Showing posts with label ornamental fish culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ornamental fish culture. Show all posts

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 7: Seed Production - Factors to be Considered for Feeding - Species & Water Medium

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Besides the consideration of tank or pool size when rearing larvae, fry, or hatchling, the next item we should look into is feeding in the grow-up tank or pool. We will go through all these factors that will influence the feeding as listed below:

(1) Species
Before a fish egg becomes a fry, it have to go through different development stages of the body parts which consists of: (1) incubation period, (2) eye pigment, (3) mouth formation, (4) fins development, (5) digestion system. Different species have different body and egg sizes. Hence, feeding volume should take this into the consideration. For example, feeding an Arowana fry is totally different from Betta sp. fry as both species have different rate of growth development. An Arowana fry have bigger yolk-sac volume than a Betta sp. fry. Furthermore, ornamental fish values is based on its colours and patterns. Hence, diet that promotes good pigmentation in term of certain colours and patterns should be factored in as well.

(2) Water medium
This is something that we never thought off. Using "Green water" when feeding the fry after the yolk-sac have been used up. Basically "Green water" is just plain fresh with Chlorella sp. (micro-algae which have green pigment due to Chlorophyll) which can serve as initial and additional live food for fry and juvenile fish. This means Chlorella sp. cannot be used as the only feed and must combined with other live food sources like Rotifier sp., Artemia (Miona nauplii) for optimal growth (one of the research paper I've reviewed indicates this as well).  For normal rate of larval rearing, the density level should be 10×3-5 cells with water changes every 7 till 10 days (it was in the slides, not sure why so).

There are two ways to produce Chlorella sp., either naturally or in the lab. For the former method, just take and a bucket of water and put it under the natural sunlight or artificial fluorescent light (similar to green algae found in your aquarium tank). The aged water will slowly turn greenish and you will have your Chlorella sp. If you need pure Chlorella sp. without any contamination, you can culture it within a lab or facility as shown in the video below.




UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 7: Seed Production - Factors Influencing Larval Rearing

Seed production, not referring to plant, is the production and hatchery management of offspring (larvae, fry, or fingerling) of the fish. Constant supply of seed production (from the wild or hatchery production) ensures optimal production output. Seed production goes through these four stages: (1) broodstock husbandry, (2) spawning, (3) larvae rearing and weaning, and (4) nursery and grow-out. Item (1) and (2) have been discussed in previous topics, hence, our focus will be on third phase in larvae rearing, feeding, and weaning.

After spawning, depending on the type of fish species, hatchling should be either separated or kept together with the broodstocks. This is the first crucial factor that influences the size of the grow-up tank. Next, is the stocking density or how many juveniles within the tank? pH which will affect the growth needs to be considered. The type of food and feeding practices will also impact the area needed for growing. Tank size will determines the water changing volume and frequency. Larger tank size needs less frequent water changes, more so with gentle filtration. Lastly, what kind of rearing media will be used like aquatic plants or substrates.

Discussion about tank size have reminded me about how to calculate the tank water volume as shown in the video below.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 6: Ornamental Fish Breeding - Biotechnology Application

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Biotechnology application of genetic modification provides an alternative approach to selective breeding to combine different quality traits to increase production, improve aesthetic in term of colours and patterns, and enhance immunity against microbial infection. Biotechnology have been applied to control the sex of fishes (same sex populations), delay sexual maturity (delay aging and increase growth),  manage the reproduction cycle (gametogenesis and spawning), and genetic improvement (resistance to disease and stress).

While Genetically Modified fish (GM fish) for recreation purpose poses less risks than those for human consumption, regulation is still needed to ensure that there are no ecological concerns. However, GM fish which have larger growth and immunity, when introduced or escaped from fish farms to local native environment, may affect the native population. These fishes may end up as invasive species that causes negative effects.

One of the famous genetic modified ornamental fish is the Fluorescent Angelfish as shown in video below. Gimmicky as it seemed but still a subjective taste on this type of fish.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 6: Ornamental Fish Breeding - Selective Breeding

We're going to review back on why ornamental fish is one of the growing sector in the aquaculture in MY. Since the last few decades, due to its geographical location, MY is one of the largest exporter of ornamental fish of local and exotic species. The main producers are from the state of Johore (83%), Perak (14%), and remaining states of Selangor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, and Pahang (3%). Note that statistic are from the slide. These ornamental fish farms are mostly family-owned and more than 95% of fishes are for exporting. Therefore, if you want good quality fishes, buy directly from fish farms (only if they are willing to sell to consumer directly) instead of aquarium shop.

