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Family Poeciliidae

This group of live-bearing toothcarps (native to Central and South America, as well as southern North America) displays obvious sexual dimorphism. Males are usually much smaller and often more brightly coloured. Their anal fins are modified into a moveable, elongated tube (gonopodium) used for transferring packets of sperm to the female's cloaca for internal fertilisation, an uncommon feature in the world of fishes.

Anal fins of male Gambusia

Anal fins of female Gambusia

The fertilised eggs continue to develop in the body of the female until the fry hatch and are discharged into the water (live birth).

Many species are favourite aquarium fish, being hardy, colourful and easy to breed. They are widely cultured and bred into numerous artificial colour varieties to suit the tastes of different aquarists. In this respect, they are very valuable, forming the essence of the local aquarium fish industry. Others, however have been deliberately brought around the world to combat mosquitoes. At least three species have been introduced and become firmly established in Singapore.

Specially bred guppy Photo: Tan Bee Hong

Genus Poecilia

Another specially bred guppy Photo: Yip Hoi Kee

Euryhaline; ovoviviparous; omnivorous; gregarious; pelagic. Typical livebearers which consists of well known species like guppies and mollies. Although considered freshwater fish, they are also equally at home in brackish and even full strength marine water (especially mollies).

Poecilia reticulata Ikan Parit, Mata Lalat,
Wild strain of Guppy Photo: Tan Bee Hong

3 cm (males), 6 cm (females). Feral, abundant.

Widespread in water channels throughout Singapore except in forest streams. The diminutive but extremely prolific guppy was originally introduced for mosquito control (probably sometime in the early 1900s), and has since colonised many of Singapore's disturbed freshwater bodies. It is a very successful little fish, being able to survive in conditions which few other fishes can tolerate, e.g., polluted canals and even sewage tanks. They are also an all time favourite with aquarists, with numerous fancy and colourful strains having been selectively bred as part of a multi-million

dollar industry. Rejected fish also provide a useful and convenient source for the subsidiary feeder fish industry. The common name is derived from the Reverend J L Guppy of Trinidad, who obtained early samples of the fish in its native land. Lesser Sailfin Molly
Poecilia latipinna Ikan Parit,

Male Lesser Sailfin Molly Photo: Yip Hoi Kee

10 cm (males), 12 cm (females). Feral, brackish waters. Canals, drains, ponds and estuarine waters.

The Lesser Sailfin Molly is native to Mexico and the southern United States. The males of this species have sail-like dorsal fins and make attractive aquarium pets. Many colour varieties have been bred, ranging from multi-coloured to jet-black. They tend to thrive better in brackish water. In the aquarium, mollies seem to be rather prone to fungal infection if kept for long periods in pure fresh water. The presence in Singapore of a larger and very similar species, the Yucatan or Greater Sailfin Molly, Poecilia velifera from Southeastern Mexico is suspected. Poecilia velifera tends to grow larger, the males reaching 15 cm and the female 18 cm in length. The dorsal fin of P. velifera has more fin rays (18 to 19) compared to P. latippina (13 to 16).
Sailfin Molly (male) Photo: Tan Bee Hong

Black Sailfin Molly Photo: Tan Bee Hong

Golden Molly

Piebald Molly

Common Molly
Female Common Molly

Poecilia sphenops Ikan Parit,

12 cm. Feral, common in brackish water. Rural streams, canals, drains and ponds. Not as colourful asP. velifera or P. latipinna, but more common. The males of this species do not possess large, sail-like dorsal fins. It is mainly used to feed predatory pet fish.
Male Common Molly Photos: Yip Hoi Kee

Genus Gambusia

Mosquito Fish
Gambusia holbrookii Ikan Parit,
Female Mosquito Fish

Euryhaline; 3 cm (males), 6 cm (females); ovoviviparous; omnivorous; gregarious. Feral, common. Rural streams, canals, drains and ponds. Native to southern United States and Mexico, this unassuming little fish has been brought round the

Male Mosquito Fish Photos: Yip Hoi Kee

world (previously known as Gambusia affinis) to combat mosquito larvae, hence its name. It is highly adaptable and prolific. Although seldom kept as an ornamental fish due to its drab colours, it is collected for the feeder fish industry.

Species Name:
Common Name: I. TAXONOMY
Kingdom Animalia Phylum/Division: Chordata

Poecilia latipinna
Sailfin Molly

Class: Actinopterygii
Superclass Osteichthyes

Order: Cyprinodontiformes

Family: Poecilidae

Genus: Poecilia

Species Name: Poecilia latipinna Lesueur 1821 Common Names: Sailfin Molly Topote Velo Negro (Spanish) Species Description: The sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna, is one of three species in the IRL belonging to the family Poeciliidae. Members of this family are viviparous, giving birth to live young instead of spawning or laying eggs. These fishes are further characterized by: a single, spineless dorsal fin; a squared off or rounded caudal fin; and an anal fin in males modified into a copulatory organ, called a gonopodium (Robins & Ray 1986). Both sexes of P. latipinna have rows of dark spots along each scale row, but are otherwise dimorphic (Robins & Ray 1986). The dorsal fin in males is long and sail-like, with an orange edge, a series of black bars toward the outer half, and dark lines and spots near the base. The caudal fin is orange and blue with dark lines and spots, and the upper body is blue. Females lack nbright coloration, most markings, and the elongated dorsal fin.

The sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna, eating microscopic organisms off a mangrove leaf. Photo L. Holly Sweat, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

Poecilia latipinna feeding on detritus floating on the surface of the water. Photo L. Holly Sweat, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

Potentially Misidentified Species: As mentioned above, two other poeciliids are found in the IRL: the mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis; and the mangrove gambusia, G. rhizophorae. Both species are much smaller than the sailfin molly, reaching a maximum length of 4 and 5 cm, respectively (Robins & Ray 1986). The mosquitofish is silvery, with pigmented borders on the scales forming a dark diamond pattern. The body and caudal fin usually bear rows of small black spots, and a dark bar is present below the eye. The lining of the body cavity, or peritoneum, is black and visible through the abdomen. The mangrove gambusia is similar toG. affinis, but lacks the dark bar below the eye and the spots on the caudal fin. Small but conspicuous black spots line the upper side, and the fins are yellowish in color. A third species that may be mistaken for P. latipinna is the invasive guppy, P. reticulata (Ferriter et al. 2006), which most likely was introduced to Florida waters via the aquarium trade. The guppy reaches lengths of approximately 6 cm, with females larger than males. Males also have large, colorful caudal fins.


Regional Occurrence & Habitat Preference: The sailfin molly is native to the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, from southeast North Carolina to the Yucatan, including estuaries and freshwater tributaries (Burgess 1980, Meffe & Snelson 1989, Robins & Ray 1986). Individuals have been found in shallow marsh areas, and large populations inhabit areas were water flow has been altered (eg. mosquito impoundments) (Williams et al. 1998). Because of its wide environmental tolerances and popularity as an aquarium fish, P. latipinna has been introduced throughout the world (Courtenay & Meffe 1980) to locations such as: California, including the Salton Sea (Zedler 2001); and the cave and basin hotsprings of the Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada (Nelson 1983). IRL Distribution: The sailfin molly is found throughout the IRL in many habitats. However, most populations are concentrated in mangroves and salt marshes, including closed and restored mosquito impoundments (Klassen 1998, Lin & Beal 1995).

