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Keeping an aquarium is a deceptively taxing responsibility. It needs care and attention on a daily basis. If you take care of general hygiene and the health of each and every fish, you can enjoy it for a long period of time. Looking for sick fish is an important aspect of aquarium care. A single fish suffering from some sort of infectious disease can spoil the health of all other fish present in the tank. Therefore, it is very important to find, quarantine, and treat the infected fish as early as possible.

Common Aquarium Fish Diseases

Bacterial Diseases: There are innumerable bacteria that can affect aquarium fish. Mycobacterium causes tuberculosis. The affected fish may lose color and get hollow-bellied. It may develop ulcers on the underside of its skin, which may rupture causing open sores or 'pop-eye'. Another bacterium called Aeromonas causes dropsy. The diseased fish shows some characteristic signs of dropsy. It has protruding scales, pale gills, bulging eyes, and its body cavity is inflated by fluid. It may have red patches on its skin. The bacterium Pseudomonas causes 'fin rot' disease. The affected fish has discolored fins. If it is not treated in time, its fins may start to disintegrate, and it becomes more prone to fungal infections.

Fungal Diseases: Many kinds of fungal infections are life-threatening to aquarium fish. Fungi such as Saprolegnia and Achlya cause a disease called 'cotton wool disease'. As the name suggests, wool-like masses can be seen on the fish's body. Another fungal disease, gill rot, is caused by Branchiomyces. The affected fish has gills covered with mucus. The gills also appear mottled in appearance. This particular fungal disease occurs in concentrated aquariums with high levels of ammonia or nitrate. A common fungal infection of aquarium fish is ichthyophthirius multifiliis, or ick. It is caused by a protozoan, Ichthyopthirius. Fish suffering from this disease develop small, round, ulcerated, black granulomas on the skin. They often show scoliosis. On internal examination, numerous granulomas can be seen in several visceral organs.

Viral Diseases: Lymphocystis is a common viral disease in both marine and freshwater fish. The commonly affected fish are cichlids and gourami. Lymphocystis is not infectious. It mostly develops in response to poor environmental conditions and stress. Poor aquarium conditions, especially water quality, is usually held responsible for initiating Lymphocystis. The affected fish develop wart-like growths on their fins. These growths are often colored light brown, and have a rough, cauliflower-like texture. Another common viral disease is caused by the dwarf gourami iridovirus (DGIV). The diseased fish show discoloration of the skin, loss of appetite, and reluctance to move. They may develop sores and lesions on the body.

Non-infectious Diseases: These are caused by environmental, nutritional, and genetic factors. Some of the environmental factors are high amounts of ammonia, high levels of nitrite, low level of oxygen, or toxins in the aquarium. The main nutritional factor leading to such diseases is a deficiency of vitamins. The setup of the tank, or the makeup of the diet will have to be changed to remedy these conditions. Genetic abnormalities can't be controlled, and are, by definition, a random aberration.

Now, you know the characteristic symptoms of some commonly occurring diseases. Make use of the given information to the fullest to let your pet underwater world flourish.

Aquariums have always been a part of my house. It has become a kind of a family tradition to keep and maintain a beautiful aquarium. My grandmother was the one who was crazy about fish, and I suppose she passed on a little craziness about fish to her daughters. They too have aquariums at their homes, and they passed on the gene of 'fish craze' over to us third generation kids. We cannot imagine our houses without our fish tank, irrespective of whether we have the smallest size or the largest. But, having one was absolutely compulsorily. I enjoy watching my fish swim around the aquarium. My hungry goldfish always asking for food or my majestic Siamese fighter which displays finery in great grandeur. There are many aquarium fish species like salt water and freshwater fish. Many of these types of fish for an aquarium have found a dwelling at our homes.

Types of Fish for an Aquarium

Before bringing home an aquarium fish, there are many things you need to consider about the behavior of the fish. You may bring home fish based on their color and shape, but do you know that many fish types are not compatible with each other and have been found to be aggressive instead. Therefore, you need to consider bringing home fish that are peaceful, friendly, and create a happy environment within the aquarium. There are 3 types of fish for an aquarium, namely, community fish, semi-aggressive fish, and non-community fish.

