1st U.K. Breeding of Parancistrus Aurantiacus

26 Apr 2013 — Community | Permalink | Comments (3)
1st U.K. Breeding of Parancistrus Aurantiacus
C.E. Fish Essentials customer Gregory Day has succeeded in becoming the 1st person in UK history to breed wild 'xanthic' Parancistrus Aurantiacus known in the trade as Chubby Plecos

Gregory Day is a person who can only be described as a 'fish freak'. He is absolutely in love with all of the wonderful rare, interesting and unusual species which are becoming more and more available to the UK hobby by the day. He keeps several highly sought after species including P13 and P14 stingrays, golden Arowana, wild Heckel discus and several others as well as these captivating wild Parancistrus Aurantiacus which originate from the Rio Araguaia, Brazil. Below are photo's of the actual parent fish submitted by popular discus fish retailer Matthew Boardman of Manchester Discus, whom Gregory purchased the fish from thanks to Francis Hu at Chens Discus who imported 2 pairs (both taken by Gregory).

              Male (left)                           Female (right)

Gregory feeds all of his fish with C.E. Fish Essentials foods and varying dried foods. He finds that his Parancistrus Aurantiacus also enjoy stealing C.E. Discus Professional food from his discus fish and reject foods such as courgette. The ideal food for this species is C.E. Pleco Carnivore.


In the photo (above left)you see the male Parancistrus Aurantiacus guarding the fry. The photo (above right) shows how the caves are situated in the aquarium. interestingly these fish chose to breed in a higher cave on top of another. Previously, the male had also rejected some of the eggs which Gregory was able to save (see below). The fry are currently housed in an egg tumbler device which Gregory had to improvise and the first few fry have begun to hatch. 

26th April 2013
Hatching begins..


We have uploaded a video to the C.E. Fish Essentials Youtube account to document this wonderful achievement by Gregory and would like to wish him the very best of luck! Congratulations from us here at C.E. Fish Essentials.

Update: 30.04.13
8 fry saved by Gregory are all doing well.
No fry found in the cave.

Update: 02.05.13
6 days old.
Yolk sacks almost completely consumed. 

Update: 04.05.13
8 days old.

Update: 18.05.13
14 days old

Update: 23.05.13
19 days old


Update: 29.05.13
25 days old


Update: 18.06.13
45 days old

Update: 15.07.13
72 days old


Update: 14th January 2014
8 months & 19 days old
Feeding happily on our Pleco range

Update: 9th October 2014
1 year 5 months and 14 days old.

                                              Parent (Female - Right)



Proud Sponsors of Alex Carslaw (Rainbowfish UK)

24 Feb 2014 — Community | Permalink | Comments (0)
We are humbled and proud to have been approached by keeper, conservationist and Rainbowfish fanatic Alex Carslaw to support his move into lecturing about the wonderful genera of Rainbowfish species and their futures.

Alex Carslaw is without doubt the U.K's most dedicated Rainbowfish enthusiast, award-winning in fact and has made it his passion to become a significant contributor in the field in hope of preserving both their keeping in the aquarium hobby and in many cases stabilising a future for several species of these graceful, diverse and unbelievably underestimated fish.

Alex (Left) with ichthyologist Heiko Bleher     Alex's website dedicated to Rainbowfish

His story is as follows; 

"As a young lad I remember pestering my father to go visit my uncle who had a tropical fish tank. I was amazed at the Angelfish and neons he used to keep and would jump at the chance to feed them. I was hooked! It wasn’t until I met my now wife did my passion really kick off. Her dad owned a pet shop in Glasgow down by the “Barra’s”. Soon it became an obsession. We joined the local fish club, Cumbernauld & District Aquarist society and it wasn’t long before we got more involved in the running of the club. Around 1989 I started working for a Tropical fish wholesaler in Glasgow where I had the pleasure of meeting a man who I soon realised was to teach me lots, stuff the books cant teach you, Mr Cliff Murray Snr was his name. It was here I first got my eyes on Rainbowfish, A massive tank of Melanotaenia boesemani. I still think of them when I look at some of the lesser specimens we now see today and sigh. Today, I now have my own little man-cave as I call it, 28 tanks in my purpose built fish house at the bottom of my garden. I currently keep around 18 species of Rainbowfish and Blue-eyes and to date I have bred 30 species and hopefully now with the support of great company I can continue to breed and distribute many fish we now sadly have lost in the wild".

