Unfortunately, they are known for not being able to live to their full potential because of their low stress tolerance. At the same time, they are considered an easy pet to keep – provided the owners have done their research. 

With that being said, a roomy tank, well-maintained water conditions, suitable companions, and timely nourishment can prolong the life of your clownfish. And, that too, by five or even twenty years – the possibilities with this mysterious fish are indeed endless! 

What Do Clownfish Eat?(In the Wild & Aquarium)

what do clownfish eat

A fussy eater is hardly ever the ideal pet to have. 

Thankfully, the clownfish is an omnivore that will relish most of the food you feed it. In fact, it is just one of the few saltwater fish that will readily devour the flake fish food usually reserved for the freshwater kind. 

At the same time, it is very easy to overfeed clownfish, which makes it all the more important to provide a balanced diet. But, do you know what do clownfish eat?

Read on to find out what all you can add to their diet plan. 

What Do Clownfish Eat In The Wild?

Clownfish live among sea anemones in the wild. The signature bright colors of the clownfish lure in other fishes that approach – only to come into contact with the stinging tentacles of the sea anemone. 

The sea anemone then proceeds to eat the poisoned catch, and the clownfish receives the leftovers. Apart from this mutually beneficial feeding strategy, a clownfish relies on algae and small invertebrates for its nourishment. 

Although it spends most of its life swimming among the tentacles of its host anemone, the clownfish will sometimes leave to forage on its own. After all, they are plankton pickers, which means that they will often swim up to feed on zooplanktons and phytoplanktons.

What Do Clownfish Eat In An Aquarium?

Clownfish Flakes 

Just like any omnivore, a balanced diet without vegetables is incomplete or, at least, unhealthy. Introduce healthy greens to the clownfish by adding algae and seaweed sheets to its diet.

Also known by different names, such as nori, these can be attached to a lettuce clip fitted on the wall of the tank via an in-built suction cup. This is an excellent daily feeding strategy if your fish tank includes other species of herbivores.

However, seaweed and algae sheets should be fed regularly only if there is little to no existing algae in the tank. Excess algae growing on live rocks is a definitive sign that the fish can graze for themselves.

Alternatively, some clownfish delight in eating cooked spinach and chard. Add these to daily staples, such as pellets and flakes consisting of high spirulina content.

Can Clownfish Eat Tropical Flakes?

Tropical flakes blend spirulina, minerals, vitamins, and meaty meals, such as fish, squid, shrimp, earthworms, and so on. Evidently, these flakes offer a wide range of essential nutrients from various sources. Therefore, it goes without saying that clownfish can not only eat tropical flakes, but they can reap a lot of benefits with these in their staple diet.

Best Flake Food For Clownfish?

The best flake food for clownfish should be a blend of ingredients suited for omnivorous saltwater fish. This includes ocean kelp, seafood, spirulina, omega-3 acids, and other nutrients that support the immunity of the fish. The best flake foods that can be bought from the store are:

Freeze Dried Foods

Freeze-dried foods are essentially cooked critters, such as bloodworms and krills that have been dehydrated and rapidly frozen to preserve their color and nutrients. Unlike frozen food, these have to be soaked in tank water before they are dropped in to feed the fish.
The rehydration process of freeze-dried food provides them with great soaking abilities. For this reason, some aquarists choose to soak freeze-dried food in liquid fish vitamins for a few minutes before feeding. These vitamin supplements are especially beneficial for fish that get sick often.

Live Foods

Although live foods can make you feel squeamish, some fish species cannot do without them. Live foods for clownfish can include anything from store-bought brine shrimp to mosquito larvae that are freshly scooped out of stagnant water. 

But perhaps the most common live foods for them are amphipods and copepods. You can either culture these small crustaceans or buy them from the store; rest assured, the fish will gobble it all up in seconds.

Alternatively, you can try offering your clownfish earthworms – however, this can be a hit or a miss. Begin by washing the earthworms and chopping them up into bite-sized pieces. Then, drop one in the tank and monitor how the clownfish reacts. If they avoid or ignore the feed, promptly remove them from the tank. 

Feeding Tips For Clownfish:

Tips For Fussy Eaters

Although clownfish are considered to be beginner fish primarily because of the ease of feeding them, getting a picky eater is not unheard of. Underlying reasons could be anything, be it illness, stress, or personality. 

Nevertheless, you can try experimenting with different kinds of fish food to see if the fish has a personal preference; usually, most fish go crazy for live food, such as brine shrimp. If all fails, try adding an appetite stimulator to the fish food before dropping it in the tank.  

