Fish

The Most Unique Aquarium Fish—18 Rare Freshwater Fish to Own

A common misconception a lot of people have is you only get the best fish keeping experience from saltwater aquariums. But what most don’t realize is, there are plenty of unique and rare freshwater species that quite easily give marine fish a ran for their money.

In this post, we’ll look at 18 unique and exotic freshwater fish that are guaranteed to create a spectacle in your aquarium, without the hassles of a marine tank.

#1— Discus

Discus are fish of the larger cichlids family that have a distinctive shape and bright colors. They are sometimes referred to as ‘king of the aquarium’ because of their majestic beauty and regal hues.

The fish are native to floodplains, lakes, and flooded forest of the lowland Amazon river basin and some of its tributaries including Rio Negro.

Discus fish often congregate near fallen trees along the shore and prefer quiet water, plus they are rarely found in areas of strong current or wave.

In the aquarium, maintain your discus in warm, soft, acidic water, with a ph between 6.0 to 7.0, water hardness of 3dGH to 9dGH, and keep the temperature anywhere from 82°F and 82°F.

That said, discus are not the easiest species to care for, so you’ll need to have some experience in fish keeping (not ideal for beginner aquarist).

For instance, the fish require an aquarium filled with RO water, especially if your tap water contains a lot of minerals. Plus discus are overly sensitive to water quality and will require more frequent water changes than when keeping other aquarium fish.

Also, make sure ammonia and nitrites levels remain at 0ppm, and the nitrates don’t go above 20ppm.

These fish love large broadleaf plants and driftwood arranged vertically to simulate downed branches and trees in their wild habitat. A few floating plants can be added to provide shaded areas and cover.

Discus feed on a considerable amount of plant material and detritus, but also forage along the bottom looking for worms and small crustaceans.

These fish will, therefore, thrive on an omnivorous diet in the aquarium, including tropical-flake, spirulina, granules, algae rounds, and shrimp pellets.

Morever, frozen and live foods should be fed as treats, particularly to help induce spawning, and vegetables for extra vitamines.

  • Size: 4.8 to 6.0 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 50 to 75 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate to difficult
  • Temperament: Largely peaceful
  • Tank Conditions: 82°F to 86°F, ph 6.0 to 7.0

#2 — Dwarf Puffer Fish

The dwarf pufferfish, also known as the Malabar pufferfish, pea pufferfish or pygmy pufferfish is a small, freshwater fish native to Kerala and Southern Karnataka regions in Southwest India.

The fish is not rare like most exotic species, but it is almost as unique, especially because it’s one of the few pufferfish that can live in freshwater.

Plus their small size allow them to be housed even in tiny nano tanks.

Moreover, these puffers have unique coloration and an interesting behavior thus an all-around adorable addition to the aquarium.

Overall, they grow to an adult size of about one inch and have unique eyes that can move independently allowing them to look at something without having to move.

Depending on their mood, the fish colors vary from green to brown with dark spots, though the belly is largely white or yellowish.

Dwarf pufferfish naturally inhabit slow-moving water but don’t require too much space. However keep them in at least a 10-gallon aquarium for a single fish, and add 5 gallons for every additional fish you put in the tank.

Your aquarium should be completely cycled before introducing pea puffers as any traces of ammonia or nitrite can be deadly.

Create a lot of hiding places for the fish to feel safe, additional decorations are also necessary for your pygmy puffer to explore as they are quite curious and get bored easily.

Live plants live Java moss and Java fern are recommended if you have multiple dwarf puffers. The plants will help break the fish’s line of sight and help them establish their own turfs.

As opposed to their larger cousins, pea puffers don’t need hard snail shells to keep their teeth short, but they will still devour snails if given the chance.

That said, they will happily accept frozen food like bloodworms, mosquito larvae, tubifex, and blackworms. Pellets and flake food are rarely accepted and shouldn’t be fed too often.

  • Size: 1 inch
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 77°F to 80°F, ph 7 to 7.8

#3 — Malawi Cichlids

The lake Malawi cichlids are a group of fish native to Lake Malawi in Africa rather than a single species.

Even so, the most famous fish from this habitat is the Mbuna cichlid and the Malawi Peacock cichlid.

Lake Malawi cichlid themed aquariums are probably one of the most beautiful out there, where size does not matter, and bigger is always better, but less is more.

