The vast underwater world of fish is truly amazing. Fish are known to have colonized almost every aquatic environment on this planet Earth. From the freezing depths of the Arctic Ocean to the shallow pools of the Sahara desert, the finfish have permeated far reaches well beyond any man-made borders. Meanwhile, geographical separations have created an abundance of variation among these fish. Today, we can see the product of over 400 million years of population fragmentation and natural selection. Many new freshwater and saltwater fish species have been created as species of fish have become too different to interbreed after long periods of separation. In fact, this process has lead to over 25,000 different species of fish known today, and many more are being discovered each year. This makes fish the most diverse group of the major vertebrae groups.
The Japanese must have realized the beauty of the finfish when they started selectively breeding the wild carp 2000 years ago to develop domesticated koi and goldfish as strictly ornamental fish. In fact, records of fishkeeping can be traced back to as far as the ancient Sumerians. Fishkeeping is still practiced by many people thousands of years later as they are fascinated by the underwater world of the finfish. Due to advancement in technology of today, it is possible to bring a piece of private underwater world into one’s home or office with ease. A well maintained aquarium can bring life to a space and become a comforting centerpiece of the entire room. An aquarium can appreciated by many people and it can provide endless hours of entertainment. Gazing into the beautiful shoal of fish swimming against the gentle current of water is exceptionally therapeutic. It is no wonder that they appear so often in waiting rooms to calm the frustrated minds. In order to enjoy your aquarium however, understanding basic fish keeping practices and species specific requirements are vital. Welcome to the world of fishkeeping.