Latest fish articles and tips

In this section we aim to include useful text and articles from the hobby covering a broad range of topics. Several of the main fish clubs in the U.K will be contributing material over the coming months.


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Fancy Betta Splendens

'How to Choose and Keep Fancy Betta Splendens' By Neale Monks Fancy Bettas, sometimes called Siamese Fighting Fish, are very popular aquarium fish. While their wild ancestors (known as Betta splendens) have presumably been living in the ponds and slow-flowing streams …

Banjo Catfishes

A visitor to any aquarium shop at the weekend is likely to encounter a wide range of the populace marvelling over the flashy little fishes glinting around the tanks like multicoloured jewels. Few will take the time to examine the …

Arowanas: the legendary dragonfishes

The family Osteoglossidae, commonly called arowanas, includes ten species of large, primitive fish distributed right across the tropics. Because they cannot tolerate salt water, the existence of such closely related fishes across South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia mystified biologist …

Distichodus, Congo Tetras and other African Characins

Although aquarists usually associate characins with South America, the geographical range of the order Characiformes is much wider than that, including Central America and Africa as well. Central American characins are not routinely traded -- the blind cave-dwelling form of …

Angelfish: new names, new species

Angelfish are among the most popular of all aquarium fishes. They are available in countless varieties, and their attractive colours, generally peaceful natures, and very unusual shape make them showpiece fish either in a community tank or on their own. …

A Rainbow in the Tank

A Rainbow in the Tank Those of us who live in areas where the kettle is permanently coated with a layer of white fuzz and you need half a bottle of shampoo to get a few bubbles may well look at …

Microctenopoma - Small African Climbing Perch for the Community Tank

The smaller climbing perches of the genus Microctenopoma are among the more overlooked oddball fishes in the hobby. For the most part they are hardy, adaptable fish well suited to community tanks alongside species of similar size. Only one or …

Unusual Labyrinth Fish

Gouramis and bettas belong to a group of fishes known as labyrinth fish, characterised by a structure known as a labyrinth organ above the gills. This organ is used for breathing air, being richly supplied with blood vessels. Periodically the …

Leaf fish: Challenging predators for the experienced aquarist

Leaf fish are predatory fish that have the shape and mottled brown colour of rotting leaves. In the wild they rely on this camouflage to stay hidden from their prey, which is invariably captured by stealth rather than speed. Most …

Hillstream Loaches

The Nemacheilidae are a family of loach-like fish often lumped with the loaches in aquarium books but differing from them in a number of important respects. They are, for example, very specifically adapted to cool, oxygen-rich fast-flowing habitats such as …

Kribs and Cousins

Kribs and Cousins There are some fish that you are so used to seeing around that they just become part of the wallpaper; when you're shopping round the aquariums for a new project to try you just pass over them on …

A Review of Hatchetfish

Hatchetfish are a popular group of characins widely available in the aquatic industry. They are known for their unusual body shape with a large muscular convex ventral area as well as their ability to ‘fly’ out of the water using …

Oscars: everyone's favourite cichlids

The genus Astronotus contains two species, Astronotus ocellatus and Astronotus crassipinnis. The former is the popular Oscar, a fish that has been bred commercially for decades and is easily obtained in a variety of colour morphs, some natural, others artificial. …

The Talking Catfish (Agamyxis pectinifrons)

The Talking Catfish (Agamyxis pectinifrons) Order Siluriformes, Family Doradidae Common names Talking catfish, whitebarred catfish, spotted Raphael catfish Synonyms Doras pectinifrons Description The talking catfish is a species for those who are prepared to wait a while before they see any activity. Primarily …

Badis Badis

Badis badis by M. J. Parry Newport Aquarists Society, England Aquarticles The Nandidae group of fishes, native to South America, the West Indies, Africa and India, comprises several species, few of which are known to the majority of aquarists. Probably the most …

Piranha Keeping for Beginners

The following article has been written for Tropical Fish Finder by Nick Gardner who is a member of the UK Piranha Club. The article cannot be reproduced without his permission. The Piranha fish is a legendary fish. Known as the “Wolf …

Brackish water fishes of South America

The brackish water fishes of Southeast Asia include such popular and widely-sold species as Monos, Scats, Archerfish and Knight Gobies. By contrast the brackish water fishes of South America are much less familiar. Or rather, while some are infrequently traded, …

Ctenopoma, the African Climbing Perch

By Neale Monks Order Perciformes, Suborder Anabantoidei, Family Anabantidae Introduction The African climbing perches (sometimes referred to as “bush fish”) are labyrinth fish, and so are closely related to the much more familiar gouramis and bettas, which all come from Asia. Although …

King Of The Aquarium - The Guppy

If a ‘king of the aquarium’ is mentioned these days, it’s usually in a discussion about discus. However, the regal post was held not so long ago by another fish, also very beautiful, and easily accessible to just about every …

The Blue Gourami

As more and more new species of fish arrive in the shops, and already popular species appear in ever more vivid colour variations, it is easy for the aquarist to forget some of the old favourites, and the reasons why …

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