• Silver Dollar Fish!

    | Jan 09, 2018

    Silver Dollar Fish!

    There over a dozen Tropical fish with this common title, but all are similar in appearance:  a round, flat body that is silver in color, with occasionally some red markings, black spots or stripes, and opalescent blue or green tinges when light is reflected off the silver scales.  The Silver Dollar is the common name for various kinds of species within the genus Metynnis.  silver-dollar-fish-up-closeThe most readily recognized species is the metynnis argenteus - "argenteus" aptly meaning "covered with silver," and they are close cousins to Piranha's and Pacu's!

    Strong and not very demanding, these fish can be great for beginner freshwater enthusiasts.  Silver Dollar fish can be rather hardy once acclimated and as long as water conditions are clean and consistently stable.  They can grow anywhere from 4 - 8 inches in length and may live up to 10 years or more!  Silver Dollars are classified as semi-aggressive fish, but actually are fairly peaceful schooling fish.  They may live within a community of other fish that are either larger than themselves or that do not fit inside their mouths, such as Oscars, Pikes, and certain Catfish for example. 
    While one of the easier types of fish to care for, it may require more room and a larger tank than most other beginners' species.  Depending on how many fish and other organisms there are in the tank, you may need a 29 Gallon, 55 Gallon, or even a 75 Gallon tank or larger to comfortably house these fish along with their school.  Since Silver Dollars are pretty timid and skittish by nature, they prefer to live in schools of at least 4 fish or more and like to have plenty of hiding places.  
    silver-dollar-fishSilver Dollar fish also have quite the reputation for eating live plants since they are herbivorous, so using plastic plants or the hardiest of plants may be necessary.  Be sure to keep an eye on them at feeding time, too, to ensure that the Silver Dollar fish get their share of food as they are so skittish they may not eat enough around more aggressive eaters.  silver-dollar-fishesEven though they are typically vegetarian, they may also snack on some small insects or protein-rich fish food such as brine shrimp.  What's more, they prefer low lighting if possible, dark substrate, and lots of room to swim about.  When swimming in their school, they may each even move in sync with one another as they swim - which is very fun to watch!  Right now until February 12, 2018 you can get Silver Dollar fish for only 2 for $6.00 at Uncle Bill's Pet Centers!

  • Plecostomus Benefits!

    | Nov 14, 2017

    Benefits of the Plecostomus!

    The common plecostomus is a part of the catfish family and is also called hypostomus plecostomus, but plecos come in many different varieties and colors!  They are nocturnal and do require at least 1 or a few hiding spaces just for them:  driftwood, for example, particularly works well.  Sometimes called the "janitor fish" or "sucker fish" these helpful species can help keep tanks clean as they are natural scavengers.  They are bottom-feeders and will eat uneaten food or other leftover matter that would otherwise cause harmful nitrates in the water.  Not all are algae-eaters, though.  Some are good cleaners, but others are simply neat to look at or can even be carnivorous!


    If a plecostomus is indeed the algae-eating type, it can reduce and maintain algae growth in your tank, making it a great species for aiding in the removal of algae build-up.  Here are a few other benefits for keeping a pleco in your fish community:

    *Hardy & adaptable to many different tank environments & conditions
    *Great for beginner aquarium hobbyists
    *Fairly versatile when considering tank mates
    *Friendly & good-natured, will only become territorial with similar species in the same tank or if pushed to defend their favorite hiding spaces
    What's more, a plecostomus will stir up the substrate in your tank:  loosening up and consuming the food that falls and gets lost in the substrate, which would rot and potentially release toxic materials or gas if left alone.  Another benefit of the pleco stirring up the gravel or sand is that it mixes oxygen back into the substrate, which then fuels the beneficial bacteria within.  This oxygenation of the substrate in turn promotes aerobic bacteria growth that helps stabilize the nitrogen cycle.

    As some species of plecostomus get older, they may eat less algae than when they were young and may eventually produce more waste than some other fish species.  However, since food or other matter that is consumed by the pleco gets slowly released as the pleco's waste, the amount of negative impact that the waste has is actually less than if the uneaten food and other leftover matter was not eaten by the pleco or removed by hand first.
    Be sure to be careful in selecting the right species of plecostomus for your aquarium, too, as they can grow anywhere between only 4 inches to up to 2-3 feet in length.  They can also live from 10 to 15 years with proper care.  Now until January 8th you can get a common plecostomus for only $3.49 at Uncle Bill's Pet Centers!

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aqueon aquatics
Developed by true aquatic hobbyists, Aqueon is the first single brand to provide a broad array of aquarium solutions. From their inception, Aqueon products have one goal in mind, "What is best for the health and well-being of fish and aquatic life."
Cobalt Aquatics
Starting with a staff of the 3 owners and a line of probiotic enhanced flake foods made in the USA and a handful of equipment items made at a world renowned aquatics factory in Italy, Cobalt Aquatics’ aim was to bring the highest quality products to market.  From humble beginnings in 2011, Cobalt Aquatics now features a product mix of hundreds of items from flake food to frozen mysis shrimp, to the original MJ pumps, to award winning heaters and the innovative Egg Rockers.
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Tetra is the only brand name that's become synonymous with ornamental fish keeping, thanks to Dr. Ulrich Baensch. He founded Tetra Werke (Company) in Melle, Germany 50 years ago, and pioneered the development of flake fish foods.  Tetra now manufactures hundreds of products and publishes books for aquarium fish keeping, reptile and amphibian keeping, and water gardening.