Select Aquatics of Erie, CO.

      Article and Videos / Downloads


           When Select Aquatics was first started,  I considered a monthly newsletter, and to encourage people to read it,
          each installment would contain an essay on an aspect of fish care, primarily as done here.  I started writing
          essays, on every aspect  of  fishkeeping, particularly husbandry and breeding.
          Then it occurred to me how rarely I read those types of things sent from others, and certainly did not want to bother
          my customers! But I kept working on the essays, expanding and revising them, eventually deciding to add
          photos and format them, to put them up here and available to better inform your choice to keep these fish.

          These are the majority of the best ones, and many of these have been published in "Livebearers' or other Club
          publications. If anyone would like to use one of these in a club publication, simply email me.

          As well, all of the Care Guides have been revised, and are available for printer or .pdf download. A series of videos
          is being developed on breeding the species I get asked most frequently about, as well as more specifics on their
          husbandry and care. The first is offered below, covering my approach to filtration and what is done here,
          triggering success with many species that I remember well having been challenging before coming to use
          these practices.

          Though what I have been able to do here may not fit the direction of your fishroom, hopefully some
          of these techniques can be tried, possibly increasing the overall health and breeding of the fish that
          you are keeping. If you have any questions or comments, simply email me at and I will get right back
          to you!

          Greg Sage

                                                              Select Aquatics Presents:

                                                  Fishroom and Topic Videos



      This is an introduction to the Select Aquatics Fisroom.
      This Video Presents a brief overview of some of the species
      maintained and bred in this 120 tank Fishroom, and the
      approach to Water Quality, Filtration and the Practices
      used to breed these fish in larger numbers is discussed.


Click on pics to view


     Recent improvements in Filtration has brought the
     number of filtration types to 12, to best maintain and breed   
     the wild Livebearers and Plecos raised here. How
     best to save livebearer fry and the current
     availability of the sexed and 2-3 inch Green  
     Dragons is also shown. 


     How to make this easy to build and inexpensive
    automatic water change system with no drilling
    or cutting of glass. Also the problem of learning
    to keep rare fish, and the inevitable,
    occasional death of fish is discussed.


     This Video looks at the essential Aquarium Book
     Collection here, a portion that can be seen behind 
     me. From Books I grew up with, to books I have
     had for 30 years and never opened...
     A question on mating behavior answers something 
     we have all seen and wondered about, and we follow a
     customer as they figure out the repair of an
     80 gallon hex tank!


      A bit about Select Aquatics, Ordering and
    Shipping. Customer questions address
    International Shipping and best size to
    ship various species sold here.


     I have come to learn that few ship as I do,
     and some have used my boxes in videos to 
     show how to best ship fish. In this video I
     explain exactly what I do, from tank to your
     front door. A different take on Whether you
     should Quarantine is next, followed by a 
     more in depth look at Box Filters!



    This is the first video I did on the Fishroom over 5 years ago.
     Since this video was made, pretty much the entire fishroom
     has been replaced or upgraded, but all of the ways the fish
     are kept, and most of the fish are unchanged!



                                   Essays on Tank Maintenance and Water Quality

           "I'm New To these Fish"
This comprehensive page covers the maintenance of these fish for those keeping these fish for the first
          time, how to successfully raise rare fish, setup, filters, equipment, management of water quality, approach
          to tank maintenance, Foods, Live Foods, then distributing your fish to other hobbyists.

         A Modern Approach to Fish Care   Open and Download .pdf
          This short article provides an overview of the practices used at Select aquatics, based on the latest 
          understanding of appropriate fish care and husbandry.

          A Practical Understanding; Maintaining Water Quality   Open and Download .pdf
          This essay attempts to identify the variables that contribute to water quality issues, and how they must
          become well known and understood from the time a tank is first set up through its day to day maintenance.

