Fish of the Week: Coral Beauty

Fish of the Week: Coral Beauty

Hello there fish folks! It’s been a busy couple of weeks out here. Getting geared up for the koi show in San Jose next weekend. I hope to see all you locals there! Check out our last post for the show flyer.

On to the fish! This week, our fish is the Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosa). Also known as the Two-spined or Dusky Angelfish, the

Courtesy of TropicalFishKeeping.com
Courtesy of TropicalFishKeeping.com

Coral Beauty is a brightly colored addition to any home aquarium. They are a good angelfish for beginner aquarists; these fish are relatively shy and get along with lots of other fish. They may act out towards any newcomers in the tank, so be sure to introduce Coral Beauty’s last or in a pair/group. You can have more than one per tank if there is enough room (~30 gal/fish). Like many angelfish species, the Coral Beauty may nip at some stony corals if they are present in your tank.

Overall, the Coral Beauty makes a stunning addition to any home aquarium. As with any fish species, make sure that other species in the tank, including corals, are compatible before making any new additions. And, please, quarantine all new fish additions for 4-6 weeks before adding them to your main tank. For more information on quarantine, check out our article, The Dreaded Quarantine.

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Fish of the Week: Tiger Barb

Fish of the Week: Tiger Barb

We’re back fish folks! It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Everyone’s koi ponds are starting to have more activity with the coming warmer weather. Make sure to check out our party photos from last week’s post. They’re awesome!

Onto the fish… Our fish of the week is the Tiger Barb! Tiger barbs (Puntius tetrazona) are great beginner fish for home freshwater tiger barbaquariums. Also known as the Sumatra barb, these fish are originally found in Sumatra and Borneo. They are very active fish that like to swim about in groups, so be sure to get a few! They may pick on slower moving fish, so make sure they all have enough room to feel comfortable. Even better to keep them in a tank with other active fish (tetras, danios, etc.) Being omnivores, they like a mix of veggies and meaty foods. In addition to a maintenance fish pellet, they like snacking on crunchy vegetables and dining on brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Fish of the Week: Goldfish with Eye Tumor

Fish of the Week: Goldfish with Eye Tumor

Hello fish folks! We have a fun case for your Monday today! Business is starting to heat up now that spring is on its way. We have 4 surgeries scheduled for the next two weeks, and this case got us started. This is a 5 year old goldfish that presented with a tumor protruding from its right eye.

Courtesy of Dr. J Sanders
Courtesy of Dr. J Sanders

It obviously looks uncomfortable for our little fish buddy, so we elected to remove the tumor and the eye attached. Fish can survive very well with only one or no eyes! This little guy had his own private penthouse, so can receive the best in personal care. I took an eye out of a koi living in a small pond a couple of months ago that had probably been unable to see for some time, but the owners were not aware! Fish can sniff out their food in the water, and sometimes they find a buddy or “seeing-eye fish” to help them navigate. Dogs that have gone blind can remember the layout of an entire house! Some owners never notice the vision deficiency until they take the dog somewhere new! So this little fish will be doing just fine with only one eye.

Courtesy of Dr. J Sanders
Courtesy of Dr. J Sanders

Since he lived in a small tank, we set him up in our new fish sling to keep him from falling to the bottom of the anesthetic tub. We have a new fish surgery table in production right now. Be sure to look for a post about that in the near future! It will mainly be for our larger koi abdominal surgeries, but I had it designed to fit the smaller guys too. The surgery went very well and the tumor/eye was removed easily. After a quick shot of pain meds, he went back in his home tank to recover.

Courtesy of Dr. J Sanders
Courtesy of Dr. J Sanders

Here he is post surgery! He recovered very well and was went back to swimming around his tank, happy to have the giant weight off his eye! The spot where his eye was will slowly start to grow skin over. Yay! Happy fish! Enjoy your Monday!

Fish of the Week: Bird Wrasse

The bird wrasse (Gomphosus varius) is a very peculiar looking fish. These saltwater fish use their long snout to catch tiny

Male bird wrasse - courtesy of UCBerkeley
Male bird wrasse – courtesy of UCBerkeley

crustaceans down in holes and crevices for food. Therefore, they should not be kept with shrimps and invertebrates that look like tasty treats and are classified as “not reef safe.” They should be kept in a tank that mimics their wild environment with lots of rocky crevices to root around in and other non-aggressive fish species. This fish species is another notorious jumping species, so make sure your lid is secure!

Males are usually the more green, whereas females tend to be more brown in coloration. You should only have one fish or one pair of male and female in a tank. Introduce the female to your tank first if you wish to establish a mating pair (males can be bullies to any newly introduced bird wrasse). This is a

Female bird wrasse - courtesy of Animal-World.com
Female bird wrasse – courtesy of Animal-World.com

peculiar fish species where the males are significantly large than females. These fish are also hermaphrodites, wherein if a male were to leave a territory or die, a female could become a male and take over. This means, if you buy two juvenile fish, you will end up with one male and one female.

Fish of the Week: Yellowhead Jawfish

Fish of the Week: Yellowhead Jawfish

Our fish of the week is the Yellowhead Jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons)! Yellowhead JawfishOtherwise known as pearly jawfish, these fish like to burrow in the sand and rubble to make their homes. They are a relatively peaceful fish, but also rather shy and like to hide in their burrows most of the time. If you would like to keep these fish, make sure you have at least 4″ of sand covering the bottom of your tank. Keep in mind that this additional substrate will make your tank extra heavy, so be sure that your tank is properly supported.