Fish with good quality and different varieties boost production of ornamental fish and economic gain in the aquaculture industry. Selective breeding is one of the technique through many generation of breedings to obtain the desired traits (morphology and colourization). This technique is based on the genetic manipulation of genotype (genetic makeup) to obtain quality phenotype (characteristics or traits). In other words, phenotype is the physical expression of genotype. The figure (Tave, Douglas. (1995). Selective breeding programmes for medium-sized fish farms.) below illustrates the relationship of selective breeding.


For something else more visually appealing of genetic tree, see the screenshot of Gene tree of Nishikigoi from International Nishikigoi Promotion Centre (INPC). This is a good example of showing how selective breeding works by breeder to obtain certain traits, in this case, colours and patterns.


There are several selective breeding categories which are:

(1) In-breeding.
This type of breeding is used to mass produce a stable quality traits of fishes like colours, patterns, and fins. Breeding is done through genetically close broodstock.

(2) Line-breeding
Similar to in-breeding but only selected traits of the ancestor or ancestors were targeted in breeding. Selected good traits of flaws were identified either to retain or remove in next generation. Such breeding method is very time consuming as the breeder needs to select and keep track of good fish population to continue the next breeding generation. Betta sp. are mostly breed using this method.

(3) Out-cross breeding
Use this method when you want to diversify the genetic of the fishes to reduce possible genetic anomalies and diseases.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 5: Ornamental Fish Breeding - Bubble­‐nest Builder & Mouth‐brooder

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Bubble-nest Builder
This species built bubble nest around shared area (plants or any plastic cover) as its spawning ground. The male and female fishes will mate and the male will collect fertilized eggs to the bubble nest and incubate these eggs. Famous species are Betta sp. (fighting fish) and Gourami sp.

Betta sp.
Omnivorous and insectivorous. Survive within temperature of 22 - 29°C and pH of 6-8. Male Betta is very territorial and needs to be separated to prevent fighting and injuries. Hence, if a Betta fish flare constantly even at its own image, then surely, the fish is a male. The whole breeding process is shown in video below.


Gourami sp.
Omnivorous. Survive within temperature of 22 - 30°C and pH of 6 - 8.5. Gourami are fash swimmer and less aggressive than Betta sp. Male Gourami have colourful long dorsal and anal fins compare to female. From the video below, Gourami builds bubble nest faster and bigger than Betta sp.


Mouth-brooder
Once mating done and the male fish fertilizes the eggs, the male or female (depend on type of fishes) will collect and incubate these eggs until it's hatched. Famous species are Arowana as shown in the video below.


For commercial farming, fries are harvested and raised artificially. Note that the breeder was scanning the fish for microchip for identification. Do you know one of the largest Arowana farm in MY, Nagamas Aquaculture was owned by Senheng, the electric appliance stores.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 5: Ornamental Fish Breeding - Eggs Scatterer & Eggs Depositor

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Eggs Scatterer
Eggs scatterer breed where female fishes (either one or in group) releases its eggs. While these eggs are falling, the male fish will spray its sperm (called milt) to fertilize these eggs. Aquatic substrates or plants needed to capture the eggs. Once spawning is done, the broodstock (in MY they call it "indux") should be removed from the breeding tank. Fish species that spawn in such way are: Goldfish, Koi, Barb, and Zebrafish.

Goldfish. As the video below shows, to identify the gender, the male Goldfish have white spot in pectoral fins (the fins after the fish head just like our ears). Also, the broodstock can be transferred to another breeding tank for another spawn.


In the slide, there is a male to female ratio of 1 female to two males when setting up the breeding tank. I'm not sure why so regarding this gender ratio when breeding. The second Goldfish breeding video use this gender ratio. Also, a larger tank and artificial net compare to previous method. It has been said and Goldfish breeds in the early morning (4am to 7am), I'm not sure how true is this as I've not read any scientific literature on this.


Koi. Similar to Goldfish but larger spawn and size. Hence, the breeding tend to be on a larger scale using artificial breeding or hand breeding method instead as shown in video below.