          A Cleaner Approach to Tank Maintenance   Open and Download .pdf
          Written to solve many of the most common issues that keep fish from growing to their full size, or breeding to their
          potential- especially livebearers, this article covers the approach used at Select Aquiatics to keep even the fussiest
          species at their best. Ironically, besides being best for the fish, these methods are also easier, cheaper and simpler
          to use than the standard means that most of us use to keep our aquariums going, while still fully natural and attractive
          looking. Though all of the species offered at this site will do well in a standard, well-maintained tank setup, This
          article is a must read for those considering keeping and breeding most any type of aquarium fish.

          3 Periods of Fish Adjustment to New Environments   Open and Download .pdf
          besides the initial adjustment to your tank when first brought home, there are in fact two other acclimation periods
          the fish will go through, and that you should be aware of before they will reach their potential in your tank.

          Creating an Automatic Water Change System for Your Fishroom   Open and Download .pdf
          This documents how to construct an automatic water change system that requires no drilling of tanks and no pumps.
          It is totally gravity driven, and allows for tanks to be swapped out, changed, and moved if the need arises. It is
          hooked up to a standard sprinkler system control box and valves. Any amount of water can be changed as often per day
          as you prefer. This system is also inexpensive, not difficult to construct and maintain, and has been working well in
          this fishroom of 120 tanks for about 10 years.

          Setting Up a Fishroom   Open and Download .pdf
          For a fishroom of 5 tanks to one of over 100 tanks, a number of basic principles apply. Room choice,
          Tank placement, metal vs. wood racks, temperature, light, air and electrical issues are addressed.

          Dealing With the Most Common Diseases   Open and Download .pdf
          Not meant as an in depth guide to disease identification and treatment, this essay introduces the majority of the
          diseases you will likely encounter as a fishkeeper, and how best to treat them. Based on the practical experience of
          having dealt with most diseases, this essay discusses immediate treatments until you are able to locate the proper
          medications, what to do when something first appears, and the basic medications that you should keep on hand.

          How to Raise BIG Fish   Open and Download .pdf
          This article was written in response to the most frequently asked question I hear from young fishkeepers,
          "How do you raise big fish?" In this comprehensive article first published in 2003, I address the 7 most important
          factors, myths, and the husbandry practices that get the most size and best overall health from your fish. 13 pages.


          Breeding the Livebearers   Open and download .pdf
          An introduction to Poeciliid and Goodeid reproduction, pictures are provided to show best practices and assistance
          sexing the Goodeids and other livebearers.

          Harvesting Livebearer Fry   Open and download .pdf
          Written in response to the difficulty we all have saving as many fry as possible from a number of livebearer
          species. The swords, the goodeids and the Alfaro cultratus are briefly discussed. Covered are which species
          will eat their fry, which won't, and how best to manipulate the birthing process so that few are preyed upon.

          Breeding the Bristlenose Plecostomus (Longfin Green Dragon)   Open and Download .pdf
          A complete, step by step approach to breeding this fish, and any other Ancistrus, particularly if you have been
          frustrated by a lack of success at getting them to breed or raise the fry. Included are photos showing daily  
          growth of new fry.

          Selective Breeding  
          The most comprehensive of all of the essays offered. All aspects of selectively breeding a line
          of fish are covered, including breeding myths and misconceptions. Updated 2023.

          Building Numbers and Quality Through Managed Breeding   Open and download .pdf
          This essay was written to describe how Select Aquatics breeds many species that are rarely bred in any quantity,
          but raised by the hundreds here. The setups, tricks and processes used to breed out the swordtails, A. cultratus,
          Goodeids (Z. tequila, C. lateralis, A. splendens and I. furcidens) and Barbs are explained, particularly how we
          make maximum use of space and behavioral quirks to harvest and raise out maximum numbers of fry- in an effort to
          explain an approach that others can use to increase the numbers of these rarer fish in the hobby.

          Breeding the Alfaro cultratus
          This species results in more letters from customers as to how to breed them more than any other species here. 
          Not difficult to breed, but different than the other poecillids due to the smaller fry, and that the females are not as
          easy to identify as gravid, and determining by appearance when they will drop their fry. In fact, they are quite 
          prolific and can be bred into a peaceful schooling group fairly easily!

