Like many other countries around the world, Pakistanis go all in when it comes to their pets, whether they are furry, reptiles, or fish. In terms of life underwater, Pakistani caregivers go as far as people around the world do for their aquariums and raise large, impressive tanks with various different kinds of species of fish.
Pakistanis have access to different kinds of fish – those that have been found native in Pakistan, which primarily includes Gourami fish, along with various other fish that can be brought in from the rest of the world for the enthusiastic aquarium owner.

Fish species native to Pakistan

If you’re an aquarium enthusiast in the country who’s looking to give a home to the country’s native species, here are some of the fishes you can try and raise in your tank.

Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami

This is a species that is found in the waters in South Asian countries, such as Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. These fish enjoy water that moves slowly, such as slow rivers and streams, and are usually found near vegetation (a fact that is often incorporated in the tank they are later added to)

Some of these can be seen in different colors, which are achieved as a result of selective breeding for commercial purposes. These fish are often found to live for as long as three to four years and can live peaceful and docile lives. Because of their nature, they should not be paired with aggressive fish.

Banded Gourami

Like the dwarf gourami, the banded organism lives in slow-moving waters, especially those containing plants and vegetation. A pair of this gourami will thrive in a tank containing around 70 liters of water, and like to grow in peaceful environments, but can show some aggression when they are in the ‘mating’ period.

In some parts of the country, this fish is even considered to be food, and although it was initially used very heavily in aquariums, the use is reduced now. Within the species though, the males tend to be highly colorful and active and can be identified based on the dorsal fin shape and size.

Gangetic Leaffish

Gangetic Leaffish

The Gangetic Leaffish is a species of fish that is natively found in South Asia and is used both as a source of food and as an aquarium fish. This fish enjoys living in ponds with a lot of plants nearby and is known scientifically as the Nandus nandus.

Indian Glassy Fish

Indian Glassy Fish

One of the most striking features of this fish is that the body of the fish itself is completely transparent, which makes it look beautiful in any aquarium. These fishes survive in freshwater tanks and require care, but can grow at average temperature ranges and pH ranges as well.

This fish will prefer live food or frozen food, and will most probably reject the commercial dry foods often given to fish. Unfortunately, some vendors inject color to the fish’s tissue to make them more lucrative to buyers. This process is not just ineffective, it can be traumatic for the fish, and can cause diseases and death.

Blue Perch

Blue Perch

The blue perch is a species of fish that feed on invertebrates and is predatory in nature. The scientific name for this species of fish is the Badis badis. The fish changes color based on a variety of factors, and can even depend on the mood of the fish.

The Blue Perch is considered to be a small fish, which will maximally reach a length of about 8cm. Although this fish is consumed, it can also be kept as aquarium fish.

Popularly purchased fish

In addition to this, the following categories of fish are popularly included in Pakistani aquariums from non-native fish sources.

Cichlid

Cichlid

The Cichlids are a group of diverse vertebrates, with more than 1,650 species under its name. These fish do well in freshwater aquariums and are a popular choice for aquarium owners due to their diverse coloration and easy-to-cater-to needs. Because of their diversity, these fish vary greatly in their ranges of size, going from about 2.5 cm to 1 m in length.

As cichlids are famously used as aquarium fish, a lot of selective breeding has been done to commercially increase the value of the fish, especially by altering the shape of their fins or the color of their scales. The most common fish used in aquariums is the Angelfish.

Goldfish

Goldfish

If you want to know what the most commonly kept fish is, then the answer is the Goldfish. These fish are freshwater living and were originally living in the East of Asia. Some of the most common types are the Shubunkin, Telescope, and the Bubble Eye. Goldfish display school behavior and can sometimes exhibit behaviors like that when they see themselves in the mirror. They are typically peaceful and do not exhibit violence except during feeding.

Koi

Koi

The Nishikigoi, or the Koi, is a fish species known to be ornamental or placed in ponds for decorative purposes. These fish have beautiful decorative patterns on their bodies, such as white, blue, red, cream, and yellow. Koi can grow up to a massive 3.2 feet, and grow 2 centimeters every single month, and are very resistant to diseases, living lives of about 100-200 years given proper care.

Flowerhorn

Flowerhorn

A popular kind of cichlid that is often brought to aquariums is the Flowerhorn. These fish are attractive to aquarium owners because of their beautiful colors and their fascinating head, which has a unique shape. The head projection is called the kok. These fish are not wild types – they were formed as a result of commercial breeding and hence can only be found in the wild if they have been released.

Guppy

Guppy

These are some of the most widespread forms of tropical fish that can be found in the world. Guppies are usually placed in freshwater aquariums and can survive in a variety of situations and environmental changes because they have a highly adaptable nature. Rainbowfish and Millionfish are some of the fish species under this category.

The male guppies are usually brightly colored and have interesting fin shapes as well, in addition to the fact that they are much smaller than the females. Because of their tolerance towards salt, sometimes guppies are also included in marine life aquariums. These fish are peaceful save for some ‘nipping’ habits.

Tetra

Tetra

The tetra is a small fish known to survive in freshwater. This fish can be distinguished from other species due to the presence of their adipose fins. These fish survive well in captivity and are often found in freshwater aquariums.

All these fish can help brighten up your aquarium and are usually available at specialty retailers or at the nearest pet store. However, before you choose the right fish for your tank, make sure you have the right information and do your research.

Bringing in the wrong fish to your tank can be disastrous – either your tank may become a war zone, or the may end up killing each other over territory or food. Also, make sure you bring in fish that like similar conditions, so you don’t lose your fish because of the wrong temperature.

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