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What Fish Would You Never Recommend To A Beginner?

Noahsfish

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I did read what you wrote, and i still disagree in reference to this thread, which was started on the grounds of what's not recommended for beginners. And I didn't mean that buying a regular tank means it'll solve all your problems, just that you'll have less of them, and also a wider variety of stuff to choose from. And yes, you could argue that you could buy a custom 100,000 gallon "bowl" and keep whatever you want it. For practicalitys' sake I say tanks are the way to go, IMHO.

I also agree with you it being possible for you to keep "fish/aquatic life" in a 1-3 gallon bowl. However to say it's not extremely limiting...... and a 3 gallon tank/bowl is NOT suitable for any fish long term. You could keep some pretty cool stuff still though like CPOS or a few shrimp/small snails..

I also think knife fish should be special order to store, or online ordering only as I see many beginners with 10g tanks..(who have BGK)
Sorry, just had to add one more thing :p. Just telling people to get fish for a suitable sized tank doesn't mean they'll know, well, what's suitable. A 1-3 gallon isn't suitable for 99.9% of store bought fish.. Saying that it is suitable for SOME aquatic life (although true) will give the illusion that they can stock it with maybe "a few" small fish. I guess what I'm trying to get at is for beginners it's best not to go for the more specialized setups.
 

Antinerf

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Just saw this pop up again... technically we could keep fish in most any container provided we don't overstep the carrying capacity. At least for me though, using something that resembled more of a tank (it was still one gallon, but had a heater and filter) taught me a lot about keeping fish. I found that having more options in a tank such as filters and heaters (yes, you can do this in a bowl too but that requires expertise a n00b like myself lacked at the time- I don't even know if I could pull it off today) made me more interested in learning about how to improve the conditions of the fish that I was caring for.
 
Personally, the gain for me was huge; a betta that I had in a bowl lasted only seven days, while the betta that I had in the 1-gallon tank (I got the betta in the tank a month after the last one died) lasted for 303 days (btw before then I had never broken the 31-day mark with any fish in my entire life).
 

GoldenRoses

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Goldfish are not beginner fish. Plain and simple.

I actually would not recommend livebearers for beginners either. Sure, they're cheap, colorful and readily available, but poor breading has left these fish with horribly compromised immune systems and terrible genetics overall. Unless you get your livebearers from a reputable breeder, it's likely they won't last more than a few weeks or months in subpar care. They aren't adaptable when it comes to poor water quality, and easily contract diseases. It's heartbreaking and discouraging for a beginner to loose their fish, for what seems like no apparent reason. I still get frustrated trying to keep commercial livebearers, because they perish even in the best of care! I would recommend a newbie stay far, far away from them.
 

Akasha72

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I'd say the opposite - common livebearers are the perfect beginner fish. They tend to be easy going and reasonably hardy - although I agree that they're not as hardy as they used to be - mostly due to over breeding.
 
I cut my fish keeping teeth on platies and guppies and I wouldn't have had it any other way. They all lived to be around 2 - 3 years of age, dropped loads on fry on me (that I didn't necessarily want but my lfs were happy to be given livebearer fry on a regular basis!) and were healthy, happy little fish even in my soft water!
 
I mean, if we're going to say no to livebearers for beginners where do we stop? Will we get to a point where there are no beginners! 
 

BiggTexx

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"...dropped loads on fry on me"

Exactly why I wouldn't recommend guppies.

On the other hand, I 100% agree with your comment: "where do we stop? Will we get to a point where there are no beginners!"
 

Akasha72

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the first time they dropped fry I was panicked but within weeks the panic turned to 'oh here we go again' and all I had to do was bag up the fry and march them to my lfs who were more than happy to raise them and then sell them on. In the end I was doing them a favour and myself one too. 
 
If a beginner is asking about livebearers I'll always mention the fry 'problem' ... in fact only yesterday I warned someone who was considering a tank with male and female guppies that they were going to be over-run with guppies if they went down that road 

 
A good lfs will always warn a newbie aswell. I know mine did .... except I didn't listen 
 

Paradise3

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BiggTexx said:
"...dropped loads on fry on me"

Exactly why I wouldn't recommend guppies.
 
