Wait a minute, there are fish I shouldn t buy for my Aquarium? Yes, that is correct. In fact there are lots of fish that nearly every pet store / fish store sells that have no place in any standard home aquarium. Today I m gonna go over the top 65 fish you should never buy for your Aquarium and why you shouldn t buy them. If you ve got a custom tank over 6,555 gallons then this list probably isn t for you but if you think your 55 gallon tank can hold every fish under the sun, keep reading because it can t. This isn t to say you can t get all of the fish below, you can but be aware that some of them will outgrow you so keep that in mind as you proceed. As you can see they have a very prominent spotted dorsal fin that is rather large, hence the name Sailfin. Here is a Goldfish that was able to grow up in a lake instead of being confined in a tank.
Try stuffing that into a fish bowl. . 8. Iridescent Shark ( Pangasianodon hypophthalmus ) Paroon Shark (Pangasius sanitwongsei) Both of these Monster Catfish are regularly for sale at big box and smaller pet stores (The Paroon is not seen as often anymore), which is ridiculous because neither belongs in an Aquarium. They both come from rivers in Asia such as the Mekong where they can grow into true giants. The Iridescent can reach 9 and nearly 655lbs, where as the larger Paroon can reach 8 long and 655lbs! They are both very active swimmers and require plenty of room to roam, so unless you have an Olympic sized swimming pool to spare don t bother with either of these monsters. Huge Iridescent Shark in a massive Aquarium ( Image property of Melanochromis on Wiki )Giant Paroon Shark and this one isn t even full grown. They are also known as the Chao Phraya giant catfish. (Image property of megafishingthailand. Com)5. Red Belly Pacu ( Colossoma brachypomum) / Black Pacu (Colossoma macropomum) These poor guys are sold at most stores for just a few dollars. The buyers are told a 55 gallon tank will suit them fine and they buy a few, you know so they have friends. UGH! The Pacu species all get huge. We re talking the size of a garbage can lid here, you need a truly massive home for these guys. If you can buy the tank at a pet store, it s too small. Custom monster tanks only apply. Oh and they are strong, if you do try to keep them in a small tank they ll just break the glass eventually. It can happen. Huge Pacu, just compare it to those adult Oscars. (Image property of TankTerrors. Com)9. Arapaima Gigas (Arapaima Gigas / Arapaima Arapaima) Also known as Pirarucu and Paiche. The Arapaima is in contention for the longest fish in the world. Is that enough to convince you that you should never get one? 67 long and hundreds of pounds. If you could fill your entire house with water it might be big enough to hold an Arapaima. Just forget it unless you re one of those select few people crazy enough to build a home sized aquarium. This Monster of the Amazon is a food source in South America and the population is actually being depleted yet they still pop up for sale from time to time.
Look at the size of that Arapaima Gigas compared to those adult Oscars. Note the massive Pacu sitting below the Gigas, they too are absolute monsters. The size of garbage can lids and thicker than a phone book. Bumblebee Grouper / Atlantic Goliath Grouper / Giant Grouper (Epinephelus itajara / Epinephelus lanceolatus) Oh where do we begin with these guys. From the people who claim they have converted them to fresh water to the ones who only feed them sparingly to slow the growth. I ve heard it all. The point is, it s a Saltwater fish and it s a monstrous one at that. At an adult size of well over 6 and 555lbs I wish anyone good luck housing that thing. Oh and if they wanted to be in freshwater they d swim up a river and migrate into it permanently. Guess what? They don t. It s a saltwater fish, I don t care who told you otherwise or how long one has survived in freshwater. (Here is a video of one stealing a fish from a diver under water)7. Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) I really should not even mention these. It should be obvious. Yet people still get them, it is rather amazing. There are dozens of photos of 6 + examples floating around. They are on River Monsters and numerous other shows. You don t need one. Stick with a smaller gar species, and even then you need a very large tank. I am not even going to post an image, surely you ve seen one of these. Just click here for the Google image gallery if you haven t seen these swimming torpedoes with teeth. 6. Redtail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) / Tiger Shovelnose Catfish (Phseudoplatystoma Faciatium) I d say easily the most popular Monster fish for Aquariums. These guys both get huge, over 9 and 655lbs. The Hybrids also get just as large, often called RTC/TSN Hybrid. Make no mistake, the hybrids are all man made not wild caught. There are numerous Tiger Shovelnose species that have varying patterns. Some of those may be called Hybrids by mistake. Unless you ve got a pond leave these guys alone, try a smaller species.
