Pet owners know that they should choose dogs based on certain factors and considerations—however, the same thoughtfulness is not usually extended to fish. We’re here to tell you that choosing your fish requires some thought, too, and perhaps even more so.
Fish can be challenging to care for. They are a diverse species with different habits and needs. People tend not to be well-versed with their cues and behaviour. They aren’t like dogs or other pets, which are generally expressive. First-time fish owners may think they are low-maintenance and easily neglect them.
Some breeds are not suitable for first-timers because they’re too aggressive, too large, too high-maintenance, or too expensive. Here are at least five freshwater aquarium fish beginners should avoid, so you can start your fishkeeping journey with more manageable and beginner-friendly options.
Many people think Oscar fish make great aquarium pets because they are hardy and undemanding. They also look colourful and interesting and can easily be the centrepiece of any aquarium. However, this predatory fish is known to be aggressive and territorial. They also grow long and large; Oscars require large aquarium setups and filtration systems that most beginners can’t provide or maintain. A small tank, unmet conditions, or the wrong tank-mates will cause this fish stress, aggression, and illness.
Plecos, a kind of catfish, are usually marketed as “the cleaner fish”, which excites beginner aquarists since they think it will help keep their tanks clean. However, the fact is that Plecos often create more mess than they clean up, and regular water changes are a must. This fish can grow up to 18-24 inches and need a big tank to accommodate it.
Discus fish are nicknamed the “Queen of the Aquarium” because they require royal treatment. Their beauty and colour make them popular and expensive. However, they are also delicate, fussy, and high maintenance. Discus fish need big tanks since they are highly active and require the company of other Discus (at least 6-8) to keep them happy. The time, money, and dedication necessary for this fish are probably more than any beginner is prepared to handle.
With their unusual appearance and bold colouring, Flowerhorns make great ornamental pets. However, they are aggressive and territorial and so are not kept with other types of fish. For beginners who look forward to keeping a community tank, this is not the fish for you. Nonetheless, Flowerhorns are not solitary and prefer a Flowerhorn pair to keep them company. Since they can grow large (30-40cm), they require a large, spacious tank. They tend to be sensitive to nitrate, which builds up with their waste, so their aquarium should regularly be cleaned and cycled.
5. Bala shark
The Bala shark is not an actual shark, in case you were wondering. It is a large fish that requires a large aquarium—and they grow quickly, too (and eat a lot). The owner can put them in a community tank since they get along fine with other types of fish. Like the Discus, it is also a shoaling fish, and it’s recommended to keep about 4 Bala sharks together to keep them happy. They are also the frisky and active type and will jump from time to time, so owners often need to put a lid on their tank.
Cracking the Code of Fish Behaviour
Fish have all these different habits and needs, and it’s not always easy for us to understand their needs. Unlike dogs that wear their hearts on their sleeves, fish can be a bit mysterious. So, if you’re dipping your toes into the fishkeeping world for the first time, avoid these breeds to ensure you don’t dive into unnecessary challenges.
Pet Care Insights for Every Stage
In the fascinating world of pet ownership, every animal has its unique set of needs, and we understand that navigating it can be a bit mystifying. At Clubpets, we’re here to be your go-to resource hub for pet care insights, nutrition advice, and the latest in the pet world. Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a newcomer, we’ve got you covered.
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