List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Non puffer freshwater discussion. Don't tell your puffers, they'll be jealous!
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Troender
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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by Troender » Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:12 pm

Gouramis also very often bring illnesses when you buy them.

Well, I should of course mention mystus leucophasis. They are sold as cute, little upside-down swimming catfishes, both fun and really pretty. They are black, and have a few diamond like spots. The LFS has no idea what they will grown into: big, ugly, bad tempered and very hungry. It will eat anything that fits into its mouth. They are not to be kept with fishes smaller than 3/4 of its lenght because of its hunger. And the fishes it can't eat, it will beat up, just because of its bad temper. I've several times had to tell beginners the bad news of what kind of they really have bought. And of course I know because I've been there myself. :( I think it's the only fish I've ever hated.
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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by soggydrysuit » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:06 am

Has anyone said Oscars yet? Very cute when small but grow to a foot and will eat anything they can...

When I was about seven, I prevailed on my parents to get me a pair of red Oscars. To put into my three foot tankful of guppies - it was carnage. Parents took out the baby oscars and put them in a saucepan so they died too.

I do have a soft spot for oscars, though.

Had a Mystus leucophasis once maybe five years ago, it bit chunks out of large barbs... They seem much more common just recently - I had to really dig on fishbase to id mine, knew it was a bagrid but no more than that to start with. It's a mini Mystus wyckii!

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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by RTR » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:42 am

I do agree with the he basic list originally given - none are beginner fish and several should not be in any hobby size standard tanks - but that applies to puffers as well..

Elephant noses (the whole family) and all other electric fish also are not beginner fish either. The elephant noses however are superb aquarium fish if you know what you are doing - just as are puffers and goldfish. Goldfish are likely the most abused fish in the hobby.. . but they too are excellent tank fish, again if you know what you are doing.

If I added anything to the list it would probably be loaches, especially Clown Loaches. They live forever.

There are also quite a few lists on the web on fish longevity in captivity. Most are not very good IMHO, but look one or two up anyway. If you do not or cannot keep the fish on those lists at least as long as the lists show, well, perhaps you are a beginner.

If I wanted to condemn any hobby practice as being contrary to keeping fish well and long-term, it would be mixed or community tanks, a.k.a "Noah's Ark" tanks. They are perhaps the best way I know to guarantee your fish stressful and shortened lives. But there I am well and truly a voice crying in the wilderness. Species tanks are simple, easier to set, feed, and maintain, and the fish do quite well for anyone who gives them anywhere near decent care. Consider puffers, the electric fish groups, loaches, many Cichlids, plus all schoolers - all are easy in such tanks. Answer honestly now, you need not reply here. just to yourself - can you keep Neons or Cardinal Tetras to an average lifespan of over 6 years? If not, you are a beginner or not doing it right by RTR's standards. If any hobby fish which is hobby-tank breedable does not do so regularly and routinely in your tanks, then you either do not notice or are not doing it right either. Experienced fishkeepers do not buy new fish often. New fish are a 6+ to >40 year commitment. Do you plan and set tanks for such a commitment? If not, you are a beginner.

There is no problem with being a beginner - you have a new world to explore, a new language to learn, and many new skills and insights to develop. It is only a problem if you never move past that stage. Folks who arrest their own growth do not stay in the hobby - they burn out and lose interest and provide lots of inexpensive slightly used tanks for others. They never really grasp fish-keeping as a real hobby- endless learning and development - to them it is an endless cycle of acquisition and perhaps (likely) frustration. For experienced hobbyists, there is an endless number of fish that you want to try and learn about first-hand, plus plants and inverts and different water conditions - no one can ever learn it all - which is in the end the real value of this hobby.
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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by LilGreenPuffer » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:03 pm

Would you say that *all* community setups are bad? I keep my dwarf puffers with otocinclus catfish and ghost shrimp. I have noticed zero aggression, and they all have the same water requirements. Obviously I can't pass genuine judgement on lifespan yet - I don't know how long I can keep my fish going yet - I haven't been in the hobby quite long enough for that.

