Putting Your Best Fin Forward at Aquarium Fish Shows

We’ve all heard of dog shows… but what about fish shows? All levels of aquarium hobbyists will want to attend one of these events to see the brightest and best fish strut their stuff!


Dog shows are a huge event; just watch Westminster Kennel Club’s televised even and you’d think that each breed has its own cheering section! Would it surprise you to learn that fish people get this excited for their pet of choice? There are many fish shows around the world that people flock to in order to get a gander at the finest specimens in aquatics. Some are held by local aquarium clubs that covers different aspects of freshwater and saltwater aquariums, including fish, invertebrates, and plants.


Here’s a few of things you can expect at an aquarium fish show:


Being Judged


Just like in a dog show, there are judges who look at each fish and compare it to the standard for that species. They are looking at the overall anatomy of each entry for fin shape, patterns, scales, size, and length. There’s also a personality portion of the contest, where judges determine the personality of the fish, to see if it is acting like a typical fish of that type should. Judges also exam the fish’s coloring, to ensure it falls within the standards set. You can see how similar it is to how a dog show is judged… minus parading around the floor.


Related: PPG Aquarium in Pittsburgh, PA


Show Type


Some shows are specifically for certain types of fish, such as Bettas or cichlids. And just like a dog show, these fish are broken down into groups, where the best from each category is judged moves on to a Best in Show finale.


Mail-in Entry


There are a few key differences when it comes to fish shows. One big difference is that in some circumstances, fish are mailed to the location of the show without its keeper to be returned after the show is completed, or if the keeper opts for it, to be auctioned off.


Related: The Ins and Outs of Shipping and Receiving Fish


Talent Portion


Ha – just kidding! Imagine if there really was a talent portion of the fish show. “My fish’s talent is blowing bubbles and swimming from one side of the tank to the other!” But you know what would be cute? Fish bikini contests for the swimsuit competition!


Best in Show


Prizes can range from ribbons to trophies, and of course, bragging rights. There are often expert speakers and educators at the event who will offer advice on how to better the standards of care, and help breeders raise the healthiest fish possible. If you have a question about aquarium fish, this is the place to find the right answers.


Fish shows are a must-attend event for any aquarium hobbyist. Many are free to attend and make a great outing for the family. All it takes is one fish show for someone to get hooked on aquariums for life!

Summer Davis is the mom of three kids, four dogs, and several tanks of fish. She boasts a passion for all animals, whether they are in the water or on land. This fish aficionado has kept many different species in her time, but holds a special place in her heart for wild and domestic bettas. When she’s not talking about fish, Summer “spins” her extra time as the director of a baton twirling organization

Summer Davis
Summer Davis

Summer Davis is the mom of three kids, four dogs, and several tanks of fish. She boasts a passion for all animals, whether they are in the water or on land. This fish aficionado has kept many different species in her time, but holds a special place in her heart for wild and domestic bettas. When she's not talking about fish, Summer "spins" her extra time as the director of a baton twirling organization."

More by Summer Davis

Popular Pet Guide
Next