Dwarf Water Lettuce Culture Advice, Tips

Dwarf Water Lettuce Growing Advice & Tips

Dwarf Water Lettuce Culture Advice, Tips
Dwarf Water Lettuce Grown in Full Bright lighting with Low Light Culture Advice, Tips

Please notice that the plants at the top half are more of a lime green. This is due to lower light growing conditions. Both are healthy. I use a layer of Black Cow composted manure under a 2 inch layer of sand as the substrate. Some tanks without fish do not have the sand layer capping, it is not mandatory, just keep the tint of the water to a more clear water color. Most important thing to remember is they do not like surface agitation or powerheads. Their roots collect sediment floating in the calm almost stagnant water, and have a charge that attracts nutrients, which makes them a fairly good addition to your filtration. The plants are tough and withstand a wide range of conditions, just be sure the water is calm, warm and the substrate provides some nutrients. They also grow really fast when the water is steadily above 78 degrees. Do not grow them in full outdoor sun, it is too strong for them. As your plants grow compare them with the photo to gauge if you’re providing them optimal light. Less light yields smaller, flattened brighter green plants. Low nutrient levels will cause longer root lengths as the plant seeks food. Hope this helps you have great success! Enjoy’em.

Difficulty Culturing Scuds, Advanced Tips Regarding Osmotic Gradient Parameters

It sounds like you may have a mineral imbalance lowering the specific gravity of the water below what the freshwater scuds are accustomed to in a balanced natural spring water profile, possibly causing stress or causing ruptures to the air bladder. I am not a fan of reconstituted osmotic water for freshwater environments as is the standard practice in marine aquaria. Incidentally, these are actually Hyallela azteca not gammarus the name commonly used for many amphipods. I recommend using spring water containing a natural balanced mineral profile which will be in a better balanced asimilable form for the scuds. For the setup I recommend using crushed coral substrate and an overgrown planted aquarium with either duckweed or Asian water meal on the surface and an overgrown mass of Naja grass surface to substrate in the entire aquarium as this is a great nitrate buffer in a low oxygen environment. Filtration is optional and minimal aeration is best, no current. Bubbles breaking the surface every 1 or 2 seconds apart is all that is needed.

What Does a Blonde Chili Endler Look Like?

Recently I’ve had a few customers ask to see a few photos of Blonde Chili Endlers. These type of chilis resemble regular grey (blau) base colored chilis in size and care. The blonde phenotype seems to accent the metallic iridescence. Here a few very quick photos and video clips of them.


Blonde Chili Endler Snapshots

Here is a photo of the gray bodied Ranbow Snakeskin Endler as a comparison…

NEW Fishart Have a look!

N & P Class Green Lightning Lime Endlers

P and N Class Lime Endler

The P Class Lime Endler is a wild Endler derived from the N Class Black Bar Endler, then line bred for the continuous Electric Lime Green bar which runs horizontally. These are more brilliant electric colored than the blue Cardinal or Neon Tetras. They are similar in size but much easier to maintain and breed. Always a favorite and available at LiveFins.

P Class Green Lightning Lime Endlers
The P Class Lime Endler is a wild Endler derived from the N Class Black Bar Endler, then line bred for the continuous Electric Lime Green bar which runs horizontally. These are more brilliant electric colored than the blue Cardinal or Neon Tetras. They are similar in size but much easier to maintain and breed. Always a favorite and the best quality ‘Limes’ available are at LiveFins.

LiveFins Artwork – Featuring Guppies, Endlers Grown Here!

only $99
Sample price
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only $199
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For Purchase Information, Please click here or Contact us for a custom request

Staeck Endlers at Livefins Aquatics USA

This strain was found in Kanal de Laguna de Los Platos. And brought to the German collector Dr. Wolfgang Staeck resident in Berlin back in 2004 which this strain was named after. And Dr. Fred Poser (Institute of zoology and taxonomy, Amsterdam) identified and classified this strain.  In general Staeck Endlers are as hardy as any other Endler, maybe more so! They’re an attractive fish when it comes to their bold outlined spotted pattern which has a high-tech almost mechanical look.  The group that I have came from a very good friend of mine in Germany who shares the same interest when it comes to wild endlers. 

Staeck Endler, Males
Staeck Endlers

Staeck Endlers at Livefins Aquatics USAEndler_Staeck_002

Staeck Endlers at Livefins Aquatics USA Endler_Staeck_003

Lazuli Guppy Photos

Lazuli Guppy Male
Lazuli Guppies with Magenta gene at Livefins Aquatics

Lazuli Guppies with Magenta gene at Livefins AquaticsDSCN3601

Lazuli Guppies with Magenta gene at Livefins AquaticsDSCN3609

Lazuli Guppies with Magenta gene at Livefins AquaticsDSCN3610

Lazuli Guppies with Magenta gene at Livefins AquaticsDSCN3613Lazuli Guppies with Magenta gene at Livefins Aquatics  DSCN3627

What is an Endler Livebearer?

N-Class Red Top Bar Endelr
N-Class Red Top Bar Endler

The Endler’s livebearer (hereafter referred to as endlers) were initially discovered by Franklyn F. Bond in 1937 in the Cumana region of northeastern Venezuela.

Specimens ended up in the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology, but the discovery was never published and the fish never distributed.