Off course, back to the natural breeding method. Still remember I kept asking about gender ratio of 2 males and 1 female? According to the video below, this will increase the fertility rate which increase hatch rate. High hatching rate will reduce fungus on eggs and improve water quality.


Eggs Depositor
Fishes within this breeding character comes in its chosen mate (pair for life) and have parental care of its fries until it reach juvenile. The broodstock will chose a substrate like grass, glass, or con to drop its eggs. Example of fishes are Discus and Angelfish (as shown in video below).


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 5: Ornamental Fish Breeding - Live Brearer

In fish breeding, the first step is to identify the male and female of the fish species. From there, only we can pick a pair to breed. Then we have to learn what type of breeding characteristic of the fishes we want to breed. Next, we need to setup the breeding tank and condition the pair of fish so it can mate and breeding in optimal environment condition.

The fish group we going to discuss is livebrearer. Popular livebrearer are Guppy, Mollies, Platy, and Swordtail.The mating and breeding characteristics are similar to mammals where the male uses its gonopodium (reproductive organ which looks like a special anal fin) to channel its sperm to the female's fertile eggs in its body. Upon successful mating, the embryo will stay in the female body until it reaches juvenile stage and the female will gave birth.

To breed Guppy, use 3 females and 2 males (not sure why this gender ratio was used, it's not mentioned in the slide). Put some aquatic plants and when the fry have grown into juvenile fish. These plants can served as additional diet, places to hide, and substrate. If the female Guppy have silver black colour on its stomach, that is an indicator that the female Guppy is going to give birth. The video below shows the step-by-step guide on breeding Guppy.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 4: Nutrition of Ornamental Fish - Vitamins & Carotenoids

Vitamins
Essential micronutrients (in small quantity) that are needed for growth, health, reproduction, and maintenance. As these elements cannot be synthesized or can only in insufficient quantity, these must be obtained from external fish diet. Type of vitamins depends on how it can be solubility either in water (Biotin, Choline, Folic Acid, or Niacin) or fat (Vitamin A, D, E, or K). Due to solubility, water-soluble vitamins leached within 30s after exposure.

Is Vitamin crucial for fish diet? Yes. One study shows that diet with ascorbic acid (25 mg/kg) for Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus) can prevent growth reduction and deforminitis (opercula and jaws deformities, haemorrhage in the eyes and fns, or lordosis). As this is taken from the slides, I can't the research paper that claimed this.

Carotenoids
Carotenoid is organic colour pigments that are produced by plants or algae. As fish cannot synthesize pigments, hence colouration for fish needs to be obtained through Carotenoids within the fish dietary. The photo below (Source: Manas K Maiti, Deepjyoti Bora, Nandeesha TL, S Sahoo, Adarsh BK and Sikendra Kumar (2017) Effect of dietary natural carotenoid sources on colour enhancement of Koi carp, Cyprinus carpio L.) shows that lacking of Carotenoid in fish diet will impact the colourization or pigmentation.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 4: Nutrition of Ornamental Fish - Carbohydrates and Minerals

Carbohydrates
Besides protein and lipids, carbohydrates is the third essential nutrients which provides a cheap energy source in fish diet.  Elements within a carbohydrates contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Carbohydrates can be grouped into three classes of: (1) Monosaccharides (simple sugar), (2) Oligosaccharides (groups of Monosaccharides), and (3) Polysaccharides (stashes).

Herbivorous (plant eating) fish digest carbohydrates differently. Koi and Goldfish uses bacterial (microflora) in its gut to digest complex carbohydrates. For examples, Goldfish have carbohydrates digestibility of 70% while Moonlight Gourami, 50%.

Minerals
This is another essential nutrient in fish diet to provide needed functionalities (tissue formation, metabolism, and regulation) in living organism. As minerals cannot be produced naturally by living organism, it's obtained from external sources. When a food or body is burnt, minerals are contained within the ashes. Two classes of minerals which are: (1) Macrominerals ,which are required in large quantity (Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium) and (2) Microminerals, needed in smaller quantity (Chromium, Cobalt, and Copper). As natural soluble minerals are found within the water environment, optimal minerals requirement in fish dietary proved to be difficult. However, numerous researches have done to find the baseline requirements. For example, the table below (Source: Sales, James & Janssens, Geert. (2003). Nutrient requirements of ornamental fish – A review) shows mineral requirements for popular ornamental fish species like Tiger barb and Guppy.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 4: Nutrition of Ornamental Fish - Protein and Amino Acids; Lipids and Fatty Acids

