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Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii)

The Murray Cod or Maccullochella peelii peelii is a very large freshwater fish that is found exclusively in Australia. Also known simply as Cod, Greenfish or Goodoo, these fish can grow to 183 cm, 113 Kg (6 ft, 250 lbs), and are well represented in numerous pubs in Australia! Unfortunately, due to over-fishing and habitat destruction, the numbers of this once abundant fish have drop considerably. It is now listed as a threatened species.

Murray Cod have a lower jaw that protrudes out from its body with sharp, but small teeth. They are normally a light or dark green on their backs and sides, with a cream colored belly. Once these fish get larger, they tend to widen out instead of getting longer. This can make for one fat fish and one great fight!

Murray Cod are ferocious carnivores that will eat just about anything that fits into their mouths, including small fish, crayfish, shrimp, mussels, water fowl, frogs, small mammals and tortoises. This species of Australian freshwater fish takes care of its eggs more then some fish. The Murray Cod spawns in the springtime after they are 4 to 6 years of age. They normally lay their eggs in hollows logs or around rocks, normally no deeper than 3 meters. After the female lays her eggs she leaves, letting the male fertilize and guard the nest until about a week after the eggs hatch. They are very protective over their nest and young fry and will defend their nest at all costs. These fish can live for a very long time, some think even past 70 years of age, but again due to over-fishing and habitat destruction, they rarely live anywhere close to that long.

While the Murray Cod is normally considered to be just a game fish, there are many people in Australia that actually keep these fish as an aquatic pet. You can check out a Murray Cod underwater in the video below...

If you have any more information about the Murray Cod that you would like to share please leave it below...

Scooter Red Blenny (Synchiropus stellatus)

The Scooter Red Blenny or Synchiropus stellatus has the typical elongated Blenny shape with a blotchy red and white coloration throughout their body. The male is normally a bit brighter than the female, and has a larger dorsal fin. This species of Blenny can breed in an aquarium without too much problem, but is considered to be difficult to care for. You can check out the Scooter Red Blenny's mating ritual in the video below...

Also known as the Starry Dragonet and the Stellate Dragonet, this type of salt water fish can be kept in an aquariumof at least 30 gallons. These fish are carnivores that should be fed brine shrimp, bloodworms and glassworms, and small invertebrates. It is also a MUST that they have live rock to graze on and plenty of hiding spots.
Be careful, don't put them with too aggressive feeders as they will not compete for their food and may starve to death. Water conditions in the tank should be as follows, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, and sg 1.020-1.025.

If you have any additional care tips for the Scooter Red Blenny from the Callionymidae family please share.

Black Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)

The Black Angelfish or Pterophyllum scalare is one of the most popular and easy to care for freshwater fish in the world. This species of Angelfish has a black body with very long, thin fins.  They are not a very large fish, growing to about 6" in maximum length, but as you can see they are as long as they are tall.

If you are thinking of buying a Black Angelfish make sure that you have an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with the following water conditions, 75-82° F, KH 1-5 and pH 5.8-7.0. Like with plenty of other fish, these Angels like to have lots of room for swimming and a few places to hide out in.

This species of Angelfish is considered to be fairly easy to breed. If you have multiple Angelfish, wait till they pair off and then separate them into another aquarium. Be sure there is some sort of flat surface in the tank or the females will not lay their eggs. When the female Black Angelfish does choose a spot, the male performs a rather odd courting dance captured in the video below.

It only takes about 3 days before the eggs hatch and you will see the newborn fry. They should be fed newly hatched brine shrimp until they are able to eat flake foods. Once they grow bigger they develop an omnivorous diet including vegetables and meaty foods. Brine Shrimp and Bloodworms along with flake food is acceptable as well.

POP QUIZ: Can you identify the other species of Angelfish in the video above? 