Green swordtail
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Green swordtail

Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)

Scientific classification














X. hellerii

Binomial name

Xiphophorus hellerii
Heckel, 1848

"Swordtail" redirects here. For other uses, see Swordtail (disambiguation). The green swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) is a species of freshwater fish in family Poeciliidae of order Cyprinodontiformes. A live-bearer, it is closely related to the southern platyfish or "platy" (X. maculatus) and can crossbreed with it. It is native to an area of North and Central America stretching fromVeracruz, Mexico, to northwestern Honduras. The male green swordtail grows to a maximum overall length of 14 cm (5.5 in) and the female to 16 cm (6.3 in). The name "swordtail" is derived from the elongated lower lobe of the male's caudal fin (tailfin). Sexual dimorphism is moderate, with the female being larger than the male, but lacking the "sword". The wild form is olive green in color, with a red or brown lateral stripe and speckles on the dorsal and, sometimes, caudal fins. The male's "sword" is yellow, edged in black below. Captive breeding has produced many color varieties, including black, red, and many patterns thereof, for the aquarium hobby. The green swordtail prefers swift-flowing, heavily-vegetated rivers and streams, but is also found in warm springs and canals. Omnivorous, its diet includes both plants and small crustaceans, insects, and annelid worms.

X. hellerii has become a nuisance pest as an introduced species in a number of countries. It has caused ecological damage because of its ability to rapidly reproduce in high numbers. Feral populations have established themselves in southern Africa, including Natal, Hawaii, Madagascar and easternTransvaal in South

Africa and Otjikoto Lake in Namibia. Significant populations have also established themselves along the east coast ofAustralia.[citation needed] One of the most popular tropical aquarium fish, the green swordtail has been bred into various hybrid forms for the aquarium hobby due to its hardiness and suitability for community tanks.[citation needed] It is often designated X. helleri (with one "i"), but authorities consider this an orthographic error and the spelling with two "i"s is the valid specific epithet. Due to interbreeding with the southern platyfish or "platy", most swordtails in the aquarium are hybrids to some degree. The males' beautiful, elongated caudal fins have been found to significantly affect their chances at mating. The presence of a well-endowed male spurs the maturity of females, while it inhibits the maturity of juvenile males in the vicinity of the well-endowed male.[1][2][3]

Cultivated form of X. hellerii

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Guppy (disambiguation).


Female and male adults

Scientific classification














P. reticulata

Binomial name

Poecilia reticulata
Peters, 1859


Acanthocephalus guppii A. reticulatus Girardinus guppii G. petersi G. poeciloides G. reticulatus Haridichthys reticulatus Heterandria guppyi Lebistes poecilioides L. reticulatus Poecilia poeciloides

Poecilioides reticulatus
The guppy (Poecilia reticulata), also known as the millionfish,[1] is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species in the world. It is a small member of the Poeciliidae family [females 46 centimetres (1.62.4 in) long, males 2.53.5 centimetres (1.01.4 in) long] and like all other members of the family is livebearing.[2]

1 Taxonomy 2 Distribution 3 Ecology and behavior 4 Reproduction 5 Genetics 6 In the aquarium 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Robert John Lechmere Guppy discovered this tiny fish in Trinidad in 1866, and the fish was named Girardinus guppii in his honour by Albert Gnther later that year. However, the fish had previously been described in Germany. Although Girardinus guppii is now considered a junior synonym of Poecilia reticulata, the common name "guppy" still remains.[citation needed] Over time, guppies have been given a variety of taxonomic names, although Poecilia reticulata is the name currently considered to be valid.[3]

Guppies are native to Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Brazil, Guyana, the Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Virgin Islands andVenezuela.[4][5] However, guppies have been introduced to many different countries on all continents, except Antarctica. Sometimes this has occurred accidentally, but most often as a means of mosquito control, the hope being that the guppies would eat the mosquito larvae, slowing the spread of malaria. In many cases, these guppies have had a negative impact on native fish faunas.[6]


and behavior

Guppies exhibit sexual dimorphism. While wild-type females are grey in body colour, males have splashes, spots, or stripes that can be any of a wide variety of colors.[7]


A pregnant guppy at about 26 days

A guppy fry in an aquarium at one week old

Guppy standards

Guppies are highly prolific livebearers.[8] The gestation period of a guppy is 2130 days, with an average of 28 days, varying according to water temperature. Males possess a modified tubular anal fin, the gonopodium, located directly behind the ventral fin, which is flexed forward and used as a delivery mechanism for one or more balls of spermatozoa. The male will approach a female and will flex his gonopodium forward before thrusting it into her and ejecting these balls. After the female guppy is inseminated, dark areas near the anus, known as the gravid spot, will enlarge and darken. Just before birth, the eyes of fry may be seen through the translucent skin in this area of the female's body. When birth occurs, individual offspring are dropped in sequence over the course of an hour or so. Guppies prefer water temperatures of about 26 C (79 F) for reproduction. The female guppy has drops of between 2 and 50 fry at a time, typically ranging between 5 and 30. After giving birth, the female is ready for conception again within only a few hours. Guppies have the ability to store sperm up to a year, so the females can give birth many times without depending on the presence of a male. From the moment of birth, each fry is fully capable of swimming, eating, and avoiding danger. If not kept separate, the older, mature guppies will eat the fry, so the use of a breeder box, net breeder, or a separate 2040 litres (49 imp gal; 511 US gal) tank is recommended. Live plants may be used as hiding places for the fry. Young fry take roughly three or four months to reach maturity. In the aquarium, they are usually fed finely ground flake foods, baby brine shrimp or, unless they are put in a separate tank, uneaten food from the adults. In addition, they nibble on algae. Guppies have been selectively bred to produce a variety of colors and patterns. In the wild, male guppies are dull black or brown in colour, with some coloured spots, while females are fully dull grey. The wild guppies that showed the most colours in each generation were bred to produce the "fancy guppies" seen in pet stores and guppy shows today. The guppy has been successfully hybridised with various species of molly (Poecilia latipinna or velifera), e.g., male guppy and female molly. However, the hybrids are always males and appear to be infertile.[9] The guppy has also been hybridised with the Endler's livebearer (Poecilia wingei) to produce fertile offspring.

Guppies have 23 pairs of chromosomes, including one pair of sex chromosomes, the same amount as humans.[10] Selective breeding has produced many different strains, such as the snakeskin and grass varieties. A strain is defined as a population of guppies that show the same characteristics.


the aquarium

The guppy prefers a hard water aquarium with a temperature between 25.5 and 27.8 C (78 and 82 F) and salt levels equivalent to one tablespoon per 5 US gallons (19 l; 4.2 imp gal).[11] They can withstand levels of salinity up to 150% that of normal seawater,[12] which has led to them being occasionally included in marine tropical community tanks, as well as in freshwater tropical tanks. Guppies are generally peaceful, though nipping behaviour is sometimes exhibited between male guppies or towards other top swimmers like platys and swordtails, and occasionally other fish with prominent fins, such as angelfish. Guppys shouldn't be kept as a single fish in an aquarium because both males and females show signs of shoaling, and are usually found in large groups in the wild. Its most famous characteristic is its propensity for breeding, and it can breed in both fresh water and marine aquariums.[13] Guppies bred by aquarists produced variations in appearance ranging from colour consistency to various tail forms. Well-fed adults do not often eat their own young, although sometimes safe zones are required for the fry. Specially designed livebearer birthing tanks, which can be suspended inside the aquarium, are available from aquatic retailers. These also serve to shield the pregnant female from further attention from the males, which is important, because the males will sometimes attack the females while they are giving birth. It also provides a separate area for the newborn young as protection from being eaten by their mother. However, if a female is put in the breeder box too early, it may cause her to have a miscarriage. Well-planted tanks that offer a lot of barriers to adult guppies will shelter the young quite well. Guppy grass, water sprite, water wisteria,duckweed, and java moss are all excellent choices. A continuous supply of live food, such as Daphnia, or Brine Shrimp will keep adult fish full and may spare the fry when they are born. [14]


Molly (fish)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Mollies" redirects here. For other uses, see Mollies (disambiguation).


Sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna)

Scientific classification












Bloch & Schneider, 1801


See text.

Mollies (Poecilia) are a genus of euryhaline brackish water fish in family Poeciliidae of order Cyprinodontiformes.[1] The type species is P. vivipara.Live-bearers, the Poecilia species are collectively known as mollies, with the exception of Endler's livebearer (P. wingei) and the famous guppy (P. reticulata). Members of this genus are members of the family Poecilidae, which includes the southern platyfish or "platy" (Xiphophorus maculatus), and the green swordtail (X. hellerii).


1 Aquaria 2 Species 3 References 4 External links

Along with their platy cousins, the mollies are part of a pivotal aquaculture group of livebearers, which can live in water from fresh to fully marine, and a wide range of other conditions. They feed on smaller insects, animals, and vegetation. IUCN list two of the species, the sulphur molly, P. sulphuraria, and the broadspotted molly, P. latipunctata, as Critically Endangered. The generic name Poecilia derives from the Greek (variegated), in reference to the fishes' coloration. Mollies need to live in water that is 25 to 28 C (77 to 82 F). Mollies come in several different colors and spot patterns, such as black, white, black and white spots, orange, Orange and white spots.

FishBase lists 33 species.[2] Recently one new species was added,[3] bringing the total to 34 species:

Poecilia amazonica Garman, 1895. Poecilia boesemani Poeser, 2003. Pacific molly, Poecilia butleri Jordan, 1889. Catemaco molly, Poecilia catemaconis Miller, 1975. Cauca molly, Poecilia caucana (Steindachner, 1880). Poecilia caudofasciata (Regan, 1913). Dwarf molly, Poecilia chica Miller, 1975. Poecilia dauli Meyer & Radda, 2000. Elegant molly, Poecilia elegans (Trewavas, 1948). Amazon molly, Poecilia formosa (Girard, 1859). Poecilia gillii (Kner, 1863). Hispaniola molly, Poecilia hispaniolana Rivas, 1978.

Poecilia koperi Poeser, 2003. Poecilia kykesis Poeser, 2002. Sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna (Lesueur, 1821). Broadspotted molly, Poecilia latipunctata Meek, 1904. Poecilia marcellinoi Poeser, 1995. Balsas molly, Poecilia maylandi Meyer, 1983. Poecilia mechthildae Bork, Etzel & Meyer, 2002. Shortfin molly, Poecilia mexicana Steindachner, 1863. Poecilia nicholsi (Myers, 1931). Mangrove molly, Poecilia orri Fowler, 1943. Peten molly, Poecilia petenensis Gnther, 1866. Guppy, Poecilia reticulata Peters, 1859. Poecilia rositae Meyer, Radda, Schartl, Schneider & Wilde, 2004.[3] Poecilia salvatoris Regan, 1907. Molly, black molly Poecilia sphenops Valenciennes, 1846. Sulphur molly, Poecilia sulphuraria (Alvarez, 1948). Mountain molly, Poecilia teresae Greenfield, 1990. Poecilia vandepolli Van Lidth de Jeude, 1887. Yucatan molly, Poecilia velifera (Regan, 1914). Poecilia vivipara Bloch & Schneider, 1801. Poecilia wandae Poeser, 2003. Endler's livebearer, Poecilia wingei Isbrcker, Kempkes & Poeser, 2005.[4]


1. ^ "Poecilia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved June 8, 2006. 2. ^ Poecilia FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. May 2006 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2006. 3. ^
a b

Manfred K. Meyer, Alfred C. Radda, Manfred Schartl, Klaus Schneider & Brigitta Wilde (November

2004). "A new species of Poecilia, subgenus Mollienesia, from upper ro Cahabn system, Guatemala, with remarks on the Nomenclature of Mollienesia petenensis Gnther, 1866 (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae)". Zoologische Abhandlungen 54: 145154. ISSN 0375-5231. 4. ^ Fred N. Poeser, Michael Kempkes, Isaac J. H. Isbrcker (2005). "Description of Poecilia (Acanthophacelus) wingei n. sp. from the Paria Peninsula, Venezuela, including notes on AcanthophacelusEigenmann, 1907 and other subgenera of Poecilia Bloch and Schneider, 1801 (Teleostei, Cyprinodontiformes, Poecilidae)". Contributions to Zoology 74: 97115.



Poecilla care information

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Gold fish)

This article is about the ornamental fish. For other uses, see Goldfish (disambiguation).


Conservation status


Scientific classification














C. auratus


C. a. auratus

Trinomial name

Carassius auratus auratus

(Linnaeus, 1758)

The goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) is a freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae of order Cypriniformes. It was one of the earliest fish to bedomesticated, and is one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish. A relatively small member of the carp family (which also includes the koi carp and the crucian carp), the goldfish is a domesticated version of a less-colorful carp (Carassius auratus) native to east Asia. It was first domesticated in China more than a thousand years ago, and several distinct breedshave since been developed. Goldfish breeds vary greatly in size, body shape, fin configuration and coloration (various combinations of white, yellow, orange, red, brown, and black are known).

Sex differences in the brain of goldfish: gonadotropinreleasing hormone and vasotocinergic neurons.
Parhar IS, Tosaki H, Sakuma Y, Kobayashi M.

Department of Physiology, Nippon Medical School, Sendagi 1-1-5, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8602, Japan.

The differences between male and female behaviors are reflected in sexual dimorphism of brain structures and are found throughout the nervous system in a variety of vertebrates. The present study examined neurons immunolabeled for gonadotropin-releasing hormone and arginine vasotocin in the brain of the goldfish Carassius auratus to determine if these neurons are sexually dimorphic. There was no sex difference or influence of sex steroids on the neuronal volume and optical density of staining of arginine vasotocin neurons. Similarly, gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons of the terminal nerve and midbrain tegmentum did not differ between sexually mature males, females and maturing females replaced with sex steroids with respect to distribution, numbers, optical density of staining, or gross morphology. In maturing females, testosterone specifically recruited additional preoptic gonadotropin-

releasing hormone neurons to equal those in sexually mature individuals. Since estrogen had no effect, the influence of testosterone on gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuronal numbers appears to be independent of aromatization. Specifically, the preoptic gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuronal size was significantly larger in sexually mature males than females. 11-Ketotestosterone-replacement to ovariectomized maturing females induced male-typical secondary characters and male-type courtship behavior but did not masculinize the preoptic gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuronal size. Our results show that the sexually dimorphic preoptic gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuronal size is determined by factors (genetic) other than gonadal steroids. Further, we propose the hypothesis that phenotypic and behavioral sex differences need not be accompanied by structural differences in gonadotropin-releasing hormone and arginine vasotocin in the brain.


