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Common Carp

The Common carp or European carp is a widespread freshwater fish related to the common goldfish, with which it is capable of interbreeding. It gives its name to the carp family Cyprinidae. Common carp are native to Asia and Eastern Europe. It has been introduced into environments worldwide, and is often considered an invasive species.

The common carp originally originated from Western Asia and spread throughout China, Siberia and the Danuve basin. Domestication of carp as food fish was spread throughout Europe by monks between the 13th and 16th centuries. The wild forms of carp had reached the delta of the Rhine in the twelfth century already, probably also with some human help. Carp has now been introduced to all continents and some 59 countries. In Western Europe, the carp is cultured more commonly as a sport fish although there is a small market as food fish.[

Common carp can grow to a maximum length of 5 feet (1.5 m), a maximum weight of over 80 lb (37.3 kg), and an oldest recorded age of at least 65 years. The wild, non-domesticated forms tend to be much less stocky at around 20% - 33% the maximum size.

Although they are very tolerant of most conditions, common carp prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments. A schooling fish, they prefer to be in groups of 5 or more. They natively live in a temperate climate in fresh or brackish water with a 7.0 - 9.0 pH, and an a temperature range of 35.0 - 85.0 °F (1.6 - 30.0 °C). Common Carp will readily survive winter in a frozen over pond, as long as there remains some free water. Carp can withstand summer water temperatures in the low 90 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods. Ideal temperature is 68 to 75°F (20 to 24 °C).

Common carp are omnivorous. The common carp can eat a vegetarian diet of water plants, but prefers to scavenge the bottom for insects, crustaceans (including zooplankton), and benthic worms.

An egg-layer, a typical adult fish can lay 300,000 eggs in a single spawning.Although carp typically spawn in the Spring, in response to rising water temperatures and rain fall, carp can spawn multiple times in a season. In commercial operations spawning is often stimulated by injection. Carp lay eggs by the hundreds of thousands, yet their population remains the same, so the eggs and young must perish in similar vast numbers. Eggs and fry often fall victim to bacteria, fungi, and the vast array of tiny predators in the pond environment. Those fortunate enough to survive to juvenile are preyed upon by other fish such as the northern pike and largemouth bass.