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How To Choose Fish For Your Aquarium

The article concerns the following question – How To Choose Fish For Your Aquarium. If you are a beginner fishkeeper, you probably need some guidance before you spend all kinds of money on expensive fish only to find that they can’t live together.  Before you even purchase all of your equipment, you should have a pretty good idea as to what kind of fish you are going to keep.  Different fish require different environments and different equipment.  Let’s look at the different choices you have for outfitting your aquarium.  I am only going to give you a few general selections as there are hundreds to choose from.  Before buying any fish, inquire as to their needs and compatibility with other fish.

How To Choose Fish For Your Aquarium

Goldfish – I know, you are thinking why in the world would I go to the trouble of sitting up an aquarium only to keep goldfish in it.  You are probably going back to those days when you went to the local carnival and won a goldfish in a little tiny bowl.  You brought him home, put him in a bowl and he died the next day.  If you have ever done any research into goldfish, you have found that goldfish come in many different and beautiful varieties.  They are peaceful, smart and very entertaining.  There are “Red and White Veiltails”,  which are beautiful and “Ranchu” Goldfish, that make a bold statement with their rich colors.

The “Lionheads” are very endearing and the “Bubble-Eyes” are fascinating.  If you choose “Bubble-Eyes”, only keep them with each other as the delicate fleshy “bubbles” around the eyes can be easily damaged by other rougher swimming fish.  They are slow moving and often have trouble competing for food, so don’t put them in a tank with other goldfish.  The others you can mix and match together and have lots of fun with them.

Bettas – Although originally bred in Thailand for fighting and competitions, this peaceful graceful fish can be a real asset to your fish community.  They are fierce fighters with males of their own species so they cannot be kept with other males.  Their beautiful flowing fins are a great temptation to “fin-nippers” like guppies and platies.  They are best kept either by themselves or with gentle tetras and catfish.

Guppies – These are easy fish to keep, are small and more of them can be kept comfortably in smaller tanks.  There are different species of guppies and some of them are quite colorful.  They are extremely peaceful and very desirable in community tanks.

Platies – The next step up from guppies, platies are hardy, easily kept and quite colorful.  They are a good addition to any community tank.

Swordtails – Closely related to platies, swordtails are a very colorful and peaceful fish males are distinquished by their sword-like tail.  They are hardy, will bless you with lots of babies and will enhance any community tank.  They are also prolific jumpers so keep your lid on your tank very tight.  They can also be quite timid and shy so provide lots of hiding places in your tank for them.

Black Mollies –  Peaceful and even-tempered, this velvety black  fish will be a striking addition to your tank.

School Fish – There are many different species that do best when kept in “schools”.  Among those are Zebra Danios, White Clouds (these are also a good selection to place with goldfish due to their extreme hardiness), Rasboras and Neon Tetras.  There are many more available but I have listed a few of my favorites.  They are hardy and easily kept in the community tank and great beginner fish.

Whatever fish you decide to choose for your tank will be special to you.  After you have gained some experience you will eventually want to try different varieties and will probably end up specializing in a certain species.

I do need to emphasize, however, when you go to your local fish store to purchase your fish, be aware of what is going on in the tank where you choose your fish from.  Never buy a fish from a tank that has any dead or floating fish in it.  Look at the other fish and inspect them for lesions or signs of parasites on their scales.  If you see anything suspicious, don’t buy them.  You are asking for trouble.  You will take anything that those fish have home with you and infect the tank you have worked so hard at.

When you bring new fish home, it is best to place them in a separate tank (called the quarantine tank) for approximately two weeks to make sure they are free from disease or parasites.  I know, you are anxious to add your new fish to your main aquarium, but what a disappointment for you if you should introduce disease or parasites to your already healthy fish.  A fish you bring home from the fish store may look very healthy, but some diseases and/or parasites take some time to develope signs.  Better safe than sorry!

Choosing your fish should be a very fun time for you.  It is at this time that you decide on what kind of display you want to set up and also a time for you to learn all about the different kinds of fish available.  Think about how you will impress your visitors  (who will undoubtedly ask you all about the different species you have in your tank)  with all of the knowledge you have gained.  Just take some time to learn all you can and exercise some precaution with choosing and introducing your new fish and you will have a lifetime of pleasure and relaxation with your new hobby.

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