Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)
One of the world’s most widely distributed tropical fish, they are colorful, live-bearing freshwater fish of the family Poeciliidae. They are popular pets for at home aquariums and are a hardy, energetic, easily kept, and prolific fish. Guppies are sexually dimorphic, meaning that the male and female versions of the species have differing characteristics. Male guppies have thin, long bodies, whereas females are bigger and rounder. Male guppies have bright, vibrant colors, whereas females are less colorful. Male guppy fish have pointed anal fins, whereas female guppies have triangular anal fins. Female guppies have a gravid spot, whereas males do not. These fish reproduce quickly, so keep your eyes peeled for new tank members! (By Ian Bacchus, Aiden Benoualid, Davis Lail, and Max Stiles)
Male guppy shown below (thanks, Pixabay!). Note that guppies have many colors, patterns, and fin shapes. Females are typically duller in color, have smaller fins, and are identifiable by their triangular anal fins (rather than pointed).
Blue wag platies (Xiphophorus maculatus)
Blue wag platies are a small species of fish that are typically some variety of blue. The fish are peaceful and well suited to
aquarium life, needing little and not harming their environment or other fish. Platies are native to Central and South America but have been bred in captivity for decades. Their diet consists of bloodworms and dry foods but watch out for jumping when feeding the platies! These small fish have been known to jump out of the water, so an enclosed tank is best for platies. (By Ian Bacchus, Aiden Benoualid, Davis Lail, and Max Stiles)
Platies shown below (thanks, Pixabay!). They come in many colors and patterns. As with guppies, males are distinguished by a more pointed anal fin.
Artwork of guppy and platy in their aquarium home by Max Stiles:
Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
It is easy to care for a zebrafish. They are about 1.5- 2.5 inches in length and have a life expectancy of around 2-5 years. Zebrafish are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. The environmental temperature of the tank needs to be roughly 64-67 degrees Fahrenheit. They display colors varying from blue, green, red, purple, and orange. They are a model organism commonly used in research. (By Brady Greene and Malysha Winston)
Photo of zebrafish (thanks, Pixabay):
Black skirt tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
Black skirt tetras are also known as black widow tetras. They grow up to 6 cm and eat worms, small crustaceans and insects. They are found in Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, and in captivity, they should be kept in groups of 5 or more.
Artwork of black skirt tetra by Lily Verren:
GloFish tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, genetically modified)
GloFish are genetically modified freshwater species that glow when put under an ultraviolet (black) light. They come in a variety of colors and usually live between 3 and 5 years. They’re schooling fish, meaning that they prefer to live in groups of about 6. Their glowing abilities come from the introduction of a gene that encodes a fluorescent protein, which causes no harm to them and can be passed onto offspring. Besides their glowing property, GloFish are just like most fish and do not require any special care. (By Anna Bourassa, Alana Hennon, Arden Koch, and Anna Rinaggio)
Artwork of orange GloFish tetra by Alana Hennon:
Neon tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)
Neon tetras are small freshwater fish, no longer than an inch and a half. They live in water that is between 62-82 degrees Fahrenheit and are found in the northern and western Amazon basin. They are a shoaling species, and at least 6 should be kept together. (By Hannah McDaniel, Isabel Pregont, Lily Verren, and Emma Washburn)
Photo of neon tetra (thanks, Pixabay):