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A Guide to Keeping

Aquatic Pets



Aquatic PetsAquatic pets have been entertaining my family and I for many years. We have owned a variety of aquariums and terrarium pets through the years. If a person thinks they cannot become attached to a fish, they should own two Oscar boys for seven years. I can’t tell you the hours and hours of entertainment that we received out of our watery pets. Just watching then you can tell how finicky they all are. Creating and adjusting their selves, cleaning out their areas and adjusting things in front of them. Aquatic pets are just amazing to me! Learn more about our stories and more information on our watery pets and other unusual pets.



 

The First Thing You Will Need for Aquatic Pets is an Aquarium,

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Betta Fish

"Siamese Fighting Fish"



Betta Fish 1Aquatic pets like Bettas or Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendena), one of the most popular species of freshwater aquarium fish. It is native to the rice paddies of Thailand and called pla-kad or pla-kat (Biting Fish) in its native country. These are very beautiful fish. The males have very large labyrinth organs, (gill-like) organs in their heads that allow them to take in oxygen directly from the atmosphere, as well as oxygen from the water. If Bettas can’t reach the surface, they will drown. Bettas puff out their gill covers to either impress or courtship or to intimidate rivals.
The female Bettas are smaller than the males and quite fragile. The females are still colorful, very friendly and loving to humans. Do not place to males in the same tank, they will kill each other. That’s where the term fighting fish comes into play.  Check Out This Link on How to Take Care of Bettas. 

A Betta is inexpensive to purchase at your local pet store. They thrive in low oxygenated water and will gulp air from the surface of the water. There are over 50 species of Bettas in the world, from the Giant Bettas, which exceeds 3 inches in length, to the Wild Bettas, which are a dull green or brown coloration. The brightly colored are still the most popular aquatic pets among hobbyists in the United States. Their nickname is “The Jewel of the Orient”.

With their upturn mouth, these aides the Betta in sucking insects from the water’s surface like flies, crickets and grasshoppers. The Betta is carnivorous but has a wide variety to its diet which prolongs its life, enriches its color and helps heal fin damage quicker. Commercial Betta food contains mashed shrimp meal, fish meal, brine shrimp, bloodworm and vitamins. Sometimes Bettas will be fed finely chopped high-protein vegetables to try to bring out enhanced coloration. Betta males in a dance called “Nuptial Embrace” where the couple we around one another as the female releases her eggs to be fertilized by the male before the eggs settle to the bottom of the tank. The male sucks one or two of the eggs in his mouth, swims to the bubble nest, where he blows them into it. Incubation last for up to two days, with the male repairing the nest as needed and making sure the eggs stay in the nest. After the fry hatch, the male is removed from the tank because they resemble newly hatched brine shrimp, one of the aquatic pets Betta’s favorite foods. 
 



Cichlid Fish

Care and Advice

Cichlid Fish 1Aquatic pets like Cichlids (pronounced SiKlid) are fish from the family Cichlidae; at least 1300 scientifically described aquatic pet species, making it one of the largest vertebrate families. Many species, including the Angelfish, Oscars, and Discus are also highly valued in the aquarium trade because of their beauty and hardiness. Cichlids are also the family of vertebrates with the largest number of endangered species. Many Cichlids that have been accidentally or deliberately released into fresh water outside of their natural range have become a nuisance species. A lot of Cichlids are still being discovered and ichthyologists say there are many more species remaining. The actual numbers are unclear but are estimated between 1300 and 3000 aquatic pets’ species. Cichlids come in a wide range of sizes from as small as 1 inch to 3 foot in length and come in a wide assortment of body shapes. Cichlids are very efficient feeders because of their jaws. In fact, they have to jaws, True Jaws and Pharyngeal Jaws with a complex set of muscles, this makes Cichlids so diverse. Cichlids are commonly found in fresh water but are sometimes found in brackish or saltwater.

Cichlids reproduce in four basic methods:  Open brooders, Cave brooders, Ovophile mouthbrooders, and Larvophile mouthbrooders. Open brooders lay their eggs in the open, on logs, leaves and rocks. The female is primarily the main nurturer, while the male patrols the couple’s area, rebuffing any threat to the brood. Cave brooders lay their eggs in abandoned shells, caves, crevices and holes, usually attaching the eggs to the roof of the object. Ovophile mouthbrooders put their eggs into their mouse the moment they are fertilized and for several weeks the free-swimming fry when in danger will end up in their parent’s mouth. Larvophile mouthbrooders species lay their eggs in the open or in cave but when the eggs hatch into the larval stage, which is when the parents gather the fry in their mouths. 
 Check This Link Out About How To Breed Cichlids. 

