Pets to Keep in a Tank Aside from Fish

When you see an empty aquarium or tank – your mind automatically goes fishing or marine life, doesn’t it? That is because that is what is typically kept inside these tanks but there are other types of pets that could spend their lives comfortably in a tank. Maybe fish aren’t the style of pet you are going for or perhaps you are looking to think outside the box for your next pet. You might want a pet that you can take out of the tank on occasion and spend time with, cuddle with, or the type of pet that requires less maintenance than fish.

While fish is pretty simple to take care of, you still need to make sure that they have the proper food, they maintain a strict feeding schedule, and sometimes you are limited in how many or what type of fish you can have in your tank. Certain species are notorious breeders while other species are predatory to smaller fish. Other fish are not the best at living in a community and don’t have the best interactions with other species or in some cases – their own.

That is why it is important to think outside the box when it comes to filling that empty tank or aquarium you have in your home and instead look at pets that can be kept in a tank without mistreating the animal. Let’s find out what pets they are!

Reptiles and/or Toads

Reptiles are ideal tank mates if you choose the right species. You want to consider lizards, newts, and even toads because these creatures are community-friendly. You can have a certain amount of each species in the tank at one time and they will live in harmony. Exercise caution when it comes to females or males of these pets, however, unless you plan to breed them because they will breed in their spare time!

They are also happy with some foliage and branches that they can play, hide, and sleep in. they love to blend into their surroundings and there will be times that you will walk past the tank and wonder where that little bugger is gone to now!

Furry Pets

Some smaller furry pets, such as hamsters and gerbils, can live quite comfortably in a tank provided that the right setup from the bedding to the equipment inside the walls is correct for the species. All of these pets will require a solid lighting system that will maintain the temperature of the tank, exercise wheels and/or other toys to keep them active and occupied, a freshwater source for their drinking pleasure, and sawdust (or similar material) bedding base to burrow in when they are feeling bashful or sleepy.

They are lovable creatures though and will thoroughly enjoy the time spent out of the tank and in the arms of their owners because if there is one thing these smaller fur balls have in common with dogs and cats – it’s the love of cuddles!


While some people think of spiders and get cold shivers going up their spine, other people are fascinated by these resilient creatures and enjoy the opportunity to watch them in action. They are fascinating because you have a front-row seat to how they prepare their shelters, trap their prey on the web, and store food for later dates.

Always confirm what types of security, food sources, lighting, and more if you choose to keep arachnids in your tank. Some species are venomous and can harm small children or other pets in the household.

Nature Marine Ocean Hermit Crab Sea Crab Animal


Regardless of the type of pet, you choose to keep in your fish tank – there are always maintenance tasks to perform to ensure that your pet has a great quality of life!

The tank is going to need to be cleaned on a regular basis to remove any buildup of waste that comes from the animal and leftover food products. You want to ensure that you have adequate lighting for your chosen pet, as you might have to either keep the tank at a certain temperature or mimic the sun to keep your pet healthy.

Another thing to consider is the filtration system you will be using with your tank. These filtration systems remove debris and contaminants from the water of the tank (if applicable) but they also remove the same impurities from the air of the tank. If you have a tank that will have a closed lid – you most certainly will need a reputable and reliable filter; such as Cascade canister filters.


As you can see, your aquarium isn’t limited to just pet fish and instead, it could house a number of pets. Pets such as gerbils, hamsters, and domesticated rats are the perfect low-maintenance pets that will also provide you with lots of cuddles, and love. Pets from the reptile family are perfect to fulfil that exotic want for a pet while providing you with companionship.

Not sure what type of pet to keep in your tank? Why not consult the experts at your local pet store and discuss what options would work best for your lifestyle? If you are a busy career traveler or have small children in the house; a pet that requires lots of cuddles and companionship would not be the best choice but a reptile or anarchic would be!

Emma Thompson

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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