Aside from being new to the hobby and having much yet to learn, for you to go out on a limb and spend this kind of money for a fish to put into a newly started aquarium is absurd, and don't let your local fish store talk you into it either. If you did your homework prior to starting your new aquarium, you know that the cycling period your tank has to go through to settle in results in high levels of ammonia and nitrites that are toxic to fish as well as all other livestock until the process completes its mission of establishing the biological filter base in the aquarium. Considering the threats that loom ahead for any fish for the first 30 days or so, including your lack of experience, why would anyone want to put this kind of money into a fish to cycle a tank with?
To help you make good tank starter fish choices, here are some tips:
- First of all, DO NOT buy and introduce sensitive invertebrates or corals into the tank at any time during the cycling process.
- When it comes to selecting starter fishes, as well as other livestock for the future, plan ahead and prepare a "species list", then learn as much as you can about each animal's characteristics, dietary requirements, feeding habits and captive care, BEFORE buying anything!
- Using the measurement of approximately two inches of fish per 10 gallons of tank water rule can give you a general idea of how many fish to add.
- Buy inexpensive, durable, hardy fish that are known to do well during the tank cycling process. Some of the best fish to start an aquarium with are Damsels or Chromis', members of the Family Pomacentridae. Now we know some of you are going to say, but these fish are so plain looking and can be very aggressive. Yes they can be, but once the tank has cycled and allowed to run for a month or so after that, you can trade them in at your local fish store or give them to someone else who may be starting a new tank. THEN you can step up to one or two of the more elegant beginner fishes for aquarists in the intermediate care range.
- Know what to look for when buying fish. The quality of the animals plays a vital role in your success with their care.