Thursday, 30 August 2012

Angelfish : Knowing Characteristics and Breeding Process

Angelfish are one of the most beautiful fish, which are broadly classified into two types namely freshwater and marine. The marine type belongs to the family Pomacanthidae and is mostly found in the western Pacific Ocean. This type is also found in the tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean. There are approximately 86 species falling under the Pomacanthidae family. These have small mouths, large pectoral fins, streamer-like extensions of the soft dorsal and anal fins, and tail fins. They are very colourful, bold and form highly territorial.

Belonging to Cichlidae family, the angelfish of fresh water have different traits than those of marine water fish. They are native to South American river basins namely Amazon, Orinoco and Essequibo. With round bodies compressed from sideways, the freshwater fish have triangular dorsal and anal fins. Their body shape enables them to stay protected from their predators by hiding amongst plants in the aquarium. They often have red eyes and vertical stripes on their body. Highly intelligent, they are of genus Pterophyllum. This genus consists
of only three types of species – P. Scalare, P. Altum and P. Leopoldi.

In terms of behavior, these are playful and recognize their owner. Sometimes, they act aggressively and also harm others in the tank. In fact, they have been observed eating smaller fish such as Neon Tetra. Also referred to as Silver Angel, they are carnivores in nature and their favorite food list includes brine shrimp, insects and bloodworms.

It is to be noted that these fish breed for life. After the death of any one from the pair, the other never breeds again. It is difficult to identify the male and female from the pair of angelfish. They can be easily identified during the process of breeding. However, there are few characteristics that can help you identify the male as well as female fish. These characteristics are –

  • Males are more territorial than females.
  • Males sometimes develop a small lump on their forehead known as nuchal hump, unlike females.
  • The breeding organ (Papilla) of the male is more pointed, while that of the female is wider.
  • While breeding, you may see the female laying the eggs and the male’s papilla emerging out to release the sperms over the eggs to fertilize them.

In the process of breeding, it is important to know that these fish learn parenting by trial and error. So, they may eat the eggs in their first attempt and then in the second attempt, they may let the eggs hatch and eat the fry. Gradually, they learn to protect and nurture their fry letting them grow into a fish like them.

Females usually lay 100 to 1000 eggs at a time. They lay eggs on the flat horizontal surface. These eggs hatch within 7 days. However, you can see the fry moving inside the eggs within 48 hours. Many of the eggs don’t get fertile or becomes victim of fungal or bacterial infection that kills the eggs. Such eggs appear white.

The parents have the tendency to move their eggs into different location of the tanks. The eggs develop into fry after seven days, but they don’t move and remain stuck to the place where their parents have placed them for some more days. During this stage, you should start feeding the fry with the baby brine shrimp or any other commercial fry food. The parent fish many times collect fry in their mouth and spit them in a safe corner. It’s a herding method followed by the fish to keep the fry safe.

All in all, angelfish have truly astounding characteristics and great parenting ability, once they learn it

Some Beautiful Angelfish Pictures


Koran Angelfish
Koran Angelfish

Long Fin Angelfish

Queen Angelfish
Queen Angelfish

Interesting Facts and Diversity of Fish

A fish is an organism that consists of all aquatic animals bearing gills, skull and mostly backbone along with fin-shaped limbs, if any. Traditionally referred as pisces, this organism can be found in abundant in almost every body of water – be it high mountain streams or abyssal or deep into the heart of the ocean (hadal zones). Most of these creatures are cold blooded. The temperature of their body varies with the change in ambient temperatures. Few exceptions include large active swimmers such as tuna and white shark, which have the ability to keep up to a higher core temperature.

Having streamlined body that supports rapid swimming, this organism extracts oxygen using gills from water or makes use of accessory breathing organ for taking in atmospheric oxygen. The other typical physical traits of this aquatic animal include two sets of paired fins, one or two dorsal fins, a tail fin and an anal fin along with jaws and skin covered with scales. Most of these aquatic animals lay eggs.

It is to be noted that not all aquatic animals referred to as fish are fish as per the biological definition. Some of the examples of these non-fish organisms in the water include whales, dolphins, jellyfish, starfish, shellfish, cuttlefish, crayfish, seals, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, etc. According to aquaculture, finfish are considered as true fish. Also, fishes with fin enable people to distinguish between true fish and these other mammals.

