You’ve got an aquarium and you’re not quite ready to adopt a fish yet, or perhaps you want to add some more variety to your tank by adopting non Fish aquarium pets – the good news is, there are hundreds of non-fish aquarium species you can adopt.
Here is our 11 best non-fish aquarium pets for Aquarium.
Non Fish aquarium pets- Fire Bellied Toad
The Fire Bellied Toad is native South Asia and enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity because of its exotic appearance. These stunning species sport a brilliant black and orange color on their undersides with warty backs.
Despite their name, these species are characterized as frogs, and not a toad. Toads have relatively rougher, textured skin, but this frog has a bumpy skin.
In general, the orange fire bellied toad is exceptionally hardy and can withstand a range of conditions. This makes them suitable for beginners. They’re pretty small, so you won’t be able to hold them in your hands.
That being said, their skin secretes a toxin that is lethal to potential predators – nothing that could kill a human though, but still, you should be careful around them. Always wash your hands thoroughly after touching them.
Note: Do not put them with other animals because they will kill them.
Fire bellied toads are omnivorous creatures that do well on a diet of snails, earthworms, wax worms, and other creatures. They do not have extendable tongues and will use their mouth to grab food into their mouths.
The most essential care requirement for this species is humidity. Aim for at least 80% humidity at all times. Use a humidity gauge to help you investigate their enclosure (aquarium).
If you’re looking for a unique non-fish pet for your aquarium with quirky characteristics, look no further than the freshwater crayfish.
They are extremely hardy, easy to care for, and will even interact with you if you’re nice enough! It is worth noting that they’re not very friendly with community fish and it’s best to give them an aquarium dedicated to crayfish.
Caring for Freshwater Crayfish is a rewarding experience simply because of their antics.
Now it can be a bit confusing to find the right species of Freshwater Crayfish since there are well over 100 species to choose from. Most crayfish have similar requirements such as cool water and a tank with a capacity for about 10 gallons.
Their care sheet isn’t particularly difficult to follow and crayfish are rather forgiving to beginner mistakes.
If you take good care of them, they will live for over 2 years, with some species living even longer.
Part and parcel of caring for Freshwater Crayfish is to change their water regularly or they will get stressed out and die. Their favorite habit is to hide food in a cave and this could upset your tank’s water quality.
They’re really messy eaters and will throw uneaten food morsels all over the tank. This can quickly spell disaster in the tank as the food starts to decompose. When doing water changes, always look for hidden food stashes around the tank. Get rid of them before they can upset the water quality.
If you decide to keep more than one crayfish in the tank, you will have to upgrade to a minimum of 20 gallons. These guys are very aggressive and can fight each other to the death, often consuming each other should they get hungry.
It should be noted that crayfish will molt their skin and become defenseless for several days. During this time they’ll seek refuge in caves and won’t come out again until their shell hardens again. So don’t get spooked and definitely don’t try to force your Crayfish out of its hiding – you could stress them out.
Red Eared Slider Turtle
Don’t want your aquarium pets dying after only 2 to 3 years? Then you need to bring home a Red Eared Slider Turtle! Like most turtles, they can live for a long, long time in captivity – well over 20 years if you provide them with the right diet.
But you’ll have to provide them with a high quality of life, which means lots of resources and space, this may not be easy for beginners.
And no, you can’t make do with a small bowl. Red Eared Slider Turtles need a lot of space in their aquarium tanks and lots of UVB lighting (the correct light fixture is key to their survival). They’re omnivorous creatures and enjoy a range of meat and plant-based diets.
If you’ve brought a juvenile into your tank, prepare to upgrade your tank size because they will grow much bigger during the course of their lives.
Before you bring one of these specimens home, inspect them for ideal health conditions. Key indicators of their health include their eyes, shell, swimming patterns, and general behavior. If they’re not very active, it probably means they’re not doing well health-wise.
They need massive tanks, to the tune of several dozens of gallons (or 100 gallons). Other than that, it should be fairly easy to maintain their water conditions and provide them with UVB lighting. Setting up is the hard part, but once your turtle aquarium is established, maintenance should be a walk in the park.
