Amazing Animals In Aquariums: 15 Aquarium Pets To Keep

animals in aquariums

As long as you have enough space, there are many animals in aquariums that are totally non-fish aquarium pets, that you can introduce to your pet fish, and enjoy as part of your home decor, including crabs, frogs, shrimp, and even snails!

These non-fish aquarium pets make great companions and are wonderful additions to any aquarium.

If you’re the proud owner of an aquarium at home, you probably already know that fish aren’t the only pets that can live in your fish tank (though they are probably the most common). Who says you have to have fish as your only animal in an aquarium?

Many people enjoy the beauty and serenity of watching fish swim around in their tanks, but aren’t always interested in having fish as pets. But what other kinds of aquarium pets can you keep with your setup?

Fortunately, there are plenty of other options available to you that can live happily in your aquarium without the need to constantly feed them or provide them with supplemental oxygen.

Some popular non-fish aquarium pets include frogs, turtles, shrimps, and so on, so there’s bound to be one that interests you and matches your environment!

Here are 15 animals in aquariums that make great companions when added to any tank or terrarium.

Which animals are kept in aquariums?

Aquaria are used by fishkeepers to maintain fish, amphibians, invertebrates, plants, and aquatic reptiles such as turtles that live in water.

In addition to providing conservation and education programs for the public, zoos and aquariums offer programs that assist in preserving wild animal populations and educating the public about threats.

The majority of aquatic invertebrates, including freshwater shrimp (sexy anemone shrimp, cleaner shrimp, and peppermint shrimp), button polyps, corals, hermit crabs, clams, and snails. There are a lot of small but very entertaining animals in aquariums that are perfect for small gallons.

Animals in aquariums you can keep as aquarium pets

Red-Eared Slider Turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans)

animals in aquariums

A red-eared slider turtle is a non-aggressive, hardy reptile that does well in both fresh and salt water. They are one of the few animals other than fish that can live in an aquarium with no filtration. These turtles are native to North America, but they have been exported to South America and Asia for the pet trade.

Due to their popularity, it is difficult to find a red-eared slider hatchling for sale in the United States. Most adults reach about eight inches (20 cm) and females weigh more than males.

These reptiles prefer temperatures between 70°F (21°C) and 80°F (27°C), though they will tolerate temperatures outside this range on occasion. A female usually lays eggs every two weeks from March through November; typically 10 eggs per clutch.

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Nerite Snail (Nerita)

animals in aquariums

Nerite snails are one of the few aquatic invertebrates that can be kept in a freshwater aquarium. They can grow up to two inches, so they need a big tank. These snails will eat algae and other plant matter, which is good for any aquarium, especially if you don’t want to use chemicals.

They also reproduce rapidly and won’t overpopulate your tank like some other species of snail might. Plus, they’re really cute! One of the coolest things about these guys is that when it’s time for them to shed their shells or slough, they’ll do it as a group, around 5 at once.

It’s really fun to watch because all at once you’ll see little piles of shells across the bottom of your tank. If this isn’t reason enough to keep these guys around then I don’t know what is!

Red-Clawed Crab (Perisesarma bidens)

animals in aquariums

The Red-Clawed Crab (Perisesarma bidens) is a freshwater crustacean that can be found throughout southeast Asia. They measure 3 inches in length and have a life span of 3 to 5 years. Despite their small size, they are fierce fighters and will defend themselves with their claws if threatened.

A long tail that looks like it has two large pincers sticking out the end makes this crab easy to identify. When captured for pets, it is important to provide a tank with enough space for the crab to move around so that it does not become bored or stressed out by being stuck in one place all day.

Brine Shrimp (Artemia salina)

brine shrimp

Also referred to as Sea monkey, brine shrimp are tiny crustaceans that live in freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams. When they’re small enough, they can be used as food for other fish in the aquarium.

This is because their bodies contain a lot of protein, making them an excellent alternative to fish flakes as a source of nutrition. They can also be fed to other invertebrates and amphibians, such as tadpoles or salamanders.

Brine shrimp are also very easy to breed. All you need to do is add salt water to your tank, put a few eggs on some filter wool, cover it with another piece of filter wool and let it sit in your tank until they hatch. The young brine shrimp can then be harvested and sold to pet stores.

Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus)

ghost shrimp

Ghost shrimp are one of the most popular non-fish aquarium pets on the market. These fascinating crustaceans are often sold at pet stores because they’re inexpensive and easy to care for. You can feed them a variety of food, including vegetables like carrots, peas, and lettuce.

Ghost shrimp have even been known to eat snails off of plants in the tank! It’s important to keep your water clean and make sure you provide plenty of hiding places for these shy creatures. They will hide when they feel threatened by people or other animals in their environment.

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They live up to two years if well cared for, so it’s worth investing some time into making sure that your ghost shrimp has everything it needs to thrive.

Dwarf Seahorses (Hippocampus zosterae)

animals in aquariums

Dwarf seahorses are one of the most popular aquarium pets. They are members of the pipefish family, which includes over 200 species. They live in shallow waters and coral reefs in the wild, but they can also be found in tidal pools, seaweed beds, and mangroves.

The seahorse is a fascinating animal that spends most of its time anchored to something with its tail wrapped around it tightly. It never swims and instead relies on camouflage for protection from predators. In captivity, seahorses will eat frozen brine shrimp or krill as well as algae wafers or other marine vegetation that floats near them.

