Choose from the selections below to explore the many different pets found at Fishbowl Pet Store in Stamford, Connecticut.
Goldfish and Koi Fish
Many different kinds of Koi and goldfish can live year round in your pond. With maximum feeding of three times weekly your fish will thrive and begin breeding after living in your pond for one year.
Fresh and Salt Water Fish
We have ninety Aquariums filled with happy fish. The store has a goldfish section, an African Cichlid section, and fresh water tropical aquariums.
Land turtles include all American box turtles, Asian Box Turtles and Tortoises.
Box turtles are poor swimmers and rarely enter water more than an inch deep. Box turtles make good pets, are docile, and readily tame. They are omnivores. Life spans of twenty years are not unusual.
Tortoises have a potential life span exceeding thirty years. They are strictly land animals and do not swim. They are essentially vegetarians but will eat some protein.
CAPTIVITY REQUIREMENTS - A minimum size enclosure for any box turtle or tortoise would be a twenty gallon tank. More room is always better. Some people build large plywood enclosures. Ideal temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees F. Provide the correct kind of light.
Aquatic turtles are turtles which have webbed feet and spend most of their time in water. This includes, but is not limited to red eared sliders, painted, map, reeves, soft shell and mud / musk turtles.
An aquarium works best. Twenty gallon long tanks or larger are recommended. The more room, the better.
Water should be as deep as the shell is long, and preferably deeper. Ideal water temperature is 75 to 85 degrees F. year round, and is most easily maintained by a submersible aquarium heater. In aquaria with illuminated hoods, the top light along with the submersible heater may provide sufficient warmth. In open aquaria, it is suggested that a heat lamp be focused on the haul out area during daytime.
Cleanliness is essential to turtle keeping. Water quality must be strictly maintained . Good filtration and frequent water changes are recommended. Large turtle habitats can benefit from ultraviolet sterilizers . This can significantly reduce the risk of salmonella.
Different size turtles should not be housed together, in order to avoid bite wounds.
Commercial turtle food makes an excellent primary food source for turtles. Offer any greens you would eat except iceberg lettuce. Other appropriate foods are "feeder" tropical fish and goldfish, crickets and mealworms, and earthworms. Do not feed live crayfish to turtles as they can transmit bacteria which cause shell disease. Vitamin and calcium supplements should be added to food. There are many brands specifically manufactured for reptiles ( do not add these products to the turtles water) .
For more information, ask your dealer about books available on turtles and their care.
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Tips for the Beginner
Before introducing fish into the aquarium you should: Condition your water. There are many products available such as Start Right, Stress Coat, Novaqua, etc. Add aquarium salt to help keep down disease in the tank. Test your water for Ph and hardness. Host fish will do well in softer water with a neutral (7.0) Ph. You may need to treat your water with a Ph adjuster such as Ph Down, Ph Up, 7.0, etc. If your water tests hard (generally well water), there are products available to soften it. Where treatment is necessary you will need water-testing equipment. Have your aquarium temperature set at approximately 78-80 degree if you plan to go with tropical fish. Cool to room temperature will be fine for goldfish. We recommend that you not mix tropical fish and goldfish.
Add fish gradually. Allow time for helpful bacteria to build up in the tank that will break down wastes and eliminate ammonia problems (the chief killer of fish). Test your water regularly for ammonia and Ph. This will keep you informed of water condition in your tank and whether your fish are happy or not. Initially, feed sparingly once every two days. Food should be eaten in a few minutes. If food is dropping and sitting at the bottom, you are overfeeding. Food decays and causes Ph, ammonia and bacteria problems. Vary the diet. Long term success requires variety in feeding. Foods are available in many forms - dry, frozen and live. Know the fish in your aquarium. This will help you when you go to add fish to the tank. Not all fish are compatible. Observe your fish for visible signs of disease (white spots, white patches, discoloration, fin rot, etc.). Lack of appetite can also be an indication of a problem. There are medications available to treat these symptoms and should be applied at first signs after testing water. Do regular maintenance on your tank.