I understand that but at the same time it's the reason I would recommend them. Especially if you have kids, it's a good way to teach them about the cycle of life in fish(well, livebearers anyway) :) But yes, on the other hand the amount of fry they have and how often is the reason they are not a good first fish.
 

BiggTexx

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Akasha72 said:
A good lfs will always warn a newbie aswell. I know mine did .... except I didn't listen 
 
If only this was always the case!  The LFS around me are so overrun by teenagers looking for quick cash, they will tell you anything to make a sale.
 
Paradise3, you have valid point as well.
 
In any case, I think my concern is more involved with the presentation and sale of fish, rather than the fish themselves. I would like to believe that many people would rather know exactly what they are getting into, rather than having to find out the hard way, as many people still do. "Wait, what do you mean by cycling the tank?"
 
It is very easy to walk into a LFS near me, by a bowl (literally a .5gal bowl), gravel and a plastic plant, along with any fish you want to go in it.  Even though there are cautions and recommendations clearly printed (though not thoroughly elaborate) on the tanks, it makes no difference to the average employee.  "Want a pair of goldfish for that bowl? Come see what we have!"
 

Akasha72

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oh dear ... that's not a good lfs. Mine has a big sign up next to the tanks ... 'we do not sell fish for unfiltered tanks' .... or something down those lines. I can't quite remember the exact wording but basicly ... no suitable tank = no sale
 

Antinerf

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Akasha72 said:
oh dear ... that's not a good lfs. Mine has a big sign up next to the tanks ... 'we do not sell fish for unfiltered tanks' .... or something down those lines. I can't quite remember the exact wording but basicly ... no suitable tank = no sale
I wish more stores adopted policies like these. I think a lot of n00bs have the problem of thinking that they can put a fish in a space that a fish can fit into at the moment and call it a day. That's one the basic problems for things like a goldfish in a small bowl, a betta in a 1/2 gallon cube, and ultimately a pleco in a small tank. I made that mistake once when I put two bala sharks in a one gallon tank because the PetSmart employees there told me I would have "no problems," which I immediately should have found suspicious. That was the last time I trusted a pet store employee. The first fish died after 26 days and the second died after 30, and frankly I'm surprised they lasted that long. I did my research after that.
 

BiggTexx

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I wish they were all that way.  While I try not to buy from chain stores, I do frequent them for the other animals I care for and the amount employee incompetence is astounding.  I have overheard some of the strangest comments from employees and have actually stepped in a time or two to help and clarify a few things.  Even if I was only 50% correct in my argument, hopefully it was enough to dissuade the person from buying that day and allowed them to research things further.
 

NickAu

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Yes I know its an old thread.
 
Black ghost knifefish.
 
These poor guys are sold in chain pet stores as babies but can grow to 2 foot long,  Not only do you need a long tank for them it also needs to be wide, because BGK dont bend like other fish can.
 

Ltygress

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Since you ressurected it though (and I just read through the whole thing), I'll say livebearers are good beginner fish. But there is a strong divide between a beginner, and an idiot. The first one would probably be great with livebearers. The second one should not own ANY fish. Period.

Unfortunately, fish stores often cater to that second group. It's why Petsmart has such a high turnover rate on fish, and always have young fish on hand. That second group adopts them and they die and need to be replaced, or they get released locally and need to be replaced.

The difference between the two groups is education. The first group is willing to learn about fish, cycling, tank sizes, aggression, and breeding habits before (or when) they get them.

The second group just buys them because they're pretty and they have money at the moment.
 

star4

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The question is what type of person do you class as a beginner? everyone has to start somewhere. Educating people on how to keep fish is the ultimate key, but you cannot just tell people you cant keep x y z fish because you have no experience? What about people who have kept freshwater fish for years then decide to go into salt water fish? is there a specific list for those type of people? Post like this are what are feeding those animal activists that want all fish being kept banned.
 

Ltygress

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star4 said:
The question is what type of person do you class as a beginner? everyone has to start somewhere.
Exactly.
I would personally classify a beginner as someone who is going to make lots of mistakes. That's why "hardy" fish are good for them. Livebearers are not only hardy by nature, they stay relatively small, and if they do die, you'll probably get a good set of babies ready to replace them beforehand.
 
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