Good Fresh Water Aquarium Fish

cichlidsThis article attempts to help the beginner aquarist understand the importance of choosing good fresh water aquarium fish.  Though many factors will go into your choice for the right fish for you, it’s imperative to realize that not all fish will get along.  The beginner should keep several things in mind: size and location of tank, necessary maintenance for fish health, the type of fish, of course, and the cost.

Aquariums can and should be a great source of stress relief. That’s not always the case when a beginner wants to rush the natural process by stocking the tank to fast with fish species that don’t get along.  Newbies will also try to cut corners by under filtering or by using chemicals to speed the natural “cycle” process.  The “cycle” process is covered in “How To Set Up A New Aquarium”.  Most of these chemicals mask what really is going on in the water and often cause false reading on your water test kits.

Some fish are hardy, some are fragile, some eat like pigs, some are picky, some are passive and some are down right mean. One of the fresh angelmost important decisions for any hobbyist, beginner or seasoned aquarist, is to choose what type of fish will be right for you and your level of fish keeping.  Because of the vast numbers of fish, this article will be more general than specific, but will try to guide you to the right choice for you.  Choosing fresh water fish that are going to work for your situation often involves research much like you are doing right now but don’t forget to ask the fish suppliers, pet stores or fish stores, in your area what is available and what does well in your area, especially if you live in a very cold or very hot climate.  Many tropical fish can be successfully kept in a variety of climates but it is a bit tougher in extremes.

Even though cichlids, in general, are very hardy and colorful, they are also very territorial and must be kept with like type cichlids.  With a few exceptions, like the angel fish that can be put in most community (docile) tanks, the majority of cichlids can become killers or at the very least stressful to the other inhabitants during mating and rearing of their young.  Keep in mind that stress to fish typically leads to disease and death.

Catfish are another fairly popular fish that usually stay along the bottom of the tank.  However, there are exceptions to the bottom dwellers, such as upside down catfish.  Be aware that some catfish can get quite large and may not be suitable for the aquarium you set up.  Also, some cats will eat just about anything including other fish in your tank.

clown loachOther good fresh water aquarium fish include schooling fish like silver dollars and tinfoil barbs.  Both types do best in multiple quantities. Tinfoil barbs can get quite big and may require a tank of at least 55 gallons.  Loaches are really good choices for community tanks as well but they are susceptible to bad water quality.  Large cichlids like oscars, or green terrors are typically very aggressive eaters and should be kept with similar fish only.  Placing them in a community tank with docile fish is like ringing the dinner bell.

As stated earlier in this article, the goal here is not to describe or even name every fish that might be available in the fresh water fish hobby. That would take too long and frankly, confuse the beginner aquarist.  Visit your local stores to see what is available.  Use google, yahoo or bing to find photos of fish that you really like.  That will help you when visiting a local store since the lights they have may make the fish look totally different than what you found online.  One of the best ways to decide what type of tank is best for you is to find a fish that you really like and create an environment so that you can be successful with that fish and others that will do well with it.

Summary
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Good Fresh Water Aquarium Fish
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This article attempts to guide the reader to make a suitable choice for good fresh water aquarium fish.



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