FISH TANK ARTICLES

The Surprising Health Benefits of a Home Aquarium
In stressful times, having a home aquarium could be a benefit. Read on to learn about the top 6 health benefits of keeping a fish tank at home.

In March 2020, the COVID-19 crisis became real in the United States. Having seen the devastating consequences of the disease in China and Italy, American lawmakers took steps to protect the public by closing non-essential businesses and encouraging social distancing. In a time when millions of Americans are working from home and anxiety levels are running on high, any method of stress relief is a help.

It’s no secret that owning a pet has measurable benefits for your health, but these benefits are typically associated with traditional pets like dogs and cats. There’s a reason, however, that doctor’s offices and health clinics all over the world have fish tanks in them. Your home aquarium could be just as beneficial for your health as the family dog. Here’s what you need to know.

 

 

The Top 6 Health Benefits of Home Aquariums

Though cats and dogs are seen as the typical pets, the 2019 National Pet Owners Survey shows that aquarium fish are kept as household pets in over 13 million American homes. This makes them the third most popular type of pet, after dogs and cats, of course. Keeping a home aquarium is a big responsibility, but it does have its benefits.

Here are the top 6 benefits associated with keeping a home aquarium:

1. Reduced levels of stress.

It’s difficult to feel stressed when looking at a thriving home aquarium. There’s just something peaceful about it that calms you and those around you. This is...

Aquarium Fish News: Bill Introduced to Limit Aquarium Fish Collecting
The saltwater aquarium industry takes millions of fish from oceans around the world each year. A new bill has been introduced to limit aquarium fish collecting.

When you stroll through the aisles at your local fish store, marveling at all the colorful fish, do you ever wonder where they came from? Freshwater fish are bred in huge numbers, sometimes selectively to bring out certain traits (think about all of the different tail types in betta fish. When it comes to tropical marine fish, however, the water is murky.

A staggering number of tropical fish are imported in the United States each year and over 1 million American households have saltwater aquariums. What many hobbyists fail to realize, however, is that they are supporting a trade that takes saltwater fish right out of the ocean to put them in tanks.

In this article, we’ll explore the saltwater aquarium industry in depth to learn how tropical fish get from the ocean to your aquarium. We’ll also discuss the debate between aquacultured and wild-caught aquarium fish while taking a closer look at some of the species that have been successfully captive-bred.

How Do Tropical Fish Get from the Ocean to the Aquarium?

According to a 2014 survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, more than 1 million American households have a saltwater aquarium. More than 10 million tropical fish are imported in the United States alone each year, more than any other country. Though a small number of saltwater species have been captive-bred, the majority of the estimated 2,000 unique species involved in the ornamental fish trade are captured from coral reef...

Spotlight on the Otocinclus Catfish
Also known as oto cats, otocinclus catfish are some of the smallest aquarium fish out there and also some of the best algae eaters. Read on to learn more about them!

You may know of them as oto cats, but the full name is Ocotinclus. Otocinclus are a genus of catfish native to South America and some species are quite common in the aquarium hobby. These catfish are known for eating algae and for being much smaller than some of the other more popular algae-eating species of fish. They are, however, a little bit tricky to keep.

The otocinclus may be small, but it is a powerful algae eater and an all-around friendly addition to the community tank. Read on to learn more about this small but mighty species.

Basic Facts on the Ocotinclus

The name Otocinclus applies to an entire genus of catfish belonging to the family Loricariidae. These fish are native to South America where they are commonly found in small to medium-sized streams with moderate water flow. They tend to spend their time in areas of marginal vegetation, particularly among grasses with plants with small leaves, but can also be seen in shoals swimming in open water.

Scientists have identified around 20 species of Ocotinclus, though some are more common in the aquarium trade than others. Here is a list of those species:

  • Otocinclus affinis
  • Otocinclus arnoldi
  • Otocinclus batmani
  • Otocinclus bororo
  • Otocinclus caxarari
  • Otocinclus cocama
  • Otocinclus flexilis
  • Otocinclus hoppei
  • Otocinclus huaorani
  • Otocinclus juruenae
  • Otocinclus macrospilus
  • Otocinclus mangaba
  • Otocinclus mariae
  • Otocinclus mimulus
  • Otocinclus mura
  • Otocinclus tapirape
  • Otocinclus vestitus
  • Otocinclus vittatus
  • Otocinclus xakriaba
 

Otocinclus catfish are also known as oto cats, though some species have their own names. Two of the most common species in the aquarium trade are Otocinclus vittatus and Otocinclus macrospilus. Otocinclus cocama is...

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