Saltwater fish are found all over the world and live in diverse, delicate ecosystems. Not only can saltwater fish be seen swimming among the coral reefs of the world, but they also are popular in many homes and doctors' offices, as more people are enjoying maintaining their own personal saltwater fish aquariums.
There are thousands of different saltwater fish species. Many are noted for their dazzling bright colors or distinctive patterns and markings. Some commonly known species include clownfish, angelfish, surgeonfish, lionfish and gobi. All species of saltwater fish can live together.
The habitat of a saltwater fish is delicate to maintain because of the rigid conditions needed for most fish to survive. According to saltwater-fish.org, saltwater fish need to live in water with a temperature of between 70 and 80 degrees, a pH level of 8.2 to 8.3, a salt content between 1.022 and 1.025 and an alkalinity level of 3.0.
According to saltwater-aquarium-online-guide.com, saltwater fish may be herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. Herbivores, such as surgeonfish, live off of plant material like algae and seaweed. Carnivores, such as sharks, feed on a variety of fish and invertebrates. Omnivores, such as clownfish, feed on both plants and animals.
Bacterial diseases are the most common affliction of saltwater fish and can damage organs or cause the skin and gills to rot. There are also many parasites that can be deadly, including fish lice, which attache to the fish near its fins; flukes, which are microscopic parasites that clamp onto the body of the fish; and Ich, a parasite that multiplies on the fish very rapidly, causing the fish to isolate itself. Some of these afflictions can be treated with conditioners such as malachite and formalin.
Fish provide one of the most nutritious meals for humans. According to northernaquafarms.com, a single, 150g serving of fish provides from 50 percent to 60 percent of the daily protein needs of an adult, as well as essential omega 3 fatty acids. Fish also are lower in saturated fat, total fat and calories than comparable portions of meat or poultry. Eating seafood has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and help control blood pressure.
- Charlie Stoddart