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How to Select Marine Aquarium Fish

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Fishing and Boating

Many people believe that there are certain steps to follow when it comes to choosing the right fish for your aquarium. While this is true in some sense, a wide variety of individuals have been successful by simply holding fast to a few general rules instead of following a well ordered list of things to do before you select what fish would be perfect for an aquarium. These rules include ideas which are obvious to many people, whether or not they have dealt with fish before as well as a few topics that might not be so well known to people who have never had an aquarium before. Nevertheless, by sticking steadfastly to certain basic guidelines, you will ensure that your fish turn out to have a happy and healthy lifestyle in your aquarium and live in harmony with the rest of the fish, anemones and coral you choose to add to your tank.

While the rules are generally easy to follow, certain guidelines should definitely be dealt with first.  Before you chose what types of fish you want for your aquarium, you will certainly want to decide whether you want to have a freshwater tank or a saltwater tank. This decision will affect the rest of your decisions down the road about what you want to add to your tank, so choose wisely to ensure that your aquarium is exactly to your specifications. With salt water you have a much larger selection of fish choices as well as a massive variety of different objects like coral that you can add for decoration. However, saltwater fish will generally be more expensive for the more beautiful or rare fish, making saltwater tanks a better option if you are willing to dive headfirst into the world of home aquariums. Alternatively, freshwater fish are a better choice if you are on a strict budget and make a great choice for people who are constructing an aquarium for the very first time.

Once you have decided what type of water to have in your aquarium, you can determine what fish you want to populate the glass walled structure with. At this point, you can either begin with what types of decoration you want for the tank, be it a bubbling statue of a diver or a sunken ship or a selection of different bottom dwelling marine wildlife. If you want to hold off on objects for the tank, instead focus your attention on finding a perfect fish which you would like to center your aquarium around. It seems that everyone who owns a high quality fish tank now has at least one spectacularly beautiful fish which acts as its centerpiece.  Be sure to check with a sales associate at your local fish store for fish compatibility issues, as not all fish enjoy all other types of fish. It would be a real pity if you have a magnificent fish that you spent a lot of money on in your tank only to have it be killed by some lesser known fish that are natural enemies of the beautiful fish.