Chicago's Best Aquariums ~ Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Fish ~ Inverts and Supplies
Best Chicago Aquariums, Fish and Supplies

Big Selection of Oranda Goldfish in Stock Now

HUGE  selection of gorgeous Oranda's in stock now!

(An oranda is a breed of goldfish characterized by a prominent bubbly-like hood encasing its head. The hood or headgrowth (also known as wen) encases the whole head except for the eyes and mouth.Due to the fleshy outgrowth on the upper half of its head and sides of its face, the oranda has become one of the most popular goldfish. It is described as a wen by the aquarists. The oranda is a metallic or matte scaled goldfish that is similar in appearance to the veiltail. It has a large, long and deep body accompanied by a long quadruple tail. This four-lobed and contracted tail normally spreads out broadly when the oranda stops swimming. The back does not rise up to form a ryukin-like hump. )

DISCUS SALE Thru June 30th

Discus Fish Sale thru the end of June!

(Symphysodon, colloquially known as discus, is a genus of cichlids native to the Amazon River basin. Discus are popular as aquarium fish and their aquaculture in several countries in Asia is a major industry. They are sometimes referred to as pompadour fish.)

Awesome Oscars and Cichlids and MORE at Chicago Aquarium and Aquatic Life Store

Lots of new fish coming in - BIG  and  small!

Awesome Oscars
Stunning Cichlids

Bumblebee Cichlids

Red Tail Blue Loaches
Harlequin Lancer Catfish

Baby Red Monkeys

Electric Blue Cichlids
Gorgeous Flowerhorn Cichlids

10" big fish for big tank hobbyists!

Come in and browse around and let our excellent staff help you!


                        5040  N. Clark ST      Andersonville / Chicago



THANKS to our outstanding staff and our wonderful customers
                for making it a successful year at

We had some ups and downs, but all the comments, suggestions and feedback has made Chicago Aquarium and Aquatic Life one of the best fish stores in Chicago!

Our amazing staff is knowledgeable and helpful. We pride ourselves on keeping well stocked shelves for all of your fish needs, and our fish stock is guaranteed healthy.

Thanks again to everyone for a great for first year - and more to come!


At  CHICAGO AQUARIUM and AQUATIC LIFE, when you buy  a tank or product from our store, you get free full  access to our knowledgeable staff! Our team of experts will guide you through the set up process and answer all your questions about products and fish. 

And  if you buy your product somewhere else, and still need help,  we offer  affordable  hourly consulting.

Chicago Aquarium Fish Tank and Stand Sale!

We have been expanding our  selection of tanks and stands.Freshwater and saltwater, we've got you covered.

Big and small, lots of ideas to choose from. BIOCUBES and  Bow tanks have been in high demand. 
Get a 14 Gallon Biocube  $169!  The best price anywhere!

Bring us quotes  and we'll do our best to MATCH OR BEAT THEIR PRICE!

Come in and browse around and let our excellent staff help you!


                        5040  N. Clark ST      Andersonville / Chicago


Chicago's Best! Large Asian Cichlid Flowerhorns

We are so excited - we have been getting a fantastic assortment of
medium and large Asian Cichlid Flowerhorns! 

Flower Horn Fish is basically from the Cichlid family, which is classified under the genus of Cichlasoma, which is commonly found in South America.

The flowerhorn or Louhan fish exists nowhere in the wild because it is in fact a hybrid of other fish species. All flowerhorn fish for sale originate from experimental pairings of South American cichlids. Speculation is that there are red devil cichlid genes in it's parentage. It is a secret of the original breeder as to what the exact origins are. Flowerhorns have no taxonomically correct description due to being hybrids.

As far as fish go the flowerhorn is quite new. None were sold before the 1990's. They have become quite popular in this time and command large prices. On the other hand many loathe such fish because they are unnatural. Read More at Squidoo.

Owning a flowerhorn does not require specialized care; they are a hardy fish that can look after themselves in a disagreement between fish. They can be quite aggressive
so most are kept alone or in a single species aquarium.

Treat them as you would a South American cichlid by feeding tropical pellets
and warming the aquarium water to a tropical level.

This fish is very hardy, and can endure water conditions that are not suitable for most breeds of aquarium fish. This is also part of the reason why the Flower Horn is well received by many tropical fish hobbyists.

But the ideal pH level in the water should be around pH 7 to pH 7.8 with water temperature ranging between 27 °C to 32°C. For temperate / colder climate region, just need a conventional water heater. With regards to aquarium size, try to have at least 4 feet (length) by 2 feet (width) aquarium.

We have been getting an assortment, regularly lately, with price ranges  $250-$350!

Come by and take a look!


                        5040  N. Clark ST      Andersonville


Best Selection of Water Features, Bird Baths, Cement Statuary in Chicago's Andersonville

  DID YOU KNOW?????  

We carry a huge assortment of cement/concrete  bird baths and statues.

We have many water features for ponds.

Plus,  we have been expanding our  selection of tanks and stands.Freshwater and saltwater, we've got you covered.

BIg and small, lots of ideas to choose from. Bow tanks have been in high demand.  Right now we have some 36" bow tanks, with stand and pump for $375! 

Maybe something smaller?  

Desk Top and Table Top BOW TANKS  $27 - $40

10 Gal Hex  tank  - perfect for a corner of a room   $185

29 Gal BioCube Tanks with HQI  LED lights   $269 !

This is the best price ANYWHERE! 

($400-$500 elsewhere!)

Stop by and see our new expanded selections!


