What Kind of Fish Do You Simply Not Understand Why People Keep?

Zach72202

I was listening to a podcast recently, and the interviewer asked the interviewee what fish they simply don't understand why people keep it, and that got me thinking. What kind of fish do others out there simply not understand why others want it?

So here is mine and my reasoning.

1) Monster fish.
Pretty obvious why, but just going to throw it out there, I do own a Mbu Puffer, but he was a rescue. I actually decided against getting one a while ago due to the size. My ultimate reason for this is why would your average person want a fish that grows 4ft or bigger. Being honest, the demographic of people who want them compared to those who can actually have a place for them is so off. I can walk into almost any shop and say 'I want a red-tailed catfish' and next week I pay $14.99 for one whom I can then keep in a 10 gallon like many others- let alone, in 4 months you're feeding it whole frozen shrimp, and in a year its like a pound a day and it just keeps growing. I am not going to limit this to just those either, I include things like oscars, red devils, Dovii, common pleco, god forbid if anybody gets an arapaima. I am not here to state these fish are not cool/pretty, but just stating that the majority of them who have them, probably shouldn't, and the retail industry sells them like mad. In addition to this, normal people think something like a 29 gallon is a 'big' tank and a 55 is 'huge'.

My second one, I hardly understand, but think is ridiculous is glo-fish.
There's all these other options out there to have a slice of nature with silk plants or fake plants with nice pea gravel, and you choose to get the neon pink gravel and have blue rainbow sharks and that bright green betta as a display tank. Sure? I guess.

This might just be my complaints with the retail fish industry in general, but I know there are some people who just don't understand getting a certain fish for the amount of work it is. Thank you for reading!
 

Lucas35

Fish that have been bred to look different than the they do in the wild (e.g. Bettas, guppies, fancy goldfish). I do keep fancy guppies and Bettas, but only because I don't have access to the wild versions.
 
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AggressiveAquatics

For me it’s glo fish and any sort of albino fish. (They have creepy eyes)
 
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redmare

I really don't get the rage over some of the fancy plecos. Like yeah they look kinda cool... but you never see them! The price tag and fuss over them just doesn't make sense to me. This kind of goes for any fish you never see.
 
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Mudminnow

Any fish that just seems artificial holds no appeal to me. As mentioned already, glo-fish, albino fish, and fancy varieties of fish certainly fall into that group. I would add things like parrot fish and flowerhorns to that group as well. Furthermore, it often baffles me that a color morph of a fish can be so readily available, when the wild version of the same species can be so hard to find. An example of this would be the gold barb, Barbodes semifasciolatus. The wild version of this fish seems so much more attractive to me, but I've never seen it for sale.
 
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ALonelyBetta

Glofish.... I really dont like them. Yet I own three... Why? I pitied them, poor guys. I know I am just encouraging more to be sold but either was I don’t think they will lose their “novelty“ anytime soon. Well now there are three neon yellow skirt tetras that live happily in a planted tank...... Never again though.
 
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Nessaf

I don’t like glo-fish either. No frankenfish for me! Do you ever wonder how many people who would basically have fainting fits over gmo products buy these little beasties?
 
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ALonelyBetta

I don’t like glo-fish either. No frankenfish for me! Do you ever wonder how many people who would basically have fainting fits over gmo products buy these little beasties?
Definitely!
 
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goldface

normal people think something like a 29 gallon is a 'big' tank and a 55 is 'huge'.
Here's another perspective on size. Most of the "monster fish" sold in the hobby aren't really monster-sized, so that word gets thrown around too liberally. Common plecos, Oscars, and Red Devils are relatively large in the context of fishkeeping, but still not unmanageable or financially unattainable to properly keep for many people. I don't even consider koi to be "monsters." The only fish you mentioned that constitute as a true monster is the Arapaima.

Now to answer your question, I don't get bubble-eyed goldfish. Because of line-breeding, they're delicate, short-lived, and come with a myriad of genetic issues; but because they're supposedly "cute," it's okay. Another fish I don't get are bettas. I can understand having one or two, but I don't find them that alluring to occupy as much space and real estate that some people give them. I would never split a 10g or 20g in half for a single fish.
 
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ALonelyBetta

Here's another perspective on size. Most of the "monster fish" sold in the hobby aren't really monster-sized, so I think that word gets thrown around too liberally. Common plecos, Oscars, and Red Devils are relatively large in the context of fishkeeping, but still not unmanageable or financially unattainable to properly keep for many people. I don't even consider koi to be "monsters." The only fish you mentioned that constitute as a true monster is the Arapaima.

