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Choosing Tank Mates

Looking to build your very first fish tank? Make sure you know what temperament you want the tank to be. Not all fish can be friendly, even neighborly for that matter. Certain fish swim in particular groups, while others only enjoy those of their own kind. If you are interested in becoming an avid fish enthusiast, this will help you learn what type of tank you wish to develop.

If colourful and exotic is what you are looking for a milder temperament tank might suit your needs. Guppies, Platies, Mollies, Tetras and other colourful and bright smaller fish all get along great together. You could even introduce a Betta fish, but only one as the males are very territorial when it comes to their species and will fight other males off. These mild tempered swimmers come in many shapes, colours, and sizes, and get along with pretty much anybody – as long as the others don’t pick a fight with them.

Looking for fish just a little bit more edge and spunk? Angel Fish, Gouramis, and certain varieties of cichlids such as Severums would be the variety you are looking for. They are all bit more aggressive and will keep things interesting, but they won’t go as far as to kill many different breeds off (with the exception of mild tempered fish). They will chase each other, and once in awhile get into a scuffle with each other, but once territory has been established they will again be friends. A good trick is to rearrange the tank’s decor every few months to keep things fresh and new.


If you want one step further, a tank of colourful, yet aggressive African Cichlids is what you are looking for. Careful, these guys only tolerate their own. Try to introduce anything else, and you will have a fight on your hands. Not to worry, these fish come in many colours, patterns, grow into many sizes and can make a tank just as colourful as a milder one, they will all just be the same shape.


In any tank you chose, make sure you have a couple of ground feeders or algae eaters. These guys usually stay out of the swimming fish mix as they hang out solely in dark corners or along the pebbled ground. Their main mission is to eat all the leftover debris, and any growing green algae. They are helpful in keeping things clean and do a lot of good for a tank. Cory catfish, plecostomus, ancistrus, and other varieties of catfish are great cleaning companions.

So there you have it. Fish who can be friendly, and others who can’t. Now for the fun part: making your tank your own. Try out combinations and let us know how your tank is doing. Share your tank with us. We always enjoy hearing about fish tank successes. If you have more questions, come into the store on 2nd Line, ask away, and check out our selection of fish. Our staff is well versed in fish and other aquatic life.

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