Common Freshwater Fish Diseases
By Peach Reid
When examining common freshwater fish diseases, we must look at three important factors-identification, cure and also cause. As the old saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
One of the most common problems is "ich" (ichthyoptherius), which appears as tiny white spots covering the entire fish body. All types of fish can contract ich, but certain kinds-clown loaches, Pimelodella pictus (angellicus), hatchetfish and (wild-caught) silver dollars, for example-are more prone to breaking out with it. Ich occurs mostly during times of the year when there are seasonal temperature differences. Rapid temperature change, pH fluctuation and increase in ammonia are the leading causes of ich.
The preferred method of treatment to kill this parasite is malachite green. Scaleless fish can only tolerate one-half of the recommended dosage. Warm water temperature and at least one teaspoon of salt per gallon of water increase the effectiveness of malachite green treatment.
Another common problem is "tail rot." The symptom is described by the name a deterioration of the tail. Though other fish can suffer from tail rot, it is seen most often on livebearers (platies, variatus, swords and guppies). Gen7 erally, tail rot is brought on by high ammonia and/or high bacterial levels. Treatment can be effective with any broad-spectrum antibiotic; we use Kanamycin and Nitrofurazone.
Livebearers are also prone to columnaris. Fancy guppies and sailfin mollies are especially vulnerable to those grayand-white lesions on the mouth and/or caudal area, and to fin deterioration in general. Overcrowding and poor filtration, which can result in high ammonia and bacterial levels, are the leading causes of this condition. Any broadspectrum antibiotic can be effective against columnaris, as with tail rot, because both are bacterial diseases. Again, we use a Kanamycin and Nitrofurazone combination.
The last disease we'll look at this month goes by the name of "shimmies." Like tail rot, the name describes the symptomatology. Gouramies and sailfin mollies are the most likely to manifest this back-and-forth rocking motion. The conditions that cause it are change in temperature and poor water quality. The combination of malachite and formaldehyde is the most effective cure we have found.
When starting a treatment program, it is important to keep several things in mind:
- Different products may contain varying amounts of the active ingredient. Follow instructions on the package carefully.
- Make sure the treatment program is continued for the entire prescribed length of time.
- Do not add new fish to the treated tank or sell any fish being medicated.
- Keep one teaspoon of salt per gallon in the water.
- Monitor ammonia levels (keeping them at zero).
A review of the causal factors in all these diseases - overcrowding, poor filtration, high ammonia levels and rapid temperature and/or pH changes - reveals a common link: All relate to water quality.
To keep freshwater fish healthy, proper biological and mechanical filtration are mandatory. Controls for maintaining steady temperature and pH are also necessary. Good central systems address all these requirements. However it is done, good management of all these factors results in the reduction of stress, and reduction of stress is the primary factor in the prevention of disease.
Peach Reid is president and Co-owner of Fish Mart Inc., a West Haven, Conn., livestock wholesaler.
The Ten Commandments
For Successfully Keeping Tropical Fish
1. Never overcrowd a newly established aquarium.
2. Do not overfeed. Feeding once every two days is adequate. Fish should finish all food in one minute.
3. Most tropical fish prefer the temperature at 78F.
4. Always observe your fish during feeding to determine that all fish are feeding.
5. Check for fish compatibility. Note any unusual marks or frayed fins.
6. Check water chemistry weekly. Ammonia is the chief killer of tropical fish.
7. Always buy fish from a reputable pet shop.
8. Give your fish a varied diet to enhance their health and beauty.
9. Once every few weeks perform a partial water change on your aquarium. The partial water change is accomplished by
a) removing the ornaments from the aquarium,
b) wiping down the inside glass with an aquarium sponge,
c) stirring the gravel,
d) siphoning 1/3 of the water from the bottom of the aquarium (note that the fish remain in the tank). The new water should be the same temperature as your aquarium and should be dechlorinated before being added to the tank, and
e) changing filter material.
10. Enjoy your fish and observe their behavior and/or appearance when they are happy and healthy. Any Change in their behavior and/or appearance should be immediately investigated and followed up. If you are in doubt, call us at Fish Bowl.