exotic freshwater fish

5 Rare Exotic Freshwater Tropical Fish for your Aquarium

When we are talking about exotic fish, most people think of a saltwater fish. Well, that is not entirely true. There are a lot of exotic freshwater fish that can add a real beauty to your aquarium.

Some of them are rare and not seen in most home aquariums. Some are available in every pet store, but not recommended for beginners due their difficult requirements. But they are all beautiful and exotic.

If you are interested to find out the names of these fishes stay around.




1.Vampire Tetra

vampire tetra

The Vampire Tetra or also knows as Payara is a truly remarkable fish, rare to see in home aquariums and it’s not recommended for beginner aquarist. Her name comes from her big front teeth. The vampire tetra is well known for her aggressive nature, and should be fed only by live food.

It can be kept in larger aquariums, but often outgrows her tanks. The Payara doesn’t usually live long in captivity, probably 6 months to 1 years, but there have been reported some cases living up to 2 years. It can reach up to 4 feet in size, but its common size in captivity is up to 12 inches.

Quick info

Average price- 80$+

Lifespan- up to 2 years in captivity

Size- 12 inches in captivity

Temperament- Aggressive

Min tank size-80 gallon

Compatible with-Arowana, Pacus, Catfish



Archerfish is very interesting and unusual fish to have in your aquarium. The original habitat of archer fish is Southeast Asia, and it mostly lives in brackish waters. So probably the best conditions to kept in this fishes are medium hard water and Ph of 7.0 to 8.0 .

Their life expectancy is 5 to 10 years, and most of them grow to around 12 inches. The most interesting fact about this fish is it ability to capture the pray in a specific way. They stay under the water surface waiting to shot at their pray and most of the time are very accurate.

The archer fish is popular aquarium fish, but not very easy to handle due their demand of only live food.

Quick info

Average price-20$

Lifespan-5 to 10 years

Size- 10 to 12 inches

Temperament- usually peaceful (territorial with her own species)

Min tank size- 100 gallons

Compatible with- pufers, other archers, monos


exotic freshwater fish

The Arowana is one of the most popular fish among more experienced aquarists. These fish are well known for her prehistoric appearance, and can be naturally found in the Amazon river Basin.

Arowanas can grow to a maximum size of 35 inches, and due their size larger tanks are required. They are carnivores and prefer live food. Arowana is an aggressive fish and is not compatible with common aquarium species.

To keep healthy and happy Arowana you need to have a high-quality filtration system. This fish has frequent eating habits and can produce a lot of waste. You need to keep this in a mind, cause stable water parameters is the most important factor for keeping this exotic fish.

Be aware of their jumping ability. In the wild, they swim near the water surface waiting for their pray. You certainly don’t want to find your fish on the floor.

Quick info

Average price- few hundred dollars

Lifespan- up to 50 years

Size- 35 inches in captivity

Temperament- Aggressive

Min tank size- 100 gallons

Compatible with- Silver Dollars, Red hooks, Emperor hooks( basically any fish that are bigger than arowana’s mouth.)

4.Freshwater stingrays

 most exotic freshwater fish

Many people think that stingrays are saltwater fishes and most of them are very surprised when they found out that there are also freshwater stingrays.

Not everyone is capable of keeping these exotic freshwater fish cause they require a unique tank set up, and advance experience. But if you are willing to give them proper care and provide excellent conditions, then you certainly can keep stingrays in a home aquarium.

Freshwater stingrays can grow up to 3 feet. Keep that in mind when you are making your first stingray tank. You will need at least 70 gallons when the fish is smaller, but it is better to start with a bigger tank because the stingray will outgrow it fast. I recommend 150 to 250 gallon for a good fish commodity.

They are semi-aggressive fish, and it’s not recommended to mix it with common aquarium species. If you really want to keep other species in your stingray tank, put larger fish than are not aggressive or semi aggressive.

Even though keeping freshwater stingrays can be a challenging job, it’s well worth it in the end of the day. You’ll have a breathtaking view in your own home. That is priceless.

Quick info

Average price- 100$-100000$

Lifespan- 10 years

Size- up to 3 feet

Temperament- Semi-aggressive

Min tank size-200 gallon

Compatible with- larger peaceful fish

5.African Lungfish

exotic freshwater fish

The African Lungfish is an interesting fellow to have in your aquarium. They are not challenging fish to care for, however, they require a lot of room for their growth. In the wild, they tend to grow up to 40 inches, but probably their size in captivity is close to 30 inches.

African Lungfish is an omnivore and will eat pretty much everything. These fish are extremely messy, they produce a lot of waste, so the best way to keep them is to have high-quality filtration.

They are very aggressive fish, so try not put them in a community tank.

If you really want to keep these pals, then prepare to set up an individual tank only for them.

Quick info

Average price- 30$+

Lifespan- 20 years +

Size- 30 inches+

Temperament- Aggressive

Min tank size- 100 gallons

Compatible with- best kept completely alone


Have you been kept any of the fish on the list?

What is your experience with these exotic freshwater fish?

Please, share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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