Breeding freshwater cherry shrimps

adult female red cherry shrimp

Breeding cherry shrimp

adult female red cherry shrimp
adult female cherry shrimp showing her dark red colouration

Shrimp are usually bought as a scavenger that is supposed to eat uneaten leftover food. This can lead to incorrect care and failure of your shrimp to thrive and breed. Instead, if the shrimp were treated with the same care you give to fish then they will amply pay you back in terms of entertainment and beauty. They are active and interesting in their own right with some of the nicest colours too. So don’t treat them like second class citizens in the aquarium.

Sexing cherry shrimps

Males and females can be told apart by looking at the colour the female being a solid red while the male will have a more faded colour. The female has a yellow “saddle” on her back which is a bunch of unfertilised eggs. The female is also larger than the male. A fully grown adult female will be 1.5 inches long.

Cherry shrimp breeding aquarium set up

A shrimp aquarium will ideally have a sponge filter or two. The shrimp will actually feed off the bacteria on the filter. Keep the temperature at 75F. Have some clumps of java moss. The shrimp absolutely love this and feed off organisms that grow on the moss. Some floating plants too is great for them. Provide dark gravel to ensure the best colour of your cherry shrimps. Feed tiny amounts of fish food and vegetables every few days. Remove any waste and that’s it. They are much easier to maintain than fish. However, remove any dead shrimp immediately.

Cherry Shrimp Breeding preparation

Try an 18 inch tank mature aquarium containing a sponge filter. Set the temperature at 80F. Just like fish ammonia, chlorine and nitrites will kill shrimp so a cycled tank is best. Ph is not important. Anything between 6ph-8ph is okay.

Breeding Cherry Shrimp

pregnant cherry shrimp
pregnant female cherry shrimp with yellow eggs

Put the shrimps into the aquarium. Make sure you have males and females. A few of each is good. Feed the shrimp fish food. Feed very small amounts. They are not big eaters. Also feed lettuce, cucumber and carrot. Place in the aquarium in the morning and remove any uneaten pieces at night.
The shrimp will mate if all is well. The female will lay the eggs and hold them underneath her tail. The eggs will be held there for 3 weeks or more. When the eggs hatch the baby shrimp are flicked away by the mother. They are born as exact miniatures of the parents. however, they are almost transparent. Now you are well on your way to having your own breeding colony of cherry shrimps.

Making money from breeding cherry shrimp

At the moment, few people are breeding and selling them. There is a potential to make money from them. In that case consider also, the other coloured cherry shrimps such as the blue and yellow varieties. With these being the same species, care and breeding is exactly the same. However, don’t put the different colours in the same aquarium because when they interbreed they will revert back to their native greeny brown colouration.

Enjoying cherry shrimps in the home aquarium

To enjoy them fully it is best to have a breeding colony and every so often put a young adult female shrimp in your living room aquarium to enjoy them. But it is best to keep them with peaceful species such as small tetras.


Guide to aquarium filters

various filters

Your guide to aquarium filter types: what kind of filtration is best and why

different types of filter
Aquarium filter types: canister, power, sponge, internal filters


Without a doubt, aquarium filters represent one of the most important elements of a properly functioning fish tank. Without proper filtration, your fish cannot possibly survive in the tank habitat you introduce them to.

The process of keeping the water clean and free of waste is so important that the aquarium industry has developed numerous solutions to approach the issue of filtration. A quick look at your local fish shop will show a wide variety of filters, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding your aquarium filter types

Your aquarium water needs to be filtered in three ways to offer your fish a pleasant environment in which they can thrive. These three filtration methods are defined as follows:

• Mechanical Filtration. This refers to the physical act of pulling unwanted matter out of the water and leaving it in the filter, to be disposed of when you clean the filter. Dead plant leaves and foreign particles are commonly filtered mechanically. Vacuuming your tank regularly is also a form of mechanical filtration.

• Chemical Filtration. Chemical filters remove toxic chemicals by attracting them chemically to a filter medium as the water is pushed through them. Carbon is a very common filter medium for chemical filters because the majority of toxins will attach to carbon.

• Biological Filtration. Biological filtration takes place on the filter medium when beneficial bacteria consume poisonous waste products, saving your tank from becoming toxic.

Biological filtration cycling explained here

Also in saltwater aquariums live rock and live sand biological filtration

What are the various aquarium filter types?

Since there are so many different filtration options available, beginning aquarists can easily feel overwhelmed by the number of different products available. The differences between these filters may seem quite complicated, but the following list of filter types described below will help make the subject much more accessible:

sponge filter
Typical air powered sponge filter

• Sponge Filters. The sponge filter is one of the most basic types available on the market. It is distinguished by its lack of complex mechanical, chemical, or biological components and makes an acceptable, inexpensive filtration solution for small tanks, hospital tanks, and spawning tanks.