I guess I'll be a "beginner" for at least another year and a half... According to Nick, DPs die of old age anywhere from the age of three to eight, and I know that bettas are from three to five. My DPs and older bettas are one and a half (or thereabouts for my pet store bettas). I've prematurely lost three pet fish (two otos and one betta; betta and one oto were my fault, the other oto was not) and two rescues, but I don't count the rescues against me because they came to me as part of a batch of fifteen neglected and ill bettas.
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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by RTR » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:55 pm

It depends on how you define "community". A number of my tanks house more than one species, so might technically be called mixed or community tanks. But, none of them have mote than one specimen or one species in any given niche - as I do commonly keep otos in largish DP tanks. I keep bristle-nose catfish in my Dwarf Neon Rainbow tanks. I also keep bristle-nose with my filter-feeding mid-sized Synidontid catfish, and have Cherry Barbs in the same tanks. Think about those - one species is the "owner of the tank", for whose benefit it was set. The other inhabitants are workers, or solely to have something visible during lighted hours ( My Synodontids are crepuscular - dawn and dusk swimmers and feeders). There is no competition between any of the fish in those tanks-their feeding times, feeding strategies (foods) are different, and the extra fish are never threatened by the owners or each other. They live in different world in the same tank, and ignore their tankmates completely. The Synodontids are all 20 this year, the 3 survivors of 4 fish purchased at the same time as very young fish, two different species. One female died at 14, I believe from egg-binding. The other three are fine. the BNs and the Cherry Barbs breed routinely and the fry live in the same tanks until large enough to transfer to a grow-out tank for trade goods. If two of three species in the tank breed regularly and successfully, I think it is a non-traumatic ans safe, secure home for them. Discrete niches, one species each. That is not a community in the hobby sense of the term. BTW, not all Synodontids will do that - some are a bit predatory. Mine are filter feeders - very fine powdered foods would be best bu impractical for upkeep, compressed FD-supplemented pettets are their stable diet. They or the BN's clean up any small pellets the Cherry Barbs miss.. It looks simple, but actually is not. Three-species tanks are a challenge to set. two-species tanks are fairly easy, the same BN and the DNRs breed in their shared tanks routinely as well, with equally god fry survival. Obviously, single species tanks are a snap. The DNR females die younger than the males of the same fish - too much breeding is a major strain on fish, not just Rainbows - Cichlids, the labyrinth fish, and others show the same thing. Mothers die young,fathers live longer. The opposite of humans.

But the simple answer to your questiion is that I have never yet seen a community tank in which the co-housed species lived out their normal tank lifespan. To me that makes then "bad". They are not the best way that we know to keep the fish in question. I do not like or approve of "confetti" or "Noah;s Ark" tanks. If you want hyperactivity, stock a tank with Tiger Barbs they are ceaseless and colorful. Or stock and even larger tank with a real school of Zerba Danios. A hundred of them in a several hundred gallon tank is mind-blowing! You actually can see real schooling behavior in a tank if it is big enough, relatively bare, and has at least a hundred of the same species of fish in it. You cannot believe how impressive a simple, common fish like Zebras can be. Totally awesome and hypnotic - I could have watched for days or forever. Amano has done the same with Neon Tetras - but you expect then to be impressive, especially in one of his tanks. Almost any schooler can be. They are so pathetic in community tanks, it hurts me to see them.

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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by Flutter » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:17 pm

I've always wanted a big tank with only neons in it for a show tank. I love their colours.
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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by RTR » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:34 am

Everybody does! And although most will not admit it, you never seem to get over that or out-grow it either. I certainly have not. But in one of Amano's "Plains" or Mountain Top" setups, they actually school - which is rare in small tanks. The implied threat of all that open space pulls them together as Mother Nature intended them to do. Survival traits at work...

