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What Kind of Fish To Get?

Discussion in 'Tropical Chit Chat' started by nc_nutcase, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. nc_nutcase

    nc_nutcase Member

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    So often I see people post “what kind of fish should I get? The responses always amuse me. Especially when someone just types out the name of their favorite fish. My thought is if you are going to spend the money on the tank, invest the time in setting it up… you might as well decide what kind of fish to keep.

    Let me offer an alternative response of questions you can ask yourself. The answers to questions such as these will help you figure out what will make you the happiest and will educate you on fish while your doing answering them.

    *All the following questions are to be asked/answered before purchasing anything*

    First question… which is more important to you… that your tank look a certain way? Or that you have a fish with a certain look or with certain characteristics?

    If you’re primary interest is that the tank offer a certain mood say to enhance the décor of your room or house, then follow that lead. Go to a Local Fish Store and see what they have available that will help you create that mood. Also see what they have then get creative and see if you can make your own decorations that will often mimic what they sell, but a ton cheaper. Once you have your tank mentally designed, now see what fish will thrive in such an environment (note: some natural décor can alter the water conditions, i.e. drift wood lowers PH, coral based substrates raise PH).

    If the fish you keep is more important than the appearance of the aquarium, then start with fish. There are a ton of questions you can ask yourself to help you decide what to keep. Would you prefer a large quantity of small fish or a small quantity of large fish? Which is more important about your fish, personality or appearance? Are you intrigued about keeping aggressive fish or would you rather have ultra peaceful fish? How much time/energy do you want to offer the tank after it's established and stocked? Is there one kind of fish that you've seen/heard of that entices you more than any others?

    At this point you are still full of questions, but hopefully they are a much more refined group of questions. Now it’s time to do some research. Internet search engines are a ton of help here. You can go to your search engine and type in the name of a fish and the word profile (I.e.: Oscar profile). If you try this particular word combo you will get many non-fish references. So next try: Oscar fish profile, or: Oscar cichlid profile. Cichlid denotes the family of fish it is in. If you don’t know the family, just use the word fish. If you have answered the questions provided above but don’t know the names of fish to look up, that is a great question to pose to the forum. So now instead of asking “What kind of fish should I get?” you ask “I’m looking to get a few large, aggressive fish that are easy to care for. Any advice?”

    So now you will have many pages of information on the fish you are interested in. Sift through them and look for consistency in facts. There are some details of fish that are debatable and some site hosts may have very limited experience or information about fish and may mislead you. If you have 3 or 4 sites say the fish will reach 12 inches in an aquarium, 16 in the wild… and one site says expect your fish to grow to 24 inches… you can expect 12, not 24. Also on these same web pages the kind of environment these fish will thrive in will be described. So you can see to it that the environment you want will suit the fish you are reading about -or- you will learn about what kind of environment you need to create to suit the fish (depends on how you answered the first question I posed).

    So now the big decision… what size tank do I need?… There are a million opinions regarding what is suitable for what. I’m not going to attempt to address that here, but will give one point for you to consider. If you are purchasing fish as pets, then choose the home that will make them a happy pet. This counts in regards to décor, hiding areas, plants as well as size. We also understand that space and money are huge factors here. Since we are getting closer to actually setting up the aquarium, decisions will be getting harder and you may need to trace yourself back and reconsider some previously asked/answered questions. *Note: the larger the tank the more options you will have and the more likely it will be satisfying… but… it is often wiser to start small and work your way up. Both are perfectly sensible perspectives yet they are totally contradicting. We’re trying to keep this non bias…

    So now where does this leave you… sitting in front of your keyboard with no aquarium, no fish, no hard core decisions… but with a whole lot of information. Since fish can’t communicate very clearly and often the first sign of trouble is a dead fish (which can often kill a whole tank full) this is where you want to be before spending any money or making any commitments. There is absolutely no substitute for experience, and the best experience follows a proper education. Now, instead of being the eager yet clueless newbie you were a few hours ago before you started your research, you have direction and information to ask better questions which will always bring better answers.

    I hope this helped, if not, I at least had fun writing it J
     
  2. d'smom

    d'smom Member

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    I did some research yesterday on the net because my ds wants a catfish for our 10g tank which presently has a goldfish, 4 white clouds, and 3 female swordtails. Now, I've heard from many that swordtails shouldn't be with goldfish but found a goldfish website out of australia that lists them as "suitable tankmates." That site as well as another goldfish site both say that a bristlenose will work with a goldfish. So...I agree that it's important to do the research. We have a small tank (10g) which I know we'll grow out of, but for now, I plan to get a bristlenose, keep the swordtails and see how it all goes. We have a major filter system (Magnum 220) and it's very well aerated so I'm going to give it a try. Sometimes, it's a matter of trial and error. I don't like the error part, but I also don't want others to always dissuade me from things. Still need to figure out what to do with 3 male swordtails who are presently residing in my 2.5g tank, but will work something out. :/

    Happy Sunday!
    d's mom ;)
     
  3. Dui-lai

    Dui-lai Member

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    Hi folks,

    new to this game and I have a serious question. My son would like some shrimps and some freshwater crabs alongside some shoal fish, is this advisable? Also is there any specific fish, that would work with these inverterbrates??:unsure:

    He would like to put in a white frog we saw in a shop, is this advisable too?? (Can't remember what the frogs name was! :blush: )

    :thanks:
     
  4. wendywc

    wendywc Rocking a crabshell for a hat.

