It Is All in a Name: Interpretting Fish Names

In my last blog, I discussed the frustration new hobbyists can feel when they cannot get a definitive answer to what seems to be a simple question. There are usually many ways to accomplish the desired goal and help maintain the aquarium. This can make things a bit confusing to the novice. Then, we complicate the whole issue even more with the “common” names given to the fish for sale.

A Paradise in Blue (Acara)

If you are looking for a smaller, colorful fish to grow and spawn, I have the perfect fish for you: the Blue Acara. This is a Central-South American cichlid that for a long time was known as the Aequidens pulcher but was recently moved to a different classification, Andinoacara pulcher.

Getting to the Foot of the Issue: Anemones

However, there is something important about these interesting creatures that we must take in to consideration when keeping Anemones in captivity. The base of the Anemone is generally referred to as its foot. This is where the Anemone attaches itself into rock crevices in the wild, in an aquarium with live rock, or on the glass of an aquarium from time to time. Anemones will move from location to location until they find a place where they have the proper amount of light, as well as getting a good amount of food.

Figuring Out What Freshwater Fish to Put in a Community Aquarium

If you are thinking about putting together a freshwater aquarium of community fish, you have some great fish to choose from. A community aquarium is one that contains more than one species of fish. Many times, the variety of fish do not occur together in nature, but you can find fish of compatible temperament and water requirements that can co-exist well. This helps to develop an aquarium full of color and interest.

What’s In a Name? Discussing Aquarium Fish Names

Right or wrong, certain names immediately bring certain expectations, whether the name refers to a fish, dog, cat, animal or human! There is something in the collective consciousness that associates a “look” or behavior with a name. Some fish rightly deserve their name, while others must suffer under the expectations that they cannot live up to. Below is a list of some of the most well known common name fish.

The Appeal of Arowanas

What is it that makes the Arowana so appealing to so many aquarium hobbyists? Is it:

  • Their shiny scaling and long, graceful fins?
  • Their expressive, large eyes?
  • Their sinuous swimming motion along the surface of the tank?
  • Their peaceful demeanor (unless they consider you food)?
  • Their ability to jump out of the water and snatch their prey from a low hanging branch?
  • Their variety of colors, available from silver to gold to red to blue/black?
  • Their ability to bring good luck and wealth to their owners?

It must be a combination of all of the above that helps explain the universal appeal of Arowanas!

The Common (or Not So Common) Plecostomus

Sooner or later, nearly all freshwater aquarium hobbyists will purchase one of the plecostomus species. This ubiquitous member of the catfish family is usually purchased to help control nuisance algae in the aquarium. Also known as a sucker-mouth catfish, the Plecostomus (Pleco for short) has the ability to flatten its mouth like a suction cup and use 100’s of small rasping teeth to scrape the algae off the rocks and even the glass of the aquarium.