          Developing the High Fin Mayae   Open and download .pdf
          Recently published in Livebearers and written in 2011, this article describes the steps taken to create the High
          Fin Xiphophorus mayae, a process begun in 2004. Not a cross or a hybrid, the high fin mayae was generated from a
          single female born from normal X. mayae stock, carefully selectively bred to produce the fish being worked with
          here. No longer carried by Select Aquatics, this documents the development f a new strain through Select Breeding.

          Keeping and Breeding the Poecilia velifera, Giant Sailfin Molly
          This article addresses the specific care for this spectacular fish, a fish  that is not to be kept in the same manner
          as other mollies. Once very common in the hobby, they are less frequently seen today, in part, because many are
          not aware of their care needs. In his article, all aspects of their tank setup, filtration, feeding, breeding and the
          raising of fry are covered.

           Keeping and Maintaining the Xiphophorus montezumae
One of the most striking swordtails, the care and breeding of the X. montezumae is not the same as other
          swordtails. This article presents how they are kept and bred here, with the specific considerations that assure
          they do well. There is a reason you do not see them offered routinely at local fish meetings and on the internet.
          Though not difficult to keep, a few things must be done for them to thrive and breed consistently.

          Breeding the Puntius padamya "Odessa" Barb
          maintained and bred here by the thousands since 2010, breeding these Odessa Barbs is a perfect introduction
          to breeding the barbs and tetras. Long in the tropical fish hobby, these barbs breed easily and predictably,
          but like most fish, the trick is keeping as many fry going during the first week as possible, and then providing
          the observation and care for the fry to survive into their first month, when they can then be split up into their
          own tanks and raised normally.

          Many tricks have been discovered to increase yield and keep the new fry doing well, all that are described here.
          For those that want to give this a try, it took me a few times to get it all dialed in, and if you have questions
          or would like for me to follow your process with you, just drop me an email,, and will
          help as much as my time allows.


          The Other Fishkeeping Skill; Shipping  Open and download .pdf
          After 4 years of gradually refining the shipping process, one method is used here that has a very low loss rate,
          is inexpensive and can be done by anyone with the proper bags and box.

          Live Foods   Open and download .pdf   Document   Photo Page
          Handed out at the 2011 American Livebearer Association Convention, this 10 page essay presents an approach
          to keeping live foods that I have developed over many years, much of the information being already posted
          at this website. I do cover blackworms and other types of live foods in greater depth.

          Repairing / Sealing an Aquarium    Open and download .pdf
          Any aquarist can quickly tear down a leaky tank, strip it, reseal it and have it back up and good as new,
          saving money and giving you some control over a task that everyone is hesitant to do at first. But it's no
          big deal when it is done right.

          How I Moved an Entire Fishroom 1200 Miles   Open and download .pdf
          In 2000 I drove a 20 tank fishroom across country- all of the tanks with hundreds of fish in them, plus the
          racks the equipment- from Sacramento to Denver, in mid August. All in one trip, I lost almost no fish in the
          process. This article documents the process I followed, which would be the same if you were to simply move a
          single tank, or a few tanks across town.



                                             Care Guides for Each Species





      Greg Sage has been in the aquarium hobby for 45 years. He holds masters
     degrees in K-12 education and administration. He was the Chairman of the
     American Livebearer Association from 2000 to 2004. Many of these articles
     were originally published in "Livebearers" The journal of the American
     Livebearer Association. He has kept and bred many of the fish available
     in the hobby, but has always maintained a few tanks of livebearers.
     Today he is the owner of Select Aquatics, a fishroom of approximately
     120 tanks that breeds and sells a number of rare, wild and selectively
     bred species. He lives in Erie, Colorado, with his wife Laura, and a
     new Cavalalier King Charles puppy, Ripley.




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