As an aquarium fish Cichlids have become very popular because of their sizes and the wide range of they can eat and there coloration. Most of the popular cichlids come from South America, the Amazon River basin. Cichlids can be kept in aquariums with other fish, but a word to the wise, keep all the fish about the same size or the Cichlid might have the smaller fish for lunch because they are, after all, diverse in terms of diet.




 Keeping Your

Goldfish Healthy

Goldfish 1Aquatic pets like Goldfish or Koi are a direct descendent of the Prussian carp, bred over a couple of thousand years ago in Asia. The Goldfish was first bred full color in China, in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Through dominant generic mutation a mating all silver colored carp would make a yellowish orange fry. They would keep their prize Goldfish in ponds, in the backyard but for special events to show them off the Chinese would put the Gold fish in small containers and return the fish to the pond after the event. There are more orange Goldfish varieties than yellow because in 1162, the Empress of the Song Dynasty had a big pond built and ordered her people to surrender their yellow and red Goldfish, yellow being an imperial color. 

Today’s main aquatic pets Goldfish varieties are: Black Moor, Bubble Eye, Butterfly Tail, Calico, Celestial Eye, Comet, Common, Fantail, Lionchu, Lionhead, Oranda, Panda Moor, Pearlscale, Pompom, Ranchu, Ryukin, Shubunkin, Telescope Eye, and Veiltail. Chinese classify Goldfish into five major types which are the Dragon Eye, Egg, Wen, Ce and Jikin. Goldfish and Koi are popular with people with ponds because they are inexpensive, colorful and very hardy. The depth of the pond needs to be a minimum of 30 inches to avoid hard freezes. In winter a Goldfish or Koi will almost go into hibernation remaining at the bottom of the pond. The experts say to make sure you have a lot of aquatic plants to boost the oxygen level in the pond. The aquatic plants will also provide sustenance for the Goldfish and Koi by filtering the pond will aid in oxygen levels and also to keep the water clean. You also need a few snails to help control the algae will grow in the pond. In an aquarium environment Goldfish are classified as a cold water fish which means they can live in a bowl without a heater. Goldfish feces produce a lot of waste which builds up to toxic levels fast. Whenever you keep a Goldfish in a small bowl or small aquarium, make sure to change the water often to avoid killing the fish. Only feed a Goldfish and Koi enough food that it can consume in one to two minutes because anything more will turn to waste, as the Goldfish has no stomach.




Secrets to Raising

Health Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crab 1The reason a Hermit Crab got its name is because, just like a Hermit it lives in abandoned dwellings. Aquatic pets like Hermit Crabs grow and are constantly looking for empty sea snails and mollusk shells in the tide pools, where they are mostly found. Their long soft abdomens act like a finger to grab on to the column Ella of the shell which also plays in the Hermit Crabs ability to retract their entire body into the shell to avoid predators. Most Hermit Crabs that are kept as pets are terrestrial species (land-based), of which there are about 15 species around the world. Hermit Crabs will not reproduce in captivity, unless commercial breeders fool them by stimulating a shoreline or a tide pool. After mating, the female carries the eggs in her shell. The developing baby crabs goes through four stages: the nauplius and protozoea in the egg, the zoea and megalops in the water. A molting process continues as they grow, which makes them very vulnerable and inactive, so to protect themselves with a burrow into the ground. And aquatic pets process of molting takes around 10 days and in this time they can regenerate any lost or broken leg or claw. Hermit Crabs molt according to their age from 2 months to 18 months. Hermit crabs are commonly used in aquatic pets saltwater aquariums as scavengers keep the tank free of algae and debris.




