It is always an important moment to introduce new fish into an aquarium, both for the seasoned aquarist and for the inexperienced. Yet fish selection is an operation that needs to be done with great care to avoid trouble and disappointment. This refers to a new aquarium where the first visitors are invited, but more so for a tank that is already occupied and has been operating for some time.
Obviously, when selecting fish for the aquarium you should take your personal preferences into account in terms of the species ‘ colors, shapes and “character.” But do not forget that an aquarium is a very fragile micro-environment, the balance of which must be carefully maintained. You will therefore have to consider the size of the tank, its crowding and the viability of the fish you want to introduce: not all species will coexist with each other in harmony.
But note that the fish are rising, so ask about the proportions that they can achieve as adults.
We’ve made a clarification before we start: we’ve said we’re going to talk about easy fish for the aquarium. In fact, no fish are easy to breed, and all are easy to breed, as long as they respect the ideal conditions for their well-being. Sure there are some fish that are best left to those who already have a long experience or have large tanks with very specific characteristics. Those we’re going to talk about here need your care and attention, but they’re not going to give you big headaches, and they’re not going to cost you a lot (this is also a factor to consider, particularly when we start with the aquarium).
We reiterate again a piece of advice that we gave in other posts, and that it is worth emphasizing: you will have to have a little patience before putting the fish in a new aquarium. Wait at least one month after starting, to allow micro-organisms to inhabit the filter to ensure the proper water quality. When it comes to aquariums, Haste is always a terrible therapist.
Let’s turn now to fish choice. We advise you to proceed as follows: determine which species will be the key one, the one that will be the aquarium “queen” species for you. Then you will pick the other tenants accordingly, while taking into consideration the tank’s overall crowding.
1) Common red fish (Carassius Auratus)
If you have a “hot” bath, which is without a heater, your choice will be limited to the family of goldfish. You must necessarily be able to ensure a stable temperature between 24 and 26 degrees to breed all the other animals. Red fish is by far the most common fish in tanks and aquariums, also known as carassio or goldfish, because it is extremely resistant and needs very little maintenance. This is exactly why it is often raised without a filter in bowls or trays, but recognize that this must be avoided. On the contrary, the red fish can achieve truly remarkable proportions if it grows in a suitable environment: it can even be 30 cm long! Contrary to what some people believe, this species is not suited to small aquariums at all. Even a tank of 50 liters is too small. We also have to remember that the Carassius Auratus is happy in the company of his peers, so you always have to take at least three samples. Longevity is a typical characteristic of this fish: if well cared for, it can live for 20 or 30 years, but samples have reached the incredible age of 50 years.
2) Guppy (Poecilia Reticulate)
The poecilidae family’s fish are native to South America, but are now widely distributed in many parts of the world. It has a rather broad temperature range, but usually prefers water around 24 degrees Celsius. Guppies are among aquarists ‘ favorite fish and are well suited for beginners. There are many bright colored varieties. We present a clear sexual dimorphism: very distinct and easily distinguishable are males and females. Males are much more vivid, slightly smaller, with fins that are very wide and flowing. We are an organism that is ovoviviparous. This means the eggs are fertilized directly in the body of the female, so the males have a copulative organ called the genopod. Then the eggs are not laid, but they hatch in the female’s body directly, giving birth to fry (small fish already formed). If you want easily reproducing fish, you’ve found the right species: put a good proportion of males and females in the aquarium (one male per two or three females) and you’re going to have an enviable yield of eggs. They are friendly fish, soaway placing them in the company of overly aggressive species (such as barbus or betta) that would even kill them with their beautiful fins. If you’re bringing them together with cichlids like scalars, know they’re going to eat guppy fry up to the last. A relatively well-planted aquarium with areas where both adults and, above all, fry can hide is the ideal environment for the guppies.
3) Black Molly (Poecilia Sphenops)
This is also a poecilidae family fish from South and Central America. Because of its magnificent black livery, it is a fish that can expand a bit (up to 15 centimeters in nature) so it is not suitable for too small aquariums. Although it has been well adapted to fresh water, it is a brackish water trout. If you don’t have any other fish with different characteristics in the aquarium, you can add a salt teaspoon per 5 liters of water (use the special salt for aquariums, not the salt for the kitchen). The diet is plant-only, so use vegetable food. It is somewhat tolerant of the water’s chemical-physical characteristics, but prefers a simple PH(around 7.5) and moderately hard water. Quite friendly and quick to replicate, like the guppies. Always stop using Black Molly to pair it with hostile or too lively animals that would not be able to defend themselves from. As with all poecylids, it is also very important for black molly to have plants in the aquarium (possibly low shrubs with rather dense fronds) that allow these fish to find refuge.
4) Platy (Xiphohorus Maculatus)
Still a poecilide, the platy is particularly suitable for beginners: in terms of water quality it is really undemanding, so you can also tolerate any variations in PH, hardness or temperature without creating too much pressure. A neutral PH is perfect (around 7). You can also use ordinary tap water if you don’t want to buy or make osmosis water at home (check first with a sample that isn’t too difficult in your region and doesn’t contain harmful quantities of chlorine). In any case, a water conditioner, a material to be added to the liquid to remove any heavy metals or harmful substances such as chlorine, is always better used. Like all poecilids, even platys are easy to reproduce, maintaining a good proportion of males and females in the aquarium. Sexual dimorphism is somewhat less pronounced than that of guppies, but males can easily be distinguished as they are smaller and thinner than females. The length of this fish is never more than 5 cm, so even in relatively small aquariums you can lift them. They love to live in a band, so at least five copies are the minimum number. Note that women must always be more numerous than men, otherwise they will be overly depressed until they get sick and die. Unlike the cousins of the same family, the play is insectivorous, so you’ll need to feed them with a total tropical fish meat, including plant elements and animal proteins.
5) Barbo Tigre (Puntigrus Tetrazona, or Barbus Tetrazona)
The barbel belongs to the cyprinid family (like the goldfish). It is South East Asia resident. The flattened and tall body is distinguished by four vertical black bands reflecting this species ‘ most noticeable distinctive mark. If well grown, with the achievement of sexual maturity, their livery and colors will begin to become more and more attractive. The sexual dimorphism in this species is not very apparent: distinguishing between males and females is really very difficult. In addition, reproduction is much more complicated than the species mentioned above, and the aquarist will need very complex effective interventions. But its characteristic is the characteristic that makes this species very interesting: they are very lively fishermen. A barbed reef is an ongoing trend. Females are particularly voracious and can be quite violent as well. We every see real conflicts between group members. We obviously have to live in groups, so their aggressiveness tends to decline with the pack’s number. We would preferably be at least six or seven. Nonetheless, for this reason, remember that you will need to have at least a medium size aquarium (say 80 liters) as they grow up to 7 cm in length and need free space to swim. It is not easy to make them coexist with other animals simply because of their behavioral characteristics. Above all, it is necessary to avoid fish with long, weak tails such as guppies or scalars as they would be constantly annoyed and targeted. If you like the barbs ‘ appearance and personality, you might consider making a monospecies tank, or at least just adding some bottom fish, as the barbs travel mostly in the middle upper part of the tank. There is a version that is completely green (the green barbel, in fact) instead of having vertical stripes, which has very similar characteristics. Without any complications, Tetrazona and green barbs will stay together.