15 Popular Aquarium Pets That Aren’t Fish (With Pictures)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

Most people who have a small aquarium of fish are interested in growing their collection to include other aquarium pets that aren’t fish as well. If you’ve ever visited an aquarium, you’ve probably seen someone there with an aquatic pet other than fish, maybe even several kinds!

If you have an aquarium of your own and are looking to add some variety, you can also keep many different types of non-fish aquarium pets (or at least in the same room as your tank).

Anyone who owns an aquarium knows that fish make great pets, but they aren’t the only pets you can keep! There are also many other types of animals that can live comfortably in an aquarium.

From turtles to hermit crabs, these 15 aquarium pets are perfect if you want something more than just fish in your tank. They may not be as easy to care for as fish, but the rewards are well worth it if you put in the time and effort to keep them happy!

15 aquarium pets that aren’t fish

Red-Eared Slider Turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

One of the most popular turtles in the United States, red-eared sliders are native to North America, and are primarily found in the south. They can grow up to 12 inches long, and live for about 25 years.

Red-eared slider turtles make great pets because they’re relatively inexpensive, easy to care for, and require only a small amount of space. They need an aquarium with high humidity and at least one basking area where they can warm themselves on rocks or other objects. Feed them snails, worms, shrimp, crickets, lettuce leaves – pretty much any insect that’s appropriate for their size – every day!

Nerite Snail (Nerita)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

Nerite snails are great for beginners because they require very little maintenance. They’re also more aesthetically pleasing than most other aquarium pets. The best part about these snails is that they eat algae, which is a common problem in many tanks. It’s also easy to identify them because their shells have polka dots on them.

In the wild, nerite snails live at the bottom of rivers and lakes where they feed on plants and leaves. If you decide to keep one as your pet make sure you get a nerite snail shell. If not, it might try to make its own home out of whatever it can find- including your fish tank!

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Red-Clawed Crab (Perisesarma bidens)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

Red-clawed crabs are one of the most common and popular aquarium pets that aren’t fish. They live in both freshwater and saltwater, and they can grow up to 12 inches long. What makes them so great is that they’re really low maintenance. The only thing you need to do is feed them a variety of foods, provide a hiding place for when they molt, give them plenty of water when necessary, and keep their environment clean.

Red-clawed crabs make excellent first time aquarium pets because they’re very hardy and have been proven to be nearly impossible to kill. They don’t require any special equipment, either. All you need is an open space at the bottom of your tank and some rocks or other objects for them to climb on.

Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

Cherry shrimp are one of the most popular aquarium pets in the world, and they are the perfect starter pet for those looking to try their hand at keeping some aquatic animals.

They’re available in a variety of colors and they’re relatively easy to care for. Plus, cherry shrimp can be kept in a smaller aquarium than you might expect. For example, a ten gallon tank is usually adequate enough to house two or three adult shrimp comfortably.

One thing that many owners enjoy about them is that they will eat off any algae or bits of leftover food left floating on the top of the water’s surface. Another perk, since they’re so small, they’ll rarely disrupt your tank’s balance if you happen to put anything other than fish into it!

Dwarf Seahorses (Hippocampus zosterae)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

The Dwarf Seahorse is a type of seahorse that is only about an inch in length. They are very popular as a pet because they’re small and don’t require as much space as larger marine animals.

They live in the Western Pacific, Eastern Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.
Dwarf Seahorses make for good pets because they’re not aggressive with their environment, nor do they eat the plants or other animals living in it. In addition, they reproduce at a rapid rate, meaning you can have an entire tank full of them in just six months’ time! They also come in many different colors such as green, pink, blue, purple, and red.

Hermit Crabs (Paguroidea)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

Hermit Crabs are one of the most popular pet crabs for aquariums and terrariums. They’re not as sensitive to water quality as some other species, and they love digging through sand to find bits of food.

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Hermit crabs will eat anything from lettuce leaves to egg shells, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking for a pet that requires minimal care. They can live up to 20 years in captivity, but it’s important to give them plenty of exercise time outside of their habitat every day. If you forget about them for too long, they’ll get restless and bored-which can lead to some bad behaviors.

It’s also a good idea to change their substrate (sand) every few months since hermit crabs can get sick if the material starts to break down.

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

An axolotl is a type of salamander that is also called a waterdog or a Mexican walking fish. They have a fascinating ability to regenerate their limbs, so in the wild, they can grow back lost appendages and even regrow their heads if necessary. Axolotls are found in only one place on Earth, Lake Xochimilco near Mexico City.

