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Getting a Pet Carnivorous Fish? Learn How to Take Care of it First

How to Take Care of a Pet Carnivorous Fish
Carnivorous fish can be an interesting choice to have in an aquarium. But before you go out to adopt one of them, glance through the information presented in this PetPonder article, about the care-taking requirements of these fish.
Rutuja Jathar
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
The water bodies across the world consist of different types of fish. Amongst them, there are more than 25,000 species which have been identified by scientists. According to their eating habits, these fish can be further classified in three groups: herbivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous fish.
Herbivorous fish eat algae, plants, and plant-based substances which grow inside the water. Carnivorous fish, on the other hand, rely entirely upon the flesh or meat of a living organism. Omnivorous fish can survive on both, animal meat as well as on plants.
Carnivorous Fish List
Many of the fish fall in the carnivorous category. Their diet consists of the meat of a live or a dead organism. Some of the commonly known carnivorous fish are the sharks, the barracudas and the moray eels, which are all saltwater fish. Many of us are also aware of the infamous piranha which is a carnivorous fish that lives in the Amazon. But apart from these, there are many other types living in various water bodies across the world. These include the ones listed below.
  • Arowana fish
  • Aacara fish
  • Angler fish
  • Apistogramma fish
  • Archerfish
  • Banjo Catfish
  • Bass fish
  • Betta fish
  • Black knife fish
  • Bichir fish
  • Cardinal fish
  • Carp fish
  • Electric Catfish
  • Dottybacks
  • Frontosa
  • Gramma fish
  • Guppies
  • Grouper fish
  • Halfbeak fish
  • Hatchet fish
  • Hamlet fish
  • Hawkfish
  • Killifish
  • Marlin fish
  • Oscar fish
  • Pencilfish
  • Piranha fish
  • Rosy Red Minnows
  • Salmon fish
  • Scorpionfish
  • Puffer fish
  • Porcupinefish
  • Pipefish
  • Sea Basses
  • Sharks
  • Snapper fish
  • Soldierfish
  • Squirrelfish
  • Tilapia fish
  • Trigger fish
  • Tuna fish
  • Weather Loach
Freshwater Carnivorous Fish as Pets
Many people love having these carnivorous fish in their freshwater aquariums too. However, some of these fish pose a potential threat to their owner as well as their fish tank mates, and hence there are certain restrictions which have been imposed on their adoption.
But some smaller carnivorous types can definitely be added into your freshwater aquarium. A few of the above mentioned fish types like the Betta fish, Dwarf Puffer fish, Rosy Red Minnows, Black Knife fish, Oscar fish, Arowana fish, etc., are good options for having in smaller aquariums.
The other bigger types of carnivorous fish like the barracudas and the smaller species of the moray eels can also be adopted albeit they'll need larger aquariums, and adopting them may also require that you obtain permissions from the local authorities.
Their Food
One should take a lot of precautions when it comes to feeding carnivorous fish. They are opportunist predators and hence as a rule of thumb, one should avoid tank mates that are on the menu-list of your carnivorous fish. Also note that a pet carnivorous won't hurt its tank mates if proper care is taken about its feeding time.
There are two types of foods which can be given to these fish - live food and the frozen food. Providing the fish with live food can really excite them as they are natural hunters. Typically kelp and/or daphnia is provided to the medium-sized fish while the larger carnivorous fish may require some larger feeder fish.
Carnivorous fish types can even survive on the meat items that we humans tend to consume. Once can feed them with cooked meats like beef, ham, lamb, venison, poultry, etc. It is important however to make sure these meat items are only cooked and are not treated with sauces and other such culinary ingredients. It is very important to understand the eating habits of these fish and then adjust the food accordingly. If live food isn't readily available, one can always go for the frozen fish food, which mainly contains shellfish, various types of shrimp and bloodworm, etc.
Silver Salmon fish in tank
Moving Fimbriated Moray Eel
Great Barracuda fish in tank
Carnivorous oscar fish
Pet Carnivorous Marlin fish
Orange color killifish in tank
Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus Coral hawkfish
Hatchet fish in aquarium
Closeup of Clown trigger fish
Nile or tilapia fish in water tank
Squirrelfish in fish tank
Two Snapper fish in aquarium
Halfbeak fish in ocean
Royal gramma fish (Gramma loreto)
Banggai Cardinalfish
Beautiful blue Betta fish (Fighting fish)
Smallmouth bass fish
Black Sea Bass fish at California reef
Red sea pipefish
Asian Arowana Fish