Looking for the Right Fish for Your Aquarium

By Leonard Boyler

So you want to get an aquarium. Your first step is to figure out what kind of fish you want. But just how do you choose from the colorful tanks on the wall of your local pet store?

With the many varieties of fish to choose from, it can be so easy to pick the wrong fish. You would naturally want to get the fish that you think are attractive or have a certain look that you want your aquarium to have. After you have narrowed down your choices, it's best to try to answer these three guiding questions before you make your final decision. How large do these fish grow? What water quality do the fish need? How well will they live with the other fish that I've chosen?

Community fish are fish that are usually about one inch or less. Fish keepers usually choose to populate their tanks with groups of similar community fish. Some examples of community fish are sword tails, guppies, Dwarf Gourami and Platies. When you have chosen a variety, find fish that are close to the same size. Get some advice on which varieties get along well with each other if you want to mix them. Avoid getting just one community fish because they are used to swimming in schools and will just be lonely in your aquarium. As a rule of thumb, provide one gallon of aquarium water for every inch of these fish.

Most other species of fish will grow much larger, anywhere between six inches and several feet. With a few exceptions, these are best kept alone, as they will attack smaller or weaker fish. If you do select one of these larger species, you'll need an aquarium size to match. Keeping one of these species in a ten gallon tank is possible when they are very young, but you will need to upgrade eventually.

It's best to just buy the appropriate aquarium for their adult size when you first get the fish. Select the species you want, and then determine the aquarium size requirements for this fish at its adult size. This is not always one gallon per inch of full-grown fish, like it is for the smaller community fish.

There are some types of fish that can thrive in almost any type or condition of water. The goldfish is the most popular of these varieties. They are recognized as almost invincible. They will no doubt continue to survive even with no aquarium lights or filters, but this is not exactly wise fishkeeping practice.

Tropical fish are a little bit more particular especially with regard to the smaller range of water temperature they need. They also require high quality aquarium water. Testing the water frequently and having an excellent filter are just some of the ways to make sure that the fish are swimming in quality water. To lessen the need for constant maintenance, there are products like, EcoBio-Block, which helps to improve the quality of your aquarium water. Make sure to do some research regarding all the fish you have selected for their specific water quality requirements. There are some fish that require aquarium water to have a specific pH level, for example.

The last category of fish is the saltwater or marine variety. They are much more difficult to take care of, and are not recommended until you have acquired more fish keeping skills and experience with freshwater fish. On top of the light, temperature and water quality requirements of these fish, you also have to monitor the salt content in the aquarium. Never mix the saltwater fish with the freshwater varieties.

And lastly, examine every fish closely before you buy them. Check that they have healthy bright eyes, intact tails and fins, no missing scales or injury of any kind. Observe if they have healthy appetites and a high level of activity. Choose only bright and healthy looking fish.

As you can see, choosing your fish is an important factor when creating your aquarium and good choices will mean many years of enjoyment to come. - 32185

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