Blackwing Hatchetfish (Carnegiella Marthae)

Freshwater Blackwing Hatchetfish – Quick Care & Keeping Guide

Blackwing Hatchetfish (Carnegiella Marthae)

Blackwing Hatchetfish (Carnegiella Marthae)

Although I personally find the Marbled Hatchetfish (C. strigata) more attractive, I decided to write about the Blackwing first. The reason is that the Blackwings are even better suited for life in aquaria than the marbled.

Nature

They are far less likely to jump when startled than any of their relatives. Also, they are not prone to aggression within their school as marbles.

Appearance:

Blackwings are easy to distinguish from other hatchet fish by the black line that outlines their particular body shape. Their “wings” –actually their pectoral fins– are not always black when you first buy them, but they will get some shading in them once they are out of the store’s display tank and they are kept in a properly decorated tank.

Tank Setup

Now, just because I said these fish are unlikely to jump when startled, does not mean that you can leave their tank uncovered. They are clearly a surface fish and are more than capable of leaping out of tanks.

It was thought that the hatchets actually flapped their pectoral fins to extend their aerial leaps while hunting clouds of insects over the water but recently high-speed photography has disproved this theory.

Floating plants discourage jumping and for Blackwings, floating plants are essential for their long-term care.

Unlike many other hatchet fish, they do not inhabit rivers with a lot of open space. They live in slow-moving waters that are often heavy with surface growth. In the rainy season, the move into the flooded forests and tend to congregate where there are a lot of vegetation and branches.

Tank Size

They need to be kept in groups. Try to buy a least 10 if you can. A group that size can be kept in a 20 gallon/75 liter tank. They make the perfect companion fish for many South American dwarf cichlids (NOT African cichlids no matter how small!)

Quick Overview

  • Origin: Venezuela to Columbia and Brazil
  • Size: 4cm/ 1.5 inches
  • Temperature: 20-28°C/ 68-80°F

Diet:

They will eat flake food but should also be given high protein, insect-based food like bloodworms, mosquito larvae and fruit flies.

Habitat:

These hatchets like a well-planted tank. When they feel nervous, they dive down into the vegetation. They do not have a preference when it comes to a substrate but keep water movement to a minimum.

Breeding:

No hatchet fish has been bred in captivity. They probably breed at the height of the rainy season when the forest is flooded. To be successful in an aquarium probably requires months of simulating of the dry and wet seasons. It is easy to tell females from males by their larger size, so if someone is up for a long project, it might be possible.

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Gabon Killifish (Aphyosemion Gabunense Marginatum)

Gabon Killifish – A Beginners Guide to Care and Breeding

Gabon Killifish (Aphyosemion Gabunense Marginatum)

Gabon Killifish (Aphyosemion Gabunense Marginatum)

The brightly colored male Gabon Killi was listed as Aphyosemion gabunesense boehmi but that variety has only yellow along the margin of the anal fin and Aphyosemion gabunense gabunense has only red. The mix of these two colors indicates marginatum.

Quick Stats

  1. Origin: Gabon
  2. Size: 4-5cm/ 1.5-2 inches
  3. Temperature: 22-25°C/ 72-77°F
  4. Diet: They can be fed flake food but they color up best when given live or frozen fare.

Sex Recognition

But whatever the variety, the male Gabon Killifish is a stunning fish. The female of the species is the second photo and as is typical among killis, she is a simple gray color.

Tank Setup

They can be kept in a community aquarium but their small size means you have to be careful when selecting tankmates for them.

Fish Nature and tank mates

They tend to be shy and easily spooked by larger or boisterous fish. When spooked, they have a tendency to launch themselves out of the water. Floating plants tend to discourage this behavior, but having a tank lid is the surest way to keep them safely within the confines of the aquarium.

Tank Size

If you only want a few fish, a ten gallon/ 37-liter fish tank is suitable and their breeding aquarium can be half that size. These are not annual killlis and they will live for more than a year.