Maintaining A Clean Tank

If you tend to sprinkle in more fish food than required, don’t forget to scoop up the remains that the fish could not eat. Apart from wastage, the leftovers quickly collect at the bottom of the tank and soon lead to murky waters. 

Alternatively, you can introduce snails, starfish, and crabs to your clownfish aquarium. These sea creatures not only enhance the aquarium’s aesthetic appeal, but they act as a cleanup team that feeds on the leftover scraps of food.

Feed Away From Water Flow

Strong water flow will wash away the fish food you drop into the tank, making it difficult for the clownfish to catch flakes or food pieces. With that being said, remember to feed in areas that are away from filtration systems or any other device which causes water flow.

Blend Your Own Frozen Food

Some aquarists prefer to know what exactly goes into the food they are feeding to their precious clownfish. Although there are many high-quality products on the market, you may blend together your own selection of nutritious fish foods, freeze them, and save them for feeding time. 

How Often To Feed Clownfish?

Adult clownfish should be fed once or twice a day – depending on how much you provide them. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended you only put enough food that they can eat in 3 minutes. However, if you are feeding them only once a day, leave enough food for a 5-minute feeding window.

At the same time, scattering feeding times throughout the day might be a better plan, rather than dumping a large quantity at one go. In any case, it is easier to overfeed fish than to underfeed them.

Do Clownfish Eat Their Babies?

Clownfish are a subject of interest for many because of their gender-bending capabilities and their tendency to eat clownfish babies. Anyhow, they are considered to be territorial and aggressive to their own species. In fact, it is common to see a bigger clownfish chasing away younglings from anemones.

However, a clownfish pair does protect their eggs until they hatch after approximately four days. Once they do, the couple take no part in rearing the fry. In fact, the younglings are left out to be swept away, or eaten by other fish or their own parents!

Do Clownfish Need Anemones?

In the wild, clownfish and sea anemones have a symbiotic relationship; they strategically work together to hunt other critters for food.

Accordingly, the clownfish acts as a colorful and attractive bait to lure in the catch, which comes closer only to be stung by anemone tentacles. Interestingly, the clownfish itself has a mucus covering that protects it from the toxins released by the sea anemone.

But when it comes to clownfish in captivity, they do not necessarily need the sea anemone for protection or food. However, some aquarists do pair clownfish with sea anemone for aesthetic purposes.

How Long Can Clownfish Go Without Eating?

Although overfeeding clownfish may be easier than underfeeding them, the latter isn’t a healthy alternative either. With that being said, clownfish can go up to seven to nine days without eating, but this dramatically compromises their health and immunity.

At the same time, it is commonly agreed that smaller and younger clownfish are less likely to survive extended periods without nourishment, unlike full-grown ones.

Conclusion

From freeze-dried and frozen food to nori sheets and live wriggly worms, it is easy to spread out a buffet of items for clownfish. And while they are omnivorous in nature with little self-control when it comes to eating, they are also easy to overfeed for the same reason. 

Therefore, aquarists are advised to put forethought and carefully plan how much and how many times in a day they will feed their clownfish. Also, keep in mind the size and age of each clownfish before setting a schedule.

Apart from this, you should have no problem feeding these foodies of the sea!

The 10 Most Popular Types of Cory Catfish (Species & Pictures)

Types of Cory Catfish

A staple and widely popular fish in the aquarium world – Cory Catfish is the active day dweller that will make your fish tank lively.

Unlike the bottom-dwelling aquarium fish that prefer hiding the entire day, Corys chase each other around while scanning their surroundings. Then again, they thrive even when held in captivity, making the most out of the water conditions.

And with the right kind of food, you’ll see your home aquarium flourishing within no time. But for that, you’ll need to know about the different types of cory catfish – easily found in pet stores. 

So, without further delays, let’s dive in!

Panda Cory (Panda Catfish)

Panda Cory
Photo: Brandon Heyer

The pale white body with prominent black markings resembling that of a panda is why this catfish is widely known as – the Panda Cory. Native to the Peruvian Amazon, these fish prefer warmer conditions ranging somewhere between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures below this range will only make them lethargic. Of course, it will also increase the risks of ich, body fungus, and fin rot. Besides temperature, check your tank water chemistry – acidic to neutral water with a pH level of 6.0-7.0 should be ideal.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Panda Corys are social, so raising a single fish may make it feel exposed. Instead, place them with other Corydoras of the same kind.