Alex's collection features several different Rainbowfish genera and some wonderfully rare, unique and endangered species. 

Glossolepis pseudoincisus (Tami River)       Melanotaenia praecox
Melanotaenia herbertaxelrodi       The critically endangered: Chilatherina sentaniensis
Endangered: Melanotaenia lacustris (Kutubu Lake)  -  Melanotaenia sp. "Aru II"
 Melanotaenia parkinsoni                            Melanotaenia maccullochi
Melanotaenia trifasciata (Goyder River)       Melanotaenia kamaka (Lake Kamaka)

Here are Alex's thoughts on why he chose to approach us;

"I first became aware of C.E. Fish Essentials on a visit to London to take in the 2012 "Aquatics Live" show, in particular to attend a lecture by Rainbowfish collector, Heiko Bleher. I really liked the look of the product, but was unable to take any as I was on a break. I was lucky enough a few months later to be chosen to test the Community Plus formula on my fish and decided to test it on my group of Chilatherina sentaniensis. At first my fish seemed a bit unsure but I soon realised that by grating the product into flakes it was 'more than readily' accepted. This is part of the appeal of this food that it can be served up in different ways to appeal to the palette of different fish. I first noticed a difference in the colour of my fish after around 2 months, my fish were like gold bars instead of orange. To be given sponsorship and support from C.E. Fish Essentials is a dream come true for me. I visit clubs all over the UK to give talks and presentations on my passion for Rainbowfishes and now with the support I have I feel I can do it better and with more confidence. All my fish will now be given the Community Plus product as a staple diet and I'm confident I will soon see the rewards in my fish and the future generations that will follow them".

Chilatherina fasciata                                    Melanotaenia goldiei "Aru II"
Chilatherina sentaniensis                             Melanotaenia rubrostriata

The need for individuals such as Alex (and others) to propagate and increase the numbers in captivity of some of these species is vital for the survival of these fish, as some are no longer found in the wild. Many Rainbowfish habitats have already (and are continuing to be) destroyed or polluted even before they have been explored or assessed and so our support of Alex is a cry to the aquatic community to come together and make changes. If you organise events within the aquatic community, if you want to become involved in the conservation and/or keeping of Rainbowfish or if you are able to support the work being done by people like Alex;

Please make contact: Rainbowfish UK Website | Alex's Facebook | Rainbowfish UK on Facebook

In an attempt to increase their popularity in the hobby (and preserve some critically endangered species in the process), Alex is already lined up to speak at several national and international events this year including the West Lothian Aquarist Society, The Kirkaldy Aquarist Society as well as being invited to give a talk early next year at the Catfish Study Group Convention 2015


Alex Carslaw's Fish House Tour - Part 2

16 Apr 2014 — Community | Permalink | Comments (0)
The second installment of C.E. Fish Essentials ambassador Alex Carslaw's fish house tour takes place at Colin Dunlop's Fish Hut. We'll let Alex doing the talking ...

