The next step after making a decision to own a salt water aquarium is to choose the fish you would like to keep within the aquarium. What factors are going to guide your decision as to how to stock the salt water fishes. One thing is definite and please do not make the mistake of going to buy your salt water aquarium before deciding what fish you are going to put in. It is always fish first before the aquarium. Afterall the reason why you are buying the aquarium is for the fish and not the other way round round, that is you are not buying the fish because of the salt water aquarium. Also remember a salt water aquarium requires a salt water fish. Consult carefully with your local pet store clerk before making a purchase to ensure you are buying the right fish category.
So what factors should you consider when making a choice of the salt water fish for your salt water aquarium?
1) Your Competence level: This may be suprising toyou. But the truth is that different fishes require different level and intensity of care. If you are just starting out as a beginner with no prior experience and hence a low competence level it is best you start out choosing thefish that can be cared for easily, as you mature and get more experience you can add more species to your aquarium. Do not wory you have quite a lqrge number of fish families to choose from no matter the level of your competence and I can bet you can never really exhaust the opions you have except you want an ocean in your living room! For beginners it is advisable that go for species like the clown fish, damsel fish and mollies. At a higher competence leve or with some more experience, you can tend add more sa;t water fish species for your aquarium such as the yrigger fish,grammas and tangs. More difficult to care for and requiring real expertise would be angelfish, anemones seahorses and clams.
2) Interaction between various species: You cannot just mix and match fish species just like that. You have to be aware of which species are more aggressive than others. There must be a healthy balance in terms of how they interact so that one species would not be a complete prey on the other species in the aquarium.
3) Ability to tolerate similar living conditions: This sounds more like a housing project or dor assigning responsibility. The truth is that you have to be sure that the fish you would have in your aquarium can co exist within the same range of environmental condition. The key environmental conditions to take to heart are the water temperature, the salinity of the water and the pH of the aquarium. These three components are paramount if you salt aquarium project is going to be successful at all.
4) Your budget: In the end your budget matters. Every project must be well planned out even financially. Salt water fishes are pretty expensive,it would be wise that you have set a limit to how much you want to spend on the project as a whole and on acquiring fishes for the aquarium in particular.
With the above factors well considered you can not go wrong in the choice of fish for your salt water aquarium. Happy shopping!