Community Aquarium Fish

Community fish are the best types of fish that can be brought home by a first time fish owner. These are peaceful fish and have no problems sharing the fish tank with other types of aquarium fish species. These are shoaling fish and enjoy being with many other fish of their own type. The most common community fish that are kept by beginners include:

  • Molly
  • Platy
  • Guppy
  • Neon Tetra
  • Banjo Catsifh
  • Barbs
  • Bronze Corydoras
  • Blue Eyed Plecostomos
  • Lemon Tetra
  • Harlequin Rasbora
  • Honey Gourami
  • Leopard Corycat
  • Swordtail
  • Leopard Danio
  • Masked Cory
  • X-ray Tetra
  • Zebra Loach

These are just a few names of community fish. You have a choice of hundreds of types of these fish species. These types of fish co-exist peacefully in the tank and exhibit a beautiful display of colors and shapes.

Semi-aggressive Aquarium Fish

Semi-aggressive aquarium fish are a little naughty ones. They can live in a community tank but end up nibbing and troubling the little and calmer fish. The Red-tailed Shark and Rainbow Shark are the types of aquarium fish species that can live in a community tank with only the members of their own kind. Tiger barbs can survive with other fish but are semi-aggressive. They tend to have a little fin nipping crave that becomes bothersome for other fish. The following types of fish species are semi-aggressive:

  • Angelfish
  • Black Acara
  • Aurora Cichlid
  • Blue Gourmani
  • Dragon Fish
  • Fire Eel
  • Spotted Puffer
  • Red-Tailed Black Shark
  • Rainbow Shark
  • Paradise Fish
  • Leopard Bluefish
  • Keyhome Cichlid
  • Firemouth Cichli
  • Black Ghost Knifefish
  • Three Spot Gourami
  • Krib
  • Electric Yellow Cichlid

If you get any of these fish along with your cool and peaceful community fish, you will surely see some action in your fish tank.

Non-community Aquarium Fish

These fish need a supply of live fish in their diet, and other fish swimming in the same tank become a live prey! Put in a few goldfish and neon tetras with your Tiger Oscars and within 15 minutes you will only find the Tiger Oscars swimming around with a satisfied look. These fish also tend to grow quite large and obviously feed on the little ones. The other types of aquarium fish species that fall in the non-community group are:

  • Asian Arowana
  • Auratus Cichlid
  • Graceful catfish
  • Spoyyed Pirhana
  • Indian Algae Eater
  • Chinese Algae Eater
  • Clown Knife Fish
  • Cuvier's Bichir
  • Electric Blue Johanni
  • Florida Gar
  • Needle Nose Gar
  • Green Terror
  • Kenyi Cichlid
  • Oscar fish
  • Silver Arowana

These are a few non-community aquarium fish that cannot be surely kept with the community or even semi-aggressive type of fish.

There are also other types of fish for an aquarium that can be categorized further in the below-mentioned three groups. These aquarium fish are divided according to the type of water they are found in.

Types of Saltwater Aquarium Fish

These saltwater aquarium fish are found in marine or saltwater and the following are a few types of saltwater fish species:

  • Gouramis
  • Angelfish
  • Archerfish
  • Butterfly Fish
  • Arowana
  • Blennies
  • Catfish
  • Cardinal Fish
  • Tetras
  • Damselfish
  • Mormyride
  • Puffer Fish
  • Hatchet Fish

These are just a few names of the many types of saltwater fish species. There is a huge range of fish and their subtypes to choose from for your saltwater fish tank setup.

Types of Tropical Aquarium Fish

These types of fish are found in the tropical waters around the world. The following are just a few names from the wide range of types of tropical fish:

  • Anabantids
  • Catfish
  • Characins
  • Cichlids
  • Cypriniformes
  • Livebeares
  • Rainbow fish
  • Tropical Arowanas
  • Tropical Puffers
  • Brackish Fish

There may be a few names common to the saltwater and freshwater types of fish, but the subspecies that are found in different waters differentiate them.

