After all, the larger a fish, the more food it needs for nutrition. Therefore, in order to satisfy the needs of their growing organism for food, freshwater giants begin to eat their smaller relatives of various species. Usually, fish are classified according to characteristics such as genus, species, etc. We tried to do this based on their size. And here we invite you to familiarize yourself with the list of the top 10 largest freshwater fish in the world.
1 Alligator gar
Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) is considered a real monster. This fish with an exotic appearance has lived in the fresh waters of rivers in the southeastern United States of America for over 100 million years. This species got its name from its elongated muzzle and a double row of canines.
Alligator Gar has the ability to spend time on land, but no more than 2 hours. The fish can weigh up to 166 kg. Three meters is the usual length of this species. Alligator Gar is known for its ferocious and bloodthirsty temperament. It feeds on smaller fish, but repeated cases of predator attacks on people have been recorded.
2 Mekong giant catfish
Mekong giant catfish lives in the fresh waters of Thailand. It is considered the largest of its kind and therefore is often viewed and studied separately from its congeners. The body width of the Mekong giant catfish sometimes reaches more than 2.5 m. The maximum weight of this fish species is 600 kg.
The third place on our list of the ten largest freshwater fish in the world is stingray. Stingray is a beautiful predatory fish that can be found both in tropical seas, in the waters of the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as in freshwaters. Most of all fish of this species are common in Asia. Inhabited by stingrays and shallow water, and depth. The most gigantic fish reach up to 7-8 m in length. At the same time, the slope can gain weight up to 600 kg. They feed on large fish, preferably echinoderms, crayfish, molluscs, and small fish.
Carp is a very large omnivorous fish. This species lives in almost all freshwater lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and lakes. At the same time, carp prefer to inhabit quiet, stagnant waters with hard clay and slightly silted bottom. It is believed that these largest fish live in Thailand.
Carp can reach a weight of more than one hundred kilograms. Usually, fish of this species live about 15-20 years. The diet of carp includes small fish. Also, predators like to eat caviar of other fish, crustaceans, worms, and insect larvae. During hunting, it is typical for this species to kill a large number of small fish, because carp needs food constantly since it belongs to such fish as non-gastric.
5 American paddlefish
The paddlefish is a huge freshwater fish that lives mainly in the Mississippi River. Also, this species can be found in a number of large rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico. The predatory paddlefish is not a threat to humans. However, this fish likes to eat their own species or other fishes.
Yet most of those who belong to this species are herbivores. They prefer to eat only herbs and plants that usually grow in the depths of freshwater. The maximum recorded body length of a paddlefish is 221 cm. The largest fish can gain weight up to 90 kg. The average life span of a paddlefish is 55 years.
6 White sturgeon
White sturgeon is the largest fish found in North America and is ranked sixth in our ranking of the largest fish in the world. It is common in freshwaters ranging from the Aleutian Islands to central California. The predator grows to a length of 6 m and can gain weight of 800 kg. This type of large fish is extremely aggressive. Mostly white sturgeon lives on the bottom. The fish feeds on shellfish, worms, and fish.
7 Beluga whale
Beluga belongs to the sturgeon family. This large fish lives in the depths of the Azov, Black, and Caspian Seas. Beluga can reach a whole ton in weight. At the same time, its body length will be more than 4 meters. True centenarians belong to this species. This fish can live up to 100 years. In food, beluga prefers such types of fish as herring, gobies, tulka, etc. Also, the fish likes to eat shellfish and sometimes hunts baby seals-squirrels.
8 Nile perch
Nile perch can be found in the rivers, lakes, and ponds of tropical Africa. It is especially common in the Ethiopian region. The body of a skittish predator reaches a length of 1-2 meters and a weight of 200 kg or more. The Nile perch eats crustaceans and various types of fish.
Catfish is a large freshwater scaleless fish. It lives in lakes and rivers of the European part of Russia, as well as in Europe and the Aral Sea basin. In good conditions, this species grows up to 5 m in length and at the same time gains weight up to 300-400 kg. Despite their large size, the catfish's body is extremely flexible. This allows an active nocturnal predator to quickly forage for food.
There is a misconception that this species feeds only on carrion or spoiled food. But this is not the case. In fact, the main food for catfish is fry, small crustaceans, and aquatic insects. And then, such a diet in freshwater fish is only at an early stage of development. Later, it is replenished with live fish, various shellfish, and other freshwater animals. There are even cases when the largest catfish attacked small domestic animals and waterfowl.
10 Siberian taimen
Taimen is a large fish from the genus of Salmonidae, so it is often referred to as “Russian salmon”. Its habitat is large rivers and lakes in Siberia, the Far East, and the Altai. The predator can reach 1 m or more in length and up to 55-60 kg in weight. This species is known for its aggressive and merciless nature. It is believed that the taimen is able to feed on its own young. There are no food restrictions for this freshwater species. Russian salmon eats literally everything that gets in its way.