Protein and Amino Acids
Protein consists of one or more complex molecules consists of chains of amino acid. Elements within a amino acid contains of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Different proteins serves different purpose for any living cells like enzymes or antibody. Amino acids are divided into two categories of indispensable and dispensable. The former category cannot be synthesized and must be obtained externally from diet. The dispensable amino acids can be produced to enable the synthesis. Below are the list of amino acids within the two groups:

(1) Indispensable: Arginine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Trytophan, Valine
(2) Dispensable: Alanine, Asparagine, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Aspartic acid, Serine

Having the right protein source for ornamental fishes ensures optimum weight growth and gonadal (sex gland) maturity. However, protein metabolism also leads to ammonia residues which can pollute the aquarium water. The table below (Source: Sales, James & Janssens, Geert. (2003). Nutrient requirements of ornamental fish – A review) shows protein requirements for popular ornamental fish species.


What type of diet should be fed to obtain optimum feed conversion ratio and efficiency. The diet should be at least 45% protein and 6% lipid (more on this later) level. However, over feeding may lead to excessive nutrients which restrict protein intake and growth (this was written in the slide but not from any research literature). Soy bean (for example, tofu) could works as alternative protein source. Some Betta fish breeders we have talked to use tofu as main protein source instead of Dalphia or Blood worm.

Lipids and Fatty Acids
Lipid is a substance that is insoluble in water and an essential component in living cells. Several classes of lipid are fats (stored unused energy), oils, waxes, and phospholipids. Lipids provides energy and essential fatty acids as well as serves as structural components and carriers.

As fish survive in low temperature environment, it needs more long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), which have = >12 carbons to support its cell membrane flexibility. In general for freshwater fishes, two types of fatty acids are needed, either one or both. These are (1) Linoleic acid (18:2n-6) and (2) Linolenic acid (18:3n-3). Both can be found in most vegetable oils.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 4: Nutrition of Ornamental Fish - Live & Formulated Feed

One of the key issue faced by aquarist is finding good food source to feed the fishes. Food sources come in two ways, either natural (live feed) or processed (formulated feed). There are quite a lot of breeders that we have met sworn only by live food. For example, for Betta farms or breeders, all sworn by Daphnia as the only food source when starting and maintaining all their spawns.

Live feed consists of plankton, insect, snails, aquatic plants, feeder fishes, and others. Hence, depending on type of fishes, obtaining these food sources can be quite expensive. As fishes need different kinds of nutrients, using only one type of food source may leads to malnutrition. Furthermore, organic food sources may contains parasites or bacteria which can lead to wide spread infection or outbreak. However, live feed is crucial and irreplaceable for feeding hatched fries as these fries unable to identify immovable formulated feed as food source.

Formulated feed comes in many forms such as pellets, flakes, tablets and granular food, freeze-dried food, and vacation food. Looking at any ingredients at the back of packaging will give you the composition of the nutrients of the fish food. The main advantages of formulated feed are long shelf life, balanced nutrients, sterilization, and consistent availability. However, there are three issues. First, this feed type is not suitable food for fries on the first week after hatching. Second, most formulations is targeted for omnivorous (plants and animal diet) fish types. Third, leftover food, if not removed will contaminate the aquarium water and incur frequent water changes.

What is the criteria of perfect diet for fish then? There are five: (1) Water pollution, (2) Supply metabolic needs, (3) Reduce maintenance cost, (4) Improve nutrient digestibility, and (5) Maintain coloration. In other words, a mix of both live and formulated feed.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 3: Quality Characteristic Determination - Angelfish & Schooling Fish

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Discussion on quality characteristics for Angelfish and Schooling fish.

Angelfish. If you're are a beginner aquarist, there is nothing wrong to start with Angelfish or also known as Pterophyllum. Buy juvenile fishes as it's cheaper and they grow very fast. Furthermore, Angelfish is a good addition to your community tank.