The sponge filter operates by using an air pump to pull water through the sponge material where unwanted particles are caught and beneficial bacteria consume ammonia and nitrite. Despite its simplicity the sponge filter provides excellent biological filtration

• External Filters. External filters are very common for aquarium hobbyists because of their excellent combination of effective mechanical, chemical and biological filtration as well as their price. External filters are usually grouped into hanging filters (HOB) for medium-sized tanks and external canister filters for larger tanks.

Both of these filters draw water into a canister filled with filtering material that provide mechanical, chemical filtration and biological filtration.

Larger external canister filters also pressurize the water when inside the canister. Because the water is pressurized and there is no air-to-water contact occurring within the canister, biological filtration is not as effective.

• Internal Canister Filters. Aquarium filters that sit directly on the glass of the inside of your tank are called internal canister filters. These filters combine excellent mechanical, biological and chemical filtration with very quiet usage, being completely submerged.

The drawback to these types of filters is that they take up space inside the tank. If you are short on space or would like to keep your tank interior pristine and natural, you may want to look at other filters.

undergravel filter operation
Details of how an undergravel filter works

Undergravel Filters. These filters are installed underneath the gravel substrate of your tank and pull water through the gravel and into uplift tubes where it is again deposited into the tank. These filters use your gravel as a mechanical filter, but leave out the chemical element.

Undergravel filters are generally not recommended for a number of reasons: Biological filtration is limited to whatever bacteria live on your substrate, mechanical filtration continually builds up a mass of decaying matter under your gravel, chemical filtration is not present, and any plants you may keep will have to deal with having their nutrients siphoned off.

Chemical Filters. Aquarium filters that base their entire filtration process on chemical means often use activated carbon as their primary filter medium. There are other materials on the market, but carbon remains by far the most popular, and for good reason.

A chemical filter that uses activated carbon can remove a great deal of unwanted chemicals from your water simply by letting the water pass through the carbon. For this reason, many external and canister filters include a small chemical filter that uses carbon.

• Fluidised Bed Filters. Fluidised bed filters are cylindrical filters that hang off of the back of your fish tank. They connect to a water pump that forces water through the bed of small, heavy particles— often sand or silica chips.

These filters can be expensive, but they offer a very useful combination of mechanical and biological filtration while remaining generally low maintenance.

Many of these filters will provide successful levels of filtering according to their type, while sacrificing their efficiency towards the other two filtering methods. In order to realise all three filtration methods for the best quality water, you will probably want to combine two filters.

The benefits of combining filters

While a great deal of aquarium filters promise effective mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, many aquarists prefer to use two types of filters that only perform a single filtration task each. Combining filters can provide distinct benefits that even a large all-in-one canister filter cannot meet.

One benefit of combined filtering is that of redundancy— if one of your filters breaks down, you will still have some filtering going on through the other filter. Since these devices are so critical for the continued survival of your fish, it pays to keep a backup running.

Another benefit is that dedicated filters perform their jobs better than mixed ones. A single mechanical filter that does not provide chemical filtration has access to more water and space for its filtration job than it would if it had to do double duty. For this reason, many aquarists prefer to purchase multiple dedicated aquarium filters.

Choosing aquarium filter media

So far, this article has covered the various types of aquarium filters available on the market and categorized them by the way they function. There is another important way to categorize these devices, however, and it is by the medium that they use to filter water.

Mechanical filters have the widest range of filter media options, generally categorized by the size of the particles they can capture:

• Fluval Prefilter Media. Essentially a coarse, sponge-like material, this is called prefilter media because it is designed to catch large debris before it makes its way to a finer mechanical filter.

• Filter Pads & Foam. This medium-grade sponge material will clean most visible debris from your water without issue, and do not need to be replaced as often as finer filter media.

• Filter Floss. This fine material requires higher maintenance in the form of more frequent cleaning, but leaves your water much cleaner in the process.

• Micron Filter Pads. The very finest filter media available, these pads can filter material that is only fractions of the width of a human hair in length. These filters require frequent replacement, but can make your water crystal clear and even parasite free in the process.

Other considerations for aquarium filters: noise

The filter you choose could make a big difference not just for the lives of your fish, but yours as well: certain filters will produce different levels of noise. Controlling that noise can be difficult with certain types of filter.

Large external filters are usually the most common culprits of unwanted aquarium noise. Those that pressurize the aquarium water will often have to make some commotion in the process.

In general, any aquarium filters that rely on air pumps are usually quite noisy. High quality filters tend to be much quieter than their less expensive counterparts, and many self contained external filters are reasonably quiet.

The quietest filters are those where the main pump is fully submerged in the water such as the internal canister filter which can be almost silent.


Rocks for your aquarium

planted rocky malawi aquarium

How to select the right rocks for your aquarium

While many aquarists around the world have no problem discovering their favourite varieties of fish, finding them, and then creating the perfect underwater environment for their fishkeeping hobby, determining how to select the right rocks for your aquarium can be a different story altogether. Many beginning aquarists are surprised to learn how important rocks can be in a marine environment.