It took until 1975 for the fish to be rediscovered, this time by Dr. John Endler.

He provided samples to Donn Eric Rosen, a noted Poeciliid taxonomist. Had Rosen been able to classify the fish before he passed away, much of the controversy might have been avoided.

Background Regarding the Endler Name and Scientific Nomenclature

Rosen did provide some of these fish to another friend of Professor Endler, Klaus Kallman, who was then of the New York Aquarium. Kallman introduced this fish to the German aquarium community under the name Endler’s livebearer.

He apparently intended the name as a surprise for Professor Endler. As it turns out, nobody told Endler, and he did not encounter the fish as his namesake until sometime in the early 1980s.

Official Classification

As the Endler made its way through the aquarium community in Europe and eventually North America, a behind-the-scenes battle raged between those who considered the endler a separate species and those who considered it simply a unique strain of guppy. Detailing this controversy would require a separate article, but suffice it to say that the disagreements got quite heated.

Finally, in 2005, Dutch ichthyologist Fred Poeser and colleagues Michael Kempkes and IsaÃc IsbrÃcker published a paper classifying the Endler taxonomically for the first time as a unique species.

They named the fish Poecilia wingei, to honor Dr Ãjvind Winge, a Dutch geneticist who performed significant early genetic work with guppies.

The classification was not without controversy.

Two years later, Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine ran an article by frequent contributor Ted Coletti adamantly refuting the classification.

While there remains considerable controversy among experts, the aquarium community at large seems to have embraced the classification P. wingei.

But Are The Endlers You purchase at a local fish store Really Endlers?

One factor that has complicated classification is the ability of the Endler to breed/hybridize with the guppy.

Cross-breeding is so rampant that almost all enders found in retail are hybridized with guppies unless purchased from a reputable breeder.

A Seller’s Reputation Matters!

Here are my definitions of the N,P & K-Class Endler Varieties based upon a summary of many years of research…

N-Class – Natural Random True (nearly identical in appearance to the untrained observer) Breeding Endler lines displaying correct documented wild coloration with a Native documented wild collection point location.

P-Class – Selectively Line bred and Pure Endler Genetics

K-Class  – Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) /Endler (Poecilia wingei) Hybrids.

P-Class Lime Endler
P-Class Lime Endler

Lotus Blooms at Livefins Aquatics


Method 2 Heat Pack Usage Installation Instructions Details

1.) After installing the styrofoam liner into the mailer, place a Styrofoam ‘Heat Shield’ approximately ¼” in thickness x the exact width x the height of the interior of the box used, minus 1 inch.

2.) Here are the gaps where the heat emitted from the heat pack will enter the compartment where the fish etc. will be packed later.

3.) Here is the packed box, where you can also see the gaps for the heat to enter the fish compartment.

4.) Loosely, Fold the heat pack along the red line several times to activate the heat pack.

5.) Fold the heat pack loosely along the red-line in the center and then place it folded in half as shown into the compartment between the heat shield.

6.) Completed, ready to place the Styrofoam liner lid into box, directly on top of heat pack compartment and live plants, fish, snail, shrimp compartment.

7.) Ready to be dropped off.

Method 1 Heat Pack Usage Installation Instructions Details

1.) Loosely, Fold the heat pack back and forth along the red line several times to activate the heat pack.

2.) Lay the heat pack on top of 2 – Styrofoam ‘Heat Shields’ approximately ¼” in thickness and almost the width of the box used.
Placement of Heat Pack in Styrofoam lined box

3.) Place the red-line facing downward in the center of the gap between the 2 heat shields.

4.) Completed, ready to place the Styrofoam liner lid on top of the heat pack inside box, directly on top of heat pack.

Would you let me know what kind of water these fish are used to? Temperature, pH, any aquarium salt, added minerals, etc.

Your Fish have been raised in a greenhouse in 55 gallon breeder tanks and the water stays quite warm, 82 – 86 degrees this time of year with the early morning temperatures dipping to 76 degrees. They are accustomed to natural full day length exposure to sunlight and moonlight. The pH is a steady 7.6, the source is unfiltered Florida well water which naturally filters through a limerock aquifer, kH (calcium level) is quite high and no salt added. The TDS measures 390. I raise plants with them, so the tanks have Florida sandy soil as substrate and are heavily planted along with an assortment of invertebrates, scuds, snails, cherry shrimp, daphnia and cyclops are cultured within the same tanks. This lessens aggression between males and provides a constant variety of live food. I would not recommend placing these in a bare spotless tank and they will benefit by having lots of retreat area for the sub dominant males. Be sure to feed your existing tank mates at the same time as introducing them into your aquarium.

LIVEFINS Aquatics Greenhouse Growing Area
View Of Production Growing Area For Livefins

How can you identify the difference between 2 different types of Female Endlers, Guppies or Gambusia?

Gambusia Anal Fin Ray Count
Identifying Types of Gambusia as compared with Endlers

In this case, in order to be able to identify which of your Female Livebearers is the female Ginga Sulphureus, you’ll need to count the number of Anal Fin rays and compare them with a known female of the type of Endler or Guppy you presume the fish may be and a Ginga sulphureus female. Unfortunately I do not know the counts on these off the top of my head, but I believe they are different especially if you are dealing with an N Class Pure Endler as compared with a mostly guppy genetic line such as the Ginga sulphureus… That’s what I’d do to identify the fish in question. If they are the same then compare the dorsal fin ray counts as well.