Scientific Name:Corydoras panda
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:Asia, Captive-Bred
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Black, Yellow
Size:2½”
Temperature:72-79° F
PH:5.8-7.0
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Mixed

Pygmy Cory Catfish

As one of the smallest catfish species, Pygmy Corys make themselves at home even in 5 to 10-gallon tanks. Just make sure you provide them with companions as they tend to form shoals and swim around, even if it’s in the midwater.

You’ll be able to tell the adults apart by simply looking at them as they are sexually dimorphic. While the females are visibly plumper, reaching up to 1 inch in length, the males grow only up to 3/4th of an inch.

That said, they are a peaceful species of fish that get easily intimidated by larger aggressive fish like Cichlids and Barbs. So, as far as it goes for tank mates, keep them with other nano fish like the Pea Pufferfish and Chili Rasboras.

Scientific Name:Corydoras pygmaeus
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:Tank-raised, but indigenous to India
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Silver
Size:Up to 1″
Temperature:72° – 79° F 
PH:6.4 – 7.4
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Small peaceful community

False Julii Cory Cat

Photo: moi.fish

Most commonly found in pet stores, the Julii Cory is a hardy, small, and uniquely patterned fish for beginner aquarists. It rarely grows larger than 2 inches, so you may easily keep a small group in a 10 to 15-gallon tank. However, a 20 to 30-gallon tank is more practical for keeping 6 to 12 of them together.

Just don’t confuse it with the False Julii Cory or Corydoras trilineatus – you can tell them apart by their “almost” similar patterns. The actual Julii Cory comes with distinct spots on its head and flanks.

Scientific Name:Corydoras julii
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:Farm Raised, USA
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Black, White
Size:2″
Temperature:72-79° F 
PH:5.8-7.0
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Small peaceful community

Peppered Cory Cat

Native to the eastern parts of South America, the Peppered Cory is another catfish species suitable for beginners.

They grow up to 2 1/2 inches in length, and when kept under bright yet stressful conditions, they are typically cream and grey in color. But what makes them stand out is their faint green textured body that may seem like a glow under subdued lighting.

Moving on to their nature, Peppered Corydoras are peaceful and breed easily in alkaline waters. In fact, they adapt well even in captive conditions, provided they are fed live and frozen foods in regular intervals.

Scientific Name:Corydoras paleatus
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Black, Green, White
Size:2½”
Temperature:72-79° F 
PH:5.8-7.0
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Mixed

Bronze Corydoras

Photo: mugley

Bronze Cory is widely found throughout South America, but there is a mystery surrounding its origin. That said, the first species was discovered in Trinidad, and it’s from there that the Corydoras aeneus gets its name.

These Corys are hardy and feed on all kinds of prepared, live, and frozen food, making them easy to care for. And if you want your fish to spawn, feed them small invertebrates, including tubifex, brine shrimp, and blood worms. You could also provide them with micro pellets, flakes, and other types of fish food.

Scientific Name:Corydoras aeneus
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Black, Green, White
Size:2½”
Temperature:72-79° F 
PH:5.8-7.0
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Mixed

Albino Aeneus Cory Cat

Photo: a_fishstore

You’ll find the Albino Cory Catfish in the tributaries of the Amazon river – easily identifiable because of its pink or white color pattern with multiple barbels around its mouth. Now, when it comes to breeding this fish species, you’ll need to keep them in a spacious 30-gallon tank having slightly acidic water with pH levels between 6.0 and 7.2.

It’s also important to maintain the water temperature between the range of 72 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a sudden 20% decrease in temperature can help them spawn faster.

Scientific Name:Corydoras aeneus
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Red, White
Size:2½”
Temperature:72-79° F 
PH:6.0-7.2
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Mixed

Skunk Cory Cat

Photo: Pia Helminen

Yet another easily identifiable species – the Skunk Cory Catfish have a squashed, short nose with broad cream or pink flanks and dark stripes along their backs. But what makes the fish stand out is its metallic golden hues on its gill covers.

Now, breeding this catfish is a bit challenging; however, it’s not impossible, provided you maintain the temperature of the soft, acidic tank water between 78 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, give them a lot of frozen and live food.

Scientific Name:Corydoras arcuatus
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:Brazil
Care Level:Moderate
Color Form:Black, White
Size:2½”
Temperature:68-77° F 
PH:6.2-7.2
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:20 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Mixed

Emerald Green Cory Cat

Photo: akeveryday

The chunky body, elongated nose, and spectacular coloration make the Emerald Cory among the most desirable kinds of catfish. In fact, this is one of the biggest Corydoras that grow up to 4 inches. 