Set in hundreds of acres of land in the beautiful Clyde Valley, Colin Dunlop's place really is a true sight for sore eyes. Colin's Fish Hut sits next to his stunning farmyard house and it’s probably the most unique fish house I have seen with its very own alpine garden rooftop. Colin explained that it acts as fantastic insulation having raised the temperature by 3°C when completed.
When I arrived I was invited to view Colin's fantastic 1100 litre tank which is situated in the corner of his kitchen. Standing around 3' high, 4' deep and 6' wide this really is the daddy of all corner tanks. What I really liked about this tank is that even after ten minutes of fishspotting something else will emerge from the Anubias covered tree roots to surprise you; like his shoal of massive Red-line Torpedo Barbs (Sahyadria denisonii). All the wood within the tank is collected from around the farmyard and is first stripped of its bark by his ever eager wood munching L330 Panaque's before being carefully placed in the tank. Colin recommends using Beech, Oak, Hawthorn, Acer and heather. I was especially intrigued by the use of heather and Colin assures me it will help no end in breeding my F1 P. scalare angels.
Betta macrostoma (juvenile)  Channa andrao
I never tire of visiting Colin as I know I will always leave having learned lots. He is always the first person I will turn to for advice and he is always happy to try and help, if he can. I first met Colin on the advice of our mutual friend and fish keeping legend Peter Cottle about 7 years ago and it turned out we both worked for the same Glasgow tropical fish wholesaler around the same time in the late 80's. Colin has more or less been keeping fish all his life having been introduced to the hobby by his father but it wasn't till around 1980 before the bug really took hold when he bred his first fish, the Keyhole Cichlid, (Cleithracara maronii), in a small tank in his bedroom. Since the early days Colin has went on to breed over 350 different species of fish and includes the extremely difficult Betta macrostoma amongst his conquests.
Betta mandor                  Betta macrostoma (juveniles)
Anabantoids figure highly among Colin’s favourite fish and he regularly travels the UK giving talks on the subject and is highly respected by fellow aquarists Worldwide. It wasn’t long before Colin invited me to see what’s been going on in his fish hut, which is currently going through renovation. He has decided to renovate his fish room in two halves allowing him to maintain a limited collection while working on the other. Some of the fish maintained by Colin are his awesome pair of golden cobra snakeheads (Channa aurantimaculata) who were in the process of mouthbrooding. Colin had hoped that there would have been fry to see but sadly it didn’t happen for my visit. Being a sub-tropical species I liked Colin’s set up for the Channa, which had a vent to the rear of the tank that allows cool air to enter; keeping it at a colder temperature compared to the other tanks within the fish house. These snakeheads need a cool winter rest at about 10-12° to encourage breeding the following spring. His Channa are fed a diet which includes raw prawns and earthworms. I have always had an admiration for Channa and have a single dwarf ornate snakehead (Channa ornatipinnis) myself, who lives at the bottom of my fish hut and is the eager recipient of any fatalities from my other tanks.
Betta macrostoma                Betta mandor

In Scotland a license is required to keep Channa species and one can be obtained for free from Scottish Natural Heritage. It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to Bettas, and boy does this guy know about Bettas. Colin maintains and breeds some species like Betta renata, B. stigmosa, B. kuehnei,and as yet undescribed Betta species. You won’t find these fish in many (if any) other fish houses in the UK.  
Betta macrostoma (juvenile)   Betta macrostoma
Over a cup of coffee, Colin explained to me the secrets of maintaining a healthy yet extremely low pH tank, and who knows one day I may pay a visit to the acidic extremes of fish keeping. Colin’s bettas are fed a staple diet of quality flake and pellets with the added luxury of earthworms and whiteworms. I spoke to Colin about the range of fresh frozen foods supplied by C.E. Fish Essentials and the benefits of being able to customise the food to the requirements of his own particular fish and he seemed to think this a great idea. Once finished in  The Fish Hut it was back to the farmhouse for a chance to pick Colin’s mind on all things fishkeeping (and another coffee) and I admit I could have sat drinking coffee and talking to this guy all night. His knowledge is awesome.

Written by: Alex Carslaw
Editor: Chris Englezou
Photography: Colin Dunlop ©  

C.E. Fish Essentials customer breeds Golden Arowana!

01 Nov 2014 — Community | Permalink | Comments (0)
Another success for Gregory Day, who has become the first UK hobbyist to breed the Asian Arowana

There is no more suitable day for a dragon to be born than Halloween (well, other than January 23rd 2012, year of the dragon), but anyway, I digress.. Yesterday was a tremendous day for UK aquarist and C.E. Fish Essentials customer, Gregory Day who now becomes the first UK hobbyist to breed the Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus) in a home aquarium; equally unique is that the fish were raised from juvenile size in aquaria here in the UK. 

