If you have freshwater fish for aquariums in your home you may have noticed that once in a while a fish vanishes. It’s one thing to find one of your little swimmers floating on top after a long and happy life, but the disappearing fish was probably gulped up by another fish. For new aquarium owners, it’s good to know how to prevent your aquarium fish from eating each other. Here are some tips to creating an environment that your fish can live with.
Let Them Go To School
No, not real school, but let the schooling fish live together. If you want a truly peaceful fish tank you should consider starting and ending your supply of fish with good-tempered schooling fish. These fish like to live in groups and will treat each other nicely. They are not aggressive outside of an occasional innocent bump. Good choices in fish for a schooling aquarium would be species like danios, tetras, and guppies.
Bullies Avoid Bullies
If you prefer a more aggressive fish like barbs loaches, or pacu you should know that these semi-aggressive fish tend to leave each other alone as long as they are roughly the same size as one another. However, if you put them into a tank with the peaceful schooling fish these more aggressive fish will turn into bullies and may just kill off your tetras and danios. It seems that with their kind they get along pretty well, supposedly because they realize the threat to them is real. In a tank where they rule, their aggression tends to come out a bit more.
Sharks Are Aggressive
Many aquarium owners like to get a number of pretty and colorful fish and then think that a small shark would be really cool swimming around with them. Guess what? The shark sold at a pet store, though not necessarily a real shark, is an aggressive fish, and when push comes to shove that shark will get aggressive. They prefer to be in a school but are often bought individually, taking them out of their element. If you want harmony in your aquarium, leave the sharks in the pet store.
Food is Important
If you want to keep your fish from going at each other you need to feed them enough. This is an easy thing to do since feeding fish in an aquarium is so simple. Just fee once or twice per day as much food as the fish will eat in 5 minutes. If food sits around after 10 minutes go lighter next time.
Space is Important Too
This may be more important that anything else. Don’t overstock your aquarium. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 1 inch of fish per gallon of water. That will give everyone enough space so that they don’t have to defend their territory. This equates to around 5-10 fish in a 10 gallon aquarium. Consider the grown size them you calculate the number so you don’t buy 10 1 inch fish that will all grow to 2 inches and crowd your tank.
If you pay attention to the needs of your fish and don’t try to mix the wrong kinds you can keep your freshwater fish from killing each other and look forward to many years of peaceful harmony.