Pictures some of the Most Beautiful Fish

most beautiful fish

Goldfish Varieties - Fantail

fantail goldfishFantail is basically the egg-shaped version of the common goldfish with its caudal (tail) fin slightly forked and with moderate length. It can be considered the short tail version of another variety of goldfish called veiltail whereby the caudal fin is much more prolonged and trailing. Do not mistaken the failtail as a ryukin because it does not have a hump on its shoulder.

Like any other goldfish varieties, fantails are also found exist in different colors ranging from red to orange while some appear as calico speckled with grey and black color spots. It can also be metallic, nacreous and even have normal or wide telescope eyes. The main distinguishing feature is of course having the split caudal fin whereby a good specimen should have the all lobes completely separated. The prize-winning specimen is also characterized as having double anal fin, which are evenly formed and look well-balanced.

Fantails can be easily bred, as long as it has large aquarium space for normal fin development and good water quality. If properly cared for, they can live up to 10 years or more and usually achieve full-grown length size of about 6 inches long measured from the head until the end of the tail fin.

Other Goldfish Varieties: ranchu, pearlscale, black moor, celestial, shubunkin, oranda and pom-pom

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Goldfish Varieties - Pom Pom

pom pom goldfishPom Pom can be easily recognized from other goldfish and unique in the sense that it has a pair of fleshy outgrowth, which is actually enlargement of the nasal septum that closely resembles, well as the name implies a pom pom. When I first saw the fish, I thought it was really strange and bizarre because it never crossed my mind that somehow those were really natural and part of the fish. Although I've never successfully bred a pom pom before, what I actually observed is that the pair of outgrowth were actually not present when the fish was young and it only started to develop as it matures.

Pom pom generally has fins similar to a fantail including body shape and if you were to take away the outgrowth, everything matches exactly like the fantail. Pompom also exist in different colors being chocolate as one of the most common of all (depicted in above pic). Others exist in either orange, white, yellow with either metallic or nacreous scales. As with other common goldfish, pom pom will tolerate living condition at the temperature around 18 to 21degC and have a hefty appetite. It is considered a fast swimmer and thus should not be mixed with other slow swimmers such as pearlscale, bubble-eye, celestial and tosakin. Since it is one of the goldfish species, if given a chance it can interbreed and the off-spring can actually appear to be normal goldfish without the nasal outgrowth.

Goldfish Varieties: ranchu, veiltail, moor, shubunkin, oranda, ryukin

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Aquarium Fish Information on Breeding

Breeding is perhaps the most exciting and challenging part of aquarium fish keeping hobby. It can be rewarding in the sense that you do not need to spend money on buying new fish and it’s always exciting to welcome addition of new family members to the aquarium community. As you watch the tiny little fish fry grow from a size hardly visible even using magnifying glass to a full grown size with beautiful colors and fins, it just makes you wonder how magnificent Mother Nature can be when it comes to survival and ensuring continuity of living organisms. Watching fish development as it grows is also psychologically important for children to appreciate and cultivate sense of awareness on how precious life can be.

Basically, there are different spawning methods for different species of fish and it can be grouped to either internal fertilization or external fertilization. Let us discuss some of the common examples here and what are the differences between those two.

guppies breeding fish

Internal generally means “inside” whereby spawning activity will lead to sperm from the male injected into the female for fertilization to take place. Livebearers such as swordtails, guppies are few of the examples. The fry are born free swimmers (as shown in above image) and the developing embryos can either receive the nutrition directly from their mother or having their own egg sacs. Once released, the fry will naturally develop the survival instinct to search for a place to hide (as means to protect themselves from predatory fish and also from their own parents). They are generally larger as compared to fry from egg-layers but are slower in terms of growth and development. However, they are easier to cultivate and usually taking care of fish fry from livebearer is a good learning experience for fish hobbyist interested in breeding for home aquarium.

External fertilization is basically the opposite, as eggs will be deposited in the natural surrounding either by scattering or depositing. Egg scatterers generally release the eggs in random manner and the eggs are self-adhesive and will stick to the surface in which it first comes into contact with as it was being released. After laying the eggs, the parents won’t look after them and some are even notorious in eating their own eggs as well. A fine example of fish classified in this group is goldfish. For more thorough understanding, you can also take a look on labyrinth fish such as how the kissing gourami breeds.

