Whether you're starting a whole new tank or you're adding a new friend to your current tank, learning more about tropical fish species is an exciting part of aquarium husbandry. Each fish has its own temperament, dietary requirements, and compatible tank mates. Here are a few things to consider when buying tropical fish species.

The best way to start a new tank is to start small and add to it as you become more experienced with your own personal ecosystem. Each tank is different, with different requirements, and there is no shame in taking time and caution when growing accustomed to everything. If you have a new tank, start with hearty, non-aggressive fish such as mollies, tetras, rainbow fish, or rasboras. If you decide to include fish that are herbivores, be sure not to have any live plants in your tank, as your new fish will be more than happy to eat them.

You can even include tropical fish species that help in regulating tank life. These include species such as catfish, which are natural bottom feeders. Suckermouth catfishes, such as the plecostomus, are known for traveling up and down the glass as they devour algae, resulting in a naturally clean tank. Cleaning shrimp, crabs, and others make excellent cleaning species.

A common problem with tropical fish species is their temperaments. One simply can't fill a tank full of whatever fish they like. There are fish that are aggressive, fish that are shy, fish that thrive in schools, and even fish that do best when there is only one of their kind in the tank. It's crucial to keep these requirements in mind. To pair up an aggressive fish, for example, with tank mates that it is incompatible with will have disastrous results. Not only will the rest of your fish live in horror as they're constantly attacked, but it will even stress out the aggressive fish. Learning about these temperaments and choosing your fish accordingly is one of the most important keys to keeping a peaceful tank.

Finally, dietary requirements play an important role in choosing tropical fish species. While it is possible for herbivores and carnivores to live peacefully together in the same tank, it's not a good idea to include smaller herbivores, as the carnivore may likely eat them. Keep this in mind when keeping live bearing fish as well—nothing is more frustrating than losing all of your fry because the carnivore in your tank snapped them all up before you could quarantine them. Learn more about tropical fish species today!

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