Category Archives: Fish Facts

Angelfish are among the more versatile aquarium fish.

admin    June 18, 2019   CATEGORY: Fish Facts

What are the Differences Between Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish?

On the surface, the differences between freshwater fish and saltwater fish are obvious: one lives in saltwater and the other lives in freshwater.  If you delve deeper into the issue, however, you’ll see there are actually several less apparent differences based on the biology and history of the fish.

In fact, you could say the two different types of fish are from different worlds.

The Main Differences Between Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish

Let’s start with some basic definitions. Saltwater typically refers to water found in oceans and seas, and freshwater is found in lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. Freshwater only accounts for less than 3 percent of all the water on earth, but ironically, freshwater fish make up almost half of all fish species.

The differences between freshwater fish and saltwater fish include the idea that freshwater fish are more resilient.

Gourami fish are among the more popular fish for freshwater aquariums.

The way fish take in and eliminate water is perhaps the most significant difference between saltwater and freshwater fish. Fishes’ natural biological functions compensate for the environment in which they live in order to survive.

Both types of fish need salt in order to survive, but the way their bodies function is actually the opposite of what one may expect.

A saltwater fish’s body contains less salt than the water around it. In order to prevent dehydration, it takes in a large amount of water and secretes the salt through its gills. In other words, it’s saltwater in and salt out on a regular basis. Saltwater fish produce very little urine in order to hold onto the now more pure water created through this elimination of excess salt.

A freshwater fish, on the other hand, does hold onto the salt in its body because there isn’t as much of it in its environment. It takes water in through its skin and gills all the time in order to stay healthy. As a result, it produces much more urine than saltwater fish.

Other Notable Differences

There are many differences between freshwater fish and saltwater fish, like this black, gold, and white dotted clown triggerfish.

Saltwater fish, like this Clown Triggerfish, tend to be more colorful than freshwater fish.

  • Because the bodies of water that freshwater live in are smaller than oceans and seas, the body of water itself changes over time. As a result, freshwater fish may be tougher and can adapt to their environments easier than saltwater fish do. Saltwater fish that live in abundance of space are accustomed to a more stable lifestyle. As a result, taking care of saltwater fish in an aquarium may be a little more challenging.
  • Freshwater fish can be coldwater fish or tropical fish, while saltwater fish are almost all coldwater fish, which means they are comfortable in slightly cooler water.
  • Saltwater fish tend to be more colorful and diverse in their appearance as a result of how they live and behave in their natural habitat in the ocean or sea.
  • A few types of fish and other animals can live in either saltwater or freshwater, although it’s not common.

Brackish Fish

Scat fish are among the most common brackish fish.

Scat fish are among the most common brackish fish.

Some types of fish live in brackish water, which is where freshwater meets saltwater and where rivers flow into oceans. There isn’t a big selection of these fish, called brackish fish, in the aquarium hobby, although some hobbyists do keep brackish tanks.

Breeds of brackish fish include drum fish, tigerfish, Asian cichlids, halfbeak fish, flagfish, and scats.

TAGS: Brackish Fish, freshwater fish, saltwater fish,

The cherry-like lump on the head of a flowerhorn fish is called a nuchal hump, or kok.

admin    March 31, 2019   CATEGORY: Fish Facts

Flowerhorn Fish: All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

If you look at flowerhorn fish at just the right angle, it looks like they’re wearing elegant hats for a black-tie affair from a different era. The look rather suits them.

You might also see a chef’s hat, so perhaps it’s its way of disguising itself as everyone’s favorite cook to keep from being eaten alive.

Others think more of a flower with a beautiful round blossom on top. Yet others see a horn like you’d see on a child’s bicycle.

Any way you look at it, these cichlids are clearly some of the most unusual looking pet fish around.

All About the Flowerhorn Fish

The lump on top of a flowerhorn fish is called a nuchal hump or kok.We would call its uniqueness beautiful, but we don’t want to give it a big head.

Ah, sorry … we couldn’t resist one more bad dad joke. We’ll stop now and just tell you what you want to know about these bubbly fish.

  • They’re not completely natural. They’re manmade hybrid fish.
  • The cherry-like lump on their heads is called a nuchal hump.
  • You can get one for a reasonable price of $10 or so, but some can be hundreds or thousands of dollars.
  • Flowerhorn fish can be very aggressive, so they need their own tank. In fact, even plants can’t live with them. If you do add plants to the tank, make sure they’re minimal. Artificial plants may be a better option in this case, and man-made filters will help keep the tank clean.
  • They grow to about 8 inches long.
  • Keep the temperature in the tank at about 82 degrees. A neutral pH level of 7 is recommended.
  • Common varieties are Golden Base, King Kong Parrots, Kamfa, IndoMalau, Zhen Zhu, and Thai Silk flowerhorn fish.
  • A flowerhorn fish, which is a hybrid fish, is known for its big mouth and big head.While they hold the crown with hobbyists, other fish think they’re the pits. When released into the wild, some flowerhorns are considered invasive species to the native environments.
  • Flowerhorn fish have only existed for about three decades.
  • With proper TLC, they can live for about 11 years.
  • Although they’re aggressive, they tend to have lively personalities. They may even bond with you once they get to know you.
  • The nuchal hump regularly expands and shrinks.
  • Also called a kok, the lump looks like a big brain, but it actually consists of fat and a gelatinous structure. Therefore, it can be damaged or torn easily, which may explain why they prefer to be alone.

See our blog page to learn more about different fish characteristics, aquarium maintenance, and more.


TAGS: Aquarium Living, Fish Facts, Flowerhorn Fish, Golden Base, Kamfa, King Kong Parrots, Nuchal Hump, Thai Silk,