This is a conservative guide from Pet.co.nz to help get you started if you are new to fish-keeping.
Before you add fish to your tank read this guide...
What products to use
It’s important that you use two types of products to get your fish tank cycling, enabling your fish to enter healthy water.
- A good aquarium water conditioner which will take chlorine and other chemicals out of the water that can hurt your fish. Most of these products also add a layer of protective slime onto your fish to help protect them. So always put this into the aquarium any time you add in new fish. Click here for a list of the Water Conditioners available.
- Good bacteria are products that will give your tank a boost of biological bacteria that is designed to help breakdown the waste, leftover food and any other nasty’s in your tank. Click here for a list of the Bacteria supplements available.
These need to be put into the tank before you add fish. It takes at least three to five days to get a tanks water settled. All of these products will help you settle the tank and have clear guides on the bottle to ensure that you use the correct amounts. You will also use them any time you add fish or do a water change to help give the tank a boost after it comes under a little more stress from either the new water or adding in extra fish.
How many fish should I have?
There are a few variables on how many fish you can have in a tank, one is the actual size of the fish when you get them and the other the size of the fish when they are fully grown.
Here are some tips on stocking your tank...
- Always err on the side of caution, you are much better to find that you don’t have enough fish as you can always add them later. If you have too many fish you may have to get another tank, or worse they could get sick and die. This would be due to having too much waste in your tank. The waste puts pressure on your aquarium filtration which, if overloaded, will be unable to remove or breakdown the waste.
- Always slowly build up your community of fish. It’s far better to take time building up your community, making sure that it doesn't put too much stress on your filtration. Start with just a few fish (even in a large tank this helps) to start your biological filtration by feeding it some waste.
Here is a guide of how many fish you should have in your tank.
|Tank Litres||Goldfish to start with||Goldfish approx 5-7cm||Small Tropical Fish to start with approx 3-5cm||Tropical Fish approx 5-7cm once fully stocked|
|20||2||2 to 3||2 to 3||4 to 6|
|40||2||4 to 6||4 to 6||10 to 12|
|60||3||6 to 8||6||14 to 16|
|80||3||8 to 10||6||18 to 20|
|100||4||10 to 12||8||22 to 24|
|120||4||12 to 14||8||26 to 28|
|140||5||14 to 16||10||30 to 32|
|160||5||16 to 18||10||34 to 36|
|180||6||18 to 20||12||38 to 40|
|200||6||20 to 22||12||42 to 44|
Not all fish are born equal, so it’s important that you know what fish go with what. Some fish are passive and live well in a community, while others are aggressive and generally only like to live with their own kind or sometimes own size of fish.
To help minimize bullying in your tank we suggest that you have plenty of hiding places your fish can hide in or get away if they need to.
Observing your fish
The best way to really know what is happening in your aquarium is to spend time observing your fish. Spend a few minutes getting used to the way they move in the tank, how they look, if there any fish that are bullying the other fish, etc. This way if there are any changes to the way they interact or look you can seek some advice to ensure that everything is OK with your fish.