The Best Combinations for your Aquarium
Posted by SAMRIDDHI PANDEY
The Best Combinations for your Aquarium
Fish are ideal pets for pet parents with smaller spaces or people who want a relatively low maintenance and have a thing for fish in general. Getting an aquarium and decorating it is also another feat which a pet parent fully enjoys. It acts as a beautiful piece of art. It literally brightens up the space in which it is kept. Moreover, observing those beautiful fishes in an aquarium gives a sense of satisfaction, which is linked to reducing stress.
Pet fish come in various sizes, colors, types, breeds, etc. Unlike the other traditional pets like cats or dogs, taking care of a pet fish is much easier and less costly, excluding the initial investment of an aquarium.
One aspect which is equally important are the combinations of fishes which goes well with each other. An aquarium is a fixed investment. Therefore, adhering to its size, it can very well fit more than one fish. This does not mean that a pet parent should purchase any type of fish for the same. Some combinations of fishes are well known to bond with each other.
Thus, Petpedia.in cordially presents this blog to educate such pet parents who are eager to get a pet fish. This would help them to get the right combinations, which would ultimately increase their quality of life.
Some Quick Points Before Getting a Pet Fish
Before we delve into the main topic, here are some points which a pet parent should keep in mind before getting a pet fish altogether.
1. Fishes require to be fed at fixed times in a strict schedule. The word ‘strict’ here means that a pet parent cannot afford to be forgetful in terms of feeding their pet fish. Unlike other traditional pets, fishes are bounded in an aquarium. Therefore, their meal requirements are wholly dependent on their pet parents.
2. Fishes as pets have been known to reduce stress and anxiety in extremes. It has been linked to various positive health benefits for the pet parents.
3. In general, Betta Fish or Goldfish are the most sought pet fish. They are extremely to take care of and do not require a complicated aquarium set up.
4. Getting the right aquarium is extremely important. Some fishes do not need much space while some require a decent amount of space. This can be very well consulted with a vet.
5. An Air Pump is a lifeline for your pet fish. Since an aquarium is an artificial ecosystem for your pet fish, an air pump helps to keep the oxygen concentration to an apt amount in the water. So, the right type of air pump and its working should be looked into carefully.
6. Cleaning the tank occasionally is a must. Unlike other environments, an aquarium gets messed up with algae or other types of contaminations if it is not cleaned. This could be lethal for your pet fish.
7. If you are a beginner, then it is highly recommended to start with a Goldfish. Compared to other types, their requirements for food, water clarifier, water conditioner and decorations is decent. Thus, by gaining the required experience from the same, a pet parent can then move on at their own pace to add other fishes to their life.
8. A newly bought aquarium should at least be set to function for twenty-four hours before adding fish into it. This helps all the components to get in sync and gives a guarantee to the pet parent that nothing is faulty.
9. Some fishes bond well with others (as mentioned in the next section). Some do not. So, it is highly recommended that a pet parent should gradually add fishes in their aquarium with utmost consultation.
10. Only add fresh and healthy fishes. Never add a sick fish. Such unhealthy fish poses a higher risk for other pet fishes to get sick immediately. Also, never over crowd your aquarium. Overcrowding leads to faster contamination.
11. Proper filtration system, clean water, appropriate lighting, balanced diet and a water conditioner to balance the pH levels are some basic things for owning a pet fish.
These were some generally mainstream points to keep in mind before getting a pet fish. Now that you are well aware of the basics, let’s move on to the topic in hand.
It is extremely important to have an idea about the types of fishes which are social by nature. Having this information allows a pet parent to have a better discussion with their designated vet. Knowing this very well, the prerequisite things for a pet fish can be bought accordingly.
So, here is a list of ten fishes who loves to socialise inherently and are a great combination with other fishes as well:
1. Guppies: Guppies don’t pretend to and don’t attempt to impress others with an appearance of greater importance. They get along easily with other guppies and to breed them one must simply keep the male and females together. They are viviparous, which means they swim almost immediately and are adapted to life. Guppies eat all kinds of food. Small fish can’t be kept in the same tank as they will eat those fish. So, in short, when it comes to Guppies, their socialising is mainly with their own kind or any other fish which is greater in size. Small ones are a big NO as there is an imminent risk of them being eaten by the same.
2. Swordtails and Mollies: These fish are very similar in nature and behaviour and require a similar environment. However, they are very different in appearance from each other. Swordtails and Mollies are also viviparous like guppies. It is effortless to breed them. You only need to keep males and females together. They are very bright and mobile fish and can tolerate various conditions in the aquarium. While these fish are similar to guppies in terms of their environmental requirements, they are larger in size and are found in a variety of colours and body shapes. These are mainly kept by pet parents for their bright colours and sizes. They are a great fit with other fishes in terms of socialising.
