Table of Contents Hide
Many of the easily available local freshwater fishes, as well as some of the foreign forms, make intriguing aquarium occupants, coexisting with and being harmless to goldfishes.
Others, on the other hand, are best kept to themselves; but all serve as intriguing studies for the home lover of river life.
These will be detailed, together with the techniques for caring for and maintaining them, from the nest-builders on up to the ordinary pond and river fishes, there is something for everyone..
A large portion of the freshwater Ichthyic fauna is left out, as they are species that cannot be kept alive in tiny aquaria.
The Indian Paradise Fish
Macropodus Veneitrus, a gorgeous and fascinating aquarium fish, is unusual and intriguing in all of its habits.
In the Orient, it is raised for the same purpose as the game chicken, and contests are held in which large sums of money are frequently risked.
The males of this fish are so aggressive that they will attack each other and their partners outside of the breeding season, using their powerful lips and sharp teeth as mid-table weapons to deliver deadly wounds.
The peculiar shape, bright patterns, elusive colours, and magnificent fins and tail distinguish the fish from any other farmed fish.
During the breeding season, the males have a glossy, dark olive-green hue that is covered with brief, prismatic color flashes that appear to be controlled by the fish.
The fins and tail are highlighted in the brightest red, yellow, and brown.
Females are lighter in color and have a more greyish or light-brown tint that turns greyish-white during the breeding season, and all of their fins are shorter and more rounded than males’.
The Paradise Fish is readily grown and prolific, and will flourish in any receptacle and water, necessitating little plant life and regular water changes.
The fish is an air-breathing animal that does not rely on the oxygen released by aquatic plants. It can survive in temperatures to 1oo° F, but because to its tropical origin, it dies in temps as low as 38° or 40° F.
It has such an active behavior that the aquarium should be covered to prevent it from leaping out of the water.
Except during the breeding season, the sexes should be separated as well, because the full-grown pugnacious male frequently kills its partner and will destroy any other fish in the same vessel.
This fish’s nest-building behaviour is rather intriguing. The spawning happens several times during the season, with the floating nests made of air bubbles covered with gelatinous materials released from the male’s mouth.
The eggs are laid by the female, fecundated by the male, carefully put in the fairy nest, and allowed to develop, with the male protecting and caring for them until the fry appear.
The nest is then demolished, and the young fishes are carefully cared for until they are old enough to care for themselves, with the male taking on the whole responsibility and keeping the female away from the young.
When the fry are of adequate maturity, they should be given the same food as young goldfishes and will subsequently survive on prepared fish meals along with a regular diet of earthworms or minute pieces of raw meat and liver, however the fish prefers and thrives best on living food. In general, daphnia, small worms, juvenile snails, gnats, small houseflies, moths, and other insects are fed.
This fascinating tiny fish lives in streams that lead to the ocean, with some varieties preferring brackish and saltwater.
It is one of the most aggressive freshwater fishes and may be raised in an aquarium, but should be kept separate from other species.
Its nest-building behavior is fascinating and varies greatly in its natural form.
Some make their nests on the bottoms of streams concealed amid the weeds and water plants, while others build their nests under submerged boughs to which the nest is attached, or on stones and protruding ledges.
The construction is completed exclusively by the man, who wears bright colours at this time.
The bottom is made up of several materials that are matted together and kept in place by sand and tiny pebbles. Leaves, branches, twigs, and other readily accessible materials are bonded together by a mucilaginous substance secreted from the fish’s body.
The sides and top are next built up, leaving just a circular hole through which the female drops her spawn.
The male protects the baby fish, not allowing the female to enter the nest after spawning.
With his strong dorsal and ventral fins and fangs, he attacks any living thing that enters the area.
He begins to dismantle the nest about the tenth day after the spawn has hatched, but he remains vigilant over the young for a month or more until they are ready to care for themselves, at which point both he and the young disappear together.
Nothing stands out more in an aquarium than a pair of sticklebacks.