Habitat:

As I already mentioned, floating plants serve an important part in an aquarium of Gabon Killifish. There should be other plants, rooted in the substrate. The best substrates include peat or dirt. Avoid light colored substrates. Do not have strong filtration and the pH should not be above neutral.

Reproduction:

The fish chooses either to deposit eggs on a daily basis in the peat or among fine-leaved plants like Cabomba. The eggs can be left in the water…but many develop fungus if you do this. To get more fry, remove the eggs and keep them in a plastic container of damp peat. Add water after two weeks to encourage them to hatch. Be sure to have a culture of infusoria on hand to feed the tiny, slow-growing young.

Read more Brackish water profile

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Read some freshwater fish profile

  1. Freshwater Blackwing Hatchetfish – Quick Care & Keeping Guide
White Cloud (Tanichthys Albonubes)

Little Fish White Cloud Mountain Minnow – Brief Guide

White Cloud (Tanichthys Albonubes)

White Cloud (Tanichthys Albonubes)

Quick Stats

  1. Origin: White Mountain, China
  2. Size: 3-4cm
  3. Temperature: 15-22°C

Overview:

The full common name of this little fish it the White Cloud Mountain Minnow, but it is much easier to call them White Clouds simply.

This fish was the first in its genus to be introduced to the aquarium world, and early on, it was more expensive than most fish its size.

However, it proved extraordinarily hardy and easy to breed, so the price quickly fell. For nearly 70 years after its discovery, White Clouds were thought to be the only members of the genus Tanichthys, but in the last decade, two or three new species have been discovered in Vietnam (one of which is being sold as the Vietnam White Cloud).

Tank Setup & temperature maintenance:

These require warmer waters and should not be treated the same as the original White Cloud. White clouds are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. They are quite comfortable in an unheated aquarium, but do not attempt to keep them in freezing water…room temperature is fine.

In an unheated tank, they make the perfect community fish. Many people keep them in water with their tropical fish. This results in shortened lifespans. White Clouds are endangered in nature but are being reintroduced to their traditional waters by using aquarium stock.

Tank Size: They are schooling fish and should be kept in a group of 10 or more. A school of this size can be held in a tank 60cm x 30cm. Longfin and Golden hybrids are frequently available.

Diet:

White Clouds eat anything that is small enough for them to swallow. To condition them for breeding or improve their color, feed with small live or frozen food.

Habitat:

White Clouds are most comfortable in planted tanks..the more plants, the better. The also like strong aeration and will do well in a container with a strong current like a hillstream setup provided that there are places for them to rest out of the present.

Reproduction:

Egg-scatterers. You can quickly get them to spawn if you put them outside in a container with an airstone. If you want to raise a large number of the young fish, remove the parents after spawning.
Notes. I did not include this fish in my Sunday, coldwater fish profiles because this fish is firmly established in the tropical fish trade and I want to use those Sunday posts to introduce fish that could/should be in the hobby.

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Common Mudskipper (Periphthalmus Vulgaris)

Common Mudskipper – I Fell in Love it with when

Common Mudskipper (Periphthalmus Vulgaris)

Common Mudskipper (Periphthalmus Vulgaris)

The first time I saw mudskippers for sale was in the mid-1970s.

Mudskippers are the cutest things. Fascinating to watch.

When I win the lottery and can have every creature that appeals to me, they are on my list.

Brief Introduction:

They were fascinating to watch not just climbing out of the water, but climbing up branches of driftwood and even up the glass of the aquarium.

Their ping-pong ball like eyes that glowed blue made the fish look more like a cartoon frog than a real animal.

All of that was enough to make me want them, but then they spread their fins and I fell in love.

These were Atlantic mudskippers so when they opened their fins you could see that they had a brilliant blue stripe which because if the fishes otherwise drab colors, was completely unexpected.

