Don't buy monster fishes without research: Experts

Buyers must be able to house the massive fishes at the adult stage in long run

Top: Baby alligator gars around 6cm to 8cm for sale at $5 each at Toh Aquarium. Owner Ian Toh often advises potential buyers to reconsider, as they can grow to be 1m long in two to three years. Middle: A 20cm juvenile short-bodied alligator gar owned
The rotting carcass of an alligator gar was seen at MacRitchie Reservoir on Feb 14, sparking concerns of the illegal release of fishes into water bodies in Singapore. The fish, which is native to North America and can grow to a length of 2.5m, is found in some local fish shops where babies of around 6cm to 8cm are sold.PHOTO: MICHAEL BRAIM
Top: Baby alligator gars around 6cm to 8cm for sale at $5 each at Toh Aquarium. Owner Ian Toh often advises potential buyers to reconsider, as they can grow to be 1m long in two to three years. Middle: A 20cm juvenile short-bodied alligator gar owned
Baby alligator gars around 6cm to 8cm for sale at $5 each at Toh Aquarium. Owner Ian Toh often advises potential buyers to reconsider, as they can grow to be 1m long in two to three years. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
Top: Baby alligator gars around 6cm to 8cm for sale at $5 each at Toh Aquarium. Owner Ian Toh often advises potential buyers to reconsider, as they can grow to be 1m long in two to three years. Middle: A 20cm juvenile short-bodied alligator gar owned
A 20cm juvenile short-bodied alligator gar owned by Mr Clarence Ng, who has reared many species of "monster" fishes such as gars, snakeheads and bichirs.PHOTO: CLARENCE NG
Top: Baby alligator gars around 6cm to 8cm for sale at $5 each at Toh Aquarium. Owner Ian Toh often advises potential buyers to reconsider, as they can grow to be 1m long in two to three years. Middle: A 20cm juvenile short-bodied alligator gar owned
An adult alligator gar at a River Safari exhibit in 2013.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

An avid fish collector for the past 11 years, Mr Clarence Ng, 25, has reared many species of "monster" fishes such as gars, snakeheads and bichirs.

Hooked on angling in his teenage years, Mr Ng's first encounter with a giant snakehead in 2010 sparked his fascination with such "monster" fishes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2021, with the headline 'Don't buy monster fishes without research: Experts'. Subscribe