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Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)

The Basking Shark or Cetorhinus maximus is a massive creature that can grow to 12 meters or 40ft. This is the second largest shark in the ocean only to the Whale Shark, which can grow to almost twice this size! Basking sharks are found in all of the world's oceans and lucky for us and a lot of other fish in the ocean, they are quite harmless. They are filter feeders that simply swim around slowly with their mouths open filtering zooplankton, small fish and invertebrates into meals. To check out this massive shark in action watch the video below...

Often confused with the Great White Shark, the Basking Shark has a much larger jaw that can be a full meter in length when open. Basking Sharks also have smaller teeth and smaller eyes than the Great White. These sharks will often be scarred with the marks of a Cookiecutter Shark which will literally cut out pieces of this massive saltwater shark.Also known as the Bone shark or Elephant Shark, they are often seen in schools of 4 or more and are though to move into deeper waters in the winter months. They are not at all scared of humans or boats so this docile nature makes them an easy catch for commercial fisherman who use their large livers for oil and flesh for food.

If you have any other information about the Basking Shark that you would like to share please leave it below in the comments...

Panther Grouper (Cromileptes altivelis)

The Panther Grouper or Cromileptes altivelis is a large saltwater fish that should only be kept in an aquarium of 300 gallons or more. Growing to almost 2' long these Grouper are also called the Polka Dot Grouper because of the black polka dots that cover their bodies. In the wild the Panther Grouper uses its unique coloration to blend into the reefs and confuse potential predator like sharks.

These saltwater fish are carnivores that will pretty much eat any fish they can fit into their mouths. Watch out if you are thinking of keeping them with smaller fit, you might come up with a few missing. In an aquarium setting they can be fed feeder fish, small squid, krill and prawns. Water conditions of 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 and sg 1.021-1.023 are perfectly acceptable.Panther Groupers are notoriously hardy and can have an extended life time in which they grow rather quickly in the beginning. They are also quite social with their owners and have a funny way of swimming. This makes them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts that have a large enough aquarium to house such a fish. To check out the Panther Grouper in action have a look at this video...

Striped Squirrelfish (Sargocentron xantherythrum)

The Striped Squirrelfish or Sargocentron xantherythrum is commonly found in Hawaii where it is simply known as the Hawaiian Squirrelfish. This saltwater fish has a striking red coloration with white stripes along its body. While the Striped Squirrelfish is quite common to see while scuba diving, they are often kept in an aquarium as well. Reaching about 7" in maximum length, an aquarium of 80 gallons or more with plenty of live rock and hiding places is highly recommended. Water conditions of 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, and sg 1.020-1.025 are acceptable.

The Striped Squirrelfish has very sharp gill spines and rougher than normal scales that can cause this fish to get snagged in netting materials. Handle with care as you can easily cut yourself. Don't worry too much though, they are not venomous, but they can cause some serious discomfort. If you have a Striped Squirrelfish as an aquatic pet already you may notice that they tend to hide when the lights are turned on, this is because they are a nocturnal fish that is much more active at night. These fish are carnivore that will eat worms, crustaceans and starfish in the wild, but in an aquarium they can be fed live and freeze dried shrimp as will as other meaty foods. Striped Squirelfish can be kept in multiples and with other non aggressive saltwater fish if you have a large enough aquarium.  You can check out the Hawaiian Squirrelfish in the video below.

Silver Shark (Balantiocheilus melanopterus)

The Silver Shark or Balantiocheilus melanopterus is actually not a shark at all, but gets it name from long body shape and long fins that resemble that of a shark. They are often kept as aquatic pets in an aquarium. Although not considered to be a very aggressive "shark" they are quite active and their striking silver bodies make them fun to watch.Also known as the Bala Shark, Shark Minnow and Tricolor Shark they can grow to about 1-1/2' in length so an aquarium of at least 80 gallons with a lid is highly recommended.  Don't worry too much about the size of your aquarium though in the beginning, because the Silver Shark is not the quickest grower. Water conditions of 72-79° F, KH 10-15, and a PH level of 6.5-7.5 are acceptable. You can check out the Bala Shark in action in the video below...

The Silver Shark can be kept in a school of 3 or more and should be provided with plenty of vegetation and hiding spots. These freshwater fish can be fed bloodworms, tubifex, and even flake food.

Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)

The Black Crappie or Pomoxis nigromaculatus is a common freshwater fish found in all of the 48 lower states. Its body is small with an arched back, with a similar shape to that of the Bluegill and Rock Bass. The Black Crappie can be a silvery-green to a yellowish color with many black spots on the sides of its body and fins. They are very similar to their close relative the White Crappie, but can be differentiated by counting the dorsal spines. Black Crappie have 7 or 8 dorsal spines with the White Crappie only having 5 or 6.