Why are rocks important for your aquarium?

See plantless aquarium

Rocks in Malawi tanks

As you probably are already aware, your aquarium is essentially a miniature ecosystem that requires you to manage a precise chemical balance in which your fish can thrive. Thanks to water’s erosive qualities, the rocks in your aquarium will play a minor, but recognizable role in the “hardness” of your water— that is, the level of dissolved minerals in your water.

“Hard” water contains a higher level of dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium than “soft” water does. Obviously, the primary source of these dissolved minerals is the tap in your home, but the rocks that you introduce to your aquarium habitat can change the water hardness over time. Depending on the fish you wish to keep, this can be desirable or dangerous.

Additionally, well-placed and well-chosen rocks offer a beautiful decor that gives the tank a serene sense of beauty. Fish also love them, as the varied texture and landscape gives them lots of places in which they can hide and take shelter, just like their natural habitat would.

Aquascaping is enhanced with the addition of carefully selected rocks of various colours and textures. Make this choice based on the colours of the fish you plan to keep and whether the aquarium is to be planted or not.

Determining which rocks are safe

When it comes to finding out how to select the right rocks for your aquarium, its important to choose safe rocks, as certain types can be poisonous for your fish. There are several methods available to determining which rocks you can use:

• Purchasing aquarium-safe rocks. If you purchase aquarium-safe rocks from a quality pet store or aquarium supply centre, you can be relatively certain that the rocks will not gravely affect the hardness or pH level of your aquarium water.

If you choose to go this route, it is important that you purchase from trusted vendors, as some pet shops have been known to cut back on quality control and put unfit rocks up for sale.

• Testing outdoors rocks and gravel. Many aquarium enthusiasts and fish keepers like to take home interesting-looking rocks from riverbeds or other natural sources and introduce them into their aquariums. This approach requires testing, since outdoor rocks can contain high levels of calcium and other materials that will change the chemical content of your water and affect your fish. Granite, slate and sandstone are relatively inert and have little or no effect on the water chemistry. Also clay, although not strictly a rock, is a good source of rock-like material. Clay pots, pipes and slates can be used adding a nice brown colour to the landscape.

How to test outdoors rocks for aquarium use

If you have found some interesting rocks that you would like to introduce to your aquarium, there are two main ways to test them for use in your aquarium:

• The vinegar test. Vinegar reacts with calcium by fizzing and foaming on contact. If you pour a few drops of vinegar on your rocks and you see that they begin to react in this way, you should not use the rocks in your aquarium. This is an indicator of high levels of calcium. Rocks that do not react with vinegar can generally be used, but a more reliable test may be in order if you would like to be perfectly certain.

• The standing test. If you have some rocks or gravel that you would like to introduce to your aquarium and would like to test them securely, the best way is through the standing test. Let the rocks stand for a week in a bucket of the same water that you use for your aquarium, and then test the water hardness and pH level.

If you see that the water quality has not significantly changed, then you can reasonably expect that the rocks are aquarium-safe. Naturally, longer testing times will provide more detailed results, and help eliminate any doubt about the quality of the rocks or gravel you have found. When figuring out how to select the right rocks for your aquarium, the standing test represents the best way to be absolutely certain, although it takes time.

Also after adding new rocks it is wise to keep an eye on the fish over the following weeks to see if they show any sign of distress. Some rocks may very slowly release poisons into the water over the long term. If the fish do show some signs of distress, try removing the rock and do a 50% water change to see if the distress is relieved.

Freshwater vs. saltwater considerations

As you would expect, there is a marked difference between the types of rocks ideal for freshwater tanks and those that saltwater tanks can safely house. If you are a beginning aquarist determining how to select the right rocks for your aquarium, you need to base your choice of rocks on the type of water you are using.

While freshwater tanks are significantly simpler to manage, saltwater aquarists have additional concerns about maintaining the salinity of their tanks’ water. Given that some rocks can have poisonous effects, and that most will affect the water quality in some way over time, it is important to choose carefully and test your rocks.

An additional option that can help maintain excellent water quality, appropriate salinity, and balance a tanks’ pH level is live rock. Live rock is especially useful in saltwater tanks, but is also recommended for certain freshwater tanks such as the Malawi biotope, where it also helps create a decorative atmosphere in place of plants that may not be present.

What is live rock?

See live rock and live sand

Live rock is a bit of a misnomer, since the material in question is neither a rock nor alive. Live rock is made up of pieces of coral skeleton that have broken off of reefs and are collected for use in home aquariums. These coral skeletons become natural biological filters, helping the nitrogen cycle take place effectively.

In this case, the material that you are introducing to your aquarium is designed to affect the water composition, but in a positive way. Live rock introduces helpful bacteria, algae, and tiny invertebrates that can improve the quality of your aquarium water. Live rocks can raise the salinity and the pH level of your tank water. If you are looking for attractive solutions on how to select the right rocks for your aquarium, live rock is an important element to consider.

