Crucian carp (Carassius carassius)
"Tolaks Ltd." Company offers crucian carp.
The crucian carp (Carassius carassius) is a member of the family Cyprinidae, which includes many other fish such as the common carp, or the smaller minnows. They inhabit lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers throughout Europe and Asia. The crucian is a medium-sized cyprinid, which rarely exceeds a weight of over 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg). They usually have a dark green back, golden sides, and reddish fins, although other color variations exist. It is known for its ability to survive without oxygen (up to 5.5 months in winter).
These carp are also occasionally kept as freshwater aquarium fish, as well as in water gardens, although they are not commonly available commercially, mainly because they are not in particularly high demand due to the presence of more colorful fish such as the koi or orfe. However, they are one of the most important aquaculture species.
The shape of a crucian carp can be very high. The fish get an almost perfect disc shape with well rounded fins. If no predators like pike or perch are present, the crucian carp will grow in length rather than height and the fish will be more slender looking. The growth in height will make it difficult for predators to swallow the crucian carp.
Many sources will claim that crucian carp are the wild version of the goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus). The wild form of the goldfish is however Carassius auratus gibelio, or rather Carassius gibelio with auratus as the subspecies. While they are certainly closely related, they are different species which can be identified by the following characteristics:
Carassius auratus has a more pointed snout while the snout of a crucian carp is well rounded. The wild form of the Goldfish Carassius auratus gibelio or Carassius gibelio often has a grey/greenish color, while crucian carps are always golden bronze.
Juvenile crucian carp (and tench) have a black spot on the base of the tail which disappears with age. In Carassius auratus this tail spot is never present. Carassius auratus have fewer than 31 scales along the lateral line while crucian carp have 33 scales or more.
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