Find Your Fish

Ornate Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus)

The Ornate Ghost Pipefish or Solenostomus paradoxus is one of the hardest fish to spot in the ocean.  First of all they are relatively small, only growing to about 12cm in maximum length.  This combined with the fact that their bodies look more like coral or seaweed than an actual saltwater fish, makes them a master of camouflage!
This species is just one of the over 200 different species of Pipefish!  As you can see in the pictures they are long and slender with a tiny mouth and appendages that cover their bodies and help them to blend into their surroundings.  Ornate Ghost Pipefish are normally found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans in and around reefs.  They come in a variety of colors including black, yellow, red and even transparent!  You can check out the Ornate Ghost Pipefish underwater in the video below... 

Also known as the Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, they will spend most of their days floating upside down with their mouth pointed downwards.  They use their mouths as a vacuum of sorts to consume their food, normally tiny crustaceans.  If you know any more information about this close relative to the Seahorse, please leave us a comment.

Glass Knifefish (Eigenmannia virescens)

The Glass Knifefish or Eigenmannia virescens is clear freshwater fish that originated from South America.  Even though these fish can grow to about 1-1/2' long, they are still kept in large aquariums.  One over 100 gallons is recommended with the following water conditions, 73-82° F, KH 2-15 and pH 6.0-7.0.  These fish lack dorsal fins and are quite the sight to be seen when swimming.  You can see for yourself in the video below...

Glass Knifefish are peaceful fish that prefer a low light aquarium with plenty of hiding places and plants.  Also known as the Green Knifefish, they sometimes have a very slight green tint.  Like other Knifefish, they have the ability to emit a weak electrical signal from one of their organs that helps them maneuver in the dark.  As you can imagine, this means that they are very active during the night more so than the daylight hours.  They also use this weak electrical current during courtship.    
You can keep mulitple Glass Knifefish in the same tank, they will get along just fine and will even breed in an aquarium setting.  These fish will often lay their eggs on plants.  Once the fry hatches you should switch them into another tank.  

The Glass Knifefish is an omnivore that can be fed tubifex, pellets, flakes, shrimp and other live and frozen foods.
Photo Credit: Kirk, Fortune, Roth, (c) 2007
Eigenmannia virescens

Monkfish (Lophius piscatorius)

The Monkfish is a name used to referred to several different species of saltwater fish including Lophius piscatorius.  These fish, much like the Stonefish and Frogfish, are masters of camouflage.  Monkfish have a series of appendages that look much like seaweed, and help them to blend in perfectly.  They lie in wait on the bottom and use a "lure" of sorts that comes out of their heads.  This "lure" is actually their first dorsal spine.  As its prey gets close this fish will suddenly open its mouth and the suction brings the prey quickly into the Monkfish's mouth.  They are able to swallow fish almost the same size as them due to their expandable stomachs!      
Lophius piscatorius goes by a few different names throughout the world including the Anglerfish, Fishing Frog, Frogfish and the Sea Devil. These odd creatures are found in waters of up to 120 meters in places like the Northeast Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Barents Sea.  Reaching lengths of 2 meters and weighing in at 60kg, much of their weigh and length is in their heads.  This species of Monkfish have two large rounded breast fins that are located behind their heads.  They use these breast fins as a stabilizer when they are laying on the bottom.

You can check out the Monkfish in the videos below.  We are not able to tell if these species are indeed Lophius piscatorius.

If you have any questions or comments about the Monkfish leave us a comment below.

Auriga Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga)

The Auriga Butterflyfish or Chaetodon auriga is one of the many beautiful species of Butterflyfish.  This fish, also called the Threadfin Butterflyfish, is one of the more popular species to house in an aquarium.  Just one of the many species in the Chaetodontidae family, this saltwater fish is considered to be very hardy and easy to take care with the proper conditions.  Providing this fish with lots of hiding spots and the follow water conditions will keep it happy and healthy, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.2-8.4 and sg 1.021-1.023.
The Auriga Butterflyfish has the typical Butterflyfish shape with a thin body that is somewhat squared off and a tiny pointed mouth.  They have a colorful arrangement of yellows, whites and blacks including a false eyespot on their dorsal fin that keeps potential predators confused about which end is which.  The false eyespot is not always a part of their body depending on what part of the world they are located.  You can have a look at the Threadfin Butterflyfish in the video below...

Auriga Butterflyfish are omnivores that should be fed a variety of foods including flake food and plankton.  If cared for properly these fish can reach lengths of about 8", so a tank of 60 gallons or more is highly recommended.

In the wild these fish are found in shallow waters of up to 30 meters in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea in places like Japan, Hawaii and South Africa to name a few.  

White Marlin (Tetrapturus albidus)

 The White Marlin or Tetrapturus albidus is one of the most sought after sporting fish in the world!  These Billfish can reach lengths of over 8' and can weigh over 160lbs!  Like other Marlins they have a bill that they use to stun fast moving fish. After it successfully hits a fish it will quickly devour them.  You can check out the White Marlin's never say die attitude in the video below... 

White Marlins are found throughout the Atlantic Ocean and in the Caribbean. They are normally found at depths exceeding 300 feet, but are often caught in shallower waters as well. If you are lucky enough to have hooked one of these White Marlins you know just how exhilarating it can be to battle these impressive saltwater fish. Not only are they very large, but they also will make fantastic runs and jumps adding to the excitement of the catch. Be extremely careful with these fish as their bill can cause some serious damage!