They should be provided with a lot of construction material in the form of aquatic plants, particularly Myriophyllum, Nitella, and Vallisneria, the latter’s long leaves being especially suitable for nest foundation.
The common sunfish, Eupomotis Gibbosus, is one of the most common freshwater fishes. Many well-known species differ mostly in their very gorgeous patterns and the form of their ear or gill-flap.
Almost all sunfishes are nest builders, and their spawning beds can be identified by the clean appearance of the gravelly bottoms of streams and ponds, from which all vegetal matter, mud, and pebbles have been carefully removed by agitation with the fins and tailor carried away in the fishes’ mouths.
The stems of surrounding aquatic plants are frequently trained over the beds to make a beautiful bower.
After depositing the eggs, the parent fishes closely monitor it, becoming aggressive and belligerent throughout this season and attacking any approaching enemies.
If sunfishes are not well nourished, they develop the disagreeable habit of biting the fins and tails of goldfishes, therefore it is better to keep them apart or to introduce very tiny ones only into an aquarium with goldfishes.
Semotilus Corporalis, also known as the Fall-fish, Silver-chub, Wind-fish, and Corporal, is a fascinating aquarium fish that thrives best in bigger tanks, as it may grow to reach 15 inches long.
It has a habit of constructing nests for its spawn and young, which may range in size from 4 to 10 feet in a location where fish are plentiful.
Pebbles and stones, frequently several pounds in weight, are stacked up to form conical mounds, and because the fishes are social during the mating season, a large number of them use the same spawning site, which is expanded year after year.
The aim of these complex constructions is to shield the young from predatory foes like as rock and black bass, perch, catfish, eel, and water snake.
They are shy and completely harmless in the aquarium and will flourish adequately if not overstocked.
The chub enjoys a vegetarian diet and should be fed cooked grains and, on occasion, a little amount of boiled egg yolk.
The Golden Orfe Or Ide
An attractive, robust fish developed in Germany from the albino Orfe, Idus Idus is a lovely, hardy fish but not entirely tamed, its likely migratory behaviour and subsequent restlessness leading it to leap from the water, therefore the tank should be screened or not filled to the top.
It has a beautiful shape with a bright salmon yellow back and silvery-white sides, and it is a highly noticeable inhabitant of the pond or basin since it has kept its habit of swimming in schools and appears to be continuously in motion.
Spawning occurs in April or May. Hatching success is dependent on maintaining a consistent temperature of around 56° F. and should be done in shady ponds.
Growth feeding is unnecessary with a healthy plant until the fry are a month old, at which point they should be given a little amount of cooked cornmeal mixed with flour and boiling oatmeal, with an occasional ration of finely divided fish meat, mussel, crayfish, or other animal food.
The young reach a length of 3 inches in six months and develop to a length of 12 to 15 inches and a weight of 1 to 10 pounds in a year in natural waters.
Growth in the aquarium is modest, averaging less than an inch each year.
The Golden Orfe is a lovely aquarium resident that is not harmful to goldfish. It is superior to normal goldfish for pond cultivation on country estates because its behaviours are more intriguing.
The young are the most beautiful aquarium inhabitants, however they are more cautious than goldfish.
When the fishes are viewed in bright light, their colours are so delicate and transient that they appear prismatic.
They are long, thin, and fairly flat-sided in shape, with a narrow mouth, big eyes, and erect tiny nostrils.
The fins are a clean translucent white that contrasts nicely with the body’s attractive colours. There are two types of tench that are often bred: the Green tench and the Golden tench.
Tinea Caruleus, or Common or Green Tench, is a beautifully scaled, attractive fish, especially when young, measuring 2 to 3 inches in length.
The colours on the back and abdomen are rich olive-green with a beautiful metallic golden-green sheen that almost scintillates with prismatic colours when observed in the aquarium with the light at the back of the viewer.
Tinea auratus is an albino variation of the Common Tench that was first developed in Silesia.
It is brilliant orange with brown spots on the flanks, fins, and tail. When seen in the light, the little fishes are virtually transparent, allowing all of the internal organs and activities of life to be seen through the skin’s translucent material.
