as they are fairly adaptable, too. In general,
platies are not as long lived as tetras, but,
being livebearers, they are much easier to
spawn as long as you have lots of plant
growth in the tank. That provides hiding
places for the babies, as well as tidbits for
them to munch on (the film of microscopic
growth that covers the plants).
I have a friend who says
“specie” for a single species. I say that
singular and plural is the same: “species.”
Could you settle the bet?
Amherst, New York
Although some people use
“specie” as singular for
species, that is wrong, as
both singular and plural are
“species.” The word “specie” actually refers
to coin (as opposed to paper) money, and
it’s not much used—at least, in my circles.
Theoretically, “spee-sheez” is the correct
pronunciation, although my dictionary
gives that pronunciation as the preferred
pronunciation, with “spee-seez” (the way
many say it) being acceptable. My much-valued friend Bob Goldstein brought that
to my attention when we were discussing
the mispronunciation of scientific names.
(However, old habits die hard!)
I would like good schooling
fish for a 50-gallon aquarium.
What species would you recommend? Also,
what is the difference between “schools”
Cripple Creek, Colorado
First, “schools” and “shoals.”
These words are synonymous
when applied to fish and other
water animals. I used to think
that ichthyologists tended to prefer “shoals”
over “schools,” but I’m not sure that is the
case anymore. Some people try to make a
distinction between them, but it is based on
knowing the fish’s mind, so it’s not really a
Neons would be a good schooling species to
begin with. Then add in some other schooling
tetras. (Most tetras are schooling fish, so
finding some should not be difficult). Start
with the most peaceful, and then add the
larger and comparatively more aggressive.
Tiger barbs are great schooling fish, but they
should be one of the last ones added, as they
can be a little nippy, and they get nearly 3
Not all species school only for protection,
as many predators school together to help
corral prey. These predators can be anything
from shark species to predatory cichlids.
Fry and Larvae
Are fish young truly larvae? I
usually see them called “fry,”
but I have also seen some
referred to as “larvae.”
Los Angeles, California
The word “larva” implies the
young of a species in which
there is going to be substantial
change in the structure of the
animal before it becomes an adult. Many
insects are examples of this, such as a
caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly.
However, some fish young are substantially
different, too, and they are occasionally
referred to as “larvae” (plural of larva).
Examples are some of the marine fish that
have a significantly different larval form from
the adult form, especially those that spend
part of their lives in the large planktonic rafts
of the ocean.
On the other hand, some fish fry are not
much different from the adults. Examples
are the fry from livebearers. Just the fact
that some fish fry are so tiny compared to
adults usually means that they are very
different structurally from the adults, but it
seems to me that if there is not significant
metamorphosis, the fry are not technically
larvae. That subject could be discussed on a
Could you give me some
information about the wood
cat catfish? How did they get
the name “wood cats”?
Wood cats are catfish of the
family Auchenipteridae, and
they got their popular name
from the fact that many
What’s the key to a healthy
Aqueon Water Care products.
They make aquarium setup and
Solutions to condition and
maintain aquarium water.
Convenient measuring cap to
ensure proper dosage.
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