Most common/popular freshwater fish in the hobby?

TerkFinn

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This is something that I've been interested in, yet I've found almost no actual ownership (or even sales) statistics. Based on what I've heard and the what seem to be the most commonly sold at stores, I've tried to estimate what the list (by species) would be. This is based on how many households actually have these, not overall amounts. Also based in US, since that's what's easiest for me to compare to.

1. Goldfish
2. Betta
3. Guppy
4. Neon Tetra
5. Angelfish
6. Zebra Danio
7. Common Platy
8. Oscar
9. Bronze Cory (though mostly Albino)
10. Dwarf Gourami
11. Skirt Tetra
12. Molly
13. Chinese Algae Eater

Does this seem about right or off on some things? I'm not too well versed in larger fish/cichlids, so maybe I'm underestimating them. I'm pretty confident about the top four, though maybe switch Bettas and Goldfish?
 

kallililly1973

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Definitely following to see what everyone thinks. I agree i think you have the top 4 nailed. Some may think in a little different order but i think their the top 4
 

FinalFins

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Not chinese algae eater. These guys are very cute yes, but destroyers of slime coats and have earned a bad rap.
 

VSA

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I would have thought guppies and platys would be more common than neon tetras at no. 4.
 

Morpheus1967

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I don't think Oscars would be that high, but instead would suggest the "Mixed African Cichlid" that the big box stores are famous for having. At least with the Oscars they are now warning you about how large they get and the tank size needed.

Oh, and let's not forget the the "glowfish".
 

coralbandit

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Pretty good list !
Although maybe not perfect I bet if you stocked a fish store with your list you would sell many fish !
Pleco belongs on list from what I have seen..
 

AngryRainbow

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AQAdvisor tracks the fish ppl query for their tank setups.

Top 2 fish has been consistent since forever.
1. Neon tetra
2. Guppy

3rd changes around by year and season, and I guess by an uptick in social media.

http://www.aqadvisor.com/articles/AqPopular.php
Goldfish (of any variety) is down in the 70s place or further.
I think aq adviser is a biased place to get numbers from. Good to compare to definitely, but even today a lot of people who buy fish still swear by the 1 inch per gallon rule and would never think to check aq advisor.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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AQAdvisor tracks the fish ppl query for their tank setups.

Top 2 fish has been consistent since forever.
1. Neon tetra
2. Guppy

3rd changes around by year and season, and I guess by an uptick in social media.

http://www.aqadvisor.com/articles/AqPopular.php
Goldfish (of any variety) is down in the 70s place or further.
It's probably because a lot of people don't do research on Goldfish and think it's fine to keep them in a small bowl.
 

FishRFriendz

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It's probably because a lot of people don't do research on Goldfish and think it's fine to keep them in a small bowl.
I'm pretty close with the employees at my stores and I know they tend to dissuade people from purchasing goldfish for tanks of inappropriate size. Their sale in goldfish is only high for feeders. Goldfish have a disproportionate mind share relative to actual ownership. If they were really up there, then why wouldn't stores keep more than 1-2 tanks of them out of 30-50 tanks?

The AQAdvisor list is pretty good. Those are pretty much the fish that my local stores regularly get shipments of. Depending on your area, since some places tend to skew more towards cichlids.

The manager at one of the stores I frequent handed me the list a few times and just told me to go through cuz I'm constantly asking for specific fish they don't usually carry unless requested. They only carry the ones that move the most usually. The manager role has moved around a few times and depending on the manager they will sometimes take a gamble on some other species and they often tell me to see if I'm interested.

The other store one of the employees I was talking to about ordering some specific fish told me they really value my requests because the fish I ask for tend to be extremely popular once they get em in... which is really just me following the rest of the crowd cuz a fish is popular. I'm not setting trends, that's what the social media aquarium celebrities do. Hence the rise of bettas.
 

jinjerJOSH22

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I'm pretty close with the employees at my stores and I know they tend to dissuade people from purchasing goldfish for tanks of inappropriate size. Their sale in goldfish is only high for feeders. Goldfish have a disproportionate mind share relative to actual ownership. If they were really up there, then why wouldn't stores keep more than 1-2 tanks of them out of 30-50 tanks?

The AQAdvisor list is pretty good. Those are pretty much the fish that my local stores regularly get shipments of. Depending on your area, since some places tend to skew more towards cichlids.
The stores in my local area(in the uk) all have separate sections for cold water fish, usually a pond area.
 

FishRFriendz

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The stores in my local area(in the uk) all have separate sections for cold water fish, usually a pond area.
Oh wow, the UK market is probably completely different from the US. I don't think AQadvisor will be accurate for that market.

That would be quite helpful in a colder climate. I've only lived in fairly warm regions so I haven't really seen any segmenting of stock like that. Mostly my main store has been shifting fish to be more visible and up front for smaller tanks. 10g is the most sold size here especially during $1 per gallon sale. So they've been playing with moving nano fish up front and making them look good.

It's always good to get to know the employees. You find out so much and usually they enjoy talking shop and telling things that they'd like you to know but doesn't seem well known or uncommon.
 

JettsPapa

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...The other store one of the employees I was talking to about ordering some specific fish told me they really value my requests because the fish I ask for tend to be extremely popular once they get em in... which is really just me following the rest of the crowd cuz a fish is popular. I'm not setting trends, that's what the social media aquarium celebrities do. Hence the rise of bettas.
I didn't know there was such a thing.
 

FishRFriendz

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I didn't know there was such a thing.
Joey King of DIY
Corey of Aquarium Coop
Aquapros
George Farmer
Foo the flowerhorn
There's a bunch of girls that do bettas on youtube, you can practically see their effect if you go back to AQadvisor and watch the rise of bettas on the list from 2015 to now and see it track with the betta girls. I forget their names... There were at least two of em I watched for a little while. It's no coincidence that Aquarium Coop got a new betta display fairly recently. You gotta stock what people want. He's up on the trends... his store depends on it.


My list is all Youtubers and there are more, too many for me to watch. When they do something or say something... it trickles down to the stores eventually. Joey says it's why he doesn't do product reviews.

Oh and Aquarium Coop does their store unboxings... essentially what they're restocking on every week... If it sells... they gotta restock it... watch a bunch, you'll quickly see what's moving from week to week. Cory also does a lot of 'business' videos, talking about how to run a store, dropping tidbits and his gripes about the industry.

I just thought of a fun drinking game... print out a list from AQAdvisor popular list. Watch an episode of Aquarium Coop unboxing fish. Take a shot every time they pull out a bag of fish that is on the list. Oh my god I need to get ppl in my local aquarium group to do this together! ... on second thought, I don't think I can handle that many shots myself...
 
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