If you love pets but don’t have room for a dog or a cat, a lot of pets can happily live out their lives in a small aquarium. Aquarium pets are not the cuddly type of housemate you usually look for, but they make up for it by keeping you interested and curious with their unique personalities. Surprisingly, aquarium pets also reduce heart rate and stress. A well-chosen pet can bring years of joy.
So if you already have an aquarium ready and just can’t decide which pet to adopt, here’s a list of best aquarium pets that you can choose from:
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For people who don’t have the physical time to devote to a pet but still want a companion at home, fish are fin-tastic family addition. They are perfect pets for people with allergies or small kids learning to care responsibly for an animal for the first time. Fish are known to have a tranquil and calming effect on anyone who’s watching it. They come in different sizes shapes and stunning vibrant colors.
Fishes as pets are easy and inexpensive to care for. They can live in any aquarium if the size of the aquarium is in proportion to its size. Food, water, filtration, and heat are the basic needs you’ll, have to provide for your pet. Fish food is available in pet stores and they usually come in flake form, pellet or freeze-dried depending on the type of your fish. While special treats like worms and brine shrimp are also available in pet stores, make sure that your fish can eat them before feeding. Also, some fishes die when overfeed so consult a vet on the required food intake of the type of fish you’re planning to pet.
As for their living environment, their aquarium needs regular water changes and ph testing to ensure that your fish is living in proper condition. There are also aquarium decorations you can put inside your fish place that can be beneficial to your fish like an oxygen treasure chest, shells, artificial corals and live plants. Be careful not to place very little gravel that they might be mistaken as food.
For beginners, betta fish are highly recommended. They come in a variety of colors and long fins that flow around them like underwater ball gowns. They prefer to be housed alone especially male ones as they can be territorial. While they are low-maintenance compared to other types of pets, it is not true that they can thrive in a small bowl. They still need atleast a 5-gallon aquarium to live properly.
Frogs are low-maintenance long-lived pets that have the cool/exotic factor going for them. Many species of frogs make fantastic display animals because of their unique appearance, liveliness and naturalistic vivaria. Having a frog gives a miniature jungle aura inside your house.
A smaller type of frog is much active compared to large frogs that don’t move much. Regardless of their breed, it is not advisable to handle frogs as they have especially sensitive skin.
Many frogs are simple with their light temperature and humidity requirements. The usual temperature requirement is 77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity of 60 to 80 percent. However, some habitat considerations are needed depending on the type of frog you wish to adopt
Here are some of the most kept frogs and their specific necessary environment:
- Horned Frog: These terrestrial frogs are a large type of frogs that is usually sedentary but needs to be housed alone because of cannibalism tendency. They need a large bowl of water they can soak in.
- Bullfrog: Is a good example of a water frog that needs a big space to swim. A floating log should be provided that they can climb at to get out of the water.
- White tree frog: These frogs love to climb and requires a high aquarium compared to other frogs.
- American Green Tree Frogs: This type of frog is arboreal and spend almost all their lives in trees. They don’t have aquatic needs as they are not good swimmers. They love to climb so make sure that their aquarium is high with a tree-like vibe that they climb. Enclose the aquarium to make sure they don’t escape.
Some species of frogs are facing extinction largely because of human activities. While the idea of having a rare pet is exciting, make sure to only buy frog species that are locally bred.
Salamanders are rare interesting pets. While they are fun to watch inside their aquarium, they are mostly hands-off because of their sensitive skin. Salamanders that are well-cared-for in a quality environment will exhibit fascinating behaviors.
Aquatic salamanders are challenging to take care of because of their ability to absorb water through their skin. They excrete a good amount of ammonia that makes their environment polluted. While in the wild this waste is diluted by big bodies of water, this option is not available for aquarium kept salamanders. Ammonia test kits, partial water changes, and strong filtration are critical to ensure a clean and healthy environment not only to your pet but in your household in general.
On the other hand, terrestrial salamanders need to be house in a mist damp aquarium with ample places to hide. Their aquarium needs to be sealed but with proper ventilation. They must be kept in an area that doesn’t get direct sunlight. Some of the things you can put inside their tank are bark chips moss and plotting compose.
Hermit crabs are inquisitive pets that make very nice pets for the invertebrate enthusiast. They carry no disease, hypoallergenic and does not require much living space. Hermit crabs are non-aggressive and don’t get bothered when handling. They are one of the few aquarium pets that are safe to play outside their tank.
