How to care for Tropical Fish

Surface Feeders

Fish that are known as surface feeders all have a back that is perfectly straight, this allows for their upturned mouths to easily get right on the surface and scoop up the food, in their natural habitat they would do this to eat insects on the waters surface.

The Glass Catfish

This fish is close to being transparent; it has one single ray used as a dorsal fin and you can se it’s bones through its body. They originate in South East Asia and grow to around 10cm in length. They are active and free swimming and like to have more of the same species in the tank otherwise they are known to hide away in the aquarium a lot.

The Butterfly Fish

This is native to a region of Africa called Zaire. You can observe them hanging motionless near the surface of the water for long periods of time while they await the arrival of insects on the waters surface. They are fun to watch as they can also leap out of the water and glide along the surface for some distance. As you observe them from above you can see where they get their name from, the shape of the pectoral fins are just like that of a butterfly's wings, sometimes the butterfly fish could prove predacious towards smaller fish in the aquarium.

The Silver Hatchetfish

This species has a very deep body with powerful muscles used to flap their pectoral fins and get to the surface of the water where they will scoot to look for insects, this same behaviour is one they use to escape predators. When keeping a fish like this or any surface dweller you should ensure you tank has a lid, otherwise you could find them on the carpet outside of their tank. They are a peaceful species that like to have maybe 5-6 other fish of the same species in the tank with them.

The Zebra Danio

A very lively fish that always seems to be active in the tank, they reach a size of around 5cm in length and like to be with their own species in the tank. You can spot them by their zebra like patterns on their body. A good fish for beginner breeders, note the parents should be removed once eggs are laid, as they like to eat them, alternatively use lots of dense plant life for the eggs to stick to so they are out of their reach. The female of the species is a lot plumper that the males.

The Siamese Fighting Fish

A very hardy fish, always keep just one male in the tank otherwise they will fight, usually ending up with the death of one of them. You can see the fish display by placing a mirror inside the tank, when a female is present the male of the species will blow a nest of bubbles where they guard the floating eggs from and unwanted visitors. In the shops you will usually find Siamese fighting fish with fins and body all the same colour, usually bright red, green or blue, although the Cambodia has coloured fins with a cream body.

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