As such, a 30-gallon tank will be needed to help them move around comfortably. Coming to the ideal aquarium conditions, Emerald Corys prefer neutral to acidic water, but they can also easily adapt to varying chemistries, provided the temperatures remain within the range of 78 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientific Name:Brochis splendens
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:South America
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Clear, Green, White
Size:3½”
Temperature:72-79° F 
PH:6.8-7.2
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Mixed

Sterba’s Corydoras

Photo: n0r1z0

The bright pectoral spines and delicate reticulate patterns make it easier to identify the Corydoras sterbai. Earlier, they were expensive, but today, aquarists can get them from a pet store without burning a hole in their pockets. 

Now, the original specimens of this catfish were sensitive to ammonia and nitrates. That’s why it’s better to breed tank-raised fish as they are hardier and more than willing to spawn in less than ideal conditions. They will grow up to 2 ½ inches even in alkaline water, but acidic, soft water conditions ensure better breeding responses.

Scientific Name:Corydoras sterbai
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:Brazil, South America, Upper Rio Guapore
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Black, Tan, Yellow
Size:3″
Temperature:70-77° F 
PH:6.2-7.8
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Mixed

Leopard Cory Catfish

Photo: torinointegrazione

Most commonly known as the Three Stripe Corydoras, the Leopard Cory Catfish is a peaceful fish species that can grow for 2 to 3 years. It’s characterized by its pale grey silvery color and narrow dark stripes almost resembling a leopard. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular in the aquarium community.

In fact, breeding this fish species is easy – all you have to do is feed them well with tablets and sinking pellets. The diet should also be supplemented by freeze-dried and live fish food like worms.

Scientific Name:Corydoras julii, Synonym Corydoras leopardus
Family:Callichthyidae
Origin:South America: Central Amazon River basin
Care Level:Easy
Color Form:Silvery Gray
Size:2½”
Temperature:72-79° F 
PH:6.5-7.8
Diet:Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons
Temperament:Peaceful
Compatibility:Mixed

FAQs:

Can You Mix Different Types Of Cory Fish?

Ideally, Corydoras are peaceful and social types of catfish that prefer their own kind. But it’s possible to mix different types of Cory fish in a big aquarium – just get three to six of each species, be it Panda, Sterbai, Albino, or Peppered Cory fish.

How Many Corys Should I Keep In One Tank?

You can keep up to eight Cory Catfish in a small or average-sized fish tank. Start by adding one fish per gallon; refrain from adding multiple fish at the same time in a new aquarium. 

A larger fish tank of over 30 gallons will be sufficient for breeding more than 12 Corys. Just keep in mind that they should be kept in groups of 5 or 6.

What Types Of Cory Catfish Do Well In Hard Water?

Cory Catfish can survive in hard water provided you maintain the ideal temperature conditions and pH levels (6.0 to 8.0). Most commonly, Bronze Corys remain quite active despite the hard water parameters. However, they fail to thrive compared to soft water conditions. 

Is It Possible For Two Different Types Of Cory Catfish To Mate?

Yes, two different types of Cory Catfish can mate. That’s why it’s important to make a careful choice while keeping a variety of Corys together for interbreeding. 

Summary

That brings us to the end of our list, and it’s time for us to bid you farewell.

But before that, we’d like to leave you with a few pro tips. Now, as popular and desirable aquarium fish with a peaceful temperament, most types of Corys are easy to breed. In fact, you can keep more than one kind of this catfish in your aquarium and breed them in groups.

Just make sure you refrain from having Barbs and Cichlids as their tankmates. It’s better to keep Angelfish, Mollies, Fancy Guppies, Gouramis, and Platies instead. Also, pay attention to their diet – in addition to sinking pellets and tablets, provide them with live and frozen foods to grow well.

That’s all there is to know about the different types of Cory Catfish. We’ll be back soon with more informative guides on other freshwater fish types. Till then, take care.

How To Sex Angelfish? (Male Vs. Female Angelfish)

How To Sex Angelfish

Determining the sex of animals or birds is fairly straightforward. However, it is quite challenging to do the same with Angelfish. 

When you’re learning how to sex angelfish, just looking between its fins is not enough. You need to have a very careful eye and some experience to be able to sex an Angelfish correctly. Fortunately, we are here to help you. 

