Types of Tropical Fish

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As the name suggests, tropical fish are found in the tropical regions of the Earth. These fish are classified under two categories, the salt water and the fresh water fish. However, only the fresh water fish are termed as 'tropical' by those who rear fishes. Suitable for rearing in aquariums, tropical fish are imported by people from various countries. These fish have become popular because of their varied colors and hues. The type of tropical fishes range from very aggressive ones to some mild species.

Tropical fishes are mostly used for rearing in aquariums. Let's take a look at some of these tropical fish species.

  • Oscars : There are three types namely, the red oscar, the tiger red oscar and the pink oscar. Since the oscar fish is aggressive and likes to dominate other fishes, having less than six fishes in a single aquarium gives an opportunity for a strong oscar fish to bully others. Thus, it is advisable to keep, either a single oscar fish or more than six of them in an aquarium. This helps in decreasing the tension between them. A single oscar needs an aquarium with at least 80 gallons water, while a 500 gallon aquarium is required for six oscars to live comfortably. The large plecostomus and the whitetip sharks share space with the oscar fish without fighting or nipping at each other.
  • Angelfish : These fish belong to the Pterophyllum genus. The angelfish, which originated in the Amazon river basin of South America, has three different species, Pterophyllum altum , Pterophyllum leopoldi and the Pterophyllum scalare . Their round body structure along with triangular fins, allow them to hide between plants and roots. This, in turn, helps them to prey on macroinvertebrates and smaller fishes. The striped body of angelfishes help them in using the ambush technique. The stripes help the fish to hide, thereby acting as a camouflage. Just like the oscar fish, angelfish too quarrel with each other. Thus, more than six fishes should be reared in an aquarium.
  • Tetra Fish : The tetra fish is a small, fresh water fish which belongs to the Characidae family. It lives in clear as well as dark waters, mostly off coasts of Columbia, Brazil and Peru. Neon tetra, the most popular species among the tetra fishes, grows to a maximum length of 5cm.
  • Tiger Barb : The tiger barb, also known as the Sumatra barb, is found in the waters of Sumatra, Borneo and the Malay peninsula. The different colors found in tiger barbs range from silver, brownish yellow, green and light yellow. The tiger barb, that is brownish yellow in color, has black vertical stripes on the body and is a schooling fish. These are aggressive in nature and nip at each other. Thus, more than six tigers barbs should be kept in an aquarium.
  • Black Knifefish : This black colored fish grows up to a length of 25 inches. It produces a weak electric charge. The black knifefish prefers to live in sandy creeks, its natural habitat, and requires water with pH between 6.0 and 8.0. When fully grown, the fish needs a tank with a capacity of at least 75 gallons. Peas are the staple diet of these fish.
  • Fancy Guppies : The fancy guppies exhibit different colors such as red, blue, green and black. However, the females do not exhibit much variety in color and are either gray or tan. The temperature of the aquarium should be maintained between 78F and 82F. The guppies can easily share aquarium space with ghost shrimps, catfish, African dwarf frogs and gouramis. Adding salt to the aquarium in little quantities, helps in the growth of these fish.
  • Mollies: The mollies come from the same family as guppies. They need at least 15 gallons of water, when kept in an aquarium. Mollies can not tolerate contaminated water and easily fall ill. They need the water temperature to be between 70F and 82F.

Tropical fishes that are kept in aquariums include the fishes caught in the wild, those born in captivity and hybrid species. Scuba divers are always in search of colorful and varied species of tropical fish. Truly, the tropical fishes are nature's gift to man.

Source: aquarium fish

Source by Ruolin Wang