How Big Do Angelfish Get? (+Best Tank Size Guide)

How Big Do Angelfish Get

Angelfish are beautiful freshwater and tropical aquarium fish commonly bred in captivity by most aquarists. 

But does that restrict its growth? Here’s where you’ll find the most relevant answer to this question. 

Today, we’ll be highlighting the different types of angelfish, their common (adult) sizes, and minimum aquarium size requirements. We’ll also talk about how they grow in the wild and the common angelfish tank sizes.

Before that, let’s address the elephant in the room: how big do angelfish get? So, dive right in!

How Big Do Angelfish Get In Fish Tank?

Ideally, angelfish can grow up to six inches long, so they should be kept in a fish tank with a capacity of at least 20 gallons. A larger tank offering a larger capacity would be even better. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that this fish species tends to grow taller rather than longer. So, while investing in a fish tank, ensure that it’s more tall than wide. 

That being said, it’s now time we take a deeper dive into the different types of angelfish, their sizes, and the ideal fish tank size for each.

Koi Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The Koi Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare), usually bred for its mottled black and white color combination. 

How big do koi angelfish get? The adult Koi Angelfish grows up to 6 inches long and 8 inches wide during its lifespan of 10 years.

For it to breed, you’ll need to house a number of freshwater Koi in the same tank. So, it’s better to get a well-planted aquarium having a capacity of at least 30 gallons. This will give them ample space to move around freely in the slightly acidic yet soft water. 

When you notice them pairing up, switch to a tank of 40 gallons for each pair, but for a group, you’ll need a larger aquarium.

Altum Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The Altum Angelfish (Pterophyllum altum) is among the largest angelfish species that grows up to 7 inches in length during its lifespan of 10 to 15 years. These fish are very tall, and with their extensive fins, they measure 9 inches in height.

So, to accommodate Altum Angelfish’s size, we’d suggest a 55-gallon fish tank. This will provide your angelfish ample room to swim around freely, but if you’re planning on breeding a pair or group of them, a larger tank of more than 60 gallons would be required.

Coral Beauty Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa) grows up to 4 inches in size, which is among the smallest types of angelfish. That’s why it’s commonly known as the hardiest dwarf marine angelfish.

Now, these fish are easy to care for, but they don’t breed well in captivity. Moreover, despite being peaceful in nature, they tend to get aggressive with other saltwater angelfish when bred in a smaller tank. That’s why it’s advisable to get a large tank of 30 gallons or more for them to thrive.

Bicolor Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The Bicolor or Two-Color Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor), known for its yellow and royal blue coloration, is another dwarf angelfish. The Bicolor Angelfish grows up to 6 inches in size and are extremely aggressive, making them difficult to breed in captivity.

You can only keep one fish per tank; if you wish to breed a pair or a community, an extremely large aquarium will be needed. A tank of more than 30 gallons should be ideal for this species; just ensure that it isn’t a reef tank.

Black Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The stunning Black Angelfish breeds well in captivity and the adult can grow up to 6 inches in size with their thin fins extending the length of their body. 

This species is a bit aggressive in temperament, so you’ll need to keep them in a big fish tank. We’d suggest a 30-gallon (minimum) aquarium; the bigger, the better.

Dwarf Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The Dwarf Angelfish are mild-tempered, marine fish that can grow up to 4 inches in captivity. They adapt well even with other angelfish species, so you can keep them in the same aquarium.

Just make sure you choose a large fish tank of 55 gallons or more to accommodate and allow them to move around freely.

Emperor Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator), native to the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Austral Islands, and the Pacific Ocean, has an average lifespan of over 20 years. So, you can expect your emperor angelfish to grow up to 12 or 15 inches in captivity. But it’s important to keep them in an extremely large tank with a capacity of around 125 gallons. 

To breed a pair, we’d suggest an aquarium of 180 gallons or more; after all, these fish require plenty of swimming space. You could also include rocks and reefs to provide them with hiding areas.

Flame Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loricula) is among the most popular dwarf angelfish, which grows up to 4 inches in size. For the fish to thrive, you’ll need to keep them in a 30-gallon live rock tank. But if you wish to include corals, you’ll need a 100-gallon tank.

Golden Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

Next, we have another hardy dwarf angelfish commonly known as the Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia). The simple yet stunning fish is fairly small, growing up to only 4 inches in length. 

Even then, you’ll need a 55-gallon tank as they require more space to swim and places to hide. But the good thing is that they are peaceful tank mates, allowing you to breed other angelfish species in the same tank.

Lamarck’s Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

Lamarck’s Angelfish, aka Freckletail Lyretail Angelfish (Genicanthus lamarck) is among the hardy fish species, which can grow up to 10 inches in size. They serve as excellent candidates for reef tanks with a capacity of 100 gallons or more

Moreover, these fish are peaceful tank mates, so they can be bred with other fish types. Just make sure you don’t keep any small fish or docile planktivores, such as flasher wrasses and fire gobies, in the tank as angels tend to chase after them.

Marble Veil Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

The diamond-shaped Marble Veil Angelfish can grow up to 6 inches in length and 8 inches in height. That’s why they need to be kept in tall tanks with a capacity of 30 gallons or more. And if there are two or more of them, you’ll need a larger aquarium. 

Being peaceful tankmates, you can breed these angelfish with other freshwater fish. Just ensure that there are no small fish present in the tank as they tend to eat them.

Platinum Angelfish Size And Ideal Tank Size

Platinum Angelfish (Pterophyllum sp.), originally derived from Golden Angelfish, is selectively bred in aquariums. They can grow up to 6 inches in size when kept in a large 30-gallon tank. 

It’s best to keep them in pairs in small to medium-sized aquariums. However, you can also breed six or more of these fish in larger fish tanks.

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

How Big Do Angelfish Get In The Wild

Angelfish are the most popular tropical aquarium fish species native to South America. But when allowed to grow in the wild, rather, their natural habitat in the Amazon River Basin and Orinoco Basin, these fish can grow up to 10 inches long and 12 inches tall (or even bigger). 

The easy availability of natural food sources like brine shrimp, bloodworms, crustaceans, white worms, and insects contribute to the bigger growth. Plus, they get more space to swim around freely in the wild.

Common Angelfish Tank Size

When small, measuring just 1 or 2 inches in size, Angelfish can comfortably live in a 20-gallon tank along with fish of the same or different kind as they aren’t too aggressive. But as they grow, you’ll need to replace it with a 30 to 55-gallon tank, depending on the different kinds of angelfish.

It would be even better if you could get a 75 to 100-gallon tank, especially if you wish to breed a group of six or more common angels. A larger aquarium with a community of angelfish will help them choose their mates.

Conclusion

That brings us to the end of this brief informative guide on angelfish. Like most aquarium fish, the freshwater fish from the Cichlidae family can be bred easily in captivity. But they thrive more in the wild owing to the availability of more open space and natural food.

Even then, they can grow quite tall in a fish tank, provided you meet the minimum tank size requirements for each of its kind. That said, always keep in mind that it’s better to get a large aquarium than a smaller one.

On that note, we’ll take your leave. Just make sure you consider factors like water quality and fish food besides tank size to help your angelfish grow even bigger!

Can Angelfish And Guppies Live Together? (What You NEED To Know)

Angelfish And Guppies

Most of you would love to put a lot of different species of fish in your fish tank. However, it is essential that you know which fish are compatible with each other.

Guppies are some of the friendliest fish. One reason why beginners are recommended to start with guppies is that they are easy-going and low maintenance. Guppies easily mix well with other fish in the tanks.

Having features similar to guppies, another friendly fish is angelfish. However, a common question that comes to your mind is: Can angelfish and guppies live in the same tank?

This article is going to answer the question for you.  So keep reading to find out more.

Can Angelfish And Guppies Live Together?

Guppies and angelfish cannot live together because angelfish tend to become aggressive as they grow up. Furthermore, the fully grown angelfish are much bigger than guppies. Therefore, they like to chase and attack the small guppies.

Besides, it is not safe for guppies to stay with angelfish as the latter display predatorial instincts. That being said, there are a number of factors that contribute to why you shouldn’t keep these two fish together.

Why Keeping Angelfish And Guppies Together Is A Bad Idea?

Being different in size is not the only reason why these two fish must be kept separately. Read on to get the details on the multiple reasons why angelfish and guppies together is a bad idea.

Temperaments

The temperament of guppies and angelfish is quite different from each other, and it affects guppies.

Undoubtedly, guppies are known for their peaceful nature and can blend well with other fish in the tank. However, this is not the scenario with angelfish.

Angelfish often get aggressive, specifically when other fish swim along with them. They find it a threat to their territory and thus, attack the other small fish. Sometimes, they even attack each other.

The outcome of keeping these two fish together often ends in guppies being killed, even if they are more in numbers. It is advisable to keep angelfish either with medium or large fish so that they cannot bully smaller fish.

Guppies Will Undergo Stress

If these two fish are kept together, you will find that your guppy will lose its health in no time. It will not be long before angelfish attacks the guppy when left together. The continuous threat from angelfish will cause massive stress to your guppy.

Unlike its name, angelfish instantly develop a bullying nature and occupy a significant section of the tank. Therefore, guppy would be left confined to a small area, and without much freedom, it will struggle immensely to survive.

Size

Angelfish usually grow for about 6 inches when grown to their full size. Whereas, guppies only grow to two inches.

It must not be a surprise that being big, angelfish will find tiny guppies as food. So, there are high chances that angelfish will end up eating your guppies.

Even when the angelfish are not full-grown, they are still more significant in size, and they tend to attack guppies. Moreover, these adorable guppies are not fast swimmers, which puts them at a disadvantage when kept with angelfish.

Besides, it is advised to keep angelfish in pairs, but they must have ample space to stay away from each other. If you plan to keep a couple of angelfish, you must have a tank of at least 30 gallons.

