Pregnant female guppies have enlarged and darkened gravid spots near their anal vents. Just before birth, the eyes of fry may be seen through the translucent skin in this area of the female's body. When birth occurs, individual offspring are dropped in sequence, typically over a period of one to six hours. The female guppy has drops of two to 200 fry at a time, typically ranging between 30 and 60.
Well-fed adults do not often eat their own young, although sometimes safe zones are required for the fry. These also serve to shield the pregnant female from further attention from the males, which is important because the males sometimes attack the females while they are giving birth. Well-planted tanks that offer barriers to adult guppies shelter the young quite well. Guppy grass, water sprite, water wisteria, duckweed, and java moss are all good choices. Young fry take roughly three or four months to reach maturity. Feeding fry live foods, such as baby brine shrimp, microworms, infusoria and vinegar eels, is recommended.
The guppy also known as millionfish and rainbow fish, is one of the world's most popular freshwater aquarium fish species. It is a member of the family Poeciliidae and, like almost all American members of the family, is live-bearing. They are highly adaptable and thrive in many different environmental and ecological conditions. Male guppies, which are smaller than females, have ornamental caudal and dorsal fins, while females are duller in color.
Guppies prefer a hard-water aquarium with a temperature between 78 and 82 °F. Guppies are generally peaceful, though nipping behavior is sometimes exhibited between male guppies or towards other top swimmers like platies and swordtails, and occasionally other fish with prominent fins, such as angelfish. Guppies should not be kept as a single fish in an aquarium because both males and females show signs of shoaling, and are usually found in large groups in the wild. Its most famous characteristic is its propensity for breeding.
The black skirt tetra, petticoat tetra, high-fin black skirt tetra, black widow tetra and blackamoor, is a freshwater fish of the characin family (Characidae).
The black skirt tetra is often kept in aquariums. Growing up to 3.0 inches in length, the black tetra has a roughly tetragonal body shape and is greyish in color, fading from near black at the tail to light at the nose. Two prominent, black, vertical bars appear just posterior to the gills. It is easily distinguished from all of its congeners by the presence of a dense field of dark chromatophores spread homogeneously over the posterior one half of the body unlike the lack of such pigmentation in all congeners.
The black skirt tetra is a schooling fish that feeds on small crustaceans, insects, and worms. The black skirt tetra is a common fish that is widely available for purchase.
The species reaches sexual maturity at about two years of age. Like most characins, this species spawns by intermittently releasing and fertilizing eggs among plants. It frequently eats its own eggs, so keepers remove the fish after spawning.
Mollies rank as one of the most popular feeder fish due to high growth rate, birth size, reproduction, and brood number. Contrary to popular belief, this species of fish is actually a freshwater species, spending little time in brackish water before swimming back to their freshwater biotope. Mollies appear to be a hardy and highly adaptable species (this has been diluted over years of interbreeding in tank-bred specimens).
Mollies are similar in appearance to their livebearer cousins, the platy, swordtail and guppies; the molly tends to be slightly larger and more energetic. Many aquarists note the stronger individuality and aggression in keeping mollies versus platies, who appear much more docile.
The dwarf spotted danio is a hearty little fish from Myanmar that has had a long history in the aquarium industry. The earliest written descriptions of the spotted danio are from 100 years ago. Since the 1960s, the export of this fish was affected dramatically by the political instability in what was then called Burma. In recent years, the country has stabilized and this beautiful fish has started to make a comeback in the aquarium trade.
Lifespan: 5 years
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
pH: 6.5 - 7.0
Temperature: 64-74°F (18-24°C)
Tankmates: Peaceful, compatible with all species
Pearl Danios have been a popular staple in the aquarium industry for over 100 years. Pearls can be added to almost any community aquarium and they are tolerant of a wide range of water conditions and live agreeably with most species of fish. Like other danio species, keep them in schools of at least four or more.
Scientific Name: Danio nigrofasciatus
Also Known As: Dwarf Danio, Spotted Brown, Spotted Danio
Adult Size: 2 inches (4.5 cm), usually much smaller
Lifespan: 3 years
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallon
Hardness: 5 - 12°dGH
Temperature: 74-82° F (24-28°C)
Tankmates: Schooling fish, keep only with other small species
Scientific Name: Danio roseus
Also Known As: Purple Haze Danio, Purple Passion Danio, Rose Danio
Adult Size: 1.25 inches (3.2 cm)
Lifespan: 4 years
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
pH: 6.0 - 7.5
Temperature: 68-77°F (20-25°C)
Tankmates: Suitable for any small peaceful species
Only recently sold in the aquarium trade, this attractive species is becoming quite popular. They are peaceful and hardy, making them a great option for community aquariums.
White Cloud Mountain Minnow
Scientific Name: Tanichthys alboneubes
Also Known As: Canton Danio, Chinese Danio, White Cloud, White Cloud Mountain Fish
Adult Size: 1.5 inches (4 cm)
Lifespan: 5+ years
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallon
pH: 6.0 - 8.0
Temperature: 64-72°F (18-22°C)
Tankmates: Suitable for any small peaceful fish
White Clouds are often referred to as the poor mans Neon Tetra and they are very hardy and easy to keep. It's not hard to see why, as a healthy, well-conditioned specimen is very attractive. They like cool water and do very well in unheated tanks, making them good candidates for smaller aquariums.