The lake has a high ph level and alkaline water, so keep your cichlids in water condition akin to this natural habitat.

Also, Lake Malawi themed tanks have zero planted decorations installed, so it crucial that you have a decent aquarium background to make your tank more appealing.

Consider using 3d aquarium rock like backgrounds, installed to mimic the cichlids’ habitat; Mbuna means rockfish.

Your Malawi cichlids aquarium should have a ph of 7.8 and the temperature is best at 72°F to 82°F.

Depending on your mix, your aquarium size can vary widely, but rocks and a lot of hiding place are constant. A soft edge substrate is recommended as well because most species like to redecorate.

Good Malawi cichlids include peacock cichlids, butterfly cichlids, orange zebra, zebra mbuna, electric blue hap, electric yellow, blue dolphin moorii, Maingano, Kribensis, and more.

#4 — Angelfish

Freshwater angelfish are not exactly rare, nor are they exotic, but they are indisputably beautiful, with a unique shape and an alpha attitude. For this reason, most fish keepers use them as unique additions to home aquariums.

Same as discus fish, angels are of the cichlid family and are native to the Amazon basin, Orinoco Basin, and various rivers in the Guiana shield in tropical South America.

They are priced for their unusually shaped bodies that are laterally compressed and rounded, with elongated triangular dorsal and anal fins. The body shape allows the fish to hide among roots and plants often in verticle surfaces.

Wild form angelfish are striped longitudinally, with a coloration that provides camouflage.

That said, freshwater angelfish (Pterophyllum) should not be confused with marine angelfish mostly found in shallow ocean reefs.

The most commonly kept species of freshwater angelfish is Pterophyllum scalare, but Pterophyllum altum is also available. Pterophyllum leopoldi is the hardest freshwater angelfish to find in the trade.

Generally, angelfish require a warm aquarium environment, ideally around 80°F, although the fish will also survive in a setting anywhere between 77°F and 84°F. The best ph range for keeping angelfish is 6.5 to 7.0.

That said, the young, beautiful angelfish you buy from your local fish store don’t usually stay that petite size for long. So a large fish tank is required, at least 55-gallons. Taller aquariums are best to accommodate the fish’s body shape.

Add tall plants like Amazon sword, and Java fern in your angelfish tank, with a few low -growing species like Cryptocoryne. The current should be gentle and other decors should include driftwood that is arranged vertically to simulate downed branches and trees.

Angelfish are generally peaceful, but they are still cichlids that can be aggressive towards each other, especially when breeding. Moreover, they won’t hesitate to eat smaller fish, so consider raising them in a species aquarium.

Angelfish are omnivores but have an appetite for meaty foods. In the aquarium, offer them tropical flake, granules, and shrimp pellets, and supplement the diet with frozen and live foods.

  • Size: 4.7 to 5.9 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Semi Aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 74°F to 84°F, ph 6.8 to 7.0

#5 — Hatchetfish

The freshwater hatchet fish is another unique fish priced for its unusually shaped body, which looks like the head of a hatchet.

Moreover, the fish has a unique ability to leap from the water and fly through the air flapping its large pectoral fins to catch an insect. They are consequently accepted as the only true ‘flying fish’.

Freshwater hatchet fish originate from Panama and South America and tend to prefer the upper water levels, often swimming directly below the surface.

In the wild, these fish grow to between an inch to 1.5 inches. They are largely peaceful, make good community fish and can even be kept with timid tank mates.

Since hatchet fish like to hang close to the water surface, they’ll appreciate floating plants in the aquarium, but be sure to provide clear areas at the top for the fish to feed.

Common hatchet fish are moderately hardy but recommended for aquarists with some fish keeping experience. They are unfortunately quite susceptible to ich, so make sure you put new fish in a quarantine tank before introducing them into a community.

A school of 6 or more hatchet fish will do well in a 15 to 20 gallons aquarium, and the tank should be tightly sealed as this fish are reputable jumpers.

Generally, hatchet fish are carnivores that feed on crustaceans, and insects in the wild. In an aquarium, they accept most kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods as long as the food is on the surface of the water.

To keep a well-balanced diet, give them a protein-rich food such as brine shrimp, fruit flies or bloodworms every day.

Plese note there are many types of hatchet fish, some of which live in marine environments and others brackish aquarium conditions, ergo, be sure to purchase a freshwater species.

