By: Anshul Kapoor

GOLDFISH: The goldfish is a freshwater fish and is one of the most common aquarium fishes. It belongs to the family Cyprinidae of order Cypriniformes and is one of the most studied fish species in the world. The origins of this fish date back to ancient China where they are known to be more than a thousand years old. Goldfish come in various shapes, sizes, looks and colours of which certain blends of white, yellow, orange, red, brown, and black are extremely popular. Common golfdfish, Pompom, Celestial eye, Telescope and Veiltail are some types of Goldfish. Goldfish are renowned for their powerful learning abilities. After some time, they can identify their owners and respond to them and tend to hide when strangers approach them. They also learn to adapt to feedings in case they are fed around the same time every day. As opposed to the popular belief that Goldfish have a three-second memory, research has found them to remember things up to three months or more. It is rare for a Goldfish to harm another goldfish, or for one gender to harm the other.

Goldfish are egg-layers. Males chase the female goldfish carrying eggs and prompt them to release their eggs by bumping and nudging them. Their eggs hatch within 48 to 72 hours. They assume their final shape in a week but take around a year to become an adult.

Commercial Goldfish breeders are available in Thailand, Japan, China or Indonesia. These types of Goldfish are suited for indoor living only, but there are species of pond goldfish that thrive in outdoor water gardens and ponds and can grow more substantially.

Their lifespan is as short as five years when placed in a glass bowl, whereas, in bigger aquariums and ponds, they may live up to 20-30 years.

Goldfish are happy when they get abundant aquatic plant life. They also prefer calmer waters and need twice the amount of space than a tropical fish requires.  Therefore, they should not be kept in tropical aquariums.

The GLASSFISH – Glass catfish (Kryptopterus bicirrhis) — is a freshwater ray-finned fish of catfish family that is found in South-Eastern Asia. It derives its name from the fact that it is transparent and you can see right through it. Glass catfish or ghost catfish is found in the rivers of Thailand and Indonesia. In the tank, there should be some space for the fish to swim and some water flow running along the tank length. This fish is susceptible to water purity, and the water filtration system must be very efficient. This type of fish feels secure and confident in a school of its own kind and is known for its playful nature. It loves company and should be kept in pairs of either 4 or six. It is vital to control the level of ammonia and nitrates in the tank for Glassfish to thrive.

The size of the feed should be little or flaky as the fish has a small mouth. Glass catfish may feed on some fish minors as they do in their natural habitat. Glass catfish is quite demanding as a fish and needs excellent care.

White cloud mountain minnow – The White cloud mountain minnow is a bright coloured and active fish. It is not aggressive or demanding which makes it an ideal choice for first-time fish owners. The Biological name of this fish is Tanichthys albonubes. White cloud mountain minnow does well in cold water and prefers to swim in the middle water layers. It is also known as Baiyun and was first found at the White Cloud Mountain located several kilometres north of central Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. Unfortunately, the species is now extinct in that area and features on China’s ‘List of Endangered Species’. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is about 4 cms (roughly 1.5 in) in length. It is rather plainly coloured and the upper-side of its back is yellowy-brown. Silver blue and golden stripes run along the fish’s body from its eyes to the tail. The back is green, and the abdomen white. It has lemon-yellow, dorsal, abdominal fins. The medial side of the fish fluke is red coloured and the fish dorsal and fluke have two colours: lemon-yellow and bright-red. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow feeds on small insects and worms but it also quickly adapts to regular fish food.

The tank for this fish should be at least 30 litres large.  If kept in a sickly planted tank with dark bottom substrate, the fish may turn purple in colour. There’s no need for active filtration; however, some water flow should be created in the tank.  The water temperature range should be between 20°C-25°C (68-75 F) to keep the White cloud mountain minnow healthy and active.

ZEBRAFISH – The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a robust freshwater fish belonging to the minnow family Cyprinidae. It got its name from the five uniform, pigmented, horizontal, blue stripes on the side of its body, which are similar to those on a zebra. These stripes extend to the end of the caudal fin. The shape of a Zebrafish is laterally compressed with its mouth directed upwards. Males have gold lines between the blue stripes, and the females have a more substantial, whitish belly and silver stripes instead of gold. Zebrafish are freshwater fish originating from a tropical region with an annual monsoon season. Its lifespan in an aquarium is around two to three years, which may go up to over five years with better care. The adult zebrafish are 4–5 cms in length.

Zebrafish are hardy fish and considered suitable for first time aquarium owners. They are known for their playful disposition, low price and widespread availability. The fish seems bright under normal white light and fluorescent under blue light.

GUPPY– Guppy is named after the English scientist Robert John Lechmere Guppy, who submitted a report to the Royal Society in 1886 about his findings of a fish that spawns juveniles instead of eggs. It is also known as millionfish or rainbow fish and is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species. It belongs to the Poeciliidae family and is considered to be one of the world’s most widely distributed tropical fish that is higly adaptable and capable of thriving under different environmental and ecological conditions. Guppy is an excellent fish both for beginners and professionals. It is small and active; it breeds effortlessly and does not demand much in terms of diet and keeping.

Guppy dwells in clean flowing freshwater or brackish water basins of Venezuela, Guiana, the North of the Amazon River and spreads till the North of Brazil, Barbados islands and Trinidad. The fish is carnivorous and feeds on worms, bloodworm and other insects.

Guppy is a small sized fish with an elongated body. The males of the species are more brightly coloured than the females, though their colours vary from the ones bred in captivity.

While the males are typically 1.5–3.5 cms long, females are 3–6 cms long. The male body is elongated, thin and a bit flattened from the sides. The female fish also has an elongated shape but the fins are proportionally smaller than that of the males.

Guppy has a lifespan of about two years. However, if provided with favourable tank conditions, the fish can live up to 3 years. Its lifespan reduces with the rise in the tank water temperature.

The main parameter used for classification is the colour of its body and the fins. The fish gets its extended name exceptionally due to the colour of its tail fin. So, if Guppy has a yellow coloured body and red tail, it will be called a red guppy. Without any exception, all female Guppy species have transparent and colourless fins.

*Anshul Kapoor is an avid animal lover and writer.