In terms of food, offer them a wide variety of animal and plant-based foods. Turtle pellets should form the bulk of their diet but should be supplemented with other things.
Mystery snails have achieved notoriety in the aquarium hobby because of their exotic iridescent appearance and large colorful shells.
They would definitely spruce up your aquarium with their unique behavior. Perhaps more importantly, they can form part of your tank’s ‘clean up’ crew, getting rid of excess food and waste with fervor!
They’re always hard at work, cleaning the algae off the tank glass, decorations, plants, and substrate.
Natively, these creatures come from Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil, but are considered to be invasive species as they invade incompatible ecosystems, causing damage to live plants when no other food source is available.
All in all, mystery snails are just very peaceful and safe to keep with compatible fish, plants, and shrimp. Just make sure to keep them far away from fish species that have the minimum jaw strength needed to break through their tough shell. This can be any large fish or bird sharing the same space.
The main difference between these snails and other species is their breathing and breeding techniques – both of which are unique to them.
Mystery Snails can breathe a siphon (a breathing tube) and their gills, allowing them to extract dissolved oxygen from the water.
While they act as clean up crews, eating algae off of the tank surfaces, make sure to supplement their diet with a high level of vegetation. Give them natural plants, plant matter, and other supplements such as flakes and pellets.
Experts describe the sea monkey as a hybrid of brine shrimps, having originated back in the 1950s. They’ve become exceptionally popular since then because of their care requirements,
which are easy to follow for beginners. They can live in smaller tanks, which is good for any aquarists running on a budget.
It is interesting to note that they’re born with just one eye, with the other ‘popping out’ into place when it reaches maturity. Their breathing mechanism is through their feathery feet and thrives on algae.
The sea monkey is naturally drawn to light, so much so that they will appear to follow the beam of any light source. For this reason, make sure your aquarium has plenty of indirect sunlight for them.
This kills two birds with one stone, so to speak: 1) it will allow algae to grow, giving the sea monkey abundant food supply and 2) it will make the sea monkey feel at home
It can be really fun interacting with your sea monkey with the help of a small flashlight.
Word of caution though, if your sea monkey develops white spots, remove them from the tank right away. The parasites and bacteria are contagious and could kill your entire stock. Use a small spoon to extract your sea monkeys out of the tank. If the white spot returns, it’s time to clean the entire tank and replace the water.
Fire Bellied Newt
The Fire Bellied Newt is a very handsome creature, often described as the ‘next best thing’ after a turtle or a lizard. They’re also easier to keep. They are decked out with a black to dark brown body and a contrasting orange underside, hence the name Fire-Bellied.
There are two variants of these creatures: The Japanese Fire Bellied Newt and the Chinese Fire Bellied Newt. They both tend to red underbellies, but the Japanese Fire Bellied Newt is larger and has a rough ski.
More importantly, these newts are very active and thus, interesting to keep. They’re a little shy at first when first introduced to their new aquarium. But once they get acclimated to their surroundings, their true nature will take over.
More importantly, these newts secrete a toxin from their skin that could kill other inhabitants. So don’t keep them with other fish and creatures, unless you intend to offer them as food to the Newt. You can also keep them with other Fire Bellied Newts, but make sure to provide them with a large tank to prevent hostilities.
Because they are semi-aquatic animals, it is important to provide them with a tank that is 30% land and 70% water. You could also go for a fully aquatic tank, adding floating islands and large rocks for your newt to rest and dwell in.
Axolotl are ideal pets but their care requirements are complex and require a lot in the way of upkeep. These creatures can live for up to 10 years if you can meet their often strict requirements. Axolotls require an aquatic tank with a very specific water quality, temperature, and maintenance requirements.
For starters, the water should be maintained between 57 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a bit on the low side. If the temperature exceeds their tolerance threshold, your Axolotl will be stressed out and that could open them up to a host of illnesses and infections.
Choose a filter that doesn’t create much water flow in the tank because Axolotls are easily pushed around. Too much water flow can also lead to stress and subsequently, disease.
It is recommended to place a substrate, either in the form of large river stones or sand. Do not use pebbles because axolotls are curious creatures and will swallow them whole. This will lead to intestinal blockages requiring surgery to remove.
