While this thread is dedicated towards exotic pets, I still encourage discussion about common pets (like dogs) as well.
[h2]Summary[/h2]Reptiles are the most popular choice for an exotic pet nowadays and it's almost hard to go wrong when you're an experienced (past) owner of one. There are three categories (or types) of difficulty you can put reptile as pets into: Easy, Medium, and Hard. If you're new to breeding/caring for reptiles it's suggested that you choose one from the Easy category, however if you're experienced then you can choose between Easy or Medium, Hard is left to professional breeders/caretakers who usually have a licence of some sort or have a Herpetology degree. Stay away from these animals unless you know what you're doing.
Now for newcomers to reptiles, you may ask "Why would someone want a scaly little lizard that would never show love or loyalty back to them?" First of all most reptiles do show emotion (maybe not loyalty, depends on species) and will love their owners greatly if handled correctly. Second of all reptiles are not only limited to just lizards, there is turtles, tortoises, snakes, and more! Even within those there is sub-'genres' of reptiles, like geckos and skinks. My personal favorite is geckos, such cute little buggers.
Easy: Most of these can be found in local petstores.
•[tab]Bearded Dragons:[/tab] These are easily the most popular reptile pets, they are small, loving, and will never leave their owner if treated right. It's suggested that you pamper the hell out of them, because if you do it right they can live to be 20-years of age. You can get one at almost any local petstore for $100 fully grown or $30-$70 as a baby. I have one myself (5 months old). Keep in mind they need to eat every day, unlike most other reptiles.
•[tab]Blue-Tongued Skinks:[/tab] The Blue-Tongued Skink is also a very popular pet. They can be found for a good price at petstores too (cheaper than Beardies), mainly because they are less active and are easy to breed. Their skin is much softer than Bearded Dragons and cannot climb well like other lizards either. They eat once every week-or-so, so it's an easy pet to keep around if you just want one to look at and not touch.
•[tab]Corn Snakes:[/tab] While most people don't like snakes this is still considered a popular pet in the reptile market. They can be very affectionate and easy to breed, they eat once a week at any age and can be handled almost all the time (don't handle them on the day they eat). They come in many varieties, much moreso than other reptiles (due to their extreme popularity with breeders), so depending on what 'breed' you get they can be from $15-$2.5k regardless of age. They also come in many sizes, but most are usually very small.
•[tab]Leopard Geckos:[/tab] The second most popular reptile pet in the world, right behind Bearded Dragons. They are small, cute, easy to handle, and are relatively cheap. You can find them in almost any petstore for around $20-$200 depending on breed/age/etc. They eat a lot for lizards like Bearded Dragons but not as much as Bearded Dragons, mainly due to their small size. They are considered the beginner-breeders pet of choice for how easy they are to handle, small, and that they live shorter than Bearded Dragons. I'm breeding a small colony of them right now.
•[tab]Water Dragons:[/tab] These lizards are like small Iguanas and can make great pets. They are a very versatile species, for they can swim, climb, and run pretty fast. They grow to about 90cm (3ft aprox) and are commonly known in the reptile owners community as 'lap-lizards', by that it means they usually will sit in a persons lap almost all day and not move an inch. I would suggest getting one under any circumstance, for they are easy to take care of.
Medium: About half of these can be found in local petstores.
•[tab]King Snakes:[/tab] King Snakes, while good pets, are known to be extremely aggressive. They are not very common in petstores due to this, so it's suggested that if you want one to search online. While they can be trained to be nice it's really hard and you always have to be careful when instinct kicks-in, because their bite hurts, trust me.
•[tab]Tegus:[/tab] The main reason I put Tegu's on Medium is because of their size, they are like small(er) Monitor lizards. They grow up to 6-feet long, are extremely easy to train, very playful, and eat a lot. Tegu's are considered popular for reptile pets and often people let them play with their dogs. They can cost anywhere between $40-$1k depending on age/breed/etc. I'm getting one.
•[tab]Monitor Lizards:[/tab] Directly related to Tegu's, these lizards grow very large (sometimes up to 9-feet) and can be very dangerous if not raised correctly. Their activeness, lifespan, size, diet, and aggressiveness depends on species, for their are many of them. Some of the more common are the: Nile Monitor, Savannah Monitors, Bengal Monitor, and several others. Having one of these as a pet is only recommended if you have had experience before with other reptiles, for these are quite demanding.
