You’ve probably kept some tropical fish in your aquarium at one point in your life! If not, you’ve probably admired these tropical beauties in your friend’s apartment, your dentist’s office, or even your favourite bar.
Calming to look at, this specific type of fish can be found in tropical waters all over the world. They attract our attention with their bright, spectacular colors, interesting behaviour, and flashiness. Tropical waters are full of fascinating tropical fish, so with a snorkeler’s skill let’s dive into these interesting facts about tropical fish, and see them up close…
The angelfish, guppy, kissing gourami, sea horse, Siamese fighting fish, and tetra are some of the popular varieties of tropical fish.
One of the prominent features of the reef ecosystem is the tropical fish with their vibrant colors and patterns.
Tropical fish have a well-developed vision and can identify different colors and color patterns.
Tropical fish use their color to communicate and attract attention.
A reef is a high-density environment. Therefore, fish recognize each other through a wide variety of color patterns.
In some species of tropical fish, the males and females have different color patterns. That way each fish recognizes its partner. This difference is especially important in the process of reproduction.
Tropical fish have great camouflage skills.
The color patterns are considered as an evolutionary advantage. Patterns allow the tropical fish to mask themselves, which alters the relationship between predators and prey.
If you look closely, on a reef you’ll see unusual color patterns like horizontal and vertical stripes, lines that cover the eye, patterns that mimic the environment, and much more.
The color patterns of poisonous fish convey clear messages warning other fish that they’re dangerous.
Toxic or poisonous fish characteristics are their warning colors.
The reddish-brown striped lionfish, the boxfish with black dots, are just some of the types of poisonous tropical fish.
Harmless tropical fish are known to have evolved to simulate different warning patterns.
By simulating these patterns the harmless tropical fish disguise themselves and deceive their potential predators. This is known as masquerading.
Colors and patterns can vary because some fish can actually change sex!
There are more than 500 fish species that are considered as consequent hermaphrodites. They are born as one sex and during their lives can change to the opposite sex.
Tropical fish species that change from male to female is called “protandric” and those that change from female to male are called “protogynous.”
These types of tropical fish usually live in a harem where there is a female leader, but one male cares for them. If the male dies, the female leader will take over the role of an aggressive male.
In such cases the female leader will show a behaviour change and begin courting other females, in no time.
Gradually this female tropical fish develops the characteristics of the dominant male and the sex change takes about 10 days to complete.
Tropical fish that change sex usually change color too.
Tropical fish like the three tail fish or parrot anthias fish is orange as a female and purple as a male.
Appearance isn’t the only thing that changes. The whole body of the tropical fish changes, including their reproductive organs, which start producing sperm instead of eggs.
The clownfish, several species of parrotfish, the Bluestreak cleaner wrasse, or blue-headed wrasse are other examples of sequential hermaphroditic tropical fish.
To comprehend why fish are colorful you need to know how their eyes work.
Among other living things, fish can see light spectra that humans can’t.
Tropical fish have a completely different image of the world around us.
Around half of all fish can see ultraviolet light (UV). Additionally, between 20% and 30% of fish see UV light as a different color.
The damselfish sees the visible spectrum and also detects UV light. Because this tropical fish feeds on plankton, it reflects a lot of light in the UV spectrum. This ability is a considerable advantage for the damselfish.
The diversity of visual capacity depends on the habitat of the fish and the depth descent. It’s well-known that large predators tend to be color-blind.
Large black eyes, two dorsal fins, deeply forked mouth, and black or silver bands running across the scales are the features of the Western Rainbowfish.
During courtship the male Western Rainbowfish displays his brightest colors.
The male and the female Siamese Fighter/Betta twist around each other during mating, fertilizing from 10 to 45 eggs each time they twist until all of the female’s eggs are released.
The Kissing Gourami is a peach and silver colored tropical fish with bigger lips for a Gourami than normal. This type of tropical fish is normally a tolerant species of fish, but the “kissing” is actually how the fish fights with other males of its kind.
One of the most usual diseases encountered in tropical-fish aquariums is called its.
Its signs are manifested through small white spots like a sprinkle of salt grains on the body and gills, frequent rubbing of the body against objects in the environment, loss of appetite, and strange hiding behaviour.
The angelfishes or scalars are one of the most popular home aquarium fish.
Scalars are thin, deep-bodied fishes with elongated dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins.
Angelfishes or scalars may grow to a length of about 15 cm (6 inches) and are native to the freshwaters of tropical South America.
The main character in the animated adventure film “Finding Nemo”, released by Walt Disney Pictures is a tropical fish.
The famous animated tropical fish Nemo is a clownfish found in salt waters.
Found throughout Pacific tropical regions like Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines there are over 30 different types of clownfish.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about tropical fish that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!