Aquarium Care

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Looking for the Right Fish for Your Aquarium

So you want to get an aquarium. Your first step is to figure out what kind of fish you want. But just how do you choose from the colorful tanks on the wall of your local pet store?

This can be a daunting experience for new fish keepers. Of course, you want fish that appeal to you and have the right ‘look,’ but when selecting fish for your new aquarium, there are three important questions to keep in mind. First, how large will this fish grow? Second, what are the fish’s water quality requirements? Finally, how well will this fish live with the other fish I want?

Some fish will stay small, say an inch or less. These are generally considered community fish. Many fishkeepers select a group of similar community fish to fill their tank. Good choices for tropical community fish include guppies, swordtails, Platies, and dwarf Gourami. When selecting these varieties, choose fish that are about the same size, and avoid mixing different varieties unless you have been advised that they will get along well together. Never purchase just one community fish; they are used to swimming in schools, and will get lonely in your aquarium. A good rule of thumb for this size of fish is one inch of fish for one gallon of aquarium water.

The other kinds of fishes can mature to much bigger sizes, anywhere from 6 inches to several feet. These kinds of fish should be kept solitary for they usually show aggression to other fish that are smaller or weaker. When choosing one of these bigger fish you will need an appropriately sized aquarium. While it is possible to house them in a 10-gallon tank, it must be upgraded to a bigger size once they mature to adult size.

It will be better to just purchase the aquarium that can accommodate their adult size, when you first get your fish. Once you’ve selected the kind of fish you want, find out the maximum size they will grow to, then buy the appropriate aquarium.

There are some varieties of fish that will survive almost any water condition. A popular example of these is the goldfish. They have a reputation for being almost invincible. They will most likely flourish even without lighting or filter, but this is not good aquarium practice.

The slightly more picky tropical fish need a narrower water temperature range, as well as high-quality water. To achieve the water quality these fish need, test your water frequently, use a good filter on the aquarium, and consider products like the EcoBio-Block, which improves your aquarium water quality and reduces maintenance. Some fish need a specific pH, or have other water quality requirements. Be sure to do your research so that the fish you choose have similar water requirements.

The last category of fish includes saltwater or marine varieties. These are tricky to keep, and are best left until you have fishkeeping experience with freshwater fish. In addition to temperature, light, and water quality requirements, you must also keep an eye on the salt levels in the aquarium. These beautiful fish require a lot of work to keep them healthy, and you cannot mix freshwater fish with saltwater varieties.

Lastly, whatever the species you decide on, always remember to buy only those fish that are healthy. Inspect them carefully for uneven scales, irregular growth or injuries. Check also if they have bright eyes and intact fins. They should have healthy appetites and move actively and naturally in the water.

The fish you eventually choose for your aquarium will bring you many happy days of living nature experiences that are guaranteed to reduce your stress and give comfort and beauty to your home or office.

Leonard Boyler has been keeping fish for more than 20 years. His favorite products make aquarium care and maintenance very easy from start up to clearing up cloudy aquariums. To learn more about how to clear up your water and have healthy fish please visit ONEdersave.com.

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