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The Amazon basin contains the largest number of freshwater fish species in the world -- more than 2,500 species.




    Peacock Bass
      Cichla temensis, Peacock bass (Speckled, 3-Stripe), is the largest of all cichlids. Its large, carnivorous diet allows it to grow up to 36 inches and weight well over 20lbs. It is a prized game fish and lives in the Amazon.
      Red tail catfish

      Phractocephalus hemioliopterus, is a pimelodid (long-whiskered) catfish named for its red or orange caudal fin. In Venezuela it is known as cajaro and in Brazil it is known as pirarara. It is the only extant species of the genus Phractocephalus. This fish originates from South America. Because of the large size this fish can reach, it is a minor game fish. The world record belongs to the Brazilian Jorge Masullo de Aguiar with 51.5 kg. Despite reaching a large size, this fish is a common aquarium fish.



      Arapaima gigas, Pirarucu, or paiche is a South American tropical freshwater fish. It is a living fossil and one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world. Arapaima can reach lengths of more than 2 m (6.6 ft), in some exceptional cases even more than 2.5 m (8.2 ft). The maximum-cited weight for the species is 200 kg (440 lbs). As one of the most sought after food fish species in South America, it is often captured primarily by handheld nets for export, by spear fishing for local consumption, and, consequently, large arapaima of more than 2 m are seldom found in the wild today. The diet of the arapaima consists of fish, crustaceans, and other small animals. The fish is an air-breather, using its labyrinth organ, which is rich in blood vessels and opens into the fish`s mouth an advantage in oxygen-deprived water that is often found in the Amazon River. This fish is therefore able to survive in shallow waters with dissolved oxygen as low as 0.5 ppm.


      Colossoma macropomum is a freshwater fish of the subfamily Serrasalminae, family Characidae. It is also known by the names Pacu, Black pacu, Black-finned pacu, Giant pacu, Cachama and Gamitana. Fossils of a living species of Colossoma from the Miocene have been described, suggesting a very conservative history for a specialized herbivorous fish. The tambaqui is the largest characin of South America. The tambaqui is found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins in its wild form. However, its pisciculture form largely distributed in South America. It may reach more than 1 metre in total length and 30 kilograms in total weight. This species is usually solitary. Adults stay in flooded forests during the first 5 months of flooding and consume fruits and grains. Young and juveniles live in black waters of flood plains until sexual maturity. The tambaqui feeds on zooplankton, insects, snails, and decaying plants.


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