How to Choose Fish: Adding Fish to Your Fish Tank

When you are ready to select your fish, speak to a PETstock Person to help decide which breeds will be suited to you. Usually, the hardiest breeds of fish are best to purchase first, as they will thrive in a new environment and continue to develop your biological filter, ready for any other fish you choose. Only purchase minimal numbers (about two) as a start, as adding too many at once may cause unnecessary stress on the fish. When purchasing further down the track, it is still recommended to purchase minimal numbers at a time.

Cold Water Fish

This type of freshwater fish is a common choice for beginners as they are relatively easier to care for than tropical fish. These fish come in many different shapes and sizes and are reasonably inexpensive. You will find them in red, white, black, multicoloured and even uncoloured varieties. Be careful when purchasing for a small tank, as some types of cold water fish grow to 20cm plus! Speak to your local PETstock team to decide which breeds are best for your tank size.

Cold water fish are associated as being a hardier type of fish, however they still need the same level of care as any other. A filter for your tank is still essential, as this is what maintains the cleanliness of their habitat. Without a filter, your tank would become dirty much more quickly, and result in unnecessary stress on your fishy family members.

Tropical Fish

Tropical fish are very popular as their range of colours, sizes and shapes is much wider than cold water fish. Their eclectic style adds an exotic feel to your tank. With a colour range from orange, red, blue, yellow, pink, black, white, spotted, multicoloured etc. (even transparent!), these are definitely a popular choice of fish to keep at home.

Tropical fish require additional hardware than that of their cold water cousins. As well as a filter, tropical fish also need:

These items help maintain their natural habitat of around 26 degrees celsius whilst keeping the water fully oxygenated (the higher the temperature in tropical tanks, the decreased volume of oxygen).

Tropical fish generally live together quite peacefully, however there are some territorial breeds and others which are quite aggressive and best kept on their own. Speak to your local PETstock team when purchasing fish to ensure they are compatible with their tank mates.

Purchasing Fish

If choosing to purchase your fish from PETstock, they will be collected in a plastic fish bag and tied in a way that traps in oxygen, making the travelling experience as easy as possible on you and your fish. After purchase, your fish will survive approximately one hour in a fish bag, so ensure you purchase your fish close to where you live and at a time when you can go straight home. The less time in the bag, the better.

How Do I Add Fish to my Tank?

When you arrive home, open the lid of your tank and float your fish, in their fish bag, on top for around 10-15 minutes. After this time, you may add your fish. When doing this, it is best to ensure that no water from the bag goes into the tank.

The reason for this is that it is possible for fish to generate ammonia while travelling, a substance you’ve already worked so hard to eliminate! It is easiest to purchase an appropriate sized fish net and simply scoop your fish out of the bag and gently place him in your tank.

Do not feed your fish for the first 24 hours after adding him to your tank and keep the light off during this time. Taking these steps will help to minimise the stress placed on your fish.

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