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When considering the shallow freshwater rivers of Africa, South America, and Asia, the words “unique” might not always enter your mind.

Many “unique” fish are deep-sea ocean residents with additional appendages and also unusual patterns.

You could be stunned to discover that the slow-moving relocating waters of the Amazon river container, as well as various other superficial tributaries, are house to some of a unique freshwater fish- several of which you can present to your very own leisure activity fish tank.

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13 Cool & Exotic Freshwater Fish (That You Can Keep at Home)

Right here are a couple of unique freshwater fish varieties that you can maintain a house. Keep in mind not every one of these is fantastic novice fish, so take note of the quantity of treatment needed before making any choices!


  • Treatment degree: Advanced.
  • Character: Semi-aggressive.
  • Life span: 10-15 years.
  • Water demands 75-82 ° F, 6.5-7.5 pH.
  • Tank demands 250+ gallons.
  • Diet plan: Live or icy bugs, little fish, krill, worms, shrimp, as well as meat-eating fish pellets.

The semi-aggressive Arowana fish are effective swimmers developed for their indigenous South American Amazon river. These streamlined silverfish are structured, meat-eating killers that can expand up to 4 feet in size if provided adequate room.

It is likewise vital to keep in mind that arowanas might not couple well with various other fish as container companions; they are killers and also will undoubtedly consume most fish smaller sized than themselves, and also due to their semi-aggressive nature, they are not the simplest to match with container friends. Some fish to think about maybe angelfish, catfish, Plecostomus, Oscars, and cichlids. Yet, there is no guarantee of maintaining a serene container with arowanas if the private fish do not get along.


  • Treatment degree: Intermediate.
  • Personality: Generally serene.
  • Life span: ~ 10 years.
  • Water demands: 82-86 ° F, 6.0-7.0 pH.
  • The tank needs: 75+ gallons.
  • Diet regimen: Algae flakes, shrimp pellets, exotic fish flakes.

Discus belongs to the Amazon river delta, yet they typically choose calmer waters near the river financial institutions, amongst dropped trees and branches. As a result of restricted reproduction, there are a variety of shade and also pattern variants readily available. However, the discus is identifiable as having a squashed, “disk” formed body with big dorsal fins and yellow or red eyes. They are gorgeous fish to maintain, yet their treatment is a little bit much more engaged than some hardier fish, so they are suggested for enthusiasts with a bit of bit a lot more experience.

Discus is one more unique freshwater fish that can be housed with various other fish yet is best kept in a storage tank of their very own types. Their treatment can come to be difficult if they are incapable of feeding off the storage tanks’ base due to the existence of lower occupants or if hostile fish or fin-nippers daunt them. Advanced enthusiasts might wish to maintain discus within an area container. However, newbies ought to house discuss just with various other discus in a 75+ gallon container.

Zebra Plecostomus (Zebra pleco)

  • Treatment degree: Beginner-Intermediate.
  • Character: Peaceful.
  • Life span: ~ 10 years.
  • Water needs: 82-86 ° F, 6.5-7.5 pH, oxygen-rich water.
  • The storage tank needs 30+ gallons.
  • Diet regimen: Live or icy lobster eggs, blood worms, shellfish, mussel, algae wafers, smashed peas, as well as pellets.

Like numerous other unique freshwater fish, zebra Plecostomus are indigenous to the tributaries of the Amazon river. The container needs to be geared up with concealing places and grabs for the fish to remain comfy and flourish. They are relaxed fish yet are not the ideal container companions for various other types of fish.

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Elephantnose fish

  • Treatment degree: Intermediate.
  • Character: Semi-aggressive.
  • Life span: 7-10 years.
  • Water demands: 73-80 ° F, 6.5-7.0 pH.
  • The tank needs: 50+ gallons.
  • Diet regimen: Live bloodworms, insect larvae, black flies, saltwater shrimp; some might consume flakes or frozen food.

Elephant nose fish are extraordinary and also amongst the unique freshwater fish for enthusiasts. These fish are indigenous to the Niger River in Africa. They are also much more unusual due to the electric area it has created to notice its environments and connect in the dirty waters it calls house. If you can satisfy their demands, these fish are sure to be the most distinct fish in your collection!

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Freshwater African Butterflyfish

  • Treatment degree: Intermediate.
  • Character: Aggressive.
  • Life span: 5+ years.
  • Water demands 77-86 ° F, 6.8-7.2 pH.
  • Tank demands 30+ gallons.
  • Diet regimen: Live little fish, saltwater shrimp, pests, and also some frozen foods.

The African Butterflyfish is a lake and slow-moving river fish indigenous to Africa with an impressive background- it is one of the earliest enduring fish varieties whose morphology has continued to be the same for over 100 million years! These unique fish appear like butterflies when checked out from above, as well as they have long dorsal, forward, and back fins that aid boost this impression.

The African butterflyfish can stay in neighborhoods, yet they are killers and may prey upon any fish smaller sized than them. It is best to maintain these fish in superficial containers with various other butterflyfish to keep them delighted and healthy, and balanced.

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Flowerhorn Cichlid (A.k.a Flower Horn)

  • Treatment degree: Intermediate.
  • Character: Aggressive.
  • Life span: 8-10 years.
  • Water needs: 80-89 ° F, 6.8-7.8 pH.
  • Tank demands 75+ gallons for one cichlid, 200+ with tankmates.
  • Diet plan: Crickets, insects, mealworms, anchovies, icy shrimp.

Flowerhorn cichlids are amongst the most distinct freshwater fish due to their look- the vast “horn”- like development on the front of their heads that is likewise their name. These fish are preferred for even more than simply their looks- they again have unbelievable character!

