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Fish Info

Tropical fish are generally those fish found in aquatic tropical environments around the world, including both freshwater and salt water species. In the artificial environment of an aquarium, a variety of other organisms are also collectively included within the term "tropical fish" including molluscs such as cuttlefish, Crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters.

Aquarium fish

Tropical fish are popular as aquarium fish, due to their often bright coloration. This coloration typically derives from both pigmented cells and iridescent cells.

Tropical fish may include wild-caught specimens, individuals born in captivity including lines selectively bred for special physical features, such as long fins, or particular colorations, such as albino. Some fish may be hybrids of more than one species.

Some Recreational SCUBA divers keep lists of fish species they have observed while diving, especially in tropical marine environments.

Coral reef fish

Many marine tropical fish, particularly those of interest to fish-keepers, are the fish which live among or in close relation to coral reefs. Coral reefs form complex ecosystems with tremendous biodiversity. Among the myriad ocean inhabitants, the fish stand out as particularly colorful and interesting to watch. Hundreds of species can exist in a small area of a healthy reef, many of them hidden or well camouflaged. Reef fish have developed many ingenious specializations adapted to survival on the reefs.

Coral reefs occupy less than one percent of the surface area of the world oceans,[2] yet they provide a home for 25 percent of all marine fish species. Reef habitats are a sharp contrast to the open water habitats that make up the other 99% of the world's oceans.

However, loss and degradation of coral reef habitat, increasing pollution, and over fishing including the use of destructive fishing practices, are threatening the survival of the coral reefs and the associated reef fish.

Aquarium

An aquarium (plural aquariums or aquaria) is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants. The term combines the Latin root aqua, meaning water, with the suffix -arium, meaning "a place for relating to".

An aquarist owns fish or maintains an aquarium, typically constructed of glass or high-strength acrylic plastic. Cuboid aquaria are also known as fish tanks or simply tanks, while bowl-shaped aquaria are also known as fish bowls. Size can range from a small glass bowl to immense public aquaria. Specialized equipment maintains appropriate water quality and other characteristics suitable for the aquarium's residents.

Care

Decide whether you want Tropical or Coldwater fish. Coldwater fish include goldfish and minnows. There are many types of tropical fish, from angelfish to corydoras catfish. Coldwater fish are usually a little hardier, and will survive those first few mistakes, but they need more room. Start off with inexpensive fish, even if you can afford expensive ones. Inexpensive ones are inexpensive because they are very successful in their natural environments or so comfortable in captivity that they even breed regularly and, in either case, do not die easily on their way to and in pet stores. Do not start out with saltwater fish. They require techniques and understanding that are much more complex. Plus, the water you'll have to work with and that may leak is messy, slowly corrosive to metal, and conductive. If you believe you want a saltwater tank, get a medium sized tropical fish tank with some plants and see if you can keep that in perfect order first for a year or so.

Decide what kind and how many fish you want. Research before putting species together. Some fish are compatible, others aren't. One might speculate that fish would enjoy some activity in their lives, so don't get just one. (The fish need not be the same species; for some territorial fish, it is best that it isn't. An armored catfish can be a good "companion" for such a beast.)Make sure you can provide any specialized care the fish need. For example, different fish need different foods, and some fish require more frequent maintenance than others. Owning fish is a big responsibility. Some fish are perfectly happy with flakes and can be fed with an automatic feeder, which makes it possible to leave the tank unattended for a week or two (assuming the fish are small so the water doesn't need very frequent changing).

Get an appropriately sized tank. Look up the minimum tank size for each fish.For goldfish, buy a tank with 20 gallons for the first goldfish, and 10 gallons for each additional goldfish.

For freshwater fish, forget about one gallon per inch of adult fish. Would you keep a 50 inch fish in a 50 gallon tank?

Bigger is better. Even if the fish looks small, it will thrive in a bigger tank.

Only add a few fish to start with, and slowly build up the population. Adding too many fish at once can overload your filtration system.

Perform partial water changes weekly. 20-30% is a good amount. To do a water change, get a gravel vacuum and siphon out any waste in the substrate. This will pull out water at the same time. Replace the water with water from your tap, but remember to treat it with a water conditioner.

Test the water regularly. Make sure you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and under 40 nitrate. Feed your fish two or three times a day. Monitor your fish. While they eat, sit and observe them. Check for anything strange: changing color, falling off fins, damaged tails, etc. Also, make sure all your fish are getting along.

Try not to stress out your fish. This includes putting your hand in the tank when you don't need to, touching them, or jumping near the tank.

Try to remember to clean your tank once a week to keep your fish healthy and your tank looking presentable.

Live plants can improve water quality and make your tank look more natural.

Never jump near your tank or try to touch your fish as it will stress them and they might not eat for a few days. Fish are cool

Always remove stray algae floating around the tank as it may cause the fish tank to be cloudy.

Buy a liquid test kit, as opposed to the strips. Liquid kits are much more precise and less likely to make error than kits that use strips.

Don't change out the filter cartridge. The filter is where most of the beneficial bacteria lives and replacing the cartridge creates a buildup of ammonia that can kill your tank. Only replace it when it’s falling apart, even then, keep a small piece in the tank until the new filter cartridge has developed beneficial bacteria, about a month.

If your tank holds less than 2.5 gallons, do NOT use a heater. If you do, you'll be slowly boiling your fish. Get a larger tank, so you can have room for all your fish.

Air fresheners can also be highly toxic.

Never clean anything which will be associated with your tank with soap, detergent, or washing powder. These will immediately kill off fish.

Don't leave out the changing water bit. If you don't do it, toxins build up, making your tank unhealthy and promoting nuisance algae growth.

Don't mix clownfish or Siamese fighting fish (betta) with other species.

Feeding

In their natural environment most fish consume a wide variety of foods, such as algae, plants, crustaceans, insects, and other fish. This ensures they receive a balanced diet, which needs to be replicated in captivity to keep them healthy. As a general rule of thumb it is always best to think about feeding your tropical fish in the same way they would naturally feed. As with us, we normally eat 3 sizable meals per day and get in to a routine of doing so. If we try eating one large meal per day then we’d end up being hungry a lot of the time and our stomachs and body wouldn't like it. If we try eating say 5 smaller meals in a day then this is essentially good for us but we would have to be careful about portion size in order to not gain weight.

The same principals about frequency and quantity of food can be applied to feeding our tropical fish. In the wild fish will not have a regular routine and feeding time and will eat as and when food in available to them so they may go for days without eating anything. This is one reason it is harder to keep wild caught fish. If you go further down the scale from wild caught fish to F1, F2 and so on then they are more used to a feeding routine. This is not to say you cannot get wild caught fish on a regular feeding routine, it is just slightly trickier to do so and will take longer introduce them to the routine.

It is best to feed smaller amounts more regularly to tropical fish so as to replicate their natural feeding habits. The main issue with this is over feeding them. Of course, the amount all depends on the type and size of fish but as a general rule around 3 flakes of food per fish is enough per feeding time. Another way to evaluate the quantity of food you are giving them is to be sure that all food has been consumed within 1-5 minutes (dependent on fish type). If we take a look at rift valley cichlids from lake Malawi, Tanganyika or Victoria then you would be over feeding if all food isn’t gone within 1-2 minutes.