Tag Archives: Angelfish

Rare sighting of Flying Aquarium Fish

1 Apr

A few months ago I was lucky enough to see one of the rarest sights that fish-keepers can see.

I went downstairs to feed the fish and a tankful of young Angelfish had escaped from their tank and were flying around the basement.  I fumbled for my cell-phone and snapped some photos.

CAM01885I didn’t understand how this could be happening!  I was going Click-click-click with the camera.

CAM01875   I could hear a gentle buzzing sound.

CAM01872Their little fins were beating like a Hummingbirds!!

CAM01876I turned to run upstairs and tell my wife what was happening. Then I heard splashing. The fish were diving back into the tank!

A moment later they were cruising around the surface begging to be fed, like nothing strange had occurred!! Oh, my head was spinning. I walked up to the tank and sprinkled in some food. They ate like they were starving!

You can imagine my shock at all of this. I took two days off of work trying to figure out if I was going crazy. Eventually I started searching the Internet Aquarium Forums , using a fake name of course, and asked for anyone to share their experiences with me about aquarium fish flying around the house.

Well, what I learned was a big surprise. One of the most common of the flying fish are Angelfish. They have skinny, light-weight bodies and when they get into the air their fins can beat 1,000 times per minute. That explains the sound I heard. And, it seems that young Angelfish are most likely to be seen while flying. They are young and excited and are so busy goofing off they don’t notice the human approaching.

But, they can’t fly very long. The fins dry quickly and they must return to water within a minute or so. Plus, they can only eat while in the aquarium. They need a little sip of water to help swallow their food.

If you have goldfish you can forget about seeing them fly. They are too fat, simple as that. Here is my Black Moor Goldfish:

He can barely swim, much less fly.

He can barely swim, much less fly.

One fish that is built to fly is the Pufferfish. For years it was thought that Puffers inflate themselves to save them from a predators bite. But that is not true. The Puffers inflate and then quickly rise into the air. They float around like a blimp, safe from the sharks and turtles below.

Credit for photo found at "puffer fish smile" at Galleryhip.com

Credit for photo found at “puffer fish smile” at Galleryhip.com

I know this information may come as a surprise to you and I don’t want to alarm anyone who has Eels or Piranhas.

Credit for photo at footage.shutterstock.com

Credit for photo at footage.shutterstock.com

Eels are too thin to fly. If they escape the aquarium the worse they can do is slither across the floor and go up your pants leg.

Piranhas are simply too dumb to return to the aquarium. I have heard that they fly out of the tank and dash about a few seconds before crashing into a wall or the floor, never to regain consciousness.

Please feel free to add your comments and experiences regarding this subject. In this way, we can make a contribution to an obscure facet of scientific knowledge.

Meanwhile, I’ll turn on one of my favorite albums from the 70’s and ponder those Tales From Topographic Oceans. Rock on, fellow fish lovers!

tales

 

 

 

 

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The Gold Barb ( Puntius semifasciolatus )

3 Dec

I bought a group of young Gold Barbs at the Fish Club. At the time I didn’t know how many I had purchased. It turns out I have 16 of them! They sold them cheap, it probably worked out to less than 50 cents per fish.

They’ve grown a lot these past few months and I have to say they are a terrific fish. I think they are so happy because I have them in a school. It makes me wonder how many Barbs school together in the wild. Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? And we put them in tanks, maybe two or three at a time, sometimes all alone!!

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While other fish cruise around the upper levels, the Gold Barb tends to hang around the lower third of the tank.

Gold Barbs are only about 2 inches long. They are sharing their tank with some young Angelfish.

Gold Barbs are only about 2 inches long. These are sharing their tank with some young Angelfish.

When you can, buy schooling fish in schools! We all have a tendency to buy 2 of everything. Believe me,  I have done it.

If you are setting up a tank to make a visual impact the way to do it is not with 40 fish of 20 different species but with, let’s say, 35 fish of one species and a few pairs or loners of other kinds.