Flowerhorns are classified as “hostile” fish due to their perspective in the direction of any various other fish types. These fish are understood to occasionally endure health and wellness issues as they are crossbreed fish and are generally not happening- they have been reproduced right into presence deliberately.

Dwarf Puffer

  • Treatment degree: Beginner.
  • Personality: Aggressive.
  • Life span: ~ 5 years.
  • Water needs: 77-79 ° F, 7-7.8 pH.
  • Tank demands 10+ gallons per flatterer fish.
  • Diet plan: Bloodworms, shrimp, snails, blackworms.

Dwarf flatterer fish is probably the most charming fish to make the unique freshwater checklist. Dwarf flatterers are indigenous to southwestern India (particularly the Pamba River), which has just freshwater, making these flatterers distinct and completely fit the freshwater pastime fish tank.

Dwarf flatterer fish are appropriate for starting enthusiasts as long as a couple of fundamental demands are fulfilled. Flatterer fish call for pristine water with no traces of ammonia, which can be dangerous.

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Snakehead Fish

  • Treatment degree: Advanced.
  • Personality: Aggressive.
  • Life span: 8+ years.
  • Water demands: 68-79 ° F, 6.0-7.0 pH.
  • Tank needs: 450+ gallons.
  • Diet regimen: Fish, shellfishes, birds, tiny animals, and also reptiles.

The eel-like Snakehead fish is an all-natural killer- such an efficient one that they have been identified as an intrusive type in several locations.

This is absolutely a fish where you require to examine your neighborhood regulations to see if you are legitimately permitted to maintain it in your house fish tank.

If so, this one-of-a-kind fish can be an extremely gratifying one to maintain, even if it is a little bit of an oddball. The squashed form and one-of-a-kind ranges of the fishes’ head look like a serpent, offering it the name. They are typically discovered in rivers from Africa to Afghanistan as well as Siberia to China.

Among the qualities that establish this fish apart is that it calls for air to survive and will typically emerge and even leap to the surface area to take a breath before immersing once more. The actual “concern” with snakeheads is their dimension needs- these fish can expand hugely and call for containers of at the very least 450+ gallons, making them unwise for lots of enthusiasts. If you have the room, they can be an extremely distinct animal to maintain and most definitely a discussion starter!

Rope Fish

  • Treatment degree: Beginner-Intermediate.
  • Character: Peaceful.
  • Life span: 15-20 years.
  • Water demands 72-82 ° F, 6.7-7.5 pH.
  • The tank needs: 50+ gallons.
  • Diet plan: Live or icy shellfishes, pests, bloodworms, mussels, and so on.

The Rope Fish is like a somewhat smaller-sized, extra “straightforward” option to the snakehead fish. Rope fish are serene fish as long as they are geared up with concealing areas and matched with appropriate container companions. Rope fish are an excellent alternate fish for anyone looking to attempt something brand-new in a freshwater environment!

Chinese Hillstream Loach

  • Treatment degree: Intermediate.
  • Character: Peaceful.
  • Life span: 8-10 years.
  • Water needs: 68-75 ° F, 7.0-8.0 pH.
  • Tank demands 55+ gallons.
  • Diet plan: Larvae on algae, cucumber, zucchini, spinach, bloodworm, pest larvae, shrimp, sinking pellets.

These reluctant fish often tend to conceal among the algae as they feed, and also, you could not see them significantly a lot throughout the day. They need cooler water and greater oxygen degrees than lots of fish, which makes it a little extra hard to money ideal container companions that can manage the one-of-a-kind water problems. They appear to be happiest in teams of 3-6 of their kind. However, they can additionally be housed with any mild, relaxed freshwater fish, top-dwelling, or ideally center fish.

Black Ghost Knifefish

  • Treatment degree: Advanced.
  • Character: Peaceful, somewhat shy.
  • Life span: 10-20 years.
  • Water demands: 73-82 ° F, 6.5-8.0 pH.
  • The tank needs: 150+ gallons.
  • Diet regimen: Live worms as well as meat and freshwater flakes.

The black blade ghostfish is indigenous to the dark, deep waters of slow-moving South American rivers and the Amazon river container. They have an extremely distinct look, being that they are adjusted to a low-light setting.

Ghostfish is suitable with various other tranquil freshwater fish yet can be more prone to injury and condition due to their absence of ranges. These fish are best for even more seasoned enthusiasts and are incredibly unique to maintain in a house fish tank!

Wolf Cichlid

  • Treatment degree: Intermediate-Advanced.
  • Personality: Aggressive.
  • Life span: 10-15+ years.
  • Water demands 75-81 ° F, 6.5-70 pH.
  • Tank demands 200+ gallons.
  • Diet regimen: Insects, bloodworms, tiny shellfishes, beef heart, and so on.

These fish need a terrific area offer, as they can expand up to 2 feet in size! They are intelligent fish that have been understood to bond with their proprietors.

Wolf cichlids are hostile and can not be coupled with smaller fish or any type of storage tank companions apart from wolf cichlids. Likewise, it is not a great concept to include plants in a wolf cichlid container, as they will undoubtedly root out the plants with their ravenous excavating task! These fish are excellent “huge” fish to develop for even more skilled enthusiasts, and also, an adequately maintained wolf cichlid can live for a pair of years in terrific wellness!

Vampire tetra (Sabertooth Barracuda)

  • Treatment degree: Advanced.
  • Character: Aggressive.
  • Life span: 1-2 years.
  • Water needs: 75-84 ° F, 6.0-7.8 pH.
  • Tank needs: 500+ gallons.
  • Diet plan: Live fish, consisting of piranhas as well as various other characins.

If you live someplace where you can maintain this fish, prepare on your own for the difficulty that is the Vampire Tetra. This fish is not for the pale of the heart and also needs comprehensive fishkeeping experience. These teeth might seriously harm any container companions, which is why they are best maintained alone.

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