Zebra danios are a favorite of freshwater fish hobbyists because of their ease of care, and they are prolific breeders and the easiest type of egglayers to breed. These fish are easy recognize with its attractively striped, black and white zebra-patterned body. They are active swimmers. Zebrafish are very durable and can withstand an impressive range of water temperature and conditions. They will generally do just fine without a water heater as they are comfortable at temperatures down to the low 60s F.
Also, they are loyal to their breeding partner and mate for life.
Common Names Striped danio, zebra danio, zebrafish
Origin Eastern India
Adult Size 2 inches (6 centimeters)
Social Peaceful, suitable for community tanks
Lifespan 5 years
Minimum Tank Size 10 gallon
pH 6.5 to 7.0
Temperature 64 to 74 F
The Electric Blue Hap is a brilliant species of cichlid fish native to Lake Malawi in Africa. It prefers to live in caves and the crevices in rocky substrates with crushed coral, if possible. Electric Blue Haps can reach a length of 7.9? long. The Electric Blue Hap is a very popular aquarium fish because of its coloration. Stocking large numbers of these fish together will prevent a single fish from being the target of aggression. The females are more of a drab grey in comparison and slightly smaller. Electric Blue Haps prefer rocky decorations with coral sand bottom.
The Hap cichlids are different from the Mbuna or rock-dwelling cichlids, as they are open water dwellers, occurring in areas where the rocks meet the sand. Though not as aggressive or territorial as the Mbuna, this cichlid still prefers being around rocky areas where it can hide in caves or cracks looking for small fish to eat.
If contemplating a first Malawi cichlid, or even an injection of colour into an existing mbuna aquarium, you canâ€™t go far wrong with a Yellow lab, says Jeremy Gay.
A cichlid of many names, the brightness of Labidochromis caeruleus says it all. Sporting a solid bright yellow, few fish, even marines, can outshine this fish. A candidate for best Malawi cichlid of the lot, it should be a definite for your first tank.
Origin and breeding
A Lake Malawi endemic, the Yellow lab is a regional colour variant of the blue-white L. caeruleus.
Populations in Kakusa, Mbowe Island and Lion's Cove contain bright yellow fish which obviously appeal to fishkeepers - although 99.9% of all Yellow labs are now captive bred from wild ancestors and Singapore and the Czech Republic are the major exporters.
Czech fish are generally smaller, but better quality and worth their extra cost.
Easy to feed
Yellow labs are one of the easiest mbuna to feed because they are insectivores, being less reliant on algae and less likely to develop Malawi bloat through being fed the wrong (high protein) diet in captivity.
They will be fine with Spirulina flake and even goldfish food, if keeping protein levels down for other species, though, unlike many other mbuna, they can be fed on a standard tropical fish all-rounder and lots of frozen foods like bloodworm, Mysis and brineshrimp.
Spirulina flakes and pellets are said to enhance colour too.
Yellow labs are among the most peaceful mbuna and rarely exceed 12cm/4.7" in length. That said, a 120cm/48" and over mixed mbuna aquarium is best as it means females can avoid males - and males can avoid more aggressive males of other species.
Create a large rock structure with plenty of caves and hidey-holes with a few rocks placed to break up the line of sight. Any rocks and substrates can be used, including calcareous ones, though Yellow labs turn pale over new coral sand and ocean rock and look deeper coloured when swimming over dark substrates and dark décor.
Water quality should always be top notch, with plenty of changes and hefty filtration provided by one or more large external canister filters. Trickle and fluidised sand filters are great for nitrification, and add an air stone for extra aeration.
Yet although this species is peaceful, never understock it. A community of less than 20 is likely to be more aggressive and if you just mix Yellow labs with, say Aulonocara, you may be surprised at how aggressive a male Yellow lab can become. Buy them small, grow them together and keep lots in any given space.
The Bird Wrasse, come from the Indo-Pacific region. Females are a brown to black color with a lighter colored face. Males have a blueish-green body with a lime green patch near the pectoral fins. These wrasses have a unique long beak-like mouth that allows them to reach prey in crevices.
These wrasses are carnivores and require a diet rich in meaty foods, such as brine and mysis shrimp, high-quality frozen foods, pieces of fresh seafood, and flake and pellet foods.
Bird Wrasses can reach up to 11 in. and require an aquarium of at least 125 gallons with plenty of live rock and a fine sand bed. They are semi-aggressive and will eat or attack fish smaller than themselves. They are also jumpers and need to be kept in an aquarium with a lid.
They are not considered reef safe.
NOTE: If you want to keep a pair, the female must be introduced to the tank before adding a male. If a female is introduced and maintained without a male, it will turn into a male.
Wrasses for the aquarium can be divided into two large groups: those that burrow and those that do not. They include some of the most difficult and easiest fishes to keep. They also have a wide variety of temperaments.