The most beautiful planted aquariums in the world ALWAYS have large schools of fish, like Cardinal Tetras or Rummy-nosed Tetras, or Congo tetras. The possibilities are endless.

Well, anyway, don’t forget the Gold Barb. I’m glad to have gotten my little school of them.

PVC pipe for Angelfish spawning

17 Oct
The male Silver Angel.

The male Silver Angel.

Pieces of flat slate rock have been the standard surface to use when spawning Angelfish. I came across some short pieces of PVC pipe and, as you can see, my Angelfish pair laid their eggs on it. It only took about 2 days for them to become very interested in the PVC as a spawning site. Place it at an Angel, I mean angle, like you see in the photo.

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Here's the mom.

Here’s the mom.

At first I gave this pair the opportunity to raise the babies, but that didn’t work. The next time they spawned I removed the eggs and PVC and laid it on it’s side in a shallow tank with a heater and aeration.

Then I added Hydrogen Peroxide drops as an anti-fungal agent. I used about 3 milliliters per 2 gallons. As you can see, I also attached a”T” piece of PVC to the tube to prevent the PVC from rolling on it’s side and crushing the eggs and babies.

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The babies hatch and spend a few days on the bottom of the tank.

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 The baby Angles, I mean Angels, grew fast on baby Brine Shrimp and Banana Worms. Now they are eating crushed flake food as well. I have been using Earthworm flakes because it’s a high-protein food.

CAM01241CAM01460CAM01512Angels will lay their eggs wherever they can, but using a flat rock or PVC allows you to remove it and raise the babies.  A sturdy plastic plant with big leaves makes a good site, too. I have seen Angel eggs on heater tubes and the side of the aquarium.

Eggs laid on a branch.

Eggs laid on a branch.

Random thoughts, a post for those of us with no attention span whatsoever

1 May
My son gave me some candy called a Swedish Fish. Yummy! Are they made in Sweden?

My son gave me some candy called a Swedish Fish. Yummy! In America the Swedish Fish are made in Canada 😦

Treat your fish once in awhile. Here's a bowl of peas, brine shrimp and cocktail shrimp.

Treat your fish once in awhile. Here’s a bowl of peas, brine shrimp and cocktail shrimp.

Her'es an extra piece of pond liner that I gave to a friend who might make a pond this year...or next.

Here’s an extra piece of pond liner that I gave to a friend who might make a pond this year…or next.

My wife and i lined this planter with strips of pond liner. The planter dries out too fast. Water can drain out between the strips but hopefully not too fast.

My wife and I lined this planter with strips of pond liner. The planter always dries out too fast. Now, water can drain between the strips but hopefully not too fast.

All done, waiting for Spring!

All done, waiting for Spring!

A few weeks ago, the last bit of snow in the yard.

A few weeks ago, the last bit of snow in the yard.

Spring comes, then it snows again.

Spring comes, then it snows again.

...so feed the birds!!

…so feed the birds!!

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Finally the rains came, and the ponds filled with worms!! i have netted hundreds of worms form the pond. Great fish food, especially for Catfish and Cichlids. If you poison your yard, don't feed the worms to your fish.

Finally the rains came, and the ponds filled with worms!! I have netted hundreds of worms from the pond. Great fish food, especially for Catfish and Cichlids. If you poison your yard, don’t feed the worms to your fish.

Our Golden Retriever hears someone has just gotten home.

Our Golden Retriever hears someone outside.

A few warm days and we think Spring is finally here. We have been fooled 4 or 5 times so far.

A few warm days and we think Spring is finally here. We have been fooled 4 or 5 times.

The Chinese Curly Willow has made it through Winter!!

The Chinese Curly Willow has made it through Winter!!

Too much Caulerpa in the Saltwater tank.

Too much Caulerpa in the Saltwater tank.

I took some to a fish auction.

I took some to a fish auction.

