Aquatic traders

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Fish have been kept in captivity for thousands of years, originally to maintain a reliable and regular food resource. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in coldwater species of fish, notably fancy varieties of goldfish for indoor aquaria and koi for purpose-built ponds. This chapter advises on filtration systems; water quality management; water quality and effect of transportation; stocking levels; stock management; common health problems; disease control; and veterinary approach.

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Figure 4.1 A large specialist centre with separate coldwater ponds for large koi, and banks of aquaria for freshwater tropical fish and marine fish. (Courtesy of Maidenhead Aquatics. © W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 4.2 Although selling fish is important, the sale of dry goods (food, equipment and accessories) often forms a major part of the business. (Courtesy of Swallow Aquatics. © W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 4.3 A large number of tanks housing mixed species of tropical marine fish sharing a central filtration system. The tanks are linked so that the water supplies and drains from each tank in parallel. (Courtesy of Home Marine. © W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 4.4 A large-capacity commercial filtration system available from a specialist manufacturer. This unit houses several ultraviolet tubes, a protein skimmer, fluidized sand-bed filter and a trickle tower biological filter. An ozone generator and heating and cooling elements are optional extras. (Courtesy of Tropical Marine Centre.)
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Figure 4.5 Self-contained fibreglass tanks for coldwater fish at an importer’s premises. These units are made by a specialist manufacturer and have their own individual filtration system mounted above and at the rear of the tanks. (Courtesy of Koi Company.)
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Figure 4.6 A four-chambered vortex unit partly concealed under some wooden decking. These are commonly used in many coldwater retail outlets and hobbyists’ ponds. Some chambers contain Japanese filter matting and gravel while others are empty and allow centrifugal force to remove any suspended solids.
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Figure 4.7 Electronic equipment for continuous monitoring of water quality. Various parameters can be measured and some units will activate other equipment (e.g. heaters, ozone generator) and adjust the water quality accordingly. This unit can monitor conductivity, temperature, pH and oxygen-reduction potential.
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Figure 4.8 A reverse osmosis unit (arrowed) that produces purified water by allowing domestic tap water to pass through a semi-permeable (thin film composite) membrane using mains water pressure. Water first passes through the lower canisters, which are prefilters: these remove particles as small as 5 μm and 1 μm; then activated carbon removes chlorine that may damage the membrane. (Courtesy of Home Marine. © W.H. Wildgoose.)
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Figure 4.9 A large show tank at a retail outlet. This centrepiece exhibit is designed to attract potential customers. The large specimen fish are often long-lived staff pets or rare species. (Courtesy of Swallow Aquatics. © W.H. Wildgoose.)
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