A NSW Government website

Rehome unwanted fish

GoldfishAquarium fish, snails or plants should NEVER be released or disposed of into the wild. Dumping unwanted animals into the wild is inhumane and illegal. Most people accept that dumping a pet cat or dog into the wild is an act of animal cruelty, but did you know that fish are considered under the same animal welfare legislation in NSW?

Any unwanted aquarium fish should be treated humanely and be rehomed responsibly so try some of the options below to find a loving home for your pet.

Rehoming your fish with a friend

Do any of your friends have an existing fish tank or want to try their hand at fish keeping? Maybe you have school aged children who have friends looking to welcome a new pet into their home. Ask around through your different social channels and see if anyone can give your pet fish a new home.

Returning your fish to your local aquarium or pet store

Whilst not all retailers of aquarium fish will accept returns of unwanted fish due to lack of space to quarantine these fish , many do. Start with where you bought your fish or contact some of the local fish retailers in your area to see if they will take your fish. Some fish retailers have “orphan tanks” for unwanted pet fish looking for a new home that keeps them separate from other tanks (and existing stock safe from any unwanted introductions) and offers the fish up for free or bargain prices.

Advertising your fish to the local online community or classifieds

Online classifieds platforms that allow the sale of live animals can be a great option for selling or rehoming  your unwanted pet fish, snails or plants. You can even look to sell your aquarium set up as well and make some money back from your investment.
If not looking for money in return, social media can be a great option for rehoming rather than selling unwanted pets. Try looking for enthusiast groups near you that may have a hobbyist happy to take on your unwanted fish.

Freshwater pests

Freshwater ecosystems are very vulnerable to invasion by aquatic pests and weeds. Since European settlement many non-native fish have been accidentally or deliberately introduced into NSW waterways, and have become widespread.