When viewed with the observer’s back to the light, the colours are most appealing and resemble an opal more than any other item.
Except for goldfish and paradise fish, the Tench is perhaps the most attractive aquarium fish. It is highly resilient, easy to keep, and completely safe, and should have a place in every aquarium. It can be fed the same meals as goldfish.
Its culture should be promoted since it is a very beautiful pond fish with a dynamic lifestyle.
The carp, Cyprinus carpio, is one of the most widespread pond fishes. Several forms have been developed by European breeders, the most notable of which are as follows. intriguing.
The Scaled Carp, Cyprinus Carpio Communis, was brought into Europe from Central Asia and has since been widely grown in natural and manmade ponds and slow-flowing streams. Its uniform concentrically placed scales set it apart from other breeds.
The color varies, but it is often brownish with a bluish tinge along the back and a golden or coppery reflection along with the scales.
Cyprinus Carpio Specularis, the Mirror Carp, has very big irregularly arranged scales.
Some varieties contain relatively few scales, which are occasionally confined to a single row along the lateral line, or to a line down the back with a few big scales distributed at random across the sides.
Some have a dorsal, ventral, and lateral line of scales on an otherwise scaleless body, the result of deliberate selection and dissemination of breeders.
Its behaviour is similar to that of the Carp, and the young may be maintained alongside goldfish.
Any of the goldfish meals can be fed, with the most common being cooked oatmeal, flaked rice, or fine cornmeal mush, occasionally supplemented with minute pieces of earthworms, mussels, and small snails.
The Barred shape is distinguished by steel-blue and silvery-white bars and has a distinct metallic sheen. It is completely safe and has a highly active lifestyle. Its food should be a combined animal and vegetable diet that is provided sparingly.
The Chubsucker Or Mullet
The Chub sucker, Erimyzon Sucetta, may be identified by its transparent greenback, lemon-yellow sides, and white belly.
It is widely dispersed in flowing water throughout the majority of the river systems of the Eastern, Middle, and Southern states. It gets along well with other freshwater fish and thrives in an aquarium. It eats the same food as the Sucker.
Minnows, often known as Cyprinoids, are among the tiniest freshwater fishes. Many well-known species flourish in aquariums, while others, whose native environment is swift-running water, are impossible to maintain alive unless in tanks with continuously changing water.
Some of the resilient species are readily tamed and quickly learn to come to the water’s surface to be fed. The Black-striped minnow is the most widely dispersed species.
Minnows are the juveniles of almost all freshwater fish species. The minnows like cooked grains and tiny particles of earthworms, dried meat, shellfish, and so forth.
The Shiner Or Roach
This lovely fish, Abramis Crysoleucas, may be kept in an aquarium and is one of the toughest of our Minnows or Cyprinoid fishes.
Instances of this fish surviving in an aquarium are commonly recorded, and because it has a fascinating behaviour, it will reward the fancier who introduces it, but not with well bred goldfishes, as it rips their tails and fins. Its diet is similar to minnows.
This fish is so well-known that there isn’t much to say about it. Several species are widely dispersed; they are highly irritating to goldfish and should not be kept in aquaria with them.
The finest food is small particles of animal food, dried meat, mussels, and so on, along with boiling grains.
Although eels may be found in all of the waterways of the temperate and arid zones, it has been proven that they always spawn in brackish and saltwater.
They are extremely tenacious of life, with a mutation of their gills allowing them to travel long miles overland in their Spring migrations or in quest of food.
It feeds on all insect and animal life, as well as putrescent vegetal and animal matter.
They are good scavengers, however they are harmful to all fish eggs.
They will chew at the fins of other fish in the aquarium and should not be maintained with goldfish unless they are extremely young. Eels will consume nearly everything that is fed to them.
The Spiny-Rayed Fish
They can only flourish in huge tanks with a steady supply of freshwater. Very tiny specimens are occasionally preserved in aquaria, although they are difficult to keep alive.