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The aquatics industry has become increasingly popular and since polyethene bags came into existence the hobby has grown from strength to strength. As the hobby grows so does our knowledge of fish keeping, such as how important it is to monitor water quality.
So what are the best types of fish to keep? Bearing in mind different species of fish can be as different to each other as a mouse is to an elephant.
All cold water fish that are sold through the aquatic trade will come from breeders and shippers. The majority of freshwater tropical fish are now also tank bred, mainly from Asia, and very few species will resemble the original wild caught fish used initially to develop these varieties.
The majority of coral fishes are still wild caught. However, recently a number of species have been tank bred, clown fish, in particular, have been bred by hobbyists and commercial breeders for years. The development of new mutations at higher prices have allowed hobbyists to concentrate and develop new techniques. Coral fragging, the propagation of corals, where coral polyps are removed from the mother colony, attached to small discs and allowed to grow and spread, is also becoming much more wide spread.
Brackish fish are the fish that thrive in a lower salt content than normal salt water fish, scats, mono sabea's are perfect examples, however, they will adapt to live in either a full salt water or fresh water environment. Mollies are another fish that adapt to either salt water of freshwater.
Marine fish have to balance the salt content in their tissues with the much higher salt content in their environment, the kidneys produce a dilute urine that gets rid of the excessive salt, freshwater fish have to get rid of the large quantities of water which they take in meaning they are constantly having to produce urine.
Fish need oxygen just as we do the amount of dissolved oxygen in water is far less than on the surface, so fish have to work harder to extract the oxygen that they need, using a highly efficient pump action involving the mouth and gill plate, called the operculum. When the fish opens its mouth the operculum closes which draws water in. When the mouth is closed the operculum opens and fresh water flows across the gills. As the water flows through the gills the dissolved oxygen passes into the blood circulating through the gill filaments. The carbon dioxide in the blood stream then passes out back into the water. The incoming water is filtered through the gill rakers that act as a sieve, taking out any solid particles.
The amount of dissolved oxygen in a pond or aquarium can be depleted by a number of factors such as a considerable increase in temperature, which also speeds up metabolism, an algal bloom or dead rotting plants which effect the pH and can cause ammonia readings. Using the seneye provides constant monitoring of these vital parameters.