  • Size: 1 to 2.6 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Conditions: 72°F to 81°F, ph 6.0 to 7.5

#6 — Arowana

Arowanas are uniques freshwater fish, which are also called bony tongues. The name is derived from a toothed bone on the floor of the fish’s mouth.

Also, the tongue is equipped with teeth that bite against teeth on the roof of the mouth. For this reason, they are renown for their hunting abilities.

Arowanas are native to the Amazon river basin and can grow up to 48 inches in the wild, but they average 30 inches in captivity. You will, therefore, need a large aquarium to accommodate these fish.

They are comfortable in aquariums where the condition are close to their tropical wild habitats, especially surrounded by plants, sand, and rocks.

Ideally, aim at keeping the water in aquarium anywhere from 75°F to 82°F, and maintain a ph of 6.5 to 7.5. The fish prefer soft to moderately hard water.

Arowanas live a carnivorous lifestyle thus prefer live foods such as crabs, bugs, shrimp or frozen foods and pellets.

That said, as they are large fish, with an equally large bioload, you should use heavy filtration in your aquarium.

Also, get a cover for your fish tank because Silver Arowanas, the most popular type in the fish store, are infamous jumpers.

  • Size: up to 3 feet
  • Minimum Tank Size: 250 gallons
  • Care level: Difficult
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 75°F to 82°F, ph 6.5 to 7.5

#7— Zebra Pleco

Zebra plecostomus are a species of bottom-dwelling fish that is a little hard to get but make a wonderful addition to any fish tank.

The fish is priced for bold lateral stripes running across a white body, with each stripe crossing over from one pectrol fin to the other. Their dorsal fins also have a high expansion and sometimes develops a blue tinge when the fish is in prime condition.

Zebra plecos are native to rivers Rio Xingu, pana, and Brazil and are a dwarf species that only reaches a maximum length of 3.5 inches. Thereby, they are a good, exotic option for small to medium tanks.

In the aquarium, these plecos occupy the bottom of the fish tank and prefer plenty of rockwork and driftwood to hide in.

The ph level in your aquarium should be between 6.5 and 7.0 and the temperature range anywhere from 77°F to 86°F.

Feed you plecos meaty foods that sink to the bottom. Idealy, this should include a high quality flake food, sinking carnivore pellets, and frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp. Sinking algae wafers are also good.

Even so, zebra plecos are shy and should not be kept with other bottom-dwelling fish that will out-compete them for food.

  • Size: 3.5 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size:20 to 30 gallons
  • Care level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Conditions: 77°F to 86°F, ph 6.5 to 7.0

#8 — Vampire Tetras

The paraya (vampire tetra) is a species of dogtooth tetra that has predatory tendencies, with the most notable feature being the two long fangs protruding from its lower jaws.

Type locality is mostly given as Brazil, but the species is currently considered to be widespread in the central and upper Amazon river system in Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.

Vampire tetras largely occupy the flowing stretches of main river channels and larger tributaries of both white and black water rivers.

Usually, they grow to a standard length of about 1 foot, but can reach up to 1.7 feet, hence your aquarium should be 100+ gallons.

Moreover, this fish is not for the faint hearted and require extensive fish keeping experience. Plus can only be mixed with relatively large species as smaller tank mates will be seen as potential prey.

The two long fangs in the fishes lower jaw designed to impale their prey can also seriously injure most companions.

Another hurdle of keeping vampire tetras is mimicking their wild diet as they are generally piscivores and are capable of consuming surprisingly large amounts of prey. Newly important species often refuse to accept anything but live fishes.

In the aquarium, you’ll mostly get lucky feeding them live foods such as feeder fish, earthworms, and river shrimp. But you can also train them to accept whole dead fish such as frozen silversides and lane fish.

  • Size: 46 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size 100+ gallons
  • Care Level: Difficult
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 75°F to 82°F, ph 6.0 to 8.0

#9 — Flowerhorn Cichlid

Flowerhorn cichlids are ornamental aquarium fish notable for their vivid colors and the distinctively shaped heads for which they are named.

Like blood parrot cichlids, they are selectively bred species that exist in the wild only because of their release. They vary greatly in size and are usually aggressive towards most tankmates.

To best keep this fish, house them in a tank size of 125 gallons and 150 to 175 if you plan on maintaining a male and female fish. However, some smaller strains can be maintained in a 75 to 90 gallon fish tank.