Also known as the Speckled Perch, Calico Bass and the Papermouth, the Black Crappie can live to about 15 years but most only reaching about 7 years old. The largest Black Crappie ever caught was in Louisiana and weighed in at an impressive 6lbs!If you are fishing for Black Crappie you can find them in clear ponds, lakes and the occasional some slow moving river. The Black Crappie will feed on insects when smaller, but will start to feed on small fish once they become mature. To catch these edible freshwater fish you can use a small jig, spoons, spinners, flies and of course, the trusty minnow. One trick to consider is to place fish hides or hurdles which consist of Christmas trees and other woody debris. This is said to attract the Black Crappie.  You can check out the Black Crappie and some other amazing fish in the video below from Lake Powell.
Once caught, these freshwater fish are considered to be one of the tastiest panfish in The United States! If you have a Black Crappie recipe or a fishing tip that you would like to share please do so in the comments below.

Fu Manchu Lionfish (Dendrochirus biocellatus)

The Fu Manchu Lionfish or Dendrochirus biocellatus has without a doubt one of the coolest names of any saltwater fish in the world. They get their name from the two strange tentacle-like protrusions that come out just above their mouths and look like, you guessed it, a Fu Manchu! Many people speculate that these barbels are actually used as lures to bring their prey close enough to strike.  You can check out a Fu Manchu Lionfish on the prowl in the video below.

Also known as the Twinspot Lionfish and the Ocellated Lionfish they are quite striking with white, black and red stripes along their bodies. Like most Lionfish, they have fan-like pectoral fins with porcupine-like quills for dorsal fins. Be extremely careful as these "quills" are venomous, and can cause a VERY painful reaction.Often kept as aquatic pets, the Fu Manchu Lionfish needs an aquarium of 40 gallons or more with plenty of places to hide. In the wild these saltwater fish are found at depths of up to 130' but are also commonly seen around reefs and in lagoons. They are nocturnal and actually spend most of their days hanging upside down waiting for the cover of darkness to feed. Growing to about 4" in maximum length in an aquarium setting the Fu Manchu Lionfish are carnivores that should be fed meaty meals such as live shrimp and feeder fish. Water condition of 72-78° F, pH 8.1-8.4 and sg 1.020-1.025 are acceptable. Do not keep these the Fu Manchu Lionfish with Triggerfish as they will compete too ferociously for food sources.

Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)

The Cobia or Rachycentron canadum is a saltwater fish that is found from the Gulf of Mexico, to as far up the coast as Maryland in the summer months. They are known by many different names including the Black Salmon, Ling, Lemonfish, Crabeaters, Aruan Tasek and the Black Kingfish.

Cobia are a very popular kind of sporting fish, especially in Florida where they make their yearly appearances around March. They are known for their tenacious fight and large stature. Growing to about 6' (2m) in maximum length, these saltwater monsters can weigh over 150lbs (68kg)! If you are planning on catching one of these Cobia or Ling fish make sure you have the proper equipment, as these fish tend to make many runs and can truly test the endurance of even the most experienced fisherman.Cobia fish have long, smooth bodies with two dark brown bands down their sides. They have flat heads with a protruding lower jaw. Their bodies are dark brown with a lighter underbelly. Cobia are distinguished from other fish by the fact that the dorsal fin is composed of 7 to 9 spines that are not connected by a membrane giving them almost a prehistoric look. You can check out the Cobia in action below in the video...

Cobia are said to be one of the finest tasting fish in the ocean. They can be caught by bottom fishing or trolling with a bright jig. Live baits for bottom fishing can including eels, pinfish, and even crabs. They can often be found in shallow waters around piers, wrecks. Watch out once you get this fish into the boat the fight can just be beginning. Cobia really have a never say die attitude and can injure fisherman or even boats with their thrashing.

If you have a fishing tip or recipe for the Cobia that you would like to share please leave it in the comments below...

Jeweled Goby Cichlid (Tanganicodus irsacae)

The Jeweled Goby Cichlid or Tanganicodus irsacae is a very easy to care for aquatic pet. This combined with the fact that they have a unique body that is covered with blue spots,  along with a few stripes makes them a perfect starter fish for a freshwater aquarium. The eyes on this fish are large, and set towards the top of their head giving them a "cute" appearance. They have a smaller than normal swim bladder which makes them have a funny way of swimming. Very fun to watch!