Types of Freshwater Aquarium Fish

These types of freshwater aquarium fish inhabit the freshwater bodies. There are thousands of freshwater fish and a few of them are mentioned below:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Swordfish
  • Platies
  • Betta Fish
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Danios
  • Loaches
  • Catfish

These are a few fish that will help you understand about the different types of aquarium fish. Just narrow down your choices and do some research about the fish of your choice over the Internet. You may even ask your friends who have kept fish as pets for help. Fish are by far one of the best pets in the world. They just stay at one corner of your house, you need to feed them twice a day, change the water once in a few weeks, you never have to hear them cry or howl, and they never dirty your home or fear 'run away' fish. As a first time owner, I would advice you to get some small and sturdy fish to help you get started and gradually move up to the more exotic ones. Aquarium fish will surely help you calm your nerves and provide a peaceful, serene environment in your home.

Look for attractive freshwater fish and you will definitely find goldfish leading the most preferred list. Taxonomically classified under the carp family, its scientific name is Carassius auratus auratus. Other aquarium fish belonging to the same family are crucian carp and koi carp. More than 500 goldfish are identified, of which some are popularly reared as pets in aquariums. In terms of variation in color, you cannot believe the diversity of goldfish.

Different Goldfish Types

Native to east Asia, goldfish is probably one of the first fish known to be domesticated in garden ponds and fish tanks for recreation purposes. Till today, it is the most sought-after aquarium fish. Thanks to the advances in selective goldfish breeding, today we can choose pet goldfish from so many varieties. Given below is a list of different goldfish types, which you can consider keeping in garden ponds and aquariums.

Common Goldfish: The common goldfish lacks fancy features and is more or less similar to the wild carp, from which the common type is bred commercially. Unlike the ancestral carp, it is found in white, yellow, golden orange, and red. Most of the other fancy types of goldfish are bred from common goldfish.

Black Moor: As the name signifies, black moor goldfish is blackish in color. In recent times, more black moor varieties with variant colors (white, red, calico, bronze, lavender, chocolate) have been developed. Some of them have prominent eyes that protrude out from the head. Such black moor goldfish are also referred to as telescope goldfish.

Bubble Eye Goldfish: A small fancy variety of goldfish, the bubble eye possesses an unusual pair of eyes that point upwards. These eyes are surrounded by fluid filled sacs that resemble bubbles. The sacs, when punctured regrow with time. In aquariums, they should be kept with mild temperament fish.

Comet Goldfish: With a long and deeply forked tail, the comet goldfish is the most frequently kept aquarium fish in the United States. The body shape of comet is similar to the common variety, except that the former is smaller in size and slimmer. Comet goldfish comes in white, yellow, orange, red, and red mixed with white color.

Fantail Goldfish: Fantail goldfish is the oldest breed found in shades of orange and red, which is still reared as pets. It has a very long quadruple caudal fin that accounts to about 33 percent of the total body length. The ryukin goldfish is bred from fantail type. It can be identified from the hump in the shoulder and a quadruple caudal fin.

Lionhead Goldfish: The lionhead goldfish is a fancy variety having a prominent hood over the head and fat cheeks. The short and arched body of lionhead goldfish lacks dorsal fins. It comes in a wide range of pure and mixed colors. Another goldfish type, ranchu is bred from lionhead goldfish.

Oranda Goldfish: The characteristic features of oranda goldfish are the presence of a hood like structure above the head and quadruple tail. The fleshy head growth completely encloses the head, except the mouth and eyes. Oranda is available in shades of white, silver, orange, red, red mixed with white or black, bronze, chocolate, blue, and black.

Pearlscale Goldfish: Characterized by presence of thick and dome-shaped scales (like pearls), pearlscale goldfish body is very short, egg-shaped, and resembles a golf ball. It comes in a wide range of colors. Its fins are identical with fantail variety. Any variant of pearlscale having a head growth is known as crown pearlscale.