On standard, there is one, a conformation (shape or structure) standard of Angelfish by the The Angelfish Society for hobbyists and breeders. The quality characteristics includes (1) Bodies, where round and slightly higher is preferred, no bump in head, appropriate eye to body ratio (2) Un-paired fins, regardless the length, needs to be straight, (3) Colours and patterns, stripes should run through the whole height of the body, (4) Size, bigger is better, (5) Deportment (behaviour), bold, alert, and active is a sign of good health.

For a list of different strains of Angelfish, see the video below.


Schooling fish, a group of fish that stay and swim together. Typical ornamental fishes are Tetra, Barb, Rasbora, and Minnow. As these species are rather on the smaller size, for example, Tetra, there isn't much individual aesthetic characteristics besides the usual sharp colours and symmetry body shapes and fins.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 3: Quality Characteristic Determination - Koi & Discus

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This post will delve into the acceptable standards for quality Koi and Discus fish. As I mentioned in my previous posts before, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you're a hobbyist, the first question you should ask yourself. Do you like the fish? Are you excited? If so, regardless the standards, go for what you like. A fish personalities or deportments is hard to gauge and subjective by person to person. Nevertheless, let's continue with our discussions.

Koi fish. Due to enormous varieties and rivalry between breeders around the world, it's quite hard to finalize on which is the best koi. However, there are some guidelines on quality koi which can be summarized into four characteristics: (1) Size where shape, volumes as well as fins are symmetry,  (2) Colours should be deep, intense, and uniform, (3) Patterns should be uniform, scale should be sharp, and not dirty marks, and (4) Presence as in personality and vitality.

The video below should gives us some clues on top notch quality Koi.


Discus fish or I like to call it pancake fish. It seemed we still don't have a good published standard even though there were many competitions held? The general consensus rules for good quality Discus are: (1) Overall impression, the wow factor. (2) Size of the fish on its proportion, the body shape is round and high, (2) Fins are long and extended, symmetry, and good proportion to the body (3) Colours are vivid and unique clear pattern and (4) Eyes size and colour as well as the proportion to the body size, and (4) Swimming pattern is steady. Below is the video on how juries judge Discus fish.


Examples are the show grade Discus at 2nd European Discus Championship as shown in video below.





UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 3: Quality Characteristic Determination - Goldfish

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As mentioned in previous post, standard for any fish species serves two main purposes. First, it's used as guidelines for any competitions. Second, it guides breeder to select the best pair of fishes with desired characteristics for breeding project. For Goldfish, there exists three competing or complementary standards (there should be more from China and Japan):

(1) American Goldfish Association (AGA) Goldfish Standards, Revised 2009.
(2) Nationwide Goldfish Societies UK, Revised 2016.
(3) Federation of British Aquatic Societies (FBAS), Eleventh Edition, 2002.

Something about breeders, competitions, and standards. Breeders are the most passionate type of people around and there are always conflicts and politics on standards. Case in point, the incident that leads to the two standards existed in UK.

To identify good quality Goldfish, first we need to understand the anatomy of this species as shown in picture below (Source: AGA Goldfish Standards, 2009). First morphology is different from species, Goldfish is definitely have more mutations than other ornamental fishes. The Goldfish varieties is determined by three characteristics of existence of dorsal fin, tail type, and special growth.


According to Nationwide Goldfish Societies UK's judging standard, points are given based on these five categories of body, colour, finnage, special characteristics, and condition and deportment. The last category (deportment) required special training from breeder, where how the fish swim and react to external stimuli. 

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 3: Quality Characteristic Determination

For a hobbyist and consumer, understanding this topic enables you, being an educated consumer to to get your money worth by buying good quality ornamental fishes. For a breeder, knowing what quality characteristics is essential to follow the breeding standard and select the right pair of fishes for your next generation breeding projects.

Evaluation of a good quality fish is based on three main criterias: body shape, colour pattern, and fins. Although there is saying of "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", judging standards do exists to set the baseline of identifying and judging aesthetic characteristics of any ornamental fishes in competition. For example, characteristics of show grade Betta fish (Betta Splendens) has been standardize by governing standards of International Betta Congress (IBC).