Your Guppy Fry Can Be The Easiest Prey

Guppy fry is relatively tiny when born; they are approximately 0.25 inches. They can easily become prey to even the smallest angelfish.

While the larger angelfish can easily prey on guppies, the smaller ones will attack guppy fry. In simple words, none of the guppies can be safe with any size of angelfish.

Besides, angelfish are pretty swift, which makes them good hunters. Irrespective of décor and plants in the aquarium, it is not easy for guppies to hide for long. Moreover, once they are discovered, it will be very difficult for a guppy to survive in the same tank.

Guppies are livebearers, and they give birth to lots of fry at once in your tank. It can be a perfect snack for the angelfish, so it is better to keep them in a separate tank if you want to save them.

Additionally, it can be a problem for your angelfish. They can end up overeating, which can result in constipation.

Different Water Hardness

It will come as a surprise for most of you, but both the fish—guppy and angelfish, prefer different water hardness. Guppies mostly like to stay in soft waters, whereas angelfish comparatively like to stay in hard water.

If the water for both the fish is not maintained accordingly, there are high chances that they will be sick.  Therefore, it is better not to keep the two fish in the same tank.

How Can You Keep Them Together?

Keeping both the fish in a larger tank is not a good option. Even though it becomes harder for guppies and angelfish to cross each other, you cannot guarantee it. However, if you still want them together, it is better to follow the below methods:

Get A Much Larger Tank with Divider

If you really wish to keep them together, it is suggested to get a huge tank. You can use a divider in the tank to keep the two fish. You need to ensure you find the right size of the tank that is approximately 40-60 gallons.

You need to make sure that all the fish can have enough space to grow even after the divider. Getting a bigger aquarium will not only let you keep the two fish together, but you will not need two filters. Plus, you do not have to maintain two aquariums.

Add Plants And Decoration

Another way is by adding more plants and decoration to your fish tank. It will help your guppies to hide more easily from angelfish. While you choose the plants for your aquarium, it is essential to select thick plants.

Thick plants will keep your angelfish and guppies far from their sight. Some of the good choices of the plants include java moss, Anubis, java ferns and hawthorn.

Perhaps, it is suggested not to keep the two fish together. Even after all the efforts, your guppies can become food for angelfish.

Moreover, you can look for a similar size or larger size fish as they are more compatible with angelfish.

Conclusion

If you plan to keep the angelfish and guppies together, it is better to use two tanks or leave the idea. Also, if you do not wish to spend more money on the two aquariums, you can use a tank divider.

The two fish are not suitable tank mates as you will end up losing one of the species. Keeping guppy and angelfish together will be cruel as it is a death sentence for guppies. It is best to use other mates for both species and give them a suitable environment to survive.

Are Angelfish Aggressive? (Angelfish Fighting Guide)

Are Angelfish Aggressive

Freshwater Angelfish are a beautiful species of fish, and they’re extremely popular among fish hobbyists. They are fun to watch, add a lot of charm to an aquarium, and typically keep to themselves. When it comes to add angelfish to your tank, there are many questions that come up such as “are angelfish aggressive?”

In this article we’ll explore what angelfish aggression really looks like and why is my male angelfish attacking the female as well as what is the best thing you could do if your angelfish fighting each other. So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Are Freshwater Angelfish Aggressive?

Generally, angelfish have a reputation for being a great tank mate and peaceful community fish in a community aquarium. They are known to get along swimmingly with other tropical species and plenty of other fish. 

Angelfish belongs to the Cichlid family, they are typically most aggressive during their breeding times for a variety of reasons. Female angelfish can also be aggressive in response to protecting their eggs from tank mates, and male angelfish can become aggressive over choosing mates when other males are also looking to choose tank a mate. 

Why is My Angelfish so Aggressive?

Angelfish want to be the dominant fish in your tank. They communicate through chemicals that are released into the water through their excrements, which establishes their status within the tank.

If you’re changing the tank’s water too frequently, you may be forcing them to reestablish their status, causing fights among other fish. 

If your angelfish feels crowded, doesn’t have a place to hide, or is stressed, they may be acting aggressively in response. Angelfish are naturally peaceful yet feisty, so you want to ensure you’re doing everything you can to provide them with their ideal environment. 

Are Angelfish Aggressive with Each Other?

Cichlids are known for being on the aggressive side, with the angelfish being one of the more tame species. There are several reasons why angelfish tend to become aggressive with other angelfish. 

If their environment is not ideal, it can cause stress and aggression. Angelfish need plenty of space, hiding places, and low current in the tank. Being territorial leads to them developing the pecking order and determining the dominant fish.

If you have two male angelfish in your aquarium, they’re more likely to become a lot more aggressive with each other.

Are Male or Female Angelfish More Aggressive?

Both male and female angelfish will be aggressive for different reasons, but typically males are the more common aggressor. Most of the time, angelfish become aggressive over territory in the community tank.

If two or more males are kept together without providing them with enough space, it can get ugly.

Females can become aggressive after spawning, as they want to protect their eggs. 

Why is My Male Angelfish Attacking the Female?

Male angelfish will attack female angelfish over territory, but more likely, it’s usually right before spawning. Pair of angelfish will posture or twitch and attack each other before spawning. If they continue to be aggressive with each other after spawning, the male may have eaten the eggs.

When the male and female angelfish pairs are breeding, it can also appear aggressive, so keep that in mind.

Are Angelfish Aggressive Towards Other Fish in Community Tank?

Angelfish can definitely become aggressive with other types of fish, especially ones that are equally as territorial as they are. It can cause severe stress for them.

Angelfish can also prey to larger omnivores who are also territorial and aggressive fish, like Betta fish.

It’s recommended that you pair angelfish with other Cichlids, Oscars, or other large species that aren’t known for aggression. 

You should avoid take mates that have the tendency to nip, like Serpae Tetras. Since angelfish have long and delicate fins, they can sustain significant damage when other fish chase and nip at them.

Do angelfish eat other fish?  Be careful when adding small fish to an angelfish tank as they will eat any fish that fits. They are omnivores, and any fish that fits in their mouth will likely get eaten, labelling them as a predator.

How To Stop Angelfish From Being Aggressive

As a tank owner, you can do everything right and still have angelfish that’s being aggressive occasionally, but you can minimize the conditions for aggression to occur. 

Add Hiding Places

Since they are territorial, you likely won’t avoid any aggression that comes along with that, but you can do your best to provide plenty of space, a variety of hiding spots, and setting them up in their ideal environment, which can help prevent boredom-related illnesses like fin rot or ich.

Plants are a great choice for hiding places, especially ones with large leaves like anubias. Driftwood and ornaments also make good homes in tanks.

Have More Females Than Males

If you want to have a peaceful angelfish tank, one of the best things you can do is make sure that there are more females than males. 

When there are more males than females, we’ve noticed that they become much more aggressive towards other males when competing for a female. In the meantime, the males are going to be constantly harassing the females, which will cause females more stress. 

In general, you should have 3 female angelfish to every male angelfish. You can always have more females than males in your tank if possible.

Introduce New Fish Properly

When you’re adding new fish to your established tank, especially other angelfish, you will want to introduce them properly. It’s recommended to have them meet as soon as possible to establish their dominance immediately. Many hobbyists opt to get two or more angelfish at once to get the introductions over with. 

Suppose you have a dominant angelfish already when introducing a newcomer. In that case, you may want to consider taking the dominant one out of the tank for a few days, keeping it in a separate tank.

Doing this allows the newcomer to get comfortable with the tank, find hiding spots they like, and meet their tank mates. You can rearrange any decor and then put the original fish back in to avoid fighting. 

Make Sure The Tank Isn’t Crowded Or Too Small

If you’re seeing the aggression becoming a little too frequent, you may want to invest in a larger tank if you feel that’s a contributing factor. Since they’re territorial, not having adequate space can cause stress and aggression. You will also want to keep the current to a minimum as angelfish aren’t overly agile, and it can cause stress.

Make Sure They’re Getting Enough Food

You also need to make sure you’re feeding your angelfish enough. If they don’t get fed enough, then obviously it’s going to start fighting for food!

Feed your angelfish for two minutes at a time. You should be giving as much food as they can eat the whole time, and don’t feed them more than you know they can take of in one sitting (generally about 1 to 2 teaspoons).

Don't Change Water too Frequently

One of the most important ways to avoid aggression is to not change the water too often. Angelfish establish their dominance through the water, their urine, and excrements. If you’re changing the water too often, it can lead to angelfish having to reestablish dominance each time. 

Overview

Angelfish(Pterophyllum scalare) are relatively easy to care for, and while they can become aggressive, there’s typically a reason for why they do so. As long as you ensure you’re not cleaning their water too often, you’ve given them ample space and hiding spots, have a low current, and pair them with fish they get along with, you should have no problem with your beautiful new aquarium addition. 

Freshwater Angelfish Temperature Guide (Vital Information)

Angelfish Temperature

Freshwater angelfish are a beautiful addition to any fish tank. These gorgeous, brightly-colored fish can be found in at least 20 different species and colors. If you want your fish to be healthy and thrive, then it’s crucial that they are happy in their environment.

Angelfish originate from the Amazon River Basin and various rivers in tropical South America, so this gives you some indication of the perfect angelfish water temperature.

Best Freshwater Angelfish Temperature

Freshwater angelfish usually require slightly warmer tank temperatures. They can survive in several temps, but 78 to 84 degrees F is going to be the best for your fish. This species can be very sensitive to temperature factors. They notice changes right away, which can shock them if the temperature drops suddenly.

You can easily monitor the tank’s temperature with a heater and thermometer combination. That way, you can quickly respond to sudden changes in your aquarium. The best options for Angelfish will have an easy to see and read display that you set up right on the tank.

