Nice to know information about certain fish, possible problems and information on our industry. Fish Information is provided by JOHN FISH, Trade magazines and science books. We may or may not have these fish in stock.                                                                                                                                           Phone # is 210-735-2829. Store hours on main page, Thanks.


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Jump to the fish or info you want. Links on this page are---.  Green Hair Algae and Possible Solution   A few basic saltwater set-up items. Freshwater Angelfish,  Dwarf Neon RainbowIrian Red Rainbows Penguin Tetra   

Oranda Goldfish, Electric Yellow Labidochromis, Endlers GuppyReedfish or Ropefish,   Zebra Botia or Botia StriataClown Loach, African Knifefish


  Controlling it is a bit tricky. Physically remove large clumps. Add suitable algae eaters to prevent unwanted re growth. Small species are favored because they are less likely to damage plants. Some solutions include Rosy Barbs, Siamese Algae Eaters, groups of Algae eating Shrimps, and schools of Otocinclus catfish. Most livebearers will consume green algae, though Mollies and Platys are among the most dedicated algae eaters. Ancistrus Bristlenose catfish will also do a good job. If you have very hard water, doing partial water changes in a well planted tank with a 50/50 mix of tap and demonized, R.O. or distilled water mix might help. Try to keep the nitrate levels below 50 mg/l, and ideally below 20 mg/l. Test your tap water if you still have problems.

Preventing algae problems essentially comes down to maintaining a healthy balance between fish waste, light and plants. Algae is most likely to be a problem in tanks with too many fish, inadequate or improper water circulation or water changes, high levels of nitrate and phosphate, and excessive amounts of light. Modified from an article by, Fenner, Bob,, 2009.


10 gallon complete setups with gravel and adding fish later should not cost over $ 75 dollars. Can be less or more expensive depending on fish and ornaments.

Before manufactures started pushing hang on the back external filters years ago, the undergravel filter was the best and only filter an aquarium needed. Today as in the past, no filter is bad and with the increase in the cost of the undergravel filters, the external filter makes allot of sense. Manufactures are now selling "BOX KITS" that contain most items required to have an aquarium at a great price. So if you need or want to start up an aquarium going with a BOX KIT sometimes makes allot of sense.

Since 1975 we have followed the following and have been very successful..

1. Do not get in a hurry. Buy a basic set-up and add items later if need or just desired.


3. Add fish in stages and not in large numbers at once. WHY ? Tap water does not have GOOD bacteria for breaking down fish waste/ammonia. Nothing happens in the aquarium until a living item, SUCH AS FISH are added to produce waste. By adding chemicals like Prime and others, may cause the bacteria cycle to be pushed down the road, so to speak. They remove not only chlorine but the ammonia which bacteria need to feed on to age the tank properly. Keep this in mind when using. They are excellent at what they are intended to do. ADDING BACTERIA MAY HELP IN reducing Ammonia, and also help reduce ammonia naturally. BUT WITHOUT THE ADDITION OF FISH TO PRODUCE AMMONIA FOR THE BACTERIA TO EAT, THE BACTERIA MAY DIE OFF AND COULD POLLUTE THE WATER. So adding fish in small numbers and in stages will build up this bacteria gradually.
4. Big fish eat small fish. Aggressive fish will generally kill non-aggressive fish. Some fish do not like new aquariums. WE DO NOT REPEAT DO NOT RECOMMEND USING GHOST SHRIMP OR FEEDER GOLDFISH TO START CYCLES.  Some fish require certain foods. HOWEVER some of these rules can be broken, but be careful.

Please remember that fish are kind of like people. You can always get a bad egg. So recommendations of mixing fish cannot be a 100 per cent science.

5. Enjoy your aquarium. This is supposed to be relaxing, not a labor. FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS we recommend doing a partial water change of 25% ONCE A MONTH. Because of our super hard water, doing them more often may cause harm to most fish, unless you have African Cichlids.  If you want to do water changes more than once a month, mixing your tap water with soft water or water that has very low hardness will help. Remember, fish like us, can adjust to small changes over time. If all you do is add water because of evaporation, this is not a water change, you may kill your fish when you have to remove and change out water- THIS REMOVING AND REPLACING WATER IS CALLED A WATER CHANGE.

ONE MAJOR POINT.  Just like us, fish do not like changes or being messed with. So if you mess with your aquarium allot you should expect problems. - relax and enjoy.


African Knife Fish

The African Knifefish, ( Xenomystus Nigri ), begins its life as a peaceful, schooling fish. As it matures, however, it looses its fondness for the company of members of its own species. This could be because it grows tired of hearing the bell-like sound the fish constantly make as it ejects air from the fish bladder. First described in 1984, and it is currently the only member of that genus. It is native to west Africa and is found in the many river systems of the costal regions. The undulation of the long anal fin allows it to move quickly forward and backward. It is not aggressive. They like all forms of frozen foods, AND, small live fish that it can swallow when it gets larger. Plus they will eat most meaty flake or freeze dried foods. Water temperatures between 72 and 82 with a ph between 6.0 and 7.2 are fine. It grows to 8-12 inches making it the smallest member of knife fishes. Their have been reports of captive breeding but we still get ours wild caught from Africa generally from the Congo or Nigeria.