What do we look for for good quality fish? First, analysis of the unique form and structure or morphology of fishes. These includes (1) Balancing in term of colours, fins, and scale, and (2) Ratio in terms of fins, scale, and body. Secondly, unique swimming pattern. For example, Betta fish fins flaring when defending its territory. To understand this, we need to learn and identify each part of the external anatomy of a fish shown below. (Source: Wikipedia)


These numbers in the picture above are: (1) Operculum (gill cover), (2) Lateral line, (3) Dorsal fin, (4) Adipose fin, (5) Caudal peduncle, (6) Caudal fin, (7) Anal fin, (8) Photophores, (9) Pelvic fins (paired), and (10) Pectoral fins (paired). Not all fishes share the same anatomy. Diversity in fish morphology is due to adaption of its environment or selective breeding. For example, Ranchu (a type of Goldfish) does not have dorsal fin.

How can we develop good "taste" for quality aesthetic fish? Nothing but keen observation and practice. For a start, if you're around any aquarium shops or fish market, try to name each part of the fish anatomy. See if you can name them all. Next, go to any competitions or look for any show grade fishes, compare with the judging guidelines and learn to grade each fish.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 2: Biology of Ornamental Fish - Goldfish

Continue from previous post and the last series of topic 2 installment.

The Goldfish is one of the most common fishes kept as pet. There are so many species and varieties, which one should you pick? Personal recommendation is go for Shubunkins.

Goldfish Species
Ryukin. Key characteristic is a hump in the shoulder area (top).


Liaohead. Key characteristic is large hood or "wen" but without dorsal fins as compare to Oranda.


Oranda. Key characteristic is bubble-like hood called "wen" that needs trimming if needed.


Celestial Eye. Key characteristic is telescope eyes that turned upwards. I'm not sure we've seen this in any aquarium stores. I'm not sure why this deformation and popularized.



Shubunkin. Key characteristic is single-tailed and pattern known as "calico". Due to its similarity to Koi fish, people may mistaken it for Koi. If you like to keep Goldfish as pet, this species would be a better choice. At least, the species looks like a normal fish instead of mutated bloated fish.


Pompon. Key characteristic is it has nascal outgrowth, similar to Lionhead or Oranda. Unfortunately, we never see one before in any aquarium shops. Perhaps we miss it.


Bubble eye. Key characteristic is two large fluid-filled sacs. Similar eyes to Celestial Eye but with large sacs. We're wondering why this Goldfish ever been popular in the first place. For us, this is a worst deformation and such species shouldn't been breed in the first place.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 2: Biology of Ornamental Fish - Primitive/Jurassic Fishes

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Below are the list of ornamental fish which have primitive or jurassic looks.

Arowana. These sought after species which are found in local aquarium shops are typical from the species of Asian Arowana. Arowana in general are surface feeder, aggressive, mouth breeders, and excellent jumper.



Arapaima. Considered the largest tropical fish in Amazon river. Similar to Arowana but much bigger and uglier. Definitely have the primitive or jurassic looks and aggressiveness. We have been to quite a few aquarium shops but can't recall we've seen any of this species.



Peter’s Elephantnose. One of the weirdest looking fish, looking like an angry penguin. We only saw this once in the aquarium shop, can't recall which shop. Some hobbyist put this together with Arowana just to "spice up" the tank.


Butterflyfish. This is referring to African Butterflyfish, Pantodon buchholzi. As the name implies, the fish have a pair of butterfly-like fins even though it's quite ugly. Never seen this in any local fish stores.


Knife fish. Body shaped like knife and I remembered I even caught one when I was young. The local aquarium shops carry a few species like Black and Clown. If you like fish with odd shape, then this should be your choice.


Gar. Like a thinner version of Araipaima and the fish version of aligator. Not sure we have seen this here locally.


Bichir. Looks like a dragon or reptile in the water. We're not sure why this fish was ever considered as pet? Saw quite a few before but not really appealing as the boring brownish colour and less majestic compare to other fishes.


Sturgeon. The species we're discussing here is Acipenser. This is probably the most mean looking predator fish of the list. Is like the fish is wearing an armor. Never see this in any aquarium shops here.


Paddlefish. Another fish that should be in pond instead of aquarium. Looks like a paddle stuck to the front of the fish. Definitely looks like a primitive fish.


Lungfish. A fish that can hibernate for a few years. Not sure this is a suitable aquarium fish.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 2: Biology of Ornamental Fish - Famous Species

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Famous Species
These are common ornamental fishes found in most large aquarium shops. Not all aquarium shops (these are really just pet shop) will carry these fishes.