What do you feed Malaysian Trumpet Snails and Red Ramshorn Snails?

The Red Ramshorn and Malaysian trumpet snails really like the spirulina wafers that I purchase from www.kensfish.com . The malaysian trumpets are a bit more carnivorous than the red ramshorn snails. They will eat cichlid pellets. They both tend to feed more during darkness. The Red Ramshorns will eat trimmings from aquatic plants or wilted lettuce as a treat. They both will do better with a little extra calcium which is dissolved in the water with the addition of some crushed coral as part of their substrate. Crushed coral goes by the names oolite and aragonite 0.030” grain size and is found in local pet stores for use in salt water aquariums mainly. I roughly mix ¾ silica free playsand with ¼ crushed coral.
red_ramshorn_003            malaysian_trumpet_snail_003

Do Malaysian Trumpet Snails eat or kill Pond Snails?

I haven’t ever seen a MTS attack a pond snail. I have many tanks with both of them. What I have observed is that pond snails seem to prefer plants and all of the tanks with both types do have plants. MTS are more carnivore than the pond snails, so if the primary source of food is Fish Flake they may out-compete the pond snails. Pond snails also eat more algae and in a super clean aquarium this would also allow them to be overtaken by the MTS population. Could this be what happened in your aquarium, or did you actually see the attack? Are you sure you don’t have assassin snails? Mystery snails will eat flake refuse as well so they provide more competition to the MTS than the pond snails. I do observe the pond snails doing very well in with the mystery snails. Sorry I don’t have a definite answer for you but they seem to coexist very well from what I’ve seen.

pond_snail_with_scuds_001 VS.malaysian_trumpet_snail_004

I bought a couple trio’s from you in the past and they did not breed well. Could it have been my water conditions? I guess I need to buy some more since I have several males and no females. What are your water conditions? Thanks, Jeff

Ginga Rubra Guppy
F1 Ginga Rubra Guppy by Kenjiro Tanaka

Hi Jeff,

Sorry to hear they haven’t been as prolific as you’d like. You could be right, It may be your water conditions. Do you have any live plants in with them? What temperature are you maintaining? Have you tried cycling the water temperature? How much light is your tank receiving and have you tried varying the day length? What other fish are inhabiting the tank? I recommend you try to get you aquarium environment as similar as possible to the conditions these are born, bred and raised in as they are extremely prolific in the conditions / parameters around here. They are kept alone. All of my fish have been raised in Florida Aquifer fed well water which has a pH of 7.6 and conductivity of 290. They are born bred and raised in 55 gallon heavily planted aquariums all have substrate. I feed them a large variety of food. I feed them fish pearls larval diet, occasional freeze dried and frozen bloodworms, algae, live scuds, live and freeze dried daphnia, live ghost shrimp larvae, freeze dried Cyclops, mosquito larvae and fresh hatched brine shrimp. Most of these dry foods are available from www.kensfish.com. The live foods are cultured among the fish within the aquariums. I do not want to make this seem overcomplicated though, they are easy to care for. They are fed this large variety of feeds and are exposed to natural sunlight to bring out their best coloration and to maintain long term health.

They will thrive on just Tetramin or Ocean Nutrition flake food in a heavily planted aquarium with a ph above 7. The temperature in the greenhouse where they have been raised varies seasonally as they are in aquariums within the greenhouse. During the winter the water temperature will average 72 (64 in morning / 84 late afternoon) and during the summer 82 (72 in morning / 88 late afternoon). The variance is a natural occurrence these fish are well adapted to since they were originally collected from small ponds in hot climates.

They grow faster and breed more often in the warmer temperatures. They tend to drop fry the day before a full moon as well as the first day of the waxing moon. You may want to try using moonlight to try and trigger them to drop. Another trigger is to not change the water for 10-days prior to the optimal lunar cycle days and then perform a water change on either of those days. Hope this helps.





Do you have standard package quantities, I’d like to combine purchase items and economize on the shipping cost?

Depending on the package size there are 3 options that are most economical sense.

Padded Flat Rate USPS Priority Mail Envelope will hold 1 pair of adults or 6 fry.

Medium Flat Rate USPS Priority Mail will hold 6 pairs of young adults or 24 fry.

Large Flat Rate USPS Priority Mail 9 pairs of young adults or 36 fry.

Trio of Tiger Endlers Packed in a Heat Sealed Kordon Breather Bag
Kordon Breather Bag Satchels

Styrofoam liner installed within a USPS 6x7x7 Priority Mail Box
Styrofoam Lined USPS Box

What factors affect the gender ratio of Endlers?

As far as the Ender’s producing more females, I can only guess. Are you sure they are mature enough to be certain of the gender, are they gravid? Gender is genetically determined. I think that if there are excellent conditions in your aquarium, possibly pheromones are being released that cause you to get more females to build the population of a colony in order to dominate. I’ve noticed when only 2 fry are produced often they are 1 male and 1 female. The release of pheromones may have something to do with survival of a species as well as affect the fertility of male sperm. I’ve seen this with Livebearers as well as mouth brooding cichlids. I’ve read that a higher pH will yield more females. I’ve read that higher temps can reduce the survival rate of male sperm. There is a lot of anecdotal information out there. Just go with your observations. If you’d like to change the gender ratio then you’ll need to do something different with hardness, pH, temperature, lighting intensity as well as duration.