                        5040  N. Clark ST      Andersonville


Chicago Aqaurium and Aquatic Life New Arrivals...Puffers, Orandas, Juguar Cichlids and more!

 I love the Puffer fish! 

We just received some Large puffers and Figure 8 puffers. (Your choice - $15!) 

 Puffers have a unique and comical way of swimming. Some species of Puffer Fish live best in freshwater, some other species live best in brackish water, and some Puffers live best in marine or sea water. -  we have a nice assortment that will do great in your freshwater tank.

Tetraodon biocellatus, commonly the figure 8 puffer or eyespot puffer, is a pufferfish found in freshwater in Southeast Asia.

Figure 8 puffers can  grow to about 3" long. They are colorful fish, with greenish yellow patterns on their backs. These patterns vary greatly from fish to fish, but the markings either side of the caudal fin resemble the number eight, or eye-spots (earning the species another common name as 'Eye-spot puffer'). Figure 8 puffers are relatively peaceful among tetraodontidae, and have been kept successfully with other fish such as bumblebee gobies and mollies, but as with all pufferfish there is a risk that tankmates will not be tolerated.


Another new arrival -  Julli Chromis Marlieris - in the cichlid family. We are selling pairs for $12.99!  This is such a good deal, for a pair of really pretty freshwater fish!

Julidochromis is a genus of cichlids in the subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae. They are commonly called julies and are endemic to Lake Tanganyika in eastern Africa.

These ray-finned fish are smallish to mid-sized (about 7-15 cm/3-6 in) and have a yellowish backgroupd color with black lengthwise stripes or a checkerboard pattern.


Then I have a great assortment of Large Orandas!  They are running $59.99 -  lots to choose from.

The Oranda Goldfish is one of the most popular goldfish in the world. It is favored for its hood, a fleshy growth on the top of its head called the wen. The wen starts to show at about 3 - 4 months, but only really begins to form at about 1 - 2 years. The hood gets fully developed when the fish gets to be about 2-2 1/2 years old.

This beautiful gold fish has a large round shape, shimmering scales, and a long flowing split caudal (tail) fin that fans out when it comes to a stop. It is not surprising that the Chinese refer to it as the "flower of the water".

I also got in some Juguar Cichlids - we are selling them in pairs. The Jaguar Cichlid has beautiful patterned scales and stealthy predatory ability like the jaquar. It is one of many large Central American fish known as a Guapote.

Stop in and see what's new!  New things arriving week!


                        5040  N. Clark ST      Andersonville



Interesting Freshwater and Saltwater Fun Fish Facts


FISH have been on our earth for more than 450 million years,
even before the dinosaurs started to roam ?!

There are over 25,000 identified species of fish on the earth.
And it is estimated that there may still be over 15,000 fish species that have not yet been identified.

There are about 40 known species of the flying fish, which is a fish with thin wings.
These wings allow it to jump and glide in a way that it seems like it is flying, but in fact it is not.

The flying fish is capable of continuing its flight, they have been recorded stretching
out their flights with consecutive glides spanning distances up to 1,312 feet (400 meters).

Some fish can swim backwards. Like the ghost knife  and the crosshatch triggerfish.
A buluga whale and a dolphin can swim backwards too.

Some fish species are able to change their sex.
 Clown fish is a classic example of this, they are all born males
 and the dominant males change their sex during the course of life.

The Oscar fish change colors when they begin mating.
And they can lay around a thousand eggs at a time.

The jellyfish are made up of over 95% water. The body of a jelly fish lack a skeletal structure or the outer shell. A jellyfish has no brain,   posess blood nor a nervous system. The mouth of a jellyfish is located on the underside of its bell and that is the only opening for its digestive system. They jellyfish take food in through its mouth which is digested in a sack-like structure. Then they pass their waste out through their mouths.

The largest fish is the great whale shark which can reach fifty feet in length.
The smallest fish is the Philippine goby that is less than 1/3 of an inch when fully grown.


Fish have excellent senses of sight, touch, taste and many possess a good sense of smell and 'hearing'.

Fish feel pain and suffer stress just like mammals and birds.
95% of tropical fish mortality results from improper housing and nutrition.

Tropical fish are one of the most popular pets in the U.S. 
Many tropical fish sold in the United States are harvested from
the wild in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.

Tropical fish are categorized by their nature. Like humans, some are loners and will bite the head off anyone that comes too close, some like only their own species and don’t mix too well with others, and some are friendly, outgoing, and love spending time with anyone who comes their way!  ASK before buying a fish.  Make sure they will get along with what you already have. Check if the tropical fish you are buying are non-community fish, semi-aggressive or community fish.

Visit Our Chicago Aquarium  Store Today and Decide If Our Newest Arrivals of Freshwater Tropical and Saltwater Exotic Fish Are Just What You're Looking For!

Chicago Aquarium Store     5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies



New SaltWater Fish Arrive at Chicago Aquarium~ White Tip Clark Clownfish~Flame Hawkfish~Chain Link Moray Eel

White Tip Clarks Clowfish
Amphiprion clarkii   Amphiprion frenatus     
Amphiprion ocellaris (Ocellaris/False Percula or Nemo)

Most aquarium hobbyists have always dreamt of having a successful aquarium with clownfish and host anemones. Did you know there are 28 species of clownfish?  But really only a few  clownfish species the hobbyist is likely to encounter around here.