(1) The Tetra. One of the most popular fish in aquarium shop. Small size with bright colours, predominately red. The Neon Tetra and Cardinal Tetra are the popular beginner fish for those who are ventures into aquascape. Also, a good fish to put into the community tank. As Tetra is egg-scatter, it's easy to breed a large spawn of Tetras. Hence, most of these fishes were sold at around MYR1 till MYR2. We have kept a few for our self for quite a few months before the outbreak of the tank due to lack of maintenance.


(2) The Barbs. Body size is larger than Tetra. The species is aggressive, active, and fast swimmer. If you like to observer a a group of fast swimming fish during feeding time, the Barb is the right fish for your. Colour-wise, mostly gold and silver with some black and red highlight. Similarly, is a egg-scatter, hence prices for Barbs are roughly less than MYR10, depends on species. We have a few Rosy Barb before but need to feed it well to retain the colour and not really a good fish for community tank.


(3) The Catfish. Not what we consider as pretty and colourful fish. Mostly are blackish and brownish in colour. Larger one are treated as good protein food source. Interesting aspect of this type of fish is it has no scale with bony plates and barbells. As these are bottom feeder, most fishkeeper put a few smaller size Catfish such as Corydoras to clean up the aquarium. The local here like to call it DBKL (our local city hall which involved with clean up with city). Price wise, roughly less than MYR15. We've a few before but I can't remember the exact species we have.


Loaches. Bottom feeder, active, and fast swimmer. Not a popular fish in local aquarium shops, only saw a few Clown Loaches.


Livebearers. As the name suggested, these fishes carry its fry within the body. Mostly are Guppies, Mollies, Platies, and Swordtails. Another common and cheap pricing fishes in aquarium shop. Guppies are way more popular compares to other livebearers. We have all these before but not really our type of fishes. Except maybe Guppies, the others are surely lacking in aesthetic, from our point of view.


The Cichlids. These includes Angel, Discus, Parrots, Ramirezi, and Cichlids (African Cichlids). The last one is aggressive and not a good tank mates. We always mistaken African Cichlids as saltwater fishes instead due to it similarity in term of colours. These are mouth-breeder, which you can't get a big spawn. Hence, pricing is higher compare to other fishes.


The Labyrinth. Basically an air-breathing fishes. Immersely popular fishes in every aquarium shop. You will surely find at least one species, especially Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) and Gourami (Dwarf Gourami). Pricing wise, Gourami (less than MYR2) is way cheaper than Betta (MYR 3 till MYR 70). We have quite a few of these in our community tank. Have to be quite careful not to overfeed as a few succumbed to Dropsy.


Crayfish. This is just large freshwater shrimp. Saw quite a few aquarium shops carried this type of fishes. Invasive species and not supposed to be throw into your local rivers. Depending on size, not a good tank mates for other fishes. We were thinking about adding a few crayfishes (as our bottom feeder) to our community tank but gave up that idea as this can be easily replaced by Ghost Shrimp, which was way way cheaper.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 2: Biology of Ornamental Fish - Body Profiles and Spawning Behaviours

The main purpose of the topic is the categorization of ornamental fish based on its biological aspect in term of body profile and fish spawning behaviour.

Body Profiles
(1) Normal shape.
(2) Torpedo shape.
(3) Club shape.
(4) Hatchet shape.
(5) Worm shape.
(6) Disc shape.
(7) Spindle shape.
(8) Boat shape.

Spawning Behaviours
(1) Bubble-nest builder. These type of fishes build a bubble nest using leaves or any floating fragments like plastic bag and artificial nylon line (I believe is those that used for fruit wrapping). The pair of fishes mated and fertilized eggs are collected into the bubble nest. Known species are Betta and Gourami.


(2) Egg-scatterer. Spawning occurred either in pair or in group. Lots of eggs will be produced during mating and female fishes will scatter eggs to substrate, plants, artificial nets, or just float around. Depending of fish types, eggs are either adhesive (sticky and stick to plants) or non-adhesive. Once spawning is done, the parent fishes will not look after the eggs and will eat the eggs if possible. Known species are Danios, Rasbora, Barb, Cyprinus, Tetras, Koi, and Goldfish.


(3) Egg-burier. This species lay eggs in the mud or sand. Hatching can be postponed due to dry season and reactivated back one there is water. In other words, you can buy these eggs and hatch it later. Known species are Pearlfish and Killifish.