What are the criteria for Fry, Juvie, Young Adult, Breeder, Show Fish description of the age and size of Swordtails?

It really depends more on the your perspective which is usually based visually on size rather than age. Approximately any swordtails less than ¾ “ would be perceived as fry and any larger than that would be considered Juvies, once they are mature enough to begin or start dropping fry Young Adult Size and Larger Fish would be considered Breeder Show Stock.


How should I care for my new Endlers when they first arrive?

They are similar to care for as with guppies, I’m sure once they’ve adapted they will become extremely hardy and prolific for you. I usually try to feed new endlers/guppies that I receive at least an hour after completion of acclimating with mosquito larvae as a treat to trigger eating behavior in their new environment and to stimulate movement throughout their digestive tract. More importantly, this has a laxative effect for the fish to get them adapted more quickly and get their digestion back in order. You could use frozen as well, but preferably something live.lime_green_endlers_001

What can you advice can you give me on the care of Frogbit Limnobium laevigatum?

I have had Frogbit, but it ended up melting away/outcompeted as the seasonal lighting changed and the water got cooler. In a static environment it still required nutrient rich water. It did much better in a heavily populated tank with some air stone movement to the surface on one corner of the aquarium and warm water at least 78 degrees. It did not like full sun, I grew it in my tanks in the shaded portion of the greenhouse where it only received indirect light. I use a mixture of Water Spangle Salvinia minima/duckweed/dwarf water lettuce and of those 3, the water spangle is the easiest and most tolerant of diverse growth conditions. Salvinia also can be easily collected from the surface of the aquarium if you need to remove it.

Hi, I’m new to Aquabid so please excuse me if I ask a question you have already answered through your ad. What days do you ship on? How soon after purchase do you mail? And, is it as simple as clicking ‘buy me now’ to purchase or is it easier for you to send me an invoice to my paypal? Thank you for your time.

Hi, Thanks for the inquiry! Welcome to online livefish and plant purchasing. I try to make this as similar to purchasing anything else you have purchased online with a conventional shopping cart. You can either choose my buy now button located in my listing and be directed to Paypal and use your Paypal account or a credit or debit card to check out. The other method is to use the Aquabid checkout system which sends an email to me letting me know you’ve purchased and then wait for a Paypal request for payment. You can also purchase the same items off of my website www.livefins.com . The choice is yours, whenever you are ready to purchase let me know and I can send a package to you on any Saturday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Some livestock can survive longer than others in transit while living in a box. Some livestock needs to be conditioned a day (small fish) or two (larger fish) before shipping, some can be sent the same day (snails, plants). The main thing we (live fish sellers) try to avoid is extra days sitting in the post office over Sundays as this adds risk to the survival and well-being of whatever you purchase. I welcome any questions you may have that will make this purchase enjoyable and easy!
Trio of Tiger Endlers Packed in a Heat Sealed Kordon Breather BagKordon Breather Bag Satchels

Can Scuds and Shrimp be kept together?

Scuds and Shrimp can be kept together, however the scuds can eventually out-compete the shrimp. Short term they can be kept together very well, the scuds tolerate more extreme ph fluctuation and temperature variance and are more prolific for this reason and will likely outperform the shrimp breeding, so they will crowd the shrimp out eventually. But if you are regularly harvesting the scuds only this may work very well for you. The nauplii (baby shrimp) are hard to distinguish from the very young scuds. If you decide to keep them together harvest scuds that are large enough to be certain they are scuds.


How big are these Scuds as adults? I would like to feed them to Betta fish, & don’t know much about them.

Thank you for the inquiry, These range in size from 1/16″ to 5/16″ in length. Adults are about the same size as an adult brine shrimp. They make excellent food for your bettas. The bettas will eat the smaller ones first and the largest breeders will be the last to go, which enable the scuds to reproduce in their tank.
Here is some additional culturing information:
They do real well in a dirty/green water 10 gallon tank with playsand, naja grass, an airline that lets a bubble per second reach the surface and duckweed being fed an algae wafer every other day. They are much easier to culture compared to daphnia. Scuds are far less demanding than shrimp but similar, so I’m sure you will not have any problem keeping them. They seem to do best with sand substrate to borough with some coarse gravel to provide hiding places not completely covering the sand, floating plants such as duckweed and salvinia and Naja grass throughout the tank. They love algae wafers and eat any type flake food although I provide them with spirulina flake most often. One wafer to about 250 scuds should last 2-days. They feed on mulm, hair and thread algae (not especially fond of filamentous type though). Caution, they may out compete slower reproducing shrimp. They can coexist much like shrimp with smaller fish like guppies and endlers. These have been raised in Florida well water high gh water, fairly low conductivity of 290. The cleaner the tank the more supplemental food for best results. They are more active at night. They really don’t seem to mind dirty water as they thrive in some of my wet/dry filters as well. If you have any other specific questions please do not hesitate to ask.

scud_002 scud_003

Can you tell me if your RREA snakeskin guppies are prolific and do they eat their fry? Have you out crossed this line at all or is this the original strain from Asia you’ve worked with?