Amphiprion ocellaris (Ocellaris/False Percula or Nemo) is the most common clownfish in the hobby.  It is found from Northwest Australia to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan. 
Most of the imports come from Indonesia and the Philippines. 

Amphiprion clarkii (Clark's) is one of the most common clownfish in the hobby.  It is found from Micronesia to the Persian Gulf and from Northern Australia to Southern Japan.  The color of this clownfish is variable, but normally is has three white stripes, one behind the eye, one mid body, and one at the base of the tail.  The body color can be mostly yellow, orange, or black.

While clownfish can be kept successfully in the aquarium without a host anemone, they do seem to enjoy life in an aquarium a lot more when they have a host.  Remember though that if you want to keep a host anemone you will need to set up the aquarium with the proper lighting and filtration. 
Host anemones are one of the more difficult animals to keep in a reef aquarium,
but paired with clownfish they can also be one of the most entertaining.

Flame Hawkfish  aka Brilliant Hawkfish  / Neocirrhitus armatus

This fish's body is a brilliant flaming red color, has a contrasting black band on its back, black bands around the eyes, and grows to about 4 inches. They are more of a bottom-dweller  and likes to  live in areas where coral heads and stones are present to perch upon and hide in.

This fish's vibrant red color, personable nature, and small size makes it a highly sought after specimen by aquarists. However, like most Hawkfishes, it is predatory bottom-dweller. It likes to sit on top of rocks or corals to keep watch, ready to pounce on any unsuspecting prey that swims too close. They are a very personable fish, and are great for reef aquariums as long as there are no small shrimp maintained in the aquarium. It requires a 30 gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of live rock for structure and hiding

Chain Link Moray Eel

The chain-link Moray eel has a long slender body. It has white coloring with a slightly yellow tint. It has round, black or gray chain markings across it’s whole body. That is where they get the name Chain-link Moray eel. In an aquarium, this eel can grow to two and a half feet long. It is pretty easy to care for, it doesn't doesn’t need that big of a tank. But at least 125 gallons.

The chain-link eel likes to make shelter in holes between rocks and coral in an aquarium. It spends a lot of its time hiding during the day. It does most of its hunting at nighttime under the cover of darkness. If you put large rocks or large pieces of coral in the bottom of your aquarium, make sure they are fastened to the bottom of the tank. Like most other eels, they may knock over the rocks and hurt themselves.

Moray eels come in many shapes and sizes. There is one eel, though, that dwarfs all other moray eels. Strophidon sathlete, or what is known by more common names as the gangetic moray or the slender giant moray. The slender giant moray is found in the Indo-west pacific ocean. It likes living in muddy environments in areas like inner bays and rivers. Some slender giant eels have been measured at over 400 cm long!
How cool is that?!

Visit Our Chicago Aquarium Store Today and Decide If Our Newest Arrivals of Freshwater Tropical and Saltwater Exotic Fish Are Just What You're Looking For!

Chicago Aquarium      5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies

Snakehead Fish Frankenfish ...NOT in Chicago

Someone called me the other day looking for a Snakehead Fish!

It is illegal to keep snakeheads as pets in all states of the USA and other countries as they have become an invasive species due to individuals releasing them into the wild. President Bush enacted a ban in 2002, after the first snakehead appeared in Maryland.

The northern snakehead fish is said to not be a threat to humans. However, a more vicious species, the giant snakeheads have reportedly attacked and even killed people who have went near its young. They have been found in Maine, California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In 2004, a fisherman caught a single snakehead  while fishing from Lake Michigan at Burnham Harbor in Chicago!

There are a lot of urban myths surrounding these scary fish. It has this has a mouth crammed with teeth.

It’s deadly in the water, but it can also “crawl” on land and survive out of water for up to four days. - If it's kept wet.
There area actually  28 species of these crazy fish,  in the family Channidae are commonly referred to as Asian snakeheads. 

Could it, or would it attack a human?  Anything is possible I guess! There have been stories of these fish coming onto land and eating small dogs, but it has not been documented.

All I know is I wouldn't want to be swimming and run into to one of these guys!

Visit Our Chicago Aquarium  Today and Decide If Our Newest Arrivals of Freshwater Tropical and Saltwater Exotic Fish Are Just What You're Looking For!

Chicago Aquarium      5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies

Chicago Aquarium helps with Small Fish Tanks...or BIG Fish Tanks!


Many new hobbyists think they can just buy a tank, some fish, and add water. It's not that simple. Setting up an environment for your tropical freshwater fish or marine life can sometimes be frustrating and confusing.  Finding the right 'stuff' to add to your tank as well as a community of life that can co-exist and thrive together can be a tough challenge at times and your water  needs to have certain levels of various things.

We found these really cool commercial designs online!


Whether for your home or business setting, Chicago Aquarium , can help if you need 1 fish to add to your home tank or 25 fish in a tank for your lobby.

Our dedicated team is eager to help with your questions, concerns .

Whether your aquarium serves as enjoyment, tranquility, show or for the fascination of our marine life friend, proper care, housing, chemical make up and cleaning are essential for a thriving aquarium, no matter the size. 

Chicago Aquarium
5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies

NEW SALTWATER FISH! Pajama Cardinal~Royal Gramma~Six Line Wrasse

Pajama Cardinalfish
Polka Dot Cardinalfish ~ Orbic Cardinalfish ~ Red Spotted Cardinalfish

The Pajama Cardinalfish is absolutely gorgeous with a greenish-yellow face and bulbous blood red-orange eyes. The midsection is silver with bold, black scalar margins and the rear of the body is silver with orange-purple polka-dots!

