Aquaria Information from



   Aquatic specialties are an interesting addition to any fresh water aquarium, and they're great scavengers, too! You can highlight your tank with fresh water lobsters, crayfish, crabs, snails, frogs, tadpoles, water dogs, newts, shrimp and clams. 

   Lobsters, crayfish, prawn, ghost shrimp and crabs vary in size and temperament, and it is important to consider the type and size of fish that are kept with these crustacea. Norfolk blue lobsters, red lobsters, and the larger sizes of crayfish, prawn and mountain crab are more aggressive than others, so tankmates should be chosen accordingly– peaceful larger cichlids and larger size "community aquarium" fish are good candidates. But be aware that some cichlids consider aquatic specialties as food, so choosing compatible sizes is critical. These crustacea are cannibalistic; one to an aquarium is best. Australian blue lobsters, prawn, ghost shrimp, red claw and fiddler crabs can be combined with most fish except the very small ones. And remember- all these are true scavengers- if they're hungry and chance upon a small fish, it's considered food! 

   Snails are known for their ability to eat soft algae, while other types of algae are ignored. They even eat "meaty" foods, making them a good choice as a scavenger. Some varieties will 

eat plants, particularly tender new growth. Once again, avoid large cichlids as tankmates, and remember that some loaches as well like them as snacks. The largest snail available is the apple. The most popular is the mystery snail, which is available in black, albino, blue, night and day, and the gold Inca, which is the most brightly colored. Another popular variety is the ramshorn. Snails do not do well in recently established aquariums, or when the pH is below 6.8. 

   African and dwarf African frogs are true aquatic frogs, never needing to leave the water. Water dogs will remain in an aquatic stage if conditions are to their liking, and will not need land. Common fire belly newts do require an area above water where they can relax. 

   All of these amphibians are carnivorous, preferring live and frozen food and some freeze-dried or feeder fish. Dry food is accepted reluctantly at first, with some amphibians never learning to eat it, although frogs take to it most readily. Newts often get bloat from improper diet; be aware that there is a correlation between a vegetable diet and bloat. 

   All aquatic specialties want to explore the world outside. Keep a tight-fitting cover on their aquarium, blocking any openings. Ask your dealer for current availability of the aquatic specialties- they make a great add-on to any display tank!

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