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fish in a fish tank

Make sure you have a fitting home for your new aquatic friend.

The shimmering and dizzying maze of colors on the wall is captivating, the softly gurgling water flowing through the filter is both relaxing and soothing, and the determination of the fish in your aquarium is nothing short of inspirational. This is what you can expect when it comes to owning a fish tank in your home. Fish are the perfect pet to have when you have small children and you want to teach them responsibility, chores, etc. or you are a busy career person that spends a significant amount of time traveling away from home. Fish can provide company but are still very independent, so they are a pet for the household but they are not as high-maintenance as owning a more involved animal, such as a dog or cat.

It is important, however, to fill your fish tank with the right type of fish or you’ll find that owning a fish will not exactly be fun anymore. Why is it important to have the right fish for your tank? What is the right fish for your fish tank? Let’s find out!

Why It’s Important

There are a few key reasons to why choosing the right fish for your tank is so important:

  • Certain species of fish prey on smaller species. If you mix these within your fish tank? You will have casualties within your marine life.
  • Particular species of fish can also experience anxiety, which can lead to illness or fatality when the water levels, temperatures, food and more are formulated for a different kind of fish.
  • Each species of fish will require a particular temperature when it comes to the water in the tank, so it is important to get species that are complementary to each other in this regard.
  • Find out how big your desired species of fish will become, since an overcrowded tank is a recipe for disaster. Avoid combining both male and female fish of the same species unless you are trying to breed them.
  • Determine how much time you want to devote to fish tank maintenance. Certain types of fish will require more plant life in the tank for a happy and healthy lifespan, but this will create a higher concentration of algae. It is important to have the correct water filter as well to decrease the level of contaminants and toxins in the water. Marineland has some options that are always a safe investment.

Choose the Right Fish for Your Tank

When it comes time to actually choose the fish for your tank, always defer to the judgment of the experts. These experts can be found on forums online, in your local pet store, or they might even be fellow fish tank owners. Have a budget in mind before shopping for fish for your fish tank, as some species can be quite pricey!

Species such as betta fish are often the first one people think of, but they’re not appropriate for tanks with other fish, since they can be aggressive. The following are some of the best species of fish when you purchase your first fish tank:


They are a peaceful fish that will thrive and do well in a community setting. They are fast breeders, but they will live comfortably with other species of fish. People new to owning a a fish tank will often choose guppies as their first fish species due to their low maintenance.

Tetras (Neon, Glowlight)

These colorful fish are on the smaller side but live more comfortably when in a fish tank that contains their own species. When the tank is lit properly with a lighting system, they will have a sheen to their scales that tend to make them look as if they have neon colors. They are not aggressive when in a tank with their own species and they require moderate water temperature for a healthy life span.


Swordtails will grow to about four inches long at full maturity and can live with other species in a freshwater tank. If you have two male swordfish however, they can show aggression to each other. Female swordfish are tamer in temperament but if they do breed, they have been known to eat their young. If you are going with a swordfish for your fish tank, females are your best bet unless you are planning to breed then separately.


This species of fish will breed frequently if there is ample plant life for privacy, but they are a schooling fish. This means they are healthier when they live in a group of their own species (to watch for predators), but they can also live comfortably in a tank with other species that are non-predatory.

Remember — as with any endeavor, research is your friend, your teacher and your guide.


As you have now discovered, it is important to choose the right fish for your tank; certain species of marine life can live in harmony whereas other species are hostile toward each other. If you ever have any doubt before introducing a new species of fish or marine life to your tank, talk to your local pet store or specialty shop. The experts in these locales should be able to point you in the right direction based on the fish you currently have in your tank.

Starting out fresh with a fish tank? You can still visit your local pet store or consult through the multiple forums online catered to aquarium owners. Blogs, websites and online stores should have the information you need, and all at the tip of your fingers.

Before you know it, you will have the perfect variety of fish and the right fish for your tank.

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