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Information at a Glance

General
  • Indian ornamental fishes with their brilliant   colours and unique features need no introduction to the  World market. The fresh water and the brackish water bodies  and the seas abound the Indian sub continent abound in  attractive varities of fish which are dearer to the hobbyists the world over.
  • Koi is a Japanese word meaning “love” and koi giving in Japan has much the same meaning as flower giving in the West. Koi have been bred in Japan since at least 300 A.D. and are a popular ornamental fish because of their wide variety of colors and color patterns.

Production

  • During and after harvest, ornamental fish are visually inspected for quality. Quality is determined by a number of desirable characteristics. These characteristics include size, color, fin development, sex, as well as indicators of health such as scale loss, torn fin rays, eye damage, and parasite load. This time-consuming selection process is known as grading.
  • In Florida ornamental fish production, the two most commonly used mechanical graders are the insertable box grader and the adjustable one-piece grader. Ornamental fish are produced primarily in outdoor, earthen ponds. In Florida these ponds are almost all water-table ponds in sandy loams. Most of the energy used in ornamental fish production is applied to pumping and temperature control.

Technology

  • Ornamental fish comprise two broad categories: live-bearers and egg-layers. Production techniques for egg-layers would encompass an entire book on fish reproduction. Major divisions of this group include mouth brooders, bubble nest builders, substrate spawners and egg scatterers.
  • Modern technologies can be employed to reduce the costs of ornamental fish production. A wide array of structures can be used for ornamental fish production. Greenhouse structures such as those used by the horticulture industry for plant production are commonly employed.

Market

  • Freshwater tropical ornamental fish culture is the largest component of aquaculture in the State of Florida and accounts for approximately 95% of all ornamentals produced in the U.S. Brazil is one of the five leading exporting countries of tropical aquarium fishes in the world, and the interest in marine ornamental organisms has increased substantially there from the mid to the late 1990s. About 120 reef fish species are currently harvested in Brazil’s ornamental trade.
  • Advantage in raising ornamental fish is that it commands much higher prices than food fishes—typically at $1.8 million a ton. In contrast, the average freight on board value of food fishes exported by the country amounted to $2,700 a metric ton in 2004. The raising of ornamental fish such as goldfish, koi, angelfish, fighting fish and similar species is easy and cheap as the fish could be reared even in one’s own backyard.

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