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Should You Keep Rare Tropical Fish?

Aug 4, 2008
There is a lot of controversy these days over rare and exotic pets, and included in that controversy is question of whether or not you should keep rare tropical fish. Some may argue that rare animals of any variety should not be taken from their natural habitat so that they can breed and be as healthy as possible, while others argue that keeping any animal in captivity can actually be safer than letting it loose in the wild. And since keeping rare tropical fish means that they won't be in the ocean near predators and other harmful elements, and they'll be kept in a closed and controlled environment, is there really any harm to this? Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of keeping rare tropical fish and then of course you can make up your own mind regarding this subject.

The first thing to consider about rare tropical fish is where they've come from. Obviously if you're buying them from a private seller you want to make sure that he or she is obtaining these fish legally. Some people are not against smuggling exotic pets out of countries without proper paperwork. On the other hand some breeders of rare tropical fish are licensed to breed them on their own and may have their own fish farms and aquariums where they raise them. It's up to you to find these things out for sure.

You also need to keep in mind the expense and care that may be needed with some breeds of rare tropical fish, which might need more exacting water conditions and may have special dietary needs. Many fish are very sturdy and can withstand changes in their tank water whereas some rare tropical fish are more delicate and need constant checking when it comes to the water's pH, chemical, bacteria, and so on. If you want your fish to live you're going to need to be sure you're taking care of it properly. You also need to be aware of their dietary needs, as some cannot do so well with plain flake fish food. They may need special live feed or may also need supplements added to their diet. These things can be costly, so do your research and comparison shopping beforehand and make sure you can fit these things into your budget. And of course there is the cost of the rare tropical fish itself! Some can run hundreds and even thousands of dollars, and yet you should also keep in mind their life spans. How do you feel about spending that much money on a fish that lives only a few years, if even that? Weigh this carefully and be sure you can afford this type of temporary investment.

Only you can decide if any rare tropical fish are right for you and your aquarium. Keep in mind if you're doing the right thing for the fish as well, and in the end you're sure to make the right decision.
About the Author
John Hubert is a researcher of tropical fish and has recently published an ebook covering Rare Tropical Fish. It is recommended you also check out his site on Large Aquarium Fish.
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