(4) Egg-depositor. This species deposits its eggs in quiet and safe places like wood, plants, glass, rocks, PVC pipes, and rubber cones tower. Known species are Angle, Discus, Clownfish, and Damsel fish.


(5) Live-bearer. Breed like mammals where the female fish carried the juvenile fishes in its stomach and give birth when ready. Known species are Swordtail, Molly, Guppy, Platy, Four-eye, and Piketop fish.


(6) Mouth-brooder. The male or female collects fertilized eggs into its mouth for incubation. Known species are Cichlid and Arowana.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 1: Popular Tropical Fishes

Further elaboration on previous post.

Below are the list of popular tropical fishes grouped by family. I've created a separate blog post to further elaborate more details on each group of fishes. Since there is no source on how this information was collected and tabled, I assumed it's from Department Fishery of Malaysia. Googling around, I've found two large fish farms, Sanwa (SW) and Qian Hu (QH) in Malaysia and did a comparison of types of tropical ornamental fishes provided by these fish farms against the original list (OL) in the slide. Based on my initial comparison, it seemed the OL is not comprehensive and some fishes were put into the wrong category instead.

Cyprinids
OL: Barb, Danio, Goldfish, Koi, Sharks, Rasbora
SW: Algae Eater (3), Barb (30), Danio (24), Goldfish (30), Koi (10), Loaches (34), Rasbora (21)
QH: Algae Eater (5), Barb (43), Danio (26), Goldfish (45), Koi (9), Loaches (26), Sharks (7), Rasbora (25)

I'm not sure why both Goldfish and Koi was put into "cold water" category in their catalogues.

Cobitids / Cobitidae
OL: Loaches, Botia, Ghost Fish
SW: Loaches (0), Botia (0), Ghost Fish (0)
QH: Loaches (0), Botia (0), Ghost Fish (0)

Loaches can be categorized into other families. Both farms don't carry this family of fishes.

Cypinodontidss / Cyprinodontidae
OL: Kili , Asst. Fish, Pleacotomus, Betta, Flying Fox, Blood Parrot
SW: Kili (0), Asst. Fish (0), Pleacotomus (0), Betta (0), Flying Fox (0), Blood Parrot (0)
QH: Kili (0), Asst. Fish (0), Pleacotomus (0), Betta (0), Flying Fox (0), Blood Parrot (0)

I believe the list is wrong. Betta and Blood Parrot shouldn't be put here.

Anabantids
OL: Pelaga, Gouramy, Corydoras
SW: Pelaga (8), Gouramy (42), Corydoras (0)
QH: Pelaga (19), Gouramy (42), Corydoras (0)

Again, Corydoras shouldn't be under the family here. Pelaga is Malay name for Betta fish.

Poecilids
OL: Molly, Guppy, Planty, Swordtail, Mino
SW: Molly (8), Guppy (14), Platy (15), Swordtail (11), Mino (0)
QH: Molly (105), Guppy (39), Platy (100), Swordtail (47), Mino (0)

I'm surprised that QH have so many species of Molly, Platy, and Swordtail.

Characins
OL: Tetra, Silverdollar, Putter Fish
SW: Tetra (48), Silverdollar (0) Putter Fish (0)
QH: Tetra (58), Silverdollar (0), Putter Fish (0)

Tetra is the most popular fish here. You can find it in all aquarium shop. I suspected that "Putter Fish" is actually "Puffer Fish".

Cichlids
OL: Angel, Oscar, Discus, Chichlid, Ramaresi
SW: Angel (20), Oscar (0), Discus (24), Chichlid (96), Ramaresi (12)
QH: Angel (38), Oscar (5), Discus (23), Chichlid (61), Ramaresi (0), Blood Parrot (12)

Osteoglossids
OL: Pearl, Arowana, Black Arowana, Silver Arowana, Rainbow Fish
SW: Pearl, Arowana (14), Black Arowana (0), Silver Arowana (0), Rainbow Fish (0)
QH: Pearl, Arowana (14), Black Arowana (0), Silver Arowana (0), Rainbow Fish (0)

Callchthyids / Callichthyidae
OL: Catfish, Suler Mouth
SW: Catfish (36), Suler Mouth (0)
QH: Catfish (0), Suler Mouth (0)