Choosing your aquarium fish

Which aquarium fish to choose? How to choose your fish ? The species of fish are as varied as they are numerous in aquariums, but to succeed in your freshwater and saltwater aquarium, you must choose your fish carefully and introduce them into the aquarium. There are rules and tips on how to select and introduce your fish into an aquarium. It is necessary to take into account criteria of choice but also your desires when looking for a fish for aquarium. Find out which fish to buy and tips for choosing the fish in your aquarium to populate it.

Balance between fish in an aquarium

If you are starting your first aquarium experience, there are some common mistakes that you should not make in order to succeed in your aquarium and respect the right balance between fish. To ensure a good cohabitation between your fish and a viable environment for its inhabitants, it is necessary to learn about the balance to have in a freshwater or saltwater aquarium. Each species of fish has its own character and way of life.

The first factor of balance in an aquarium is its natural maintenance. Some fish, shrimp, plants and corals allow for a natural cleaning of the walls, floor and water. Of course, human intervention and various accessories are mandatory to have a healthy aquarium. It is recommended to choose 20% cleaner fish, 70% small and medium fish and 10% large fish. It is therefore necessary to calculate the ratio of each species to populate your aquarium with fish with different but complementary roles. This re-population of fish in a marine or freshwater aquarium ensures a good balance in the life of the fish and their development in aquarium keeping.

Also, the main mistake of aquarium beginners is to introduce too many fish too quickly and in an aquarium that is too small. To ensure a viable environment and balance in the aquarium, it is necessary to take time and introduce the fish little by little. In addition, it is dangerous to choose many different species in an aquarium. It is important to favour fish with similar needs and habits so that they can live together optimally in this limited space.

Which fish to choose for your first aquarium?

The choice of the first fish is a recurring question among new aquarists. Finding and buying the fish to introduce in your first aquarium is a crucial step for the success of your project. There are guides for beginners in marine or freshwater aquariums that will help you make these choices. Concerning the main tips for starting an aquarium and selecting the population that will be present in it, it is necessary to have knowledge about the fauna and flora of the aquarium. It is essential to know about the fish you want to buy and if you opt for two to three different species, check that these aquarium fish are compatible with each other.

You should not buy your first fish for their beauty but for their characteristics: fish that are easy to raise, inexpensive to buy and maintain and species that are easily compatible with each other. The cohabitation of an aquarium’s population will allow an easy acclimatization of a fish to its new aquarium later on. For example, you will avoid that your large fish become predators for smaller species. Choosing your first fish is therefore a real problem when starting and managing an aquarium and its fish population.

A long but obligatory step before introducing one or more fish in your first aquarium is to do the nitrogen cycle. It is necessary to place the soil and plants in your aquarium, then fill it with water and let it rest for about 3 to 4 weeks. Then you will need to check that the nitrite concentration in your aquarium is zero to put your first fish in its aquarium.
Once the first fish has been introduced and is swimming in the aquarium, it is recommended to gradually introduce more fish, taking into account a delay of one week between each introduction of a fish in your aquarium.

Which fish to choose according to your water?

Once your aquarium has been installed, the floor and plants are in place and it is filled with water, the choice of fish should be made according to the water in the aquarium. In order to know which fish to buy according to the water in your aquarium, it is necessary to take into account :

Sea water or fresh water.
Hot or cold water.
Water parameters (pH, GH).
Depending on the equipment of your aquarium and your desires, this material will be intended for freshwater or marine water fish, exotic or cold water fish. Once you have determined and tested all the criteria of the water used, the choice must be made for fish adapted to these parameters. Whether it is for the choice of the inhabitants of your freshwater, reef or marine aquarium. Indeed, choosing fish that do not correspond to the parameters of the water in your aquarium will complicate your task.

Criteria for choosing fish

To choose which fish to put in an aquarium, you must follow certain criteria that will help you choose between the different species. In addition to these selection factors, it is important to choose your pet store specialized in aquarium fish to welcome in your aquarium a fish that is in good health and that will be able to adapt to its new environment and its congeners. It is not advisable to buy your fish in a pet store that is not an aquarium expert, because the care of aquatic animals can be neglected or not adapted. Here are the criteria for choosing fish :

The quality of water retained and its characteristics: freshwater or saltwater aquarium, cold water or warm water.
The size of the aquarium in liters: some species of fish require an aquarium with a certain capacity.
The ease of breeding and your level in aquarium keeping: it is preferable to go for fish that are easy to breed to start your first aquarium.
The compatibility of species between them: cohabitation is a crucial issue in an aquarium. It is preferable to opt for fish of the same geographical origin.
The characteristics of the fish: the size at adulthood and the social behaviour of the fish (fish needing to be in couple, in schools of fish, aggressive, …).

A good choice is to go on easy aquarium fish. But the main criterion for choosing live fish in an aquarium is your aquarium experience. You should always select fish that you will be able to take care of. Because each type of fish has very specific requirements in terms of diet, lifestyle, … To start a first experience, it is recommended to choose an aquarium that is proportionate to your skills. Determining which fish will populate your aquarium means questioning your possibilities to avoid important mistakes: too many different species (tropical, seawater or cold water fish), too many fish in an aquarium that is too small, …

How many fish in your aquarium ?

Once the choice of the fishes to be inserted in your aquarium is fixed, the question of the number of fishes to be introduced in this environment arises. To know how many fish you can raise in an aquarium, you have to do this calculation: a maximum of 1 cm of fish (take the adult size) per liter of water! With this calculation, it is therefore possible to have in a 54L aquarium three 18cm fish once they are adults for example.

Because the number of fish that it is possible to have in an aquarium depends on the adult size of the aquatic animals and the capacity of your aquarium. For each size of aquarium is recommended a maximum number of fish to be introduced. Be careful to control the reproduction of your fish to avoid overpopulation due to poor management and monitoring of aquatic animals.

Here are the recommended ratios to calculate how many fish to have in your freshwater aquarium. For a warm water aquarium, you should opt for :

One small warm-water fish for 5 liters per fish.
One medium-sized warm water fish for 10 liters per fish.
One large hot water fish for 30 liters per fish.
For a cold water aquarium, you should opt for One fish for about 20 liters in the aquarium.