Also known as the Spotfin Goby Cichlid, this is just one of the many species of Cichlid that comes from a place in Africa called Lake Tanganyika. Kept in an aquarium of 40 gallons or more the Jeweled Goby Cichlid should bring given many hiding places, especially if they are kept with other fish. This fish is not considered to be overly aggressive, but they can be territorial if not given enough room to swim. They are often found near the bottom of the aquarium, so mixing them with some top level or mid level aquarium fish shouldn't be too much of a problem. This Goby will only grow to about 2-1/2" in maximum length which makes it one of the smallest of the Gobys. The Jeweled Goby Cichlid is an omnivore that prefers a water temperature of 72-82° F, KH 12-20, and a PH level of 8.0-9.0. If you manage to get this species of Cichlid to spawn you will notice that they are mouth brooders which simple means that the females carry their eggs in their mouths until hatching. After this the males will actually protect them in his mouth while they are very small. What makes them a bit different from other Cichlids is the fact that they are completely monogamous which means that they stay with the same mate. Once the fry hatch they can be fed brine shrimp along with flake foods. As they grow older you should feed them vegetable flake food along with meaty foods on occasion. You can also but pellets special designed for Cichlids here!

Tiger Tail Seahorse (Hippocampus comes)

The Tiger Tail Seahorse or Hippocampus comes is often found in pairs, sometimes tails entwined, around coral reefs in the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. This species of Seahorse is related to the Pipefish and Leafy Sea Dragon and are normally yellow and black with the traditional dorsal fins they use to propel themselves. Pectoral fins that are located behind their eyes help them steer in one direction or another. Tiger Tail Seahorse can grow to about 18 cm in maximum length and can live to about 3 years old.
Able to survive in brackish and saltwater this Seahorse will feed on small invertebrates, which it literally sucks though its tubular snout. If you have this type of Seahorse in an aquarium setting and manage to get them to breed, make sure to separate the males after birth or they will eat their own young. The strangest part about this is the fact that the males actually carry the eggs during the pregnancy that lasts as long as four weeks! Check out a this Tiger Tail Seahorse underwater in the video below...

If you have any tips or facts about the Tiger Tail Seahorse please leave them below in the comments...

Spotted Sea Trout (Cynoscion nebulosus)

Spotted Sea Trout or Cynoscion nebulosus is a quite common fish in the Southern United States that is commonly known as the Speckled Trout along with the Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) which is known by the same name. This saltwater fish is often found in brackish waters close to the coast. Spotted Sea Trout can be described as having very sharp and large canine teeth with a greyish body and black spots. The inside of the Spotted Sea Trouts mouth is normally orange which help differentiate them from similar species. These fish are often caught with spoons and jigs along with live shrimp. The best time to fish for Spotted Sea Trout is in the early morning when they are the most active.

Also known as the Speckled Weakfish they are a great fish to eat as long as you ice them directly after cleaning. Their white meat is said to be one of the finest in the world. They normally grow to about 22 inches on average and can weigh more than 3lbs. They reach sexual maturity in 2 years or less and can produce over 100,000 eggs at a time. The maximum age that Spotted Sea Trout can reach is about 18 years. Like many fish they grow a lot more in the warmer months and less in the cooler winter months.
The Spotted Sea Trout often becomes prey to such fish as the Alligator Gar, Tarpon and Barracuda. If you have any recipes or fishing tips for the Spotted Sea Trout please share them in the comments below...

Roosterfish (Nematistius pectoralis)

The Roosterfish or Nematistius pectoralis is a very popular sporting fish that in caught in in the Pacific Ocean in places like Costa Rica and the Mexican waters to Panama. This fish, true to its name, has a rather odd rooster comb as dorsal fins!

Like its fellow family member the Amberjack, these saltwater fish can get very big, growing to lengths of over 4' and weighing over 100lbs! The Roosterfish is said to put up a ferocious fight but it not the tastiest fish in the world where they are also known as Pez Gallo or Papagallo.
Roosterfish are said to have the ability to amplify sound which helps them catch unsuspecting prey and avoid dangerous predators. Like a lot of intelligent fish Roosterfish are best caught with fresh live bait. If you have a fishing tip or a Roosterfish recipe please share it with the world below...

Bowfin (Amia calva)

The Bowfin or Amia calva are caught quite often, but are not considered to be one of the finest fish to eat. This species of fish is the only remained kind of Bowfin fish alive today but they are known by many names including Dogfish, Tchoupique, Mudfish, Grindle, Grinnel, Swamp Muskie, Cottonfish and Lawyer. They are often caught in the north east part of North America including Tennessee normally in shallow slow moving waters and rivers. In fact, these freshwater fish can go to the surface and breath when water conditions become poor.Bowfins can reach lengths of almost 4' and will sometimes weigh over 20lbs so they are fun to catch and are edible. If you want to catch Bowfin you should consider the fact that they are known to munch on crawfish, frogs, insects and small fish and are often very hungry! Much like the Bluegill these fish will protect their eggs and small fry. Once hooked Bowfins are excellent fighters and never give up. Watch out they like to bite! You can see a Bowfin in action below toward the end of this video...

If you have any tips about catching Bowfin please leave them in the comments below...

Aquarium Fish Of The Month - Spotted Cardinalfish

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