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Spotted Coral Croucher (Caracanthus maculatus)

The Spotted Coral Croucher or Caracanthus maculatus is often found near, you guessed it, corals. Also known as the Pacific Spotted Velvetfish, and the Gumdrop Coral Croucher, they are white with red dots that cover their bodies. These saltwater fish are also covered with hair-like appendages, which gives them a fuzzy appearance. They are very small, only growing to about 2" in length. This fish belongs to the Scorpionfish family.

As you can imagine, they are a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts that have coral in their aquariums. A tank of at least 30 gallons is recommended with the following water conditions, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 and sg 1.020-1.025. Although they won't mess with most tankmates, they will battle their own kind if kept in too small of an aquarium. Be very careful when handling the Spotted Coral Croucher, they have spines on their dorsal fins that are venomous. While not life threatening, the sting will hurt a bit worse then a bee sting.  Spotted Coral Crouchers should be fed a variety of meaty foods including Brine Shrimp, Frozen Mysid Shrimp and other frozen foods. If you plan on keeping them in an aquarium with corals they only need to be fed once a day, if not they should be fed twice a day.

Breeding Spotted Coral Crouchers in captivity is possible. This fish will lay eggs that sink into the coral which gives them a nature barrier against potential predators in the wild.  If you have any additional information about the Spotted Coral Croucher please leave us a comment below. 

Zander (Sander lucioperca)

Zander or Sander lucioperca is a species of freshwater fish that has a spiny dorsal fin, much like that of the Perch. It also resembles the Pike with its long body and large head. For this reason, they are often known as Pike-Perch. Zanders have large gripping teeth on their upper and lower jaws. Behind that is a set of smaller teeth that give this fish one mean look! You can watch the Zander underwater in the video below...

Zander fish are often found in murky waters in many places across Europe, where they wait for an unsuspecting prey to swim by. There mouths aren't quite as large as the Pike and they tend to feed on smaller fish like Roach and Gudgeon. Although there have been documented cases of Zanders attacking humans, like the one in the Swiss Lake, Lac Majeur. This rarely happens and just leaves a nasty bite mark. These fish will normally spawn in the months of March and April. Zanders will choose a protected spot like a underwater tree stump, branches or somewhere with reeds. Once hatched, these fish growing quite quickly, but have a relatively short life. They can reach about 20lbs. If you catch this fish they are edible and are even said to rival the Walleye in taste.

If you have any fishing tips or recipes for the Zander leave them below!

Golden Weather Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus)

The Golden Weather Loach or Misgurnus anguillicaudatus gets its name from the fact that they tend to become very active, and start acting quite strangely when there is sudden changes in barometric pressure, or even temperature changes. Also known as the Dojo Loach, these fish are long and slender with a yellow or gold coloration.  They have a number of barbels on their faces that they use to find food as they burrow in substrate, much like Catfish. This type of Loach is edible, and is used in soups in places like Japan and Korea, but is also kept in an aquarium.Golden Weather Loaches originate from Asia and are found in freshwater rivers, lakes and ponds. They have since been introduced to the aquarium industry and have become quite popular because they help keep the tank clean by scavenging on the bottom, have a strange appearance and a peaceful temperament. You don't need a huge aquarium to house these fish in either, 30 gallons or more should be plenty. They can grow to about 10" in length, but rarely get that long and need the follow water conditions to thrive in an aquarium, 68-76° F, KH 3-5, and pH 6.0-6.5. These Loaches are carnivorous and should be fed a variety of foods including Freeze Dried Bloodworms and Tubiflex. You can check out just how playful the Golden Weather Loach can be in this video.

This fish much like the African Lungfish, has the ability to secrete a thick mucus that it uses to survive droughts and cold winters. Golden Weather Loaches will actually bury themselves in the sand until conditions improve and then come out of their "hibernation" of sorts. Don't worry though, if you keep them in an aquarium that doesn't freeze over, they should be quite active and fun to watch.

Wels Catfish (Silurus Glanis)

The Wels Catfish or Silurus Glanis is a species of Catfish that can grow to truly unbelievable sizes! Reaching 3 meters (9.8 ft) in length, and weighing in at an amazing 150 kg (330 lb), they rival the massive Mekong Catfish in both length and weight! These Catfish are scaleless and can be identified by their huge mouths and the two long barbels on their upper jaw and four short ones on the lower jaw that are use to sense prey. They have a slimy green or brown body with a white underbelly and go by many different names throughout the world including Danube Catfish, Sheatfish, European Catfish, Som Catfish and even the Freshwater Killer Whale.  You can see why they call them the Freshwater Killer Whale in the video below.  Watch as this European Catfish temporarily beaches itself to catch and unsuspecting pigeon.
Wels Catfish are often found in rivers and warm lakes in many parts Europe and Asia. They will spend most of their time in sheltered locations where they wait for their prey. Using their pectoral fins they disorient their prey and then simply swallow them whole which their massive mouths. Wels Catfish will feed on insects, crustaceans, fish, frogs, mice, rats, ducks and anything else they can fit there mouths around.If this fish is starting to sounds familiar it might be because you saw it on an episode of River Monsters with Jeremy Wade on the Animal Planet. On this episode they explore the idea that this monster Wels Catfish have actually attacked people. You can check out a little teaser from that show below...

