Tag Archives: Saltwater

Most Colorful Fish contest. Saltwater versus Freshwater.

10 Jan

Freshwater fishkeepers often say “Someday I will set up a saltwater tank. They are so much prettier.” Are they right?
Let’s have a contest. I will be the judge. Are saltwater fish more colorful than freshwater?
I’ll rate the fish from 1 to 5. Five is the best score, the prettiest a fish can be.

Let’s start with a red fish:

Freshwater fish, the Red Velvet Swordtail.

I’ll give the Red Sword 5 points.

The saltwater red fish, the Coris Wrasse:
I will give the Coris Wrasse 4 points so the score is Freshwater 5, Saltwater 4.
Wait a minute, the Wrasse grows up and loses his red color!
A beautiful fish but not red! I give it 2 points. The score is Freshwater 5, Salt 2.

Let’s look at a White fish:
The freshwater entry is the albino Corydoras Catfish.
This catfish does not look like this in the natural state. Albinos do not survive long in nature. I’ll give it 3 points.
I can’t think of a white Saltwater fish. Zero points for the Salties!
The score now. Freshwater 8. Saltwater 2.
How about a yellow fish?
Here’s the freshwater Gold Barb.
Not bad. I would say 2 points for them.
Here’s the saltwater yellow fish, the Yellow Tang.
Wow, that’s a FIVE for sure. That makes the score 10 to 7 for the Freshies.

Oh, wait a second, there is a last-second entry for the freshwater team!
The Electric Yellow Labidochromis. An African Cichlid.
That’s worth four points at least. The score is getting wider.
It’s Freshwater 12. Saltwater 7.
On to Blue.
Freshwater has Blue Platies and Blue Gouramis but the bluest is the Electric Blue African Cichlid.
I’ll give it two points because the female is not very Blue. (sorry, ladies)

Here’s a saltwater Blue Damsel.
That’s an easy 5 points for the Salt team.
The score is now Fresh 14, Salt 12.
Green fish are the next category. I thought there would be more green fish. They could hide among plants. From an evolutionary standpoint I think green would be a good color to be.
Here’s a freshwater green fish.
Electric Green Tetra
That looks like 4 points.
And, in the ocean, here is the Green Chromis.
green Chromis
I’ll give the Chromis 2 points.
The score is now Freshwater 18. Salt 14.
Hang on! Time-out! A penalty has been assessed against the freshwater team. The Green Tetra is  a genetically modified fish. Cheater!!!!4 points are taken from the Freshies.
The score is now tied 14-14.
Let’s look at Orange fish.
The Sunset Platy.
I like these Platies and give them 3 points for orangeness.
Here’s a saltwater Flame Angelfish.
flame angelfish
Almost all orange except the stripes. That’s a beautiful fish worth 4 points to the Saltwater team.
The Salties pull ahead 18-17!!!
Black fish are next.
Here’s the Black Molly in a tank with a black background.
Here’s another Black Molly.
That’s the blackest fish in the world. 5 points for the freshwaters.
The saltwater entry is the Domino Damsel.
That’s four points for the salt. The score is tied 22-22.. oh wait here’s an adult Domino Damsel.
The damsel only gets 2 points.
Freshies are back on top 22-20.
The last category is multi-colored fish.
Here is a group of Discus.
Since these are all modified by captive breeding I’ll give them 3 points.
Freshwater 25-20.
The final entry for saltwater is the Mandarin fish.
Fantastic, that’s five points!!! I wish I could give it a ten.
The score is TIED 25-25!!!
How can I break this tie??
How about the ugliest fish??
4 points?
That is just as ugly. 4 points for the Salt team.
Still 29-29.
OK, one last chance to solve this issue.
I decided to do a Google Image search.
Freshwater fish.


…and the Google Image search for Saltwater fish.


And the winner is …… Saltwater … by one point.
I’ll admit the saltwater fish are more colorful, but just barely. If you have a freshwater tank don’t be jealous.
97.5% of the Earth’s water is saltwater. 0.3% of the water is in freshwater lakes and rivers. The rest is groundwater, snow, and glaciers.


