The Ethical Aquarist

White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes)

Top Ten Freshwater Fishes to Avoid


They come with fun names like Jellybean and Bubblegum, or heroic names like Purple Heart. Loads of people like them; there’s something appealing about the jowly cheeks, pendulous body, and comical mouth. You can even get them with smiley faces, lipstick, and logos. These are the Parrot Cichlids, hybrids of dubious heritage, often deformed, injected, tattooed, and sans tail, courtesy of a pair of scissors.

This is a blow to aquarists who believe the purpose of the hobby is to educate; toinstill a love of nature, especially in children; to marvel at creatures sculpted by millions of years of evolution. But how can we reveal the mysteries of nature when we fill our aquaria with artificial fish?

This list will assist aquarists interested in avoiding artificial, inappropriate, abused, or over-collected freshwater fishes…

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