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Four Things You Didn’t Know About Freshwater Aquarium Fish

By PetcoBlogger on May. 23, 2016

Maybe you think you know a lot about freshwater aquarium fish. After all, you know that they shouldn’t be overfed; you know that their aquarium requires regular water changes, and you know that the water must be the appropriate temperature. But there may be a few things that you didn’t know about freshwater aquarium fish. Here are four facts that you just might find surprising:

  1. Freshwater fish don’t drink water. While a saltwater fish drinks water to compensate for the effects of osmosis and the depletion of water being drawn from their body, a freshwater fish maintains a higher salt content in the body and therefore the osmosis effects are the opposite—water is drawn into the body. As a result, freshwater fish don’t need to drink water. 

  2. Freshwater fish don’t have vocal cords. Their serene silence makes them an ideal pet for situations in which a noisy dog wouldn’t be suitable, but don’t assume that your freshwater fish is incapable of making sounds. Even though they can’t create vocalizations, some types of fish are able to make sounds such as clicking (this is common with clown loaches) or groaning. Scientists have discovered that over 1,000 species of fish are capable of making sounds, but many of these sounds are too quiet to reach the human ear. 

  3. Freshwater fish are immensely popular for beginners. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, aquarium fish are kept in nearly 8 million American households and a freshwater aquarium is often the first choice for new fish parents. Freshwater fish represent several of the most popular varieties of aquarium fish, including bettas, guppies, goldfish, and tetras. A freshwater aquarium is generally easier to maintain than a saltwater aquarium, and a freshwater set-up can be less expensive to establish. 

  4. There’s a freshwater fish for everyone! Whether you’d like a colorful betta, a gentle swordtail, or a group of guppies, there are plenty of options from which to choose. In addition to varying dietary distinctions, freshwater fish are further divided into two categories based upon their habitat needs: coldwater freshwater fish and tropical freshwater fish. Coldwater fish—such as goldfish—are suitable for being kept in unheated aquariums, while tropical freshwater fish—such as guppies—are most comfortable at temperatures that are warmer than the average home is usually kept, which is why aquarium heaters are sometimes recommended. Shop fish supplies on petco.com.

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