For the Pajama Cardinalfish, a 30 gallon or larger aquarium with a cave and peaceful tank mates is suitable for this slow and methodical swimmer. The Pajama Cardinalfish tends to hide in sea grass or other plants, or may use long spined urchins for camouflage. If a larger aquarium is available, it will handle a small group of this species. As a group, they will establish a strict hierarchy without aggressiveness.

The Spotted Cardinalfish grows up to 3 inches and does not require any special care and as such they are well suited as a tank breed. The only condition posed is a kind of water. The Spotted Cardinalfish require high quality water with specific gravity ranging between 1.020 and 1.025. pH between 8.1 and 8.4 and temperature ranging between 72 and 78° F.

The Pajama Cardinalfish is a long-standing favorite in the aquarium trade and in the home aquarium, small groups can be kept with the decor having various crevices, and cave like ledges.

The Pajama Cardinalfish requires a well balanced diet of meaty foods such as feeder shrimp, flaked foods, pellet foods, marine flesh, bloodworms, and depending on its size, live feeder fish.

Royal Gramma ~ Fairy Basslet

The Royal Gramma is simply stunning. Its front half is a rich magenta while the back half is a bright yellow-orange. The Royal Gramma has a thin dark stripe that runs from its snout through its eyes.There is also a single black spot at the front of its dorsal fin. In the wild, Royal gramma's are found around the Caribbean Sea where they are quite common and will grow to about 3 inches at maturity.

As far as temperament goes, the Royal Gramma is a good candidate for just about any aquarium. As long as they have established themselves in a cave or niche within the tank, they are peaceful.  Royal grammas tend to not bother or be bothered by other fish, but will vigorously guard their favorite hiding places.  They will open their mouths very wide in a threatening gesture to ward off intruders.  May be kept in groups given enough room so that they are not crowed.  At least a 20 gallon tank should be used for the Royal Gramma and they are a site attached fish, so they don't really move around all that much. Expect to see them near their caves at all times and Royal Grammas will breed in the reef tank.

Royal grammas are reef safe. They are strictly carnivores in the wild that pick on passing plankton and copepods.  In your aquarium, feed them a good mix of meaty foods like mysis shrimp, krill and even chopped bits of shrimp, oysters, squid and fish. Avoid feeding too much squid as they tend to develop fatty livers.  Prime Reef by Ocean Nutrition is especially noteworthy as it contains a wide variety of sea foods plus added trace minerals and vitamins.  The Royal Gramma generally start feeding within days of introduction to a new aquarium environment. Let them establish themselves in a hole or cave somewhere and then try feeding

Six Line Wrasse
Sixline Wrasse ~ Six Stripe Wrasse ~ Pyjama Wrasse

The colorful and vibrantly stunning Six Line Wrasse is small, active, and hardy making it a very popular fish to spark up a small to large marine aquarium!

The Six Line Wrasse is one of those fish that most aquarists at one time or another have seen and thought, "that is a cool fish"! And cool they are. They are quite hardy, disease resistant, and long lived. Once acclimated the Six Line Wrasse will even help control a few pests, like the pyramidellid snails and commensal flatworms that some coral keeping aquarists have to deal with at times. The Six Line Wrasse has also been observed cleaning the fins and bodies of other fishes, picking off parasitic isopods and copepods.

The Six Line Wrasse is both beautiful and active. With its six distinct, horizontal blue lines overlaid against an orange body, this member of the Labridae family brings a major intense zip of color to any marine reef aquarium. This is especially true when a courting, male Six Line Wrasse displays an increased color intensity. However, it is the active darting amongst rock outcroppings and corals that most attracts the Six Line Wrasse to any onlooker.

Also known as the Sixline or Sixstripe Wrasse, Pseudocheilinus hexataenia is native to reefs of the Indo-Pacific and the coast of Fiji. Here, the Six Line Wrasse forages amongst corals and rocks for foods, mainly keeping to itself. In the home aquarium, the Six Line Wrasse requires a peaceful environment with a generous supply of hiding places and live rock on which they can forage for food. Here, the Six Line Wrasse will search for live foods in the form of small crustaceans such as pyramidellid snails (clam parasites), urchins, and commensal flatworms. The Six Line Wrasse is also known to feed on unwanted pests on live rock, such as bristleworms.

Though generally peaceful, the Six Line Wrasse may act aggressively towards peaceful Wrasses and other easily-intimidated fish, especially if inadequately fed or if its habitat is void of places in which it can hide.

The Six Line Wrasse diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.

Visit Our Chicago Aquarium  Today and Decide If Our Newest Arrivals of Freshwater Tropical and Saltwater Exotic Fish Are Just What You're Looking For!

Chicago Aquarium and Aquatic Life
5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies

NEW ARRIVALS! Adult Lunare Wrasse~Adult Marble Angelfish~Adult Golden Tinfoil Barb

Adult Lunare Wrasse ~ Moon Wrasse ~ Crescent Wrasse ~ Lyretail Wrasse

The Moon Wrasse or Lunare Wrasse is very popular and readily identified. All the common names of this wrasse are derived from a description it's tail; Moon Wrasse, Lunar Wrasse, Lunare Wrasse, Crescent Wrasse, and Lyretail Wrasse. This is because as an adult, the yellow caudal fin becomes very 'lunate', which means shaped like a crescent moon with long upper and lower lobes.

