When selecting fish for your aquarium, it is important to remember that fish species are very numerous and diverse. Therefore, the main thing is not to make the most common mistake and try to keep predators (for example, angelfish) with completely harmless fish (for example, hippies) in one tank.
However, some fish can be dangerous not only for other fish, but also for the owner himself, for example, the electric eel Electrophorus spp. or piranha Serrasalmus spp. And some fish, for example, Piaractus pacu, Colossoma spp., Phractocephalus hemioliopterus red-tailed catfish, simply grow too large.
Your task is to find out as much as possible about the fish that you are going to keep, and to make a well-considered and informed decision whether this fish is suitable for your aquarium and whether they can get along well with the neighbors who already have or planned for future purchase.
When choosing aquarium fish in the first place take into account their compatibility.
- there are fish that are not compatible with each other;
- there are relatively compatible fish;
- there are fully compatible;
Choosing a specific type of aquarium fish in a pet store, evaluate their health status (fish should not be lethargic, pale, etc.)
Assess the degree of aggressiveness of a specific fish (even if this type of fish is peaceful, sometimes overly aggressive types are encountered, for example, this behavior is often found in gays of blue).
When buying fish, consider their features and intraspecific aggression
For example, for “harem” fish, one mate needs to take a pair of females and vice versa for such fish as danios or barbs you need to take a flock in which the males will prevail.
Fish swim in different layers of water: someone in the lower layer, someone on average, and someone at the top. So that your aquarium does not look empty, select fish living in different layers of water.
Often this rule also works with relative compatibility of fish and even sometimes with non-compatibility. For example, zebrafish can get on with small and medium-sized cichlids, just because they are nimble and swim in the upper layers of the aquarium without interfering with the cichlids.
When choosing and buying fish, be sure to consider the comfortable parameters of water for their maintenance.
It is impossible to combine the fish with different requirements – one will be hot and the other cold, one needs soft water, and the other, on the contrary, harder. As a general rule, it is recommended to keep large fish with large, slow-moving with slow-moving, nimble and nimble.
If there are “herbivorous” fish in your tank, consider this when buying plants. In this case, it is better to acquire artificial plants or hard-leaved plants, and the fish themselves to buy inexpensive plant species or breed duckweed.
There is one more rule!
If the fish are relatively compatible, and you really really want “both this and that.” Consider that it is best to buy and plant such fish in the aquarium at the same time with young (fry).
In this case, the fish, though not very friendly to each other, but as they say they can “get used to.”
To choose the right inhabitants for the aquarium, you need to know exactly what breeds can get along with each other. If you plan to keep crayfish, shrimp or other unusual inhabitants, their features are also necessarily taken into account.
The author of the video will tell you how to choose them for a home aquarium.
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The choice of suitable aquarium fish – the key to a successful aquarium. To help beginners (and not only) aquarists, we have prepared a small infographic in the form of a table, a kind of cheat sheet, which we hope will help you find compatible fish and avoid some troubles in the future.
The table shows the most popular groups of freshwater aquarium fish, as well as crustaceans, amphibians and plants. Each group is located on a separate line and is duplicated vertically in the column. To determine compatibility, select the fish you are interested in in the row, and in the column, find the one you want to check.
The point of intersection will be indicated by one of three colors: green, red and yellow, which accordingly means that they are compatible, incompatible, and can sometimes coexist together.
- The main mistake is overpopulation of the reservoir. In cramped, but offended! Pisces do not understand what it means to give in to another; they inherited from their ancestors a tendency to fight for survival. A small territory, a lot of fellows, which means that there is not enough food for everyone. Therefore, it is not surprising if there were fights in a small nursery, and other traumatic cases.
- Incorrect zoning aquascap. Carefully read the rules of settlement of each pet: what plants are allowed, the substrate, the parameters of water.
- The content of large and small fish. Even a peaceful large cichlid can eat a small neighbor if it fits in her mouth.
- Ignoring the rules of spawning. During this period, the fish are more aggressive and sensitive. If they spawn in the general aquarium, they will be greatly disturbed, or they will eat eggs with fry. In order to avoid such cases, temporarily transfer the male and female to a separate spawn with acceptable conditions for reproduction.
- Wrong conditions of detention, when pets instead of pleasing the eye, gradually fade. Regular water changes, cleaning the tank, properly feeding – a guarantee of their health and a quiet life without conflict.
What to do if you really want to populate low-compatible species in an aquarium?
Species that are biologically poorly compatible (that is, those that need very different water parameters) cannot be lodged together. With behavioral compatibility (when the fish do not match in temperament or some of them are territorial), you can experiment. General tips are:
- The aquarium should be spacious and not overcrowded, it should be zoned with the help of decorations and tall long-stemmed or long-leaved plants (so that there is no other view from one part of the aquarium) and provide a variety of shelters. For fish that prefer the upper layers of water, it can be dense thickets of plants and tall, intertwined snags, for bottom fish – grottoes, shards, coconut shells.
- Make sure everyone has enough food. Food should be given so that it falls into different parts of the aquarium, and the fish did not need to fight for it, and the timid did not even need to swim far out of their corner. Seaweed fed with lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, which are also located in different parts of the aquarium.
- Buy fish of different species young and grow them together, so that they have the opportunity to get used to each other.
It must be remembered that settling into an aquarium of incompatible species is a big risk, and to be ready to change the design of the aquarium, equipping new zones and shelters, treat battered or diseased fish and periodically buy new ones to replace the dead. But aquarism is interesting in that it gives us a wide range of possibilities: we decide for ourselves whether we want to see a peaceful idyll in the aquarium or a boil of African passions.
The main thing is that this decision be deliberate.