I bought afish tank at the auction, and some plants but my favorite purchase was astack of this magazine from 1969 to 1971. Practical Fishkeeping!!

I bought a fish tank at the auction, and some plants, but my favorite purchase was a stack of this magazine from 1969 to 1971. Practical Fishkeeping!!

Winter is returning tonight , for the fifth time this Spring. My brother sent me this pic of the turtles in Missouri. But it will be cold down there, too. A strange year so far.

Winter is returning tonight, for the fifth time this Spring. My brother sent me this pic of the turtles in Missouri. But it’s getting  cold down there, too. A strange year so far.

A view of Red Swordtails and young Angelfish from above.

A view of Red Swordtails and young Angelfish from above.

A Spring salad today and the snow is coming again.

A Spring salad today and the snow is coming again.

This old girl, who I've had for 23 years , enjoyed the day as well.

This old girl, who I’ve had for 23 years , enjoyed the day as well.

Now THAT’S a fish show!!

31 Mar

I joined our local fish club a few months ago and today I went to their annual aquarium show.

I was impressed. The tanks were beautiful, the fish bigger and prettier than any I have ever had.

This Altum Angelfish is about twice as big as my Scalare Angels.

This Altum Angelfish is about twice as big as my Scalare Angels.

I think people who see these aquariums will say to themselves, “That is so pretty, maybe we should get a fish tank!”

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What do people say when they enter a pet store? “Look at all the fish.”

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Typical petstore aquarium. Nice fish, but not something to put in the living room.

Display tanks, both large and small, may not be a waste of space in a retail store if it motivates customers to get an aquarium. To anyone who thinks that aquariums take up too much room, you should have seen some of the little tanks at the fish show.

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This tank is only a few gallons. Maybe 10 liters or so.

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Another little one.

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One of my favorite fish, the Harlequin Rasbora.

One of my favorite fish, the Harlequin Rasbora.

Big Sterbai Corydoras.

Big Sterbai Corydoras.

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I’ve never seen this fish species before. I need to get Googling.

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Platies are great for beginners and experienced aquarists. Maybe the perfect fish.
Hardy, many color variations, easy to breed.

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See the big Pleco tail sticking out of the cave? There are tons of juvenile Plecos in this tank, too.

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This Plecostomus must be nearly 2 feet long.

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The fish show is held at a greenhouse. Here is a banana tree. In Iowa, we don’t see banana trees very often. I was impressed.

Troubles with Angelfish

21 Mar

Some of my adult Angelfish have died recently. Two different tanks and different symptoms.

It started over a month ago with my female Marble Angel. She was the mother of the 70 babies that are now living in various tanks here in Eastern Iowa.  One day I noticed she looked lethargic, sitting near the bottom. It was puzzling. The next day she was dead!

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I suspect that she banged into the side or top of the aquarium and could not recover. An aquarium is a very foreign environment, even to a fish.  Vertical glass walls with a plastic or glass top.

One thing we can do to avoid this problem is to turn the lights on or off gradually. When I go into the fishroom I turn on an overhead room light. Then I turn on a light over some houseplants I have.  Finally, I start turning on the tank lights.

At night I do the reverse, of course. Fish lights off first, then the plants , then the room light.

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Then I lost this poor girl to Heximita, which I wrote about in a previous post.

THEN, I was given 4 adult Angelfish!

A neighbor gave me these fish. Originally, he bought 2 of my young Gold Angelfish, $1 each!.  I didn’t know he lived two blocks away. I gave him some plants, and later helped set up his Angelfish rearing tank, complete with brine shrimp, etc. Then, he wanted some Jack Dempseys and …ta da!… I had Jack Dempseys to give him so… he gave me Angelfish.

A breeding pair of Marble Koi Angels.

A breeding pair of Marble Koi Angels.

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…plus this Angel on the right.

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A week later this fish was dead.