Now to answer your question, I don't get bubble-eyed goldfish. Because of line-breeding, they're delicate, short-lived, and come with a myriad of genetic issues; but because they're supposedly "cute," it's okay. Another fish I don't get are bettas. I can understand having one or two, but I don't find them that alluring to occupy as much space and real estate that some people give them. I would never split a 10g or 20g in half for a single fish.
The space for betta fish doesn’t necessarily have to be for one fish. Alot of Bettas can be kept in a community setting along with other peaceful and non fin nipping fish. Then again I can see where you are coming from.
 
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goldface

The space for betta fish doesn’t necessarily have to be for one fish. Alot of Bettas can be kept in a community setting along with other peaceful and non fin nipping fish. Then again I can see where you are coming from.
I agree, but that's not necessarily what people do. I think there are a lot of bad advice and a lot of betta keepers that are misguided on what's correct. And the split tank was just one example.
 
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ALonelyBetta

I agree, but that's not necessarily what people do. I think there are a lot of bad advice and a lot of betta keepers that are misguided on what's correct. And the split tank was just one example.
I wholeheartedly agree with that
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

I really don't get the rage over some of the fancy plecos. Like yeah they look kinda cool... but you never see them! The price tag and fuss over them just doesn't make sense to me. This kind of goes for any fish you never see.
i see your point but on the flip side the fish i see all day every day i appreciate but tend to walk past more. now if one or two of my l134 leopard frog plecos is out chilling or eating i will make a point to stop and watch. so it makes me appreciate the time i see them more.

with my BN they are out all the time.
 
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86 ssinit

I’ll take the glo-fish but you can keep the bettas. Bettas are sold next to chia-pets. Nothing else needs to be said . Oh and dwarf frogs and axoloti I don’t understand.
 
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goldface

Without the poprock-candy gravel and blue LEDs, Glofish in a naturalistic environment don't look too bad.
 
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86 ssinit

There’s a member here who keeps glo-fish with discus. They look good together.
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

I really don't like any genetically modified fish, or when they breed for deformities (Like many goldfish). And then paku, I just think they're creepy with their human teeth. Finally, I don't get all the hype about rainbowfish (Sorry GlennO ), like some I love like furcatas, but some, like boesmoni or aulstralian, are just kind of boring imo. But these are just my tastes.
 
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Cody

I used to be pretty anti Betta for a lot do the same reasons listed by others. Although this year I would say I have become a little more “cultured” to come to appreciate wild type Bettas and IF i were to ever own one, that’s the way I’d go.

otherwise I’m not not too keen on some of the large species available or Glo fish. But I totally get the draw too them, just not my cup of tea. But I’m also a person who would choose a Platinum Pearl Scale Angel over most other varieties because they look so dang classy
 
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Kribensis27

Blood parrots. I just feel so bad for them. The deformities, the compressed shape, all that fun stuff. There are so many other fish you could get instead of a blood parrot that just seem healthier. If you want the same general appearence, you can get a gold severum. They look and act similarly, but don’t have all the crazy genetic things going on with BPs. Why? Just why? There are so many cichlids that look like them, but don’t have issues like this.
 
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Demeter

Chinese algae eaters. They aren't particularly attractive nor are they perfectly peaceful. They may be cheap but become a pain when they start chasing the other fish!

I swear you could attach "algae eater" to any fish and people will buy them to clean their scummy tanks.
 
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Donovan Jones

Mines kinda the opposite of the concept here. I don't understand why people hate keeping microfauna in their tanks like snails, seed shrimp, etc. If they're harmless. Granted some like hydra and certain bug nymphs are bad, but most are harmless and add to the ecosystem.
 
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Cooperman411

For me it's the giant fish. Kind of like the macho guy that needs to own a mean dog. When I see pacus and other toothy or fish that are well over a foot long - I just don't see why. Like someone above said, generally the ability to care for the fish and the majority of owners of said fish, don't line up. If you're wealthy enough to have a small swimming pool sized tank and can hire help to care for it, go for it. I was actually thinking of talking to a member of our city counsel about banning the sale of certain fish and any tank meant for a fish that's under 3 gallons. And put some kind of regulation on the sale and treatment of bettas. Wish me luck.
 
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GlennO

I really don't like any genetically modified fish, or when they breed for deformities (Like many goldfish). And then paku, I just think they're creepy with their human teeth. Finally, I don't get all the hype about rainbowfish (Sorry GlennO ), like some I love like furcatas, but some, like boesmoni or aulstralian, are just kind of boring imo. But these are just my tastes.

That's cool, everyone has different tastes. To me Rainbowfish are just another schooling fish option but I find them more interesting than, say Tetras. Plus the size of the some them, their activity and colours means they can easily be the main feature in larger sized tanks.