Pompom Goldfish: You can easily identify pompom (or pompon) goldfish from the two loose fleshy outgrowths located on each side of the head (in between the nostrils). Based on the particular breed, a pompom may or may not have dorsal fins. It also comes in color combination of white, silver, orange, red, and black colors.

Easy to care and graceful with long fins and tail, there is hardly any other freshwater fish that is as variable as goldfish. Apart from aquariums and garden ponds, introducing different types of goldfish to stagnant water bodies help control mosquito breeding. Though it is fascinating to watch

pet goldfish in bowls, never keep them in such a confined space. Rather, you can let your pet enjoy a spacious environment in aquariums or ponds. With correct goldfish care tips and attention, you can enjoy watching this golden beauty for as long as 10 years.

Setting Up Aquariums: Where Do I Start?

Aquarium equipment

To set up fish tank aquariums you will need this equipment: filter, lighting, heater, gravel, plants and décor. You will also want replacement filter media and aquarium test kits to examine water parameters and monitor the nitrogen cycle. I enthusiastically advise buying entire system fish tank aquariums which come with all the necessary aquarium equipment. This means you are not confused as to what precisely you need for setting up your fish tank or bewildered by the range of numerous types of equipment for sale. Purchasing tank aquariums with all you want gives you peace of mind and relieves a lot of pressure!

Establishing your aquarium

Before buying an aquarium you need to decide on the space you have free and investigate the adult size of the fish you want to keep, both of which will suggest the size and shape of aquarium that would be suitable. Considering all this has been carefully designed and your perfect aquarium is sitting with all the essential equipment ready to be set up, you can follow these steps to stress-free successful aquarium setup.

1. Position aquarium (on a stand, if needed) in an area away from direct sunlight, draughts and heat, as these alter the light and temperature of the fish tank. Also make certain that the floor is able to support the total weight of the aquarium when filled with water (approximately 10 pounds per gallon of water).

2. Rinse out the aquarium with water as hot as you can tolerate. Do not use detergents or soaps as residue will be detrimental to tropical fish.

3. Position the under-gravel filter in the bottom of the fish tank (if your aquarium comes with one), following the instructions included.

4. Wash the gravel thoroughly in hot water using a sieve to take out any dust or debris. Add the gravel to the aquarium, covering the under-gravel filter. Create a gentle slope of gravel, deepest at the back.

5. Wash all artificial decorations and plants in hot water and arrange in the fish tank.

6. Fasten the aquarium heater to the inside of the tank with its suction cups but do not plug it in for at least 30 minutes until the thermostat has adjusted to the water temperature, otherwise the heater may shatter. Obviously, you need to have researched the species you anticipate to keep to learn about specific temperature requirements.

7. Set up the aquarium filter following the instructions enclosed, placing the filter media inside.

8. Put a dish on the bottom of the aquarium to break the force of the water and fill the aquarium with water that is at room temperature. Add de-chlorinator to the water if you are using tap water that is unfiltered. Look for any rare leaks as you fill the tank. (They are easily repaired with aquarium silicone).

9. Unless the lighting of the aquarium is previously fitted underwater, place the light on top.

10. Plug in all the equipment and check that everything is working correctly. Ensure there is a dip in the cord before it reaches the electrical outlet, known as a 'drip loop'. This ensures the water drips off onto the floor and does not pass directly into the electrical socket.

Your aquarium is now ready to run in its self but is still not ready for sustaining freshwater fish. Beneficial bacteria needs to be established first, and the aquarium environment then needs to change as new fish are gradually added.

How to proceed after initial aquarium setup

Allow the tank to settle and the water stabilize for some days. During this time you should keep monitoring the water parameters using aquarium test kits to ensure they are ideal for the fish you intend to have (temperature, pH, hardness, and ammonia).

Nitrogen cycle

You will then need to begin the nitrogen cycle so your fish tank will be ready to support healthy tropical fish (see related article 'Setting-Up Tropical Freshwater Fish Tank Aquariums: The Nitrogen Cycle').