Axolotl are carnivorous creatures and require a range of meats to fulfill their nutritional requirements. They should be fed on bloodworms, shrimp, tubifex worms, insects, and pelleted foods. It is better to provide them with whole foods such as shrimps, insects, and worms because they meet more nutritional needs of your axolotl.
The octopus is known for being extremely intelligent, perhaps on par with a golden retriever. It goes without saying that it’s not easy to care for octopus in an average home aquarium.
Caring for octopus requires a lot of care that requires an experienced aquarist’s attention. For starters, you need to provide it with a dimly lit aquarium to make it feel at home.
While different octopus species have unique appearances, most have a standard set of 8 tentacles that are attached to their body. Each specimen has two distinct eyes on its head. Much of their swimming pattern comes from their tentacles. They come in a variety of appearances, from elegant striped patterns to dull grayish colors.
Most octopuses in captivity won’t grow over 15 inches in size, but these creatures are massive in the wild, with some specimens measuring well over 30 feet.
Below are a few standard care requirements for the octopus, which should come easy to most aquarists:
- Salinity of around 1.023
- pH value of 8.2
- Lots of dissolved oxygen
- Temperature of around 77 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit
- A single octopus will need at least 55 gallons tanks to live happily
They are very sensitive and require pristine water conditions to survive.
Since they’re very intelligent and their bodies are ‘bendy’, octopuses are known for being great escape artists. Therefore, you should cover the tank with a lid, and ensure that any holes in the tank are not large enough to be used as an escape route.
Ghost shrimps are freshwater crustaceans popular with aquarists of all experience levels. They’re easy to care, make for a great addition to any tropical tank, and get along well with non-aggressive fish.
The only sad thing about these creatures is that they don’t live for very long, with an average life span of about 1 year.
Ghost Shrimps serve two main purposes: food for bigger fish (not recommended if you’re keeping them as pets) and the ‘clean up crew’.
They’re optimistic scavengers and will clean up after their tank mates, eating leftover food as well as algae levels that grow out of control. Ghost Shrimps like to keep busy and will go to town on algae and food scraps during the day. They also like to swim around.
Ghost Shrimps have a clear white appearance, hence the name “Ghost”. This allows them to evade predators and survive for much longer than prominently colored shrimps.
Because they’re so small, you can make do with a small tank at only 5 gallons. This is the bare minimum, but you should always strive to find a larger tank.
So if you’re efficient scavengers to keep algae growth in check, look no further than the Ghost Shrimp.
Red Clawed Crab
Red Clawed Crabs are an interesting species that are easy to care for, but they have a very specific list of care requirements. Most people keep them in freshwater aquariums, but their natural habitat is as a single species in low-end brackish aquariums.
In the wild, they primarily inhabit the mangrove swamps in Asia such as estuaries and rivers. These are usually a mix of fresh and saltwater at a very shallow height. The substrate is fine sand and the temperature is tropical. These conditions are easy to mimic in any home tank.
Since they’re not fully aquatic, you should provide them with plenty of access to land. Provide at least 20% land, or at least a floating island. The water salinity should be about 1.005 for the best results.
They are omnivorous creatures but prefer a diet involving proteins such as uncooked fish, prawns, and bloodworms. You can supplement this with vegetables like spinach and peas. They also eat regular fish food such as crab foods and algae pellets.
African Dwarf Frogs
The African Dwarf Frog, also referred to as Dwarf Clawed Frog, can be kept in small 2 gallon aquariums. The bottom of the tank should be covered with gravels that are large enough to prevent the frogs from accidentally ingesting as they go about hunting for food.
In most pet stores, they are sold as ‘living art’ to be kept in small glass vases. They don’t do well with tropical fish and fail to live with communities of other fish.
You should filter the water using a canister filter, under gravel filter, or a sponge filter. Make sure to regularly clean 10 to 20% of the water and replace it with dechlorinated water once a week.
You can feed them pellets designed for carnivorous freshwater species. Offer them as much food as they can eat, making sure to remove uneaten food and feces with a turkey baster or a dip net.
With proper care, your African Dwarf Frog should live for over 5 years.