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Black Drum (Pogonias cromis)

The Black Drum or Pogonias cromis goes by many different names including the Sea Drum, Texas Drum, Saltwater Drum, Drumfish, Gray Drum, Striped Drum and Tambor. This saltwater fish will grow quite large, the world record Black Drum weighed in at 146lbs! These fish can be identified by their high backs and their many barbels, that are found under their lower jaw. When Black Drums are young, they have 4-5 dark vertical bars on the sides of their bodies. As the fish matures, these bars tend to fad until they are completely unnoticeable. The underbellies are normally white as they grow older. The bodies themselves can vary quite a bit in coloration. Some are light gray or silver, while others are simply black.

Black Drum are part of the Croaker family along with the Spotted Seatrout, and the Red Drum. Fish in this family get their name from the fact that they will produce a croaking of drumming sound with their air bladders. Some avid fisherman even say that they can hear the sounds from passing Black Drum fish. You can hear the noise for yourself of a Red Drum in the video below...

Spawning in the early Spring, normally in the months of February through May, these fish are free spawners. This means that they randomly release their eggs in hopes that the males will fertilize them. Once hatched these fish are quick to grow up, reaching 6" in length, in just the first year.  Black Drum will feed on a variety of foods including worms, small fish, mollusks, algae and crabs. They use their barbels to find food on the bottom. They will often dig up worms and mollusks on the bottom which will leave what is called a drum noodle on the bottom. Spotting these "drum noodles" is a great way to tell if you are close to a school of these fish. Once you locate a school live bait always works best for these tasty fish!

 If you have any additional fishing tips for Black Drum please leave us a comment...

Jardini Arowana (Scleropages jardini)

The Jardini Arowana or Scleropages jardini is one of the few different species of Arowana fish. These freshwater fish are sometimes referred to as Gulf Saratoga Barramundi, or Northern Spotted Barramundi. They have the classic elongated Arowana body with a bony tongue and markings on their tails and fins. Once very hard to find in the wild, these fish have been successfully bred in captivity, and have since become a popular aquarium fish. Watch the Jardini Arowana in the video below...

Reaching almost 2-1/2' these fish require a large aquarium of well over 100 gallons with the following water conditions, 75-86° F, KH 1-10 and pH 6.9-7.1. They are not the easiest to care for, and will jump right out of the tank if you don't provide it with a tight lid. They shouldn't be kept with more aggressive species included most Cichlids.Jardini Arowanas are carnivores that should be fed a variety of foods including krill, small fish and insects.

Nile Perch (Lates niloticus)

The Nile Perch or Lates niloticus is a massive freshwater fish that can grow to over 6' (2m) in length and can weigh up to 530lbs (200kg)! These fish can be identified by their dark black eyes that have a yellow outer ring. Their bodies are silver with a bluish tint.Nile Perch are found in a few different places including Lake Maryut, Lake Chad, Lake Turkana, Lake Nasser, Volta, Nile, Congo, Senegal and Niger. They go by a few different names depending on where in the world you are. Victoria Perch, African Snook, Capitaine, and Luo are just a few. Nile Perch are vicious predators that will dominate and potentially destroy an ecosystem. For this reason, they are considered an invasive species and should never be released into a foreign ecosystem.

Nile Perch will often feed on Cichlids, crustaceans, insects, small fish and even their own kind! That's right, like the Northern Pike, these fish are cannibals! As you can imagine with this fish's amazing size and strength, they are a favorite among anglers and are considered to be one of the hardest trophy fish to catch. You can check out these edible fish for yourself in the video below...

If you have any additional information about the Nile Perch please leave us a comment.

Jackknife Fish (Equetus lanceolatus)

The Jackknife Fish or Equetus lanceolatus is one of the oddest shaped fish in all of the world. These fish originate from the Caribbean and have very long dorsal and caudal fins. As you can see, these fins almost resemble a jackknife, hence the name, the Jackknife Fish.  This trait is even more present when they are young as pictured below.