Wrasses are mostly long, cigar-shaped or flattened cigar-shaped fish. They swim basically using their side pectoral fins, and when a burst of speed is required, they use their caudal fin. Even though they do not have a large mouth, they do have strong lips with large, pointed teeth. So much the better to crush their favorite foodstuffs.
Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lubbocki) is a small brightly colored fairy wrasse with highly variable color. Males have 2 dark burgundy horizontal marks on their orange/pink flanks or may have blue sides, an orange head and yellow dorsal. Females are pink with some yellow coloration.
Fairy Wrasses have a generally placid temperament and tolerate most tankmates, provided that they have plenty of places to escape to and hide to feel secure. Males are usually brighter in color than juveniles and females, and males will show their colors and behavior to the best advantage in the presence of a female.
They can usually be found around rubble piles and rockwork and should have plenty in the tank to retreat to. These wrasses are perfect for reef aquariums. Most will not harm corals, polyps or most invertebrates but should not be kept with very small crustaceans like Sexy Shrimp. These fish are known jumpers, so the tank should be covered at all times.
These wrasses will usually accept most types of small foods once acclimated. They can be fed a varied diet of flakes, frozen and fresh foods like copepods, Cyclops, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp and similar items.
The Red Fin Fairy Wrasse originates from the Philippines and enjoys the rubble areas of the outer reefs . This peaceful wrasse is a great addition to any Reef Aquarium adding stunning coloration. Like other wrasses, the males during courtship will display increased color intensity. Colors may vary depending on the fish's mood.
The Fine Spotted Fairy Wrasse is mostly green in color with a white underside. Their body is adorned with many small white spots that do intensify depending on the mood of the fish. The male and female of this species are very similarly colored, but when courting, the male changes to various colors.
Scientific Name: Cirrhilabrus punctatus - Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons
Care Level: Easy - Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 5" - Color Form: Blue, Green, Red, White, Yellow
They are a hardy species perfect for beginning aquarists, and don't require a large tank to thrive. Driftwood and rocks are both ideal decor items, and they will appreciate live plants to hide amongst. They are peaceful and will do well with a wide variety of tankmates.
Their scientific name is hemigrammus caudovittatus from the Characidae Family. Their origin is china.
Care Level: Easy - Temperament: Peaceful Lifespan: 3-5 years
Water Conditions: 72-77° F, KH 4-8, pH 6.0-6.5 - Maximum Size: 2.5"
Diet: Omnivore - Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Fine Spotted Fairy Wrasse
Cardinal Tetras are a very popular freshwater fish due to their ease of care for beginners and stunning coloration. They have vibrant, iridescent blue bodies and bright red stripe that runs down its entire body, compared to the Neon Tetra which only has the red stripe on half.
They will appreciate a planted tank with plenty of hiding places and dim lighting. A schooling fish, they feel the most secure in groups of at least 6 but even larger is preferable and many of them will create a beautiful display of color in a peaceful community aquarium. Since these fish can be sensitive to nitrate levels, it is ideal to stay on top of water changes and make sure your water is always at optimal quality. This is especially important if they are being kept in a small tank that will require more maintenance. They should not be added to a tank that hasn't been properly cycled.
The Sergeant Major Damsel is a very deep bodied fish. The tail fin is deeply forked, allowing for serious swimming speed when they need it. This species is one of the larger damselfish, though not the largest. It commonly grows to 5.9 inches in length, though some specimens have been reported reaching up to 8 2/3 inches in the wild. Similar to other damselfish, their life span in the wild is likely 2 to 6 years and they probably live the typical 15 years in captivity.
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons - Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive - Origin: Eastern Asia
They are a hardy species and perfect for beginning aquarists, and don't require a large tank to thrive. Driftwood and rocks are both ideal decor items, and they will appreciate live plants to hide amongst. They are peaceful and will do well with a wide variety of tankmates.
They should be given a varied diet that includes both meaty preparations and vegetable matter in the form of live, frozen, pelleted and high quality flake foods.
Short-finned molly or common molly: They inhabit fresh water streams and coastal brackish and marine waters of Mexico. The wild-type fishes are dull, silvery incolor. The molly can produce fertile hybrids with many Poecilia species, most importantly the sailfin molly. The wild form is in fact quite rarely kept, as it has a rather plain silvery coloration suffused with brown and green hues.
White molly: A white colored molly.
Golden molly: Nicknamed the "24 karat".
Lyretail: A breed with an altered caudal fin structure.
Dalmatian molly: A silver colored breed with black speckles
Black molly: It is a melanistic breed which are black all over. It is one of the most well-known aquarium fishes and nearly as easy to keep and prolific as guppies.
Danios are a hardy, lively family of fish that do well in cooler water, making them suitable for unheated tanks. Here are some of the popular Danio species, so you can consider which one would be a good fit for you. Links within each species provide more detailed information on that particular fish.
Balloon molly: This fish has a deformed spine due to a genetic defect that gives it it's appearance. Through selective breeding it is now widely available. Balloon mollies can still reproduce and live a normal life comparable to that of other mollies, but it has garnered controversy due to the belief that its defect gives it a shortened lifespan and a susceptibility to health problems.