3. Danio rerio a.k.a. Zebrafish: Zebrafish are very small and elegant fish. This fish has gained great popularity among the owners as they are very small in size. These fish start five to six pieces at once, as they always prefer to socialise in flocks. This zebrafish needs free space, as they are considered as mobile fish. They are omnivores, as they eat any kind of food: artificial, live and frozen. Due to their versatile nature of food requirement and a sense of groupism, Zebrafish are great for pet parents who are looking for a group addition to their aquarium.
4. Cardinal Tetra: They are small and very non-aggressive fish. They are very bright in colour and are not pretentious. They can tolerate cold water, and can also be kept in a pond. They like to move in the middle layers of the water and gather in flocks. They must be kept in flocks of six and do not require large aquariums. If maintained properly, these fish can live up to three years. These fishes are also in great demand in the pet fish industry. Their flocking nature and various combinations of colours are the various features which makes them a great companion with other fishes in the aquarium.
5. Corydoras: They are very small, mobile catfish that are beautiful and gregarious. There are many types of Corydoras. The most popular are the speckled catfish and the golden catfish. They are all very similar in behaviour, and always try to remain in the bottom. They are always looking for food remnants. Any type of food is suitable for them. However, it is important to make sure that the food reaches to the bottom of the tank so that they do not remain hungry. As these fishes are bottom feeders, it is important to note here that these types of fishes are to be combined with those other fishes which also have a similar nature in terms of food consumption behaviour. Regardless of this point, Corydoras are a great addition with other fishes.
6. Harlequin Rasbora: Rasbora is a very little beautiful fish that lives with all types of fish. Keep rasbora in flocks as they need free space for swimming. Keeping rasbora in flocks can also help decorate your aquarium. While you can use any type of feed for these fish, it is recommended that they are not given large particles of food because they will not be able to swallow them. As this type of fish has a special requirement when it comes to feeding them, a pet parent should keep this in mind with regards to other fishes in the same aquarium. The feed should include both the types of food, one for other fishes and one specifically for harlequin rasboras.
7. Acanthophthalmus: This is one of the most unusual fish that an inexperienced aquarist can get. This fish looks like a snake and is extremely harmless. They hide during the day. To feel comfortable, they need shelter and soft ground in which they like to dig and be safe. They also help in keeping the aquarium clean by eating anything that falls to the ground. So, by their very nature, a pet parent would need to decorate their aquarium in such a manner, so as to provide this type of fish with a decent shelter during the day.
8. Cherry Barb: These are peaceful, small fish, especially the males, which are very bright in colour and the reason why they get their name. This fish lives in a flock, so one must keep at least five of them. The size is very small and the colour of the males is very noticeable bright red. It is very easy to maintain these fish. Cherry Barb is a safe bet for any pet parent who wants to begin keeping multiple fishes in their aquarium. The flocks of the same look spectacular visually. Their bright red colour is the main feature for various pet parents to add them to their collection of pet fishes.
9. Ancistrus: This fish has gained a lot of fame because of its unusual but decent behavioural trait as well as its habit for keeping the aquarium clean. Ancistrus is a catfish and eats only fouling and algae. These types of fishes are mainly an addition for their special eating habits. These types help the pet parents by keeping the aquarium clean to a certain extent.
10. Bolivian Cichlids: The Bolivian ram is a beginner cichlid, which comes from South America and is very colourful. As they run three inches long, they serve as centrepiece fish for a medium-size community because of their unusual cichlid or a certain stringent behaviour. They are black and yellow in colour and are best suited to temperatures between 72 to 79°F. They can be kept with any type of community fish that match the same requirements as them. Having said that, the Bolivian Cichlid are a great combination for other fishes in the tank considering that the traits of other fish’s match this one to a certain extent. Their black and yellow patterns make them an ideal choice to brighten up the aquarium.
All these types of fishes have their own traits when it comes to socialising with the other.
Best Fish Combinations
Generally, these are the top types of fishes which can be a great combination with other fishes in the tank.
1. Solo Riding Fishes
With the in-hand knowledge about great fish combinations, it is also vital to know about such fishes which prefer to strictly ride solo. These types of fishes have a natural habit of being alone and may become a threat to other fishes in the tank. Therefore, it is important for any pet parent to also know about the same. Thus, here is the top ten types of fishes who loves to fly solo:
2. Plecos (Plecostomus)
These fish are very popular and make a wonderful addition to a freshwater aquarium. However, there can be a major drawback to keeping them, as common varieties can grow a foot long and can produce massive amounts of waste. Even a small fish can manufacture disproportionate amounts of waste. This fish does not consume many algae but may shred plants and driftwood. When they are small, they can keep in the community tank but as they grow, they can get quite aggressive.
3. Glass Catfish
This fish looks like they could give a little visual effect and interest to a fish tank as their bodies are transparent and you can see right through their skin and bone as they are very soft. However, this doesn't happen often as they hide behind the decorations and the filter as they are extremely shy. They always try to remain in groups with at least seven to ten fishes. As they have a fragile body, they can perish easily both from unstable water and from injuring themselves.
