Fish Profiles: Bala Sharks

Facts about Bala Sharks


Bala-Shark-Fish-ProfileScientific name:
Balantiocheilos Melanopterus
Region: Southeast Asia: Sumatra, Borneo
Temperment: Semi-Aggressive
Tank Mates: Community (when smaller),Semi-Aggressive (when larger)
Avg Size: 6-7 inches
Max Size: 16 inches
Best Foods: Flake Foods, Frozen
Optimum Tank Size: 65 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 75°F – 84°F
Optimum pH: 5.8 to 7.0
Care Level: Intermediate
Hardiness:

The Bala Shark is a natural carnivore, so focus on frozen cubes such as brine shrimp, blood worms, krill & tubliflex worms.  To make frozen foods easier for your bala sharks to eat, thaw frozen foods in a cup of tank water before offering them to your fish. You can then supplement this with a variety of flake food & pellets.  Bala Sharks are voracious eaters, so be careful not to overfeed.

 

Bala-Shark-Fish-Tank

 

 

Fish Profiles: Green Severum

Facts about Green Severum


Green Severum Fish ProfileScientific name:
Heros efasciatus
Region:South America: Guyana & Northern Amazon
Temperment: Peaceful, Semi-Aggressive
Tank Mates: Community, Semi-Aggressive
Avg Size: 4-6 inches
Max Size: 12 inches
Best Foods: Flake Foods, pellets, frozen foods
Optimum Tank Size: 55 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 75°F – 83°F
Optimum pH: 6.0 to 6.7
Care Level: Beginner
Hardiness:

Green Severum Care:
The main thing to consider when keeping Green Severums is tank size.  You shouldn’t keep a Severum of any kind if your tank is smaller than 35 gallons.  Severums can grow quickly, reaching 5-7 inches on average, with some growing up to a foot in length.

Severums thrive in tanks with a lower pH, with a range of 6.0 to 6.8 being ideal. They like clean water, so weekly 20% water changes are recommended.  They also appreciate hiding spots, so stock your tank with rocks, driftwood, fake plants, inverted flower pots or similar items that create areas of refuge. This is especially important if you are keeping Severums with other cichlids.

Green Severum Tank Mate Suggestions:
Severums are very versatile in that they have been seen in a wide range of aquariums.

Ideal tank mates for severums include other south/central american cichlids of equal temperament such as Firemouth cichlids, Parrot Cichlids, Green Terrors, Nicaragua Cichlids, Uarus, Chocolate Cichlids & Blue Acaras.

If you wish to keep severs with more aggressive cichlids such as Convicts, Jack Dempseys, Texas Cichlids or Central American Vieja species, it is best to make the severum a male as females get bullied far more often. As usual, pay close attention to any bullying or chasing by the more aggressive fish and separate if a fish is seen with visual injuries such as nipped fins.

Severums generally have a peaceful temperament, so they have been successfully kept in community fish tanks. Fish species such as Angels, rainbows, gourami, sharks, loaches, catfish & larger tetras can be kept with Severums with no incident. Smaller fish like guppies & neon/cardinal tetras are not recommended.

Severums are not recommended for planted tanks as they have been known to eat aquatic plants.  They are also “diggers” like their cichlid cousins.  They can easily sort & sift through various substrates, uprooting your freshwater plants.

Green Severum Diet:
There is some debate online whether severums are strictly carnivores or if they eat vegetables & plants.  By most accounts, Severums are omnivores and will consume both plants & animal based foods in their diet.  Severums are commonly fed flake & frozen foods while in the care of breeders & local fish stores. This should be a staple of their diet when keeping Severums in your home aquarium.  A number of fish keeper message boards indicate that certain vegetables like lettuce, cucumber and zucchini are also good for the Severum’s diet.  Duckweed is said to be a favorite of Severums in an aquarium setting, so try incorporating this plant material in your feedings.