Most pet axolotls come from people who breed them for research purposes. In the wild, axolotls live to be about six years old, but when living as pets they can live up to 20 years! They usually eat small invertebrates like worms and insects but will eat shrimp as well.

Axolots should never be kept with other types of animals because they might try to eat them!

Telescope Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

Carassius auratus, also known as the Telescope Goldfish, is one of the most popular aquarium fish in existence. They are also known as Tubes because of their long and slender shape.

This fish gets its name from its ability to breathe air at the surface of the water when it is unable to come to the surface for a gulp. Carassius auratus are native to Asia and typically grow up to 7-8 inches long with deep bodies.

It can be difficult to keep them healthy due to the fact that they require clean water and quality foods. If you’re thinking about buying these pets, make sure you have an aquarium that’s 10 gallons or larger.

African dwarf frog (Hymenochirus)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

African dwarf frogs are a popular choice for aquarium pets because they are small and easy to care for. This is one of the few pets on this list that will actually eat the food you put in their tank. They are also relatively inexpensive, which makes them an ideal pet for beginners.

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These frogs only grow to be about an inch long, so they can live comfortably in smaller tanks. Their habitat should have at least a gallon per frog. The water needs to be filtered and changed every two weeks, but it’s important not to fill the tank up too high with water because African dwarf frogs like living close to the ground.

Mystery snails (Pomacea bridgesii)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

Mystery snails are one of the most common freshwater aquarium pets that aren’t fish. They are often sold as feeder snails and will eat any uneaten fish food, algae, and leftover plant material in the tank.

Plus they’re super cute! Like other invertebrates, they’ll grow to their size limitations so they need space to do this. There’s an infinite number of species of these snails so your collection can be varied with different colors and markings.

Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

If you’re looking for aquarium pets that aren’t fish, look no further than the moon jellyfish. This delicate creature can be found in both saltwater and freshwater tanks. They’re very gentle and feed off of plankton, so they require a lot less attention than other marine invertebrates as shrimp or crabs do.

Plus, they have an awesome defense mechanism of shooting their tentacles at predators to stun them. Plus, as mentioned before, they don’t need much care since all they eat are plankton.

And if you’ve been searching for a non-aquatic pet but want one that’ll make your friends jealous when it crawls up on your shoulder, Look no further! The Moon Jellyfish is just what you need

Blue Ring Octopus

aquarium pets that aren't fish

While blue-ring octopuses are not fish, they are still common aquarium pets. These aquatic creatures are found in the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as in the waters of southern Australia. In terms of size, they can grow to be up to 60 centimeters long and weigh up to 4 kilograms.

They like to live in dark crevices near reefs and eat crabs, shrimp, and other small crustaceans that pass by them. They’re also skilled at capturing prey with their tentacles before swallowing them whole. As such, it’s best to provide this creature with plenty of hiding spots, as they get stressed out easily.

Fireworms "Hermodice Carunculata"

Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

The Lined Seahorse is one of the most popular aquarium pets. In the wild, this seahorse is found in Indonesia and Australia. They are found in many different colors and patterns, but the most popular color is yellow or gold with white stripes.

This seahorse spends its time grazing on algae that it finds on rocks at the bottom of the ocean floor. They can grow up to four inches long, making them a perfect size for an aquarium pet.

They also have no teeth which means they won’t be able to eat any live fish you have in your tank. The average lifespan of a lined seahorse is five years.

Starfish (Asteroidea)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

The starfish is a sea-dwelling creature that spends most of its life on the sea floor. The starfish has an arm-like protuberance called a madreporite, which it uses to draw water into its body and then expel it out of its mouth to create a current that draws in small fish for capture.

Starfish are preyed upon by crabs, lobsters, cod, seals, and octopuses. They can regenerate arms if they are lost from predators or accidents.

Clams (Bivalvia)

aquarium pets that aren't fish

Clams are just one of the many animals that live in aquariums, but they are often overlooked. Clams are not fish and they can come in a variety of colors depending on what type you choose to buy.

They have one hard shell with a hinge at the top, which opens up to reveal a soft body that is usually white or cream-colored. There are two main types of clams: hard-shell and soft-shell clams.

Hard-shell clams have a very strong shells made from calcium carbonate, while soft-shell clams’ shells are thinner and covered in algae.

Hard-shell clam shells open at both ends whereas the only opening for soft-shelled clams is located near the hinge on their upper side. Soft-shelled clam shells also lack an outer layer of shiny material found on hard-shelled clam shells called periostracum.