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Ornamental fish farming in India

Ornamental fishes of India are contributing about 1% of the total ornamental fish trade. These fishes are exported to the tune of 69.26 tons, having the value of Rupees 566.66 crores in 2014 – 15. On an average, an Annual growth rate of about 11 percent has been recorded during the period 1995 to 2014.

India has great potentials in Ornamental fish production due to the presence of rich biodiversity of species, favourable climatic conditions and availability of cheap labour. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal mainly practice ornamental fish farming in India.

The ornamental species are categorized into indigenous and exotic. Availability of a vast number of native species has contributed significantly to the development of ornamental fish industry in the country. North-eastern states, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are blessed with potential indigenous species. About 90% of native species (85% are from northeast India) are collected and reared to meet export demand. Presently, nearly about 100 native species are reared as aquarium fish. There is also a great demand for exotic species due to its colour, shape and appearance.  More than 300 exotic species are covered in the ornamental fish trade, but a greater demand for this exists. About 200 species are bred in India. 90% of India exports go from Kolkata followed by 8% from Mumbai and 2% from Chennai.

Benefits of ornamental fish rearing as a hobby

  • It gives pleasure to young and old people
  • It enables relaxation of the mind and thereby contributes to a healthy living
  • Children get to know more about nature and use their time productively.
  • It creates a self-employment opportunity

Aquariculture

The culture of ornamental fishes is called as aquariculture. Ornamental fish culture is the culture of attractive, colourful fishes of various characteristics, which are reared in a confined aquatic system. Farmers and hobbyists mainly grow it.  Ornamental fishes are also known as living jewels. There are more than 30,000 fish species reported around the world, of this about 800 belong to ornamental fishes. Most of the ornamental fishes survive in freshwater. They come under eight closely related families namely, Anabantidae, Callichthyidae, Characidae, Cichlidae, Cobitidae, Cyprinodontidae, Cyprinidae and Poeciliidae.

Aquarium fishes are mainly categorized into two groups namely, egg layers (oviparous) and live bearers (ovo-viviparous). Majority of aquarium species are egg layers and normally external fertilization occurs. Based on this, it is again categorized into the following types.

  1. egg scatter laying non-adhesive eggs
  2. egg scatter laying adhesive eggs
  3. egg buriers
  4. mouth incubators
  5. nest-builders and
  6. egg-carriers

Commercially important indigenous species

The commercially important indigenous and non-indigenous species list are presented below.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Botia lohachata

Reticulated loach

Brachydanio rerio

Zebra fish

Chandra nama

Glassfish

Colisa chune

Honey gourami

Labeo nandina

Pencil gold labeo

Lebeo calbasu

All black shark

Notopterus notopterus

Black knife fish

Oreichthys cosuatis

Hi fin barb

Puntius conchonius

Rosy barb

Puntius denisonii

Deninson, S-barb

Colisa lalia

Dwarf gourami

Commercially important exotic egg layers

Scientific Name

Common Name

Astronotus ocellatus

Oscar

Balantiocheilus melanopterus

Bala shark / Silver Shark

Betta splendens

Siamese Fighting Fish

Carassius auratus

Goldfish

Cichlasoma meeki

Firemouth cichlid

Cyprinus carpio var koi

Koi carp

Helostoma temmincki

Kissing gourami

Labeo bicolor

Red-Tailed Black Shark

Paracheirodon axelrodi

Cardinal Tetra

Paracheirodon innesi

Neon Tetra

Pterophyllum scalare

Angelfish

Rasbora heteromorphy

Rasbora, Harlequin Fish

Scleropages formosus

Asian arowana

Symphysodon discus

Discus / Pompadour fish

Trichogaster trichopterus

Three spot gourami

Commercially important exotic livebearers

Scientific Name

Common Name

Poecilia reticulata

Guppy

Poecillia sphenops

Marble Molly

Poecillia velifera

Sail fin molly

Xiphophorus helleri

Swordtail

Xiphophorus maculatus

Platy

References

  1. Ornamental fish production and management, online e-learning on Agricultural Education
  2. Swain SK., Sarangi, N. and Ayyappan S. 2010. Ornamental fish farming. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.
  3. Ahilan, B., Felix, N. and Santhanam, R. 2008. Textbook of Aquariculture. Daya Publishing House, New Delhi.


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