These amazing displays introduce the freshwater life that few of us have ever seen first-hand. These are inhabitants of the waters of the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere, including the beautiful rivers and streams of the British Isles.
The Industrial Revolution sadly polluted many of Europe’s waterways and it is only in the last 50 years that they have started to recover. However there are many new threats; these include the introduction of invasive species such as the Channel Catfish and Brook Trout into many European waters.
Also known as Ide, these silvery shoaling fish grow to around 30cm in length. There is a golden form, which is a popular ornamental pond fish.
These bottom-feeding fish can grow to over a metre in length and live for nearly 50 years. Domesticated forms include Leather and Mirror Carp, plus the colourful Koi.
These amazing fish have been shown to change their body shape in response to the presence of predators – when predators such as Pike inhabit the same waters, Crucian Carp become deeper-bodied, which allows them to escape better than their slimmer-bodied form.
There are many species of Sturgeon; these prehistoric-looking fish date back to the Triassic period 200-250 million years ago. The Beluga Sturgeon, which can live for over 100 years and grow to 7 metres in length, is widely fished for its eggs, used to make caviar; this has pushed the species to the edge of extinction.