 Keeping their tank at the proper temperature takes dedication. You will want to check the tank several times a day until you stabilize it. Once you get a feel for keeping the temperature right, you can start checking it less often. The tank should not change drastically unless you have it near a draft or sunny window.

 Angelfish can survive in colder temperatures but will not have the best quality of life. The lowest they can tolerate is 65 degrees, but you want to keep it well above that. The perfect angelfish temperature is 75 degrees or higher. Overall, keep their tank clean and their water aerated, and they will be perfectly happy.

Best Temperature for Angelfish Eggs & Fry

When your angelfish have eggs, there are two main options. First, you can let the fish care for the eggs. Second, you can take care of the eggs yourself. 

When leaving the eggs with the fish, be sure you know they may eat the eggs and fry. When stressed, angelfish will eat their young. That means you need to provide them with the most suitable conditions.

Angelfish aerate the eggs on their own and will clean them. If you decide to separate the parents from the eggs, you will need to do this on your own.

 The best temperature for hatching eggs is 80 degrees F (about 26.67 celsius). As this is also suitable for angelfish, you can keep the adults with their young if needed.

What Happens if the Angelfish Tank Temperature Becomes Too Cold?

Most Angelfish, like the Altum angel or koi angels, you want to keep the temperature between 82 and 86 degrees. They notice changes easily and will not respond well. Fish are cold-blooded, which means they can not regulate their body temperatures.

 The water can directly impact their metabolism. If the water is cold, they become tired and will swim much slower than normal. Temperature changes also can lead to excessive stress, which can cause death. Fluctuations in water conditions impact their immune system, too, and can make it easier to receive a bacterial infection.

 Overall, it is best to keep the tank’s temperature in a comfortable setting for your fish. While they may have a higher tolerance for various temperatures, you don’t want your fish to be uncomfortable.

What Happens if Your Angelfish Tank Temperature is Too High?

On the other hand, you may accidentally set the temperature too high for your fish. While angelfish have a higher tolerance to warm water than cold, you still want to make the changes as soon as you notice.

Hot water causes the angelfish to have issues with a fast metabolism. They become much more lively and will swim fast in their space. However, they may have issues eating and will feel extreme amounts of stress. 

The biggest problems come when the temperatures go above 90 degrees. Fish breathe through oxygen in the water, which is harder for them to find when it’s hot. As they are moving faster, they need more air- which they aren’t getting enough of. Angelfish can suffocate in this circumstance. 

 Stress caused by hot water can lead to diseases and a suitable environment for bacteria and parasites. If you want to have happy, healthy fish, then ensuring their tank is at the proper temperature is going to be one of the best things you can do for them.

How Do You Maintain the Ideal Temperature in Your Angelfish Tank?

To maintain the ideal water temp for your angelfish tank, you want to spend some time checking it every day. If you keep an eye on the temperature, then you should react quickly when you notice any changes. It’s important to use an accurate thermometer. 

Make sure not to place the tank near open windows or vents. They can cause the temperature in the tank to fall rapidly. Additionally, you need to watch for the sun shining on the tank. It can create a greenhouse effect, leading to a hot aquarium. 

Heavy aquariums are not suitable for desks or normal pieces of furniture. You need something stronger. Not following the weight limits can lead to disasters later! Keep in mind that Angelfish can grow very large, meaning they need spacious tanks to be comfortable.

You will want to spend some time thinking about the best place to put the aquarium. The living room and other central rooms you visit often are usually going to be the best locations. You can check on your fish as you walk past, making it convenient to check on them. 

 The sooner you can check problems with the water- the sooner you can fix them!

Consider Other Fish in a Community Tank

Suppose you plan on raising other species of fish with your Angelfish. In that case, you should also consider what temperatures they can tolerate. Just because other species can live with your Angelfish doesn’t mean they should- you may need to lower the temperature too much.

Keeping your fish comfortable is what’s most important. You don’t want to leave your fish at the ends of their temperature tolerances for too long. In the wild, fish would swim away from these conditions, but they can’t in a tank.

It’s best if you separate fish that require temperatures that are too different. Even if their tolerances overlap, doing so may not be good for them. Make sure to research species thoroughly that you plan on adding to your Angelfish tank.

Conclusion

If you have freshwater angelfish, the best way to take care of them is to check the temperature of their tank often. Serious issues can occur when the water is too hot or cold. These particular species respond to changes very quickly.

Overall, you will want to get a good thermometer for your tank. They make it easier to view the temperature and are going to be more accurate for you. Your fish will be sure to appreciate it! If you want to learn more about fishkeeping, check out the rest of my blog posts.

The 5 Best Guppy Breeding Boxes for 2021

Best Guppy Breeding Boxes

When your guppies become pregnant, keeping the guppy fry alive is an essential part of the breeding process, as guppies are known to eat guppy fry once they’re born. Using a guppy breeding box, whether purchased or a homemade setup, is one of the easiest ways to ensure they survive.

A breeding tank is a separate container off of the primary aquarium that allows free-flowing water. It prevents adult fish from moving into the separate container and keeping the guppy fry safe.

There are plenty of excellent options for guppy fry breeding boxes, but here are some of the best.

Do I Need a Guppy Fry Breeding Box?

The short answer, yes! Guppy breeding boxes are an excellent alternative to creating a secondary aquarium when you have a pregnant guppy.

Save Money

Advantages of a breeding box include being less costly because you don’t need to invest in a second set of equipment, like filters and heaters.

More Convenient & Efficient 

It’s a more convenient option that requires less work, as you don’t have to work to match the water conditions. It’s also more efficient because you don’t need to waste time waiting for the secondary aquarium to complete a cycle before using it. 

Disadvantage of Guppy Breeding Box

The main disadvantage to a guppy breeder box is that it’s only a temporary fix. Guppy fry can’t be in the box for an extended period. Otherwise, it’ll begin to impede their growth. You should only keep your fry in there for two weeks or until they show signs of stress. 

You can then transfer them to an isolated tank or into your established tank if they are big enough. 

The Best Breeding Boxes for Guppy Fish Reviewed

With these pros and cons laid out, here are some of the top breeding boxes for your guppy fish:

The Alfie Pet Breeding and Hatchery Box

The Alfie Pet box is a hang-on breeding and hatchery box that sits inside the aquarium. It boasts a sturdy and functional design, has plenty of room for two adult fish inside. Water can flow through the box, and there is an attached separator.

It’s perfect for being a guppy fry nursery or a separate space for aggressive fish or fish that need to be protected.

There’s no heater, pump, or filter required for this model. It has an excellent design and is sturdy enough for each purpose. 

Alfie Pet - Rabea Hang-on...
  • Dimension: 3" long; 3.5" wide and high.

Marina Hang-On Breeding Box

This affordable hang-on breeding box is perfect for those who don’t want to invest in a filter or heater for a new aquarium. This particular model hangs off the exterior of the tank, and it has a multitude of uses. It has many uses, including a typical breeding box, a separate tank for isolation of adult fish, or an acclimation box.

Due to its excellent design, it’s incredibly convenient if any problems occur that you need to fix without disturbing the other fish. You can also easily monitor the guppy fry without disturbing tank mates. 

The breeding box holds around half a gallon of water, but you can choose other sizes if you feel you need larger. The primary aquarium water cycles through the box. You will need to purchase a separate air pump, which can run anywhere from $10 to $70.

This model includes three removable plates to create partitions so that you can have three separate sections for all your needs. 

Fluval Muli-Chamber Holding...
  • Safe & secure tank for breeding, isolating or acclimating fish

Pets Island Aquarium Fish Breeding Boxes

The Pets Island breeding box is placed into your aquarium and sticks to the glass with suction cups. The box has slits in the sides to allow for water flow, but they are small enough to keep the guppy fry inside.

The clear design allows for easy visibility to keep an eye on your guppy fry or separated fish. The lid is also transparent. 

Included with the box is a removable partition piece that can create two separate sections for your fish. The Pets Island breeding box is smaller in size, so it’s great as a temporary option and should not be used for guppy fry beyond two weeks.

It’s affordable and can be used for multiple purposes, so it’s an excellent option for those looking for a smaller box.

Medium Size Aquarium Fishes...
  • Unique floating and transparent plastic cover designed to prevent the fish out of the isolation room to protect the newborn fish. It is ideal to be sick fish in fish and isolation space With sucker,...

Finnex External Refugium Breeder Box with Water Pump

Purchasing a box that can be installed on the tank’s interior is excellent if you have a sizeable tank with adequate space for a box without causing stress to your other fish.

The Finnex box is another hang-on guppy breeding model that can be installed on the inside of your aquarium. It’s ideal for smaller aquariums that don’t have space for a box without impeding the other fish. The Finnex is a perfect solution for those who have limited space. 

Boxes installed on the outside of the tank are ideal for many reasons, including space-saving, easier to tend to maintenance, and easy to monitor your guppy fry or isolated fish. 

It can also be used as a refugium filter and can be great for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. The included pump that comes with the breeder box is excellent at regulating the water flow.

It can also be manually adjusted so you can provide the best flow for your guppies. You can also install lights that clip on to create the best environment. 

The Finnex box comes with all the accessories you’ll need, so you won’t need to purchase additional equipment. 

Sale
Finnex External Refugium...
  • Multifunction Box: Breeder Box, Refugium, Quarantine

XMHF Nylon Mesh Fish Fry Hatchery and Breeder Box

The XMHF Nylon Mesh breeding box is an extremely affordable alternative to other breeding boxes on the market. If you don’t have the materials at home to build your own, this is an option when you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It has a plastic frame that is surrounded by a mesh net. 

It attaches to the top of the inside of your aquarium with suction cups. When installing this breeding box, ensure the top of the net is above the top of the water. The net is used to keep the guppy fry separate from the mother and other adult fish. 

