There are 40 enclosures at the aquarium that contain fresh water and marine varieties

Colourful ornamental fish, both marine and fresh water varieties, are drawing the attention of visitors to the aquarium at the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. The visitors, particularly children, are spending a lot of time watching the colourful species. Though the aquarium was set up about a year ago on a trial basis, it was only in January this year that it was inaugurated. An old building was renovated and tubs and panels set up at a cost of Rs. 4 lakh. There are around 40 enclosures at the aquarium.

“We have around 40 varieties of fresh water ornamental fish and six varieties of marine species. We have successfully bred some of the fresh water varieties in the tubs on the terrace of the aquarium and have plans to breed a few marine species in the future,” aquarium in charge Manab Ranjan Patnaik said on Tuesday.

The various species on display include: the Pakistani Butterly, Blue Botch Butterfly, Mountain Menow, Cardinal Tetra, Rummy-nose Tetra and different varieties of Gold fish. The Eight-banded Butterfly fish has a yellow to white body with eight black bands. The fish occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. It has a black stripe along the top of the snout and a clear caudal fin margin. The species grows up to 12 cm in length. It is found in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is known to be distributed only from offshore islands of north-western Western Australia.

“The use of natural plants, natural rocks and pebbles in the enclosures is a unique feature at the aquarium, ” Zoo Curator G. Ramalingam said.

“The natural plants and twigs in the enclosures provide hiding places for the fish to lay eggs and thus promotes breeding. The plants release oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide thus purifying the water. This would not only contribute to the longevity of the fish but also provide a pleasing sight to the visitors,” he said. Visitors to the zoo can visit the aquarium at a nominal fee of Rs.2.

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