Flowerhorn cichlids are strong and will tolerate moderate to high flow and most are best kept in a tank with a gravel substrate.

In regard to water parameters, these fish prefer soft to moderately hard water anywhere from 6 to 20 dGH, while the temperature is best between 80°F to 85°F.

These cichlids are far from picky eater, but they require a protein rich and strongly varied diet. Even so, live foods are not a must because the fish consume frozen and dried food with no problem.

Feed your flowerhorn cichlids a staple pellet to provide micronutrients and vitamins, as well as additions like dried cricket, mealworm and frozen shrimp.

  • Size: Depends on the species
  • Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate to Difficult
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 80°F to 85°F, ph 6.0 to 8.0

#10 — Wolf Cichlid

Parachromis dovii, the guapote, rainbow bass, or wolf cichlid is a species in the cichlid family native to Central America where they occur on both slopes of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

Wolf cichlids are uniquely intelligent and have so much personality that their territory extend beyond the fish tank. They will investigate anything going on in the room and even bond with their owners on a level most smaller cichlids won’t.

These cichlids also have beautiful muscular bodies that can reach over 28 inches in length. Males have a rich golden yellow to silvery background speckled with blue, black, and purple. They also have green and red on the head and the base of the dorsal fin, and blue-green fins and tails.

Females are almost entirely yellow.

To best maintain wolf cichlids, you’ll need at least a 120 gallons tank, with large open swimming areas and caves to hide in. They also appreciate rocks and other decor to swim around.

Base your aquarium with a sand substrate for your fish to burrow in, and make sure you only add floating live plants or hardy species that are anchored in the subtrate.

It also a good idea to use large plants and heavy rocks in your tank because these fish are quite boisterous.

Wolf cichlids are hardy, not too demanding and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. However, they are the furthest thing there is from a community fish and can only be maintained with very specific tank mates.

One last thing to note is wolf cichlids are omnivores that primarily feed on smaller fish, along with crustaceans and insects in the wild.

However, in the fish tank, they accept a pellets base diet, but you should supplement it with generous amounts of fish, shrimp, earthworms, and other meaty foods.

  • Size: 28 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermeiate
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 72°F to 82°F, ph 6.0 to 8.0

#11 — Red Texas Cichlid

Like flowerhorn cichlids, the red texas cichlids are brilliantly colored fish that are selectively bred, with genuine species having a scarlet red coloration. Unfortunately, the majority of this fish available in the trade are closer to orange than red.

In addition to the color, the fish also priced for pearls (small white spots) spread across the body and fins.

Red Texas cichlids need an aquarium that is at least 75 gallons, though 125-gallon tank is recommended for more than one fish.

Use a sand or fine-gravel substrate in your fish tank and add a couple of rock, caves, and driftwood to provide your cichlids wiht hiding spaces and turf boundaries.

If you choose to add live plants, make sure they are firmly secured in the substrate or go with floating plant that don’t require anchoring. Taller plants like Java fern are perfect.

That said, aggression is a serious consideration when keeping red texas cichlids as they are arguably more feisty than others in their family. So, only house them with other large semi-aggressive or aggressive fish species that can stand-up to them; maintain them in a large aquarium.

Red texas cichlids are omnivores that prefer meaty foods such as earthworms, insects, and plant matter. In captivity, they are not picky eaters and will easily adjust to a wide variety of commercial fish foods.

Suitable food for these cichlids include live, frozen, or freeze-dried krill, ghost shrimp, crickets, worms, as well as vitamin-enriched flake, pellets, and stick fish food items.

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 68°F to 84°F, ph 6.0 to 7.5

#12 — Gourami

Gouramis (like Lake Malawi cichlids) are a family of fish as opposed to a particular specimen. Some common species include dwarf gourami, honey gourami, and three spot gourami.

These fish are not exactly rare, but they are unique, with beautifully colored bodies and a wide range of patterns. In fact, the popular bettas are part of this family albeit a little different.

Gouramis are native to Asia from Pakistan and India, thought to the Malay archipelago and North Easterly towards Korea.

In the aquarium, all gourami species swim near the top as they are labyrinth fish that posses the ability to breathe air.

As with other tropical aquarium species, an aquarium heater is often required to keep these fish comfortable.

The optimum temperature for most gourami species is between 72°F to 80°F. The water ph should be neutral to slightly-acidic and relatively soft.

