By Bob Goemans
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Fish Library

 Balistes punctatus (Bluespotted Triggerfish, Golden Heart Triggerfish)

Balistes punctatus
Gmelin, 1789

Bluespotted Triggerfish, Golden Heart Triggerfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable


Welcome to the 'Fish Library' where the goal is to present a logical dissemination of information concerning those fishes of interest to marine aquarists, and possibly some divers. Not being a scientist, I've laid out this portion of my website to encompass them in a fashion that will hopefully make it easy to find the subjects of interest.

Keep in mind there are about 3500 fishes found on coral reefs throughout the world, yet only about 70% of them are suitable for home aquariums. Nevertheless, some of those not suitable will also be shown and discussed to bring that aspect to your attention.

In fact, this Fish Library, possibly the largest on the Internet, presently contains well over 2000 species, all posted with their photos, scientific names, advisor, common names, range, size, natural environment, husbandry, and aquarium suitability. It was designed to accommodate the needs of hobbyists, not marine biologists or ichthyologists, and therefore lists fish families and species of possible interest in alphabetic order.

As for species common names, they have little scientific meaning and are intended as a way to identify a certain species to simply assist beginners, local shops, and/or average aquarists. Common names, in fact, for the same exact species often differ between countries, with some species having an array of different common names. Selecting or simply discussing animals by their common name is actually more difficult than what it would be if their scientific name or class designation were used.

In the late 1700's Carl von Linne developed a system to overcome this situation. The system, now called the Binomial System of Nomenclature classified each organism by using a two part Latinized name - Genus and Species. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, were added. In fact, Linne is referred to as "Linnaeus."

Genus is always capitalized and species is lower case. Both are italicized. Higher classification levels are usually capitalized, but not italicized. When a person's name follows the scientific name, it is the person who first described the organism. If the name appears in parentheses, another taxonomist has changed the genus name.

For what its worth, when talking about a number of fish of the same species, the plural remains 'fish.' Yet when discussing several different species the plural becomes 'fishes.'

Consider this a work in progress and if you wish to share your photos or knowledge with me, I'll post it here so others can benefit. In fact, I want to thank all those that have consented to using their photos in this endeavor, as they are to be commended. Again, my sole purpose here is to help my fellow aquarists identify species of interest and provide them with some information that may assist them in their endeavors. Bob

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