A different pattern can be seen on egg depositors whereby the eggs are released on substrates which can be either enclosure, pit or cave and the parents generally don’t eat their own eggs while some even provide good care of the developing fry. Examples of this type of fish are certain species of Cichlids and Discus.

There is also another behavior of fish known as mouth brooders in which it can be either internal or external fertilization. For internal fertilization, sperm will actually be released by the male into the mouth of the female fish and once the eggs hatch, the fry will remain in the mother’s mouth as it develops. For external fertilization, females will lay eggs on a surface and are then taken by the male into its mouth. The father will keep them there inside the mouth until the fry hatch and will protect the young until certain stage of development. Arowana is a fine example of external fertilization exhibited using the mouth brooding method for spawning.

Related fish keeping topics:
» Community Aquarium Fish Species
» Setup your own Aquarium
» Dealing with Fish Disease
» Factors that Trigger Fish Spawning

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Goldfish Varieties – Shubunkin

American ShubunkinBristol ShubunkinLondon Shubunkin
Shubunkin or best known as Calico Goldfish is easily recognizable by its nacreous scales (metallic and shiny transparent scales) covering its whole body with patches of red, white or silver blue on the background coupled with speckles of black spot. It has long, torpedo-shaped thick body with single tail fin and basically there are 3 different distinct variant, which can be identified by the tail fin.

(top from left to right)
The American Shubunkin has long and forked tailfins
The Bristol Shubunkin has forked tailfins but it ended in lobes
The London Shubunkin has short and round tail fin.

Shubunkin can grow quite large size reaching length of almost 12 inches measured from head to tail and it is considered a hardy variety meaning that it can tolerate moderate changes in water parameters quite well. Because of its size and active nature (fast swimmers), Shubunkin are sometimes kept in ponds together with koi where they can grow and thrive better compared to keeping them in large glass aquariums.

As with all goldfish, Shubunkin readily accepts all types of food and a very hearty diet. Because they eat a lot, usually they will discharge a lot of waste and fouls the water easily. Shubunkins are recommended to be kept with other fast swimmers like the common goldfish with water temperature maintained at about 20 – 24deg Celsius.

Other Goldfish Varieties: ranchu, veiltail, black moor, fantail, pearlscale, celestial, pom-pom, oranda, ryukin and tosakin

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Aquarium Fish Disease – Dropsy

goldfish dropsyDropsy is a lethal aquarium fish disease often associated with poor water quality leading to bacterial infection. Dropsy is commonly seen affecting goldfish whereby water quality is always a problem due its feeding frenzy and heavy waste discharge. Based on my own experience, aquarium fish seen contracting the disease always have minimum chance of survival and usually death will follow suit, most of the time, 1 week after the condition started deteriorating. (picture showing goldfish with advanced dropsy condition)

Affected fish will develop raised scales that often look like pinecone and as in goldfish, it will float upside down with the swollen belly facing upwards. Experienced fish breeders always advice that the best ways in order to counter and prevent this problem is to control on the amount of food fed to the fish and at the same time, work on maintaining perfect water condition. If the fish do succumb to this disease usually there’s no treatment option available expect maybe to raise the salt concentration to 0.3 – 0.5% and then totally cut off the food consumption. This can only be done by separating the fish to another treatment tank so that more attention can be given. If lucky, usually 2 out of 10 affected fish may survive and recuperate to lead a normal life.

Dropsy condition in Koi Fish
Dropsy disease does not confined only to goldfish but it happens to almost any other fish species and that includes koi. Early signs of the disease starting to spread and develop can be seen with the fish’s body that begins to swell and bloat and the eyes bulging. In koi, you might not notice and see the raised scales clearly during the initial period, but you will see the shape of the fish changing with enlargement at the middle region at the belly as the infection grows stronger.

At advanced stage of the disease, your koi will start to lose its balance to maintain buoyancy in the water. Most of the time, they will stay at one position without moving and if treatment does not follow soon, they will succumb to the illness. However, good news about Koi is that they are move tolerant towards frequent dosage of fish medication and they can withstand treatment schedule and respond to it. Most of the time, in order to deal with the problem, salt can actually be added to the water to aid the healing process but more effective way to cure dropsy is by getting special medicated solution prepared solely for it to deal with the disease. You easily find these available in pet stores.

Some posts covering similar topics:
» Regular water changes
» Common mistakes made by aquarium owners
» Other fish disease - Ich or white spot

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About Me

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My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

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