The F1’s RREA Snakeskins are prolific now. The F0 parents took almost 3 months until they had Fry. The F1’s are having fry since they were about 3 months old and do not eat their fry.
The original fish I bought from Mokkom and Topshowguppy on Aquabid and the RREA Tuxedo’s were by luck.
Currently, I maintain 3 different lines of them.
Line 1: RREA Snakeskin X RREA Solid Red IFGA Standard
Line 2: RREA Snakeskin X RREA Snakeskin (All Asian)
Line 3: RREA Snakeskin X RREA Red Head Tuxedo (Red Head / Tux Green Body / Red Tail)
Lines 1 and 2 throw similar looking progeny except Line 1 will throw about 10% solids.
Line 3 Just had their first batch, so I’m anxious to see what they will look like.

Ramshorn Snails and Dwarf Indian Puffers as Tankmates

I have 3 Indian dwarf puffers in my tank. I’ve read that these snails are a perfect diet for them. I’m pretty unfamiliar with these snails. But have read that they are considered somewhat of a nuisance due to their fast rate of breeding. I’d just like your opinion on how many I might wind up with starting out with the 6 in your auction? Also, the weather is very cold in northwest Indiana (where I live) and, I’d also like to know if it is a bad idea to have them shipped in such cold weather? I’m hoping for a very good balance between their breeding rate & the rate at which my puffers thin their population. I’d also like them to breed somewhat faster than the puffers eat them to allow them to help remove dead plant debris as I have a very heavily planted tank.

Red Ramshorn Snails Quantity (6) with Free Shipping
Red Ramshorn Snails

Hello, Thank you for the inquiry. I’ve got a pair of Spotted Puffers in a 120 gallon tank with regular Brown Ramshorns and the Ramshorns were in the tank before the Puffers. Before the Puffers arrived the Ramshorns roamed about the tank in the open, once the Puffers were around they hide most of the time and there are not nearly as many. I’ve watched the puffers ‘slurp’ the snails from their shell whenever I toss a few snails in from the wet/dry filter. I think the dwarfs will allow more of the Ramshorns to survive and are a better choice for fancier snails. Ramshorns are extremely prolific and I doubt that every single one would ever be eaten. Ramshorns will survive being shipped even in the winter weather we’ve had this year. They tolerate 55 degree water quite well and as long as we include a 72-hour heat pack they will ship aok.

Will the Ginga Rubra Guppies and Japanese Blue Endlers hybridize? Have you hybridized them before? What is the result? What temperature do you keep them at? Any special care instruction for them? Do they like certain food? I’m just feeding them crushed tropical flakes and shrimp pellets mixed together.


The Ginga Rubras will crossbreed with the Japanese Blue Endlers, that will be an interesting cross. I haven’t made that cross, but both lines have strong autosomal traits (non-gender based) and should be a stable and healthy line. I keep them at 82, which I’d consider optimal but they will tolerate 55 – 92 degrees. They do very well on a quality flake food, I add AP larval diet, freeze dried bloodworms, freeze dried Cyclops, live mosquito larvae, daphnia, scuds, occasional newly hatched brine shrimp and algae. They will feed on algae and even thread algae on plants and so I allow it to grow on 3 sides of their tanks for the biological value. I enjoy endlers and endler hybrid guppies because they tend to not always be on the surface behaving more like wild livebearers rather than like delta tail guppies. Please send a photo of the blue/gingas when they color up, they should be beautiful, stay in touch.

My Naja Grass seems to be losing color. Idk if it’s just me or it doesn’t look as healthy

In the winter time when the daylight is shorter, the lower leaves of the Naja tend to be a bit lighter, slightly olive in color. Your naja was grown in a greenhouse and relies on natural daylight. Increase the time your light is on to 12 hours and the Naja will grow as it does in the summer with brighter green color. The naja in your photo looks good and healthy, believe me I grow plenty of it. If you have a cow pasture nearby add a golf ball size piece of dried manure and I’m sure combined with 12 hours of light your naja will flourish and explode with growth.

Is NAJA Grass plant a floating type or does it have roots that can be planted in a gravel or sand substrate? No ferts of any type?

Hello and Thank you for the inquiry. Naja Grass for the most part grows floating. When it is growing very well, it sends roots downward toward your substrate to anchor itself and or to obtain more nutrients. Sometimes it will drop roots down toward wherever mulm tends to accumulate within your aquarium. I’ve also intentionally planted it in gravel and found that it will spread under gravel much like terrestrial grass. So really it is your choice as it seems to thrive either method. I find it does well without additional fertilizing when housed with Fish. Without additional live inhabitants I will occasionally, about once every 3 months add a golf ball portion of dried cow manure per 10 gallon aquarium. If the water starts to turn green either from the manure temporarily remove it or add Daphnia and Scuds.scud_003


Are the Colors of Your Champion Purple Peacock Guppy Fish Manipulated in Photoshop?