Because of its social nature. Hermit crabs are best housed in pairs or groups. 2 hermit crabs need at least 20 liters space aquarium to live with. In the wild hermit crabs live near the sea so it is best to have their tank with coral rock sand and safe climbing toys. Hermit crabs require moisture as they still breathe through their gills. A large wet sponge inside their aquarium help keeps your pet moist.
Hermit crabs are not suitable for air-conditioned rooms. They need a room temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit to survive. They also need a high humidity environment with at least a humidity level of 70-80%.
Millipedes are great popular arthropod that is usually mistaken as insects. They have hundreds of legs and known for peacefully munching decaying wood and leaf. This animal has a lot of species and fortunately, some species make great pets.
Millipedes don’t require much space to keep. They need a tank that is twice their length with regular room temperature. Their substrate is the most important part of a millipede environment. It’s a place for a millipede to dig, eat, drink, and live in. It should at least be 4” in-depth and consist of mix soil, wood, and leaves. Oak leaves are much recommended as these are high in calcium but if you don’t have any in your area any type of leaves that is high in calcium will do. To keep your pet hydrated, make sure to mist their place and that their substrate stays moist.
Bear in mind that millipedes are toxic and are therefore should be kept inside their tank. If you live with children, it is best to look for other types of aquarium pets as they are not good training pets for children.
Tarantulas will only make good pets if you are not afraid of spiders. They are a long-lived type of animal that are docile enough to handle. They are also clean animals with minimal maintenance. Their tanks only need to be clean once per year except if fungus, mold, and mites are notices.
A spider aquarium needs to be around 12” long. However, You’ll have to make sure that the height of the aquarium is not too high as these spiders are heavy and if they fall while climbing it can cause their death. They need to be secured with a tight lid so your crawling friend won’t be able to escape. They appreciate privacy in a place to hide inside their tank.
As for lighting and temperature, they are not that sensitive. As much as possible place them in the darkest area of your house. Tarantulas do fine with a regular room temperature of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Although if this is too hot for you, you can place a heating pad below their aquarium that will provide gentle heat. Always make sure that their aquarium is humid enough.
You’ll be surprised to know that of 12000 species of cockroaches in the world, only 30 species are considered pests and some are being kept as pets. Most species being kept as pets are docile, fascinating and good-natured. So if you are looking for a different kind of pet experience, try adopting a cockroach from the pet store.
A small fish tank with a secure mesh is a perfect place for a cockroach to live. They don’t usually like the light so provide a place for them to hide. Their temperature requirement is a little bit different than humans at 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
One of the most common cockroaches kept as pets are the Madagascar hissing cockroach. They are one of the largest species of cockroaches. Unlike any other cockroaches, they do not have wings to fly but they certainly compensate it with their unusual ability to climb. A Madagascar hissing cockroach produced a hissing sound to attract a mate or if they feel threatened. If you plan to house more than one cockroach, you’ll find that they sometimes hiss in unison which is quite amazing to hear.
Scorpions became popular because of their quiet and clean nature. While they should never help and should be kept inside their tank all the time, you can observe their unique capabilities and actions outside their tank.
Scorpions are often nocturnal animals that live in a humid warm environment in the wild. These need to be replicated inside their aquarium. Their aquarium should not have big spaces so they can catch their prey easily. Scorpions also like to dig and a vermiculite bedding is recommended to accommodate their need. Pieces of bark or rock is a great addition to their aquarium.
There are times that a scorpion will rearrange the furniture inside their tank according to their liking. When this happens, avoid returning the items to its normal location so your scorpion won’t get stressed. A small change in your scorpion environment will affect them tremendously.
Snakes are undeniably fascinating for exotic pet lovers. Contrary to common belief they are not cold or slimy. They are often being feared because of horror stories on how venomous they are in the wild but the truth is, if they are handled regularly, some species can be tame as pets.
Snakes are a very good escape artist so the first thing you need to make sure is that they are kept inside an enclosed aquarium. To regulate their body temperature properly, they’ll need a basking zone and a cool zone inside their tank. Depending on the species, ultraviolet light is recommended to help their body better absorb calcium from their food. All snakes require access to water enough for them to drink and bath.
- Always check with your vet before bringing a new pet. Some animals may require lifestyle change from you to be able to live healthily. If you have an established aquarium, make sure that your new housemate is compatible with their new environment.
- Most pets kept in an aquarium are exotic and may not be allowed to keep in your area. Make sure to check and comply with state regulations before adopting a pet.
- Adopting a pet is a responsibility. They require regular care, financial commitment, attention, and love.