These saltwater fish are silver with thick black lines running through their bodies. As you can imagine their strange shape and striking colors make this a great fish to house in a saltwater aquarium. Unfortunately, they are not the easiest fish to care for. They require a tank of 80 gallons or more with the following water conditions, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025. Jackknife Fish are carnivores that should be fed live foods such as black worms and brine shrimp. The occasionally meaty foods will help as well. These fish require a sandy bottom with lots of hiding spots and plenty of live rock. They will often hide in the beginning, but enticing them with meaty foods will normally bring them out of hiding. You can check out a Jackknife Fish for yourself in the video below...

If you have any additional information about the Jackknife Fish please leave us a comment!

Whiting Fish (Merlangius merlangus)

Whiting or Merlangius merlangus was once though to be a poor man's fish, but recent declines in the populations of many other edible fish have made it increasingly important in the Baltic and Black Seas, as well as the North Atlantic Ocean. These saltwater fish go by a few different names throughout the world including Merlan, Plegonero, European whiting, Hvilling and Valkoturska.

Whiting fish can grow to about 70cm maximum and are normally found between 30 and 100 meters deep on the sandy bottom. They will often feed on cephalopods, crabs, shrimp, mollusks and smaller fish. These fish have chin barbels on their faces when they are young that tend to disappear as they mature. You can check out two similar species of Whiting known as the Sand Whiting or Sillago ciliata fighting in the video below...

If you have any additional information about Whiting fish that you would like to share including recipes please leave a comment. You can also visit Foodista below...

Whiting Fish on Foodista

Blue Sapphire Damselfish (Chrysiptera springeri)

The Blue Sapphire Damselfish or Chrysiptera springeri is one cool looking saltwater fish. This species of Damselfish has a striking pattern of blue up against a dark body, that really makes it stick out from the crowd. When the Blue Sapphire Damselfish is in trouble though, they can actually make their blue disappear to help blend in to their surroundings. These fish originate from the Solomon Islands and only grow to about 3-1/2" in maximum length.

As you can imagine, the Blue Sapphire Damselfish is quite popular in the aquarium trade. They are considered very easy to care for and only require an aquarium of about 25 gallons. The following water conditions are recommended for this fish, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 and sg 1.020-1.025. Like other Damselfish, they should be provided with plenty of hiding space to keep them happy. They also like to have live rock in the aquarium.

Blue Sapphire Damselfish should be fed a variety of foods including brine shrimp, flake food and meaty foods as well to help satisfy their carnivorous diet.

Polar Eelpout (Lycodes polaris)

The Polar Eelpout or Lycodes polaris is just one of the over 200 different species of Eelpouts. These saltwater fish get their names from their Eel-like appearance. They have dorsal and anal fins that are continuous with their caudal fin, this makes them easily confused with Eels.

Polar Eelpouts are found in the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean in depths of up to 300 meters. Often found on the sandy bottom these fish will bury themselves in the sand, tail fish with their head exposed. They can be distinguished from other Eelpouts by their tan body that has 9-11 dark bands that run vertically down its body. These are not always noticeable and sometimes this species can be rather pale.Polar Eelpouts well feed on a variety of creatures including shrimp, Arctic Cod, isopods, brittle stars and amphipods. They can live for about 5 years and will spawn in the fall or early winter laying eggs on the bottom. If you have any additional information about Pole Eelpouts leave us a comment.

Squareback Anthias (Pseudanthias pleurotaenia)

The Squareback Anthias or Pseudanthias pleurotaenia is a saltwater fish that goes by a few different names including the Purple Blotch Basslet, Squareblock, Mirror Anthias, Square-Spot Fairy Basslet and Squarespot. Females of this species are yellow with a purple underside. Males are mostly pink with a purple underside and a lighter colored rectangle on their sides. They are not particularly large, only growing to about 4" in length. You can check out the Squareback Anthias in the video below...

Squareback Anthias are often kept in the aquarium and considered to be quite hardy. The following water conditions are acceptable for this fish in a tank of about 35 gallons, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 and sg 1.020-1.025. They should be fed brine shrimp and flake food twice a day. One thing to note about the this species of Anthias is that if you expose them to too much direct or powerful light their colors will fade drastically.One strange fact about this fish is that they are hermaphroditic. This simply means that if a male dies the largest female will actually change into a male. That's right they will have a sex change, and without the big bill!

