Thursday, December 30, 2010

Selecting Your Aquarium Freshwater Fish

Selecting Your Aquarium Freshwater Fish

Author: Rozlyn Rozberry

So, you've got your fish tank ready and you need a legion of swimming, cheerful fish to fill it, right? Well, slow down and decide exactly what sort of fish you want in your aquarium BEFORE buying!

If you are intending to have a community tank, you will want to select fish from the various tank levels, giving the aquarium a balanced feel. You may desire fish of a particular shape or size. Each person will have their own unique style. One point is sure, you have an aquarium and you require freshwater fish!

The fish type you select will take some thought on your part, particularly if you will be mixing species. Remember to research before buying anything, because you risk fish illness and ultimately death if you don't!

Research Can Be Fun and Easy

Staff at a fish supply store should be able to tell you a lot about what you need to keep your potential fishes happy and healthy in their new home, and you might find that they're more informed then you previously expected.

There is a lot of information needed when selecting your fish, of which some are:

- Does this fish like concealed places or open areas?

- The pH requirements are important for a mixed breed aquarium, the fish you choose need to thrive in the same range.

- Does this fish get along with others?

- Is this fish a meat eater or a vegetarian? - What type of eater is this fish? Top? Bottom? Aggressive?

- How much room will this fish require?

- Is the temperature range for this fish going to be compatible with the other fish you plan to have?

Balancing the environmental needs of your fish when choosing multiple breeds is crucial. The closer you get it, the better your tank is going to be in the long run.

While I could give you the breeds of the fish, you're just going to get confused, and you won't really be able to fall in love with the fish this way. It has been my experience that the best course of action, and the most rewarding is this:

Head to a fish store and browse what they have. If you have a number of fish stores in your area, visit all of them! Your primary purpose is to identify which fish capture your attention, then write down the species in a note pad. Talk to the store staff about any special needs and write that down also.

When you get home, spread your notes out on the kitchen table and begin an inspection of your information. See which species match the closest, cross reference your information with information from the store staff or check online before making the final selections.

This process is sure to give you satisfaction with the end results and provide your fish the best chance at happiness.

Food Variety Is Important!

There's one thing that some people just don't consider when stocking multiple fish species, and this is dietary needs. Not all fish eat at the same level - some are bottom dwellers, and others are surface eaters.

Mixing these are just fine, but try to avoid aggressive top feeders - pellets that go to the bottom fish might not get to them!

Providing a good dietary regimen for your fish is easier if their needs are alike. Remember, hungry fish will become stressed fish, which can lead to injury, illness and in the end death!

When picking your fish, you do need to consider cannibalism! No we're not joking! This is grave, do not underestimate your fish.

At serious risk are fish with flowing fins, they are slow moving and great targets for bothersome or aggressive breeds. Fish will bite each other and smaller fish may require escape routes from larger, more aggressive fish.

To keep a happy tank, try to match social levels. Severe issues are usually avoided as the antagonizes know when to withdraw to avert injury to themselves.

Dealing with Aggression

A lot of fish - particularly males - will be aggressive in general, so you really do need to try and avoid pairing more than one male in the tank, with the exception of less aggressive species.

Even fish with like colors can sometimes set it off, so be mindful who you pair with whom. It really depends on the breed of fish, but a ratio of 2-3 females for each male should keep you out of harm's way.

The Ultimate Offense

Your fish rely on you to keep them safe, after all, they can't just pack their bags and set off to the neighbor's house! Choosing your fish based on looks and not temperament is cruel, not to mention painful for your aquarium inhabitants.

Claiming ignorance will not spare the lives of your fish. Do your research and you will finish up with a great community of fish that will entertain you for many years to come.

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About the Author

Having been an avid aquarium enthusiast for more than 4 decades and enjoys sharing the knowledge gained through direct hands on experience with other avid aquatic hobbyists. To learn more about selecting aquarium freshwater fish, or freshwater aquariums in general, visit Rozberry's Freshwater Aquariums. Be sure to sign up for my FREE mini-eCourse giving you step by step guidance on starting your own freshwater aquarium. Rating: 4.0
Posted by: Treat Fish Treat Fish, Updated at: 4:16 PM

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