Since the below listed links provide a great deal of
information, I will just touch on what I believe are a few key factors
in keeping most marine fish species. Feeding :
It is still very common to be told that any of our fish should be
fed a single meal each day with enough food put into the tank that the
fish can consume within a few minutes. I believe this is yet another
carry over from the keeping of freshwater fish, strange as it may
sound, but marine fish and freshwater fish are very different in almost
every aspect other than the basic fish shape. One very important
difference is that marine fish move food through their digestive tracts
much faster. This is due to the fact that marine fish spend their
entire day picking away at extremely small food items, mostly
zooplankton that drifts by in the currents, while some species will
also pick off small food prey from the substrates as well. Regardless
of wether the food is stationary or drifting by, it is all very small
amounts. As such, their digestive systems have evolved to match how
much the fish normaly consumes at one time, and being very small
amounts, it allows the digestive system to move the food through much
faster than their freshwater counterparts. So when we feed the fish one
large meal, the majority of that food ends up shooting right out their
butts as partialy digested food, meaning that a good deal of that food
is not only wasted, since the fish gained nothing from it, but it also
adds a significant source of nutrients to fuel algae growth and degrade
our waters quality. Since the fish only recieved that one meal, and
could only gain a fraction of the nutrition out of it, they are in
effect, slowly starving. Knowing this, I feed my fish very small
amounts at one time, and at frequent intervals throughout the day (at
least three times) to ensure I am providing their digestive systems
with a better suited feeding regime. Fish Size :
How many of us have bought a tang or large angelfish species as
juveniles and put them into our 40 or 50 gallon aquarium? I know I
have, and it was not long before I wished I had not. I of course told
myself just as many of you did, that I will get a larger aquarium
before the fish gets too large for the aquarium it is in now. Yeah,
like that ever happened. Which means I ended up having to either trade
the fish in, (always at a loss also) or give it away to someone who had
the proper environment for it. While stressing out the fish the entire
time. Thankfully, for me, I learned that lesson a long time ago and do
not find it hard now to restrain myself from impulse "gotta have that!"
purchases or captures. Although I could get away with it now since its
only a matter of driving down to the ocean and releasing the fish, I
would still rather not have to tear my aquarium's landscape apart just
to catch one fish. But the one only real good reason to not do this, is
that it simply is not fair to the fish. Yes, I know, they are just
"fish", but once we designate something as a pet and not a food item,
that designation brings responsibility with it, or at least it should.
Since it seems that a good many of us do not fully understand the
actual differences between saltwater and freshwater fish, and why
saltwater fish need to be acclimated to our aquarium's salinity,
yet can go right into either hyposaline (lowered salinity) or a
freshwater dip, the below should clarify that there is indeed a great
difference between the freshwater and saltwater world.
- These fish are hypotonic to their surroundings. This means their blood has a
higher water concentration than the surrounding sea water.
- As sea water passes through the mouth and over the gill membranes, water
molecules diffuse out of the blood into the sea water by osmosis.
- These fish must replace the water which they constantly lose by osmosis
- They can also only afford to produce a very small volume of urine.
- Drinking sea water brings a large quantity of salt into the blood and this
has to be removed.
- To replace the water they lose, saltwater fish drink sea water.
- To produce a small a volume of urine they must have a low rate of filtration
of water into the kidney tubules.
- This is done by having a kidney with relatively few small glomeruli.
- Salt is removed by chloride secretory cells in the gills, which actively
transport salts from the blood into the surrounding water.
- These fish are hypertonic to their surroundings. This means their blood has
a lower water concentration than the surrounding fresh water.
- As fresh water passes through the mouth and over the gill membranes, water
molecules diffuse from the fresh water into the blood by osmosis.
- These fish must produce a very large volume of urine to balance this large
intake of water.
- This large volume of urine carries salt with it, and the salt has to be
THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF LIVE FOODS
- To produce a large volume of urine the fish must remove a large volume of
water from the blood by having a high rate of filtration into the kidney
- This is done by having a kidney with many large glomeruli - capillary
networks from which fluid is filtered at the start of the kidney tubules.
- Salt replacement is solved by chloride secretory cells in the gills, which
actively transport salts from the surrounding water into the blood.
- PART TWO
- What better way to increase the health of your fish than by providing it will some very nutritional diets.
THE USE OF QUARANTINE TANKS
- This should be one of your first purchases and used for everything.
FISH CARE GUIDES
- Basic care information of some of the more popular fish families kept.
- Detalied care and feeding information on a great number of fish families.
WHAT FISH EAT
- A good article explaining the dietary needs of fish.
HOW TO CATCH / REMOVE A FISH
- There will come a time when you will have to do this.
Still not sure of what a specific species needs ? Ask Dr. Frank Marini
within his forum which is dedicated to the care and husbandry of marine fish.
PICTORIAL GUIDE TO FISH DISEASES
- Finding out what troubles your fish is half the battle, this link also includes treatment plans.
SPECIES SPECIFIC FORUM TOPICS
- Kelly Jedlicki's forum discussions concerning a wide range of problems specific to certain species.
Still having trouble identifying a disease or need more information ? Ask Kelly Jedlicki
within her forum, which is dedicated to the Disease, Heath and Wellness of marine fish.
overlooked as a pet, there are a number of eel species that can be kept
with suitably compatable fish. Other more large and aggressive species
will of course need an aquarium dedicated to them.
A LOOK AT FISH-SAFE EELS - A great article which will help in making your species selection.
EEL CARE PROFILES - Species specific pages concerning their care.