Top Five Fish for Freshwater Aquariums

Freshwater aquariumsfreshwater aquariums top fish are inexpensive and fun. If you’ve never had an aquarium before, you’ll have to learn a little about aquarium design, equipment, and maintenance. Once you’ve determined where to place your aquarium, you’ll have to stock it with sand or gravel, plants, and all the equipment needed to keep the water clean. It’s only then that you’ll come to the part that’s the most fun: choosing your aquarium fish.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure which fish to choose from the hundreds of species available at you local aquarium store. Fish for freshwater aquariums are very adaptable and easy to care for. Here’s a list of the Top 5 Fish for Freshwater Aquariums:

Guppies

Guppies are the perfect fish to get your new aquarium off on the right foot. They are very hardy fish, so they’ll be likely to thrive when introduced to a new aquarium. They’re also a very peaceful fish. That’s an important consideration when you’re setting up freshwater aquariums for the first time. Beginners should avoid flashier-looking fish like Bettas because their aggressive nature makes them less than perfect neighbors for the other fish.

Guppies are easy to breed, so you can end up with a fully stocked aquarium by starting with just a few fish. The males are especially colorful with big, iridescent fins that shimmer as they swim by.

Tetras

Tetras come in several species, but they’re all great fish for freshwater aquariums. They really stand out when you turn on your aquarium light because they’re so brightly colored and like to swim in a school. Tetras are timid, but they get along well with other community fish. Choose at least six to get the most vibrant display. Tetras like aquariums with  a lot of plants that they can hide in when they get nervous.

Cory Cats

Cory Cats aren’t exactly beautiful, but they sure are fun to watch. They have a broad snout and feelers, and they love to spend their time rummaging around the tank’s bottom cleaning up scraps. That makes them ideal fish for first-time aquarium owners. They’re always active, making them fun to watch, and they get along with all the other common species you’ll find at the fish store.

Danios

Danios are similar in size and temperament to tetras. They feature bright colors in striking horizontal stripes, making it exciting to watch them swim past. Like tetras, they get along great with other fish. Buy a half-dozen Danios so they can swim in a school. Danios are often chosen as the first fish in a new aquarium because they’re so hardy. They’re not fussy about the type of flake food they eat, making it easy to keep them happy and healthy.

Plecostomus

Plecos are like Cory Cats. They’re not beautiful, but they’re useful and fun to watch. Plecos are much larger than Cory Cats, but they have the same catfish snout and feelers. They love eating algae, so they’re great at keeping your aquarium clean. These fish attach themselves to the glass and scour it all day long. They’re very slow and peaceful, and get along with all the other fish in your aquarium.

Easy Freshwater Aquariums

If you want to make it easier to care for your fish, ask your aquarium store to help you select fish that get along with others and prefer the same type of fish food. That will cut down on the amount of time you spend with chores, and increase the amount of time you spend enjoying the endless parade of colorful fish as they swim by. You’ll also find that it’s better to introduce each species separately so they can become acclimated to the new aquarium before a new type of fish appears.

Something Fishy: Freshwater Sharks

Freshwater "sharks"Choosing creatures called freshwater sharks may seem strangely fascinating to a fish-keeping beginner. Many people who are beginners in keeping aquariums choose tropical freshwater fish for the occupants of their first aquarium. When a beginner isn’t familiar with many of the species available, certain names have appeal. “Freshwater sharks” has an attraction for many. These fish are also distinctive looking and a wonderful addition to any aquarium.

Cyprinidae, Not Sharks

Learning the scientific names of fish may be part of setting up freshwater aquariums. The fish that are popularly called “freshwater sharks” are actually of the family Cyprinidae, and are totally unrelated to ocean sharks. The popular name was given these fish because the shape of their bodies resembles that of the marine predators. Among the types of fish that belong to this group are Bala Shark, Tricolor Shark, Silver Shark, Labeos, Roseline Shark, and the Rainbow Shark.

Aquarium Residents

Owners of custom aquariums like to have interesting looking fish inhabiting the tank. The rainbow shark is a popular choice for aquariums. It is also called the red-fin shark, the rainbow sharkminnow, the ruby shark or the whitefin shark. These fish tend to dwell at the bottom of the tank, where they eat up leftover fish food. They also clean surfaces, eating the algae that might grow on various surfaces. This quality makes them a useful addition to the population of the aquarium.

