Now that you have your aquarium setup you’re ready to get your freshwater fish, right?! Not necessarily, it is at this exact stage that I recommend you slow down and take some time to decide precisely what kind of fish you want to have.
Maybe you want some that are extremely active, so they’re always moving and entertaining you. Perhaps you want fish of a specific shape or size or maybe something else entirely. Any way you look at it, you’re going to want fish for your fish tank!
If you plan on mixing species, you will need to set aside some time for research. Knowing which fish are compatible with each other and their environment will go a long ways towards preventing injury and even death for your fish.
Research Can Be Fun and Easy
Selecting your fish supply store is a vital step! A knowledgeable staff can answer many of your questions and help guide you toward your desired results.
Some questions to ask are:
– Does this fish like open spaces, or plenty of plants?
– The pH requirements are important for a mixed breed aquarium; the fish you choose need to thrive in the same range.
– Is this fish aggressive? Territorial? Dominate?
– Is this fish a meat eater or a vegetarian?
– Does this fish eat aggressively, keeping tank mates from feeding?
– How much room does this fish need (will he still fit in your tank when grown up)?
– What is the native water temperature for this fish?
Matching the basic water conditions for your fish is essential and can be difficult if you choose multiple species. The closer you are able to match all the parameters, the happier you tank will be in the long run.
I could review the various fish breeds with you at this juncture but ultimately your final choices should come down to you picking the fish that you fall in love with. To get the most value out of your research, I suggest the following…
Find a fish store where you live and go spend some time observing their fish selections. If you have several fish store in your area, visit all of them! Take a note pad and jot down the species of fish that you like and talk to the resident expert about their needs – make sure to take good notes.
After you get home, take some time to review the information you collected. Make a list of the breeds you most liked and their particular requirements; then try to narrow your selections down to those that are most closely paired.
Picking the right fish can be challenging but if you follow this process your success is certain.
Food Variety Is Essential!
Most people don’t understand that various fish breeds have distinctive dietary needs. Not all fish dine at the same level – some are bottom feeders and others are surface eaters.
Try to avoid aggressive top feeders if you intend on having bottom dwellers; you can mix them but intervention on your part may be necessary later when you notice that some are going hungry.
Try to choose fish with like dietary needs. A family that doesn’t steal from each other will live happily together and happy fish tend to live longer and be much brighter in color.
When choosing your fish, you do need to consider cannibalism! No we’re not joking! This is grave; do not underestimate your fish. Other serious risks include the aggressive fish biting their tank mates or smaller fish that simply can’t fend for themselves – fish who have long, flowing fins are almost always a target.
Putting socially passive breeds with aggressive breeds will result in disaster; try to choose like personalities for a happy tank. If you do keep a group of aggressive fish the bullies will know when to back off to avoid injury so genuine issues are largely avoided.
Combative Behavior in the Tank
Generally fish are territorial by nature with the males being more so; avoid pairing more than one male in the tank if stocking the more aggressive species.
There are many things that can send an aggressive fish on a biting spree, including another of the same color! Stocking several females for each male will typically reduce conflicts but it does really depend on the particular fish.
The Worst Thing You Can Do
Your fish count on you to keep them sound and safe, after all they can’t exactly pack their bags and take off to the neighbor’s house! Selecting your fish based on looks and not temperament is cruel, not to mention painful for your aquarium inhabitants.
Do so will almost certainly end up in tragedy, so don’t just be hopeful – do your research, and you will end up with a great set of fish for a long, long time.
By comon from Pixabay