If you’re getting your freshwater aquarium set up, then you must be thinking about what kind of fish should go in there. There’s more to it that just getting pretty ones that match, and here, we will go through things that you should do as you select your freshwater aquarium fish so that you end up with an aquarium that’s wholesome, fun and easy to maintain.
1. Determine the number of fish you want to keep. The temptation of course is to keep as many pretty ones as you can get in there, but you may squeeze them too much. An aquarium with too many fish means much more waste, which is not good for the fish and will force you to clean more often. When there are too many fish, there may also be a scramble for food so that there are some that are not fed enough. The rule of thumb is about 2 inches of fish for every gallon of water.
2. You need to choose your fish from a reputable dealer. This way, you are sure that you’re getting healthy stock. It’s not uncommon to set up an aquarium and a few days later the fish are dead – they were likely not healthy when they were bought. Look at the fish in the shop to start with; are the aquariums clean and do the fish look healthy? If you are impressed with the way the store is kept, you are more likely to get good, healthy fish. If the aquariums are dirty and the fish in them look dull, look for another supplier.
3. Learn as much as you can about freshwater aquarium fish that you may be considering. Do they have particular preferences? Do they prey on other fish? Do they require special kinds of substrate? What temperature do they best thrive in? You also need to know if they have special dietary requirements. Sometimes, this information may help you decide whether you can cope with your selection – some fish breeds are rather high maintenance. A tip here is to get school fish. There will be minimal compatibility issues and it’s easier to tell when something is wrong in the fish tank because they will all behave oddly. There are some that come recommended: pearl and zebra danios are beautiful; neons and cardinal tetras too.
4. Try not to get one of everything that you like; they may all be school fish, but they still have different environments under which they thrive best. It’s hard to simulate all these environments in a fish tank. 2 or 3 types are ok.
5. There will be algae, and it’s always best, together with regular maintenance, to get a species of fish that feeds on it so you can control it naturally. A brittle nose, a clown plecostomus or otocinclus catfish are perfect fresh water aquarium fish for this.
6. Killifish, if you can get them, are an excellent way to start your aquarium. They are not so high maintenance, and by the time you get to add other fish species, you will have got the hang of it.
7. Think about compatibility. Most people will think about freshwater aquarium fish that prey on others here, but there are also some that grow so big in a short time that they start to squeeze out the others. Cichilds, for instance grow quite big. Angle fish can easily squeeze out smaller fish if they are in a fish tank smaller than 10 gallons. Some fish types are also rather messy, and the mess they leave behind may poison more sensitive breeds.
8. DON’T keep a piranha, unless all by themselves. They will eat your other fish. If you go for them, make sure to be ready for the expense that they bring. They need a lot more cleaning after, and they need to be fed much more to keep them from eating each other.
9. There are miniature sharks, like the Bala, that you can keep, but they still will grow rather big and you will need a bigger-than-standard fish tank.
10. Stay away from catfish. They will eat other fish in the fish tank and they never stop growing.
You are now armed with lots of information on choosing freshwater aquarium fish and choosing fish for your aquarium so follow this guidance and remember even one wrong fish in your fish tank can affect all the rest, so it’s important to follow these tips.
Robert Hedley is an aquarium expert and owns and maintains his own aquariums. For more great tips on freshwater aquarium fish [http://www.freshwater-aquariumsecrets.com/freshwater-aquarium-fish/], visit [http://www.freshwater-aquariumsecrets.com]