These fish can be identified by their dark blue to chocolote brown bodies and white underbellies. White Marlin with almost always have spots on the dorsal fins. Their bodies are covered with embedded scale that have a single sharp point. The dorsal, pectoral and the first anal fin is all rounded.

If you have any additional information or questions about the White Marlin please leave us a comment!

Lyretail Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

The Lyretail Guppy or Poecilia reticulata is arguably one of the best starter freshwater fish for a small aquarium.  These Guppies are not only hardy and easy to care for, but they are very colorful too!  They only requiring an aquarium of about 20 gallons or more with the following water conditions, 64-82° F, KH 10-30 and pH 5.5-8.0.  

Lyretail Guppies have a long forked tail that makes up a good portion of their body, which in total can only reach lengths of about 2" maximum.  Male Lyretail Guppies are normally silver, red or green with yellow or white in their tales.  Males are almost always smaller than their female counterparts.  Females of this species are not as brightly colored and have a more rounded anal fin then the males, which is more pointed.  It is said that the Lyretail Guppy is quite easy to bred in captivity.  Just make sure that you have a breeding box for the fry, otherwise they might be eaten, cannibal style!  You can check out the Lyretail Guppy in the short video below...   

A combination of algae based foods with meaty foods well keep these omnivores happy and healthy.  Brine Shrimp, Tubifex, Bloodworms and flake food will all work well for the Lyretail Guppy.  

Valentini Puffer (Canthigaster valentini)

The Valentini Puffer or Canthigaster valentini is a species of Pufferfish that has the amazing ability to inflate its body to almost twice its size when threatened. This can make it rather difficult when water changes come, but putting the fish in a container to transport seems to do the trick.  You can check out the Valentini Puffer in the video below... 

Valentini Pufferfish go by a couple different names including the Saddle Valentini Puffer, Saddled Toby, Black Saddle Pufferfish, Valentini Toby and the Black Saddled Toby. They are a beautiful mix of Blacks, Blues, Oranges, Tans and Yellows. Like other Pufferfish, they lack pelvic fins which make them quite interesting to watch swimming. They actually use their pectoral fins to maneuver themselves around. Growing to about 4" maximum, they are not particularly large for a Puffer.
As you can imagine, they are quite popular in an aquarium setting, although they are not the easiest to take care of. An aquarium of 40 gallons or more with the following water conditions is recommended, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 and sg 1.020-1.025. The Saddle Valentini Puffer is an omnivore that should be fed hard shelled shrimp, squid, krill and clams. Watch out, these fish should not be kept with Filefish and Tobies.

Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)

The Silver Carp or Hypophthalmichthys molitrix is one of the species of Asian Carp that is threatening to invade and devastate The Great Lakes.  The Silver Carp along with the Bighead Carp where introduced by Catfish farmers in the 1970s to help control algae.  Floods in the 1990s overflowed the ponds that kept these freshwater fish secured and they made their way into the Mississippi River basin.  They have since traveled up the Mississippi and have reproduced so much that they have even become the most abundant species in several areas!  Silver Carps also known as Flying Carp are now considered an invasive species, and should be reported to the DNR if caught anywhere near The Great Lakes.
The ravenous appetite of the Silver Carp along with its ability to reproduce quickly makes it all the more dangerous.  These fish are not small either, growing to over 4' long and weighing in at over 100lbs!  One rather strange, but even more dangerous attribute of these invasive monsters is the fact that they like to jump out of the water when a boat passes by.  This can be very bad for the fishermen and the boats alike!  Just take a look at these videos below to see the Silver Carp jumping like maniacs out of the water!

Another odd characteristic of the Silver Carp is the fact that they have no stomach!  They feed on phytoplankton, zooplankton and detritus.  As you can imagine with these fish, it is in one end and out the other!  Some think that these Carp can be use to control some forms of algae, while other worry about the side effects of introducing this species of Carp.

If you have any additional information or questions about the Silver Carp just leave us a comment.

Razorback Sucker (Xyrauchen texanus)

The Razorback Sucker or Xyrauchen texanus is arguably one of the ugliest freshwater fish in the world.  This ancient endangered species has a large and abrupt bump in between its dorsal fin and head.  This strange bump gives it another nickname, the Humpback Sucker.

These fish are found in Colorado and other areas in Western North America.  Razorback Suckers can grow to about 3-1/2' (1m) and can weigh up to 14lbs (6kg).  They are often brownish black with a yellowish color on their underbellies.  These Suckers can live quite a long time, over 40 years is not too uncommon.  Unfortunately, habitat destruction, introduction of new species and the rerouting of waterways has pushed this fish to the brink of extinction.  

The Razorback Sucker spawns in the later winter to early spring on the gravel bottom where the eggs easily attach.  One female will mate with as many as twelve males.  Once born, these freshwater fish feed on insect larvae, plankton and algae.   You can check out the Razorback Sucker in the video below...

One amazing fact about the Razorback Sucker is their "third eye".  Portions of this fish's retina is very receptive to UV rays.  Normally this fish is too deep for these rays to penetrate, but when the Razorback Sucker is in the shallow spawning they use this portion of their retina to flash reflected sunlight and warn other males to stay away.  They do this by rolling their eyes downward revealing this strange "third eye".

If you have any additional information or questions about the Razorback Sucker fish just leave us a comment below.

Aquarium Fish Of The Month - Spotted Cardinalfish

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