1 History 2 Related species 3 Varieties of domesticated goldfish

4 Size

3.1 Chinese goldfish classification

5 In ponds 6 In aquaria 7 Feeding 8 Behavior 9 Intelligence 10 Reproduction 11 Mosquito control 12 Controversy over proper treatment 13 See also 14 Notes and references 15 External links

Starting in ancient China, various species of carp (collectively known as Asian carps) have been domesticated and reared as food fish for thousands of years. Some of these normally gray or silver species have a tendency to produce red, orange or yellow color mutations; this was first recorded in the Jin Dynasty (265420).[3][4]

A western aquarium of the 1850s of the type that contained goldfish among othercoldwater species

During the Tang Dynasty (618907), it was popular to raise carp in ornamental ponds and watergardens. A natural genetic mutation produced gold (actually yellowish orange) rather than silver coloration. People began to breed the gold variety instead of the silver variety, keeping them in ponds or other bodies of water. On special occasions at which guests were expected they would be moved to a much smaller container for display.[5][6] By the Song Dynasty (9601279), the domestication of goldfish was firmly established.[7] In 1162, the empress of the Song Dynasty ordered the construction of a pond to collect the red and gold variety. By this time, people outside the imperial family were forbidden to keep goldfish of the gold (yellow) variety, yellow being the imperial color. This is probably the reason why there are more orange goldfish than yellow goldfish, even though the latter are genetically easier to breed.[8][dead link] During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), goldfish also began to be raised indoors,[4] which led to the selection for mutations that would not be able to survive in ponds.[5] The occurrence of other colors (apart from red and gold) was first recorded in 1276. The first occurrence of fancy-tailed goldfish was recorded in the Ming Dynasty. In 1603, goldfish were introduced to Japan,[5] where the Ryukin and Tosakin varieties were developed. In 1611, goldfish were introduced to Portugal and from there to other parts of Europe.[5] During the 1620s, goldfish were highly regarded in southern Europe because of their metallic scales, and symbolized good luck and fortune. It became tradition for married men to give their wives a goldfish on their one-year anniversary, as a symbol for the prosperous years to come. This tradition quickly died, as goldfish became more available, losing their status. Goldfish were first introduced to North America around 1850 and quickly became popular in the United States.[9][10]

Related species

A wild Prussian carp (Carassius auratus gibelio)

A Crucian carp (Carassius carassius)

Goldfish were bred from Prussian carp (Carassius auratus gibelio) in China, and they remain the closest wild relative of the goldfish.[11][12] Previously, some sources claimed the Crucian carp (Carassius carassius) as the wild version of the goldfish. However, they are differentiated by several characteristics. C. auratus have a more pointed snout while the snout of a C. carassius is well rounded. C. gibelio often has a grey/greenish color, while crucian carps are always golden bronze. Juvenile crucian carp have a black spot on the base of the tail which disappears with age. In C. auratus this tail spot is never present. C. auratus have fewer than 31 scales along the lateral line while crucian carp have 33 scales or more. When found in nature, C. gibelio are olive green. Introduction of goldfish into the wild can cause problems for native species. Goldfish can hybridize with certain other species of carp. Within three breeding generations, the vast majority of the hybrid spawn revert to their natural olive color. The mutation that gave rise to the domestic goldfish is also known from other cyprinid species, such as common carp and tench. Koi may also interbreed with the goldfish to produce a sterile hybrid fish. There are many different varieties of domesticated goldfish. Fancy goldfish are unlikely to survive in the wild because of their bright fin colors; however the hardier varieties such as the Shubunkin may survive long enough to breed with wild cousins. Common and comet goldfish can survive, and even thrive, in any climate that can support a pond.

Varieties of domesticated goldfish

Selective breeding over centuries has produced several color variations, some of them far removed from the "golden" color of the originally domesticated fish. There are also different body shapes, fin and eye configurations. Some extreme versions of the goldfish live only in aquariumsthey are much less hardy than varieties closer to the "wild" original. However, some variations are hardier, such as the Shubunkin. Currently, there are about 300 breeds recognized in China.[4] The vast majority of goldfish breeds today originated from China.[4] Some of the main varieties are:

Common goldfish

Black Moor

Bubble Eye

Common goldfish differ only in color from their closest relative, the Prussian carp. Common goldfish come in a variety of colors including red, orange/gold, white, black and yellow or 'lemon' goldfish.

The Black moor is a telescopeeyed variety of fancy goldfish that has a characteristic pair of protruding eyes. It is also referred to as popeye, telescope, kuro demekin in Japan and dragon-eye in China.

The small, fancy Bubble Eye has upward pointing eyes accompanied by two large fluidfilled sacs.

Celestial Eye

Comet (goldfish)

Fantail (goldfish)

Fancy Celestial eye goldfish or Choten gan has a double tail and a breeddefining pair of upturned, telescope eyes with pupils gazing skyward.

The comet or com et-tailed goldfish is the most common fancy variety in the United States. It is similar to the common goldfish, except slightly smaller and slimmer, and is mainly distinguished by its long, deeply forked tail.

The Fantail goldfish is the western form of the Ryukin and possesses an egg-shaped body, a high dorsal fin, a long quadruplecaudal fin, and no shoulder hump.

Lionhead (goldfish)



The fancy lionhead has a hood. This fish is theprecursor to the ranchu.

The fancy oranda is characterized by a prominent raspberry-like hood or (also known aswen or headgrowth) that encases the whole head except for the eyes and mouth.

The fancy pearlscale or chinshurin inJ apanese, is spherical-bodied with finnage similar to the fantail.

Pompom (goldfish)



The fancy Pompoms or pompon or hana fusahave bundles of loose fleshy outgrowths between the nostrils, on each side of the head.

The fancy ryukin has a short, deep body with a characteristic shoulder hump.

Fancy and hardy Japanese Shubunkins( ?) (translated literally as "red brocade") have a single tail withnacreous scales, and a pattern known as calico.

Telescope eye


Panda Moor

The fancy telescope eye or demekin is characterized by its protruding eyes. It is also known as globe eye or dragon eye goldfish.

The fancy Japanese ranchu is hooded. TheJapanese refer to it as the "king of goldfish".

The fancy panda moor has a characteristic black-and-white color pattern and protruding eyes.


Butterfly tail (goldfish)

Meteor goldfish

The fancy veiltail is known for its extra-long, flowing double tail. Modern veiltail standards require little or no indentation of the trailing edges of the caudal fins, as in a wedding veil for a bride.

The Butterfly Tail Moor or Butterfly Telescope is of the telescope-eye lineage, with twin tails best viewed from above. The spread of the caudal fins mimics butterflies underwater.

The Meteor goldfish is a strangelooking variety that has been developed by specialist breeders of fancy goldfish. It has no tail fin, hence its name.[13][14]


Egg-fish goldfish


The Lionchu or lionheadranchu is a fancygoldfish that has resulted from crossbreedinglionheads and r anchus.[15][16]

The eggfish goldfish is an artificial creation of specialist fancy goldfish bree ders which lacks adorsal fin and has a pronounced eggshaped body.[17][18]

The Shukin is Ranchulike goldfishdeveloped from Ranchu and Oranda at the end of the 19th century in Japan.

Curled-gill goldfish



The Curled-gill or Reversedgill goldfish is another uncommon variety of fancy goldfish that has been developed by specialist enthusiasts. It owes its name to the outturned appearance of its gill covers.[13][19]

The Tamasaba or S abao is an uncommonJapanes e variety of goldfish with a body shaped similar to the Ryukin and a very long, flowing, single tail that is similar to that of a mackerel, hence its other name, Mackerel Ta il.

The Tosakin or curly fantail goldfish is a very distinctive breed of goldfish with a large tail fin that spreads out horizontally (like a fan) behind the fish. Though technically a divided tail, the two halves are attached at the center/middle forming a single fin.

Wakin goldfish

Jikin goldfish

Imperial goldfish

The wakin is a common goldfish with a divided, fantail-like tail and is the

The jikin, also known as the peacock-tail, has a

The imperial is an extremely uncommon experimental goldfish

common goldfish of the Far East.

divided tail which is splayed outwards. It is one of the most difficult varieties to breed to the standard. This fish was developed in Japan from the wakin.

being developed by the GSGB.