As an added benefit to saltwater aquarists, live rock can form the foundation of bright and colourful coral colonies that distinguish saltwater aquariums from their freshwater cousins. Many ambitious saltwater aquarists choose these rocks for their aquariums specifically for those species of bright coral to grow.

Additional considerations for your aquarium rocks: gravel

Since gravel often forms a significant element of any aquarium’s substrate base, it should be given special attention due to the additional concerns over its small size and numerous individual particles. Gravel offers a very natural appearance for your tank. The colour chosen must blend in naturally or pleasantly contrast the rock work. Examples are grey rock work with yellow sand or salmon pink rockwork with grey gravel.

Large-grained gravel allows waste to penetrate the substrate and stick unpleasantly to the bottom of the tank. This, in turn, will affect the water quality and the health and lifespan of your fish. For this reason, many aquarists prefer to use small-grained gravel or even sand. If you insist on using large-grained gravel, you will have to carefully and efficiently clean your tank regularly in order to maintain ideal water conditions.

Get sophisticated with aquarium lighting

Advanced lighting freshwater aquarium

Get sophisticated with your aquarium lighting

aquarium in kitchen
beautiful aquarium in kitchen. Good lighting and lots of angel fish

When considering all of the different elements that go into creating a successful aquarium, it is easy to let things like filters, tanks, and water circulation distract you from paying appropriate attention to aquarium lighting. The truth of the matter, however, is that lighting is an incredibly important element of your tank’s success.

The goal of proper aquarium lighting is no different than the goals of all the other parts of a successful tank: reproducing the natural habitat of the creatures you want to keep. This simple rule is what dictates most of the following tips concerning appropriate lighting for your aquarium habitat.

The importance of the day/night cycle

Many beginning hobbyists who are starting their first tanks make a critical mistake concerning their aquarium lighting: leaving it on. It may seem simple, but your fish feel just as uncomfortable being constantly bombarded with bright lights as you would, and this can make them feel stressed and begin acting unnaturally. It can even affect their health, making the day/night cycle an incredibly important element to reproduce for your tank.

Recreating the day/night cycle is not as difficult as it sounds, but it does take some effort. For one thing, you will almost certainly want to invest in an automatic lighting timer so that you do not have to rely on your memory to switch from day to night every 12 hours.

Another important consideration is the fact that most natural environments are not pitch black at night. Low-intensity lights can help your fish feel natural and happy at night by simulating the effects of moonlight, and offer you a convenient night light so that you can observe nocturnal behaviour without disturbing your fish.

How to reproduce daylight In your aquarium

While moonlight is relatively simple to simulate, reproducing daylight in an aquarium lighting setup is a bit more complex. This is because of the unique characteristics of the light that the sun emanates. Conventional lighting does not carry the same spectrum of wavelengths that sunlight does and can, in fact, be detrimental to a tank by promoting algae growth without offering the necessary ultraviolet benefits.

In order to reproduce daylight, it is necessary to understand the value of light wavelengths for the organisms in your tank. Generally, fish and plants respond best to a combination of ultraviolet light and low-wavelength red light. Combining bulbs that produce these two types of light in a balanced way is key to promoting plant photosynthesis as well as healthy, colourful fish.

Ultraviolet lights designed for aquarium use are commonly called actinic lights. They provide wavelengths of light that the human eye cannot see, but which are nonetheless necessary for the promotion of healthy plant and fish life without promoting uncontrolled algae growth.

Using light to control algae

well lit marine aquarium
Metal halide lamp lit aquarium

Encouraging the growth and health of aquarium plants without being overwhelmed by algae is a common concern for aquarists. Since both these organisms photosynthesize light in order to grow, your aquarium lighting can just as easily be used by algae as it can by your plants.

Fortunately, well-tended plants with about 12 hours of daily light will tend to outcompete algae for essential water nutrients. This means that if you have large, healthy plants that are receiving enough light to grow, they should keep algae to a minimum all by themselves.

One of the most common lighting issues that leads to algae growth is direct sunlight. If you are supplementing your aquarium lighting setup with direct sunlight, chances are that algae will grow in order to use the excess light, quickly overwhelming your aquarium in the process.

If you find that your tank is a target for constant algae growth, you probably need to reduce the amount of light that it is receiving every day. Some aquarists do this gradually, reducing the 12-hour day to a 10-hour day, and others prefer to cover the whole tank with a thick sheet for several days to create a total black-out. Either method can help control algae growth by limiting their access to light.

Managing the lighting needs of your fish

While light is incredibly important for live plants, and, if properly used, can help to control your algae population, your fish are also very sensitive to aquarium lighting. Different combinations of light temperatures can help fish exhibit more varied and exciting scale colouration. The overabundance of bright light of a single colour can make fish scales turn dull and unattractive.

This is especially true if you are using sand or some other bright, reflective substrate to line the bottom of your tank. Bright light reflecting off the surface of your substrate can spook your fish and make them act unnaturally, hide more often, and dull their scales’ colouration. In this case, a more subdued lighting setup is recommended.