Freshwater Sharks Compatibility with Other Fish

The trick about selecting aquarium fish for your tank is choosing animals that will live well together. Although a solitary rainbow shark may live mildly with other types of fish in the aquarium, it is not a wise idea to have two in the same tank. Although they get along well with their own kind out in the wild, they tend to be aggressive if they share the same tank. They exhibit fighting behavior which can include threat displays and head-and-tail butting and biting. A larger rainbow shark would also chase a smaller one all around the aquarium. So if the novice fish-keeper wants to include a rainbow shark in their tank population, they should stick to only one at a time.

Selecting fish for a new tank may be a challenge to the novice, so it would be a good idea to find an aquarium service that will be happy to give advice. Experts can help the new aquarium owner choose the ideal residents for the tank. Many comfortable hours can be spent enjoying the movements of an aquarium population.

A Plethora of Possibilities for Perfect Plantlife

java fern in aquarium
Java Fern

Everybody loves the look of real plantlife in freshwater aquariums, especially newbies who are just getting their feet wet (pun intended!) in the hobby. But the big question is this: What kinds of plants are best suited for the beginning aquarist?

One can find a wide variety of plants at your local store, but which ones are best?

Well, here’s our take on things. The following five plant species are fairly simple to grow and maintain, and can make even the most rank beginner’s tank look like a miniature ocean forest with a minimum of expense. Plus, if you stick to these five, you likely will avoid wasting money on plants that just won’t work.

Best plantlife bets for beginners

The Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) tops our list, largely due to the fact that it does not require gravel or sediment, or even high-intensity light to grow. In fact, for this species, less is more when it comes to light. You could even make your entire tank a java fern forest, if that suits your taste. This species is sometimes seen attached to driftwood and rock in planted aquariums. One issue though is the Java fern’s slow rate of growth, so you will want to plant it first, before you put any other plants around it.

Another great low-light plant with which beginners will find success is Wisteria (Hygrophilous difformis). Wisteria needs to be planted in gravel or sediment, though it can survive if not planted. A very fast-growing plant, wisteria is well-equipped to out-compete algae, as it reproduces at a relatively fast rate and usually requires regular pruning to keep it from overtaking your aquarium.

The only reason Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) isn’t at the top of this list is because it is a challenge to grow for even the most experiences freshwater fish hobbyist. It does not require substrate or high intensity lighting, but once it has established itself and is flourishing in your tank, it can become obnoxious and take over your tank. Java moss requires continuous maintenance in the beginning, allowing you to create a lush garden in only a few months. It is a great plant for hiding aquarium equipment in the tank, too.

Here’s one every beginner can grow: Anubias (Anubias nana). It does require you plant it in a gravel bed, but it doesn’t require high-intensity lighting or any specific water conditions. It can, in fact, even prosper out of the water. Anubias prefers water movement around its rhizomes and it is highly susceptible to beard algae, a brownish/greenish algae that takes over the leaves. The biggest negative for this species is its slow rate of growth. So you should prune lightly and only when you absolutely have to trim.

Also known at “turtle grass,” Anacharis (Egeria densa) is a low-light plant that can either be free floating or planted in the gravel. The invasive nature of this species makes it a difficult find in hobby stores, but if you do find it, take heart in knowing that it grows relatively quickly compared to anubias and java fern.

All this plantlife will prosper in a aquarium that has a pH range between 5 and 9. CO2 injection is not required and most of these plants can be found in any local pet store. Follow this list and your new aquarium will look amazing!

Something Fishy: 5 Unique Fish for Freshwater Tanks

collage of five unique fish for freshwater aquariumsDreaming of a cool design for your aquarium is fun! Once you have completed your unique aquarium design  you may want to consider some unique fish for your freshwater aquarium. We have some suggestions that would be fun and intriguing for you!

Five Unique Fish for Awesome Choices

Knifefis

Knifefis require a large aquarium because when properly cared for they can reach over a foot in length. Knifefis are perennial exotic favorites for home aquariums. Cool fact-Knifefis have a well-developed weak electrical organ that assists them in maneuvering dark waters of their South American homeland.

Bichir

Bichir should be housed with large, peaceful fish because they are opportunistic feeders. Bichir are primitive ray-finned fishes collected from Africa. They can breathe air and travel on land for short periods of time using their strong pelvic fins. You will want to include a tight fitting lid when setting up your aquarium and allow adequate bottom space.

