A tropical fish tank is a very impressive sight with so many colourful and beautiful fish. For beginners though going all out with many species is not the best idea as experience and knowledge is needed to achieve some of the wonderful large aquariums that we see. So when choosing tropical fish for tanks please take into consideration the following points.

Choosing fish for your tank is a matter of both taste and some science. Certain types of fish can not go together and this is important to learn, otherwise, there is a huge variety of fish out there and you do have a wide range of choice when it comes to picking fish for your tank.

Tropical fish for tanks: the shop

It is a good idea to use a shop where they already have a wide range of fish and the staff is helpful in giving advice. You would not want to rush or especially be rushed into buying something quick only later to come to a disappointment. Find helpful staff. This also would be an indicator that the person cares about their job and so is more likely to give you good advice and good tips to get you going on your path.

Tropical fish for tanks: number of fish

One decision is of course to decide how many fish you should buy for your tropical fish tank and this is largely dependent on the size of your aquarium. It is common sense that you can not fit lots in a small aquarium. There is a formula which can help you in your decision. First you must calculate how much surface area you have. To do this you measure the length and the width of your tank and multiply them. This gives the surface area. You then divide whatever number you get by 30 and this will give you a length number, so all the fish that you have should not exceed this number. Note that this is a guideline and the idea is not to stick to the number religiously, but if you are not an expert then this is a good guide to follow. Just to give you an example if you bought an aquarium of 120 cm length and 40 cm width then the surface area is 4800 cm2 (squared). We then divide this by 30 to get 160 cm which would allow you a whole bunch of little ones but naturally less so of bigger fish.

As we already said there are a lot of fish to choose from.

Some of the most popular tropical fish tank species are:

  • Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Platys
  • Gouramis
  • Siamese fighting fish
  • Angel fish

From the larger fish, the popular tend to be:

  • Puffer fish
  • Arowanas
  • Pirhanas

Tropical fish for tanks: fish communities

It is very important that you make a choice of the types of fish you plan to have in your fish tank. It is not a problem if you have fish of only one species, however, most people like to have diversity and enjoy many colours and many wonderful species of fish. Therefore, it is important that you learn about fish communities, i.e. which fish species can happily coexist in a tank together and which would simply attack or eat one another and naturally you would want to avoid this. As there are so many types of fish the best is to seek advice at the shop where you are purchasing the fish which are pleasant to you and asking the assistants to explain which other fish would live in harmony with your favourite one in a fish tank and which would not be a good idea.