If you have a dark-coloured substrate such as gravel, then you may be able to get away with bright aquarium lighting on the higher end of the Kelvin-temperature scale without spooking your fish. This will help encourage plant growth, inhibit algae, and keep your fish looking bright and healthy.

Using aquarium lighting to encourage breeding

If you are an aquarist who would like to encourage your fish to breed, you may have to alter the light conditions of your tank in order to get your fish to spawn. Some species of fish may even require you to reproduce the lunar cycle using your night lights in order to begin properly breeding with one another.

In general, fish are reluctant to breed if placed in a brightly lit environment. Most fish are conditioned to begin breeding in the morning when lighting is dim, so timing your lighting correctly can make a great difference in encouraging your fish to begin spawning young fry. In this case, slowly raising the intensity of your lighting setup can help create the impression of a rising morning sun.

Types of lights and their benefits

While there are numerous options on the market for aquarium lighting solutions, the three most common choices are as follows:

• Flourescent Lights;

• Metal Halide Lights;

• LED Lights.

Of these three, fluorescent lights are by far the cheapest, and offer the simplest lighting solutions for a wide variety of aquarium habitats. Metal Halide lights are notably more expensive, but make one of the best possible choices for reef aquariums and other tanks that need high quality full-spectrum light. For most aquarium keepers, however, LED lights are the best choice available.

LED lit marine aquarium
beautifully lit LED tropical marine aquarium

LED lights represent some of the newest advances in lighting technology for aquariums: they are inexpensive, do not produce the same overheating problems that other lights do, and often last for years. As an additional benefit, aquarium-specific LED lights produce much less yellow/green spectrum light, which helps to maximize the efficiency of your aquarium lighting set up.

New Species of Sweeper Fish Discovered in Indian Ocean

New species discovered pempheris flavicycla

New species discovered pempheris flavicyclaPempheris flavicycla has been discovered in the seas off Oman, Tanzania, Kenya, Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and islands of the Andaman Sea. It has a yellow body and a bright yellow ring around the pupil of its eye. The yellow ring gives it its name of flavicycla. It dwells in shallow coral reefs in water less than 15m in depth.


original article here

Fighting Betta Splendens – some say cruel others say entertaining

Siamese fighting fish for a fight

Siamese fighting betta fish in a fightHistory of Fighting Betta Splendens

Wild bettas (fighter betta) originate from the tropics of SE Asia, Thailand, Malaysia and parts of Vietnam. Where children would collect them from the paddy fields and then pit them against each other for sport. In Thailand, the fish has been raised in households since the Sukhothai Period, more than 700 years ago. Records from the reign of King Lithai of Sukhothai allude to fighting fish being reared for sport. It was at this time the fish were developed for fighting prowess.

About fighting fish

It is the male bettas that fight each other. Male bettas may be aggressive to females and females may or may not be aggressive to each other. In a large aquarium with many hiding places many female bettas can be kept together.

Officially, It started in Siam some 180 years ago. The King of Siam started collecting, breeding and fighting them in the 1830s. The King of Siam in 1840 decided to license them and to collect taxes on them as well. He also presented several of his prized fighting fish to a friend of Theodor Cantor, and he, in turn, gave them to Cantor, a doctor in the Bengal Medical Service. In 1849, Cantor published an article on the fighting fish he called Macropodus pugnax, var. It was not until 1909 that Mr Tate Regan re-examined this and noted that pugnax was already a distinct species. Since the fish had no scientific name, Regan renamed it Betta splendens, according to Gene Wolfsheimer, author of Enjoy the Fighting Fish of Siam. Bettah is a tribe of warriors in Thailand famous for their warring prowess and Splendens means splendid.

The first fighter bettas were introduced into Germany in 1896. From there, bettas were first introduced into the US in 1910. However, it was not until 1927 that the first brightly colored, long finned betta varieties arrived in the US.

Ethics of Fighting Betta

siamese fighting betta fish attackingSome say it is a cruel sport to provoke two male fighters to maliciously attack each other. Some say it is a cruel sport where fighters damage each other for the mere entertainment of its human audience. On a scale of cruelty it is less cruel than fox hunting and culling wild populations of animal pests such as rabbits or rats. Is it more cruel than exhibiting exotic breeds of dogs that have been bred with a genetic trait that is a genetic malformation such as small size, short legs, droopy ears, baldness or any of the other abnormalities? On the other hand the male bettas ability to fight another betta is an inbuilt instinct that nature has selected for it to fight rivals for territory and females. It could be argued that breeding for fighting ability is more ethical than breeding for colour or long flowing fins.

Fighting Bettas is no more and no less ethical than two professional boxers fighting.

To minimise any cruelty, rules have been developed that prevent ill or injured fish fighting and removing one or both fish when one fish has conceded defeat or no winner has been declared after a set time.

