Choosing Fish For Your Tank

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Questions to ask when selecting fish for your aquarium

Picking fish on looks alone is a sure-fire recipe for failure. All fish have different characteristics and many do not get along, or are not suitable for the same tank. Choosing fish must therefore be done with care to avoid any incompatibilities and prevent harm to your fish.

Here are some things to think about when selecting your fish:

How many fish do you need? - Some fish are solitary whilst many must be kept in groups, or shoals

Does your tank provide the right environment? - Some fish need planted areas, others might need hiding spots, fast flows, or soft substrates to dig in

Is the water right - Most fish will adapt to a wide range of conditions but a few will only thrive in soft or hard water

How big does the fish get? - They may all be small in the shop, but many fish can grow to large sizes, regardless of the size of tank they are in

What is the nature of the fish - Most fish are peaceful but many will fight with similar species, may be aggressive, territorial, or might have problem tendencies such as jumping or fin-nipping

The best way to choose your fish is to spend some time 'window shopping' at your local retailer, make a note of all the species you like the look of, then go home and do some research. Check your potential fish are compatible with your existing stock by using the Community Creator on this site, or by keeping a list of your existing fish and checking with your retailer each time you buy new stock.

See our article on Choosing fish for more info.

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