Hard: Most of these cannot be found at a local petstore and *some* might be illegal depending on state/country.
•[tab]Tokay Geckos:[/tab] Extremely beautiful lizards from the Philippines, they are more common than most Hard reptiles, and are mean as HELL. I currently have one and let me tell you two things: wear welding gloves when handling them and never leave them out of their cage unattended. They are very smart (like most Geckos) and don't need to eat every day, once they are tamed they can be amazing pets. They are quite cheap (mainly because they are mean) and can be found in a lot of local petstores. I suggest looking them up if you're looking for a challenge to domesticate a reptile.
•[tab]Gila Monster:[/tab] Most people who know anything about reptiles know this one, it's one of the worlds few venomous lizards. They are small, orange-and-black lizards who can be great pets if trained right. The only problem is that they are venomous (obviously), some owners keep anti-venom on them when handling them, while others just give them surgery to remove the venom glands in the first place. They are almost impossible to find in petstores and their price range can be from anywhere online. I only will suggest owning one if you have a reptile medical degree and such.
•[tab]Gharials:[/tab] These waterborne reptiles are directly related to Crocodiles and Alligators and it's illegal to own them in many places without a permit. Once again, with proper training they can be amazing pets. In fact I have a neighbor who has a permit to own one, it's nearly fully grown and lets it sleep on the foot of his bed at night (holy crap I'm jealous). It's extremely hard to find one to buy, even online, and I only suggest owning one if you have a degree or are a renowned reptile expert (like my neighbor).
HEAD OF SECTION: ForgottenKane
Mammals are extremely common pets, period. Almost everyone of you reading this have either a dog or cat. But we are not here for those pets, they are common, this thread is for exotic pets. Most exotic mammals are like Rabbits, small and shit everywhere. I would tell you other facts like their body temp/lifespan/etc but I know little to nothing about mammals, I am a reptile expert. What I can tell you is that most of these can make very good pets if handled correctly.
Now there are two types of mammal exotic pets: Small and Large (medium is not here because it's combined with Large). Small mammals are once again variants of Rabbits, while Large mammals are like Dogs.
Small: Rabbit-like critters that fulfill your fuzzyness needs.
•[tab]Chinchillas:[/tab] These little things look a lot like fat mice, they eat small amounts compared to most mammals and are easy to take care of. They can been found in many local petstores, look around your town if you want one, they are easy to take care of. I suggest that you don't keep several males in the same cage as a female, or breeding season will be hell for you.
•[tab]Rabbits:[/tab] Commonly called by small children as 'bunnies,' these small animals resemble large rats and shit everywhere. I used to own one and let me tell you, you have never seen so much brown in your life until you get one. I suggest to get one if you like a smelly house and get a hard-on for particular shades of brown, like most MW2 players.
•[tab]Mice & Rats:[/tab] One of the smallest pets you can get, Mice & Rats are cute fuzzy little things you can feed to your snake for fun. Okay seriously now, they are good pets to have around and look at, not very fun for handling but can be really smart. One of the most entertaining things you can do with them is watch them travel a maze, no wonder scientists like them so much.
•[tab]Marmosets:[/tab] Small monkeys that creep me the fuck out. They cost a lot like most monkeys and are almost as needy as a newborn (Human) child. They can entertain you for hours on end with their antics, but it's not like letting a live monkey run though-out your house that can throw poop at you at any moment can do anything bad, right? They grow up to 20cm and are not considered dangerous by any means.
Large: Dog/Cat-like critters that fulfill your loyalty needs.
•[tab]Foxes:[/tab] Not commonly seen as pets unless you live near the woods, these critters are about the same size as dogs and are bright (smart) as hell. You can buy one online for a price and while hard to raise, they are good fun pets. Their hyper as a god damn Rabbit on acid though.
•[tab]Savannah Cats:[/tab] Large cat common in Africa wilderness, while they can be good pets it's illegal to own one in some places without a permit. Because of their rarity as a pet they can cost a lot, so I don't suggest getting one unless you plan to be a really dedicated owner. While
•[tab]Capuchin:[/tab] These critters are much larger than your run-of-the-mill monkey. While very playful, they require a lot of attention and cost a lot of money. They originate from Central & South America (the land of cocaine) and can grow up to 60cm in length. Their eyes still creep the fuck outa' me.
