Aquarium Talk ... Fish Care Sheets


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Compliments of Aquarium Industries for providing detailed care sheets of many fish varieties are include below:


Cold Water Care Sheets

Coldwater or temperate species originate from colder climates such as Europe, Northern USA and Northern China. Goldfish, Bitterlings, Paradise Fish, White Clouds and Medakas are some examples. These species can be kept in indoor aquariums without the need for heaters and are suitable for beginners with a low budget. They are also suitable for outdoor ponds or tanks in most areas of Australia.

Goldfish in particular cover a huge range and are the best selling fish in Australia. Goldfish originate from China and have been bred there for more than 2,500 years. This long history of selective breeding has produced a variety of different colours, shapes, and fin arrangements which have seen this species become the biggest selling "Coldwater" fish in the world. They are excellent beginner fish and tolerant of a wide range of water qualities. They are also easy to feed and readily eat most aquarium foods.

The following Care Sheets cover some coldwater fish.

Goldfish New Season Syndrome
Mexican Walking Fish (General Care Sheet)
Mexican Walking Fish  (Recommended treatments if your Axolotl is ill.)
Pond Care
Fish for Frog Ponds


Tropical Care Sheets

Species in this group are sourced from Tropical regions throughout the world, for this reason they are best kept in heated aquariums. This group covers a large range of species and consists of many weird and wonderful species such as Elephant Nose and Black Ghost Knife Fish. It also includes other species such as the popular Neon Tetra - perhaps the next most popular aquarium species after goldfish!

Due to the wide range of species it is hard to make generalisations as to the keeping conditions and diet. However, most species are suited to a temperature of 22 - 26° C, a pH of 6.5 - 7.0 and general hardness of 50 - 100ppm. Many larger species will be aggressive or predatory and may not be suited for community tanks. The majority of the smaller species are well suited to community tanks, but for more specific information, consult species care sheets for specific information.

The following Care Sheets cover some tropical fish.

Barb Black Ruby
Black Ghost Knife Fish
Burmese Rummynose
Zebra Danios
Elephant Nose
Lipstick Characin
Paradise Fish
Rasbora - Harlequin
Rasbora - Scissortail
Rosy Barb
Siamese Flying Fox
Silver Dollar
Tetra Black Neon
Tetra Black Phantom
Tetra Rummynose
Tetra Splashing
White Cloud


Livebearers Care Sheets

Guppies are probably the most popular livebearer among both aquarium owners and advanced breeders. The once humble, dull-coloured guppy has become a sought after fish for hobbyists who are interested in genetic processes, resulting in many varieties of spectacular colourations and finnage. Their ease of breeding means that it is the first species many hobbyists begin to breed. However, because of intense breeding, fancier guppies can be harder to maintain.

Platys and Swordtails are of the same genus and are very similar in some aspects; in fact interbreeding between the 2 species is possible. The main difference is that male Swordtails have a 'sword' on their caudal tails. These two groups of fishes are also popular, very colourful and active. These fish are robust and tolerant of a wide range of aquarium conditions and are recommended for beginners. Mollies also make a great addition to the community aquarium and come in a range of bright colours and varieties.

The following are Livebearer Care Sheets available for download

General Livebearer


Cichlids Care Sheets

The cichlid family is one of the largest groups of fish on the planet with over 650 species found throughout the world. Some of the most popular varieties originate from the Amazon Basin and the Great Rift Valley of Eastern Africa. Cichlids have become increasingly popular and are ideally suited as aquarium fish given a number of their traits including size and feeding requirements.

The group covers a wide range of sizes and temperaments with many of the larger and Rift lake species being aggressive in nature and not suitable in general community tanks. For this reason, larger species are often kept in a 'large species' community tank. There are many beautiful colours displayed by this group, and it is often said that the Rift Lake species are as close as you can get to the stunning colours of marine fish in freshwater species. However, most cichlids do not develop their colour fully until they are adults and many are relatively dull when juvenile.

Feed requirements will vary, however most Cichlids readily take a range of pellets, frozen foods and most will benefit from some vegetable matter in the diet. Remember - large species will readily eat any small fish.

To learn more about caring for Cichlids please select from the following Care Sheets.

African Butterfly
African Riftlake
Angel Fish 
Apistogramma Agassizii
Apistogramma Cacatuoides
Convict Cichlid
Electric Yellow
Keyhole Cichlid


Catfish and Corydoras Care Sheets

Every tropical tank needs a catfish! They help keep the tank clean by eating algae and, as they are bottom feeders, will also eat any food particles that have remained un-eaten by the other fish in the tank. They originate from all around the world, with many of the more popular species coming from South America. Catfish are generally tolerant of a wide variety of water quality conditions and are easy to feed with sinking type feeds, but also benefit from feeding with partially boiled vegetables like pumpkin and zucchini.

Smaller species such as Sucking Catfish, Corydoras and Bristlenose are ideal in community tanks. However many larger species may be predatory, particularly at night and may not be suited to community tanks with small types of fish. Many of the smaller species such as Corydoras, are schooling by nature and are best kept in groups of 5 or more. They also look fantastic swimming around an aquarium in a group!

The following are Care Sheets for some of the key fish in this group.

