We’ve hand-picked a few videos that we think are the best out there and that all aquarium lovers will enjoy; These short videos illustrate the ingenuity and diversity of our underwater friends.
Also, let’s be real: There are definitely more than 8 videos in this post! Some videos just needed another:)
The first half of this post is focused on saltwater creatures, and the second half is focused on freshwater fish. Guaranteed you’ll never look at a clownfish the same way again…
Table Of Contents
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1 Clownfish: Teamwork & Cooperation
This is an incredible video that every aquarium fishkeeper should watch. I’m not going to say anything else because I don’t want to ruin it for you:
This clownfish family finds themselves a home and works together in cooperation to identify, assess, and eventually utilize objects needed to create a viable place for laying eggs.
I think there tends to be a gap between those who’ve kept these animals and are experienced in caring for them, and the scientific study of these creatures. Fishkeepers have observed the fish’s behaviors for as long as they’ve kept them in captivity- But the scientific study of these animals is still catching up.
You’ll notice in this particular video that the audio is excellent and you can hear the clown fish chitter-chattering throughout; Clownfish are very talkative and use their “chatter” ability to negotiate hierarchies and territory between them.
They’re able to do this using a combination of bone and teeth, essentially smacking their teeth together to make the sound (at least for the popping noises). Scientists seem to be a little less clear about how the chirping noises are made.
Either way, it’s clear that they’re using these sounds to communicate, and scientists have figured out that they’re at minimum using it to navigate social hierarchies. You can check out the study here.
2 Clownfish Football
This is a gem of a video showing some clowns in their home tank, goofing off and playing a game of football with a (rather unfortunate) nerite snail.
I think this is another instance of fishkeepers being well aware of the various behaviors of their fish, while science hasn’t quite figured it all out yet. Many clownfish owners report goofy behaviors in healthy clownfish, from playing dead to playing in the current and with rocks.
I’ve read many instances of this on forums, too, where people will post videos of their clownfish at home. In any case, this video is a clear instance of clownfish demonstrating some combination of playful and curious behavior- One of the many reasons they are beloved (made even more so by the Disney movie:)
3 Mindoro Island Clownfish
The video maker describe this is clownfish playing, however, you can see that they are, rather, demonstrating their curiosity about their human visitor while keeping a watch over what is very likely their home (the anenome).
Clownfish have a strong symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. This means that they’re able to benefit each other mutually: The anemone provides a safe place for the clownfish, protecting them from predators. In exchange, the clownfish keeps the anenome clean and provides fertilizer with their poop.
It’s a fascinating relationship; Anemones are actually dangerous to other fish because they have stingers on their tentacles, which they use to capture prey. The clownfish, however, have a thick layer of mucus that protects them from being stung. They also stay safe because they don’t try to use the anemone as food.
When watching this video, my impression was that the clownfish were probably indicating that this anemone was their home.
4 The Yellow Boxfish Cruise
Watching a little cube swim around never gets old! Fun footage of a little yellow and black spotted boxfish cruising about. Be aware that this is a species for advanced aquarists only! (More on that in a moment.) But first, the fun part:
It’s very cute to watch a little cube swim around. 😛
That said, they are not easy to keep and have a low survival rate, primarily due to feeding issues. They also present their own unique risk because they have a mucus layer that can release a deadly toxin into the tank, poisoning the entire tank. This seems to be a rare occurrence – The boxfish has to be really stressed out for this to happen.
Nevertheless, they’re definitely only a fish for the advanced aquarist, and even then it is crucial to house them with peaceful tank mates rather than aggressive species that would potentially pick a fight with them or cause them stress. The good news is that there are a fairly peaceful species that mind their own business.
The folks over at Prestige Reef have a fabulous video detailing the difficulties of keeping a boxfish in captivity. It’s also entertaining as you get to check out their box fish named Pablo:)
5 Egbert, The Wild Octopus
This is a much-loved video about Egbert, the wild octopus, and his relationship with his human friend, Elora:
Octopus are extremely intelligent creatures, capable of learning, understanding, and developing relationships with their human caregivers. They taste with their suckers and this helps them recognize and identify objects and other creatures- Probably part of why the first thing Egbert did when Elora approached was to reach out with his tentacles to touch her hand and identify what and who she was.
These days, there’s tons of evidence that demonstrates the intelligence of octopus, even demonstrating their own individual personalities. This is something that octopus owners and caregivers have known for as long as this animal has been in captivity; It’s only just now that science is formalizing these findings.
Octopus recognize their owners, solve complex puzzles, and have their own unique quirks and traits.
Personally, I have a hard time seeing this animal in captivity as its intelligence means it gets bored easily in small spaces. I think it’s best suited to have the whole ocean as its home.
This BBC video highlights some of these findings, and also makes the important point that this is a new kind of study for invertebrates. (This type of research has typically been for animals such as dolphins or monkeys.)
Alright, moving on to freshwater videos…
6 African Cichlids Feed
This is a high-quality home video of a group of colorful male African cichlids being fed in a 1600L tank:
Cichlids tend to be highly active fish and we love getting to see their bright colors flit around during feeding time!
We’ve included this video for its Zen-like cathartic quality; This is a group of brightly colored male African cichlids being fed in a large home aquarium tank. Because it’s set to gentle piano music, it’s a good candidate for your sleep playlist.
7 We Love Zebra Danios
We found someone else on the great wide web who also thinks Zebra Danios are one of the best, most underrated fish in freshwater aquarium keeping. They’re super hardy, peaceful, easy to take care of, and they look super cool!
We love them so much we did a full Zebra Danio Care Guide just for them.
They’re schooling fish, which means you need to keep them in a group with at least 7 other of their own kind- Otherwise, they’ll get stressed out and not do well.
The fact that they’re so easy to take care of, hardy, and easy-going makes them a top pick beginner fish.
8 Kissing Gouramis Kissing
Definitely falls under the “weird fish” category. These fish are known for the kissing motion they make with their mouths, which humans may think is cute, but actually means something very different for the fish.
Kissing gouramis will pucker and “kiss” each other, but they’re not actually kissing in the same way that humans understand it. Rather, it’s a demonstration of aggression and occurs when two kissing gouramis are competing for territory. When they’re kissing, they’re actually fighting.
A home freshwater aquarium keeper caught this behavior on video as two kissing gouramis compete for territory. It’s a little comedic because the person filming thinks it’s so cute, but in the fish world it’s actually a fight!
Interested in this fish? Don’t miss our Kissing Gourami Ultimate Care Guide here.
Fighting is more likely to happen if they’re kept in a tank that’s too small for them. Kissing gouramis can grow to be quite large and it’s important to have a tank that’s big enough to accommodate them.
Don’t miss our profile write up on them here.
This is footage of a big gourami, so you can see the size difference:
Told you there were definitely more than 8 videos in there! 🙂 With so much amazing footage of our saltwater and freshwater aquarium compadres, it was hard to choose what to include. If you have footage of your own home aquarium fish you’d like to share, please get in touch! We hope to start posting community videos soon.