NYC Trip – Manhattan Aquariums

On a recent trip to New York City, I decided to see what aquatics stores might have to offer. Overall, I was fairly disappointed in the the selection of stores I could find. One of them was a disturbingly barren and algae ridden. Most aquarium stores that were listed online were no longer in business at the address given online. Most of my day was spent wandering around, becoming increasingly frustrated by abandoned or missing storefronts of businesses that still had working answering machines and websites.

There were two beautiful gems amid the chaos. One of these was Manhattan Aquariums. They are a aquarium store with a strong focus on marine fish and corals, but they also had some beautiful freshwater tanks. By this point, my battery was dying, so I didn’t wind up even taking any pictures of the freshwater tanks! The store was very clean, had a huge selection, and had some absolutely amazing display tanks. Here are some pictures of this store:

The second store I visited was Pacific Aquarium Inc. They had a ton of freshwater and marine fish, lots of plants, and ample supplies of every sort for planted tanks. Beautiful petrified wood pieces, a variety of substrates, planting tools, … I spent a lot of time here looking at everything. It was a lot of fun to see all of the potential supplies, fish, plants, and aquascapes available today!

Here are some pics of their amazing freshwater aquascapes

Petrified Wood Aquascape with Riccia Carpets

Petrified Wood Aquascape with Riccia Carpets

And here are some of the back store, where the majority of the fish (fresh, marine, etc) were housed. Everything was clean, the fish all looked quite healthy, and the plant tanks didn’t seem to have a single snail. Beautiful store!

I’m hoping to have my next short trip be to a city where I might get to see some great tanks. So, if you have a recommendation of a beautiful aquarium store to visit, let me know!

Fish On My “To-Do” List

The more I got into freshwater fish and plants, the more species I learned of that would make really interesting and beautiful tank inhabitants. Here are some of the fish I haven’t yet had the opportunity to care for, along with some of their basic requirements. In no particular order:

Furcata Rainbow

aka Forktail Blue Eye Rainbow, (Pseudomugil furcatus )

Two male furcata rainbows

Two male furcata rainbows

 reach around 2″

prefer tanks densely planted with shady areas

pH 6.0 to 8.0, temp 75 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit

best kept in large groups


Spotted Blue-Eye Rainbow

aka Gertrude’s Blue-Eye, (Pseudomugil gertrudae )

Gertrude’s Blue-Eye Rainbow, male

reach about 1.5″

like densely planted tanks with driftwood, floating plants to break up light

wide pH range, prefer around 6.0 to 7.0

temperature between 73 and 86 degree Fahrenheit

best kept in groups

Peacock Gudgeon

aka Peacock Goby, (Tateurndina ocellicauda )

Male Peacock Gudgeon

reach about 2.5″

15+ gallon tank

temperature 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit

pH of 6.5 to 7.8

prefer tanks with lots of cover


Boesmani Rainbow

aka Boeseman’s Rainbowfish, (Melanotaenia boesemani )

Boesmani Rainbows

reach about 3″

30+ gallon tank

temperature of 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit

pH 6.5 to 8.0

prefer planted tanks with lots of swimming room

like being in groups


Rainbow Darter

(Etheostoma caeruleum )

Rainbow Darter

reach about 2.5″

very sensitive to water conditions

North-American native fish!

prefer rocky substrates and water with a decent current

temperature 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit

African Butterflyfish

(Pantodon buchholzi )

African Butterfly Fish

reach around 4″

need 30″ gallons

75 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit

pH close to 7.0

floats just below water’s surface


My Favorite AGA 2013 Entries, 60 to 120 litres

Here are some of my favorite entries from the 60 to 120 litre category of the 2013 AGA International Aquascaping Contest. Use them as inspiration in your own tanks, or head over to the AGA website to view all of the entries and information on what plants and fish were used! Some even have great diagrams of layouts, which make great study tools.