This active wrasse is hardy, easy to maintain, and long-lived in the aquarium. Gaining length up to almost 10", it is necessary for the Moon Wrasse or Lunar Wrasse to have plenty of swimming room. It is an excellent fish for the community aquarium as it is a peaceful fish, with only secondary males becoming aggressive. This wrasse doesn't bother corals but it will eat crustaceans and invertebrates. When frightened this fish will hide in the rock work,or may bury itself in the sand.

The Moon Wrasses or Lunare Wrasses are carnivorous, in the wild they eat benthic invertebrates, especially crustaceans such as crabs, shells, and shrimp. They also eat fish eggs and snail eggs. Having very hearty appetites, they are easily trained to eat prepared foods in the aquarium. Feed a varied protein diet strong in small crustacea, formulas and frozen foods such as mysis and brineshrimp, and thawed chopped raw fish, and even flake foods. They are heavy eaters that will eat anything and need to be fed 2 or 3 times a day.

Adult Marble Angelfish

The Angelfish is considered a community fish, but it is a cichlid and may not be as sociable with smaller fish. They will school peacefully when they are young, but tend to pair off and become more territorial when they are older. Being a bit timid, they can be frightened by shadows and fast movements. They will feel most at home and comfortable in a warmer aquarium that has hardy plants placed around the inside perimeter, has some rocks and roots, and has an open area in the center for swimming.

Since they are omnivorous, the Angelfish will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food or pellet everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat. You can even feed them lettuce or spinach. Feed mosquito larvae sparingly as they will tend to overeat it, which could kill them.

A minimum 40 gallon aquarium, though a larger tank would be suggested if keeping several. They need good water movement along with very strong and efficient filtration. Provide hardy plants placed around the inside perimeter along with some rocks and roots, but keep an open area in the center for swimming. They prefer subdued lighting. These fish do not burrow and will not damage plants as much as other cichlids.

Adult Golden Tinfoil Barb

The Golden Tinfoil Barb is a color variety of the Tinfoil Barb. Though it is easy to keep it will grow rapidly. reaching an intimidating size of up to 14 inches (35 cm) in length. This fish and all the Tinfoil Barb varieties are considered too large for most aquariums. Though they are generally peaceful they will eat smaller fish, so are not always suitable for a community aquarium. They can be kept with cichlids. An aquarium best suited to this fish would be large and roomy, with a fine gravel bottom.

Since they are omnivorous, the Golden Tinfoil Barb will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. Even though they like proteins, they need lots of vegetable foods. Vegetable substitutes suggested for these fish in the aquarium are cooked lettuce, spinach, or oatmeal.

Visit Our Chicago Aquarium  Today and Decide If Our Newest Arrivals of Freshwater Tropical and Saltwater Exotic Fish Are Just What You're Looking For!

Chicago Aquarium & Aquatic Life
5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies

NEW ARRIVALS! Electric Blue Jack Dempsey~Adult Black Ghost Knife Fish~Juvenile Marine Blueface Angelfish

Electric Blue Jack Dempsey

The Electric Blue Jack Dempsey is one of the bluest tropical fish and it is definitely one of the most beautiful!

An adult Electric Blue Jack Dempsey displays a magnificent blue coloration. This dazzling freshwater fish is a naturally occurring variant of the Jack Dempsey.  The Electric Blue Jack Dempsey is a magnificent blue and wonderfully attractive show type fish. It will do well when provided with adequate space and compatible tankmates. Unlike its parentage, this variety is slightly smaller and has been found to be a less aggressive cichlid, sometimes almost shy. They will do well in semi-aggressive communities. They like a tank bottom of fine sand, plenty of hiding places among rocks and wood, and a cover of floating plants. They do burrow and will eat live plants.

Adult Black Ghost Knife Fish

One of the most stunning and unique looking fish, the Black Ghost Knife Fish is sure to create a conversation. The body and fins are a jet black color, the base of the tail fin is marked with two wide white vertical bands.

The aquarium for the Black Ghost Knife Fish should be large with a small grained substrate.The aquarium should be fairly densely planted with many floating plants. The floating plants will help the fish overcome its shyness as it is nocturnal and sensitive to bright lights. Driftwood is also recommended along with some sort of inert piping for the Black Ghost Knife Fish to hide in.

The water in the aquarium should be soft, and kept at a temperature of between seventy-five and eighty-two degrees. The pH should be neutral to acid. Feeding should be a mix of live tubifex brine shrimp and meaty frozen foods. The Black Ghost Knife Fish is sensitive to water pollutants, changes in water conditions, and medications. Although timid they are aggressive to their own kind but can be housed with other large peaceful fish such as Angelfish, Discus and Gouramis.

Juvenile Marine Blueface Angelfish

Referred to variously as the Blueface, Yellowface, or Yellowmask Angelfish, the adult and juvenile Blueface Angelfish differ markedly in coloration. As a juvenile, the body is covered with alternating vertical stripes of black, white, and sapphire blue. Upon growing to approximately five inches, the juvenile begins to morph into its adult coloration of pale yellow with bluish scales and a bright-yellow pectoral fin. It has a mottled-blue face with yellow mask that extends from eye to eye but not much beyond each eye. There is also an eyespot at the caudal end of the dorsal fin.
A minimum of a 100 gallon tank with numerous hiding places and large amounts of live rock for grazing will offer an excellent marine aquarium environment. Not a good reef dweller, the Blueface Angelfish is prone to nip at stony and soft corals (sessile invertebrates) and clam mantles. The Blueface Angelfish is best kept as the only angelfish, as it is prone to becoming territorial when it is the largest fish in the tank.

