lol ok you said it....lol i know im gonna stir up some stuff cuz i just added some fish species that will have alot of people talking. warning! this is only some things ive picked up im not saying my articles on these following fish species are accurate =) if you need to add or modify species info you can tell me =) another thing. i am working and modifying this paper as we speak so what you see here will be total different in the next hours/days. thanx guys =)
lol you guys will have a heck of a time with the fish species articles
ive read an article saying that PETA tainted the aquarist name saying that fish are cheap toys that are replaced when needed.....the nerve!!!
Having an aquarium is a common worldwide hobby. The United States are considered one of the major fish business centers. Europe and Japan are second in statistical comparison with the United States. From 1989-1992 79% of all fish imports into the United States were from Southeast Asia, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. South America is the second largest exporting area accounting for 14% of the total annual value. One of the most prestigious fish farms that produce fish is the Gan Aquarium Fish Farm. Around 201 million fish at around the value of 44.7 million dollars were imported in the United States in 1992. These fish were of 1529 species; 809 saltwater fish, and 730 freshwater fish. Since the growth of aquaria, major fish product names have emerged, Tetra, Hikari, Fluval, and many more have been providing supplies, medicine, filters, and other things to aquarists worldwide. Fish keeping has its origin all around the world but more in greater concentrations in Asia, Europe, and Brazil. Japan kept fish such as Goldfish
originally for food and viewing pleasure. Some rice paddies in Asia included cyprinids and catfish. In Europe, they kept ponds to stock fish with as an alternative for meat on religious non meat eating days. Since then, they have created numerous colorful strains of various fish species and from there on, fish keeping has grown considerably.
People who enjoy this hobby are commonly referred to Aquarists of Fish-Keepers. Novices and people who are not experienced in keeping fish are referred to as Fish-Keepers. People who are experienced and understand the basic and special needs of having healthy and vibrant fish are called Aquarists. It is somewhat a formal name for experienced fish-keepers.
Since centuries ago, from fish ponds to glass bowls to our intricate aquarium systems, this hobby has grown and spread around the world to people of all ages. This report will talk about Freshwater Aquarium Systems.
One of the most important things in successful fish keeping is water chemistry. In the real world, the fishes' natural environment in the water is very different from our tap water. Many things in their natural habitat change the water's properties. These fish have evolved in a span of millions of years to adapt to their environment. In the hobby of fish keeping, making the water in their environment is crucial to the fishes' well being. The most important basics of the measurements of water quality are PH, KH, and DH/GH. PH is the power of hydrogen, KH is carbonate hardness, and do is the degree hardness of the water. Fish are built to withstand an environment close or near to their specified requirements. Unfortunately, too far off the scale and the fish will not be able to survive.
The next most important basic measurements are Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrates. Too much of these substances in the water are fatal to the fish living in them. These are all connected to each other and are often explained as the Nitrogen Cycle as they all have Nitrogen in them. Ammonia is converted to Nitrite by nitrosamines and is less toxic in concentrations than Ammonia. Nitrite is then converted into Nitrate by nitrobacterium and is very safe in considerably larger amounts per parts of water than nitrites and ammonia combined. Nonetheless, they are all toxic and fatal in excessive concentrations. The final process of the nitrogen cycle is considered to be diluting the nitrates are generally harmless with frequent water changes.
PH, KH, and GH supposedly make up the "Bermuda triangle" of water quality because they go together.
PH is the measurement of the power of hydrogen. A ph of seven is neutral; neither alkaline nor acidic. A ph higher than seven is considered alkaline or basic. A ph less than 7 is considered acidic. The scale on which ph is measured is 0-14. Zero is very acidic while 14 is very alkaline. The scale is logarithmic so a ph of zero is 14 times more acidic than a ph of 14. Marine Fish generally like alkaline water around 8.0-8.5 ph.
KH or carbonate hardness measures how well the water is able to maintain its ph level.
DH or degree of hardness, measures the amount of dissolved salts in the water. They are measured usually in parts per million (ppm). A DH reading of 0-80 ppm is considered soft water. A DH of 300 ppm will be considered as hard water.
Now that you know the basics of water chemistry, how will you maintain a very efficient and successful aquarium system? For starters, start with a 10-20 gallon wide aquarium. Find an area in your home where it is not directly hit with sunlight for it may cause excessive algae growth. Otherwise, if you have algae eating fish by all means put it by sunlight for growth of their food. Make sure you secure the tank by putting the tank on a sturdy table or counter that is able to withstand extreme density and weight. A single U.S. gallon weighs around 8 pounds so do the math.
It is best if the surface is also completely level and flat on the whole area that the tank will be sitting upon. If possible, have some space underneath the tank such as a cabinet for storage or any aquarium supplies and add-ons. Maybe drill a good-sized hole near the tank so you will be able to route tubes, hoses, wires, etc. Make sure to separate electrical wires and water/air carrying tubes with some sort of wrap.
