World of Water

The planet Earth contains about 326 million cubic miles of water. Fresh water makes up only 3% of all the water on earth. During the next century, water will be the most critical issue confronting the world's constantly growing population. Relating the Flint and Chattahoochee drainage systems to several river systems throughout the world adds a global dimension to lessons learned about good and bad water management practices.


Blue Headed Wrasse

Wrasses are species of saltwater fish in the Caribbean Sea. Blue head wrasse has unusual blue and green marking and demands attention as it zips through the water column in a graceful display. They can grow up to 10 inches and rarely live longer than 2 years.  Bluehead Wrasse is carnivore semi- aggressive fish that lives in Caribbean. Like all wrasse is high energy fish and does best with frequent daily feeding to keep up it energy. Wrasse is known to jump aquariums, be sure to have a large cover with no large open holes they can escape from.


French Angelfish

The French Angelfish is found in temperate waters in the western Atlantic from Florida and the Bahamas to Brazil, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. They are most commonly seen in pairs in shallow reefs near sea fans.  The body of the adult Angelfish is black, but the scales are rimmed in golden yellow. Also, the pectoral fins have a broad orange-yellow bar while the dorsal filament is yellow. With a white chin, yellow iris and blue-rimmed eyes, the Angelfish is very colorful.  Angelfish eat mainly sponges which are plentiful in the areas where they live.


Royal Gramma

The Royal Gramma also known as the fairy basslet is a hardy saltwater fish and live between three and five years. The Royal Gramma is a planktivore, eating mostly zooplankton and crustaceans. The Royal Gramma begins as a dark purple starting at the head, which fades midbody to yellow at the tail. They are relatively small and average slightly over three inches.  The Royal Gramma resembles the False Gramma, with two main differences. One being the False Gramma has clear fins, and the other being the False Gramma does not fade but rather has a distinct change in color.


Queen Angelfish

The Queen Angelfish is commonly found near reefs in the warmer sections of the western Atlantic Ocean. The adult Queen Angelfish overall body color can be described as blue to blue-green with yellow rims on its scales. Queen Angelfish are also known to have blue markings around each gill cover. Juveniles have dark blue bodies with yellow lips, gills, and tail. The colors of the juvenile fish help them blend in with the reefs. Queen Angelfish may live up to 15 years in the wild and reach up to 17 inches.


Mexican Cave Fish

This fish can reach up to almost 5 inches in length. It has a diet of crustaceans, insects and aquatic worms. It lives in freshwater caves in the Rio Grande, other rivers in TX and central and eastern parts of Mexico.  These fish have lost their sense of sight. But this ability is not important for their livelihood. They live in pitch-black caves where there are very few predators. They have the ability to detect vibrations by a kind of sonar like a bat's echolocation which produces sound waves that bounce off objects around them. This skill coupled with a very sensitive lateral line keep them moving, feeding and becoming prey.



Gambusia or Mosquitofish are small by aquatic standards. Females can grow to 2.8 inches long while males can reach 1.6 inches. Not only are the females larger but they also have a gravid spot at the back of their abdomen. Mosquitofish are small, dull grey, have a large abdomen, rounded dorsal and caudal fins and an upturned mouth when surfacing.  Considered to be one of the most widespread freshwater fish because of their adaptability to all kinds of weather and environmental conditions, Mosquitofish can be found from the southern parts of Illinois and Indiana, throughout the Mississippi River and its tributaries to the Gulf Coast in parts of northeastern Mexico. They prefer shallow water in order to be protected from larger fish.


Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

This is a venomous rattlesnake species found in the United States and Mexico. Adults commonly grow to 120 cm. Found in areas ranging from flat coastal plains to steep rocky canyons and hillsides. It is associated with many different vegetation types including the desert. They live up to 20 years. Sometimes they do not live this long because of hunting. They prey upon small mammals, birds, and lizards.



Mudskippers can grow to be 9.5 centimeters. They have blunt heads with big, protruding eyes that are set close to each other. Their eyes help them to feed on small prey such as small crabs. It is a tropical fish and is found in the eastern Atlantic, the Atlantic Ocean and the western Pacific from Australia to Japan. Mudskippers are threatened by habitat destruction and pollution.  Mudskippers can walk on land with their leg-like pectoral fins. They are also capable of climbing mangrove trees. Their lifespan is 15 years. Mudskippers are one of the few fishes that can actually drown if held underwater. Mudskippers retain water in their large gill chamber that closes tightly when the fish is above water. They absorb oxygen though blood-rich membranes found at the back of the throat. They can also absorb air through the capillary-rich skin providing the skin remains wet.



Native to the Indo-Pacific, the Banded Archerfish lives in the brackish waters of rivers and mangrove estuaries. Its diet consists of plant matter and insects, which it is able to "shoot down" by spitting water close to 10 feet. It can reach its prey 50 milliseconds after it hits the water. It is also able to capture prey by jumping out of the water and seizing it from low overhanging branches. Young Archerfish form small schools while learning aim, increasing the chance that at least one shot will hit the target.



Found in the freshwater, brackish and marine environments ranging from the Red Sea to the southwestern Pacific Ocean. They can grow up to 12 inches in length. They feed on plankton, algae, aquatic plants, small fish and shrimp and detritus.  The mono is a schooling fish, so therefore prefers others of the same species. They are very fast swimmers. As adults, monos swim up streams and rivers to spawn and then return to saltier waters.



The Scat is generally distributed around the Indo-Pacific region, to Japan, New Guinea and Southeastern Australia. These fish are kept for their looks and curious behavior, especially in body structure resembling the famous discus fish. The Scats are hard fish of brackish and seawater that tolerate freshwater only when young. The Common Scat is omnivorous and an indiscriminate eater. Food includes vegetables, small animals, and debris.  Scat is eaten by some people from its original environment, and can sting with small spikes in its anterior parts, inflicting venom that causes pain greater than the wound size and dizziness. Treatment of the wound is often done by soaking the infliction in hot water.


Red Bellied Piranha

The Red bellied piranha is a fish from the Amazon River system: it also lives in the coastal rivers of northeastern Brazil, the Paraguay, Parana, and Essequibo Rivers. They have a grey coloration with red bellies and numerous metallic flecks. This fish has very sharp teeth; its usual diet is fish, crustaceans, worms, insects, and the occasional larger animal. These fish usually grow to a length of about 8 - 10 inches in length and have achieved a maximum length of 13 inches.  Whether the Piranha deserves its reputation as a vicious carnivore is a matter of some debate. Theodore Roosevelt established this reputation in his 1914 book Through the Brazilian Wilderness. Many subsequent articles and movies have capitalized on this reputation.