Chinese goldfish classification

This section does or not cite anyreferences sources. (July 2010)

Chinese tradition classifies goldfish into four main types. These classifications are not commonly used in the West.

Ce (may also be called "grass")Goldfish without fancy anatomical features. These include the common goldfish, comet goldfish and Shubunkin.

WenGoldfish have a fancy tail, e.g., Fantails and Veiltails ("Wen" is also the name of the characteristic headgrowth on such strains as Oranda and Lionhead)

Dragon EyeGoldfish have extended eyes, e.g., Black Moor, Bubble Eye, and Telescope Eye EggGoldfish have no dorsal fin, and usually have an 'egg-shaped' body, e.g., Lionhead (note that a Bubble Eye without a dorsal fin belongs to this group)

As of April 2008, the largest goldfish in the world was believed by the BBC to measure 19 inches (48 cm), and be living in the Netherlands.[20] At the time, a goldfish named "Goldie", kept as a pet in a tank in Folkestone, England, was measured as 15 inches (38 cm) and over 2 pounds (0.91 kg), and named as the second largest in the world behind the Netherlands fish.[20] The secretary of the Federation of British Aquatic Societies (FBAS) stated of Goldie's size that "I would think there are probably a few bigger goldfish that people don't think of as record holders, perhaps in ornamental lakes".[20] In July 2010, a goldfish measuring 16 inches (41 cm) and 5 pounds (2.3 kg) was caught in a pond in Poole, England, thought to have been abandoned there after outgrowing a tank.[21]

In ponds
Goldfish are popular pond fish, since they are small, inexpensive, colorful, and very hardy. In an outdoor pond or water garden, they may even survive for brief periods if ice forms on the surface, as long as there is enough oxygen remaining in the water and the pond does not freeze solid. Common goldfish, London and

Bristol shubunkins, jikin, wakin, comet and some hardier fantail goldfish can be kept in a pond all year round in temperate and subtropical climates. Moor, veiltail, oranda and lionhead can be kept safely in outdoor ponds only in the summer, and in more tropical climates. Small to large ponds are fine though the depth should be at least 80 centimeters (31 in) to avoid freezing. During winter, goldfish become sluggish, stop eating, and often stay on the bottom of the pond. This is completely normal; they become active again in the spring. A filter is important to clear waste and keep the pond clean. Plants are essential as they act as part of the filtration system, as well as a food source for the fish. Plants are further beneficial since they raise oxygen levels in the water. Compatible fish include rudd, tench, orfe and koi, but the latter require specialized care. Ramshorn snails are helpful by eating any algae that grows in the pond. Without some form of animal population control, goldfish ponds can easily become overstocked. Fish such as orfe consume goldfish eggs.

In aquaria

A Fantail goldfish

Like most carp, goldfish produce a large amount of waste both in their faeces and through their gills, releasing harmful chemicals into the water. Build-up of this waste to toxic levels can occur in a relatively short period of time, and can easily cause a goldfish's death. For common and comet varieties, each goldfish should have about 20 US gallons (76 l; 17 imp gal) of water. Fancy goldfish (which are smaller) should have about 10 US gallons (38 l; 8.3 imp gal) per goldfish. The water surface area determines how much oxygen diffuses and dissolves into the water. A general rule is have 1 square foot (0.093 m2). Active aeration by way of a water pump, filter or fountain effectively increases the surface area. The goldfish is classified as a coldwater fish, and can live in unheated aquaria at a temperature comfortable for humans. However, rapid changes in temperature (for example in an office building in winter when the heat is turned off at night) can kill them, especially if the tank is small. Care must also be taken when adding water, as the new water may be of a different temperature. Temperatures under about 10 C (50 F) are dangerous to fancy varieties, though commons and comets can survive slightly lower temperatures. Extremely high temperatures (over 30 C (86 F) can also harm goldfish. However, higher temperatures may help

fight protozoan infestations by accelerating the parasite's life-cyclethus eliminating it more quickly. The optimum temperature for goldfish is between 20 C (68 F) and 22 C (72 F).[22] Like all fish, goldfish do not like to be petted. In fact, touching a goldfish can endanger its health, because it can cause the protective slime coat to be damaged or removed, exposing the fishs skin to infection from bacteria or water-born parasites. However, goldfish respond to people by surfacing at feeding time, and can be trained or acclimated to taking pellets or flakes from human fingers. The reputation of goldfish dying quickly is often due to poor care.[23] The lifespan of goldfish in captivity can extend beyond 10 years. If left in the dark for a period of time, goldfish gradually change color until they are almost gray. [citation

Goldfish produce pigment in response to light, in a similar manner to how human skin becomes tanned in

the sun. Fish have cells called chromatophores that produce pigments which reflect light, and give the fish coloration. The color of a goldfish is determined by which pigments are in the cells, how many pigment molecules there are, and whether the pigment is grouped inside the cell or is spaced throughout the cytoplasm. Because goldfish eat live plants, their presence in a planted aquarium can be problematic. Only a few aquarium plant species for example Cryptocoryne and Anubias, can survive around goldfish, but they require special attention so that they are not uprooted. Plastic plants are often more durable, but the branches can irritate or harm a fish that touches one.[citation needed]


Various types of prepared fish food

See also: Fish food

This section does or

not cite anyreferences sources.(October 2011)

In the wild, the diet of goldfish consists of crustaceans, insects, and various plant matter. Like most fish, they are opportunistic feeders and do not stop eating on their own accord. Overfeeding can be deleterious to their

health, typically by blocking the intestines. This happens most often with selectively bred goldfish, which have a convoluted intestinal tract. When excess food is available, they produce more waste and faeces, partly due to incompleteprotein digestion. Overfeeding can sometimes be diagnosed by observing faeces trailing from the fish's cloaca. Goldfish-specific food has less protein and more carbohydrate than conventional fish food. It is sold in two consistenciesflakes that float, and pellets that sink. Enthusiasts may supplement this diet with shelled peas (with outer skins removed), blanched green leafy vegetables, and bloodworms. Young goldfish benefit from the addition of brine shrimp to their diet. As with all animals, goldfish preferences vary.

Behavior can vary widely both because goldfish live in a variety of environments, and because their behavior can be conditioned by their owners. Goldfish have strong associative learning abilities, as well as social learning skills. In addition, their visual acuity allows them to distinguish between individual humans. Owners may notice that fish react favorably to them (swimming to the front of the glass, swimming rapidly around the tank, and going to the surface mouthing for food) while hiding when other people approach the tank. Over time, goldfish learn to associate their owners and other humans with food, often "begging" for food whenever their owners approach.[citation needed] Goldfish are gregarious, displaying schooling behavior, as well as displaying the same types of feeding behaviors. Goldfish may display similar behaviors when responding to their reflections in a mirror. [citation needed] Goldfish that have constant visual contact with humans also stop considering them to be a threat. After being kept in a tank for several weeks, sometimes months, it becomes possible to feed a goldfish by hand without it shying away. Goldfish have learned behaviors, both as groups and as individuals, that stem from native carp behavior. They are a generalist species with varied feeding, breeding, and predator avoidance behaviors that contribute to their success. As fish they can be described as "friendly" towards each other. Very rarely does a goldfish harm another goldfish, nor do the males harm the females during breeding. The only real threat that goldfish present to each other is competing for food. Commons, comets, and other faster varieties can easily eat all the food during a feeding before fancy varieties can reach it. This can lead to stunted growth or possible starvation of fancier varieties when they are kept in a pond with their single-tailed brethren. As a result, care should be taken to combine only breeds with similar body type and swim characteristics.

