Monday, July 5, 2010

Ranchu Goldfish, Red & White

Ranchu Goldfish, Red & White
(Carassius auratus

Minimum Tank Size
: 30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 65-75° F, KH 4-20, pH 6.5-7.5
Max. Size: 8"
Color Form: Red, White
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Canton
Family: Cyprinidae

The Red & White Ranchu Goldfish is an exceptional example of fancy ornamental goldfish. Selectively bred and highly prized in Japan, the Red & White Ranchu Goldfish is gaining international popularity among goldfish enthusiasts. The appearance of the Red & White Ranchu Goldfish is remarkable. Most notable is the absence of the dorsal fin. This distinguishing feature is accentuated by a full, egg-shaped body. A prominent arch in the back terminates downward at a sharp angle for a curved, "tucked-in" body shape unique to the Red & White Ranchu Goldfish. As a branch developed from Lionhead Goldfish, the Red & White Ranchu Goldfish has a full hood that envelops the entire head with a raspberry-like growth. While this wide-eyed beauty may challenge the conventional notion of beauty, its stately presence and graceful nature make the Red & White Ranchu Goldfish an exquisite choice.
As a member of the carp family, the Red & White Ranchu Goldfish is generally quite hardy. It will do well in 30 gallon aquariums or larger, as well as backyard garden ponds of 180 gallons or more. In addition to a fine gravel bottom or well-rounded river rocks, the Red & White Ranchu Goldfish will appreciate hardy, cold water plants. Keep in mind that goldfish are diggers and will scatter the fine sand onto leaves, injuring thin and less hardy plants.

There appears to be a definite courtship ritual when goldfish breed. Breeding often results in up to 1,000 eggs, with fry hatching in five to six days. They should be fed small pieces of live or prepared foods designed for egg-laying fish.

Goldfish are omnivores and will eat all types of dried and live foods. However, limit protein intake to 30% of the diet. Goldfish flake or pellet food will provide these fish with the proper nutrition.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tiger Oscar, Albino

Tiger Oscar, Albino
(Astronotus ocellatus)

Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Water Conditions: 72-77° F, KH 5-19, pH 6.0-8.0
Max. Size: 1'
Color Form: Red, White
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Thailand
Family: Cichlidae

The Albino Tiger Oscar is a stunning albino variety of the extremely popular Tiger Oscar. Irregular blotches or spattering of orange-red energize an opaque, cream-white body to dramatic effect. The eye-catching Albino Tiger Oscar is so visually dissimilar to the normally dark colored Tiger Oscar that it instantly becomes the center of attention and a topic of conversation.
The Albino Tiger Oscar requires a large, well-filtered aquarium of at least 70 gallons with a deep sand bottom and a few large rocks. It will dig up plants so any that are in the tank should be potted with the root surfaces covered with rocks. Using floating plants is a good alternative. The Albino Tiger Oscars is not as territorial as most other cichlids when full grown but will consume anything they can fit into their mouths. Though this hardy and easy-to-care-for cichlid is generally mild-mannered in nature, the Albino Tiger Oscar is best kept in a species tanks or with similar size tank mates.

A large tank should be used for breeding, if possible, as large as 100 gallons. The Albino Tiger Oscar will spawn in soft or hard water as long as it is clean and clear and has a temperature between 79-86°F. The Albino Tiger Oscar will pair to form a nuclear family. The female will then lay between 1,000-2,000 eggs on rocks that have been carefully cleaned. The eggs are opaque at first, turning transparent in 24 hours. The brood will be carefully guarded and cared for and the fry will be kept in pits and may even be covered. When they are free-swimming, the fry should be fed Cyclops. Sometimes the fry will cling to their parents. The male and female are difficult to differentiate but during spawning the genital papilla of the female becomes noticeable.

The Albino Tiger Oscar is a predatory carnivore with a hearty appetite. Oscars will eat a variety of meaty foods, including small fish and earthworms, Cichlid pellets, larger flake food, ocean plankton, bloodworms, and tubifex worms.