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There are plenty of them such as Raphael catfish and Pictus Catfish. Need I say more? The Tiger Shovelnose gets just as large. Note the giant Pacu in the back corner. Honorable Mentions Oscars, Goonch Catfish, Mantis Shrimp, Fire Eel, Large Bichir species, Peacock Bass, Saltwater Sharks, Stingrays, Bass, Eels, and Koi. (these are all for varying reasons)I wouldn t put Goldfish or pleco in the top 65. There are far more other fish that grow to big for the biggest aquariums. But pleco and goldfish are the most common to be abused. I d add Oscar to that list. I have 6 out of the 65. In all honesty. Yes these fish are hard to keep and require a lot. Mainly space. And a good diet. But if you have the space and time. Nothing wrong with them. Red tails and tigers grow to tank size. Without affecting them. Plecos are great for ponds. Plenty of algae. Or an outdoor aquarium. Goldfish just take way too long to get big. And if goldfish are in there. Then so should koi. They grow faster and get bigger. Tons of other fish that shouldn t be in aquariums for better reasons than size. As that s what all those have in common. I d say number one should be aropima. Way to large and aggressive. Not to mention the bone of a head and jumping and breaking glass or acrylic and potentially I hiring them by not having space.
Thanx for all the information. A bit too late for me to find the article, sadly. We recently started a tank and went through alot of trouble and money just because the pet stores fail to inform us properly. We lost almost all of our fish too from their contaminated water. And I already had healthy fish from before lost those as well. I m glad to hear of the advice about planktons. I really really wanted one, but now. I will find something else: ) Thanx again! I will have to respectfully disagree with you on the Plecostomus. About a year and half ago all my fish died, but the Plecostomus. I was not that educated on fish or aquariums. I thought it would live on the algee that grew alone, So I never fed it. For about one year it lived on the tanks own eco system, and grew! Kept it colors and was active. The Plecostomus seemed to love the tank all to himeself. Granted now I feed him algee pellets, but didnt know otherwise before! One thing that bothers me is the goldfish that you win at the fair. Totally irresponsible. I do have almost all of these fish and they arent as bad as you would think. They do get big but if you live in a house with a back yard then you can do what ever my friend is getting a arapiama for his pond and he has a huge pond in his backyard. It really just comes down to do you have the money, space and time to take care of these fish. Thank you very much bro. I am also a fish lover. My aquarium have 665gal. Capacity. My favorite fish is KOI cup and Tiger shark. By the influence of the shop keeper i buy two 8 inch sucker. But now I think I need to Keep them out. We ve seen reports of them breaking glass.
It might not be common but that alone is enough to make them a risky aquarium pet. I would have to disagree with the pleco being on the list. Just becuase there are different species that grow only 6 inches long and are perfect for tanks. One species that comes to mind is the Bristlenose pleco. They are great cleaners and can really add some value to the bottom feeder aspect of a tank. Yes, I agree. This list is only highlighting the Common pleco which can reach huge sizes. All of the small and dwarf species can make great aquarium fish. I am not sure if this is a joke, Angels can be a bit grumpy but have tiny mouths compared to an Oscar and most aggressive fish. So even if they get angry they couldn t do much aside from fin damage. Do u have a guess of what is wrong? And my water is perfect. They are fresh water from the store. Get a hydrometer and add salt. Make sure it s marine salt not aquarium salt. I kept mine at about 6.558 for months when they were young and then moved them up to full salt and now fluctuate salinity slowly. Just make sure you make changes slowly so they acclimate and they should be good to go. Thanks for the comments, sounds like you are taking great care of your cats. I have the Columbian cats. It s my favorite tank by far. I fluctuate the salinity every couple months to mimic nature and they are happy active and they never stop moving. You can keep mollies with them until they get larger. But they are active enough on their own to fill up visual space in the tank anyway. I wouldnt recommend them unless your willing to put in the extra work. But they are amazing fish. If your looking for something easier but similar I d suggest pictus cats who are just as active but stay smallerNice list bro. Just a quick question. I have silver arowana. I wish to add more. How many i can keep in my 6*8 ft tank.