Goldfish have a memory-span of at least three months and can distinguish between different shapes, colors and sounds.[24][25] Goldfish vision is among the most studied of all vision in fishes. [26]By using positive reinforcement, goldfish can be trained to recognize and to react to light signals of different colors[27] or to perform tricks.[28] Fish respond to certain colors most evidently in relation to feeding.[citation needed] Fish learn to anticipate feedings provided they occur at around the same time every day.

Goldfish may only grow to sexual maturity with enough water and the right nutrition. Most goldfish breed in captivity, particularly in pond settings. Breeding usually happens after a significant temperature change, often in spring. Males chase gravid female goldfish (females carrying eggs), and prompt them to release their eggs by bumping and nudging them. Goldfish, like all cyprinids, are egg-layers. Their eggs are adhesive and attach to aquatic vegetation, typically dense plants such as Cabomba or Elodea or a spawning mop. The eggs hatch within 48 to 72 hours. Within a week or so, the fry begins to assume its final shape, although a year may pass before they develop a mature goldfish color; until then they are a metallic brown like their wild ancestors. In their first weeks of life, the fry grow quicklyan adaptation born of the high risk of getting devoured by the adult goldfish (or other fish and insects) in their environment.[citation needed] Some highly bred goldfish can no longer breed naturally due to their altered shape. The artificial breeding method called "hand stripping" can assist nature, but can harm the fish if not done correctly. In captivity, adults may also eat young that they encounter.

Goldfish eggs showing cell division

Goldfish fry just hatched (Ryukin)

Mosquito control
Like some other popular aquarium fish, such as the guppy, goldfish and other carp are frequently added to stagnant bodies of water to reduce mosquito populations. They are used to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus, which relies on mosquitoes to migrate. However, introducing goldfish has often had negative consequences for local ecosystems.[29]

Controversy over proper treatment

The Japanese game of Goldfish scooping

Some countries ban the sale of traditional fishbowls under animal welfare legislation due to the risk of stunting, deoxygenation and ammonia/nitritepoisoning in such a small environment.[citation needed] Because of their large oxygen needs and high waste output, such bowls are no longer considered appropriate housing for goldfish.[30] In many countries, carnival and fair operators commonly give goldfish away in plastic bags as prizes. In late 2005 Rome banned the use of goldfish and other animals as carnival prizes. Rome has also banned the use of "goldfish bowls", on animal cruelty grounds.[31] In the United Kingdom, thegovernment proposed banning this practice as part of its Animal Welfare Bill,[32][33] though this has since been amended to only prevent goldfish being given as prizes to unaccompanied minors.[34] In Japan, during summer festivals and religious holidays (ennichi), a traditional game called goldfish scooping is played, in which a player scoops goldfish from a basin with a special scooper. Sometimes bouncy balls are substituted for goldfish. Although edible, goldfish are rarely eaten. A fad among American college students for many years was swallowing goldfish as a stunt and as a fraternityinitiation process. The first recorded instance was in 1939 at Harvard University.[35] The practice gradually fell out of popularity over the course of several decades and is rarely practiced today.

See also
By Clint Norwood

Leslie Grossheim

Species/genus: Pterophyllum Origin: South Temp: 72-86F pH: 6-7.5 dH: Soft to feed, accepts most aquarium

scalare America (22-30C)

Feeding: Easy


Breeding: Egglayer, attaches eggs to plant leaves, or a suitable substitute; gaurds eggs and fry Temperament: Normally Adult Minimum peaceful, but gets aggressive in. Tank Size: 20 when spawning (15 and gaurding fry cm) gallon

Size: 6

A Spawning Pair. Notice This pair raised thousands of They were a pair that the "Natural Method". Clint Norwood

the fry would

eggs for me raise

on in the

the the fry

driftwood. early 90's. themselves,

Comments: Angelfish are one of the most popular Aquarium fish available. They are exceptionally hardy, interesting and beautiful. They are fairly easy to spawn, usually by removing the eggs after spawning and raising the fry artificially. But occasionally you'll find a pair that will raise fry on their own, I call it the "Natural Method". This is preferable because you get to watch the pair protect and care for their fry. One note of behavior that I have personally witnessed but haven't seen mentioned is the fact that Angel fry will feed off of the body slime coating of the parents, much like Discus.

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Commercially raised silvers, marbleds, golds and HB angels are sold for $4.99 to $9.99 each in local pet shops around my neck of the crick. These are medium sized angels a little bigger than a quarter. Larger angels go for about $15.00 for the same color strains. These are the size of a half dollar. Adult angels (the size of a tea saucer or bigger) are in the $30-$40 range. More if they're mated pairs. Buying mated pairs is no guarantee that the fish will pair off and spawn again. A lot of mated pairs from fish farms are older breeders past their prime. If you want to eventually breed these fish, there's

no way to sex them until they pair off anyway. Angels have no sexual dimorphism and can only be sexed by their genital tubes when mating. To breed them, save some money and buy a school of six to twelve small angelfish and raise them to adulthood on meaty foods for small mouthed fish. Bloodworms, daphnia, flakes, beefheart frozen foods, minced earthworms and a little spirulina raises little angelfish into adults rapidly. When they reach sexual maturity, they'll pair off all by themselves, and the pairs can be removed to empty 20 gallon tanks with established sponge filters and a piece of vertical slate rock at a 45 degree angle. Angels can be good parents or bad parents. I've had both. After spawning, remove the male (he'll have a shorter, thinner genital tube that's tapered at the end than the female) and put him back into the tank with the school. Let the female raise the first clutch of eggs to determine her parenting skills. If she's a bad mom, she'll turn on the eggs and eat all of them or ignore them. If she's a good mom, she'll pay constant attention to them, fan them with fresh water, mouth them to clean them, eat dead or fungused eggs and help the hatchlings emerge when they're ready to hatch.


Wiggly little baby angelfish fry are larger than most FW egg layer fry, and once they hatch, will take about three days to absorb their egg sacs. The egg sac will prevent them from freely swimming around the tank, and a good mom will tend to the babies by keeping them in a tight little sqirming mass of baby fish until they're free swimming, to prevent predators from picking them off. If one strays or falls out of the pack, she'll pick it up and spit it back into the wiggling mass. Once they're free swimming (about 3 days), you should remove the mom back to the school of angel tank. Her job is done and she's likely to start feeding on them. Baby angelfish need about eight feedings a day, and do well on BBS (baby brine shrimp, I like hikari frozen BBS cubes), powdered flake foods (Tetra Baby "E", Hikari first bites, Artificial rotifers/plankton, etc.), or Liquifry for egg layers. Egg yolk from hard boiled eggs can also be fed. Push it through some muslin cloth and mix in water until dissolved, then feed with a medicine dropper. They can also eat vinegar eels and microworms. When the egg sac has been absorbed, the fry will be eyelash sized and not at all angefish shaped. At six weeks, they'll start to look like little baby angelfish and can be graduated to daphnia and larger flakes/foods. You can start feeding them commercially prepared finely ground beefheart foods (discus foods) at this time. Earthworm paste is also a great size booster. Feed them heavily to encourage rapid growth and change the water on the tank as often as you can manage (30-50% a day if you can). Use a smaller siphon tube by using airline instead of a gravel washer to suck off the uneaten food and mulm off the bottom without sucking out curious little baby fish. You can also put a mesh net
















Snails are always a must with these fry when they're free swimming. Keep the water pH a little above neutral for the snail's health and add trace elements, especially with RO/DI or distilled water for the proper formation of bones and organs in the baby fish, or mix 50/50 with tap water, at a PPM of around 180, pH between 7.0 and 7.4. At sixteen weeks, they'll be nickel size or larger and ready to sell or trade to your pet shop for supplies. If you prefer to keep them, this is the time when they should be separated and moved into larger tanks, since a clutch size can be from 50-300 on average fish. Empty 55 gallon tanks, 50 gallon preformed pond liners, Big Sterlite tupperware storage tubs and/or kiddie pools make good grow out tanks. They don't have to be glass, or pretty. Save that for putting them on display.