Enjoying Your

Oscar Fish

Oscar Fish 1Aquatic pets like Oscars in the wild have been known to leach lands of 18 inches and weigh up to 3 ½ pounds but as pets, the size and weight will depend on the size of the aquarium. Oscars are found in South America along the Amazon River basin in slow moving white water. The male comes of age to reproduce at one year of age and will stay active for the next 10 years. When Oscars spawn is said to be associated with South America’s rainy season, but little more is known about wild Oscar's reproduction. In captivity, Oscars will clean a flat surface to lay about 1 to 3000 eggs at a time. It is said that the best aquarium size for Oscars is a 75 gallon tank. Don’t worry about the arrangement of things in the aquarium because your Oscar will rearrange things to suit himself. Oscars are one of the headiest fish to have in an aquarium and lived a very long time. This will be a long-term commitment to a pet, like owning a dog or a cat and not like a guilty or goldfish. Always remember to close the lid on the aquarium, Oscars like to jump. 



 The Care of

Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish 1Aquarium is a structure having one transparent side which houses plants that thrive in water and aquatic pets. All kinds of things are kept in aquariums, from turtles to marine mammals to invertebrates to amphibians and especially aquatic pet fish. The first aquariums were in no more than marble ponds in Roman’s home. With the introduction of glass panes, the Roman user removed one of the marble pond walls and replaced it with a glass pane which enabled them better reviewing. At the same time, the Romans living by the sea would take Venetian glass jars and filled them with salt water and marine life in them but kept the aquatic pets jars outside. In the 14th century, the Chinese made large porcelain tubs to house and maintain goldfish and koi. Everything stayed about the same until the 1950s when both marine (salt water) and freshwater aquariums flourished when new methods of shipping tropical fish were invented. There were all kinds of shows with bicycle foot pumps for aeration. Now fish to be shipped for long distances and not have great die off rates. Electricity allows filtration, artificial lighting, aeration and water heaters. They were still having problems with metal frames for marine aquariums because of the corrosive nature of salt water. In the 1960s, with the invention of silicone sealer, it allowed the first all glass aquariums to be built. The basic aquarium was 20 gallons which is still the most popular size today. The modern aquarium has about the same equipment as the 1960s with the exception of a chiller for cold water applications. Unlike in the past, today you can’t use regular tap water to fill your aquarium because it now contains chlorides. You need to use additives formulated to remove chlorine and check on the package full how much time to allow the chemical to work. You also have to think about the temperature of your aquarium. If you will be setting up a tropical system, the average temperature is from 76°F to 82°F and if you set up a cold water system the temperature is from 50°F to 75°F. You’ll find there are two types of saltwater setups, the tropical marine and temperate marine. Also there are two types of freshwater setups, the tropical and the cold water. Salt water tanks are usually more bright and colorful and fresh water tanks, but salt water tanks require more maintenance. The fish are more costly and water tolerances are more critical in a saltwater tank. The fresh water tanks have more variety of fish and are easier to maintain with less effort. Learn more about tropical fish by Clicking Here!



 Turtle and Terrapin

Care

Turtle 1Aquatic pets like turtles have a two-piece shell. The upper shell is called the carapace in the lower is called the plastron. Both the shells are extensions of the turtle’s ribs and backbone, so is the bridges, a bony structure that holds the carapace and plastron together. The carapace is covered with scales made up of keratin (a fibrous protein) which provides extra strength to the shell. Most turtles and terrapins can retract their heads into the shell but if you cannot, so they throw their heads to one side. All turtles breathe air and if not land-based must surface from time to time to replenish their air supply. All turtles and terrapins lay their eggs on land. The textures of their eggs are soft and leathery. Just like alligators and crocodiles, temperature makes the difference in the sex of the offspring, high ambient air temperatures will produce the females and low ambient air temperatures will produce males. Most of the turtles hatched will head towards a water source.

If you are considering a turtle or terrapin as a pet and will keep them indoors, the experts say, depending on the size of the turtle or terrapin, the aquarium or terrarium must be 20 to 40 gallons. Hold the temperature around 80°F in the daytime and 70°F at night. Half wet half dry in most applications. If you plan to keep your turtle outside in a pen, be prepared full total to hibernate in the winter. Make sure that you build a hide box out of wood or rocks to give the turtle someplace to hide. Be sure there is some shade in the pen, but it is essential that the turtle can sun itself to provide vitamin D. do not try to induce hibernation with the use of a refrigerator because this could be dangerous in a power failure and the shock to the turtle’s system. 



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