Freshwater “Sharks”

Freshwater “Sharks” require hiding places, driftwood, and larger leaved plants. They have no relations to marine sharks, they are curious fish and would make an excellent addition to aquariums of the semi-aggressive type nature.

Eels

Fresh water eels reach up to approximately 24 inches or more! They adjust well to living their lives in captivity because they feed mostly on fish and crustaceans and they have a reputation in becoming very hardy inhabitants. You need to include plenty of space and hiding places for your eels and also you will need a large well-sealed lid.

Ageneiosus Atronasus

They are a species of the catfish family Auchenipterid. They are known to be found in the Amazonas Rivers. When considering Aquarium Design, ideally a soft, sandy substrate would be idea but not essential. Popular setups tend to feature dim lighting, driftwood, and scattered tree roots/branches. However, you decide to set up your aquarium be sure to allow for adequate swimming space.

Aquarium service is key and you will need to have an efficient filtration system.  Efficient filtration is essential this is primarily due to the predatory nature of this fish. Predatory fish leave large amounts of debris in the aquarium. Installation of one or more external canister filters and/or a sump system, organizing the return in such a way that it ultimately creates some surface movement and a degree of flow is created. Large catfish will provide you with a fresh water fish that are unique and interesting.

The fish as listed above are bound to be something that can make anyone’s tank unique and interesting. Remember to do your research before purchasing these fish and you will be set for a great adventure in your next project.

Select the Right Freshwater Tropical Fish

school of tropical fish in aquariumHaving an aquarium and keeping it stocked with tropical fish seems like a pretty straightforward proposition, doesn’t it? Just go to the pet store, pick out and buy some fish you think are pretty, and taken them home. You’re in business, right?

Wrong!

There are a lot of factors that go into selecting and maintaining an aquarium, and if one doesn’t do their homework and take some special care, a dream hobby can quickly become a nightmare. A hasty purchase or one made from a less-than-reputable vendor can put your fish in peril of dying, and that can get expensive!

So make sure you explore all of your options, conduct some research, and make an educated decision about your purchase. Where you buy your fish is an important consideration so let’s take a look at the options.

aquatech-aquariums-beautiful-freshwater-tropicalOnline or in the store?

At first glance, the number of options you have for purchasing freshwater aquarium fish can be a bit daunting. Aside from the major pet store chains and the “mom-and-pop” neighborhood pets shops, you can buy direct from a tropical fish breeder or through the Internet from an aquarium supply outlet. Each option has it’s up-side; each also has a downside. So it behooves you to take the time and do your due diligence before deciding where to buy.

So let’s look at buying your fish in a store versus buying online. The first and most obvious advantage of buying your fish in a store is that you actually get to see what you are buying and you often can even pick the specific fish. This really doesn’t mitigate the fact that any fish purchased from any vendor can look healthy and there are no guarantees that a healthy looking fish is in fact a healthy fish. But it does give you some control over the process.

Buying from an online store or from a breeder means giving up that personal selection, but there is an advantage to this method of stocking your tank. Tropical fish from pet stores are often already stressed from the shipping process that got them to the store, and the trip from the store to their new home at your house may just be too much for them. Fish purchased from a breeder, however, eliminates those intermediate shipping steps that can stress your fish to the edge of expiration.

And while fish purchased from an online vendor or from a breeding farm may arrive in better shape than those from the local pet store, they also come with a higher price tag. And in addition to paying a premium price for the fish, you also may pay more for priority shipping to get them to you in an expeditious manner.

Not all online retailers and breeders will charge exorbitant fees; some may adjust the cost of the fish to help soften the shipping costs, and some even offer flat rate shipping, as well as bulk discounts. And reputable breeders will offer customers free replacement for any fish that succumb in transit. Of course, those same breeders and online vendors usually strive to ship their best, healthiest tropical fish to give them every chance of surviving the trip.

Beautiful fish for freshwater tanksChoosing healthy tropical fish

No one wants to spend time and money picking out and buying fish only to have them die within days of their arrival in your aquarium. Apart from the aquarium ecosystem itself, which requires attention to maintaining a high level of water quality, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your new pets enjoy a long, happy life. And that starts with picking out healthy tropical fish.

Start when you first arrive at the pet store. Wander around and look at the tanks, really look at them. Ask yourself some questions: Are the tanks clean, or are they slick with algae. Is the water level good, or are the tanks low? More importantly, are the tanks well-stocked or is there a limited selection?