Butterflyfishes ; Separating the Good Ones and Those You Don't Want
To: Good, Medium, Poor & Unknown Chaetodon Choices Bob Fenner

Chaetodon auriga, one of the best.

Some of the best loved marine aquarium specimens are Butterflyfish family members. Where would the hobby be without the raccoon, threadfin, teardrop and the several Heniochusspecies, among others? Impoverished for sure. These and several other Butterflyfishes are well-suited for captive systems; shipping and adjusting well, eating all types of foods, resisting disease and adapting to a wide range of water conditions. However, of the some one-hundred twenty described species, the majority of B/Fs (industry shorthand for Butterflyfishes) are best avoided by hobbyists. These types have proven to adapt poorly to aquarium environments for differing reasons, and/or require obscure foodstuffs to thrive. Unknown to many aquarists the full-spectrum of hardiness is offered to the consumer; how can you tell which varieties to avoid? Herein is a collection of first and second-hand observations on what the

B/Fs are, where the species lie left or right of being generally hardy, and notes on how to pick out healthy specimens and maintain them. Classification: Butterflyfishes make up the family Chaetodontidae ("Key-toe-don-tah-dee") meaning "bristle-tooth" a telling allusion to feeding problems with many of these fishes. Their bodies are typically palmshaped with a protruding snout of varying length tipped with their small mouths. This pancake body plan and apical mouth arrangement is ideal for zooming in and out of the shallow coral reef habitats where most species reside. Distribution: Tropical to cooler seas, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific (principally Indo-West Pacific) along rocky and coral reef shores. Most live in depths of less than twenty meters, though a few have been recorded to ten times deeper. Size: Adults span three to twelve inches total length depending on species. Selection: General to Specific This is a threshold level decision. You are committing to support another living thing by purchasing it. Your success depends at least on two considerations; the species and individuals you choose. If you can't be dissuaded to pass on any but the best adapted varieties of B/Fs, please do yourself and the biological world a favor by reading the following carefully: Observe the fishes offered closely. Do not buy small (less than 2,3"), or large (6"+) individuals. Leave thin ones alone. These adapt poorly. Avoid fish showing any reddening at the mouth, body or fin origins. Abandon the whole tank if any butterfly is off-color in the system. B/Fs need adequate room in shipping bags. Make sure yours can turn around completely; I believe that most are lost (prematurely) due to shipping/handling damage. Their mouths get beat from rough net-handling, thrashed by smacking against a too-small bag. Subsequent infection, non-feeding... spirals into a dead specimen. Most B/F's are caught in barrier nets, notcyanide. Collectors/Transshippers/Wholesalers who use proper manipulation and bag size have very small incidental losses. Skip buying pairs, trios etc. of a given species unless they appear closely associated at the dealers. I strongly suggest wholesale routine freshwater dipping, copper and antibiotic treatment of all new arrivals at the wholesale/importer/retail level; and at least a week quarantine for end-users. Bob the Fishman's Hot/Cold List: Everyone who has been in the trade and/or hobby has their own list of best and least liked organisms, one's that generally make it and those that don't. Here are my opinions re the chaetodonts

after handling a few tens of thousands over the last thirty plus years. A couple of explanations. Common and scientific names are those most often used in the United States; no apology or vain attempt at completeness is offered. I know there is going to be no absolute agreement on what I'm putting forth here, but I'll gladly stand by my assessments; they are borne out of many individuals being examined from many origins, size ranges, shipping modalities... For the purpose of our discussions here, we can place B/F species (not individuals) as such in distinct "boxes"; "good", "bad", "medium" and "unknown". "Good Butterflyfishes" I'll define as those that have been found to have a survival of fifty plus percent for three plus months (decent specimens shipped properly, passing alive wholesale through to the "end-user"). "Bad" B/Fs have less than twenty percent survival within the same parameters. Yes, the Butterflyfishes may be demarcated this didactically; the 'good' ones generally live, the 'bad' ones die easily. To save download time, click on the genera and FAQs links below. Butterflyfishes of the genus Amphichaetodon & FAQs

Butterflyfishes of the Genus Chaetodon & FAQs To: Good, Medium, Poor & Unknown Chaetodon Choices pages: Split up to save download time... for now.

Butterflyfishes of the genus Chelmon & FAQs

Butterflyfishes of the genus Chelmonops & FAQs

Longnose Butterflyfishes, the genus Forcipiger & FAQs

Butterflyfishes of the Genus Hemitaurichthys & FAQs

Heniochus Butterflyfishes & FAQs

Johnrandallia nigrorostris, the Barber Butterflyfish & FAQs

Butterflyfishes of the genus Parachaetodon & FAQs

Butterflyfishes of the genus Prognathodes & FAQs

Collecting Your Own Collecting Your Own can be done if you're in the area. Do it like the pro's. Place a barrier/mist net in a prospective channel and 'drive' the butterflies against it. Hand net them off, decompress, and ship back home. You'll never complain about the high cost of livestock ever again. Environmental: Conditions Habitat: First of all, the system should be as large as possible. Butterflies are free-ranging fishes, with large lek territories. Next, but just as critically important, they need physical cover to feel secure; one or more cave hideaways. Chemical/Physical These fishes are the analog equivalent to a "canary in a cave". They will show signs first and foremost when water quality is on a slide. Good water quality is a must with high, consistent pH (8.2, 8.3), little to no detectable organics. Towards these ends an efficient skimmer is required; I wouldn't have a closed marine system without one. Also, the use of a coarser coral sand for substrate is recommended for higher pH buffering capacity and ease of cleaning up meaty 'leftovers'. The use of external pH 'raisers' is encouraged. For the bulk of species, temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit are recommended, with no worries if summer temporarily pushes this a bit higher. There are cooler and deeper water types of butterflyfishes, so you'll want to investigate prospects before purchasing. An important comment regarding "aged systems". Many authors cite lack of success with newly setup systems and B/Fs. Who knows why, algae/detritus food, chemical anomaly(?)... but tanks that are six months and older enjoy greater survivability. Filtration: A vigorous, efficient mode whatever format is employed; with lots of current producing high dissolved oxygen concentration. Display: Overall, think of the circumstances of where most of the good, common butterflyfishes are collected; the rough and tumble coral shallows: In this bright nook and cranny world the pH is high, the water clean, current brisk and temperature high. You want to duplicate this scenario. Behavior: Territoriality: Most of the 'good' butterflyfishes make fine tankmates. The same cannot be said for the 'bad' others; they hide and are easy prey for tank bullies. Some (e.g. Heniochus species) are tolerant to