AND another adult that he gave me died!!! I didn’t have it long enough to get a photo of it. That one had ragged fins and a bloated belly and was no surprise but the one up above… well, it has just confused me.

I guess the point is…some fish you can save. Some you can’t. Some diseases and injuries come on so fast there is no time to diagnose the problem. In those cases I think it’s a good idea to think about the general condition of the aquarium and make substantial water changes. You can test the water all you want but I still say, CHANGE the WATER!!! I’m talking like 20 percent every day for a week. After all, it’s called FRESH WATER right? Observe the fish awhile and see if any of the fish are being harassed by others.

Try not to be discouraged when a fish dies. If you learn from it and stick with it you will find yourself raising fish by the hundreds!

You can blame me when that happens.

Curing a sick Angelfish (Hexamita)

7 Mar
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Healthy Angelfish. No bumps around the head.

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White bumps on both sides of head, one developing into a larger sore.

A month ago I noticed the beginnings of an illness in my female Silver Angelfish. She had white spots or bumps around her head.

I had a Silver Angel pair living in a 55 gallon community tank with large tetras, swordtails, Corydoras catfish and a few other species. I haven’t added any new fish to this tank in a long time so I can’t pinpoint where this disease may have come from.

The female continued to eat and swim around normally. I noticed more white spots all around her head. This was not Ich. The spots were too big and , believe me, I’ve seen Ich before.

I didn’t take any action. She was still eating and swimming strong and I wasn’t sure what it was.

My brother immediately diagnosed it as Heximita, which is the organism that causes Hole-in -the -head disease. I still wasn’t sure.

I did some reading on the Internet about this condition and found several discussions that conclude that the problem is a fungus. A fungus? Now I was confused. It looked like a parasite to me.
I went to our local fish shop. Not Long John Silver’s or Red Lobster, I mean an aquarium store. I showed the owner the photograph that is on this page . She dismissed the idea of Hexamita.  “Discus get Hole-in-the -Head Disease”.  She talked about “pus pockets”.

“Take the fish out and lance the biggest growth, see if it’s pus-filled. Then add some salt to the tank.” I thought the salt sounded like a fair idea and I appreciated her honest opinion. She wasn’t just trying to sell me something.

When I got home the female was dead.  Darn it! I should have done something!

By then the male Silver had acquired this disease. Same thing. Large white spots around the head. No other fish in this tank were sick or dying.

I had to act. I put the male in bucket of water from a non-diseased tank. I have a medication called Clout. It says to use one tablet for 10 gallons of water. The bucket holds about 3 1/2 gallons of water. I dissolved the tablet in a small amount of water and put one-third of it into the bucket with the Angelfish. By the way, I also had a heater and an airstone running in the bucket.

clout

After two days, I changed the water completely and added another third of the solution. Then, after two more days, changed the water again and added the final dose.

I changed the water one final time and waited a few more days. I don’t know what the life-cycle is of this disease. After about 8 days in the bucket I put the big guy back into his tank. He looks fine so far.

Here are two pictures I took of  him a few days ago as soon as the lights were turned on. His stripes were faded but isn’t he a beautiful fish?

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I am  increasing the water changes in that 55 gallon tank, trying to give the fish a healthier environment to fight any disease that may be lurking.

My conclusion is that it was Hexamita. Large Cichlids do get this disease, not just Discus.

Here is some info on Clout:

Clout is a tablet fish medication specially formulated for fresh and saltwater aquariums. Helps treat visible parasites and parasitic disease conditions such as: gasping for air, rapid breathing, flicking, listless behavior, and excess mucus production. Provides effective medication for a wide variety of parasitic and protozoan infestations, including:

  • Ich, Hydra, and Leeches
  • Planaria, Epistylis, and Trichodina
  • Hexamita, Tetrahymena, and Body fungus
  • Digenetic flukes, Parasitic copepods, and Monogenetic flukes
  • Learnia (anchor worms) and Argulus (fish lice)