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Basic Advice

Top 10 List: The Stupidest Common Freshwater Aquarium Fish

In keeping with the theme of this month’s featured freshwater aquarium installation, let’s take a look 10 fish you won’t often see in our installations, on account of their stupidity. (Unless, of course, our clients request them, and they sometimes do).

  1. The Oscar
    Ah, the Oscar… How many young boys growing up were fascinated by having this easy to keep fish and feeding it a steady diet of live feeder goldfish, to their parents horror? I know the Wolf boys were in that group. The fish itself is neat looking and very easy to take care of. The fact that it makes this list isn’t the Oscar’s fault; the issue is that it has become synonymous with being kept in far too small of a tank and being fed live goldfish, which is unnecessary and pretty gross.
  2. Snakeheads
    I wrote in a previous newsletter abou Florida banning the sale of lionfish in the local aquarium trade, as it has become an invasive and very dangerous animal. The Snakehead had the same fate about 20 years ago in Illinois. This animal can live in filth in a wide range of temperatures, grows to massive sizes, and eats any live animal it can fit in its mouth. Like the Oscar, it was often kept by aquarists specifically to watch it violently attack prey. But at least it’s really good looking, right? Blah, thumbs down Snakehead.
  3. Piranhas
    The last of the “let’s buy a fish to simply watch it eat other fish” category, but come on. The fish is a very, very skittish one to begin with, and has no aesthetically redeeming qualities either.
  4. Painted Glass Fish
    Shame on whoever thought of this and shame on anyone who buys this fish. Doesn’t look like natural color does it? That’s because clearly, it isn’t. The fish is actually tattooed with a hypodermic needle full of dye. This fish Blue Planet will never carry. Never.
  5. “Personalized” Parrot Fish
    You can now have a fish show your love on Valentine’s Day, wish a Happy Halloween, or perhaps even a joyous Columbus Day. How horrible. Also like the Painted Glass Fish, this fish is tattooed with dyes.
  6. Green Terror Cichlid
    That’s a nice name. The fish is actually beautiful but quite frankly, it’s nuts. You can keep them together in a pair, or possibly with other psychotic fish, but even that is sketchy.
  7. Jack Dempsey Cichlid
    Jack Dempsey was a boxer back in the 1920’s known for his ruthless aggressive style of fighting. How did this fish get its name again? Oh yeah, it’s really nasty.
  8. Crayfish
    I know it’s not a fish! But it is commonly kept in freshwater aquariums as a scavenger to clean up waste on the bottom of the aquarium. What’s wrong with it you ask? Do you know what they eat? Everything.
  9. Pacu
    You look like a Piranha.
  10. Silver Dollar
    You don’t look like anything, but a Silver Dollar…… maybe.

Here they are. Will all the available options, you should never have to put up with any of the mediocre fish above for your freshwater aquarium project.

About Jon Wolf

Servicing Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan, Blue Planet Aquarium Services has been the most trusted name in aquarium design, installation and maintenance since 1999. A company large enough to be dependable but small enough to still watch out for your best interests, Blue Planet is the only company to call if you are planning to install an aquarium or have one maintained.

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