The tropical regions have the world’s largest rivers, simply because these areas have the greatest amount of rainfall. Tropical fish are the fish found in the freshwater as well as the seawater of the tropics. They are quite popular due to their bright colors. The types of tropical fish can be broadly classified into:
- Freshwater tropical fish
- Seawater tropical fish
- Coral reef tropical fish
The freshwater fish are favored for aquariums because it is easy to care for them. Freshwater is more easily available than saltwater. All you need is an aquarium, tap water, and some water treatment solution. Cleaning and re-filling the tank is also easier.
Let us look at the top five most popular tropical fish:
1. Leopard Cory Catfish
Leopard Cory Catfish are found in the south American rivers. They get the name due to their leopard-like pattern and barbels which look like a cat’s whiskers. They like to stay near the bottom of the tank and help in keeping the tank clean by eating leftover food. They majorly feed on frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp, and sinking pellets. The good thing about them is that they do not grow very large. They can co-habit with other species quite easily, but it is best to avoid keeping them with aggressive fish. Also, it is important to ensure that the gravel in the aquarium is smooth so as to not damage their barbels.
2. Neon Tetras
Neon Tetras are found in the south American blackwater rivers. They are a popular choice for aquariums because of their vibrant colors and because they are always active. They are a great option for beginners. When kept in groups, they shoal giving an amazing home aquarium experience. They feed on a variety of food including flake foods, micro worms, and brine shrimp.
3. Black Molly
It is one of the most common mollies. Black mollies are found in the central American region. They eat brine shrimp, bloodworms, and algae. They breed very fast and give birth to up to 40 fry every 4-6 weeks. A separate breeding tank is a good idea for the fry to grow into healthy fish. The mollies are easy to care for, just remember not to overfeed them.
4. Red Swordtails
The red swordtail is found in the freshwaters of Malaysia and Singapore. They are a peaceful lot as long as there is only one male in a community tank. In case of more males, the tank should be reasonably big since male swordtails can get territorial. They feed on flaked food, algae, tubifex, etc. A female swordtail can give birth to up to 80 fry at a time. Unless you want to breed them, the male should be separated, else the aquarium would be quickly overpopulated.
5. Rainbow Sharks
These lovely species usually come in a dark grey color with bright orange-red fins. They are found in the Thailand freshwaters. They feed on a variety of food like shrimp and algae. They can also be fed vegetable matter. They are somewhat aggressive in nature. Breeding in aquariums is rare due to their aggression towards each other. The aquarium should be covered because they tend to jump out. Check out this video of an adult rainbow shark:
All these fish are ideal if you are new at fish keeping.