Ornamental Cyprinids – Cyprinidae (Carp family)

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The ornamental fishes belonging to carp family (Cyprinidae) include a wide variety of cyprinids like goldfish, koi, ‘shark’, danios, true barbs, rasboras and minnows.

Taxonomic position and distribution of carp family Cyprinidae

The carp family or Cyprinids is the largest family of freshwater fish spread over 200 genera and 2400 species. Cyprinid fish belong to the order Cypriniformes and make up to 70% of genera and species of this order.

The ornamental fish belonging cyprinids are equipped with toothless jaws and are stomachless. The last gill rakers have specially modified into pharyngeal teeth for chewing the feed in ornamental cyprinids.

Cyprinidae have Weberian organ connecting the swim bladder with the inner ear useful for enhancing their hearing. They have retain their pneumatic duct in adult stage and are physostomes (with open type swim bladder).

Common ornamental goldfish
Common goldfish

Cyprinidae are adapted mostly to cold water and withstand low temperatures.
Carp family Cyprinidae is present in Asia, Europe, Africa and America. There is no native Cyprinids in Australia.

Most of them are from East Asia. In China goldfish has been kept as a pet for more than 1000 years. Two most notable ornamental carp among these cyprinidae are goldfish and koi.

Goldfish was developed from the Prussian Carp (Carassius (auratus) in China and the koi was developed from common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in Japan.
Other popular varieties of ornamental types (cyprinidae)are barbs, danios, shark, minnows and rasboras.

Keeping an ornamental fish aquarium of cyprinids

Most of cyprinids are peace loving living happily in a community aquarium with other ornamental fish. Barbs and danios are schooling ornamental fish among this family and can be kept in a community tank.

Rainbow shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum)
Rainbow shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum)

Most of cyprinids are active and the tank must be roomy. Carp fish are mostly omnivorous and accept formulated feed. Carp do not show parental care and scatter their eggs in the bottom of the aquarium.

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