An aquarium can be a beautiful addition to your home, especially when it is a thriving, active ecosystem with different varieties of fish swimming peacefully together. If you aren't careful, however, the fish you add to your tank may end up fighting and killing one another, with large fish eating smaller ones, and the smallest fish hiding rather than exploring their environment. An aggressive tank is also a stressful one, and if the fish aren't living comfortably together, they can be subject to more illnesses because of their uncertain environment. So how can you find fish that live well together?
Creating a Peaceful Fish Community
Before you start grouping different types of fish together in the same aquarium, you need to be sure that one tank of water can meet all their different needs. Fish that live well together will have similar requirements and preferences, which will make keeping your tank healthy much easier. When choosing fish, opt for breeds that require similar tank temperatures and water pH levels to be sure they will all be comfortable and healthy in their shared water. Fish that eat similar foods are also good to have together, and feeding the entire community will be much simpler. At the same time, however, choose fish that prefer different swimming levels of the tank so they will all have ample space and will spread out in the water so they do not feel cramped or crowded.
Fish That Live Well Together
Many species of freshwater tropical fish can work well together in the same tank. Popular choices often labeled as "community fish" or with "peaceful" attitudes include…
Within these fish species, some breeds are better adapted to group living than others. If you have one type of fish in mind that you definitely want to showcase in your aquarium, it is best to research that breed's specific needs and temperament before choosing other fish to add to the tank.
In addition to choosing fish breeds that live well together, it is a general rule of thumb to keep male and female livebearers separate and not have both genders in the same tank. These fish breed very easily, and if they are able to mate repeatedly, the tank can quickly become overrun and overcrowded with just one type of fish.
Single Fish Schools
Even fish that may live peacefully with other breeds often prefer the company of their own kind, and they will be happiest and healthiest if kept in schools. Keeping a school of at least 4-6 of the same kind of fish can add dynamic interest to your aquarium, and if you opt for an even larger school, you will want to reduce the overall number of fish breeds in the tank to prevent overcrowding. If you have trouble establishing a peaceful fish community, consider a single-breed tank with a large and energetic school to enjoy instead.
And aquarium is a lovely piece of living art, and including multiple fish breeds in the tank makes it even more appealing and engaging. By choosing fish that live well together in a community setting you can create a safe, diverse aquarium you can enjoy for years.