THE BIG ALTERNATIVES
Want a whopper but you’ve no room? Don’t despair! For every tropical tank-buster there’s an alternative beauty more suited to home aquariums.
Want a whopper but no room for a tank-buster? Then check out our alternative beauties more suited to home aquariums.
FOR SOME aquarists, there’s no substitute for one or more large fish in the tank. These guys tend to know their fish and stock them in suitably large aquaria. For others, it’s the appearance of the juvenile fish that tempts an impulse buy. Some fish may have a particular feature we find fascinating, like the swimming style of the Sweetlips.
We’re lucky to have such an incredible diversity of species to choose from, but if we don’t think our purchases through, we’ll encounter serious issues as they grow and mature. Fortunately, there are alternatives in smaller-sized fish that are just as attractive and fascinating as their larger brethren.
The easiest way to avoid a potential leviathan in your tank is to research all of your intended purchases. Maximum fish sizes are widely available and this, coupled with the knowledge that most marines aren’t limited by the size of their aquarium, should mean that large fish aren’t taken home in ignorance. Speak to your retailers – they’re a mine of fishkeeping information.
There are, however, spontaneous purchases that take everyone by surprise. Thousands of species make their way into our hobby – some are rare, while others aren’t usually seen because dealers know they’re a monster fish in the making. So if an unfamiliar species turns up at your local stockist, find out why you haven’t seen it before, rather than asking how much it costs.
Tank-buster owners think they’ll be able to move on their enormous fish once it has outgrown the aquarium. But where to? Few private aquarists can accommodate them and public aquaria and zoos have limits on the numbers (and types) they can house, too.
In the right context – a super-sized aquarium, or in their natural environment – tank-busters are fascinating to observe. It’s not their fault they end up in aquaria that are entirely unsuitable for them.
The tank-busters shown here come with a haphazard bunch of alternatives. That’s the great thing about this pastime – even though aquaria have a finite holding capacity for livestock, if you can’t have one species there are always plenty of other options. Your alternative fish can be as close as possible to the original, or quite different but just as appealing in other ways.
We have such a wide choice of fish to choose from in this hobby that it makes the acquisition of tankbusting species almost unforgivable.
Public aquariums are the best places to house, and view, tank-busters.