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In the last few years, the number of people cultivating a passion for aquariums has grown considerably. There are all sorts available on the market, and it’s easy to choose the one that matches the style of our home best. It’s not so easy, however, to choose the right fish and create the right habitat for them to live in.

After choosing the best aquarium for our needs, before bringing home our new friends it is essential to create the perfect habitat: first of all, we need some plants, to make sure the water reaches the right climatic and biochemical balance. Only then can we add some fish. Specialised shops will have a wide range on offer, but it’s important to choose the right type for the size of our aquarium.

To get the best out of the space available in the tank, it’s best to buy fish that occupy all the different levels in the aquarium. Bottom feeders, surface dwellers and mid-depth fish can all live happily side by side. You can choose fish from the same area of origin, or from all over the world.

Then you need to bear in mind that a solitary species could be unhappy in a crowded tank; moreover, some species just don’t get on well together. Another common problem in aquariums is fighting between adult males: some fish can be particularly territorial, tormenting other fish that may be from a different species, but that happen to be a similar colour.

Remember that small fish should never be kept together with predators, and to make sure to always have some “clean-up” fish to remove any parasites from the aquarium. Let’s take a look at some species that are suitable for a freshwater aquarium:

– Pracheirodon Innesi: also known as Neon fish, these have beautiful bright colours and are very robust.

– Barbus Tetrazona: needs to be bred in shoals, doesn’t require any particular attention and is therefore suitable for medium to large sized aquariums of not less than 80 litres.

– Goldfish: one of the most common fish, it has no particular needs except for lots of space and a good water filter, with at least 80 litres per couple.

– Discus: and extremely delicate fish and one of the most beautiful, it needs a lot of space and does not get on well with other types of fish.

– Macropodus Opercularis: also known as the paradise fish, it is very robust but also particularly aggressive.

– Barbus Titteya and Brachydanio Rerio: very quiet and tend not to create problems with other fish species.

Don’t forget that even if they can’t express their affection or feelings like a cat or a dog, they still deserve to live in the best conditions possible, and it is our duty to look after them and get them checked by a specialised vet once a year.

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