Photos for this post are from the Internet and are not mine at all. I usually use my own in this blog. I appreciate the use of these photos and hope that I have not offended anyone by using their pictures.

The latest fishy pictures and videos

24 Nov

The momma Marble Angel.

The Silver Molly male and the tank full of baby Endler’s and Mollies

Saltwater fish are 5 years old.

24 Nov

My Royal Gramma and two Ocellaris Clownfish are about 5 years old now. I set this tank up 4 years and 11 months ago so the fish must have already been born at that time.
We had carpet cleaners come recently (pre-Thanksgiving!) so I moved the tank and took the opportunity to empty it, rinse out the sand, hose off the rocks and dead corals and make a big water change.
The water was slightly cloudy for a few days but you can see the plants (Caleurpa and Chaetomorpha) are coming back and keeping everything in balance.
Rules for a healthy tank:
1. Not too many fish
2. Occasional water changes
3. Live plants
4. Don’t overfeed
The same rules for freshwater apply to saltwater. The only difference is that I use, and highly recommend, a protein skimmer for the saltwater tank.

Cleaning the Protein Skimmer

7 Apr

I have the cheapest style of Protein Skimmer, an air-driven model called a Berlin-type Protein Skimmer.
It works great as long as it is kept clean.

After running a week you can see the proteins (urine, etc.) that have accumulated in the top section of the Skimmer.

This is the part of the Skimmer that is underwater. The black tubing goes to the wooden airstone.

I use a scrub pad to clean the wooden airstone. I replace the airstone 2 or 3 times per year.

The bubbles will eventually crawl up the tube and "fractionate". In other words, they will break apart and leave the nasty bits in the skimmer cup.

Limestone with fossils in the Aquarium

7 Apr

To keep the pH of the aquarium at 8.0 or above, I use the limestone rocks that we have in abundance right here in Iowa.
In particular, this is great for African Cichlids (specifically the Rift Lake Cichlids of Malawi and Tanganyika) and for Saltwater fish.
A recent post by Aditix, a WordPress bogger, explains this subject quite well.
Here is a link to that post:

I took a few pictures of the limestone rocks that are found around here, along rivers, or rockcuts from highway construction, and you can see the fossils in these rocks. There are shells and tubeworms, and coral formations that look like corals that are growing today. These fossils are from the Devonian Period, around 400 million years ago!

A friend of mine set up a Saltwater  “Nemo” tank for his little girls. The fish died and we discussed it but I never guessed what the problem was. He took a water sample to a Local Fish Shop and they found his tank had a low pH for Saltwater. I told him about using the limestone. Next thing you know, he was out walking around picking up limestone pieces. He cleaned them up and put them in his tank. The pH is correct and stable and his new fish are doing fine.
Of course, there are substrates like Oyster shell, crushed coral and Dolomite that accomplish this as well.

Lionfish eating Smelt

27 Mar

I fed the Lionfish this morning before I cleaned up the tank .

Frozen Smelt are too big for my Dwarf Lion and even though I sliced this one, it was still too big.

The Clownfish and Royal Gramma get a meal of Smelt eggs and scraps.

Saltwater tank maintenance

27 Mar

Every few months I need to pull out the Caleurpa (a macro-algae) that grows in my salt tank. I donate it to our local fish shop, along with Hornwort and Java Moss from my freshwater tanks. I also like to do a water change at the same time.

Too much Caleurpa! I can't see the rocks and coral and shells.

I mix salt into the aged fresh water.

After I yank out the Caleurpa the water gets a little cloudy from disturbing the bottom. That's the best time to siphon out the old water.

While the water is low I clean the glass.

Use a hydrometer to get the Specific Gravity (essentially the salt concentration) correct.

It's best that I have no idea how much the petshop sells these for!

Additional maintenance on this tank includes changing, or washing, the filter cartridges, and cleaning the protein skimmer. The protein skimmer is so important I think I’ll write a separate post about it sometime soon.