Other species of fish will usually leave the jawfish alone. Jawfish may try to chase away smaller fish investigating their subterranean burrows. Predatory fish, such as eels and groupers, will try to eat your jawfish. They are carnivorous fish, so make sure to give them some tasty, meaty meals twice daily.

Jawfish are also notorious jumpers so make sure your lid is secure and all holes, even the small ones, are covered.

When I was working in Mystic Aquarium, we had a jawfish tank that was undergoing renovation. After we removed the fish and all the sand, we found more fish living beneath the sand that no one had seen in a long time! They had lost all their color from living underground for so long!

Fish of the Week: Longnose Hawkfish

Fish of the Week: Longnose Hawkfish

Longnose HawkfishTwo weeks ago we had long horns, now a long nose: our fish of the week is the Longnose Hawkfish! These fish have a distinctive elongated snout that is used to snatch tiny shrimp out of rock crevices in coral reefs. They are a peaceful reef fish and are get along with many other fish species. This fish is an ambush predator, meaning, they will lie in wait for a tasty meal to drift by. If you are thinking about adding one to your home aquarium, do not expect them to be actively swimming around the tank! Most hawkfish will perch on rocks and corals for most of their day, but they do appreciate cracks and crevices to hide in. These fish have been known to leap out of their tanks, so a secure lid is required.

Longnose hawkfish will fight with similar individuals of the same sex. Fish may be injured if fighting ensues. These fish can be kept in male-female pairs, but no more. They are carnivorous fish and need to be fed brine shrimp or mysids at least once a day.

Fish of the Week: Royal Gramma

Fish of the Week: Royal Gramma

Royal GrammaHappy February fish folks! Our fish of the week is the Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto). These fish have a very distinctive coloration, with their front half being brilliant purple and their back half yellow. They are planktivores, meaning their diet consists of plankton containing  zooplankton and tiny crustaceans. In the wild, their love of tiny critters makes them excellent cleaner fish. They will swim around larger fish and eat parasites off their skin. The larger fish get a clean bill of health and the royal gamma gets a tasty meal!

Royal gammas are a fairly common marine aquarium fish and have been successfully bred in captivity. They are a relatively peaceful fish, but need enough room to establish a territory between some rocks or a crevice. They will eat several different types of food and do not need a lot of special care. Keep a single fish in a tank or a pre-established mating pair. Overall, they are a relatively hardy fish for a home aquarium and get along with many different species.

Don’t forget! Dr. Jessie Sanders will be speaking at the Pacific Coast Cichlid Association meeting this Saturday night! We hope to see you there!

Fish of the Week: Longhorn Cowfish

Fish of the Week: Longhorn Cowfish

longhorn cowfishOur fish of the week is the Longhorn Cowfish (Lactoria cornuta)! Another member of the coral reef ecosystem, these boxfish have angular bodies covered in thick, fused scales. This armor-like coating makes it a little hard to move, so cowfish use extra fin effort to propel themselves. They are bottom-feeders, blowing jets of water into the sand at the bottom of coral reef ecosystems to reveal the tasty snacks hiding just below the surface.

It is recommended that only one Longhorn Cowfish be kept in a home aquarium (250 gal or more). Preferably, they should be the first fish you introduce to a system. Give them plenty of time to acclimate before adding other fish. Their skin is poisonous and they release a toxin into the water when stressed, which can kill other fish, including other longhorns. They are omnivorous fish, but need to be kept away from aggressive eaters since they need time to ingest food (tiny mouth and all). These are certainly not a fish species for a beginner. They can start off cute and tiny (1″-2″), but have been known to grow up to 16″-20″ long!

Fish of the Week: Foxface

Fish of the Week: Foxface

FoxfaceThe foxface (Siganus vulpinus) is a marine fish that also goes by the name of Foxface Rabbitfish, Common Foxface, and Foxface Lo. In the wild, foxfaces live in coral reefs, usually in pairs guarding one territory. They have a mean defense mechanism in the form of venomous spines along their back dorsal fin. They are one of the easier fish to keep in a saltwater tank, provided their is a lot of room for them to swim around and all the other fish to swim around them (remember, spines!). A tank greater than 125 gal is recommended. It is not recommended that you combine different species of rabbitfish. For a great chart of marine fish compatibility, check out this page by LiveAquaria.

Coral-keepers be aware that the foxface will nibble at your coral, since this is part of its wild diet. Even with those spines, foxfaces are primarily herbivorous and like to have fresh veggies in their home aquariums. Please take extreme caution when handling these fish! They may decide to turn their spines on you! Use a net of appropriate size when moving foxfaces and make sure all family members know that these fish can be dangerous. (Not life threatening, but it will hurt A LOT!)

Fish of the Week: Arowana

Fish of the Week: Arowana

ArowanaHappy new year fish folks! We’re kicking off our 2014 Fish of the Week segment with the Arowana. The Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum) is a native of the Amazon basin. These amazing fish can reach up to 3′-4′ long! They can be kept in a home aquarium, but keep in mind that even the most advanced hobbyists have trouble with these fish. They like to eat other fish in their tanks, usually anything that fits in even part of its mouth. They have a tendency to leap out of the water, so a tight lid is essential. This jumping ability has earned them the nickname of “monkey fish.” Want to check them out in action in the wild? Click here! Arowana are mouth brooders, which means that Dad will carry the eggs in his mouth until they hatch, 50-60 days in total.

Still interested in keeping one yourself? Check out this great care sheet from the Petco files.