Compared to any other group of vertebrates, fish exhibit great diversity with 32,000 species. These species vary in blood temperature, swimming performance, oxygen extraction techniques, body shape and arrangement of fins, skin surfaces, size, etc. For instance, some species of shark along with tuna and swordfish exhibit warm blooded adaptations by managing to heat their bodies above the ambient temperature. Also, few species like salmon, jack and tuna boast great streamlining and swimming performance covering 10 to 20 body-lengths per second. On the other hand, species such as eels and rays are capable of swimming only 0.5 body-lengths per second.

When it comes to extraction of oxygen, numerous freshwater organisms using different structures breathe oxygen from water as well as air. In fact, many of the species have different organs for the same function. Some of the examples include Lungfish with paired lungs, catfish like Corydoras takes in oxygen through stomach or intestine and gouramis boasts labyrinth organ to breathe oxygen. Some fishes including seahorse, gulper, pufferfish and angler highly vary in body shape and arrangement of the fins. In addition to this, there are species without scales over skin like moray eels and with skin scales such as sharks, different fossil fish, etc. Also, the species vary in size ranging from 52 ft whale shark to a tiny 0.3 inches stout infantfish.

Thus, fish truly exhibit great diversity. They show diversity in oceanic water as well as freshwater ecosystem.

Some Beautiful Fish Pictures


Boar Fish
Boar Fish

Fish with hands
Fish with hands

Robot fish
Robot fish

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Basic Information about Oscar Fish

Scientifically referred as Astronotus ocellatus, Oscar fish belong to the cichlid family. They are also referred as Velvet Cichlid, Marbled Cichlid or by their colour and pattern variations such as Tiger Oscar, Red Oscar, etc. These freshwater animals are commonly found in Amazon and Orinoco River Basins of South America along with few other countries such as China, Australia and United States. These are often available for sale as food fish in South American local markets.

Originally described as Lobotes ocellatus by Louis Agassiz in the year 1831, they are considered as one of the popular breeds of fish to be used at home aquariums. Some of the physical traits of these aquarium species are as follow –
  • They have standard length of around 12 to 16 inches and weight of up to 3.5 pounds. 
  • They can grow more than an inch every month at young age. Thus, they need a big tank at the time of purchase for better space while they grow. 
  • These species are usually dark in colour with some stripes or spots on their body. They come in number of colours and different patterns.
  • These species are sexually monomorphic as the males grow more quickly compared to the females. Also, they are considered to possess dark blotches on the dorsal fin’s base in some cases. 
  • They become sexually mature at approximately one year of age. They can continue reproduction for around 9 to 10 years.
The water temperature of about 72ᵒF to 78ᵒF is suitable for these species to grow. The frequent fluctuation in the water temperature can sometimes turn into detrimental or fatal to the fish. They are normally found in shallow and slow moving water having bottoms of sand and mud.

Oscar fish can live for more than a decade. They can be offered food items like crayfish and worms, crustaceans, insects and insect larvae, fish and various other plant matters. However, they tend to overeat due to their opportunistic nature. Thus, it is essential to feed them only when necessary. Taking care of their food habits can really make them healthy allowing them to live for years.

In terms of temperament, these species are slightly aggressive and territorial as well. During spawning, the pair of Oscar fish may become extremely aggressive towards the other tankmates.  However, they are quite mellow in comparison to other cichlids. Highly intelligent, they can perform little tricks if conditioned to do so.
In all, these species are great as pets and easily recognises those who feed them. They can form a long term bond with you due to their long live and compel you to love them for their attitude, intelligence and beauty.

Some Beautiful Oscar Fish Pictures

Oscar Fish
 Oscar Fish
Oscar Fish Pictures

Features of Betta Fish

Betta Fish are small freshwater ray-finned fishes belonging to Osphronemidae family. Some of the prominent species of this type include B. picta, B. pugnax and B. splendens. These species belong to genus Betta. Around 65 species have been categorized under this genus. They are native to Thailand and Cambodia. They are considered as fairly hardy fish and thus, they can easily survive even in low oxygenated water. They are capable of living anywhere, mainly in Asia. Therefore, you can find them in small pond, river and drain as well.

Physical Appearance : - Almost all the Betta fishes are small in size that range between 1 inch and 5 inches. They boast a unique organ named labyrinth that enables them to breathe atmospheric air. Hence, these species have the ability to thrive even in rice paddies, slow moving water, drainage ditches, etc. They look beautiful and attention grabbing creatures with numerous vibrant colors and fin shapes.

Behavior : - They are quite friendly species and have great recognition ability as they easily recognize their caretaker. They tend to dance and swim around on seeing their owner. Moreover, these fishes also play games by following your finger.