Green Severum Aquarium Fish

 

 

Fish Profiles: Boesemani Rainbowfish

Facts about Boesemani Rainbows


boesemani-rainbow-2Scientific name:
Melanotaenia Boesemani
Region:Asia:
Temperment: Peaceful
Tank Mates: Community
Avg Size: 3-4 inches
Max Size: 5.5 inches
Best Foods: Flake Foods
Optimum Tank Size: 30 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 80°F – 87°F
Optimum pH: 7.0 to 7.8
Care Level: Intermediate
Hardiness:

Advantages:
Apperance:

Fun Fish:

Disadvantages:
Harder to Find:

 

Boesemani-Rainbow-Fish-Profile

 

 

Fish Profiles: Head & Tail Light Tetras

Facts about Head & Tail Light Tetras

Scientific name: Bryconops melanurus
Region:Brazil
Temperment: Peaceful
Tank Mates: Community
Avg Size: 2 inches
Max Size: 4 inches
Best Foods: Flake Foods
Optimum Tank Size: 15 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 72°F – 80°F
Optimum pH: 5.5 to 7.5
Care Level: Beginner
Hardiness:
Good

Advantages:
Apperance: While not as vibrant in color as their cousins the Clown Loach, YoYo Loaches have a brown & gold coloration with complex striping. Fish keepers really like the unique color patterns of the YoYo loach.

Fun Fish: Clown Loaches are fun fish to own due to their interesting behaviors.

Disadvantages:
Harder to Find: YoYo Loaches aren’t as easy to find as Clown Loaches.

 

 

 

 

Fish Profiles: Skunk Loach

Facts about Skunk Loach

Skunk-Loach-Fish-ProfileScientific name: Yasuhikotakia morleti
Other Names:Skunk Botia, Cream Loach, Mouse Loach
Region:Asia: Mekong, Thailand
Temperment: Peaceful
Tank Mates: Community, Semi-Aggressive
Avg Size: 3-4 inches
Max Size: 5 inches
Best Foods: Sinking Pellets, Flake, Frozen Foods
Optimum Tank Size: 55 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 75°F – 84°F
Optimum pH: 6.4 to 7.8
Care Level: Intermediate
Hardiness:

Advantages:
Apperance:

Fun Fish:

Disadvantages:
Harder to Find:

 

 

 

 

Fish Profiles: Red Tailed Botia

Facts about Red Tailed Botia

Red-Tail-Botia
Scientific name:
Yasuhikotakia modesta
Other Names:Blue Botia, Red Tail Blue Loach, Red Fin Loach
Region:Asia: Thailand,Malaysia, Vietnam
Temperment: Peaceful, Shy
Tank Mates: Community, Semi-Aggressive
Avg Size: 5-6 inches
Max Size: 10 inches
Best Foods: Sinking Pellets, Flake, Frozen Foods
Optimum Tank Size: 55 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 75°F – 84°F
Optimum pH: 6.0 to 7.0
Care Level: Intermediate
Hardiness:

Advantages:
Apperance:

Fun Fish:

Disadvantages:
Harder to Find:

 

 

 

 

Fish Profiles: Lemon Tetras

Facts about Lemon Tetras


Lemon-Tetra-Fish-ProfileScientific name:
Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis
Region:Brazil
Temperment: Peaceful
Tank Mates: Community
Avg Size: 1-2 inches
Max Size: 2 inches
Best Foods: Flake Foods
Optimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 74°F – 83°F
Optimum pH: 5.5 to 7.5
Care Level: Beginner
Hardiness:
Good

Advantages:

Disadvantages:
school-of-lemon-tetra

 

 

 

Fish Profiles: Golden Dojo Loach

Facts about Golden Dojo Loaches

Golden-Dojo-LoachScientific name: Misgurnus anguillicaudatuse
Region:
Temperment: Peaceful
Tank Mates: Community, Semi-Aggressive
Avg Size: 5-6 inches
Max Size: 11 inches
Best Foods: Sinking Pellets, Flake, Frozen Foods
Optimum Tank Size: 55 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 65°F – 75°F
Optimum pH: 6.0 to 7.5
Care Level: Beginner
Hardiness:

Advantages:
Apperance: While not as vibrant in color as their cousins the Clown Loach, YoYo Loaches have a brown & gold coloration with complex striping. Fish keepers really like the unique color patterns of the YoYo loach.

Fun Fish: Clown Loaches are fun fish to own due to their interesting behaviors.

Disadvantages:
Harder to Find: YoYo Loaches aren’t as easy to find as Clown Loaches.

Golden-Dojo-Loach-2

 

 

 

Fish Profiles: Yo Yo Loach

Facts about Yo Yo Loaches

yoyo loachesScientific name: Botia almorhae
Other Names: Almora Loach or Pakistani Loach
Region: India & Nepal
Temperment: Peaceful
Tank Mates: Community, Semi-Aggressive
Avg Size: 4-5 inches
Max Size: 6 inches
Best Foods: Sinking Pellets, Flake, Frozen Foods
Optimum Tank Size: 55 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 76 to 82 degrees
Optimum pH: 6.0 to 7.5
Care Level: Intermediate
Hardiness:

Apperance:   While not as vibrant in color as their cousins the Clown Loach, YoYo Loaches have a brown & gold coloration with complex striping. Fish keepers really like the unique color patterns of the YoYo loach.

