How to Choose Fish For an Aquarium: A Guide

At least 14.7 million American homes have a pet fish. They’re one of the most common types of pets in the world, and you’re also likely to see an aquarium in businesses or healthcare offices.

Choosing the right fish is one of the most important considerations. You’ll need to do your research to make sure they’ll thrive and won’t attack each other. 

Read on to learn how to choose fish for an aquarium.

Choosing Freshwater Fish

Popular options for freshwater fish include guppies, mollies, and neon tetras.

Look at the fish before buying them to check their health. They should have a normal body circumference, clear eyes, open fins, and a rich color. They should also be free of parasites, sores, and ulcers. 

Consider size when choosing fish for an aquarium. The general rule is to have no more than one inch of fish per gallon of water. You’ll also need to consider how much they’ll grow and the surface area of your tank. 

Keep in mind that larger fish tend to be more violent. Males are also more aggressive, so try to only have one of the same or a related species and only 2-3 females per male.

Make sure that the fish you choose will thrive in the water in your tank. Many species of freshwater fish require a specific PH level.

Look into their feeding habits and care requirements. Small fish tend to be more adaptable, cheaper, and easier to care for.

Get schooling fish in groups of 6 or more and territorial fish in small groups. Only get one of a highly aggressive species such as betas.

Have a backup tank in case you need to separate them. This is especially true if you recently bred fish and they’re protecting their babies.

Choosing Saltwater Fish

A few common options for saltwater fish are clownfish, watchman gobies, blenny fish, and firefish. They’re hardy, friendly, and easy to feed. 

Most of the advice for saltwater fish is similar to that of their freshwater companions. Do your research to find out their size, care requirements, and compatibility with other fish.

Saltwater fish are either reef-safe or non-reef-safe. Keep these two groups separate or they will eat each other.

You may also want to choose fish for an aquarium that can help you maintain the tank. The gobi, Siamese flying fox, and suckermouth catfish eat algae. The Chromis eats leftover food.

You’ll also need to decide if the fish you choose are wild-caught or captive-bred. You can start by looking for captive fish because they’re the more common option.

More Tips for Choosing Fish for an Aquarium

Choosing the right fish for an aquarium helps make sure that it’s a peaceful addition to your house full of beautiful pets. It’s important to look into their size, behavior, and care requirements.

Freshwater fish may require specific PH levels or school sizes. Saltwater fish need to be separated based on whether they’re reef-safe or non-reef-safe, and some can help clean the tank.

Read the rest of our content for more information.

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