The Sea's Cutest Aquarium Critters

8 Cutest Aquarium Critters in the Sea

Puppies. Kittens. Human babies. Some creatures get all the cute credit.

You probably picture slimy, scaly animals lying at the bottom of a lake or the ocean when you think of sea life. They are slimy and scaly, to be sure! They can, however, be rather adorable.

Don’t believe us? Check out these nine critters that will instantly make your aquarium cuter.

  • 01 of 08


    8 Cutest Aquarium Critters in the Sea

    Oh, you've never heard of Axolotl, a salamander that resembles a cute anime character and adores eating beef?

    Axolotls are endemic to Mexico's Xochimilco Lake, where they are considered endangered. They are grown widely in captivity and utilized for research because they can regrow limbs.

    If you add Axolotls to your aquarium, you’ll need a lot of space—and a couple of years. They can grow anywhere from six to 18 inches long, and can live for up to 20 years.

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  • 02 of 08

    Telescope Goldfish

    This goldfish appears to have just received terrible news, yet is reacting adorably: He (and his telescope goldfish companions) have poor vision despite their enlarged eyeballs. Furthermore, their eyes are particularly vulnerable to damage and infection.

    What’s a fish to do? Find a home with more experienced aquarium keepers and consider investing in protective eyewear

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  • 03 of 08


    Human men, take note … and thank your lucky stars you weren’t born a seahorse.

    The female seahorse deposits dozens, if not hundreds, of eggs within the male seahorse's abdomen during mating. The male then holds the eggs in his brood pouch (a pouch particularly intended to contain kids, not wallets) until they are born 45 days later.

    When they’re born, baby seahorses are about the size of a jellybean and avoid predators by clinging together in small groups.

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  • 04 of 08


    An octopus may look a little like the evil villain from a sci-fi movie, but someone has to love the bad guys, too, right?

    Actually, make that diabolical geniuses. Octopuses are one of a tiny number of creatures that have been seen employing tools, notably collecting discarded coconut shells and using them as protective housing. And there's more. If an octopus' surroundings fails to stimulate it—that is, if it becomes bored—it will get anxious. Some octopuses become so bored that they start eating their own limbs.

    If you keep an octopus, be sure to decorate its tank with some shells and flowerpots. No one should be bored enough to eat their own arms.

    Also be sure to keep your octopus's water conditions good; this is also important to reduce stress.

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  • 05 of 08


    Cute faces and that wildly popular movie aren’t the clownfish’s only claims to fame—they’re brilliant badasses, too.

    Clownfish dwell amid anemones, which produce a poison when a predator or prey comes into touch with their tentacles. Clownfish can be born with a protective mucus covering or build tolerance to the poison in anemones by rubbing the tentacles to various regions of their body slowly and cautiously. A protective covering of mucus grows on the clownfish's body over time.

    The two then form a symbiotic relationship. The clownfish guards the anemone from predators, feeds it with its waste, and cleans it as well. The anemone, in turn, defends the clownfish from predators.

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  • 06 of 08


    Allow yourself to forget for a while that a single has enough toxins—saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin—to kill 30 adult males all at once. It's up to 1,200 times more powerful than cyanide.

    Forgotten? Pufferfish have kind of cute, goofy faces, right?

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  • 07 of 08


    Snails aren’t just tasty, Parisian eats. They can make slimy, yet oddly endearing, additions to your aquarium … that have developed some seriously sci-fi breathing mechanisms.

    While some aquatic snails breathe through gills. Others still have a siphon that can stretch to the water’s surface and fill with air.

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  • 08 of 08

    Hermit Crabs

    Every third-grade class had a student who was completely absorbed with his hermit crab. Perhaps it was you. In any case, the child (you) was correct: hermit crabs are actually quite cute—as long as they aren't naked and shellless.

    They're also really intriguing. Hermit crabs live in large, well-organized colonies and interact with one another. Some of these encounters entail competing for the most primo shells.