Hikari Sales USA fish and reptile foods showing spotted jaguar cichlid

Top Freshwater Monster Fish

Monster fish may be a term that you’ve heard or if you’re new to the aquatic hobby, just something that conjures up a vision of a bad horror movie scene. In fact, monster fish are a distinct category of tank inhabitants with a predatory inclination. This list includes a wide variety of fish, some of which can be comfortably accommodated in a larger aquatic environment. While this particular category requires careful planning and the “right sized” aquarium, armed with proper knowledge, predatory fish can be a joy to observe and a blast keep:

Pike Cichlids
This type of cichlid can range in size from five to over 22” so you’ll want to check with your local fish store expert to ensure you have the right sized aquarium and know the origin of the fish too.  They need to be kept with fish that are close to or above their size to avoid problems. They are available in dwarf versions for those with smaller aquariums too.

Jaguar Cichlids
Recognizable by their barred pattern as juveniles and spotted pattern that mimics a jaguar in the adults. They are commonly referred to as Guapote and have sharp teeth and a jutted jaw. They typically grow to 16” but can get as large as 22” and can be aggressive so avoid putting them with more docile fish. Plan on plenty of space for them, an aquarium around 100 gallons is best.

Common at pet stores, they are also referred to as Dinosaur Eels. These bottom dwelling predators eat like alligators, by tearing at and swallowing large pieces of food. Some species can grow as long as 38”, so know what you are getting and how best to house it.

South American Catfish
There are many different types of catfish but the South American Catfish is a good tank dweller. The shovel nose is likely the most popular. They can get rather large (some as long as 9 feet in nature), so plan on  plenty of space for them to show off their active nature and be sure of the exact species you have to avoid a BIG surprise later.

Regardless of what type of fish you want, maintaining a harmonious tank should be a top priority. At Hikari Sales USA, we offer a great selection of dietary needs for a wide range of carnivorous fish to help ensure a scientifically balanced nutrient package your monster fish will love! Find out more here.