Tropical Fish For New Tanks
If you are looking at setting up a tropical fish tank (take a look at this post) then one of the first things you will have done is look at the different species of fish you could put in it! I know that’s what I did. Tropical fish species vary as much as any other pet type and possibly more so than most. The variety of colours, shape and sizes of tropical fish is staggering. Choosing which tropical fish you want can be challenging as there are a couple things to consider.
Tropical fish require varying amounts of attention. It would actually be more accurate to say that the water they live in requires different parameters for different tropical fish to thrive in. This is the main consideration that faces new aquarists. Most local fish stores will recommend hardy fish. The reason being that when a tank is first filled up with water and has new equipment in it, it will not have sufficient levels of bacteria that provide healthy living conditions for the fish.
The first fish in the tank will produce waste and it takes time for these bacteria to build up in your filter and on ornaments to change the resultant ammonia into less harmful substances. So fish that are able to withstand levels of ammonia that are high are favoured. Most seasoned fish keepers would advise beginners to do a “fishless cycle” before introducing fish to their new aquarium. This involves placing flakes of tropical fish food in the tank which will decompose and create ammonia which can then start producing beneficial bacteria.
When there are sufficient levels of bacteria (this can be measured by seeing if ammonia is present in the water with test kits) fish can be introduced knowing they will not have to withstand high levels of ammonia, which is probably the best way to go about things and be humane. Unfortunately many people aren’t aware of this and local fish stores aren’t overly quick to inform people of cycling.
So we know why hardy fish are preferred, but what species of fish are hardy?
Hardy Tropical Fish
First on the list are probably one of the most popular tropical fish out there. The Guppy. The reason for their popularity is evident in the fantastic colours and variety of of colours they can be found in. Also Guppy Breeding is very easy, see this article for details, the guppy fry only take 6 months to mature so it’s easy to see them grow up and develop colours of their own. Their survival rate due to being livebearers (not using eggs) are a hugely attractive trait for people who possibly want to try their hand at breeding fish. A word of caution though, guppy gestation is only 4 weeks so you could find yourself with more fry than you can handle!
Fast active easy to keep fish which are mostly very peaceful
DANIOS & MINNOWS
These are some of the hardiest community fish. As always make sure to ask in store which are suitable to live with each other as there are some that will nip smaller fish, though none in the list are particularly aggressive it’s best to double check.