Since the box sits inside the established aquarium, you don’t need to purchase additional accessories like a heater or filter, and you don’t need to worry about keeping the water parameters in check for two aquariums. 

Along with housing guppy fry, the mesh box can house aggressive fish, injured fish, or weak fish from the others in the aquarium. It’s an excellent and affordable option and a great tool to have on hand if you ever need it. 

Nylon Mesh Fish Fry Hatchery...
  • Product Name: Aquarium Net Breeder

How to Save Your Baby Guppies Without Breeding Box

While a breeding box is an excellent and effective option, there are a couple of other methods that are doable if you worry about that breeder box causes too much undue stress.

Separate Tank

Having a separate tank set up for your pregnant guppies is a more expensive option than purchasing a breeding box or using live plants. If your aquarium is small, this may be the most suitable option for you.

A separate tank should mimic your established aquarium, with the same heater, plants, lights, filter, and same water conditions. 

Once your pregnant guppy is close to giving birth, you can remove her from your aquarium and put her in a separate tank. You can tell that she is getting close when her abdomen becomes enlarged and she becomes reclusive. 

Putting your pregnant guppy in a new tank can be a stressful ordeal, so transferring her carefully and keeping her environment as close to what she’s used to is key to a successful transition. Once she has the guppy fry, remove her from the separate tank and reintroduce her to the primary tank.

Once you have the guppy fry separated, you will need to take great care of them while growing. You will need to feed them properly with protein-rich foods like quality food and baby brine shrimp. Keep a strict feeding schedule. Guppy fry need to be fed frequently with small meals. 

(You may be interested to know how to care for baby guppies?)

Live Plants for Guppy Fry

Live Plants

If you have an established aquarium, you likely already have plenty of lush plants, which is part of an ideal guppy environment. Having a well-planned environment for guppy fry can help them hide and save them from being eaten by the adult fish. Recommended plant types include moss, frogbit, and guppy grass.

A DIY Guppy Fish Breeding Box

If you’re not looking to purchase a breeding box, you can create your own homemade setup for an affordable price. If you have a plastic container, a net, and rubber bands, you can build your own DIY breeding box. 

To create it, take a clean plastic container, put the mesh bag or net over the jar’s opening, and put a rubber band around it. Cut the plastic in half and place the meshed half onto the second half so that it’s face down. 

You will then have a container with two layers that can be secured and held together with your rubber bands. The upper portion of the container sits upside down inside the bottom container.

Fill the container with aquarium water and secure it to the aquarium side with some strong and water-resistant tape. Add some plants, and you can put the pregnant guppy inside your DIY breeding box. 

Once she gives birth, the guppy fry will automatically pass through the mesh netting, so they are separated, keeping the mother in the upper portion of the box. If you have all the necessary materials, a DIY breeding box is just as effective as a purchased one.

Here are some good tutorials:

DIY Guppy Fish Breeding Box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSTDOypTCm8

DIY Aquarium Breeder Box Fry Keeper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CfUDOz93Gw

FAQ:

When can I put a pregnant guppy in the breeding box?

Once you notice that her birth time is nearing, you can keep your pregnant guppies in the box. She should be removed 24 to 48 hours after giving birth to prevent her from eating the guppy fry.

How long should I keep guppy fry in the breeding box?

Baby guppies can be left in the box for up to two weeks for them to grow big enough so the adult fish cannot eat them. If you keep them in the box beyond two weeks, it may stunt their growth. If you ensure that the water conditions are optimal, you’re feeding them the best diet, and they are not showing signs of distress, you could keep them in the breeding box as long as you need.

Can two pregnant guppies share a breeder box?

Two pregnant guppies should not share a breeder box once they’ve given birth to give the guppy fry the best chance at survival.

How do I use a guppy breeding box?

A breeder box is the best defense from having the guppy fry eaten by the mother. Breeder boxes are relatively easy to use and maintain, even for new fish owners. The breeder box is a container that has two separate tanks, so when the guppy fry are born, they are separated from their mother, so she does not eat them.

The guppy fry are isolated from her, so they can grow big enough that they can’t fit inside the mouths of the bigger fish.

Can guppy fry die in the breeding box?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why guppy fry die in the breeder box. To ensure you give your guppy fry the best chance at survival, keep them separate from their mother, keep the water conditions optimal and oxygenated, feed them healthily and adequately, and make sure they’re not stressed.

When can guppy fry leave the breeding box?

Guppy fry can stay in the breeder box until they are an adequate size to prevent being eaten by larger fish. As long as you have optimal water conditions and are not showing signs of stress, you can keep them in the box.

Do Guppies Need A Heater?(Complete Guide 2021)

Do Guppies Need A Heater

Guppies are tropical fish known for their bright colors and larger-than-life personalities. They are an incredibly common fish in the aquarium hobby and are the favorites of many hobbyists around the world.

If you’ve been looking into adopting a school of guppies, you might be wondering how to properly care for them. Do guppies need a heater to survive? If so, how many watts should their heater be? What happens when the water temperature changes too rapidly or gets too high or low?

The good news is that we’ve got the answers to all those questions and more — and we’re going to share them with you in this in-depth article.

Do Guppies Need A Heater?

Guppies are tropical fish and as such, they definitely need a heater. In order for them to live a long, happy life their bodies need to stay warm. Having a heater in your guppy tank will help ensure that your water is always at the best temperature for your fish.

Ideal Water Temperature for Guppies

While guppies do need warm water to thrive, they can’t just be thrown into any warm water. Their water needs to be within a certain temperature range to be suitable.

Guppies need to be kept at a temperature that falls within the range of 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be kept at temperatures slightly higher or slightly lower without much concern, though. If kept at higher or lower temperatures for too long, though, their immune systems can become compromised, making them susceptible to illness and disease.

To ensure that your water is at the correct water temperature, keep a thermometer in the tank. Put it at the opposite end of where your heater is placed. This allows you to monitor how well your heater is heating the water.

A good rule of thumb is that if your water reads at a comfortable temperature when the thermometer is at the opposite end of the tank, your water is likely heated evenly.

Ideal-Guppy-Temperature
Credit: towert7

What Happens If The Water Gets Too Cold?

Water that is too cold can be disastrous for your guppies. You’ll know when the water has become too cold when your guppies start to show the effects of the temperature.

Symptoms of this include:

  • Swimming sluggishly
  • Acting lethargic
  • Appetite loss

They start to display these symptoms because they are cold-blooded so when the water gets too cold, so does the water temperature of their bodies, which makes them sluggish and slow.

It also causes their body stress, which leads to a lack of appetite as it does in most other creatures on Earth. Paired with the resulting lethargy, appetite loss will weaken their immune system.

When this happens, they’ll start spending more time at the bottom of the tank. If you happen to have more territorial fish that dwell near the bottom of your tank, your guppies can get picked on and injured.

If you don’t bring the water temperature up when it drops too low, your guppy is more likely to suffer from illness and disease thanks to the weakened state of their immune system. Diseases such as dropsy, fin rot, and swim bladder disease are common in fish that live in water that is too cold.

What Happens If The Water Gets Too Hot

Although it’s less likely, your aquarium water getting too hot also poses a risk to your guppies. When the water starts to get too warm, your fish will begin swimming erratically, which is what happens as your fish’s energy levels increase due to the drastic temperature rise.

The energy increase seems like it would be a positive thing but it’s actually a negative. The energy increase is going to stress them out the same amount as if the water were to get too cold. Their immune system can and will get worn down, leaving them vulnerable to health issues.

Luckily, though, it’s much easier to cool a tank down than it is to heat it up. To cool a tank down quickly, you can just add a cup or two of conditioned tap water that is cooler than the water in your tank. Or you could take the lid off the aquarium if you have one on. For long-term cooling, you could consider using a small fan!

How to Set Up a Heater for Guppies 

When setting up your heater, try to place it as close to the filter as possible. This helps the heat from the heater to be dispersed throughout the tank, as the warm water is pushed around the tank by the current of the filter. If you place your heater too far from the filter, you could end up with cold spots within your tank.

Sometimes you might need more than one heater in a tank – for example, if you have a very large tank fish that require particularly warm water, or heaters that are too low of wattage to achieve the desired water temperature on their own.

In cases like this, place one heater on the end with the filter and the other on the opposite end.

What Type of Aquarium Heater Can You Use for Your Guppy Tank? 

Hang-on Back

Hang-on back (HOB) heaters are the most common type of heater across the aquarium hobby. They are affordable and can be purchased as part of a kit of own their own.

This type of heaters hangs on the side of your aquarium, usually using a set of suction cups. The heating element is contained in glass tubing, which is the part of the heater that is inside of the water.

(HOB) heater is ideal for freshwater aquariums, like the one required for guppies, but shouldn’t be used for saltwater.

Submersible

Submersible heaters are installed below the waterline, meaning that the entire heater is below the surface. It’s made of durable glass or plastic.

It can be positioned within the aquarium any way you choose. You could have it lying down on the bottom of the tank, leaning against a corner of the tank, or standing straight up and down.

For the best results, consider positioning this heater so that it’s on a horizontal or vertical angle, as these positions allow the heater’s internal thermostat to read the temperature of the water accurately.

Substrate

Substrate heaters are installed below the substrate of your tank. It’s a great option if you have both live plants and fish in one aquarium. This kind of heater works by heating the gravel, which then heaters the water.

The best part of this type of filter is that you’re almost guaranteed to get an even temperature, as the heater stretches across the bottom of most of the aquarium. It’s also buried beneath the substrate, which does wonders for the appearance of your aquarium.

Heaters are a wonderful piece of technology. Their invention meant that fish enthusiasts could start keeping guppies in their homes without worrying about their health or safety. Today, heaters are very sophisticated and versatile.

