As more and more people are keeping fish tanks, the number and variety of fish tank fish available for purchase has exploded. Some beginners decide to begin an aquarium because they have fallen in love with a particular species or region while on a vacation or visiting a major aquarium. Others have certain colors in mind, but have not yet settled on the specific composition of a tank. Whichever camp a new aquarist falls into, there are a number of resources online and through pet stores and books that can guide the search for the perfect fish. First time fish owners should focus on docile, hearty species, while those with more experience may wish to make a single species, more exotic tank. You may also consider wall fish tanks to display your fish, but not have them become the centerpiece of the room. Remember that the fish are the focus of the fish tank and not the aquarium decorations!
Freshwater fish tanks are most common; the fish that can be stocked within them can be purchased through almost any pet store, regardless of the size. Most freshwater fish tank fish are sold with a guarantee, so customers can be assured that they are purchasing high quality fish that are in good health. When deciding whether or not to purchase fish from a particular store, take the time to look through their tanks. If there are a number of dead fish in any of the tanks, if the water appears cloudy or poorly maintained, or is the fish seem overcrowded, it may be best to choose another supplier. If, however, when inspecting the fish at a store they appear to be active, healthy, and in well-lit environments, this is a good sign that any fish from this store will survive.
There are a number of species of Betta and Tetra fish that are good for beginner tropical fish tanks. These fish tend to be hearty and resilient, and are available in a number of brilliant colors. Before choosing the specific type of fish to add, be aware that there are species of both Betta and Tetra fish tank tropical fish that are known to be quite aggressive, and should be kept alone in a quarantine tank. Others may double or triple in size as they approach maturity, and may outgrow a tank. Before adding a new species to a tank, speak with a knowledgeable fish store representative about the expected growth of the fish and its personality traits.
Catfish are also common in freshwater tanks. They tend to dwell near the tank’s floor, so when keeping catfish of any species it is necessary to ensure that gravel is regularly cleaned and that fish food is reaching them. Though catfish are generally considered to be dully colored, there are a number of species that are quite bright and vibrant. Catfish tend to live long lives, and will often grow to be many inches in length. Remember when stocking catfish that the full volume of the tank is not the limiting factor in the number that a tank can house, but rather the surface area of the bottom. These tropical fish tank fish are rarely aggressive and can thrive under most temperature or aquarium light conditions.
Salt water fish tank fish are generally more difficult to care for and more expensive to purchase. Because their health is so dependent on perfect water conditions, many pet stores that carry salt water fish will not offer the same warranties that they do for fresh water species. Clownfish are a great salt water starter fish for people who are used to tending a freshwater fish tank. They are among the fish most easy to acclimate to a new environment, and are unlikely to outgrow most tank sizes. Most clownfish available for purchase in the United States have been bred in captivity, and do very well in artificial environments. A new salt water tank should always be inaugurated with clownfish, as they will help test whether the water, temperature and aquarium lights are correct.
Angelfish are popular, but expensive additions to salt water tanks. These fish are known for their unique, iridescent colors and their impressive size when they have reached maturity. Given the investment they represent, it is important that they only be added to a tank whose conditions are stable and whose owner is confident in their ability to care for fish. In addition, these and other exotic fish that may have been caught in the wild and sold to pet stores can arrive in poor health or may not be correctly acclimated to their new environment. Customer reviews of fish retailers are of the utmost importance when purchasing salt water fish, and should be consulted anytime a fish is being added to a tank.
To maximize the lifespan of any fish tanks fish, whether fresh or salt water, one should follow the steps to introduce a fish to its new home properly. Drastic changes in water temperature, pH levels or lighting will quickly lead to a fish’s death, and can be avoided through a slow introduction to the conditions of your tank. The correct filters, lighting, fish tank pumps, and other fish tank accessories will help maintain the health of your fish and your tank.
Be sure to also read up about Oscar fish!