Catfish General Overview
Albino Bronze Corydoras
Brochis Catfish
Bristlenose Catfish
L Number Catfish
Peppered Catfish
Phantom Glass Catfish
Pictus Catfish
Plecostomus Catfish
Sucking Catfish
Synodontis multipunctatus
Upside Down Catfish


Bettas and Gouramis Care Sheets

These fish belong to the Anabantid family and share the common trait that they can breath oxygen out of the air. They do this through a special organ called the Labyrinth Organ which is a modified gill which sits in a cavity above the gills. The fish is able to gulp air from the water surface which passes into the labyrinth organ where oxygen is taken out - by using this they are able to survive in small, muddy water-holes and it is often said that these species can live in elephant footprints! Bettas in particular have spectacular finnage and a huge range of colours make this an enormously popular pet. Male bettas must NOT be kept together as they will fight to the death. However, both males and females can be kept in community tropical tanks with other fish varieties but always remember - only one male per tank!

The species of gouramis found in this group generally make excellent community fish with similar sized fish and are not demanding as to water quality.

Please select one of the following Care Sheets

Siamese Betta Fish
Siamese Betta Identification Guide
Chocolate Gourami
Gourami Blue, Opaline and Gold
Dwarf Gourami
Honey Dwarf Gourami
Lace Gourami


Loaches, Eels and Sharks Care Sheets

Loach are striking scaleless fish which make an ideal addition to community tanks. As they are bottom-feeders, ensure that they get their share at feeding time. Handle Clown Loach with care, as they have a movable spine in the groove below the eye which, while not venomous, can inflict a painful wound

These beautiful fish have an interesting shark-like appearance, and graceful swimming habits. While still small, they will ignore smaller species such as Tetras, but as they grow they can become more aggressive and may try to eat them. Silver Sharks like to jump, so ensure that their tank has a cover!

The following are downloadable Care Sheets for Loaches, Sharks and Eels.

Shark - Red Tail
Silver Shark
Clown Loach
Kuhlii Loach
Reticulate Loach


Australian Natives and Rainbows Care Sheets

Australian native fish represent a large and diverse group and offer a 'local' feel to aquariums that are often dominated by fish from other continents. Popular native fish include Rainbows, Archer Fish, Barramundi, Perch, Murray Cod, Saratogas and Tandanus Catfish. These fish inhabit a range of environments from freshwater to brackish water conditions and temperate species suitable for coldwater tanks such as Murray River Rainbows to tropical species such as Archer Fish. Most species are easy to keep and fairly tolerant of varying water quality, although in general most species prefer neutral to slightly alkaline pH. They will generally accept most aquarium foods, and often benefit from frozen or live foods. It should be noted that Murray Cod, Barramundi and other large species are predatory species and will eat other fish, particularly as they grow and may not be suitable for a general community tank. Other species such as the Rainbowfish can be a great addition to a community tank.

As many of these fish are wild caught, supplies are generally seasonal with shortages sometimes occurring over the winter.

Archer Fish
Barcoo Grunter
Barred Grunter
Brackish Pufferfish
Catfish - Yellow Eel Tail
Desert Goby
Empire Gudgeon
Fly Speckled Hardyhead
Freshwater Sole
Glassfish Olive
Gulf Saratoga
Mangrove Jack
Mouth Almighty
Murray Cod
Peacock Gudgeon
Purple Spotted Gudgeon - Northern
Rainbow Lacustris
Rainbow Fish
Red Rainbow
Silver Perch
Tandanus Catfish


Freshwater Invertebrates Care Sheets

Invertebrates unlike fish do not have a backbone (vertebrae), rather they have a hard shell or exoskeleton which supports their body. This group contains a range of crustaceans which are fascinating creatures and add new interest and excitement to any aquarium tank. Many of these are native to Australia and are locally bred. Another interesting fact about crustaceans is that they grow by shedding their shell and growing a new shell - it is not uncommon to find an empty shell in the tank after they have moulted.

Land Hermit Crabs in particular are an excellent pet for young children, and as their name suggests do not live in water and are therefore relatively easy to look after when compared to other species!

The other group of invertebrates of interest are snails or molluscs, which are useful for helping to control algae. However, some snail species can eat aquatic plants and may themselves be eaten by certain species of fish such as Clown Loaches.

Please select from the following Care Sheets.

Cherry Shrimp
Cherry Spider Crab
Freshwater Brown Back Crabs
Freshwater Glass Shrimp
Freshwater Mussels 
Freshwater Prawns
Land Hermit Crab
Long Claw Freshwater Prawn
Mystery Snails
Yabbie Blue Pearl


Marine Care Sheets

Marine fish come from the ocean proper, generally tropical reefs. The immense size of the ocean provides these fish with an extremely stable habitat. For this reason it is important to maintain the tank carefully, particularly pH and salinity, in order to thrive. Specialist equipment such as protein skimmers is also required. As a general rule they will need relatively larger tanks than freshwater species and are kept at much lower stocking densities. Feeding some species of marine fish can be hard as they do not readily take flake or crumble foods and prefer to feed on frozen or live foods. Choosing tank mates should be done carefully as some species are predatory. It should also be noted that some species such as Lionfish and Foxface can have poisonous spines that can deliver extremely painful stings, or even cause death to people under some circumstances.

The following are Care Sheets for a number of popular marine fish.

Setting up a Marine Tank at Home
Marine Fish Guide to Health Problems
Banggai Cardinal
Clownfish Blue Lipped
Clownfish Maroon
Copperband Butterflyfish
Coral Hawkfish
Goby Green
Kuda Seahorse
Longnose Butterflyfish
Margined Butterflyfish
Rabbitfish Foxface
Racoon Butterflyfish
Snowflake Moray Eel
Southern Knight Seahorse
Tangs and Surgeon Fish
Yellow Tang
Volitan Lionfish
Zebra Lionfish


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