Dwarf Parrot Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis) Family: Labridae
If I was asked to name one group of fish which featured a wealth of attributes such as beautiful coloration, tireless activity from dawn to dusk, ease of feeding, a generally peaceful nature, compatibility with invertebrates and disease resistance, I would lay odds that the questioner would not be expecting a realistic reply.

Harlequin Tusk Fish (Choerodon fasciatus) The harlequin tusk (Choerodon fasciatus) belongs to the family of wrasses. It has orange mottled bands. Each band is etched by delicate blue-violet ribbons. Anteriorly, between the orange bands is silvery-white, turning to dark grey-black posteriorly. With big protruding tiger-like fangs, the tusk looks very menacing indeed, capable of doing harm to other tank mates.


Clown Tang | Acanthurus lineatusThe Clown Tang (Acanthurus lineatus) is one of the most striking members of the Tangs / Surgeons family (Acanthuridae), being one of the most aggressive and can be challenging to keep and care for. It is also known in the trade as the Lined Surgeon and Pyjama Tang.

Sooner or later as a reef tank hobbyist you're going to want one of these beauties. They are reef safe and live harmoniously with corals and invertebrates.

Marine Fish - Tangs & Surgeonfish

Clown Trigger Fish

One type of marine aquarium never fails to create a stir, the fish-only tank containing BIG fish! The sight of large slices of brightly coloured piscine flesh cruising around an equally spacious aquarium is enough to make anyone's heart beat a little quicker. Such displays are normally the province of the public aquarium, but within the confines of a domestic setting the whole thing can be replicated on a somewhat smaller scale with equally stunning results.

General Saltwater - Big Fish & Aquariums

Blood Shrimps (Lysmata debelius) Most of my regular readers will already be aware that, on the whole, I do not condone small marine tanks; that is, tanks with a nett volume of less than 20 gallons (91 litres). They are usually very unstable as far as water parameters are concerned and subsequently exert considerable stress on fish and/or invertebrates. They are also extremely restricting for livestock and consequently prone to overstocking, especially where fish are involved.

Having said that, there is a way that the marine enthusiast can set-up a 'micro' marine aquarium housing only shrimps! Over recent years, I have been experimenting with 3-5 gallon marine aquaria containing various species of tropical and temperate shrimp and crabs. I am pleased to report that all tanks were successful and no livestock was lost.

Marine Invertebrates - Shrimps

Cyphotilapia frontosa A pair of Cyphotilapia frontosa from the authors aquarium.

One of the most beautiful and distinctive Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika has to be C. frontosa. There are two colour morphs of this species, a Berundi morph, which has six vertical bars and a Tanzanian morph, which has seven or even eight bars when they are young, although in my experience I have only ever encountered the Berundi morph. The males develop a huge lump of fat on the top of its head making this a very distinctive occupant to any aquarium.

Freshwater Fish - Cichlids

Random Aquarium Topics

BettasRaising Betta picta
Jan Hvizdak

Betta picta get their Latin name from their distinct colouration and markings, the word “picta” depicting painted. Their markings comprise of three horizontal bars which are not solid but are made of from a series of dark dots. Their main body colouration is a greyish/brown with the males displaying coloured margins on their fins. They reach an adult size of just over two inches and in the wild they inhabit fast flowing waters which have high oxygen levels. They are to be found Sumatra, Java and Indonesia with the earliest imports reaching our aquariums in the 1930’s.

BettasKeeping Betta patoti
Jan Hvizdak

Many Betta keepers tend to veer towards keeping tank bred Bettas rather than wild specimens due to their higher tolerance to a broader range of water parameters but having said this there some wild specimens that deserve the extra effort and in my view the Betta patoti should be included in this list. They can be recognised by their peachy colouration which is broken by darker bars on healthy specimens, they are also slightly larger than many of the Betta species. Their colouration has lead to them being given the common name of Tiger Betta, one of the more common names used is the Black Betta. They are to be found in areas of Indonesia an [ ... ]

BettasRaising Betta splendens in Fish Tanks
Jan Hvizdak

Betta splendens has to be one of the most recognized species of fish that are available in the aquarium trade. Most specimens that are sold nowadays are tank bred rather than wild specimens and through the generations beautiful colouration and tail finnage is displayed, the only drawback is that the extended tail finnage on the males makes them a large target for any fin nippers if they are kept in a community set up. Males are extremely aggressive towards other males and in Asia it is a sport to fight males against each other but thankfully this practise is not practised in Europe or the US.

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