Fish Facts

1. Not all saltwater fish are the same. You’re probably already familiar with the wide range of colors, shapes and sizes of saltwater fish, but did you also know that some saltwater fish are herbivores, some are carnivores, and some are omnivores? It’s wise to keep these differences in mind when selecting fish for your aquarium, so you can provide the correct diet for each inhabitant.

2. Saltwater fish drink water. Unlike their freshwater counterparts, saltwater fish drink water. Thanks to the effects of osmosis, they must drink water in order to compensate for the water that is being drawn out of their bodies. In the case of freshwater fish, the water is drawn into their bodies instead of out, thus eliminating the need to drink.

3. They use all five senses. While they might not see, hear, smell, touch and taste in exactly the same way we do, fish possess all five senses and use them to locate food, detect danger and communicate with one another.

4. Fish are smart. Don’t underestimate the cognitive power of saltwater fish. They are more than able to communicate with each other (and with you) by exhibiting certain signals and behaviors, so observe your fish closely in order to interpret their behavior.

5. Not all saltwater fish are friends. Fish are grouped into categories such as “community”, “semi-aggressive”, or “aggressive” when talking about compatibility, however, even fish that are coined “community” may not play nice. Some species get along with other fish, but are aggressive to their own species, while others may only get along with their own species if they are a mated pair. Some male fish like to live in a harem; in a group of all females, and will fight if other males are introduced to the tank. It is imperative that you research the behaviors and characteristics of each species you choose to add to your aquarium to make sure they are compatible with the existing residents.

6. Fish are vertebrate animals that live in the water. Vertebrate means they have a spinal cord surrounded by bone or cartilage.

7. Fish have gills that extract oxygen from the water around them.

8. There are over 30000 known species of fish.

9. Some flatfish use camouflage to hide themselves on the ocean floor.

10. Relative to their body size, fish have small brains compared to most other animals.

11. Fish are covered in scales which are often covered in a layer of slime to help their movement through water.

12. Cleaner fish help out other fish by removing parasites and dead skin from their scales.

13. Although jellyfish and crayfish have the word ‘fish’ in their name, they aren’t actually fish.

14. Over 1000 fish species are threatened by extinction.

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