One dead giveaway (no pun intended) is the presence of dead fish in the bottom of the tank, or dead fish stuck to the filters. If either of those to conditions exist, chances are the other fish in that ecosystem are headed to the same fate. If those conditions exist in multiple tanks, you may want to try another store, as this may indicate a variety of problems, from staff negligence to poor water quality to an inferior quality of fish.

You also want to look for tropical fish that are lively and active. Obviously, avoid the top floaters, and stay away from those fish swimming slowly around the bottom of the tank as well. It is a good idea to find out when the store feeds their stock, and arrive in time to observe them during feeding time, and look for the fish with the healthiest appetites! Also, look for fish that have their fins intact, those that are not swollen, showing any redness around their gills and whose eyes are clear. Also look for growths, discoloration ot any signs of bloat; if you see any of those sign, do not buy those fish.

As important as choosing the right vendor may be, purchasing the right fish also means knowing which fish can inhabit the same ecosystem, and which ones cannot. Some species are more aggressive than others, so choosing fish that are compatible is just as crucial as buying ones that are healthy.

With the proper research and deliberation, buying fish for your aquarium can be as fun and rewarding as tending to and nurturing your new pets. So take the time and do your homework. It will pay big dividends in the long run.

Something Fishy: Freshwater Fish For Beginners

Goldfish in an freshwater fish aquariumWhen a beginner decides to enter the world of fish-keeping, one of the biggest questions involves the choice of what type of fish to keep. There are the obvious questions about the size of the first tank, if it will be freshwater or salt water, and whether or not it will be a cold water or heated water tank. Even that matter might surprise a beginner, for most people do not think about the salinity and temperature of a water environment.

Choosing Freshwater Fish

Choosing a heated aquarium would allow the beginner to select from more varieties of fish. But one of the most familiar types of freshwater fish for beginners is a cold water fish: the Gold Fish. So selecting the animal you want to be spending time with will affect the temperature of the habitat the fish will live in, as well as determine any additional residents you might choose to add.

Warm Water Fish

There are several options for the beginner who chooses to have a warm water aquarium. A broad selection of such fish could include Danios, Black Mollies, Black Skirt Tetras, Kuhli Loaches, Platies, and Swordtails.

Swordtails are a popular choice for beginners both for their dramatic appearance and because they are very hardy and do well in community aquariums, where they share the space with other types of fish. The name of this fish comes from the shape of the lower lobe of the male’s tailfin, which is elongated. The females tend to be larger than the males and lack the same length of “sword”. Although the wild form of the fish is an olive green, captive breeding has developed many colors and patterns. It is an omnivorous eater, meaning it will dine on anything, both plants and small crustaceans and insects.

Mollies are also easy to keep. For the beginning fish-keeper who wants a home-grown population, Mollies are prolific breeders. Although Mollies are generally compatible tankmates with some other fish, because of their energetic nature, they can be mildly aggressive and chase the other fish. They would certainly not be a boring choice for the aquarium of a novice.

Cold Water Fish

Another option for someone starting out with aquarium fish is to choose cold water freshwater fish. This choice would mean a little less work in paying attention to the temperature of the water, so if limited time for maintenance care is an issue, these fish are worth considering. Popular choices are White Clouds, Bloodfin Tetras, and the very familiar Gold Fish.

The hardy Bloodfin Tetras are usually kept in groups, most typically a school of five or more fish. They’re very sociable creatures and prefer the upper reaches of the aquarium. Their silvery bodies with their tailfins splashed with red make them very decorative in a tank. They do, however, like to nibble on the longer flowing fins of other fish.

And of course, how could anyone not consider Gold Fish? It was one of the earliest fish to be domesticated, so there is a long history of keeping Gold Fish. The history alone would be a source of enrichment to the novice who chooses to keep Gold Fish. This small carp has been bred into a variety of sizes, shapes colors and skin patterns. It would never be a boring choice. The one thing to be careful about with Gold Fish is that they are opportunistic feeders and will easily over-eat. But with a little care and planning this need not be a problem.

Keeping fish can be a soothing and relaxing hobby. If you consider adding an aquarium to your home, especially if you have never kept fish before, seek the advice of experts who can help you with the selection of size of tank and type of fish. Consult the team at Aquatech Aquariums and begin to enjoy the presence of an aquarium in your life.