We visited one of the biggest fish exhibitions in Thailand and the standard and variety of the fishery industry in Thailand surprised us. So we thought that we would write a blog to share this with everyone.
The Thailand National Ornamental Fish Day is held yearly and showcases some of the best looking fishes in the country. Anything from common Betta Fishes (Siamese Fighting Fish) and Goldfishes to exotic Albino Red Arowanas and Black Diamond Stingrays.
This year, we felt that the emphasis of the show was more on exotic species such as Stingrays, Albinos and hybrid variations of different species. Each year more and more different fish species emerge on show and slowly but surely, we can see the fishery industry of Thailand become stronger and more colourful.
The entrance of the show was decorated with the bright colours of the Asian Arowanas. Super Goldhead Arowanas and Super Red Arowanas lit up the entrance as they swam majestically in their showcase tanks.
I am sure the Arowana needs no introduction but we would like to give a short introduction to this species just in case there are some people out there who would like to know more about the Asian Arowana.
The Asian arowana comprises several varieties of freshwater fish in the genus Scleropages. They have several other common names, including Asian bonytongue, dragon fish, and a number of names specific to different varieties.
Native to Southeast Asia, Asian Arowanas inhabit blackwater rivers, slow-moving waters flowing through forested swamps and wetlands. Adults feed on other fish, while juveniles feed on insects.
These popular aquarium fish have special cultural significance in areas influenced by Chinese culture. The name dragon fish stems from their resemblance to the Chinese dragon. This popularity has had both positive and negative effects on their status as endangered species.
Walking on in, we find some excellent show grade quality goldfishes on display. From Lionheads to Japanese Ranchus.
Ok, well, we are sure everyone knows about Goldfishes and what they are. Otherwise… well, you must be from somewhere far far away…
But just to share some interesting facts about Goldfishes…
The goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) was one of the earliest fish to be domesticated, and is one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish.
A relatively small member of the carp family (which also includes the Koi Carp and the Crucian Carp), the goldfish is a domesticated version of a less-colorful carp (Carassius auratus) native to East Asia. It was first domesticated in China more than a thousand years ago. Goldfish breeds vary greatly in size, body shape, fin configuration and coloration (various combinations of white, yellow, orange, red, brown, and black are known).
Did you know?
During the 1620s, goldfish were highly regarded in southern Europe because of their metallic scales, and symbolized good luck and fortune. It became tradition for married men to give their wives a goldfish on their one-year anniversary, as a symbol for the prosperous years to come.
We went on further into the exhibition and Marine fishes were next. All of them, in nicely decorated and brightly lit tanks to further enhance and bring out the bright colours they already exhibit. These tanks were in a class of their own.
Not only were fishes on display, soon after passing the Marine fishes, there were just rows and rows of Aquatic plants on exhibition. And we found out that this was actually a competition on tank aquatic design and all the tanks on display were done by children under the age of 15 years. Anyway not much to talk about the plants so let’s just let the pictures do the talking
Moving on… we came across some watery creepy crawlies. Freshwater Crayfish or what some people know as Yabbies.
Crayfish – also called crawfish or crawdads – are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related. They breathe through feather-like gills and are found in bodies of water that do not freeze to the bottom. They are mostly found in brooks and streams where there is fresh water running, and which have shelter against predators. Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species such as the invasive Procambarus clarkii are more hardy. Crayfish feed on living and dead animals and plants.
Of course, no fish day or competition whatsoever would be complete without the famous Thai Flower Horns. These peculiar looking fishes were judged on the intensity of their colours, the symmetry of their bodies and of course, the size of the humps on their heads.
Siamese Fighting Fish
The Siamese fighting fish, also known as the Betta, is a popular species of freshwater aquarium fish. The name of the genus is derived from “Ikan Bettah”, taken from a local dialect of Malay. The wild ancestors of this fish are native to the rice paddies of Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam and are called Pla-kad (lit. biting fish) in Thai or Trey Krem in Khmer.
Then we came across 2 Albinos, an Albino Red Tailed Catfish and an Albino Red Arowana; 2 awesome fishes, each in their own way. Let’s let the pictures do the talking.
Albino Red Tailed Catfish
Albino Red Arowana
Now let us share some interesting facts about “Albinism” (in layman terms, Albino effect)
Albinism also called Achromia,Achromasia, or Achromatosis is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of Tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme involved in the production of Melanin. Albinism results from inheritance of recessive gene alleles and is known to affect all vertebrates. An organism with complete absence of Melanin is called while an organism with only a diminished amount of melanin is described as Albinoid.
In some animals albinism-like conditions may affect other pigments or pigment-production mechanisms:
- “Whiteface,” a condition that affects some parrot species, is caused by a lack of Psittacins.
- Axanthism is a condition common in reptiles and amphibians, in which xanthophore metabolism is affected rather than synthesis of melanin, resulting in reduction or absence of red and yellow pteridine pigments.
- Leucism differs from albinism in that the melanin is, at least, partially absent but the eyes retain their usual color. Some leucistic animals are white or pale because of chromatophore (pigment cell) defects, and do not lack melanin.
- Melanism is the direct opposite of albinism. An unusually high level of melanin pigmentation (and sometimes absence of other types of pigment in species that have more than one) results in an appearance darker than non-melanistic specimens from the same genepool.
Short Bodied Fishes
Next in line were a row of 4 special fishes in… these are what we know as “Short Bodied”. Let’s see…
“Short Bodied” Tiger Shovel Nose
“Short Bodied” Peacock Bass
“Short Bodied” Patin
“Short Bodied” Snakehead
Platinum Silver Arowana
This Arowana was what we have all along known as a really rare fish from what we know. But then again, we are Stingray people. Anyway, we just thought this was a really cool fish and wanted to share some pictures, so enjoy!
Stingrays @ Thailand National Ornamental Fish Day
Now moving on to the highlight, Stingrays!!!
There was an array of stingrays when we were walking through the whole exhibition. It seems that the stingray is slowly coming into the fishery industry of Thailand and all over the world.
Stingrays are an elusive freshwater species. Being only 10 to 15 years in the market I am not surprised. Black rays are exotic and hard to find that anyone who had them often heard “WOW” and “Woooh” when others saw them. But in recent years, more and more people are exposed to the Freshwater Stingrays of the world, in particular a few species – Montoro, Pearl Ray, Leopoldi, and Black Diamonds.
At this year’s exhibition, we saw some stingrays and we would like to share some pictures and comments on what we saw.
So let’s enjoy the pictures…
Notice how the spots cover the whole body. This ray exhibits so many spots that there is hardly any more space for another one to fit onto the body of the ray. The rims are nicely formed and spots are evenly spaced out.
And the neighborhood seems to be increasing in value as we move on. This is what we know as a Leopoldi stingray. The classic Black and White colours of this species would allow for it to never die out.
A look at the colours and markings of this beautiful freshwater stingray would show a jet black base colour decorated by white markings. In our opinion, the best of contrast, the ultimate of classics.
Being crazy stingray lovers, we are always fascinated by the different markings of the black ray. They exhibit all kinds of markings and they never seize to amaze. From normal round dots, to super big spots, eccentric markings that resembles letters and symbols and of course the most elusive “Thousand Island” effect.
Last but not least, we would like to share with everyone this special hybrid. The eccentric markings and colour amazed us and it looked so much like a crazy square maze. The light brown markings on contrasting black base seems to go so well together. And as we looked at this stingray, we wondered to ourselves, is this the work of God or did Man create this crazy yet amazing pattern?
Some other stingrays on display… so let’s enjoy the pictures