The frequently fed diet for the Blueface Angelfish should consist of Spirulina, marine algae, high-quality angelfish preparations, mysis or frozen shrimp, and other meaty items.

Visit Our Chicago Aquarium  Today and Decide If Our Newest Arrivals of Freshwater Tropical and Saltwater Exotic Fish Are Just What You're Looking For!

Chicago Aquarium
5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies

NEW ARRIVALS! Flowerhorn Cichlid-Motoro Stingray-Red Marlboro Discus

Visit Our Chicago Aquarium Co. Store Today and Decide If Our Newest Arrivals of Freshwater Tropical and Exotic Fish Are Just What You're Looking For!

Flowerhorn Cichlid "Red Dragon"

A gorgeous hybrid, the Flowerhorn Cichlid makes a striking show fish in a large aquarium!  Flowerhorn Cichlids are ornamental aquarium fish noted for their vivid colors and the distinctively shaped heads for which they are named.

Their head protuberance, or kok, is formally termed a "nuchal hump." Like blood parrot cichlids, they are man-made hybrids that do not exist in nature. First developed in Malaysia and Taiwan, they are now kept by fish hobbyists worldwide.  

The Flowerhorn Cichlid is best kept singly as a show fish. This fish is not a community cichlid, it is territorial and aggressive. It can only be kept with other fish if the tank is very large, 200 gallons or more.

Red Marlboro Discus


The Red Marlboro Discus has been selectively bred for its brilliant red coloration. The Discus has surpassed the Angelfish as the most popular freshwater aquarium fish today!

Depending on sub-species, the natural range of the Discus extends from the Amazon to the Rio Negro Regions of South America. 

The Red Marlboro Discus requires an advanced level of care due to its feeding habits and water filtration requirements.Largely carnivorous, the Red Marlboro Discus prefer freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, pellet food designed for Discus, high-quality flake food, and meaty frozen foods.

Motoro Stingray
Motoro Stingray's are found living throughout South America including Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, Paraná-Paraguay, Orinoco, and Amazon River basins. In the wild they spend the majority of their time along the river beds in search of worms or invertebrates on which to prey. 

Motoro Stingray's like other rays will bury themselves within the substrate of their environment as a form of protection when they feel threatened.  The Motoro Stingray is a high-metabolic fish that is in near constant movement and feeds many times throughout the day. This high metabolism also means that they produce a lot of waste, which requires a strong biological and chemical filtration system in order to provide them the very high quality water they need to survive and thrive within the aquarium environment.

Motoro Stingray's can be fed a variety of different meaty foods including: beef heart, fish flesh, earth worms, krill, blood worms, table shrimp, clams and small fish like minnows, silversides or similar feeder fish. Earthworms and invertebrates rank up very high on the Motoro's favorite foods list and is a good food choice to get them eating when first introduced to the aquarium. They can then be fed a more varied diet as they become settled within the aquarium.

Chicago Aquarium
5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies

Frequently Asked Questions About Tropical Fish and Aquariums


This will be an ongoing section updated regularly to help advise and assist you with questions I'm asked the most. 

Don't see your question addressed here ~ ask me below via "Add Comment"!


How many fish can I have in my aquarium tank?

It depends. On the size and shape of the tank and the sizes of the fish. The most often stated general rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish per gallon of water. However, take into consideration the future adult size of your fish when computing the total inches of fish you can have, not their current size when stocking the tank.

A  more logical rule to follow is  1 inch of fish per 2 or 3 gallons of water. The bottom line is to avoid the temptation to overcrowd your tank. If you do overcrowd the tank you will need to perform maintenance more often and you risk the health of the fish. While I am on this topic, certain fish do better in certain sizes and shapes and tanks. For instance, a Discus  needs a long horizontal tank because the are river fish in the wild. Discus will not do well in a taller vertical tank.  Many other such variables are key considerations depending upon your overall goals with your tank and fish selections.

Can I use tap water to fill my tank?

Probably, yes.  First test the tap water for chlorine and/or chloramine. Most likely you will have these chemicals in your water and you will need to remove or neutralize them before adding water to your tank. I sell lots of various additives that will make the water safe.  The single most important issue in preventative medicine for pet fish is water quality.

How often should I change the aquarium water?

That brings us back to the size of the tank and the number of fish you have and the quality of your filtration system. In lightly stocked tanks, I would recommend changing 10-20 percent of the water  and  vacuuming every other week. Heavier stocked tanks will need larger (30% or more) weekly water changes and gravel vacuuming. If your water keeps testing bad consistently, you may have an overcrowded tank or you may be overfeeding your fish and it will need more frequent cleaning. Overcrowding =  more work!


How often should I feed my tropical fish?

Overfeeding is the most common mistake fish owners make. In nature fish eat whenever they are hungry and food is available. If food sources are plentiful, they will eat several times a day.

On the other hand, if food sources are scarce, they might go for days between meals. For this reason, fish are very opportunistic and will eat whenever they have a chance.

Frequency will vary based on the type of fish. In general most fish do quite well on one feeding per day. However, some owners prefer to feed their fish twice a day. Regardless of one or two feedings, the key is to keep the feedings very small. Only give an amount of food that the fish can eat in 2 minutes or less.

Can I leave my aquarium lights on 24 hours?

