How do you decide what fish to get?

What most influences the types of fish you purchase?

  • The appearance of the fish.

    Votes: 15 36.6%
  • The fishs' suitability for my tank.

    Votes: 26 63.4%

  • Total voters
    41
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jclee

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Because it has dawned on me that my Cherry barbs are reaching the end of their life expectancy :'(, I've been thinking ahead. I'm in the process of researching a number of species that would be compatible with the species that would still be in my 20-long. (Hopefully, I won't have to make any purchases for a while, yet.)

I find myself in the predicament of waffling between a couple of species I've always wanted to try, for which I might have to modify the pH and/or water hardness (slightly enough that it would not hurt the remaining fish), and another couple of species that would be perfectly suited for my tank as it is. This made me wonder how everyone else makes decisions like this. What influences your fish purchases the most?

*This is assuming that people are factoring in compatibility with tank mates and the size of the enclosure.
 

steed1172

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i would say it's a mixture of the two for sure(but i voted appearance)'
i mean, who wants a fish that looks ugly, just cause your tank can support it. same thing with being cheap, if it's in your budget.. but you don't like it do you get it just because you can afford?.... and if you get it JUST for looks... without doing research it usually ends kinda badly.
 

JRDroid

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Given that most fish will adapt to a variety of water conditions, ad long as compatability with current fish and size of tank is a given, my number one consideration is apperance
 

Butterfly

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There are several fish I really like(Loaches, angelfish, pleco) When I see one I like I decide whether I can house it properly. If not I leave it alone (usually). I have been known to set up tanks for certain fish.
What attracts me to these fish are their habits and partially their looks.
Carol
 

Kunsthure

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I voted suitability for my tank. Then appearance rules them in or out. For instance, when stocking my 37g, I looked first at the size of the fish and if it was small enough then I'd look at its appearance. I looked at harlequin rasboras because they are small enough but then I ruled them out because I don't like how they look. To me, what's the point of having a cool looking fish if it isn't right for the tank?

-Lisa
 

Elodea

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I go the same way as Lisa, but mostly take in consideration of the fish's behaviour. I like odd, unique fish. Loaches over cories, nerite snails over brigs, hatchets over gourami, etc.
 

blkdeath75

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When I first started I was only going on looks until I came here. Now I look at everything when contributing to one of my current tanks. If starting a new tank I will often go for what fish I like the look of and then shop for tanks and equipment after I find them(i.e. Mbunas I'm shopping for a 55 or larger now).
 

JRDroid

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Kunsthure said:
I voted suitability for my tank. Then appearance rules them in or out. For instance, when stocking my 37g, I looked first at the size of the fish and if it was small enough then I'd look at its appearance. I looked at harlequin rasboras because they are small enough but then I ruled them out because I don't like how they look. To me, what's the point of having a cool looking fish if it isn't right for the tank?

-Lisa
Butterfly said:
There are several fish I really like(Loaches, angelfish, pleco) When I see one I like I decide whether I can house it properly. If not I leave it alone (usually). I have been known to set up tanks for certain fish.
What attracts me to these fish are their habits and partially their looks.
Carol
The OP did say that this is assuming you already knew it was compatible with your current fish and the size of your tank.

From reading the OP i was under the impression this was referring more to gH, kH, pH, special temperature requirements, etc.
 
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jclee

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Monmouth said:
The OP did say that this is assuming you already knew it was compatible with your current fish and the size of your tank.

From reading the OP i was under the impression this was referring more to gH, kH, pH, special temperature requirements, etc.
Yeah, that's what I meant. As I said, it could be a while before the school of cherry barbs die out, but since they're already around 7 years old (I think), I'm toying with replacement ideas. I currently have soft water and a pH of 6.4, which would be perfect for neon tetras or croaking gouramis... but I would really love to start exploring some blue eyed rainbowfish like pseudomugil gertudae or threadfins (which I have never had). From what I've read, these should be ok with my current water parameters, but some of the other pseudomugil sp. might need a pH that's closer to neutral.
 

kel1216

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Hi! i voted the looks of the fish.. it is right who wants an ugly fish. actually my true answer was not in the choices cause my answer is my interest. Once i am intersted to a certain breed i will research and ask peoples what's the best for that fish when i start caring for it. cause that is the greatest motivational factor for me to take care of that fish. Its because i like its breed and it has my interest.
 