Thank you for your inquiry.  I agree there are many who think it is ok to manipulate the color of a fish. I do not. I take all photos in sunlight without a flash, I think this brings out the true color of a fish at its best. I do clean up the backgrounds from any distractions such as bubbles on the glass or blurred fish though to highlight and focus on the beauty of the particular fish in my listings. I raise my fish in a greenhouse within aquariums and that gives a boost to the chromatophores since the fish have been raised exposed to natural sunlight, I use no supplemental artificial light of any kind. They also receive live food in addition to a wide variety of flake and freeze dried foods every day of their lives while being raised along with green water, live plants, snails, scuds, daphnia and Cyclops. I believe the results are noticeable. These particular guppies also have a great lineage featuring deep coloration with outstanding finnage. So for these reasons I think they are better than average ifga moscows. Please feel free to call or email any additional questions or comments.

Great Information and Observations of Assassin Snails

I started this over on the Arizona Inverts Forum (http://arizonainverts.com/forums/)but the mods annoyed me enough I thought I would post it here.:) (okay they asked really nicely so I gave in)

The Assassin Snail
Your friendly neighborhood Assassin Snail

I became interested in this little snail when I began to be overrun with MTS. I was looking for a new and non-toxic way to remove the excess snails from my tanks, little did I know it would lead to an obsession with inverts. So off into the happy world of the internet I went only to end up more confused and lost than when I started. The person who says ignorance is bliss got it so right. Now in no way is this to be a definitive article but more or less a place to gather all of the info I can find and put it into a format that may help someone else interested in these neat little snails.

So here is what I have found:

Kingdom Animalia: Metoza
Phyllum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda Orthogastropoda Caenogastropoda Cox, 1959
Order: Sorbeoconcha Hypsogastropoda Muricoidea da Costa, 1776
Family: Buccinidae Rafinesque, 1815
Senus: Anentome Cossmann, 1901
Species: Anentome Helena/Clea Helena*
Common Name: Assassin Snail/Killer Snail
Diet: Carnivorous/Scavenager
Temp: 74-82
PH: 6.2-8.2
Size: 1″

*Now from what I have been able to deduce there are 11 very similar snails spread all over Asia with the closest relative in Thailand. The Thailand Snail from what I have been able to deduce is actually Clea Helena where the Clea Anentome Helena is the Indonesia species we call the Assassin Snail. So I wonder if the Clea has the same habits why we have not seen it in the trade before, although I will admit the markings on the Anentome are a lot more defined and colorful. Basically all 11 are freshwater Whelks snails and feed off of mainly meaty remains or as in the case of our sweet little snail, will hunt down other live snails. From what I have been able to gather all 11 will hunt down other snails but that has not been confirmed.

Our Assassin Sails as we know them were first described in 1847 but did not appear in the hobby until around 2007 due to a whole lot of different reasons. Found in the Sulawesi region of Indonesia they are present in ponds, rivers, streams, and lakes throughout the region so they are a hardy little snail. I keep mine in a 15 gallon tank with loads of MTS, PS, Ramshorn, and Cherry Shrimp. The 5 adults I originally received dove in after a couple of days and started hunting down MTS like there was no tomorrow.

Assassin taking down an MTS half it size bigger

Assassins they will eat on average 1 snail a day, half to half again their size. They do have a preference for snails like the Ramshorn where the body is easier to get to and there is no door for the victim to pull back and hide behind. I have seen them track like a cruise missile all the way across the tank to get a Ramshorn and passed up the slower MTS to chase down the Ramshorn and devour it. I put 3 PS in my tank to start a colony for the baby Assassins and all but 1 was gone in less than 24 hours. The last PS’s days are numbered I’m sure. Right now the PS hangs at the top of a Val where the Assassin’s can’t get to it. I was lucky in the fact that they did lay 3 egg batches before being devoured. Assassins as far as I know will not attack their own kind nor eat their own kind if they die. They will eat other snails that are dead, this was confirmed when an assassin took down a larger MTS and couldn’t finish the meal about 4 hours later another Assassin came across the remains and finished it off. Also Assassins will gang feed on a snail larger than themselves. I saw 2 of my babies’ gang up on a larger MTS and then feed side by side until the snail was gone. They have also been known to gang up on larger snails like the Apple/Mystery snails to take them down.

Assassins feed by first grasping the prey and then inserting a feeding tube into the snails shell and basically liquefying the snail and sucking out the remains. They will also actively hunt, but also lay in ambush of another snail. I moved a few of my babies over to a tank with sand in it and they proceeded to bury themselves to a point where all that stuck out of the sand was there little trunk appendage. They would then wait until a snail of suitable size was close then motor out of the sand and grab the snail. This type of behavior has led me to 2 conclusions the first being that the trunk is used for smelling and hunting down prey, and the second is that they do come from both rocky and muddy/sandy substrate areas.

Now one thing that is known is you do need a male and a female to get any eggs. At this time I do not know of any way to sex them and I don’t know if there is, I have only been able to sex mine by watching them closely. Will say that my females are the largest snails in the tank and the smaller males will latch on to a female and ride around the tank for 1/2 a day or more with her. This only happens after the snails have fed. They need to be .75 of an inch to a full inch to be sexually mature.

Another rumor that has been going around is that Assassins are a live bearer that too is a myth below you will see a picture of an egg casing. It was also said that they only lay one egg every 10 days or so that is also untrue. My assassins will lay 2 to 15 eggs a day after a good feeding for a couple of days and then will stop until they feed again. I also have it from several people that they will continue to lay eggs as long as there is meaty foods like frozen blood worms present. This has been confirmed but the rate of egg production and the rate of survival of the baby assassins declines dramatically. In the absence of meaty foods it has been reported that they will survive on regular fish food. Well look at your labels folks most fish foods have a high protein count, they will survive on any high protein food if live is not around. I do not know if they could survive without meaty foods and really don’t want to try it myself, but once I have a colony big enough I can spare a few I might just to confirm or debunk this rumor as it will help all who want to keep these guys and keep them happy. They have been rumored to eat algae wafers but if egg production continues are to be seen.