Aquarium care

When the nitrogen cycle is finished and you start adding fish to your fish tank, you should start on a maintenance plan. Each day make sure that fish are healthy, especially during feeding times, and make sure that the filters and heaters are functioning properly. Wash your tank every one to two weeks and carry out 25% water changes once a month.

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Aquarium equipment

To set up tropical freshwater fish tank aquariums you will need this equipment: filter, heater, lighting, gravel, plants and dcor. You will also need replacement filter media and aquarium test kits to assess water parameters and check the nitrogen cycle. I enthusiastically recommend buying whole system aquariums which come with all the vital aquarium equipment. This means you are not bewildered as to what exactly you need for setting up your aquarium or bewildered by the array of different types of equipment for sale. Purchasing tank aquariums with all you want gives you peace of mind and relieves a lot of hassle!

Setting up your aquarium

Before purchasing an aquarium you must decide on the room you have free and research the adult size of the fish you want to keep, both of which will show the size and shape of fish tank that would be suitable. Considering all this has been carefully designed and your ideal fish tank is there with all the necessary equipment ready to be set up, you can follow these steps to hassle-free successful aquarium setup.

1.Place aquarium (on a stand, if needed) in an area away from direct sunlight, draughts and heat, as these change the light and temperature of the tank. Also make certain that the floor is able to carry the full weight of the fish tank when filled with water (approximately 10 pounds per gallon of water).

2.Rinse out the aquarium with water as hot as you can tolerate. Do not use detergents or soaps as residue will be detrimental to tropical fish.

3.Put the under-gravel filter in the bottom of the aquarium (if your aquarium comes with one), following the instructions included.

4.Clean the gravel thoroughly in hot water using a sieve to eliminate any dust or debris. Add the gravel to the tank, covering the under-gravel filter. Create a gentle slope of gravel, deepest at the back.

5.Rinse all artificial plants and decorations in hot water and display in the aquarium.

6.Fix the aquarium heater to the inside of the tank with its suction cups but do not plug it in for at least 30 minutes until the thermostat has adjusted to the water temperature, otherwise the heater may break. Obviously, you need to have researched the species you plan to keep to learn about specific temperature needs.

7.Set up the aquarium filter according to the instructions included, putting the filter media inside.

8.Rest a dish on the bottom of the aquarium to break the power of the water and fill the fish tank with water that is at room temperature. Add de-chlorinator to the water if you are using unfiltered tap water. Check for any rare leaks as you fill the fish tank. (They are easily repaired with aquarium silicone).

9.Unless the lighting of the aquarium is previously fitted underwater, put the light on top.

10.Plug in all the equipment and ensure that everything is working correctly. Make sure there is a dip in the cord before it reaches the electrical outlet, known as a 'drip loop'. This ensures the water drips off onto the floor and does not run directly into the electrical socket.

Your aquarium is now ready to run in its self but is still not ready for supporting tropical freshwater fish. Beneficial bacteria needs to be established first, and the aquarium atmosphere then needs to alter as new fish are gradually added.

How to continue after initial aquarium setup

Allow the tank to settle and the water stabilize for some days. Throughout this time you should keep monitoring the water parameters using aquarium test kits to guarantee they are proper for the fish you propose to have (temperature, pH, hardness, and ammonia).

Nitrogen cycle

You will then need to begin the nitrogen cycle so your aquarium will be ready to sustain healthy freshwater fish (see related article 'Setting-Up Tropical Freshwater Fish Tank Aquariums: The Nitrogen Cycle').

Aquarium upkeep

When the nitrogen cycle is finished and you start adding fish to your fish tank, you should initiate a maintenance schedule. Daily ensure that fish are healthy, especially during feeding times, and ensure that the filters and heaters are operating correctly. Clean your fish tank every one to two weeks and carry out 25% water changes once a month.

Copyright 2009 Jill Kaestner @ Kaestner Marketing LLC

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