4. Fancy Guppies
‘Fancy’ guppies are a very appealing species to keep, since they are found in diverse colours and can be used in tanks as they are very friendly. However, most of the fancy guppies don’t survive the journey from the pet stores to home. They are very weak and tiny fish. However, an alternative to these are feeder guppies. However, before introducing them to the community tank, quarantine them as they tend to harbour diseases. Feeder guppies are very pretty and are known to reduce stress in various pet parents.
Angelfish can make fish tanks more beautiful and can serve as lovely centrepiece fish. However, this fish is not well suited for a community tank. Angelfish is a type of cichlid (irritative in nature) and it is considered to be a very aggressive fish even among their own species. They need to be kept in breeding pairs or in large groups. Keeping them in small groups or singles can lead to the weakest fish being bullied or even killed. When angelfish begin to grow in size and get larger, they tend to eat the small fish as well. The long fins of this fish can make them irresistible to common community species like black skirt tetra who want to chase them and nip them which can lead to fungal and bacterial infections.
This fish is famous for its bright colours like angelfish and for its personality. Discus fish also needs water parameters like soft, stable, slow-moving and warm water. This fish is also shy like glass catfish and can be easily out-competed for food. They feel relaxed and comfortable when kept in a specific tank with lots of space to swim in which they can interact with.
7. Dye Injected Fish
This fish looks like normal tetras, danios or glassfish but brighter, with different colours. However, the practice of injecting dye into fish is considered to be inhumane and greatly reduces the lifespan of the fish due to pressure or stress. This fish is extremely popular like Goldfish. However, this includes genetic alterations rather than injections of dyes. So, before getting this fish, every pet parent should think carefully about putting this fish in a fish tank as they are pretty fragile in terms of their health and may spread disease to other fishes.
8. Dwarf Gourami
Gourami(s) are elegant, beautiful fish and are excellent components of a community tank if kept with proper tank mates. However, the dwarf variety of gourami which comes in colours of powder blue, royal blue, and red can cause huge problems. They can be quite aggressive and the males fight with each other and everyone else. Several gourami(s) suffer from diseases that may spread and kill other fishes too.
Goldfish is a beginner's fish and ends up in bowls, tiny tanks or mixed with others or kept with goldfishes. They are just not suitable for big fish tanks and can’t be kept with other fish or in a community tank. Goldfish have been neglected and misunderstood over the decades. As they require cold water with no heater, and with a high capacity of oxygen they are incompatible with most of the fish. They can grow quite large, so if you want to keep goldfish, placing them in an outdoor pond is a good idea.
10. Freshwater eels
Freshwater eels cannot be kept in a community fish tank due to many reasons. As many species grow over a single foot, it is very difficult to care for them. Eels try very hard to escape as they try to climb into filters or onto the floor. Feeding them is also very difficult as they prefer living food and may try to eat other fish in the community tank.
11. Freshwater Sharks
Freshwater or bala sharks are the worst fish to keep in a community tank as they grow quite a bit. They outgrow the community tank very quickly and are extremely aggressive. This is quite logical to understand from their name. Sharks of any kind are mostly not suitable to be kept in any aquarium.
Advantages of Owning a Fish
Here are some advantages of owning a fish as a pet:
1. Fish are known to have a tranquil, calming effect on anyone who watches them glide serenely through the water.
2. Generally speaking, fish are easier and less expensive to feed and care for than other pets. However, they do require a proper environment and knowledgeable caretakers.
3. Unlike many dogs and other furry and feathered pets, fish don't develop separation anxiety or destructive behaviours when you leave them alone at home.
4. Fish are quiet. You never have to worry about a barking or squawking fish upsetting the neighbours or waking a sleeping baby.
5. Fish come in an infinite variety of sizes, shapes and stunning, vibrant colours.
6. Fish don't need to be walked, they don't require a litter box, and they'll never leave a littering mess.
7. Fish are very clean pets that don't need to be groomed or have their teeth brushed.
8. Your fish won't track dirt and mud in from outdoors or shake litter from their paws all over the house, and they will not shed, slobber or drool.
9. A fish aquarium of any size, as long as it's well maintained, can be a beautiful addition to any room in your home.
10. Some types of fish interact with their owners, are playful, and can even be trained to do tricks.
The Ultimate Conclusion
Fishes as pets are the newest trends. Getting a fish as a pet is inexpensive and much easier as compared to other traditional pets. With all these borderline advantages, there are some important points which a pet parent should keep in mind. Fishes require a different and unique kind of care which every newbie pet parent is oblivious to.
Therefore, this is a small and dedicated effort by Petpedia.in to allow pet parents of their adorable pet fishes, to get all the relevant information in a crisp and precise way.
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