As to the thread topic, there are quite a few kinds of fish that I have little interest in. But with nearly all of them I can understand why they might appeal to some people. One exception might be goldfish. I don't understand why people keep them when, to my eye, there are so many alternatives that are more visually appealing, are less destructive to plants, create less waste and appear to be more intelligent.
 
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Dippiedee

I don't know why everyone struggles with the concept that not everyone wants 'natural.' Not everybody wants a green tank with beige sand and brown or silver fish. I love glofish; I wish they were legal here, and I see nothing wrong with unnaturally decorated tanks. I'd pick a black gravel and background tank with neon fake plants over a planted tank (I'd pick anything over a planted tank tbh)

I don't get otos, they're finicky and I don't see any visual appeal. They're boring looking and buying fish that die that easy is rage inducing. Also kuhli loaches; they freak me out. Too wriggly. Honey gourami - boring. I think ill add dwarf gourami; they're pretty but not worth the hassle.
 
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MacZ

Interestingly I get why people keep a lot of the fish named here in the thread.
My sense of right or wrong is what makes the thought of keeping a lot of them unbearable, though.

I would feel guilty for furthering the "production" of inbred bettas, glofish, hybrids, veiltails, longfins, balloon fish... But also not a fan of any livebearers (especially the linebred forms).

I don't get otos, they're finicky and I don't see any visual appeal. They're boring looking and buying fish that die that easy is rage inducing.

I agree partially. But Otos can look good in a naturally decorated tank, they somehow help the immersion into the (well... fake) Amazon biotope. Still not worth the trouble. What grinds my gears is how many people buy them without a thought as Algae eaters. Fish that get wild caught en masse, that die on you easily and are not bought for their looks or behaviour but because of an alleged benefit for people that are too LAZY to do maintenance.

But this brings me to another thing: Any fish (or invertebrate) people buy because they are said to be algae eaters. The whole concept of keeping a tank algae free... AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!
 
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goldface

I don't know why everyone struggles with the concept that not everyone wants 'natural.' Not everybody wants a green tank with beige sand and brown or silver fish. I love glofish; I wish they were legal here, and I see nothing wrong with unnaturally decorated tanks. I'd pick a black gravel and background tank with neon fake plants over a planted tank (I'd pick anything over a planted tank tbh)

I don't get otos, they're finicky and I don't see any visual appeal. They're boring looking and buying fish that die that easy is rage inducing. Also kuhli loaches; they freak me out. Too wriggly. Honey gourami - boring. I think ill add dwarf gourami; they're pretty but not worth the hassle.
I love otos. I guess it requires a planted tank to really appreciate them. Then again, my favorite fish is my Clown pleco, and I rarely get to see her.
 
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MacZ

I love otos. I guess it requires a planted tank to really appreciate them. Then again, my favorite fish is my Clown pleco, and I rarely get to see her.

Tank doesn't have to be planted heavily, though. Ever seen them in blackwater, sitting on branches?
 
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Zach72202

I am going to be honest in saying I can always find a view where someone may want to own a fish- but cannot justify if most people should own the fish. I agree with the betta idea as they are sold in mass to horrible homes, but I think the best way to solve that issue is if places raised the price of them. I paid 4$ for the betta I had. He was full of character and amazing, but could have gone to a bad home. Most people would have plopped him into some cup or something, but he had a 29g tank with some corydoras for a while. Eventually his downfall was a hole he developed in his side and it healed nicely on the outside, but after that he always was laying on the tank bottom and was way less active, it he eventually died a few weeks later.

I know in the betta trade that many of the ones you buy at retailers are actually senior bettas, as they are breeders that stopped breeding for the breeders, so they get sold off, hence why some people think bettas don't live more than a few months. Its could be like shipping grandma to the the tundra of alaska or living in a cushy hotel depending upon who buys them. My biggest gripe with them is that with the kits now-a-days, you could honestly setup a simple good home for a betta for like 50 dollars. You could honestly probably do a nice planted 10g tank for 80-100 dollars for a betta if you really wanted. I wish the market would advertise that too. The biggest pitfall is the lack of a heater, which they could probably talk more people into purchasing with bettas, but they just don't. Sorry for the rant.
 
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goldface

Tank doesn't have to be planted heavily, though. Ever seen them in blackwater, sitting on branches?
I'm aware otocinclus come from blackwater environments with little to no aquatic vegetation; but in an aquarium, they appreciate as much surface area as possible to graze on--which is important to keeping them alive. That said, I no longer do heavily planted tanks as a result of the fish I keep, so having lots of leaf litter from outside can supply a lot of natural foods. It doesn't get more natural than this.

