Tips on Stocking Your Aquarium

stocking your aquariumYou will find that there is a lot of information available about stocking your aquarium. Some topics are maintaining adequate pH balance, balancing nitrate and phosphate levels, and so on. But you’ll need to be knowledgeable about the fish, too. Choosing fish that you would like to have in your tank can be tricky. You’ll need to know how big they’ll grow, and whether they’ll be able to get along with each other.

Here are a few facts that you’ll need to be aware of when selecting fish and stocking your aquarium.

Stocking Your Aquarium – Saltwater vs. Freshwater

If you are a beginner, you should start with a freshwater tank, especially if children are going to participate in taking care of the fish.

Freshwater fish are less troublesome than saltwater fish to look after and, on the most part, are hardier. They are also more resilient to inferior water quality and temperature fluctuations which beginners are prone to overlook.

Granted saltwater fish are more attractive, but taking care of a saltwater tank is not that easy and should be left to the more experienced fish owner.

Stocking Your Aquarium – How to choose your fish

The choice of  fish for your fish tank needs careful consideration. Randomly selecting fish from a pet store will bring you problems in the future. Some research needs to be done in regards to various types of freshwater fish and which ones can live together in harmony.

Size: Fish are usually babies when you buy them. Some of them will remain the same size, while others will grow much bigger. Bearing this in mind, you will have to choose your tank suitably. Fish don’t like to be overcrowded and can die under the stress.

Diet: Keep in mind that not all fish eat the same food. Problems can arise when you have a variety of fish which require different diets. Getting fish that eat the same type of food will be easier and less expensive.

Personalities: Not all fish get along well when living together. Some are a lot more aggressive than others; therefore, you need to learn which fish are compatible with others. Some tropical fish can bully the smaller ones. Fish which are domineering can fight and nip fins of the smaller, peaceful fish. To maintain a peaceful environment in your tank, aim at buying fish that have congenial personalities.

Types of fish: When you shop for fish, it can be a lot of fun! Make sure you take the measurements of your tank and decide how much you want to spend before going to the pet store. The best part is that you will be able to buy attractive fish without breaking your budget.

Common breeds of fish

Clown Loach: These colorful and lively fish prefer their own company. Buying 3 or 4 of them will keep them happy. They can grow in size from 6 to 12 inches and they like meaty food to eat. They have some very interesting traits that make them an enjoyable fish to watch. When excited or feeding, clown loaches make clicking noises by grinding their teeth. They will sometimes swim on their sides, upside down, or will lie on the bottom of the tank appearing dead.

Congo Tetra: Congo tetra fish are great for the beginner fish owner. They grow to a medium size of approximately 3 inches long and need at least 30 gallons of water for a good swimming area. Congo tetra also prefer clean water with live plants in which they can hide and swim around. Apart from this, they are easy to care for.

Elephantnose: These fish get their name from their long, trunk-like nose. They do not like overcrowding and use their noses to hunt worms and other small live food. They like a well-planted aquarium with hiding places consisting of driftwood or rocks. These fish also need gravel or sand at the bottom of the tank. They will grow to about 8 inches in length and are fairly aggressive to their own species.

Tiger Barb: Growing up to about 3 inches long, tiger barbs do well with plenty of space. They can be aggressive towards other fish and are well known to nip other fish’s fins. Therefore, keeping them in schools of at least 6 fish will divert their attention as they will be too busy sorting out their own social order.

Further Reading

More information about caring for tropical fish and stocking your aquarium can be found in Katy’s Tropical Fish—A Complete Guide. This is a complete overview for fish tank owners with any level of experience. It is an easy-to-read guide full of valuable facts for anybody interested in keeping a tropical fish aquarium.

Click here to download Katy’s Tropical Fish and learn more about stocking your aquarium.

stocking your aquarium