Since your guppies need a heater, it’s important to ensure that you have a heater that is big enough for your tank and that is safe for all the inhabitants. You can choose between a few different types of heaters, as well as various sizes, so it should be relatively easy to find the best one for your set-up.

Do Guppies Lay Eggs? (3 Fun & Interesting Facts)

Do Guppies Lay Eggs

Guppies make good pets because they are fairly low maintenace, and they are really pretty to look at.  If you’re new to guppy fish keeping then one question you may be asking yourself is “do guppies lay eggs or give live birth?”

This is not a silly question, and many guppy enthusiasts have asked at one point or another. That’s why we thought it was a good idea to put together this helpful guide.

Do Guppies Lay Eggs?

Guppies do not lay eggs. Guppies are what are called “live-bearers” – they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs.

The majority of fish species lay eggs, with only 2% of fish species giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs.

Basically, the guppy eggs live inside of the mothers body and hatch inside her body. Only then are they released. 

So, rather than laying eggs and waiting for them to hatch, a female guppy releases live guppy babies (called guppy fry) into the water. 

A female guppy can give birth to between 10 and 120 guppy fry in 6 hours. That is a big range, and the amount of guppy fry depends on the individual mother.

Guppy Reproduction…How Does it Work?

Guppies reach sexual maturity at around 3 months of age. At this point, a guppy is ready to reproduce.

The gestation period of guppies, or the length of time that they are pregnant, is about 21-30 days

As mentioned previously, one guppy can give birth to 10-120 guppy fry at one time

All of these facts add up to guppies reproducing quickly, and often! They become mature enough to reproduce quickly, are not pregnant for long, and then can give birth to potentially a hundred babies at once!

Guppy have a tendency to eat their fry. Guppies do not care for their offspring like many animal parents do. Once the guppy fry are born, they are on their own!

It is likely that most, or all, of the fry will be eaten by the mother or by the mother or other inhabitants of the tank. Some of the fry may survive if there are enough hiding places in the tank. 

How often Can Guppies Give Birth?

Guppies are also somewhat unique in the sense that from a single encounter between a male and female guppy, the female guppy can store sperm in her body for her lifetime, which allows her to reproduce even if there is not a male in the vicinity.

Once guppies give birth, they can theoretically give birth again about 21-30 days later if they mate with a male. As mentioned previously, their gestation period is about 21-30 days.

This means that your female guppy may give birth as often as once a month. If you have more than one female guppy per tank, you may be seeing hundreds of guppy fry every month whether they are mating with males or just using stored sperm at a later date!

How to Control Guppy Population

Since guppies can reproduce so effectively, you may be concerned about limiting the guppy population in your tank.

For the most part, even if you have females who are giving birth to fry every month, the population is likely to limit itself provided that you have a few things in place.

Separate males and females

This is the most effective way to limit guppy reproduction. If guppies cannot mate, they are less likely to reproduce.

However, we know that this is not 100% foolproof. You may buy female guppies that are already pregnant, or ones that have stored sperm away for a later date.

So even if you get a tank of all females, they may have the potential to give birth!

Have only a male guppy

If you want to avoid guppy fry all together, see about getting just a male guppy. 

If you want several male guppies however, you may run into problems. If several male guppies live together without females, they can become aggressive and start fighting. 

Introduce a predator

Introducing a predator fish, such as a betta fish, will help to limit the population even if females do give birth.

The betta fish will eat many of the guppy fry which will help to limit the total population.

If you do go for a betta fish, be sure to get a single female. Males can be more aggressive and may bother the adult guppies, but a single female will help to limit the population without bothering the adult guppies.

Introducing a fish that is sure to eat it’s tankmates may sound mean, but it is all part of the circle of life. 

Get rid of hiding places

The guppy fry will survive if they have places to hide away from predators.

By limiting the hiding places (like live plants), the guppy fry won’t be able to get away from predators and the adult guppies (or betta if you decide to get one) will make food out of them.

Sell the guppies

If all else fails and you end up with a high population of guppy fry, you can try selling them.

Other people would probably love to buy your guppies, so try listing them for sale on your local buying and selling website.

You might also be interested in: How Much Do Guppies Cost?

Recap

Guppies can reproduce often and give birth to potentially a hundred offspring per month.

Female guppies can give birth to over a hundred guppy fry at one time, and can become pregnant immediately afterward. 

They have a short gestation period and can also store sperm for later use – so even if you have a tank of only females, they may give birth at some point!

For the most part, adult guppies and other predators in the tank will control this population by eating the guppy fry. Yes – adult guppies will eat their own babies!

But, if you let the guppy population go unchecked, you could theoretically end up with thousands of guppies in your tank in a short period of time!

Guppies make popular pets because they are so eye catching and usually make good tank mates. It might be worth it to get a single male guppy to add in to your tank to see how you like them at first! Then you can move on to adding female guppies and see how they do!

Gold Nugget Pleco 101: Everything you Need to Know

Gold Nugget Pleco

The Golden Nugget Pleco is an incredible addition to any aquarium because of its unique colors and markings. They are relatively easy to care for, and they make great tank mates for your already established aquarium. For everything you need to know about the Golden Nugget Pleco, keep reading. 

Species Overview

The Golden Nugget Pleco, or Baryancistrus xanthellushails from South America, mainly found around Brazil and Venezuela. In their natural habitat, they have access to caves and driftwood in the Amazon River, which makes them prefer darker conditions.

They are used to an aquascape that is abundant in greenery and thriving natural elements that shade natural light, so you don’t need to splurge on special lighting to have them in your aquarium. 

The fish’s full name is Gold Nugget Plecostomus, which we refer to as Pleco for short. The suckermouth catfish is categorized as part of the Loricariidae family. They have been added to aquariums since the early 80s when they gained popularity in Britain when they started being exported in. 

They may also be referred to as Golden nugget Plecos. They are often identified by their letter and number L-18 or L018. Since freshwater catfish species are abundant, this number is an easy way to distinguish them.

There are two other numbers associated with this fish, including L085 for medium-sized dots and L081 for tiny dots. 

However, the Gold Nugget Pleco is a standout fish. The yellow-polka dotted markings make it immediately recognizable and visually pleasing to look at. You can spend plenty of time admiring the beauty of this fish.

Appearance

Catfish are not always the best-looking fish, and the look of suckermouth fish can be an acquired taste, but the Gold Nugget Pleco is a striking fish.

It often has a dark green or black body and is covered in plenty of yellow polka-dots. They are typically uniform in size and evenly-spaced, and their dorsal and caudal fins are bordered with the same yellow.  

They are built like a traditional pleco fish with an angled head with a suckermouth, built for proper scavenging. You’ll find that they are slimmer near the caudal peduncle and wider from their eyes to pectoral fins. Their pectoral fins are larger in size and feature a backward point. The caudal fin is a bit larger than the fan-shaped dorsal fins.

Average Size

On average, these fish measure anywhere from six to nine inches when they are bred in captivity, depending on their tank conditions. If you have accurate water conditions, a proper diet, and excellent filtration, they will be in the optimal conditions for the best growth and overall health.

If you provide them with a larger tank, they will grow more prominent as well. When they are added into a smaller tank with plenty of other fish, their growth is discouraged. They can grow to be thirteen inches in the wild, so a big tank with supreme conditions can lead to a thriving and healthy fish. 

Genetic factors can play a role in their overall size, but tank size and a great diet as they are growing definitely influence their growth. 

Lifespan 

On average, a Gold Nugget Pleco can live up to five years in captivity. It’s not entirely clear how long they can live in the wild, but it’s reported that it might be an additional two or three years. If you’re providing the best care to your fish, with the best equipment and an excellent diet, they can reach six or seven years old. 

There are no species-specific diseases that impact the Gold Nugget Pleco’s lifespan, which is a nice factor when comparing them to other freshwater fish. Some species have unique illnesses that can affect them. 

However, there are the typical diseases that affect freshwater fish that Gold Nugget Pleco’s are not immune to. They may be low maintenance and relatively healthy, but they can still become ill with various sicknesses. 

A common ailment that freshwater fish see are infections, including parasites and Ich. These can be caused by a variety of factors, and many of them have individual treatments.

The best way to reduce the risk of any illnesses or diseases to your Gold Nugget Pleco is to just keep up on the cleanliness of the tank, quality of water, and the quality of their diet. If you keep up on the maintenance, it’s the best defense against issues.

Keeping up with optimal care and being diligent about maintaining their environment will aid in living a long, healthy, and happy life in your home.

Behavior & Temperament

While you’ll often find your Gold Nugget Pleco keeping to themselves and being incredibly peaceful, there are moments where they can be not-so-nice to the other fish in your tank.

They are rather interesting. Usually, they are calm and peaceful, hiding under their favorite dark spots or sitting along with the algae growth. You won’t see them much during the day as they are much more active at night when it’s dark. They are often in their own little world, and they ignore most other fish.

However, if another catfish species happens to come into their space, they can definitely become reactive and territorial. Since catfish tend to want to occupy the same spaces, they can become angry when they are opposed upon.

If you happen to have a massive tank, you might be able to get away with having another catfish species in there, but a smaller tank can be a challenging environment for a Gold Nugget Pleco.

Caring for The Gold Nugget Pleco

As mentioned, the Golden Nugget Pleco is a relatively low-maintenance fish, and they don’t require much from their owners. They are an outstanding fish for those who are just starting to build their aquariums and seasoned pros. Caring for them is not a very complex process. 

They can become large fish, so you want to ensure you’re putting them into their ideal tank size. You need to provide them with enough room so they can thrive. Other than that, there’s nothing specific that they need in order to live a happy and healthy life. 

Tank Conditions

It’s recommended that the minimum tank size that you should have for a Gold Nugget Pleco is a 55-gallon tank. Since they are larger fish that thrive in bigger homes, it’s essential to provide them with the best habitat. Bigger is better when it comes to the tank size used to house them. 