Hitch (Lavinia exilicauda)

The Hitch or Lavinia exilicauda is a freshwater fish that is commonly found in California. It is from the Cyprinid family which has over 2,400 species in it, making it the largest freshwater fish family. Hitch used to be very commonly caught in California, but nowadays they are few and far between.

Hitch fish have a small head and a mouth that is always pointing upwards so they can feed off the surface of the water. Their bodies are silver all over when they are adults, but as juveniles they can have a black spot on their tail that fades with age. You can differentiate Hitch from other minnows by their longer anal fin and a dorsal fin that is further towards their forked tail.Hitch can reach about 36cm which is quite large for an minnow. They are easily confused with the Golden Shiner who has similar body characteristics. Hitch are omnivores that normally feed on insects, algae, and zooplankton. You will run across these fish in lakes and slow moving areas of rivers. This species of Minnow can tolerate warm and cool waters and can also survive in slightly salty waters as well. These fish used to be quite common to catch but recent damning and water diversion has divested their spawning grounds. Hitch fish can live for about 4-6 years. If you have any more information about Hitch that you would like to share please leave us a comment!

Lyretail Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare)

Lyretail Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare) is a colorful saltwater fish that is often kept in an aquarium setting. Also known as the Lunare Wrasse, Crescent Wrasse and the Moon Wrasse, this fish has a green coloration as an adult with the striking facial and fin markings that make Wrasse fish so very popular. As a juvenile the Lyretail Wrasse will be different colors than as an adult. You might not even recognize them as the change from blue, yellow, green and red variations over their lifetimes. You can see just how active the Moon Wrasse are in the video below...

There are over 600 different species of Wrasse fish which makes them one of the largest families of fish in the world! The Lyretail Wrasse requires a large aquarium of 125 gallons or more and should only be kept with other aggressive fish. Watch out this species of fish can even become territorial and attack new tankmates. It is best to add them into the tank last if at all possible. As with other Wrasses, they should be given plenty of hiding spots. They can grow to about 10" in maximum length and should be kept in the following water conditions 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025. Watch out this fish is a carnivore that will eat mantis shrimp and bristleworms, but it will not disturb your corals or live plants. In the aquarium the Lyretail Wrasse can be fed brine shrimp, bloodworms, flakes and marine pellet food.

If you have any additional information about the Lyretail Wrasse please leave us a comment below.

Snowflake Eel (Echidna nebulosa)

The Snowflake Eel or Echidna nebulosa is a relatively easy to care for saltwater eel that is found around Hawaii, and the tropical Indo-Pacific. Also known as the Snowflake Moray Eel, these fish have a great sense of smell which helps to make up for their poor eyesight. They have the typical eel shaped body with blotchy stripes, that can sometimes resemble snowflakes. This species of eel can grow to about 28" in maximum length. You can check out the Snowflake Eel underwater in the video below...

If you do plan on housing a Snowflake Eel in an aquarium setting, be sure that you have a tight lid as they tend to try and escape. The following water conditions are recommended,  temp. 72-78F, sg 1.020-1.026; pH 8.1-8.4; and dKH 8-12. An aquarium of 30 gallons or more is acceptable. Snowflake Eels can be fed clam, crab, shrimp, squid, scallop and fish meat.Please note: These fish can go into hibernation mode and won't be seen or eat for several weeks. Be sure to provide them with plenty of hiding spots to keep them happy. Compatible tankmates for the Snowflake Eel include large semi-aggressive fish, such as Lionfish, Tangs, Triggerfish and Wrasses.

If you have any additional information about the Snowflake Eel including aquarium tips please leave us a comment below. 

Permit Fish (Trachinotus falcatus)

The Permit Fish or Trachinotus falcatus is a popular sporting fish that is often caught in the Western Atlantic Ocean. This fish belongs to the Carangidae family and will feed on shrimp, small fish and crabs. Permits are saltwater fish that can be distinguished from other fish by their dorsal fin that is shaped like a scythe. They also have a forked tail and their bodies look as if they were flatten.  This gives the Permit the appearance of a tall and thin fish when viewed underwater.  You can check out a Permit Fish in its natural habitat in the video below.