The Common Mudskipper lacks the blue coloration but it does have red and the body is nicely mottled.

Tank Requirements

They can be kept in a brackish water community tank provided that the fish have places that they can get out of the water.

But unless you have a very large tank, do not attempt to keep more than one male. The females are far less aggressive.

Origin:

Coastal regions throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Size:

They can Grow up to 10cm as mature size if they are cares and cured properly.

Temperature:

25-30°C. The air temperature must also be kept warm.

Diet:

These fish eat everything, including smaller tankmates. They love frozen foods, shrimp, crickets, worms, beetles, spiders and anything else you put with them.

Habitat:

The salinity of the water should be 1.005 or slightly higher. The tank must have a sand/mud land area for the fish to climb on to and hunt. The tank must be covered tightly to both prevent escape and to keep the atmosphere humid. Finally, you should have a strong filter because mudskippers tend to tear at their food and lose half of it.

Breeding:

Difficult in the aquarium. Males dig a deep hole in the intertidal zone. The whole can be 1m deep. While the tides can be reproduced in captivity, the depth of the sand makes breeding hard.

Read More Awesome Beautiful and Good looking Brackish water fish guides:

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New Guinea Tiger Datnoid (Datnioides Campbelli)

New Guinea Tiger Datnoid-“Guide” Care,Feed,Tank Setup – Things to know

New Guinea Tiger Datnoid (Datnioides Campbelli)

New Guinea Tiger Datnoid (Datnioides Campbelli)

D. campbelli is the only one with gold stripes and a generally brown body color. It also has 4 lines.

Tank Mates

New Guinea Tiger Datnoid (Datnioides Campbelli)  Datnoids are a group of fish that are popular among owners of large fish. They generally make ideal community tank members provided all their tankmates are of a similar size. The New Guinea Tiger Datnoid has some requirements that may limit the fish that can be successfully kept with it.

Tank Setup & Tank Size

First, it requires fairly hard water with a pH of 7.5 or higher. And while it can be kept in pure fresh water, New Guinea Tigers are never found too far from the mouths of rivers opening up into the sea, so ideally the water in their tank should be at least slightly brackish.

They are a relatively large fish so a single specimen should not be raised in a tank less than 100 gallons/ 378 liters.

Nature

You may want to keep a single specimen because they can be aggressive to each other or any fish they think could be another datnoid.

However, if you do want a group, start with juveniles and get at least 5. The younger fish tend to travel together and the greater number means that the aggression will be spread out among all the members of the group, not just the weakest.

I included two Videos with this post in future. The first is a datnoid in its usual coloration. The second is one demonstrating its night colors and/ or stressed colors.

Many times in fish stores, you will find them exhibiting the darker coloration. They are a fish that can become very stressed during transport.

If too stressed, they will refuse food. Patience is needed to bring this fish out of its traumatized state. All New Guinea Tiger Datnoids on the market has been caught in the wild.

Quick Overview

  1. Origin: New Guinea
  2. Size: 30-33cm/ 12-14 inches
  3. Temperature: 20-28° C/ 70-83°F
  4. Breeding: Unknown.

Diet:

They are predators that can be fed live earthworms, chopped prawn, strips of fish, or live shrimp. Adults can be fed just two or three times per week. They are messy fish and daily feedings will result in water quality problems.

Habitat:

When young, provide a lot of covers. Adults like open places to swim but appreciate a shaded tank. You can use floating plants for this. Salinity can be pure freshwater to a 1.010 salinity.

Read More Brackish Water Profiles

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Glass Bloodfin (Prionobrama Filigera)

Glass Bloodfin Tetra Fish Tank Setup,Feed, Breeding,Tank mates

Glass Bloodfin (Prionobrama Filigera)

Glass Bloodfin (Prionobrama Filigera)

History and introduction:

There is a couple of fish that go under the common name of Bloodfin, but the Glass Bloodfin tetra can easily be told apart from its popular relatives because it lacks any red coloration on its anal fin. It also seems to have developed the undeserved reputation of being more delicate and harder to care for then its cousins.