Now as far as hatching and growth go it seems both of these are a rather long process. With only one egg per case they will not become as invasive in your tanks as some species, but they could become the only species in a hurry. It takes 3 to 4 weeks for the eggs to hatch and that long if not longer before you will be able to readily spot the youngsters. The growth of these snails is slow compared to other 4 to 8 months to reach full size based on the amounts of food and temp of the tank. Also with needing one of each sex as soon as you can confirm the females you can remove them to another tank and that will stop any egg production, or since the eggs are so large and easy to see just remove the eggs. Here are some pictures of the snails emerging from the egg sacs.

2 baby assassins all snug in their bed

One got up and left his bed


One baby assassin off to kill a snail dead


Below you will see pictures of an assassin snail about a week old. You can already start to see the bands and where the elephant like nose is going to be. When they are first born they are hard to tell apart from MTS or PS fry without magnification. The best way to do this is watch the snail if it moves along smoothly it is either a PS or an assassin. If it moves along by pulling itself it is a MTS fry. Now to ID it from the PS fry you need to get it side on and you will see that its shell is held higher than that of a PS.




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The babies apparently move to new territories in the wild kind of like baby spiders. I have seen several climb to a high point hang from some kind of string or slime trail and get caught up in the current to float around the tank for several minutes before coming to rest. This makes me think that to disperse in the wild they must do the same thing to float down stream. So using a sponge over your filter intake or a sponge filter is a must if you want your babes to survive.
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A few other fun things I have Observed in no set order….

– One rumor I have heard is that when you place Assassin snails in a tank all the other snails will start to act weirdly. That could explain why every MTS in my tank is headed for the top of the tank and just keep going around and around the tank. I have seen the Assassin’s climb up latch onto a snail pull it free and free fall to the bottom to finish its meal. I can say that this is a probable thing because when I removed the adults all of the medium to larger snails migrated back to the bottom.

– When Assassins are small they go into hiding and are hard to find. When they are about the size of a grain of sand I saw them very rarely. Too find them I would take a flash light about an hour after lights out and look below the gravel line. My tank has real large gravel and they along with the baby shrimp are hiding in among it. There are about a 100 egg casing and some still to hatch and at any given time I can find no more than 15.

– After about 3 weeks they are now about the size of the plastic ball on a straight pin and you can see the stripes and their little trunk with the human eye.

– 3 weeks was when I saw my first confirmed kill by a baby so what and if they ate before that I cannot say.

– I have confirmed that the baby assassins are eating blood worms so if you are low on small snails there is a backup plan.

– Okay getting bigger now I have some that are about .5 inch long so they seem to go thru a growth spurt once they actually start feeding on snails. My thoughts are at this time that they feed off detritus and other food sources until they reach a certain size and then start to feed on live snails.

– Another weird thing is that I have eggs hatching 2 months after being laid. I have not had any adults in the tank for over 2 months and I have some assassins that are hatchling size wandering around. Now I will admit it could be a slow grower or king of the tank type thing where some are bigger and some are smaller, but not this big a difference in size. Also egg casings that I thought were dead are suddenly empty. This all started after I started to seed the tank with very small snails for all the babies in the tank so it makes me wonder if hatching can be held off by lack of food somehow. *Update* I have come to the conclusion that there is 2 factors in the delayed hatching Temp and food source. When I raised the temp a little the eggs hatched quicker around 2 weeks in time. Also when i started feeding the tank small baby feeder snails the other eggs that had not hatched started to hatched. So temp and food all make a difference on the hatching rate and time.

-At 2 months most of the Assassins babes have moved up and out of the gravel and are easy to spot. I’m assuming this is because of the size of the gravel used. The ones I have in my sand bottom tanks readily bury themselves all the way up to their nose in the sand. I still have to spot a single baby in the fine graveled tank where the parents laid their first batch of eggs. I can only say at this point they may have been eaten when they were young by other tank mates. *Update* I now have confirmed babies but they did not appear until almost .25 of an inch in size in the sand tank.

-at 3 months I have also noticed that most of the snails have flipped over to a hunting life style. I’m seeing a lot of kills and even quite a few gang kills. My population of baby MTS now has to be beefed up at least once a week and that is straining my feeder tanks ability to keep up. *Update* They have completely cleaned a 29 Gallon tank of snails, except for the very small MTS. This was a tank that had close to 500+ adult MTS and probably 100+ Ramshorn snails. Now all that I have is a bunch of empty shells and hungry Assassins.

-At 2 months since eggs were first laid I have snails all the way up to the size of a pea and down to just hatchling size. These are all from the batches laid no more than a week apart so I can only assume that the hatch time is not set in stone and can vary.

-One thing that is becoming a stronger belief is that Assassins may inject a paralytic toxin into their prey. This comes from observations of some respected keepers and myself, but will take someone with a degree to confirm.

