Some key considerations while choosing fish are as follows:
- Predation: As a rule of thumb, if it fits into its mouth, a fish will eat other inhabitants. While the fish that you include may all be similar size at the time of adding into the tank, some fish will soon grow out, and will try their luck on the small fish and invertebrates. Choose fish that will stay not predate one another.
- Territorial vs Schooling fish: Some colorful and popular fish like the Betta, German Rams, Black tailed sharks are loners and like to occupy territories in the aquarium. Keeping a multitude of such fish is likely to promote fights and injured fins and even death. Conversely, some fish like to be in schools, and may get stressed out to ill health, if adequate numbers are not kept together. Check out fish profiles before buying fish to avoid this pitfall.
- Plant Compatibility with fish: Many fish that are popular in the hobby, like the goldfish, are omnivores, meaning they will be very happy to eat the plants that you painstakingly lay out in the aquarium.
- Diggers: Some fish like to dig and re-arrange their territories. Many perfectly designed tanks tend to get redesigned by the fish (cichlids are notorious for this!), the way they think the design should be.
- Water Conditions: Keep in mind that different fish come from different habitats and have evolved with different water conditions. Hence a discus, that thrives on soft to neutral water, often will not do well in an African cichlid neighbourhood, fish that prefer hard water. Hence water hardness, pH, water temperature are all important considerations when choosing community fish.
See the table below for Fish Compatibility…
Low Tech Planted Tank
These are very similar to regular Planted Community tanks, except that they are low tech, ie they do not have a Carbon Di Oxide diffuser, and the Aquarist encourages a healthy balance between fish and plants such that reliance on equipment is kept to a minimal to maintain the ecosystem.
This is a different approach to fish keeping, where the ecosystem is at the center of attention, which translates to lesser density of fish and more attention to underwater gardening, and including natural scavengers, like shrimp and snails. By doing away with Carbon-Di-Oxide diffuser, the Aquarist is taking away an important source of carbon, which often becomes a growth limiter for plants, hence some Floating/ Emergent (partly out of water) are strongly recommended for this set up. It incidentally, also adds to the overall look of the set up. For more on this, please visit the page on Low Tech Planted aquarium.