In this guide, we will tell you the different physical and behavioral factors that can help you correctly tell the sex of Angelfish. This can be extremely helpful if you want to mate or breed Angelfish – or are simply curious to know about them.

So without further delay, let’s begin! 

How to Tell the Sex of Angelfish?

When trying to figure out the sex of an angelfish, there are a few telltale signs. But before we dive into those characteristics, it’s important that you know how difficult it is when Angelfish juveniles can’t be differentiated by gender either!

How to Tell Sex of Angelfish (Based on Appearance)

how to sex an angelfish
Photo: Vineet Bharmoria
Body Shape

The body shape of male and female Angelfish are quite similar. In fact, it can be hard to notice any difference between them if you don’t have a trained eye. Observe the body shape of various Angelfish – the female Angelfish have a sleek, angular body. The male Angelfish, however, have a large, circular body. 

That said, note that certain Angelfish species like the Flame Angelfish are sexually dichromatic; so there is no visual difference between the genders.

Head Shape

Close observation will reveal a slight difference between the head shapes of male and female Angelfish. As such, the male Angelfish have a prominent, noticeable crown or nuchal hump on their heads. However, the female Angelfish have a smooth, smaller, more rounded head with no nuchal hump. This visible difference is most prominently seen on the marble angelfish. 

Dorsals

The head of the female Angelfish is slightly backward and in line with the forehead angle. Also, the line from their dorsal fin to their eye is straighter than the male Angelfish. Conversely, the dorsal portion of the male angelfish is more erect and forms an almost 90-degree angle with the body.

Ventrals

The ventrals of the female Angelfish are typically closer to their bodies and less prominent than their male counterparts. Moreover, the body of the male Angelfish generally forms a distinct angle with the ventrals.

Another physical feature to observe is their bellies. This is easier observed when Angelfish are swimming towards you in a tank. The shape of the female Angelfish’s belly is wider and slightly more prominent than the male angelfish.

Eye/Nose Band

The eyes and noseband is far more visible when the Angelfish reach maturity. It can be fairly challenging to tell the difference between the two genders in young Angelfish. However, you may observe that the eyes of male angelfish are smaller, while the female Angelfish have more prominent, round eyes. 

The male Angelfish also develop a ridge on their nose at maturity. On the other hand, the female Angelfish have a flat nose and mouth, which is in line with their forehead shape.

Breeding Tube

One of the most common ways that people distinguish between male and female Angelfish is to observe their breeding tubes. Of course, you will have to wait till the fish reach maturity to do this, as baby Angelfish do not have descended breeding tubes. Moreover, the breeding tubes are most prominent when they are spawning, so this is the best time to observe them.

The male Angelfish have a thin, pointed breeding tube that is less prominent than the females. On the other hand, the female breeding tube is more circular and prominent. These tube-like appendages are located in between the fins.

However, they are relatively difficult to spot, so ensure that you observe the fish carefully.

You might also be interested in: How Long Do Angelfish Live?

How To Sex Angelfish (Based On Behavior)

Watch Them As They Swim Towards You

Angelfish mature at about 6 to 12 months. During this time, they will begin to pair off and spawn. This is the best time to observe the breeding tubes carefully. However, their spawning habits will also help you determine which fish are carrying eggs and which ones are fertilizing them.

However, keep in mind that same-sex Angelfish will sometimes try to spawn – although it will be unsuccessful. It is best to observe the spawning habits over a period of time to accurately sex Angelfish.

Observe Their Pairings

As we mentioned above, it isn’t very uncommon to find same-sex Angelfish attempting to mate. This may confuse some observers who are trying to determine the sex of these fish.

However, male Angelfish are typically more aggressive than their female counterparts. Although this aggression is mainly directed towards other male members, it can sometimes be directed towards females as well.

You can introduce new, mature Angelfish into your tank to try and get them to mate. However, Angelfish can be very picky when choosing a mate and may not be happy with your choice.

Conclusion

It is vital to note that even experienced fish keepers may sometimes have trouble determining the sex of Angelfish.

These fish species look eerily similar regardless of their gender. However, it is easier to determine their sex when they are spawning, as their breeding tubes are more prominent, and their mating behavior can be charted more easily.

As such, it is best to keep a written record that you can refer back to when trying to sex Angelfish. You can also introduce other Angelfish into the tank when they reach maturity – in an attempt to get them to mate.
Note that this attempt may not always be successful, and the fish may end up showing aggressive behavior. However, it’s worth a try!