Freshwater Angelfish

  Native to the Amazon River Basin, Peru, Columbia, Brazil and Ecuador, the angelfish, (Pterophylum scalare) has been one of the most popular aquarium fishes since the early 1900s. First described in 1823, most angelfish kept today are tank raised or pond raised, and available with normal and veil tails. So many color varieties of them have been developed over the years that today it is difficult to find fish with the original silver body and black stripes. The Angelfish is graceful, slow moving and can grow to a length of 6 inches. The adult male typically develops a hump on the head as it matures. When ready to spawn the males Genital papillae is smaller and more pointed than the female. It really does best in at least a 20 gallon aquarium and prefers water temperatures between 75 and 82 degrees, and a ph between 6.0 and 7.5. Because it is slow moving, it is not recommended to keep them with fast moving fish like Barbs and Danios. Also when it get large it may consume smaller fish like Neon Tetras or smaller long body fish.

  The first color mutation of angelfish that occurred in tank raised fish is the dark gene, which is responsible for the black lace and jet black angels. Many other color strains have been developed over the years. The most recent being the Philippine blue. There are also a couple of naturally occurring variants of angels: the Peru Angel (or Peruvian Altum) and the Manacaipuru (or red shoulder angel). With a  few exceptions, almost all of our angelfish come from Southeast Asia. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The wild silver angels we get are from Peru. We also get a very few from Florida.

Endlers Guppy

  Endlers Guppies, (  Poecilia Wingei ) also known as Endlers Livebearers, Endlers Poecilia, and the Cumana Guppy. They were discovered in Laguna de Patos, near Cumana Venezuela in 1975 by Doctor John Endler, professor of evolutionary biology at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. He sent some of the fish to a taxonomist in Germany for identification. The taxonomist died before describing and naming the fish, but sent a few of them to the New York Aquarium. From there the little fish managed to make its way into the aquarium hobby. On March 25 2006, the fish was finally given the scientific name of Poecilia Wingei, in honor of Dr. Ojvind Winge, a geneticist known for his research on the coloration of guppies. The common name was from Dr. Endler. With is spectacular colors of the males, it has become a very popular fish around the world. It likes small aquariums or larger ones with smaller fish. 76 to 80 is a good temperature for them. All foods are accepted and the water ph is not very critical. A very easy fish to keep for all ages. For many years only the males were sold and we try to get them because of the color. We get ours from Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, and in some really nice colors.

Dwarf Neon Rainbow

In 1910, two Dutch explorers returned from the island of New Guinea with 31 Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish ( Melanotaenia praecox). But the fish they brought back were colorless specimens preserved in jars of alcohol, and the explores notes made no mention of the colors the fish displayed when they were alive. in 1991, dr. Gerald Allen rediscovered the fish when a pilot showed him a few he had collected from a stream in the remote Mamberamo Plains of what is now West Papua. German fish promoter Heiko Bleher collected a dozen of the fish the following year and introduced them to European hobbits. It's brilliant colors, a max size of about 3 inches, and ease with which it has been found to breed has made this the most popular of the rainbow fish today. It is very peaceful, colorful and active, and is known as the neon rainbow, neon blue rainbow and praecox rainbow. Can display its best color in planted tanks with diffused lighting and likes clean water. Should be kept between 73 and 82 degrees with a ph of 6.8 to 7.5. Color enhancing flake also bring out the colors. Likes to run in schools of 6 or more.


Irian Red Rainbow

  Was described around 1908 and has been in the aquarium trade for over 40 years. Originally called the New Guinea Rainbow, and still is buy many pet shops and wholesalers. The name was changed when Indonesia changed the name of Western New Guinea to Irian Java in 2007. Indonesia then changed Irian Java's name again to West Papua. They did not change the name of the fish that time. it is native to lakes and streams in the northeastern part of West Papua. Sexing is fairly easy because the males show allot more and deeper color than the females. They do like our hard water and even a little salt does not hurt. Not critical about temperature, 74-84 and will eat all aquarium foods. It can grow to 4 inches and likes allot of plants in the tank. We get our from Indonesia

Clown Loach

The Clown Loach Botia, ( Chromobotia Macracanthus ) is native to the rivers of Sumatra, Borneo, and Indonesia. Colorful, peaceful and active, it is reported to live as long as 20 years and may reach 18 inches in length. The species name, Macracanthus, means "big thorn" which comes from the sharp spine hidden beneath each eye, which it can flip out like a switchblade knife when challenged or threatened. These spines make it difficult to net, as retailers and wholesalers and hobbyist have found out over time. The fish is very abundant in the wild so that millions are caught yearly with little or no affect on the wild population. However they are bred in Thailand and the Czech Republic and a few other places. Clown Loaches are collected in traps of hallowed out bamboo hung from trees or floating logs. Like other botias they, eat snails, blood worms, sinking pellets, flake food, fresh zucchini and sometimes young like peeled ripe bananas. It does like to be in groups and a STABLE water temperature between 76 and 86 degrees.  The ph should be between 6.0 and 7.8. "HOWEVER" quick changes in their environment has a good chance of causing problems. Thus, the parasite "ICK" is a common disease with these fish. We get our from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