When the Wels Catfish spawns it will produce 30,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight. Considering these Catfish are huge, you can just imagine how many eggs a single one of these monsters can produce. After spawning, the male Wels Catfish will guard the nest until they hatch, normally this will take a week or so. Since the spawning is done so shallow and the water level can drop easily to expose the eggs, the male has been observed splashing the nest with its huge tail to keep the area moist.

These fish are considered edible, but as they get older they get a bit fatty and less tasty. If you have any fishing tips or any other information about the Wels Catfish that you would like to share just leave us a comment!

Shovelnose Guitarfish (Rhinobatos productus)

The Shovelnose Guitarfish or Rhinobatos productus is just one of the many different kinds of Guitarfish. As you can see, they get their names from their guitar-shaped bodies. They have flat compressed bodies and are normally found on sandy bottoms less than 40 feet or so. Their bodies are brown or olive with white on the bottom. This coloration helps them blend into the sand where they lay and wait for their prey. In fact, Shovelnose Guitarfish will bury themselves in the sand with only their breathing holes exposed. The poor unsuspecting prey won't realize anything until the sand erupts and bye-bye prey. You can see them bury themselves in the video below...

The Shovelnose Guitarfish's mouth is located on it's bottom, although this fish doesn't actually breath through its mouth. Instead they have a holes on the top of their heads called spiracles that they use to breath into their gills.Female Shovelnose Guitarfish give live birth like sharks. The mating normally occurs in bays in California and Baja. If you have any more information about the Shovelnose Guitarfish that you would like to share please leave us a comment...
POP QUIZ: Can you name the other species of fish in the video featured above? Leave you answer below in the comments...

Huma Huma Trigger (Rhinecanthus aculeatus)

The Huma Huma Trigger or Rhinecanthus aculeatus is just one of many different species of Triggerfish on our planet. In Hawaii this fish is known as "humu-humu-nuku-nuku-a-puaa", where it is the official state fish. In other places in the world it is called the Picasso Triggerfish, Whitebanded Triggerfish or Painted Triggerfish. Like other species of Triggerfish, they have a very unique way of swimming, which makes them a favorite for advanced aquarium enthusiasts.  You can watch this fish swimming underwater in this video!

Huma Huma Triggerfish are saltwater fish that have an odd shaped body with striking blue and brown stripes through their eyes. Their strange appearance and unique coloration makes them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts. Like other Triggerfish though, this fish can be aggressive and should be kept with fish of similar size and temperament. It has even been known to nip a careless finger or two, so be careful when cleaning your tank!Growing to about 30 cm (12 inches), the Huma Huma Trigger should be kept in an aquarium of at least 80 gallons. Temperatures should range from 76-84 in the aquarium with a PH of 8.0 - 8.4 and a specific gravity range of 1.020 - 1.024. They should be fed a variety of foods including shrimp, snails with shells to grind down their ever growing teeth, live foods and meaty frozen foods. This species of Trigger is not a good reef fish.
If you have any additional information about the Picasso Triggerfish please leave us a comment below.  POP QUIZ: Can you name the other species of fish in the video featured above?

Albino Tiger Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus)

The Albino Tiger Oscar is just one of the several different Oscar Fish with the scientific name Astronotus ocellatus. Oscar fish are without a doubt one of the most popular aquarium fish in the world. They are able to recognize their owners, and are considered to be quite the curious fish. Oscars are also very inexpensive as well, which certainly helps with their popularity. You can check out the Albino Tiger Oscar for yourself in the video below...

Albino Tiger Oscars are a very hardy freshwater fish that can be fed a variety of foods. Pellet foods, frozen meaty foods, Brine Shrimp and live foods are all acceptable to feed an Oscar. These fish are white with orange markings, in sharp contrast to the Tiger Oscar Fish and other varieties that have same scientific name.

Like other species of Oscar Fish, as they grow older the Albino Tiger Oscar can become increasingly territorial. I guess they get cranky in their old age like the rest of us. The following water conditions in a tank of at least 60 gallons is recommended, 72 - 80 temperature, and PH level 6.8 - 8.0. These fish can grow to about 12" in length, and can be housed with other fish with similar temperament and size.  The video below showings an Oscar feeding...

If you have additional information you would like to share, leave us a comment.

Round Whitefish (Prosopium cylindraceum)

The Round Whitefish or Prosopium cylindraceum is a just one of the few different species of Whitefish. This freshwater fish is found in the upper parts of North America including the Great Lakes. Round Whitefish are normally not much larger that 20" and can weigh in at 3lbs. These fish are bottom feeders that eat fish eggs, insects, and crustaceans. You can tell this species apart from other Whitefish by a single flap that exists between the nostrils.