West Indian Ocean Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae)

The West Indian Ocean Coelacanth or Latimeria chalumnae has brilliant blue pigments and flecks of white that covers its body. It was once thought to be extinct along with the rest of the fish in the Coelacanth order. There are only two known species still alive from this sometimes referred to as the Dinofish is sometimes known as the missing link between fish and the tetrapods.As you can tell by their name, the West Indian Ocean Coelacanth are found exclusively in the Indian Ocean. These fish are quite large growing to about 6-1/2' in length and weighing in at over 175lbs! Females of this species tend to be slightly larger than their male counterparts. They can live to about 60 years old and are ovoviparous, much like many sharks. This simply means that they give live birth. These species are listed as critically endangered, only 500 or so left in the entire world. You can check out some amazing footage of a Coelacanth underwater in the videos below...

West Indian Ocean Coelacanth have special hinges in their heads that allow them to swallow large prey. They also have a rosteral organ in the front of their head that helps them detect prey much like the Hammerhead Shark. For this reason, you will often see them doing "headstands" like in the video above. One last weird fact about this saltwater fish is that their bodies continually ooze out a large amount of oil, while their scales let out a mucus of sorts.

Fire Coral Eel (Gymnothorax miliaris)

The Fire Coral Eel or Gymnothorax miliaris is just one of the over 600 different species of Eels in the world. This particular species is black in color, with golden spots that cover its entire body.  This makes it quite easy to differentiate from other species. Fire Coral Eels are a kind of Moray Eel with the typical thick long body and large & powerful jaws.

Fire Coral Eels are found in the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean around reefs and go by a few different names including the Bastard Eel, Goldentail Moray and Conger Moray. Like a lot of other Eels, you will find them hiding in rocks or caves with their large mouths sticking out waiting for food to swim by.Although sometimes kept in an aquarium, the Fire Coral Eel is not considered to be very easy to care for. They require a large aquarium of about 140 gallons and can grow to about 2' in length. Make sure your aquarium has a nice tight lid and provide this Eel with plenty of places to hide. This will keep your Fire Coral Eel healthy and happy. The following water conditions are recommended, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 and sg 1.020-1.025.

These saltwater fish will eat just about anything that they can fit into their mouths including fish and invertebrates. In an aquarium, you can feed them squid, octopus, and live feeder fish. You can check out the Fire Coral Eel with your own eyes in the video below...

If you have any additional information please leave a comment.

Shortnose Gar (Lepisosteus platostomus)

The Shortnose Gar or Lepisosteus platostomus is an air breather that will actually drown if not given access to the surface of the water. These freshwater fish can survive poor quality waters and are found in swamps, lakes, ponds and backwaters of rivers in places like Oklahoma, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Montana, Alabama and Louisiana. If you are fishing for Shortnose Gar, you will normally find them in and around thick vegetation and submerged logs.Even though the snout of the Shortnose Gar is actually quite long, it is the shortest of all the different Gar species including the Alligator Gar, Spotted Gar, and of course, the Longnose Gar. These fish are long and slender and can reach lengths of over 4' and weigh up to about 8lbs. Their body is covered with thick diamond shaped scales that are known as ganoid scales.Shortnose Gar will spawn in the spring in shallow coves. Their eggs are a dark green and should never be eaten by humans. When the fry is first born it has a egg sack attached to it which it gains its nutrition from. For this reason, they are very inactive when they are first hatched. As time goes on and they deplete their egg sack, they will become more active and start hunting. They feed on small fish and invertebrates and tend to be an ambush predator much like the Northern Pike.

If you have any fishing tips or additional information about the Shortnose Gar please share...

Shy Hamlet (Hypoplectrus guttavarius)

The Shy Hamlet or Hypoplectrus guttavarius is a saltwater fish that is found in the Atlantic Ocean around reefs in waters of up to 30 meters deep. This colorful fish has a yellow head that has iridescent blue lines in it. Its body is normally brown or black with its fins yellow to match its head.
Also known as the Bad Lucks, Golden Hamlet and the Vaca Bicolor these fish are often found in pairs near the bottom. They are not very large, only growing to about 13cm in maximum length. Sky Hamlet fish are kept in an aquarium setting, but it is rare to find them in a pet stores.

Little more is known about the Shy Hamlet, perhaps because it doesn't get out a lot...

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