A well planted tank, and a fine to medium-sized, neutral colored substrate will also be appreciated. Cyptocoryne, Java fern, Java moss, and vallisneria make particularly good plants for gourami tanks.

In captivity, gouramis will eat almost any food, however, it’s important to vary the diet to ensure balanced nutrition.

A combination of dry as well as frozen and fresh food will provide a good everyday staple for your fish. While fresh vegetables such as lettuce, cooked peas, and spinach, plus live foods such as blackworms, brine shrimp, and glass worms make good occasional treats.

A high quality flake foods also makes an awesome base staple food.

#13 — Hogchoker

Hogchocker is a small flatfish found along the Atlantic coast of North America that can be kept in freshwater (with elevated salinity), though they prefer brackish water.

These fish are usually bown to dark brown in color, and lighter on their blindside (that lacks the eye). Their overall body colors is, however, broken by a series of spots and tripes which can be lighter or darker than the main body.

Intrestingly, hogchockers spend their time in aquariums attached to rocks, driftwood, and glass, while using their bellies as sunction cups in a similar manner as hillstream loaches.

Moreover, the fish are known to survive in freshwater, brackish, and marine water aquariums (as mentioned before), though they are sold in the aquarium fish trade as freshwater flounder.

When keeping hogchockers, use a substrate made up of fine grained sand to allow your fish to burrow, plus remember to feed them predatory foods that sink down to the bottom.

These fish are indisputably carnivores, but there is a chance they can be trained to accept sinking pellets after introducing them in your fish tank. Vegatable should never be included in their diet.

  • Size: 2 to 3 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate to Difficult
  • Temperament: Largely Peaceful

#14 — Elephant-Nose Fish

Elephant-nose fish are incredibly unique freshwater fish that are so named for their trunk-like mouth extensions reminiscent of an elephants trunk.

The fish use the trunk to feed, communicate, and for self defense.

Peters’ elephantnose fish are native to the Niger river in West Africa where they inhabit murky habitats with dense foliage.

Interestingly, the fish develop an electric field to sense their surronding and communicate given the muddy nature of their homes. Moreover, they are almost always active at night.

That said, elephant-nose fish are rare and require an aquarist with a vast experience to maintain them. They are especially sensitive to water change and have strict aquarium requirements.

Their feeding schedule is also somewhat unique as they are nocturnal. Mostly, they prefer live bloodworms, mosquito larvae, black flies and brine shrimp, though with training, some may eat flakes or frozen foods.

By and large, if you can meet elephant-nose fish requirements, you can rest assured they’ll make the most unique addition to your aquarium.

  • Size: 9 to 13 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
  • Care Level: Difficult
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 72°F to 80°F, ph 6.5 to 7.0

#15 — Datnoid

Datnoid, also called tiger fish is another unique freshwater fish, with large black stripes and tiger like patterned bodies.

The fish are native to Indonesia and Thailand water where they inhabit both freshwater and brackish water of coastal areas, rivers, and estuaries.

When keeping datnoid, you’ll need a big aquarium, though they have an extended lifespan and usually develop slowly, meaning you can maintain them in a small aquarium and move them to a larger setup later. Eventually, this fish reach about 14 inches.

Another thing to note is there are different species of datnoid which include siamese tiger fish, Indonesian tiger fish, Northern Thailand tiger fish, American tiger fish (silver tiger), and new guinea tiger fish. Even so, the care and maintenance of all these species is largely the same.

Usually, datnoids require a minimum of 150 gallons as adults, with a lot of swimming spaces as well as hiding spots.

They also produce a lot of waste given there large body size, so consider installing a large external canister filter and a tight cover as they are jumpers.

You fish tank should also include diffused lighting, and some areas with sibmerged plants roots. A moderate water flow is recommended since the fish are mostly river based.

In regard to water chemistry, datnoids are quite senstive to nitrates, so be sure to perform regular water changes. Moreover, keep the tank at a ph range aound 7.0 and 7.5, and the temperature between 75°F to 80°F.

The fish don’t do well with most aquarium species and show predatory tendencies towards smalller tank mates. Ergo, avoid any fish that is small enough to be considered prey by your datnoid, and instead house them with large, semi-aggressive species like catfish, peacock bass, and arowanas.

Datnoids prefer to feed on live foods,but you can teach them to accept pellets and frozen foods.

