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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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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 …

An Introduction to Killifishes

The following article has been kindly provided by Richard Cox who is the editor of the British Killifish Association monthly journal. To learn more about the Association go to the club section at the top of the home page or …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Peacock Bass - Spectacular Cichlids for Big Aquaria

The fish we call Peacock Bass are in fact cichlids despite their superficial similarity to things like Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides). Fifteen species are currently recognised, all of which are placed in the genus Cichla. …

Chromides and Pearlspots: Beautiful Asian Cichlids

Comparatively few cichlids are native to Asia, and all of these are confined to one of two distinct areas, westernmost Asia between Israel and Iran on the one hand and the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent in the south. …

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 …

How to Choose and Keep Fancy Betta Splendens

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 of Thailand and Malaysia for millions of years, the tank-bred …

Bettas: Who Make the ‘betta’ Tank Mates?

Bettas (commonly known as siamese fighting fish) are one of the most popular fish in the world of fish-keeping. They are native to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. The name ‘betta’ refers to around 70 species of fish and they …

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes) Order Cypriniformes, Family Cyprinidae Common names Chinese danio, Poor man’s neon Synonyms Aphyocypris pooni Description The white cloud minnow is an active schooling fish suited to temperate aquaria. They are striking fish, not seen to their best when feeling stressed …

Barbs for the community aquarium

Taxonomy and Distribution Barbs are a non-phylogenetic group of fish made up of members of the family Cyprinidae. Over 30 genera are typically included in this group, particularly Barbus and Puntius. Many of the species more commonly seen in the …

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 …

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 …

How to keep Stingrays

Freshwater stingrays are farmed and widely sold, but they remain very challenging fish to keep properly. The two main problems are their large size and their stiff requirements in terms of water quality. Anyone planning on keeping a stingray must …

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. …

Herichthys - Colourful, robust cichlids from Mexico

Fish taxonomists currently recognise no fewer than nine species within the genus Herichthys, but only two are regularly seen in the aquarium hobby, the 'true' Texas Cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) and the Green Texas Cichlid (Herichthys carpintis). For a long time …

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 …

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 …

Asian Community Catfish: Mystus spp.

Often overlooked in favour of the South American Corydoras species, the various Mystus species from Southeast Asia have the potential to make charming additions to community tanks. Unlike Corydoras they are active carnivores, but the smaller species hunt for invertebrates …

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