Your fish need some "down time" just like you do. In a lake or ocean, they get sun during the day and it's dark at night!  They need this period without lights. A good photoperiod (time the lights are on) is around 10 hours per day. Plus, excessive lighting can bring on algae issues.

What should my aquarium temperature be set at?

Water temperature depends on the fish in question. Different species require different temperatures. Generally speaking, for tropical fish a good temperature range would be anywhere from 74 °F to 78 °F. Research the fish you're interested in keeping before buying since some have different temperature requirements. For instance, the freshwater Discus fish requires higher temperatures than most tropical fish. Discus do best in water about 82 °F.

Fish Aquarium Glossary of Terms and Definitions

The more you start to learn about fish, the more there is to know!  There are hundreds of important terms and words -  it's literally a whole other world.  Here are just a few words and definitions that I come into contact with regularly -

acidic - Water with a pH of less than 7.

adipose fin - The small fin located between the dorsal fin and the caudal fin. It seems to serve no purpose.

 alkaline - Water with a pH between 7 and 14. Also known as Basic.

ammonia (NH3) - A dissolved gas that even in low concentrations is toxic to fish. It is produced by the breakdown of organic waste products.

asexual reproduction - Asexual means having no sex or sex organs, therefore asexual reproduction would be reproducing by means other than sex.

amyloodinium - Amyloodinium ocellateum is commonly called Oodinium, Marine Velvet, or Saltwater Ick.  Possible signs of the disease are cloudy eyes, gasping for breath, listlessness, and white spots.  Positive signs of the disease are gold or brown spots, rough skin, and rubbing against rocks, etc.  Treatment can be done by a freshwater dip and copper (as long as inverts are not in the tank).

anal fin - Single fin mounted vertically below the fish.

barbels - Barbels are the whisker-like appendages found on both sides of the mouth of all catfish.

basses - Compounds that make water Alkaline. If water contains more acids than basses it's acidic. If it has more basses than acids it's alkaline.

buffer - A substance added to the water to help maintain the pH. value.
carbon dioxide(Co2) - Important plant nutrient. The higher the dCH the lower the (Co2). For most aquarium plants a level of 4-6 dCH is ideal.

carnivore - Animals who hunt and eat other animals; meat eater. Sharks are a good example.

carapace - A bony or hard shell that covers part or all of an animal. Turtles, crabs,  and boxfish are good examples.

caudal - The single fin mounted vertically at the rear of the fish. The tail fin.

caudal peduncle - The part of the body which attaches the caudal (tailfin) to the body.

color rendering index (CRI) - A number used for rating lite bulbs on a scale up to 100, where 100 is equal to sunlight. 

cryptocaryon - (fish pictured on left DOES NOT have Cryptocaryon)  Cryptocaryon irritans is a parasitic infection where white spots appear on the body and fins. Fish will scratch themselves against rocks and breathing may become rapid if gills are affected.

Treatment can be done by copper or other anti-parasite remedies, but this is incompatible with inverts. Cleaner shrimps and wrasses will remove the parasites, but may not keep up with a major infestation.

Cryptocaryon is often referred to as the marine equivalent of the freshwater white spot disease, Ichthyophthirius, or Ick.

cyanobacteria - Cyanobacteria is commonly referred to as red slime algae by hobbyists although it is not really an algae. It is a bacteria. Poor water quality with excessive nutrients are the usual causes.  To combat, do frequent water changes, siphon out detritus, and use a good protein skimmer.

denitrification - Breakdown of nitrates by anaerobic bacteria into other forms.

detritus - Grayish piles of organic compounds that accumulate in the aquarium. Commonly will contain fish wastes, fragments of rock, leftover food, among other things. Usually detritus will accumulate in low water flow areas, sumps, etc.

detrivores - Animals that eat detritus. Common detritvores are urchins, stars, hermits, etc.

dolomite - A limestone gravel with a small pH buffering ability.

dorsal fin - The fin directly on the top of the body (it's the fin that sticks out of the water when you see a shark). Some fish have two dorsal fins one directly behind the other.

filtration - Method of cleaning aquarium water, there are 3 basic types. "Mechanical" removes particulate material. Chemical" removal of dissolved substances by passing through a type of media, like carbon. "Biological" which is the process of changing from a harmful substance to a less harmful one, by bacteria.

fry - Fully formed baby fish.
hard water - Water with a high concentration of dissolved salts.

head and lateral line erosion - Also known as hole-in-head disease and lateral line disease. A fish with this condition will develop holes in its' head and sometimes along its' lateral line. The main cause is nutritional deficiency, especially vitamin C. Stress and poor water quality also play a role. Untreated cases will cause disfiguring or death. To combat and cure, ensure good water quality and provide vitamin enriched foods, especially vitamin C.

herbivore - Animals whose diet consists mainly of vegetable matter.

hydrometer - A device used to measure salinity of water.

ich - A very common parasitic disease characterized by white salt-like specks all over the fish. 

invertebrate - Commonly called inverts by many in the hobby. Invertebrates are animals without backbones like anemones, corals, shrimps, snails, and crabs.

kelvin - A temperature reading used to rate the color of lite bulbs. 5500 degrees K is equal to sunlight.
lateral line - A line of sensory scales along the sides of fish that enables them to detect vibrations and electrical impulses from other fish.

macro-algae ~ Complex celled algae found in marine aquaria i.e.: Calurpa.

mbunas - Common name for rock dwelling African Cichlids from lake Malawi.

metal halide - A very intense type of lighting used in marine and freshwater plant aquaria.

micro-algae ~ Single celled algae often growing in strands called hair algae.