appreciative of members of their own species; the vast majority fight with their own or similar kind unless crowded, put in huge systems with lots of cover... Introduction/Acclimation: A routine dipping and copper treatment has already been urged for passage through collection/wholesale to you, the end-user. Now the immortal question ala Shakespeare: "To quarantine or not? That is the question; whether it is worth the trauma to suffer the further slings and arrows of extra stress from the double moving. Or to take up arms..." All good marine aquarists should have an alternative treatment, quarantine, bully-recovering tank. Should you keep B/Fs (along with all other new entries) apart for a week or two? Sure you should. At least utilize a prophylactic dip to reduce the introduction of external parasites. See notes below concerning disease. Hunziker, among others, suggests reducing light levels for the first day or two after arrival. This is a good idea. In fact leave some light on at night as well. Regarding Handling: This is a very important matter that doesn't get enough coverage. It may not be as sensational as "cyanide poisoning" and the advertising and enmity that goes with that topic, but people who know the business of aquaristics will assure you that improper handling is without doubt the number one factor in the life/death of dealing in livestock. In particular the butterflyfishes are doomed if thrashed either via netting or placed in a too-small bag. Once their mouths, fins, bodies are beat they "give up the ghost", refuse food and quickly expire. Chaetodonts bear strong dorsal and anal spines at the anterior of these fins; giving would-be predators a potentially prickly mouthful. These stout spines are important to us as aquarists as well; they get caught in nets and puncture unwary hands. Professional aquarists develop a sense of how and when to lift butterflyfishes (if need be) from the water when moving them. Supporting the fish, one at a time, with supple hand support behind the netting, gently restraining the fish from flopping about. Tearing of flesh and fin bases is often a fatal mistake. Predator/Prey Relations Small Butterflyfishes are readily eaten by larger predatory fishes. At some island groups I've visited the locals seek small B/Fs out as bait. Mix and match with triggers, basses et al. accordingly. Almost all chaetodonts are fish-tank-system-only members. Except for noted species (Hemitaurichthys, Forcipiger, a handful of Chaetodons) that are generalist or plankton feeders they may pick apart nearly every invertebrate in time; maybe with the exception of hermit crabs. Definitely not for reef systems unless the systems are very large. Biology/Other Some B/Fs as juveniles are celebrated 'cleaners' picking parasites and dead tissues off other species. Reproduction, Sexual Differentiation/Growing Your Own:

From observations made in the wild some species of B/Fs are known to form monogamous pairs, others travel solitarily or in groups and either pair up or form loose temporary associations at spawning times. Gametes are released near nightfall at the apex of a quick swim toward the surface. There is little or no observable physical differences (non-fancy term for sexual dimorphism) between the sexes. Butterflyfishes have a peculiar bony-armored larval 'Tholichthys' developmental stage. These little tanks float about via currents for months before metamorphosing into minuscule adult versions and settling down, hopefully at a fortuitous location. No successful recordings of spawning and rearing were found in the literature. Feeding/Foods/Nutrition: Types, Frequency, Amount, Wastes Even the best species of butterflyfishes can be finicky eaters, especially on first introduction. It cannot be stressed enough that an adequate, sustainable food mix be found ASAP and offered often. Live brine shrimp is a good starter for newcomers as are various types of worms and crustaceans available in the trade, live and frozen. Other meaty foods such as squid, minced clam and prepared blends should be offered in small quantities only and removed in uneaten as they will quickly foul water. Obligate coral eaters exist in the family. Some folks have kept these going for a while by providing scleractinian (true, stony) corals, 'live rocks', anemones (cheapy Condylactis). Once again, I implore you, read up and avoid these species. Instead, focus on more generalized feeders. The 'secret' to maintaining these fishes is to provide foods often and varied. Sorry, I can't help myself in re-emphasizing this point. Get your marines to eat quickly and offer algae, different foods in small amounts as frequently as practical. Should you have a fish go on feeding 'strike' though others in the system are fine (indicating something other than water quality as the cause), try one or more of the following: 1) A fresh clam opened up and placed on the bottom, 2) Live white, tubificid, or grindal worms set down in a small dish to prevent escape, 3) Chlupaty (1978) suggests temporarily lowering the specific gravity for a few days to stimulate appetite (1.025 down to 1.018) 4) Because marine fishes do "drink like a fish", you should apply vitamins directly to their water (and/or food); some are known to enhance feeding. Disease: Infectious, Parasitic, Nutritional, Genetic, Social Butterflyfishes unfortunately are very susceptible to crypt, velvet, other common protozoal complaints (e.g. Glugea), bacterial infections, and "gill fluke" problems. Often they are the firstfish(es) to show signs of such in a tank. Thankfully, if caught in time, these are quickly cured by way of traditional remedies (copper, malachite green treatments). Some species are copper sensitive so be sure to us a test kit to avoid over-treatment. Close:

Do you think an article of this nature, trying to dissuade aquarists from trying fishes that are almost guaranteed to die within a few weeks in captivity is worthwhile? Are you more likely to 'cast your vote' by spending your money and efforts on historically more appropriate species as a consequence? Good, then I have accomplished what I set out for. There are many varieties of sealife offered to the pet hobby. How much range of average survivability does all this livestock demonstrate? Huge. As a conscientious marine aquarist you should at least be aware of the odds you are facing in attempting difficult organisms; and what has and has not worked for others. This is the advantage of reading. If you're going to try the historically less hardy species, selecting good specimens, providing absolutely clean water and adequate feeding are requisite. Should you be unwilling or unable to provide these, please do not encourage their further collection by buying them. Bibliography/Further Reading: Allen, G.R., 1979. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World, Vol. 2. Wiley & Sons, N.Y. Allen, Gerald R., Roger Steene & Mark Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Tropical Fish Research/Odyssey Publishing. 250pp. Burgess, Warren, 1978. Butterflyfishes of the World. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, N.J. 832 pg. Burgess, W.E., H.R. Axelrod & R.E. Hunziker III, 1990. Atlas of Aquarium Fishes, Vol 1. Marine Fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Jersey. Campbell, Douglas, 1980. marines: Their Care & Keeping. Butterflyfishes, Pt. 1, 2. FAMA 10,11/80. Chlupaty, Peter, 1978. Keeping butterflyfishes. T.F.H. 4/78. Emmens, Cliff W., 1985. Keeping Chaetodons. T.F.H. 5/85. Fenner, Bob, 1990. Bannerfish butterflies, the genus Heniochus. FAMA 6/90. Fenner, Robert, 1995. El Barbero, the butterfly from Baja. T.F.H. 7/95. Hunziker, Ray, 1992. The ten best butterflyfishes. T.F.H. 6/92. Mayland, Hans J., 1972. A portrait of two fishes (C. larvatus, semilarvatus). Marine Aquarist 3(5):72. Michael, Scott, 1994. Bad butterflyfishes. A.F.M. 7/94. Miller, Gary, 1986. Butterflyfishes of the Caribbean. FAMA 9/86. Moenich, David R. 1991. The butterflyfishes. Aquarium Fish Magazine 1/91.

Nelson, Joseph S., 1994. Fishes of the World, 3rd ed. Wiley & Sons, N.Y. Pyle, Richard L., 1991. Rare & Unusual Marines. Chaetodon daedalma Jordan & Fowler. FAMA 1/91. Refano, Joe, 1983. The importer speaks: the butterflyfishes pt. I, II. T.F.H. 10,11/83. Siegel, Terry, 1973. Butterflies. Marine Aquarist 4(2):73. Steene, Roger C., 1985. Butterfly & Angelfishes of the World, Vol. 1 Australia. Mergus Publ., Germany. Stratton, Richard F., 1990. The teardrop butterflyfish. T.F.H. 6/90. Walker, Randy J., 1993. Rare & Unusual Marines. The white face butterflyfish, C. mesoleucos Forsskal. FAMA 2/93.s.