The Penguin Tetra

   Native to the rivers of Brazil and Peru the Penguin Tetra, (Thayeria Boehikei) is a peaceful schooling fish that swims mid water with it's head up towards the top of the tank. This gives it the Penguin appearance. It can grow to about 2 1\2 inches in a nice size aquarium. It is sensitive to bad water quality and does best in aquariums over 15 gallons in size with lots of plants.  temperature between 72 and 72 degrees with a between ph 6.0 and 7.5 really make them color up. any fish food should be accepted. When introduced to the hobby in the 1930's it was Misidentified as Thayeria Obliqua a fish know today as the hockey stick tetra, it wasn't until 1957 the two fish were correctly identified. The Penguin Tetra is smaller in size and it's black line run the complete length of the body, while the hockey stick tetra only goes about two-thirds of the way. We get our from Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Singapore. A balloon body variant has been developed but we have not carried them.

Zebra Botia or Botia Striata also can pertain to other botias

   The Zebra Botia is a wild caught Botia from southern India and is only available a few months out of the year. Very attractive it became common to the hobby in the 1950's. It is peaceful and loves to rid any aquarium of any unwanted snails. Happiest in small groups, they can reach a length of 3 inches. They do like some cover to hide in, so ornaments, driftwood and plants help make them feel at home. Temperature between 72 and 80 and not to fussy about the PH, help make this Botia great for South Texas.

Oranda Goldfish

   The goldfish was developed from the Crucian Carp in China during the Sung Dynasty ( 960-1275 A.D. ). Many Varieties have been developed over the years, and perhaps the most popular is the Oranda ( Carassius Auratus ). Its name comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the word "Hollander", and it is known in Japan as the Dutch Lionhead. The goldfish was brought to Europe from Japan by way of Portugal around 1610. Dutch goldfish breeders are thought to have developed the Oranda variety in the late 1800s.  Both the Lionhead and the Oranda have a fleshy cap on their head, which the goldfish fanciers refer to as the wen. But the Oranda -unlike the Lionhead- has a dorsal fin, a longer caudal fin and a slightly longer body. They come in various colors and can grow up to 8 inches. They can be put with other non aggressive fish and in the adult size should have at least 10 gallons per fish. They like cooler water temperatures, 64 to 76 degrees and eat mainly plant matter. They have no stomach and as such, meat proteins should not be feed to them allot. Every so often feeding them freshly thawed green peas will help prevent swim bladder problems. If they do develop this problem it is suggested not feeding for a couple of days then feed only freshly thawed peas for up to a week. We order ours from Canton, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Electric Yellow Labidochromis

  The Electric Yellow Labidochromis (Labidochromis Caeruleus), is considered to be one of the brightest colored African Cichlids. It is native to the coast of Lake Malawi, between Charo and Chizi points in Africa. Their are several varieties of Labidochromis Caeruleus, with colors ranging from bright golden yellow to completely white. The bright golden yellow variety is found in the wild at Mara Rocks and Charo. In the wild this fish seldom exceeds four inches in length. In aquariums it can grow as large as six inches. It is found in waters as deep as 75 feet and seldom shallower than 30 feet they mainly eat insect larvae and snails. In the aquarium it will eat anything, freeze dried, frozen, flake or pellets. They are generally kept with other African Cichlids but do well with regular aquarium fish of similar size. THEY ARE CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST PEACEFUL OF THE AFRICAN CICHLIDS. As with most African cichlids they do great in harder water, ph 7.5 to 8.5, and a temperature between 73 to 82 degrees. Most of the time we get ours from Taiwan, which also offers the solid yellow no black top fin variety, Thailand, Singapore and sometimes Florida. In the 40 plus years we have been in business we have NEVER seen true wild ones ever offered. If they did the actual cost would be astronomical due to customs and shipping costs. They do breed fairly easily.


Reedfish or commonly know as the Ropefish

   The Reedfish or commonly known as the Ropefish, ( Erpetoichthys Calabaricus ), is native to Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria area of west Africa. it was first described in 1865. This unusual species is the only member of the species. It is very peaceful, as long as the other fish are not to small to swallow. In the wild it lives in slow moving fresh or brackish waters and is a night time fish. It can grow to 36 inches in the wild, in an aquarium it seldom get over 18 inches. They like to escape from aquariums so keep a tight lid on it, They enjoy temperatures between 73 and 86 degrees and a ph between 6.0 and 7.5. They like to eat frozen meaty foods, earthworms, night crawlers and sinking carnivore pellets. Very small fish are also on the diet. Because of it's very bad eyesight it has a very good sense of smell. We get ours shipped in from the Congo, through our overseas jobbers.