Freshwater Tropical Fish Species From All Around the World
Due to the consistent popularity of having an aquarium in homes, businesses, and workplaces, literally thousands of species of tropical fish are available at many local pet shops. Live fish are captured in nearly every country worldwide and are sold locally and abroad to hobbyists, aquarists, breeders, and even researchers. Owning a fish tank has been a popular hobby for decades because of the fascinating nature of each and every breed that exists, whether they are wild-caught or bred specifically for aquarium displays.
Thanks to this popular demand and also to the diligence of breeders and collectors around the world, we as enthusiasts have access to an infinite amount of common and rare species of tropical fish at many private and chain-operated pet stores. Some animal activists believe that the aquarium hobby has created a market demand that could be the demise of many unique fish species. To ensure the survival of some of these rare species, always obtain aquarium fish from suppliers that breed their supplies and do not rely on the harvesting of wild-caught fish. However, it is still necessary to collect wild species so we can learn how to properly reproduce them and guarantee their survival.
Listed below are the major categories of tropical fish that are common to the hobby. Each group is described by its most common characteristics. Please note that these traits are not always particular to every member of the group, and some of the most passive tropical fish families can have very aggressive close relatives. Always consult with your local aquarium shop pros when selecting tankmates for your tank.
Cichlids from Africa are very popular with both beginner and experienced aquarists due to their infinite variety of colors, their active personalities, and their hardiness. Three main freshwater lakes in East Africa are the origin of most species from this country. These lakes include Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi, and Lake Tanganyika which are 3 rift lakes that were formed millions of years ago when a part of the Indian Ocean was enclosed by land during the prehistoric shifting of the continents. This salty water eventually was diluted by years of rainwater and drainage, forming these 3 very alkaline lakes. The fish that resided in them evolved into a species of tropical fish ranging from the timidest to some of the most aggressive in the hobby.
The colors of the fish in this category cover every spectrum of visible light, from deep blue violets all the way through to bright yellows and whites. These intelligent aquarium fish are usually mid-strata feeders and predators, but can also be the most passive vegetarians. African cichlids usually range in size from 1/2 inch to over 10 inches long depending on the exact species.
American Cichlids (North and South)
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