It may seem like a smaller tank would be okay since they typically hang out in smaller spaces or near the bottom of the tank. Putting them in a small tank that’s not suitable for them and can impede their physical growth and overall happiness.

Fish who are bred in captivity still possess the instinctive desire for the natural environment they hail from, but since Gold Nugget Plecos are bred in the wild, their need for an environment that is as close to their natural habitat is critical. Typically, fish do much better in tanks that mimic their natural environments as closely as possible. 

They like to have hiding places, so if you can decorate your tank with plenty of plants, driftwood, caves, and other decorations that allow them to hide in, that’s ideal.

Filter

When building your aquarium, you want to ensure you’re purchasing a high-quality filter. Gold Nugget Pleco’s can be sensitive to dirty water, so having a clean tank is paramount. Like all freshwater fish, they are susceptible to infections caused by water conditions, so to keep them healthy, you must keep their water clean. 

Due to their size, they will produce a more considerable amount of waste than other freshwater fish. You will have to ensure you’re maintaining a regular cleaning schedule to keep up with the waste. 

Substrate

A sandy substrate that soft is ideal for the Gold Nugget Pleco because it’s the closest thing to their natural environment. They love to scavenge, so they will be digging through the substrate. Opting for rocks or gravel may cause injury to them, leading to stress and infections if they get cut. 

Plants

There are plenty of reasons why Gold Nugget Pleco’s love plants. Lush greenery is an ideal addition for any tank because it’s not only beautiful to look at, but they offer plenty of benefits. Detritus that comes from plants is a source of nutrition, and they create healthier water.

The addition of plants simulates their natural environment, keeping them calm and minimizing stress. Plants are a great hiding place, which Gold Nugget Pleco’s love, and it creates a place for them to hang out where excess light is filtered out. 

You can opt for live plants. In this case, they don’t eat live plants, but they will take care of the dead droppings. Plastic plants don’t provide nearly as many benefits either.

Decorations

Decorating your tank is one of the most exciting parts of building an aquarium that’s ideal for your fish. As mentioned, the Gold Nugget Pleco loves to hide and hang out at the bottom of the tank, so any decorations that will cater to that are perfect for them.

Caves, plants, and driftwood where they can hideout and escape the light are ideal for them. When choosing a cave, make sure you’re picking one on the larger side to cater to their growth.

Water Conditions

The water conditions for the Gold Nugget Pleco’s are pretty easy to maintain, even if you’re new to owning fish. The ideal temperature should be between 73°F to 79°F. The ideal pH levels should be around 6.5 to 7.5, but you should aim for 7. The ideal water hardness is 5 to 15 dH

The most crucial time to be very careful about water conditions is when you first introduce them to your tank. They can be susceptible to issues when they are initially introduced somewhere new, whether your tank is brand new or established.

During this period, you should be testing your water every day or every other day during the first two to three weeks once you’ve introduced your Gold Nugget Pleco to the tank. Once you’ve had stable conditions for a while, you can drop down to testing every few days. This is an excellent opportunity to get used to partial water changes as well. 

Once everything is normal, you should be in the habit of taking regular water tests. This will ensure your entire tank is in harmony and your fish are healthy. 

Food and Diet

While one of the most essential parts of the Gold Nugget Plecos’ overall health, feeding them the proper diet is one of the easiest aspects of caring for them. They are not very picky when it comes to food, and they will eat whatever you’re willing to feed them. 

With that being said, you should still carefully plan out their diet for optimal health. In their natural habitat, they eat plenty of algae. They spend a lot of their time at the bottom of their home scavenging for algae and plants that they like.

They do require a more well-rounded diet beyond algae and plants, so it’s important to include some protein-rich food for them as well. 

It can be easy to overfeed them because they constantly act like they are hungry, so you should have a planned-out system of how much food they get and when. Overfeeding is unhealthy for your fish, but it also wreaks havoc on your aquarium’s overall health and cleanliness.

With extra food breaking down in the water, it can significantly affect the quality of the water and the nutrient levels. Your fish will also be producing even more waste, requiring more time spent cleaning. 

Their primary source of food comes from the matter and algae in the tank substrate, but you can include some sinking pellets to round it out. It’s vital to ensure the supplemental food reaches the bottom of the tank where they will likely be. 

Beyond sinking pellets, you can add in bloodworms or tubifex every other day or so as a treat. This is a tremendous protein-rich addition that they will love.

Suitable Tank Mates

Having an aquarium full of a variety of colorful fish is something to admire. Luckily, there’s really only one rule when it comes to owning a Gold Nugget Pleco, and that’s to avoid catfish and other plecos. If you stick to that rule, your tank should be fine.

Just like how they react to catfish, they will become the same way around other Gold Nugget Plecos. They can become quite aggressive, and since they are such large fish, they will fight over space.

Unless you have a massive tank that has enough room for two plecos to claim enough territory, you may be able to get away with having two in a single tank. The more space they have to claim means there will be less aggression.

However, it’s really not recommended to do this. Err on the side of caution and have only one Pleco per tank for their stress levels and happiness. 

Since they have such a great temperament towards other fish and only get territorial around other catfish, they are a great tank mate for various other fish. Finding fish that prefer to spend their time close to the top of the aquarium is excellent because Pleco’s like to stay near the bottom, and they’ll likely rarely cross paths. 

Some of the ideal tank mates include Ember Tetra, Neon Tetra, Honey Gourami, Apistogramma, Pearl Gourami, Dwarf Gourami, Rummy Nose Tetra, Celestial Pearl Danio, Sparkling Gourami, and a variety of Goldfish. These are just a few honorable mentions, but plenty of other types of fish will thrive in the same environment as the Gold Nugget Pleco.

It’s not recommended to include snails in your aquarium as Gold Nugget Plecos. Sometimes they do become very hungry, and they will eat them, but that’s not a guarantee. 

Breeding

You may hear about breeding Gold Nugget Plecos, and there are some guides out there that suggest there is a proper breeding process for this fish, but they are not accurate. Unfortunately, there are no proven or safe ways to breed Gold Nugget Plecos in captivity. It should not be attempted at home.

Since there are unclear guidelines and insufficient information for fish owners, it’s recommended just to avoid attempting breeding altogether. Until there is sufficient evidence, research, and a fully-fleshed-out process, it’s only suitable for the most experienced aquarists with the proper setup and resources. 

It’s important to the safety of your fish just to avoid it. 

Conclusion

The Gold Nugget Pleco is a beautiful fish that is relatively low-maintenance. If you’re looking to add an easy and stunning fish to your aquarium that gets along well with your other fish, the Gold Nugget Pleco is an excellent option.

With some love and care, they can be part of your family for up to seven years. While there are plenty of excellent options to add to your home aquarium, the Gold Nugget Pleco should be a top choice.

Peacock Cichlid Care: Types, Size, Tank Mates & More!

Peacock Cichlid Care

Peacock Cichlids are some of the most colorful freshwater fish in the world, so it’s no wonder why they share the same name of a bird that’s also vibrant and chromatic. Their relative docility and beauty is difficult to resist. Peacock Cichlids are a friendly and peaceful addition to any aquarium.

Even though they’re easy to care for, brand new aquarists should practice with different fish. If you’ve been tinkering with aquariums and want to start on something larger, the Peacock Cichlid is perfect.

Peacock Cichlid Overview

The Peacock Cichlid is a freshwater fish from the Aulonocara genus. They’re an ancient species of mouth brooders who serve an important role in the ecosystem. They come from a small area of Africa, but reside in the world’s ninth largest lake.

Natural Habitat

Their main home is Lake Malawi in Malawi, Africa. This ancient body of water sustains 22 types of Peacock Cichlids. They’re bottom dwellers and can live between depths of around 19 to 131 feet.

They’re skillful, active swimmers who are always on the lookout for prey. They live in warm, deep water close to the bottom to stay as near to food as possible. They hunt into the sandy substrate beneath them and eject sand out of their gills.  When hunting for food, they hover above to detect movement from possible prey or dig their snouts around in it. 

Appearance of Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlids are among the highest ranked freshwater fish in regard to their visual appeal. But, unlike many of their cousins, their color isn’t dependent on their mating status or mood; although these things can enhance their coloring.

They come in a great range of colors but all are iridescent. What’s interesting is that the part of Lake Malawi they originate from will determine their coloring. Females and juveniles are dull gray or mousy brown but, males, as they age, come in stunning shades of purple, black, blue, gold, orange, red and yellow.

Types Of Peacock Cichlids

Each variety is distinct in color and unmatched by other freshwater types. Even though Peacock Cichlids are a huge family of fish, only a handful of these species can make for wonderful pets in home aquariums:

  • Nkhomo-benga
  • African Butterfly
  • Flavescent
  • Maulana bicolor
  • Fort Maguire
  • Blue Gold
  • Sunshine

Although there are over 20 different types of Peacock Cichlids, here’s a list of the most popular found in home aquariums:

Blue Peacock Cichlid

As the name suggests, this Peacock Cichlid is blue all over with dark, elongated stripes from the front of the dorsal fins to the end of the caudal peduncle. The brightness and shade of blue depends on their location, age and gender.


Also known as the Emperor Cichlid, some varieties come in yellow. Most Blue Peacock Cichlids live at the southeastern end of Lake Malawi. These are one of the more popular varieties people keep as pets.

Dragon Blood Peacock Cichlid

Often confused with Strawberry Peacock Cichlids, the Dragon Blood variety is a bright, pinkish-red.

OB Peacock Cichlid

These are primarily red with patches of dark royal blue everywhere. The patches on their faces are brighter which extend into their dorsal and caudal fins. These are often hybrids and crossbreeds, which can present their own set of problems.