HEAD OF SECTION: N/A
There are two categories of birds you can get as a pet: Big and Small. Small birds can fit in the palm of your hand and are usually so antsy they will only sit there for a few seconds before shitting on it and hitting the ceiling/floor.
Birds are generally long-living creatures that can really bond with people, mainly because of how smart they are. Some birds know almost every word you say and can respond accurately, usually not by speaking English or anything, but by body-language. Hell, one of the birds at my school flicks me off whenever I pass by. What an asshole.
Small Birds: Oh god theres shit everywhere what is this.
•[tab]Lovebirds:[/tab] These motherfuckers are aggressive as hell, they will bite the living shit out of you if you aren't careful. On the other hand, if you get a pre-trained one they can be what their name suggests: the most loving animal you have ever had. You can find them in most petstores (but they will be mean in most cases), or online (this is where you can get trained ones).
•[tab]Parakeets:[/tab] These birds are great for beginner bird owners and breeders because they are small, dumber than most other birds (this is good because most birds are too smart for their own good), and can be kept together in groups without worry of finding them all dead because one of them accidentally shat on the one next to it.
•[tab]Cockatiels:[/tab] Cockatiels are like a mix between Parakeets and Cockatoos, they are moody, small, and attach themselves to one person. By that I mean they will form bonds with one person and hate everyone else, to you they will always love you, but when your girlfriend comes in it will fuck her shit up. This bird is for those 'forever alone' guys out there.
•[tab]Finches:[/tab] Little birds that easily fit the title of this section well: one minute they will sit in your hand the next they will be rolling on the floor covered in shit. They can make great pets however and can be found in pretty much any petstore. Due to how common they are they have a low price range, which is good because it's suggested that you keep them in groups together. How you will keep masses of those things and clean after them is beyond me though.
Big Birds I will love you forever, or at least until I can accurately plot your death.
•[tab]Macaws:[/tab] These are the meanest of the mean, that bird that flicked me off was a Macaw as well. They can be good pets, they are the worlds largest parrots too. As with most birds they cost a lot, so only get one if you are a dedicated bird lover. Most of them are extremely smart and act just like some people, so watch out or he will steal your food (happened to me before).
•[tab]Cockatoos:[/tab] This are the best birds you can get, they are loving, large, and playful. The only two downsides are their price (pretty hefty in most petstores) and the fact that they have mood-swings. Every now and then they will become bitchy for short periods of time, no idea why myself. Once again, most of them are extremely smart, but they are much more loyal than say a Lovebird.
•[tab]African Greys:[/tab] These parrots are quite beautiful IMO, their contrast of dull grey with their red tail is astoundingly pretty. They cost around $1k (a bunch of money) like a lot of large birds, so it's to be expected. Like a lot of birds, if you get a female they tend to be 'moody' at times, as if they are on a period (even though Humans are the only ones who lose that much blood, blah blah blah).
HEAD OF SECTION: N/A
You all know what a fish is, if you don’t, I’m sorry for you. Keeping fish has been around since man said to themselves “Hey, I can put water in this box and put fish in it.” Needless to say, they died a lot. The science and art of fish keeping has improved a lot in the past 50 years or so. The biggest fish in captivity is also the biggest fish on the planet, the massive Whale Shark. Fish that the average person can purchase (or afford - some cost so much to the point only scientists have them) are categorized into four groups: Freshwater, Tropical Freshwater (belongs in Freshwater, but for this section will be kept separate), Brackish, and Saltwater.
[h2]Freshwater: [/h2] Easy for beginners, rewarding for pros.
Freshwater fish can be broken up into three general categories for Captivity: Goldfish, Tropical, and Cichlids (technically tropical, but usually kept separate).
•[tab]Goldfish:[/tab] Goldfish live in cold, Freshwater environments and are relatives of Carp. A famous type of Golfish is Koi. Despite popular belief, Goldfish have the same memory as all fish and can feel pain like all fish, these have been proven in lab studies. Despite their reputation as an expendable beginner fish for 5 year olds (shake the bag, baby), in the right hands Goldfish can create some of the most beautiful fish tanks you can own (a good example is Koi, as stated before). There are too many species of Goldfish to count as they are easy to breed and hobbyists breed them quite literally like dogs and show them off at shows (do they make them walk in circles?).