Kunsthure

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I don't worry about my water parameters because most fish will thrive in a wide range of conditions if acclimated properly. I don't have the time for fancy pants fish that *need* certain parameters or they'll die: I'm frustrated enough as it is dealing with the relatively minor pH difference between my 37g with CO2 and my tap. So my original answer still stands: suitability to my tank, or more correctly maybe, suitability to what I will and will not do. I don't care how cool a fish looks, if it's going to be too much of a pain in the butt to maintain then forget it.

-Lisa
 
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jclee

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I think that really gets to the heart of my issue. I've gone so long with species that were relatively low maintenance to the water that comes out of my tap... and I've (aesthetically) fallen in love with species' that might be more work than that...

I suppose that the question is more for myself: will I be up for a little more maintenance than I'm already used to to adjust the water regularly?

I guess I was curious to see where others fell, so that I could think over my answer.
 

kloseo

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the fish must be suitable for my tank before i purchase it, but it doesn't stop me from looking and drooling over some possibilities
 

AlyeskaGirl

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I voted for suitable....then I do go by some apperance. I usually stay away from the odd looking ones.

 

jwokmuba2

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well that's a hard question, i think the suitability is a very important factor, but for my 8 month old son, he like bright, quick fish so appearance in important to, i guess if you have mts you can get all you want, as long as the tanks fit the fish.
 

thequietman44

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I voted suitability, but not for my tanks, for me. I know what kind of maintenance and special care I'm going to be able to provide and I don't even consider fish that have special care requirements. I keep fish because it's fun and relaxing, so I don't want to spend my evenings and weekends trying to keep a rare fish alive.

I also don't want ugly fish, so I don't keep albino cories (sorry cory lovers ) even though they're adaptable and easy to care for. I prefer unique (inverts), colorful, active (tetras), beneficial stock that is easy to care for and self-reproducing. That's what makes it interesting and enjoyable for me, so that's the kind of fish I keep.
 

JRDroid

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I have a lot of free time so a fish with special care requirements or that needs extra water changes is no big deal to me. If it looks cool, as long as I have the skills and money to care for it, I'll get it
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

Being many, many, years into the hobby, I've learned to stick with fish that I know I can keep alive with the water that I have to offer.

I selected the Bloody Parrots because they are so odd (yet beautiful in my eyes) looking. So I chose Appearance as my vote but actually it's kind of appearance and suitability for my tank.

Ken
 
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jclee

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thequietman44 said:
I voted suitability, but not for my tanks, for me. I know what kind of maintenance and special care I'm going to be able to provide and I don't even consider fish that have special care requirements. I keep fish because it's fun and relaxing, so I don't want to spend my evenings and weekends trying to keep a rare fish alive.
Monmouth said:
I have a lot of free time so a fish with special care requirements or that needs extra water changes is no big deal to me. If it looks cool, as long as I have the skills and money to care for it, I'll get it
aquarist48 said:
Being many, many, years into the hobby, I've learned to stick with fish that I know I can keep alive with the water that I have to offer.
I think y'all are convincing me... like thequietman44 and Monmouth, I have loads of time to devote to my fish... in the summer. Then, professional obligations make pet maintenance more of an inconvenience than a labour of love nine months out of the year, (which is why I'm usually MIA from the forum from September through May). Perhaps it would be wisest to go with aquarist48's advice. I'll keep you posted if/when I get new fish.

Anyone else have other factors that play into their fish purchasing decisions?
 

izzyfishfarmer

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first suitablility then appearance
 
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