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Coldwater and tropical fish are the type of fish people start fish keeping with. There is a range of tanks and starter tanks available. It is advised to research into the types of fish you would like to keep. Some fish will live together, some will fight, and some will outgrow certain sized tanks.
Coldwater fish like goldfish and fan tailed fish tend to be the starter fish for many fish keepers. These fish are not suited to living in a bowl as this provides a small amount of water and surface area. There is no filtration so no moving water and nowhere for any waste to go.
A suitable environment for a goldfish is a filtered aquarium. There are many glass or plastic tanks available, some will come as a starter kit with the filter already selected. The filter is a very important piece of aquatic equipment, the filter circulates water around the tank and as water enters the filter removes any waste and expels clean water.
Goldfish can grow to an average of 10cm in length so would require a larger aquarium than probably expected.
Koi and large goldfish can live in ponds in the garden. They require a well maintained pond with water filtration. The pond can have fountains, waterfalls for decorative affect and it provides aeration for the fish. The pond can also have a UV filter attached.
Kio can be very expensive, care should be taken with local wildlife as they are often caught by large birds and other pets.
Tropical fish live in warm water so require an aquarium with a heater. There are many different species of fish each varying in size. Researching into the species you would like and seeing what tank mates are suitable is advised.
Tropical fish are adapted to live at different levels within the tank. There are Corydoras catfish for example which have bottom facing mouths as they live and feed on the bottom of the tank. Mid level fish like Tetra’s for example have a front facing mouth and fish like Hatchet fish for example have mouths that point upwards as they feed from the water surface.
Some fish like the Siamese fighting fish prefer to live alone. If 2 males are housed together they will fight and they should only be introduced to a female for breeding purposes.
There are also tropical invertebrates that can be kept by the fish keeper. Cherry shrimps are the most popular. They can live with smaller species of fish like Galaxy Rasbora, Pygmy Corydoras etc.
The smaller species can also be kept in Nano tanks. These are tanks which have a smaller volume of water, but still require a filter and heater. They are becoming more popular as they are ideal for the smaller areas of the home.
Care of the water quality is important for Tropical fish. Fish excrete ammonia in the waste and from breathing, this ammonia gets converted into nitrate and then nitrate. Using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit allows the fish keeper to test certain levels within the aquarium to make sure a suitable environment is being provided.
Marine fish are becoming more popular with the fish keeper. A wide range of species is now available from the small Clownfish to the large Tangs.
Hard and soft corals can also be kept. Keeping these in the tank provides a snap shot of the ocean. Care though needs to be taken when selecting fish to live with corals as some fish will eat the coral. The same can also be said about invertebrates, there are certain species of fish which will eat invertebrates. Care needs to be taken when selecting tank mates that the correct species of fish, invertebrates and corals are being housed.
Marine fish require more expert care than the care for the cold water or tropical fish. Once the fish keeper is advised on the running of the aquarium maintenance of the aquarium should become straight forward.