Betta fighting is entertaining and amazing to watch and is acceptable if done professionally. First of all, any fights to death are immoral, cruel, unnecessary, barbaric, and wrong. It is the difference between the modern day morally acceptable boxing and and the cruelty of the roman gladiator’s fight to the death. We are no longer cave men, and the time for acting as such has long since past. We may all responsibly enjoy betta fights without death or permanent injury if these simple guidelines are established and strictly enforced.

Selecting fighters

Champion siamese figher - fighting betta splendensAt present, fighter betta are developed for intelligence, attacking accuracy, endurance, power, courage, speed, strong lips and hard scales. Sharp teeth is one of the major factors in determining a winner.

Always try to select a smaller or weaker opponent if possible.

Fighter’s teeth can sharpen at different ages some younger some older.

Good fighter, like good boxers, will finish off an opponent given the opportunity. A fighter that lets his opponent off the hook will be liable to a comeback from his opponent. A good fighter will know where to attack an opponent.

Select a fish that looks strong and is aggressive. If you fish’s mouth show black or swelling than it is useless. You must select a big size, firm and strong fish. Always carefully select your opponent to increase your chance of winning making sure that your fish is more superior than its opponent. Never match your fish against a fish that has beaten it previously.

Looking after fighters

It is the same as looking after professional boxers. Provide fresh live protein. Exercise. Clean water conditions. Like prize fighters they are given a few days rest before a fight and their jars are shielded from all distractions while they are being fed the best quality food available. Mosquito larvae and caterpillars are ideal. A healthy fish is a strong and fast fish.

Training fighters

Train the fighting fish by exercising it every morning and evening.

plakat thai fighter betta splendensExercises include swirling the water for 15 minutes. Also placing two fighters in adjacent jars and swirling the water while they threaten towards each other while swimming is great fighting practice. Also placing a female in an adjacent jar will make them more aggressive and territorial.

Another exercise is to place a female fighter in the same jar as a male and watch the pair carefully for about 3 minutes. They will mostly threaten each other but may occasionally nip. If it looks like getting serious separate the pair.

Never put two males into the same jar as this will result in unnecessary minor injuries that need to heal.

Keep up this practice for 10 – 12 days. Those fish will be strong and ready to fight.

A small black tipped stick is used to test the fish’s aggressiveness. If it challenges the stick vigorously, this marks the end of the training phase. The fish is ready to fight.

The training phase typically lasts for 1 to 2 weeks.

When fish are ready for fighting, they should be given 2 to 3 days of rests. Bottles are shielded to minimize interruption to their rests. Complete shielding of the jar sides will rest the fish before any fights so that they don’t attack insects or distractions on the jar causing themselves unnecessary injuries.

Fighting rules

two fighting bettaThe fighting rules within countries of the South East Asian region differs, in Thailand there are no time limits, the fight will end only when there is a winner. (The loser is the fish that gives up the fight and flees). In Singapore and Malaysia, the time limit is usually set at 3 to 4 hrs. If there is no winner within that time then it is a draw.

At the fighting ring, fishes are matched for fights based on their physical size. They are put side by side and scrutinized, fish owners will then decide whether a fight should go ahead. A bigger fish is certainly a stronger fish, therefore it is critical to try and gain a size advantage before a fight begins.

Sizing is an art, hardcore players never give in and will try every means to look out for an advantage in size. Fishes also come in different dimensions, some are taller, others thicker when viewed from the top and last but not least the ratio of fishes’ head and body also differs. These all make sizing complicated.

Cheating is not uncommon in fights involving large bets, there are many tricks employed by unscrupulous players. Poisoning opponents’ fish is one example, in some arenas the top cover of bottles are sealed during sizing. Replacing the fishes after sizing with a similarly colored but bigger fish is also common. Last but not least the bottles also play tricks, some bottles give the illusion of a smaller fish due to the design of the glass, but when thrown into the fight bottle the fish becomes bigger.

It is very easy to humanely referee a betta fight. There are only 2 major guidelines so it is much easier then refereeing a human fight

The following guidelines will ensure a professional fight. As long as these are followed, and an honest referee judges the fight then betta fighting is perfectly safe.


1) Injury. In the beginning of fight a single bite does not do much damage, but repeated attacks on the same spot can become serious. So fights must be stopped BEFORE permanent damage. As soon as a torn fin or skin damage occurs fight must stop. So it is imperative to stop fight as soon as either opponent sustains minor injury.

2. If a betta refuses to fight as an active aggressor but turns to escape or look for retreat, then he is considered a loser and the fights must be stopped immediately. The fish still actively pursuing the opponent is declared the winner.

Starting and closing fighting ring time:

Open ring 8.30 am close the ring 5.30 pm

Fight before 12.00 end the game at 3.30 pm

Fight after 12.00 end the game 5.30 pm

General rule in fighting fish ring:

Whoever opens the cap of the fighting jar means surrendered the fight.

