Boletus is a freshwater fish popular among the youngest ones. It is not surprising as it is one of the most interesting and beautifully colored fish. The most beautiful are males, which have long, veiled fins and intense color (red, blue or purple). Although this type of fish does not have exorbitant requirements, so it can be kept even by beginner aquarists or schoolchildren, but it is worthwhile to learn about its characteristics before buying.
Bullhead (Betta splendens) is a freshwater perch fish belonging to the family of Osphronemidae. It is a labyrinth fish, which means that it can breathe air thanks to a special vagus organ called the labyrinth. As a result, it can even inhabit waters low in oxygen. In the wild, it can be found in Asian waters – from Pakistan and India through the Malay Peninsula to Korea. The species is particularly fond of still waters, rich in vegetation, with a calm current, such as ponds, small ponds, canals, and rice fields. It reaches the size of 6-7 cm and lives on average about 2 years. The length of its existence is strongly influenced by water temperature.
As its name suggests it is very aggressive towards other males of its species. It fights with them fiercely, which often ends in death. In Asia there are even organized spectacular duels with the participation of these fish! Therefore, when deciding on its home breeding, one should take into account strong territorialism of males. It is therefore important to keep only one male in the aquarium. A tank size of at least 20 liters is suitable for an adult specimen. Females usually tolerate each other without too much trouble, so they can be kept together. Interestingly, under suitable conditions they can even change sex!
Representatives of betta splendens species prefer water temperature oscillating within 25-28°C (hence heating is usually required as in lower temperatures fins start to disintegrate), with pH 6.0-7.8. They are thermophilic fish but sometimes they can stay in colder water, however at temperature not lower than 22°C. Boobies are very sensitive to temperature changes. Water quality and chemical composition are much less important for them, but they like brighter light (0.5 W/l water). The recommended water level in the aquarium is approx. 20 cm (4 in.). The water should be refreshed periodically and gently agitated. Appropriate filtration (e.g. cascade filter) would also be beneficial.
In nature the millipede is a predatory and carnivorous species and its diet is dominated by animal food – mainly small invertebrates, insect larvae and zooplankton. It will also consume tube worms, mosquito larvae, chironomid, abalone, daphnia, artemia and fry of other fish species. It does not avoid frozen as well as dried food.
If we want our male to have beautiful, strong and powerful fins, we can put a mirror near the aquarium for a short time so that he can see himself in it. Our darling – thinking that it is his rival – will then tune up, stretching his fins and thus strengthening them.
Very often magnificent bivalves are kept in miniature, a few liter tanks without any additional equipment or plants. Unfortunately, such conditions are extremely unfavorable for the animals, so pico or nano aquariums are suitable and worthy of these fish.
Small or even miniature aquariums are becoming increasingly popular. Due to their small size they can be placed practically anywhere. They do not require large financial expenditures and are not time-consuming, but they can become a real decoration of an apartment.
Aquariums of this type give a lot of possibilities. Everything depends on our imagination and creativity. Some people decide on a minimalist variant. Then it is enough to use rocks or roots and a few green, easy to maintain plants (e.g. anubias, microzorium, hornwort or waterweed).
You can also set yourself more ambitious goals and try to create an aquarium with beautiful, healthy and colorful plants that will be a beautiful background for the Fighting Swordfish. However such tank will require from us better equipment and more work. Adequate lighting is needed (0.5-0.1 W per liter of water) and the type of lighting is also important. In addition to standard lighting emitting “white” light, it is recommended to install additional fluorescent lamps or LED panels emitting blue and red light. Such lighting will allow the plants to develop harmoniously – the leaves will be well-colored and the stems will be thick. Fertilize the plants regularly. Important nutrients are phosphorus and potassium (CO2 fertilization is also possible – then you will need a CO2 kit for the aquarium). However, it is worth the effort, because the results can be sensational!
Distinctive photo: Wikipedia