Tropical Freshwater: For the fish Snobby-ist.
Easy to take care of, breed, and a good step up from Goldfish for beginners (5 year olds) or a good place to start altogether if you’re not retarded (shake the bag, baby). Some Tropical fish can be an annoyance to
some most pros, but some people really love breeding thousands of mindless Guppies (why, oh god, why won't they stop fucking). Tropical fish live in warmer waters than most Freshwater fish.
•[tab]Tetras:[/tab] These fish are small, slender, and fast. They mostly swim in schools and are usually available wherever fish are sold. They are really hardy (shake the bag, baby) and can be quite beautiful when swimming in large schools. They should be in a population of at least 4 fish in a tank or they may die of loneliness (I’m not even joking - this is caused by a reaction in the brain of the fish we have yet to understand).
•[tab]Guppies:[/tab] These motherfuckers are small, frilly, and extremely retarded. Don’t get me wrong, guppies can be cool if you control the populations and breed them right (ha, just try, they will fuck if you want them to or not). If you’re not careful a tank of 4 fish will be a tank of 200 fish in 2
years weeks. They fuck like satanic rabbits. Sex is easy to discern, males are colorful and fancy, while females are grey and bland. Hobbyists also breed these and show them off at shows.
Cichlids: Holy shit, it just ate all of them!
Cichlids are fun, but the more aggressive species (ie, all of them) will destroy every living thing in your tank. They are a step up from breeding Tropical fish, but still rather easy. A fun fish to have if you plan first or your tank could very easily become a free for all deathmatch (imagine: a HL2 mod where everyone is a fish with grenade launchers).
•[tab]Discus:[/tab] I could write a dissertation on the small fish you see in Auschwitz like conditions at Petco, so I’m going to tell you about something that is different (I have no idea what this sentence means). Discus are native to the Amazon River Basin, they are amusing, beautiful, disk shaped fish. Cost can range from $25 to well over $200 per fish. Despite technically being a Cichlid, they usually won’t fuck your shit up like it’s cousins.
•[tab]African Cichlids:[/tab] Native to lake Tanganyika and Malawai, these fish are smart, aggressive, and gorgeous. Not all African Cichlids are aggressive, but selection should be taken into careful consideration. They are generally mouth brooders meaning they carry their young in their mouth right after birth. They are a fascinating fish to watch and can make amazingly beautiful tanks. (I have to say something: I once had a tank with about 4-6 of these guys, some Oscars, Pleco's, and a Flowerhorn. When it got to mating season they killed all of my Oscars and Pleco's [one survived actually] and were busy attacking the Flowerhorn. I have a deep seeded distrust of these things now. -ForgottenKane)
•[tab]American Cichlids:[/tab] These fish are native to the Americas and are pretty much the same as African Cichlids. They are hardy, colorful, and smart. They can still be very Aggressive so be careful when buying one. Convict Cichlids are the easiest Cichlid to breed from what I hear from breeders (it's true, plus they are a little less aggressive than most).
[h2]Brackish: [/h2] The rough, tough, and... Brownish.
Brackish is simply water that has more salt than Freshwater, but less salt than Saltwater. Natural habitats are Estuaries, Deltas, Mangroves, and pretty much wherever Freshwater can meet Saltwater. These fish can be easy or hard to care for, just like the rest.
•[tab]Killifish:[/tab] Killifish are small, colorful, and peaceful community fish. Some species are known as 'annuals' and only live for 9-or-so months in temporary lakes and streams. Most Aquarium species live up to 3 years and lay eggs.
•[tab]Figure 8 Puffer:[/tab] These fish are small, aggressive, and colorful. They can be converted to Saltwater if you know how to do it without killing the fish. Only one per tank for they are aggressive to their own species. I’d imagine they’d be chill with other fish though if you kept it well fed.
[h2]Saltwater: [/h2] Where the big boys buy fish.
I could write a whole thread on this. I’ll try to keep it short. Keeping saltwater fish requires a responsibility and understanding that you know you are physically taking fish from reefs which are declining world wide from climate change. Fish are poisoned with cyanide and reefs are blown up with dynamite (extreme shake the bag, baby) to harvest fish for the Saltwater aquarium trade. I urge you to buy tank-bred fish and propagated corals whenever possible.
FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock): Saltwater doesn’t have to be hard. You can use the same basic setup you use for a goldfish, add a heater, some live rock and some salt and you’re good to go for a pair of Clownfish (or more).
•[tab]Live Rock:[/tab] The reef foundation, literally chunks of the reef that provide a base for corals, places to hide, and biological filtration. They are necessary for a successful reef system.
•[tab]Clownfish:[/tab] Easy to take care off and great for beginners to Saltwater. If you manage to kill a Clownfish you should probably reconsider your hobby choice.
•[tab]Gobies:[/tab] These fish typically rest on the bottom of the tank. Some can form a mutual bond with Pistol Shrimp. Gobies are useful cleaners and sift the sand, keeping it clean. They are relatively easy to take care of, as long as you have the proper substrate (sand) that won’t hurt it’s gills.
•[tab]Tang:[/tab] Tangs are generally peaceful, large fish that are predominantly herbivores. Older, larger Tangs should be kept in a large tank, and they are curious and fun to watch. If cared for properly, can live for a few years. A challenging fish to breed.
Reef Fish: After all, with fronds like these, who needs anemones?
Reef aquariums are by far the hardest fish tanks to take care of. They require filtration systems that can be expensive. However, it is a general understanding that the smaller the tank, the harder it is to take care of.
•[tab]Hard:[/tab] Hard corals are generally categorized by their hard Calcium-Carbonate-Aragonite skeleton. Hard corals require strong lighting, provided by an array of T5 VHO tubes or Metal Halide tubes. Exceptional water quality is also paramount for their survival.
•[tab]Soft:[/tab] Soft corals are easier to take care of and great for beginner caretakers of reef systems. They require less lighting but require at least a compact fluorescent marine lighting system for survival. Water quality is not as demanding as Hard Corals, but still needs to be good, which adds a new variable which needs to be monitored for the hobbyist.
•[tab]Mushroom:[/tab] Mushroom corals are a type of Soft coral. The coral animal (Polyp) is in the shape of a mushroom and can grow very large in diameter.
•[tab]Button:[/tab] A soft coral whose Polyps are shaped like that of a button. They are small, round, and live in colonies (as do most corals). They spread easily if adequate lighting and water quality are present.
•[tab]Anemone:[/tab] An anomone is a type of invertebrate that can move around the tank at it’s own will using a foot-like structure on the bottom of the animal. They sting (I've been stung by one before), but not enough to cause serious injury, or injury at all for that matter. Clownfish form a mutual bond and live among their tentacles.
HEAD OF SECTION: OvB
Rocks are some of the most exotic, uncommon pets you can find. There is all kinds of Rocks, but the three main sections we are here to talk about today are: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. Now, you might be sitting there thinking 'rocks are stupid, get something that moves!' but you sir, are WRONG! Rocks can and do move, have you never heard of Earthquakes or Lava? Not only that but calling Rocks stupid is a really ignorant statement, they are some of the most wanted pets on the planet, hell look at any woman and you'll see her carrying some refined Diamond Rocks on her. Speaking of Diamonds, you haven't seen a more badass pet. These things are rare, cost a fortune, and can bring down entire countries to their knees.
Any questions? No? Good.
Igneous: The rough, tough, and... Brownish.
•[tab]Granite:[/tab] You've all heard of Amethyst's right? Well this s where it comes from. Granite is used for all sorts of things, mainly because it's the second most common material found on Earths crust. I hope you brought lube, because this stuff is so rough it will tear you a new one.
Sedimentary: Layers upon layers of utter kickass.
•[tab]Clay:[/tab] Remember arts-and-crafts as a kid making all those Clay models for your teachers and parents? Well you where morphing the unborn children of our next type of rock, Clay. Clay is formed near the crust once again and is used for an assortment of things, like teaching children how to rip and smash unborns.
Metamorphic: So uncommon it's common.
•[tab]Quartz:[/tab] Most of you already own one of these suckers, they're called Quartz. Hey, that kitchen table over their has feelings too y'know? Well, maybe not, but you get my point. Quartz ONCE AGAIN can be found relatively close to Earths surface and can be used for pretty much anything, even house-making (if you're fucking Bill Nye).
HEAD OF SECTION: N/A
I hope you enjoy the thread and help me build the OP as the thread progresses!