5 Peaceful dwarf & Apistogramma cichlids

The first species that usually come to mind when thinking of cichlids are angelfish, discus fish and Oscars. Although these are beautiful fish, they aren’t suitable for just any type of aquarium: two of these species are actually on the list of the worst beginner fish, and for good reason! If you want to keep cichlids, whether in a community tank or on their own, the more peaceful dwarf cichlids on this list (including the popular Apistogramma) may be a better starting option.

Neolamprologus multifasciatus

Starting off with my personal favorite, Neolamprologus multifasciatus is a shell-dwelling Tanganyika cichlid. Though not as colorful as the other dwarf cichlids discussed here, they make up for that in many ways. For example, they can be kept in harems instead of pairs even in smaller setups, as they’re very tiny and only require a minimum of around 15 gallons (57L). They will also tolerate most peaceful tankmates. Their most interesting trait, though, is the fact that they form small territories around snail shells! This makes them very fascinating to keep and definitely different from other small cichlid species.

To imitate the natural habitat of your Neolamprologus multifasciatus, use a sandy substrate and be sure to provide plenty of snail shells (you can use food safe ones that are meant to be used to present edible snails in, like these). Two shells per fish is a good place to start; be sure to spread them around the tank.
As with all cichlids from these regions, harder water with a higher pH (neutral or higher) is preferable.

Nannacara anomala, Golden dwarf cichlid

Nannacara anomala, better known to some aquarists as Continue reading

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Top 10 mistakes when setting up a fish tank

For newcomers to the fishkeeping hobby there are many mistakes that can be made during the process of researching and actually setting up your fish tank. This article will describe the most common mistakes and how to avoid them. It covers every part of the process of setting up an aquarium to hopefully make life a lot easier for novice fish keepers: avoiding the mistakes from day one is far easier than trying to rectify them at a later date!

This article is a guest post by Jan from Aqua-fish.net!

1. Selecting the wrong size tank and position

When you do your initial research before you have purchased your first fish tank look where the fish tank is to be sited. Be sure to maximise the area so you can accommodate the tank but still leave space to perform tank maintenance. Locating the tank and then finding out that you cannot reach areas to perform duties such as cleaning the glass or cleaning the filter can be a real pain.

You should never make the mistake of buying a tank that’s too small. Lower water volume will not only restrict the species of fish that you can keep due to their adult size and needs but less water will also mean an unstable tank initially with larger swings in water parameters. Larger tanks with larger water volumes are more stable. If you are planning to keep a built in tank that fits into a wall space make sure that you allow for maintenance above the tank by means of a hinged lid!

2. Never ignore advice offered

There are many experienced fish keepers around that can offer you Continue reading

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Stocking a 5 gallon fish tank

If you’re thinking about setting up a 5 gallon (18L) aquarium, it’s easy to get confused by the conflicting info spread on the internet and by aquarium stores. What are the best fish for a five gallon and which should you avoid? How many fish should you get? Five gallons is enough space to build a wonderful aquascape, but it’s very easy to overstock. Keep reading for everything you need to know about stocking a five gallon aquarium!

In aquarium terms, 5 gallons is very small. Keeping the water values and cycle stable in such a small amount of water can be quite difficult. If you’re a beginner, try to go for at least 15 gallons (57L) to prevent problems.

A five gallon tank or cube is the smallest size aquarium that can Continue reading

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Betta fish types

If you’re looking to get a betta, the many tail types available can get pretty confusing. Pet store labeling is often incorrect, which can lead to confusion as well, leaving you wondering which type of betta you really got. If you’re trying to find out which tail types are available or if you’re trying to ID your current betta, keep reading for a list of the most common and more uncommon tail types!

Note: Many of the bettas pictured are in small temporary holding containers that are not suitable permanent homes for them. Read why betta bowls are bad for more information about this.

Veil tail (VT) betta

Veil tails, while actually a little underappreciated by betta breeders, are the most common betta tail type. If you encounter a betta at your local pet- or aquarium store, there’s a good chance it’s a veil tail! You can recognize this fin type from the long, colorful flowy tail that trails behind them like a veil. While the veil tail bettas you see at the store may not be the prettiest due to bad breeding and care, don’t be fooled by this! A well cared for veil tail from a responsible breeder can be a beautiful fish.
Because veil tails can be weighed down by their long fins they will really benefit from a few extra resting places in the form of broad-leaved plants like Anubias.

Prize winning veil tail at the Holland Koi Show!

Prize winning veil tail at the Holland Koi Show!

Halfmoon (HM) betta

While a bit rarer at your local pet store, halfmoon bettas are a very popular tail type as well, especially among betta breeders. If you want to find one from a responsible breeder you should probably easily be able to do so online! Halfmoons are named after their long, flowy and (obviously!) halfmoon shaped caudal (tail) fin, which has an angle of 180° when the fish is flaring. Some breeders also breed bettas with a tail that Continue reading

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Review: Eheim Classic 250 canister filter (Eheim 2213)

Because my fancy goldfish were recently moved from a tub to an actual aquarium, I switched from a pond filter to regular aquarium filtration in the form of an Eheim Classic 250 canister (also known as the Eheim Classic 2213).
The Eheim Classic is one of the most popular canisters and has a 4.5 star review on Amazon, so I was curious to see whether it would live up to the expectations. Keep reading this Eheim 2213 review to find out what I thought!


  • Good pricing
  • Lots of accessories available
  • Relatively easy to set up
  • Quiet
  • Great for regular community aquariums


  • Not the absolute cheapest on the market, replacement filter media can be expensive
  • Not strong enough to deal with messy fish

General information

The Eheim Classic 250 is rated for aquariums up to 66 US gallons, which translates to 250 L and explains the name. On its website, Eheim describes: “quiet, low energy consumption, versatile accessories, durable and value for money”. The canister costs around Continue reading

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Koi fish care & info!

Koi fish have been fascinating creatures to keep for many years and can display some wonderful colourations. They can fetch large prices for the quality strains and there are many Koi keepers who regard them as their prized possessions. Keep reading for everything you need to know about Koi fish care!

This article is a guest post by Jan from Aqua-fish.net!


The name “Koi” is actually an abbreviation for “nishikigoi”, which can be translated into English as “brocaded carp”. Koi fish are direct descendants of the common carp but through selective breeding are now classed as a species in their own right. They are not classed as aquarium fish but are as ornamental pond fish; they are relatively hardy and live for many years growing into large specimens as they mature.

Originally the carp were only to found in Europe and Asia but since they were domesticated in Japan, populations exist worldwide as they can adapt very well to different climates. It was in the 1820’s that the carp were selectively bred for their colouration and in the early 20th century this practice became more and more widespread.

koi pond

Koi vs goldfish

Although Koi and goldfish both descend Continue reading

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Growing Cryptocoryne

Plants from the genus Cryptocoryne, usually referred to as ‘crypts’ by aquarists, are among the easiest aquarium plants to keep. This, combined with the fact that they are available in many different (color) varieties that all look beautiful without needing special care, makes them one of the most popular plant species in the hobby today! Keep reading for more information about Cryptocoryne care and growing it in your own aquarium.

Min tank size N/A
Care Easy
Location Mid-/background
Temperature 68-83 °F/20-28 °C
pH 6-7.5


The most important thing to know about Cryptocoryne is that it does not appreciate unstable conditions. Planting and re-planting will lead to dying leaves and very slow growth, so think about a strategic position for your crypts beforehand! Like many low maintenance plants, strong lighting doesn’t do them much good and can actually cause damage, so a location with Continue reading

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