YoYo Loach Care:
Like their cousins the Clown Loach, YoYo Loaches form social bonds with each other and thus do well in groups of 2-5.  The ideal set-up is a planted tank with sufficient places to hide.  They don’t grow as large as other Loach species (Botia or Clown loaches), but do grow to about 6 inches.  If you plan to keep a group, make sure you have at least a 55 gallon tank to accommodate this growth.

YoYo Loach Tank Mate Suggestions:
The YoYo Loach is a versatile fish and does well in many different types of  aquarium environments.

Ideal tank mates for YoYo Loaches include larger community species such as Barbs, Gourami, Rainbows, Angels, Freshwater Sharks & more docile cichlids (Discus, Severums, Parrots, etc).

YoYo Loaches have been seen in African Cichlid tanks with crush coral substrates. There seems to be some debate as whether this is a good idea, not due to temperament, but due to the different pH requirements of each fish.  Those that keep YoYo Loaches in this environment probably acclimate (slowly) the YoYo Loaches to the higher pH waters.

YoYo Loaches could have issues with other loach species.  There have been complaints around the web about conflict between YoYo Loaches & Clown Loaches so keep this in mind if you’re thinking of adding one in the presents of another.  Zebra Loaches are also ones that I would not pair with a YoYo Loach.

As with many fish, tank size will dictate appropriate tank mates.  Keeping YoYo Loaches in smaller set ups (less than 30 gallons) with smaller fish (tetras, guppies, Mollies, etc) is probably a bad idea. However, keeping larger YoYo Loaches in larger set-ups (above 75 gallons) with more aggressive cichlids (Jack Dempseys, Convicts, Green Terrors, etc) would probably work.

YoYo Loach Diet:

Sinking Pellets & Frozen foods are probably the best foods when keeping YoYo Loaches in your aquarium.  Since they are bottom dwellers, small sinking pellets or algae wafers are good choices.  Frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp or mosquito larvae are also good selections.

YoYo Loaches also love snails and can take care of a tankful of snails in a matter of days. However, a snail problem is not a good reason to go out and buy a group of YoYo Loaches.

yoyo-loach-2

 

 

Fish Profiles: Clown Loaches

Facts about Clown Loaches

Clown-Loach-2Scientific name: Chromobotia macracanthus
Region: Asia – Indonesia
Temperment: Peaceful
Tank Mates: Just About Anything
Avg Size: 5-8 inches
Max Size: Roughly 14-17 inches
Best Foods: Sinking Pellets, Frozen Foods like blood worms, brine shrimp
Optimum Tank Size: 55 Gallons
Optimum Temperature: 77.0 to 86.0° F (25.0 to 30.0° C)
Optimum pH: 6.5 to 7.5
Care Level: Beginner
Hardiness: Moderately

Clown Loaches are one of the most popular freshwater fish in the hobby. To determine if a clown loach is right for your tank, consider the following advantages & disadvantages of keeping a clown loach.

Advantages:
Color: One of the biggest draws is the color. Their vibrant shades of orange & black will add color to any aquarium. Clown loaches are absolutely gorgeous in tanks with rainbows, discus, neon tetras & angels.

Versatility: Another big draw to clown loaches is that they work in just about any type of aquarium set-up. They can adapt to higher pH levels making them suitable for African Cichlid tanks. Larger clown loaches are commonly found in Monster Fish Tanks with larger cichlids, eels, rays & arrawauna. They are also found in many community & planted fish tanks.

Fun Fish: Clown Loaches are fun fish to own due to their interesting behaviors.

Disadvantages:
Size: Clown Loaches commonly grow to 8-9 inches and some can reach over a foot in length. You’ll frequently see them sold in stores at 2-3 inches, but they will grow at a good rate. You need to make sure you have a tank big enough, at least 55 gallons and ideally 75 gallons.

Best Kept in Groups: Clown Loaches do best in groups of 3-5. Putting individual clown loaches in your tank may cause some odd behavior or uncharacteristic aggression to smaller fish. Keeping a group of clown loaches that could reach 8 inches in size can fill a tank up quickly.

Clown-Loach-1