Greg was able to capture this photo of the male taking the newly laid eggs into his mouth to brood 

Greg keeps his aquarium, which is 8ft long, 5ft wide and 3ft high at a pH of 6.5 at a temperature of around 28-29°C and uses a mixture of HMA and RO processed water. Tank mates are 2 ' P14' Potamotrygon sp Itaituba, 3 Potamotrygon leopoldi 'Black Diamond', 1 Potamotrygon sp 'Pearl' and 3 Mastacembelus erythrotaenia (fire eels).

After the successful breeding and survival of Asian Arowana at the Bristol Zoo in 2009 after 13 years in captivity, it is a fantastic achievement for Greg, who has managed to breed these majestic fish in his home after less than a year of dedication. We'll be keeping our hopes high for success and will be sure to update all on their progress! 

Try our Predator Plus advanced feed formulation, perfect for Arowana and others


Chens Discus

18 Aug 2012 — Community | Permalink | Comments (0)
Known as one of the the U.K's most reputable and reliable suppliers of high quality Asian discus fish, Chen's Discus are a retail and wholesale distributor both nationwide and internationally. they are reknowned for sourcing some of the best fish in size, shape, pattern, colouration and quality and now, Chen's have opted to feed the U.K's No1 discus food

Here is a little about Chens Discus fom the face of the company Francis Hu.

                Francis Hu (left)                                  Chris Englezou (Right)

"My brother and myself started keeping tropical fish when we were kids and moved on to discus in 1995. We had a few Red Turquoise and Blue Turquoise. Started breeding them a year later and after a lot of unsuccessful attempts succeded in getting a batch of young fry that eventually did not survive. Finally, learning from past mistakes, we successfully bred and raised some beautiful discus fish. We at Chen’s Discus stock more than 700 discus fish starting from 2.5 inch to 7 inch and between 15-25 different strains at any time. We specialise in breeding pairs and we take pride to ensure that our stocks are of the best quality, both in shape and colour. Our main aim of starting Chen’s Discus is to supply new strains and quality discus fish to local breeders and discus hobbist. We pride in supplying quality discus and even guarantee that each and every fish is personally selected by us before we send them to you. Even better, we encourage customers to come and hand pick the discus of their choice. Most fish available are imported from Malaysia and Indonesia"


Francis feeds approximately 6+ kilos a day to his extensive collection of fish and this is spread out over the day into approximately 3+ feeds. The fish feed aggressively and grow at a fast rate as a result of regular feeding and the hard work put in to change very large amounts of water on a daily basis.


Chen's Discus also stock a generous number of breeding pairs, all of incredible quality and snapped up very quickly!


Chens Discus can be contacted via their website here.



Raising fish fry with C.E. Fish Essentials foods

12 Jun 2013 — Community | Permalink | Comments (0)
Every week we receive feedback from happy customers telling us that their fish have begun breeding since introducing our foods. For us there is nothing more rewarding than hearing this, but seeing photos of the young fish fry growing and developing is even better! We have dedicated this blog post to showing off the great work done by just a few of our customers. Enjoy!

Chris Lee - Discus - 10 weeks old - feeding with Discus Professional

Steven Chester - Discus - 4 weeks old - feeding with Discus Pro-Lite

Pino Paolino - Discus - 24 days old - feeding with Discus Wildheart

Peris Kotsiropoulos - Discus - 5 weeks & 4½ months - feeding with Discus Wildheart

Gregory Day - Pleco - 8 days & 25 days - feeding with Pleco Herbivore

Thanasis Papachristo - Discus - 6 months & 8½ months - feeding with Discus Professional

Karl Pohlen - Discus - 18 days and 16 weeks old - feeding with Discus Professional

Carlos Asparrasa - Discus - 8 weeks old - feeding with Discus Professional

Patrik Wihlborg - Discus - 3 months old & 6 months old - feeding with Discus Wildheart