Hermit Crabs

animals in aquariums

The hermit crab is a fascinating and intriguing pet. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase, easy to care for, and can be found at many pet stores. The hermit crab is an excellent choice if you are looking for a new creature to keep in your home aquarium.

However, there are certain things that you should know before purchasing one of these creatures as a pet. It is important to note that the hermit crab does not live very long in captivity, so this animal may not be the best choice for someone who wants a long-term companion.

In addition, it is important to note that the tank requirements for this particular species are quite strict and often difficult to maintain. Hermit crabs also require additional food sources, such as fish flakes or meaty foods like shrimp.

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

animals in aquariums

Unlike most other amphibians, axolotls are capable of regenerating their limbs, spinal cord, heart, and other organs. In fact, axolotls have been known to fully regenerate their limbs even after amputation as adults. Axolotls can be found in a wide range of colors including black with gold speckles and red and white albino variants.

The lifespan of an axolotl is unknown due to the species’ ability to regenerate, but it has been estimated that they live between 7 to 15 years in captivity. They’re often referred to as walking fish or Mexican walking fish because they’re able to both swim and walk on land like an amphibian.

They feed on plants such as algae which grow in their tanks, small crustaceans like shrimp, worms, insect larvae, and even pieces of vegetables that fall into the water.

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Telescope Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

animals in aquariums

Telescope goldfish are ornamental fish that can be used in an aquarium. They are available in a variety of colors and patterns, making them attractive to many people. They are often called telescopes because their eyes seem to look like telescopes.

Goldfish often make good pets for children because they require little care and they are not expensive to maintain.

They are omnivores and will eat both plants and meat. These fish live on average five years, with some living up to ten years. The disadvantages include having to regularly clean the tank and perform water changes because goldfish produce more waste than other fish do.

Another disadvantage is that these fish cannot tolerate rapid temperature changes or large swings in pH levels so if you’re thinking about getting one of these as a pet you should ask yourself if your home has consistent temperatures between 68°F and 86°F (20°C-30°C).

African Dwarf Frog

animals in aquariums

The African Dwarf Frog is a popular choice for those who want to add an amphibian to their tank. They are attractive and easy to take care of, provided you have the space for them.

These frogs don’t require a lot of attention and are generally very peaceful, though they can be territorial. It’s best to house one frog per 10 gallons (37 liters) of water. They are active during the day so it’s important that your tank has plenty of hiding spots for them.

Keep in mind that these frogs will eat anything, including invertebrates and fish fry so make sure you keep any hungry mouths away from your other pets.

Mystery Snails (Pomacea bridgesii)

animals in aquariums

Mystery snails are one of the most popular non-fish aquarium pets and are a favorite of both beginners and experts. Mystery snails are easy to care for because they do not need any special lighting, substrate, or tank mates.

They also make a great addition to your tank because they can help keep algae levels in check. Mystery snails are relatively inexpensive, which makes them the perfect pet for someone who wants to try out non-fish aquarium pets before investing in more expensive ones like fish or shrimp. If you’re looking for something with a little less maintenance, mystery snails may be the way to go.

Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)

animals in aquariums

The moon jellyfish, also known as the Aurelia aurita, is a gentle animal that would make an excellent addition to any home aquarium. The beautiful blue and purple colors of the moon jellyfish make it a favorite among hobbyists who want an exotic animal in their tanks. Moon jellyfish are found in waters around the world and can grow to be up to 12 inches across.

A full-grown moon jellyfish has between 60 and 400 tentacles with stinging cells called nematocysts on them. These nematocysts inject venom when they come into contact with prey or predators but they have no effect on humans, making the moon jellyfish harmless to humans and a great choice for most households.

Tubifex Worms (Tubifex tubifex)

Blue Ring Octopus

animals in aquariums

The blue ring octopus is one of the most poisonous animals in the world, and can be quite aggressive. Despite these two facts, they make a fantastic pet. They are active during the day, unlike many other octopuses, and therefore much more friendly to interact with.

They live for about five years on average, but some have been known to live up to ten years or more if taken care of properly. For an aquarium, they need at least 10 gallons of water with plenty of hiding spots. Blue Ring Octopuses will eat almost anything that isn’t their own species.

Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus)

animals in aquariums

Lined seahorses are one of the most popular non-fish aquarium pets. They are easy to care for and have cute face that can be recognized from across the room. These animals live in shallow waters and like to swim around with algae and seaweed for food. A lined seahorse is about 5 inches long, has a brownish color, and has an orange line running down its back.

Their scientific name comes from the Latin word hippocampus which means seahorse. The Latin word Erectus means upright. Seahorses also seem to know when they are in captivity and typically stop swimming as much because they know they won’t need energy reserves if there is no escape.


animals in aquariums

Also known as the sea star, the starfish is not a fish, but it’s still a great pet for an aquarium. It can do many of the same things that fish do and will usually be more friendly than any other sea animal you might find.

They’re scavengers who eat algae and small pieces of meat, so they don’t need to be fed as often as most other pets. If your starfish isn’t feeling well, it’s probably because it needs to be moved into shallower water.

Some people use this ability to control where their starfish are in their tank. These creatures are very low maintenance and make a perfect addition to your saltwater setup.