Permits can grow to about 48 inches (122 cm) and can weigh up to 79 pounds (36 kg).   If you are fishing for Permits, you can normally find them in shallow tropical waters with muddy bottoms and sometimes brackish waters too. They are often found in small schools close to the shore, but when they spawn they are found in deeper waters.
Permit fish are arguably one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. If you have caught one I am sure you would agree. If you have any fishing tips or recipes for the Permit that you would like to share please leave them in the comments below...

Cinnamon Clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus)

The Cinnamon Clownfish or Amphiprion melanopus is a popular saltwater aquarium fish that goes by many different names including the Fire Clownfish, Black Anemonefish, Red and Black Anemonefish and the Red and Black Clownfish. This species of Clownfish is orange and reddish brown with a white stripe that runs behind its eyes and a dark area towards the back of its body.

If you are thinking of housing the Cinnamon Clownfish in an aquarium make sure you have one that is at least 40 gallons. They should not be kept with other Clownfish, unless they are a mated pair as they can be territorial especially when they get older. You can see the Cinnamon Clownfish in action in the video below...

The recommended water conditions are as follows, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, and sg 1.020-1.025. Cinnamon Clownfish are omnivores that should be fed a variety of foods including flakes, pellets, brine shrimp and algae. They are considered to be a hardy fish that can grow to about 5" in maximum length.

If you have any additional information about the Cinnamon Clownfish please leave us a comment below.

White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)

The White Sturgeon or Acipenser transmontanus is the largest freshwater fish in North America growing to over 20' long and weighing in at almost 1,800lbs! Like other Sturgeons, including the Sterlet, this fish has no scales. Instead, its body is covered with large bony scutes that help protect this fish from potential pre-historic predators. Why Pre-Historic you may ask?  That is because this fish has been roaming the freshwaters of the world for over 175 million years!
The underside of this fish is white, hence the name the White Sturgeon. Also known as the Pacific sturgeon, Oregon sturgeon, Columbia sturgeon, and Sacramento sturgeon, it has four barbels on the bottom of its head that are used to sense food. Like other Sturgeon, it has a toothless mouth that acts like a vacuum cleaner to suck up its food. The White Sturgeon's internal bone structure is mostly cartilage, which means that it is actually more similar to a Shark than a fish. You can learn more about these monster fish and see them in action in the video below...

The White Sturgeon has been overfished in recent years for its flesh and its eggs, which are using in making caviar. Today White Sturgeon fishing is highly restricted in many places throughout the world. The continued habitat destruction and pollution makes the survival of the White Sturgeon in question.

If you have any additional information about the White Sturgeon that you would like add please do so in the comments below...

Orbiculate Batfish (Platax orbicularis)

The Orbiculate Batfish or Platax orbicularis is an odd shaped saltwater fish that can be kept in an aquarium under the right conditions. Also known as the Round Batfish, Orbic Platax and the Orbic Batfish this fish has a round body accompanied by HUGE rounded fins that make this fish a great addition to any large aquarium of at least 180 gallons. This species of Batfish thrives in the following water conditions, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025. Despite their intimidating look, the Orbiculate Batfish is very peaceful and will not harass other tankmates. Just be sure not to put them in with Puffer Fish or Triggerfish as they will nip the fins of this Batfish.  You can check out this fish in an aquarium in the video below.

Reach almost 2 feet long, these fish are omnivores that should be fed feeder shrimp, scallops, snails, crabs, brine shrimp and frozen herbivore food. Feeding the Orbiculate Batfish three times a day is highly recommended. Be careful, like some Batfish they are susceptible to ich.  If you have any additional information about the Orbiculate Batfish please leave us a comment below.

Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)

The Channel Catfish or Ictalurus punctatus is the most popular Catfish in North America. Also known as the Willow Cat, Forked-tail Cat, Fiddler, Spotted Cat, and the Lady Cat, they can growing to a maximum length of about 4' and can weight up to 58lbs. These freshwater fish are often found in cool clean water with a sandy or gravel bottom. Channel Catfish don't have any scales and have a broad head with long whisker-like barbels around their mouths which they use as sensors. They can be distinguished from other Catfish by their forked tail which is shared only by one other species, the Blue Catfish.

Channel Catfish are omnivores that feed on plant and animal matter as well as meaty foods. They often eat in the night time using their barbels to locate food in the dark waters. If you want to catch a Channel Catfish you should consider using minnows, frogs, nightcrawlers, crickets, chicken liver, cut baits or crawfish. The best time to fish for a Channel Catfish is from dusk through early night. Once caught this species of Catfish is said to have a remarkable flavor that rivals any Catfish in the world! Make sure to be cautious when removing the hook from these fish as their pectoral fins and dorsal fin contain sharp spines.  You can learn a few Channel Catfish fishing tips in the video below.

Channel Catfish spawn after about 8 years of age in the late spring or early summer when the male builds a nest, normally around submerged rocks or even in logs. After the eggs are laid and fertilized it only takes 5-10 days before they hatch. These young fry grow rather quickly and will feed on insects, crayfish and seeds that fall into the water. If they are lucky a Channel Catfish can live to about 25 years old!

If you have any Channel Catfish fishing tips, recipes or fishing stories please leave us a comment below...

Black Banded Cat Shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum)

The Black Banded Cat Shark or Chiloscyllium punctatum is an aquarium fish that should be only housed in a very large aquarium of at least 180 gallons. These Cat Sharks can grow to about 3' 6" in maximum length and are considered to be an aggressive salt water fish. The Black Banded Cat Shark gets its name from the barbels around its mouth that look just like cat swiskers. Also known as the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark, it has a long stripped body and originates from the indo-pacific area. As this Shark gets older, the stripes will fade on its body. You can check out a rather young Black Banded Cat Shark underwater in this video below...

In an aquarium and in the wild around coral reefs you will normally find this shark close to the bottom where it feeds on crustaceans scampering across the sea floor. If you house this fish in an aquarium be sure to provide it with a sandy bottom so it doesn't hurt this tender bottomed fish. Another thing to note is that is shouldn't ever be exposed to copper-based medicine as this can harm or even kill this species of Cat Shark.
One of the biggest problems with the Black Banded Cat Shark is getting it to eat in the very beginning. If you provide it with live saltwater feeder shrimp or squid this should encourage this beautiful fish to eat. After that you can feed it scallops, pieces of fish and squid, mussels are said to work well too.

A couple interesting facts about the Black Banded Cat Shark is that is can actually survive outside of water for up to 12 hours and it is an egg layer that can take up to four months to hatch! While the Black Banded Cat Shark is not the easiest to care for it is quite fun to watch grow, and a great addition to any large saltwater aquarium.

Prickly Shark (Echinorhinus cookei)

The Prickly Shark or Echinorhinus cookei is a shark that is covered in modified teeth called dermal denticles or "skin teeth".  They are often found at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean at depths of exceeding 425 meters!   This rarely seen deep sea creature is said to often inhabit submarine canyons where it waits for its prey to swim by. The Prickly Shark often dines on squid, octopus and other small fish.

Prickly Sharks can reach length of about 4 meters (13 feet). They have a very similar appearance to the Bramble Shark, only without the thorny denticles. Prickly Sharks have no anal fin and only have two small dorsal fins that are located way back by the tail.  Prickly Sharks are ovoviviparous, which means that they carry their young eggs inside them until they are close to, or ready to hatch. They can have over 100 pups in a single litter! If you have any additional information about the Prickly Shark that you would like to share please do so in the comments below...

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