The Critters

For Nice Critters

Fish for Beginners

Fish for Beginners

While requiring a good degree of dedication and maintenance, freshwater aquariums make a great hobby for potential pet owners. While fish care can be quite detailed and complex, there are some helpful tips for beginners to get the most out of an aquarium while maintaining the health and longevity of the fish.

There are two basic kinds of freshwater aquariums: Community tanks and Species tanks.

Species tanks contain one type of species and is used often for a species that requires special tank conditions. This type of tank is not recommended for beginners.

The other type, community tanks, is recommended for beginners, as it contains several species of fish that can live together peacefully in one environment. Not only is this a better situation for viewing several types of fish, but in general, the tank is easier to take care of, as all of the fish should require similar, “typical” tank conditions.

Choosing compatible fish for your community freshwater tank is crucial to promoting health and overall well-being of your fish. For beginners, there are a many species to choose from, and a good general rule is to mix three basic types of fish – topwater, midwater and bottom. By choosing fish from each of these types, you are recreating what exists naturally.

Topwater Fish:

Topwater fish spend most of their time in the upper levels of your tank. A few easy to care for species that are good for beginners are: Guppy, Black Molly, Zebra Danio and Siamese Fighting Fish (only one male per tank).

Midwater Fish:

Midwater fish spend most of their time in the middle levels of the tank, and most of these fish are best suited in groups of at least 5 or 6. Some midwater fish that are good for beginners: Neon Tetra, Angelfish, and Blue Gourami.

Bottom fish:

Bottom fish spend most of their time on the bottom of the tank, and are generally tank cleaners. They eat algae and can help to keep your tank clean. A few bottom fish good for beginners are: Red-tailed Shark, Corydoras Catfish, and Plecostomus.

In addition to mixing the three basic types, there are a few other general helpful tips. Schooling fish, for instance, should be kept in groups of at least 5 or 6, and aggressive fish should be avoided for beginners. Fish with special water condition requirements are to be avoided by beginners or those seeking community tanks.

A bit of research should be done before heading to a pet shop. It’s important to know which species are compatible for your aquarium.