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    I agree nutcase, but alot of people want to entertain suggestions, especially when they are unsure about fish compatibility --- see the two posts below you. ;)

    d'smom, I'm afraid you 10 gallon is already severely overstocked. A single goldfish needs 10-20 gallons by themselves since some grow to 10-12". Is there any way you would buy a second tank?? Maybe something 20+ gallons to move the swordtails and bristlenose into. Good luck with your fish!

    Hi Dui-lai! That white frog you saw was probably an albino clawed frog. They need to be kept in their own tank, especially since they eat fish, shrimp, and almost everything. The same can be said for crabs and lobsters. You can keep shrimp with fish, just be sure to research that your fish don't eat shrimp. A tank with guppies/endlers and shrimps would be very pretty. Research what you see and like and have fun selecting your tank size and inhabitants.
     
  5. Dui-lai

    Dui-lai Member

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    Many thanks wendywc for that, I'll talk him out of the frog and look at keeping the shrimps! Just a little research on fish that will not eat them now! :hey:
     
  6. Wealthy

    Wealthy Member

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    Hello folks,


    Ive already got in my tank some penguin tetras and am looking to start breeding guppies. Will my penguin tetras attack and kill my guppies?

    Message back please!!!
     
  7. superman1

    superman1 Member

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    hello.

    ive bred guppies in a community tank with neon tetras, silver shark, corys and mollies. mine bred in the main tank so would be advisable to move the babies as soon as u can see them as some larger fish or even the guppies would eat them. but breeding them is easy so.. provided u have alot of cover for them such as plants would give them a better chance of survival.

    hope that helps.

    thanks
     
  8. jennybearxxx

    jennybearxxx Member

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    Hi guys,
    im new to this forum so sorry if im a little off topic but im still trying to figure the whole thing out :blush:

    I have recently bought a new fish tank and i have a problem.
    One of my students has asked me to take a cardinal tetra off of them as they only have that one fish left and they are getting rid of the tank and if i dont they will have to ...'dispose' of it.

    I said i would take it but i am very worried as i know they are very sesitive to water changes and are not suitable to tanks that arent 'mature'. Also this tetra is 6 YEARS OLD!!

    I know this is a risky situation and the stress of transportation could kill it but i am left with little choice, does anyone know any way i can make this transition ad maintenance in general better?

    BTW my fishless cycle ends sunday and this tetra arrives monday

    Thanks Jenni xx
     
  9. xFlx

    xFlx Member

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    It should be fine, in my experience cardinals are more hardy than neons, and I've even had a friend use a schoal to cycle his tank :crazy: not advisable, of course. how long will transpo be?
     
  10. jennybearxxx

    jennybearxxx Member

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    not long at all only about 20 minutes im just worried about the stress it will cause because it is such an old fish
     
  11. James9114

    James9114 Member

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    hi there i currently have a 120 litre tank containing...
    4 kuhli loach
    2 albino corys(going to get another 1 or 2 i think)
    3 bronze corys
    5 glass carfish(i know there are many different kinds but these grow upto 8cm if that helps)

    looking for another community fish (schooling or not) but as this is my last addition to the tank i want something special and maybe abit unique. if a singuler fish or pair upto 10cm tops if schooling fish upto 6cm tops. these fish sizes are for adult fish(fully grown).

    water temp 24 degrees
    PH 7.4

    if i have missed any improtant info out just say, any advice/information on fish would be much appreciated and would also like to add that this is a brilliant website and i have learnt so much from it thanks to all.

    James
     
  12. Fishy333

    Fishy333 Member

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    Hi I am wanting to get these fish types in my 10 gal. tank
    4 x glofish
    1x guppy
    2x platys
    2x cory cats (4 if pygmy)
    please tell me if it is overstocked and if it is please give me ideas for other things (ps i want a bunch of different fsh)
     
  13. Mark Z.

    Mark Z. Member

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    I had two penguin tetras and they actually killed all my male guppies by destroying thier tales. Maybe it wouldn't have happened if they had a larger group, but I gave them away after that. Only fish I ever gave away.
     

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