-The male from my observations tends to be the smaller one and have the thinner stripes and the female tends to be larger with bigger stripes. Now this in no way is 100% for determining which is which but is just gathered from observing my snails.

-I have started an experiment and moved some Nerites in with the Assassins in 3 of my tanks here are the stats:03.01.09

75 gallon 4 Nerites from a small olive in size to large zebra 8 adult Assassins lots of MTS (can’t find 2 of the nerites but I cannot find shells either probably up under something hiding as they are known to do)
15 gallon 2 large Nerites 2 smaller Assassins and 2 Adult Assassins a few feeder snails and extras added once a week or so
29 gallon 40+ Adult Assassins and unknown number of babes 1 large Nerite about 30 to 50 feeders added once a week but wiped out in a day or so.

This has been going on two months now and I cannot report any confirmed Nerite losses yet. (05.03.09)


It has been confirmed that Assassins can and will eat dwarf shrimp. Please understand this is a very rare thing. Assassins are opportunistic feeders and it will only occur with really dumb shrimp or when the shrimp is in the wrong place at the wrong time. For a capture to occur the snail has to be in the perfect position to make a grab because most of the time the shrimp just scoot away like nothing happened. I will still stand by the statement that these snails are the best way to rid a tank of pest snails and are shrimp safe.

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So in conclusion please keep in mind as with all animals never release any into the wild I can see how these could become a real invasive species very quickly. I will also add to this as I make more observations or more confirmable facts come to light.

Betty Davis Eyes
MTS = Malaysian Tunneling/Trumpet Snail
PS = Pouch/Tadpole Snail/Bladder/True Pond type snail

Low Tech Aquatic Gardening Tips

Here is what I’d do if you’re having trouble with floating plants or rooted for that matter: *Water Temperature needs to be consistently 80-84 degrees for maximum growth rate. A thin layer of Seachem Flourite or oak leaves within your substrate, recommended especially if you’re water is soft to add minerals. *If you have access to aged cow manure add about a golf ball sized amount per 10 gallons. Make sure you’ve met at least a Medium Light requirement. Make sure your tank is not completely overgrown could be too much competition. *If your using 100% artificial light, make sure you’re not using exclusively using cool white light bulbs, these have too much blue (cool) not enough red (warm) spectrum. You may try 3 or 4 different species at the same time to find what works best. When I receive a new aquatic plant that I’m not familiar with, it will be planted in several different tanks with different lighting conditions. i.e. A friend had given me some Hygrophila carambosa and said give it as much light as you can. I tried it out in one of my full sun plant pools in the greenhouse and found it did better in the semi-shaded pool conditions. You’ll also learn more about the care of your plants that way. * Suggestions that are especially beneficial for Dwarf Water Lettuce, Duckweed, Dwarf Water Lilies Hope this sheds some insight for you.

What Are the Water Conditions and Parameters For Livefins Aquastock?

I raise these particular fish in a greenhouse in a 55 gallon breeder tank with some endlers and the water stays quite warm. 82 – 86 degrees this time of year. The pH is 7.6, source is unfiltered Florida well water which filters though a limerock aquifer, kH is quite high. The TDS measures 390. I raise plants with them, so the tank has Florida sandy soil as substrate and is heavily planted along with scuds, daphnia and cyclops cultured within same tank. This lessens aggression between males. I would not recommend placing all 3 of these in a bare tank or without females and lots of retreat area for the sub dominant males.

Scuds ‘Hyalella azteca’ a.k.a. Gammarus sp.

They do real well in a dirty/green water 10 gallon tank with playsand, naja grass, an airline that lets a bubble per second reach the surface and duckweed being fed an algae wafer every other day. They are much easier to culture compared to daphnia. Scuds are far less demanding than shrimp but similar, so I’m sure you will not have any problem keeping them. They seem to do best with sand substrate to borough with some coarse gravel to provide hiding places not completely covering the sand, floating plants such as duckweed and salvinia and Naja grass throughout the tank. They love algae wafers and eat any type flake food although I provide them with spirulina flake most often. One wafer to about 250 scuds should last 2-days. They feed on mulm, hair and thread algae (not especially fond of filamentous type though). Caution, they may out compete slower reproducing shrimp. They can coexist much like shrimp with smaller fish like guppies and endlers. These have been raised in Florida well water high gh water, fairly low conductivity of 290. The cleaner the tank the more supplemental food for best results. They are more active at night. They really don’t seem to mind dirty water as they thrive in some of my wet/dry filters as well. If you have any other specific questions please do not hesitate to ask.

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Hey There Aquabid Enthusiasts, I offer 100% American Tropical Fish that have been bred and raised with the most delicate care at my Tropical Fish Farm in Brooksville, Florida. I know you would like healthy, hand selected fish and my goal is to provide you all of that along with quality and sometimes rarity at an affordable price. I can accept credit cards over the phone or from my website directly and of course accept paypal here on Aquabid, which I prefer and offer a live guarantee and replacement for doas. Replacements for doas require a picture of the dead fish in the bag they arrive in then a payment for re-shipping. I ship priority with hot or cold packs ($2.50 each if requested) but will also ship express if requested. Buyer pays shipping. I’ve been in the hobby for over 25 years and still enjoy fish and seek to learn more about our hobby. You can contact me with any questions, comments or special requests and offers if you do not wish to wait for an auction to complete.