Don't forget that although they are basically annual fish in the wild, captive schools should average at least six years in captivity,and under ideal conditions can make 10 years old.
Where's the fish? - Neptune

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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by hadla » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:58 pm

Green Spotted Puffers! THEY ARE NOT FRESHWATER AND CANNOT LIVE IN A 10 GALLON TANK NO MATTER WHAT THE SALES PEOPLE TELL YOU!!! I feel sorry for all those poor puffers that get bought by ignorant people in Wal-Mart.
Also, bettas! They should be number one! NO MATTER HOW THEY LIVE IN THE WILD, A CUP OR BOWL IS NOT SUITABLE!
Do your research on them first! All the poor bettas living in "betta bowls" or betta tanks" out there :( I wish there would be a law against making tanks and bowls for bettas less than 2 gallons.
And on the schooling topic, I would love a 55 gallon tank with about 30 Glowlight tetras in it! no I changed my mind! a bigger tank with 40 Albino Buenos Aires Tetras! I love them!
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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by Porffor » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:47 am

side19 wrote:
rachy wrote:african spotted bush fish, or climbing perch....really pretty little thing when i got it, but at the time i didnt realise that it would quickly grow big enough to easily swallow any small fish( which it did a few times before i actually caught it in the act :o theyre so shy and gentle, u dont expect it!), they have HUGE mouths :o
i love these fish. i had one for a long time (4 years-ish) and loved the thing to death. they do have big mouths, so you need to watch out, but they are very easy to care for.
I love these too and have two in my main tank. I was going to post them here if not already done as the eating of fish would put many a newbie off.
Thanks, Jane

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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by LilGreenPuffer » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:56 am

hadla wrote: Also, bettas! They should be number one! NO MATTER HOW THEY LIVE IN THE WILD, A CUP OR BOWL IS NOT SUITABLE!
Do your research on them first! All the poor bettas living in "betta bowls" or betta tanks" out there :( I wish there would be a law against making tanks and bowls for bettas less than 2 gallons.
Bettas are great beginner fish. They are among the easiest to care for. No, they can't live in a cup; no, they don't like dirty water; no, the 1,001 other myths aren't true, but they're really easy and rewarding - I'd put them in the top five for beginner freshwater fish.
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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by hadla » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:40 pm

LilGreenPuffer wrote:
hadla wrote: Also, bettas! They should be number one! NO MATTER HOW THEY LIVE IN THE WILD, A CUP OR BOWL IS NOT SUITABLE!
Do your research on them first! All the poor bettas living in "betta bowls" or betta tanks" out there :( I wish there would be a law against making tanks and bowls for bettas less than 2 gallons.
Bettas are great beginner fish. They are among the easiest to care for. No, they can't live in a cup; no, they don't like dirty water; no, the 1,001 other myths aren't true, but they're really easy and rewarding - I'd put them in the top five for beginner freshwater fish.

yes they are as long as the person has all the right info and wont keep it in a bowl... i meant theyre bad if they buy one on impulse thinking they can live in a cup or "betta bowl"

i love your pic by the way! you caught the 2 cute traits of puffers! the little pig belly and the big eyes!
Never trust big puffers. The fingers you save may be your own. -RTR

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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by Deepbadawi » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:04 pm

Reed or rope fish can grow over 18 inches largest recorded in captivety was 60 cm also should be kept in groups of 4-6.

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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by Brent » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:28 pm

Haha, never mind... freshwater fish...
Last edited by Brent on Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by ballyhoo » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:51 am

Eclipse catfish. Thy grow fairly large and will generally eat what ever fits in their mouth. IMO catfish are generally difficult and should be reserved for 100+ gallon tanks, with corydoryas the exception ( are they technically a catfish? )

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Re: List of freshwater fishes to avoid for beginners

Post by Troender » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:21 am

Cories are catfishes. There are many catfishes from the Loricariidae family that are suitable for smaller tanks, i.e. Otos.
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