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Your First Tropical Aquarium Saltwater Fish

In the article it is spoken about Your First Tropical Aquarium Saltwater Fish. With so many tropical marine aquarium fishes from which to choose, how do you choose the right first fish? Here are five species every beginning aquarist should consider.

Your First Tropical Aquarium Saltwater Fish

When starting a saltwater aquarium, it is best to first come up with a stocking list. A stocking list is simply a list of animals (fishes, corals, and other invertebrates) that you plan to add to your aquarium when it has fully cycled. By planning what animals you intend to keep at the outset, you will be able to design an environment that will both promote the health of the animals and make caring for them easier.

For example, some fishes (e.g., tangs) need lots of swimming room necessitating a long tank, whereas other animals (e.g., plate corals) need plenty of open sand bed necessitating a shallower, wider tank. Knowing what animals you want to keep will help you buy the right equipment.

First Saltwater Fish

So what will your first fish be? Keep in mind that the first animal added to your new saltwater aquarium probably won’t be a fish—it will most likely be a snail of some sort that will help control the algae bloom that accompanies the cycling of a new aquarium. That being said, you will probably be anxious to see that first fish swimming in and around the miniature reef you have constructed—after all, most people call it a FISH tank, right?

A Hardy Saltwater Fish

You will want a hardy fish as your first fish. You want a fish tolerant of less than ideal water conditions, since your new tank will probably fluctuate quite a bit in terms of the water parameters for which you will regularly test. Part of advancing beyond being a beginning aquarist is the ability to maintain a consistent, stable environment for your animals, but this takes time, and you probably will encounter some problems along the way. Your first fish should therefore be a hardy fish—not because you are going to intentionally subject it to poor conditions, but because you don’t want to kill it when something goes wrong.

Hardy Reef-Associated Fishes

Most tropical saltwater fishes offered in the marine aquarium hobby are reef-associated fishes, meaning they live on or near a reef. Reefs are highly competitive environments, and, over millions of years of evolution, the reef-associated fishes we see today have evolved to survive and reproduce in this competitive environment. Just because a fish is successful on the reef, however, doesn’t mean it will be successful in the aquarium.

Aquarium Hardy Fishes

You want your first fish to be a fish well-suited for aquarium life. As mentioned above, part of being hardy is being tolerant of fluctuating and less than ideal water conditions, but there are many other aspects of being a hardy aquarium fish. You want a fish that will be hardy and will readily adjust to aquarium life.

For example, the beginning aquarist does not want a fish that won’t accept a captive diet. There are many so-called hardy marine aquarium fishes that only can be considered hardy once you have weaned them onto a captive diet. You want a hardy fish that will eat commercially prepared food eagerly right off the bat. Some fishes are more stressed than others during acclimation. You want a fish that will not be overly stressed, as overly stressed fishes—even hardy ones—are far more susceptible to diseases and parasitic infections.

Five Hardy Aquarium Fishes to Consider

Considering all of the above then, there are a few fishes that can and should be heartily recommended to the beginning aquarist. These fishes are hardy, tolerant of a range of conditions, eager eaters, and disease and parasite resistant. They are also fishes that, for the most part, are reef-compatible and not overly aggressive, nor excessively skittish. You don’t want your first fish to severely limit the fishes and other animals you may want to add down the road. Here are five fish to consider as your first fish.

Blue-Green Chromis (Chromis viridis)

Tank Raised Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

Clown Goby (Gobiodon citrinus)

Tank Raised Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni)

Midas Blenny (Ecsenius midas)

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