Round Whitefish go by many different names including Pilot Fish, Round Fish, Menominee and Frost Fish. These fish have silver underbellies with a olive brown sides. Like so many other fish on our planet they were once very populous throughout North America, but their numbers have decreased dramatically due to habitat destruction, climate change and overfishing. The State of New York has even gone as far as listing them as an endangered species.

Spawning occurs in the fall normally in November or December. They will choose an area that is rocky like a shoal or sometimes at the mouths of rivers. Their eggs take a long time to hatch, as long as 140 days! Once they hatch, the young Whitefish will grow to almost 5 inches in the first year of their lives. Round Whitefish will reach sexual maturity at around 4 and can live for about 13 years.
Round Whitefish like all other species of Whitefish are considered to be one of the finest tasting freshwater fish in the world with a light mild flavor. If you have any fishing tips or recipes for the Round Whitefish that you would like to share please leave us a comment!

Red Turquoise Discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus)

Red Turquoise Discus Fish are one of several different varieties of Discus with the same scientific name Symphysodon aequifasciatus. The Pigeon Blood Discus for example is considered the same species, but the controlled breeding allows them to be a completely different colors. Red Turquoise Discus are turquoise with red stripes that grace their bodies in a strange pattern. These fish have red eyes and a bit of red on their fins. The coloration of this fish can variety greatly depending on its mood and the health of this freshwater fish. This makes them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts.

Red Turquoise Discus can grow to about 9" in maximum length, but tend to look much larger because they are as tall as they are long. They are not the easiest fish to care for because they require very clean water, and the following water conditions, 79-86° F, KH 1-3, and pH 6.1-7.5. A water conditioner or reverse osmosis filtration system to soften the water will really help maintain the soft water for these fish to thrive. These fish are carnivores that should be fed foods including bloodworms, tubifex, pellet food, and specially designed Discus flake food. An aquarium of 40 gallons or more is suitable with plenty of hiding spots and plants.
It is quite possible to breed the Red Turquoise Discus fish in captivity. Making the water a bit warmer, and slightly acidic will encourage spawning. The Discus fish needs a flat surface to lay the eggs on, normally a broad leaf will work or they will just use a clean side of the aquarium. After the fry are hatched, make sure to keep them the same tank as their parents. The fry will actually feed off of the parent mucus that secretes out of their bodies like something out of a science fiction film. You can see it for yourself in the video below at about the 2 minute mark...

Yellow Back Goatfish (Parupeneus barberinus)

The Yellow Back Goatfish or Parupeneus barberinus is a great fish to have in the aquarium. Not only is it quite the sight to be seen with its bright yellow stripe down its body, but it will also help keep your aquarium clean by eating all the leftovers that make it to the bottom of the tank. This species of Goatfish is just one of the over 50 different kinds of Goatfish.  You can check out the Yellow Back Goatfish in action in this underwater video.

Yellow Back Goatfish have two dorsal fins on their torpedo shaped bodies. Their mouths have two barbels coming out of them. Like Catfish, these fish use their barbels to search for food on the bottom. These saltwater fish are often found in schools near the bottom where they feed on worms, crustaceans and anything else they can find.
If you are thinking of buying a Yellow Back Goatfish for your aquarium be sure that you have a large one, at least 125 gallons is recommended. These fish will grow to 1' 4" so they need lots of room for swimming and a nice sandy bottom so its barbels aren't injured. Yellow Back Goatfish are carnivores that should be fed a variety of fresh and frozen meaty foods. Don't forget though, these fish are table scrappers that feed on what the other fish leave behind. They should be fed 3-4 times daily so be ready for the commitment, or purchase yourself an automatic feeder. The following water conditions are acceptable for this fish, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, and sg 1.020-1.025.

Spotted Sweetlips (Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides)

The Spotted Sweetlips or Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides is a saltwater fish that actually changes colors over its lifetime. Pictured at the top is a juvenile Spotted Sweetlips and below it is a fully grown exampe.  As you can see, when this fish is small its body is brown or tan and covered with white spots. As the Spotted Sweetlips grows older its whole body turns white, and it develops black dots. No one is quite sure why.  As you can see in the pictures, they have a lot of similar characteristics as the Clownfish, only they get much larger. Also known as the Clown Sweetlips or Harlequin Sweetlips, this fish is sometimes kept in an aquarium, but is not considered to be very easy to care for. They grow quite large for any aquarium growing to almost 2-1/2'. At least a 150 gallons aquarium is required for a fish this large. The following water conditions are acceptable, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, and sg 1.020-1.025. As with most fish they should be given plenty of hiding spots, this helps reduce the fish's stress level. Spotted Sweetlips can be fed a variety of meaty foods, but in the beginning it is best to feed them live saltwater feeder shrimp to help them become comfortable with the aquarium. You can check out the Juvenile Spotted Sweetlips mimicking the poisonous flatworm  in the video below...

Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides by vcebollada

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