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Have you ever noticed that your fish change colour? Some more than others though, but have you ever stopped to wonder why they do this? I don't have a degree in fish keeping, but would like to share my thoughts on the matter with you.
Colour is a very important aspect of life, everything is colourful especially fish. You could never convince me that fish can not see colour because of the wide variety of colours of fish.
In nature colour is used to attract attention, the male in certain bird species is more brightly coloured than the female, and when it is time to court certain species become even more colourful. The same might be true with fish. Have you noticed how most male fish are more brightly coloured than the females of that species?
Besides being able to attract a mate, colour is used to repel. Certain South American frogs are black and yellow, meaning danger to whoever tries to eat them. There are poisonous fish as well, but I don't want to focus on them right now. Have you noticed that fish sometimes loose their colour and look rather bland? Especially when they have just been caught and released in your tank? I have a theory concerning this, now I may be wrong on this - but you can judge it.
When a fish is happy, it shows. Their colours are bright and beautiful. When they are being chased they loose their colour (temporarily) to confuse the potential predator. Have you ever tried to catch a certain cichlid and noticed how all the fish in the tank suddenly look the same? A minute ago you had all the colours of the rainbow in the tank and now you only have white fish? (I'm referring to a tank at the LFS). Yes, being able to change colour may just give you the edge you needed to escape a dangerous predator.
I am a catfish lover, especially Corydoras. I have Aneus (Bronze), Palateus (Pepper) and Albino's at the moment. In the morning, at feeding time the fish are a lighter colour than at other times of the day. When they start foraging for food they become slightly darker in colour. When I get home from work I find that they are a much darker colour that at any other time of the day. Normally they are resting at this time. After their evening feeding the Pepper Cories shine with a blue-green tint. It is beautiful. Does their colour show what mood they are in? I definitely think so.
Even my pleco changes colour! I don't know the exact type of pleco that I have (looks like the standard pleco if there was such a thing). Before eating he is a lighter shade of brown, which forms a kind of pattern on his body. After eating he goes back to darker brown and black. When he is very happy he even has a row of white dots that run down his left and right sides from his stomach to his tail.
Fish use colour for a variety of reasons, I believe that they use it to communicate with each other as well. A silent language for those who cannot use words to speak. We need to take note of their colours, so that we can notice when a fish is sick or becoming ill. Take a few minutes every day (at different times of the day) to observe your fish and what colour they are.
Have you noticed that your fish change colour?
Article Source: http://www.articlefishtalk.com
* Personal experience
* Animals and their use of colours - nature programs on television.
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