Red Peacock Cichlid

This is a variety of Flavescent Peacock Cichlids, often called Ruby Red or Rubin Red. They’re a manmade breed and the most popular type of cichlid. But, they’re beautiful with a vibrant red hue with bits of electric blue in the fins. It stands out in any tank and is breathtaking to look at.

Strawberry Peacock Cichlid

This stunning type of Peacock Cichlid is a vibrant candy reddish-pink with light spotting on their fins. These are some of the most rare to find. The dots on the fins is what separates this type from the Dragon Blood.

Yellow Peacock Cichlids

Yellow Peacock Cichlids have many other monikers: Nkhomo-Benga, Benga, Sunshine, New Yellow Regal or Baensch’s. The come from the western parts of Lake Malawi and favor shallower waters. They usually don’t go any deeper than 20 ft.

They are a bright, rich yellow with neon blue splotches and dots over their entire bodies. Some may have midnight blue bands on their sides.

Size

Males tend to be around six inches long while the females are no bigger than four inches long. Both sexes develop an oversized lateral line when they reach maturity. If you can mimick the conditions of Lake Malawi combined with consistent quality care, a Peacock Cichlid can grow bigger than the expected average.

Lifespan

Peacock Cichlids live for around six to eight years as long as they have everything they need. This includes maintaining water conditions, water quality and a well-balanced diet.

There are some reports of Peacock Cichlids living as long as 10 or 15 years. That means if you take your ownership of one seriously, there’s a great potential for them to be with you for a long time.

Behavior: Social Graces

Most species of Cichlids are aggressive but the Peacock is more docile and peaceful. The males tend to be territorial loners while females often gather in schools. If you plan on keeping them, the males can overtake other, more non-confrontational fish.  This will be especially true if there aren’t enough caves, space or females.

Mating

Although the males will often be alone, they are polygamous when it’s time for breeding. Once a male has claimed his bit of territory, the courting ritual can begin. He digs a nest near the entrance of his cave.

The male then begins to move in a dance-like pattern to get the attention of willing females with darting and quick, sudden movements. When one comes along, she enters his lair, lays her eggs and he then fertilizes them.

Once the female collects her eggs in her mouth, she remains in the cave for incubation, which takes about a month. After that time, a fry between one and four dozen emerge; anywhere from 12 to 50 hatchlings can appear.

Peacock Cichlid Care

Those who want to deepn their aquatic hobbies will find Peacock Cichlids agreeable to start. They’re low maintenance and very calm. But, they are sensitive to environmental changes, so it’s crucial to understand their ideal living conditions. You must dedicate yourself to keeping water conditions consistent.

Tank Size

The tank size you need will depend on how many Peacock Cichlids you’re going to have. A 55-60 gallon tank or larger will be sufficient for Peacock Cichlids. This is because they need enough room to practice swimming and hunting.

If you plan on having more than six Peacock Cichlids, you will need a 100 gallon tank or larger. Also make sure you have a horizontal tank rather than a vertical one. This will give the Peacock Cichlids the room they need to move, swim, hide and hunt.

Water Requirements

The water in Lake Malawi is warm and alkaline all year round. This means you should keep the tank temperature between 74°F and 82°F with the aim of maintaining the water at around 80°F. Maintain a pH level between 7.5 and 8.6 with a water hardness range of four to six.

To ensure the conditions stay constant, get a quality water test kit. The water must remain alkaline, clean and clear or the fish’s health will suffer.

Decorations

Only add plants that are hardy like hornwort, anacharis or java ferns. You will have to anchor these. Peacock Cichlids are famous for digging, so they’ll disturb the roots of most foliage.

Floating plants are also another good option to consider for your aquarium. Peacock Cichlids won’t eat them like other species will; it’s just their digging that’s disturbing to plants.

Substrates

Add some driftwood, rocks, caves and sand for them to hide and hunt. This will also prevent territorial aggression with other males in the tank.

Never use gravel because this can cut their gills. Anything soft and sandy will be best.  If you plan on having many varieties of Cichlids in your aquarium, ensure that you accommodate all their favorite things and conditions. Some species will like more rocky terrain while others will enjoy more silt and sand.

Ideal Domestic Conditions

The idea is to recreate, as best as possible, their native wild habitat. It is wise to study the conditions and environment surrounding Lake Malawi to make sure you get as close as possible. This includes light, season changes and fish mating habits.

One aspect to Lake Malawi is that it’s very big, very deep, very old and very warm. Because it’s a lake and not the ocean, the conditions don’t change much, including the chemistry that involves pH balance and water hardness. The water is very clear, alkaline stable and unpolluted.

If you are able to meet the conditions of their natural habitat, you will mitigate any stress a Peacock Cichlids can experience. This will contribute to a long, happy life for the fish.

Peacock Cichlid Food and Diet

You can feed pellets and flakes to them along with other meat and veggie supplements. They’ll eat live or frozen water fleas, Daphnia or brine shrimp. Don’t feed tubifex worms or mammalian meat as these can make Peacock Cichlids very sick with a condition called Malawi bloat.

A quality pellet designed for Peacock Cichlids should be the center of their daily feeding. Use meat and veggies as supplements and treats. Any flakes you give them should be appropriate to Cichlids, like spirulina flakes. Incorporate blanched vegetables such as spinach, zucchini and lettuce.

Avoid Overfeeding

To avoid overfeeding, give them several tiny servings each day. This will help maintain healthy water requirements and prevents obesity. Large amounts of organic material can alter the pH balance, water hardness and other parameters. Plus, Peacock Cichlids will eat anything and they can suffer from overweight problems if you feed them too much. They’ll lose their coloring and can even die.

Breeding

Peacock Cichlids are omnivorous but they’re also impressive predators. They enjoy diving into the watery depths to sift through rocks and sand for invertebrates. They feast on things like insects, zooplankton, larvae and crustaceans.

If you’re looking to breed Peacock Cichlids, you need to have special, dedicated rooms for each male in your aquarium. Claiming space is part of the mating behavior. If there’s not enough room, territorial fighting will occur with other males.

This can end in disaster. So, if you’re going to have more than one male, make sure they each have their own caves or other kinds of hiding spots. The easiest way to work around the males going into combat is to have only one male. This makes success more possible because tension is low.

Since most spawning occurs in warmer water, raising the temperature to the top end of their limit (around 82°F) will help encourage breeding. But do this in slow increments because of how sensitive Peacock Cichlids are to the slightest change in their environment.

Peacock Cichlid Tank Mates

If you want some tank mates for your Peacock Cichlids, you have many options. Because they’re so tame and peaceful, any nonaggressive fish should house well with them. Although the males can be territorial, if there’s enough space for them to claim, there shouldn’t be too many problems.

Ensure the friends you want to add can handle the water parameters that the Peacock Cichlids require. Your best choices in that regard are other, nonaggressive Cichlids. The most adaptable is the Haplochromis Cichlid. There are several types:

  • Copadichromis
  • Nyassachromis
  • Placidochromis
  • Sciaenochromis

Additional Considerations: The Botia Loach is another species you can try too because they have a good temperament and require similar water conditions. But, anything that comes from Lake Malawi will make for good tank mates, for the most part.

Avoid some species of fish though, like Mbuna, Pseudotropheus, Petrotilapia and Labeotropheus. They are not friendly with Peacock Cichlids.

More Females than Males

It’s important to have more females than males in your tank to prevent territorial wars and encourage natural social interaction. Ensure you have three to four females to one male in the tank. This helps to create schools.

Common Possible Diseases

Like all aquarium fish, Peacock Cichlids are susceptible to certain diseases and health issues that can develop in the tank from overfeeding, underfeeding, changes in water conditions and other stressors.

Environmental Stress

Odors can stress Peacock Cichlids. This can come from anything like perfumes, sprays, cooking, construction and etc. If enough gets into the tank, it can change the water conditions.

Sounds and vibration can affect Peacock Cichlids because of how deep they go into the water. Their caudal fins means they’re very sensitive to sound and electricity when swimming around. This also makes them sensitive to changes in pressure provided by vibrations.

Lighting can also present a problem for Peacock Cichlids. If there’s too little light, they won’t be able to see their food. If there’s too much light, it throws them off because of how they prefer darkness.

Malawi bloat

Malawi bloat is a fatal condition that happens because of excessive meaty food. Abdominal inflammation, lack of appetite, difficulty breathing and staying at the bottom of the tank longer than usual are all symptoms of Malawi bloat.

Severe cases can harm the liver, swim bladder, kidneys and even cause death in less than three days. So, it’s crucial to take care of this the moment you see it.

Swim Bladder Disease

Intestinal gas or parasites that infect the bladder causes Peacock Cichlids to experience Swim Bladder Disease. Floating at the top of the tank and not remaining close to the bottom is the main symptom to look for.

Avoid feeding the fish too much dried food and protein but give them more vegetable fiber. This will help prevent the disease.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is very infectious and can decimate your entire aquarium in a brief period of time. Frayed fins, sunken abdomen, lack of appetite and white blotches all over the body are symptoms of fish TB.

The moment you think one has TB, remove all other fish to another tank of clean water with an antibiotic. Quarantine the sick fish in its own smaller tank. Clean and disinfect the old tank or buy a new one altogether.

About Antibiotics

Make sure you purchase a prescription from the vet to treat any diseases with antibiotics. Anything of lower quality may hurt your fish and further worsen conditions in the tank.

Peacock Cichlids in Your Aquarium

Because of their tame, peaceful demeanor, having Peacock Cichlids in your tank can be an entertaining and beautiful spectacle. Their beauty and easy-going temperament combined with easy care is great for anyone wanting to expound their experience with an exotic aquarium.

But, if you’re not comfortable with or are unsure that you’ll be able to maintain the water parameters they need, then Peacock Cichlids may not be right for you. Try practicing on other fish to hone and build your skill before getting these little beauties.