After the site has been discovered and inspected, you must first get these things; a glass aquarium of 10-20 us gallons (wide), a filter designed to operate 10-20+ more gallons than tank you have (preferably a canister filter), sandy substrate, decorations and ornaments, aquarium hood and light, and an aquarium heater. A wide tank is good because of the bigger surface area. Due to a bigger surface area, water will be able to exchange carbon dioxide with oxygen better than a tall aquarium that has less surface area.
Install all these correctly in your tank starting by rinsing the sand or gravel in coldwater thoughrouly. Then add the sand to the bottom of the tank while landscaping to taste. Fill up your tank up to your filter(s)' intake and prime your filter following the manufacturers instructions. Then add your live or fake plants into your substrate. Then you can add your ornaments and decorations. Turn on all fixtures and then test your water's ph, kh, and DH. Let the tank run empty of fish for about a week before introducing or stocking your tank with fish. So as the nitrogen cycle can begin, also called cycling. Turn the light on and off as usual. After waiting at least a week, test again to ensure stability and modify as needed.
After another test has been done, it is the time now for thinking about what kind of fish you plan on stocking your tank with. Make a list of fish that you like and then do research on them. If your tank does not meet the fishes' requirements, cross it out from the list. If you really want a type of fish, you may buy products from the store that changes your water ph accordingly. Here we will talk about three fish that aquarists commonly use.
After choosing the proper fish for your tank, or vise versa, go to your local pet store to buy them. Buying from street vendors may leave you with weak neglected fish, as the vendors' environment is poor. A "rule of thumb" is an inch per gallon rule. This applies to smaller fish. Bigger, fatter fish have a bigger girth and therefore need more living space. Also at the fish store, buy a dechlorinator with stress coat, fish food, ph/ammonia/nitrite/nitrate test kits, aquarium salt, and about 10 ghost shrimps and 2 snails. The last two items will ensure a clean and well-kept aquarium environment. Due to the high reproduction rate of snails, you may want to consider fish that eats snails to control snail population. The dechlorinator with stress coat neutralizes the chlorine and chloramines in the water to make it safe for fish as fish are sensitive to heavy metals in their water. The stress coat will promote natural stress coat growth on fish. The natural stress coat refers to the slimy film on a fishes' body that makes it streamlined in the water. The most important use of the stress coat is to prevent diseases. As the level of stress rises within a fish, it will dissipate the stress coat and will make it vulnerable to diseases and parasites, which is why you should get a stress coat with your dechlorinator. You may also buy them separate. The aquarium salt will retard and prevent bacterial/fungal/parasitic growth in your tank.
In the event of a disease breakout, you must test the ph/ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings in your tank. This will help find out the cause of the disease.
The most common diseases in fish that people see are ich and Columnaris. Ich refers to a parasitic organism that lives life in three stages. In the first stage, they are born free swimming and they attach onto a fish that it vulnerable. In the second stage, they form an endospore on the fish that results in a white "spot". This spot looks like tiny grains of salt that is stuck on the fish. These spots are obvious in some fishes.
Columnaris is a fungus that infects the fish. It may shut the mouth our gill areas close and results in death. In most cases, these will be an easily prevented through the use of aquarium salt that was mentioned earlier. In order to cure it, use mild-strong tank meds that are specified to combat the disease. Make note of fish that are sensitive to tank meds such as clown loaches (botia macracanthas) as they will react to them in a bad way. After the application of the medications, raise the temperature of the water up to 85 degrees. This will increase the lifecycle of ich and therefore, hit them when it hurts, as there endospore renders them almost untreatable.
Easy and a cheap way of preventing illneses are to add aquarium salt to your aquarium water
Almost all fish have seven fins. The two pectoral, 2 pelvic, 2 anal, and 1dorsal fin. Most fish have scales that are thin bones that they grow throughout their lives. Some fish have scutes that are large thick scales that protect a fish. All fish have their body shaped to adapt to their environments. Since water is about 50 times thicker than atmospheric air, their bodies are streamlined to slip through the water with minimal resistance. Male live bearing fish species have a modified anal fin that serves the function of a penis.
Types of Fresh Water Fish
In all the fish of the world, the freshwater type fish are one of the smallest groups. Due to limited living space and conditions not found in vast open oceans, freshwater fish species are limited in numbers. In the freshwater fish species, there are two types of birthing techniques. Live bearing fish have eggs that develop in their wombs and are fertilized by the male's gonopodium, which is a modified anal fin. The mother fish then carries the fertilized eggs in her body until they hatch. When the first fertilized egg hatches, it then goes into labor as it delivers the rest of her brood. Baby fish are referred to as fry.