Depending on their spawning behavior, these species can be classified into two groups:
1.    Bubble nest builders and
2.    Mouthbrooders.

The B. splendens are bubble nest builders, while the B. picta are normally mouthbrooders. It is to be noted that the mouthbrooding species are also referred as “pseudo Bettas”. The male fish are usually aggressive due to their warrior nature to protect its territory. On the other hand, their female counterparts are well mannered and not aggressive in nature.

These curious species have been found to undergo depression and even starve themselves to death, if the male is removed from the tank immediately after spawning. It is to be noted that the two male Betta fish in the same tank might indulge in a vicious fight causing injuries to each other. Although females are not aggressive, they may also indulge into a fight on being placed in the same tank with the male before she is ready to spawn. Thus, the handler must keep in mind this behavior of the species before placing Betta fishes together.

Feeding habits : - They are not very fond of eating, albeit they should be fed at least once in a day with little food. They can be fed with floating flake food, live black worms, frozen brine shrimp, dried blood worms and Betta pellets. Betta pellets are easily available at the aquarium store.

Most of the wild species can eat anything available in their surrounding such as larvae of mosquitoes or other insects, living worms, etc.  In natural environment, they have very limited choice of food.

In all, these three major features of the Bettas clearly indicate that these fishes are friendly and playful along with beauty and easy to care as well. 

Some Beautiful Betta Fish Pictures

Betta Fish
 Betta Fish
Betta Fish Pictures

Goldfish and Their Types

Belonging to the Cyprinidae family, goldfish was amongst the first few species of fish to be domesticated. This breed is commonly found in aquariums at home or any other aquariums. Considered as the carp family’s small member, it is has been bred and first domesticated in China centuries ago. Easily available and inexpensive, this fish breed has associative and social learning ability. It also displays schooling behavior and stops considering human as threat on being exposed to humans constantly.

This breed can differentiate between various shapes, sounds and even colors. These fishes have good memory span of three months. They can also be trained to perform tricks by recognizing the light signals of various colors.

For the sexual maturity, this breed requires enough of water and nutrition in right proportion. They mostly breed in pond settings and generally in spring. They lay eggs that hatch within 48 to 72 hours. Their eggs attach to vegetation in the water due to adhesive characteristic of their eggs. Their young ones are called fry.  This breed comes in different body shape, color, fin configuration, etc. Some of the types of this breed can be classified as follow:

Single tailed :- This type includes Shubunkins and Comets fish. The Shubunkins exhibits colors like violet, red, orange and yellow along with black color spots. The two subtypes of it are London Shubunkins and Bristol Shubunkins. These both have similar shape and they form comets. Comets best suits the garden ponds, mainly because of their ability to tolerate cold water. This hardy type boasts long slim body along with long tail and grows up to 14 inches.

Double tailed :- The example of this type include Watkins that have split tail fin and Jikins, which comes in single coloration only. Watkins comes in variety of colors.  Jikins type’s tail fin is split upward. It has white body encompassing red or orange lips, gill plates and fin.

Egg shaped fish with double tails :-  This type has body that appears like egg and are double tailed fishes. It includes breeds such as Oranda, Pearlscale, Black Moors, Ryukin, Telescope, Veiltail, Demekin and Pompom Egg. All these have a specific trait that distinguishes them well, even though they belong to the same category.
Oranda features helmet on their head and long split tails. Pearlscale has higher egg shaped body compared to many other types. Black Moors comes only in black color. Ryukin has hump just behind the head. Telescope type differs in size of eyes and fins that are long. The fins of the Veiltail are long and hang like a veil. Demenik boasts large telescopic eyes like Telescope and hump back like Ryukin. Pompom Egg has pompom-like small balls on their face and this type also comes without fins.

Egg shaped and double tailed fish without dorsal fins:- This type includes fishes namely Phoenix Egg, Celestial, Lionhead and Bubble Eye. All these lack dorsal fins and they posses some unique traits that can help you to recognize them.

The availability of Phoenix Egg is rare. It has flowing fins, which are usually long.  Celestial doesn’t get injured easily and has eyes similar to Bubble Eye, but without sacks. Although Lionhead has egg shaped body, it has straight back that no other types have. Bubble Eye has large upward pointing eyes with sacks placed under the eyes.

All these Goldfish are kept as pets by many across the world. Their unique traits, good behavior and beautiful appearance make them adorable domesticated fish specie.

Some Beautiful Goldfish Pictures

Goldfish Pictures