Ten Amazing But Nondescript Fish

So, generally, if someone sees a cute li'l fish, they're just like, "Lame," and they move on.

When those people see this list, they will NOT move on.

(Wait. Now I'm confused now. )

The Top Ten

1 Candirú (Vandellia spp.)

Candirú are…basically, evil. They are tiny fish (usually - some species have been documented to attain lengths of 16 inches) that SUCK OTHER FISHES' BLOOD.

Not only that, if you're swimming in the Amazon, and you stop to pee, they can swim right into your urethra. Eww. But it doesn't stop there. If it dies, it'll rot, giving you a severe and sometimes life-threatening infection!

2 Sterba's catfish (Corydoras sterbai)

Now this doesn't look like much. Another Amazonian catfish, this li'l guy rarely attains sizes of more than 2.5 inches. But it squirts out dangerous toxins if disturbed, stressed, or overcrowded.

For this reason, C. sterbai is always shipped in undercrowded bags with just its own species.

3 Loaches (Cobitidae/Botiidae/Balitoridae)

Not all loaches are evil menaces; it's 50/50. Half of the species (especially from the genera Botia, Pangio, and Acanthophthalmus) have sharp spikes under their eyes.

4 Gumdrop coral-croucher (Caracanthus maculatus)

Also known as the spotted orbicular velvetfish, this tiny, gobylike monster sits in the corals. Nobody can doubt that it's extremely cute"until you handle it and you get stung by one of its merciless poison spines!

5 Striped coral catfish (Plotosus lineatus)

The young 'uns of this species are the worst offenders. They have highly venomous spines and their dorsal fins that can even be fatal.

Death by catfish? I wouldn't want that on my grave, personally. Especially since I love catfish and I keep tons of them.

6 Dwarf sucker (Otocinclus vittatus)

The fourth catfish on this list. (Wow, do those catfish get around! I love this particular one's name. ) This one is the usual suspect with vicious spines, a bit like one of the loaches (#3). It sometimes gets stuck in nets, leading to its owner having to cut it out with a scissor!

7 Hippo tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)

You might know this fish as Dory. But by its tail is a huge spike that will be quite painful if it gets lodged in your skin.

8 Weatherloach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus)

This European cobitid loach isn't here for its spikes. It's here for its sheer hardiness.

I could safely say that this is the MOST hardy animal in the world. (Then I remember emperor penguins and it is all over! ) They can survive some poisons lethal to humans; all temperatures of water from 34º - 90ºF; and basically ANY pH level from 4.0 to 10.0!

Great, cheap, hardy fish for almost any aquarium.

(Unless you don't enjoy its tasteful wormy shape and cute, whiskery mouth. )

9 Phoenix mosquito minnow (Boraras merah)

This fish wouldn't be on this list, oh, no, it wouldn't.

Until you realize one survived IN ITS OWNERS BLADDER for about three days. It was removed surgically and entered the same way as the candirú does.

10 Greater gourami (Osphromenus goramy)

Once upon a time, there was a gourami in the Sea Life London Aquarium who ate nothing but KIT KATS for his whole life.

Ironically, they weaned him onto grapes and bananas. UM, HELLO, AQUARIUM STAFF! THAT'S ALSO SWEET!

(But not as sweet as Kit Kats. So ya gotta cut ’em some slack! )

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