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Planted Pefection

Don Matakis

Love the look, but think planted aquariums are more than you can manage? Converting to live plants may not be as difficult as you think.

Freshwater Aquariums Spotlight10

Buenos Aires Tetra

Monday April 21, 2014
At one time Buenos Aires Tetras were commonly seen for sale, and were quite popular. Unfortunately they acquired a reputation for consuming live plants, which caused people to avoid them, and ultimately resulted in fewer being offered for sale. That's a shame because they are extremely hardy, adapt to a wide range of water conditions, including cool temperatures such as those in an unheated tank. Among the larger of the Tetras, Buenos Aires do great with almost any medium to large fish, and can be used as dither fish in cichild tanks. For anyone who doesn't keep live plants, it's worth your while to shop around for these attractive Tetras.

Other Tetras
Black Widow Tetra
Bleeding Heart Tetra
Blind Cave Fish
Red Eye Tetra
Serpae Tetra

Photo © Nick Sc

Are Heater Guards Necessary?

Sunday April 20, 2014
I regularly get emails about the loss of fish due to a broken heater. Occasionally the accident occurs due to shifting rocks that break the heater. But most of the time, it's a big lively fish that caused the damage, and paid the price with his life. Invariably the owner writes to me asking where they could have put the heater to keep it safe. My answer is, no place is completely safe. Glass heaters are always at risk of breaking, regardless of where they are placed.

That doesn't mean there are no options. These days there are many unbreakable heater materials used, such as break-resistant quartz, or titanium heaters. If you already have a breakable glass heater, you can always get a heater guard to assure no future mishaps occur in your aquarium

More About Heaters
Heater Placement
Heater Size Guide
Mini Heaters

Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

Pop Eye

Saturday April 19, 2014
Goldfish Big Eyes
I'm often asked questions about the disease pop-eye. The condition, formally known as exophthalmia, actually isn't even a disease at all. Instead it is a symptom of something else that is amiss. That something else can be a wide variety of things, from injury to disease, making the root cause of pop-eye somewhat difficult to nail down.

There are some common causes, and these tips to diagnosing the cause of pop-eye should help you track down the underlying issue. Once you know what is at the root of the problem, you can take steps to correct it. But before you jump to do anything, make sure your fish isn't one that normally has protruding eyes, such as the Goldfish in the image above. As they say, don't fix what isn't broken.

More About Fish Health
Ammonia Poisoning
Books About Fish Health
Nitrite Poisoning
Using Salt

Photo © Michelle Jo

Pearl Gouramis

Friday April 18, 2014

Easily one of the most peaceful, and easiest to care for members of the Gourami family, the Pearl Gourami is a great option for a community tank. Pearls get along well with most other species, are tolerant of a wide range of water parameters, and are quite attractive. They are well worth consideration for a medium to large sized community aquarium.

Do you have a Pearl Gourami? If so, help other owners by sharing your experiences about the care, habitat, feeding and breeding of Pearl Gouramis.

Other Gouramis
Blue Gourami
Chocolate Gourami
Dwarf Gourami
Kissing Gourami
Moonlight Gourami

Photo Stefan Maure

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