Nothing could be further than the truth! That rumor probably came about because the common Bloodfin Tetra can live at room temperatures year round and that is something the Glass Bloodfin cannot do.

But give it the proper temperatures, and room to swim, it proves to be perfectly hardy and is easy to keep fish for beginners. It gets along with most commonly kept community tank members and is not at all prone to nip fins.

Tank Mates for Bloodfin:

However, you should avoid keeping it with fast-moving surface fish such as the Scissor Rasbora and many of the commonly available danios.

Those fish tend to intimidate the Glass Bloodfin and will out-compete them at feeding time. Slower surface dwellers like hatchet fish are fine as are all appropriately sized mid-water and bottom dwellers.

Tank Setup:

Although active, they are fairly small and a group of 6 or 8 individuals can join a twenty gallon/ 70-liter community tank. They don’t necessarily need to be in a group due to schooling behavior. Instead, it is because the males may engage in battles with each other on occasion and if there are more males available, then the aggression becomes dispersed instead of focused on the weakest individual.

Fish Quick Stats:

  1. Origin: Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil
  2. Size: 6cm/ 2.5 inches
  3. Temperature: 23-28°C/ 73-82°F

Diet:

It is not a fussy eater. They eat flake food with the same vigor as they do surface insects, mosquito larvae and other aquatic invertebrates.

Habitat:

They are mainly concerned with surface decorations and really don’t care about the substrate. Just give them a few patches of floating plants like water lettuce and they will be happy. They will congregate under these plants to take a break from bright lighting.

Breeding:

Like most tetras, they are egg-scatterers and will eat their own eggs if given the chance.

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Spotted Headstander (Chilodus Punctatus)

Spotted Headstander – Chilodus Punctatus (Updated Guide)

Spotted Headstander (Chilodus Punctatus)

Spotted Headstander (Chilodus Punctatus)

Quick Stats:

  1. Origin: Most of the northern half of S. America.
  2. Size: 7-8cm
  3. Temperature: 20-28°C

Normally, when you see a fish floating head down in the water, it is not a good sign.

But in the case of the Spotted Headstander and its near relatives, it means that they are content and behaving normally.

The head-down position is adopted for all of their activities, the even swim at a 45° angle.

Tank Requirements

The Spotted Headstander is one of the smallest of the headstanders available and a group of them can easily be kept in a community tank that is 90cm long.

Tank mates

Just be careful when choosing companions for them. They do not like overly active or aggressive fish. And do not trust them with fish that have long, flowing fins because they will nip them. They may even nip at each other, but this behavior is natural and there will not be any damage provided that they are given enogh cover or decorations that break their line of sight.

This is one of those fish that do not look their best in display tanks, but once you get them home in a tank where they can behave naturally, their color really improves.

Care level:

This fish is easy to raise, but do not add it to a newly established tank as they are sensitive to fluctuating ammonia and water quality.

Diet:

Any sinking food; live, frozen or prepared. You should include some vegetable matter in its diet (otherwise it may nibble your plants)

Habitat:

The tank should have a substrate of sand or fine gravel. Stones, driftwood, and plants can be added for decoration and to provide cover. Floating plants are useful to have because they prevent the fish from leaping out of the tank when startled. A cover on the aquarium will also prevent that. Headstanders prefer some water movement in their aquarium.

Breeding:

A pair will scatter eggs among floating plants. The parents and eggs should be separated if you want to raise the fry.

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Banded Archerfish (Toxotes Jaculatrix)

Banded Archerfish (Toxotes Jaculatrix)-Best Fish Guide

Banded Archerfish (Toxotes Jaculatrix)

Banded Archerfish (Toxotes Jaculatrix)

A food fish that is rarely seen at its full size in captivity, the Banded Archerfish is the most commonly available archer.

