Most of the tropical fish species that I really enjoy come from South America and the Amazon river. The Amazon River is home to thousands of different aquatic animals including tropical fish. Wild caught fish are interesting to keep in the home aquarium because of their colors and natural look. Over 90 percent of freshwater tropical fish that come into the hobby are farm raised and are often not even from the countries of orgin where the fish would be found in nature.
Deep in the heart of South America’s Amazon Basin, in one of the most pristine and bio-diverse areas on earth, the Rio Negro stretches nearly 2300 kilometers before joining the Amazon itself near the Brazilian city of Manaus. The world’s largest “black water” river, its unique tea-colored water is home to nearly 800 species of freshwater fish, many of which are found nowhere else on earth.
One of these fish—the Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)—gained worldwide attention after its discovery in the 1950’s. With its vibrant blue-and-red coloration and peaceful schooling behavior, it immediately attracted the attention of the growing aquarium hobby. Over time, an entire industry grew up in the region based on collecting, transporting, and exporting these and other tropical fish species to supply home aquariums, mainly in the US and Europe.
Find out all about Project Piaba and hope buying a fish can save a tree and help Rio Negro. What species of fish does Project Piaba deal with?