Each player has a chance of change fighting jar with new water within 10 minutes after fight.

Moving a fighting jar is under the judge’s consideration alone.

After putting a fighter in the fighting jar, a player should never touch the jar.

When to Stop a Match and Declare a Winner

Wining and losing:

Owner of the fighter surrenders by opening the cap of the fighting jar.

One fighter runs away and the owner surrenders.

Referee fish trial and judge declares the trial result.

If both fighters run away, draw if agreed or a referee fish can be used to make a decision


When both players agree to draw in any stage of the contest.

When both players use referee fish on opponent two times and both fighters flare gills each time.

Use of a Referee Fish

Both players have a common right to call for a referee fish trial. A player may call the judge to use referee fish to examine both fighters to win the game early. When both fighters have completely stopped fighting, a judge will examine the fight. If both fighters do not hit one another then he will trial both fighters with a referee fish.

Trial by the referee fish:

A fighter must flare both sets of gills fully on approaching the referee fish.

Opening one set of gill or half flared gills or not approaching the referee fish is a fail.

Both players have an equal right to call judge for referee fish trial.

A player may call the judge to watch his fighter to see if he is eligible to call for a single trial of the opponent’s fish.

Single trial of 1 minute duration:

To claim a single trial the caller’s fish must flare gills approaching the opponent fully.

If an opponent fighter express an action willing to fight. Then the caller claim is null.

If a caller’s fish flares gills when approaching the opponent fish and the opponent fish doesn’t react to fight, then a judge takes that opponent fighter to a single trial with a referee fish.

A caller may call the judge to check opponent fighter continuously two times. If he fails then he has to wait 5 minutes for his next call. But the other player keeps his right to call.

Each player has two chances to call for single examination. If opponent fighter flares gills towards referee fish fully before five hits, then both fighters fight again in a new jar.

How to Conduct a Single Trial of One Fish:

A judge places a fighter to a trial jar.

A referee fighter is placed in the same jar.

A judge watches only from above.

If a fighter flares his gills approaching the referee fish within 5 strikes by referee then he passes the trial otherwise he fails the trial.

Both fighters fight again in a new jar when he passes the trial.

Each player has a common right to call the judge single trial 2 times.

Match Trial of Both Fish by Referee fish:

The two fighters are removed to two separate jars

The referee fish’s jar is placed in the middle.

Cardboard is placed all around the referee fish’s jar.

The two fighter’s jars are placed either side of the referee fish

The judge adjusts the water level of all 3 jars to be level.

The judge sets up the clock for 2 minutes.

The cardboard is removed completely so the fish can see each other.

The judge watches the flared gills of the fighters from above only.

If one fighter flares gills and approaches to the referee fish, the judge declares “flared gills”. He then shifts this fighter to another jar and checks the other fighter.

If the other fighter does not flare the gills and approach the referee fish, the judge spoon it out for a single trial.

Each player can call for referee fish trial 2 times. If a fighters flare gills and approaches referee fish two times during the trial then that player has no right further trials. But the other player still has a right to call for a trial.

If both fish do not flare gills then continue the game of fighting the same jar.

If both flare gills approaching the referee fish then continue the fight in a new jar (new water).

A player may call the judge to check an opponent fighter that ran away. If the judge sees a fighter running away, he will take the fighter to single trial. If a fighter shows it’s willingness to fight with trial fish then the game is drawn.

If both fighters still fight to the end of fighting time, the judge will take each fighter to examine with the referee fish by single examine.

One flares gills = win

Both flare gills = draw

Both do not flare gills = draw

The judge is a key man in the fighting ring. The main factor to run fighting fish ring successfully is depend very much on the fairness of judge.

A fighting ring judge must:

-not have fish that fight in the ring.

-not put direct bet or side bet in the ring.

-be fair and not take sides.

-not express personal opinion during doing duty.

‘Extinct Jellyfish’ Sighted After 103 Years

extinct_crambione_cookii_jellyfishThe Crambione Cookii has not been seen since 1910 but was spotted off Queensland, Australia, by Puk Scivyer, who chanced upon the animal while releasing a rescued sea turtle.

The aquarium worker said: ““As soon as I saw it I realised it was a species I’d never seen before.
“But to then discover I was the first person to see this species in over a hundred years was just incredible.”
Jellyfish expert Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin was called in to identify the unusual ocean-dweller, after it was captured in waters off Sunshine Coast.
It is now being cared for at the UnderWater World aquarium in Queensland.
Scientists are baffled how the 20in pink jellyfish –  which has a sting so powerful it can be felt in the waters surrounding the creature – escaped notice for so long.

Living Planet Aquarium prepares for December opening

Aquarium loveland living planet

Aquarium loveland living planet

Construction, which started 2th Oct 2012, continues on the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper.

The aquarium is scheduled to open the last week of December 2013.

The two-story Journey to South America exhibit, the slot canyon that will feature species unique to Utah, including the now indoor/outdoor River Otter exhibit.

