10 Unusual Fish Breeds You Didn’t Know Could Be Kept as Pets

If you are looking for an exciting and captivating animal companion, why not consider owning a fish? While goldfish and bettas are popular choices, there are many other types of fish that make great pets. In fact, there are numerous different species of fish that could be the perfect fit for your family.

To help serve as a reference and inspire you on your journey to finding the right pet, we have taken a closer look at ten intriguing yet uncommon species of domesticated fish.

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1. Axolotl

Source: a-z-animals.com

The axolotl, which originates from Mexico, is classified as a salamander, although not of the fish family. Despite this, it is often found in aquariums as a household pet. This curious creature boasts a distinct appearance, with delicate and frilly gills, and a flattened cranial structure. Additionally, axolotls possess the unique ability to regenerate their limbs, rendering them a mesmerizing spectacle for onlookers.

While they may look unusual compared to other common pets, axolotls are relatively easy to care for with some basic knowledge and advice. They subsist on a carnivorous diet and thrive on live or thawed foods, such as bloodworms and brine shrimp. In addition, these creatures necessitate a cool and refreshing aquatic environment, with temperatures hovering between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. An aquarium with an abundance of hiding nooks and plant life would likewise make for a great underwater habitat for them to explore.

2. Bichir

Indigenous to Africa, the bichir is a fish species that boasts a prehistoric appearance. With a lengthy, eel-like body and formidable hard scales, it’s not hard to see why. Moreover, these creatures possess an extraordinary talent: they are capable of drawing oxygen from the air, allowing them to survive outside of the water for short durations.

Bichirs tend to be most active at night, making them a popular option for aquarium enthusiasts. Nonetheless, potential pet owners should take into account that bichirs can be hostile towards smaller fish and may consume them. In addition, bichirs necessitate a large aquatic enclosure with an abundance of hiding spots, as well as a sandy substrate in which to burrow.

3. Archerfish

The archerfish is an intriguing fish species that is indigenous to Southeast Asia. It is able to shoot a stream of water out of its mouth to catch its prey, which is an unusual hunting behavior in the animal kingdom.

Keeping an archerfish as a pet can be a fascinating experience, but it requires some additional care. They require an aquarium with ample space and plenty of plants and hiding places to mimic their natural habitat. To maintain their health, a diet of live or frozen insects, such as crickets or fruit flies, is necessary. However, they can be easily startled, and they may require some time to get used to their new environment before they start to exhibit their unique hunting skills.

4. Discus

Source: thesprucepets.com

The discus is a vibrantly colored fish that hails from the Amazon River Basin. Their striking appearance and calm temperament make them a favored choice among aquarium hobbyists.

However, discus fish require a higher level of maintenance than other aquarium fish. They are susceptible to fluctuations in water conditions and necessitate a well-kept tank with frequent water changes. Additionally, they require a warmer water temperature than other fish, with a range between 82 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Arowana

The arowana, a massive carnivorous fish indigenous to the regions of South America and Asia, has a striking appearance, characterized by a lengthy and streamlined body structure, complemented by large scales. One of the most distinctive traits of the arowana is their impressive intellect, capable of even recognizing their human keepers.

However, what truly sets these creatures apart is their exceptional aptitude for leaping out of the water, an ability they employ to capture prey or flee from predators. As a result, providing a secure enclosure for these creatures entails a snug-fitting top on their aquariums to prevent their escape.

6. Electric Eel

The electric eel is a fish that can produce electric shocks. They are found in South America and are often kept in aquariums due to their unique capabilities.

Electric eels require specialized care, and they are not suitable for all pet owners. Additionally, they may not be legal to keep as pets in all areas. However, for those who are dedicated and knowledgeable about their care, electric eels can provide a fascinating and rewarding pet experience.

7. Red-tailed Catfish

The red-tailed catfish is a gargantuan, carnivorous aquatic creature indigenous to the continent of South America. It boasts an exceptional appearance, with its vividly crimson tail and expansive oral cavity. In addition, it is notorious for exhibiting ferocious tendencies and therefore necessitates the care of knowledgeable aquarists.

As household companions, the Red-tailed Catfish necessitate a commodious reservoir affording ample area for undulating and concealing. Moreover, they necessitate a robust filtration mechanism to ensure their aqueous milieu remains sanitary and wholesome. They favor a dietary regimen comprising of vivacious or congealed fodder such as fish or shrimp, and can even be conditioned to consume pellets or flakes.

8. Siamese Fighting Fish

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The Siamese fighting fish, also known as bettas, are a popular choice for pet owners because of their stunning appearance and ease of care. They are native to Southeast Asia and are known for their aggressive behavior towards other fish.

As pets, bettas require a tank of at least five gallons with a filter and heater to maintain a stable water temperature between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They are omnivorous and will eat a diet of pellets or flakes supplemented with live or frozen food, such as bloodworms or brine shrimp. It’s important to note that male bettas should be kept alone as they will fight with other males. Female bettas can be kept together but should be monitored for aggression.

9. Lungfish

The lungfish is indeed a fascinating type of fish that can make for an interesting pet. However, they require a lot of care and attention and are not suitable for novice fish owners.

Lungfish are nocturnal and can grow to be quite large, so they require a spacious aquarium with plenty of room to swim and explore. They also require a well-maintained tank with regular water changes, as they are sensitive to changes in water conditions.

10. Pufferfish

Source: kids.nationalgeographic.com

Pufferfish are a unique and intriguing pet fish. They have a distinctive shape and can inflate themselves as a defense mechanism. Pufferfish are also quite intelligent and can recognize their owners. They require a larger aquarium and prefer a varied diet of live and frozen foods.

Final Thoughts

In summary, although goldfish and bettas are popular choices for pet fish, there are numerous other intriguing and captivating breeds to consider. From axolotls to lungfish, there is a fish breed for every pet owner’s taste. However, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and guarantee that you can offer the appropriate care and environment for your preferred fish species.