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Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

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Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by alexmtl on Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:46 pm

Welcome to Canada Aquaria ! You may already have purchased a new tank and with it your new fish from the Local Fish Store (LFS). Hopefully the store saleperson advised you on your new charges (how to care for them, compatibility with other tank mates, habits) but if you are seeking more indepth information, you have come to the right place.

What are you favourite beginner fish ? Fish that are easy to care for, can tolerate a wide range of conditions, and are compatible with many other fish. What would be the best type(s) of fish(es) to introduce a new aquarist to the hobby ?
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by GaryE on Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:59 pm

I think the single most important thing you have to do to choose is choose. Am I playing games? No. I often watch new aquarists having store clerks choose for them.
Look at all the fish you like. Take pictures of them or write down their names. Go home empty-handed, and do some reading and research. See how large they get (always expect success - which means they will reach their maximum), what they eat, and how they behave.
Narrow your choices down. When you know that what you want is right for your tank and your level of commitment, go back.
You have to want a fish to succeed with it.
And never make a goldfish your first fish, as they are a discouraging species. They need a lot of room and a lot of maintenance. Start with something easier. Later, if you want, go for goldies. But they are a terrible beginner's fish.
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by cephalotus on Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:22 pm

well said gary!! I think that's the best beginner advice. don't get ANY pet on a whim.

that said, cories are fun to watch, docile, and fairly tolerant/forgiving depending on species Smile
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by ownedbycats on Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:37 am

I like bettas if the beginner has a small tank. They are colorful, have friendly personalities, and given enough room can be quite active.
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Bina on Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:03 pm

As a child, most of us had guppy fish or a gold fish with varying success.
BUT, as an adult I was able to start again with some fish that would be suitable for the difficult well water that I have here on my hobby farm.
I chose a few silver lyretail Molly fish and haven't had a single loss :-)
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by KristaLynn on Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:46 pm

I like the danio for a starter fish, they're small, hardy and active!
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Sbenson11 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:55 pm

A discouraging species? Ouch, Gary just when I put you back on my Christmas list for the Snail pictures, I have to remove you once again Laughing 

However some of what you say makes sense,

Do your homework and see what fits the water that you have to work with. It's a lot easier to get a fish that will thrive in your water conditions then to try and change your water to fit a particular fish.

While Comets or Common Goldfish may not be the ideal starter fish, due to how large they get, i see no reason why someone can't start with a small Fantail or Black Moor. They don't need a heater and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.

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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by GaryE on Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:53 pm

Steve,
I call them a discouraging fish because of "Fish Acquisitionitis", a terrible syndrome for new fishkeepers. You start with a smallish tank and you buy a fish. You really like it, so you want another fish. And another.
You convince yourself that fish need friends.
But even a moor or a fantail packs a waste load, and they tend to be poor company for other fish, as they poop them to death. They really should have 25 gallons each.
Hey, I deserve back on your xmas wish list! I actually consider goldfish keeping to be a pastime for more experienced fishkeepers. They are a lot of work, and you need a good eye for waste management to keep chunky herbivores successfully, for anything near their lifespan. You need mad skills to keep goldies successfully.
There are dozens of species that are way easier to care for.
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Shell on Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:08 pm

I actually agree with points made by both Gary and Steve! I think that goldfish could be good for a beginner, but the problem with goldfish is not that they are a bad starter fish, per say, but that many people are misinformed regarding their requirements, especially tank size and proper filtration. Even for those who get a nice large tank for say two goldfish often feel that it looks bare, and then add more goldfish and/or plecos, which is where the trouble starts. My sister has said that people sometimes look at her two fishtanks, one with three fancy goldfish, and the other with two comets, and look surprised to see such 'small' fish in such 'large' tanks, sometimes asking when she is going to add more fish. Luckily sis knows that these guys require lots of space and filtration, and she is looking forward to watching them flourish and grow; thus, having tiny fish in big tanks is not an issue for her!  I think this is part of the reason why people end up getting a couple of goldfish for a 10g or (gasp) a fish bowl (so surprised this still happens, but hey...) or get a nice big tank for them with good intentions, but then end up overstocking it to 'fill in the gaps,' so to speak...!

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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Sbenson11 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:19 pm

@GaryE wrote:Hey, I deserve back on your xmas wish list! I actually consider goldfish keeping to be a pastime for more experienced fishkeepers. They are a lot of work, and you need a good eye for waste management to keep chunky herbivores successfully, for anything near their lifespan. You need mad skills to keep goldies successfully.
I'll take that as a compliment, I think Surprised  Ok maybe a Christmas card.

