Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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Tropical Fish Terms to Know
Tropical or salt water fish can be challenging to take care of. Unlike fresh water fish, tropical fish need perfect conditions in which to live and thrive in a salt water tank. Before visiting your local tropical fish retail salesman, review the following terms and definitions to ensure tropical fish are a good pet match for you and your family.
Acidic - Keeping a salt water tank's pH levels regulated can be one of the more challenging aspects of owning a salt water aquarium. For tropical fish, acidic water can be quickly fatal, so it is essential not to let the pH drop below seven.
Basic - At the pet store, the retail salesman will likely tell you to keep your tank water slightly basic, or alkaline. This means the pH levels should remain generally between 7.5 and 8.5. Some breeds are much more sensitive, however, so the number and pH range will depend upon the species.
Filtration - All fish tanks need proper filtration to keep the marine life from being overcome by bacteria and waste products. Filtration can be performed with carbon filters, chemical sterilization, or fish nets.
Hard Water - Both fresh and salt water tanks can be susceptible to hard water. Hard water is simply a high concentration of salt in your tank's water.
Substrate - The material you use for the bottom of your fish tank is more important than you might think. For exotic tanks, the substrate may include living anemone, whereas fresh water tanks simply include rocks for aeration.
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Tropical fish are freshwater or saltwater fish that come from tropical water environments, and are popular pet choices because of their bright exotic colors. Generally, fishkeepers or people who collect fish in home aquariums and large fish tanks, refer to tropical fish as freshwater fish, while saltwater fish are known as marine tropical fish. Although both are great pet choices, remember to chose one type for compatibility purposes.
Tropical fish can be wild-caught species that are imported, such as marine coral reef fish. These are a popular pet option for fishkeepers. Some scuba divers even enjoy catching their own fish during a dive and then exporting them back to their home country. Other types of tropical fish for sale are single species like Angel and Betta fish that are breed in captivity. There are also hybrids of two species of tropical fish, bred together to achieve characteristics like long fins, bright spots, or a larger size.
Tropical fish retail stores or websites are a great way to find out more about owning and maintaining your own home aquarium or fish tank. They can help you narrow down if you would prefer a saltwater or freshwater fish aquarium by discussing the different filtration systems, lighting options, sea plants, and supplies needed. Find out which tank you will need to sterilize more often and which types of fish need more food, and weigh this with how much upkeep and money you want to spend.
Don't forget to inquire about what types of fish you can purchase, like Oscar fish, and if they have nontraditional options like sea anemone, invertebrates, or sponges. This can be the most entertaining part! Enjoy giving your fish fun names such as Nemo or Jaws.