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Ornamental freshwater aquarium

Aquatic pets have either freshwater or marine origins. Some species tolerate brackish (low saline) water. Freshwater ornamental species may have tropical or coldwater origins. Tropical specimens must be kept in a warm heated ornamental aquarium. For the fishkeeper, a typical tropical tank has heating arrangements and plantations. Cichlids, bettas, tetras, angelfish, loaches, guppies, barbs, mollies, platys and swordtails can be kept in a tropical aquarium.

Coldwater species like goldfish, koi and White Cloud Mountain minnows, can withstand room temperature in temperate zones and are quite comfortable at around 60°F (15°C). Ornamental koi can even be kept in an outdoor pond and can stand temperatures down to 10°C.

Marine (saltwater) aquarium

Most of the saltwater species of ornamental fish are of tropical origins. The marine ornamental aquarium may hold, fish only or in combination with live rock. There are tanks dedicated to reef environment. To have a successful marine aquarium tank, stringent water quality monitoring is a must. Reef tanks are primarily designed to house corals and other invertebrates. Acclimation is very important for saltwater species. The salinity at the stores and in the tank in the home may vary widely. The ornamental fish must be slowly acclimatized to the aquarium tank.

Fish bowls

Fish bowls are available in many sizes and fancy shapes. Though small specimens like feeder guppies can do well in a small half gallon bowl, as an act of kindness to the pets, I recommend a two gallon bowl for keeping your aquatic pet. Please note that the governments of two Italian cities, Monza and Rome have banned the use of round goldfish bowls. If you want to keep goldfish bowls check up with your local lawmakers. Do not keep goldfish in a bowl. It is too small a place for a fast growing variety. Ornamental aquarium guppies, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, bettas, barbs, mollies, platys and ghost shrimps are ideal pets for keeping in bowls.

Fish tank aquariums

Ornamental pet tanks are usually made from glass or high-strength acrylic plastic. An acrylic tank is crack-resistant, light in weight, stronger than glass and available in different shapes. They are manufactured in various sizes and shapes. Sizes may vary from a small 80 liter tank to huge public aquarium. Though the general shape is cuboid, ornamental aquarium tanks with hexagonal shape, L-shape, bow-front and circular shape are also available.

Ornamental aquarium equipment

The basic requirements for fishkeeping, apart from the tank, are a filtration system, an artificial lighting system, and a heater or chiller. Usually a stand is required for placing the ornamental tank. Containers for holding aged water for water exchange are also needed. Appropriate gravel is required, taking the size of the pet and habits of the pets into consideration. A standby power generator may also be required. A kit to analyze aquarium water quality is a must.

Ornamental aquarium fish food

Prepared foods in the form of flakes, pellets or tablets are used to feed the pets. Aquarium food blocks are available, which release the feed slowly over considerable time. Ready made medicated feed is given when the pets are diseased. Frozen food, dried food and live food are also available and are given to enhance the color of the specimen as well as to take care of protein requirements.

Aquarium fish diseases

Aquatic medicine is fast emerging as an important speciality within the practice of veterinary medicine. The ornamental aquatic pets are becoming highly prone to diseases. In wild specimens the genetic diversity is maintained and enhanced by natural cross breeding. However the habitats have become highly polluted and the wild ornamental aquarium specimens are already under stress and easily contract infections and diseases.



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