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Owning Invertebrates can be one of the easiest pets

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James Quiroz

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Some+fish+tanks+are+hard+to+own+and+aquatics+reptiles%2Famphibians+are+even+more+difficult%21+Thankfully+there+are+many+other+alternatives+to+choose+from.+Photo+Credit%3A+James+Quiroz
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Owning Invertebrates can be one of the easiest pets

Some fish tanks are hard to own and aquatics reptiles/amphibians are even more difficult! Thankfully there are many other alternatives to choose from. Photo Credit: James Quiroz

Some fish tanks are hard to own and aquatics reptiles/amphibians are even more difficult! Thankfully there are many other alternatives to choose from. Photo Credit: James Quiroz

Some fish tanks are hard to own and aquatics reptiles/amphibians are even more difficult! Thankfully there are many other alternatives to choose from. Photo Credit: James Quiroz

Some fish tanks are hard to own and aquatics reptiles/amphibians are even more difficult! Thankfully there are many other alternatives to choose from. Photo Credit: James Quiroz

When most people think of aquatic pets, they tend to think of fish, turtles or frogs, but the real darkhorse in this genre of pets are invertebrates. Invertebrates can encompass a wide variety of animals which are highly cost effective, easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing. It’s very common for advanced aquarium hobbyists to keep large tanks filled with just flora and invertebrates because of their symbiotic abilities and simplicity in maintenance.

A great example of a symbiotic pairing of animals would be mangrove roots(Rhizophora mangle) and freshwater crabs(Geothelphusa dehaani). The two species function very well together in multiple ways, the mangrove roots give the crabs a partially submerged natural habitat that they prefer while the crabs pick and eat at any detritus which falls off the tree onto the bottom of the tank. The crabs gain a home while the roots get a manicure, each organism takes care of the other to ensure a healthy environment for all.

Another example of a great symbiotic/self sustaining relationship would be Glass shrimp(Palaemonetes paludosus) and cone snails(Melanoides tuberculata). Glass shrimp help maintain the aesthetic portion of the tank while the snails clean up after them. Essentially, the snails eat the shrimp’s waste but that’s simply saving the owner $30 on a filter. Many pairings of organisms serve as natural filters which usually allows for simple and easy to handle tanks.

Simple invertebrate tanks don’t even need a lot of maintenance because most invertebrates do not take up nearly half as much oxygen as a fish do, thus the frequency of water changes is minimized. Often times, aquatic plants can serve as natural filters for water as well, a simple ppm test shows that water that has more submerged flora will have much higher dissolved oxygen content levels than that of a tank without plant life.

The cost of most tanks are also very low, considering most invertebrates don’t get very large, a 2.5 to 5 gallon tank is all one needs to create a very lively tank. Setup is also very cheap because most invertebrates are hardy animals which can survive very harsh conditions. It’s very easy to create a sustainable tank with only resources found in a local creek, this goes for animals as well. Often times, pet stores will charge a silly price for invertebrates, snails at Petco can reacht $3.79 while spending a little time at a local river can be rewarding with a wide variety of costless organisms.

In total, most invertebrate aquariums serve as aesthetically pleasing and cost effective alternatives to having the conventional high maintenance pet or aquarium due to their self sufficiency, ease of care and price.

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Owning Invertebrates can be one of the easiest pets