They are popular not because of their color, pattern, or breeding behavior. Instead, the banded archerfish and its relatives are sought after because of their interesting feeding method.

They are famously known for being able to target an insect on branches above the water, instinctually account for the water refraction, and project a stream of water through their mouth like a missile that strikes the insect and sends it toppling into the water where it is quickly devoured.

As interesting as this is to watch, be sure that you know about what these fish need before you buy one for your tank because all archerfish are wild caught.

Tank Setup

The first thing you need is a big enough tank. Ultimately, if the archer is able to reach its full size, a tank as large as 500 liters/ 130 gallons is needed. But it is rare that they attain the length of their wild brethren so smaller tanks are possible for some time as long as you are aware that you may need to upgrade.

Next, the banded archer is a brackish water fish. While very young ones may live temporarily in pure freshwater, you cannot keep them alive for long in that environment. There are other species of archers that are freshwater, but this is not one of them. Finally, although fine with other common brackish fish like scats and monos, adults are aggressive with each other, especially over food. Juveniles can be kept in groups, but adults should be kept singly or in groups of 4 or more to spread out aggression.

Habitat:

Give them brackish water with a pH of 7.5 to 8. Ideally, there should be emergent plants or a land area of the tank in which terrarium plants grow, allowing their leaves to extend over the water. The water surface should be as still as possible.

Breeding:

Has not been accomplished in captivity. It is theorized that the Banded Archers migrate to the ocean to spawn.– A food fish that is rarely seen at its full size in captivity, the Banded Archerfish is the most commonly available archer. They are popular not because of their color, pattern, or breeding behavior. Instead, the banded archerfish and its relatives are sought after because of their interesting feeding method. They are famously known for being able to target an insect on branches above the water, instinctually account for the water refraction, and project a stream of water through their mouth like a missile that strikes the insect and sends it toppling into the water where it is quickly devoured. As interesting as this is to watch, be sure that you know about what these fish need before you buy one for your tank because all archerfish are wild caught.

Origin:

All across Asia; from India to the Philippines and South Australia and New Guinea.

Size:

to 30cm/ 12 inches

Temperature:

25-30°C/ 77-86°F

Diet:

Terrestrial insects like crickets, dragonflies, houseflies, moths, etc. They will also eat most food floating on the surface as well as bloodworms.

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Golden Wonder Panchax (Aplocheilus Lineatus)

Golden Wonder Panchax (Aplocheilus Lineatus)

Golden Wonder Panchax (Aplocheilus Lineatus)

Golden Wonder Panchax (Aplocheilus Lineatus)

Golden Wonder Panchax Appearance

This surface-dwelling killifish is a color variation of the striped panchax. Juveniles and females often display the vertical bars nature gave them, but the males come in a wide variety of golden, green, and yellow hues of which the Golden Wonder is the most commonly available.

Nature of Fish

In nature, they are predators, eating insects, insect larvae, small fish and tadpoles. In the aquarium, although happy to eat flake foods, they will also eat neon tetras and zebra danios so are careful with the fish you put them with. They can live in a 20 gallon/ 75-liter tank, and unlike most killis, they are very adaptable when it comes to water inhabiting both fresh and brackish waters. They are hardy enough to be considered a fish for beginners, but it is best to have only one male in an aquarium or fights will occur.

Origin:

India, Sri Lanka

Size:

10cm/ 4 inches

Temperature:

72-75°F/ 22-27°C

Feeding:

It will eat almost anything you feed it except vegetable based flakes.

Habitat:

They look best in a tank with a dark substrate and floating plants.

Breeding:

Pairs will deposit 50 to 300 eggs daily over a two week period when in breeding condition. Thet scatters them among fine-leaved plants or spawning mops which should be removed daily. The egg-laden plants should be added to a container of the same water they were laid in. The fry is large enough to eat newly hatched brine shrimp immediately after hatching.

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