The next spawning methods of fish are egg layers. These fish lay eggs, or scatter them in the water and the male fish releases his sperm to fertilize them. Some fish either tend to their eggs, keep them in their mouths (mouth bearers), leave them alone, and/or sometimes eats them. Most fish are highly prolific. They will mate with their own family members and mate with multiple partners. Some fish breed with one mate for a lifetime, such as Zebra Danios.
Freshwater Live bearing Fish
I have met and understood these basic requirements of proper fish keeping, now what should I stock my aquarium with? One of the most commonly kept and bred freshwater fish species are of the Poecilia family. These include the Fancy Guppy
, Molly, Swordfins, and Platies.
The fancy Guppy
is one of the prettiest and supposedly "the easiest beginner fish to raise". They are very small around 1-2 inches at the biggest. They sometimes reach 2 1/2 inches including their fins. Guppies are sometimes referred to as the millions fish for they are very numerous in the aquarium industry. They are supposedly very easy to keep but due to my experience, they are one of the hardest. I have had very numerous Guppy
fatalities due to poor water quality and other variables. I suspect as it just takes the proper measures to keep these fish alive. These measures are the measures that I have somehow overlooked causing the fatalities.
Fancy guppies prefer a neutral ph of 6.5-7.5. This ph is considered tolerable of most Guppy
species and strains. They prefer a DH of 3-8, which is considered soft.
Fancy guppies are highly prolific and will mate with family members. The male will chase a desired female until the female is willing to accept his gonopodium. He will then â€œflexâ€ his gonopodium prior to insertion. The malesâ€™ gonopodium can swing forward 180 degrees for easy mating. Under my observations, it may also turn a little left or right to mate siding with the female. The trademark of the Poecilidae family is the unique ability for the females to store sperm within their bodies for up to 4 months at a time. The male will deposit his sperm packets into the womb of the female via his gonopodium.
The gestation period for guppies and most Poecilidae family is around a month to two months at maximum. How long the pregnancy will be depends on the water conditions, space, food availability, and other variables. A day before her term ends is when the first eggs hatch inside her body. At this time, her stomach will become very swollen with hatching eggs. She will then enter labor soon after. During this time, hormones will change her appetite so as to not eat her own fry before she is done giving birth. Guppy
fry come out of the womb and are born free swimming. They will sink a little and then rise and swim away. I have used floating breeding traps to ensure the survival of the babies and to protect her from anything that will eat them, including mommy.
The next type are egg layers. Fish who lay eggs deposit them onto a structure, make bubble nests, or just leave them floating. Fish who leave them floating are called egg scatterers. Male bettas (Siamese Fighting Fish
) are bubble nesters and will blow strong bubbles utilizing some slime in the water to secure the eggs in them. Many egg layers are life long maters.
One of the most intelligent and playful fish species I have ever witnessed are Botias, also called loaches. These bottom dwelling fish have down turned mouths to make eating food on the ground easy. Some species can produce clicking noises audible from outside the tank by shutting their gills rapidly. This is a sign of content. I have witnessed this when I was feeding my yoyo Loaches. Another trademark of Botias is their protective skin on their eyes. This will allow them to bury into the ground without any harm. Most species have a spike near their eyes as a measure of protection. I have been cut with this spike as I was reaching for a Yoyo Loach
that I had dropped on the floor. Their spike I had noticed, are retractable. They originate the gentle fast flowing streams of exotic Asia. These fish prefer a ph range of 6-7.5 depending on the species.
The reason why I say they are intelligent and playful is because of their socialism. They will thrive in groups of more than six. If one is living in solitude, it will not have the will to live. When they are in a group, they frolic and dance about, swim upside down and sidewards, and do pretty much whatever is possible to keep them busy. I have seen my yoyo loaches dig into the ground to look for worms that they love. Though I do not have worms, they still have fun diving headfirst into the sand.
Most botias range from 1-6 inches long to 8-14 inches long. They require much substrate as well and plants and hiding places. They will often squeeze into tight places, but will emerge unscathed. They like to hide in places where they feel secure and safe. They are omnivores and need some vegetable matter in their diets. Most species are some what nocturnal by choice. All botias are unpredictable so it is fun to think of what they will do next. One day they might be active at night and one day active during the day.
Botias are very sensitive to water quality and demand the best purest water that is possible. They are sometimes called indicator fish as they will be the first to get an illness if one is present. They are also very sensitive to tank medication. If needed, use the medication at half strength. They are egg layers. Some scatterers and some deposit them onto under growth and under caves. Bristlenose Pleco
Bristle nose plecoes are fish that originate from Asian fast flowing streams. They bodies are streamlined to slip by the flowing water. They all so have sucker mouths to cling on rocks and to scrape algae growth living on the rock.
These fish prefer a neutral ph of 7. They can also be called â€œjanitor fishâ€ which I think of as very derogatory name as they maintain a healthy aquarium system. They are excellent as algae control. They will eat every bit and scrap of algae or other vegetative growths they can find. You will need to do homework on the type of pleco you will get because some will grow more than a foot long.