This may not be the thread to have this discussion, but that picture is of the type of goldfish I really don't care for. I have a problem with the way people have breed this fish to exaggerate these types of genetic abnormalities. I have keep numerous types of fancy goldfish over the years, but no more. It's curl to selectively breed fish that will before to long have a hard time seeing, swimming or even breathing.

Just my opinion,

Steve
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by GaryE on Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:22 pm

That poor guy was in a local store, and was a hefty fish. He or she was a thousand neon tetras in bulk and weight.
Cruelty breeding is another discussion, but one we need to have. Balloon mollies, rotating goldfish, guppies with tails they can't haul, deformed parrot cichlids - add tattoos by dye injection and dyed fish, and we do have a problem in this hobby.
Good beginner fish are not intentionally deformed for profit ones!
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Biulu on Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:34 pm

I agree with KristaLynn over the danios. They are not only hardy, come in several nice varieties but are also very active.

In general I would say that a good beginner fish is also a community fish as many people like to have several different fishes to look at. A species only tank (apart from bettas maybe) is not what people are most attracted to when they start out.
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by kpoet on Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:51 pm

I'm really enjoying my new Australian rainbowfish. I think they'd be a good beginner fish too. They are getting along with the snails and plecos, have lovely colors beginning to develop and are a gentle community fish.

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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Ursus sapien on Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:18 pm

There are many fish suitable for beginers, but, for me, white clouds have it all; good neighbours, active, constantly displaying, tolerant of a wide range of water parameters, free spawning, don't eat their eggs or babies, long lived... Danios are also good, but clouds win out (for me) because of the nonagressive/non baby eating characteristics.
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by vigilante on Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:49 pm

@Ursus sapien wrote:There are many fish suitable for beginers, but, for me, white clouds have it all; good neighbours, active, constantly displaying, tolerant of a  wide range of water parameters, free spawning, don't eat their eggs or babies, long lived... Danios are also good, but clouds win out (for me) because of the nonagressive/non baby eating characteristics.

What type of tank setup is minimum for mountain clouds?
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by CAAIndie on Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:21 pm

@vigilante wrote:
@Ursus sapien wrote:There are many fish suitable for beginers, but, for me, white clouds have it all; good neighbours, active, constantly displaying, tolerant of a  wide range of water parameters, free spawning, don't eat their eggs or babies, long lived... Danios are also good, but clouds win out (for me) because of the nonagressive/non baby eating characteristics.

What type of tank setup is minimum for mountain clouds?

I have heard of them in tanks of 40cm in length (approximatley a 5.5 gallon), but I would say optimally a 10+ gallon.

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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Biulu on Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:00 pm

A 15 gallon or a 20 gallon long are the minimum sizes for this fish. Also very important: max temperature of 20-21 degrees.
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Fishypastor on Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:13 pm

Oscars. Plecos. Dovii. Pacu's.

Great beginner fish. What a Face
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by CAAIndie on Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:24 pm

@Fishypastor wrote:Oscars. Plecos. Dovii. Pacu's.

Great beginner fish. What a Face

Careful... some people might take you serious Razz

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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Fishypastor on Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:36 pm

Lol... in all seriousness, the plain Jane zebra danio is awesome. Cheap, hardy (can cycle tanks like a boss), easy neighbours with others, fast, friendly with plants, minimal feeding needed... wow.
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by GaryE on Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:25 am

Istarted with two species, short fin guppies and marble mollies. They were easy to keep, fun to watch and they had babies. I think that's what got me hooked on aquariums. You need an easy to keep fish that takes your hobby to another level.

The worst is a goldfish, sadly, as it is hard to care for in the small tanks most of us start with.

White clouds are great, as are zebra danios. Platys should be ideal, but like guppies are too often diseased coming from the farms.
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Suprd71 on Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:43 am

@Fishypastor wrote:Oscars. Plecos. Dovii. Pacu's.

Great beginner fish. What a Face
Hey.. you been peeking in my fishroom? Enter at your own peril.. my Dovii will tear ya a new one!!
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by Sbenson11 on Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:45 am

Reluctantly I have to agree with Gary Guppies and Mollies would make great starter fish.

Reluctantly because Gary is hatting on goldfish again Smile

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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by ksimdjembe on Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:24 am

White clouds would be a neat starter fish. And given enough plants, I wonder if any fry would make it?
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Re: Favourite beginner fish for the new hobbyist

Post by alexmtl on Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:29 am

@ksimdjembe wrote:White clouds would be a neat starter fish. And given enough plants, I wonder if any fry would make it?

Excellent choice. Very attractive, extremely hardy, no heater required. Breeds well and is readily available. Easy to maintain under most water conditions.
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