An aquarium is not just a motley collection of plants and fish. Some aquarists aim to reconstruct the biotope of a specific geographical region (Central America, the Amazon, Asia, Africa), while others concentrate on a single group offish (for example, livebearers, Cichlids, or marine fish). Whatever the option, an aquarium must be attractive and well-balanced for its occupants to thrive, and this entails some understanding of the various habitats, as well as their inhabitants.
Comm unity tank.
An aquarium is a collection of elements -fish, plants, soil, rocks, water - which are compatible with each other. However, there are several types of aquarium, all sharing the same general principles and techniques but differing with respect to the environment created. Aquariums are divided into two main groups:
- temperate aquariums, often mistakenly called cold water aquariums, where the water temperature can range from 5 to 25°C;
- tropical aquariums, with either fresh or sea water. These cover the areas lying roughly between the tropic of Cancer, to the north of the equator, and the tropic of
Capricorn, to the south, where the water temperature varies by only a few degrees throughout the whole year.
These are not heated, and ideally the water temperature should vary to the same extent that it does in nature (from 5 to 25°C, approximately). This is difficult, as room temperature barely falls below 15°C and is often over 18°C. Apart from this difference, the underlying principle is the same as in any aquarium: to recreate an environment. This demands just as much time and care as with tropical aquariums. It must be stressed that we are not talking about goldfish bowls! Temperate aquariums house robust species, among them the fish found in our rivers and ponds, which fall beyond the scope of this book. On the other hand, we will cover goldfish (Carassius auratus), all too often neglected in favor of tropical species, but which, in their innumerable variety, give great pleasure to many hobbyists.
Still within this temperature range, mention must be made of garden ponds, where goldfish and koi carps (colored varieties of the common carp) can be kept and bred. If they are well designed, such ponds can recreate a natural biotope, with aquatic and terrestrial plants, invertebrates, and amphibians. Sometimes they can also play host to tropical fish for a brief summer stay, if the temperature permits. After all, fish can take vacations too, especially if they coincide with yours! It is a practical solution when there is nobody to look after an aquarium during a long absence, and when you come back you may be amazed by the weight the fish have put on, or by some unexpected new arrivals.
On the other hand, do not be too surprised if some fish have disappeared, unable to tolerate the change of setting -or the predatory instincts of the local cat.
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The word aquarium originates from the ancient Latin language, aqua meaning water and the suffix rium meaning place or building. Aquariums are beautiful and look good anywhere! Home aquariums are becoming more and more popular, it is a hobby that many people are flocking too and fish shops are on the rise. Fish are generally easy to keep although do they need quite a bit of attention. Puppies and kittens were the typical pet but now fish are becoming more and more frequent in house holds. In recent years fish shops have noticed a great increase in the rise of people wanting to purchase aquariums and fish, the boom has been great for local shops as the fish industry hasnt been such a great industry before now.