The highlight to be is the massive 300,000-gallon shark tank.

An outsider’s view of the Burlington Fishkeepers Club in Vermont

members of the Tropical Fish club of Burlington Wermont

members of the Tropical Fish club of Burlington WermontThis is an article by a sympathetic reporter into what he sees as the unusual activities in a fishkeeper’s club during an auction.

With about 45 current members, the Tropical Fish Club of Burlington has been uniting freshwater fish fans for almost a quarter century. Judging by the scene in the club house, it’s a small but spirited society. Some 40 people attended the event, which was emceed by Doug Patac and featured everything from fish to filters to cartoonish figurines of nude females — for aquariums, of course. Around the meeting room, several long tables were loaded with fish and plants in clear plastic bags of various sizes. While local vendors donated some of the auction items, most were fish bred by the hobbyists themselves.


Read more here

Burlington Fish Club website

Why the Zebrafish will Never Die of a Broken Heart

male adult zebrafish or zebra danio

stages of regeneration of amputated zebrafish heartDr Jana Koth works at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, based at the John Radcliffe Hospital, studying how the tiny Himalayan freshwater zebrafish repairs its heart after damage.


More than 6,700 people in Oxfordshire were affected by heart failure in 2011/12.


By looking at the way the zebrafish’s heart repairs itself after it is damaged the team hopes to find ways to treat people who have had heart attacks and those who develop heart failure.

She said: “Humans cannot regenerate hearts after they are damaged, but the zebrafish can. By learning how they do this could help us treat humans in the future.

“A zebrafish heart beats at 180bpm, two to three times faster than a human heart, so we cannot take a sharp picture from a live specimen.

“The colours in the picture show the green cells are heart muscle cells, and the red and blue staining shows components that make up the muscle.

“We can see that the cells are already really active. We can see what genetic steps they go through to regenerate.

“While it is clearly very useful with our research I also think it is a picture which could be hung on a wall.”

“It’s astonishing to discover the ‘Caught in the Net’ picture is actually a developing zebrafish heart. These creatures have the ability to heal their own hearts, something humans sadly can’t do.

“Studying their hearts in such fine detail will help us discover their secret so that one day we can repair damaged hearts, and help people with heart failure.”

 Read more here

A Rare fish only found near Islands in the Pacific has given birth in Captivity

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA rare species of fish which is only found off a group of isolated islands in the Pacific Ocean has given birth at Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks.

The tropical fish – which is black and white with long fins – is known as a cardinalfish and is found only on the coral reefs of the Banggai islands, midway between the Philippines and Australia.

The tiny babies, each measuring less than two centimetres in length, are due to be moved to a special nursery display at the aquarium after spending their early days inside their father’s mouth.

Blue Planet Aquarium’s David Wolfenden said: “Banggai cardinalfish were first discovered in the 1930s living among coral reefs off a series of tiny Indonesian islands.

“To date they have not been discovered anywhere else in the world. This obviously makes them extremely rare and it is great news that we are now able to breed them in captivity.

“The youngsters are still tiny but we’re cautiously optimistic they will continue to thrive.

“We’ve decided to remove them from the main display and put them into their own nursery tank so we can keep monitoring them and also to protect them from the other fish species,” he added.

Known as mouth brooders, cardinalfish are among the world’s most attentive parents. Following a complex mating ritual the father holds fertilised eggs in his mouth until they hatch.

For the father, feeding at this time can become difficult and they will often eat nothing, or very little for up to four weeks

Once the young have hatched their fathers spit them into a long spined sea urchin where they will continue to live, without any further parental care, protected by the spines of the urchin.

Their black and white stripes allow them to be perfectly camouflaged amongst the urchin’s spines – safe from the unwanted attentions of any would-be predators.


The Night Scene Extends Itself into London Aquarium


After the success of its special after-hours, adult-only event, London Aquarium is opening

its doors again.Unsurprisingly, the event on 27 september 2013 was a sell-out. And the

SEA LIFE after dark will be back again on Friday 22nd November, opening its doors

exclusively to adults only for their second VIP late night opening.


Aqua Pacific Launches 360 New Products

aqua_one_aquariumThe UK market is way behind other EU countries in the planted tank, betta and shrimp segments. The company launched its Opti Plant and Betta tank ranges which should go down well in the UK.

Opti Plant is a range of Opti White glass aquariums , CO2 systems, substrates, and the PlantGlo LED lighting, cabinets and accessories.

The Betta shop display systems are already in many stores, he said, and have been added to its new four-level systems, to be sold at £449.

The Mono, Duo and Trio Betta tanks allow up to three Bettas to be kept in one water body, and are very popular in Australia.

Aqua One also put on show the AquaVis tanks, a striking, ultra-modern design with a price tag of £599 – the first shipment sold out at the trade show.

The UK-made Inspire cabinets were another highlight, in 30cm and 40cm sq ft prints, in oak and white gloss or walnut and black gloss.
Article here