20190422_013439.jpg
 
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BlackOsprey

I can actually understand why most of these are kept even if I don't exactly relate to or condone the reasoning. Aesthetics, challenge/prestige, coolness, personality, cuteness... And perhaps most importantly, novelty, which can explain away why there's such a market for horrifically deformed fish, depressing glo-bettas, and the large "wet pets" that require 80 gallons of barren solitude thanks to their personality of rabid dogs.

However, none of this applies to black skirt or red eye tetras. They're the Wonderbread of tropical fish. No striking colors, no interesting behavior, they just kinda swim around aimlessly and peck at food when it's dropped in. They are equally unremarkable whether they're in a poorly maintained newb's 10g or a state-of-the-art simulated biotope in a public aquarium. Longfin skirts look a lil nice but the natural variety has nothing going for them.

Really, the only reason I can understand anyone choosing them is because they are common, cheap, and extraordinarily hardy. They're good for people who want smth in a tank because they're convinced a tank needs fish, but are too lazy for basic care. What I don't understand is why someone wouldn't just get some male guppies instead-- they're even cheaper, even more common, and much more beautiful.
 
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V1K

I don't get anything with lumps and blobs on their heads, like bubble eyed and oranda goldfish or flowerhorn. I don't see the ornamental value of that, they look like tumours.
 
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MacZ

I'm aware otocinclus come from blackwater environments with little to no aquatic vegetation; but in an aquarium, they appreciate as much surface area as possible to graze on--which is important to keeping them alive. That said, I no longer do heavily planted tanks as a result of the fish I keep, so having lots of leaf litter from outside can supply a lot of natural foods. It doesn't get more natural than this.

20190422_013439.jpg

True, it just came across like you meant high-tech planted tanks. Which imo are death traps for Otos.

This is very much my style, too. And the pictured tank is kind of the mirror image of mine. I'm just in the middle of simulating the rainy season, so there is less leaf litter there right now. Also Otos are extinkt in my tanks for over a year now.


20201219_102039.jpg
I don't see the ornamental value of that, they look like tumours.

In those tankbred forms they technically often are. Especially in the Goldfish. Some of these growths get out of control with the fishes age.
 
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Jacklynn

I don't really have any specific fish I can think of besides monster fish, unless somebody has a suitable place to keep one.
 
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86 ssinit

I’m an Otto fan. I’ve got them in all my tanks. No high tech tanks but all planted. Yes they have algae. Don’t be upset cause I hire some fish to clean it up! They actually enjoy there work . When done correctly your algae eater do in your tank what they would do naturally. I feed my algae eaters nothing special. No vegetables. My ottos live long lives. My SAE grow big. My mts and cherry shrimp thrive. They all look natural in there tanks.
Still don’t get the frogs and salamanders though .
 
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GeorgeDaGreat

Probably an unpopular opinion but I hate goldfish, especially in a tank. fancy goldfish are even worse.
 
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Cooperman411

I don't get anything with lumps and blobs on their heads, like bubble eyed and oranda goldfish or flowerhorn. I don't see the ornamental value of that, they look like tumours.
I love goldfish but the "wen" or "crowns" as they call them look like a brain on the outside and the bubble-eyes with the fluid sacks have no appeal. Not sure what whoever it was, was thinking when they decided to go for these traits. (Guilty pleasure and completely contradictory - I love a black moore with it's big ol' eyes.)
 
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emeraldking

I dislike balloon mollies, balloon guppies and balloon platies. Their insides are cramped up which doesn't make it better for them. And there's also nothing appealing about them. At least, that's what I think of them.
 
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ferg42995

They're boring looking and buying fish that die that easy is rage inducing.
This made me LOL!
 
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goldface

I’m an Otto fan. I’ve got them in all my tanks. No high tech tanks but all planted. Yes they have algae. Don’t be upset cause I hire some fish to clean it up! They actually enjoy there work . When done correctly your algae eater do in your tank what they would do naturally. I feed my algae eaters nothing special. No vegetables. My ottos live long lives. My SAE grow big. My mts and cherry shrimp thrive. They all look natural in there tanks.
Still don’t get the frogs and salamanders though .
I don't feed mine vegetables either. I always felt that if you feel the need to regularly feed them vegetables to keep them alive, then you're doing something wrong.

To stay on topic . . . another fish I don't get why people buy are Redtail sharks, Bala sharks, Rainbow sharks, etc. just because they have the word shark in their names. I've even read people suggesting them as a "freshwater shark alternative." Some people buy bettas because they look like miniature arowanas, or goldfish because they don't have room for koi. Fair enough. But suggesting cyprinids or catfishes have any resemblence to actual sharks is laughable.
 
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