What exactly are tropical community fish?
A community aquiarium is one that has several different species of fish living together in harmony. What's really neat is that you can have fish from all parts of the world living together in one happy community.
A happy community aquarium exists when all the fish are happy and stress free. There can be no bullies that eat, intimediate, or pick on the other guys in the tank!
There are no hard rules or guildlines to follow when designing your aquatic community. I guess you could say it's more of an art than a science. This page lists some of the most popular types of tropical community fish. The best way to choose fish that will get along is to find out what has worked and what hasn't worked with others in the past. Help you're fellow fish keeper by sharing your experiences here.
Barbs are very energetic colorful fish that make great tropical community fish. They like to swim in schools, so its best to keep at least six. When kept alone, without a school, they have tendency to nip at the fins of other slow swimming long-finned fish such as guppies, betas, etc.
They are fairly hardy fish that are great for beginners. Barbs enjoy having plenty of plants and décor to swim around. They also like to hang out near the top of the tank and they do some times try to jump out. So be sure to keep the lid on tight with these guys.
The picture to the right is a school of Cherry Barbs. Rosy Barbs, Tiger Barbs, and Denison Barbs are also very popular.
Rasboras a very small extremely colorful little fish that will really bring a planted aquarium to life. These peaceful creatures will reward you with beautiful displays of coloration and patterns if you keep them healthy and well fed.
These tropical community fish are very hardy and easy to care for. They also prefer to swim in schools of six or more. Healthy Harlequin Rasbora as seen to the right have a signature triangle shaped spot on its red body. Other popular Rasboras include the Scissortail Rasbora, the pygmy Rasbora, and the Red Lined Rasbora.
Live bearers such as the Fancy Guppies(seen to the right), Platys, Guppies, and Mollies are great tropical community fish. Instead of laying eggs, liver bearers actually give birth to live swimming spawn.
Live bearers are small peaceful fish that are very easy to care for. They are very popular among beginner fish keepers because they reproduce very easily. The entire breeding process is very fascinating and quite rewarding. But you have to watch out, the adults will eat the babies!
When you think the female is close to having her babies, you place her in a small isolation tank that hangs on the inside of your aquarium. The bottom of this small tank has a trap where the babies fall to the bottom and momma cant eat them. The babies must be kept separately until they are large enough to fend against the parents.
Be aware that these things multiply like rats if you manage to keep the fry safe from the parents and other fish. Before you know it, you may end up with several aquariums full of live bearers!
Healthy adult rainbow fish have a very impressive rainbow of vibrant colors. Many people pass these guys over at the fish store because the younger ones sold at the store are not nearly as impressive as far as the coloration goes. It is very rewarding to raise a young school of Rainbow Fish into vibrant colorful adults.
Rainbow fish like to swim in large schools or 10 or more, but you can get away with keeping a school of six. When kept in smaller quantities they tend to be shy and timid. A large school of colorful adults makes a very impressive display.
Rainbow fish are available in a variety of sizes. Some species can grow over 7 inches long while other dwarf species tend to stay under an inches or so. Keep in mind that the tiny species may have a hard time fending for themselves, even against other non-aggressive fish. So the dwarfed species may not be the best to have in a community tank.
Tetras are very active tropical community fish that prefer swimming in schools of 6 or more. They are very peaceful fish that are native to South American and Africa. Tetras can be identified by their unique rounded fin, called a adipose fin, that is located between their dorsal fin and tail fin.
With their signature bright red and blue coloring, the Neon Tetra seen to the right are arguable the most popular type of tetra. Cardinal Tetras, Butterfly Tetras, and Glowlight Tetras are some other popular types. If you have a large enough tank, its really a neat to have two or three schools of different types of tetras swimming about.
Glass Fish are really cool looking tropical community fish. As you can see in the picture, they are called Glass Fish because they are partially transparent. You can see right through them.
They are fairly hardy and get along with most other types of community fish listed above. They too prefer to swim in schools of six or more. They usually grow to a maximum length of 3 inches or so.
Some times fish suppliers like to inject different color dyes into the top of their backs. They are called Painted Glass Fish. They are very unnatural colors such as yellow, blue, or green. This is not a very humane thing to subject any fish to. This practice is considered taboo for those of use to care about our fish.
The Corydoras Catfish (Cory Cat for short) is a bottom dwelling scavenger that makes a perfect addition to most all community tanks. They prefer to be in groups of 6 or more, but there is no harm in keeping just one or two.
They are fairly hardy fish that mind their own business while hanging out on the bottom eating leftovers. They do a good job of helping you keep the tank good and tidy, although they dont replace the need for a regular tank cleaning.
They really appreciate it when you throw them an algae wafer to dine on from time to time.
A plecostomus is often times referred to as a Sucker Fish. They are a type of catfish that go to work keeping the algae cleaned of the inside of your aquarium. They get along with most all other types of tropical community fish.
I keep a plecostomus in most of my aquariums as they really do an excellent job of keeping the algae under control. But there is one draw back, they get really big. The cute little guy you pick up at the fish store will grow up to 18 inches long. They are slow growers, but they do grow. Ive had to take them back to the store because I had no room for them.
It really helps us all to share our experiences with mixing different types of fish. Sometimes things work out perfectly, sometimes we regret our choices.
Please share your experiences with mixing different types of fish. If your community gets along great, tell us about it. If you've made some bad chooces please share those experiences as well!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
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