Do Betta Fish Need a Filter in Their Tank? (Must Read)

Do Betta Fish Need a Filter

Outdoor situations are generally the only time a betta fish can live without a filter. This is because filtration is inherent in the habitat. But for people who believe bettas could live in a bowl or other small tank, you may be wondering “do betta fish need a filter?”

Keep reading to have all your questions answered!

Do Betta Fish Need a Filter?

The short answer is YES. Filtration is essential for your betta fish to have the atmosphere it needs to live, so all betta fish must have a quality filter in their tanks. Very rarely will they be able to survive without it.

Reasons You Need a Betta Fish Filter

A filter is necessary is to keep betta’s watery home clean and pure. If there isn’t one, the water becomes cloudy and bad bacteria replicates fast. This stresses out your pretty fish, weakening its immunity and increasing its vulnerability to illness.

Filters keep the tank free of debris, decay, old food, chemicals, bacteria and fecal matter. All this, if it remains too long in their environment, will cause bettas to get very sick.

Even with a filter, though, you still have to change out the water on a regular basis, but not as frequent as you would without one. Regular water changes replenish vital nutrients and minerals bettas need. Otherwise, they’ll suffer, get sick and likely die.

Protect Betta Immunity

Filters remove and dilute a build up nitrates, ammonia and nitrites. When water becomes too contaminated, the betta will become stressed, thereby weakening its immunity due to sustained ammonia poisoning. This can kill the fish if ammonia builds up.

Special sponges in the water filter help remove these harmful substances from the tank, maintaining a clean and safe habitat for your betta. Even though bacteria will still grow in your tank, a majority of it will reproduce in the filter.

Water Flow ; Oxygenation

Filters keep water flowing around in the tank. If water becomes stale and stagnant, it will absorb carbon dioxide from the air. This affects the pH balance of the tank and causes illness for the betta.

Filters oxygenate aquarium water. Although this is not as much of a problem for bettas, because they breathe from the water’s surface, other plants and fish sharing the same space with a betta will need it. Oxygenation prevents water from becoming stale and, thus, stops the betta fish from becoming very sick and creating a horrible odor in your home.

Can a Betta Fish Live Without a Filter?

If you don’t use a filter, bettas will survive but only with frequent water changes and additions, like air rocks. But even with the of best efforts, their life be far too short. Without a filter, chemicals and bacteria will fester inside the tank.

Also, the water will never be as clean as it should be and the number of required water changes will stress the betta. What’s more, it will create instability within the tank. Good bacteria must also have room to grow and constant water changing will inhibit that process.

Basic Types of Aquarium Filtration

There are three purification modes that keep the tank water safe and tidy for your beautiful betta. These can be separate mechanisms for the aquarium or there are some filters available that encompass all three:

  1. Chemical Filtration removes chemicals that shouldn’t be in the tank. Often, this cartridge comprises activated charcoal or carbon, designed to absorb the most amount of impurities possible. Most unknown and unpredictable chemicals come from tap water.
  2. Mechanical Filtration removes built up filth and makes it look clean. Replace these cartridges every other week or every month. The size of the filter and tank will determine how often it needs changing. Failure to change this will result in a marked difference in tank-water flow and movement. This is due to the fact that water can’t permeate a clogged cartridge.
  3. Biological Filtration removes harmful bacteria and is arguably the most important part of an aquarium filter. Bio sponges give good bacteria the impetus to exist in the tank, which is crucial in the nitrogen cycle. This helps breakdown decay so the water doesn’t become toxic to plants and fish.

What Is The Difference Between Ammonia, Nitrites ; Nitrates?

Understanding the nitrogen cycle of your betta’s tank allows you to comprehend what’s happening and why it’s important to have a filtration system.

Fungi and bacteria in the aquarium breaks waste down into ammonia. This includes rotting food, dead plants and organisms, fecal matter and any other biological or organic substances. This ammonia is detrimental to everything living in the tank.

Another bacteria, Nitrosomonas, breaks down ammonia produced from waste into nitrite. Nitrites, although not as deadly as ammonia, can still cause stress and disease issues for your betta fish.

Nitrobacter, yet another bacteria, then further breaks down nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates aren’t as toxic as ammonia or nitrites to betta fish, but water with heavy nitrates will cause algae blooms. This will present a danger to the fish.

The Importance of the Nitrogen Cycle

This cycle is important because it allows for good bacteria growth in the aquarium. The biological filtration system is what helps this process along. Keeping your ammonia and nitrite levels at zero parts per million (ppm) is an absolute must! To ensure algae blooms don’t develop in the tank, make sure nitrate levels stay at 20ppm or less.

Types Of Filters For Betta Fish

Filters are an important part of the aquarium’s ecosystem. There are many different types to choose from, with their own sets of benefits and pitfalls.

Power Filters

Hanging on the back of a small to medium-sized tank, Power Filters are the most popular and provide all three modes of filtration. They have a siphon to conduct good water flow in the tank. This mechanism also allows water to pump back into the aquarium once cleaned.

Filter clogging occurs if cartridges go unattended, creating a build up of toxins in the tank. Washing or changing the filter on a consistent basis is the only way to handle this. If the filter is a higher quality, the cleaning schedule will be less frequent.

Getting a biowheel for your Power Filter may be a good option to try too. Biowheels spin water passing through it. Because it sits a bit out of the water, each part comes in contact with air so good bacteria can grow in a large area.

Canister Filters

If you house many fish alongside a betta in an aquarium holding 30 gallons of water or more, a Canister Filter may be your best option. They are often installed under the tank and remove water through an external filter containing many tubes. A high-pressure pump pushes water through all three filters.

The maintenance and upkeep of these filters are more demanding than other kinds because of the various tubes. And, because the filter is on the outside of the tank, many parts and pieces will need cleaning once or twice a month. This will ensure everything operates right and extends the life of the filter.

Undergravel Filters

These filters are discrete and use many tubes pointed up toward the water’s surface. Placing a powerhead or an airstone on top of the tube will force water through the gravel. This operates as the mechanic and biological filtration in the filter. Debris from the tank gets trapped and the oxygenation from the airstone creates an ideal environment for good bacteria.

The major downfall of an undergravel filter is its inconsistency. Some spots in the water will have more debris than others because the water flows through varying areas at unpredictable rates. So, you have to use a gravel vacuum. If cleaning goes unattended, hydrogen sulfide pockets develop and these become poisonous to a betta. So, this type of filtration requires a little more dedication but the results are impeccable.

If you have plants growing in your aquarium, don’t use undergravel filters. The disturbances in the water from constant cleaning will upset them.

Internal Filters

Internal Filters sit inside the aquarium, either laid across the substrate on top of the tank or hung by a suction cup on a wall inside tank. These often need an airline outside the tank with a pump.

Air comes in through the bottom of the filter via the cartridge and then air bubbles of clean water generate from the top of the filter. There are two main kinds of internal filters:

  1. Sponge Filters – These provide only mechanic and biological filtration, so you’ll have to have an extra filter for chemicals. Sponge Filters also need an air pump for oxygenation. If you have a small tank for one betta, are using the tank as a hospital or creating a breeding tank, this may be a good option.
    1. To remove dirt and debris and keep the good bacteria, cleaning must be a weekly event.
  2. Corner Filters – These small, discrete devices sit at the bottom corner and come with an air pump for water. Corner Filters comprise all three modes of filtration. But, because oxygen levels tend to be low, the water pumped through isn’t as effective as other filters are if you have fish along with your betta.

A small tank with one betta is best for use with a Corner Filter.

What To Look For In A Filter For Your Betta?

As with anything requiring a certain investment of time and money, you want to make sure the filter reliable, high quality and solid. Cheap knockoffs and unknown manufacturers can put the health and life of your betta in danger. So, it will be worth it in the long run if you spend the extra cash on a filter that’s going to last.

First, decide how much work you are willing to commit to putting in the care and maintenance of your aquarium. Be honest with yourself and determine what kind of time and opportunity you’ll have to stay on top of consistent water changes and filter cleanings. A Canister Filter is going to be a lot more work than a Power Filter, for instance.

Regardless of your determination and dedication, make sure the filter is generally easy to clean. Parts, lids, tubes and other little pieces should be easy to dismantle and subsequently replace after cleaning them. The filter should be easy to remove and replace with little disturbance to the tank. This will, in turn, reduce stress to your betta fish.

Water Flow ; Modes of Filtration

Then, make sure the filter will produce a slow flow of water. If the pump creates too powerful a current, it will shove your betta around the tank against its will. This is going to stress out your fish. Bettas like a gentle flow of water in their environment, so get one that runs slow or one with a water-flow adjustment.

If the filter doesn’t have all three modes of filtration mentioned earlier, your betta will become stressed and sick. Biological and mechanical filtration systems are not optional, you must have them for your betta.

Even though a chemical filter isn’t an absolute necessity, you don’t know what kind of chemicals are lurking in tap water. So, it’s best to err on the side of caution and use a chemical filter.

About Biological Filters

A greater amount of surface area will hold more bacteria, fostered by the oxygen levels going through the filter. All bacteria produced through the nitrogen cycle depends on this high level of oxygen.

So, you want to make sure you have a large enough sponge exposed proportional to an equal amount of air. The goal is to get the most amount of oxygen into the sponge to cover the biggest area you can.

Do You Need a Filter for a Betta Fish?

If you want a your betta to live a long and healthy life, you have to use an aquarium filter. Filters remove dangerous substances via the three modes of filtration. Without one, the tank will become cloudy and filthy which is starting your betta on a path to destruction by poisoning.

If you don’t, you’ll decrease your betta’s lifespan and destroy their quality of life, however unintentional. Without a filter, many changes of water will have to occur and will stress your betta along with preventing good bacteria from growing.