How To Select the Right Fish for a Small Tank

You know what they say about big feet? The answer is not the one that will prompt someone to tell you to get your head out of the gutter. The answer is big feet fill big shoes.

The same goes for a small fish tank. You can’t buy Jaws and expect it to thrive. You have to fit the fish into this tiny space, but finding the right fish species is important for you and your fish so you can mutually enjoy the experience no matter how small the space is. Your mission, if you decide to maintain a small fish tank, is to make sure you create a harmonious community of fish species in your tank. Think about the beloved movie “Finding Nemo” and you are pretty much on your way.

Here’s how to buy the right fish for a small fish tank:

  1. The size of your fish tank will dictate the specie of fish that will survive in it. The smaller the fish tank, the smaller the fish should be even when it’s full grown.
  2. The volume of water it will take to fill a fish tank is an important factor as well. Ideally, an inch of or about the size of your thumb is the total quantity of fish specimen that will thrive in a tank that can take in a gallon of water. Take note that this refers to quantity or number and not the size of a fish.
  3. Spacing is important. No math needed here, merely the power of observation and plain logic. A fish small tank needs a fewer number of fish.
  4. Do your work and research on fish species. Contrary to what is popularly believed, Goldfish is not suited to a small fish tank because this specie produces more gunk, needs a larger tank, and lots of water - around 20 gallons for each one. Instead, go for guppies, platy, tetras, cyprinids, catfish, or betta. Buy only a male betta because this is a fighting and extremely territorially-possessive fish that will fight its kind to the death. But you can have fun with a Betta fish and exercise it by placing a mirror in front of it. This fish will mistake it for a different Betta and will take an aggressive stance to bully it. Remove the mirror though after the Betta has had his fun as placing the mirror permanently will stress the Betta out because he won’t stop fighting his mirror image. No matter the specie, the most important thing is that these fish should have their own “space” in your fish tank. Conduct more research on the kind of fish that can build rapport with each other. If you have a small tank, around 2 or 3 fish species should be acceptable.
  5. Equipment and life-giving requirements for your tiny fish community. Buying the right fish also means knowing how you can maintain the species. Aside from your tank, you will need filters, heating, lighting, tank cover (it would be horrible for you to see your fish attempting a Hara Kiri by jumping out of the fish tank, eyes bulging and flopping wetly on the floor), real plants, and a gravel enhancer. Keep your fish tank out of direct sunlight.

You now have a basic idea of the species that can live together but go further and look for more information before buying your fish.


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