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A quick question about swimming patterns
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submariner
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Joined: 26 Dec 2010

PostPosted: 2011.04.07(Thu)9:11    Post subject: A quick question about swimming patterns Reply with quote

I am developing a virtual aquarium. Since starting it I have been observing fish both salt and fresh water fish. I had a quick question because I just don't know fish well. Might be a stupid question but it will help me out.
When swiimming in an aquarium is there a percentage of swim patterns
like 30% of the time the fish balance ( stopped in the water) is there a percentage of fish gliding or swimming? I know there might not be any percentages but had to ask. It will help me finish my project thanks


submariner
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UncleWillie
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA

PostPosted: 2011.04.08(Fri)11:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick question, but there is no quick answer. Here is a paper I had to read some time ago. An easy read, and quite interesting:
http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/1/107.short
You may not be able to read the paper, but maybe by reading the abstract you can get an idea.
This may not be the most useful, but each species (or group of species) have different life histories and and have a body form (body shape and size, fin placement, size, etc) to make them best at what they do.

In short, the above paper talk about 4 main types of locomotion: (1) BCF (body-caudal fin) periodic (you don't need to worry about this because this is mostly for the stiff bodied and super fast fish like tunas and billfish - not aquarium fish), (2) BCF transient (non-repeating swimming, the burst or explosive propulsion, with more flexible bodies), (3) MPF (median paired fins) (fish that are usually laterally compressed, and have large median fin for high maneuverability), and (4) the non-swimmers (fish like puffers).

There is everything in between too. Many aquarium fish are MPF swimmers (because they do not require a lot of space and can easily navigate reefs or structure) like clownfish, oscar, discus, and angels, etc. However, there are those like certain cichlids, pikes/pickerals or predatory fish like that may fit into the BCF transient category. Remember, many fish don't neatly fit into some of these categories and may be a blend between them.

I could go on for about another 45 minutes, but must cut this short. But basically you can watch for various body structures that will indicate what kind of lifestyle these fish use. You just have to keep in mind that aquarium fish are usually in much more crowded conditions than they would be in the wild and may not reveal the same behavior or swimming characteristics.

Go to a LFS and watch how certain fish move, what fins they use to swim, how large they are and where they are located. Compare the way a knifefish, puffer, tetra, oscar, catfish, blennies, etc. swim. You'll get the idea.
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submariner
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Joined: 26 Dec 2010

PostPosted: 2011.04.08(Fri)19:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was interesting to read. Thank you

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