- The cells at the tip of an anemones' (corals) tentacles which "sting" when touched.

nitrate - Mildly toxic end product of biological filtration. Can be used as a gauge to tell when a partial water change is needed.

nitrite - Middle element of the biological cycle.

nitrogen cycle - The formal name for the biological cycle in which toxins are broken down into less harmful products by Aerobic bacteria.

oodinium - Known as velvet disease, similar to ich but more deadly.

pectoral fins - The anterior or dorsalmost paired fins of fishes. They correspond to the anterior limbs of the higher vertebrates.

pharyngeal teeth (throat teeth) - Tooth-like structures in the back part of the throat derived from gill supports. Primarily used for grinding, may be used to produce sound.

pH - Measurement of the degree of water acidity. It is determined by the amount of acids and bases in the water. If the amounts are equal it is called neutral with a number rating of 7.0. If more acids it is called acidic with number rating of less than 7.0, if more base it is called alkaline with a number rating of more than 7.0.

phosphate - An element introduced into the aquarium through organic or inorganic means that promotes excessive algae growth. Can be removed through water changes.

photosynthetic - The process by which organisms, usually plants, use the energy contained in light, usually sunlight.

phytoplankton - Microscopic free-floating aquatic plants, mainly algae. It lives suspended in bodies of water and drifts about. See plankton.

plankton - Plankton are the drifters of the sea. Although they may have some form of locomotion they are mostly carried by water currents. Plankton is divided into macroplankton (jellyfish, sargassum weed) and microplankton, organisms that can only be seen by a microscope.  The microplankton is divided into zooplankton, tiny marine animals, and phytoplankton, or plants. Most fish start their lives as small animals in the plankton.

polyp - A polyp is the living unit of a coral.

predaceous - This means the animal will hunt and eat other animals. The old rule comes to mind, big fish eat little fish! 

red Slime - see cyanobacteria.

sponge filter - A large foam rubber block connected to an air lift tube. Water is drawn through the sponge, which acts as a mechanical filter and a bacteria colony. Especially useful in breeding or fry tanks.

substrate - The material used to cover the bottom of the fish tank.

trace elements - Minute substances found in water,that are needed for proper plant and fish growth. Usually replenished with partial water changes.

trickle filter - A wet dry filter using a drip plate to disperse the water over bio-media.

tritrate test method - A specific method of water testing in which a reagent is dropped into a sample until a color change is noticed. More accurate than color comparison test methods.

turnover rate - The number of times the water in an aquarium is passed through the filtration system in one hour. The minimum should be three or four times per hour.

under-gravel filter - A type of filter placed under the substrate that utilizes an air pump or power head to pull water through the gravel and thus oxygenates the bacteria to help in the nitrogen cycle. Not recommended for live plant tanks.

yellow water - Name given to water with a slight yellow tinge. Can be caused by too much organic material in the water or to show that a water change is needed. Eliminated through carbon filtration and better water management.

zeolites - A substance used in fresh water aquaria for the removal of ammonia.

zooplankton - Tiny animals or larvae of other animals living in water. usually used in reference to marine aquaria.

zooxanthellae - The symbiotic single celled brown or yellow algae living in some marine invertebrates. They supply important elements to their hosts.

This is just small sampling of words I hope you find helpful!  If you want to learn even more, stop by  ANIMAL-WORLD  -  it is a great resource  online full of all kinds of useful tropical fresh and saltwater fish and aquarium information!

 Chicago Aquarium Store
5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474
Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies

Welcome to Chicago Aquariums Resource Site!

Chicago's Best Aquariums, Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Fish, Inverts and Supplies

Be Sure to Stop In To Check Out Our New Arrivals Weekly!

We're  delighted to start this site, an "online magazine" ,  a resource for fish hobbyists and enthusiasts to learn and grow. 

We plan to cover many tips and provide useful information about keeping Betta Fish, Fancy Guppies, Mollies, Goldfish, Koi, Angelfish, Piranhas, Eels, Sharks, African Cichlids, Oscars, Puffer Fish, Aquarium Frogs, Shrimp, Crabs, and many, many other kinds of pet fish and aquatic animals that live in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.

Here Are Some Of Our Most Commonly Stocked Freshwater Aquarium Fish:
Arowanna           Gouramis 
Bettas / Labyrinths     Loaches
Catfish                Killifish 
Characins           Knifefish 
Cichlids                Livebearing Fish 
Cyprinids            Pseudo Bony Fish 
Eels                       Pufferfish 
Goldfish                Rainbowfish 

Our Most Commonly Stocked Marine Saltwater Aquarium Fish:
Saltwater Eels
Triggerfish Wrasses
Aquarium Plants ~ We stock a large assortment based on your aquarium lighting
Corals and Mini-Reefs ~ A large selection of soft and stony corals

We sell fish locally from our store in Chicago and also ship fish overnight! 

We  get new arrivals everyday and I am happy to locate any custom or specific order you would like to purchase!

Our Most Commonly Stocked Retail Brands and Supplies:

Aquarium Pharmeceuticals*
Instant Ocean
J&W Pet
Ocean Nutrition
Second Nature
Aquariums-Aqueon*, Marineland*, Oceanic* and Perfecto*
*Registered Trademarks

Feel free to email us or call, or even better, stop in and see me!

Chicago Aquarium  Store
5040 N. Clark Street  773-878-8474

Chicago's Best Resource For Freshwater and Saltwater Tropical Aquarium Fish and Supplies