  • Size: 14 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Tank Conditions: 75°F to 80°F, ph 7.0 to 7.5

#16 — Freshwater Stingray

Freshtwater stingrays are very intelligent and quite interactive with humans, they can even be tough to hand feed.

As their name suggest, the fish have a venomous barb on their tail which they use for self defense. Stingrays also need a large aquarium, pristine water conditions and specialized diets, which means they can only be kept by expert aquarists.

Ideally, the larger your fish tank is, the better when keeping stingrays. There should be no substrate as well, but a fine layer of sand at the bottom of the aquarium is Ok.

Most stingray species will survive with a ph of 6.8 to 7.5 and a temperature between 75°F to 82°F, but make sure ammonia and nitrites remain at zero and nitrates below 10ppm.

Avoid adding salts in your stingray aquarium unless it’s to blster the fish’s immune system aganist stress or diesease or to reduce harmful effects of elevated nitrate level.

Freshwater stingray are carnivores feeding mostly on fish and crustaceans in the wild. For this reason, most aquarist feed them live foods including blood worms, though frozen blood worms, mysis shrimp, raw shrimp, or white fish and live earthworms are better choices.

#17 — Axolotl

The axolotl is native to Mexico City and is also called the Mexican salamander. It is very unique and sometimes an adorable, exotic creature that is classified as an amphibian as opposed to a fish.

Axolotis (which translates to walking fish) are unusual among amphibians in that they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis. Instead of developing lungs and taking to the land, adults remain aquatic and gilled.

To best keep Axoloti, use a fine sand substrate, with the water conditions in your tank pristine because like stingrays, these ‘fish’ have sensitive skin.

A common 10-gallon reptile aquarium can accommodate a single adult axolotl, but due to a large amount of waste produced by these messy creatures, a 20-gallon aquarium is a safer choice. Axolotls do not emerge from the water, so a land area would go unused.

Moreover, when keeping them in a group, note that they are fin nippers and will pick on each other’s gills, which can sometimes end up with individuals inflicting serious damage to tank mates.

In regard to water quality and chemistry, axolotls are quite sensitive, so experts recommend a weekly water change of at least 20 percent coupled with a high-quality filtration system.

The animals are also adapted to survive in still water, so it’s imperative that your filter doesn’t disturb the water flow or create too much current.

Since they spend most of their time along the bottom of water bodies, axolotls hide and forage amongst silk and live plants a lot, therefore, add aquatic plants like mosses, anubias, and hornworts in your aquarium.

Lastly, find a good quality axolotl diet, which can consist of live foods or soft pellets. However, keep in mind that live foods may cause infections in your fish thus a reputable source is paramount.

#18 — Indian Glassfish

Parambasis ranga, commonly known as the Indian glassy fish, or Indian X-ray fish is a species of freshwater fish priced for its unique transparent body that reveals its bones and internal organs.

The fish occurs in standing waters in it’s the native area of South Asia from Pakistan to Malaysia.

Glassfish have been in the aquarium trade for long, but have a reputation for being delicate and difficult to care for. Overall, they do best in soft to moderately hard water that is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, with a ph of 6.5 to 7.5.

The fish are a tropical species but can tolerate a wide range of temperature anywhere from 68°F to 86°F.

A dark substrate will help to make these shy fish less nervous and encourage them to display their best colors. Moreover, provide cover by planting some areas of the tank, along with a few floating aquatic vegatation.

Rocks and driftwood can also be used.

When choosing companions for your glassfish, avoid vigorous or aggressive species and instead house them with barbs, livebearers, smaller rainbowfish, loaches and small tropicals.

Regarding diet, Indian glassfish are unfussy and will accept most live and frozen foods. However, they tend to not eat dried foods like flake.

Please note that some Indian glassfish sold to hobbyists are injected with colored dye to make them more ‘attractive’. These colored types are often called disco fish and often sold to new, unsuspecting aquarist tricked into believing such shades are natural, of which they are not.

In actual sense, painting is a painful and cruel process that causes prolonged trauma to the fish and make it susceptible to diseases including fin rot.

  • Size: 3.2 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperamet: Peaceful
  • Tank Conditions: 68°F to 86°F, ph 6.5 to 7.5

That all!

Enjoy fish keeping

Eddie Waithaka

Resident Content Creator and Marketer at AquariaWise who talks about aquariums and fish and aquascapes a lot.

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